Aunt Mattie's Diary-1906
Introduction by Peggy Haxton
Martha Alameda (Mattie Thompson) Bell was born 08/21/1875, married Lafe Bell and had one child, Hazel. This is a diary written by her beginning May 27, 1906, in Ripley, Oklahoma. Ripley was where her parents, John Floyd and Mary Elizabeth (nee McNelly) Thompson lived. My grandfather, Kenneth was born in Ripley, Oklahoma. The abstract for this property is in my possession.
From Peggy Haxton (daughter of Jack Thompson, granddaughter of Kenneth Thompson, and great granddaughter of Walter Colfax Thompson):
I've tried to type the diary the way it was written. This diary was borrowed by me from my California cousin, Robert Thompson. I've had scans made and a copy of the original is being sent to California, Texas, Arkansas, and Kansas. The original will be sent back to Robert Thompson in California. I hope that Mattie's diary will be enjoyed by all who read it.
From Robert Thompson (son of Roy Thompson and grandson of Walter Colfax Thompson):
I received it along with other diaries, hundreds of photo’s ( labeled ), John Floyd’s Thompson Family Bible, and photo album from Helen Knox’s family after her death.(Note that Helen was the daughter of Nanna, who was a sister to Mattie). Lots of the items came from her mother Nancy Waunonia (Knox) Thompson. The only information I have on Hazel Bell is that she married Walter Pyle, and had a son named Walter Pyle Jr. Mattie (Martha Almeda Thompson) was living with Hazel Bell in El Monte, California, at her death. Her sister Mary Almetta Thompson lived in Clayton, New Mexico. My Dad told me that Mellie’s husband Jack Magruder was very rich and lost all of his money in the 1930’s crash. He remembered meeting Magruder at Clayton when Walter Colfax was visiting Metta. --- Robert
According to Cecil Alexander -- Aunt Mattie was a warm loving person that would knock her self out to please. She had a twin sister that was a lot like her. Aunt Mettie and Uncle Jack Magruder were there.-they lived in Pratt, Kansas. Uncle Jack had a large estate. He owned a large amount of wheat land and he owned a baseball club, and a railroad car with his name on it. He was on all the society clubs, and gave big lavish parties. When they came to Aunt Mattie's, they drove a big black Buick that looked like it had never had any dust of dirt allowed to settle on it. --- Robert
Aunt Maddie came to California about 1947 or 1948 with my mother and father return trip from Perry, and dropped her off at Hazel’s. The only way I can date this trip was, my dad was driving a 1941 Chevy and Aunt Maddie rode all the way in the back seat will my brother and I. He bought a new car in 1949 and it had to be after 1946 when they moved back to California. --- Robert
Glencoe - Ok
We left Ripley Sunday eve. & I have decided to jot down a few incidents that happen us on our overland trip to Colorado---well before we got to the river Bridge we spoke of the Grey horse acting so suspicious on the first bad hill-the Grey positively refused to go – so I got out & tried to drive & Lafe tried to lead the Grey & I broke by watch chain & lost the pin & Hazle (sic) cried & said the reason she didn't like to travel was on account of “Balky Ponies” & “wearing her sunbonnet.”
I am shore we should have been on the hill yet if Roark & Thomas had not come along & pulled us up the hill, & when we got up on the hill the boys discovered that the Boxen was loose in one wheel – so it took one hr. to get that fixed & Lafe borrowed pine 'leather' & axle greece (sic) of a man that was sent home & we drove on. The next hill we promptly stopped Roark tied a rope from the back of his buggy to our tongue & pulled us up the hill.
The next hill he tried the same plan, but the Grey would not be pulled-so he hitched on to her lower jaw-& stretched her out like a shoe string, but No go. So they took out for Bay & put in one of Roark's little mules, & by Roark using the whip – Lafe throwing rock & the mule pulling the load, we got to Mehan.
There the Boys left us to our fate.
Lafe bought some Collar Pads – Lantern Crackers & Tobacco. Changed the Grey to the other side & we went. Intending to stop & camp on the first hill. But to our surprise – we never had any more trouble. So we kept on the Road -Walking Up the hills & talking in whispers – until we got to Henrys at ½ past 9 Oclo (sic) tired & hungry.
Bad beginning makes a good end
So ends our first day of travel.
Gencoe, Ok May 28 -06
Took dinner at Lollies – drove the Grey & Bay & had no trouble at all – but still continue to walk up the hills for fear - - Hazel has lost her Set Ring. Lafe has lost his glasses – I left the Pocket Book & all our money 3 ½ mile from here – where we took dinner & have sent a man after it.
So much for the second day.
May 29 at Henrys
We had intended to go to Lafes sisters today but the wind is Blowing a perfect gale -So we stayed at home – I got the Pocket Book alright.
The Bay Mare has got in the Notion of pulling back – She tore the Manger down & Ran away with a Board tied to her halter & Lafe caught & stopped her & later Lafe had her tied to a fence post & she pulled back & Broke the Post off.. don't know how it will end.
May 30-left Henrys
& came into Stillwater to meet the crowd. Stayed all night with Mrs. Wade - but slept in the wagon, close to the Barn & in the night was awoke up by a dyeing gargleing (sic) sound. I said Lafe got up quick the Bay Mare is down.
he called for the Lantern & his knife all the same time & I threw him his Pants & when I lit the third Match to get the Lantern lighted he had lost his patience & said well it's no use. I heard her Breathe her last Breath. But he was mistaken for She was very much alive. Pulling on her Rope for dear life & none the worse for it.
I hear Punch's last song. Se sang me of [“Some One is thinking of Some One”] yet
Stayed in camp all day & Lov came up in eve = & eat supper with us. then we got ready & went to Depot to meet the Ripley Rebeccas (sic) & the President of the Lodge – from there we went to the I.O.O.F. Hall & attended Lodge & the Lodge have Ice Cream & Cake & we had a nice time. From there Lafe-Hazel & I went with Annie & Lov to the Hotel & stayed all night – came an awful rain. But when I've got to camp next morning found everything dry & wagon all Right side up with care.
Perry Ok June 1 – 06
We are Tenting tonight in a Lovely place on a little Creek – where there are trees & plenty of water & mocking Birds singing in the Moonlight & hundreds of Frogs singing & I Love to hear it all. but I want to hear something More than these. I am Lonesome----------
Landy killed a lot of ducks & young rabbits & they gave us half – So we feasted for supper-Mr. Cox-Landy-Lafe-& a stranger killed a Bull snake coming a long this eve-it was a 6 ft long. Mr. Cox had the Buggy whip Landy & Lafe each a target & the man brought a club = Mr Cox's mules got scared & backed up again Landys horses & they run back against our team & they nearly upset the wagon all on acc't of the Snake.
June 2 – 06
like last night we are camped in a lovely place – but there is not trees-No Birds singing-yet we have the Moonlight – Frogs – and the telephone wire is deafening for we are camped directly under the wire-we have been traveling through some awful poor country – Very petty-but to thin & Rock to close to Surface to Raise anything. I got my coat burned to a frazzle this eve – Hazel had toothache & I fixed her a pallet close to Mrs. Cox'es stove – when she got up -she threw the coat against the stove & when we noticed it we found it to be Just Ruined.
Mrs. Cox is Reading. Landy working on his wagon. Lafe & Mr. Cox sitting out on the ground talking – Hazel is asleep. We are camping 3 mi north of Ceres.
I wonder if anyone at home is thinking of us tonight. We all feel well – but no one feels gay. I can't when every day takes me farther away from Home &--------
Camped 5 mi North of Blackwell
June 3 - 06
We are camped tonight 10 mile South of the Kansas line. Passed through Tonkawa at Noon – it is a small place in a pretty Location – has a Lovely school Building & are about to complete a fine Colledge (sic) building. Blackwell is Pretty place – quite a bit larger than Tonkawa.
Oh, what fields of wheat & oats, but corn is poor-the farmers [Most of them] have Beautiful homes & Emmence (sic) Barns.
Mrs. Cox took a pain in her Back at Noon – & I had to give her two ¼ gr of Morphine to ease her – then when we came through Blackwell - She got her Some Morphine. She is awful Sick at the stomach tonight but the pain is gone.
Hazle (sic) cryed (sic) all night last night as I was up with her – among the med – I used so much chloroform for her toothe (sic) that she slept till noon today. She is asleep Now.
June 4 – 06
Well after we went to bed last night, there was an awful rain came up & the wind Blew So hard that we got up & dressed & put on our Coats. So if the wagon blew over we would not drown but finaly (sic) the wind went down & the Rain Stopped. but when we got out to get Breakfast the mud Stuck to our feet till we could hardly move & we traveled in the Pouring Rain all day until 4 Oclo (sic) - & My Patience is gone---
Tonight we are camped in the Mud 12 Mi South of Wellington Ks in the lane between two hedge fences. So tall you can't see over them. I am glad I'm alive, but I'm awfully homesick & Lafe knows it & tryes (sic) to be Jolly but everything he says to me Makes me want to cry. We are dirty dirty – My feet is wet & cold. Hazel has toothache - & Lafe is so dirty that I don't like him. I told Mrs. Cox that I hated everyone – I cooked Hazel two Birds – Lafe says he is getting his health So I am satisfied.
June 5, 06
Derby – Kan's
We are camping tonight in a Lane – we are getting out of the mud. looks some like Rain tonight & the wind is Blowing pretty hard.
We are 10 mile from Wichita.
I had to be up with Hazel with the toothache last night.
The men all shaved tonight & I have my hair done up & will try to look as good as I can tomorrow-for we will visit Lafe's Nephew in Wichita.
I am not quite so mad tonight as I was last eve- But if it rains tonight--- well we'll see. Lafe feels awful Bad tonight his side hurts him.
I Never Saw Such Cottonwoods grow - as I have seen this eve – well all day.= This is a Pretty Country & the farms are all fenced in with hedge & they have beautiful groves all over the farms. When you look ahead it looks like a dense forest & the houses are close together like the farms were cut into. But Ripley is good enough.
June 6 06
Well we got into Wichita by 11 Oclo (sic) - & found Lucius all got our dinner changed clothes & went to Lafe's Nephews - & stayed all night. had a fine time & the Best of all – we took a Bath – the Band Played in front of the Building & we heard a Negro woman Preach on the street - the folks live in a flat there are fifteen Family's live in the same building & a Music store & Furniture beneath – Lovely Place-Charlie & Lafe came back to camp last night & while there the two Bulldogs & Bird dog got in a fight & they had an other time Parting them.
we got a leer from Kline. they started Mon - & the crowd will wait for them & as Metta (Note: Metta was Mattie's sister) lives on the Route , Lafe & I have decided to go on to Cairo & get a few days visit before the crowd gets there.
We met two old Friends & Neighbors down town – & they live in Cunningham 8 mi from Cairo & they say Father is there with Metta. So we will see him to. Mrs. Cox has discovered that she has a Rat in her wagon brought from home – so at Present She is unloading the wagon- & Mr. Cox is sitting by with a club waiting to slay the Miscreant. it comes down in her grub Box at night & walks around in the Butter flour & and in the day time passes the time away chewing up their best clothes. Hope she finds it later. Well I guess from the Manouver (sic) Over at the wagon – that Allie & Mrs. Cox have found the Rat. They are bending over the seat Poking at something Vigorsly (sic). Something like here it goes-there is it. Later. Yes, they were Victorious, found the nest under the Trunk & killed the Rat. Well I must tell a story of Lucius before I wind up for the day. A Darky ask his master if a fellow was Born in a certain Place – if that place was his Nationality on being told that it was he said Well I was Born in a Livery Barn & I don't know whether I am a “Bail of Hay” A Horse” or a Buggy.
Lafe has taken the Gasoline Can down to have it fixed. The Mare Pulled Back & knocked the stove over & busted the can. Landy says it has Rusted out. but it was alright until the accident. I sit on the chair to eat . Lafe Sits on the stove-but he always asks if the fire is turned out first.
June 7 06
Well we left the crown in Wichita at 3 Oclo (sic) & started on to Metta's. the folks will wait till Mr. Kline comes, & then come on where we are=
about 4 mi out of Wichita we saw two Coyotes Playing in a Pasture near the Road. Lafe took a shot at them-but they were two far away to hit them – but they took the Hint & hiked-
then out 8 mi we saw two fine young /rabbits in the road- “Ive heard that it was $25.00 fine to fire a gun in the state. but had forgotten. So as Lafe was laying down I said “Come Lafe quick & kill one of these Rabbits for Supper. he took the Target & aimed. When Hazel put her hand on his arm & said Papa twenty five dollars- I said don't shoot Lafe; don't shoot & he said Oh Lord & laid the gun down & took the whip & a hand full of clods & took after the Rabbits-but as he was barefoot & one Rabbit went east & one west & he didant (sic) decide which one he wanted until they were gone. he got in the wagon & Said – Well if they had not scattered on me I would have got one. So we missed several fine shots. Until Lafe asks a man about the Law & he said there was No law against killing Rabbits. So Lafe didant (sic) loose on another oppermatenily (sic) & consequently we have Rabbit to do us all day Tomorrow.
We are in a beautiful Country – 13 mi west of Wichita – camped alone - Lafe & Babe are asleep. The Telephone Wire will Sing me to sleep. Two Automabiles (sic) Passed while I was getting Supper. We are camped just out on the edge of Goddard. Lafe has the Horses in a Pasture.
the Grey is true Blue – Never offers to Balk & we never think of walking the hills up any more. the Sorrel never Pulls Back – because we are very careful not to tie her at all.
Its now 20 min to 10 Octo (sic) - & I will have to wait for Events. So-------
Garden Plains – Ks.
Well, When we started out this morning we met a Irish - man & ask him the road & he told us to jog - South 3 mi & that would put us on the Road that had the River Bridge. So we jogged South three mile. & Met another man & ask him if we was on the Bridge Road & he told us to jog north three mile & we would strike the right road-well we jogged back North three mile - & met another man- & Lafe said if he said jog to us again he'd lick him & I was agreed. For I had jogged a plenty for one day & I told him if there was any more to be done to count me out.
But the last fellow was Easy on us & never sent us but one Mile farther North & we just drove out & unhitched & Rested awhile- Now tonigh (sic) we are Mad again. had another loose Boxen to fix- Traveled 8 mi out of the way & killed a Rabbit - but It jumped up & ran away before Lafe got to it & I wanted him to make chase - but he Remembered that his Rabbits got away yesterday so he would not.
Lafe lost his Pocket knife today - & broke the hammer - & with the jogging & Loose Boxin we don't feel good - are camped on a hill by a Dutch family - got Milk of them for supper. Beautiful country - but have seen lots of awful poor wheat today.
Passed Cheney & Garden Plains today.
I hear the Frogs singing
We are on the Prairie.
Seen Kingman at a distance of 10 mi this eve. Well---
June 9 – 06
I could tell of an other exciting Jack Rabbit chase but Lafe forbid me to mention it. We are in awful rough roads on the Ninnescah River brakes-
we didant (sic) go two mile this morning until we had to set that same Boxin again & Hazel got out & discovered an Aunt (sic) hill where the large Aunts had Piled the dirt up a foot high. & she got a stick & was taking them out of the hole. Pretty soon she came to me & said Mamma Something is biting me-I looked & found what I thought was a spider & she went back to play & Soon she came Running down the road crying & She Said Oh the spiders are biting me all over & I got her clothes off of her & She had Aunts all over her - & they had bit her in a dozen Places & made Red Places as large as a dollar-She cried for an ho (sic) - & I guess she will stear (sic) clear of Aunt hills forever & a day.
June 10 – 06
We got in to Cunningham 6 mi from Mettas – at 4 Oclo - & as I have an Unkle (sic) there & lots of our old Neighbors Live there-we-decided to Stop over- so we talked to Metta over the Phone- & they will be here for dinner Tomorrow So we will Rest up & have a visit here.
Most of the people living here are Retired farmers that came here 25 years ago when we came but they have stayed & worked hard & Saved - & Out lived the Drouth (sic) & hot winds until they are Independent & Leave build Nice homes in this little town & gone into business – Just to give them Something to do-Not because they have to work.
While Father got discouraged & left here & our home that sold for 1,000 in Nov Worth 6,000 & we are still Poor-
best to stay in one place – & or
Two moves is bad as a Burn - &
A Rolling Stone gathers No Moss.
June 11 – 06
Well Metta & Father came over Sunday & we had a fine time & a nice dinner & several of our old Neighbors came in & I was So glad to see them.
In the eve we all went to Cairo with Metta.
I must tell of the Pair of Shoes Lafe bought in Wichita – he the men were Passing a Bargain Store & the shoes were out in front & sign said “Choice 25 cts”.
Lafe Picked up a good looking pair & Paid the Man & Brought the shoes to camp - & I was congratulateing (sic) him self on his good Luck when I discovered that one was No 6 - & the other No 7 - & both for the Right foot & he says I have got to wear them ha ha
Will tell you later.
June 12 – 06
Metta & I did a big washing today. Lafe cut the grub Box down a foot & I gave Part of the dishes to Metta & will Leave the Guitar with her. It is so in the Road.
Lafe don't like to have me tell jokes on him but he went fishing to have a fine catch for Mr. Cox when he got here. & he caught 1 nice fish & put it on a stick in the water & left his lines Set & came to the house – He went back Pretty soon & he didant (sic) have anything on the Hooks & some one had stolen his other fish & he has not caught any thing Since.
Had a fine time vizating (sic) with Father today.
Pratt Center Kas
Cousin Lin telephones me to come to Pratt this eve & he would meet me at Depot So Father Hazel & I went - Lin & wife were at Depot to meet us & to our Surprise Bro Johnie was there at the train too, he is Harvesting Near Pratt.
I visited with Johnie a while then went on to Lauras - & Lin went down town & got Ice Cream – Candy – Cantelopes - & we had a fine Lunch - & went to bed at 2 Oclo (sic) in Morning & got up at 5 Oclo (sic) – had Breakfast & Lin Ordered the Buss up & he went with us to Depot. So ended the Pleasantiest evening or visit I have had on the trip.
Got to Cairo all ok but was so busy talking that the train was moving before I knew it & I made a Run & jumped off & Hazel couldent (sic) get off at all – but as Father was going on down the line to Cunningham I had to see Hazel go on. My aunt had come up to Cunningham to see Father [From Spivy] & She wanted us to come down - & Lafe Metta I & children drove down – had a nice visit & Aunt Vick came home with us . Took the 6 Oclo (sic) on up to Pratt to visit Lin & will be back on the 7 Oclo (sic) in the morning.
Got a card from Mr. Cox'es (sic) folks at Goddard.. & looked for them this eve – but they did not come. I feel shore they will be here by noon tommorrow (sic).
Mr. Coxes Folks got in at 9 Oclo (sic) this Morn all well but Mr. Kline. The crowd all went fishing – Allie took the Prize or had ought too – for she caught the largest fish.
We all Baked light Bread - & washed. & will move on in the morning
this eve the (some of the) neighbors came in & Landy entertained them with the Graphaphone (sic)- & played some Excelent (sic) Pieces.
he is Playing Now I 'Aint' got No Trouble While I am writing [but it don't mean me]
this day has not been with out adventures – but as I am leaving Metta & Father in the morning I feel Kinder Blue & Not in the humor to write.
Mr. Kline has some trouble with his head. I feel uneasy about him.
Wheat Harvest June 16 – 06
Well we left Mettas this morning and went as far as Pratt & there the men flocked around us & said we must work & finaly (sic) when they offered the men 4.00 & Board & horse feed per day - & the wemon (sic) 1.00 per day – we could not Resist the Temptation – So we came down here 11 mi S. E. of Pratt & will work Lucius, Allie Landy & Mr. Cox will work for one man.
Lafe & I another with Board for Hazel
Mrs. Kline another & Clara another all here in sight of one an other. Mrs. Cox will not work Nor Mr. Kline because they are not able – but Mr. Kline will hire his mules out.
I've Seen Johnie today & he eat dinner with us. We are in 11 mile of my old home Lawndale.
This is the prettiest Co I ever Saw. Level as a floor – but no trees like Ripley.
Harvest Home June 17 – 06
Mr. Kline got so bad with his head in the Night they had to get up in the night make a fire & put his clothes on – finaly (sic) they heat Salt & put on his head & heat a jug of water to his feet & he got easier – the Dr thinks there is something growing on his Brain he has had this trouble for 8 mo-
this is Sunday & Klines left camp at 2 Oclo (sic) and went to their place to work Lafe & I stayed until 6 Oclo (sic) & listened to Landy playing the Graphaphone then we hit a hike & when we got nearly here I saw a cloud in the South West. & I told Lafe to hurry - & get in Shelter & before we got in the Barn yard – Oh I can't describe it. A genuine old Kansas dust storm – the Horses was scared to Death & So was Hazel – Lafe got to the Horses head & told us to get out. & we fell out & backed up in a corner of an old building & I had to turn Hazels dress over her head So she could Breathe - & I didant get My Breath at all. Finaly (sic) I came to myself & saw what a plight Lafe was in & knew if the Rig blew over that the horses – would kill them Selves – So I left Hazel & Rushed out & got the tugs unhitched & gave him the halters & he got the Horses tied to the wagon – with the help of two men who were groping around with their eyes tight shut. the wind run the Header Barges off. Blew the Elevator off the Header and Run our Wagon back in a very snug place – the men hollowed (sic) for us to get to the house & Hazel & I made a Run for it. When you couldent (sic) See anything at all but we struck the Shoot & went in. it was terriable (sic), the Folks just had Supper Ready & they shut up the house & covered the table with cloths & the woman said everything was covered with Sand.
It is raining Now & Hazel is afraid – but I have given it up. I just Set in here [the wagon] when I think it will go over every minute. & think [here goes Nothing] one consolation is we have something better than this wagon any way & this is one trip out of a Life time
We Cooked dinner today out on the open with the wind sweeping over the Prairie at the Rate of 189 mi (sic) an ho (sic) - one man in Beaver lost his hat & chased it three mile & it was so far ahead of him he never did get it. We had to get under the wagon to eat our dinner.
Harvest field June 18
Well Some way & Somehow – Clara & I find we hav'ent (sic) any job at all. She came & stayed with me today & we bemoaned our fate.
This eve a Mr. McCoy came after me. But he wanted me to aggree (sic) Not to leave him any way until Aug - & I could not stay longer than 10 days. So I lost the Job.. We may get work later on.
Lafe came in tonight pretty tired & awful dirty. The Team does fine on the Header – Who said we had a Balky horse.
Lafes side is awfully Sore tonight. I will get Lonesome sitting in the wagon if I don't get work.
Harvest field June 19 – 06
Lafe came in tonight & didant (sic)eat any Supper - & went to bed sick.
there is a bad looking cloud in the North & the wind is blowing & it is lightening.
I helped do a big washing today – to get to wash 10 pieces – then I seeded 1 gal of cherries – helped stem ½ gal of Raisins & Picked 1 gal of Beans & helped do the supper work & got my dinner & supper – haven't heard from Clara today – Maybe She's committed Suiside (sic) or Maybe She has got her a Job.
The big Family Shepherd dog of Mr. Humble's Ran into the Header this eve & cut one fore foot clear off & gone and cut the other badly. They don't want to kill him - & he is a sight.
Lafe & Hazel are asleep & I am Sitting here in the Seat almost hating My Self. I would like to talk to Lafe – but he is too near worn out to even Snore & I am afraid he cant work any more -
Harvest home June 20
Lafe came in at noon all in – he was in bed all after noon - & never went to the table at all tonight don't know if he can work any more or not - I think though that He is about done Harvesting.
I went down in the Orchard this Eve & eat. Oh So Many Cherries & we picked a gallon for Breakfast.
I ironed for Mrs. Humble today & will get 50¢ for it.
The dog is still alive.
We went up to Mrs. Smart's this eve to see how they Mr. Klines are getting along. Mr. Kline worked in the Harvest field all day & feels pretty good tonight.
Mr. Cox is nearly all in.
Landy is standing the work fine as Silk & Clara has a job away down South in the field of cotton.
0 per day.
Harvest still June 21
Lafe did not work today he is still knocked out he says he aint going to kill himself- I have only worked Part of two days he wont let me go out of Sight to work & Since he is Sick he wont let me go anywhere. We had an early Supper tonight of Pumpkin Pie, Corn – meat toast & cherries & Cream - & after Supper we went over to Mr. Rennors Where Mr. Coxes are at work. Mr. Cox looks bad & has been sick but he stayed with his stacking – he fell out of the wagon & blacked his eye but keeps on at work – the rest are standing the work fine.--
Hazel got her arm caught in the windmill today & nearly took a chunk out. She wrote a letter home to Audrie today & then cried because She was Lonesome. So would I – if I were a little Girl.
it was two Mile walk for us tonight & we are tired – I counted 29 Residences this eve – from where I stood across Country.
Harvest June 22-
We didant (sic) do a thing today only lay around the wagon & cook & eat.
Lafe is well again but wont work any more in Harvest. He is afraid he'l (sic) get down again.
We walked down to Mr. Smarts tonight. Mr. Kline is getting along fine. has worked every day & they are making their $5.00 per day.
Mrs. Smart is going to Pratt Tomorrow & Lafe is going to & Mrs. Kline ask Hazel & I to come down & stay with her all day & I am glad for I get So Tired here in the wagon all the time.
Mrs. Smart Lost a fine $150.00 Mare today.
the Horses here has been dyeing with Blind staggers.
Looks like rain tonight.
I though (sic) to the _ _ last night that we would blow away before morning. I never Seen the wind blow so hard in my life & there was not a cloud in the Sky.
Lafe went to Pratt today & got a Job in Barber Shop. So we are alone. I & Hazel Stayed all day with Mrs. Cline today & Clara got home after earning $400 & She came home with Hazel & I. We eat supper then Clara & I went over to Ren'ners (sic) . Mrs. Cox went to Pratt yesterday & Saw Metta.
Hazel stayed with Mildred & they had a game of flinch while we were gone – Clara & Hazel are Ready for bed & Clara's Tongue is going at the Rate of 80 mi an ho (sic) – She says she is sound a sleep in a sort of a dose - & she think it is cleared of cloudy & we will have a dry drizzle= that awful wind is still at it & it is trying to Rain. Lin & Laura are comming (sic) out tomorrow I know they will make me go to town. Clara Made the Folks (awhere) she was staying believe that she walked the wire at St. Louis Fair.
June 24 – 06
Well we had the drizzile (sic) last night but it was not a dry drizzle by any means. I never heard such hard rain - & lightening - & Lafe gone - & I was afraid-but I had to stay. So I held my fingers in Hazels Ears. So She would not be afraid. & Ive stayed on-n-n- & the morning dawned clear & bright - & we wasent (sic)Blowed over- Wet or Dead- We fare as well in our wagon in a Rain as we would in a Parlor Sunday eve Mr. Coxes Folks all came by in a carriage & ask me to go with them down to Mr. Clines. but I was looking for Lin & did not go-but I waited in Vain for he Never came. then I walked down to Mrs. Smarts a while & Oh Wonder of Wonders - - I got a job. A Realy (sic) – Truly honest Job. 1.00 per day & Board for Hazel – to Continue 10 or 12 days.
Well Im Harvesting – I have Set around the wagon 1 wk - & I kneed (sic) exercise. So thats why Im glad= I have a (Snap). The Man Makes the fire's- one Boy does the milking- & there is a little Fellow here – well he might find & read this' So I will leave the description out. But call at my office for particulars..
he breaks up coal for me' & I chops kindling & last night I went out after water' & he took the bucket to get the water & the wind wouldent (sic) make the Pump go – So he Ran up on top of the windmill & began to turn the wheel with his hands – I thought he was going to the Moon for green cheeze (sic) but when I found out what he was trying to do I Said 'Oh My' do I have to do that way to get a bucket of water – he Said some times – I Said I didant (sic) think the demand would be So great after this. He is a good Boy. but – Lafe got in Sun Eve 10 min after I started to work – So today we went over after the Rig & he came on here – He missed us of course & had to Make the trip back there.
Well I Realize tonight that I have a job. I washed today. & Ironed & scrubbed two floors & Baked 10 loaves of Bread. Milked the cow for My Boy didant get in till after dark & I made 4 qt of Plumb (sic) preserves – & peeled potatoes for Breakfast-besides the countless other chores wemon (sic) do around the house- & I never felt better in My Life. I am not tired. I'm glad I'm alive. Lafe went to Cairo today to See Mettta & Pa. They feel fine – May be they will come over Sunday. Looks like Rain tonight. There is a man working here from Jennings, Ok “Mr. Buck” wife & Babe – She was working here - & had the chills & I came & took her place – they are in a wagon just like ours & they are on their way to Colorado= we are ready for bed Now- Hazel is Sleeping in the house with the little Girls. We are 9 mi from Coxes – this man will fire two Boys in the morning because they wont work.
Oh how the wind did blow today. Just tore across the Prairie until I am Surprised that the men could work at all.
Lafe is at work again we made 5.00 today but he feels tough tonight. We will have two crews to cook for tomorrow & next day. I am doing fine.
Mrs. Buck fell out of doors today with the Babe in her Arms. & Nearly killed it. Sprained its Ankle – Mashed its nose. Skinned its head & cheek & She is going around on one leg – I was making Pies – when Mrs. Koonce (sic) hollowered (sic) for me to come quick & She had the Baby & gone to the Barn – I rushed out with a cup of water & threw it in her face & got her in the house on the Bed & when I convinced her that she had not killed the Babe – She got alright.
Well My Small Eyed Boy got Sick today & quit – A man plays out every once in a while – they work them awful hard – Just run two Barges to the Header.
Well we have an addition of 7 men to help out in Harvest -two crews making 14 men & there is 22 Horses – looks like a Regment (sic) camped out here.
Lafe has hacked it two days – this makes the third & he is nearly done up again. But I Pat him on the Back & tell him 5.00 more every evening. But I don't know how long that will charm.
The wind is Just lifting things off the Earth – I don't See how the men handle the grain at all.
There is a Mocking Bird Sings Me to Sleep every Night – I think it is following me from home-
I feel fine. But havent (sic) got a letter from home for two wks – I am so anxious to hear.
Well I got dinner & Breakfast for 14 men – three wemon (sic)b& three children & washed after dinner I scrubbed the floor & got supper – I have got them fooled here . They think I like to work. I feel fine.
Lafe feels better tonight & thinks he can stay with it till Harvest is over – I hope So- I encourage him all I can – we are making 5.00 per day & all expences (sic).
I dont think the work is hard – I enjoy it. It helps to pass the time away.
We havent heard from Coxes Since We came here. They are at work yet I know.
The 4th will soon be here again. I had a better time eating dinner last 4th than I'll have all day here. I think I'll get me a Job waiting tables in Pratt – the Folks here are all going.
Well Lafe went over to see how coxes were getting along. it Rained & they lay off here- & while He was gone Metta came & wanted us to go home with her but I had to wait till Lafe came home & Metta stayed as long as She could then had to go on & Lafe came in a few min after She left & the horses were to (sic) tired to go - & Mr Coxes are through work & we will quit our Job & go over to camp tomorrow. I have made $5.50 Lafe earned $10.00 in the Harvest field & 5.00 Barbering & the Horses earned $22.00. Total $42.50 I think that will do – for a beginning looks stormy tonight.
The Mocking Bird is Singing
We have let the wagon down in ditches & got it tied with 4 Guy Ropes. So I guess it wont Blow away.
We have got our Money & came to the Camp- Lucius will help Mr. Kline. Fix his wagon tomorrow. & we will try to get Clara here tomorrow. She is 22 mi away at Nashville working. We will go to Sawyer to Stock up with Groceries & will start on west tuesday. These are lovely Nights, last nigh a storm came up after we went to bed. Hazel was sleeping in the house & I got afraid & we got up & went in the house & Oh how the wind did Blow - & it rained & Hailed some too.
The wind has Blowed Nearly ever Since we have been here. Mr. Cox & Lucius got up one night to back the wagon around. So it wouldent (sic) blow away. & they backed it into Lucius Sheet Iron Stove & made it look like a Pancake I guess they will leave it & get a gasoline stove.
People here don't Raise anything but wheat. No Garden Vegatables (sic) to Speak of at all & No Fruit. Everything is Canned goods- & that makes the work light on a Cook.
We had another Storm last night. Rained & Blew. & I was scared awfully- & when we got up this morning Mrs. Cox Said- well It rained last night didant (sic) it
They got Mr. Klines Wagon done. & we are only waiting for Clara.
The men went to Sawyer this morning & while they were gone & who should drive into camp but Jim Athertons – they accidentaly (sic) Met Father & he & Metta directed them to us & they drove about 20 mi out of their way to find us. & we are glad to have them along.
Lucius Run shy of wood- & tried burning Cow chips - & decided to get him a gasoline So he brought a nice one home. & we have had a time breaking it in this eve.
The wind has been something fearful. Today we could hardly eat dinner at all. Honestly it blew the food off the forks before we could get it in our Mouths. The Crickets & Frogs are Singing. But I'm afraid we'll hear no more mocking Bird.
The Wind is Not blowing tonight for a wonder & the Moon is shining Bright. & I am wondering if it is as pretty in Ripley Tonight as it is here. & if “Some One is thinking of Someone.
Mr. Colines are here & Clara came today & we are all Ready to start on – except Lafe - & he is setting a Boxin The folks are burning corn stocks & cow chips: all except Mrs. Atherton & we cant get her to use them & there is no wood – but she found two cobs & She says She will get Breakfast with them. I am so glad we have the little Gasoline I don't have to worry over Scarcity of Fuel.
The nights are So Cool that we have to wear our coats of evenings & mornings.
Lafe gives our wagon a coat of paint every few days - & the last was Black Paint of some kind & he put it on the side curtains & I got it on My hands - & I have Doctored them all afternoon it eats like Lye – I tried to stop it with Whiskey – Vinegar – Alum – Vaseline – Cold Cream – and Talcum & Everything & they still Burn I hope he will not give it another coat soon.
Kiowa Co. Haviland. Ks July 4th
We have had a Lovely day & have Traveled 33 mi - & Oh what a perfect Night – the Moon is So bright that I am writing by the light of it we have had Supper - & the rest are all Sitting out watching the fire works. We are camped Just out of Haveland – we passed Wellsford about 3 Oclo (sic) -
Imagine writing by moonlight but I don't want the lamp lighted I may not follow the lines good.
The children have Some Roman candles & fire crackers - & they will celebrate this eve
This is a Beautiful Country & I never Seen So much wheat & it is fine the houses are far betwene (sic) but they are nice & all have Immence (sic) Barns.
We have found out that the Paint they sold Lafe for the wagon is this Creosote paint that is used on Bridge timbers Telephone Poles it's a fright Hazel cryed all afternoon with her face & Hands.
Kiowa Co > July 5 – 06
We passed Greensburg at Noon - & its the County seat & the Sicklyiest looking town I ever saw to be an old Town – there was two good buildings in the town – Wheat is Not so plentiful – Pastures are larger – houses are fiew (sic)& far betweene (sic) – Water is hard to get- & you have to put on glasses & light the lantern to find grass at all we are camped two in a bunch So we can get a fiew (sic) Spears for each horse rained a little this afternoon - & cloudy tonight. Athertons & us are camped in a hollow- Clines farther back – Coxes farther on – all pretty close to gather We are on the Main line of the Rock Island – The Engines pull 46 – 48 – Box Cars - & 10 & 12 Coaches across the Co like greased lightening.
There is an old RR grade close to us that was used in an early day. But the Track is taken up now & all the timbers gone -
We are in the Vicinity of the Old Stone Carell. A Breast work used as Protection for the Emigrants against the Indians – In an Early day.
Ford Kans -
Ford Co – July 6
We are 4 mi from the Arkansas River – crossed it this eve – horses are getting hard to find but we have fine grass for the horses & plenty of water tonight. So Many People wont let us get water – it is so scarce & I guess they are afraid the wind wont blow to pump the water for them – we lost 2 ho yesterday for Lucius to get his horses shod- & 1 ½ ho – today for Lafe to get his horses shod. We camped early tonight for we was afraid if we went on we would not get any grass at all. So we have Supper over. & the work all done & the sun is not down yet. The crowd are all setting out visiting. But me. Hazel is asleep - & I am cooking Some apples & writing.
We will get to Dodge City Tomorrow & I will be So dissapointed (sic) if we don't get a Message from home. This is an awful broken Country – hills & hollows & Gypsum. But we are on the River Brakes.
We Passed a beautiful farm today – with Lovely trees & I heard a Mocking Bird Sing. But tonight the Air is full of Frogs – Katydids - & a thousand & one other weird noises- & I am Lonesome. This is a beautiful Eve -
Cimmaron (sic) Ks July 7-06
Ive got to Dodge City at noon – and all got letters from home & I have just answered two & feel Some tired – Mr. Athertons Sold heir outfit in Dodge City & took the train & went on to LaJonta (sic), Col.
We passed Fort Dodge at 10 Oclo. The Old Soldiers have a home there - & it is a beautiful place Even to the Cemetary (sic) – with its Graves so close to gather. Each with a white marble Slab - & New a Flag Waves on each grave. There is lots of soldiers there - & they work when they feel like it we Seen some of them out in the Garden. They Irregate (sic)– & have a fine garden. They all have Blue Suits with Brass buttons.
Dodge City is a Nice town
we are camped clear out of any Settlement Tonight No trees – No Houses – No farming – all Prairie & Pastures far as the eye can see. There is Slew water here for Horses - & we carry water for our use. So when we fail to find Water we can fall back on the Wagon Supply.
Well the Mocking Bird has Not put in an appearance for Some time & even the Frogs have deserted me. & tonight we have only the dismal howl of the Coyote & the constant hum of the Mosquito & as I am the only one up in camp – all the rest being asleep – I will proceed to put out the light & get busy with the Misquitoes (sic).
July 8 – 06
We havent (sic) made much of a drive today – it commenced raining this eve about 4 Oclo & we pulled out & went in Camp. But it soon stopped raining & the sun came out. & we got supper & have the work all done. There is nothing to write about but Prairie – No houses hardly - & we have no water for the Horses to night – Ingalls here is about like Ingalls in Ok. Nothing of Importance in Town but IOOF hall.
July 9 – 06
We are nearing the Colo line. Garden City is a pretty place. & we came out by their Sugar Refinery - & I never Saw so much machinery in one place before – they work an Immence (sic) lot of men. we came by Just as the 7 Oclo (sic) whistle blew – We are Now in the Land of Sugar Beets – Alfalfa - & & Irrigation – of Course this is on the Ark. River. I suppose we will have More Prairie & Scarcety (sic) of horses yet. The Sugar Refinery Works Foreigners Mostly there is quite a little Colony of Tents laid off like a Town Nearly all Occupied by the Russion's (sic) – Negro – Indians & Mexicans & some whites.
There are tents all through the Country of People working on the Beets farms.
We Sent Hazel in A Farm house today to get some Honey- & she was gone quite a while & when she came back we ask her what they said..& she said – I don't know what they said & they didant (sic) know what I said. They were Russians. The cost of the Refinery is $700.000 (sic).
We are camped tonight in a low place – with the Ark – River Just south & a big Irregating (sic) ditch North - & it is full of swift flowing water on the west an awful Black looking Cloud & on the East-Sand Hills= the R. R. is close to us – Not a very pretty place - & I don't feel good – I cant breathe good tonight & I want a glass of Dr. Pepper, the Very worst (kind) But I have to content my self drinking Some old Stale Salty-hard-water that is just awful.
Mr. Cox feels bad tonight
Clara has Sick Headache.
Lafe is under the weather & I dont know whether I am sick tired or Mad but I think a little of all three.
Lafe has been trying to get Some Kansas whiskey & the druggist told him if he would go to the Depot. Call for an Express package & Pay $3.50 – they would give him a gal of Whiskey but he didant (sic) want so much.
Land here that is Not Irrigated is No good at all. Some people have 160 A of Sugar Beets – they Sell for $5.00 per ton - & make 20 (Average ) Ton to the Acre & cost of Harvesting – Marketing & all expenses is $35.00 per Acre leaving them $65.00 clear Money to the Acre. I guess that Beets cotton in the south.
This land has been settled the third time. I Now (sic) the Sugar Manufactures are buying the land. & are going to put in a 700 Acre Resivoir (sic) – to Irrigate the land – So I guess they will Stay.
I hear the men out talking – but the Bugs are comming (sic) so thick I will turn down the Light.
A train Passes every hour. One is comming (sic) now.
If this Dam above us Breaks through tonight Oh where Oh where will we be – it will wash us down on the R. R track' then a train will come along & if there is any thing left it will float down in the Ark River. Good Bye.
We always pass from 1 to 3 towns – but I just name the one we camp near.
We have passed through most Desolate Country today but we are camped in the Most Beautiful Camp we have had since we left Ripley. We have traveled up Grade all day. & tonight we are on a high hill. [Yet we cant See over it] over looking the little timber covered town of Syracuse. A Pretty Town' yet not large but had lovely trees all over Town.
There was a bad cloud off in the North & west & it didant (sic) give us time to Proporly (sic) finish our supper. We had to pile dishes away in a hurry & run the wagons close to gather & tie & wire the whole Bunch down to the ground. & we had awful Lightening. But not so much wind & we expected but it may come yet= Just as we were all feeling very much alarmed- Landy Struck up a Tune on the Graphaphone (sic)& it cheered us all up a bit. As for me – I should have been Blue if it had'ent (sic) been for the Music. he is still playing.
We did not travel today we thought the River bottom road would be so muddy-So we wemon (sic) all washed. & I never never saw such a long long day.-but we will go on in the morning We have had quite a time with our time pieces today – we were ahead of time – living a little fast. We had 15 min to one-when the 12 oclo (sic) whistle Blew – So Lucius went downtown & looked at the Regulator & ask the Man if he wasent (sic) Slow-the Man told him if he was traveling he woul (sic) have to turn his time back 45 min & we Should have Made the change at Dodge City. Landy has the Graphaphone (sic) going & some Folks have come up from Town-I dont (sic) know how many for I am in our wagon. I can hear fine So I will Not get out. & Hazel is in bed there is Several of our Crowd Nearly down the water Makes them Sick.
I am wearing the first clothes I ever wore that were Not Ironed. & I dont like it pretty much
July 13 06
We have traveled through a desolate Country today. We passed through A Town today “Coolage” Kas. It reminded Me of what I have read of Jerusalem-only of course much smaller. What was once a town of 2,500 – or 3,000 is Now a ruin. Lots & lots of Nice stone buildings with all the timbers taken out & just the walls left. Fine Brick buildings churches – Round house & all deserted. I dont think there is 50 people left. one Beautiful white stone Hotel three Stories high an Observatory on top. All deserted – except as Dry Goods Store in one room then two other small sticks of Groceries complete the Business buildings. Allie has the Blues - & Lafe feels worse out (sic)– Says he is getting tired of this. Mrs. Cox is not well Mr Cox cant hardly get in & out of the wagon. Mrs. Kline has a kink in her Back – cant hardly go. Clara has been Slightly under the weather – Lucy was sick yesterday Allie – Hazel Landy & I are in Prime Condition – I dont tell how I feel. We are camped in a low place – awfully Broken – close by a slew - & just under an other Irregating (sic) ditch – there is Goverment (sic) land there - & people would like to have us Locate – but excuse me – the Mosquitoes are whizzing about my head - & the Frogs are Singing by the Hundreds= I hear a meadow lark singing her Babies to sleep – the Sun has just gone down some – it is awfully cloudy. We have been using water out of a well – 400 ft deep.
Lafe is sick with his side hurting him tonight & he is discouraged – Eastern Colo is just like Western Kans.
Three Automobiles passed us this eve – they drive at a furious rate up here.
Last night after we was in bed Some one got to shooting over in the East part of Town & Mrs. Cox called out “Landy: who is that Shooting” he said “Ma I cant tell you & I had to Laugh – when I thought we had not seen any one we knew Since we left Mettas. I have Slept in a Bed in a house once since we left home – 27 of May.
July – 14
I have lost track of the day of the wk Some of the crowd say it is Friday & some Sat. I Vow I dont know. But I feel like it is Friday I hope So – for Tomorrow noon we will get to Lamar - & there is where we will get a letter from home - & if it is Sunday I am afraid we cant get in the office. If we cant we will have to leave a card telling them where to send our Mail.
We have traveled through Some Poor Country & Some Beautiful Country today – We are camped in a lane by the side of the track – the train is passing Now.
Granada is a pretty place – but Small this is an awful broken Country – we are 1.50 mile from the mountains yet. Lafe has been Sick with his Side all day it looks like rain tonight.
We are traveling with a Party of 5 wagons & we are all camped close togagher (sic) They are going up in the Mountains.
We are all dissapointed (sic) tonight. We got into Lamar at noon & they would not open the Office until 6 Oclo (sic) . So we left a card for them to send our mail on to LaJanta (sic) & we are afraid we will not hear at all for several wks- we will get to LaJanta Wed=
Coming along this eve Lafe Shot at a rabbit & hit him & he shot 4 times before he killed him & we started on & got half a mile & discovered we had lost the Buggy whip. So we drove back & hunted the whip & killed another rabbit & dressed the two -& by that time we had got So far behind that the Folks had got uneasy & pulled out & camped - & Landy had got on a horse & started out after us – when we drove in Sight.
We nearly freeze at night & morning we all have to wear our Coats – it is awfully cold tonight Mr. Cox has Coal & they fill the little Sheet Iron Stove with Coal & Sit out by the fire but I always write soon as My Supper work is done we have a pretty place to camp tonight the Ark Riv is awful Swift here we have crossed it 4 times.
July 16 – 06
Los animas Colo
We are camped tonight in a lane close to two houses one on one side of the road - & one on the other there is Nice trees here so of course I think it is pretty.
There is a whole Caravan of us – our outfit of five wagons - & an other outfit of 4 wagons - & another Man and 5 wemon (sic). & we are all camped here in the lane. All Bound for Colo. Springs & Pikes Peak.
We havent (sic) been in a town Since Noon yesterday & we are all about out of something to eat. I made a pan of Corn Bread for supper & fryed (sic) some Bacon - & we got a qt of milk & we fared fine.
The only pleasure I see is the Graphapone (sic) – Landy has it going now - & all the Folks are out Listening but me – but I am enjoying the music.
We have one awful time getting water – people has cisterns & they buy water & sometimes haul is 4 mi. to fill their wells. & some take it out of the River & fill the wells & they are good enough to let us have water to drink & cook with – there are some Artiscian (sic) Wells that water is pretty good there is lots & lots of bad water but good water is hard to find.
bad luck again – got in Town to late to get the Mail & will have to wait until morning this is the prettiest Town I have Seen Since we left Wichita – the Ark River flows through the Town. We have crossed the River 5 times & waited on the North Side today. Until the Boys went over to Los animas (sic) to get some Groceries.
We found Jim Atherton alright & had a nice visit with them. they will go on to the springs in two wks & make the climb up pikes peak before going home.
The Surrounding Country is awfully rough Just North of Town there is some of the awfulest (sic) hills – No good water in this town & 70 cases of Typhoid fever.
Today at Dinner two men came Riding up to camp & ask for water – then one of them Said I didant (sic) want a drink' but when we came up the hill I saw two white horses & I made a bet with this Man that the Next woman we met would be Red Headed.
So we just stopped to See – I told him he had lost – for there wasent (sic) A Red Headed woman in the crowd. & if we had been close to Town there shore would have had to treat the crowd & he went on laughing – but said he's have to pay his bet.
We are camped in a lane had to bu Hay 40 cts a Bail.
the Folks are in bed & I am tired.
Manzanola (sic) Colo
we are now about 1.50 (sic) mile from the Eastern Col line - & we are 80 mi from Pikes Peak yet.
From Lajunta (“H” written above) (sic) to Manzanola (sic) is 18 mi & a very pretty country – lots of trees – Cottonwood Maple – Peach – cherries - & Apples – Some lovely homes & lots of tacky houses - & even Sod & Box Houses – Lots of Alfalfa Hay - & Sugar Beets but Nothing grows with out Irrigation.
We are camped in the little town of Manzanola A very pretty place. We passed Rocky Ford at noon – that is a very pretty town you have to buy Artision (sic) water – but we got ours for Nothing The wells are Scarse (sic) & the Farmers come for miles & buy the water by the Tank full there is water water everywhere - & hardly a drop to drink. But when we come to a good well we fill all the kegs Jugs Buckets Bottles & So have Never been in need.
We had quite a fierce Sand storm this afternoon - & Lafe went to put the curtains down - & his hat Blew out & he made chase & of course it blew into the Irrigating ditch & when he came back the water was dripping off his hat & falling on his Black shirt & the dirt had settled on the drops & made little mud Puddles & the curtains was cracking like whiplashes - & everything trying to blow away & he looked So funny that I laughed – Loud & long & he got mad - & still I Laughed – he said he liked to See people Laugh when there was anything to Laugh about – but when there was'ent (sic) it looked silly = but he could not See how funny he looked.
We passed through a New Town Called Swink [today] it is a tent town – there are Hundreds of Tents & Sugar Refinery there I think Soon the Houses will take the place of the Tents then it will be quite a thriving little town in 4 mi of La Junta (H written above the J) (sic)
We are Brown as Indians – My Hands are just the color of these Telegraph poles that have that Brown oil & Cresote (sic) on them
this Country is Swarming with Mexicans – Hundreds of them – Everywhere
Boone Colo – July 19
of all Desolate Country – we have traveled in the worst today No houses – no good water – we filled everything full of good water at Fowler – & have had no water Since that is fit to drink. I guess this Co is something like Ark – great high hills covered with Rock - & Cacti. & Sage Brush – nothing but hills east west North & South & we are camped between two R. R. Tracks & the Irrigating ditch on a little Dessert – with out a spear of grass on it.
The Misquitoes (sic) are here by the 10.000 000 000 I have Burnt up one of Hazels dresses to smoke them out. We have been in Sight of the Rocky Mts. - all day. & tonight we see them Plain at a distance of 60 mile & can see Old Pikes Peak plain – to travel through this Co one would never think that we was in 18 mi of as good Town as Pueblo – the Houses are miles apart & they are the shabbiest Houses I ever Saw. Lots of them are Shantys (sic) build like Cook Shack for Threshing Machine & Some of them covered with dirt – we Passed a place yesterday where they had Bells on their Tirkeys (sic) .
July 20 – 06
This is the Smokiest Roughest Town I ever Saw & yet it is a nice Town – 'lots doing' plenty to See – we got in Town 4 Oclo (sic) – put up the Teams ' got an early Supper & went up town & walked ourselves down. I wanted to go to the Mineral Palace. But it was to far to take the children. We went to the Salvation Army. & heard a Later day Saint Preaching on the Street. heard Band or a Part of the pieces played by children. I should Judge all under 12 yrs of age. All in Red Uniform
they have a fine Opera House here. We had a Lovely Place to camp - & we got acquainted with a Mrs. Fell - & her Sister Mrs. Givens – they were the Most Sociable Wemon (sic) I ever met. Mrs. Fell took me in & Introduces me to her Sister & She gave me an Arm full of Magazines & Papers & 11 Novels all by good Authors = to read on the Road & I shore Appreciate their kindness – then when they were ready to start, the Wemon (sic) came out & Said Now Mrs. Bell. We are not going to let you leave Pueblo without showing you through our home - & So they took me all through each of their homes – into every Room - & said if we come back by there to be shore & camp by them again. While there Mr. Cline found us – he drove on the day before after dinner - & we never saw him again for 36 hours but we are all to gather again.
July 21 – 06
Beaver Creek Station
Of all the Rough Country & Rocks & hills - & pine trees & Some More Rocks & hills we have passed them today – we have traveled 22 mi & have only passed one house that I saw & that was dug back in the Bank & had a stick chimney but where we are camped there are two nice houses right down on the creek – we are on the Banks of a Swift flowing Creek – there is a Cable or Extention (sic) Bridge across – Jist (sic) for people – Teams Ford it I guess we have all walked it but Mrs. Cox & it swings go so I guess she will not try – there is some of the awfulest (sic) hills all round us – we cant see out & there is some lovely trees – Some Freighters are camped across the Creek - & they are all over listening to Landy Play the Graphaphone (sic) Oh I wish you could see the Mountains. It has been storming over on them all eve we heard the Thunder & seen the rain & once it Jist (sic) rained awful hard on us for Nearly half ho – we could see snow on the top of Pikes peak. We will get to Canyon City Tomorrow. I want to go to the Royal Gorge while there.
July 22 – Sunday
Florence is a pretty town – but not as large as I expected. & Oh what desolation around the Town= from Pueblo here is a Waste – desert – Hilly & Rocky Country - & when you are two mile from Florene (sic) you would Never think there was a Town in 50 mile – this Town is kept up by the Many-Many Oil wells - & the mining district furnish the Smelters work - & of course the work Hundreds of Men. two mi out we passed the Boiling Soda Springs it is a large place ' I should Judge 6 ft across & chuck full & Boiling like a kettle over a hot fire -No one knows how deep it is – we all got a drink out of it & filled our water Jugs - & Landy & Lafe Poured about a qt down my Back – A Blacksmith in Wichita ' wanted Lafe to Ship him the Soda water out of that spring - & he would sell it & give Lafe half. But we didant think any thing more of it the water tastes strong of Soda & it is not cold – Just a little warm – yet is called Hot springs.
We are staying over here until afternoon Tomorrow & we have all Just got back from Town.
We are camped in the Park – on the Banks of the Arkansas River - & we cant hear anything but the Splash & Roar of the water falling over the Rocks – We are under lovely trees – but on the North Bank of the River the Bank is fully 100 ft high & covered with Rocks – you would think we were in the wilds – instead of Town.
Little Lucy Said Oh Me tant (sic) Never get up that hill – me dess (sic) me have to do back home but the roads winds Round the hills & are very good. We have crossed the Ark 9 times.
There is an awful storm in the Mts - we can see the Rain & hear the Roar –
The Mountains look like they were in a mile of here but they are 10 mi – we can see the trees on them.
We came over the worst roads this eve that we have ever traveled over - & we had another Rain & awful hard Wind – this is a Beautiful Place – the Buildings are not large. A 4 story Brick Hotel is the Best building in Town. But the streets are clean & there are beautiful rees - & the town is built right u again the Mountain. The Penitentuary (sic) is located here & he is in Hollowing distance of us. As he paces around the Tower – keeping watch – there is Iron & Soda Springs Just this Side of the Pen – Each has a Brick building over them - & of Evenings the people come for the water - & some times there are two or three Hundred People there.
The River is Swift here ' we are close enough that you cant hear Hardly anything else but the Roar of the water= I have never been so blue as I am tonight = Oh how Miserable I am there is No beauty in any thing.
Well I am not quite so mad Tonight. We all went through the Penitintuary (sic) this eve & we all got a Souveneer (sic) - & one old man convict Named Mercer gave Hazel a little Rocking chair that he made – there were 631 Prisoners & only 90 trustees. Cost us all 25 cts apiece to get through then we went over town - & when we came back Lafe ' Hazel ' & I decided to climb to the Guard Tower. So we got up there & the Guard wasent (sic) in sight & we started on up – there is a table stands up on the very Highest point - & I wanted to climb to it & lay my Pocket Book on it.. but when we were about 10 ft below & Jist (sic) ready to Make the last climb : A Guard with a winchester Stepped out & ask us if we had a Permit. I told him No & he ask how we got there - & I told him I wanted to climb up to the Table - & he Said that was the Dead line - & their were 4 Guards on the cliffs & 4 in the Guard Houses - & they would loose their Job if we went over there - & besides ' they were blasting up there & we were liable to get killed & when he said that Hazel thought he was going to shoot us & she started to run - & said come on Mamma, & she went straight down & got out of Sight & we called & called & I got scared – thought She had fallen – when finaly (sic) we heard her way down Below us. & I dont know how she got down Lafe & I had to go back by the Guard house we coudent (sic) follow her= I ask the Guard if he wouldent (sic) let us walk around on his Tower & he wouldent (sic) let us. Said all the other Guards were watching him. We got back to camp alright. Lafe, Landy, Hazel Clara & I went up to get a drink at the springs – there were an awful lot of People there with cups Jugs & Bottles.
The River is awful swift here-
This is a Church town there are No Saloons here but lots of churches – the Opera house is No good Most of the People are church going people.
We have been through the Royal Gorge to day. The Ark River runs through the Gorge - & the R. R. track runs through by the Side of the river. Then 100 ft above the river Bed – they have Blasted out & graded up a Road bed for an Electric Street car line -but the Road is not finished yet. We climbed the bank to the Car line - & went up through a Tunnel 431 ft – through then Landy Clara Allie Lafe & Hazel climbed on up – 1000 ft high & I stayed down with Mrs. Cox – they climbed clear to the top – Landy took a Slide of about 50 ft down the mountain before he got a ft. hold – but he came out unharmed – Lafe Hazel & Allie got down first. Allie was done up - & So was Hazel. We all went out to watch Clara & Landy coming down - & we were looking up & Hazel went to Turn around - & She was so close to a 100 ft Bank & She Slipped over - & slid down the Bank about 10 ft – of course I Screamed – for I thought she was going to the Bottom but her feet came in contact with a rock - & I scrambled down & got her by the hand & pulled her up. She was scared . The River here has 10 ft. fall to the mile here- Lafe met two Old Friends of his up town Bob Copper & John Charrs of Stillwater – has known Lafes People for years – then he met Albert Blair = & they all came down to camp & stayed until 10 Oclo (sic) – Mr. Copper is an old Hunter & Oh what a lot of Bear Stories.
Lucius has been feeling Bum for two or three days Lucy wore her new slippers up in the mountains today & just tore them to pieces on the Rocks & Hazel came back with a sprained Ankle., & we all felt Badly done up.
We have decided to Stay here until Mon - & So as we got so Tired Staying around the wagon – we decided to go down to the Gardeners & get work - - So we took a job seperating (sic) Onion Set – 25 cts per keg – We thought we could do the whole thing – So we commenced – at noon & worked hard until 6 Oclo (sic) - all three of us & just got two kegs full Picked - & we struck = & wont never go back any more. Landy Laughed at us & Lafe said for me not to write it down - & Hazel said tonight Momma My feet Smells like Onions. About 4 Oclo (sic) About 4 Oclo (sic) Lafe Said the Onions made him Sick & I told him I could get jist as sick as he could & Hazel cried & wanted us to quit – but we kept on until quitting time – I Never worked So hard in my life & So Steady for half day for 16 2/3 cts. before but By Living we Learn.
Albert Blair came down to camp tonight again Lucius has a sick Horse – threw him self & we thought he was done for – but he escaped with only a badly burned foot & Several scratches on his side.
[Sky line drive] July 27
Lafe Hazel& I made the Sky Line drive today. I is a Road that has been Blasted out & graded down by the convicts from the Penitentuary (sic) .
The road winds around from one hill to another & gets higher until it comes out on the crest of the mountain- & there is a Bolevoard (sic) 25 ft wide that run on the very top for three miles – there is No place on the drive but what another Team can pass - & at the half way place there is a square of Solid rock weighing Tons - & there you can turn around & come back if you are Sick of the Ride – If you go on at the end of the drive you can turn around again & there you will find a Stove cemented in with Rock & Mortar - & you can cook if you like. We made the drive to the finish - & Oh what a grad view one gets of Canon City & all the beautiful Valey (sic) for miles & miles.
In my opinion the Sky Line drive is far ahead of the Royal Gorge for
Beauty. Of course from the Top of the other Peak one gets as good a view – but the Novelty of a three mile drive on the Crest of a Mountain. There is a Hack line running = to carry Tourists over the drive - & half way up is a Tunnel now filled with water used for a Swimming Pool.
Clara & Allie went to the Cemetary (sic) Today but could not find their Mothers Grave=
it is raining this eve & Lafe is Sick.
Lafe has been real Sick – in bed all day. He had the cramp yesterday & was sick all day today. But he feels some better tonight. Mr. Blair is out with the men & they are telling Bear Stories. The rest of the Crowd Made the Sky Line drive today and are delighted with their trip. I stayed with Lafe – Mr. Blair Brought a young Rabbit down for Lafe & cost 30 cts. brought it down & I got supper & he took Supper with us- I had – Bacon dried herring – stewed Rabbit – fryed (sic) potatoes – sliced tomatoes - cherries – Wine Plant Sauce – green Onions Light Bread – Butter – Grape Jell – Postum & table cloth. we don't often have a Table cloth, but did tonight in honor of Mr. Blair.
I & Mrs. Cox washed this eve –
I have read all the letters over that has come from home & I am Lonesome - & want the home Folks Tonight
We gave the mismatched Wichita Shoes to Mr. Kline - & he has a small foot & can wear them.
July 29 Canon City
We attended Services in the Penitentuary (sic) Today. There are 634 convicts – 200 wemon (sic) convicts & there were about 200 visitors – The Band played while the convicts marched in & out of the chapel. the Choir was fine with Piano & Violin Accompaniment.
The Poor Farm here is an Immense Brick building – 46 rooms – with 23 Inmates – Allie used to work for them' & her & Lucius took supper there one eve – Then they the keepers came in this eve & stayed until Bed time ' Landy Played the Graffaphone (sic) & Several others came out to hear - & there were a lot of young people that set out on the Ties, but did not venture over.
I am home Sick Tonight – I guess I have the Heartache.
I am so glad that we go on in the Morning.
I want to be home by the 1st of Oct. to help with the heavy work - & Oh, how I would like to go to the house this fall – in Aug -
A - Camp in the Woods= July 30
we left Mr. Clines in Canon City.
We have Such a Beautiful place to camp tonight on a creek – down in the Canyon - & So many trees that I don't think the Sun ever Shines here. We have traveled through the Mts. all day - & had good roads – but they wind around the foot of the mts & some times the road is graded up on the side – with nothing to keep one from falling 200 ft straight down if the horses should get scared & fall over – but the Roads are fare ' considering the hills. Sometimes we were down in a Canon (sic) with Mountains on all sides of us - & 20 ft ahead you could not See any road at all. & if you should look back you could not See the road we were traveling at all yet althrough (sic) the Mts – you see Tents & hammocks – where People are camped [“out for all kinds of times”]
I have Picked out some two or three places, that would make an Ideal camping place.___ ____ ____
Wheat here in the valey's (sic) will be ready to Harvest in about three wks.
12 mi from Colo. Springs – July 31
We havent (sic) passed through a town Since we left Canon City – for we are off the RR – but tonight we are camped on a prairie – having left the Mts. Some three or 4 mi behind. & I heard a train whistle while I was getting Supper=
They have a fire in the stove tonight for it is cold. & they are all sitting out by the fire.
Mr. Cox bought 6 Burrows - & evry (sic) one of the Men & the Babes Ride them.
We nearly froze last night – The Boys made a big Campfire - & that helped Some.
We met one of the Elliot Wemon (sic) in Canon City & She gave us a Sack of green Beans & Onions & we cooked them awhile last night & finished them today for dinner – they were fine.
I want the home Folks Tonight - this Eve I tried to Sleep & Lafe kept calling me to get up & look & once he said you've got to get up & see this Rock. So I did & was well Paid for getting up' there was a wall of rock on the South Side about 200 ft high. & straight up – a beautiful Sight “A Mountain of Solid Red Rock.
Colorado Springs Aug 1
We are in Colo Springs. It's a Beautiful Town. It turned awfully cold here tonight on this Eve – rather – we can See the Snow on Pikes Peak - & today we saw the train up on the Summit.
The Boys all went over to Manitou this Eve – I got acquainted with a Lady across the Street this Eve - & She & I went up town tonight to get work – we got a job at Phelps Restaurant. I am in the Dining room $7.00 per wk.
She washes dishes – Glassware & Silverware. I am a little Bit Leary about my work for it is a high toned Place – 1 00 pr meal & I may make a failure – anyway I have as much courage to face that as I have Storms in covered wagon. I will leave Hazel with a Family here until Lafe gets work & we get a room. I go on at 6 Oclo (sic) in morning. I will let you know later how I get along.
Well I got along alright at the Table waiting business but I never worked so hard in all my Life. & I think they run it over me. Gave me three Tables to wait on - & me a new Girl – we got our morning work done at half past eleven - &, 20 min to 12 they begin to come in to dinner & got dinner over half past Two - & they Serve short Orders in the Afternoon. So they put me on as one of the Watch Girls until Supper – which commenced at ½ past 5 & finished at 8 Oclo (sic) – but as I had been on all day they – let me off at ½ Past Seven. but Lafe had found Jim Athertons so we all went to North Park & Tramped around until I was nearly dead – then we took a car & went home - & I never was so tired in my Life.
The people were awfully nice to me.
They work 24 Girls, but I am not struck on a bit of it. I had rather be at home – I don't like so much stuck upness (sic) .
Well I got up early & went up to work this morning & left Lafe & Hazel in bed. I got there – fixed my tables all up & went to work. We were serving Breakfast when the Land Lady came by & Said )Say I forgot to tell you we never pay our New Girls $7.00 a wk. I looked at her one minut (sic) & thought of how I had worked yesterday & I said Well if it dont make any difference to you I guess I”ll quit. I wont work for a cent less than $7.00 & I couldent (sic) stay any longer than Sunday any way. So you pay me & I'll go. She looked Surprised - & said I didant need to do that – I told her I could go home & go to work & beat her Job all to pieces & I thought it was worth $10.00 to work for her any way. She was awfully nice. So he paid me & I hiked. & I am glad I am away from the high tones mess – with their hard work. & Language I don't understand being a little country Girl that I am. I've a Perfectly good Millinery Shop waiting for me at Home.
So we are going to move out to Manitou this Eve – the men will go to work Monday.
Aug 4 – 06
Well we nearly Smother at noon & freeze from 4 Oclock (sic) on till 9 Oclo (sic) the next day. If it was'ent (sic) for the Tent & Stove we would freeze. It rains evry (sic) afternoon. We are close to the Garden of the Gods – we can see the Cathedral Spires from here.
We got Several letters from home. & of course we all feel like we had a visit from home.
We moved out here to Colo City - “Not Manitou” & are camped close to the Smelters one on the east of us & one farther on west. They run Sand through the Smelters here – that have been through once & run out Gold Bricks – one Gold mill in Pueblo the same turned out 3 & 4 dollars to the ton of Sand.
We can See pikes peak from here with three Snow Patches that look about 4 ft square – but men who live here Say there are 20 Acres in each patch.
It is 9 Mi from the ft to the Summit. Lafe is working in a shop in the springs today. The City is below us & It ceartainly (sic) is a beautiful Sight when the Electric Lights are all on at Night.
Excersions to the Cheyanne Cannon Aug. 5 – 06
Our Crowd & Athertons went out to the park & the Cannon today. We took our dinner. but got Separated from Mr. Cox & never did See them again. Athertons & us eat dinner to gather then went up south Cannon Past two Burro stands . They keep dozens of the Burros Saddled all the time - & lots of the People take Burros to visit the places of Interest While hundreds of People prefer to go a ft. our crowd being of the same mind. It is very Laughable to See the Ladies Some weighting 200 lbs astride of the Little Burros with a driver behind whipping the mule with a Black snake often times the crowd just stops & Laughs but The Parties keep climbing on up.
All day there we'r (sic) a singing Mass going & coming from the entrance of the Cannon to the very summit going up we went through a Curio Stand where they had all kinds of Curios for Sale & Served Cold drinks & Cream . There on up the Canyon – across a Rustic Bridge up on flights of Steps 400 [by my own count] in No - past the 7 falls. Oh a Grand Sight on up to Helen Hunt Jackson Grave – evry (sic) one takes up a rock & throws it on the Grave I took an ever Green or Pine Bough. However She is not buried there Now – the Story goes ' She was opposed to whiskey & the men would take Beer Bottles up & Break them on the Grave – So they took the Body up & buried it down in the Cemetary (sic) . It was her Request to be buried up there & she could not have Selected a More Beautiful place up on the top of that mountain – in the shade of the Pine trees – above the 7 falls. But what a climb to get up there to visit the Grave. We went to the edge of the Rock's & looked over & the Men & Wemon (sic) below looked like children 4 yrs old. Carriage look like little express wagons.
When one is driving along at the Bottom of the Cannon there are places that the walls are Solid Rock - & So high that the Sun cannot be seen at noon.
We bought a picture of the falls. & Hazel Sat on the oldest burro known. One that Helen Hunt Rode across the Mts – it is 45 yrs old & white as snow.
We went back & stopped at the Park & heard the Band of 34 pieces Play. We drove about 2 mi up North Cannon & was well payed for our trip – got home tired & starved to death to find the Folks already home & Supper all over.
Living in South Suburban Colorado Springs
We are very comfortably Located in a little three roomed house-took Some old slabs & made Mrs. Cox a very decent looking table – Allie has a pretty Swell looking one made of a cracker Box – while we are eating on my clothes Box – sitting on a slab – Allie washed today – Mrs. Cox done fancy work & I Idled the day away reading -
Lafe went to the springs today & was gone all day – when he got home he brought 2 cards from Henry - & he Says he will come to us – Soon as he gets word from us ' he is very Poorly .
Dr says he cant live there - & the change will do him good.
So we look for him soon.
Jim's & Jenette came over this morning & we all took our dinner including 1 gal – of Beer. & went to the Garden of the Gods – eat dinner there.
Seen the Balance Rock ' Steam Boat rock, the Cathedral Spires - & all the other Interesting Formations of Rock. Also a Petrified Indian & Some of the prettiest Curios I ever Saw- & I did want a Navijo (sic) Blanket so bad – but evry thing I priced was $15.00 So I gave it up. One shore gets paid for his trip going through the Garden of the Gods=
After we left there we went up to Manitou & the Soda 'Iron' & Sulphor' (sic) Springs – seen the Cog road that runs to the Summit of Pikes Peak – it Rained & Hailed unmercyfully (sic) on us' yet we enjoyed our trip - & I am in Love with Manitou – it is built Jam up again the Mts. & there are So many many Nice Hotels - & houses built on hill that look dangerous – The streets all run Kriss Kross (sic) ways. But I dont like that Part of it.
Today we took dinner with Mr. Athertons – had a nice dinner' & eat it off a table & that was something new for us – after dinner we took the Team & they all went with us - & we visited the St Francis Hospital it is a beautiful place – then we visited the Printers Home – there was 148 Old – 'Crippled' & consumptioned (sic) Men – not able to work at their trade – they have a Beautiful home - & they have one Room furnished by Denver' – Cincinatti (sic) -' Pensylvania (sic)' New York' Cal - & they have Beautiful Carpets - & furniture - & they have one room furnished by Jeff Davis' Daughter , in honor of him=
We saw the largest News Paper ever printed – [18.41] Saw a Beautiful Plate 100 yrs old = they have their Laundry - ' Bakery' Barber Shop – Hospital - & two Patent Fire escapes - & Lafe' Hazel' Jesse & Ray went down in them. But I would have to See the fire behind before I would attempt the trip.
Then we visited Prospect Lake – t'was (sic) a lovely place Swimming Pools – Bath & Boat Houses. So the day ended.
Aug 9, 06-
Allie washed Tuesday.
Mrs. Cox washed Wed-
& today was My day. & I did an awful washing - & have all the unstarched clothes Ironed.
It is raining hard – Allie & Lucius are here the rest of (no word here) are in Bed=
Lafe went to Manitou - & Sold our outfit Team & wagon- & will take the team over in the morning.
We look for Henry tomorrow.
I am tired - & Sleepy. & the Folks are getting ready for bed. So I will go too.
Lafe took the team to the man this morning. So now we havent any team – got $140.00 for outfit & put the money in First National Bank in the City.
We have a little excitement once in a while in the Shape of dog fight. Lucius keeps his dog muzzeled (sic) – but Lohin he gets loose. He jumps Landys dog any way “Muzzle & all” - & tonight they failed on checking him Loose & we had to get the little 22 – Target & Pry his mouth open.
They were trying a new Electric light on Pikes Peak tonight & it threw Such a Bright light that it Blinded us 11 mi away.
Lafe' Hazel' & I' walked down Town Tonight. I finished Ironing today - & Allie washed Some More We wemon (sic) went down to the Smelter this Eve where the men were working - & the wind came up & twas awfully cold – before we got back.
Lafe got us all a letter - & we all feel good. It is bed time. So I will go to bed.
[Saturday] Aug 11-06
Lafe went to the springs to work in Shop today - & the men didant (sic) work – so we all went to the Garden of the Gods - & took our dinner. Then we went to Manitou & the Springs & drove up to the Cog line Depot- Albert Blair is Cooking in the Cog Restaurant up there.
We are all tired – Allie has headache-
I am going to make some Raisin pies – for we are going to try the Pikes Peak climb Tomorrow it is 9 mi to the Summit & I dont (sic) know how many of us will make it up to the Summit – for 18 mi is a long trip for any of us in one day. But I am going to try to go to the Top. & then I am ready to go home. That will be my last trip.
Hope I will be successful
Bye By___ ____ _____
[Heavens] Aug 12-
I am killed. We all started to climb to the Summit of Pikes Peak yesterday morning but on acct of Lucy - - Mrs. Cox – Allie & Lucius had to come back after they got up to the Hotel – or halfway house – but in truth it is Named wrong for it is only one third of the way. There was 23 of us started on up. Of those we knew their (sic) were Jim Atherton – Jesse & Roy and Jenette – Mrs Cox – Lafe – Hazel & I - & we never lost one out of our crowd – we started at 8 Oclo (sic) & 10 min & got to the Summit at ½ past 5 & Hazel & Roy – were affected by the high Altitude so that they had to lay down about evry (sic) 40 ft. on the last mile. When we got to the top they got so sick that one of the Men up there told us if we didant (sic) get her down quick we could not get her down at all..
So we gave 15 cts for cup of coffee for them & started down Immediately at 15 min to 6 - & got to Manito (sic) at 11 Oclo (sic) - We were nearly dead' all of us. But Hazel made the 20 mi walk alright – but none of us has anything to brag on..
Aug 13 – 06
Well I was in bed all day today & oh how Sore I am.
Hazel Seems to feel very well only I have to help her up of a morning but she is not as nearly done up as I am.
When I get up – I am as blind as a bat & I walk like I was in a Plaster Paris Case.
Oh I feel Sore -
The Folks all went to Cheyanne (sic) Canon (sic) to visit the 7 Falls 0 & Helen Hunt's Grave -
Lafe & Landy went down Town & Never came home till night.
I am to Near done up to write.
The Folks are going way Tomorrow & we decided to go to the Balanced Rock & have our Pictures taken - & Oh what an Effort it cost me but I wanted the Pictures so bad that I dragged My stiffened Joints around & got ready & I hope I wont look like I felt in the Picture.
I hate so bad to See the Folks go – I will be home sick.
Landy was going to drive us over to the Garden of the Gods - & he hitched up his Team & was waiting for us when I heard Mrs. Cox say Oh he's gone – he's gone - Allie & I ran out, & Landy's Mules were Sailing down the hill like Deers. Running way. - I assured her that he would stop them alright - & he finaly (sic) did – but we hitched up & drove Mr. Cox's team were afraid of that one
I can hardly walk at all. I think I am sore & stiffer than I was Yesterday.
Well I am getting No better fast. I am Sore all over – Lafe tried to Induce me to go to manito (sic) with him today – but I had to walk So stiff & one sided – that I could Not-
The Folks are gone – started this morning & Lafe went down town & I was alone & I had to take a good cry – when I Seen the only Friend I had leaving us here – but I got a Novel & soon got Interested in that- & but I'll feel awfully Lonesome.
This eve there is an other Oklahoma Family moved in the rooms that the Folks vacated. Their names are “Magee” Man' Woman' & child' they are here for her health. Seem like Nice people. They want us to go to the Garden of Gods Tomorrow – but I dont feel equal to it yet. For I havent got over My Pikes Peak trip yet. When I think of coming down from the Summit & how tired we all were & how we had to get Sticks & - keep them in front of us & when we wanted to keep from running how we had to put the stick against a Rock or in the Gravel to brace our selves to hold us back – Oh it makes me Sick.
The Mr. Magee's went to the Garden of the Gods today & wanted me to go – but as we had been three times I did not want to go – So Hazel & I stayed home & washed & Ironed. & were alone all day. Lafe eats his dinner down Town. Colo Springs
When he came home he had got a room - & So we Packed up on short notice & Came down Town. have a very comfortable room – in large Rooming house on Main street – our room is on the ground floor. Fartherest (sic) back ' next to side street well on Porch at the door=
we have Stove, Table, bed – Commode – 2 chairs & one Rocker - & looking glass for which I am thankful but Evrything (sic) is Old - & “Nothing Modern”
Evry (sic) building Nearly is Rooming house – our Hotel – we pay $2.00 per wk,
There are lovely trees here & we are Jam up again the Hills.
We are going to the Depot to meet Henry & Alice this morning. Over in the Springs.
Colorado Springs Aug 17 – 06
We went to Depot – today & met two trains & the Folks never come – So Hazel & I came home – Lafe stayed & the Next train brought – Folks in So Lafe Brought them on - & we were so glad to see them – I think we have rode 18 mi on the Car – this afternoon – we have Jist (sic) got back from the springs.
Henry feels Pretty well – but Alice came in Sick - & Henry Said he had to take Care of her for the last 75 mi – So I guess he has the Joke on her – for She came with him to take care of him.
Albert Just got in from Work – We wonder where Mr Cox's is tonight
I feel fine but I was Planning to Enjoy a fit of the Blues when the Folks came in
but I guess I will Post pone it for Tonight.
Colo Springs Aug 18 – 06
We went out to the Shelton Etetion (sic) this eve – to visit Alice Folks - & we stayed until after Supper - & had a nice time – the car was crowded till we could hardly Breathe coming home - & as we are going to have the Folks over Tomorrow for dinner – we left Henry & Hazel here & Alice & I went back down Town & done some trading for dinner - & when we got back Lafe had gone out to hunt us - & he Just got in.
Evry (sic) one & their Dog is out now. The Cars are Crowded people going to the Springs -
Evry (sic) thing closes up here at 7 Oclo (sic) - except on Sat. Eve.
Want the Home Folks tonight
Henry feels pretty well – but Lays down most of the time.
Saturday Well Alices Folks came over & spent the day with us – we had a good dinner but had a time eating it. Only had three Pie pans 2 knives & Butcher knife & three forks – but I thought they could stand for one Meal' what we used all the time & they Seemed to enjoy it all..
After the Folks went home. We took the car & went through Manito (sic) as far as the car went, & that was up to the Cog Line – then we came back to the springs & went to see the cliff house – the finest Hotel in Manito (sic) & when we were tired visiting the Curio Shops we came home – but we had a fine ride of about 11 miles.
Alice Bro came over this morning & Brought their Trunks & Boxes - & he stayed for dinner – then this eve he took Alice & Hazel to See his Daughter in the North part of the springs - & Henry' Lafe' & I had Some Beer & Lunch & they have gone down Town on the Car - & I am alone – but I dont care. I would like to Spend all the Afternoon writing to the Home Folks. But they owe me one – I dreamed a bad dream about them last night – but I am trying not to worry about it. Annie goes to wholesale house today_____ I wish I could go too.
Sunday' how I wish I knew what the Folks were doing today to pass the time away – I wonder if it goes as slow in Ripley as here—there is So much to See here - & if I would go out on front Poarch (sic) I could see plenty to Int. me but My Heart is Not in any of this – So I guess I will Lay down & Sleep-
has been raining Some today.
Aug 21 – 1906
My Birth day
I & Alice washed & Ironed today - & I Slept Some - & Henry & Alice went to the Springs to Stay all night with her Sister.
Lafe went down town & got a qt of chili for Supper. It is Lonesome here alone.
We got a letter from Mr. Coxes – they are in Denver - & wrote as they would Start back at once En Route through New Mexico & on home.
& that they would come through here So we left a card in Office for them with our No - & told them Not to dare go through without Stopping here
I will be glad to See them.
It is raining this Eve – gets cool here in the eve – Evry (sic) one takes their wraps when they leave the house - & they Usually need them.
We Sleep betwene (sic) Blankets & a comfort – over us at night.
It gets to cool to Sit out on the Poarch with out wraps after sundown.
Alice & Henry Never got back – until night - & I have been So Lonesome – I have gone down Town twice with Lafe & walked all over the City - & set out in front till the Cows came home - & An's (sic) a letter - & went down & mailed it. & I walked & walked Some more. & I Jist (sic) could not stay in the house alone – I dont know why I felt So – but I did-
but finally they came & we have had supper & Lafe & Henry have gone down Town.
Lafe got me a Job in the Laundry yesterday & I got up this morning & got ready to go - & he changed his mind - & Persuaded me not to go - & I was not hard to coax out of the Notion – So I did not make much out of that Job – some way I am Not getting Rich Very fast. - but I dont care.
Carrie Nation will Lecture in Opera house & we will go Tomorrow eve. - We are going o the Zoo Tomorrow.
I hear Some one Singing & playing the Accompanyment (sic) on the Piano. Sounds nice.
We went to the Printers home this morning – then Lafe & I went to a Resadence (sic) to buy a trunk - & we was gone so long that Henry & Alice took the car home.
Lafe & I walked our Selves down onknob hill then we Remembered that we had the key – So we took the car home - & found the folks Sitting out in front waiting for us – we got dinner then rested a while' then took the car for the Zoo Garden. & got back at 5 Oclo (sic) - had Lunch with Beer on the side – then went down to the Opera house to hear Carrie Nation Lecture – but She will talk in the Springs & be here Tomorrow Eve – while there we met a Miss Freeman of Cleveland & She Said She knew Guy Good real well.
Rained hard this Eve -
We are all awfully tired tonight
The Attractions at the Zoo are – Merry go Round, little R. R. track – the Old Mill Ride – the Ocean Wave – the Slide – Loop the Loop.
Skating Rink = Brass Band
& different & all kinds of Rigs to Lure out – from an old fashioned chaise -to a knobby little Carry all driven by Shetland Ponies = Target Galery (sic) Baby' knocking & animals of different kinds – including Monkeys -& Lafe gave one of them a chew of Tobacco - & he knew what to do with it. Then spit on' - & wiped his hands = they have Bears' – Camels' Buffalo' Yack's – Mt Goats - Elk – Deer - & I have forgotten, So I will go to bed -
I am froze – My fingers Ache-
& Lafe wants to make a fire in the stove.
Colo Springs Aug 24
Lafe has dedided (sic) to start home Sunday Morning at 6 Oclo (sic) – So we have been at work Packing.
Jenette & her Sweetheart came over & went to Manito (sic) with us – I wanted to get Some Souvineers (sic) for the children – So we all went & took in the Town - & came back & the Folks went on home. & we Set around here & Shivered – until Bed time.
Oh it is so cold here of Evenings - & one woman Died up on the Summit – yesterday – or she Died 20 Min after they got her down from the Top.
Colo Springs Aug 25 – 06
Well, we have the Packing all done - & the Boxes have all gone to the Depot.
Coxes got in today. But they are camped over in the Springs & will go on in the morning to New Mexico & from there home – Landy took dinner with us. Lafe has gone to Depot to get our Tickets.
Jenette & Sweet heart are here again – this eve – Landy wanted me to go over to the Camp. But as it has been raining all vev – I have decided not to go – altho I want to See them awful bad – but I have such much to do to get our Lunch ready & get the grip Packed ' So I will have to chop it out. Lafe will go Tho.
has been a big snow storm up on the Mts' – The Peak is white. Albert Blair & Mr. Finley are going to make the climb Tomorrow. Albert went to Cripple Creek yesterday.
Henry & Alice has Rented our Room for another wk..
Lafe Jist (sic)came in & Said we'd have to go at 10 Oclo (sic) tonight. So I will have to hurry.
Later Aug 26
Jenette & fellow - & two children & Albert – Henry & Alice Bill Hazel Lafe & I all eat Supper at our house off a 2 by 4 Table with one knife & one fork. & when we set down to Supper – all the men went down after their pocket knives – Jenette & Sweet heart went to Train with us'
Pueblo – 10 min to One – Rocky Ford LaJunta have been asleep - & dont know what time we have passes - - it is Sun up now & we are in Holly's Coolage – but we are going through like the Devil was after us. This is the deserted Town I wrote about. The country looks better to me & Lafe says he can breathe better – Syracuse. Garden City. Pierceville. Ingalls' Cimmaron' “we dont stop at any of them” Garden City' & we have stopped for Breakfast – here is where we change our Time. Ford – Mullinsville. Haviland' Kinsley' Garfield” Larnard' Pawnee Rock' Doridee” Great Bend” Dartmouth' Ellinwood' Clarindon” Raymond” Alden” Sterling Nickerson” Yaggy” Hutchinson=
Hutchinson Kan – Aug 27
got into Hutchinson at 3 Oclo (sic) found the Folks with out any trouble – went to Lafe's Sisters- Rested up & then went to his Nieces – awhile then to another Nieces – had a fine time came back to Annies & Lous & stayed all night. & I had rather stay here – it's more like home.
Hutchinson is a Beautiful Town. They are putting in the Electric Car line. They have had the old horse car line here – but this is Such an Improvement over the old line - & I am So glad they have the New line.
Henry's Say they will live in Hutchinson. When they get cleared but - & he gets his health. Alice will go home in a wk – to look after the crop.
Later we have all been down town – Lollie' Rhoda' Annie' Aunt Mattie' & I- & I bought Matereal (sic) for me a coat & Suit. Very pretty piece of Blue plaid.
We are home again – changed my dress & I am Resting & writing.
We had such a nice dinner - & a good Bed to Sleep in last night. & slept until 8 Oclo (sic) this morning.
Dinner with Rhoda Higgins Aug 28-06
Lafe went down town & Sent Ade a card to meet us – Thursday - & of course that cut us short one day- So we will have to start home this Eve at 7 Oclo (sic)
We took dinner with Rhoda today & had a fine dinner & Annie & Lolly & John- & Aunt Mat.. were all here.
They' Rhoda & Frank – are Newly Married & are Nicely fixed=
I have my winter clothes on & am about to Smother to Death. I guess I will have to hunt up my Summer clothes again.
After taking supper with Lollie (cloronister) -
We left Hutchinson at 6-30 Oclo (sic) – got into Wichita at 11 – 30 Oclo (sic) – took the car to Lafes cousins Cha's (sic) Brown - & kept them up till 2 Oclo (sic) – got up next morning at 6 Oclo (sic) & took the train for H – o – m – e-
got to Glencoe at 12-02 Oclo (sic) got dinner & No one was there to meet us. So we Phoned out to Will Hesser & then Hazel & I went to the Hotel & went to bed & Slept 3 hr's – by that time Will had drove in' done some trading & we came on out here - & will stay tonight.
Minnie & Punch – heard we was here & drove over to see us awhile.
This is a Beautiful Moonlight night.
& 10-000 Frogs & Crickets Singing -
the Men have gone after Water-melons.
Stillwater Okla, Aug 30-
Ade came after us & took us to her house to dinner
then on to Henry's – to See the children.
We got Supper over - & went out & gathered 3 bu of apples & 1 bu of Pears – - bu of clings – to take home with us.
Oh what a rain we had in the night. Earnest called out in the Night 'Say Im Afraid that cloud is awful black - & I Remembered the storms I had encountered in the covered wagon - & My Resolve Not to get foolishly afraid when I got home – So I called back that there was No danger – as we never had a storm from the N. W. & I Never got up to See if there was a bad cloud or not. So he went back to bed. But this morning he Said I'll tell you if Alice & Papa had been here we would have gone to the Cellar.
1906 Ripley Aug 31
Jim got Will Hessers Team & brought us on home today. & we were glad to get home.
We have had a fine Trip.
& Shore Enjoyed it. & if I ever Make another trip I would want to Travel with Mr. Coxes Folks. They are good people to be out with. & when we started out the 27 of May Mr Cox Said ' Now When We have any thing that you Folks havent got to eat – part of what we have is yours - & when One has – we will all have. & they Never changed.
I think it was a Summer well Spent & long to be Remembered.
But I am glad to get home.
Home – for a long time.
Ripley Okla. -
On Dec 16 1909 left (Sold) the Home I loved so well – for good & all time.
To live in Hutchinson Kan's
Written 25 years later on Ranch
Lived there 6 Months & Sold the Shop & moved to Luther Okla.
Bought a Shop there & moved to Clayton New Mexico=
Written September 25-1932 Sun-
In Memory of
MARTHA ALAMED BELL
August 21, 1875
January 15, 1953
El Monte, California
Chapel of the Chimes
Rev. Heber H. Pitman, Officiating
Inglewood Park Cemetery
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