”years Came Along One After The Other …”

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The day came to move and a big snow storm was raging, so only one team came. We loaded our stove and just enough things to carry us over the night, intending to move the rest the next day. It cleared off in the night and the teams came, but there was nothing to move, as the house was burned down and, as one would suppose, everything in it. It was a great loss to us, for we had got a fairly good start again. We lost everything in the cellar, meat, lard, potatoes, fruit, and all of our milk fixtures, as we still had cows. Most of our clothing and all of our best things went. We never understood how the fire started but it wasn’t any carelessness of ours.

It seemed luck was against us but we had faith and pushed ahead. My husband and oldest son and daughter worked at everything they could find to do, dug deep wells, etc., I as usual doing my part with a big family to earn a few cents. Two years more and another baby boy came to us, making six boys and two girls. We worked on for another year and then decided to move back to the old timber claim, which we still held. We had a few cows yet to start with and how happy I was to get back there once again, resolving I would never move again unless retiring.

It would be almost impossible to tell you of the hardships we went through with a big family. My oldest girl got married soon after moving. Farming had commenced to get better, as the country was more improved. Got into stock and more cows, made lots of butter, getting fifteen cents a pound. We still burnt cow chips to help along. As the children grew older I went out nursing, getting one dollar a day and doing the housework besides.

Our two oldest boys got married, leaving us with the three younger. We bought some more land and kept on so doing until we owned nearly a section. When our baby boy was within a few days of eighteen he was taken from us. Heartbroken, we kept on. In two years our other daughter was married, leaving us with two boys. The following year one of the boys decided to get married, so we let him have the ranch to work and we retired, moving back to town in our little house. The one boy left made his home with us. My aged mother came to live with us. In three years my husband was stricken with heart trouble and died instantly in December. The following month Mother passed away, and in March the last son got married and I was left all alone.

These sad events covered forty years of pioneer life. As I am writing this, ten years later, I am within a few days of seventy-seven years, a very feeble old woman, yet thankful for all the blessings I have had.