The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

Page 142

back

next

table of contents

 
We journeyed from Iowa to Kansas in a prairie schooner and at this time and the latter state was a typical frontier state, having all the customs and traits of a crude primitive country.  We had no county lines and few county seats; we located in what was afterward called Lincoln county on a stream that father named Spring Creek, and on this little stream we took up a homestead April 3, 1866.  During my girlhood days I remember of our entertaining the county surveyors, or those that were laying out the county lines.  How different Kansas was then; the Indian war whoop could have been heard and the buffalo, elk and antelope roamed the plains.  We had no railroads, and the nearest town, Salina, was thirty miles and the railroad eighty miles.

As a girl I have a very vivid recollection of the Indian outbreaks and how the Scouts would come in with timely warning and we would have to seek some place of safety usually the town of Salina: this being a place of perhaps a dozen houses.  Our own house was fortified by a strong stockade of logs with port holes for defense against the savage, and during the frequent Indian scares the neighbors would gather at our primitive fort for mutual protection against our copper colored enemies.  In these times I can remember the shrieks o the wolves and wild animals; during their frequent attacks we and our neighbors would take turns watching against the foe.  Not long after this we moved over to Dewdrop Creek, a stream my father also named, and about this time my twin brother not being able to bear the hard work of an early settler's farm life went to Steubenville, Ohio to school, and my, older brothers having all left home it devolved upon me, a 10 year old girl, to take charge of the farm and become transformed into a farmer's boy.  My father had become possessed with the diamond fever and started for South Africa but never reached there, having been robbed and was obliged to return on a homeward bound vessel.  My duties on the farm were various; milking; cutting and shocking wheat, breaking horses for harness and saddle, plowing, cleaning out stables, herding cattle the same as a cowboy; our neighbors hiring me to herd their cattle at $1 a head until I had several hundred head under my care with our own.  I have been in a saddle in rain and sunshine, in heat and in cold until my hands were blistered and my body was a mass of sores.  This was my daily experience for nearly four years when an accident happened.  One Sunday evening in April, 1873 while hunting cattle a horse fell on me and fractured my limb.  I lay in the mud two hours, then they took me home and from 6 p. m. till 1 a. m. I lay suffering.  On the arrival of the doctor he set my limb but either through ignorance or carelessness it was improperly done and left me a cripple for life.  In the month of June in this year I left home; being a cripple I could not take the place of a man on the farm and my father being

Page 142

back

next

table of contents

 


US GenWeb Home Page


KS GenWeb Home Page



Home Page for Kansas



Search  KS GenWeb Project

KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by Tom & Carolyn Ward for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.  Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page. 

web design 2003 by Ardie Grimes,
Norton County, Kansas GenWeb coordinator
Text and photos from this 1894 book are within the public domain