WHEN BOOTS WERE BOOTS
By Alice Doan Rogers
I am the granddaughter of David Doan, one of the first settlers in Stewart township. James Stewart, for whom Stewart township is named, and David Doan came to York county in 1868 from eastern Iowa in the only means of transportation at that time, the prairie schooner, and settled on Lincoln creek. The country was a bare, unbroken stretch of prairie as far as the eye could reach. Lincoln and Columbus were the nearest towns.
Timber was cut along the creek to build log houses. The other materials to complete the structures and their provisions had to be hauled over land by ox team from these two towns.
Many hardships were experienced. My father, who was Elwood Doan, eldest son of David Doan, has told me of going home from some social gathering on a dark night when the timber wolves would come so close in a circle all around him their eyes shining. They would set up a howl, and all the weapons he had was a pocket knife and a few matches. When they got too close he would strike a match and let it burn. The eyes would recede for a short time and he would get home safely.
The family did not have much to get clothes with, so he and his brother Edd worked and earned a little money, and together got a pair of good boots. They would go to a dance held at some home in the neighborhood. One would go in and dance, then come out and the other would put on the boots and dance, so they called them "the" boots, not "my" boots.
I was born in Stewart township, York county, and also remember some of the early days experiences. One was the time Lincoln creek got so high from the broken mill dam at Thayer that it ran across my father’s back porch and was 19 inches deep in the barn.