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Centennial History Book

Every community has cherishedREMINISCENCES


By Mrs. Alma L. Miller

In January of 1892, we left our home in York County,Nebraska and started for our future home in Dawson County.My husband loaded a wagon with our household goods, tied thecow behind the wagon, hitched up his team and startedoverland. I waited a few days, then with our three small childrenstarted by train for our new home.

It was a rather desolate looking town we found when wereached Farnam, but it was to be our nearest town. My husbandmet me here and we spent the first night with our nearestneighbors, the Moseleys, who lived just west of us.

We moved into a board shanty on our claim and started in tomake a home of it. The winter was hard, but the-fact that wewere on our own place made us contented, glad to work and dowithout most of the accustomed comforts of life. When springcame with its rains, we would sit in our shanty and watch theroof, rising and falling in the wind, while it rained nearly ashard inside as out.

My husband worked out when he could get work; he wasworking miles from home when our baby became very ill, afterworking all day he would walk home at night and help care forher, then he would walk back in the early morning to workanother day.

The drouth of’94 was terrible. Nearly everyone was hard upand many almost destitute. Aid was sent in from the east. Myhusband farmed some land three or four miles from home, withnothing for his dinner, but corn bread made without milk.

Work was scarce with low wages. My husband was very gladto get work with his team at fifty cents a day.

We had to haul water for miles, as there were few windmillsin the country. When my husband was away working, I wouldhitch up the team, load the barrels and go after the water.

Sometimes I took the children with me, other times I left themat home alone, while I made the trip. Once I went to a waterhole after water for the stock, after returning and unloadingthe water at the cistern, behind the barn in the canyon, Istarted to drive up the hill by the shed. Suddenly the looseboards of the wagon box floor dropped out and I droppedthrough, finding myself walking where the wagon box hadbeen, until I could stop the team. Sometimes, the barrelswould tip over spilling the water before I could get it home,then it was to do over again.

Roads there were none, only trails through the hills, but onthe valley they were much better.

Prices for crops were poor. One year my husband hauled hiscorn clear to the valley, receiving only ten cents a bushel for it.

Wood, corn stalks and cow chips served as fuel.

We think times are hard now, but they are not nearly ashard as in the early days.

Published: 4/21/2024 -
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