John and Sophia (Riggs) Christy Biography
In 1854, Father (John Christy) came from the Western Reserve, Ohio, to Iowa down the river from Wheeling, West Virginia to Cincinnati, Ohio. Then he walked across Indiana, Illinois, and to Keokuk County, Iowa, 100 miles west of the Mississippi River, where he secured land. After 19 years (1873) of trying to grow fruit for the family, he sold the farm and started west again—destination South Bend, Kansas.

Three families, with all of their worldly possessions, headed west the second week in October. Father, sister Ella, brother James D., and myself (10 years of age at that time) had two wagons and twenty head of cattle, and in a trunk in the back of one wagon were the remains of the Iowa farm—$1,800.00 in cold cash. Mother and the four younger children: Lucy, Margaret, S. Willie, and Jenny came by train to Leon, Iowa where they joined the caravan and finished the journey.

We went along an uncharted trail, passing through towns in the southern tier of Iowa Counties. The motorist today speeds over the ground in a half day, on a paved highway, that we spent three weeks crossing. In our entire trip I do not think we ever passed through a town where it was possible to buy a loaf of bread.

On November 2, 1873, we crossed the Missouri River at Nebraska City on a ferryboat. That night we camped near a farmhouse southwest of the city, and the old gentleman advised father NOT to cross the Nemaha River, because he said it never rains west of the Nemaha River.

Father did not heed his advice, so on November 4, 1873, we arrived at Brock to visit friends who had left our hometown at an earlier date. Mother became ill and we postponed our trip to Kansas. We spent the winter in a house on the bank of the Nemaha River across from the Dan Lare home. The next March we moved to a farm 1/2 mile west and one mile south of Brock. The children attended the Union School near Brock. Here we endured the drought, the grasshopper scourge, though our wheat was safe in the stack before the hoppers came.

March 4, 1876 we moved to the farm one mile south of Johnson. We did not cross a bridge on the 8 mile trip and only followed section lines.

In 1901, father died, and in 1906, mother, James, Willie, and Jenny (none of whom ever married), moved to southern California. Hattie Fredenburg and I were married and lived on a farm three miles northeast of Johnson; Lucy married James Daugherty and they lived in Johnson, later moving to California; Margaret married Harry Richey and they lived in Colorado; Ella married Clifford Vorhees. (Submitted by George S. Christy, son)

Transcribed and graciously provided by volunteer  Glenda Hinz. Thank you, Glenda!

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