The story of her life written by Mary Macomber Crook

(Mrs Jack Crook) : 1855 - 1935

Fairbury, Nebraska, October 22, 1931

I [Mary Macomber Crook] have been requested by my sister to tell all I can of our ancestry so according to tradition and some things told to me by our maternal grandmother I will do the best I can, (my eye may fail).
Our maternal grandmother was born march 13, 1805.    (I think in the state of Delaware.   My sister thinks in the state of Maryland.) I am fourteen years older, however, and was past thirteen when grandmother died.   All the old time stories she told me of her childhood and young womanhood happened in Delaware.    Some old letters written to her after the close of the Civil War by relatives bear the address "Lewes Delaware".)
Her maiden name was Mary Smith Burtin.   As near as we can tell (the family Bible being burned) was married to Isaac Holland in the year of 1828.   He was about fifteen years her senior, a widower, with a small daughter.
In the year 1830 Isaac and Mary Holland emigrated to the state of Ohio in their Covered Wagon and took up land about ten miles from Columbus (then a village).   Here they lived and prospered for some years.    They were the parents of five children —John, Eliza, Miles, Mary, and Emma Burton,    They were indeed a happy family- but. -The great urge of all pioneers " Go West" fastened on grandfather.   In spite of the protests of friends, neighbors, and even wife he sold his land, most of his stock, covered, his wagon and again turned their faces west.
Grandmother said she had lively chickens, Shanghighs,    They couldn' t take any as they were boarded too heavily as it was. She packed some eggs very carefully in a basket and tied it securely to one of the bows of the wagon and brought them out to Iowa. They settled in Scott County Iowa near Dewit and some miles from Davenport.   After untold hardships and at times almost impassable roads. Grandmother set these eggs and hatched several chicks, raising one half dozen to maturity.
Our Maternal grandmother was born in the southern part of Delaware March 13,1805.   The youngest of seven children. Her parents were William and Mary Burtin..   Grandmothers name was Mary Smith Burton, having her mothers maiden name.   Her brothers were William, John, Albert and Cornealius.   Her sisters were Eliza and Ann.
She must have had a very happy childhood from things which she told me during my childhood. (I spent much of my time with her).   She was the petted baby of a large family and the "Worshiped little missy" of the black slaves.    She was probably spoilt and somewhat selfwilled, but naturally bright and self reliant. She was given a good education for that day and time.   She had private tutors and made great progress in all of her studies. She immediately set to work to "learn the darkies to read".
When her father discovered that he was very angry and forbad her teaching the slaves, telling her it was against the law and he would have none of it. Her own maid she did teach to read and write unbeknownst to her parents,   Her brothers ond sisters being gone [page 2] now to homes of their own except Cornelius the youngest brother who took to the sea, and was a sailor for many years.

She has told me of the great Oyster beds which were one source of her fathers income. She told of the darkies gathering them in always singing and of the fields of hemp and their work at the looms. She was not satisfield until she learned to spin and weave from the old black mammies. They protested all the time that Miss Mary must not work at their work. She stayed with them and made them teach her, little knowing that some day it would be the means of her livelihood.

Then she told me of the "Clam Bakes". The darkies dig such quantities of clams and fix the pits and tend the fires. All the young folks in the vicinity gathering for frolic. She had all the darkie sayings at the tip of her tongue and knew all of their superstitions (not that she believe them all, but I am sure she did believe some of them).

Her father was strict and arbitrary and did not believe in her ideas of learning to work from the old mammies, nor her outspoken idea of educationg them. He told her one day that he would put a stop to it. He would send her away to school. She protested that her mother could not do without her, (being sick much of the time).

He scolded and said she did not give her mother much of her time - yet she was almost her sole companion and he knew it. But she was sent away to Philadelphia and Baltimore to young ladies finishing schools. She was a student and glad of the chance for a education yet, longed for home and mother. Her own Linda took care of her mother in her absence and how they blessed Mary that she could read to her when they were alone.

At the age of 18 she came home with a "Finished Education" for those days. I can almost see her full of life and of the joy of living. Rushing to her mother first of all. (Her father had met her at the boat). The darkies gathering to meet their "Little Missy", Medium height and build, beautiful complexion, dark hair and eyes. There was one blemish, a crossed eye, I think the right one. The crowning glory was the hair. Dark brown with the auburn tints, and way and very heavy. It took some time to dress it in the fashion then used. She told me many a time when planning for a days outing or picnicing, she would dress her hair the evening before, wrap a cloth tightly around it turban fashion. The next morning it would be just perfect. So life went on for her in a round of work and play and pleasure. The only drawback being her mothers continued illness and frailty.

One week all the young people in the neighbrhood planned to go to a great campmeeting the following Sunday, being held about twenty miles away by Petre Cartright and Lorenza Dow. Many were their jests and jokes about "Getting religion" just like any jolly crowd of youngsters from the rumors they heard of this meeting.

[Page 3] They were to start very early Sunday morning taking their baskets of food for dinner and supper making a full day of it, not to come home till after the evening services. A gay crowd of young people they arrived at the grounds about mid forenoon. It was a great gathering with many tents and indeed was a queer sight to these young people, most of them belonging to the staid old English Church, the Episcopaliens.

The very spirit of God seemed to be there evidenced by the clear ringing testimonies and often a glorious shout as some one professes conversion. When these young people gathered for their picnic dinner in a lovely secluded spot, a little distance away they were not passing so many little jokes, there was a marked thoughfulness in their faces. One said there is something in it, more than we know. Another said "They are surely men of God." They went back to the service again. The "Eagle Eye" of Peter Cartright had noticed this group of young folk so he spoke to them, shook hands and made them feel at home and very welcome. Before the afternoon's service had closed some of them had gone forward and been converted. Their evening meal was forgotten and before the evening services were concluded all the others except one or two had professed religion and joined the Methodist church, my Grandmother among the rest. Afterwards the other two of the crowd.

As they drove the long way home they did not joke about getting religion. They had it, discussed it, in all its different ways and feelings from what they had ever known before. They ate their belated supper and sang their old hymns with an altogether new meaning to them. Grandmother told me one or two of those boys made Methodist preachers and as long as she was in that state every one of that crowd were faithful to their vows. But - the happy content spirit of grandmother was surely put to the test. Within a day or two her father learned the results of that trip to camp meeting. His anger blazed as she had never seen it blaze before. He asked her if she had joined the Methodist church. She told him she had. He said it was just the excitement and would soon wear off. Would she let it drop and go into the old church just as usual. "I will go the church, but I can never renounce Methodism," she said. "Then you are no Daughter of Mine", he shouted. "Leave my house now and never enter its doors again". In vain she pleaded to stay with her mother. In vain her mother pleaded that she could not live without her Mary to take care of her. She had to go from her loved home.

She went to the home of her eldest brother for a few days. He told her she was welcome but - about her new religion, he was with her father. She went to a prominent English family as governess to their children. Here she remained for three or four years.

Long weeks apart her father would go to some distant city on business. Some faithful black boy would come with her saddle horse and she would go home for a visit with her invalid mother. Joyous meetings but sad partings.

One day after almost four years he was surprised by her father coming for her. He told her to come home with him. Her mother [page 4] asked for her constently. She went and took all the care of her the remaining months of her life.

After her mother was laid to rest she made her preparations to go back to her work. Her father asked her forgiveness and wanted her to stay. She told him she was soon going to a home of her own. He asked her to stay until then.

The record has been destroyed so it is uncertain, but I think it was probably early in 1828 that they were married. She married Isaac Holland, our grandfather. He was a widower with one small girl. He was some older than she, but a noble man. His daughter having been raised by her mothers people only came home at intervals in a visit.

Grandmother has told me of her wedding outfit, and the useful things all hand made for her "Hope Chest". She was very happy in her new home which was about twelve miles from her fathers. Her father gave her her favorite saddle horse and a cow and a fine pig. They put their pig in a poke or a box I know not which and took her home to her pen which was all prepared for her. Next morning she was gone. They made enquiries of their neighbors. No one had seen a stray pig. A day later Piggy arrived in the home sty. Three different times they took her home with them, and each time it went the twelve miles home to its original home. Her father gave her money to buy a pig closer home and kept the one that would not be transferred.

A tiny girl baby came to them within two years, but only lived a few short weeks before God took her.

Now people began to talk about Ohio the great west beyond the mountains. Isaac Holland caught this fever. In 1830 in company of several of their neighbors they loaded their wagons and bid farewell to all their relatives and those whom they loved and turned to the west.

The Indians were now at peace, yet they had to keep guards each night because they would steal everyting they could. They could never relax their vigilance. The Mountains to climb, rivers to cross, bad roads, swamps and forests, but at last they reached their journys end. They took up their land and built their cabins about nine miles from Columbus, then a mere village.

They seemed to prosper from the first. Our Grandfather was a wonder at all kinds of work. With his gun he could procure meat for the whole colony. He soon had crops growing and young stock around him. Grandmother had some Knowledge of medicine (having lived some time in a doctors family). Anxious to learn she had picked up much childrens diseases, Ague, and some fevers she was very good. She was often called upon and made something that way. Not money, but something they could use in barter.

In 1831 a son was born to them. They name him John. They were very happy and very proud of their boy. He grew up a sturdy likely lad very much like his father.

[page 5] In 1833 another son came to them named Albert. At the age of 8 months he sickned [sic] and died in spite of all the knowledge and care of our grandmother. They were grief stricken, but knew it was the will of God.

In August 1835 our Mother, Eliza Ann, came to them. A frail child always, but of an energy and mature mind and actions far beyond her years. Being the eldest girl so much always seemed to be required of her. She was a veritable little mother from childhood up.

In April 1837 a son Miles Hanson was born. He was named for our Grandfathers dearest friend. He was from child up an energetic lively youngster, full of life and wit. He was our mothers constant companion and helper and always doing something which she had to help him out with - or take the blame herself. I will have much to say of him.

In 1839 Mary Hannah came to them. I think from what our Mother has told us that she grew up with the idea of getting the most out of life with the least amount of work. Not that she was lazy. She grew up into a tall beautiful girl, learned to spin and to weave, and got a better education then the rest of the family. She loved the long walks to school and then got away from the awful work at home. She married very young and was the mother of three children. She died in South Western Iowa at the age of 32 years of consumption.

In 1841 the youngest, a girl Emma Burton, was born. Thus they had six children. They got along well and prospered. Many incidents our Mother has told us of Miles' episodes. On one occasion when he had been very mischievous grandmother shut him up in a closet. Like all early day residences that closet contained many things not stored in closets. After a long time he called to his mother to let him out, but she told him "No". After another interval he called "Mother if you don't let me out you won't have any candles left. I have eaten up all your cracklins now. He was liberated and sure enough a pan of cracklins being saved for soap was found to have vanished. He was chewing on a candle wick, the combination of fresh tallow and bees' wax not being very objectionable.

The father working in the fields or woods. The eldest boy with him. Often the Mother away to some sick person left those 5 children, our mother eldest of the 5, to their own recources. Often they went after berries or nuts for hours at a time. They were always cautioned to keep near to each other so one could not get lost. Emma was the baby 1 1/2 or 2 years old. A sturdy little body but she would not walk. When they started on their excursions she would just throw herself down and there was nothing for it but Ann and Miles had to take turns carrying her on their backs. She had found out they would so they should. On one occasion they took their basket to gather Oak balls for their Mothers coloring matter. Miles always took his tomahawk, an old hatchet which he sharpened himself. No mean weapon. On this occasion they had quite a quantity but came to a tree which had a good many in it, but were difficult to procure. Miles threw his weapon up to knock a bunch down. All of them being under the tree. It struck Emma the baby on the head and [page 6] cut a gash. They started home, Hanna carring the precious basket and Ann and Miles taking turns carrying the baby. soon they were all blood all over and they feared she would die. As they passed a slough Mles said "We'll plaster it with mud, that'll stop it. It did my finger." So they laid her down and kept cool mud to it until it stopped bleeding. Then they went on home, a serious little group, and no ill effects ensued from the injury.

Rumors began to sift in of the great richness and beauty of the Iowa Praries. Grass high and rich. Not a stone in the soil, just timbre enough. No forests to be cleaned and all level. Accordingly Grandfather, a real pioneer made up his mind to go out to Iowa and secure a piece of fine land which would "produce a crop the first year". And not take a lifetime to make a farm like it did there. Though he had did well he wanted to do better so he began to make preparations and among other things was the hauling of wheat to market. A large stream had to be crossed on the ice. Our mother says 'twas the Ohio river. They may have had a better market over there. Anyway she accompanied her father this last trip trusted to do some shopping though only 9 years old. It had thawed and the ice was rotton. Grandfathers team broke through and went down to their death. He had left Mother with a neighbor - a woman - until he had crossed. She said he had held the horses heads up as long as he could do so. He thought he might be drawn down also. It made a lasting impression on her and I think her shopping was never done. Anyway I don't think she ever told us.

About that time her mothers brother Cornelius Burton came back from over the seas and came to make them a visit. He brought them all gifts. His sister a beautiful brocade shawl, a small hoard of gold, and his parrott. Great amusement the children had with such a bird but his language was so profane that much of the time grandmother kept his cage darkened or out in the smoke house. Uncle Cornelius entered into the excitement of going to the new country of Iowa, and was of great help in the packing of wagons and managing the young stock though a sailor for years he had not forgotten his early training. At last they were ready to start. Two or three near neighbors and themselves. Our grandmother true to instinct had her basket of eggs packed in wool, tied to the wagon bow of her wagon. Cornelius declaring 'twas useless. She telling him she would raise a start of chickens from them eggs and that she wouldn't go without them. She actually raised eight grown chickens from those eggs.

Thus they traveled by wagon across western Ohio and the great state of Illinois, crossed the mississippi at rock Island and entered the great state of Iowa settling between Dewitt and Davenport in Scott county. Grandfather and his friend Miles Hanson leased some land which had some houses on it and actually did raise something the first year. They soon located pre-emption claims for themselves. They went to work along the same old lines. Grandmother spining and weaving or ridding, Miles doctoring, Miles Grandfather making improvements or working in the fields. Uncle Cornelius a great help and a guardian of the children. They knew they were safe with him there. Our mother grew into a regular little woman cooking and so much seemed to depend upon her. Grandmother could now go to church as the Methodist were strong in this [page 7] new country. There was one minister who was also an Eye Doctor. He said he could streighten our grandmothers eye. She consented. The day was set for her to go to Dwitt to have it done. Her brother Cornelius scholded and said she would let a Methodist take off her head. However, one of his precious gold pieces was given in payment. It was not successful by any means. The same kind of cross eye cropped out in a child of the third generation. A specialist informed the parents that it was a case of reverse crossed nerves and an operation would never be successful. Thus we live longer an grow wiser.

Our Grandfather secured a piece of land and built a house and they moved to their own home. They forgot some small utensil and Ann and Miles were sent back for it. Just as they arrived a rabbit [went] under the porch. They put some pieces of wood in the hole and proceeded to "Fix to capture the rabbit". Child like they got the hoe or whatever they had come for. Miles told Ann he would open a small hole and for her to lift a board at the other end and pound. When it came out he would catch it. She did her part and her rabbit came out the hole with a rush. Miles made a grab and got-it-by-the tail. Then the rabbit was gone and the bunch of cotton was in his hand. They started home and soon met a man driving. Mile said "Say mister, did you see a rabbit with a skinned tail go down the road. "It is mine and I got its tail." The man said "You come here and I'll teach you to make fun." Miles said "I got his tail I tell you..". Just then a rabbit jumped from the side of the road and the man saw it was minus its bunch of white cotton. "He's yours all right," he said, and drove on.

About this time Cornelius began to get homesick for the sound of the ocean. He said he would go back to his boyhood home where the beat of the ocean would lull him to sleep. The great silence of the praries made him wakeful. so Finding people who were going back to Ohio, having had enough of the west, he traveled with them. He went on to his brothers home in Delaware, taking his parrot also. Many were the regrets of the children for their Uncle was always patient and kind and ready with a new story of different countries and climes. Grandmother thought he would go to sea again. He told her he would never go in the ocean, but he wanted to be where he could hear its roar.

Things went very well in the new home. John was growing into a fine strong lad and a great help to his father. Their crops were good and things seemed to prosper. After the corn was laid by and the threshing done John went to work a few miles away. They had the threshing done John went to work a few miles away. They had some neighbors, named Mahoney. While they were kind hearted they let their stock run and live in the neighbors fields. One old sow especially just lived in the corn. One day when the children were alone Miles got down the gun and said he was going to shoot Pat Mahoneys' old sow as he had chased her out of the corn a hundred times that day already. Ann our mother tried to coax him to put up the gun, but he went off with it. Looking after the others and with her work she forgot about it. Miles came in with the gun and had her help put it up. Then he told her under his breath to get something for the girls to play with that would keep them in, for "we have to bury Mahoneys' old sow, I've killed her. Our mother got the button box and they went to stringing buttons while [page 8] she and Miles with spade, and shovel, and hoe went out by the straw stack where the dead sow lay. Just imagine two children 8 and 10, or 9 and 11 at most, with such a task before them. But they went to work with a will and the ground not being very hard under the straw and chaff was easy to dig. As soon as they had a place deep enough to hold her they pried and tugged till they rolled her in. They covered her up and leveled down the dirt. They threw straw and chaff over it all and went to the house with their tools. She asked Miles how he done it. He said, "she was rooting in the straw for the scattered wheat and he got the gun almost to her ear, pulled the trigger, and she just went right over." He thought she would get up but she didn't. Old Pat Mahoney was soon over looking for his sow. He asked Miles if he had seen anything of her. He said "She was here this morning. "I run her out of the corn. "You can see she has ruined an acre. "Maybe she is back further in it now." Mahoney went past the straw pile and into the corn field, but never found his sow. They never told it till long afterwards.

The next spring John sickened and died. All the nursing and knowledge of medicine our grandmother possessed was of no avail. He was almost a young man. Just 16 years and the stay of his parents. It was indeed a hard blow, and they could not readily throw off their sorrow. Grandmother so deeply religious, tried to say "Our Lord knows best", but it was very hard for all and our grandmothers faith was to be more sorely tried then ever for, indeed, misforturne never seemed to come singly. About this time Grandfathers health failed. A strong hard active man was stricken by an incurable disease, Erysipelas, starting in his feet. This confined him to the house, Grandfather who had lived in the "Great out of Doors", and to his chair. Of course he lost heart and prayed to die then, but Hero that he was he rallied and turned his skillful brain and hands to something which would bring in a little something which would go towards the living. He made wooden bowls and spoons, ax helms, and brooms. Scrubbing brushes and even wove baskets from the hickory bark. Grandmother still had one of those (I remember it well in my childhood).

They wrote a letter to Uncle Cornelius to come back and take charge of things but in those days a letter going that far took weeks and months. After several months a letter came from Uncle William stating that Uncle Cornelius had not lived but six or seven months after coming back to the old home. He had seemed perfectly content to wander over the beach and listen to the roar of the sea. He gradually grew weaker and one day he passed over beyond. The letter stated his parrot would neither eat or drink again. It just lived a week.

The children all took the measles in a very bad form. Our Mother, Ann, lost her voice. It was thought she never would regain her voice. After a year of silence it came back. All her life long a very severe cold in her lungs rendered her speechless.

While the children were kept in after the measles they were noisy and mischevous, especially Miles. One day he did something particularly flagrant and his father called him and spanked him and sent him under the bed for punishment. He went on with his [page 9] work for his hands were never idle. He noticed Mary Hannah motioning to Miles whom he could not see. He called her to him to tell what she meant. "I meant for him to put down the DemiJon: she said, "he was drinking out of it." "Miles! "Come here," called his father. He came fast enough for that was what he wanted, out. "What do you Mean? "I wasn't drinking" he said, "just pretending." The father told him never to touch, taste, or handle the stuff, if he did it would bring trouble and destruction. They only kept it for medicine. He never did. In all his career as a contractor, in the army, no one ever saw him drink.

The inevitable came as they all knew it would. The husband and father had to give up and take to his bed. In a few weeks death came to releive his suffering but to leave the brave wife and four fatherless almost helpless children.

The mother worked harder if such a thing could be. Ann did almost a womans work. Miles did what he could. When spring came the neighbors turned and put in a small crop and tended it for them. They riased their garden and potaters. Old Mahoney was one of the best to tend the corn. "Pay you for some which that old sow eat, She was a tornado in a corn field for a fact. "Queer what became of her. "Just looked like the ground opened and swallowed her up." It had.

After the crop was tended Miles wanted to hire out to a Mason and carry mortst. His mother wouldn't consent because he was too young and having lost John because he was working out, she thought. The man came to see her and said he would be as careful of him as if he was his own, he would teach him his trade and pay a small sum. He was a good kind man and kept his word to the letter. Miles stayed with him in the working season until after he was sixteen when he said he knew the trade as well as he himself did. In the next year the man had his eyes put out by blasting in a well. For another year the man had Miles as eyes and hands for him.

The second year our grandmother hired a young man just lately from Michigan to farm her place. She had a good team of horses and other stock. He was a good worker and kept things up in good shape. His name was George Macomber. As time went on it became evident that this young man intended to marry the Widow Holland. It must have been a Marriage of Convenience. I personally cannot think of it only in utter revolt. A young man, strong, 20 years, marrying a woman 40 or 42 with a family of four children. The eldest near 13 years. It just looked as if the Grandmother had said, "Well! Here is a nice clean young man, a good worker, a good farmer, has farmed the place and farmed it well. "This settles the Hired man question," and it just seemed that he said to himself, "Here's a nice farm, a good team and other stock, a nice woman, a good home, good cook, and everything to my hand." Alass! for all concerned there might have been a little love, but it seems so unnatural I don't know.

They had been married only a few months until they went one day to a neighbors house to a "Barn Raising." The children were all at school. There had been a school established 2 miles away, and he, Mr Macomber, insisted on them going. Our Mother never did [page 10] get but this six months schooling in her life. She walked 2 miles and helped carry Emma over the worse roads. She was a wonder in many studies, especially arithmetic. When I was working in Ray's 3rd part of arithmetic and puzzling over examples she could tell me the answers by going over it mentally. To go back when they got home from their barn raising, evidently one of the horses had taken sick with colic and in its struggle had kicked the other and broke its leg. It had to be killed. There was a team gone in a day. It was nearing spring so young horses or steers must be broken and plans for the crops and it was all trouble and Chaos.

Grandmother still doctored and did much weaving, but she was getting to the age when she couldn't stand hard work so the main brunt of the work fell on Ann (our Mother). Grandmother had to keep her bed for days sometimes. Our mother would do the work and then go to the loom house and weave when she knew it would give her a pain in her breast. She loved to weave better than anything else.

George was kind to them and evenings or rainy days put them to studying. He was well educated in the three "R"s, and he made them all proficient in these. He taught them singing. Within two years he brought his youngest sister Sally from Michigan. He placed her right in the family circle without so much as ever talking it over. She and Emma did not like each other very well. This was the first discention ever among them. They all worked and all played, and all studied when George had time to put them through their paces. Then he sent for his brother Sam Macomber to come in from Michigan. There was such a demand for labor that Sam found work immediately and only made occasional visits to them. They had some hard times and many disappointments goes without saying, and many changes in the family were seen to come.

Rumors of the beautiful western Iowa came to them. George recommended grandmother to sell her land and go west, where the money would buy land for them all. She held off for some time. I think a year or two, at least. Our Mother grew into womanhood, not very strong and robust, but versed in all kinds of work and a handsome girl. She had become well acquainted with Samuel Macomber, her Stepfathers brother. It seemed a mutual liking from the very first. As they began going together to the neighborhood picnicks. I do not know the exact date but I suppose in December 1853 when they were 19 years, Mother being a few Months the eldest.

They worked on a farm near by for awhile, and later he in a mill as he had learned the millright trade in Michigan. He, Samuel was an honest industrius upright man in every way. A true Christin and deeply religious, and My Father. They were responsible for my being, and I often wonder why I fell so far short of the character and example of my Parents.

I was born in April 1855. My parents had moved to Davenport, then getting to be quite a thriving little city. My father worked in a great mill and was doing well. After my Mothers marriage events came rapidly. Mary Hannah and Sally Macomber (my Aunt) had grown up and called themselves young ladies and both had steady Beaux, so both couples came to Davenport to visit my parents. Mothers sister Mary, and Fathers sister Sally. They were girls only 15 [page 11] past. I suppose the men were in their early 20s. They told Mother and father that they came to the city to be married with Grandmothers and Georges consent. They were going to a Justice but father said, 'twill be to a minister. He and mother accompanied them to their Methodist minister, and both couples were married.

George brought such pressure to bear on our grandmother that she sold her farm and most of their stuff and took emigrant trail west in the spring of 1854. I think grandmother with her basket of shaghigh eggs swinging from the wagon bow above her head. She always kept some of that breed of chickens as long as she lived. Our mother brought a crop of 15 young chickens about 1/3 grown with us to Nebraska of the same breed. Grandmother was far to the west when I was born. Here she could get land for all of her children with the price of her farm there. The Rawlins family (old friends) and a few others came together. They only had Emma now, Miles having stayed with his blind employer, working at his trade.

Alas for the motives of "mice and Men", my grandmother could not realize the schemes which were in Georges mind and brain. Very little land was entered. A millsight was secured on the Nodaway River at some expense and a small store was opened in the small village of Hawleyville and other enterprizes which took money. But it would return tenfold as soon as Settlers came in. All this he couldn't do alone so he kept writing to Sam and Miles to come in and help get things going so they could all get rich together. It fell out that our grandmother had to run the little store almost alone and she did very well considering the general poverty and economy of the early settlers. My father (Sam) stayed with his work in the mill in Davenport and saved enough to bring them out, and to enter forty acres of land. They came to Iowa City on the cars [railroad]. That was as far as the R.R. came. Then Father put Mother and I, a child of two in the stage for Clarinda, then just a village. He walked the rest of the way to save all he could. He stopped at the land office at Iowa City. George had written to him of the millsight and the numbers of the land it was on and the County. He and Miles were to make the mill and he was to run it, when made. In looking over the records he found the millsight with a small tract entered by George Macomber. The forty acres adjoining he entered and paid down for, and got his papers, or patent I think they called it. I think probably he knew George better than our grandmother had when she sold her farm. Not that he was dishonest but just that he could use so much and absorb the labor of so many. In the course of time twould come back double if things went well. So my parents came to south western Iowa, and went immediately to the Mill sight 3 1/2 miles from the village. A log house had been erected and soon we were living comfortably and father and Uncle Miles working busily at the sawmill. When some extra piece of machinery had to be purchased, and Uncle George wanted to borrow some money of father. He told him he did not have that much. "Why, I thought you saved enough to enter forty acres of land". "I did," he said, "That is my forty", motioniong to it, he laughed, (I can hear it, I learned to know it well), with chagrin. "You were in a hurry." That land will probably not have been picked up in 5 years, and you could get the whole quarter then. "Id rather be sure I have even a 40" father [page 12] said, and they never mentioned it again.

With Uncle Miles doing the mason work for the dam and firebox and the father the millright work placing the great timbers and the saws, the work went very well. By the first of the year 1858 a great yard of logs were in the ground and the mill doing a flourishing business. Of course my father was the only one who could run those great saws and he was a very busy man. Uncle Miles soon had many calls from the new settlers for his work laying foundations, walling cellars, occasionally plastering a room, but of course not very many in that early time. Our grandmother was busy as a bee at their little store and doing well. George had the vision of looking ahead and knowing what was going to be needed by an influx of settlers and what could be made by getting ready, hence the Mill and store. Yet, it took the labor of many of them, and the money of them all.

In the spring of 1858 he (George) conceived the idea of going across the plains to Pikes Peak with a load of goods to sell and to dig the gold which would make a fortune for them all. Accordingly he pressed them all to his service taking the earnings of the mill and store, (which were his) to outfit him for the trip. He joined some others after laying in supplies at St Joseph and made the trip. He claimed to have done very well with the goods, bringing back a few valuable furs to St Jo. As for gold that was a dream and he was wiser after his return, so that all worked and saved and looked forward to some day having a goodly amount of property.

My father broke out a few acres of his land the first season and planted seed corn which made enough to feed his cow and team of oxen. They raised a garden and potatoes in the mill land for us and grandmother. In after years our grandmother and George owned probably a dozen farms; yet they never benefitted grandmother children one pennies worth. They themselves always worked hard, had no luxuries and very few coneniences. I can faintly recollect something of Uncle Georges return from the west because he brought a snall camp stove and gave it to mother. She had done her cooking at the fireplace up to that time. I always called him Uncle George because he was my Uncle. Grandmother and her children just called him George. Sometimes Aunt Emma if she wanted some favor, or to wheedle called him father, for she didn't remember her own father as well as the rest. Strangers always took them (grandmother and George) for mother and son for he called her mother much more than he did Mary.

I think about the next thing I do remember vividly was the marriage of Aunt Emma. I remember Uncle George bringing her a beautiful piece of silk from St Jo when he came back with goods for the store. The store building by this time was the largest in town. It had a large hall above it where church and sunday school, and Good Templars Lodge was held with all the back part of the ground floor made into living rooms. The next time I saw that beautiful silk, Aunt Emma had a dress made of it, and it was her wedding night. I am not at all sure and have no way of knowing just at this time but I think it was late in 1860, probably Nov or Dec. It was a large company gathered in the big hall to witness the marriage cerimony of Emma Burton Holland and Samuel H. Glassgow (my grandparents) for they were [page 13] very popular young people. I can not remember the minister at all. After the supper was over I went to Aunt Emma and she told me that the man was my Uncle and wanted me to kiss him. Of course I wouldn't. She had a glass knob for a bureau or stand drawer which I had always wanted. She told me if I would kiss him she would give me that. I kisses him very shyly but he was very nice and I soon liked him very well. They stayed at grandmothers a few weeks and I think they moved to his farm on the prarie about 4 miles north west of the village. Their stay was short and their love dream and happiness was ruthlessly invaded by the call of war. They had made their little garden and Uncle Sam had sewn his wheat and oats and was plowing for corn when Ft Sumpter was fired upon and President Lincoln issued his first great call for volunteers. Uncle Sam, ever impetuous and quick to decide flung farm, wife, and all to the winds as it were and enlisted for 90 days. Aunt Emma cried and plead in vain. "He would only be gone just a little while", he said, "He would help to show Johnny Reb they couldnt fire on our flag." He went away with the first regiment from South Western Iowa leaving everything in charge of his father. His father was a very capable man who soon found a man with a small family to go on the farm. He loaded Aunt Emma and her stuff and brought her back to grandmothers house. She must come to them whenever she wanted to but he thought the best place for her while Sam was away was with her own Mother, not that he blamed Sam. He would go himself if he could and he gave two other sons to go and they all came back.

Those were awful times. Child though I was I can recall that scarcely a neighbor but had some one and sometimes two or three off to the war. This summer of 1861 I was sent to my grandmothers to attend the school which had opened in the village. It was my first time to be away from home and I was so homesick I cried almost every day. Aunt Emma did much to make me contented and happy but I could not be reconcilled easily. " I went rest of the ten weeks term and liked it. When Uncle Sam's 90 day were up he enlisted for a year with only two weeks furlough. Uncle Miles was bound to go but was rejected on account of weak eyes. Father chaffed inwardly he was so patriotic. He wanted to serve his county but he was a small man, Under height and frail built physically, a[nd] had a helpless family, Had work which no one left at home could do so he made no complaint and worked away. Uncle George and grandmother were very early connected with the underground railway and made many sacrifices and ran many narrow risks. Late in the war Uncle George was drafted, but he promptly hired a substitute and said he could served his country better in the work at home than by going to the front. Uncle Miles went to Missouri and enlisted in the 5th Missouri for the period of 3 years or during the war, and never came home during the whole time.

Very late in the fall of 1861 Aunt Emma came up to mothers for her sickness, and Uncle Sam's sister (a widow) Aunt Pelle Flannigan we all called her came to help care for her. On a certain day we children, Wesley and I were sent to our nearest neighbors to stay the day and night. When we got home again Aunt Ema had a lovely little girl baby. Oh how we did love it. Bit it only lived three days, and Oh! the sorrow to aunt Emma with Uncle Sam away and her baby gone. Wesley and I had contracted Scarlet [page 14] fever in our visit, so in ten days we came down with very violent form of it. Where we had been the family lost two children. Mr Glasgow (Uncle Sams Father) came with his horse and buggy (very few buggies in those days) and took Aunt Emma back to grandmothers for fear that in her weak state she might get Scarlet fever. Every family lost one or more, it was so deadly. Mother brought us through all right, but we both went into the Typhoid and I had a six week siege of that. I came out so weak I couldn't walk or hardly talk. Wesley had a light attack and was soon well. Uncle Sam was at home on sick leave that summer, but I didn't know it. I was too sick myself. Mother and father worked harder than ever it seemed yet they always went to church and Sunday school. Both taught classes and sang. How I remember the songs they sang of an evening sitting by the fireplace. Mother with her knitting, father, making something with his pocket knife. He made ax helms for sale and often carved wood pannels. They seemed always busy and always happy. I think perhpas there was not quite so much work now in the mill as there was at first. Any way My father did much of the hauling from St. Jo. and when he went down he would take many things of their own in for the neighbors for sale in the city. His Ax helmes and wood carvings and furs. He had a way of killing skunks by drownings and they did not scent themsleves or fur. Then Mother would dry out the oil which sold very high for medical use. She made lovely butter which brought a good price, knitted socks, stockings, mitlets, mufflers, and suspenders. They surely would have reached a competence could they have gone on together, but fate was already at work. The war was going right along. Instead of crushing the Johnnies in 90 days it was not about 1863. Uncle Sam Glassgow had been home on a sick furlough and had gone back to the front. His enlisted time would expire the next summer and they made all arrangements to go back to their farm. They hired some work done so as to have feed for their stock in the winter. Oh! How glad we all were and Aunt Emma was so happy. We had learned how to write the winter before and I was to stay at Grandmothers and go to school. Sometime in August Aunt Emma had a little son, but he was very frail and only lived to be two months old. Of course they were heartbroken and not long after Uncle Sam enlisted for 3 years or the end of the war. Father Glassgow again moved Aunt Emma back to Grandmothers and the war went on. Grandmother read a great deal and told the war news to the family and the patrons of the store. Uncle Sams letter were interesting also as he was with General Grant on the way to Vicksburg. While Uncle Miles was with Sherman on his way to the sea. They met and had an evening together the first and last till after the war was over.

As I said fate, dark fate was coming towards them. My father had been so patriotic and wanted to go in the service all the time. He said now that needed recruits so bad he could get in and was going to enlist. Many were the arguments against it. Mother didn't want him to go. She had a premonition he would never get back. Uncle George just raved. He said Sam couldn't be spared from the mill. They had added a turning lathe and were turning out the parts of furniture which could be made by father. The sawing, at times the teaming, and all. It had no effect and early in Feb 1864 he enlisted and went to Des Moines. Grandmother told him the war was nearly over when Grant took Vicksburg and Sherman got to Charleston that would end it. But he enlisted in the 23rd Iowa infantry so [page 15] he could be with Uncle Sam Glassgow. He was to go from Bedford, County seat of Taylor county. Aunt Serena and Uncle Sam Churchill came over and he went with them. She has told me of their parting. They walked a ways in the road towards Hawleyville and stopped in a little knoll overlooking thir own land for their parting. He had taken Wesley in his arms and kissed him goodbye. They were not to start with the team until he and Mother parted. When they saw him go to the road and Mother turn to a bypath they drove on and overtook him. Aunt Serena said he was as white as a ghost. He was white as a ghost but very calm and cheerful. They came to Hawleyville to grandmothers for dinner. I was there going to school. He bid me goodby and I gave him a little testement. I have it yet with his own writing telling what I said to him. Little I thought it would be the last time I would ever see my dear Father, yet so fate had ordered it.

They all knew he was not a very stout man. He could not stand the heat very well having been overcome with heat once, and dreaded the south for him. Starting in the winter he thought he would get down south before the heat of summer. Instead of that the new recruits were kept on the training camp at Davenport Iowa until the middle of summer and then sent south to join their regiment in Louisiana. They were in several engagements going down river. Father was in the firing squad exposed to intense heat. When they landed at Marganzie Bend Louisiana where the 23rd Iowa were stationed he was sick. Uncle Sam Glasgow and other friends met and welcomed him but they knew he was a sick man. The Drs' did all they could for him, but said it was brain fever brought on by the intense heat. Dear Old Fathers life went out for his patriotism and love of country, by the mismanagement of those in authority.

During the time he was in camp at Davenport his letters came very regularly and he told us of going to visit Aunt Mary Hannah Arrisson and her family. They had 3 children. Her husband Will came to the camp there also and knew when he joined his regiment, that uncle Sam and many neighbors would be there. Alas! Such a short visit. Uncle Sam of course wrote all the particulars. He said he found him one time with the pictures of mother and we children on his breast and his testament in his hand. He said "I have to leave them, I am going home". "You and George must look after them." "God has promised to look after the widow and the orphans, but you and George must help." He went perfectly resigned.

We're having a great camp meeting south of Hawleyville and on a Sunday in August Mother took a fainting spell. They brought her to the tent. She and Sister Thomburg (The Ministers wife) were together and laid her in the couch and she lay in a swoon for over three hours. They sent for the Dr. and grandmother. After such a long time she came back to councousness. "Why did I ever wake up?" she sked, "For my Sam, my husband is dead." They thought it a dream and tried to comfort her, but she told us she had seen him laid out with the flag draped over him. She was just as sure of his death as she was a week later when the official word of the commanding officer and Uncle Sam's letters came to tell us all about it. Oh! the heart break of it. My Aunt Serena, fathers oldest sister has told me that very sunday (the day he died) that she had kept my fathers picture hanging in her bedroom. She said that day it seemed to her as if his continance was different.

[page 16] She said to her husband (his name was Sam Churchill but he knew she worshipped my father) Sam is sick, he don't look natural he wants to tell me something. He said in his staid way "just your imagination. Oh! the awfulness of it. I couldn't believe that I would never see father again. That when the rest came home that father wouldn't. We knew from the talk that the war would soon be over for there had been some decisive battles fought and some soldiers whose time had expired were coming home, but Wesley and I were orphans. Our father would never come home again.

The summer wore away and we were started to school. We had a man teacher, Mr Simpson, I was afraid of him. The first term he taught but I loved him now. He was kind and good but this term was interrupted at times by the teachers sickness. He had a boy attending school and he would say papa is sick today but he will be here tomorrow, then he would flock home to gather nuts or play, not knowing that a tradgedy was being enacted under our eyes for it turned out (The school board probably knew and a few of our parents) that in those days when he could not come he had hemmorage of the lungs. Then he would feel better and come back trying to make a living for his helpless family and hating to give up the school and the scholars he loved. He had to give up and in two weeks he died. His body lay in state in the school room for two hours. We school children put autumn leaves in the coffin and the Methodist Minister addressed us. The family packed their goods and went east to their folks and we never heard of them again. Another teacher or two took our school but would soon leave for the war, so we had a long vacation but the war was soon to close. All those who were alive would soon be home but we could not seem to hear from uncle Sam or Uncle Miles. Aunt Emma cried so much she was sure Uncle Sam was dead. I told her I knew he was not. He would soon be home I was sure. Aunt Emma had comforted me so many times I was bound to comfort her if I could and I really felt like he was all right, and I would tell her he was just busy and knew he would soon be home, so did not stop to write. So it proved out, but of course how did I know. Lee had surrendered and soldier boys were getting home every day. The Glassgows Bill and Charley got back and they did much to cheer Aunt Emma. (Charley had seen Uncle Miles). Still no letter came till at times I could hardly believe my own words when I told her I knew he would come. One warm day I think in May or June after General Lee had surrendered. Arms were stacked and was declared over. I was washing dishes at the cook table and looked up the street which ran past the M.E. Church in little old Hawleyville and saw a troop of soldiers coming. One looked very familiar. I sprang to the room door and cried out "Uncle Sam is coming"! I raced up the street to meet him. They all ran to the door and I heard Mothers voice "Come back you Crazy Child" but on I raced until in front of the church I met them and grabbed Uncle Sam by the arm. He took me right up in his arms for a few seconds. "How is Em?" he asked, "crying her eyes out" I said, "why did you not write" Aunt Emma and Grandmother and mother had watched the meeting and knew I was right so of course Aunt Emma was at the gate and such a meeting and how we all felt, with my poor father sleeping away in the south land. But we rejoiced with her and heard his story of it every stop from Washington to the west. They were given such ovations and sometimes banquets that write he could not.

[page 17] He had taken the day off at Davenport to visit Aunt Mary Arrison and family so most of his regiment had gone on. They had marched nearly 100 miles the last lap of their journey, but the wretched war was over. We could all do our best and live our best from now on. Uncle Miles did not come until Mid Autumn. He had a job of closing up the barracks at jefferson city so he stayed and worked, but when he did come what a time we had. He organized nutting parties, picnics and everything which he had missed for five long hard years. We got great quantities of walnuts, hickory nuts, hazel nuts and gatherered our pop corn made molasses and just had big times. Late in the fall we began to hear that we could have school again and OH! how anxious I was this year. We were to have two rooms. Primary down stairs taught by Miss Helen Hinman. The older ones in the upper room. Who was the Teacher? When the school opened Mr Hinman, Pres. of the Board, came and introduced our new teacher, a returned soldier boy, medium size. Goodlooking, blue eyed young man just a few months married to the girl who had waited for him until the war was over. She would come on he said when he found rooms where they could make their home for the school year. His name was Daniel J. Delong. We all liked him from the very beguinning of the term. I will say this after a lapse of 65 years, he had all the attributes of a natural instructor. He was very firm, but very kind and considerate and we could not help learning. He was my best teacher and my Ideal. I was one of the youngest in his room but we were placed according to our studies.

That winter many of the returned soldier boys attended school and many young ladies also hearing of our good teacher availed themselves of the opportunity of a few months under a college man. He seemed to one with the big boys on the playgrounds, but in the school room he was all teacher. He taught our schools for three years. I believe then he was elected to a county office. He built a lovely home the first vacation period and they lived there as long as they stayed in our village. One baby daughter came to them but she died when 1 year old, no others did they ever have.

Those years brought many changes. Uncle George had sold out his store and moved us all to a very inferior house, but with much ground around it. They had acquired many farms and some term property. Still true to his life instinct. He wanted all the money within reach. He borrowed the back pay and bounty due my father, and was always ready to ask her for her quarterly pension money. Oh! Yes he would pay it all back when she needed it, she didn't need it then. She felt like she was living off them (though working like a slave) let him have her money till he had over $300 and not a scratch of a pen to show for it.

Uncle Sam and Aunt Emma went back to their farm and as usual did well. In June 1867 they had a sweet girl baby name Eva May (my mother). She grew and was healthy. Their first child to live. This summer in early fall Uncle Miles got married to a beautiful English girl whom he loved when she was just a gangling girl, but he had not forgotten, and they were married by our Methodist Minister who had come to our circuit in 1866 from the Des Moines conference.

That year our grandmother had raised a large garden and we --[page 18] she and I -- had the front yard filled with flowers. It was my delight to gather a small bouguet of flowers for a special friend when they were leaving. One day Brother Wallace, a minister who lived in Clarinda, stopped to visit a few minutes. He had been to the conference. They asked him who was our new minister for the next year. He told us his name was Martin. He said there were two Martins in the conference and he was not sure which one it was but thought it was a very fine preacher, and, by the way Sister Ann, he said to mother, a widower. She said that made no difference to her, but I noticed she blushed. I was 11 years old and beginning to notice some things they didn't think I did. Well in due time he came and we all thought him a good preacher. He had to have a boarding place so he went to Brother Thompsons, the closest residence to the church. Of course we had him to dinner and all made his aquaintance.

About this time Mother began to worry some about her money. She asked Uncle George for a note with good security, and he wouldn't give it to her. She told him she wanted to invest it for her children and was tired of living like we were any way. If she had a little home her pension would keep us with what work she could get. They talked and he finally promised to build her a house (for the debt) furnished. She agreed because she knew that was all she ever could get though not enough. In the beginning of 1867 Sister Thompson fell sick and could not board the preacher any more. He came to grandmothers to board and it was not but a few weeks until he got sick himself. Of course they had the doctor but mother had to nurse him. There was no one else to do it. Child that I was I could begin to see how things were going. I pointed it out to grandmother but she said I was wrong.

The first time they went together was when he went to perform the marriage ceremony of Aunt Belle Flannagin (Uncle Sams Sister) and Robert Kelly out at father Glassgows. Aunt Belle sent word to Mother she wouldn't be married without her. She went with the Preacher. He owned a fine horse and buggy and a few weeks later Bill Glassgow Married Julia Roberts a Methodist girl. Mother accompanied him again. I said grandmother what did I tell you. She said well he is a nice man. I cried. Along in the late summer he went over to Fremont County to visit his father and when he came back he brought his little daughter back with him, I suppose for mother to see. I was delighted with her and loved her from the first and we had lots of good times together. We played with a little Negro boy and one day we made a plan to run with him and let go just right to put him in the ditch. He held to her when I let go and it threw her in, Oh-h! It was awful. She was muddy and he didn't get a drop of it.

Uncle George was making our house and we were looking forward to our own home. He took his time. Wesley and I gathered many hazelnuts that year and we would take them to our house and spread them on the floor to dry. We'd go there and hull them. I would take my quilt pieces and go up there and sew.

One day they told me the grasshoppers were coming. This was in the last of July (I think) 19, 1867. I didn't know what grasshoppers were so I asked. They told me I would soon find out. I did. The sun was darkened and they began to alight, striking the [page 19] ground, buildings, people like hail. It's an insect grown from 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length with a gauzy wing as long or longer than their body. They had rough red legs so they could hop a yard or fly a mile. They began to eat, everything went before them. We had beautiful flowers and a lovely garden grandmother said she would keep them off the garden and I should take the flowers they shouldn't have them. We couldn't do much. We took bushes and drove them off of things, a hundred more would be there when we turned around. She said well she would fix them. She got a man to haul a load of straw and covered her cabbage and she helped me at the flowers. It did no good they burrowed in the straw and ate the cabbage. She got a man to come and make it into krout. People told her it was too early to make krout. It would spoil. She told them if it did 'twas better than to let the hoppers eat it. It was lovely krout and the people bought it an ate it all winter. No one else had any.

One day in August Mother told me she was to marry the preacher the 5th of September. I was nearly heart broken. Oh-h-. Then you and Wesley and I will never live in our little house I said. She said we all will and I knew what she meant. It was all done except the plastering, but Uncle George had to burn a kiln of lime before he could do that. We were to have had it in June. That was the way she was put off. One day the stage drew up at our gate and 5 people got down. Grandmother and I were in the yard brushing grasshoppers. We went to meet them and it proved to be Aunt Mary Arrissen and family. Of course they were all glad to see her after so many years of seperation. She was a tall beautiful woman. He was a dark compectioned forbidding looking man, but jolly and really a very good soul. He was a painter by trade. Their two girls both dark complected, Mammie (they called her though she had been named Mary) about my size though 11 years old, and Flora 3 or 4 years younger, and Willie about 5 years old, light complected image of his mother.

They said both Sams had told them so much of the west that they had determined to come if they ever saved enough to bring them. Here they were with only the clothes and a box or two on the road somewhere.

The girls I liked and we were soon acquainted, but the boy was the soul of mischief and made life miserable for us girls and he and Wesley didn't get along very well. He would catch grasshoppers and hold them on their backs by the wings and tell them to spit tobacco, they would exude that awful stuff from the mouth and then he would put it on us girls if he could. It was worse than ink and harder to get out of clothing. We double teamed on master Willie and he had to promise to stop that.

The children fought hoppers and had grandmother stop and visit. One day we heard the Preacher bidding them good by as he was going away to conference at Des Moines. He said to mother I will get back the 4th. I knew what that meant for their wedding was to be the 5th of September. Aunt Hannah, Uncle Miles' wife, told me they were going to make a big wedding of it and so we girls must stay with her and keep out of the way of the preparations. We went hazel nutting at her Parents home in Penley's. There were acres of brush and nuts were thick. Then we went out to Aunt Emmas [page 20] and stayed a few days. Oh-h-h how we loved the little baby Eva. We would hold her whenever Aunt Emma would let us. I remember the ugh [?] that we got back and all the flowers but one bed were eaten up. Grandmother had her chair under a little tree and a long brush that would reach the flowers and kept them free of hoppers from sunrise till dark. Aunt Mary said she was saving these for the wedding.

Finally the week arrived and the 4th. The preacher came home. He had been to the conference and been sent back to the Hawleyville work. He was given an assistant since there were several points where they must preach. He had also been to his fathers home in Fremont County and his father and brother John had also come to be present for the wedding. I kept my eyes open and said little Aunt Mary was invaluable help in managing things. They had Aunt Lucy a famouse colored cook to prepare the feast. In the afternoon September 5th the guests began to come. Aunt Emma and Uncle Sam, Aunt Serena and Uncle Sam, Uncle Miles and Aunt Hannah, Aunt Belle and Mr Kelly, Brother and sister Wallace, Brother Wallace was the minister who performed the ceremony. Of course the father and brother of the preacher and fully a dozen or 15 of our own household counting Aunt Mary's family.

I think about 3 o'clock September 5, 1867 the ceremony was performed and soon after the tables were ready. After I had kissed mother and took the preachers hand and called him Pa I slipped out at the back of the house to cry, and I sure did. Uncle John Martin was out there too wiping his eyes. What are you crying for little girl? he asked. What are you crying for I said. He said "I can't help it. "Elza has such bad luck with his Women," he said. "I fear it will be the same this time." "Women!" I said, "What do you mean!" "I knew he had a wife before." "yes" he said, "Sarah the mother of his children died about 3 years ago, but when he was a young man he married a sweet girl named Mary Stone and she didn't live a year. "She was an angel. "I loved her myself, though only 15 years." "Oh!" well", I said, "the third times the charm. Maybe not." We went in together and I thought more of Uncle John than I did. I caught Mother alone the next day and asked, Do you know you're the preachers third wife?" "Yes she said." I don't hardly believe I could have called him father after always calling my own, "Father", for I was 12 years old. I called him Pa like his own children did. He was always a good father to us in all our childish difficulties. He always listened impartially and talked to us reasonably and with justice. He and mother never punished or touched each others children in conviction, whether by mutual agreement or not I do not know. Six children between the ages of 9 and 13 must have been something to control, but I guess we got along as well as the average families do.

In just a day or two they went over to Fremont County to see Pas' folks and his boys. We knew Emma but had not seen the boys. They aimed to move into Mothers' house as soon as it was finished but Uncle George was busy making a house in the country and seemed in no hurry. He had a full corps of workman now. They could turn over a house complete, he and Miles carpenters, Uncle Miles plasterer, Uncle Bill Arrisson painter. In a week or ten days, mother and pa came back and he started a revival meeting at another part of [page 21] his circuit.

I suppose I was actually sick then, but kept going and said I didn't want to play when my cousins insisted on it. I finished hulling all of our hazelnuts and finished my Quilt pieces ready to go to school when it started, but I did not go to school that term. I came down with typhoid fever. It must have been toward the last of September when I took sick, for school was to start Oct 1st. For six long weeks they said I lay in a high fever and raving with delerium. When Pa's meeting closed he came home to help mother care for me. I knew him and would let him give me medicine while mother lay down to rest. They said I would regale him with talk about mother. I said she wasn't always gentle. She would whip "youn-uns."

In the meanwhile Uncle George had finished the house. There was so much noise and confusion there as Aunt Marys family was there, that when the fever broke they asked the Dr about moving me and they put me on a couch and covered me and Pa and Uncle George carried me to the new house. It didn't hurt me any but I was so weakened that I couldn't walk until after Christmas. They asked the Dr. about bringing Pa's children home, as he wanted them in school. The Dr. thought it safe. In two weeks Milton came down with it. The Dr. taking it in time he was only sick about two weeks and was soon up and around and able to go to school while I was still learning to walk and couldn't get up a step at the door. My hair all had come out.

During that winter Uncle George brought a great big old house and took out a partition wall so he made a store room and laid his small stock of goods again. One room was for cabinet making and the upper rooms he rented. Aunt May and family lived up stairs and another small famly. I wanted to go to school but was too weak and too ashamed of my looks. I remember I made an apron and took it to grandmother for her birthday on March 13th 1868. She was 63 years old. I spent the day with her and she gave me a knitted net to hide my bald head and told me many things about her own girlhood and her parents.

In April Uncle George came one day and asked Mother to let me come and stay in the store with him. He said school was so near out it wouldn't do me much good any way that year. I knew enough to add up accounts and he would always be working in the back room at his furniture business. It was arranged and I went to clerking and I liked it very much. Sometimes I would take dinner with Aunt Mary and sometimes with Uncle Miles and Aunt Hannah. Mostly I took a small lunch from home and did not leave till night. I think some time in July uncle Miles and Aunt Hannah had a little baby daughter. They named her Mary for both grandmas and Frances for Aunt Hannah's dearest girl friend. When Grandmother heard it she said No. She would always be called Frank and she wouldn't have it. She went down to see the baby and told them to call her Mary for Mrs Bently but name her Burton for her. They did and she has been Burtie ever since, and one of the loveliest women I have ever know. (Burtie Holland Jackson their mother)/

That same summer Pa had a letter from his father who had [page 22] moved to Nebraska that spring that he had bought an 80 acres of land for each of his sons in the Sac and Fox Indian reservation south of Falls City at the governement sale. He wanted him to come and look at it and see if he could make a home of it. Pa had already decided not to attend conference that year. He had too large a family they thought. He would always preach but not a regular appointment. He rented one of Uncle George's farms for the next year and in August he and Mother and we girls made the trip to Nebraska to see the new land Grandpap had given him.

After school was out that spring Pa had taken his boys to his people to have them out of town for the summer. John the youngest had come with his grandpap to Nebraska, Hannibal the eldest and Milton were with their relatives in Fremeont. Wesley could stay at Uncle Georges and we girls could be taken. I think they gave themselves two weeks and may be a little more for the visit. In Sept we got home again. The grasshoppers were still with us. Grandmother had saved her flowers all summer by a trench around the beds. Driving them in and sprinkling them with lime. After they could fly she had taken her bushes and stayed under her tree from Dawn till dark again. The neighbors said she had over drove herself. She was ailing when we got home and she said to me, "You help me now to fight hoppers and we'll save our flowers yet. In two or three days she took a sinking spell and had to go to bed. She was very sick and only lived about 9 days. Mother and Aunt Mary never hardly left her. Everything was done which could be, but of no avail. She passed away and it almost seemed a miracal but Aunt Mary gathered the flowers and placed them in her casket. A lovely wreath and some cut flowers. She had worked so hard for. 'Twas sure sad days for us. We all missed her so. Uncle George seemed lost without her and would not stay there. He moved some of his things to rooms at the store building and wanted me to stay and keep house for him. Mother stipulated I was to go to school and do what I could and my own room was to be next to Aunt Mary's, upstairs.

Mother and Pa had moved to the farm late in the fall to prepare for the next seasons crops. There was a district school close by which they all attended. They seemed to learn but said "likin" went with it. Our little home was rented and when school was out I went home for mother needed me worse than anyone else did. Pa would preach when called upon and he had taken mother with him to a village 5 miles away on a sunday night. His team ran away and they threw them out of the buggy and hurt mothers leg pretty badly. She was laid up for a couple of weeks and we girls did the work the best we could by her directions. Gardening and setting hens and butter gave us plenty to do. I was only 14 years and Emma 2 1/2 years younger. Mother was very poorly from then on. She gave birth to twin babies on the 7th of June 1869. We had a hired girl then for about three weeks. The work kept us all busy and mother took the milk leg.

I can remember how we all felt that she would never walk again. In about six weeks though she could walk with her foot in a chair.

[page 23] The hoppers all left that June and we had pretty good crops after all and good gardens. The girl baby named Eliza Ann was very weakly. We didn't know whether she could live or not and all the family seemed to love her the best and make the most of her. That made me love the little boy Elza Asbury the best of the two. He was healthy and grew right off like a baby should. He got so pretty and the bottle milk agreed with him. It didn't agree with the girl at all. There were times when we girls took Asbury and his bottle to bed with us and kept him all night, when Anna would be so sick that mother would have to be up and down with her.

Finally mother got so she could walk all right and we all rejoiced and planned how much we could to before winter as it was decided we were going to move to Nebraska.

Granpap had written to Pa that he had secured a rented place we could have until he got his land broken out and built a house.

Aunt Emma had a very serious illness and I had to go there to help out for nearly six weeks. Finally when I could be at home again and I commenced to pack things that we did not have to use every day. Pa had made one trip already with his binder and some plows which he would have to have and yet would not bring anything there. Some other implements he traded for young cattle. When he came back he brought one of his fathers teams and wagon. John could drive them they were so gentle. The other boy met them at a certain place. We were all together again and nearly ready for the start. 'Twas a big 3 days journey. Two heavily loaded wagons, Mother, and we two girls, and twin babies six months old. I wish I could remember the date, but I do not. It must have been past the middle of November but the weather was beautiful. Mother had prevailed on Pa to fix a small coop at the end of one wagon for some half grown chickens. She had 12 or 15 of them. The old breed of Shanghighs and a small box of rhubarb roots from the seed. They were driving 9 head of cattle, 3 of them cows as we must keep the same milk for the babies. Anna could take some cows milk now and was getting better and looking healthier. We knew it would be a hard trip for them at best. We did lots of baking as we knew three dinners and maybe suppers before we got through.

We started on a thursday, I don't know the date. We aimed to make it through to Granpap Martins Sat. night. The first day we were to go about 25 mi. The journey was 100 mi. the shortest way. The 25 mi would take us to Bro. Michaels. He was a good Methodist farmer neighbor. We made that all right. Mother, Us girls, and babies stayed in the house. Pa and the boys under the wagons.

The next day we were to reach Uncle Mose Vanness'. 1 1/2 mi from the crossing of the Missouri at Brownsville, Nebr. Aunt Lucinda Vanness was Grandpap Martins sister. She was a small wirey little woman so kind and so gracious. A hot supper, beds on the floor for the boys and warm baths and greasings for those babys to take the soreness out of them. This was all accomplished so easy and with such a christian spirit.

[page 24] Sunday we sure spent in rest. At least Mother, Girls and babies had stood the trip remarkably well. The weather had been grand. It had been some cold and frozen ice before we started, but was fine then. We had very little cold weather that whole winter. In the month of March we had a blizzard I never forgot. I supposed we would go to the rented farm Monday but Pa went to see the owner and make the stipulated agreement. We did not go until Wednesday, I think. The next Monday we were all to go to school except Wesley who was to stay at home to help take care of the twins. There was too much for Mother to do though she was getting better and stronger in this new country.

The little chickens came through all right, only lost one. Pa fixed a good warm place for them and they commenced to lay in the spring almost as soon as some which were on the place when we came. Grand Pa Martin was so glad to have us come to Nebraska and when we got to the rented farm Pa's brother John and his sister Jane (Mrs Humphrey), both lived in the neighborhood so we had a warm welcome there. The farm was owned by Mr Joshua Kinsey a very nice man. His wife had died and he had two children, a girl and boy about ten and eight. They were living with his brother near Salem. We were to have the place two years and he was to board with us when he was not at Salem.

Five of us started to school the next Monday. We had heard that the master was a very strict, cross teacher, in fact a Tyrant. He was a one armed man having lost his arm in the service. We all found him a very nice man, and a splendid teacher. The school was very large with about 50 pupils of all ages and grades. The building was small for so many but we all learned fast. He really seemed to take some trouble to help me as I had forgotten so much that I had known. I had not been regularly at school but I soon caught on and stood at the head of most of my classes. One boy about my age was a wonder in Mathmatics and was a great help to me. I always thought kindly of him.

It was a very light winter. Pa did considerable plowing. I know he plowed the garden and Potato patch and we kicked up about five bushels of potatoes not hurt by frost at all. The winter flew away and in March 1870 on a sunday a blizzard struck that lasted 3 days and then turned warm. We had no more winter. There was a grove of Maple trees down on the river bank a hundred or more yards from the house. Pa tapped them, the boys tended them and Mother boiled down the sap in buckets and kettles and made a great quantity of Maple sugar and some syrup. When we had all been especially good and industrious we had a treat of sugar. Pa raised a good crop that year and broke out 40 to 50 acres of his 80 and planned to build a house in the spring of 1871. Mr. Kinsey was to be married and would want his house though he wanted Pa to farm the ground as he said he was the best farmer he had seen. A house was built or rather enclosed (not lathed or plastered) by the 1st of April.

That winter of 70 & 71 was some colder that the one before. We had a different teacher. He was a good one but he hadn't much control over the young men who came (about a dozen). They almost caused [page 25] him to resign.

The scarlet fever, in a very violent form struck the country. Grown people even had it in sore throats and coughs. With children it was terrible. Many died. Many were left deaf or with some disfigurement. Wesley and I had had it when I was 6. The rest got it. They had high fevers, sore throats and other symptoms.

The babies by that time were the sweetest babies in the world according to us all. When John lay sick little Asbury could not be kept away. He loved him and wanted to play peep. About the time John got around one day the baby boy took very ill. I stayed from school to help care for him for he was contented with me. He was so sick they got a Dr. He gave them no help nor hope. He said that in certain systems it was death almost from the first, and it so proved to be. So awfully fine and healthy as he was he did not live three days and suffered awfully.

It was ptitful to see Anna looking around and hunting for him behind chairs in the stair way and places where they had played. The winter before or rather the spring of 1870 Pa's brother in law the childrens Uncle Edwin Morris, a youth of 16 had died of consumption and been buried in our neighborhood cemetery calle the Falls Center Springfield Cemetery. We laid little Asbury there not far from Eddie Morris.

I think it was in April 1871 when we moved to the new home. Everything was to do of course. There was not a stable or lot. Pa was sure one to accomplish work. The boys were good help. He set out his orchard and fruit trees. He built cow and hog lots and stables. He had dug the well before making the house. Mother got shrubrey and set out and planted flowers. They had wheat and oats in Mr. Kinseys place and ground for one piece of corn. Mr and Mrs. Kinsey moved in as soon as we got out. They put corn in the new place and a wonderful crop it made.

I had always wanted to go back to Iowa. I was not quite as homesick as I had been the year before. Still I wanted to go back. Mother made arrangements for me to go back and live with Aunt Emma and Uncle Sam in Villisca, Iowa, and go to school. I went as far as Fremont county in a wagon with Mr. and Mrs. Shirley (Pa's cousin). I took the train at Riverton and went to Villisca. This was my first train ride since I was two years old. I got over there among My own people and made a little visit to each before going to Aunt Emma's for the school year. Uncle George had married again and I visited them for a few days. We had all supposed he would marry a young like woman and have some children to inherit his wealth. What was my surprise to find her older than he was with an adopted daughter. I think maybe our dislike for each other was mutual and simultanious, I don't know.

I went to Aunt Emma's and buckled into the work for she was not very well. I began to see that it wasn't home by a good deal. I would have stayed by my bargain and gone to school and worked my best but just then who should come to visit but mother and Wesley, and baby Anna. "Oh, Mother", I said, "no more Iowa for me. "I'm [page 26] going home when you do." She said she was glad of it. Aunt Emma was disappointed but said after all she believed every young girl should be with her mother. I went home and was never homesick for old Iowa again. I loved to go a visit, but not to live. When our school commenced we were all in school again.

We had a good teacher and a large school. I stood easily the first of every class except spelling. I was not a champion speller by any means. I wanted to be a teacher myself. That was my great ambition.

I was engaged to be married but expected a long engagement because we were both young and I thought Jack Crook was the only man in the whole world for me. I wanted to wait two or three years. He was teaching school that winter of 1871 and 72 in Kansas about 4 miles from our home. Once a month he stopped to see me and took Sunday evening supper.

One day my teacher said to me, "if you want to teach you can get a certificate any time, and maybe you could teach this summer." I thought if I just could my dreams were coming true, but I was afraid I couldn't pass the teachers examination. Teacher said he knew I could and told mother. She was awfully proud that I had studied so hard but told me to talk it over with some one else first. The next time Jack came to see me I told him and he said he was sure I could pass alright.

He had engaged to teach a school that summer in the western part of our county so he would have to get a certificate in Nebraska himself. He promised to take me to Falls City March first to the county teachers examination.

It was a beautiful day and with him to introduce me to the county Spuerintendent I did my best and got along alright. There were 8 or 10 others who applied also. In a few days my certificate came, second grade, good for one year. I applied for our home school for the three months summer term. I would never have gotten it if Pa had not worked hard for me and made his Brother-in-law (Mr Humprhey) come to time.

In the whole I taught a very successful term of school and helped in a way to heal some dissensions among neighbors. Before Jack went to his school 25 mi. away he told me he wanted us to be married in the fall. He said he had bought an 80 acre farm and a house by it which would do us. He was to teach that school the next winter. He wanted to work on his place after his summer term was cut. He wanted me with him and we set our wedding day to be November 17th, 1872. In March 19th, 1872 Mother and Pa had a little son come to them named George Ellsworth. He was a big robust baby and grew fast. Anna was almost 3 yrs. and quite health at last.

Mother and Pa had saved Peach seeds the year before and buried them so that spring they planted a peach tree between every apple tree in the orchard and in three years they had loads of peaches and berries coming in and good crops and flowers everywhere. We had a lovely Zenia bed and I remember Anna picking all of the First buds and bringing them in her apron, "Pretty Flowers". We [page 27] told her not to pick flowers only when we were with her, but I guess it helped them for they were truly wonderful.

Anna wet the chickens and greased the cats but we never scolded her for we knew if the little boy hadn't gone what playmates they would have been.

The summer passed away, Harvest and threshing, abundance of everything. I hired some quilts quilted. I made sheets and Pillow slips and even Muslin window curtains. I had my "hope chest" well filled and we were married on the date we had set and went to our new home on the thrid day after. We had just one week before he commenced his school.

'Twas a very large school in a new schoolhouse, so in a few days rather than stay alone all day I would go help him. I got nothing for it of course but the scholars were so nice to me and I liked them so it was a pleasant winter though very cold and much snow. It was in February before we went down home. Oh! How good it did seem to be home again. Anna had grown and knew her letters. George was walking around chairs. They were all well and happy planning for their spring work. They seemed so glad to see us and reluctant to have us leave. However, our work and our home was there and we must go.

The spring of 1873 started out very promising. Towards the last of June it commenced to get dry. The wheat was a fair yield but not extra. In July the hot winds struck and ruined the corn, in our part of the country. Along the missouri river they had some rains which we did not get and some fields which were planted early made about 1/2 a crop. Ours Jack sold in the field for just the fodder it yielded.

We were to have a baby in the winter so he secured the school in his old home district 1 mi north of Falls City and we moved down there so we would be close to a Dr. and our Mothers. This was the Crook, Grandpa Martin district. He taught a good school which he always did and we had a very pleasant winter. Wesley stayed with us to go to school to jack and Emma came to Grandpa Martins and attended his school.

The 29th of Jan. 1874 our baby was born. He was a fine healthy boy named John Wesley. Jack's sister Martha and our mothers all did their bit to help us and in April we moved back to our own little home. The spring was very backward and all seed grains were high but farmers plowed and planted just as usual. There was some wheat but the weather got so hot we all feared another drouth. Low -- a drouth and something worse came. The 5th day of July the grasshoppers began to come. You could not see the sun for the gray clouds of them. They came down like hail so big and heavy and hungry they stripped the cornfields of every leaf of fodder. Just the straight sticks stood there and the hot winds soon dried them. Still they ate them and the weeds and the long prarie grass. Farmers began cutting hay early for fear they would eat it all. The stock had to subside on hay and straw that winter for there was [page 28] little else for them. We were sure in for awful times ahead. Knowing what I did of the scourge in Iowa I knew we were doomed for awhile. This part of Nebraska did not have the scourge when we did up there. Most people did not know what to expect. Jack got the school for the winter term at Middleburg again so we knew we could manage to live through. How some of them did was a Mystery.

I told the neighbors not to plant gardens or anything as they would lose all by the hoppers. They wouldn't believe me. If they didn't plant of course they would have nothing. They planted. With young hoppers coming out of the ground by the millions they ate everything in sight. They did not leave that year but stayed and deposited their eggs again. It was not until July 1876 that they left us. Pa and his boys had gone over in Iowa where they could get work.

Jack had secured the summer term of school at the same place. I had secured the one in the adjoining district. We hired a girl to stay with our little boy.

When the hoppers left the Government sent seed which people were thankful to get. They raided some late corn, served turnips and winter radishes and did wonders, because it was a late fall.

Pa and the boys got back with some money and flour and seed for the next year. Mother, Wesley and Emma had raised ten acres of soft corn which they fed to their hogs and steers so they had some stock to market before spring. Wesley came to us for the winter school and Emma was sent to Falls City. Jack and I both taught again that winter of 1876 and 77. We had a christmas tree for both districts at his school house. We had a barrel of apples as our treat. It was amazing the gifts which folks themelves made for each other. We had a good program and such a good time for a grasshopper, drouth ridden peoples we were. Such kindly greetings and feelings I never forgot.

The year 1877 was an abundant year. It seemed that nature surpassed herself. Pa's eledest son was married and the second had gone to California to their mothers people.

Emma had taught the home school the summer term and now had another further away. Emma had been to school and George was old enough to go and they were extremely bright youngsters. I was at home very seldom, but mother was not at all well. Emma was away teaching school most of the time. She was not like me. Didn't get married just as quick as she could teach a successful term of school. Mother health remaned so poor that she had to have help in the house. She got along with young girls mostly. Help was hard to get and the very young were cheaper. She trained three or four different ones in the rudiments of good housekeeping. They have told me in after years that they were thankful for her patience and training and had been helped all their lives by it. But they had no idea that people ever did work like Mr and Mrs Martin did. They sure did work. They accomplished wonders in that 80 acres of land. They had all kinds of fruit and flowers and such abundant crops. It seemed as though nature out-stripped herself [page 29] after the lean years. All those years in addition to the hard work on the farm Pa would preach. He filled places for other ministers and isolated places without pastors. He was in the Nebraska conference taking regular circuit which required miles of driving from Rulo in the east to old Cincinatti in the S.W. corner of the county taking in many of the outlaying villages. He built three churches that I can recall and fought for their maintenance and support as long as he could. When he couldn't anymore the church board sold one to another church denomination. In the last ten years one of the others has been sold and torn down for the lumber. He preached funerals whenever asked to and performed marriage ceremonies very often. He said one of the most unique experiences he had was marrying a deaf couple. He used an interpretor of course, a neighbor and godly man. They lived together almost 50 years. Thus time went on for us all.

In February 1878 our daughter was born. We named her Anna Lucinda for both Grandmothers. Jack was very proud of his daughter. In March of that year Wesley married a sweet neighbor girl (Nellie Duryea) and the[y] settled down by us. In April Emma was married to Benjamin Foster and settled down close to Mother and Pa. John had gone away so there were only Mother and Pa and Anna and George at home. They went to school regularly.

The year 1878 was an eventful one in our family and the next one was marked by several unforgetful events. In January Wesley and Nellie had a little girl babe named Mable. In the Spring Jacks mother took very sick and in April Emma and Ben had a girl baby named Elfie. We had abundant crops that year again but in Sept. Mother Crook had a very bad spell and passed away. They had moved into town the year before and sold the farm. Father Crook wished us to come to his home and he would live with us. In October we had another boy boy Elsa Jackson making us three children. In Decembe 1879 we rented our early Crook Farm and moved to Falls City with father Crook and Jack rented ground to farm and teamed. We did not find it near as pleasant as our own home and him teaching winters. The spring of 1881 we sold our farm and bought a farm east of falls city and again went to the country to farm in summer and Jack to teach in winters.

We wanted Father Crook to come with us but he only stayed part of the time. He could not give up town entirely. In April 1881 Grandpap Martin died. He had lived a long and useful life; teaching, preaching, doctorin, as a pioneer farming always. He left his fine farm to his loved wife Grandmother Martin for her life. She always lived there, renting it mostly to some of her children.

Jack taught school that winter and in March 1882 we had another baby Asa Roscoe. The next summer was dry but we raised plenty to do us through the year. Thus the year passed. John Brown, Jack's brother in law brought his two eldest children back here to go to school. They stayed almost a year.

In August 1883 Father Crook died. He came out to stay a few days with us and told us he was to go to Excelsior Springs Mo. with one of his old Cronies who was going for his health. We did not want [page 30] him to go but he had promised and he went. He died down there while his chum came back a well man.

The years 1884 and 85 were fruitful years but the June of 1883 was the worst flood and highest water ever known in the Nemeha Bottoms. In November 1885 we had another boy baby named Miles Allen.

We had 5 children. Mr Harris a southern man taught our school this winter and in the spring Anna my dear young sister taught the summer term. She was 16 years that June so she knows all that the family encountered from that on.

And I close my rambling history. [signed] Mrs Jack Crook (Mary Macomber Crook)


[Please note: the spellings and punctuations in this article have been copied as the original had them.]