The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Norton and kept hotel in the log house that had first done duty as a temporary court house.  His two daughters Sarah and Ella were lively girls and especially gifted in singing; their house was soon a favorite resort for the young people in all that section of the county.  J. H. Simmons had opened a school in town and was boarding with Mr. Curry.  Sol Marsh, who was living close by, did not exactly board there but being fond of music he found it first a most attractive place to spend the evenings and soon afterward attractive at all times morning and evening.  It soon became apparent that Sol was fast becoming averse to "batching," and before spring it was generally conceded by the young men in the vicinity that so far as Sol was concerned, at least ' no others need apply."  Mr. Curry moved back to his claim early in the spring and the town wore a sadly deserted look - to a few interested ones at least.  

School was still in progress but fast nearing its close.  On the 11th of February the teacher, who was also county clerk at the time, stated to his school that some important business required his attention the next day and that there would be no more school until Monday.  The next day, February 12, 1874, Simmons, Marsh and Henry Oliver, the latter a justice of the peace, drove down to Neighborville and direct to the Curry residence.  The presence of Squire Oliver and wife, G. N. Kingsbury and wife and a few others soon indicated what the important business was that took the boys down to Neighborville.  In this home like circle Sol Marsh with Sarah, and J. E. Simmons with Ella stood forth before the dignified and happy Squire and in a few well chosen words were united in marriage by a single ceremony.  Theirs was one of the few marriages that occurred in Billings county, the license being obtained from Judge William Gibbon who has been mentioned in a former chapter as probate judge for a time in this county.

Mrs. Curry died April 28, 1884 and is buried in the Norton cemetery.  After her death Mr. Curry made his home for some time with Albert but of late years has resided at Norton with his daughter Sarah Marsh.

From an article written by J. H. Simmons on the biography of the Curry family I clip the following: "I understand that a brother of R. B., Otway Curry wrote the original 'Log Cabin' song and furnished the music for it that became so famous in the campaign that elected the first General Harrison.  He wrote many poems of merit, and one found a place in the old McGuffey Fifth reader and was called "The Lost Pleiad."  I have one of his poems written on the death of his mother and entitled '`To My Mother in Heaven."

The following, a example of his poetry, was first sung at a Fourth of July celebration held at Pleasant Valley, Madison county, Ohio. in 1833 and was after published by "The Hesperian" in 1838:

God of the high and boundless heaven,
We call upon Thy name;
We tread the soil that Thou hast given
To freedom and to fame.
Around us, on the ocean waves,
Our starry banners sweep;
Around us, in their lowly graves,
Our patriot fathers sleep.

With fearless hearts and stalwart hands,
They bore their eagles high
O'er serriel arms and battle brands,
careering in the sky;
For freedom, in her darkest day,
Their life-blood bathed the plain.
Their moldering tombs may pass away,
Their glories shall remain.

God of the free! Thy children bless:
With joy their labor crown;
Let their domain be limitless,
And endless their renown.
Proclaim the morn of freedom's birth
O'er every land and sea,
Till her pure spirit frees the earth.
Even as the heavens are free.


James Dicky Curry came here in 1877, his biography will appear later.  

The only one of R. B. Curry's children that resides here now is Sarah, whose husband, Sol Marsh, was born in

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