Centennial History Book
Every community has cherished REMINISCENCES
J. W. McELWAIN LOST IN CANYONS EAST OF
FARNAM IN EARLY DAYS
The Farnam Echo, 1936
My parents settled on a homestead nine miles southeast of Farnam in February, 1886, and I lived in Frontier County forty-five years.
The first time I went through Farnam there was no railroad there. All there was of Farnam was a couple of loads of lumber, and a sign that read Howard Brothers Lumber Company. I was back through in a few days and a prairie fire had burned the entire town. Howard Brothers Lumber Company was gone. Farnam was a mass of black ruins.
We came from Illinois and landed in Cozad. The next day I walked sixteen miles and led a cow. It wasn’t as fast as a V-8 Ford, but I think it was probably just as safe.
I was only fifteen years old at that time and it seemed like a long road to me. A few days later I went with the mail carrier from my uncle’s place two miles northwest of Eustis to old Keystone. He went on and I started back on foot. I thought it would be nearer across the country so I left the road. I got into some canyons somewhere northeast of Farnam and got lost. It was cloudy and I lost my direction. I have often wondered where those canyons are now, for I have been over that entire country and never found any that looked one half as deep as the ones I was lost in.
If you were never lost you have no idea how one feels. I didn’t know a thing about the country and to make things worse a short time before a little fellow, north of Elwood was lost and found a few days later, dead. But I wandered on till almost night. Finally I saw a sod house away off on a hill. I started for that house and after a long walk I came out on a road. I examined it closely and to my delight found it was the road over which I had led the cow. And don’t think that I ever left that road till I reached my uncle’s house.
Well I am not surprised that Judas went out and hanged himself when he realized that he was lost. Neither am I surprised that the prodigal son so rejoiced when he reached home. Well we still remember with love all the good people of Farnam and lovely neighbors we used to have. We want to take this opportunity to say "hello everybody".