EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES 417
seems now an eternity of torture as I think of the fright I received. The
man returned to the mill at the Isthmus, now Orleans, bringing back with
him a small child that was unconscious, he having carried it all the way
from Belmont, walking through the night, hiding from fear of the enemy.
I took care of them at a place somewhere near the courthouse guarded
by soldiers. I think the child survived less than two days; I prepared it
for burial and it was laid to rest in the first burying place in the northeast
part of town, then the father went away and I never saw him again.
I then went into the courthouse; I distinctly remember Mrs. Daniel
Bennett, (residing at Dixon's beach) relating to myself and others the
horror of the ride behind the oxen as the family came to town that day
with a cook stove, some clothing and pieces of bedding. The settlers
brought to the courthouse old muskets, shotguns and several rifles, having
enough ammunition to last but an hour in battle with the Red Men, but
that was one secret the enemy had not fathomed.
We all slept on beds arranged on the floor, placed lower than the windows
to be more safe from a night attack and always getting them prepared
during the day, as lights were not allowed, nor speaking above a
whisper. All the cooking was done out of doors during the day.
One day the watchman on the cupola described a long line of supposed
Indians coming from the east, which caused quite a panic among us but
proved to be people coming for protection and bringing their cattle with them.
The problem and necessity of building a stockade to protect both settlers
and soldiers who had now all returned with horses to scour the
country every day that we might not be surprised &dash was before us, and
the good work begun. Brave men and women gave their aid, with brawn
and brain all helpful. While the men sawed the timbers at Okoboji sawmill,
women nerved themselves to bravery, and men and boys drove the
ox-teams after material. My boys, Henry and George, went, and when
we parted with our children in the morning we were not assured we would
see each other alive again. George was only ten years of age, and one
day his ox-team ran into Lake Okoboji to swimming depth, then went out;
George expected to be drowned, and this reminiscence still lingers with him.
The stockade was finished in due time and occupied by the cavalry
horses. After several weeks the Red Rascals were caught and thirty-two
executed at Mankato at one drop of the machine. Thus ended the Indian
troubles in Dickinson county. The families went to their several homes;
I went to the old Rice house, of which Senator Francis recently acquired
title. I boarded twenty-one soldiers for a long time, in fact, until I
entered a home in reality.
For the fifty-five years I have spent among you, I think there is not a
418 EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES
spot of ground over which my feet have not trod; I love it all and have
always felt interested in everyone comilig and going. There is a tender
closeness for me that I think few people here feel as I have, heartaches I
have realized, but through it all the silver lining shines over the many
happy days I spend with you or thinking of you, and understand that
my last are my best days, with goodwill toward all and malice toward
none. Here I now live and here will I be buried, and as I pass over the
Divide looking forward to the meeting beyond with those who suffered
"I hope again some where, some time.
To fondly clasp your hands in mine,
And fear, companionship not mar.
When all have passed the Gates ajar."