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The Diary of Luna E. Warner, 2

A Kansas Teenager of the Early 1870s (Concluded)

Edited by Venola Lewis Bivans

Winter 1969 (Vol. 35, No. 4), pages 411 to 441
Transcribed by Molly Powell
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

III. Excerpts From the Diary, April 1, 1872-December 31. 1874

April 1, 1872-Pleasant. I picked over my feathers. There are geese flying over all the time. The boys came before noon. Did not stay long here. We kept the music box going. Pa and Louie worked in the garden, set out onions. Mr. Morse and Uncle Howard went to Osborne. Mr. Morse brought us two currant bushes. I set them out. Louie April-fooled Uncle Howard and me. . . .

April 3-Venelia and I went over the river with the folks and up to the bluff after stones. We helped roll stones down the hill 10. Saw three antelope. Saw three kinds of flowers. I walked back from the bluff. We got home about dark. Pa was at home. He and Ma went up to Rays' in the evening and bought Mr. Ray's oxen.

April 4-Will went to Mr. Ray's and brought the oxen down. Louie ploughed with them. Mr. Morse brought us raspberry, gooseberry and plum trees. I set them out-and two slippery elms.

April 5-Uncle Eli and Will came back. Brought Velma and Leander. Louie ploughed. I went over to Alf's. He and Arabella were trying to plough. Mr. Ray's cattle came down here. I have to drive them. The boys came down at night.

April 6-Uncle Eli went home. Mr. Clark went with him. Mr. Ivins worked with Uncle Howard. Louie ploughed most all day. Velma and Leander play and carry on all the time.

April 7-Charlie came from Cawker afoot. I went over to Arabella's and stayed to supper. Alf and Arabella came home with me to hear the music box. Stayed into the evening. There is going to be a dance at Osborne (the county seat) Thursday. They think of going. Arab. had a letter from Aunt Julia.

April 8-Very windy. Leander, Velma and I went over the river. Leander carried Velma across the river. . . . We went up to Leander's claim. It is a very nice claim. We found funny stones and something like iron ore. Went over to Will's house. It is very tall

Venola L. (Mrs. A. H.) Bivans, daughter of the diarist, spent her childhood on the old homestead, and attended country school and Downs High School. Mrs. Bivans also attended Washburn College in Topeka for two years, and taught school for a time.
10. Local limestone was quarried by the settlers for building purposes.



for a small house but nice. We were hungry when we got home. We saw two buzzards.

April 9-Windy. Velma went over the river in the morning. After noon I went over. She met me at the ford. We went over to Gena's. She had been digging in the well. Our calves came over there. I hitched Lady, then we went over to Uncle Howard's house spot. Then went back and started for home. Had quite a time getting the calves started. I hurt my hands. Louie and Pa were over with the team so I hitched Lady to the wagon. Louie had the sick headache very badly. Ma had it too. I stayed over the river with Velma until her folks came over. We were kept awake late with Louie's headache.

April 10-the wind blew harder today than it has this spring. Velma and I went over to Alf's. Velma had a chill last night. Arabella was washing hard. We stayed to dinner and till 2 o'clock, then came home. Brought Barnaby Rudge. About 4 o'clock Uncle Eli and Leander started for Cawker, Velma with them. After they got started I ran after them to carry Uncle Howard's mail to be put in the office.

April 11-Very Windy. Louie and Pa went to Cawker with the oxen. Got home after dark. It was very warm until 8 o'clock then it grew quite cold. . . . The wind blew harder last night than it has since we came into this house. Kept us awake, shook the house most down.

April 12-Windy as usual. Pa and Louie broke prairie all day. We planted a few watermelon and plum tomato seeds.

April 13-Will came along this forenoon on his way to Cawker and Ma went with him. I read in Barnaby Rudge. . . .

April 19-Very warm. Before noon I planted two beds of carrots and one of cabbage. Our cattle and calves had a tantrum and we let them into the river. . . .

April 25-Very hot. I did not sleep but five hours last night. We started for home [from Cawker City] after seven with J. Witt, Velma and Leander. We rode in the back of the wagon. When we got to the big ravine, we got out and walked the rest of the way. I went back to get a plow, got home at nine. Ma got Arabella to cut my hair. Ma and I went to Cawker. Mr. Burr was there. I wore my rubbers most of the way. Vi treated us on French candy. Started for Beloit at half past three. Went very fast with Dolly and Grey. Beloit has changed very much. We went to the hotel and took supper. Mr. Burr is very polite. Went to the dance about nine. He


bought us lemonade twice. He danced like everything, likes it very much. We did not have very good music.

April 26-We started for Beloit after breakfast. It was cool and cloudy. We saw six antelope and a grouse. A team started to pass us. Mr. Burr trotted the horses very fast without much urging and we left it far behind. The buggy was rather crowded. We saw a good many plum and gooseberry bushes in bloom. Mr. Burr went back to Beloit by way of Waconda. Iowa is his native state. His father lives in Independence. He has two brothers-Charlie, older, and George, younger then he. He is twenty- four. Venelia has had her hair cut. Mr. Burr likes flowers. Velma went home but Leander and Josiah stayed here. My eyes felt as if they were propped open all day.

April 27-Charlie brought Will down to put clapboards on the house. Pa, Ma and I planted sod corn, planted nearly an acre. Two of our black currant bushes are blossomed. Aunt Lucia came up, went over the river, brought us some cheese Aunt Abby sent. Charlie came down at night. He had some things sent from New Jersey. He gave us some cake and lemons. . . .

April 28-Very warm and sultry. . . . I went over to Arabella's and got some picture papers Mr. Anderson of Twelve Mile Creek lent her.

April 29-Warm and windy. Uncle Eli, Aunt Lucia and Tene came up. Will came with them. He killed fourteen snipe on the way. We cooked them. Will and Charlie came down to supper and spent part of the evening. Mr. Errickson planted for us. Ma and I planted potatoes. Aunt Abbie sent us raspberry, currant and gooseberry cuttings.

April 30-Uncle Eli's folks were over the river all day. They drove their old cow up yesterday. RM. Errickson was here again. We are out of flour. Cannot get any anywhere. It is over seven dollars a hundred. Ma planted potatoes. I didn't do much of anything.

May 1-Very windy. I went over the river on our claim and on Mr. Ray's, but the dead cattle smelled so that I came back. We had pudding and milk for supper. It was nice.

May 2-Ma made two custard pies. We had johnnycake and milk, lived high. Mr. Morse sent us a mess of fish. We dressed them in the evening. Old Tabby has five little kittens.

May 3-Very hot, not a bit of breeze stirring. Pa planted and worked all day in the heat. Mad did a large washing and some iron-


ing. The bluff burned all the evening. It looked grand. When the boys went home we girls all got into the wagon and rode a little ways, then they turned around and brought us home. We had a gay time.

May 4-Will brought us some birds-seven cranes. I dressed them. Uncle Eli's folks went home. Pa and Will went with them. Ma commenced to hull corn. Uncle Eli left this corn here.

May 5-Ma sold our calves to Uncle Howard. I planted potatoes. Ma finished the hulled corn. We did not eat anything else all day.

May 6-At noon Uncle Eli, Pa, Will, Tene, and Vi came. Vi wore a large hat that Tene found. I went out and drove oxen for Louie to plow a long time. Ma planted potatoes and corn. Our calves ran away over the river. Ma went after them. I played to Vi ever so much.

May 7-Ma and Viola cut my new dress like Viola's traveling dress. They worked hard on it all the forenoon. Arabella came and invited us over this afternoon. After we had been there a little while there came up a hard shower. It rained down all over the house. We stayed to supper. Charlie came up from Cawker, brought Viola a letter from Mr. Burr. He is coming the eighteenth.

May 8-This morning Vi and I went over the river with the team. We went to see Gena, stayed over an hour and then came home across the log. It was raining. We crawled across the log and got all muddy and wet. I went over the river to Uncle Howard's. It rained all the while. The river is some high and very muddy. I led the calves across the river and hitched them. Ma read in The History of the War.

May 10-Rainy. We have two hens setting, stole their nest. We finished my dress. Lou plowed. . . .

May 12-Mr. Curtiss was plowing on his claim all day. He came down here at night to stay. Louie went over the river this morning with Will and Charlie when they came up from Cawker. Did not come back until night. Will came with him and brought three ducks. Louie shot one. I got a lot of pretty feathers off of them. Ma and I went to water the calves, then went up to Alf's. Arabella is baking for Uncle Howard and Charlie. They are going buffalo hunting tomorrow. I killed two snakes.

May 13-Uncle Eli, Venelia and Tene came up. Uncle Eli gave me some oats to plant with the potatoes to keep bugs off. I planted some, then went over the river. Killed a snake. Louie plowed. Ma went over to Arabella's and got some buttermilk. I drank ever so


much. There is a wildcat lives out in the bank between here and Alf's. Our kit's have their eyes open.

May 14-Louie caught a skunk in his trap. Mr. Curtiss came over after noon on his way home. Ma and Louie went with him. I planted corn. When I went to water the calves, Boss was over the river. I went after him. Lady broke her rope and ran away but I caught her. At night when we were getting supper they brought us some buffalo meat. The hunters had killed five buffaloes. I cooked some of it. It was tough. . . .

May 17-My [17th] birthday. I went over to Gena's. She and I went over to the stone house spot to see their trees. Got a bouquet. Came home across the log. Gena gave me a letter opener for my birthday present.

May 18-We flew around slicking up the house some, expecting Viola and Mr. Burr tomorrow. I have commenced reading The Last of the Barons. Charlie and Will went to Cawker but came back here and stayed.

May 19-We looked for Vi but she did not come. They boys gave us some peach trees they had. We set them but don't think they will live. They gave us some strawberry plants and we set them out. We have three little peach trees. We planted the stones a year ago.

May 20- Aunt Lucia came up with the folks. Velma had gone to housekeeping up to new Arcadia. At a quarter to four I started for Cawker. Wore my new dress. Got some verbenas on the way. Got there before six. Had a nice time.

May 21-The girls had to fly around like everything. People kept coming until they had all they could accommodate. Venelia had to go to the store four or five times. Just before supper Arabella, Charlie, and Will came. Will played. The rest went home before late. Will and Venelia sat up until midnight. I lay awake all the while. There is a lightning rod man here that feels mighty big.

May 22-Most all the people went away. One man wanted Velma's skull stone very much, but they did not let him have it. Viola cut Will's hair nice. Charlie has his hair cut tight to his head. I started for home at four. Got home a little after six. The house was locked up. I went over to Alf's. They said the folks had gone up to see Velma. Alf has a little young wolf. I stayed at Alf's until I saw the folks coming.

May 23-Several buffaloes crossed the river by Alf's. Will killed one up in the bluff.

May 27-Uncle Eli's folks and Venelia came up after noon. They went over the river to keeping house. Ma saw a buffalo. There were


seven between here and the bluff. Two passed through Cawker City. Charlie boards at Alf's.

May 29-Louie went to Oak Creek blacksmith. Pa planted beet seed. I went over to Delays and got some butter. . . .

June 1, 1872-Very hot indeed. Ma went to Cawker with Uncle Eli's folks. Louie went to Cawker for Charlie on his horse. Got back after dark. I rode the horse over to Alf's. I made me some mittens.

June 2- Hotter than blazes. I finished reading The Last of the Barons. It is wonderfully nice. This morning before five Pa and I went up to Mr. Beal's with our calves to put them in the herd of Mr. Blunt's. Arabella came over and we went into the river. The water was hot. There was a make-believe shower but it did not rain. Blew very hard.

June3- Ma and Vi came. The rest went back at night. Vi stayed. Ma got me a pair of gloves. She brought a hundred sweet potato plants and some dried blackberries.

June 5-Alf's folks, Lou, Vi and I went up to the bluff. We got some stones and flowers. The sensitive plant is in bloom. We came back past Charlie's claim. Will, Uncle Eli, Tene, Aunt Lucia, and a man and woman came up to the claim. Vi went home with them at night. Louis and I went up to the spring to get water.

June 6-I went up to see the calves at four o'clock this morning. They knew me. I got some sour milk at Arabellas's. She and I went into the river.

June 7-Pa and Louie went to the spring for water. Louie rode the horse for Uncle Eli to cultivate. I watered the garden some.

June 8- It rained gently nearly all night. After noon Louie, Mr. Morse, and I went up to the bluff past Gena's. We went to a different part of the bluff. I killed a snake and got an apron full of stones.

June 9-I went all over our claim on the other side of the river. It is splendid. The sensitive plant is in bloom. Gena and Henry came over. She rode the mule.

June 10-At night I went up to see the calves. They looked fat and nice. Were glad to see me. Ma hoed potatoes a good while. I hoed some.

June 11-Mr. Morse found two springs-one below our claim, the other above. I have killed twelve snakes. I went over to Arabella's. Her cat has six kittens, four are tigers. Alf, Arabella and I went up to Twelve Mile Creek with Alf's oxen and Beal's wagon. We started


for Andersons' but it rained so we did not go. Ma and I hoed potatoes.

June 14-Arabella and I went up to the bluff before noon. We went all around up the ravines. Got five or six quarts of black currants. Saw some splendid places. Louie was over the river with the team when we came down so we rode across.

June 15-Uncle Eli started up the river to carry a woman and children. Vi and I have great times. For dinner we had fresh peas and beet greens and lots of good things. At night it rained.

June 16-We went to Cawker with Uncle Eli. Vi and I went out to the new school house. W saw several ladies riding horseback.

June 17-Uncle Eli's folks came up and I came with them. It was cloudy. I wore Viola's waterproof. I have to go barefoot. My shoes are worn out. . . .

June 18-Mr. Wilder hoed for us forenoon. We had peas for dinner. Ma made pies of the currants. They are very nice. There were showers all around us but it didn't rain here. We have a hen hatching. The little kits are cute.

June 19-Uncle Eli and Tene came up after logs for the minister's house. . . . We all hoed some, get along very slowly.

June 20 - Very warm. Tene and Venelia came up. The river is so high they did not cross. Alf hoed potatoes for us all day. I went over and got Arabella to come to dinner. We had new potatoes, they were good size. We went up to Beal's with the team and got water. We went over to Alf's at night to get buttermilk. Had a great time. Gena went to Waconda about dark.

June 21-The river is down again. Eli's folks crossed. Louie and Alf went to Cawker with three logs. He got home in the evening. Brought me a pair of shoes but they were not right. . . .

June 22-Alf worked here hoeing. Mr. Wilder did too after noon. When Eli's folks went home at night, Ma went with them.

June 23-I got up early, went over to Alf's and got some butter and milk. Gena and Henry came along before noon, Gena on a little white horse Henry traded the mule for. . . Arabella and I went up to Charlie's claim and got peas. Came back by the spring and got a good drink.

June 24-I swept the house and slicked up. Watched for Ma all day. It was very warm. After sundown I watered some of the trees and the garden. Louie chopped a tree. Most 9 o'clock in the evening Ma came with Uncle Eli's folks. She brought me a pair of calfskin shoes and Viola's book Eminent Women, for me to draw out of.


June 26-Louie and Clayton went to mill with logs. They got back at dark. I commenced drawing Eugenia, Princess of the French. Ma read in the evening. Mr. Morse's shanty has been torn down and everything turned topsy-turvy that was in it.

June 27-The Witt boys are going back to Massachusetts soon. I packed my limestone vase and some stones to send. Louie caught a young blue jay but let it go again. Henry has been off and swapped his ox for a cow and a yearling. There have been buffalo around. Most of them got killed.

June 28-After noon it rained around us and all night, just escaped us. It is cruel. We had string beans for dinner.

June 29-Uncle Eli's folks came over this morning for the river is rising. I helped them pick peas, then they went home. A buffalo ran through our west cornfield. Charlie chased is way off north and killed it.

July 2-Louie went up to the bluff to look for his butcher knife. He rode across with Uncle Eli on his way to Bull City11 to carry some men. There were buffaloes over the river as usual. I went over to Alf's to see if he had seen anything of Lou. We got worried about him. Ha came at supper time. Had been everywhere but did not find his knife. Pa went to Cawker with Charlie. There was a registered letter there for Ma but he could not get it. I went up to Beals' and got some water.

July 3-Pa and Ma went to Cawker with Charlie's team to get the letter from Uncle George with $25 in it.

July 4-We flew around and got ready to go to Cawker to the Celebration. Louie and I started at 8 o'clock. Walked fast. Delay's folks and Alf and Arabella overtook us beyond the creek. We got in and rode. Went to Uncle Eli's. Leander and Velma were there. After the procession passed, we went up to the arbor by the schoolhouse. Vi and Venelia waited on tables. The soldiers ate first. Then what a crowding and scrambling there was! Some got something to eat and some did not. We got little. Were so tired of standing on our feet that I spread my shawl on the ground and we sat on it. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson and a few others sang. Then they had speaking and a pony race. Louie got the headache. Pa and Mr. Morse and Clayton and Josiah came down. Pa and Morse went home with the Delays after noon. Then came the minstrel performance and I stood on a board across the table to see it. Then we went down to the house and Louie went to bed. In the evening we stood out by the house to see the fireworks.

They set off some, then the rest got afire and some

11. Present Alton was originally named Bull City.


in Uncle Howard’s cabin and the girls killed one of them.  Some cattle were being driven past on the road and Papa and Mamma went up & bought a red cow. . . .  

May 17-I am 16 years old today.  I do not feel so old.  Mamma and I went across the river and went all over our claim.  It is splendid.  The trees are beautiful.   The mice or birds or something are disturbing the things in our garden.  The mosquitos trouble us very badly when the wind does not blow.

May 20-I have been bringing water from the river.  It is hard to get it .  It is so slippery.   I found a dandelion.   We have found 37 kinds of flowers.   I milked some this morning.   We get 4 or 5 quarts of milk at a time.  

May 26-Two loads of lumber came from Solomon City for our house.  They raised the roof today.  We went to a dance in Cawker.  Arabella curled my hair and I wore my white dress and slippers.  We all went in the wagon and sang all the way.   The dance was in a little house with 3 rooms.   Two sets could dance at once.   They had fiddles.   The music wasn’t very good but we had a good time and danced till 2 o’clock then had refreshments and came home over the trails in the dark. Got home at 4:30.

June 2-The men got back from buffalo hunting.  They got a buffalo and gave us a quarter.  They went 20 miles.  Uncle Eli’s folks saw 27 this morning.  I went fishing and caught a catfish.  I found a sensitive plant in blossom.  It is beautiful.   It rained very hard in the night.   The lightning was splendid.

June 3-The men worked on our house.  I went down to the garden and set out turnip plants and some cabbage plants that Papa got of Mr. Ray.  The mosquitoes trouble us nights. We went over to Mr. Coop’s and practiced shooting.

Jun 5-Hotter’n blazes!   All the lumber is here so the men can work on our house right along.  Gena is 18 today.  She and Henry think of being married Sunday.  Gena is going to commence teaching school next Monday in Cawker.   We plant garden at night because it is so hot.

June 6-When Uncle Howard and Henry went back home from working on our house, the river had risen on account of showers up above.  It came over the bridge.  Henry tried to cross but it was over his head before he got to the bridge and he came near drowning.   Uncle Ephraim and Tene had been to Cawker.  They all had to stay here and went down to the new house to sleep.

June 8-71 kinds of flowers.   Papa and I planted corn.   We are


teaching the calf to drink.  It is a splendid calf.  Gena wants me to go with her next Sunday when she goes to be married. . . .

June 9-I waded the river and went over to Uncle Eli’s.  Alpheus is going to contest the claim west of ours.  Henry homesteaded his.

June 13-It rained and blew very hard last night with thunder and lightning. We all slept in the new house for the first time.  I went bathing in the river.  Lately the mercury has been from 90 to 100 and over.

June 14-Last night some wild animal came and caught one of our hens.  Alf shot at it and it dropped the hen and ran off.  Louie and I went over to Uncle Eli’s with Alf and his team.   We ate dried buffalo meat all the way back. 

June 15, 1871-Gena came over at 4 o’clock and we went in swimming on boards.  We floated from here down to Mr. Ray’s watering place.   Had a splendid time. . . .

June 16-It rained all day. At 11 o’clock Venelia came from Mr. Barr’s afoot and alone and brought her large bag. She was done working there.  The river is risen so that she can not get home.  It is still rising fast.  All but Pa and Louie went down to the house to sleep.  Uncle Howard has made us two bedsteads, a table and sink.  

June 17-The river is nearly two feet higher than it has ever been before.  Uncle Ephraim came horseback and stayed to supper.   Venelia and I went over to the river opposite Uncle Eli’s cabin and read a letter to Aunt Lucia from Viola.

June 18-The river is very high yet.  Uncle Howard came over.   He tried to cross the river on a raft that he made.  The raft sank and pitched him into the water.  He came near drowning before he could get out of the current.  Venelia stays here because she can’t cross the river to get home.  

June 19-Uncle Howard, Venelia and I went to the river to cross.  Gena and Henry came down on the other side at the same time.   Venelia went across with her clothes on.   Gena and Henry came across.   Henry and Uncle Howard went to Cawker to build Henry a house. . . . I made two vases of limestone.

June 20-Gena and I went in swimming.  Stayed in a good while.   Nellie Ray was fishing just at dusk.   Uncle Eli and Alf came with the goods from Solomon.  They could not find one barrel.  After we had all gone down to the house, a team came with Uncle Ephraim and Uncle Howard.   Henry and a boy came and stayed all night.  I made another vase of limestone.  I am going to send them to Aunt Abby and Ann and Julia by Uncle Howard.


June 21-A very hot day.  We got up early.   Arabella curled Gena’s hair.   The men went over to Uncle Howard’s cabin and got Gena’s trunk.  After breakfast Gena went down to the house and dressed to be married in her white pique and pink ribbons.  Henry was dressed very nice.  They are going to Beloit to be married.   Uncle Howard and Uncle Ephraim are going to Massachusetts. 

June 22-Alf brought home a nest of young birds when he went chopping.  After dinner I went over to Uncle Eli’s and carried them back. Venelia, Tene, and I went bathing.  Had a nice time.  I did not get back till dark.  Papa got the stove set up. . . .  

June 23-Venelia and I started for Cawker on foot.  I went barefoot part of the way.  We got the mail.  Henry and Gena were married Wednesday [June 21].  They and Uncle Ephraim came up to Uncle Eli’s. . . .

June 24-Hotter’n blazes.  After dinner Gena and I went into the river.  We went upstream and floated on our backs.  The fishes bit us.  Uncle Ephraim and Uncle Howard thought of starting for New York today.  Louie is sick with boils.  Our stove is splendid.

June 25-Very hot indeed.  I planted a few potatoes.  Mamma went over to Cawker with Alf and Arabella.  They got home about one o’clock, brought me a pair of shoes and four kinds of pink calico.  Papa was cross today.   Alf had a chill on the way from Cawker.

June 30-This morning Mr. Coop came before we were up for Ma to go with him because his wife is sick. She got home just before noon.   We went all around Alf’s claim.  It is very nice. 

July 1-Alf went to Cawker with Uncle Eli, so Louie and I went to water his horses.   I rode one and he the other.   Then Gena rode one back.   It was fun.

July 2- Cloudy and cold.  Louie and I went up to the cabin and went buffalo hunting with Alf and Arabella.   We went past Mr. Coop’s and up Dry Creek.   Louie shot a jackrabbit.   We crossed Dry Creek and went over to Twelve Mile Creek, then up the creek 2 miles and ate our lunch, then we started for home. . . . We found 10 new kinds of flowers.

July 3-We had the rabbit for dinner.  It was splendid meat.

July 4-Cool and pleasant.  Mama, Louie, and I went up to the cabin and started with Alf and Arabella for Cawker.   When we got there we went up to the arbor made of green boughs.  It had a floor filled with seats and the seats filled with people.  They had singing, speaking, and reading.   After that some played baseball.  They had running in  bags and such things.  Then they set the tables in the arbor and had dinner. . . . We danced all afternoon.


After the lanterns were lighted they had a minstrel performance.  Just as it was though, it commenced to rain very hard.  We all started for the hotel on the run.  It rained about 5 minutes. Then we all went back again but were wet to the skin.  We danced on the wet floor until one o’clock, then started for home.  We hated to come, the dancing was so nice.  Charlie rode home with us and then walked home.   He is nice.  Venelia, Velma and Tene stayed here all night

July 5-I woke up a 7 and was not a bit sleepy all day.  I think of the dance all the time. 

July 6-We had peas, summer squash, turnips, and onions form our garden.   Gena and Henry started for Cawker afoot.  They are going to live in their house.

July 8-Papa went to Cawker with Alf.  He got a churn and a keg to make vinegar in. . . .

July 9-After breakfast the girls started home to go to a meeting up the river at Mr. Jakas’s.   I wanted to go but had nothing to wear.   I went across the river with them.   I have 22 squares of an album bed quilt done.

July 10-There were showers all around us.  It rained here about two minutes.  We had new potatoes, turnips, onions, and cucumbers for dinner.  I found 3 hew kinds of flowers and some beautiful grass.   Mamma commenced my pink calico dress.   Papa played the violin and I danced all alone.

July 15-After supper Louie and I went to Mr. Lamb’s to get some well water.  Alf came down to see what day it was.  He thought it was Sunday.

July 16-Very warm.   The sweat drops off us all the time.   I went into the river and had a good wash, then we all went over to Uncle Eli’s and stayed to supper.   Had rye biscuits and buffalo meat that Uncle Eli got when he went to the meeting up the river today.

July 17-Hot’s mustard.   We went over the river and got 3 pails full of sumac berries to make vinegar.  We took the water that they were soaked in and sweetened it.   It was good as lemonade or better.   It goes good when we have no water to drink but what is milk warm.  In the night there was a tremendous shower and the wind blew a gale.   The house swayed back and forth and I was frightened. 

July 19-We didn’t do much of anything today.  I rambled around a little and went across the river.   We let the cow loose over [on] the other side.  I do wish I had somebody to go to 7 mile bluff with me.   I picked 6 cucumbers today.   We have a great many sweet melons ripe.   We had sweet corn.


July 21-Louie and I went up the river picking berries.  We came back past Uncle Eli’s and Aunt Lucia came home with us.   She waded in the river for the first time.   I got the revolver and went back to Uncle Eli’s and Velma and I went to the bluff.  I found 7 new kinds of flowers – one, a day lily.   I killed a devil, and imp, and a scorpion.  We found no berries on the current and blackberry vines.  Got some transparent stones.  When we got back we went into the river but it was cold.  Our cow got into the corn field last night and did a good deal of damage.  There   was an awful shower this evening and the wind blew.

July 22-Comfortably cool.   Arabella came down and churned.   Ma churned.  At 7 Velma and I started for Oak Creek bluffs.   Took our lunch and some sticks to kill snakes with.   The rolling prairie we crossed is beautiful.  It is a great ways to the bluffs.  It is very steep – almost straight.  We climbed to the top and could see our house.  We then went down to the creek ½ mile, got in the shade and ate our lunch.   We had a cucumber that we dug out for a water cup.  We came down the creek within a mile of the crossing, then came out to Mr. Comb’s and got into the road and came home.  Got here about 5 o’clock and were hungry.  I went barefoot most of the way.  I got a sore heel.  Found 2 new kinds of flowers –117.  Alf’s dog has 4 puppies.

July 24-There was a hard shower in the morning.  Velma came over barefoot lickety cut to tell Louie there were buffaloes over the river.   Just then we saw one down by Arabella’s garden.  Louie went for it.   It came right towards him and he fired and hit it.  It ran a little way, then walked as if it was wounded. 

July 25-Louie went buffalo hunting with Alf.  Velma came over to borrow some soap.  A black dog came with her.  They found it by the haystack this morning.  Louie came home about 10.  He had a sick headache.  Alf killed a buffalo on Elk Creek and Louie had a lot of the meat. 

July 26-Uncle Eli’s folks came along on their way to Cawker.   I got ready and went with them.   We went to see Gena.   Henry is working quarrying stone.   He came home to dinner.   They are building several houses, some nice stone ones.  There are two lumber yards and one brick yard in Cawker.

July 27-It rained a little in the evening.  We picked the first sweet melon off our vines.  The grasshoppers were eating it.  It was very nice.  Ma made mince pies and sausages of buffalo meat.

Photo of Luna Warner

Luna Warner, about the time she was keeping this diary

Bluff near Cawker City

Flowers and unusual rocks attracted Luna to this bluff, which she mentioned several times. The photograph undoubtedly was taken some years later than the period represented by the diary

View of Walter Warner homestead

The old homestead, also at a later date

Cawker City

Views of Cawker City in the early 1880's

Walter and Alice Warner

Walter W. and Alice Cleveland Warner, who brought their family from Massachusetts to settle in Osborne county, Kansas, in 1871


July 29-Alf started for Solomon City after my piano.  We went over to Uncle Eli’s to go to the bluff.   They could not find the horses so went up the river to look for them.  About 3 o’clock after they found the horses we all went to the bluff.   Came back through Venelia’s claim.   Ma read aloud in Martin Chuzzlewit.

July 31-Pa went to Cawker with Uncle Eli, and bought two building lots.   At night there came up the hardest thunder shower I ever saw.  It rained so that you couldn’t see an inch, thunder and lightning enough to blind and deafen anybody.

August 1-The river rose in the forenoon quite high and down to its usual level before night.  Uncle Eli started for Solomon City after Uncle Ephraim, Genelia and the party of settlers that are coming with them.  Mr. Coop and Mr. Ray killed a buffalo on Alf’s claim.  They brought us some meat.  We had a melon.   There was a hard shower at night.

August 3-Watched impatiently all day for Alf and the piano but did not see them.   About half past 9 after we had gone to bed, he came.  Soon after he got here it rained hard.  Pattie has her puppies in a wolf’s hole near here.

August 4-They unloaded the piano and got it into the house.   We all worked  about all day getting it set up.  It was soaking wet and the varnish spoiled but the inside is all right but needs tuning badly.  I played all evening. . . .

August 5-I played most all day on the piano.  Mama read some and I drew the face of Madam Malibran.   We had a sweet melon. 

August 6-I played a food deal.  The piano does not sound swell at all.  Ma finished reading Martin Chuzzlewit. . . .

August 8-I drew on writing paper a picture of the Princess of Alexandria of Wales.   The river is very high.   Just before breakfast Uncle Eli, Uncle Ephraim and Mr. Root of Staten Island came. . . . There is going to be a dance in the next house Friday night.

August 11-I went over to Uncle Eli’s and the girls came home with me.   The river is so high we could hardly cross.  We went over to Mr. Ray’s and had the best watermelon that ever grew.  I was crazy to go to the dance at Cawker.

August 14- Genelia, Louie and I went into the river.  We dressed and undressed in the weeds by the river.   They are 10 feet high.   Mr. Root stays here.   He is the hatefullest person that ever lived.  Uncle Ephraim is here too.   He is very nice.   Pa bought a spy glass.

August 15-I slept with Genelia last night.   The mosquitoes


troubled us very badly.  Pa, Uncle Ephraim and Mr. Root all started for Concordia with Alf at 2 o’clock. . . .[4]  We have a tiger cat that followed Genelia from Hiliker’s.   We picked 23 melons.  There is a man ploughing for us.

August 17-Alf’s claim contest is to come off this morning at 9 o’clock.  We all went over to Uncle Eli’s and ate melons all day except when we were in the water.   I commenced drawing a landscape from our west chamber window.

August 18-The men got back from Concordia.  Alf got his claim without any contest.  Pa homesteaded his. 

August 19-We heard last night that the Indians are up the river about 15 miles.   Just before noon Tene came over with the team and brought us some buffalo meat.  A man that was over to Uncle Eli’s shot it.   Read a good while in Nicholas Nickelby.

August 20-Velma came over to get Alf to take his team and carry a load of folks to the bluff.  Then after dinner we started for the bluff.  It was blazing hot.   We saw a buffalo when we were going over.  Alf chased it.   I brought a large stone from the bluff.

August 21-I saw 3 buffaloes with the spy glass.  I went over to Alf’s claim and watered his calf.  I took my drawing materials and commenced a picture of Uncle Eli’s dugout.

August 22-Uncle Ephraim, Pa and Louie tried running the lines of our claim.   Just this side of the river I saw a very large rattlesnake.  I shot at it with the revolver.  It squirmed around behind the tree and I could not find it.  I picked nearly 3 pails of cucumbers.  After supper we saw a buffalo coming on the other side of the river.   A man on horseback chased him.   He crossed the river just a few rods below here.  Louie ran out and got a shot at him and hit him in the side.  He ran out past Mr. Ray’s corn field, we all after him.  Alf and Arabella and the dogs stood on top of the cabin.   They killed it beyond Mr. Ray’s.   We all went out to see it and then came around by Mr. Ray’s and home after dark.

August 26-I finished my picture of the cabin.  We saw a buffalo coming from the road.  Alf and Mr. Coop went after it and killed it two miles beyond Mr. Ray’s. . . .

August 27-Cloudy and rainy.  We went over to the river opposite the cabin to talk to Uncle Eli’s folks.   The river is rather high.   Mr. Phillips of Cawker City died today of typhoid fever.  There are a good many sick with it.


August 28-Arabella came down to bake bread.   We saw a buffalo come down the ford.   Louie went after him but did not see him.  A little while after, the buffalo went past on the other side of the river.  I waded across and went around on to the next claim but did not see him. . . .  This morning Uncle Eli and Venelia and Uncle Ephraim and Genelia started for Concordia.   Ma read in the evening.   I keep the piano locked when I am not playing it. . . .

August 31-The folks came back from Concordia.   Genelia and Venelia got claims back of Uncle Eli’s and ours.  Uncle Ephraim shot a crane.  Its wings measured 6 feet.   From eye to end of beak 9 inches.   Devil take Root.   I locked the piano when he was playing.   Pa was mad and took the key away from me.   Our old cow got tangled in the rope.   She was hitched on the river bank and choked to death.  She was dead when Pa went to get her at night. 

September 2-Ma went to Cawker with Uncle Eli’s folks.  She got me cloth for a dress, a round comb and 2 apples.  Velma got a pair of calf shoes.

September 3-Pa, Ma, and Louie went up the river with Alf to look at some cattle.  I wanted to go but had to stay at home to keep Root out of mischief.   Tene came over to get me to go over to eat some mammoth melon weighing 28 pounds.

September 4-Venelia went to Waconda to work in the boarding house.  Pa, Louie and Uncle Ephraim helped Alf raise his house.

September 7-Mr. Root and Uncle Ephraim went to Cawker.  They came back at night.   It was a blessing to have Root gone.   He hardly steps outside the door.   The cat yawls at my window most all night.

September 8-Pa went to Cawker.   He bought a coffee mill.   Mr. Root stole a picture that I made and put it in his trunk.  I just told him I’d take it so he handed it over. 

September 9-A real rainy day—a rarity in Kansas.  Genelia read nearly all day aloud in Oldtown Folks.  Mr. Root gets watched pretty close and when he does anything he has no business to do I just yep at him.

September 10-It rained all day again.   It seems pretty dismal.   Towards night I went over to Uncle Eli’s after some milk.  It was so muddy I could hardly get up the bank.  There was a man here to get Pa to fix his gun.

September 11-Rainy all day.   Louie was sick all day. Ma is afraid he is going to have typhoid fever.  I am mad at Root, mad as fury.


September 12-It rains steady day and night.  I went up to Alf’s and got some magazines.  Got some pretty stones across the river.  Uncle Royal came with Uncle Ephraim.  He got into Kansas Saturday.  He left his family in Massachusetts.

September 14-It began to clear off.  All but Genelia and I went off looking for claims, then the men went to Cawker with Alf’s team.  The soldiers went up the valley.  Three buffaloes came down past here and crossed for food. 

September 15-Louie had a chill.  He took quinine.  Ma has to stay with him all the time. 

September 17-Louie had a hard chill.  He was crazy.   Alf sold 26 trees.   We went up to Mr. Jakas’s 2 miles beyond.   We saw a fox squirrel and a prairie squirrel and some prairie chickens.

September 19-A man came to haul drift wood across the river.  Poodi [5] and I crossed the river.   got a few grapes.  Poodie got a sandbur in his mouth.  Mr. Root acts like the devil.  Louie is better.  He was hungry.   Uncle Ephraim got him a duck.   I carried Uncle Howard’s rubber boots over to Aunt Lucia so she could wade across the river.   I got some milk.  I have a little mouse in the well.

September 21-Cold.  Arabella and Genelia had to come over here and stay all forenoon to keep warm.

September 22-Louie had a chill.  I got dinner.  We had plum pudding.   Uncle Eli’s folks went to Cawker and Genelia, Poodie and I rode with them and went to Waconda.[6]   Genelia got frightened at some cattle.   We had to wade a mud puddle.   Poodie got tired but we got to Waconda, waded the river, put on shoes and stockings and went to the Whitney House where Venelia and Velma work.  We stayed there half an hour then went up to Gena’s.  They had two accordions and played on them until 9 o’clock, then we went to bed. 

September 23-We went to the store and got some apples for Louie—3 for 10 cents.   After mail time I came home with Uncle Eli.  We saw prairie chickens and hundreds of ducks. 

September 24-Alf took the men out buffalo hunting.  They went up to Elk Creek. Didn’t see a buffalo.  Uncle Royal packed up his valise.  I sent Aunt Julia a picture of our house.   Genelia sent her picture of the dugout to Aunt Ann.   Ma read The Virginians.   Two young gentlemen brought Venelia and Velma home. . . .

September 25-Uncle Royal got up at 4 and went over and got


Alf’s team.  Ma had breakfast at 5.   Then the men all started for Cawker.   Uncle Royal is going to take the stage there for Solomon on his way back to Massachusetts.

September 27-There was a slight frost, the first of the season.  Aunt Lucia came over and stayed to dinner and Poodie and I went home with her to say all night—cause—Root.  We had hull corn for supper.  It was splendid.

September 28-Very cold in the morning.  I most froze.   I came home before noon but went back again and drew on the picture of Alf’s house, then husked corn a little while.   Tene shot a duck.

September 30-Very windy.   Papa and I picked corn.   Our corn is very good.   I went over to the popcorn garden and got a little.

October 1-Warm.   Louie had a chill, a little harder than yesterday, but a little later.  The men went up the river.  Saw 52 buffalo.   Uncle Ephraim killed one with one shot.   I took our washing to Mrs. Ray’s.   They asked $2 for doing it.   Nellie Ray has the chills too.

October 4-Uncle George came and he and Pa went up the river to look at a claim beyond Alf’s.   Ever so many wild geese flew over.   We heard cranes in the evening.

October 6-Frost killed everything last night.  I went to Cawker with Uncle Eli.  Saw 21 antelope the other side of Oak Creek.  Went to Waconda to see the girls.  They were just starting for Beloit to a dance.  Pa got a peck of apples.

October7-Uncle George came at breakfast time.  Has been to Concordia and back—a hundred miles—on foot.   Got contest papers for the claim next to Alf’s.  I went over to Uncle Eli’s after milk.  Waded the river with rubber boots.

October 8-The wind blew a hurricane.  All the men were out hunting turkeys all day.  Did not get any but wounded 2 or 3.  Pa shot a coon.   Arabella came over—is going to stay all night.  She had a chill.

October 9-Cool and windy.   Root and I had a fight.   Louie and I crossed the river with Uncle Howard’s boots.  Uncle George and Jerome Cutter were here to dinner.  We had coon.  They are chopping logs on Uncle George’s claim for houses.  After noon Mama, Poodie, and I went up to Uncle George’s claim.   Went most all over it.  It is splendid.

October 10-Very pleasant.   There was a slight frost last night.   We stewed pumpkin and made tomato sweet pickle.  After noon Ma and I went over to Mr. Beal’s and to Rays’.  Mrs. Ray and the children have been having chills.


October 11-Louie had chills this morning.  I went over to Uncle Eli’s.   Wore the boots across and left them for Aunt Lucia.  She came over at noon.   I went out and picked the popcorn.   It is not good for much.   Pa and Root went to Cawker with Uncle Eli.  They got back at night.   Uncle George stopped here to stay all night.

October 12-I went down across the river.  Saw a turkey and a squirrel.  Pa and I went up the river looking for game.  Ever so many geese went over.  Some stopped in the river.   Mr. Root went to Cawker with Uncle Eli.   He heard that a great part of Chicago is burnt and the fire is still burning.[7]   Alf shot a turkey down by the river. . . .

October 14-I went over to Alf’s.  Just before I got there I saw a drove of turkeys 3 or 4 rods from the house.  They went over the bank.  I ran and told Alf and he went out with the shotgun  and killed 3 turkeys with one shot—2 hens and 1 gobbler which weighed 12 pounds.  He gave it to me.   I shouldered it home.   They gave Uncle Eli one.

October 15-Gena slept with me.   There was a very hard frost.   We had the turkey, stuffed and baked, for dinner.  It was splendid.   Gena and I play duets.   The middle of the afternoon Henry and Gena started home.  I went out a mile with them.  We saw 12 turkeys and saw some more at night.

October 16-Mama did a very large washing.  I went over to Uncle Eli’s after sour milk.  Velma is at home for a few days.  She has had 2 chills.   We saw turkeys around all day.   I hunted them after noon.   Shot at one over the river.   Root went to Cawker.

October 18-Uncle Ephraim went out turkey hunting early. Wounded one but could not get it.   Alf and Uncle Eli started for Solomon, going after Uncle Howard and company.  Arabella came over here to stay while Alf is gone.   Pa is going to milk their cows for the milk.

October 20-Louie went over to see a herd of 1300 Texas cattle that went up the river on the other side.   There are fires burning in all directions every day. 

October 21-After noon I went over to Uncle Eli’s and stayed to supper.  Then came home and got the  boots for Velma to wear across the river.  She braided her hair when she got here.  Pa tried to burn a strip to keep off fire but it was so still it would not burn.   We had turkey for dinner.   The folks played high, low, jack all evening.


October 22-After breakfast I went home with Velma.  She took down her hair.  It looked beautiful.   Mr. Cutter carried Louie across the river to Uncle Eli’s.  I commenced a limestone vase. 

October 26-Alf and Uncle Eli came at last form Solomon all alone.  Uncle Howard and Viola did not come.  Mr. Lines and family came as far as Cawker.  Alf bought 2 pigs.  He brought us an old tabby cat.  Pa brought Mr. Root a letter with $50 in it.

October 28-I saw 11 turkeys coming towards the house.  Pa went out and shot one dead-a young gobbler.  Alf, Arabella and I started for Cawker.  There was a prairie fire opposite Youngs’.   We saw Miss Lines.  We had dinner with Gena.  Got home before dark. 

October 29-Windy, cloudy and cold.   A glorious day, because Mr. Root went away for good.  Mr. Beal carried him and his trunk to Cawker.   We had turkey for dinner.  Mama and I dug potatoes.  Pa drew corn fodder with Alf’s team.

October 30-What a relief to have Root gone!  Mama and I dug potatoes.  There was a prairie fire that came down to Uncle George’s claim.  Uncle Eli and Venelia came along.  Venelia stayed with me.  They brought word that Uncle Howard is in Solomon.  Alf will go after him in the morning.

November 1-After noon we saw a fire coming in the bottom beyond Ray’s.   We all went out and set fires all around the ploughing.   Before we got the road burnt, the fire came sweeping down from Beal’s, swept across the road into the bottom.   Then we burnt side of the path to the river and kept burning until night and made out to save the premises.   We were tired. . . .

November 2-Arabella and I went over to Uncle Eli’s.  Had a splendid vegetable dinner.  We came home by the ford past Arabella’s house.   It is burned clear to the river.   Several trees burned.  

November 4-I put on Pa’s old overshoes and crossed the river.  Got some red berries.  Alf, Mr. White and Uncle Howard came. Uncle Howard was drunk.   He has been drinking for 11 days.   They had a terrible time.  He is very sick. . . .

November 5-Uncle Howard is very sick.  He vomited all night.  Had the delirium tremens.  Uncle Ephraim sat up with him.   Miss Lines played the piano all day.   Henry came this morning horseback.   After noon he and Gena started for home on horses.  Uncle Howard lay abed all day.  Felt better towards night. . . .

November 6-Mr. White stayed here over night.  Tow of the men that came from Massachusetts went to Concordia.   Uncle


Howard is quite well.  He and Louie went across the river hunting and got a duck.  A man came with a team and took Uncle Ephraim and Miss Lines to Cawker just before dark. 

November 8-Uncle Hoard was crazy all night.  All the folks were up half the night.  Had a terrible time.  Mr. White and two of the men started for home.  Pa bought some seeds of them.  After noon Ma went and got Alf’s team and we all went up as far as Mr. Jakas’s looking for a cow.   Didn’t find any.   I took the team home.  Aunt Lucia gave me a duck’s wing.

November 9-Pa is 48 years old today.  It rained and blew all night and all day.  Uncle Howard was crazy all night and all day today.  He came over three times.  Was as happy as could be.  A herder came over here and stayed a good while.  They are herding the Texas cattle on the other side of the river.  

November 10-Uncle Howard came over and shot us three quails and a prairie chicken.   I saved some feathers.  

November 11-The ground was white as snow with frost.  Very windy all day.  Uncle Howard and Louie went hunting and got 3 quails and a rabbit.   Alf’s little pigs were here. Alf saw a gray wolf out be Mr. Delay’s cabin.

November 13-Uncle Eli, Uncle George and some other men started for Concordia before sunrise.  Uncle George’s claim contest comes off tomorrow morning.  The ground was white with snow.  Ma went up to the cabin and got 2 ¾ pound of butter and a quart of milk.   Pa was very sick all day.   Was in terrible pain some of the time.   Louie shot a lame turkey.

November 14-Beautiful, beautiful day!  Ma washed.  Did not get through till most supper time.  Pa did not get up today.  He is real sick.   Louie went hunting and shot a squirrel and a large hawk.  Arabella went to Cawker with Alf.  They saw several wolves.

November 15-Uncle Howard is making a foot bridge across the river.   Tene shot a turkey.   Louie set a trap in the wolf hole.   Pa is about the same.

November 17-The wind blew a hurricane all day and the sleet and snow was enough to cut anybody’s head off.

November 18-Cold as the pole.  Just after we got up Alf and Arabella came.  They were covered with snow when they woke up.  It snowed all day and blew so we could not see the river.   Our chickens were all frozen into the wood pile.   Alf and Louie pulled them out and brought them into the house.  They had hoods of ice all over their heads and I froze my fingers in 5 minutes.   They had a terrible time over to Uncle Eli’s.


November 19-Pleasant and very cold.  There are great drifts on the banks. The ice on the river will bear up a man.   About noon Uncle Ephraim came up the river.  He stayed on Granite Creek during the storm.

November 20- Louie and I went skating.  It is not very good.  Uncle Ephraim shot a turkey. . . .

November 21-Uncle Howard came soon after we got up.  He saw 8 rabbits up by our drift pile.  We had turkey for dinner.  Louie shot a grouse with his revolver.

November 22-Uncle Eli’s people are moving to Cawker.  Aunt Lucia went today.  Alf went to Cawker and Arabella stayed here while he was gone.   Genelia cut and curled her hair.  I rode Alf’s pony over to Uncle Eli’s.  He slipped down on the ice.

November 23-It snowed all night. The big herd of cattle is over the river on our claim.   Pa is about the same.

November 24-Louie went to Cawker of an errand on Alf’s horse. When he got back I rode the horse over to Uncle Eli’s to leave the saddle.   Uncle Ephraim shot 2 rabbits and 2 squirrels and Louie shot one rabbit and one squirrel.  I played on the piano for the first time but one since Pa has been sick.

November 25-Very pleasant and mild.  It thawed some.   Uncle Howard, Eli and Tene came up and got a load of hay and their cow and calf.  Louie and I went over to the elms.  Beautiful evening until 8 o’clock, then it began to blow.   Was very cold and snowing when we went to bed.  Louie shot 2 rabbits.

November 26-Alf and Arabella came over.  Alf butchered a few days ago and sold it at Cawker. They brought us a piece.   It was tough but nice.   We killed 6 roosters.

November 27-Towards night the sun came out.  There were 2 sun dogs, very bright and a rainbow-colored circle around the sun and just the same around the moon all evening.   Pa does not get any better.   The river is still frozen thick.

November 28-Cold.  Uncle Ephraim went out to chop.  He cut his foot very badly.   The axe went in to the bone and almost the whole width.  Jerome came over and chopped up most a cellar full of wood.  Mr. Lines and Mr. Morse came to see Uncle Ephraim.   They stayed to dinner.

November 29-Uncle Howard and Henry started for Cawker horseback.   Jerome started for Osborne City a foot.   At one it began to snow very hard without a breath of wind.  Nearly 4 inches fell before dark, then it stopped.  Uncle Howard came with a team.


He has bought him a wagon.  He is going to the dance tomorrow night and I am going. . .

November 30-Thanksgiving Day.   It did not seem much like it.   Jerome came from Osborne this morning.   He got lost last night and went to a house.  Uncle Howard was here.   He was not very well, not well enough to go [to] the dance.  We had chicken and plum pudding for dinner.  Uncle Eli and Miss Lines came.  Uncle E. went back and she stayed.  Louie froze his feet.   Had a terrible time all evening.

December 1-Uncle Howard moved Alf and Arabella over to Uncle Eli’s dugout, then started for Cawker with Alf’s team.  Miss Lines and I went with him.  Had a pleasant ride.   Stayed at Uncle Eli’s till sunset then started for home.  It was rather cold.  Go home hungry.

December 3-The wind rose about 5 n the morning and it began to storm.  The air was full of snow all day very much like the 18th of last month.  Uncle Howard went home but came back again and stayed all night, then went home a little while and came back to stay all night.  It cleared off before dark.

December 4-Rather cold but pleasant.  Uncle Howard went home early but came back about noon.  He and Louie shoveled out the calves’ barn.  After dinner they went up the river on Henry’s claim and killed a Texas cow strayed away from the herd.  I went over to the cabin a little while and got a story to read in the evening.   Alf and Uncle Howard came with a team and brought us half the beef creature.

December 5-Very warm and pleasant.  Louie and I slid down hill on our feet. The beef steak is very nice and tender.   Uncle Howard went to Cawker.  He and Henry came along in the evening with a yoke of oxen.   Pa came downstairs and stayed all afternoon.

December 6-Henry went down to Cawker, came back after dark with Gena, Miss Lines and a load of goods.   Louie went to Cawker horseback, came back with Alf.  Uncle George and Jerome came afoot.  We have a houseful.   I went over and borrowed a pail of flour of Arabella. 

December 8-It thawed a good deal.  Uncle Eli came up and Louie and I rode over to the cabin with him, then up to Uncle George’s claim and set his traps for beavers.  Louie shot at a bald eagle but did not hit it.  Uncle Eli went back.  There are three men from New Jersey at his house.


December 9-Ma went to carry Arabella’s flour home.  Louie went to his traps.  Uncle Ephraim sent me after Uncle Howard.  I went up to the cabin on the river on skates.  Uncle Howard was not there so I went on up to Uncle George’s claim, and found him and Louie.  There is a nice place to skate up there.  Genelia and Mr. Curtiss of Waconda came and stayed until after dark.   Then Uncle Howard and Uncle Ephraim went to Cawker with them.

December 11-Beautiful day.  Louie and I went up to his traps.  There was nothing in them.  We saw seven hawks eating two prairie dogs.  The mud and water are terrible.  Towards night Uncle Howard and Mr. Clark from New Jersey came from Cawker. . . .

December 13-Uncle Howard and Louie went over to Uncle Howard’s bottom land and killed a black Texas steer.  I went over to Arabella’s and saw them dressing it.  Henry and Gena came over with the ox team and brought us a quarter of meat.

December 14-Uncle Eli and some other men  came up and got a load of wood.  They had a terrible time getting up this hill.  I practice a good deal on the piano.  Uncle Ephraim, Uncle George and Jerome started for Waterville.

December 15-Pleasant and mild.  Uncle Eli and Mr. Irvins came up after noon. I got ready and went home with them.   I drove part of the way.   It is very muddy and wet.   Got there at dark.   I slept with Aunt Lucia and Venelia.   Did not sleep but two hours all night.   Their house is very nice.

December 16-Had quail pie for dinner at 2 o’clock.  I started for home at half past four.  I am drawing a little picture of Uncle Eli’s dugout to send to Viola.

December 17-Louie and I went over to the cabins.  On the ice at the ford was an ox cast [?] and could not get up.   Uncle Howard, Alf and Louie go it off the ice.  Henry is very sick.   Can not speak his throat is so sore.   Uncle Howard and Alf came over and brought us some wood.  They went on to Mr. Young’s after hay.  Venelia and I went part way. She was going home but it snowed so that we came back.

December 18-I went skating.  Venelia and I read Dombey and Son.  I finished it this evening.  Uncle Howard came over to stay. 

December 19-Venelia and I started for Cawker afoot at 20 minutes of eleven.   I went as far Mr. Cawker’s.   Got there at 20 minutes of one.    Got back home at 20 minutes past two.   Mama had a sick headache.   I made biscuits for supper, did dishes and made beds.  Mama went to bed at suppertime.


December 22-Louie and I skated up to the cabin.  It snowed before we got back.  Snowed all day. Uncle Howard drew us a load of wood  Alf came from Cawker, brought Ma a letter from Genelia.  She and Mr. Curtiss are going to be married Christmas at Uncle Eli’s.  Uncle Howard came over as usual to stay all night.

December 23-Very cold.  The wind blew in the night and drifted the snow very badly.  Uncle Howard started for Cawker afoot at eleven.  Louie and I shoveled snow.

December 25-Very cold.  The coldest still morning there has been.  Uncle Howard got ready to go to Cawker.  We all went with him—Mr. Morse, Gena, Henry, Alf, Arabella, Mr. Wilder, Nellie Ray, Ma, Louie, and I.  We sat in the bottom of the wagon with the hot stones.  Had turkey supper, then the wedding came off and Genelia was married to Mr. Curtiss for life.   Then we all went to the dancing hall.   The hall was crowded.   I went to supper with Mr. Hoffman and danced schottish like everything with Mr. Phillips.  We started for home after five.

December 26-Considerably colder than yesterday.  We did not go to bed at all but sat around the stove trying to keep warm until eleven o’clock.  Then Mr. Morse brought us home.  It was rather a tiresome ride.  Uncle Howard walked.

December 28-Quite warm.  Uncle Howard started for Cawker this morning.  He talks of going buffalo hunting in a day or two.  Henry stopped here when he went past with a load of hay.   Alf came over in the evening and chopped mincemeat for Arabella.  I play ever so much on the piano now days.

December 29-Very pleasant and warm.  Mama baked three loaves of bread an I baked seven for the buffalo hunters.   Uncle Eli came and brought the New Jersey boys.  Pa and Louie went over to the cabin and saw the hunters start—Henry, Howard, two Mr. Morses and the men from New Jersey.

December 30-Uncle Eli’s folks came and went over to their cabin   and got some potatoes.   I went over to Alf’s and got a book, David Copperfield.  Ma read in it this evening.

December 31-Very cold in the morning.  Ma read a good deal. We stayed in the house most all day.  Uncle Eli’s cabin got afire and burned down.   Alf’s folks got everything out of it.   They took Uncle George’s boards, cut them up, and made a floor for his house, then moved in upstairs feeling awful nice. . .

January 3, 1872-In the morning Pa, Ma and I went over to see the ruins of the dugout and Henry’s and Alf’s calves.  After noon


Louie started for Uncle Eli’s with his rifle.  I went with him as far as Mr. Hiliker’s.   There are Texas cattle down by the creek.   They are savage.   I commenced a delaine bed quilt.

January 4-Ma went over to Alf’s to carry Gena some things Genelia sent up the other day.    While she was there Genelia and Velma came with Uncle Eli.   Velma came home with Ma.   We chopped mincemeat and made pies.   When Uncle Eli came along we had dinner.  Velma brought me a tatting shuttle Louie bought me.  After dinner they started for home.  Ma went with them to stay several days.  It is lonesome.  I sewed patchwork in the evening.

January 5-After breakfast I made a loaf of bread, then went over to Alf’s and stayed two or three hours.   Genelia and Gena came home with me, and stayed till most  supper time.   Gena practiced.

January 6-Cloudy.   After noon there was a dog on our haystack.  It had been fighting or got hurt some way.  I fed him.   Just before night Mr. Curtiss came up after Genelia , brought Ma and Louie.  He went over to Alf’s

January 7-Mr. Curtiss, Genelia, Gena, Alf and Arabella came over and spent the day.   We kept the piano going most of the time.   Genelia and Curtiss went to Cawker and Gena stayed with me.  Pa jawed in the evening about reading.

January 8-After breakfast Louie and I started up the river with gun and revolver, stopped at Mr. Owen’s to see about calves.  The weeds and grass were bent down with frost.  It was very beautiful.  We were sopping wet.   Dried ourselves by the hot open fire, then went up the river to the head of Twelve Mile Creek and ate our lunch.   While we were eating a rabbit jumped up from my feet.  We whistled, it stopped and Louie shot it.  We went on up the creek several miles, then started back across the prairie.   It was very wet and bad walking.  Had another jaw in the evening.

January 10-After breakfast I got ready and started for Cawker.  It was very bad walking.  I was just two hours going.  Carried the revolver.   Mr. Carroll was at Uncle Eli’s. Uncle E. and Aunt Lucia went to Beloit so I concluded to stay all night. . .

January 11-Cooler than it has been.  I slept with Velma. After breakfast went to the Post Office. Mr. [W. C.] McDonald is postmaster.   Got a letter from Uncle Royal and one from Uncle Frank.  Arabella had one from Aunt Julia.  There was a letter in it for me from Alton. We went out to Mr. Lines’ new house, then came


home.   Got here before noon.   Carried Arabella’s letter over to her.   It is very wet and muddy.   Mr. Heinck is drawing wood out of our drift pile.

January 13-The Texas cattle are coming up to Uncle Howard’s claim.  We had boiled dinner.  While we were eating Tene came afoot from home.  Alf came over.  We all played cards.

January 15-Rather windy.   Tene started for home.   Mr. Wilder went with him.   Pa started twice but came back, so I got ready and went.  Was not long going.  The big ravine is half full of water but it was frozen over.  I went to the store and bought some things, then went over to Uncle Eli’s.   Leander Bell [8] came Saturday.  He was down to the river with Uncle Eli after wood so did not see him.  After dinner I came home.  Ma washed, did not get through till night.

January 16-Uncle Eli, Leander and Tene came.  Leander stayed here until Uncle Eli got a load of wood.  He is just the same as ever.  After dinner they went home.  Pa went with them.   Louie was riding Mr. Hendrick’s pony in the herd all day hunting for Alf’s cow.  Henry got home.  The rest of the buffalo hunters are a day’s journey behind.  Ma read in David Copperfield.

January 17-It snowed a little in the night.  Louie thought he saw some wild animal over on Uncle Howard’s claim.  He came home and got his rifle and went over there but saw nothing.   Louie went up to the cabin and saw a rabbit.  The buffalo hunters came.   They have been into Colorado they say, and saw a good many Indians.  Killed nine buffalos.


There were seven men and one two-horse team.  Up sixty miles they crossed a sand plain, then came to rich soil again.   One day they saw and enormous cedar tree on a rocky bluff.    There was no other tree within miles.   The South Fork of the Solomon starts in two little brooks—one running east and the other west.  This is in Colorado.  There is no timber on the stream except now and then a tree.   The Pawnee Indians are there hunting buffalo.  They met one of them and asked him how far it was to timber.  They made motions with their fingers. They found a little willow swamp and three large cottonwood trees.  They made camp there.  High up in the tree was a platform with the Indian clothes hanging around it.   A string of scalps and a white blanket hung in the tree.


One night before they got there, they were traveling to get ahead of the Indians when they saw dark objects moving at a little distance.  Uncle Howard thought they were buffalo so said to the men, “We will have shot at them in the dark.”  Just then an Indian called out, “Ugh, good Omaha, buffalo twenty miles away.”

One afternoon they saw a buffalo at a distance of several miles.  Alison Morse and Uncle Howard started for him.  They had to run to get ahead of him and were pretty well out of breath when they came within shooting distance.  They killed it, then Uncle Howard started for the team to haul it, leaving Mr. Morse there to skin it.  But before he had gone far he saw more buffaloes so gave chase a long way but got none.  Then he did not know which way to get back to camp, so walked back to Mr. Morse who said he knew the way.   So he took the lead and they started on.   It was now about sunset.   They traveled on and on.   At last they concluded they were going the wrong way, so turned and went another way but found no camp.   Several times they saw a light and, thinking it was the camp lantern hung out for them, followed it but it proved to be Indians.  Once they fired, thinking if it were any of their men they would know what it meant and answer it.   The light disappeared and they saw it no more.  They had eaten nothing since morning.  At last Mr. Morse gave out and they had to stop.  He was very cold.  They had but two matches and did not dare to use them for fear they would need them worse before they reached camp.

While they were resting an Indian came to them and they learned by signs that he was lost also and did not know where to find their camp or his.  They gave him one match and a small piece of tobacco.   He whistled to his pony which knelt down for him to take off its blankets.  He then tried to have Uncle Howard lie down on them, but he would not.  They went on and left him.  At three o’clock in the morning the Indian came into camp, took out of his pocket the match and tobacco and showed them to the men and pointed out the direction that he had see two of their men.  They asked him if they were there now and he shook his head.   He cooked his breakfast at their fire.   It consisted of buffalo meat packed in the skins of buffalo inwards.

Uncle Howard and Mr. Morse got into camp before noon the next day.  The Indians sent a white boy to them asking them to come with them but they did not go.

The men took turns watching nights.  The wolves howled around them one night.  One came quite near, frightening the horses very.


much.   They killed nine buffalos in all.   After they got started for home the wagon broke.  There was one ash tree in sight.   Uncle Howard cut it to repair the wagon.   He had to make holes four inches through with jack knives and hot irons.  At last they got started again.  Their boots were worn so before they got home that several of them had to walk with their bare feet on the ground.  They killed a good many of grouse and rabbits.  When within two days’ journey of home, two of them asked leave to go ahead and got home before the team.  Another came on after them and Wednesday, two weeks and five days after they started from home, they all got back where they could get something besides mush and meat to eat.  They saw splendid stones while they were gone.  There were squaws with the Indians.  They were dressed fancy.

January 19-It kept snowing and clearing off all day.  The wind blew very hard.  About nine o’clock Louie started for Cawker with Uncle Howard and Mr. Morse.   I finished the picture, “Sounds of the Alps,” and commenced another little picture.  I went over to Alf’s and got some singing books and Whittier’s poems.

January 20-Three of our hens laid today.  Uncle Howard and Louie came form Cawker afoot in the afternoon.  I have been reading Whittier’s poems.  Like them very much.

January 22-Pa and Uncle Howard started for Cawker to see a yoke of oxen.  Ma read in David Copperfield.  It is the best book I ever saw.  I went over the river to the old river bed and Mr. Ray’s island.   The men got home after dark.   Pa brought some butter.

January 23-Alf came over to get Louie to help him drive a cow over to Mr. Young’s.   Poodie and I went down the river as far as Mr. Ray’s claim.   There was a fire on the bluff in the evening.  Mama read in The History of New York.

January 26-Pa worked all the afternoon, getting wood on to the river.  Henry skins Texas cattle at fifty cents apiece.[9]

January 27-Pa made a hat block of cottonwood.  Ma finished reading The History of New York.

January 28-Last night was about as cold as any night here has been.  The wind blew hard.  Ever so many Texas cattle died last night.  Louie was most sick with a cold.

January 3-Pleasant.   Louie was with the herders most all day.  Mama and I went up to Mr. Owen’s.  We stopped at Alf’s. I skated up the river and carried Poodie.  Widow Rice, Mrs. Russell and


another married lady thirteen years old were there, besides all the men in the neighborhood.  I like Mrs. Owens very well.  Mr. Owens showed us a wildcat skin killed near here.  Ma was very lame before we got home. 

January 31-Pa jawed.   Leander, Velma, Tene, Uncle Eli, Mr. Ivins, Mr. Clark and Mr. Sawyer came.  The men all went claim hunting.  At night they all went home but Leander and Velma.  They are going to stay a few days.

February 1-We went over to see Gena.  All the Texas Cattle were at the river where  we crossed.

February 3-Leander, Velma, Louie and I went to Cawker afoot.  We went to the store and got me a pair of calfskin shoes (bull hide).   Louie went over to Carr Creek with Tene and Leander.  Venelia and I started for home.  Mr. Thompson and Miss Lines passed us in a gay little team.  They took our bundles. My shoes hurt me so I took them off and wore my rubbers.   When we got here Mr. Thompson and Miss Lines were here.  They stayed until after dinner, then went over to Gena’s.  Miss Lines teased her up to go home with her.  We went over to Henry’s cabin while she was getting ready.   Then they came over and started for Cawker.  Louie came home from Cawker with drunken herders.

February 5-It snowed in the night enough to make the ground white.  Louie was up to the herders’ camp most all day.  Venelia and I went up to her claim and ate lunch.   Had a gay time sliding down the banks.   Uncle Howard came over and made him a rake.

February 8-Louie and I went up to the bluff.  The wind blew very hard indeed.  I carried my hat in my hand.  We hunted among the stones.   I got my hat full and brought them home.  We saw two herders on the bluff.   Pa went up to Mr. Hawk’s and got him to come down and draw wood off the river.  Twenty-six horsemen and eight on foot came from Cawker and arrested Mr. Mann for dragging lawyer Clark with a rope around his neck.   They took up Cole and Coopes on a cattle case.  They looked splendid.   Came up on the other side and went back on this side of the river.

February 9-Mama started for Cawker.  I went with her.   Just this side of the big ravine we met Aunt Lucia, Tene, Mr. Bell and Mr. Clark.  We got in and rode home.  The boys had been to Concordia and got claims.  They went to see them and came back here to dinner.  It began to rain.  They started home in the hardest of it.  Louie and I went over to Alf’s.  Uncle Howard and Alf caught a Texas steer that chased Alf and choked it.


February 10-Mama and I started for Cawker again.  I went beyond the creek.  There we rested, then she went on and I came back.  It was very muddy before I got home.

February 11-I kept busy all the forenoon, but it was lonesome after noon.  Mr. Morse, Mr. Freir and Alf were here.  The two Texas steers that got in the river died today, broke their necks.   I wish Mama was at home.

February 13-The wind blew all night.  About 10 o’clock I looked out and saw Uncle Eli, Mr. Bell and Mama coming.  Mr. Ivins came afoot.  The men went over to Osborne.  They came back in the evening, ate supper here, and went on.

February 14-I went over to Alf’s and got Oliver Twist and Sketches by Boz.   Commenced reading Oliver Twist.   The river is high.  Uncle Howard could hardly cross it. . . .

February 17-Mama went up to Rays’ and got a nice calf they call Lady.  I am going to have it for mine.  All Mr. Ray’s cattle came down, and his pigs.  Ma left my mittens up to Ray’s and I went and got them.   The calf got away and ran home, Louie’s calf with it.  Pa and Louie got them back again.  There are thirty-one houses and dugouts in sight of here.

February 18-When I got up Ma was over to Alf’s. She came back to breakfast, then went back and stayed until night.  Arabella and Alf have a little boy, weighed 6 ½ pounds.  Louie went over to Alf’s and got The History of the War. I played and sang most all day, read some.  Louie went up to Mr. Ray’s.  We had to let the calf go home. Mr. Ray got money without selling the calf.  We are afraid Uncle George’s claim is lost or will be soon.

February 25-I finished the picture.  It is beautiful.   I commenced another picture, “Home Farewell.”  Pa started for Cawker again to look for oxen. . . .

February 27-The calf ray away.   I went up to Mr. Ray’s with Louie after it. It was not there.  He went on up to Coops’ and got it.  Ma read in The Old Curiosity Shop.  A load of emigrants went past.

February 28-It snowed.   The ground and trees were white.   I finished the picture “Home Farewell” and started another like the one I made for Miss Lines.  

March 1- I drew a good deal.   Uncle Eli, Charlie and Will came.   Louie went to Osborne with them.   Did not get back until 8.   They all came here to stay.   I got a valentine from Root.


March 3-Ma had a letter from Uncle George.  He is anxious about his claim.  Mr. Curtiss went home. Every day he has been here I have played to him ever so much.   The herders are moving down into our riverbed camp.   Will and Charlie came, took their team and drew wood across the river for Pa.  They all stayed here to sleep.

March 5-The boys went up to their claim.  Mr. Morse came with his filing papers.  We cannot look out without seeing herders.

March 6-I set out two box elder trees.  Pa set out two and one cottonwood.  Mr. Wilder was over to the camp last evening.  He started for home with a dishpan of flour and walked off high bank into the ravine.   Hurt him some.

March 7-Mr. Henrick’s cattle all came to our hay stack.  We drove them away.  Lady broke her rope and went with them.  Louie and I went after her.   We had an awful time getting her home.   Louie had to run fast a good ways and had to let go the rope once. Charlie and Pa came out to meet us and Charlie led the calf or the calf led him the rest of the way home.  

March 8-Uncle Howard and Morse have been making a good bridge across the river. I went up to Rays’ and borrowed an auger for them.  A man called to see about Mr. Morse’s claim.

March 10-Venelia curled my hair.  Will came down.   Pa and Uncle Howard came with him.   After dinner I came home.   Charles Clark was here.   Mr. Morse goes up to his shanty early in the evening.  Mama went to Alf’s.   The baby is very sick.

March 11-Venelia came up with the men.  Leander and Uncle Howard came.  At one o’clock Mr. Delay came after Ma for Arabella.  Her little Burton is dead.  Genelia and I went over afterwards.  Mrs. Ray and Mrs. Beal were there.  Louie shot a wild goose out on the prairies.

March 12-Papa went to Cawker afoot.  Leander went up to Mr. Morse’s claim with him and staked out a piece to plow.  Aunt Lucia and Tene came.  Louie and Tene went across the river with the pony over to the herders’ camp.   Aunt Lucia went over to Alf’s after dinner.  Mama had the sick headache very badly.  There was an awful fire over the bluff and one in every direction.  Made it very smoky.  Mr. D. Morse came from Cawker in the evening.  He said Mr. Scrafford and another man had a fight.

March 13-I was quite sick in the forenoon.  Will and Charles came along just after noon.  Leander went to Cawker with them.


Alf’s little baby was buried at 3 o’clock.  Ma and I went over.  Nellie Ray was there and quite a number of others were there.  They buried him under the box elder bushes.   Pa came home from Cawker, brought Arabella a letter.   I carried it over to her.   Pa said a man and a horse were burned in the great fire yesterday.  Louie had a letter from Eddy.

March 14-Before I got up this morning, Mr. Curtiss and Genelia came.  I was about sick.  Mr. Curtiss smoked most all day, liked to have killed us all.   Genelia and I went over to Alf’s.   It was pretty cold.  We stayed quite a while. Genelia and Jim Curtiss slept on their claim last night.  They have a little board shanty on it.

March 15-Very cold.   It snowed enough to make the ground white.  Stopped before noon.   Mr. Curtiss and Genelia started for Waconda.

March 16-A little warmer than it has been.  Mama washed.   I helped her until noon.   After dinner Poodie and I went over to Gena’s, waded the river, and carried Gena some things Genelia sent her.   Stopped at Uncle Howard’s and told him that Mr. Huff has got back from Concordia with filing papers for Morse’s claim. Henry cut up like everything while I was there. . . .

March 18-Mr. Bell, Will, and Mr. Clark came in one team, Tene and a Green boy in another.   Louie went across the river and skinned two beeves.  All the men went up to Mr. Huff’s and had a talk with him.  I waded in the river.  Ma went over to Arabella’s.  I planted yellow pine seed.  Louie went home with Tene.   A man came here on horseback—Mr. Bruce. Pa smoked a shoulder of beef in a hollow tree.  I went down to the river, saw on the other side of the river in a hole in the bank, a Texas steer lying on its back alive.   It had been there since yesterday morning if not longer.   I saw it move, so came up to the house and got the rifle, waded the river, and shot it twice in the head.

March 19-Cold in the morning but pleasant the most of the day.  In the morning Mama went to Cawker with the boys.  Uncle Howard and Mr. Morse went.  It was election day.  At Mr. Young’s they elected the county seat and officers. Alf was chosen treasurer but declined the office.  The calf (Louie’s) ran away to Mr. Ray’s. I went and got him.  I sowed spruce seeds and made cookies.

March 20-Very windy but pleasant.  Just after breakfast Pa started for Cawker afoot.  Alf brought over four letter for him to carry.  Mrs. Coop came and left a breast pin for Pa to fix.  About eleven Alf brought Arabella over on his back.   I got dinner.   Mr.


Morse worked on the stable.  Alf has 8 pigs.  Alf and Arabella went home about two o’clock.  I got ready and started for Cawker.  I wore my best dress, got there half past four.  Ma and Aunt Lucia spent the afternoon at Mr. Lines’.  Venelia curled Velma’s hair in over fifty curls. It looked beautiful.   About 8 o’clock she and Leander Bell were married.  Venelia and Will stood up with them.  They all looked splendid.   Velma has lots of new things.   They had two kinds of wedding cake.   Mr. Curtiss and Genelia came up to the wedding in a buggy.  I went home with them to a dance they had at their house.  Wore Genelia’s slippers.  There were only Miss Lines and Mrs. Mudget there besides Genelia and I. There were lots of men there.   I danced every set but a waltz until 12.  I danced with Charlie Bruce twice.  He is nice.   Mr. [Frank] Noble boards at Genelia’s.  His is nice. . . .

March 21-Very windy and rather cold.  It snowed a very little.   We did not get up until 8 o’clock.   They had five men to breakfast.   After breakfast I started for Cawker.   Pa started for home before I got there.   After dinner Mama and Louie started for home with Mr. Coop.  I stayed a half an hour longer, then started towards night.  I went over to Arabella’s and carried them some wedding cake.

March 22-Mama and I went up to Mr. Ray’s to dig up trees.  We dug a long time on an elm but the ground was frozen so hard we could not get it, do dug up a small ash tree.  When we came home Mr. Leggett and Mr. Lines came horseback, stayed a little, then crossed the river and went up to Mr. Lines’ claim, Uncle Howard with them.   After dinner they came back, had lunch, stayed quite a while, got some box elder twigs to set out, then mounted their horses and rode away.  Louie and I went over to Alf’s.  Carried his rooster home and got ours.  Louie brought home one of the puppies.  He is going to have it. It ate gruel.  We put it in the little dugout Louie made for it.  Huff told Mr. Morse to leave the claim.

March 23-The little puppy squealed most all night.  Alf sent word to have the pup brought home.  He is going to give Mr. Smith his choice.  I went over to Gena’s, carried her wedding cake.  Rode Mr. Morse’s horse across the river.   When I came home I saw and elm tree down by the river blossoming out.  Our hen is hatching.   Pa set out three large trees—two cottonwood and one elm—below the house.

March 24-Very warm.   The wind blew very hard in the after-


noon.   Louie went over to camp.   Our calves ran away. We did not know when they went.  I looked all around the river for them. Looked out with the spy glass as much as an hour.  Saw a good many people.   Henry is herding. Mr. Cole has got back.  Alf hired Mr. Henrick’s team and carried Arabella to Cawker.  Ma went with them.  Got back at suppertime.   Mr. Leggett’s little dog bit Alf on his hand quite badly.  Pa went after the calves.   Found them over beyond Alf’s.   Louie did not get home from camp until after 2 o’clock.  He went up to Hendricks’ with Alf.  Shot a prairie rooster.   I picked it.

March 25-Pleasant.   Mr. Morse and Uncle Howard started for Cawker before light, came back before noon.  After noon Pa went afoot and crossed the river and dug up two ash trees, came back, got the axe and went and cut the large roots off.   He set them out without much root.   Mr. Clark and Will came up on to their claim.  I planted evergreen seeds down by the river.  Louie skinned a beef on the sand.  Three Mexicans were down by the river.  Mr. Morse shot his gun at a mark right in range of them but did not hit it.   They were mad, thought he was shooting at them I suppose.    Mr. Morse dug on the stable.   He ate his supper on his claim.   We chopped mincemeat in the evening.   Had the prairie chicken for dinner.   It was good.   We have eleven little chickens.

March 26-Tene came up to plow.   Louie went over to camp to get his pay for skinning.  He did not get it.   Tene came over to stay all night. A buffalo came across at the ford.  Will and Mr. Cole chased it.  Mr. Cooper chased it on horseback from the cabin up most of Hank’s, where he killed it.   Mr. Cooper gave Louie a nice piece.   The boys came here to stay   all night.

March 27-Louie went over with Tene. They tried to get their pay again but did not.  They came back after noon.  I went over to the old riverbed with then to pull up ash trees.   Got a few.  I took off my shoes and stockings and went into the water and pulled up some.  Hurt my feet and ankles.       

March 28-We set out our ash trees.  Have quite a grove.   Pa went to Osborne with Will.   Uncle Eli and Aunt Lucia came towards night, came to work on their claim.  Mr. Curtiss came up to work on their claim.  He came to see Pa about buying his oxen.   He gave Louie his belt to set out thirty trees up on his claim.  He went up and dug ten holes for the trees.

March 29-Rather cool.   It snowed a little. Uncle Eli and Aunt Lucia went over the river.  Louie and I went with them.  Went up


to Pat’s house, then picked out a building sit for a dugout.   Uncle Eli ploughed his garden.   When I came home, I saw a turkey fly out of the bank.  Uncle Eli helped set out sixteen trees on Mr. Curtiss’ claim.  Ma went home with Uncle Eli after noon.

March 30-I got breakfast.   Pa started for Cawker at half past four.  Before noon Mr. Lines came a little while on his way from Osborne.  He started for home last night and got lost on the prairie.   Mr. Morse was up on the bluff and saw buffaloes.  When we were eating dinner Pa, Ma, and Willie Ivins came.  Brought a music box from Mr. Cawker’s.  Will went up to his house, then came back to stay over night.

March 31-The boys went up and worked on their house. Louie went with them.  They came back at three o’clock and went to Cawker to get mail.   We made an onion bed and planted it with top onions.  I planted some pine seeds Eddie sent Louie.  Pa cleaned the music box.  We played it all day.   This morning Will shot a beautiful duck, gave it to us. I got wings, tail and ever so many splendid feathers.   I saw four ducks.