The Plattsmouth journal. (Plattsmouth, Nebraska) 1901-current, December 05, 1907, Image 1

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Indian Legend of King Hill and Queen Hill;
Patterson's Turkey Kidnapped
Hallowe'en Night.
James A. Walker Barricaded from His Store;
Old Horse Put in School House Dressed
to Resemble Teacher.
(By I'.asll S. KaniM-y )
Thirty-five years ago Rock Bluffs was
one of the most flourishing towns in Ne
braska. It had a large trade from the
Surrounding country, including no small
amount from the Iowa side of the river.
The town is somewhat peculiaily sit
uated. In front, the Missouri river
flows from the north southwesterly and
then southeasterly, thus forming a kind
of circle or bend. To the north a hill
towers high up called "Queen Hill" and
to the south another called "King Hill;"
from the top of either the other can be
seen. Indian tradition tells why these
high hills or bluffs were so named.
Many, very many years ago it is said
the hills and dales, with their abundance
of trees and water and rich herbage and
grasses, were a camping ground for
Indians of different tribes. And it is
gaid the hills yet contain many relics of
the aborigines of the long ago. Tradi
tion claims that a noted Sachem an
Indian king passed into the happy hunt
ing grounds while his tribe was en
camped at this place. He had been a
mighty warrior and hunter in his day
had led a most strenuous life in the
chase after buffalo, deer and scalps. On
the occasion of his funeral, thousands
of warriors, young braves and dusky
maidens attended the sad obsequies.
And on top of "King Hill," with face
turned northward, head toward illimit
able space and feet toward the center
of gravity, that is, in perpendicularity
the old Indian king was planted. Thus,
he traditional origin of "King Hill."
The old king's consort - the Indian
queen also sickened and died. She had
lived during many, very many moons.
In fact she had outlived all the old
king's other squaw-wives and she too
deserved a regal place of final rest. So
just north of Rock Bluffs, on "Queen
Hill" with her face turned toward her
husband on "King Hill," and after the
manner of her husband's sepulture, the
old Indian queen was placked in final
repose. And thus we have the tradi
tional origen of "Queen Hill."
But we started to write some remi
niscences of Rock Bluffs more than a
third of a century ago. Thirty-five
years ago Rock Bluffs had prosperous,
prominent business men and firms.
Nearly every ine of business was rep
resented, including trades and profes
sions, with one exception among the
latter. There were no lawyers, which
fact many erroneously supposed to be
the cause of so much quietude and
christian fellowship among the people
Among the leading business men were
Fatterson & Walker and Joseph Shera,
general merchandise, including grain,
the latter being loaded into steamboats
at the foot of "King Hill" and shipped
to southern markets. Of these three
business men. James A. Walker alone
survives and now lives upon his large
and beautiful farm near Murray. Henry
Craig and Robert Fitch were leading
carpenters and contractors; Mathias
Spohn operated a grist and sawmill;
Henry Clopper made and supplied boots
and shoes; Azro Smith, horticulturalist
and gardner, supplied flowers and vege
tables; William W. Graves led in the
manufacture of brick and a leading con
tractor in brickwork. His widow,
Grandma raves, now nearly ninety
ninety years old, still resides in the old
home at Rock Bluffs.
Out own "Bill" Jones and his most
estimable family were then citizens of
Rock Bluffs. "Bill" dealt extensively
in horses and then as now, with the ex
ception of his much better-half and
children, was more devotedly attached
1 wm
to the horse than to any other of God's
good and useful creatures.
The leading physicians and surgeons
were the late Dr. F. B. Reed, of Peru,
Neb., and the lateW. E. Latta, of Lin
coln, Neb.
Nearly every christian denomination
was represented, the leading church or
ganizations being the Presbyterian, the
Christian and Methodist.
Rock Bluffs contained a large Grange
organization and a number of its mem
bers made purchases direct of that
famous firm Montgomery Ward & Co.,
of Chicago.
At that time Rock Bluffs was one of
the most progressive towns in the state
in educational matters. For many years
before, its public school, under the prin
cipalship of Prof. Joseph D. Patterson,
had ranked among the best in the state.
In 1870 he left the public shcool and
founded Naomi Institute, which, un
der his principalship, had no superior in
the state. The writer succeeded Prof.
Patterson as teacher of the public
school. Both schools were largely pat
ronized and of the students a number
became prominent. Among them, the
late A. J. Graves, became a prominent
attorney and for two years one of Cass
county's ablest prosecuting attorneys.
His brother, J. D. Graves, of Peru, be
came a leading attorney of Richardson
county and at the late election was a
candidate for supreme judge on the pro
hibition ticket.
Charles L. Graves, another brother,
also became an honored member of the
ligal fraternity, but early developed a
decided taste for printer's ink and about
twenty years ago founded the Union
Ledger, one of the newsiest, brightest
and best weekly papers in the state.
Charley, when a school boy at Rock
Bluffs, could invent and carry to suc
cessful termination more innocent mis
chief and be found "not guilty," than
any boy we ever saw. This ability and
trait of character were considered in
disputable evidence that Charley pos
sessed strong elements of a great and
successful lawyer.
Another Rock Bluffs school boy
George J. Spohn, now of Superior, Neb.,
wended his way upward. With his
father's family he located in Nuckols
county; was elected county superinten
dent of schools and later state senator
from that county.
In those early days the people of Rock
Bluffs were among the most hospitable
and cordial to be found anywhere, and no
citizenship ever represented greater
congeniality. Everybody was the friend
of the sick or needy. The citizenship
comprised representatives from many
states, those from Missouri predominat
ing. And these citizens had brought
with them many of the customs in
vogue in those states from which they
emigrated. Among these customs was
one which seemed common to all places
that of properly observing Hallowe'en j
and on each recurrence of this night it
was expected something would be done
in old Rock Bluffs.
Strange too, Hallowe'en deviltry was
not confined to the boys and girls. The
best men merchants,mechanics, church
members and sometimes even preachers
would take a hand. The only persons
that didn't indulge were the school
teachers. Generally speaking the prin
cipal leaders at this time in such sport
were Harrison Smith, Dr. Reed, J. M.
Patterson, J. A. Walker, Henry Craig
and Isaac Nelson, now living near Mur
ray. Of course there were many other
volunteers in the service. One Hal
lowe'en night a gang with the above
named as leaders, started out for cus
tomary business and lots of it was done.
At a late hour the crowd adjourned for
j ist one year. But all of them didn't
go home. They waited until they knew
Patterson had got home and in bed
asleep. Somehow it was learned that
Patterson had just purchased an extra
fine turkey for Thanksgiving and was
keeping it in the cellar. Some of the
boys knew just where to find the out
side cellar door and knew it was never
locked. Well, the remainder of this
vandal crowd, Hallowe'ened that cellar
and kidnapped Patterson's turkey and
no trace of it was ever found.
But the most unrighteous act of Hal
lowe'enism ever perpetrated in Rock
Bluffs or anywhere else was on Hallow
e'en night 1872. And it was perpetrated
on a trio of innocents the writer, who
was school teacher, the old schoolhouse
and John Staffor's old horse. The school
house was situated on Main street with
a door opening to the east and one to
the south. These doors were never
locked as thieves and tramps were then
unknown at Rock Bluffs, and everybody
had implicit confidence in everybody's I
honesty. The house was commodious,
well S2ated, with a large rostrum for
the teacher.
Well, ea: ly the next morning after
Hallowe'en nLrht 1872, the teacher, a)
was his custom went to sweep out and
fire up for the day's work. The east
door was open and one of the pupils,
then a young girl and now living not far
from Murray, had just come to school
and was only a few feet away. She
seemed very much amused about some
thing. The teacher stepped to the door
but suddenly stopped. A scene met
his eye which would make the most de
vout angel swear. Piles of hay, corn,
oats, compost, liquid of an alkaline so
lution, all mixed together and scat
tered over floor,rostrum and desks! The
blackboard hadn't even escaped. Upon
it were marks, symbols and signs as
though somebody or something had
tried to solve a supposed problem in
algebraic quadratics.
Well, the teacher didn't sweep out
just then, but started on a double-quick
for Patterson & Walker's store. He
wanted to see Patterson, who was
treasurer of the school board. Patter
oon couldn't be found, but he met Jim
Walker, the junior member of the firm.
The air all around Jim was surcharged
with lightning and scintilating pyro
technics. As was his custom he too
had gone early to the store to fire up
and sweep out. The Hallowe'enershad
been at the store and had blockaded the
entrance by the front door with two or
three cords of wood and did likewise to
the entrance by the rear door. Jim
couldn't get in by the door route unless
he dug his way throvgh the woodpiles.
The two friends, common sufferers, met
and exchanged courtesies by quotations
from a standard work on cuss-ology.
Walker finally remarked: "Well,
Ramsey, I'll surrender. You are the
first person I ever met who could out
cuss any person I ever heard, including
myself. Go back and clean out the
school house and I'll crawl through a
window and sweep out the store."
Failing to find Patterson, who was
suspected of having a hand in the
deviltry, the teacher went back to the
school house and soon discovered the
horse that had been made a pro tern
professor in the school house that Hal
lowe'en night. It proved to be an old
one about forty years of age, and be
longed to one John Stafford.
For months it had found a living graz
ing the hills and valleys around Rock
Bluffs and age had made it as docile as
a lamb. When first seen that morning
by the teacher, the old fellow was
quietly grazing among the gimpsen
weeds just south of the school house.
Its head didn't look quite natural.
There seemed to be some unusual and
fantastic ornameutation there. A close
inspection disclosed the fact that the
old horse was wearing a hat. The hat
seemed to be a combination of the
Horace Greeley and Mexican sombrero
style white and broad, drooping brim.
The Hallowe'en had cut holes through
the hat through which they had slipped
the horse's ears and otherwise fastened ;
the hat on the horse's head with twine '
cords or strings. !
But, as we have said, that old horse J
was gentle as a lamb so gentle that a 1
Rock Bluff school board with the help !
of Ike Nelson, could and did, as was j
subsequently learned, after a long
search that night, found him away up
on "King Hill," and cutting the brush
for a pathway, led the old fellow down
the road up which he was led and push
ed for more than a mile. Reaching the
school house, they led and pushed him
in and onto the teacher's rostrum,
where he was decorated with a hat on
his head and penholder stuck behind his
right ear, with an abundance of corn,
oats, hay and bedding, Stafford's old
horse was made first assistant principal
of the Rock Bluffs public schools.
The school board at that time con
sisted of the late James M. Patterson,
the late Harrison Smith and Henry
Craig, whom we have mentioned. But
the school board had help that night.
The late Dr. F. B. Reed and our pioneer
friend, Isaac Nelson, of near Murray,
were among the horse trainers that
But the teacher still couldn't see any
fun in such deviltry nor any justifica
tion in turning a handsome school house
into a filthy, carelessly kept horse
stable. He went to his home still ana
thematizing in something like geome
trical progression where he met his sis
ter, Mrs. Bella R. Waterman, now of
Hay Springs, Neb., and who presided
over the teacher's home. She su-pris-ed
her brother by showing much merri
ment and advised him not to be angry
and say naughty words; that no doubt
some of his best friends had put the old
horse in the school house in the spirit of
fun only.
Her councel won the day. The teacher
subsided, yielded, succumbed. He took
with him a shovel, a quantity of soap, ,
stable fork, broom, jnop-rag, grain
sack, wheelborrow,' ordered a barrel of
water and, as tie now remembers, com
menced humming to himself that old
fnmiliar hymn, "Praise God from Whom
all Blessings Flow," proceeded to re
pair all damage done'
To the old school house
That Hallowe'en night
By. the Stafford's old horse,
The Schoolboard, Doctor and Ike.
Football in the Afternoon and Union
Services at Night
With the air as balmy as a day in
May, and the sunshine as warm and
bright as "the good old summer time"
the annual Thanksgiving day was cele
brated in this city. During the morn
ing very little business was done, and
during the afternoon, visiting was the
sole purpose of the people. The din
ner was passed very quietly, and all
seemed well satisfied with what the
year had brought them. During the
afternoon, the football game was the
leading attraction, and was witnessed
by a good sized crowd . of eager and
enthusiastic people. Plattsmouth won
the game by a score of 10 to 1, both
teams showing lack of practice, and
was a very pleasant affair. Clarence
Beal, who played left half back for the
home team, made two long runs and a
touch down in each case, which made
the bleachers resound with cheers.
The Union services at the Christian
church in the evening was well attend
ed and enjoyed by all of the crowded
house. The opening was "Onward
Christian Soldier," by the choir of the
church and the reading of the procki
mation issued by Governor Sheldon, by
Rev. J. H. Salsbury, with a solo by Mrs.
Mae Morgan, and a song, a Thanks
giving number by the quartette, con
sisting of Victor Anderson, Joseph
Wales, J. R. Rummerfield and D. C.
York. Then the prayer by Rev. Sals
bury, and a short talk, and the intro
duction of the speaker of the evening
Rev. A. A. Randall, by Rev. A. L.
Zink. The address of Rev. Randall
contained thoughts that were truly
sublime, and clothed in very beautiful
language, he holding the attention of
the audience to the end in a very inte
resting talk. Taking it all in all, the
entertainment was one which consisted
of all the parts being rendered in that
excellence which makes the entire pro
gram worthy of praise. As one man
from out of the city said this morning
"it was well worth a trip which he
made from Albion, to hear the evening's
Former Citizen Visiting Here.
Roscoe F. Dean and wife, formerly of
this place but now of South Haven,
Mich., came in Wrednesday evening and
is visiting with relatives aed friends in
and south of the city. Mr. Dean is
very enthusiastic in regard to the place
in which he lives, saying it is four hours
by boat across the lake to Chicago, and
he turns his home into a summer resort
during the warm season, besides con
ducting a fruit farm, sending his fruits
to Chicago, which is always a good
Elias S. Frye No Better.
Mrs. Thomas Frye. who has been at
Iowa City, Iowa, for some time nursing
her brother-in-law, Elias S. Frye, re
turned home yesterday morning and re
ports Mr. Frye as being in no way im
proved. He has a cancer and it has
eaten his neck to such an extent that
the trochea is exposed for some three
or four inches. No hopes are enter
tained for his recovery, though a physi
cian whom they have from New York,
says he can effect a cure. Mr. Frye is
well advanced in years and with none
two much strenght to combat the disease
makes the struggle for life and health
one against odds, though he is making
a manfull fight.
Miss Bessie Brady, of This City, and
Mr. John Cox, of Olewein, Iowa.
John Cox, of Olewein. Iowa, stepped
off the train last Wnesday ami quietly
walked up the street and secured a
license at the court house, and in the
evening he" and his affianced bride. Miss
Bessie Brady, strolled over to the Meth
odist parsonage and were united in mar
riage by the Re. A. A. Randall, at
about 8 o'clock.
These two young people were school
mates in the pleasant little town of
Watson, Mo., where they grew up as
children, and while they learned their
lessons in the school they learned to
love each other, and though the ever-
changing circumstances of fortune sep
arated them they were ever constant in
each others love. After the school
days at Watson.were over, Mr. Cox
entered and took and . took a course at
the normal schxd at Peru, this state,
whPe Miss Bessie went to a school at
Craig, Mo. Here her health gave way
and she had to cease school, not having
an opportunity of completing the course
which had been her desire.
After the wedding, a reception of the
immediate friends was held at the home
of the parents, and the happy couple
departed on the late train for St. Jo
seph, Mo. At the station were congre
gated the "MandyClub" in force, of
which the bride was a member, intent
on giving the party a merry departing,
which they evidently did, and from the
amount of rice that was scattered over
the platform at the Burlington station,
they should surely have good luck.
After visiting at St. Joseph the newly
married pair will go to Northboro, Iowa,
where they will be the guests for a
short time with a sister of the bride,
and then will visit at Watson with the
groom's parents, returning here to visit
for a short time next Sunday, and will
be at home to their friends at Olewein
after the first of December.
She, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.
Brady, moved to this city some two years
since, and during her stay has been en
gaged as a saleslady in the Coates dry
goods company's store, being a very
efficient and courteous lady. Mr. Cox,
after having completed his course in
the school at Peru, entered the employ
of the Connor Bros., who operate a de
partment store at Hamburg, Iowa.
Here he soon was at the top, and was
made one of the purchasers as well as
the leading salesman. About a year
since ne was sent to Garden City, Iowa,
to open a store at that point, and after
continuing there for about six months
it was deemed advisable to move the
store to a larger town, and it was lo
cated at Olewein, where he has charge
of the establishment, which carries a
$30,000 stock and is enjoying a good
trade. There Mr. Cox has a home fur
nished for the winsome bride, which he
has secured in one of the fairest daugh
ters of our beauty garden of pretty
Death of William McCully, a Former
Citizen of Plattsmouth
The following is taken from the Con
don, (Oregon) Globe, of November 22,
1907, giving an account of the demise
of a former citizen of Plattsmouth,
where he was well known to many of
the older inhabitants, and where he was
particularly active in G. A. R. circles:
"William McCully died at the home of
his daughter, Mrs. Dan Thou venel on
Sunday at 3:30 in the afternoon after
eating a hearty meal, and apparently in
his usual health. The old gentleman
was born in Clarfield county, Penn.,
Oct. 1st, 1829, and at an early age en
listed in the Civil war on the Union side.
He resided at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, !
for a number of years, came to Wash- j
ington and from there to Condon two i
years ago, and died on Sunday, Xovem- !
ber 16th, as aforesaid. Thus passed :
away an old soldier full of years and i
honors, being wounded three times at
the battle of Gettysburg after taking '
part in many other engagements, fight- i
ing bravely for the Union. Mr. Mc- j
Cullj was for many years a member of j
the Methodist church. The funeral j
took place on Wednesday, services be
ing held at the house by Rev. G. W.
Riggs, after which his earthly remains
were laid to rest in the cemetery here,
amidst many sorrowing friends."
The Journal is informed that the de
ceased has a number of relatives living
in Cass county, among whom are severi 1
grandchildren- From the above it ap
pears that the old veteran died rather"!
suddenly, after living longer than the
usual years alloted mankind. He lacked
only two years of being 80 years of age.
During his residence here he made many
lasting friends, who will regret to learn
of his sudden death.
Received in Honor of Her Son.
Mrs. Mugdalin i Valleiy will give u
reception to her f rien Is thi afterrn.ou
and evening in honor of her Hon, I,. II.
Vallery and wife, who are here visiting
a few days. Mr. Vallery formerly livt
in this place, and has la-en away fr a
number of years. He is now loc ated at.
Hutchison, Kan., where he has tin
management of the Colorado Fuel and
Iron Co. About two months since these
young, people, wure-iuarried, and notic
ing able to get away lefore they take
advantage of the first opportunity to.
visit Mr. Vallery 's aged mother. They
expect to return to their home none
time tomorrow.
The Populist Vindicated by
Present Policies.
"Present conditions are certainly to a
great extent a vindication of those poli
cies and principles which have for year
been advocated by the jwpulist tarty, "
said Silas A. Holcomh, former gover
nor and justice of the supreme court of
Nebraska, and now a resident of Seat
tle, Wash. Judge Holcomh is now a
guest at the Lincoln hotel and will re
main in the city for two or three days.
He will also visit Omaha and his old
home at Broken Bow, returning to t he
west in about a week, says the Lincoln
"The course that has been pursued by
the national administration for the pa:;t
two or three years and the jolicy which
has been inaugurated in many of the
states, show that the populistic leaven
has been working and that the people
have been aroused to a realization of
the fact that in the past they have al
lowed themselves to be misrepresent d,
while the corporations and other special
interests have been all too well repre
sented," said the judge.
"If regulation of railroads ar.d other
corporations is effective, that II that
the populists or anyone else can ask for.
Thorough regulation and the prevention
of discrimination have always been ad
vocated by the populist party ami was
especially urged in the Kansas City
platform when Mr. Bryan was lami
nated. Government ownership ha? at
all times been looked upon as something
to be accomplished, if at all, in the dis
tant future and as a dernier resort.
Publicity, lack of discrimination aiiri
just regulation are the things most de
sired. The people are insistirg uroii
these and there seem. to be a divpii
tion upon the part of public officials to
accede to their wishes. Thus ai i n
listic theories being vindicate.'.
"The present financial situation pioves.
the soundness of another popi.listie
principle, that of the quaintitive theory
of money. The country has been doing
too much business for the amoui.t of
money at command. The volume of
credit money has been excessive in pro
portion to the real money and sufficient
of the latter could not be secured when
it was needed. Some plan should h
devised for increasing the volunr.e of
money, but what that plan should be 1
do not pretend to say.
"In such times as these cor fiueii e is
of the utmost importance, therefore
provision should be made for insuring
depositors in the banks against loss. If
the people are sure that they can get
their money they will not want it ar.dil
they are content to leave their ineiicy
in the banks no serious
with business can occur. I believe als
that postal savings banks would be a
good thing and would tend to keep
money out of safety deposit vaults anl
other hiding places."
Judge Holcomb states that he has;
eschewed politics since going to Wash
ington for the reason that he has felt
that his physical condition would riot al
low him to do more than attend to his
business. IIo has, however, kept ir
touch with the times, and as his health
has materially improved, he lxay be
heard from iri public life at some future
Department Discontinued.
Matt Leuck, who some tirr.e since
was transferred to Edgernor.t, where
he was assigned a position with the
Burlington, returned last evenii.g, as;
the place was discontinued on account
of the stringency of the money market,
and will go to work at his accustomed
position in the shops at this point.
They Spent a Merry Evening
Elmer Taylor and wife at their
pleasant home on North Seventh street
last Saturday evening gave a delight
ful evening party in honor of the g n
tleman's sister, Miss Celia Taylor, a
milliner apprentice at Fanger's de
partment store. The evening was
spent in games, music and refreshments.