Emma E. Fairhurst

"You ought to get a picture of that old ruin--(i.e. the high-basement frame,north of the road,a bit east of the old quarry or sand pit--say about a half mile west of Hillsdale). Old man Schroeder used to have a saloon in the basement of it before he moved to Hillsdale. I can tell you a lot of stories about the place. One time the Liphardt's were there. Mrs.Liphardt was in bed--their son "Chunk" was born then(Herman) and John Liphardt was celebrating the event and he and another man got into a scuffle and the other man got John Liphardt down on his back.They were fighting.They used to make their houses so much that way--with a high basement.Schroeder started here.Then went to HillsdaleHis son married Dena Banker-- Liphardt's niece.Schroeder's family lived upstairs. 'Say what you xxxxx please,,Mr.Schroeder was a wonderful man and Mrs. S was a wonderful woman.They were of the old hospitable tavern type.They had their saloon and a big hall and they had big dances there,three or four times a year and everybody went with the whole family.Mrs.Schroeder set an excellent table,and they always had an orchestra from Rock Island--either Bleuers' Band or Biehls' Band.If they couldn't get one they got the other.".

As we drove north from the road north of Louis' main farm--on the former Tunis Quick land--at about the one-eighth mi. stands a dead old cottonwood. Emma said:"The harvesters used to sit under that tree to eat in the shade.. Yes, you see,they'd bring lunch there in a wagon.Then Amelia and I used to carry lunch to them.We'd carry a BIG coffee can of coffee on a stick between us,and pie and cake for the afternoon lunch. In the forenoon they'd have ham sandwiches,and egg or cheese sandwiches that Ma made,and--the bottle--(of whiskey).One year Pa nearly lost his harvest.The men all went off the town for liquor. Fred Houchild used to have regular drunks and he told Pa when he hired him,that he had that habit and that every so often he had to get that way.

Yes, farmers can get all the gasoline they want. If it wasn't for Hazel's having that land,and doing some farming,she wouldn't be able to get enough gas to run her "Range View Ranch."Today,JHH is being driven all over the Upper End by Louis--the farmer--who doesn't have to wory about getting gas for his car.

All per Emma Fairhurst,Easter Sunday,Apr.1,1945.

[By Emma Fairhurst]

"I've got all this in my address book". The neighbors had their eye on my Claim,and Will Schmoll was afraid that if I didn't watch out, they'd slip in and get it away from me. Of course,someone has it now,because I didn't stay.

One time it rained for about a week.They burned "cow chips"--they usually called it "Buffalo chips"(it was cattle dung dried)as they have it in Palestine,Egypt etc) and it got wet and Will had some ripe corn and they burned that. It makes a hot fire--burns almost like pitch.

Amelia's house(Schmolls') had a lean to. John Clauson was north of them a quarter mile; Jacksons' were a quarter mile west,and all had sod houses. The railroad station,McAllister was a couple of miles or so, south. I believe there's some kind of military camp there now. Jacksons' remembered when eastern Kansas was as dry as western Kansas. You see, when they cultivate the ground it brings moisture.Jackson's son has a lumber yard at Winona,Kas. now.The daughter married a catholic and moved to Denver.She's a hustler and they ran a hotel but he died and she married a man who had some children,and she phoned me at Ward,- -they were coming up on their honeymoon, so I fixed up a place and Amelia helped me. I heard from her once since, but not again.

I didn't want to go back to my Claim alone.People were losing everything except their grain crops and lots of them were moving out. Will got through by working for a Mr.Teeters,a cattle man,with a big cattle ranch,and about that time the law required that cattlemen had to fence in their cattle,and that cut all the big ones out. Will would get in on haying and other work.

One time we were driving to Winona and a big rattlesnake was crossing the road. "Going back to my wife's people" was the humorous way they called it when they moved out,and headed back east somewhere.(I think most of them had written sucn glowing letters home when they first went to these new areas,they would not admit to their people just what the conditions were. Also, they did not encourage friends who wrote for advice because the settlers themselves knew of their own experience that all success depended on loads of self denial,real hardship such as they never had had in the "east"(Ills.Ia.,Missouri,etc.),and that only by the hardest work--and the settlers seemed to thrive on it--would see them through I think also,that very few of them actually returned "east".There was a "something" in the air which facinated them,and drew the settlers to one another.The "east",they felt,was old fashioned,slow,uninteresting) The cattlemen fenced between my claim and the Smoky river,but my land was close enough to get some moisture.My garden was north of the house. There was a man--a John Clark,a beautiful cowboy,he married a Missourian--he was a good man,quick and also looked as nice,and I think it was he who brought the big watermelon to Will's from my Claim.It was a fine melon and had grown up and was ripe--at my sod shanty.

One time xxxxx I was visiting the Owens', and Mrs.Owens kept looking out.Every little while she would look.I asked if there was anything and she said"I believe it's a hot wind". Then she pointed to their corn which was looking fresh and fine,and she said "If this is the hot wind,just notice how the corn will go down. Well, it wilted.The leaves drooped,and before it was over the corn was as yellow as if it was ripe.

One afternoon we had a storm.The clouds kept coming up.We had visitors and I thought they ought to go home before the storm got herebut they kept staying.The clouds were moving up so fast.They left to go and I thought by that time they should have staid.The roof on Will's house raised up so you could see the sky.Will grabbed Amelia's hand and grabbed for mine,but a man whom they teased me about wanting to marry me,grabbed my hand and we got into the cyclone cellar that Will had. The roof on Will's house raised up and then it flopped down again. That was just a short time before Hazel was born. A neighbor named Guthrie--who wanted my Claim--a calf blew away from his place.We thought every minute that we'd hear that our visitors had been killed,but we didn't hear xxxxxxxxx about them.. It's strange the hardships people go through and it seems those people live longest--those that had hardships in their life.

The man they teased me about--he took me buggy riding once--maybe more than once. That was something there in those days--a horse and buggy.I can't think of his name now. It was like in the mountains,there were no women.Folks came in pairs and not old enough to have families and I being grown up and unmarried,was something. He got two claims and afterwards he got to be well-to-do.He had the finest stand of wheat but no corn. One day there was a prairie fire.His horses were in the barn and the fire was around it.He tried to get the horses out of the stable but they refused.He burned to death.They thought maybe the horses had kicked him and he was unable to get out.Yes, he seemed he was after xxxxxxx me for a wife.

Pa took me to Barstow--in March,1890 and I got the train to Galesburg and then to Kansas City. There I got on a street car to see the city. I got a train that night and got to McAllister the next afternoon,and Will got me and took me to his Claim. He "Proved up" in 1891 on his land.

(Emma read through,the book"Homesteading in Kansas" by Henry W. xxxxx Horst,prominent contractor of Rock Island,and, saying that she now would like to meet Mr.Horst himself,we called on him and they had a most interesting conversation about the old Kansas times. He had taken up a Claim in Logan County also--the same County that the Schmolls' and Emma did.)

** ** ** **

There was a song about the Claims in Kansas,sung to the Gospel Hymn tune of "Beulah Land". I recall only one stanza and the chorus at this minute,viz:

"When first we came to get a start;the houses they were far apart, but now's a house on every Claim and some can have but half a Claim.


"O Kansas land,dear Kansas land,as on the highest hill I stand, I look away across the plain and wonder if 'twill ever rain, But as I turn and view my corn,I think I'll never sell my farm".


Emma Fairhurst,interview,Mar.21,1945,at JHH's in R.I.

I came to Kansas in the month of March 1890 and left there in September of the same year. I staid in Denver a couple of weeks or so,and then went up to Caribou--a silver camp,and when I got off at the hotel the hotelkeeper told a young fellow to go put and bring the lady'd baggage in.It was Bert Fairhurst and he and I were married two years later.He was born in Black Hawk,Colo-(a town named by men from Rock Island,Ills., who started mining there--Milo Lee,et al).

Father Fairhurst got the prize(on Tellurium(?) ore) at Paris exposition and at the Omaha World's fair,--as the richest specimen of its kind. The specimen is now in a museum in New York--I don't know which one.

My fireplace in Columbia Hotel,in Ward xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx cost more than $500.00.. It has loads and loads of ore in it.A laplander,Erickson, built it.I had a time,placing the ore.I never put in the year it was built I should have the year on it.A specimen from our own mine was to have been put in FLAT,and high enough so people could see it and reach it. While I was away he put it in endwise and covered the gold face with cement. It's still there,the gold scroll face,covered with cement.It just made me sick.I had five or six men working on it and on the cement floor.A lady came in on the stage and I nearly fainted-- everything was in confusion,and of course,she wanted hotel service,but she was such a nice woman. I had to go with the men every day,every time they went after ore.We went to different mines.Mr.Nelson--I asked him if I could have ore from his mine--to represent his mine. Some places I'd say "You tell me xxxxx what I can have and they'd say "You pick out what you want". Then there was the Niwot mine,the oldest mine in Ward,first discovery of gold there--on the top of the hill. The wind was blowing hard.A woman went with me. The ore had all been shipped away,and we had to go to the dump and while I was hunting for ore,she sat and was singing "The Holy City",--she was a happy woman.She said:"I'm sitting on the top of the World & I'm happy" . She bought a specimen from a boy. He didn't want to sell it. I never heard how much she paid him for it but she brought it down and it's in the fireplace.Her husband was a doctor and she said "Anything you want let me know" I mentioned slippers,and she sent them to me.

Once there was a woman came up to look for the cause of goiters.There was a good deal of it around,and in one school there were sixteen pupils and everyone of them had a goitre.This was on the western slope of the front range.In the cattle country.

We had our spring,in Ward,tested and it was 99% plus,pure.

A man said $1500.00 was the value of a coil--a chunk of roots--prongs--a gold specimen.There was a Hatton.mineralxxogist who valued it.

A John P.Bartlett,wrote up my fireplace of gold and silver ore for the National Hotel Magazine. Both he and his wife were writers. "A community mounment" he called it.

** ** ** Mar.21,1945--Emma E.Fairhurst.--continued.

Lizzie Hartzell taught Bluff School.She was a twin--looked so much alike that the only way their mother could tell one from the other was that one had a flat place on one of her ears.She was one of our earliest teachers. You know,when Grandfather Hauberg lived in Moline--up on the hillside on 13th or 14th St. there were only three families there--the Hartzells, the Haubergs' and another family I can' think of the name. I remember Amanda Wilson as a Bluff scgool (sic) teacher but I do not remember her crying when she said good by the last day of School(Herman Bracker & JHH both recall that incident).

Mrs.Sara Avery who now lives in the old lime kiln office--the southernmost kiln,said John D.G.Hauberg worked for them several years.He left for Colo. and said that when he came back he was going to marry her.When he did come back she was married to someone else. It is supposed he was only joking anyway.He was a always teasing. She is a cousin of Virgil Simpson who married Helen Lyford. She wants to buy the house she is in.The title to which is in John H.Hauberg,who really assigned his interest in it to Walter L.Hulstedt. It is rather hopelessly tax delinquent.JHH's got it as "consideration" for some heavy($50.000.00) contributions toward keeping a bank's head above water in the 1930s depression. This property was part of the Bank's worthless assets,assigned to our group--W.A.Rosenfield,John W.Potter et al. in return for our real cash,as IF it were worth something.

"Ed Crouse moved from Port Byron today--to Black Hawk State park where he's to be custodian.

Yes, Aunt Maggie Hauberg Schroeder could stand on a horse--riding.

Lena Oltman(Daughter of Dedrick 0.) and John Wenk were 1st cousins. The night of the wedding Lena said,'I always liked John and when he was leaving because there was nothing here for him to do,she went to the depot and said she didn't want him to go away. "Why" asked John. "Because I like you better than anyone else on earth" and John said he felt the same way toward her.

Lena's and Sarah's mother was Dedrick Oltman's second wife.It was the only place I ever was where every night they got out the Bible and Dedrick read from it and then they all joined in prayer in unison. Stena played the organ in the lutheran church(brick,on the bluff) I told her I thought it was wonderful and Stena(Justina) said her mother had a hard time getting her to practice and finally told her she'd give her $11.00 or 12.00 a year if she'd learn,so she took interest in it then.

When Lena and John Wenk were married, they had a pavilion outside, about the center of the walnut grove(located beside the river,above the barnyard)--No it wasn't in the house yard,but in the grove.They had a piano in the house and different ones played,and they had loads of food--pies cake etc on tables and you would go and help yourself anytime. I don't remember any drinks.We had geese,ducks,turkeys and everybody brought their families.Amelia and I had black cashmere dresses. I got $1.50 a week and Amelia got $2.00 a week working for Uncle Dave(Hauberg's). Ma made us each a polonaise and each of us had shell beads and we felt dressed up. That night they decided [t]o hunt for Otto Heilwagon's wife Dora. She hadn't been home for three days.That night they decided to get the sheriff busy and next day they found her(in a corn shock on Frel's farm,dead)Old Heilwagon,Otto's father,was hanged for it).

Aunt Etta(Frels) taught me waxwork.I made the colored wreath.It hung in the parlor but the room got too hot and destroyed it.Amelia made a wax cross,I have it in Columbia Hotel,in Ward,Colo.

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