The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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"I started for home, a long 200 miles, through a country entirely new to me.  I followed the K.P. railroad for about half a day.  I thought it went too far south so I left it and took a direction that I thought would land me at home.  I traveled till the afternoon of the fourth day and never saw a human being, and all the way across the wild prairie without a single mile of road.  I struck the Solomon someplace between Edmond and Lenora about 1 o'clock of the 4th.  I unhitched my mules and let them feed about an hour and cooked my dinner.  As I was hitching up to start a man came along hunting horses.  I asked him what stream that was, he said he thought it was the north branch of the Solomon, and asked me where I lived.  I told him on the Prairie Dog, west of Norton, he said I "think it is the next creek north of here."  I asked him if he could give me the direction to Norton, he said he could not, but though it was northwest.  I got home about an hour before sunset, and no one there, but before I got my team turned loose a little girl ran up to me and said that Mrs. Campbell had gone to the dance, "They were afraid you would not get back, and wanted all the women to be there," that my supper was all ready for me and my clothes laid out handy.  While I ate my supper I sized up the situation in this way: Its about eight miles to walk if I go to the dance, and I won't use my team any more till they rest up some, and I wont feel like dancing if I walk, so I wont go, but will take my gun and kill an antelope that I saw about a mile away, as I had brought no meat home.  The antelope traveled east and when dark came upon me I was nearly half way to the dance.  I sat down and pondered thus: The devil, I wish I had clean clothes on and I would sure go to the dance.  I would see Mrs. Maloney and give her this money that Jim sent to her, and here I am with overalls, shirt and hat and buffalo shank moccasins that have been on me for a month, and are saturated with blood till they would stand up alone, except the moccasins, they only last three days.  So I thought I would go to John Cooper's drug store and have some fun with the boys, as clothes wouldn't cut any figure there.  And by the great horn spoons, Mrs. Maloney and Willie met me on the street and wanted me to go in the ball room.  I argued dirty clothes, but it was no good, one on either side walked me in.  After I saw I had to take it and the directions said dance, I think I enjoyed myself as well as a school marm could. 

The last of July or first of August, 1874, (the hottest day in the past twenty years, and I think it was on Sunday) Brother John and myself were working up to a large herd of buffalo on Bow creek in Sheridan county.  As the dry channel or the creek was deep and very crooked, we skulked along to get close to the herd.  I was leading as I had had some experience (and have scars to prove it.), John was hunting for a chance to gain some notoriety, and we had to get a stand on the herd and kill as many as we wanted to skin that hot day.  When we were about three quarters of a mile of the main herd on turning a short crook in the draw I saw a buffalo hump a short distance from me.  I dropped on the ground and motioned John to crawl up the bank in some deep trails that crossed the draw at that point.  I thought the whole herd was coming down the draw and I wanted to give them all the room possible.  After waiting about five minutes and seeing no signs of buffalo, I carefully crept up to where I could see over the bank and there stood one buffalo asleep, the wind in our favor.  I motioned for John to crawl carefully up and take a look at him.  We crawled 

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