little stream which flowed through the enclosure carrying with it the refuse from the rebel cook house just outside, he helped dig a well with the shoulder blade of an animal and a spoon without a handle.
The latter was his dearest treasure and while his comrades could trade broken combs and buttons with him but nothing could induce him to part with his treasured spoon.
He joined the gang that worked outside the pen, under guard, at cutting wood and was well paid by a small piece of meat and a stick of wood which he was allowed to carry in at night to cook his corn-cob meal.
His bed was a hole in the sand with no covering save the star-lit heavens. In the morning his toilet was made by wringing the dew from his tattered garments and patiently picking from them the vermin and stitching up the rents in them with a bone needle of his own manufacture and anything that would answer for thread, upheld by the thought of the wife at home who by spinning all day could earn fifteen cents which paid for one pound of meat.
An incident of his prison life that he often mentioned was that one morning some rebel officers came through the prison on a tour of inspection, one of whom appeared to be somewhat of a sport, having a dog with him. The boys all who were very hungry, for meat at once organized a conspiracy to capture that dog, which they did and cooked and ate him, Curry being lucky enough to get a piece.
When the gates closed against him they shut in a robust man in his prime. They closed again February 26, 1865, his happiest birthday, leaving him outside, a living skeleton in rags with hair about eighteen inches long, shaggy beard and a mustache that would tie at the back of his head; but exchanged - free.
He was sent to Wilmington, South Carolina, thence by steamer to Annapolis, Maryland, where he was given a suit of Union blue and his ragged clothes tossed into the river before he was permitted to land. He was stricken with typhoid fever and sent to Baltimore, Maryland, to Patterson Park hospital. When convalescent he was removed to Hicks hospital and the war being near its close, on his recovery he was retained as warden in said hospital until hostilities ceased. He was mustered out July 21, 1865 at Davenport, Iowa, first sergeant by Captain J. F. Parker and joined his family at their home, in Keokuk county, a few days later.
He was a talented musician and a carpenter by trade. Losing his property in unfortunate speculations he left Iowa and came to with his family to Norton county in May 1877. He contested the claim to the abandoned farm where Mrs. Curry now resides, but was taken ill in January and died March 31, 1878, was buried in the Norton cemetery, the first adult laid to rest on that hill.
He was a republican in politics, and after his death the Grand Army boys at Oronoque named their post for him.
He had been a Christian from his twenty-first year, a member of the Baptist church. His wife and children are all members of the Christian or Baptist church.
After her husband's death Mrs. Curry took a homestead, the farm joining the city on the north-east, which place has since been her home.
Olive Curry was married September 9, 1879 to W. S. Keiser of Keota, Iowa. They now reside at Groton, South Dakota, near which place they have a large wheat farm and horse ranch, well known as "The Elk Run Farm," importing their best horses from France.
They have had seven children: Florence Daisy, born August 28, 1880; Lola Pearl, born April 23, 1882; Charlie
|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