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Centennial History Book

Every community has cherishedREMINISCENCES


Written by Elmer Peckham of Haig, Nebraska
From The Farnam Echo, Thursday, July 3O, 1936

I hear that you are planning a 50th anniversary at Farnam.Fifty years is quite a step! I was then but a boy. I am now agray headed old man, and most of the people I knew in thevicinity of Farnam have gone to the "Great Beyond". ,We came to the east edge of Lincoln County on the Plattewith my parents when I was 13 years old.

That summer the range cattle roamed the valley and ate upthe grass. My father went over south on North Plum Creek andput up hay to winter the cattle. My older brother, Herman duga dugout at the head of a little pocket on land afterwardsowned by my cousin, Rosa (McDermott) Burrows, mother ofLillie McNickle. My brother and I stayed over there, eightmiles south of my folks most of the winter and fed the cattleand cut the ice in the water holes to water them.

The summers of 1881-82-83, as I remember it now, I stayedalone over there a part of each summer when the grass wasgood and water in the "water holes", and range herded myfathers cattle and slept at the dugout and went home once aweek for grub. While I was only a boy I saw nothing to beafraid of except a skunk or a rattlesnake. There were a fewantelope along the creek and deer in the canyons. It was wetone year and the blue joint grew as high as my saddle ponysback, along the water courses.

In the summer of 1883,1 went over to Farnam, but there wasno Farnam there then. I went northeast to the flat, where Mr.Tufts and Harry Taylor lived and to the Keystone post officeand store. I bought ten cents worth of candy, went north toMr. Willis place. (The first homestead on North Plum Creek ifI remember right). Then back up the creek to the herd and holein the ground I called home.

The next spring my uncle, Michael McDermott and cousins,Thomas, Stephen and Rosa came to North Plum Creek andhomesteaded in 1885. I again herded the cattle, also a fewowned by Steve McDermott and stayed with the boys and theirsister, Rosa.

Nothing happened that summer worthy of note except I letthe herd cross my Uncle Mikes potato patch and he told methat if I was his boy he would give me a flogging. "You might aswell step on an Irishmans heart as his spud patch."

The country was all settled now and that was my lastsummer herding on the creek.

When I grew to manhood I got a homestead, which had beenrelinquished, near my uncle, Michael McDermotts. I went toFarnam once in a while to a dance, (some would say twice in awhile). I finally got married (like most young men should). Iproved upon the homestead, later selling it to my cousins, theMcDermott brothers and moved to the valley and later toScottsbluff County, Nebraska.

I havent been in Farnam for years, nor do I know many of itspeople any more. As I remember the eighties, they weremostly good years and no one suffered for grub, although mostof them lived in sod houses. My uncle lived and died in the "Oldsod shanty on the claim". His boys, Steve and Tom and theirsister, Polly, spent the remainder of their lives in this "Old sodshanty" and it is still standing.

One of the "Old Timers" that time hasnt erased.

Published: 3/27/2023 -
Hosted and Published by Weldon Hoppe