CARD FILE ITEMS.
Two Winfield Boys Chalk Up Expenses For Hunting.
Winfield Courier, December 13, 1877.
Two Winfield boys went hunting one day last week. When they returned home in the evening, they figured up to see how much they made. Their account stood like this:
Hired two guns: $1.00
6 lbs. shot: $.75
1 lb. powder: $.50
2 boxes caps: $.20
Dinner at farm house: $.50
Broke one ramrod: $.50
Blew one tube out: $.15
Hired a man to take us home: $1.00
Total Indebtedness: $5.30
Hit one rabbit: $.75
Almost shot a goose: $1.50
Saw seventy-five ducks: $1.85
1 quail (claimed by each), to balance $1.20
Total credit: $5.30
[Water. Prairie Dogs.]
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, November 14, 1885.
A Nebraska man has settled the question of how a prairie dog obtains the water it drinks. He says the prairie dogs dig their own wells, each village having one with a concealed opening. He knows of one such well 200 feet deep, having a circular staircase leading down to the water.
[Application for Work.]
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, November 14, 1885.
An Open Letter.
A. V. Alexander & Co., Arkansas City, Kansas.
DEAR SIRS: I write you in regard to securing a situation as bookkeeper. I am told you are at present minus one and that you are desirous of engaging an expert accountant. I can furnish good recommendations. For several years I was in the Marine Bank, New York, and I amassed a small fortune. At present I am engaged by the state of New York, but at the expiration of ten years, I would like to enter your employ. I do not demand an exorbitant salary. Salary is no object when in your employ. Present wages are $10,000 per year. I drew my wages for 10 years—$100,000—in advance, from Grant, Ward & Co., and that is why I cannot enter your services earlier. Respectfully,
FERDINAND WARD, Sing Sing, New York.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 31, 1886. From Saturday’s Daily.
Arkansas City’s Weather Report.
“Hot! Hot! Did you say?” The REPUBLICAN reporter was just settling comfortably into the barber’s chair this morning as the above ejaculation from a remote corner attracted his attention. He quietly slipped a nickel into the barber’s paw, with a hint to keep his mouth shut, and turned his reportorial ear in the direction of the aforesaid corner. Two parties were discussing the subject of the heat in southern Kansas. One, a tenderfoot right from Canada, was complaining about the high altitude of the thermometrical mercury and had ventured the suggestion that it was hot. His companion was an acclimated citizen, whose only claim on our glorious free institutions consisted in the fact that he occasionally deposited liberal fines in the city treasury and paid tax on three worthless canines. He immediately entered upon an elaborate elucidation of the question of temperature to the ready-to-be-initiated newcomer.
“Hot! You don’t mean to insinuate that this caloric condition of the atmosphere is uncomfortable? Why, pard, we fellers what is used to it count this a tol’able cool day—in fact, really chilly. You oughter jist abin around this ‘ere sand hill last week. I reckon your taller would abin so completely fried as to be no ‘count, even fur soap grease. Darn my fool soul, if the sun’s heat didn’t rip one end uv a green sheetin’ board offen the roof uv the cracker fact’ry, doubled it over, an’ pulled the nails cleam thro’ the board, heads an’ all. Large pavin’ rocks curled up like melon rinds. Where the sun had a clean sweep at the rear of the brick an’ stone buildins, the walls ‘spanded so’s to h’ist up the roof and pitched it to’ards the street. Our ice men had to handle last winter’s solidified Walnut River fruit with tongs and gloves, the chunks was so hot. Every thermometer was tetol’ly wrecked, cept a few what was lowered inter deep wells for preservation. Even the merc’ry in some on ‘em clim up the well rope an’ ‘vaporated. It gin a man an’ two boys a right smart tussle to ketch a decent breath. Railroad firemen had to pack their fire boxes with ice an’ fan the steam gauge to keep down the pressure. On Friday the 2:15 Santa Fe train struck a cut up north here a short ways, jist as the wind went down a bit, an’ ‘pon my word, the heat jist swelled them ‘ere rails that shoved the whole track an’ train a mile clean tuther side uv the secon’ station north afore the engineer could sock on the air-brakes.”
The fellow halted to take breath and his victim was about to ask how it was possible for a human being to survive such a roasting, when the infernal barber called out “Next.”
Arkansas City Traveler, November 15, 1876.
PROPHET. An old farmer told us that whenever we see a hog rumpling about with straw in its mouth, we might know that there would soon be a storm. Last Saturday we saw a hog with the straw, and on Sunday night saw the storm, and now we believe the farmer was right.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 29, 1876.
BUFFALO MEAT, with no bone, was sold on the streets last week at ten cents per pound. It was brought from the plains 200 miles west, where buffalo are reported numerous.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 6, 1876.
A wholesale liquor store has been talked of lately. No less than a pint of liquor can be sold at wholesale.
[FREE FIGHT FOR ALL: SINGERS IN BOLTON TOWNSHIP.]
Arkansas City Traveler, December 13, 1876.
FREE FIGHT FOR ALL.
The singers in Bolton Township met Monday evening at Lorry’s Schoolhouse, for the purpose of instructing themselves in music and general improvement.
While everything was serene, J. M. Jordon struck one of John Dean’s boys, and then went to the door of the schoolhouse, declaring he could lick any man in the house.
Bob. Wood happened to come, not with any intentions of fighting, however, when Jordon laid him out.
Chet. Ward came soon after and endeavored to have all noise and trouble cease, when he got a lick from the same man. Chet. didn’t want to fight; but when he had such a pressing invitation, he let loose the arm he swings the sledge with and Jordon fell down, but scrambled up again in time to get another blow from the same sledge arm that had got up a kind of perpetual motion. Jordon jumped up and down eight times, our informant says, before he was satisfied that he had tackled the wrong kind of an infernal machine.
Some of the bystanders endeavored to interfere, and came near having a general row.
Bolton Township is not a place for quarrels, generally, but something must have been in the air for once. We give the statements just as we received them, and do not know if they are entirely correct.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 13, 1876.
Two of our townsmen had an animated political discussion yesterday morning, when one said something about Grant should be assassinated. The other called him a coward, and the party of the first part called him a liar. The party of the second part then ordered him out of his office, and the first party refused to go. The second party then tried to put him out and a tough scuffle ensued before the parties were separated.
Moral: If you will talk politics, don’t get mad.
[Too Many Colonels, etc.]
Arkansas City Traveler, August 1, 1877.
A Texas editor suggests that the fact that he once commanded a squad of rangers sent out to capture a Mexican woman who was required as a witness in a murder case, does not entitle him to the title of “Captain,” and he would therefore prefer to be called mister.
If some of Cowley’s citizens would follow the same plan, the Colonels, Captains, etc., would not be so numerous.
[882_03wc & following files.]
[Portions of a long letter from Vernon Correspondent.]
Winfield Courier, March 30, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: Once more I find a few leisure moments to record a few Vernon happenings. Once again “Dame Nature” is robing herself in velvet green; not pea green, but wheat is the favorite shade of coloring. Decked in colorings of peach blossom, spiced and perfumed with “clove,” plum, and daisy, but soon she will doff the peach and don the cherry, for like the “Queen of Fashion,” she soon tires of faded blossoms.
Jack, the Frost King, recently paid us two informal visits in this vicinity, as elsewhere, and wherever his tingling fingers touched, withering blooms mark the track of his train. But thankful we are, and will be, if that which is left but be permitted to ripen to hope’s full fruition; for at Orchard Cottage at least, there is plenty left for a fair crop of fruit.
Farmers in this vicinity are buoyant, hopeful, and busy. Wheat never, no never, looked better. Stock never wintered better. Farms and farmers are in an improved and improving condition. The ten to fifty acre pasture field has become a fixed necessity, as in fact and fulfilled to the letter is the line of song, “We will make the wilderness bud and bloom again.”
No Puritan son and daughter were ever more proud of their birthplace and home than is the Vernon Cottager of his hearthstone. Never did sons and daughters of toil labor harder to make home beautiful, and home, “sweet home,” in truth as well as in song, and beautiful thoughts will be the birthright of our children. A Prohibition State, the Banner Prohibition county, the Banner Prohibition township! Then let Col. Alexander sing and write of blossoms and oranges of Florida, and its “everglade shade,” and for aught we care, of its mosquitoes and alligators too; or the seekers of wealth and health of Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, or California. We are in favor of St. John for a third term, and prohibition forever.
Some of our farmers sell out in haste to buy back hastier; for instance, H. C. Hawkins. One week ago this eve quite a number of his friends thought to spend an evening with him to bid him farewell. But the surprisers were surprised at the house being vacant, and all repaired to the residence of J. W. Millspaugh where a pleasant evening was enjoyed socially. Tonight we give H. C. Hawkins a grand charivari. We think he deserves a regular pan rattling. If anything of note happens, will post script it.
Prairie fires illumine the night, and fire is the scavenger of yard and garden plats.
And now, Mr. Editor, we must enter a protest. We can stand the smiles of Lydia E. Pinkham, Clark Johnson’s Indian, The Texas Mustang, and Cole’s picture of Wahoo Bitters (but not the bitters) or half a dozen or so other patent medicine trade-marks; but the Old St. Jacob is a regular wolf in sheep’s clothing. He assimilates the minister, the editor, the lawyer, and all trades and professions. We take up a paper and think we are going to get a moral treat, but behold! The moral has been soaked in St. Jacobs Oil. Turn to the local column and he has inserted his oil there; to the editorial page thinking to gather editorial wisdom, and behold his pen has been dipped in St. Jacobs Oil; to religious reading in secular papers, and the religion has been saturated with St. Jacobs Oil. Now, in the name of an outraged reading public, we demand that this demon St. Jacob and his oil be consigned to purgatory or the advertising columns where he belongs, and give us instead of St. Jacob, St. John, is the wish of many of your COURIER readers as well as of M. LEWIS.
March 24, 1882.
Winfield Courier, May 11, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: Deeming that I have a few items of sufficient interest to find a place in the COURIER, I send them to you. In fact, Mr. Editor, we think if we undertook to keep you posted on all such little items as to when Mrs. Jones visited Mrs. Smith and when Mrs. Brown visited Mrs. Johnson or, when a Mr. Hawkins buys a cow or horse or swaps a mule or when somebody or person was suffering with erysipelas, neuralgia, or dumb ague, etc, ad infinitum (or soon without end), we would need about five columns of the COURIER every week, but I do not deem such little local items of sufficient importance to occupy space in so valuable a paper as the COURIER.
The Disciples or Christian and Baptist have organized and are conducting a union Sunday school very successfully at Vernon Center schoolhouse, and in the language of Mr. Millspaugh, “If the Bible is taught in its simplicity, christians will be the harvest reward.”
The trustees of our cemetery have secured two acres more of land of Messrs. Lee and Paterson, which incurred a little expense and will make one of the finest graveyards in Cowley County. The aged must, and the young do die, and one by one our loved ones are passing on before, and some of our thoughtful citizens at an early day secured one of nature’s most beautiful spots for the burial of our dead.
The Cottage Home, or residence of Messrs. Croco, Holmes, and Ware, are fast taking shape and proportion, and we deem them worthy ornaments of enterprise and thrift.
Lady Madge; recently we were visiting in Nenescah and our eyes did discover one of the “neat little cottages” of which you spoke, and could not forbear a comparison with some of Vernon’s cottages, but we should not despise “the day of small things,” but Lady Madge, we just thought you were short of items, that’s all.
Last week we saw Mr. Wilson taking out barbed wire for a pasture fence. We understand he and Mr. Cole are fencing 80 acres of Mr. Cole’s land, and you can tell the east Cowleyites this is the way we Vernonites believe in doing-a-way with the herd law, when you get your own places all hedged and have too much stock to keep at home, fence part of your neighbor’s farm for the use of his grass, this is just and right. Mr. Editor, three years ago if a neighbor told us he intended to fence a ten acre pasture, put up a wind pump or small barn, or a 12 x 16, story and a half house, wide open flew our eyes in astonishment, but now if one speaks of building a house 28 x 30 with a 14 x 20 cellar under it, a large barn, or an 80 acre pasture, we but smile and remark that we think it a fitting monument of his prosperity.
Farmers are all done planting corn and now comes cultivating.
Fruit prospects, promising. We anticipate a large crop.
Farmers are all anxious to get stock, consequently the prices are very high now.
I was much amused at H. C. Hawkins’ “Didn’t try to stand it,” have seen little boys compelled to take some awful doses of Vermifuge, Boneset, and Lebelia, and they made some sorry faces, but H. C. Hawkins took his medicine like a little man, with but little squirming. Rather think he had made up his mind to stand it, however, am glad to have him back with us. We are glad he thinks so much of home. Long may he live to sit beneath his own vine and fruit tree, and as the little ones gather around him may they rise up and call him blessed. April 29th, 1882. M. LEWIS.
Winfield Courier, May 25, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: Having tired of using the hoe in the destruction of weeds, after resting the physical nature and giving the mental food by a short time spent in reading, I will now try and collect a few thoughts for the reading of the COURIER.
The last week will, we think, be one long remembered as the cold week of May, 1882. Although two frosts fell the same week, yet we think there was no serious damage in this vicinity, and think the cold, cloudy days were a great blessing, being just what the wheat needed. And now comes just such grand growing weather as the corn needs, such fine weather for the destruction of weeds, and our farmers are improving the time. How much more we would all enjoy life with its varied changes if there were welling up from our inmost souls constantly, such beautiful sentiments of prayer as one expressed by the so called virtuous pagan, Marcus Aurelius, “Everything harmonizes with me which is harmonious to thee, O, Universe! Nothing for me is too early or too late, which is in due time for thee. Everything is fruit to me which thy seasons bring, O Nature.” If we could but put our whole trust in Him “who doeth all things well,” we then could enjoy the recurring seasons with all their varied changes. Spring will soon be past, but let us one and all enjoy to the full its lingering days, the days of bud and blossom, knowing full well that the ripe fruit and golden grain will soon be ours. God pity the man that is ever alloying present joys with anticipating evils.
Harry Hopkins is doing well, and being young will pull through all right.
We learn from Dr. Maggart that the young man on Slate Creek, who accidentally shot himself while out fishing, is still living, and stands a chance yet to live, though the wound was a bad one.
Sile Carter and several others now rejoice over the completion of pasture fences. When recently journeying northward, passing Bud Bernard’s place, was surprised to find he had almost completed a snug and commodious house, with good cellar under the entire house. The hedges, groves, and orchards of Vernon are assuming such mammoth proportions that one needs to penetrate them to see all the fine new houses and barns that are being built.
Vernon is becoming somewhat noted for patent right men. Dougherty and Tyre selling patent washing machines in Kansas. Charles McClung has bought the State right of West Virginia, John Circle, Virginia, and Bob Taylor, Kentucky, and are now selling this celebrated washing machine.
And now comes Mr. J. M. Householder with a patent “hen’s nest” which is quite an ingenious invention. Each nest has a door which the hen opens when she goes in to lay. The fastening of the door is so neatly contrived that no other hen can get in to lay, till the one that is in comes out. We doubt not he will be hailed as a great benefactor by all those who have been put to their wits ends, to keep half a dozen from setting in the same nest. Now we Greenbackers expect soon to capture the government and all its offices if Mr. Householder could so contrive his patent as to keep Republicans out of the government nests, when the Greenbackers get in. There would be millions in it.
Mr. Mears has sold his farm and will move to Belle Plaine. M. LEWIS.
Winfield Courier, June 15, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: As the first item of interest, I will insert the minutes of the Vernon Pioneer’s Reunion, as furnished me by the Secretary.
RIVERSIDE PARK, VERNON TOWNSHIP, MAY 31ST, 1882.
Minutes of the first reunion of the Pioneers of Vernon Township, Cowley County, Kansas.
Pursuant to a previous call, the old settlers of Vernon Township met at Riverside Park at 10 o’clock a.m., and Mr. Henry Hawkins was called to the chair and M. L. Martin was chosen temporary secretary. After which all the old settlers who immigrated to Vernon previous to January 1st, 1873, were requested to come forward and sign their names to the roll, or have the secretary to do so, as by a previous motion, and vote it was decided that all who settled in Vernon previous to that time should be considered old settlers.
The secretary then called the roll, after which a permanent organization was affected by electing officers for the ensuing year as follows: J. W. Millspaugh, president; T. A. Blanchard, vice-president; H. H. Martin, secretary and treasurer. The meeting was then adjourned until 2 o’clock, to give all a chance to partake of a bountiful dinner prepared for the occasion, and to which old settlers and friends did ample justice.
At 2 o’clock p.m., the meeting was called to order by the president, J. W. Millspaugh, who made a short address stating the object of the afternoon session. A number of old settlers were then called to the stand, and short and appropriate addresses were made by T. A. Blanchard, A. Hetrick, J. B. Evans, Albert Werden, M. L. Martin, and F. W. Schwantes. T. A. Blanchard stated that Benj. F. Murphy was the first white man that settled in Vernon Township, and that Mother Blanchard was the first white woman who died in the township, a martyr to the trials and privations of pioneer life.
P. M. Waite claims the honor of hauling and offering for sale the first load of wheat in the city of Winfield.
Mr. T. B. Ware claims the honor of raising the seed wheat from which Mr. Waite raised his load of wheat.
M. L. Martin has the honor of having planted the first shrubs and rose bushes set in Vernon soil, from which hundreds of bushes have been taken and are now blossoming around the homes of others.
Moved and carried that our next reunion be held on May 31st, 1883. On motion a committee of five were appointed on program by the chairman. They were: T. A. Blanchard, chairman of committee, J. H. Werden, H. H. Martin, Mrs. Thos. Thompson, and Mrs. J. H. Werden. On motion a committee of three on arrangements were appointed by the chair.
H. C. Hawkins, T. Thompson, and T. B. Ware were the committee appointed, after which the meeting adjourned to meet one year from date, May 31st, 1883.
J. W. MILLSPAUGH, President.
H. H. MARTIN, Secretary.
I failed to get the roll of the old settlers, but I think I can give them by memory; at least all those who answered to their names.
Messrs. Ives, Brown, A. Beaman, Bud Bernard, F. W. Schwantes, T. A. Blanchard, Wm. Schwantes, Fahnestock, Thos. Thompson, E. C. Martin, D. S. Beadle, J. H., A. J., and F. A. Werden, H. C. Hawkins, Benj. Dougherty, D. G. Hawkins, Henry Hawkins, J. W. Millspaugh, L. A. Millspaugh, N. Millspaugh, R. Millspaugh, M. L. Martin, James Foster, T. B. Ware, N. C. Clark, P. M. Waite, Charles McClung, Ile McClung, Milt Rhodes, and J. B. Evans.
It was moved and carried that at the next reunion we should have a book and record the names of both males and females, and all children who were with or born to their parents prior to January 1, 1873. There was as good a turn-out of citizens, both new and old, as could have been expected, considering the inclemency of the weather and short time of notice. There were several hundred present, and everything went off pleasantly. We are sorry the editor of the COURIER failed to be there to give us an address. Hope he will be sure and attend our next.
I will forbear making any remarks about the address, as it has been hinted to me that I am capable of telling all I know and a little more, and I have a sincere desire to write nothing but the truth. Anything from Vernon needs no high coloring, no extra touches or polishing, for she stands forth in grandeur and beauty; an honor to herself, and the county.
Robert Taylor has returned from Kentucky, and says he washed about one-half of the state with the washing machine he is selling, and made some money. He will return to Kentucky again after harvest.
Considerable damage was done the wheat by hail on Saturday morning, May 27, but the area of damage was small.
Mr. Tharp lost a horse last week with inflammation caused by a bad spell of colic. It is a pity so many horses die with this disease when a little knowledge of proper treatment would save them. W. W. Painter had a fine mule get loose in his wheat and it was taken with the same disease. He took the mule to Winfield to his brother, Charles Painter, to see if he could relieve the animal, but he soon returned home, leaving word with his brother to have the mule buried as soon as it died. On returning to Winfield the next day, he found the mule alive and worth more than a cat with nine lives, $150, at least. Charles Painter is becoming famous as a horseman. M. LEWIS.
Winfield Courier, June 15, 1882.
We are sorry to learn that our excellent Vernon correspondent, M. Lewis, is sick. He has the con amore, aut vincere aut mori. If we had it, we’d get cured, quick.
Winfield Courier, June 15, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: Wheat though filling slowly is surely filling grandly. Such a growth of straw we never had before, and I now believe the wheat yield will be even greater accordingly. The kernels are so large they are fairly bursting the chaff. Harvest will commence this week.
Mr. Henry Hawkins, I think, has the finest pear orchard in Cowley County, and I trow, the finest crop of pears.
The Davis boys have purchased a tractable steam thresher, as also has N. B. Clark, and from what we know of these gentlemen, they have the necessary energy and push to make them successful threshers.
Mr. Croco once more is happy. The same old bell calls him from labor and the field. Only time, place, and scenes have changed. As my mind reverts to the past and the old hills of Ohio, as in reverie I hear the sound of that bell, me thinks I see Mell, with a spring and a bound, leave his throne (a big stump) on which he had been sitting, and hasten to the bountiful board his mother had filled. Though the hills of Ohio have changed for the rolling prairies of Kansas, though other than a mother presides at his board, when he hears the familiar sound of that bell, he hoists the shovels of his carriage plow, and as his prancing steeds bear him from the field, a pleasant smile wreaths his lips. (Mr. Editor, I asked a young lady if wreaths was the proper word in the last sentence. She said she thought so for it went clear round.)
We understand that the Christians will hold a basket meeting in a grove at Beaver Center the first Lord’s day in June. Old Brother Crenshaw from Missouri will be there to preach. There will be preaching the evening before.
June 8. Harvest has commenced.
Thoughts that the season suggests:
Warmly the sun doth shine,
The weeds in rankness grow.
The fly is on the wing
Like a conquering hero.
The mosquito now presents his little bill.
Do not forget to take your dose of quinine, for at present the weather is rather “chilly.”
Birds are jolly at Orchard Cottage—cherries are ripe.
But con amore, aut vincere aut mori. M. LEWIS.
Winfield Courier, June 29, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: Ed., couched in terse and pointed words (we notice in the local column), is your sorrow over our late illness. But having faith in your great sympathetic heart, we can but believe you will in kindness view our infirmities, e’en though it be with a critic’s eye. Really, Ed., we hardly know why we used those big words. Perhaps the big wheat crop threw our mental machinery out of balance. For instance, if you were to commence cutting around a thirty acre field of wheat that would yield forty bushels to the acre, and when you arrived at the center of the field, the grain all being shocked, you should find the shocks so tall and close you could not get the reaper and team out of the field, don’t you think that the first local you wrote would contain some big words? Or perhaps luxuriating on fruit of late has caused softening of the brain. But more likely still, the use of those big words, or superfluous words, was the effect of reading so many St. Jacobs Oil advertisements in the columns of the COURIER, for we have heard some terrible words used and anathemas pronounced against the COURIER for their insertion in news and editorial columns. Some have accused me of having political aspirations. Politically my highest aspiration is to be a good law-abiding citizen. Object in writing for the COURIER: Intellectual improvement. But to the disease, “con amore,” Italian, with love; earnestly. “Aut vincere, aut mori,” Latin, either to conquer or die. Con amore, aut vincere, aut mori.” In all life, as well as in the capacity of a COURIER correspondent. Our ambition. With love; earnestly, either to conquer or to die. (Trying) The remedy, a homeopathic dose of editorial ipecac.
I perused with much interest the editorial on third parties, the body and substance of which I heartily indorse. “In union there is strength.” Let the temperance people of all parties vote for St. John and not act the fool and get defeated by voting temperance in three different parties. Temperance today is vastly more important to Kansas than anti-monopoly and greenbacks. But I have faith in Kansas and wisdom. Mr. Editors, I have no sympathy with persons or parties that are constantly proclaiming the corruption of others. A guilty boy is ever ready to accuse some other boy. We need a national prohibition law as well as anti-monopoly laws, but for the present, states must do what the government does not do. We need a more adequate currency. The National banking system, the best this government ever had, is not perfect. A perfect system might soon liquidate the national debt.
June 24. Another week of grand harvest weather. Ten days more such weather and Vernon’s 130,000 bushels of wheat will be harvested. Day by day the keen blades are pressed to the golden grain. Every manner of implement is being used, from the cradle to the header, and all are doing good execution, too. The luxuriant blades of the maize are furled to the breeze, and the farmer rejoiceth accordingly. M. LEWIS.
[Necessity is the mother of invention: Cal Swarts.]
Arkansas City Traveler, August 2, 1882.
The boys were howling for “copy” and our new editor (Cal Swarts) couldn’t stop their demands. After oiling the shears and a ten minutes stir at the paste pot, the light of genius blazed from his eyes and he tackled Satan thusly: “What relation is a loaf of bread to a steam engine?” Our Devil’s no slouch but that beat his record, and he weakened right away. When he recovered his senses he was informed that the steam engine was an invention while bread was a necessity. Necessity is the mother of invention, i. e., the loaf of bread was the mother of the steam engine. The logic was indisputable and softly murmuring “clear as mud,” the vanquished fiend drifted to his case and was seen no more.
[Trading for Relics.]
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, January 2, 1886.
Dr. O. B. Dix and Capt. Owens are inveterate traders. The former was taught his occupation in the hills of Hooppole Township, Posey County, Indiana; the latter gained his instruction in the art in the Jayhawker state. Last Wednesday these two “vets” met, and after considerable parleying, consummated a trade. The Doctor was once the proud possessor of a gold watch and chain. The Captain, before the trade, had the proud distinction of being the sole proprietor of an unbranded, spavined, ring-boned, cocked ankle, knee sprung, highly pedigreed Texas Bronco, bearing painted saddle and collar marks. This peculiar animal was the dam of what Capt. said was a colt. The colt was about the size of a Newfoundland dog and must have been raised as a pet. True to his Hoosier training, the Doctor asked “boot.” The Captain had in his possession a relic in the shape of an Enfield rifle, which he had used in the dark and bloody days of bleeding Kansas. This was the “boot.” The trade was made, and now there is only one happy soul of the twain. Doc has shouldered his Enfield rifle and has gone to the wild, wild Territory south to drown his sorrows in playing solitaire. Before taking his departure he bequeathed his bronco to the Imbecile Asylum at Winfield for a hat rack. The colt he sent to a Bostonian Institute as the “missing link” (from his watch-chain). At last accounts, poor unwary Doc was standing on the back of the raging Chicaski, muttering:
“Life is but an empty dream,
And Broncos, colts, and guns are not what they seem.”
Arkansas City Traveler, September 1, 1886.
Oscar Titus, in J. O. Johnson & Co.’s store, has a pair of owls taken from a sandbank in Geuda Springs, which are a curiosity. Owls are proverbial for their wise looks, but the countenances of these animals broaden into the serio-comic. They are monkey-faced, and endowed with immense capacity of lungs, and blow off at frequent intervals like the exhaust pipe of a steam engine. Oscar is quite proud of his pets.
[CORRESPONDENCE FROM WANDERER IN COLORADO.]
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, November 13, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.
EDITOR REPUBLICAN: The morning that we started south looked blue enough. The sky was leaden, and the rain came down in a steady, drenching pour that took all the sunshine out of our preparations, and the warmth from everything outside of heavy coats and away from the kitchen fire. The horses stood all humped up, and the men who were getting the wagon ready stopped every now and then to dodge the rain drops and blow a little warmth upon their chilled hands, until the sheets were tied down tight and snug around the wagon, the mess chest stowed carefully away, the drivers in their places, and “All ready” sung out, and away we go, our clothes somewhat dampened, but our ardor for adventure and antelope as strong as ever.
We drove along for some time without anything worthy of note, until two of our party jumped a jack rabbit, which soon with them disappeared over the rise, but not many minutes elapsed ere they appeared again with poor jack sadly demoralized. We felt sorry for him, and concluded to make the most of his company about supper time. By noon the rain had stopped, and we halted for a hasty meal, and were soon off again.
For miles and hours we traveled over a fire-ravaged country. How it caught, no one knew, but they did know, and sadly, too, of the pasture ruined for the winter, and the country made to appear dreary and desolate, and we were only too glad to reach the national trail and living grass, and our spirits went up accordingly.
As evening approached the clouds began to break, and every now and then a new glimpse of deep, rich blue gladdened our hearts, and then came a little peep of sunshine, and as the leaden covering fled away in single numbers, the setting sun came out in full glory, and specked their going with a gilding west, north, south, and on even to the farthest east, that made a picture grand and beautiful beyond description.
Toward night we began to look out for a water hole near which to camp, but before any was discovered, the increasing darkness forced us to stop, which we did, and made preparations for supper. “Well, boys,” said the cook, “how do you want the rabbit—fried or stewed?” “Soup,” was the decision, and soup it was; and we declared that it was “immense,” and regretted that the luxury must soon be gone, and the delights lived over in memory only; but that was not to be the case, for often during the night did someone turn and squirm, and a low, half-suppressed utterance, which sounded very much like “jack rabbit,” proved that in something more than memory did they again revel in the enjoyments of the feast. Toward morning the coyotes scented us, and with voices at concert pitch, gave a grand chorus that woke the entire party, keeping it up and retreating until the music died away in the distance and they were gone. Their choir proceedings are of a minor character and full of accidentals, and thus of a mournful nature, and so thoroughly do they understand the power of combination that one can never tell in the night whether it be four or forty that constitute the serenading party.
Morning opened cold and crisp, and things were slow to move, but the cook soon had a fire going briskly and breakfast called, and we were enjoying our first morning meal beneath a Colorado sun, with an appetite one is almost always sure of under the bracing influence of the pure Colorado air. After breakfast we were again on the road looking for the water which night had prevented us from reaching, as we had hoped, and found that our camp had been made within half a mile of it, but felt no annoyance because we knew such things often occurred where the traveler is not familiar with the country and where he may travel for days without meeting anyone who is.
About thirty miles south of the railroad, we left the trail and took a westerly course across the country, with but a faint wagon track upon the grass for our guide, and a compass to keep us from going too far from a desired point for which we were heading. The wind blew cold from the south, and whenever the sun went behind a cloud we felt all the chilliness of the day, but managed to restore a comfortable degree of warmth by getting out occasionally, urging the horses to a trot, and keeping up with them. We were now upon the buffalo range of Southeastern Colorado, with as rich a soil and as pretty a lay of land as the sun ever shone upon. As far as the eye could see was an almost level plain, with just enough slope to give it a perfectly natural drainage, and the entire surface covered by a thick nest of buffalo grass, with scarcely a weed to be seen.
Our party was enthusiastic beyond expression, and unanimously agreed that it was the finest country they had ever seen, and without a single exception, concluded to make it their future abiding place. An illusion which struck us as rather curious, and yet may be common to all prairie lands, was the immense proportions which small objects assumed at a distance. A dog would look as large as a cow, small bushes looked like trees, and we have found large herds of cattle in what afterward proved to be a number of scattered shrubs. Water holes were found at convenient distances, and long ere we reached them, an antelope would occasionally be sighted, throw up its head, and gracefully but rapidly break away and soon be beyond the reach of the longest rifle and our best shot.
At noon we reached Buffalo Creek and camped at the foot of Clyde Cliff, a wall of red and white sandstone running up about twenty-five feet high, and rising as it does from a pretty pool of water presents a picture in that section at once rare and attractive.
When dinner was announced, and the cook said, “Who wants rabbit soup?” nearly everyone turned pale, but they mustered up courage enough to try it, and the opinion was, “More immense than ever,” and all seemed to enjoy it, but at the same time hoped that they might know “Brer Rabbit” no more, at least for a long time to come.
After dinner, some of our party holding pre-emption claims started off to plow and build sod houses, under the law requiring some act of settlement, while others were busy hunting corners to old claims or locating new ones, until night came, when preparations were made to again go into camp.
We must digress here to “pencil some thoughts” that we cannot afford to miss. Good ideas come to us so seldom that the world shall have due notice of the arrival. What a wonderfully congenial influence is a camp-fire. Men who have been cold and distant all day, then thaw out and draw near and relate such thrilling experiences of hair-breadth escapes, daring deeds, and reckless bravery, that we begin to think how little novel writers of today know of the rich fields of romance and reality which some men’s lives cover, and how little the world appreciates the deeds beside which those of the heroes of old sink into insignificance, and where even the Knights of the Crusade fail to record such daring bravery and noble heroism as the Knights of the camp-fire relate.
But for the frosty mornings and limited accommodations which our wagon-bed afforded for sleeping, the trip would have been full of pleasant memories; but as it was, not a single member of the party would have given up experiences in which sunny days, beautiful lands, and pure air formed so large a part. No, not even WANDERER.
[ASSOCIATION OF HELPFUL HELPERS.]
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, December 4, 1886. From Saturday’s Daily.
At the last meeting of the Association of Helpful Helpers, the subject of Christmas giving was considered, and so many terse items were given and knowing how often the subject is a perplexing one, we have thought to submit a few of the items hoping some others may be helped. First, to the husband: Don’t give your wife as a Christmas present some article of household furnishing in which you will be an equal sharer. This is a display of your magnanimity that is quite repugnant to the ordinary wife, as one of our members said, “I had rather my husband would give me a Christmas card than a whole set of dishes.” Let the offering be one of love and good will to the one on whom bestowed and no difference how small, it will be accepted more gratefully than larger ones to be used by the family. To the wife: If last year your husband gave you silver knives and forks, this year you just give him a nice dinner castor and silver spoons; wouldn’t he be delighted? But more seriously, now, don’t get him a suit of clothes and have them charged to him. If you don’t have spending money to get him some book, piece of jewelry, or toilet case, just make him a pen wiper out of bits of flannel, or make him a watch guard out of your own hair or a pretty mark for his hat or overcoat on ribbon. It is not so much the value of the gift as the little sacrifice or thoughtfulness of the giver. Hoping these few hints may be helpful to someone, we are Sincerely yours,
THE ASSOCIATION OF HELPFUL HELPERS.