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Kansas Family History


Edwin TUCKER Diary


The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Walter Cole (wic@world.std.com) for providing this information.


In 1857 my great grandfather, Edwin Tucker, came to Kansas from Wisconsin in a wagon with his father and uncle and was one of the founders of Eureka. He left a handwritten diary which mother typed years ago on a portable typewriter and gave the original to the Historical Society. I have put it in digital format by faxing and OCR, not having a scanner. Lots of cleaning up, of course. Mother did not edit but copied as best as she could. I did the same with hers so it is as near the original as it can be.

Edwin was later in the State House and the Senate, Washburn Board of Regents, etc. One of his grandsons and mother's favorite cousin was Ronald Finney. If it would be of any interest I will e-mail it to this address and you can take a look at it, use it or not. It is 45k, about 14 pages and the last entry is in 1859.


Thurs April 16, 1857

We bid good bye to friends this morning and started for Kansas; our enthusiasm for Kansas, could not quite drown our feelings of sadness at parting from relatives, friends, home and nearly all, which is dear on earth. We hardly know what it is to leave home until we learn by experience. Neighbors gathered and helped us start. Nothing of interest occurred in the forenoon at noon we took our first lunch emigrant style; in the afternoon passed through Roscoe. Oxen concluded they had got near enough Kans turned around and broke the wagon tongue mended it and went on. Troubled to get a stopping plane for the night stopped in a Christian family it certainly is pleasant to find people who fear God and acknowledge Christ as their Savior. We were all invited to eat breakfast with the family and accepted.

Friday, April 17, 1857

Started early morning pleasant the country passed through a fine rolling prairie quite thickly settled we crossed a small stream during the forenoon beautifully lined with trees saw some maples which had been tapped. In the afternoon went through Rockford stopped at night at a farm house.

Saturday, April 18th l857

Found about five inches of snow this morning when we arose crossed the Rishwaukie in the forenoon which is quite a stream where we crossed near its mouth there is a beautiful view of the bottom land on the North side of the river from the bluff on the south side we saw the cellar to the mansion that Brooke built several years ago the remains not of an air castle but of an air city. Stopped at night at a Mr. Bly's.

Sunday Apr. 19

Found a family who were professors of religion joined with them in prayers in the morning missed church privileges of Beloit. Enjoyed a season of prayer find myself taken up altogether with the business of the world I trust that by God's grace I may be enabled to live a holier life.

Monday, Apr. 20

Found the roads very muddy the prairie more rolling than Illinois prairie generally broke our wagon tongue again in crossing a small stream passed through Watertown a place of about 14 inhabitants from thence to Daysville containing about 36 inhabitants.

Tuesday Apr. 21

Morning commenced with snow started down Rook River which is lined with high bluffs these bluffs rise precipitately on both sides of the river. I was informed by a gentleman that one of Black Hawk's warriors is buried in one of the higher of these bluffs a stone structure marks the place where his bones will rest forever. As we passed down the river we found the bottom on the East heavily timbered with oak. Stopped at night at a farm house people kind.

Wednesday April 22d -57

Reached Dixon after about an hour and a half' s drive Dixon is place containing about 4500 inhabitants the village is scattered over considerable area there are about a dozen large blocks in the town passed from thence to Sterling which occupies a beautiful site for a city on the west bank of Rook River stopped at a tavern for the night.

Thursday April 23d 1857

Passed down the river to Como a small village from thence to Lyndon another small village about the same size of Como about two miles from Lyndon crossed the river on e ferry boat from there to Prophetstown a village con- taining about fifty houses three or four stores one tavern and a Post Office.

Friday April 24th -57

Passed from Prophetstown to Portland over a level road Portland is a village of about the same size of Lyndon Como Prophetstown etc, the road from Portland toward Genesceo was quite sandy for about nine miles from Portland the soil must be too sandy I think for profitable culture a fault not common however to Illinois prairies the country passed over so far especially that between Rockford and Prophetstown is rather flat too much so I should think for health towards night we passed some swamp land hundreds of acres perfectly level with here and there a small sheet of water scattered over it stopped at night with genuine Illinoisan very kind willing to accommodate furnished with straw and a little hay only charged $.30

Saturday April 25

Reached Geneseo about noon it is quite a thriving village cars run through it from Geneseo we passed south over a prairie which seemed almost boundless as far as the eye could scan from east to west not a tree could be seen this is more rolling there and consequently dryer and more healthy than any other prairie we have crossed stopped over the Sabbath at a farmer's near the center of the plain - people quite accommodating but regard not the claims God has upon them it is sad sight to see people other wise sane rush on madly to destruction without one care one thought for the future Alas! none of us live as we should if God were to disregard us and our wants as we should be willing & count it a privilege to give to God our all for my part I am resolved with God's help to live more for Christ and less to myself.

Monday April 27, 57

Passed through Cambridge in the morning another small Illinois town. A little incident occurred illustrating the fact that many men are very apt to attach blame or mere suspicion where none is due but to the scene we were overtaken soon after we left town by a man in a great hurry asking what we picked up in the road just in the edge of town told him nothing he said the one driving the ox team found a letter in the road opened it furthermore said letter had money in it told him he must be mistaken seemed to doubt our word told him he might search for his letter and dollar which it con- tained wasn't quite prepared for that he finally concluded to go back after having relieved himself by saying he thought some one of us had it little else of interest occurred during the forenoon crossed a wide bottom the bottom however we found a little too near the center of gravity of the earth for our convience in crossing. In the afternoon passed over a prairie almost as boundless as the desert and trackless as the ocean but to come to facts we could see no timber east west nor south a little at our backs the prairie I should think altogether too flat for anything but corn and hogs stopped at night for the first time since we started out on the prairie with no nearer approach to civilization than a fence which served the purpose a stable. The same God watched over and protected there who had sustained us.

Tuesday April 28th, 1857

Nothing of interest occurred during the day in the latter part of the forenoon we passed through some beautiful timber much maple as we passed along the road across small streams winding their peaceful course through the most beautiful groves of young timber and whose banks were lined with new born grass spring's virgin fruit I could but think of the brooks and woods of my native Vermont that good old state such scenes carry me back to the time how short when I was an innocent child roaming through the woods in search of gum from the spruce or sap from the maple accompanied by others as artless as myself. At noon we stopped at a place summum bonum of all that is good in Illinois in the first place the people were hospitable they "reckoned" we could have whatever we wanted but the situation was perfectly charming the house on a gentle rise is half on the prairie and half in the timber we might say a small prairie lies to the east and south while on the west and north there is as beautiful a grove of maple as I ever saw. The matron was away from home a girl of about 14 officiated she was very anxious we should go in the house and eat our dinner to which we did not object no- thing out of the usual order during the remainder of the day stopped one mile north of Galesburg.

Wednesday April 29th

Passed through Galesburg in the morning Galesburg is a thriving place pleasantly situated on the prairie where we find nearly all Illinois towns the Northern Cross Rail Road passes through the place. Churches and schools are well situated there I should think from the appearance of buildings con- structed for these purposes altogether it is quite a neat place from Galesburg our road passed in a southeast direction through a continuous mudhole I have frequently read in the geography of the great depth of the soil in Illinois but never expected to practically test its depth with wagon wheels which we certainly did do today. We encamped for by the side of the creek by a gentle grassy slope a beautiful grove lined the north and west sides the green grass was just starting from the ground just long enough to give the ground a bright green appearance the little camping ground was certainly a delightful spot.

Thursday, April 30

Passed through Abingdon early in the morning a place which I put down as ditto, Our course from Ab. was south west through heavy timber the follows the Hall Road very nearly in the afternoon we came to one of the most difficult crossings I ever saw the stream was about a rod wide where it was all in one channel; where we crossed the stream divided forming an island there was no difficulty in crossing the first branch and the entrance into the second was good but of all the chance for getting out of a stream here was the slimest the bank was nearly perpendicular with mud at the bottom and just at the top of the bank there just about room enough for one yoke of oxen to stand between the creek on one side and a deep ditch on the other cut in building the Rail Road which was about twenty feet from the stream. 0ur only way to get out was to make a short turn almost at a right angle between two trees one of which was just near enough so that the wagon tongue would conviently hit it and from the other tree projected roots as though they grew there on purpose for the wheels to run over. How we got through would seem a mystery (to) any one who ever saw the place. In the afternoon passed through Avon another ditto place stopped at night in the rain which had been threatening all day at a farmer's.

Friday May 1st 1857

Passed through Prairie City an infant town about a year & half old if it receives sufficient nutriment to mature it will eventually attain to con- siderable dimension it certainly is a prairie city there's not a tree within its limits but what has been planted since it was built it presents a very fine appearance to one a little distance from it the houses are new and neat it owes its existence to the Northern Cross Rail Road which touches at this point. From Prai. C. we passed over a beautiful rolling prairie but little cultivated to Bushnell a second Prairie City and on the same R.R. from Bushnell we passed over prairie for about four miles then through a belt of timber about three miles in width upon the farther side of which we stopped for the night. This timber is quite heavy a mixture of oak and hickory

Saturday May 2d 1857

We must be in the land of corn cakes where wheat breed is as much of a rarity as maple sugar is in southern Wisconsin we paid .50 for a loaf this morning which is about .12 or .15 per pound I should judge. Reached Macomb in the afternoon which is quite a business place some three thousand in- habitants I should think three churches one of them we noticed was fenced in by a neat board fence which I think is a decided improvement on the common plan which is to leave them half in the street as though they were no more sacred than the town hall or the public store. Saw a man engaged in forming a company to go to Kansas to settle next Fall. From Macomb we took a south west course traveled about 3 miles and stopped just before we stopped we bought come corn of an old maid a pitiable object indeed she is nearly 50 years of age I should think quite near sighted hands and face be somewhat smutty from work in the garden. Her house is rather an odd looking structure a double log house chimney at each end room enough between the two parts for a wood shed a place to keep tools etc. Her house was built in her younger days thought perhaps she had it built in that form so that she might live in one end and her husband in the other if she over got married and they had any difficulty it certainly looks queer to see an old maid living in a double log house. Stopped at night at a Mr. Blecher's had a corn cake baked for supper which was certainly a luxury the first we have had since we started.

Sunday May 3

A beautiful warm day weather appeared more like spring than any we have had before. Sunday seems hardly like the Sabbath when we have no church to attend and so much to see to, that we have but little time for meditation and prayer. In the afternoon went to a Sunday school held in a school house near by the school was started by the gentleman with whom we stopped as this was the first Sunday they had met they did little but read a few verses and sing the first singing we had heard since we left home and although it was not artistically good it touched my heart it came from simple hearted unsophisticated country people they sung several pieces one of which was "Alas and did my Savior bleed" etc although it probably would not have affected me in the same manner to have heard it at home it drew tears from my eyes.

Monday May 4th 1857

Started early in the morning passed through timber land covered mostly with second growth halted early bought some oats in the bundle of a large generous Kentuckian he owned a very large tract of land had 7 or 8 ploughs running all fine and pleasant without but the family alas there was the least chance for domestic enjoyment that ever I saw in any family the wife a wild maniac the only daughter deranged and no one to take care of them and do the work about the house but an ignorant colored women alas poor man although he is wealthy little does he know of the joy of a happy home. We certainly do not know how to ap- preciate the many blessings we enjoy from the hand of our bountiful Benefactor. The negro woman too was a pitiable object a slave from her youth until she was brought to Illinois and now worse than a common slave she certainly has had a "hard row to hoe" as she termed it it seems to me that a woman who believes on Christ and who has suffered as much as she has in this world of oppression will not be kept from heaven on account of the color of her skin and if she is worthy of Christ's love and home with him above she must have a right to her own body here on earth. encamped at night on a beautiful bottom near a flouring mill.

Tuesday May 5th, 1857

Passed through a small village called Plymouth nothing of interest during the day stopped at night within about 6 miles of Chili People very kind man had an impediment in his speech. He was one of those who drove the Mormons from Nauvoo

Wednesday May 6,1857

Passed through Chili in the forenoon saw a new way of planting corn by means of flat stones, a furrow was first made with a plow then a man walked in the furrow leading a horse with a flat stone attached to the horse. In the afternoon passed through Woodville a man there told that there had 188 teams passed through the place for Kansas this spring. Camped at night on a beautiful creek in a heavy grove of timber. There was a level plat of ground just large enough for an ample camping ground now green with grass. Most beautiful night the moon and stars shining brightly. The Heavens magnificent, the earth beautiful.

Thursday May 7th 1857

Started early had alternate timber and prairie timber handsome prairie fine saw some Osage Orange fence very good indeed. In the afternoon crossed a belt of very heavy timber handsomest we had seen Country very rolling. Got within six miles of Quincy.

Friday, May 8, 1857

Road to Quincy hilly some beautiful farms and fine orchards we have seen many fine orchards in coming through Illinois. Quincy is a handsome city viewed from the bluff on the east or from the river on the went it has a dry healthy location on a bluff. The houses are neat and there is considerable business transacting there from the river and country. In the afternoon crossed the Mississippi on a steam ferryboat, saw several steamboats running up and down the river. The Mississippi is truly a dignified river its majestic waters sweep down in on harmonious current. I had so much to see to that I had little time for sublime thoughts. The timber on the west side is very heavy truly a mighty forest some parts of the bottom are beautiful beyond description the most splendid of timber bordering on prairie bottom as level and handsome as eye ever beheld.

Saturday May 9, 1857

Traveled about two hours on the Miss. bottom some fine farming land rich as need be on this bottom saw for the first time some slaves at a casual ob- servation we observe nothing striking in their appearance but upon watching them more closely we observe a subdued, saddened, deadened spirit. The houses, outbuildings, fences etc belonging to the farm exhibit none of that thrift and improvement which characterize western farms generally. Stopped to spend the remainder of the day and the coming Sabbath near a farm house. people very kind.

Sunday, May 10, 1857

Weather very cold. Sabbath almost a blank no church and not spent as pro- fitably as it might have been. Saw a great deal of riding about and visiting, It is really a pitiable sight in this Christian land to see a whole community absorbed in selfsatisfaction and worldliness disregarding their own best in- terest and their makers claims upon them.

Monday May 11,1857

Traveled through a timber country quite broken reached Palmyra a little before noon. At noon met two wagons that had been to Kansas City but no further on account of the high price of provisions there stopped at night near where a steam saw mill was building. Oxen started to go back to the Miss. bottom where the grass is better.

Tuesday May 12 1857

Started early passed through a beautiful prairie tract of land very level, ? at noon in a brush ravine afternoon more timber and hills Stopped at night near a creek. Five men from Ill. camped nearby going to S.W., Mo. or Kan.

Wednesday May 13

Passed through alternate timber and prairie. Stopped at night by a Kentuckians house turned our cattle into his pasture, A very light shower near night.

Thursday, May 14

Reached Paris at about 9 o'clock. Paris is the county seat, quite a pretty place stopped at noon where we went off the road to buy corn. Stopped at night near a very intelligent kind man, Mr. Wade.

Friday, May 15

Morning cold and cloudy at noon went about half mile from the road to : buy some corn bought from a man who had been in the country about thirty years, never knew so backward a spring before. In the afternoon passed through a beautiful but small prairie seven miles east of Huntsville. A little before night we bought a half bushel of apples of a negro woman who appeared quite intelligent and decidedly more womanlike than hundreds of white women For supper cooked a hasty pudding quite a luxury with milk.

Saturday May 16

Nothing of special interest. camped at night near a large bottom fine chance for the stock.

Sunday, May 17

Morning cloudy, very cold Sabbath very unprofitably spent. There seems to be a disposition in myself at least to eat an unnecessary amount of food when all outside influences are withdrawn. The mind is thrown back upon it- self nothing to do, too cold to read. no companion to talk with idleness is the parent of bad thoughts, bad words and bad actions. There is no better antidote for heartwanderings as far as free moral agency is concerned than the habit of being constantly employed in something useful. If our hearts were right toward God I suppose we should ever be able under all circumstances to refrain from the commission of gross sins

Third week of April

I reached the Mo.R. at Brunswick. It is far inferior to the Miss in every particular it does not impress me with that sense of majesty, power and stern purity which shoots out from every swell of the Father of Waters. The Mo. is a murky rapid stream reminding one of a group of dirty children running in to dinner in too much of a hurry to wash. It is nevertheless a very useful stream bearing on its neverfaiIing muddy current the busy throng of migrants and the useful products of many a State We feel while looking the mighty mass of running water a sullen ( ) awe crossed Grand river near its mouth a little above B. Grand in name but in nothing else - Country fine, quite rolling. Crab- apple trees & grape vines fill the woods. The Redbud, a small tree is very abundant and exceedingly beautiful with its profusion of small flowers. The week's journey closed with a circuitous wind among trees, between and around stumps over logs and fallen trees down steep and crooked hills up steeper and more crooked ones all to get to a crossing on a small stream which the chivalrous slaveholders had not enterprise enough to bridge.

Sunday May 24.

I stopped with a man from Ohio came there the Spring before on his way to Kan. went no farther on account of the state of affairs there. Man very accomodating, family quite interesting. The country around dressed in the most beauteous verdure. Spring, natures chief artist is now finishing her picture, she has reserved the richness of Paradise beauty for the last stroke, and as she leaves on airy wings to await her returning season, she gives a triumphant parting gaze and leaves the impulse of her blooming beauty. now should we feel toward Him from whom these beauties flow: What were the earth without this heavenly magnificence? What must heaven itself be and the beauty of the abode of those pure and holy beings for whom God causes to bloom the flowers and leave the trees of Paradise.

Passed through Richfield mon. morn. a small town situated rather picturesquely a part of it upon the high bluff which is near the river. houses scattered along down the bluff, the business part of town on a narrow bottom between the hill and R, many fine springs run from the crevices in the rocks along the W Bank of the Mo. The road from Richfield to Kan C. is along the R. bottom heavily timbered most of the way. Crossed the Mo to Kan. C. Tuesday. Kan.C. is scattered over wide area Wyandot C. three miles above at the mouth of the Kan.R. presents the appearance of quite a pretty little place. Camped at night near the line between Mo. and Kan. Wed. morning drove a few miles and came out onto a high open prairie. As we took in the prospect our eyes looking to the S. over the broad, magnificent rolling prairies, luxuriously green in the garb of nature we thought these are the plains of K. for the possession of these the two great parties of the American Union have contended martyrs in the cause of human liberty, noble men & women have bled and died for their rights and for the protection of their homes. Well might free men strive to wrest from cruel slavery these broad noble prairies and consecrate them to freedom. Well we are in Kan. at last but people cannot live even in Kan. on heroic determinations to resist the slave power; we felt as though we wanted a home; enquired of everyone we met about claims some re- presented that there were plenty about where they lived almost every man anxious to get everybody to settle in his vicinity, men, many of them, are so selfish or enthusiastic or both that they will make all sorts of statements whenever it is for their interest. After spending about three days in noting places, route etc. and inquiring of everybody we saw and discussing the relative merits of different localities we came to the sage conclusion that everybody's home wouldn't do for us and the only safe way was to believe nobody only as far as we chose. On Friday we heard of some land belonging to the Ottawa Indians which we could have to plant corn on. concluded to stop, wait, deliberate, get cool and then choose accordingly on Sat. we pitched our camp in an Indian settlement, the Ottawa Preserve. The country traveled on Sat afternoon ex- ceedingly beautiful. a large level plain stretched out to the E., from 0ttawa Creek and presents an exceedingly delightful appearance from the more elevated tableland N of it. The eye wanders on a wide, smooth, living, growing ocean with here and there a small leafy island refining (?) the memory of the scene

Sunday May 31.

Our first Sabbath in Kan! camped by a man from S.W. Wis. very kind and obliging, too much inclined to talk about claims, making money etc on the Lord's Day, a sin quite common with many professing Christians in the W. where the temptations to worldliness are so numerous & strong. Alas that we who profess to be followers of the glorious Redeemer & trust that we have felt the pardoning love and tasted the sweetness of a holy communion with Him who died that we might live, should grow so cold, so worldly as to choose rather to think of the enjoyments of earth and talk of business than seek and pray for the more enduring portion and that glorious hope beyond these passing vanities. Mon. started off in search of the Squire as he is called, who had the corn ground to let. After various windings and crossing the creek twice, we reached the sought for place, made a bargain with the Squire, who was a large, fat, good-humored being in his legging pants and calico shirt or hunting gown, a garment somewhat resembling a Professor's study gown but more elaborately made busy this week putting in corn - our Indian neighbors curious in regard to our mode of living etc. They seem very willing to have white people among them. Nothing of interest occurred during the week, We got permission to move into their old mill for awhile felt quite grateful for so much of house as this after being out with nothing but our wagon to shelter us for about six weeks. Busy during the week planting corn nothing of interest occurred

Sunday June 7th 1857

Father went to the Mission Church I remained at home or rather where we were stopping to attend to the cattle I had a short season of prayer I can only acknowledge with shame, that I have not that ardent love for the Savior that I do not enjoy such refreshing seasons of prayer as I did when first I knew my Redeemer. It seemed to me that I never had more sweet com- munion with the Lord than at times along the road especially on some Sabbaths. When I first had a hope I could but wonder at the coldness and indifference of many christians and I thought I never could live so far from the Savior but I have learned by experience what I have often heard that there is no dependence to be placed upon self; our only hope for freedom from the thrall- dom of sin & for a life of holiness here upon the earth depends as much upon the aid of Heaven as does our final redemption. Nothing of particular interest occurred during the week busy putting in corn potatoes beans peas etc weather pleasant but quite warm. The Indians I have noticed are very willing to re- ceive any thing which may be offered them they never need urging.

I must now make a cursory review of the few incidents of interest from June 8th until the time I started to look of the country in the direction of Walnut River. Soon after we finished planting our corn I went to Kan. City with Mr. Shepherd to get a load of provisions & groceries to speculate a little on. There was some chance for trading with the Indians and we had money lying idle so that I thought we might try and get a little of the money back spent on the road. Like the milkmaid in the Elementary spellingbook I counted the profits before I had them I thought I should make a fine sum on that load go several times more & in the aggregate do something handsome. But it finally occurred to me that I should be making my money from industrious farmers & the profit if I had any would be taken from their pockets & put into mine without due compensation on their part. I find I could not satisfy the Golden Rule in that way. I do not hereby infer that noone has a right to sell goods at a profit but came to the conclusion that I was not rightly constituted for a peddler or traveling grocery. I was shocked at the amount of liquor drunk literally poured down human throats in Kan. City every merchant from the wholesale dealer down to the "Pies and Cakes" man keeps a full supply of the flaming murderer. In short judging from what I saw, pure water must be a beverage seldom tasted; thought by the mighty champions of Kansas City to be fit only for children & weak women

On Sabbaths we attended Church at the Bap. mission. The missionary usually delivered his discourses to an interpreter who translated it for the Indians but the interpreter was absent at this time on a delegation to Wash. so that those Indians who could not understand English were deprived of the benefit of the sermon. The Mission Church is a large log building with good floor & windows & comfortable seats. The minister is a truly devoted follower of our blessed master. His sermons rich in practical thoughts and deep in the truths which relate to the soul & its eternity were delivered in the most simple and plain language. Those sermons which tell men most plainly of their duty to God & man, that show them their faults without plastering them over with some sentimental or fancied virtues are best calculated to do good such were this missionary' s and they made an impression on my mind which will remain long after many discourses in fancy rhetoric shall have faded from memory. The singing was strikingly impressive the tunes are such as are sung by Churches in the states and the Hymns also translated into the language of the Ottawa ind. The services were closed with prayer by a native preacher in the language of the Indians.

I went to meeting at Centropolis on two Sabbaths preaching by Methodists. My time during the week was mostly occupied in working in the corn, picking gooseberries & mulberries, churning cooking, washing dishes etc I am a firm believer In "woman' s Rights'' I think she has sole right to the household affairs or the management of them & I have no desire to encroach upon her 'Sphere' of action. Those Indians seem not to have made that mental & moral progress under the loving laborious toil of the self denying missionaries which we might hope for & expect. It requires much time to change savage people to a civilized people. Could those missionaries who labor so earnestly for the souls of their ______ fellows reap the full harvest of the seed sown, could the good seed planted by them have opportunity to grow unchoked by the tares of the enemy: in short did not so many whites, citizens of a christian nation so shamefully cheat abuse them & set such examples of wickedness there might be encouraging hope that their 1abor of love would be amply repaid by a rich harvest of souls.

On the morning of July 14 I started in company with three others in search of c1aims. We had a large two horse wagon covered with India rubber cloth, water proof; we armed ourselves with three rifles, three pistols, one revolver & several bowie knives; we were thus particular on account of a report from Walnut R. that the Indians had driven a company of settlers away from there. Some rumors stated that the squatters were compelled to flee for their lives, Weather very dry no water running in any of the streams except in the ___ & Fall R. The grass on the upland prairie was generally very dry and in some, places it was burned off. There was nothing of interest occurred during the trip. After we left the settle- ment we took the precaution to have our firearms ready for use. On the Neosho we found quite a company of Sac Indians encamped. In the evening I went down to the R, to see the Inds. fish. The lndians carried torches formed of tall weeds lighted at one end. The light from these torches showed to the keen eye of the Redskin the form of the victim. At Willow Spring creek about 8 miles S. of Ver. for the first time a wild Turkey. So little was known about this part of Kan. at that time that we could get but vague & unsatisfactory answers to our queries about it. Fall River or S. Ver. as it was then called was entirely unknown to al- most everybody. We found some people on Fall R. _____ not certain whether to stop or not they thought it very doubtful about their having any neighbors for some years to come. On we went to the famous Walnut we saw some good situations before we left Fall R. on it & on smaller streams between it & Ver but we were bent on seeing all we could bear of and then take choice. Struck Walnut at the embryo town of Eldorado found some settlers, very sanguine that their country would be immediately settled up. Found plenty of vacant claims with good timber on them. The bottoms were beautiful but the grass on them was very much parched up by drought this fact more than anything else prejudiced us from settling there. There was still another stream further West about 12 miles called Whitewater this was favorably represented but was too near the terminus of civilization or rather likely to be for the present. Took claims on the Walnut about 6 miles above El Dorado.

July 25, 1857

Started back, passed through Burlington on the Neosho. Business seemed quite brisk for an interior town in so new a settlement a stream saw mill just started, a very good Hotel up besides some log cabins. Stopped over the Sabbath at B. heard Rev. Mr. Dennis Presiding Elder of the Methodist Episcopol Church. Preaching under the shade of trees, nature's meeting House. Mr. Den. is a very energetic speaker seems a very dedicated and earnest worker in his Master' s vineyard. Reached our temporary home July 28, found all well. Made arrangements to start as soon as possible. Started Aug. 5 for our permanent homes to be. Could not leave the old mill with its associations without some feelings of sadness I was very anxious to go and yet it did quite drown all feelings of attachment which clustered around the Indian Settlement. There after six weeks of tiresome travel through scenes to which l was wholly un- accustomed with no home but for a day we first found temporary home a rest for a season of rest of ourselves & for our jaded but ever faithful beasts. But away we went my father & uncle a Mr. LiIlie who joined us that morning & myself. Two wagons yoke of oxen a pair of horses, 3 cows & 6 head of young cattle was unwell the 2nd day quite sick at Bur. where we stopped until joined by Messers Ashmore Pratt Prather & Combs. All moved on together and reached Fall River Aug. 12. After looking around and consulting two days concluded to settle found a spring & claimed the land 302 acres adjacent for a town site. Commenced building a house immediately for a school house. was taken sick after working one day. claims were taken to be afterwards divided or drawn by the members. A short time after we commenced two gentlemen - P.D. Ridenour & Frank___called upon us & wished to go into the organization of a town company with us which it was agreed they should do for a consideration on their part. Sept first my father started for Wis.. together with Messers Prat & Combs going to Ill. &, Messers Ashmore & Prather going back to Apponcose (?) for their families leaving Mr. Lillie, Mr. Ashmore's son John - my uncle & myself to do as best we could until they came back I was still sick; my uncle was taken severely sick a short time after they left was very low when Mr. Ashmore & family came back brought some medicine which relieved him. Time which before Mr. Ashmor' s family came hung rather heavily on my hands now passed more swiftly.

Oct. 2, 1857 Some one took the liberty to ride off our horses last night being careful to let no one know it for fear they might not get leave; spent two or three days in fruitless search and then started for Kan. City to meet my father and mother Mr. Ashmore & George in company -- my uncle improving in health, felt quite well myself although very weak. Found considerable im- provement had been made in Johnson Co. since I was last there in June. Met my father and mother felt much relieved after being alone as it were so long. Nothing of particular interest occurred on the road. Picked some crabapples near old Bap. Miss. found an abundance of melons along the way reached home (home though but a mere cabin of rudest build if around it cluster pleasant associations & dear memories or if but a home in our anticipation around which our hearts affections have twined like the tendrils of the vine is dearer than all the earth besides)

Oct 27, 1957 Found all well and prosperous. Surveyors came on to survey the town site surveyed a part of it only, felt quite buoyant in regard to the future prospects of our town in hopes to have a sawmill in a short time Black- smith Shop etc moved into our house about Nov. 6 felt remarkably well never any healthier. There is a kind of excitement to life in a new country a per- son is brought into scenes with which he is not familiar, there is constantly something new and novel, there is pleasure felt in starting new, in opening a farm where before nothing but the Deer & the Antelope have roamed over the prairie free as the air they breathe except when pursued by the nimble arrows of the Red Man. Here where the Wolf's howl has pealed forth upon the still night air unheard by human ears, where the grass has sprung up in living green - the lap of generous nature - where ten thousand flowers have blossomed but to "waste their sweetness on the desert air" where the trees natures temples have been vocal with the thanksgiving songs of the birds whose notes were heard only by the ear of Him who gave them life, here I fain would make my home would plow & fence & build & see the work of my own hands make what was once a lonely waste a thrifty home. One morning a neighbor living on Bachelor Creek 6 miles off, came over here and claimed protection he said that his life had been threatened by some men who accused him of stealing some horses one of them had lost. he said he know the men that they were from Kan. River near Manhattan that they were part of a gang of horse thieves whose headquarters were in that vicinity. The men he said had gone to the Verdigris to got more men intending to come back and hang him. We of course promised him that he should not be lynched without a fair trial, he said that was all he wanted for he could prove an "Alibi". In the afternoon Mr. Ashmore went over to his house and not coming back so soon as we expected Mr. Lillle & (I?) started over about Sundown; after going 4 miles met two of the family coming toward Eureka (the name we had given to our town) both crying, said that the men had taken their cattle & cowing with them that they had abused their mother etc. I really pitied them from the bottom of my heart. We turned our course & came back with them, in about an hour the company came cattle and all. As the night was still I could hear distinctly the tramp- ing of the cattle, the men talking & the bells on the cattle & when I thought that they were driving them away from a home that possessed little else & robbing what I supposed to an innocent family those sounds had a strange sad meaning as they broke the stillness of the air. On they came & after organising a meet- ing an extemporaneous court of inquiry was held. Mr. Godwin the man from whom the horses had bean stolen said that Mr. Nodine the prisoner had been around where he lived a few days before the horses were taken & that his son Seneca had been at work in the neighborhood until within a short time before the horses were missing: he stated that he had tracked the horses down to Bachelor Creek near where Mr. Nodine lives, that two men answering to the description of Fred Nodine' s Son-in-law & Sen. had been seen with horses coming in this direction. Further John & William Carroll neighbors to B.d. had seen a wagon at N' s house with a pair of whippletrees on it, where the whippletrees came from & where the wagon went to could not be satisfactorily accounted for. On the other hand N. said that he could prove that he did not steal the horses because he was not thereabouts at the time that the horses were stolen stated that he knew nothing about it his son or son in law might have taken them for ought he knew. A vote was taken on the question whether it was thought that he knew about the horses being stolen all but three voted in the affirmative. Most of them were in favor of whipping him at least to make him tell about the horses this I strongly pro- tested against as being unfair in the premiser no posative being given to show that such was the case, none spoke openly of lynching him in the evening but it was manifest that this was the wish of many. It was finally determined by the company to take the cattle & wagon as they belonged ___ who no doubt had stolen the horses. I was perhaps more excited than I had ever been before I was unused to such scenes men who looked themselves as though they would do about anything bad seeking to whip or hang an old man who had not been proven guilty was too much for me calmly to hear. The cattle were taken but repl - yed by Fred in the Win. We commenced a prayer meeting about the fifth of December. Mr. Ashmore, Prather, Lillie, Father & myself were the only adult males present the others consisted of Mrs. Ashmore & four Mrs. Prather & mother. Perhaps this could not be called the first prayer meeting as Mr. Lillle, John Ashmore & myself had a season of prayer in the schoolhouse in Sep. before any of the folks got back. It had ever been my earnest desire & prayer that our settlement might be commenced in prayer & grow in moral strength as its members increased.

Sunday evening Feb. 20, 1859

Has been a day of some doubts and clouds with me. Sab. School was well attended children seem considerably interested, everything is auspicious for an increasingly interesting and profitable school but a look of the services of a good Superintendent and experienced teachers. Feel altogether unqualified in any particular for the faithful discharge of the duties of Superintendent. Feel that perhaps I should not take any post of responsi- bilty, I am so weak and sinful. Am resolved in the strength of God to live more Christlike, to make more watchful, earnest and persevering efforts to overcome my many besetting sins, to keep my body in subjection, to provide things honest in the sight of all men and to avoid as much as possible the appearance of evil. resolved to make greater exertions for the conversion of souls unto God, to use direct personal influence with men to turn them from death.

Sunday Feb. 27,1859

The resolutions above seem to had but little influence on my life during the past week. I find myself vastly too much engrossed by the things of the present life. I feel that I am not free from the bondage of sin, I am bound, chained, held down by a subserviency to the beggarly elements of this world to the indulgence of carnal appetites and desires. I feel that there is a great work to be accomplished here, the foundation of a mighty superstructure is being laid in this community the young twig of society is now putting forth its tender shoots and as it is now inclined so will be its future growth in a great measure. There is need of earnest Christians of deep and fervent piety to labor in this part of the Lord's vineyard. The world is all ripe - as far at least as ripeness in sin is concerned - ready for the harvest but the laborers are few. Sabbath School today was quite interesting notwithstanding the house was somewhat uncomfortable. Scholars manifest much interest in their school, attend very regularly and learn their lessons quite well. I trust the hand of the Lord is in the work my faith is strengthened when I see such marked fruits with the aid of so feeble instrumentality. My prayer is that God may continue and increase his blessing, that those dear children and youth may be disciplined in the army of God to hate the worldly and manifest (?) for truth and Jesus.

I feel at times a burning desire to be up and doing, engaged about my master's business and then I am so prone to sin to wander from God and the path of duty, to get careless and to leave myself unguarded against temp- tation and to give way to my evil inclinations that I feel that there is an incubus upon me weighing me down to earth. May God in his mercy grant to give me strength to throw off the shackles of sin and to engage heartily in the Redeemer's work upon earth! Resolved! That with the Holy Spirit's aid I will struggle with my passions until victory declares in favor of the Redeemer; That I will strive to attain unto a higher Christian life.


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