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Centennial History Book

Every community has cherishedREMINISCENCES


When Mrs. Heath requested me to contribute something regardingthe earlier days of Farnam and vicinity, I thought,"What will 1 write about?" But on thinking of the many changesthat have taken place in the past fifty years I still ask myselfjust what will 1 write. I was born at North Platte, and in 1885my family moved to a ranch on East Deer Creek, now known asthe Ben Litchenburg ranch. I was only nine years of age andhad never lived on a ranch. My uncle had owned this ranch andoperated it as a sheep ranch, but hard winters, disease,wolves, lack of water, etc., soon played havoc with thisenterprise, especially lack of water, as it was a majorundertaking to get wells in those days.

In a few years they closed out the sheep business and myfolks came in possession of the ranch and improvements andstarted in the cattle business. This had its ups and downs aswater was still the major question. We lived there fourteenyears, and the changes that took place during that period wasalmost like a fairy tale. The Burlington & Missouri Railroadwas built soon after we moved to the ranch. There was a greatdeal of activity in the way of people moving to new homes andlooking for new ones.

I remember one day in early summer my folks had to go toFarnam to get supplies and building material and as I was theoldest at home, I was left to care for the younger children. Thefolks had hardly got out of sight when I saw a man coming fromthe south. My first thought was I must not let him know we arealone, so when he asked if there were any men about, I toldhim they had just gone over that hill. He then asked if theywould be gone long, I answered him and said, "Oh! no. He thentold me he was stuck in the mud with a load and wanted help,so he went back to his wagon and returned about 4:30 andseeing no folks, so back he went and just after sundown cameagain with his mules and wanted to stay all night. We hadhardly gotten his mules taken care of when we heard acommotion to the north and in a few minutes a wagon train often or twelve wagons came in sight, wanting to put up for thenight, so about ten o’clock the folks returned and found mewith the help of three or four men getting supper. They werevery nice as almost everybody was. Our neighbors were grandand especially so when in trouble or sickness.

We had no school when we first moved out, but it was notlong until the people started to work for a school. It was in thespring and in order to get money for the next year they musthave at least three months of school that year and no schoolhouse,so a neighbor, Jerry Brittenham, said he had a place wecould have. It was part cave and part sod. They hired Mrs.Mary Saxon at $10 per month. It was nice and cool on a hot dayand everything went well until the mud puppies and bullsnakes got possession during the school term, so in the face ofall of this, they built a small sod schoolhouse with no floors ordesks, but everyone worked hard and Mrs. Johnson, whotaught for seven years took a keen interest in the school work.

After two more years, we had a nice frame school and newschool furniture and we all felt that the world was ours. When Ithink of the starting of the schools and look at the Farnam HighSchool as it is today, I think the people and especially those ofthe earlier days have a right to feel proud of the progress. Iremember in the very early days of Mr. Thompson (WesleyThompson’s father) coming to our house and telling of quite abuilding boom in Farnam and the one place that impressed memost was the hotel with a brick front that a man by the name ofWoods was going to build. Space will not permit telling of thevast developments of Farnam and vicinity since I was a littlegirl on the old Robson Ranch on East Deer Creek.

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