GRANT, Ulysses S 1822 - 1885
GRANT, BAYARD, GILLETTE, DEFRANCE, LUDLOW, HITE, RATCLIFF, BECK, LEGGETT
Posted By: Richard K. Thompson (email)
Date: 1/16/2012 at 21:20:53
February 2, 1881
Pg. 3 Col. 6 & 7
Gen. GRANT's Fairfield Residence
In all the years that Gen. Ulysses S. GRANT has been a prominent citizen of the United States and his history and travels a leading topic of conversation, it seems strange that some of our home people have not brought to mind his first visit to Fairfield and his residence here. With his later visits, since he has risen to a world wide fame, our people have been disappointed, even in their endeavors to catch a glimpse of the warrior, but at the time we speak of he was as ordinary a man as the rest of us, and many is the lounger around early Fairfield who chatted and smoked an hour away with the future of Appomattox (sic.).
In 1855 or '56 several strangers made their appearance here in with a large flock of sheep which they were driving to New Mexico. They came in the early summer months, when pasturage was good, and decided to go no further, for a time at least. Their sheep, numbering several hundred head, in fact, into the thousands, were put out to graze in various parts of the county. On the old BAYARD farm, north east of Fairfield, was kept the bulk of them, but there were lesser flocks at L. T. GILLETTE's, north west of town, and at the old De FRANCE farm, out north. Besides the herders were a Major LUDLOW, Dr. HITE, and Captain GRANT, whose name in latter years has become a household word. The party remained here during the summer and fall and until late in winter, spending most of their time in Fairfield, when they took their departure, with the exception of Dr. HITE, who married the widow De FRANCE and remained in the county for several years, finally removing to Eddyville, this state.
The date of Captain GRANT's appearance here was after he had resigned his position in the regular army, and his next venture after his New Mexico sheep ranche (sic.) scheme was his St. Louis farm. By R. F. RATCLIFF (sic. Robert F. RATCLIFF), J.S. BECK (sic. James Shriver BECK) and others of our old settlers who remember him, he is described as being a little past thirty years of age, of a quite, unobtrusive manner, inclined to be social, still hard to gain an acquaintance with. He was fond of his pipe or a cigar and often took a "smile" with the boys. The life of a rancher was evidently distasteful to him, and he never manifested any enthusiasm over the business, as did his partners, in fact, while he enjoyed sport and a good time as well as any body, he was never enthusiastic over any thing, and his quiet demeanor was not calculated to bring him into notice. Our old citizens often used to speak of Captain GRANT and his sheep venture, but not many of them thought until late years that the captain of their memory was the general who is now known throughout the world. Those of our people who have been so disappointed in not seeing the general heretofore, may solace themselves with a look at the remains of the sheep fold on the BAYARD farm, or perhaps mine host LEGGETT, of the famous hostelry, may point out to some of them the room in which the embryo commander in chief of the U.S. army was wont to rest when fatigued with the labors of the day.
*Transcribed for genealogy purposes. I am not related to the person(s) mentioned.
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