Paris Clark Martin
b. 1857 d. 1944
This is to be used only on Free Sites and not for Personal Gain courtesy of Steve Jung. great grandson of Paris Clark Martin. I am Carole Martin Ring, Papillion, Nebraska, and am the Martin Researcher. I have recently placed the Family Tree on Rootsweb and am in contact with descendants of John Marshall Martin. I am now in the process of adding more Martins. The second part of the Memoirs is written by a son of Paris. The only mention of Dent county is when he took his father back to Dent county to see where he lived as a boy. That was around 1930 and the Mill was all boarded up with a metal wheel instead of the old wood one. ~ Carole Martin Ring
Autobiography Memoirs of Paris Clark Martin b. 1857 d. 1944
( Compiled by William Lawrence Hilton, son of Paris Clark Martin)
Placed on USGenWeb sites by Carole Martin Ring, great granddaughter of Jasper Newton Martin with permission of Steve Jung, great grandson of Paris Clark Martin .
Paris Clark Martin was a man of dignity and compassion who respected human values. He was well educated for a man of his time and circumstances; this means that he could communicate by the written word; it does not mean that his grammar, spelling, and punctuation met any recognized standards. In 1935, when he was seventy eight years old, he began writing the story of his life. It told of a time in Missouri during the civil War and of the many moves which his father and family made when the lawlessness of the Bushwhackers caused many of the settlers to flee their homes. The narrative continues until Paris left home at the age of fourteen to work for wages; at that point, he digressed to discuss his current situation in the 1930s. He was then living in Nickerson, Kansas, during the Great Depression, too old to work and thankful for the government benefits made available by the New Deal of President Franklin D Roosevelt. His wife was allowed to work in a Works Projects Administration sewing room for a few hours each week for a few cents per hour. He ended this portion by writing, Im going to resume my boyhood days now. This was the last he wrote in that narrative although he lived until 1944.
This present work includes Mr. Martins narratives supplemented by letters which he wrote to his daughter, Bertha (Martin) Hilton, in 1925, 1926, 1936 and 1937, as well as notes about her early life which Bertha wrote to her sons in the 1970s. There is also a genealogical chart, a chronology of events, and extracts from an autobiography and family history written by Mr. Martins youngest son, William. The present editor has supplemented the narratives and letters with explanatory notes in an effort to cover various time gaps.
This is what we know of the life and times of Paris Clark Martin, 1857-1944, a natural gentleman.
Parents of these siblings Unknown. Father born KY, mother born VA
Mother died abt 1821 either in KY or TN
Father died abt 1825 in TN probably middle TN
Note: Children of first marriage were bound out in TN probably Warren, Smith or De Kalb.
Known siblings of William Nelson Martin
William Nelson Martin b. 1816 KY
Jemima Bethane Martin abt 1815 KY(married Lorenza Dow Linder)
Rachel Martin b. abt 1820 TN
Alvis (probably not his first name) may be half brother.
The Martin Family
William Nelson Martin
b. 4 Jan. 1816 mountainous area of Kentucky
d. 10 Oct 1901 Shell Knob (possibly Golden)
buried Viney Cemetery, Golden
Children by his first wife Unknown
Martin, John Marshall Dr. Marsh (7 children known)
b. 5 Apr 1837 TN
d. 8 Aug 1900 Barry Co., MO
buried Viney Cemetery next to his father
married twice 1. Lydia Ann Martin Lyddann
2. Emily Louise Odell (Toadvine)
Nepthial Neph B Martin (2 children known)
b. abt 1839 TN
d. 1864 Crawford Co. MO (Civil War Union)
marriage: Martha Adeline Kitching (step sister)
Josiah Joe Martin (2 children known)
b. abt 1842 TN
marriage 1 Celia (Selah) Toadvine
Second Marriage to Rebecca Parsley , DeKalb Co. Tennessee (Smithville)
James Robert b. 1844 TN Dr. Jim (10 children known)
d. 1921 Baker, Oregon
m 1. Susan Cornelius Daniels
m 2. Elizabeth Simmons
Jasper Newton Martin (9 children known)
b. 26 May 1847 TN
d. April 1928, near Haskell , Okmulgee Co., OK
marriage 1: Nancy Ann Morgan Harbison (previously married to a Martin.) marriage 2: Rebecca Jane Sanders b. Dec 1865, White River, Barry Co., MO
Mary Jane Martin (2 children known)
b. 1850 TN
d. 29 June 1887
buried Viney Cem, near Golden Mo with husband David F. Mills
William Nelson Martins Third marriage to Elizabeth Ann (Mrs.) Kitching nee Merritt
b. 27 Dec 1822
d. 1 Sept 1901
buried in Pierce Cemetery, Aurora , Lawrence Co.,
Paris Clark Martin (5 children survived)
b. 11 Oct 1857 TN
d. 28 Apr 1844 Nickerson, Reno, Ks
buried Wildmead Cem, Nickerson, Ks
marriage 1: Emma Ryan
marriage 2: Amanda Jane Street
marriage 3: Hannah Cordelia Heathcock
Josephine Jocie Henryetta (5 children)
b. 1861, Dent Co. MO
d. 1954 Barry Co.,
buried in Painter Cem, Barry Co.,
marriage 1. Joseph Steward Brazle
marriage 2. George Redmon James
Elizabeths Kitching nee Merritts Children
William Kitching/Kitchen (4 known children)
b. 7 Mar 1841(OR 42) TN
d. 14 Feb 1924 Boise, Ada Co., Idaho
m (2) Julia A Caldwell abt 1882 in Barry Co. MO
Martha Adeline Kitching (6 known children)
b. abt 1840 TN
d. bet 1876 and 1878 , place unk
marriage: 1. Nepthali B Martin
marriage : 2 James Cook
Henry C. Kitching (3 known children)
b. Oct 1844 TN
d. bet 1920 and 1930 TX
marriage 1: Martha J Martin (sister of John Ms first wife)
marriage 2: Mary L LNU
Mary Ann Kitching (had 12 children, 8 known living)
b. June 1847
d. bet 1920 and 1930 Aurora Twp, Lawrence Co, MO
buried probably near Aurora
marriage 1: David F. Mills
James Fleming Kitchen (had five children all died by 1901, no descendants)
b. 21 Jan 1851 TN
d. 20 Nov 1920 Aurora, Lawrence Co. MO
buried in Maple Park Cemetery, Aurora
marriage 1: Martha Levina Chastain
PARIS CLARK MARTIN'S
1816 - 1872
Compiled from original manuscript by his grandsons, Kenneth L. Hilton and Curtis Eugene Hilton
Nickerson, Kansas November 20, 1935
I am asked by some of my children to write some brief sketches of my life from my earliest recollections up to the present time so I though it would be proper to tell them a little in regard to my ancestors just my father and mother and my Grand Mother on my mothers side are about all that I know of personally and not a great deal about my Grand mother and as this is something new and unexpected to me I do not promise any thing very interesting but as I have lived seventy eight years I have saw many changes in all walks of life some of them very interesting to me but how they will appear to other people I will have to let them be the judge.
My father was born January 4th 1816 in Kentucky in the mountanius region but otherwise I do not know any thing of what portion of Kentucky it was and about all I know of his life up to the time I was about three years old I learned from him he was the oldest of six children his mother died when he was a small boy and his father married another woman they had two children a girl and a boy then his father died after they left Kentucky they had two children a girl and a boy then his father died after they left Kentucky and went to Tenn. When my grand father died the children by his first wife were all bound out and father lost track of his half sister and he never heard of her any more but his half brother growed up to manhood went to California and finally came back MO and by some means heard of father and came to visit us. I was then past 13 years of age he came early in March and my father asked me if I could catch a mess of fish for Uncle Alvis there was some ice in the creek and I had never fished before in cold weather but I put out three bank hooks and caught one ten pound catfish after that we had all the fish we wanted we lived near a large creek and the fish were plentifull I caught a great many while we lived there and seldom caught one that weighed less than six pound the largest one I caught weighed twenty pounds I sold it for one dollar as we had no use for it.
Wel my uncle went home he lived in Cedar county MO was married living on a farm he was a large fine looking man weighed more than two hundred pound but got over heated that summer in the harvest field and died so I only saw him the one time.
Well as I will probly refer to my father and Mother occasionally along what little I write in regard to my self I will first say now my Mother was born in Old Virginia December 27-1822 and like my Father moved with her family to Tenn when she was 10 years old her father was a farmer and a contracting carpenter he lived in Nashville a while then settled on a farm in Smith County where he died aged 59 years he owned a farm of two hundred acres all fenced off in ten acre lots all sowed to red clover he would plow what he wanted to cultivate and the next year it would go back to clover as clover never died there if taken proper care of they used bulltong plows them days to break their ground grandfather in his last years used a turning plow made at home from a tree that growed as twisting as they could find the mould board was made of wood and a black smith would put a steel shear ongrand father would not use a turning plow for some years as he said they would kill the land but he finally was converted to the idea and made himself a turning plow I myself have seen plows with wooden moulboard in Dent county Mo but was too small then to use a plow and I would guess it took a man with a beard on with plenty of patience to use a plow with a wooden moulboard.
I dont suppose any of my children will be very much interested in regard to my grand parents but will tell here how they come to live in Kansas and the West My uncle Louis Merritt went to Cal when he was a young man and staid two or three years and came back to Tenn he saved up one thousand dollars in gold after paying his expenses home and that was lots of money them days when men would work by the month for six dollars a month. I have heard my father tell of a man that owed him four dollars and that man came to him and told him he would work a month to pay the debt and he told him all rite and he went to work and worked a month thinking he would only pay the debt but father said when his time was up he gave him two dollars and the man was very proud to get the two dollars I have just wrote about this circumstance to show the difference in times now and about one hundred years or less ago Well this by the way
When uncle Louis came home he soon had the folks all in the notion to go to California but I think it was several years before they all got ready to make the trip Grand father Merritt died and the estate had to be wound up and they never started for California till the spring of 12857 my father was not financialy able so did not try to make the trip but all others of my near relatives started and got as far as Bates County Missouri near the Kansas line there they heard the Indians were on the War path and killing a great many people so they stoped there in Bates County Mo and I think staid there till the civil war was ended I am not sure just when they left Mo but think it was about the end of the civil war.
Well the big scare about the Indians was caused by Mormans killing a large train of people from Ark in order to get what they had at least that is according to history they were camped near Salt Lake City where there was some good grazing and were letting their teams rest up before starting across the mountains they persuaded the people to give up their arms then proceeded to murder all of them but three little girls whom they thought were too young to remember the killing but one of them did remember.
But it stoped my folks from going to Cal and my grand mother and one daughter staid in Miami county Kans one daughter married a man from Iron County two boys went to California but soon came back to Mo and died in Iron County.
Of my brothers and sisters I will sketch along as I tell of my own life as myself is what I started to write of. With this page I am going to start telling a part of what I know of my own life I am going to leave out most of the gad things that I can and tell of all the good things that I remember of I have read the memors also the histories of several great men and have never read of any thing bad any of them done except in the life of Daniel Webster by Theodore Rosevelt and some other man dont remember his name now but he was a united states senator at one time and in the life of Alexander Hamilton authors name forgotten but he told some rather hard stories on Hamilton but they are both dead now and so are their Biogripheres so it dont make any difference
But the case with my self is a little different for I mite live till some folks would read what I write and I dont want to have to take anything back or even blush to hear of it
But I may have to do either but most that I write will be of things that happened long ago that is some of them happened and some of them just took place for part of the time it was with me like to old man said about allowing the pigs in his garden he said he allowed them in there just because he couldnt help himself and I think that is the way of most people as they go through life some things could be prevented and some things could not and just to illustrate this one thought I will relate what happened to me last Sunday was a week ago the preacher wanted to take a collection for a thanks giving offering he set the basket to hold the collection on the table near the rostrum and he stood near the table then he said for the people every body to march by the basket whether they put in any thing or not but he was standing near by where he could see who put in and who did not well I had put in a little for the Sunday school and a little for the regular expenses and had no more to spare so I did not march around and would not if I had the same chance again I have just wrote of this to explain the difference there is in some peoples disposition
And will now start in on my early child hood but cannot promise any thing very interesting nor any thing unusual from a great many other children if they only remembered things that took place in their lives as I have and I remember many things that was interesting to my self at the time but would not be interesting to any one now I will just cite one case to prove this assertian before I start in on my early history and that was when my dady gave me a sound thrashing for what he termed sassing him I did not mean it that way and I dont know of any Father now that would pay any attention to the language I used but it was the only whipping my father ever gave me and my half brother Henry Kitching was really the cause of that whipping I was 12 years old and when my father quit whipping me I told him if he ever struck me again I would leave home and never come back
Well I must start now and tell what I can more of my own history but will rely on my mother for what I know of my self before I was about two and half years old I was born some where in middle Tenn Oct 11 1857 and when I was four weeks old my Father and family started for Crawford County MO my father had been to Mo twice before but would get home sick for Tenn and go back but would soon tire of Tenn and want to go back to MO where the streams were full of fish and where there were lots of deer and wild turkeys also most all kinds of small animals such as coons possums minks and orters
I can remember my self when all such animals were very plentifull in MO where we lived I heard my mother say one time she had eat deer and fish till she hoped she would never see another one that was in time of the civil war but I dont remember the date our trip from Tenn was uneventfull so far as I kno but I will tell of one circumstance that happened while on the road to illustrate Brother Jaspers disposition my fathers team that he was moving with consisted of two yoke of oxen probla rather small but I never hear them say about that but one nite they camped near a farm house and the next morning the man came out to the camp and asked my father if he would trade one of his yoke of oxen for another yoke that he had said they were good large steers but he had to keep them up all the time as no fence would turn them one yoke of my father did not match very well as one steer was larger than the other one and that was the ones my father wanted to trade but the man noticed the difference in their size and said he did not think the small steer could pull up with the larger one but Jasper was there ready to help out with the trad and spoke right up and told the man o yes he can he goes a head of the other steer all the time that fixed that part of the trade and father let him have the other yoke of oxen but then made a good trade as they hitched the large yoke to the wagon and let the others follow
I have always heard that it was bad manners to tell tales on dead people but my fathers and mothers family are about all dead so if I write anything about my self I will have to mention them occasionally Jasper was at home longer than any of my other Brothers and will come in for more criticism but I will leave them all now for the present and tell a little about my self but will depend on my mother mostly for dates up till I was abut eight years old then she fades out of the picture my earliest recollection was in the spring of the year after I was two years old in October before my father built a large hewed log house they put up the wall and laid the loft and would carry the boards up a ladder and throw them down on the up stairs floor then hand them up to the men that was on top nailing on the board it was Brother Jo Martins job to carry up the board and hand to the ones that was nailing them on My brother Joe was a great hand for children and he probably carried me up to where they were covering the house this happened before he was married Well I was up on the loft with him and he took me in his arms put a board in my hand and held me up so I could reach it to one of the men that was covering the house so I told my mother what I had done as most children do and she always remembered the circumstance and how old I was at the time.
The next circumstance that I remember of was the next winter the house I have been writing of was burned down with everything we had in the way of household good my brother Nep and his wife were living with us and between them and our family they had nine feather beds and five counterpanes some of them very costly they would be called bedspreads now in that day people took more pride in the way their beds looked than they do now a front room or parlor (only the rich had parlors) as there was always one or more beds in a front room or what we call living room the majority of people of the poor class them days had one or two rooms cooked on the fire place and as the saying goes had all things common I will just add here that when that house was burned we were all gone from home was at Marsh Martins at a candy pulling Marsh and my father asked my mother to go and make the candy she did not want to go but went to please my father they all thought the house was burned by a young man that had received a licking a few days before by my brother Nep
The next spring or early summer we moved to Tom Hows mill I was then past three years old and remember the trip but dont remember any one that was with us except my mother and Jim Kitchin he was then about ten years old and I think drove the steers that pulled the wagon We stope at noon to get some dinner and I complained of something hurting me about my stomach so mother picked me up laid me across her lap and round a tick in my nable I told mother I was nearly dead We staid at Tom Hows mill till I was about five years old I think Jocy my sister was born in April after we moved there at any rate she was small all the time we lived there and I had no one to play with consequently I put in a great deal of my time at the mill with my Father watching him pore up the grain in the hopper and looking at the big wheel turn that run all the machinery they ground corn and wheat and carded wool and made rolls out of the wool for the women folks to spin and weave into cloth one of my favorite playing places was at the mill race near where the water poured down over the big water wheel it was what was called an overshot wheel
Where they do not have sufficient fall for an overshot wheel they turn the water on to eh underside of the wheel and call them an undershot wheel but they dont have as much power as on overshot wheel such power wheels are about out of date now and have been replaced by the turbine wheel as they have more power
Tom Hows mill is situated near the head of the Merimac river a fine stream of water it rises in Dent County MO about 12 or 15 miles nearly east of Salem the county seat the south part of the country is rough and hilly and when we lived there had very few inhabitants but all the north part is smoother and is made up so far as I can remember of low hills and small valleys heavy oak timber covered the hills quite a bit of large white oak trees I have seen the white oaks loded with acorns and under some of them the ground would be covered it was a paradice for hogs as the white oak acorns are large and rather sweet and when properly roasted make fairly good eating for people when my father moved to Tom Hows mill Mr how put him in charg of the mill also a small country store and he organized what they called a home guard of about one hundred men but it turned a little from a home guard Mr how had been a soldier in the Mexican war the civil war was going on at that time in the United States but my father was past the age to surve in the war and was probably glad of the fact but the people now that are getting up in years all wanting the time to come when they will be seventy but I am thinking most of the aged will be out of the way before seventy comes Well the last few lines does not belong to this write up but I will put it down any way
I believe I left my self playing at the mill race that comes along the side of a steep hill and started at the head of the river and ran I think about three hundred yards along the side hill to the mill it was about four feet wide and enclosed with lumber except the top which was left open and made a fine place for children to dable and otherwise play at one time a woman that lived in the neighbor hood brought some home made maple sugar to the store to sell and my father bought it It was moulded into cakes some what larger than a dinner plate and probla about 4 or 6 inches thick my father gave me one of the cakes and told me to take it home which I did by carry it on my head carrying things on ones head was very common in those day many of the women would carry a bucket of water on their head and one in the hand
Well you see the women was not allowed a vote them days and some of them actually done more work than their men a good many of the men of those days were passing through the transition period or rather living in those times and thought a good deal as the American Indian did and thought it a mans privilege to fish and hunt a good part of the time and woman was depend on as much or more than the man to rustle the clothing that was among the poor class of people but the poor class were numerous in some countries in that day and time but all the men were not of that class Well we are still at Hows mill and I will soon be to where I can depend on my own recollection for what I write for in the spring of the year before I was five years old my mother took me and Jocy to visit a family by the name of Murray they had a boy about my size and while we were there he asked my how old I was but I could not tell him for I did not know but on the road home I asked Mother how old I was and she said I would be five years old the eleventh of next October and I never forgot my age after that the reason I know it was in the spring of the year the weather was warm and the little Mury boy (Hinus was his name) had a new hickory bark whip and just as we got ready to start he brought it out to show me how he could make it pop Mother started on and I think had went about fifty yards after he had poped his whip a few times I asked him to let me pop it but he said he was afraid I would run off with it that was fatal to me for it put an idea in to my head that I had not thought of but he gave me the whip and I could pop it so easy I just scampered after Mother and him after me squaling but I could beat him running and got to Mother first I thought I would be safe when I got to Mother as I always had been but greatly to my surprise she took the whip and gave me what I thought was a pretty hard whipping with it and then gave it back to Hinus That was my first lesson in etiquette that I remember of. While we lived there my Fathers widowed sister and her two boys John and Ike came from Tenn on their way to Webster county Mo their name was Linder I may have something to say later in regard to them.
While we lived there near the mill Jim Kitching and Mary Martin afterwards Mary Oliver hunted and caught several rabbits my folks had two good hunting dogs named She and Crocket every one kept a dog them days most people kept 2 or more Jim and Mary caught most of the rabbits alive and would bring them to the house and let me kill them with a stick they kept for the purpose that was great sport for me and I suppose they enjoyed seeing me kill them Jim and Mary were about the same age and were about seven years older than my self I always thought lots of them and when I was growing up I thought Jim Kitchen the best boy I had ever seen I though lots of Mary also but loved my sister Adaline as well as I did my Mother if not more so she was my mothers oldest child by her first man and a very kind hearted woman
Along in the summer before I was four years old she made me a suit that is pants and waist of oil red calico her and mother aimed it for a Sunday suit I had always wore dresses before When my sister finished making it she took off my dress to try my new clothes on but when she went to take them off she got in trouble for I would not have them off till she made me another suit and never would wear dresses any more
I guess I was peted too much as I was the first baby in the family for more than seven years my Mother told me that when I was a baby and a long time after that I was peted a great deal more than any of the other children because it had been so long since there was a baby to pet Well we were leaving Thom Howes mill late in the summer before I would be five years old the coming Oct father rented a farm or rather the buildings about five miles from Hows mill and I think we staid there til the next spring Just one thing I will mention while we lived on that place and that to show what a bad boy I was my sister had a little girl two years younger than myself and I did not like her very well because I though they, that was her mother and my mother, peted her more than they did me and made me wait on her so one day they told me to take a tin cup and Bell a drink of water from the spring It was just a few steps from the house so I took the cup and went away a few steps and drew a little from my own faucet and brought it and give it to Bell she drank a little and called to her Mother and told her this water was salty so her mother and my mother came and looked in the cup and then is when I met up with my second licking but it did not make me think any more of Bell I will state here that Bells Father was my half brother and her mother was my half sister. Bells father was away in the union army and Bells mother was staying at our house the man that owned this farm was named Buter Ball he came to our house once while we lived there he had a very heavy beard that completely covered his mouth the day he came to he house I was out doors and saw him as he came up to the house and I ran in the house and told mother there was a man coming that did not have any mouth and that was what I thought. One other little incident while we lived on the Beuter Ball farm there was a neighbor lived about a half mile from there and they had a little girl probly a year or two older than myself and I went there one day to play with her and as I came home I felt something on the back of my neck so I felt back there with my fingers and caught a big louse and when I looked at it it was a stranger to me and I took it home and showed it to mother she said my thats a grayback it being the first one I had ever seen, their son had served a term in the army under Lincolns first call served his time out and was discharged and came home.
I dont remember the date that we left the Buter Ball place but while we lived there my father bought a farm about two miles from where we lived over on Hutcheons Creek that creek emptied into the Merimack river about six miles below Hows mill the creek and also the Merimac river were very fine little streams of water and contained a great many fish I could see them swimming around in the water and one day told mother I wanted to go fishing so she made me a hook from a pin and put a line to it and I tied it to a small pole and struck out for the creek I could see the fish but they would not bit my hook but after I got older I could catch a few they called silversides they were a small kind of fish well my trouble with Bell was not over as they were still with us the place my father bought we always called the Severes place, that was the mans name that my father bought the farm of it had a large hewed log house on it the house was a full story and a half high soon after going there father built a room for a kitchen while we lived there I had trouble with Bell again I had a cat I thought a great deal of it was gentle and I loved to play with it one day Bell caught the cat while I was out of the house and tied several string around its tail she used sewing thread she had the cat when I came in so the evidence was genuine but I took the cat and cut the strings from its tail and turned it loose thinking that would be the last of my trouble about the cat and went on about my play but soon caught Bell tieing more strings around the cats tail so I gave Bell a pretty hard slap and took the string from its tail for I thought they hurt the cat but Bells squalling soon brought her mother and she commimicated my evil doing to my mother and the result was I received my third dose of correction which in that day and time a little switching was considered the only remedy to stop such behavior as I had been guilty of Well as time went on my sister Jocy and Bells sister Phronie soon got large enough to play with us and we four would go to the woods make play houses and enjoyed ourselves fine Bell and I would gather sheep sorrel each one would cram their mouth full and chew it up good and see which could make the sourest face while we lived there my brother Jo Martin shot a hawk and just crippled its win so it could not fly and he brought it to our house and gave it to me (I think he was married then) I was very much pleased with the hawk and thought I would have a fine pet so I took the hawk on my left arm and started up in the timber where Jasper and James Kitching were cutting wood but before I reached the boys the hawk sunk his bill into my left hand the scar was there till I was nearly grown when I got to where the boys were thy asked what was the matter I told them I wanted them to kill that hawk so Jasper took it and cut its head off
It was a warm drizzly day the two boys cut down trees would chain them to the front axel of a wagon (they just used the front wheels) and drag them down to the house they worked at this wood hauling until very late that evening. I know there is nothing interesting about his but that nite and the next day was long to be remembered for that day was the last day of December 1863 and about dark the wind went to the north west and snow began falling I dont know how long it snowed but I know the next morning there was quite a snow on the ground and the weather was bitter cold we had a truck patch probla an acre fenced in just south of the house and the men folks had stacked some wild hay there and would turn the cattle in there of nights. The next morning after the change in the weather father sent Jim Kitching out to see about the cattle and he came back and said the steers were all dead we went out to see them and there they lay just as they had laid down with their heads up father said the reason they froze was because they were tired and warm and soon laid down non of the other cattle died that nite but there were thirteen all told and they all died but two during that cold spell they had no feed for them except that wild hay and the cold was so sudden they were not able to endure the cold on the feed they had I have read of that cold January several times since I was a grown man my father had several head of hogs running in the woods as he had bought all the hogs that three men owned for people that is most of the sold everything they had and went to where there was an army or some place where they thought they would be more secure than where they were for there were a great many bad men in that country Well my fathers hogs all died but two he was feeding them for meat one of them belonged to my sister Adaline it was a big white sow I well remember seeing them butcher that hog.
There was a drouth in that country the summer of 63 and all the corn they got they hauled it from Patoria I think that was as far west as the Railroad came at that time I heard my father and mother say there was frost in August that summer but I dont remember seeing it but that was the first yellow corn bread I ever remember of seeing I suppose it was shipped in from the north but I thought it tasted pretty good the reason my father left from Hows mill some of his friends told him if he did not leave there he would be killed as he was doing business for people on both sides so he turned the mill over to an old man by the name of Lamkins and left there I was sent back there to mill the summer before I was seven years old with a turn of corn tied across the horse the old man came out and helped me down off the horse and said I was a might little boy to send to mill but father and the older boys said they were afraid to go as there had been on sixteen year old boy in that neighborhood killed some time before that people now can hardly imagine what a civil war means they are called a civil war but they are anytning but civil some men get so hardened they will kill a boy because his father is fighting on the other side and I heard of a boy being killed there in Barry County Mo when asked why they killed him they said he was siting on a log and they just wanted to see him fall off the log I knew both the men after the war such things are to be deplored but I just wrote the above to show what a low grade human nature will get to and to warn any one that reads these poorly written pages what they may expect in case there is ever a war to come up in this country of ours. During the summer before I was seven years old I went to brother Marsh Martins to stay over nite and some time in the nite his wife took sick Marsh said she had the colick but I did not know what was the trouble and dont know now but Marsh told me to go home and tell mother to come it was a half mile or more the night was dark and there were plenty of timber wolves in that country at that time but I went home and told mother what Marsh told me and she went I thought of them wolves but did not mention it. Some time after that there were a lot of soldiers stoped at our house and staid over nite I heard my father tell them about me coming home in the nite and one of them said I wuld make a good solider. Well I dont remember the date but some time during the war there was a man come to our house my father was well acquainted with him it was near noon and soon after they sat down to dinner the man said well I killed the devil last nite he said some one come to my house and knocked on the door and I got my gun and said who is there and he said the devil so I let him have it that impressed me very much but that is all I remember about the circumstance but it goes to further illustrate what war is I will tell one more incident of the war in that part of the country. There was a man by the name of Broox live several miles from us but father knew him well he came to our house one day and staid quite a while he had the largest shot gun I ever saw I heard him tell father it weighed twenty pound he also told father that seven men came to his house just a few nights before hunting him but said he was about fifty yard from the house behind a rail fence said they come and asked his folks where he was and when they would not tell them they got some fire and come around to the back end of the house in plain view for him and he turned his gun loose with both barrels and killed two and crippled one more he said they got away as soon as they could.
Such things as the above made quite an impression on my mind but I was young and dont remember only the main points in the narative about such things. We lived on what we called the Severes place until the war closed in fact till the winter of 1865 and while we lived there I staid quite a lot with sister Mary Ann Mills as her husband was gone from home quite a lot of the time there were lots of timber wolves in that country then we could hear them howl quite often after dark. One nite I dreamed the wolves come to our house and crawled through a large crack that was above the bed and come to my bed and eat my head off and I said to myself well I am dead now but when I awake I was surprised to find I was still alive. While there with Mary Ann I had another dream I thought the Devil come and built a big fire under an over hanging rock there near the Mirimack River I thought there was a hold down through that rock large enough to admit a man and the Devil had gathered a great crowd of men (there was not any women in the crowd) he was taking the men one at a time putting them down through that hole in the rock I was standing near the devil very much interested watching him put the men through that hole and he finally grabed me and started to shove me down but one of my legs caught on top and he said oh Ill let you go and hoisted me back and stood me up near the hole but it so flustrated my dream that I woke up and I dont know yet whether the Devil really aimed to cast me into the fire or was just funning a little with me but I know I run a pretty narrow risk keeping out of that hole and I know I have run just as narrow risks and come just as near geting killed 4 times since then as I did in escaping that hole but I will not recite them at this time but may tell of one or two later.
Well we are still on the Severes farm but my brother Nep come back home on sick leave I think that was the summer of 1864 his home and sisters were in Crawford County probla twenty or twenty five miles from where we lived in Dent county MO they went down there but he got gradually worse and died some time that summer father and Mother took my sister Jocy and went down to where my Brother and family lived and left myself and James Kitching and sister Mary to keep housel I think we staid at least two weeks I know we had nothing to eat the last several days but corn bread and green onions I also know the fire went out one day and Jim and Mary sent me about two miles after a chunk of fire matches them days were not much used there were w00 in a box and they cost ten cents a box and the ten cents were hard to get them day I can look back now and remember that Jim and Mary was good to me as they would not try to whip me for any thing although they were seven years older than I was but they would make me mad occasionally and I would get me some rocks and throw at them but they would run from me and never offer to strike me or anything I might do but they were good children and were good people as long as they lived at that time Brother Jasper was in the army and the others were scattered around My Mother came and took us children down to Neps a few days before he died then we all went back to Dent County and I still had Bell to contend with but dont remember of having any trouble with her but one time after that and that was the next fall my father went off one day and brought back a meal sack full of apples he rode up near the barn I could see he had a sack full of something up before him on the horse he took it down and put it in the corn crib when he went to the house I went to the crib to investigate there were a lot of cornshucks in the crib and he had covered the apples with the shucks but I could smell them so I opened the sack and took one out and put it in my pocket Bell never followed in the crib but was spying around outside as soon as she knew that I had an apple in my pocket she ran to the house and told her grandpap that I had got an apple out of the sack I went along behind her and heard her tell on me I thought I mite get scolded or possibly a little whipping but father just said to me I must let the apples alone and not get any more but never told Bell she could have any so then I was doubly pleased and happy well it seems strange to me but I dont remember another thing about that sack of apples but I remember a circumstance that took place soon after we came back from Crawford County after Nep died times were awfull hard at that time our cattle had all died the winter before but one cow and she died in the spring of yellow murrin so we had no cow and had not raised anything but a little garden and some turnips in the fall but what I had in mind to tell was what I thought was the best meals vituals I ever ate and do not think yet I have ever ate one that done me as much good or tasted quite so well this took place soon after we come home from Crawford county Marsh Martin my oldest half brother had joined the army and was stationed at Salem the county seat of Dent county so one day father and mother went to Salem and took myself and Jocy along and when dinner was ready we all went to the table I looked the table over but did not see anything to eat but biscuit bread and fried bacon and at that time I would not eat a bite of fat meat but seen there was a lot of fried meat grease in the dish and thought I would try it and took out some into my plate and I thought it the best stuff with them hot biscuit I had ever tasted and I have never forgotten that meal I know it had been a long long time since we had either flower bread or meat no milk or butter and yet we fared better than some other people in the neighborhood I remember going late that fall to a neighbors house they had two little girls they had on dresses made out of an old badly worn quilt a pile of corn shucks and the boots pulled off the stalks were laying in one corner of the room opposite of the fire place and that was their bed that was civil war and drouth combined but there was one good thing that probla kept some people from starving there was quite a lot of wild deer in the country so people that had a gun and could hunt could hunt could kill a deer occasionally and have some meat but my father never hunted I heard him say he never shot at a deer in his life but Jasper Martin was quite a hunter and when he was at home killed a few deer the boys also caught some coons and other fur bearing animals in the winter time when the fur was good and generally eat the coons unless the coon is pretty o ld they eat fairly well so do the ground hog they are an animal that will weigh probla 20 or 25 pounds it has been a long time since I have seen one but suppose there are some yet back east.
Well in the spring of 1865 the war closed and a young man that had been raised by one of our neighbors came home and pretty soon him and my widowed sister married and they soon moved to them selves and that relieved me of Bell that summer of 1865 is almost a blank in my mind I can remember hoeing corn down on the lower field and that is about all that I know of that summer but father got the Kansas fever that summer and a long in November he was ready to start to Kans and I certainly remember that trip We had traveled a while on the second day when we came up with a man by the name of Smith he had lived in our neighborhood so they stoped to visit with him and the same nite it fell quite a snow so we staid all the next day they had a boy about my size and I thought eh was awfull mean he would slip up to me and pinch me and do other mean things to me they had old time wooden bedsteads they were made high so a little bed could be pushed under them so I sat on one of the beds people them days always kept one or more beds in the living room well I was siting on the bed and he walked up and pinched me so I gave him a kick in the mouth and knocked out two of his front teeth. I thought AI was sure of a whipping then but father asked me why I kicked the boy I told him he pinched me and that ended the trouble but father went out and got an empty house and we moved into it and we staid there several days till the weather got better and used water out of a small stream of water that run through a channel of solid rock in a cave We went from there to James town in Phelphs County MO there I saw my first railroad train also the first burying of a Free Mason we camped near the cemeterry and saw the Masons march with their uniforms on.
WE staid at Jamestown a few days the weather moderated and we struck out again for Miamma County Kans there was some snow on the ground and the weather was rather cold you may ask how do I remember such things as how the weather was but I will tell you I walked nearly all day to keep warm and that nite my legs aked to bad I could not go to sleep when I first lay down but father had got a house with a fire place to camp in and there was a weavers loom set up near that fire place and mother made a bed on the floor between the loom and the fireplace and James Kitching and myself occupied that bed and I struck my feet out near the fire to warm them and they soon got warm and my legs stoped aking that was a valuable lesson to me I always knew after that how to cure the leg ake if I could get to where there was a fire or fire heat of any kind such writing as the above may sound simple to some people; but I am not writing these pages for the public but just for my children to read when they have nothing else to do and partly to show them the difference in the times when I was a child and the times of today But I am not a General Sherman and cannot write entertaining like he did but I will tell a little more of that first days drive from Jamestown my father took the wrong road when he left Jamestown and instead of going north west he went northeast and late that afternoon we met an old gentleman and I suppose his wife and father stoped and inquire about the road and told them where we wanted to go the old lady done the talking she told father he was on the road to St. Louis and told him he had better turn around and go back and get on the right road but he would not do that and took the first left hand road he came to as it was going north west well we did not go far till we come to the house I described of staying at it was on the breaks of the Osage River and just below where the Gasconade empties into the Osage and I think about two miles above where the Osage empties into the Mo river we ferried the Osage at that place and the country is surely rugged I never had saw such a rough country and it looked horrible to me when we got to where we could see the river it looked horrible to me when we got to where we could see the river it looked like it mite be the jumping off place the hill was so long and steep it did not look as though a waggon could ever get down to the river but we made the trip safely and drove the next day and camped on top of a big hill because there was a big dead log there my mother tried to get father to drive down in a hollow where there was plenty of timber as there was no timber on that hill except that log but father was boss and there he staid my mother and myself talked about camping on that bald hill almost as long as she lived that nite the weather turned colder the wind went to the north west and some snow fell I dont know how much but next morning was very cold so much so that mother brought mine and Jocys breakfast to the waggon and Jocy and myself just raised up in bed and ate our breakfast we had coffee made partly from coffee that cost one dollar a pound and partly from what they called essence of coffee I have read since I was grown that what they called essence of coffee was made by boiling sorgum molasses till it would form a crust then crushing or grinding it very fine and adding a small percent of a good grade of finely ground coffee the essence was put up in small tin boxes and sold for 35 cents per box Neal Mills was with us then also Mary Ann and their baby John they come to us while we were at Jamestown father went back to Dent county while we were at Jamestown on some business mother and they come back with him while we were at Jamestown Mills bought a box of matches paying ten cents for them and when we would camp they would use his matches to kindle a fire and most every time Mills would call fathers attention that them matches cost ten cents I heard father laugh and tell mother that he aimed to pay Neal for half the matches but was going to wait till they got through I know father just loved to hear him grumble about paying ten cents for those matches Well I will go back to my story on the old Bald hill father got on a horse that morning and hunted up a vacant house and we moved to it We staid there a few days till the weather got better so many people had left their homes in Mo in time of war that empty houses was not hard to find but after we left that house my mind is almost a blank till we drove up to uncle Bill Yorks in Miamma County Kans but one thing I remember there were 5 or 6 men passed us driving or leading a horse with a saddle on his back and father said he supposed some one had stold the horse and the men had followed and killed the man as that was in the winter after the civil war ended in the spring of 1865 that seems a long time back to me and I am not as old yet as Mathusely was but we dont read of them having any wars them days we went through the town of Butler on our way that was the county seat of Bates County Mo We noticed there was not an old house in town they had all been burned in time of the war there were just a few houses there when we went through but several men were there putting up new houses.
When we drove up to Uncle Bill York and aunt Nan York came out with her first baby on her arm grandma Merritt was there also but uncle Bill York was off some distance from the house diging a well he was down six or seven feet and had struck a little water he stoped diging and him and Jasper talked a few minutes and a little water run in while they were talking uncle had a tin cup down in the well and he picked it up and diped up a cup of water and drank it I said to him my thats muddy and he yes its a little riley but that dont hurt it it tastes good but I always remembered uncles water that was a little riley We landed at uncle Yorks the first day of Feb 1866 and therefore was on the road something over two months the weather was so bad bad quite a lot of the time we could not travel and Father seemed to love to travel as he never staid in one place very long as long as he was boss we staid in Kansas just a year as we started to leave there on the first day of Feb 1867
When we arrived at uncle Bill Yorks father went I think the next day and rented a farm of a widow by the name of Brinkley but probla no kin to the Dr of that name there was a log house on the place set back from the fence about fifty yards as well as I remember I was walking as usual and was the first one over the fence (there was no gate) when I got pretty close to the house a large gang of Prairie chickens came out of the house and walked away and seemed as gentle or more so than our tame chickens do now they were very plentifull there at that time as there was no market for them and people just killed a few for their own use I seen Brother Jasper kill three at one shot with a rifle gun they were sitting on the fence and he got in range of them and just clipped their heads off they were right in front of our door on the fence
I was fairly pleased with Kans as the country there was fairly level and no rocks in the roads or fields it was a comparatively new settled country and very little land in cultivation the land was mostly prairie and when warm weather came all those prairies was covered with green grass and wild flowers the flowers were small but were a beautiful sight and I thought it the most lovely country I had ever seen and cannot say to day that I have changed my mind to any extent there was something else about the country that pleased me about as much as the beauty of the landscape I was then eight years old and had worked in the field with the hoe the last two seasons hoeing corn as where we had lived in Missouri people plowed their corn with one horse and a small shovel plow and could not get all the weeds and the corn had to be hoed I mean cultivated with the hoe by hand that part of the work generally fell to the lot of the women and children in the summer after I was six years old in the fall I was given a hoe and had to hoe half as much as the older children and there was plenty of exercise about that job.
Well Kansas when we first went there the year of 1866 was rather newly settled as I have said before and comparatively no weed in the field and along in the spring of the year father said to me one day Paris I am going to send you to school this summer as there is no weeds in the fields here and no hoeing to do and of course I was delighted to think I would get to go to school instead of having to work in the fields with the hoe Father plowed 40 acres that spring planted it and cultivated it with a double shovel plow which was more than all the family could of done where we lived in Mo I could not understand then why he ever thought of leaving there and dont really know now as we just staid there one year to a day but his oldest son got shot accidently and they thought he would die and they sent for Father to come and he went he had started back to Crawford County Mo but had stoped in Benton county some time in January father went to where his son was (a half brother of mine( and concluded to move there and did it is a rich farming country but was very sickly at that time when his son got well he went on back to Crawford county where his wifes folks lived he staid there a while his wife died he married again and moved back to Benton County Mo where we lived but did not stay there long until he went back to Crawford County and was on the move often as long as he lived I could write a great deal about his moving and escapades but I did not start in to write anything in particular about any one but myself only as it concerned my self Well I went three months that season to a subscription school and that fall I went three or four months to a free school four months them days was the limit as we lived in Miamma County just a year I dont remember much of interest but one or two things mite prove a little about what I thought of the netroes them days there was a family near us that had a white boy about my age and he visited me occasionally so one Sunday I went to spend the day with the boy they had a negro girl about grown and when dinner come on they showed me where to sit at the table so I sit down and noticed there was a place beside mine for some one but I never thought much about it and went to eating my dinner but when I had eat a few bites that negro girl set down beside me and that was more than I relished so I got up and left the table the folks tried to get me to eat more but I declined I hardly know why but when I was a boy I seemed to have a horrow of negrows and while I think of it will go back to the Buter Ball place when I was a little less than five years old I may of wrote about the circumstance but dont remember if I did it was customary them days if a young girl wished to go a trip on a visit to send a boy with her so siter Maryann was going some distance to visit some people horseback and they put me up behind her so we went to visit the Cantly family and everything went off all right that nite but the next morning I went in the kitchen to wash my face and hands they had a negro also a middle aged woman and she was mixing the bread doe with her old black hands and that was something I could not endure so I would not eat any breakfast I did not tell them why or what my objection was so they thought I was sick and Maryann went home before dinner Well I have not completely reconciled to eating a negros cooking yet and am getting pretty well along in years and one reason is they are black and one cannot tell whether they are clean or dirty but I dont mean any harm towards the negro
One thing happened to me while I was going to school the fall we lived in Miamma Co Kans the first day of school the teacher put me and another little boy on the same seat that seat was rather short but long enough for three our size the boy would pinch my leg and I would move over till I got near the end of the bench he had pinched me three or four times and the last time I give his face a rake with my finger nails that brought the blood his sister saw me and asked the teacher if she could leave her seat she was a grown girl teacher told her she could so she came over to where we was and pulled her little brother over away from where I sat and that ended the trouble the teacher had his back to us and never saw anything of the trouble that was the first day of school he proved to be very strict and did not spare the rod in fact he seemed to delight in whipping I was siting back in the corner of the room one day and as there was no one near me so I threw my feet and legs up on the bench I did not know the teacher or anyone else was near me be soon found out as the first thing I knew the teacher gave my legs a couple of raps with his switch which he always carried with him and he always kept a good supply laying up in the loft they were swamp dog wood and very tough I never saw but one boy geting a whipping in school that I was proud of and that was at that school he would steal part of some of the scholars dinner most every day and one day a grown girl gave me an apple at noon and that boy saw me with the apple and when he got a good chance he took the apple from me and told me if I told on him he would whip me he was 18 years old but he sure got licking some of the children had told the teacher that the boy was stealing their dinner and the teacher watched him and caught him stealing so invited him out on the floor and told him to take off his coat which he did then the teacher told him in regard to his stealing and proceeded to his job of thrashing him he had a switch that was partly worn but he gave him a few licks with it and threw it down and steped up on a bench an got one that had not been used and I know they were at least four feet long and were a good size and he wore that switch mostly up on that boys back but there never was any trouble came up about the whipping the boy lived in town and his folks were running a good size store I have took up quite a lot of time telling of this incident but I wanted to show the difference in the way schools were run when I was a boy and at the present time
Well I am done with Kans for the present having lived there a year when Father went to Benton County where his son got accidently shot he sent for the family and we all moved there my Father rented a farm on the Osage River he signed me to a three months subscription school he took my mother and Jocy my sister and went to Hickory County and rented a carding machine but I staid with the children till the school was out there was Jasper Martin and Jim Kitching to do the farm work then there was my half sister and Aunt Rachel my fathers sister who lived with us to do the house work I was then coming ten years old while we lived there uncle Bill York and his wife came to see us I had always wore my hair bobed like the women do now but never had a permanent unless I forgot to comb it for a few days but one day uncle Bill York said he would cut my hair for me and of course I supposed he would just shorten the bob and make it easier to comb but imagine my surprise when he gave me a shingle about as short as he could cut it with the scissors so I have never had a bob since
While going to that school I had my first love affair and came out as I generally do at the little end of the horn there was a girl about my age and pretty going to school her and me soon got acquainted and her name was Emma Akins our teacher lived about a half mile from the school house and always went home for dinner when she came back from dinner it was always books she was a good woman and a good teacher about 50 years old there was a spring of water some distance from the house and when the water bucket was empty some one or two would ask the teacher to let them go after water so one day just after noon two of the scholars went for water and when they came with the water my sweet heart asked if she could pass the water her request was granted and she proceeded to pass the bucket and dipper I suppose as she thought to all the scholars but did not come to me and I was sure mad and my feelings hurt besides so I asked the teacher if I could get a drink and she said yes so I went to the bucket but there was no water in the bucket so I went back and took my seat I did not want water very much any way but am satisfied my girl had been watching me and when I took my seat she asked the teacher if she could bring a bucket of water the teacher told her she could so she went by herself and brought a bucket of water and as soon as she got in the house she asked the teacher if she could pass the water and was given leave to do so and brought the water directly to me but I was mad then and would not drink any but have never got over that piece of foolishness yet as the girl never spoke to me and I soon was convinced that she was right but it never done me any good but we left the country the following fall so all the difference it made with me was with my conscience
I had a little experience with a bad boy at that school that turned out a little different and I got a little satisfaction from it we went the same road about two miles he was a little older than I was and was taller and I suppose he thought he could lick me very easy and as we went home of evenings he would grab my hat and throw it as far as he could I was afraid the teacher would whip me if I struck him but told him I was going to whip him the last day of school but he only laughed at me but the last day came and as we went home he grabed my hat and threw it away as usual I just set my dinner basket down and grabed him and threw him to the ground and pounded him to my hearts content his name was Rufe Turner as I have said before we left there that fall and went up to Moniteau County Mo but moved back to Benton County Mo the next spring about 15 or 20 miles from where we had lived I went to a subscription school about two months the following summers and in the fall started in to a free school they had built a new log school house and we all thought it was fine and it was a good house for them times it had glass windows and good seats the first school that I had ever went to that had any seats made of lumber but my surprise was to see Rufe Turner and his sister Lucy there but Rufe let me strictly alone and we got along all right but I always hated the name of Lucy because Lucy Turner was so miserable ugly some people; call it homely but I dont think homely would fill the bill with that girl I was eleven years old that fall my father had bought a farm on the Osage River him and my half brother Jasper Martin worked in the timber all summer and fall and till about the first of April they rafted some saw logs to Warsaw and sold them there they also made clabboards to cover houses most all the houses in the country them days were covered with clabboard and some of the houses in town were also covered with the same material though some people; shaved the boards with a drawing knife and a few people made shingles they were made in different ways some split them out by hand while others made what they called cut shingles they were not so good as split or sawed shingles but much faster made than shingles that were made by hand they were cut from blocks of wood after the blocks were steamed they used a machine run by horse power it consisted of a large knife probla 14 or 16 inches wide and moved up and down and worked in a slot which held the knife in place and every time the knife came down it cut a shingle off the block provided the block was held in the right position I knew one man that got part of his hand cut off by not holding the block in the right position
That summer that I have been writing of was 1868 I think that was the year that General Grant run for President the first time and was elected it was also a locust year the woods was full of them a bell on stock did not do any good as you could not hear a common bell fifty yards that year of 1868 my half brother James Kitching got married some time along in the fall he lived a while with his wifes mother and then move on a Mr. Cuninhams place and built a cabin near the river he made ax handles that winter also finger rings from mussuls shells and I suppose worked some for Mr Cuningham at any rate they managed to live some way and made a crop of corn on shares the next summer along in the fall I went to visit them he had just sold 20 bushel of corn for five dollars he was so proud of the money he got the bill and showed it to me they had just one knife and fork to eat with and we all slept in one bed that nite but we all fared fine of course they cooked on the fire place and had a very limited supply of cooking vessels but they seemed to be happy and I think the last 20 or 30 years of that brothers life was spent happier than any of his near relatives he was an Elder in the Christian Church at Aurora Mo where there was a large congregation and I am satisfied that he had more influence in the Church than any member in the Church one of the members told me he rum that Church but that is or was his life and not mine
In the spring of 1869 father sold his farm and moved several miles north and rented a small farm on what was called tarrapine neck prairie so called because the prairie was narrow between two skirt of timber one skirt of timber bordered grand river and the other one a creek called Teho there were a great many squirrels in the woods those days and my father was fond of squirrels but never hunted them or any thing else so he bought me a gun an old army musket which was a wise thing to do as I could fall down or throw the old gun around any way without being in danger I had to use a government cap that was very hard to explode they were about three times as large as the small cap on a common gun but the old musket would explode them all right they were made for soldiers and there were no danger of them going off accidently but I soon tired of the old musket and father bought me a good mussle loading rifle and I soon became an expert shot I could kill a squirrel off hand from any tree I have shot numbers of quails heads off with the rifle gun it was splendid gun and would carry a ball two hundred yards on a level on the 10th day of Oct 1869 I went to visit my sister and her family I was fond of her children as her husband died in time of the civil war and they had lived at our house some time before she married the second time her oldest child was a girl about two years younger than myself she was called Bell her and me had several scraps but were good friends I speak of this because the nite I was there there was a snow fell it was five or six inches I deep I had never saw a snow so early in the season people had not gathered their apples and some of the apples were ruined the reason I remember the date so well was because the next day the 11 of Oct was my birthday well I got something I did not want at my sisters that was the Whooping cough which done me more harm than all the sickness put together I ever had I had been so stout and healthy my father did not think any thing would harm me so I was sent out to cut wood or do any kind of chores no matter what kind of weather there was and when a spell of caughing come on if I was not where I could hold to something I would have to lay down for I could not stand up while caughing I have wrote this as a warning as whooping caugh is a dangerous disease where children are exposed to bad weather it weakened my lungs that I never entirely got over it
When I arrived home on the 11 of October my uncle Louis Merritt and family were there they had three children the middle aged one a bad boy he was about 8 years old and could do more little mean tricks than any boy I ever come in contact but all unbeknown to his parents his mother I thought was a good woman and his father my uncle tried to be a good man he was a fanatick on religion would not send his children to a publick school would not allow his wife to wear any kind of jewelry and perswaded my mother to discard her jewelry but after he left and when I got a few years older I explained to my mother there was no harm in wearing what jewelry she had and she discarded her brothers notion We lived in a quarter of a mile of the school house and father tried to get my uncle to send his children to school they were siting by an open fire place when father started the conversation about the school and my uncle said he would run his arm in that fire up to his elbo before he would send his children to a free school
My uncle and his wife were good scholars both taught when they were young and how such notions got into his head it was hard for me to comprehend I heard him tell my mother in speaking of my self he said lisebeth that boy is bound for hell if you dont do something to curb that temper poor man he had a boy I think fully as bad as myself but he did not know about it I have wrote this about my uncle to show how foolish some people; are about religion
While we lived on the place on tarrapine neck Prairie my father bought a tract of wild land most of it covered with heavy timber during the winter he built a large log house on the land and moved to it and I did not get to go to school any more that winter as free schools them days were only for three to four months in the year they just had school for what time the money lasted that the common taxes brought in I dont think there was a high school in the state of Missouri when I was a boy at least I never heard of one there were no women teachers employed to teach free schools them days but some times women would teach what they called subscription schools that was every man paid so much for each one of his children that attended school but there were good teacher man to teach school had to know the third part arthmatick so he could teach it easily and like wise all other studies taught at that time he also had to know how to keep order in the school room and use a good stout switch when necessary Well I will now go back to the new land farm while we lived there that winter after the house was built all hands of us cleared of about two acres of land most of the timber was used for house logs ad fire wood and rail timber as all the land cuiltivated them days had to be fenced with rails as that was long before barbed wire were invented the first wire fences were made of smoth wire to keep stock from crawling through the fence all very simple when you know how it is done
When we moved on the new place my half brother Jasper Martin was at home and him and Father and my uncle Louis Merritt done the chopping of the timber on the two acre piece and I burned the brush and when plowing time came I took a large horse my father owned at that time and broke up the new ground and planted it to corn and father thought it would make 50 bushel to the acre I had never plowed but little but the horse was well trained and knew more about farming than I did when the corn got large enough to plow I could plow him without a line some people them days used only one line on a horse to plow if they wanted the horse to go the right they would say ge and jerk the line but if they wanted him to go to the left they would pull ;the line and haw and after the horse was well trained it worked all right but I always used two lines but did not need any on old Fox that was the name of the horse While we lived on the new place my fathers brother came to visit us it was about the first of March and very cold for the time of year there was considerable ice along the creek bank but the evening my uncle came Father asked me if I would catch a fish so Uncle Alvis could have some fish to eat I had never tried to catch fish when there was ice on the stream but told
Father I would try so I set out three bank hooks that evening the most of the fish there were cat fish and we never tried holding a pole to catch them they were mostly large fish weighing from 6 to twenty pound well next morning after I set out my three hooks I went to the creek and had one fine cat fish as well as I remember it weighed 10 pounds we had a pair of handy scales that would weight as much as fifty pound I weighed most all the fish I caught while we lived there and dont remember of catching any that weighed less than 6 pound the creek was very deep and had a mud or clay bottom just what a catfish likes that spring that my uncle visited us I caught all the fish the family could use and mother salted down a ten gallon jug full I had a fine time catching fish and playing in the water as father had a good canoe I learned to paddle I had a neighbor near by that learned me how to paddle a conoe without making a noise and when floating time came for the buffalo fish he would come with gig and I would paddle the boat and he would kill the fish I had a fine time all summer but when fall of the year came the chills also came and I could not go to school much that fall but about the last of November my father had a trip to make to make to Washington County MO to do some collecting for some horses he had sent there by his boys to sell and as I had had the chills occasionally all fall he decided to take me along and it was a fine trip for myself I did not have any more chills and after visiting my brothers in the Pineries of Washington county I went back to Crawford County to where my aunt and uncle lived they had a boy almost my age they lived in a deep hollow where they could not see the sun till about 8 am and it went down behind a hill equally as high but there was a fine little stream of water run down the narrow valley about 50 yards form the house and no matter how cold the weather was my uncle would throw a towel over his shoulder and go down to the little creek to wash his hands and face they did not have any fruit but my cousin told me there was a hackberry tree up the creek and we would go and get some of them I did not care much for the hackberries but I went with him and I think it was about a mile but we got all the hackberries we wanted and he seemed to think it quite a treat my uncle raised turkeys the boy told me they were going to take a hundred turkeys to market before Christmas and he was going to get himself a pair of forked top boots but I left before they sold their turkeys and have never heard if got the boots or not he wrote me a letter after I was grown but I was not at home when it came and my folks had lost the letter and did not know his address and if he is alive now he is getting along pretty well in years I think he was about two month older than myself When he was little and may be yet if he is alive I staid at my uncles several days had a good time and then went to where my brother Marsh lived in Crawford County Mo several miles from my uncle and was aiming to stay there till my father was ready to go home in Benton County MO but when I had been at my Brothers a few days my Brother in law Neal Mills came along and wanted me to go home with him and as I had no boss there I went he lived in Dent county not very far from Hows Mill where I lived until I was eight years old my sister Mary Ann Mills at that time had four children the youngest a baby girl which is the one they call Allise she was a young baby at that time but the other three were all standing outside the gate waiting for us when we drove up they were very proud to see us and I have thought of the incident many times in my life I thought they were the dirtiest children I had ever seen I think they had been playing in the dirt as their faces were as dirty as their hand and they did not look as though they had ever washed.
When we arrived at their home my sister was out of soda but made what I thought was awfull good flour bread without soda when I write my cook book I will tell how she made it after I had been there several days my Father and Jasper Martin my half Brother came for me and the day they came a young man by the name of Lamkins came also and as my sister was short of beding she made a bed on the floor for myself and the young man and put a feather bed for us to cover with and as I was so much smaller than the young man I suppose most of the feathers sliped down over me and some time in the nite I suppose he woke up cold and called to me he said Paris have you got any feathers over there if you have give them a pat or two I havent got any it wasnt funny to me but my brother Jasper was awake and heard him and he never forgot about Jim Lamkins wanting me to give the feathers a pat or two I think we started for home the next day but had to go back to Crawford County to get my sister Mary and James Cook my Brother in law they had been down in Washington county working in the Pineries and had come up with father to my brother Marshes
When we started home to Benton county MO there was my Father and myself Jasper Martin and Mary Martin my half sister and Jim Cook my Brotherinlaw when we had been on the road two or three days Jim Cook said one morning he had a chill well we drove along till about camping time and father spied a dead tree hot far from the road and just drove out near enough to camp and told Jasper and Jim Cook to get out and cut the tree down it was a dead post oak the bark had fell off and it looked like it mite be awful hard to cut and I guess it was Jasper got out gut Jim Cook said he had a chill father says look here Cook you had a chill this morning you cant have two chills in one day git out and help cut that tree down and Cook got out and went to work and we never heard any more about the chill we all arrived home all right and my Father took out a piece of bacon from the waggon and Father showed it to Mother and told her he had to pay 20 cents a pound for it and they all thought that was awfull high for meat
Early the following spring Father (I think it was the spring of 1871) traded his land to a man for two double carding machines and the house they were in and about an acre of land all situated in Leesville a small town in Henry County Mo it would have been a good trade but times had changed in that country and Father did not know of the change he was like the fellow said he was in Ark he did not read any papers but there had been a factory where they made most all kind of cloth put up in Clinton Mo they would buy the wool from the people or swap them cloth for the wool that was about the first move that was made towards spoiling the women before that they had to spin the thread and weave it into cloth and make their own clothes but just skiping about 60 years of time you all know now in 1937 what the fair sex have to contend with they get their bread all ready sliced and their coffee ready ground and sealed up in a nice little can ready for use
My Father moved to Leesville in Henry county Mo the spring of 1871 and took charge of his carding machines he took two of my half Brothers with him Jasper ;Martin and Henry Kitching they were both grown men and Henry Kitchings had been married and two children but his wife had died and he came to live with my parents but Father rented another farm and left myself and James Ketching there to cultivate the farm he had rented Jim Kitching was married then and him and I made a corn crop on the farm father had rented after the crop was done father took me to Leesville to cook for him and my two half Brothers as mother was in poor health and my sister Jocy was to young to cook there was no market for eggs then only a home market and eggs were cheap the merchants would pay 5 cents per dozen for them in goods and sell them for 5 cents in money well I could cook egg easier than anything else but I had to frye them all the time as a great many of them were spoiled and I got so disgusted breaking spoilt eggs I thought I never could eat another egg and I think it was about two years before I ate any more eggs but I am 79 years old now and still eating egg but my wife does most of the cooking but I can even cook and eat them now.
After the carding season was over about the first of September my father moved back to the farm he had rented on Tarrapin neck Prairie and I got to go to school that winter I made friends there with a man and his wife that had no children they would have me come and stay all nite with them pretty often they seemed like kinfolks and I enjoyed visiting them they were a little above the average in intelligence the man could preach a fairly good sermon in case of emergency in case the preacher failed to come or for any cause that we had no one else to listen to
Well the next spring when warm weather came my father moved back to Leesville to run his carding machine but did not get much wool to card and hired me out to a farmer near Clinton MO that was the county seat of Henry county I worked four months for the at 13 dollars a month while staying the folks went visiting one Sunday and left me there alone and there was a man with his family came by moving and wanted to buy a bushel of corn for his team I told him Mr. Doyle had bought the corn and did not have any to sell but the man said this was Sunday and he had tried several places to get corn but on one would sell him any and his horses had not had any dinner so I sold him a bushel of corn and took the fifty cent price and put it in their bible (there was no silver money in circulation those days as silver had been demonitized but there was paper money 5- 10-20-25 and 50 cent pieces there were one and two dollar bills) I never thought any more about selling the corn but some time after Mrs Doyle asked me if I put fifty cents in their bible and I told yes I did and I also told her and Mr Doyl all about the circumstance MR Doyl asked me how much corn I gave the man for a bushel and I told him a sack full it was ear corn and he never said any more about the corn but more than once after that he tried to get me to stay and work for him til I was grown said he would insure me one thousand dollars in the bank by the time I was twenty one years old and let me go to school 4 months the year and I wanted to stay but Father would not hear to such a bargain so when crops were finished I went home and saw plenty of hardships and plenty of hard work and some fun along at times Mr Doyle was a good man was raised in Tennessee on a farm but went to California when a young man and made a stake there he owned about a half section of land near Clinton MO and a farm on grand river and had a herd of Texas cattle on each farm he and his other hired man and a man that come work on stock were castrating some young mules one day they had them in the stable of an underground portion of a large barn they had attended to all but one mule but every time they would try to rope that mule he would stick his head under some of the other mules so I finally told Mr Doyle I could catch the mule and he asked how I could catch him and I told him by the tail and his other hired man said he would bet me ten dollars I could not catch him that way so I asked Mr Doyle to lone ten dollars and he pulled out a ten dollar bill and handed it to me but the fellow backed down on the bet so I gave MR Doyle his money back and sliped up back of the mule and grabed him by the tail and held on till the men could get the rope around his neck I had been playing with the mules before that on rainy days when they were in the barn they were two years old but I found I could grab any of them by the tail and hold them without any danger to myself I dont know how it is but is just seems to scare them so they dont know about kicking or doing anything but Mr doyle was well pleased about the job and laughed at Levi about me catching the mule Levi about me catching the mule Levi done all the milking as long as he stayed there but after I had been there about a month he got tired of his job and left so MR Doyle done the milking but I would drive up the cows Mr Doyle would let me turn out a little early and get on his horse and go after the cows I generally had to go about one mile it was a prairie country and it was fun for me to go after the cows as he had a good saddle horse that knew more about driving cows than I did and when I would get the cows home Levi would milk them but after Levi left Mr Doyle asked me one evening if I could milk well I had always said if I had to work out I would not milk so when Mr
Doyle asked that question I was stumped dont remember just what I told him but I guess it was a fib but he told me to come and go down to the milk lot with him he had three stripper cows all hard to milk but I had watched Levi milk and knew which was the hardest one so when he told me to take that bucket and see what I could do I said well Ill try old Speck she gave such a small stream it took a long time to milk her but I started on her and sqeezed her tits and when he done the other two I had about a quart
1872 - 1909
In 1872, When Paris was almost fifteen, he hired out to do farm work for thirteen dollars per month. From then until his second marriage in 1884, our information about his whereabouts and activities is very meager and comes from the hearsay statements remembered by his children. Sometime after 1872, his father, William Nelson Martin, with several of his children (probably including Jasper , James Joseph, and Paris) moved to Barry County in the extreme southern part of Missouri and settled on a farm northwest of the village of Golden. He remained there until his death in 1901, just fifty days after the death of his wife.
About 1877, Paris was hired by the federal government to help return Indians from South Dakota Territory to a reservation in Oklahoma Territory. These Northern Cheyenne Indians had surrendered after the 1876-1877 Sioux and Cheyenne campaigns under Chief Crazy Horse. This was an experience to be long remembered. During part of the 1870s, Paris taught school and he also worked for a short time in the lead and zinc mines near Joplin, Missouri. He may have contracted his first marriage in that locality.
We do not know the name of his first wife. The couple had a son, Harvey, born about 1877. Tragically, it became apparent that the young wife was an epileptic and that the son was not normal. To prevent the birth of additional children in those circumstances, Paris sent his wife back to her parents and took his son to his parents to rear. Harvey lived in the home of his paternal grandparents for a few years and later was placed in an institution where he remained until his death in his late teens. Ws there a divorce? Who knows answered Paris younger son a century later. Things were done differently in those days?
On April 27, 1884, Paris married Amanda Jane Street. She may have been pushed into the marriage by her sister, Molly Sidall, a young widow who had hired Paris, then a Justice of the peace, to settle up her business affairs. Amandas parent did not approve of the marriage and
Amanda is said to have preferred another man. In any case, they married and made a home on 40 acres of land that he owned at Hickham Prairie near Golden in Barry County, Missouri. The land was south of Viney Cemetery near the home of his father. Paris was twenty six and Amanda was eighteen when they married. Seven children were born to this marriage of whom five lived to be adults. The first, Ida Frances, was born on August 19, 1885.
The land was poor and rocky. By about 1887, Paris was bitten by the free land bug and was tempted to move to the West where free or cheap land was available. Two of his half-brothers moved to Oregon at about this time. Amanda was pregnant again and Paris is said to have gone to Washington State alone to exam the possibility of moving out there. He was impressed by the country and returned to Missouri to sell his land and prepare to move his family. A second daughter, Maggie May, was born January 25, 1888, while they were still in Missouri; she died in Washington on September 18, 1890.
Paris moved his household to Washington by emigrant train, a scheme the railroads used to provide cheap transportation to people willing to populate the railroads vast land holdings in the West.
Two couples of relatives moved with them: they were Amandas sister Margaret Maggie Murphy and her husband, and Pariss sister Henrietta Josephine (Aunt Jocie) with her husband George James.
Paris homesteaded 160 acres of land near Waterville in Douglas County. It was there that a third daughter Bertha Lee, was born on June 15, 1890, and where little Maggie, the second daughter, died of pneumonia.
Paris proved up on his homestead and obtained the title, but Amanda was homesick and it appears that the other relatives shared her feelings for all three couples returned to Missouri. Paris sold his land in Washington and bought 107 acres of land 1 ½ miles northeast of Golden adjacent to Kings River bluff. In later years, Paris often spoke regretfully of leaving the quarter section of good land in Washington for the rocky farm in Missouri and blamed his wife for the move.
The new farm was beautifully located near the confluence of the White and Kings rivers. The Martins lived in a small log house which they later enlarged as the family grew. The existed by subsistence farming as did almost everyone else in the area. They kept a cow for milk and butter, chickens for eggs and fryers, and they raised hogs for their winter meat. There was a small orchard of assorted fruit trees and berry bushes. They grew corn and wheat which they carried to a mill to be ground into meal and flour. They also raised sheep which Amanda sheared for the wool which she knitted into sweaters, mittens, caps and stockings. She was a work driven woman who, until the day of her death, could not stand to be idle. Paris was more relaxed but he worked hard and was a good provider. Money was always scarce and he took advantage of every opportunity to obtain cash to purchase those items which could not be produced on the farm. During the winter, he often hewed cross-ties to sell to the railroad company. He cut down the oak trees and shaped the ties with a broadaxe to meet railroad specifications (8 long and 8 by 12 ) . The company paid twenty-five cents each for perfect ties and fifteen cents for those that did not quite meet their exacting standards/ Paris could produce six ties in a long day of work but it took another full day to haul them to the railroad.
Additional children came along regularly. Waldo Norman was born April 27, 1892, and another infant son was born about 1894 but died at birth. Nellie Mildred was born September 30. 1905 and William Lawrence followed April 22, 1898.
In 1975, when she was almost 85 years old, Bertha Martin Hilton wrote about her childhood in Barry County in a letter to her sons.
Note: There are many more pages of letters back and forth between Paris and his daughter Bertha and a Memoirs written by his son William who migrated to Colorado but came back about 1930 to take his father to see all of the places he treasured in his memories. They visited Howes Mill and found it with a metal wheel but all boarded up. They visited Golden and Barry County. There was a separation or a divorce for Paris and Amanda and he eventually married an Indian Woman whom he had hired to help out in the house. They moved to Nickerson in Kansas not far from where his daughter Bertha and her Hilton family had moved. Paris is buried near Nickerson, Kansas.
NARRATIVE OF WILLIAM
son of Paris Clark Martin
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