The Diary of Lizzie Dopps
Eli had a good team of horses and
treated then well, so when he was not busy planting and reaping crops he
was able to make quite a little extra money by hauling.
It was on one of these trips he took a load of something (I've
forgotten what it was and who it was for) to a town about a hundred
miles away, and he was to bring back a load of flour and groceries for
the store in the settlement where we lived.
Another man went with him. Of course it took several days to make a trip of this length
and kind, and I knew many anxious hours, but the extra money was needed
in our increasing little family and in bettering our home.
This trip I am going to tell about was made
in the late winter or early spring.
In fact most of these trips were made during the winter time, as
that was the best time he could spare from his crops and farming work at
They were on their return trip with flour
They had crossed over the Republican River
on the ice on their way to get their load.
It was not very deep this time of the year, perhaps not more than
five or six feet deep but quite wide.
The ice seemed strong enough to hold up the loaded wagon so they
When they were a little more than half way
across the ice broke and down went the wagon.
It was not really deep enough for the water to reach the flour
which was piled on top, but the load had to be lightened in order to get
the wagon out and free from the ice.
The flour would be ruined, of course, if it
got wet, so the two men had to get out and carry several sacks of flour
high on their shoulders through the icy water, making many trips from
wagon to shore. In time
they got the wagon free from the ice and onto the other shore, but they
were almost freezing in their wet, icy clothes.
However, before they had undertaken this
cold task, they knew that as soon as it was done they could build a
fire, dry out and get warm as there was a school house nearby and school
was over for the day.
They drove up to the school house.
The fire was out, but it did not take long to rekindle another
one. They were proceeding
to get warm when one of the school board who lived nearby saw the wagon
and then smoke coming out of the chimney, and came over to drive out the
intruders. Even after he
was told of their predicament he was heartless enough to insist that
they move on.
They informed him they positively would not
move one step farther until their clothes were dry and they were warm.
And stay they did. However, before daylight, they were once more dry and
comfortable, had fixed a meal while there, cleaned up after it and had
even rested a bit, and were again on their way with their salvaged load
and, in time, arrived at the home store without more mishaps.
It was on one of these trips that I rode
one hundred miles on a load of wheat and back on a load of lumber with
my two babies, Gracie and Jennie, to have their pictures taken.
I am so glad that I did, because of what
occurred later, but one would think that if a mother took this much
trouble and paid a good price for the pictures, the photographer would
be kind enough to let her have the pictures taken the way she wished.
Not so with this photographer.
He was a crabby old bear.
My little girls were so near of an age, and
played so sweetly together that I wanted to have their pictures taken
together. This old crank
insisted on taking them separately.
All pleading and coaxing, was in vain.
We were all upset about it so the pictures are not as good as
they might have been. Still
I am so glad I have them
and I put them in a double frame, so
my little girls are together after all.
They are the only pictures I have of our Gracie
and Jennie and are invaluable to me.
|© 2006 Laurie Arnold. All material presented herein was transcribed or otherwise provided by Laurie Arnold from the unpublished text of the diary, family photos and personal genealogy. She and her family have graciously given permission for the diary to be posted to the Norton County Kansas GenWeb website, for the benefit of others who had pioneer families in Norton County, Kansas. This diary, photos and personal genealogy may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders. web design © 2006 Ardie Grimes|