[at site of 1853 log house - ] Mark D. Hauberg [& grandson John H. Jr.]
Talk about hard times; people these days don't know what hard times are. Did I tell you about the time I tried to sell a twenty-two pound dressed turkey for Fifty cents cash? They wanted to give me fifty cents in trade. I've sold three dozen eggs for ten cents and butter at five cents a pound.
Father bought a cow and calf, the pick of the her[d], of Mrs. Lewis--Bailey Davenport's mother, on the Island for Twelve Dollars Fifty cents. I'd work through the Summer breaking prairie in Scott County, Iowa, and the question would be whether I'd get a pig or a calf for pay. I'm the only man living, I believe, that worked for John Deere at that time. I got twenty- five cents a day and board myself.
We'd let our young cattle run on the Island, Rock Island. We'd take them over on the brush and stone dam and they wouldn't be let come back that way, so they'd stay onthe island because there was water all around. There was only one critter of ours that ever swam back to this side and came home. We'd make hay for our cattle where East Moline is now. It was wild hay of course.
When we came from the Old Country in 1848 we went to Tennessee. Father had been hired to come there and be Forester on a big place that had been bought by a Schleswig- Holsteiner. We left Tennessee in '49 and headed for Rock Island County, Illinois where father had a sister living. We came by steamboat all the way, on the Tennessee, and Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
We came up from St. Louis on the steamboat "Wisconsin". The trip took three and a half days. The cost was $3.50 for deck passage for our family consisting of our parents, three children, a dog and a cat. Mother did the cooking for the family on the steamboat the best she could. We reached Davenport at midnight and staid out on the river bank the rest of the night. This was early in June, 1849.
Father's sister had written that they were living on the island of Rock Island where her husband, August Liitt was working for the Davenport family, and it was little trouble to find where they were because I could speak english. Father and I were used to rowing boats as we had run the ferry at Penrocks in Tennessee, so we got a boat and rowed over to the island. There was no bridge across the Mississippi then. The Liitt's had a daughter Katie, my cousin, and the other children on the place were Henry and Lizzie Davenport, children of Col. George Davenport. Their mother was part indian and the children were dark complexioned. The first time I saw Bailey Davenport he was wearing a plug hat and was quite a young man.
We went on to Moline and in the next two or three years I was often on the island visiting Aunt and Uncle's. A couple of times Henry Davenport and I rowed Antoine LeClaire across to the main shore in Davenport. He was part Indian. I can see him now, plain as day, dark complexioned, kind of red face and very fat. When he built the LeClaire House in Davenport it was consdered a big building--something wonderful.
Old Fort Armstrong was still there but all dilapidated and deserted. We children used to play all over the ruins and climb down the rocks and into the caves below. There were three towers or blockhouses and a kind of high cellar of masonry which was the magazine. Nobody seemed to be looking after any of this property at that time. To the east of the fort for quite a distance was open ground or prairie. I used to wonder why that was open prairie while all the rest of it was timbered. But I decided it must have been cleared by the soldiers so that the fort could not be surprised by the indians as they might if the timber was there to screen them. At this time there was good pasture and as many as a hundred cattle were pasturing there, the people on the main shore either swimming their cattle over or taking them across the dam at Moline. The only dwellings on the Davenport estate was the old house which was considered one of the best around here, and a small cottage in which my Aunt and Uncle lived while working for Mrs. Lewis. The Davenport Children and my cousin played together and from their association with Aunt and Uncle the Davenport youngsters had learned to speak good platt- deutsch. My visits were to my folks of course, but mainly to see Henry, and I crossed over by way of the Moline Dam. I lost track of them after we moved up to the farm and didn't see either of them again until one day I happened to be in Rock Island and found Lizzie at the Court House where her trial was on in regard to her right to hold a farm that had been given her by Davenport. Undoubtedly she had been given the farm to keep, but no Deed had been made out to her, and her claim that she was a child of Col. Davenport was not established and she was ousted.
I picked apples for Billy Brooks--about 40th or 41st Street and Fifth Avenue, Rock Island, now, when I was fourteen years old. His orchard was southwest of his house, and everything east of it was woods of oak and walnut, mostly walnut, and the public road run between the trees.
Father got a job with Mr. Patterson, the Road Commissioner for Moline, and he cut trees and grubbed stumps to open a straight road through this timber. It is now third Avenue, Moline, and Fifth Avenue, Rock Island. Both east and west of Brooks' was timber. I carried water for Mr. Patterson and his men sometimes, and fished when I did not carry water. I got ten cents a day. In the winter I went to school. They had no public schools in Moline then. We had to pay for schooling in those days. There was a lot of fighting and I got so I would rather fight than eat, and I was turned out of school because I wouldn't apologize to the leader of a rival school. I had licked him when he brought his crowd over to lick our school.
Father bought a quarter Section of land on the High prairie from Elihu B. Washburne of Galena, in 1851. It was at what they called Sugar Grove. There were Big sugar maple trees there four feet through all scarred from being tapped. I suppose the indians had made molasses there years before, and some of the earlier white people too.
We had been living on a two-acre lot on the side hill in Moline that father had bought in 1850. It was where 14th Street is now. Here we had got fourteen head of cattle including two yok[e] of oxen, together, and some hogs and poultry, and in the spring of 1853 we moved to the new farm. Father and I and Henry Knock and Henry Kahler went up first about the middle of March and took the oxen with us. I was chief cook while the others cut down trees to build a log house. There were quite a lot of deer then.
We were the first germans up there--from the Old Country, and Dave Martin and Tom Walker, both boys of about my age heard that some "Dutch" had moved here, and came around the hill to get a peep at us and see what we looked like. The place had an old tumble-down log house on it, and I cameout where a corner had been torn down and they saw me. Tom said to Dave, "He can't be a dutchman. He looks just like we do." I called to them and Dave says "He talks english. He can't be a dutchman". We invited them into the house and father treated them to some whiskey, and we were friends all the rest of our lives. They told me afterward what they had said when they first saw us. The Martins and Walkers were Kentucky people.
We soon had logs enough, and father sent me down to get groceries and things for the house raising. Father invited all the men for miles around and they all came and we had a big time of it. There was plenty of whiskey, no one got drunk. I was cook and got up a meal and everybody went home happy. All these were our nearest neighbors at the time, and we made friends that day that lasted as long as they lived.
Then we went to Moline and brought the rest of the family up. We came up in the wagon with all hands aboard and the household things, about the middle of April, 1853. We followed the old river road to Port Byron and then out across the prairie. There were no regular roads laid out at that time. That came later when father was Road Commissioner. On the way out from Port Byron we passed the homes of Steele, Jacob Flickinger, Rube Hollister, Tom Fowler and Jake Larue's. They were raising Larue's house the day we passed it. to the east there was nothing till you got to the bottoms. Volney [B]aker lived there in a log house. It was all wild prairie for most part.
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