Memories


by C. C. Hendrickson


[A series of articles written by C. C. Hendrickson for the Lincoln Sentinel Republican, 1934-1935. Transcribed and submitted by Clarence Suelter - email: suelter2@attbi.com. Parentheses have been inserted where the transcriber thought correct names or words were needed.]

The Lincoln-Sentinel Republican
December 14, 1933

"When Lincoln County Was a Youngster"
by C. C. Hendrickson

Today, Sept. 3, 1933, we placed a simple marker of marble and concrete near the place, one and one half miles southeast of Lincoln, where young STRANGE was killed by the Indians May 30, 1869. No hand with a pen of gold could have placed more fitting words on the little marker than our friend Toughf, and he paid the price of the prairie. Little did that old uncle of mine, J. S. STRANGE, think when he crossed the Missouri river winding his way westward seeking a home for himself and family that he would give one of his own sons to pay for that homestead. But he was only one of hundreds that had to pay the price and now sleep in this land of ours, many with unmasked, unknown graves.

The first that had to pay here in Lincoln county were the MOFFITT brothers, Tyler and Houston. August 6, 1864, the MOFFITT brothers bodies were taken to their old home in Illinois and laid to rest in the family cemetery. Their former graves on the Dan DAY farm east of Lincoln are unmarked and unknown. The ledge of rocks where they fought their last fight has been defaced so that in the years that have passed even the old pioneers would hardly recognize it as their old battle ground.

Editor's note: This is the first of a series of historical reminiscences by Mr. HENDRICKSON, who has lived in Lincoln county since 1866. The next will appear in an early issue.

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The Lincoln-Sentinel Republican
January 11, 1934

"Memories"
by C. C. Hendrickson

Much has been said and written about the pioneer settlers of Lincoln county and the hardships they went through to lay the foundation for the generations that followed. Most of the people that came here were poor and they were looking for a home for themselves and their families. They did not know the dangers they were going into nor the trials that lay ahead. If they had known this, there would have been fewer to have come here. Many a person has given his life to make a home, many a pioneer slept in an unmarked grave in order that we who follow might live in peace with our families.

When a man went out to work, he did not know if he would see his family again. He might be killed by an Indian arrow or his family might be killed when he returned. There were not schools for the children to attend. The first school I went to was a Subscription School taught by Marion Ivey in a dugout. The price was three dollars a month. The dugout was on my uncle's farm, M. M. HENDRICKSON.

Our closest trading point was Salina, and only a few settlers between here and there. There were no churches to attend on Sunday and we spent that day on the river, fishing and swimming. Our nearest flour mill was at Junction City. Think of starting eighty miles with an ox team to go to mill and on account of high waters, they were gone three weeks. We ran out of food and had to live on parched corn for several days.

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The Lincoln-Sentinel Republican
January 18, 1934

"Memories"
by C. C. Hendrickson

I remember the first night we stayed in what is now Lincoln county. It was October 20, 1866. There were five families of us camped on the river about two and a half miles southeast of Lincoln. We were awakened the next morning by what proved to be a herd of hundreds of buffalo coming to the Saline river for water. My father brought a nozzle loading rifle and a .10 gauge shotgun with him. The shotgun was loaded with buckshot and in his haste to get out ot the tent the gun discharged. A metal powder flask in his breast pocket stopped the shot from being fatal. One of his fingers was missing and he carried the bullet in his arm the rest of his life. They had set up a stove and had two joints of stovepipe on it and seven of us children were standing around the stove and seven bullets struck the pipe but not one of us was hit. That stopped the buffalo chase for that day.

The closest doctor was at Salina and T. M. STRANGE went after him. Mother dressed the wounds the best she could and when the doctor came he didn't even unwrap them and said they would be alright and charged them twenty-five dollars and went back home.

There were hundreds of buffalo, antelope and some elk and lots of wild turkeys and prairie chickens. If it had not been for the wild meat, I don't believe they could have stayed here. There were lots of Indian scares and the neighbors would get together for protection. Once we went to Salina. There was a saw mill on the Saline river east of what was known as Fisher's Ford. The men got work at the mills and we were camped there about three months before we got back home.

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The Lincoln-Sentinel Republican
January 25, 1934

"Memories"
by C. C. Hendrickson

In the spring of sixty-seven, we were reinforced by a few other settlers and among them was Fred Erhardt who proved to be a good neighbor and a valuable citizen. He was a veteran of the civil war and a man we could depend on in the time of trouble. There were the Olson's and Corbon's and Shaw's and probably others that I can't recall now, but these families were close to us.

In the spring of sixty-eight we were joined by others among them was John Hendrickson and his son in-law by the name Mike Keller. Mike settled east of where the Rees mill now stands, about eighty rods east on the south side of the creek and John Hendrickson's claim joined what is now Lincoln Center on the southwest corner. He built his house near where the Alva Wilson house now stands. In August of the same year he and his son in- law had quite a scrap with the Indians. I never did know if they killed any Indians, but they had two of their blankets so they decided they had enough of the west and went back to Missouri that fall and never got back to Kansas only on a visit. It was the same kind of Indians that John Hendrickson and Mike Keller had the scrap with that captured the two little Bell girls on the Solomon river near where Beloit now stands. On account of the soldiers being so close to them they tied red handkerchicf's on..their heads and left them. It was three days before they were found. Fred Arhardt (Erhardt) and Mart Hendrickson were out seeing if they could locate any Indians and run on to them near the mouth of the Spillman creek. At first they thought they were Indians when they got up close they saw they were the little girls. One was eight and one six. They seemed almost starved. The men brought them to my father's house, William Hendrickson, as there was where the neighbors had gathered. The girls knew their father's name so they sent them word and their folks came after them in about a week. I think both are still living near Beloit.

After the Indian scare was over the families went back home. That ended the Indian trouble for the year. There was a man by the name of Wright came to my uncles J. S. Strange, the first of January in sixty-seven, so badly frozen he only lived a few days. This was the first death in our neighbor hood..

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The Lincoln-Sentinel Republican
February 1, 1934

"Memories"
by C. C. Hendrickson

After the Indian raid in August, everything was more quiet and people went about building up their homes and hunting, getting ready for winter. The spring of sixty-.nine was ushered in during a busy time everybody was getting ready for their spring work. The women making gardens and the men getting their small patches of crops out, which consisted mostly of corn.

That spring there was a contest in our neighborhood, a man by the name of Tom Faith had filed on a place the fall of sixty-seven and being scared of the Indians had left the same fall and gone back to the old Hoosier State, Indiana. I think a man by the name of Turner was contesting him, it is the farm about three miles east of Lincoln and now owned by Fred Walters. The contest was to be held on May 28 in Salina. He had several of the men in the neighborhood as witnesses. My father and two uncles, M. M. Hendrickson, J. S. Strange, Tim Alderdice and in Kine (Kline) went together. They left the 27th of May and thought they would be home on the 29 but they were detained longer than they expected so they did not get back until the 31st. The 30th of May came on Sunday and it was one of those lovely days that only Kansas can produce, every living thing seemed to be praising their creator. J. S. Strange lived about three fourths of a mile from us and my aunt came to spend the day with us and brought three of her smaller children with her leaving the older boys at home. In the afternoon Mrs. George Green came with her two little girls, Lizzie and Bell, they were moving from east of Beverly to their new home just west of where the Union depot now stands. Their house was about where the Markel house now is located. When Mrs. Green got to our house she was so sick with a headache she could not go on.

She went to bed and we cared for her team. Mr Green had a hired man by the name Ed Toisier, he went on with the load of their household goods. Harrison Strange, Schmutz, and myself and oldest sister and Lizzie Green went northwest of our house on the hill to dig Indian dolios they grow something like a turnip, only smaller and had a thick bark but when this was peeled off they were tender and sweet, and we children liked them.. The girls and myself came to the house leaving the two boys there.

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The Lincoln-Sentinel Republican
February 8, 1934

"Memories"
by C. C. Hendrickson

Little did we think that beautiful May morning that it would mark the darkest day in the history of Lincoln county before the sun had set to rest over the Western hills. Eight of our friends and neighbors had been killed by the Red men. The two girls and myself had been in the house only. a few minutes until we heard the shooting. Some of the children were in the. yard. playing, and the women rushed them into the house, saying that it must be Indians.

About that time we saw the Schmutz boy running around the point of the bluff west of our house, and an Indian after him. From the Strange house they could see them before we could and two of the Strange boys, Riley and Marion, took their guns and went to meet the Schmutz boy. He had been shot with an arrow in the back. He pulled the arrow out as he ran but the arrowhead pulled out and was left in his back. When the Indian saw the Strange boys coming, they gave up the chase and started for the house. There were two Indians in sight by this time and in less time than it takes tell it there was another one or two of them coming toward the house. One was driving off our work horses. They were shot at from the house so they turned back and went to drive the horses off.

About that time one of the women looked south and saw a band of men on horses coming and said, "My God, look at the Indians coming from the south. We are gone." But it proved to be a company of soldiers that had come from Fort Harker. They had camped at noon on the north side of the river at a place known as Corbin Ford. Mrs. Emilie Mederaft owns the land now.

The next night a little after dark, George Green's hired man, Ed Toisier came to our house and told us that the Indians had been west of him and he did not know how much damage they had done. But he and a man named "Lengthy" Bill had picked up three of the Alderdice children on the Nick Whalen farm. Two were dead and the other one had an arrow shot thru his back and not expected to live.

John Hendrickson came to see how we had fared down here. They hunted until five o'clock in the morning before they found young Strange and brought him to the house. He had been shot and then finished with a war club. The next morning they brought the Alderdice boys to our place. Two of these boys were Alderdice's step-sons and their right name was Daily but went by the name of Alderdice. This made four of the victims shot by the Indians, three dead and one still alive at our place.

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The Lincoln-Sentinel Republican
February 15, 1934

"Memories"
by C. C. Hendrickson

When they brought the Alderdice children to our house; we learned that the Indians had killed three of the Dane Lauritzen children and his wife and Otto Peterson, a singe man; also Meigerhoff and Weichell and had taken Mrs. Weichell and Mrs. Alderdice and baby prisoners.

Alderdice's step-son that had the arrow in his back, begged so hard to have it taken out that a man by the name of Phil Lantz said that if someone would hold him down, he could pull it out and a man by the name of Washington Smith said he would hold him. Lantz pulled the arrow out with a pair of bullet molds of my father's and as luck would have it, the spike came out but no one thought he would live, but he got well and is still living as far as I know. Dane was killed near where Denmark now is. Weichell and Meigerhoff were killed on the northeast corner of the Owen Healy place.

The party that went to Salina on the contest heard that the Indians had been in the settlement, killing people and they rushed home. I can never forget the sad look of my uncle J. S. Strange, when he looked on the lifeless form of his boy. I also cannot forget the heart rending cry of Aldereice when he came into the house and saw his son and step-son dead and another step-son not excepted to live, and his wife and baby taken prisoners. Mrs. Weichell reported when she got back that the Indians killed the A!derdice baby the next morning near the place where they camped the night after the raid and hung it in tree.

I think they buried Harrison Strange on the first day June on the Scherhorn (Schemerhorn) ranch. The other two boys were taken from our place to their grandfather's, M. Zeigler, south of Beverly and buried on. his farm near where the Monroe school now stands. Harrison Strange was later moved to the Lincoln cemetery. Weichell and Meigerhoff were buried where they fell on the Owen Healy farm about a mile and a half west of Lincoln. The Lauritzens and Otto Peterson were buried where they fell.

Mrs. Kline hid with her baby under the roots of a cottonwood where the water had washed away the dirt and waited until the Indians had gone and then waded the river to the Fred Erhardt home. This was the last Indian raid in Lincoln county.

After 1869, wild game moved west and the last hunting my father and uncle did was in 1873 in the western part of the state. The last buffalo I remember being killed in Lincoln county was killed by J. R. Hendrickson and T. M. Strange in the summer of 1873.


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