IDEA FOR FOREWORD.
The following item was sent to me by Sam Dicks, Historian, Emporia State University.
Extract of Address Made on Pioneer Day by Judge L. B. Kellogg.
State Normal Bulletin, November 17, 1902.
It is a very great mistake to call upon these old gray-haired people and speak of them as the pioneers of Kansas. You before me, you young people, are the pioneers of this state. To be sure, some of these old people have been in the state forty or fifty years, but what is fifty years in the growth of a state? Thirty or forty years from now, when there is a pioneer celebration in Kansas, some of you will get up and talk about the rude, uncultivated things they used in nineteen hundred two. I am not a true pioneer of the state, for I have lived here only thirty-seven years, so my experience does not lie in the early struggles of Kansas statehood. I have heard some tales of hard times in Kansas, but I do not remember any. The times were just as good then as they are now.
I will make a little exception. It is said that solitary confinement is the worst possible punishment. The human mind that is entirely alone will use up its present stock of ideas and have none to fall back upon, and sometimes solitary confinement preys upon the mind until reason has departed.
I was acquainted once with a young man who came out to take a claim under the homestead laws. I will not tell where it was except that it was adjoining the Indian Territory line, and was about midway of the state east and west. His claim was fourteen miles from the little town which was the end of the stage line from Emporia. I do not know why he selected this particular spot for his home, but he did. This young man had a partner, who took a claim adjoining his. He had for property a little stock, about a dozen cattle, including two yoke of oxen, a few hogs, and he had besides a little money, perhaps two hundred dollars.
When he had been on his claim a short time he left, went back to New York. He knew a girl there whom he wanted to bring back with him. He made arrangements with his partner to build a little house on the claim, and left him half the money for this purpose. The rest of the money he took with him to pay his own expenses. When he got back he had just fifteen cents and his wife. His partner had proved treacherous. There was nothing left on his claim but one ox, which had become lame. His partner had gone, taking with him all the money, and all the stock. He had not built the house nor dug the well that was in the contract. There the young man was, with fifteen cents in the world, no home, no stock, no tools.
He temporarily had his wife sheltered in town, and taking some corn meal in a sack went out to his claim. He borrowed a spade from a man in town, and found two wheels of an old wagon at a blacksmith shop, which the blacksmith gave him. He rigged some sort of a box on the axle, and with the help of his ox, which was somewhat better, he went out with this cart to start his home. He made a little cabin, a dugout, and fixed things up the best he could, then went into town to bring home his bride. That little dugout on the prairie, with no neighbors within sight, was their first home. He was busy all day and away from the house. The Indian Territory was within twenty rods of his cabin. There was timber down there on the line. There were no neighbors, and nothing else. Here this man started living.
I visited that cabin in the following winter, and besides the woman at the house there was a pet pig, and I think a cat, and that was all. She was lonesome and I think she suffered more hardships than he. But that is all over now. Their farm is worth from five to fifteen thousand dollars, and things are comfortable and pleasant. But the lonesomeness of the pioneers was the worst thing in the hardships, and it was the women in Kansas who suffered most.