Centennial History Book
Every community has cherished REMINISCENCES
EARLY DAYS IN FRONTIER COUNTY
Given by H. S. Boyle
A few lines on early day history is my theme, so will start back in March 1884.
We left Illinois the last of February for Nebraska, arriving at Doniphan, March 1st, 1884. The weather was very nice and the roads dry.
We had a farm rented northeast of Doniphan for a year, but that seemed to close in, so we decided to go farther west and look for cheap land. The last of March I looked over some land in Custer County, but didn’t find any that suited me, so I returned to Doniphan.
Again the last of June we came to this section, arriving at Cambridge on the 30th. We looked over the land north of Orafino and picked out some claims on July 1st. We started for Cambridge on foot, a distance of twenty miles, hoping to arrive there by 12:35, but as it was a hot day and we had no water, and the road was rough, we were too slow. As we came into town the train was leaving so we had to wait 24 hours, to go on to McCook.
But on July 2, 1884, we filed on our claims and in 1885 came out here.
That year the railroad was going through and soon the town of Farnam was started.
We got along nicely for a few years and had good crops, until 1894. We did not raise any crops that year, but had plenty of feed for the cattle and horses. Again for a few years we had pretty good crops. The spring of 1906, we rented the ranch and moved here and have since made it our home.
Just dropping back again to early days we had lots of hard times, and many discouraging things happened. The country was new, and there was not much in it, but just to live.
So just as the Indians moved out, we moved in.
On the Medicine, north of Stockville, the Indians camped all summer the year of 1884 or 85.
Many thrilling things took place in these times. On the Fourth of July in 1886 some of the neighbors held a picnic and it was arranged to have it on the creek, near where Orafino is now. A program was prepared with different communities furnishing parts of the entertainment. Our community was to furnish the music and a man named Harry James, lead. We mustered up 26 youngsters and gathered several times before to practice and had our songs well learned by the 4th.
Those taking part in the program included: Mr. and Mrs. Jones, the Nickerson children, Walter, Drake, Kate and Geo. Scott, some of the Messersmith girls, Lilly Dyer, Will Hicks, Tim Ellis, the Twiford children, the Willard girls, Jennie and H. S. Boyle, Mr. and Mrs. Yorty and others that I have forgotten. The songs sang were: "My Country Tis of Thee”, "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean", "Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Be With You ‘Till We Meet Again”.
There was a loud applause and called for an encore, but we were not prepared for that.
The afternoon was spent playing games, riding until late and closed with a fight which caused a lot of excitement.
As things come and go we move on and I am only one of that group. I know many of them have passed on to the other world, to be at home with God, their maker. The old ranks are paling fast and will soon be no more.
But the flag of the free still waves over the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
The early days have passed on, new things have come in and new ways are going fast, too fast, for an old man of 1884.
But may God bless us as a nation, a new nation, not an old one, but new.