The first permanent abode of white men was built in the bend of the river, not far from where Beverly now stands, by the Colorado boys. The "Colorado boys" belonged to the First Colorado Cavalry, and while stopping at Salina in 1865 came up the Saline and filed on nearly all the river lands from he mouth of the Beaver, east to where the county line now is. Six of them returned between Christmas and New Years the same year, with government cattle to occupy their claims. They were Richard B. Clark, of Indiana, who is now the only survivor, and still lives at Beverly; Jas. M. Adams, of the British Isles, Isaac De Graff, of New York, nicknamed General De Graff on account of his good judgement, Edward E. Johnson, of Massachusetts, Wm. E. Thompson, of Maine, who had been educated for a Catholic priest, and who was killed by Indians in the Black Hills in 1876, and Darius C. Skinner, of Ohio, whose family is prominent in Lincoln County. These men had crossed the plains prior to the war, and had been in turn miners, and soldiers until they got tired and settled down. They lived in the one dugout for mutual protection until it was safe for each one to live on his claim.
The next spring a number of settlers were added to this nucleus. As many names as could be collected are here given without any attempt at giving the order of their coming.
Geo. Green and wife, of Massachusetts, whose daughter Lizzie, born October 18, 1866, was the first white child born in this county. She married David Parker. W.T. Wild, of England, and John Dart, of Connecticut, with their families, J.J. Peate, Wm. Gaskill, the Haleys, M.D. Greene, Michael Ziegler, John S. Strange, Washington Smith, Martin Hendrickson, David G. Bacon, Volney Ball, J.C. Parks, Thomas Moon, Chalmer Smith, Marseilles Smith, Caning Smith, Nicholas Whalen, Thomas E. Skinner and wife, Mary M. Skinner. These people all came in 1866. It has been impossible to find out all the people who came the next year, but Louis Farley, Andrew DeGraff, and Ferdinand Erhardt, M.S. Green were among the number.
The first year the settlers had to buy all their provisions at the following rates: Sugar, 18 to 20 cents per pound; Coffee, 50 cents per pound; bacon, 25 to 30 cents per pound; flour, $7.00 to $11.00 per bushel.
They killed buffalo and other game for meat, and might have lived pretty high for pioneers if it had not been for the difficulty of getting these provisions to the settlements. One party would go east after bread-stuffs and other necessities, while another would go west after meat. Sometimes these expeditions were delayed on account of the weather and the people ran out of bread. at such times they would supplement their diet of prairie chicken or fish with their precious seed corn. This corn was often ground in a coffee mill or prepared in an old fashioned hominy mortar. This was made of a log about three feet long and stood on end, and a hole hewed in the top to hold the corn. A wedge was fastened in the end of a stick about the size of a pick handle. the corn was cracked with this wedge. the finest was used for bread and the coarse for hominy.
The old fashioned whip saw was used to saw the first lumber. A scaffold was built and the logs rolled on it. One man stood on top to pull the saw up and one stood under to pull it down.
But in spite of these things the lot of the pioneer in this section of the country was not so hard and his sufferings were not so severe as in many of the earlier communities of the State. it is true that they were in danger of Indian raids and were often driven from their homes, but they never faced actual starvation, and there are no records of anyone dying from want. They got their mail with comparative frequency and were obliged to haul provisions only forty miles instead of from a hundred to two hundred as some other communities did.
And above all this section offered its adopted children plenty of wholesome water, pure air and a healthful climate generally.