In preparing these brief sketches of a life now four score and past, and depending entirely upon memory for dates and incidents, all I can promise is, that I will seek to avoid as many errors as a treacherous memory will allow.
As the record shows I was born in Jessamine County, December l7th, l834, on what was then the Uncle Asa Demoss farm about three miles West of Nicholasville, not far from Russell's Cross Roads. My father, William Hifner, died the same year of my birth, when I was but a few weeks old. Mother being left with four other children, and no visible means of support except the scant earnings of these small children made it very plain that economy and industry were absolutely necessary to keep the family together.
To the best of my memory, about the year l842 Uncle Peter Funk moved mother and all the children from Fayette County to a tenant house on his farm about three miles South of Nicholasville in Jessamine County. It was here I spent my boyhood days from l842-l85l working on the farm for Uncle Peter Funk and at the sawmill in winter.
All the educational advantages I had were at school at old Jessamine school house, a few of the mid-winter months. Most of the Sundays in winter were spent hunting rabbits; in summer, fishing, going in washing, killing snakes, and playing marble for keeps.
Uncle Peter and Aunt Susan had seven children- Richard, Caroline, John, Morton, Mary, Henry and Betsy. None of these children were educated beyond reading and writing - Uncle Peter being uneducated himself, believed in work first, but the work always crowded out the education. Aunt Susan (always called Sucky) was a member of the Christian church. Before her marriage she was Susan West. Uncle Peter was never a member of any church, but strictly moral in all his dealings; with a good honest heart, with truth I can say that during my almost nine years in the family most of time neither of them ever spoke to me an unkind word. It was during the latter part of my nine years stay that I attended two weddings. First, James Lowery (at the time a widower) married Cousin Jane Hill; second, James Lyons married cousin Mary Funk - perhaps in the year l850. At this wedding I also attended the infair at Mr. William Lyons and slept with him in a trundle bed. William Lyons was James Lyons brother. In those days singing schools were taught in meeting houses and school houses, and the young people would attend in great numbers. According to my way of thinking, there has been but little improvement in sacred music since then. Sunday Schools were an exception to the rule. I was never in a Bible class until some time after I was grown. Easter was a great occasion for the young folks and many baskets of eggs have I helped to hide out and bring in Easter morning. The following Monday was always a holiday, and a fishing trip was always planned. A round trip to the river at the mouth of Jessamine, not less than eight miles was only a pleasant pastime. The most common amusement at this time was can and bandy shinny sides. This sport was kept up until croquet, baseball and football took their places. Dancing was more common then than now, and I am inclined to believe more innocent because most Sundays the parents of the dancers or at least some of then were always present. I would have you remember that the time and incidents of which I am writing was 70 years ago. At that time quilting followed by a corn-shucking at night was practiced in nearly every community, at which time the bottle was always passed, and strange to say, there were very few that were ever found drunk.
The immediate neighbors consisted in the families of the Rices,Wests, Warmsleys, Gillmans, Cooleys, Robinsons, Dr. Rowells, and Smiths, and the two Houser families. The neighborhood doctor was John Welch, who was assassinated, and though seriously hurt, finally recovered. The regular preacher at Old Jessamine was old Brother John Sacre. He would always get very warm in the pulpit, and preached some strong sermons on first principles. For the protracted meeting occasions, there was built an harbor the full length of the house outside. The preacher would stand at the door, which was about the middle, and preach to both crowds. Horse back and on foot were the usual way of coming and going. Buggies and carriages were rarely ever seen at church.
The first cigar I ever tried to smoke was when I was on way to church, walking, and the sickest anybody ever was and lived, was myself after I got there.
During the few last years of my stay at Uncle Peter's, all three of my older brothers has left home. None but brother Henry ever chose to serve a trade. He went to Nicholasville to learn wagon making. It was either in 49 or 50 that brother John left for Missouri and left there for the gold mines. In '57 or '58 brother Peters' taste was for agriculture and was finally very successful in gardening. In those days harvest time could well be called the social season, when fifteen or twenty men would gather on one farm with their reap hooks to save the grain. And oh, my! those harvest dinners. The table would almost groan under the weight of the feast. The man who was chosen to take the front row, was high boss of the day, and it was expected of him to see that everybody did their whole duty. On one occasion I was called on to help harvest at old Mr. William Lowler's. It was one of those ideal June days, when all nature seemed to be smiling, and we were expected to work in the field until the breakfast bell called us in. It so happened that as we were returning to the field John Funk and myself were in front. As we passed through the yard gate and were turning the corner of a tenant house there lay stretched out before us a colored man who attempted suicide by cutting his own throat, with his own knife gripped tight in his hand, lying flat on his back between two puddles of blood. The white of his eyes were rolled back, and the sun shining full in the face. It would seem very natural to suppose, that without any orders John Funk and I beat a hasty retreat for reinforcements. The doctor was immediately summoned, who dressed his wounds, and the poor man finally recovered. The main cause that prompted the rash act will perhaps never be known. At this time camp meetings which lasted several weeks were held annually. It was during the time of one of these meetings in Scott's woods near Robert's Chaple, that I was kicked by a vicious horse on the leg.There were no bones broken, but a very severe bruise with which I suffered for weeks. The lesson I learned from this incident has been to this day one of value to me. That is, to get no nearer to the horses than is really necessary.
Under the old constitution elections were held three days, beginning the last Monday in August, at which time hay making also began. Turning the hay with pitchforks and wind-rowing and fighting the bumble bees and yellow jackets was one of the principal sports of the boys. Omitting many of the incidents of my early boyhood life, which are yet fresh in my memory, I come now to the year l85l. Uncle Peter died and was buried in June of this year. The youngest child, Betsy, had died several years previous and his was the second death.
Dear Uncle Peter, although two generations and more have passed away, yet the sorrow that come to my young heart is still fresh in my memory. His death, like many others of course, brought many changes. Richard, the oldest, now of age, had planned to leave home for the West. He and I were employed by Uncle John Funk to help finish up a large harvest and go through the hemp crop. When this was completed Richard left for Clay County, Missouri, where he ever afterwards lived and married and died. As for myself, I continued with Uncle John until Christmas, taking home to mother all I had earned in the six months in gold. Mother in the meantime had moved over on big Jessamine to what was known as the Hazelwood Place.
Uncle John's family consisted of himself, Aunt Mary, who was before her marriage Miss Rice, and eight children. Elizabeth married William Vince. Andy, Jonathan, Morton, Jake, Mary, who married James Lyons, Henry, and Lucy who married Benjamin Duncan. Living at Uncle Johns meant all work and no play. Having a large farm scattered in three or four different tracts, his children, his slaves, and hired men were constantly kept on the go without any let up whatever. Under these circumstances social enjoyment at home was something unknown. Three of his boys, Jonathan, Jacob and Henry left home to learn the carpenter trade. Andy, the oldest son, died in the full vigor of manhood. Like Uncle Peter's children none of them received anything above a common school education. At the time of this writing only one of that family of ten is now living. Mother having moved to the-----wood place, it now became necessary for me to get employment near enough to be with her at night. To meet this necessity I hired myself for the year l85l to Daniel Rice for $l25.00; his farm was just opposite our house, across the creek and the dwelling not more than 300 yards distant. The Rice family consisted of himself and wife, who was called Aunt Lear, and before marriage, Harbough, and eight children - Cass, Catherine, William, Caroline, Newton, Henry, Mike, Alice. At this time Catherine was a widow with one child, her husband having been dead several years. Mr. Rice and his two oldest boys all worked at the brick business, and paid very little attention to the farm. The two younger sons and myself did most of the farming. It was this year that the great Statesman, Henry Clay, was put in the vault at Lexington Cemetary and I was one of the company who went horse back to Lexington on this occasion. I was now in my l7th year and this round trip of about 30 miles was the longest I had ever taken. On another occasion I was sent with the four horse wagon to move old Brother Thomas Smith who at the time was living in the immediate neighborhood to Lexington. We unloaded on South Mill Street at what was then the Neson Faulkner place. In turning in the lot my leader came around too short and the hind wheel struck the gate post and tore the plank fencing. For this act Mr. Faulkner got very mad and I think it safe to say, caused him a sleepless night. Old Mr. Rice, being an Elder in the church at old Jessamine, and all of the family who were of proper age members, brought about a change in my Sunday habits. It was this year that I owned my first horse and saddle. The horse was a nice dapple grey, and a fine pacer. It was also the year that I went with my first girl to church - each of us on horse back. She was Miss Hockensmith, a niece of Mrs. Rice. It was about the ------ of this year that Brother Peter and Caroline Funk were married. This was his last year gardening with Thomas Foley. His first year of married life was with his mother-in-law, who was then a widow. Mrs. Rice or Aunt Lear, as she was called, was a model woman, thorough-going at all times, pleasant cheerful, which made her many friends, and her general popularity was the result of much visiting. To my knowledge in this family of ten, there is not one now living.
This year's work was finished without even the loss of one day When we were done settling up the years business the old Gentleman said to me "You have made the best hand I ever had. I want you for another year and will increase your wages." This,of course, made me feel a little proud, but it came a little too late for I had previously closed the bargain with Cousin Tom Foley for the year l853. The changing of houses again from Jessamine to Fayette with altogether new environments in a general way worked to my advantage. For a time until I had made some acquaintances, I felt very much out of place; having my own horse and saddle was frequently found at church at South Elkhorn, and other places I had never been.
Cousin Thomas Foley married Lucy Brown of Harrison County. Her sister was Betty and married Jack Fowler. Their first born, John, then perhaps three years old. In August Harvey was born and I was called from the slaughter house to be to Keene for Dr. Foster, with orders not to spare the horse. There has been no time when I believed I could have gone any quicker.
One of the most pleasant incidents of the year was the trip to Harrison County horse back. Miss Mary David a niece of Cousin Lucy had come on a visit, her time of stay expired at Easter when it was suggested that she and I make the trip horse back. I would suppose the distance between 30 and 40 miles to her home near Broadville, Harrison County. With nicely prepared lunch and each of us on a good saddler we made a early start. Our first stop being at the fortune tellers, near the junction of the Georgetown nd Newtown pikes. This wonderfully wise woman aided by her coffee grounds made it stand out very very clear that the bride and groom were then present. With this cheap and valuable knowledge, which cost ten cents apiece, we resumed our journey, reaching the waters of Big Eagle about noon. We turned through a gate into a nice shaded woodland. Miss Mary alighted and spread our lunch, while I went with our horses to the stream for water. After a good rest, we again mounted for the balance of the journey- reaching our stopping place near sunset. The day was ideal. The horses stood the trip fine, and if either of us was anyways tired it never was known. Besides visiting the grandmother and three uncles, which were Harvey Grey, Frank Grey, and Jack Fowler, we also met her older and only sister, Miss Betty, who shortly afterwards married Thomas McGibbon who afterwards became very wealthy and a representative for one term from Harrison County in the legislature. After my short stay of two nights and one day I saddled up the pony for my trip homeward. The day was long, the journey was also long. The songs of the birds had no melodies for me. The flowers lost all their fragrance and all nature seemed frowning instead of smiling. Altogether my feelings can better be imagined than described. Having now completed the longest broad I had yet taken I had much to talk about, and very much more to think about, although the time wore heavily on, yet my appetite finally came and I survived. In the winter and early spring months I broke hemp, first for John Lincoln on the farm, now owned by Stanhope Brother's and again for McFarland on a farm in the Texas neighborhood.
Cousin Tom spent all his time trading and butchering, attending markets three time s a week, at which time I most always went along. He was a nervous, restless temperament and said and did many things that counted the wrong way. It was the year that Milton Cravens sold his farm on Clay's Mill road to Cousin Tom and Rankin Clemmons. It was perhaps late in October when Rankin and myself moved to the farm and kept bachelor hall until Christmas. I thought then, as I have ever since, that I richly earned the $l75.00 I got, as he also must have thought, as he offered me $300.00 for another year, but I told him no. I thought very highly of Cousin Lucy, although delicate in health and had much to annoy her, yet always had a pleasant word. She only lived several years after moving to the new farm. Cousin Tom afterwards married the twin sister Betty who was also a widow with one child. This marriage brought only one child, which was Mary, now the wife of George Lyne. The two sons by the first marriage, John and Harvey, died as tenants on the home place, each one having passed his sixtieth year. After the death of Cousin Betty, Cousin Tom was again left a widower, somewhat broken down in health and partly in fortune. He was never himself any more, and finally committed to the asylum, and died shortly afterwards.
Having now come the close of l853 and entering my twentieth year, a change was brought about which seemed to me to be a new life begun. Brother Peter having spent his first year of married life on the Funk farm in Jessamine had decided to go to housekeeping. From Frank Farra a part of the old Gatewood place on Clay's mill pike and proposed to me to live with him and be a partner. I gladly accepted his proposition, and so we began the year l854 full partners. Although it has ever since been noted for its famous drought, we succeeded well with the farm. During the early spring I stayed at Mr. Frank Farra's and in good weather broke hemp. This year, l854, was the nearest corn failure known before or since and the price ranged from $l.00 per bushel up. Many farmers who could not feed their hogs, gave them away. Had it not been for the favorable winter that followed there would have been much stock suffering. Our early potatoes both sweet and Irish sold readily at $2.00 per bushel. This was before Southern competition began. This was the birth year of Alice - Brother Peter's oldest, and I was called out of the cherry tree to go in post haste to Keene for Dr. Foster. In August of this year there were three men hung in Versailles, one white and two colored, for the murder of old Mr. Epperson. I was so much impressed with the unlovely sight that for many nights afterward I could see in my sleep these three men with their caps on swinging under the scaffold.
My principal associate was George W. Easley, an old schoolmate, who was then over-seeing for Nat Lafon. Afterwards when he married I was best man for the groom. It was in August of this year that Uncle James Funk wanted me to live with him the balance of the year. This farm was near the Georgetown pike, some six miles out from Lexington. At this time he was over-seeing for Mr. Henry Thompson. He had sold his farm and bought another on the Iron Works pike bordering on the waters of Cane Run, at $100.00 per acre. He was clearing up a large tract of timber land on which to raise hemp. The great necessity for having me was to burn the brush and measure up the cord wood at nights. At this time he was a widower, Aunt Betsy - been dead several years. There were in the family besides himself, five children, Sara, Elizabeth, Sealy, Thomas and Willie; also, a step-daughter, Margaret. During the remainder of the year I was a regular church attendant. Sometimes at Cane Run (Baptist) and at Berea (Christian) the two houses being not far apart, My wages were $20.00 per month, board, washing, and horse-keep. At the close of the year I returned to Brother Peters and we started in together again for 1855. In the late winter and early spring months I was breaking hemp for Mr. Owens on the adjoining farms, at this season I reached my highest number of pounds for one day - 301. There was much excitement at weighing time because there had been some betting as to who would lead the field. I felt almost too large for my pants, when it was found that I had been the leader.
As I now remember this was Brother Henry's wedding year to Miss Eliza Horine, who lived near Sulphur Well in Jessamine County. It was in the autumn of this year that Brother Peter and I bought from Mr. William Barkley the 50 acre tract of land known as the Talbot place for which we were to pay $100.00 per acre. Most all of the land was heavily timbered, and our first work was to clean up for cultivation. The portion we sowed in hemp the first year, '55, was badly nipped by frost the last night in May. I suppose the crop at the time would have averaged waist high. The following day as the sun got warmer, the tops all bent over, but continued to grow, while in the middle of the stalk, there was a crook resembling somewhat the hand hold on a walking cane. Their potato crop which had begun to bloom was almost entirely ruined. All we got, at digging time, as the saying goes, was small, and very few in the hill. The routine of 1856 was much the same as '55, hauling cord wood to Lexington to the brick kilns in the late summer, and fall and winter, was my work.
One romantic incident of this year was helping Garner Stephens get his wife. She was the daughter of Joseph Sallee of Fayette County and a beautiful girl. According to agreement she came with bundle of clothes to the yard gate where we were in waiting with our buggies. She was not missed until next morning at which time we were well on our way to Cincinnati for the license. After the ceremony, as I remember, at the Denison Hotel, we felt safe, as there was no longer any danger of pursuit and capture. Miss Lucy Horton was brides-maid for the occasion, and well did she act her part. On our return the following day we learned there was great commotion in the Sallee family next morning when daughter was missed. The father was reported as saying that Will Hifner had a hand in it. The year '57 was noted for its early cold weather; much of the corn was damaged in the shock and it made it unfit for seed the next spring. As the year 1858 was approaching I got the idea of wanting to spread out some farming. Richard Foley and myself rented the 200 acre farm from old Mr. Nat Moore. The farm fronted both on Clays Mill and Stone road, now known as the Wilson place. Our partnership proved agreeable and profitable. Mr. Foley raised a large garden and left me to manage the farm. We made a years work entirely satisfactory. It was this summer for the first time in life that I cut an acre of hemp in one day. The ground was measured by William Stone, Sr. and work completed before sun set.
In the fall I attended the races at Lexington for the first and last time. When the years work was rounded up John Funk and I decided on a deer hunt to Laurel County. So with Albert Searcy, an old mountaineer as pilot, about the first of November we struck out horse back. Sometime the following day we came to our place of stay which had been provided at Mr. Allen Pinkston's. He had a lot of well trained hounds, and we all had good saddle horses. Our weeks sport was following the dogs in daytime and popping corn and dancing with the girls at night. There were several of the girls about grown and very attractive. Had our stay been prolonged there would surely have been a small love scrap. As it was, after several letters had passed everything faded out. On our return trip we changed routes, and came by way of big hill and through Richmond, Clays Ferry and on home. Thus ended the deer hunt, which well satisfied us for the time being.
A little later on I was called on by another party to help them get married. Ted Webster and Miss Sara Self, were the two lovers. On this occasion Miss Mary Webster was bridesmaid; we spent one night as before in Cincinnati and returned next day; all the plans had worked out systematically and the bride's parents soon got over their mad spell. It was during this same year Brother Henry moved to Missouri (Clay County) with their only child, J.C.B., a baby. I stayed with them their last night in Lexington at the Curd house and saw the great fire that left in ashes so much of North Broadway. During the winter of '58 and '59 I became very restless for a trip West. With a born desire for travel and the glowing accounts then coming of the gold discovered in the Rocky Mountains around Pikes Peak and at the mouth of Cherry Creek; with Brother John being there and having made a good discovery - all this together helped to intensify my desire to make the trip, in the early spring of '59. In the meantime, however, Uncle James Funk had himself decided to go West and hearing of my plans, came to see me and insisted that I should delay my time of starting until he could make his arrangements and that we go together. He proposed to me that we go by way of Milwaukee, as he had some expenses to settle up there with some wheat speculators, who had left Kentucky owing him a good sum of money. By the last of March we started - going by way of Chicago. The first incident on the route that I wish to mention was our stop at Michigan City for breakfast. Passing from the hotel to the cars I spied some men fishing at the lake. Full of curiosity and almost losing my presence of mind I strolled to where they were fishing, when I should have made for the train. In hearing the bells ringing I looked up and saw the train moving out and I was some three hundred feet away. It came to me like a flash that I was to do some good running, or be left. Starting at full speed and passengers with heads out of the windows and many on the hotel porch, some waving handkerchiefs, some hollowing run - run, and the conductor on the platform of the rear coach. If ever in life I tried harder to run faster I have no knowledge of it. I gained on the train until about one rod and at that time the train commenced gaining. At that time almost out of breath, I sat down on a cross tie. The opinion I there formed of that conductor has undergone no change. The hotel proprietor saw it all so he came out where I was and said to me, "There will soon be a freight along and you can take passage on it". Uncle Jim and the trunk had gone and would we find each other in Chicago, was the big question. I went back to the hotel with my friend and while I was counting up the cost for the idle curiosity of seeing two men fishing, along came an East bound train and just as it slowed up at the station off stepped Uncle Jim. The freight going West came along and we took passage for Chicago. Reached there in good time and went to the Theatre at night. We found our baggage all right at the depot. So early next morning we pulled out for Milwaukee. During our short stay we visited some of the large - mills and Uncle Jim, having arranged his business, we took passage for St. Louis. We took the Illinois Central and changed cars at the Ohio and Miss. crossing. From St. Louis we took passage on a Missouri river steamer for Liberty Landing. It was on Saturday evening when we were put ashore; Uncle Jim going to Cousin Sallie Kidd's for the night and I to Brother Henry's. Brother Henry was then living on a small rented farm, two miles North of Liberty, Clay County. This was my first visit to Missouri. On the following day, which was Sunday, Uncle Jim came at Brother Henry's with a proposition, that I go back to Kentucky for him, and start early next morning. This, of course, came as a big surprise. He said that he had already made up his mind that Missouri would be his future home; that he would order his farm advertised for sale; that he would give Judge Ruckner power of attorney, who would conduct the sale and settle up all of his Kentucky business. He made me an offer of $1.00 a day and all expenses paid to go to Kentucky and be present at the sale and assist in every way I could. Although it seemed like saying howdy and goodbye at the same time I consented to go. My return back home was likewise a great surprise. The agreement was for me to go bring the family, four choice mares, one two-horse wagon and lots of household goods, he in the meantime would get a place ready and notify me where it would be. So early next morning we met at the river and he accompanied me as far as Lexington. On our way he explained to me partly the reason for this snap shot, whirl-around with so much business in it and others parts were explained some time afterwards.
I reached Kentucky in due time and was present at the sale. Helped every way possible to get everything in order to start. In the meantime I had been notified that Napoleon on the Mo. river in _ _ _ _te was to be the stopping place. Taking the oldest boy, Thomas, with me, we loaded the wagon with many household articles of household goods, and struck out for Louisville about the middle of April, as my memory goes, and the family to ship on the cars next day, with Irvin Haly as chaperone everything went well. We reached Louisville next day late and we all stayed over together; after helping the family next morning get tickets, I unloaded the wagon down on the wharf and Thomas took boat on our way down the Ohio. Our stock on board was increased by finding a little colt one morning. The captain was very clever and let us use our wagon-body in a convenient place, so once or twice we would go down on lower deck and take the colt to it's mother for nursing. We changed boats at St. Louis for the Missouri river and made the trip to Napoleon in good time. Our stock as also the little colt all looking well. The farm was several miles inland and when we got there felt very much relieved. Spending only a few days on the farm I hurried on to Independence; there I met Cousin Johnathen and Jake Funk who were out fitting with cattle and wagons for a trip to Salt Lake City with an assorted stock of merchandise. They asked me to go with them and so insisted that I dropped the Pikes Peak idea and told them I would go. After several weeks of hurry and buying, branding, and getting the cattle together we were ready to begin loading. This was done at Atherton on the Kansas side of the river. My recollection is that it was the 15th of May when the 32 wagons were loaded and ready to break camp. There was a driver for each wagon, a wagon master which was Jake Funk, an assistant, one clerk, and driver for the loose stock which job was mine, made 36 men afterwards increased one by giving me an assistant, who was a full blooded Frenchman. The road for the most part was along the old California trail. None of the country was fenced but was in cultivation. The Shawnees and Kickapoos were the first indians. They were on their reserves in Eastern Kansas and partly civilized, some few had cows; we got milk from them for the coffee, which was the last we ever got on the trip. Our principal diet was biscuit, pancake, side meat, coffee and molasses. When we reached the Buffalo county we fared sumptuously as for meat. Old bacon went begging when buffalo meat was on hand. Often we were supplied with Prairie chickens and sometimes the indians would bring in deer and antelope. The custom was two meals and three drives. In the route we crossed eight rivers. The order in which they came going West was Big Blue, South Platte, Larimafork, North Platte, Sweet Water, Green Bear and Weaver. All of them were forded except two. North Platte was crossed on bridge and Green on ferry boat. We passed these forts; Kearney, Larima and Bridger. There were soldiers at each of them the strongest perhaps at Larima. These were all supplied by the Government with ox and mule teams, which was a very heavy expense. Some of the principal points of interest on the route were the prairie dogs. They lived in holes in the ground and would pull out large piles of dirt outside. On top of these mounds they would sit and make a chattering noise at everything that came in sight. Their color was all the same - would call it something like a yellow brownish, and when grown - about the size of a two months terrier puppy and very fat. On one occasion we had one dressed and cooked. Once was enough from that day to the present.
Other points of interest was chimney rock - a lone shaft to height variously estimated and at a distance resembling the Clay monument. The hudge pile of crumbling at the base plainly tells what the work of ages has been. Another of nature's curiosities is Independence rock on Sweet Water river. It's shape is that of a _ _ _ or bowl turned upside down; the surface in places is very smooth where many immigrants have registered their names, the dates of which shows there was much traveling in '49 and '50. On our return trip, some few of our number had a great desire to sleep on summit and with our blankets and some difficulty made our way to the top. We soon found out however that without fire there would be little sleeping done so with greater difficulty made haste for the bottom.
Another point of interest on the route was where the army that was sent out in '57 to quell the Mormons, went into winter quarters; there were many hundreds of petrified carcusses of cattle that had perished that winter. The fording of South Platte perhaps more than any other one incident of the trip; this consumed all of one day and half, to see three or four wagons each with ten yoke of cattle hitched all in the river at one time would, I imagine, be worth something for the moving picture show. On some of these trips it was my lot to be pilot, this required you to be on your horse or mule in front of the fourmost team and find where the channels were that would swim the cattle. The great dread was going down in the quicksand which might occur any moment. During the first night we were camped on both sides of the river, after dark assistant wagon master Washmancorn was detailed to recross and stand guard and take charge of cattle on the opposite side. With one of us on one mule we made the trip in safety, but the experience of that dark, and the anxiety to reach the other shore are yet fresh in my memory. On the morning of the third day, the train pulled out for the North Platte which we reached by way of Ash Hollow. The famous battle ground where Gen. Harvey fought the Sioux and gained a complete victory. The old fort built of adobe and it's port holes facing the opposite was still standing. When we reached Fort Learma, which was on the Larima - the commanding officer of the Garrison gave orders that we could not cross the river above the fort, without paying any attention to the order the train proceeded about one mile above the Fort, and immediately commenced crossing, just about the time the last wagon was across a squad of soldiers came up and ordered the train not to move. Cousin Jake and his assistants rode in post haste to see the General and pay all damages. He said he would take no pay, but would see the next man in hell, who attempted the same thing. The secret proved to be that there was a toll bridge below the Fort and all the patronage the bridge got meant perhaps a penny in his pocket. At this time we were passing through Alkali County, and great watchfulness was necessary to keep the cattle from being poisoned. We only had a few bad cases. The remedy was cutting slices of side meat and putting it down their throats. All the sick, all the lame and brokedown were turned in my lot; if too sick to travel I would stay with them by the road side until they died or recovered. By this time all the novelty had worn off, I might say thread-bare, and monotony reigned supreme. Passing the summit through the South Pass we are now on the Pacific slope.
Sometime in August we entered Echo Cannon; in many places it was very narrow, the mountains on each side were steep and high and on each of their sides the Mormons had built stone walls as fortification where they expected to check the market of the army while on their way to punish them for their many foul deeds. It finally came to pass sometime in August and on the 84th day of our travel we reached the Jordon Valley and entered Salt Lake City. Every man who started with the outfit was at his post of duty when we reached the end, and about half of them took their discharge and on to California. While the wagons were being unloaded, the cattle were sent to ranch across the Jordon, some ten miles distant. Here we remained some seventeen days. During our stay in camp we had much pleasant pass-time. We could buy butter and potatoes from the Mormon - something we had not enjoyed for many days. The weather was unmerciful hot, and slight relief however was looking up the snow capped mountains on the East. Salt Lake City is beautifully laid off; the streets are well shaded and trees well watered by a cool mountain stream through most of them. The principal public building was the Temple erected at cost of $4000.00. The elevation of the city is estimated about 4,000 feet above the sea, and is only 12 miles from the great lake which is regarded as one of the world's great wonders. Perhaps about the first week in September some thirteen of us were ready and started on the return trip with a four mule team and Jake Reeves and myself as the drivers. We bid farewell to the far famed city which at the time of this writing is center of a large mining interest and no longer dependent on foreign emmigration for an increase in population. A very large part of our supplies of provisions for the home trip was stored at ranches on our way out. During the night of the 8th of September while in the South Passe there was a snow some three or four inches deep, in the meantime the mules were dependent entirely on the grass and therefore we felt ourselves badly handicapped. The next morning as we were gathering some dead willow brush for a fire at some distance from our camp we could see smoke. More through curiosity than anything else we set out to investigate. We found it to be old Tim Goodle, a full blooded old Frenchman and his squaw in their wigwam preparing the morning meal. Let me now say to their everlasting credit that they showed us every hospitality that was within their means. We were given a cup apiece of hot tea and insisted on us remaining by their fire. We learned afterwards that at the time they had two daughters in Kansas City attending high school. It was not long after sunrise until the snow began to melt, and in the late evening it had disappeared as suddenly as it came. As we proceeded on our way we found all the water courses much weaker and most especially the South Platte where in many places going out we had to swim could now be walked across dry shod. We had become so familiar with the route that the night camp was agreed upon in the morning and as a rule the footmen would be in ahead of the team. On our way we met a large immigration almost entirely of Foreign birth, men, women, and children with ropes around their shoulders pulling the hand carts through the sand, which were loaded with all their belongings namely, their quilt and blanket. It was quite common by the wayside to see fresh made graves in the sand where some of the bodies of these deluded people were left to finally be torn up by the wild beasts. In the vicinity of Ft. Larima there were many petrified bodies of Indians lodged up in the cotton wood and willow trees, as also on scaffolds by the roadside. Many of our crowd would go out of their way to see them. Let me say that my own curiosity did not lead in this direction. In recrossing the Larima Fork we had no trouble with the Garrison as before. The river was low enough to ford below the bridge, so the commanding officer lost his pocket change again. As I now remember we crossed into Missouri at Leavenworth. I and my little Indian pony which I had brought the entire route went to brother Henry's in Clay county where I spent the most part of the early winter of '59 and '60. He was then living on a small rented place some three miles North of Liberty. It was during this time that Cousin George Foley called on me to help him get his wife, all the details were arranged and worked out to a dot. The game little woman met us at the yard gate with her bundle and in less than thirty minutes the ceremony was said in the middle of the road witnessed only by the groom's brother, the squire, myself, and the stars. A horse back ride some eight or ten miles brought us to his home, where many good things both to eat and drink had been prepared and were in waiting. It was also during the time of my stay at brothers that I made a visit to Uncle James Funk. He had now moved from La Fayette County to the Southern part of Jackson and I decided on a horse back trip down the river which occupied part of two days. The first night out I stopped at a farm house the man and wife were not elderly people and had but a small family but the thing that impressed me that they were good people was his getting his Bible and reading and offering prayer. This was my first experience in family worship, as I now remember and as worldly as I then was, it made me feel like I was in safe hands for the night. By this time the winter had set in sure enough. No snow, but the streams were all frozen over. I found Uncles' family well and all delighted with their new home.
After my stay of several days I decided my return trip by way of Kansas City. In arriving there I found the river still frozen over. There was no bridge across the river then and to take the ice was considered very dangerous as the thaw had begun and water running off top of the ice. To lay over until the Ferry boats could operate might prolong my stay indefinitely. Under these circumstances I was very undecided as to the best thing to do, and as it was, none seemed willing to give any advice when, as King the ferry man, he said it might and might not be safe. So there I was. It came to pass however about this time there came riding up two large men but on two small horses. They also wanted to cross. They hesitated some little time and dismounted. The ice was now melted from shore several feet in and a strong current running. They ordered some plank laid across the current and each employed a man apiece to lead their horses and on - went themselves carrying a long pole and walking some distance behind. They made the opposite shore with out a single mishap. Now it was up to me to decide what I should do, the risks I had taken of my life many times had almost convinced me that I was not born to be drowned and I also employed a man for $.25 to lead my horse and a long pole followed; all went well until within some twenty feet of the shore very suddenly down went my horse. The man leading ran out safe and I kept around on the sound ice and reached shore. What now about poor old Beck? Very lucky for her where she broke through was in eddy water and just about swimming depth. In her struggling to reach shore she kept the ice broken in front and reached shore. In the meantime the girth had busted and saddle left on the ice. The Kansas City levee was thronged with spectators anxiously looking on and the hats and handkerchiefs that was waved and shouts that was given almost convinced me there were others as glad as myself. I did not reach Brother Henry's until sometime in the night, although much fatigued yet very grateful that everything had gone so well with me. In the latter part of the winter cousin Richard Funk insisted on me staying a while with him which I did, perhaps altogether as much as a month.
Springtime of 1860 was approaching and the Pikes Peak fever rising and getting higher every day. In looking around for a partner I decided on cousin Sanford Foley who lived in Clay County, about my age. He was an all around good fellow. We bought our cattle and wagon, about 3,000 pounds of provision, and were ready to start by the middle of April. Besides ourselves we agreed to take in David Morton, a drug clerk, who lived in Liberty Missouri and board him through his work on the trip. He thought his knowledge of medicine was sufficient to secure him a large practice. It was not long however until he faded out and he was left a wiser man. There was also at this time another crowd of eight men all from Clay County who were ready to start and wanted to travel with us, to which we did not object. They had trouble enough themselves from the start which got worse the further they went. We finally pulled out and left them, while we were but little over half way. The route was very much the same as last year until we passed the crossing of the South Platte. While the Indians at no time offered us any violence, at many times they were very impudent and aggravating. Especially was this the case while in the vicinity of Fremants Orchard. The travel was heavy both ways and we met with little encouragement from those whom had already made the trip and were returning. But with our compass set, and a full determination to see the elephant we journeyed on. According to memory we were enroute about one morning and reached Denver City the Aurasia about the middle of May. Brother John had been there perhaps some eighteen months and while he never advised at the same time knew of our coming.
At the time of our arrival he was in the mountains and left orders for us to unload our wagons in a little shack built of cottonwood logs, just on the edge of Cherry Creek. After this was done and our cattle sent to ranch I made the trip to the mining region to see if I could find John-when I did find him he had on a buckskin suit and down in a pit with a pan hunting what they call pay dirt. We had seen but little of each other for 15 years but we very readily recognized one another. He at once stored away his mining tools and saddled his pony for a trip down Aurasia. There was five or six in the crowd and was late in the night when we reached camp. A few days later there was much excitement caused by reports of some rich findings over on the Arkansas. A company was soon formed and my partner wanted to go badly to which I agreed. Brother John, looked up to as their leader, struck out for California Gulch for an indefinite stay. With my little stock of goods I put out my sign and such of our supplies as we thought would not be needed was sold. The greatest novelty of this - my first experience in merchandising - was that my hand was always in easy reach of my colts navy.
About this time there was a very exciting incident in and around town. It was that an elderly old man and wife had passed through town on their way to the mountains. In their employ was a German helping with team for his board. Just across the Platte where they had camped for the night they were both murdered by the German and buried in the sand. Next morning he took possession of the team and was proceeding on his way. In the meantime the new-made graves were discovered; investigation aroused suspicion; the vigilantes took the matter in hand, pursued the team, captured the German, who readily confessed, brought him back to the city and hung him on a scaffold that my axe helped to make. The prospectors begun dropping in by squads, none of them any richer, but all much wiser, and realizing fully the truth of the saying, that all the best things are a little farther on when you are hunting for gold. Cousin Sanford and I by this time became satisfied with the sights around the city. So we loaded our wagon with what was left and pulled for the mountains. We went by way of Golden Gate and second night stuck camp on Russell Gulch. Here we bought a claim and went to work. We took as full partners in our enterprise the two Criswell brothers who were from Ohio and afterwards proved to be two as big rascals as ever wore britches. At the end of one month of hard digging and hard living we had gathered about $17.00 in dust and a small nugget valued at about $3.00. During this time we could only see the sun from 10 to 2 and after 2 most everyday a thunderstorm and shower of rain. We sat by a campfire every night with our overcoats on until bedtime. At the end of the month we had made something like twenty cents per day, while board was worth one dollar or more. So we decided to quit the claim. About this time brother John came along and gave us a job of hauling quartz from Clay County to the crusher which was some half mile down the mountain. Our cattle were on a ranch in the Platt Valley and it fell to my lot to get them. So I struck out on a 40 mile trip afoot and got back the third day. We made from 12 to 14 dollars a day; at the same time were feeding hay that cost $20.00 per ton; besides, hauling twenty miles we wore out our wagon tires by keeping both hind wheels locked going down the mountain, so we threw up the job and taking cattle and wagon we pulled out for the Platt Valley, where we struck camp, with our minds fully made up to leave for home as soon as our cattle had fully recruited. By this time there was a great emigration for the states. The roads as far as the eye would reach were lined with teams. As a guess, I would say that ninety percent of the emigration of sixty to Pikes Peak never returned. Before leaving I am very much inclined to say a few words about the now and then.
At the time of which I am writing the young town of Denver was surely in its swaddling clothes. There were no street improvements whatever and houses then built, were all small and very common. Across Cherry Creek there was only one long foot log across the Platte, only one cheaply constructed and dangerous bridge. This was on the road leading to the Golden Gate. The Indians were almost as thick as flies. Anyone then asserting what fifty-five years have brought forth would have been pronounced insane. The first settlements were begun in 1858 and Denver is now capitol of Colorado. It is situated North_ _ _ _ _ _st of the center of the state and is 932 miles West of St. Louis. It is on a level plain over 5,000 feet above the sea and beyond rises the snow capped peaks of the Rocky mountains. The streets are wide and well shaded, the houses stately, built of brick and yellow stone; it has become the meeting point of a great network of railroad lines with four direct lines to the East. The city now covers about 70 square miles on both sides of the Platt River. It is also the center of all the great mining interests of the state. It has U.S. assaying mint and three of the largest plants in the world for the smelting of ore located here giving employment to thousands of laborers with an output of 30,000,000 of bullion annually. It has excellent public schools - the value of its school building being over 4,000,000 dollars. It has 95 church buildings, water supply for the city is brought from the mountain. Underneath the city 1,000 ft. is an abundance of water for artesian well. The beautiful city and the attractive climate combined make it a great resort for those seeking health and pleasure. At the time of my leaving there in September 60 I could almost have had choice of lots for 1 yoke of cattle, and a better investment could not have been made. There were thousands like myself who could not see it and missed a fortune, but such is life. We felt glad when the day came to start on the return trip which we made in good time. We recrossed the Missouri River at St. Joseph and took our cattle and wagon with us down in Clay County. After selling out our odds and ends a settling up with partners I left for Kentucky.
After an absence of about twenty months and travel altogether of about 8,000 miles I reached brother Peter's. If anything was made it was only a little knowledge. In the winter of '60 and '61 I helped brother Peter. In the spring came the desire for travel again. This time I had the Texas fever. I must mention one incident that occurred about this time. Rankin Clemmons then lived on adjoining farms and was to be married to Miss Brock, who was living in Keene, so he called on me to go with him and as the saying goes, be the best man, to which I readily agreed. When the time came, both of my jaws were so swollen with the mumps that I could scarcely eat or sleep, but he got married all right.
In regard to my Texas enterprise I was advised to take such a course in mathematics as would be necessary to qualify me for surveying. So I entered the school of Professor Grehan who was teaching where the Stone road crosses the Cincinnati railroad. In the meantime the South had seceded from the Union. Fort Sumpter had been fired on, and everything bid fair for a long hard struggle. At this time the question uppermost in my mind was what would there be left when the war was ended. When school had closed I very calmly reviewed the last two years of my life which brought nothing but disappointment. I finally decided to cut out the Texas trip for the present at least and this I consider was the turning point in my life. All the summer and autumn there was a sure enough love affair growing and ended with the marriage ceremony December 3rd, 1861. The married life which followed was fifty years, one month, and twenty days.
For the first three months we lived with brother Peter, then rented the William Barkley place and to housekeeping 1st of March, 1862. In September Habel was born. At the close of the second year I bought out all of brother Peter's interest in the fifty acre place for which I gave $3000.00 in three payments. We took possession March 1864 and lived there seven years. The first year Habel died and Kearney was born. In June of this year I joined the church at old Republican. Later oh, perhaps August, my wife joined also at the same place. This was during the pastorate of Elisha Pinkerton. In December Henry Foley employed me to take a lot of horses and one jack to Missouri. With Bob Clemmons and Tid Webster as helpers - on the third day of December we started. The weather had been delightful and remained so until about the fourth day. Soon after reaching Indiana there were several rainy days after which came almost zero weather, and from then until we reached St. Louis had to cut ice for the stock to get water. At Vincennes we shipped the jack and Bob, Sid Webster and I with the horses reached St. Louis in good time, but could not cross the Mississippi for the gorged ice. At a heavy expense we stayed in East St. Louis for a week waiting for the gorged ice to move. During this time not even the mail had crossed. Finally there was a plank bridge laid on the ice and we went over the same day. We loaded stock on the cars and with them started for Independence; unloaded there and drove down to the big spring and watered. We then struck out for Blue Mills landing, reached there about sundown and found the Missouri river gorged and the ferry boat frozen tight in the ice. No one to give us information, so after making our way back up the cliff we took the road leading down the river and soon discovered a dim light in the distance and of course made for the light. We found in that humble cabin one whole soul fellow who readily agreed to keep us for the night. Early next morning we found the ferryman who went with us to the landing. Everything looked gloomy; there was no prospect whatever of the gorge moving and our only chance was to put horses on the ice. The ferryman would not give any advice; all he would say was that it might be safe, and might not. We thought exactly as he did and I never in my life wanted to do anything as bad as I wanted to get the horses across the river. So on to the ice we went, myself taking the lead with two horses, and landed safely on the Clay County side. Sid Webster was now willing to help and as I considered providentially got all across safely. I would not take the same risk again for a whole county and all there might be in it. The same day, which was Christmas day, we drove in to Henry Foley's and delivered up the stock. He already knew of our troubles on the way and was very pleased with the good luck we had mixed up as it was with so much bad. At this time brother Henry had been released from the Federal prison at St. Louis and was living in Missouri City. After spending X-mas week we took the cars at Kansas City for Kentucky. The Mississippi was still frozen over at St. Louis and we walked over on the ice, reached home in due time and felt that we had been very much providentially favored and not at all anxious for another trip of the same kind.
We now enter 1865 which brings the year of great rejoicing for the close of the Civil War. When General Lee handed over his sword to General Grant on the 9th of April at Appomatox Court House, a small Virginia village. 1866 was the year of Mettie's birth on November 24th, 1867 with nothing notable to relate. 1868 rising early, working late. 1869 this the year of Lenah's birth, 1870 sold the 50 acre farm to Jacob Kanatser for $5,000.00 in three payments. Made the first payment and could not make the second, so I took the place back, refunded the payment and charged him $6.00 an acre rent. 1871 we moved to Woodford County on Georgetown pike, rented the J.W. Buck farm of 318 acres for $2,000.00. Mr. Frank Farra, my security. Wife and I moved our membership from old Republican to Midway. This was a prosperous year and we enjoyed the new move very much. Uncle Jim Hifner (grandpa) died this year and Mary Belle was born, also moved mother and Frank from Professor Peter's, 1872 rented the farm for another year, bought the old home place of 100 acres for $3,000.00, moved mother and Frank back to the 50 acre place, hired Charley Elkin to live with them and work the place, and also formed a partnership with S.E. Ryley in his new store at Troy. March 1873 we moved to the old home on Clear Creek and worked in the store until July 1st, then dissolved partnership. In August I went to Poughkepsie, New York, and took a course in commercial school. On my return home I entered into partnership with J.W. Pennington and rented Billy May's grocery on S. Broadway. At the close of this year I sold the home place to Waller Nave for cost and moved to Lexington - rented the old Marribel house standing where the Christian church now stands at the corner of Mill and Maxwell. We ran the store one year and sold out to Billy May. This is 1874, Lula May's birth year. 1875 I bought the livery rigs of Adam Mitchell on Vine Street and rented the stand. This, the year of '75, was known as the wet summer, when most all the wheat was spoiled in the shock. 1876 we moved to the Bishop house on South Upper.
At this time Mother and Frank had come to live with us again and it was this year that he had his paralyzed arm amputated and died about the tenth day.
1877 I sold the 50 acre place to Bob Clemmons, and also sold nearly all the livery rigs and moved to the Broughton place, 100 acres, 6 miles out near the Georgetown pike. We lived here two years; here my wife's youngest sister died and here baby Bessie was born November 2, 1877. It was in summer of '78 that Pennington and Lute, my wife and myself went in a Jersey wagon to Dripping Springs in Lincoln county and spent a very pleasant ten days. On the 2nd day of January 1879 we moved in zero weather to the old Lafon house on the hill. It was this year we moved our membership from old Main Street Church to South Elkhorn. Brother Graham and Charlie Williamson doing the preaching. In March 1880 we moved across the road to the New Lafon house. We were moving in as Elijah Bryan was moving out in both of these two last moves. We remained on this farm 5 years, paying $7.00 an acre for 200 acres. January 1881 Willie was born during my five years on this farm. Brother Peter and the boys were living across the road on the hill and the boys worked that farm. It was, perhaps in '83 that granary burned down. It happened on a night when I was on a locked up jury at Nicholasville. My wife and children and one or two colored tenants were all there. It was only the good management of my wife that saved the dwelling. She did this by keeping wet clothes on the shingle roof. The shop which was near by was burned also. The origin of the fire has never been known. My losses in hemp, wheat, and farm tools was near $1,200.00 with no insurance. It was also this year that we had the big snow on May 20th. It was in that year that I was made Elder of the church at South Elkhorn. Lafon insisted on me to remain on the place, but I had to agree to raise 5 acres of tobacco on the halves. This I refused to do, and so I began looking around for another place. Perhaps it was sometime in August that I made up my mind to take a trip to Southern Missouri. While preparing for the trip John Morgan proposed that he go along and had heard through reliable sources how cheap land could be bought in Southern Kentucky. So we decided to make our route together in some of the extreme Southern counties. Stopping over for a few days in Ohio County we were both satisfied that what we were considering was not there. Resuming our journey we crossed the Ohio at Cairo and up through Western Illinois to St. Louis.
We made brother Henry's our headquarters and found him very anxious to make the trip with us through Southern Missouri. After a few days rest we decided to make the trip in his Jersey wagon. With a splendid double team and some camp equipment we got off, with no limit of time for our stay. Our course was almost due South through the border tier of counties until we reached Carthage, the county seat of -------county, where we rested up several days. On taking our leave of Carthage we crossed over into Kansas and went due North taking in all of the border of counties in Eastern Kansas from there to Kansas City. We generally stopped for the night at farm houses and found most everything, for sale. This was chinch bug year and many fields of corn were almost a failure. In our trip of between 2 and 3 hundred miles I saw no county that at all reminded me of Blue Grass Kentucky. In our travels we took not as much as one drink from a running spring, and from many of the shallow wells the water was warm with unnatural taste. While our trip was very enjoyable it was at the same time disappointing. The farmers were generally in debt and living hard. Altogether it might be called a one crop county, corn, of course the staple. After taking into consideration climate, soil, water, health and a lack of crops, the county lacked so much of comparing with Blue Grass Kentucky that my mind was fully made up not to make the move. After our return we only made a brief stay before starting home. In prospecting for a place to move to in 1885 I decided to keep the Bryant land, and so moved to Elkhorn on the hill. That proved to be a very prosperous year. I raised 110 acres of hemp which brought a little over $6,300.00 dollars. Before the close of the year Miss Mary Lafon proposed to me to move back to the old place on the hill, which I did in March 1886. She in the meantime had sold the other place to Mr. Sam Burrier. I remained on the farm this time five years, closing with the year 1890. I continued renting the Bryan land and in 1886 raised 150 acres of wheat which were sold for about the same as the previous year, $6,300.00.
The most prominent incidents of these five years was, first Mette was married in 1887; Sallie and twin sister born the same year; Kearney married in 1889; and my trip to Kansas in 1888, which was my fifth trip to the West. On this trip John Hunt and Mamie went along as far as Kansas City, and I went on to Wellington, Kansas, where Mette and William had gone to housekeeping. This was in August. During my stay there of two weeks, the hot winds set in from the Southwest; the shucks dried up on the corn in the roasting ear stage, and the apples blistered. We traveled around most every day and saw most of Sumner County which has in it some fine land - most especially the Arkansas valley. We made the trip to the then central strip which was just across the border and all of the party went bathing in the Kicaskee river. It was at this point where old man Rogers and his party went into camp and took possession of the surrounding county and defied the Government. It was not long however until he was forced to leave. In company with William and Mette we spent one whole day driving over Palestine township, which seemingly was one vast corn field. Much of the time of my stay was spent at the home of old Mr. and Mrs. Gregson's, who was surely good Christian people and where I was nicely treated. On taking my leave for home my mind was fully made up that Kansas was not and never would be Blue Grass Kentucky.
It was with feelings of sadness that I took leave of Mette and the little baby in the cradle, not knowing of course that so soon she would be permanent in Kentucky. On my return home I stopped over for a few days in Missouri with John and Henry. On reaching home I found everything had been going well and glad to hear from Mette. It was probably in October 1890 that I bought the Bryan land on an equal with McCulling. In 1891 we moved in the cabin while the new house was built just across the road. It was in the winter of '90 and '91 that bad luck again struck me. From a lot of near 200 big fat hogs I sold about 20. Two years previous to this I had lost over 100. During my ten years in the new house we passed through the panic of '93-4-5, and then came the assignment and sale. Mathis bought the place and we moved to the little place as a homestead. Here we remained for eleven years until forced to break up housekeeping. It was during our last year 1911, that she went to the hospital twice. In the year 1907 Sallie and I made our visit to Missouri. We were gone just one month, all of us enjoying it very much. After the sale of the place in August we spent the month of September with Mamie and in October moved to Frankfort to live with A.D. and Sallie. My wife's health soon began failing very fast and she died January 23, 1912. Her doctors pronounced cancer of the liver which caused her death. We brought the body to Lexington. Her funeral services were held in the cemetary chapel and conducted by brother Fairhurst and Roger T. Nooe, and there in that beautiful family lot dear sweet Ma is sleeping the sleep of death. One of the last things she said to me was "Oh, if we could just live over again one day like we used to live."
Our married life covered a period of 50 years, 1 month and 20 days. Of her it can be truly said she did not live for herself alone. She was always ready to lend a helping hand where suffering could be relieved. Especially was she devoted to her children, and no sacrifice was too great to make for them. Surely it was a great blessing for all of the children to be present in her last moments and administer to her wants as she had so often done for them. It is now past four years since our separation and how I have missed her.
In August, I went to live with Willie on the Maysville pike. In the
year 1912 in November I went to Florida and spent the winter with
Kearney. In April 1913 I came to Kentucky and stopped with Sallie and
A.D., who moved in with Mrs. Phelps. In December went to Florida again
and spent the winter with Kearney. In April 1914 cam back to Kentucky
and lived with Sallie and Mrs. Phelps until January 25, 1916. This year
A.D. and Sallie have moved to Keene where these brief sketches are being
written. For more convenient reference I will conclude these sketches
by a statement of my travels in a more condensed form.
1859 two trips to Missouri and also to Salt Lake City and return to Missouri.
1960, my trip to Pikes Peak - return to Missouri and on to Kentucky.
1864 went with Kenry Foley's horses to Missouri.
1873 went to Eastman Commercial School.
1877 went to Burning Springs with my wife, Lute and Pennington.
1884 went to Missouri and Kansas.
1888 my trip again to Missouri and Kansas.
1907 my trip to Missouri with wife and Sallie.
1912 my first trip to Florida.
1913 my second trip to Florida.
1863 I went to Uncle Mike Funk's in Belfountain, Ohio. My two run off wedding trips to Cincinnati and one other with ----.