The Falls City tribune. (Falls City, Neb.) 1904-191?, April 02, 1909, Image 2

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    Reminiscences of a Wayfarer
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Some of the Important Events of the Pioneer Days
of Richardson County and Southeast Nebraska, as
remembered by the writer, who has spent fifty
one years here
There were considerable set
tlements on the Muddy and the
small streams emptying into it.
such as the McKIroy branch and
the Sardine further west, hut 1
am able to give the names ol
on I v a few of the most promi
nent families.
On the McKIroy creek in ad
dition to those already mention
ed wen* the McCoys and the
Joneses. With the McCoys
there was a young man who
afterwards attained a somewhat
equivocal, hut decidedly notor
ions reputation as a gorilla
chief in Maryland and Virginia,
during the Southern Civil War.
His name was Harry Oilmore.
He was a harum-scarum, dare
devil sort of fellow, and in
tin* spring of I'.V.i came near
having a shooting scrape with a
Certain Dr. 'I'. J. Dunn, then a j
resident of Salem, and il he wnsi
to be believed, something1 of nj
desperado, though I have in»!
certain evidence that lu* ever:
shot anyone.
()n the occasion l reter to lie !
drew his revolver and pointed!
it at < iilniore. who was unarmed, j
Or there might have been some1
shooting. The trouble occurred
in front of a house, near where!
Wanner’s drug store now stands, !
that was in course ol construe !
tion. Two or three men were;
on top the house was only one
story, and about ten feet high
and they said after the trouble
was over, that if Dunn had shot!
t.ilmore they would have killed |
him with their hatchets, as they'
were in striking distance, and
ready to act. 1 have no recol
lection what the row was about
though 1 was near them when
Dunn drew his revolver, hut as
that kind ol heroic displays
were of frequent occurrence,
especially where the other lei
low had no gun, the circum
stance attracted little attention,
and was regarded as a perfectly
harmless pastime.
It is both interesting and
amusing to recall some of the
ridiculous antics of a class of
young men, many of whom were
n evidence one time and anoth
er from IK'S till actual war com
menced in 1 11, in this and
other towns in the territory.
They were anxious that the
people should know and keep
m mind, the very important
fact that they were southern
gentlemen, (most of them were
from over the Missouri river in
Holt and Andrew counties), from
the first families in the chi valric
south, ami that any one of them
was a full match for any five of
the ordinary yahoo's, who had
been so unfortunate as to have
first seen the light north of
Mason A' Dixon’s line These
young Don Quixotes usually
went armed to the teeth loaded
with big revolvers, one on each
side, much as sea going people
load a ship, adjusting the cargo
so that the vessel would main
tain its balance and right itself
on the stormiest seas to In* en
countered. The balance, how
ever, in many cases, was now
and then disturbed by additions
to the armament in the shape
of a murderous bowie knife
strapped to the person of tlie
warrior, and in nearly all cases
by a plentiful supply of irregu
larily stowed ballast of fortv
rod whiskey.
All these were cheap imita
tions of an order of things that
had grown up in the south
where distinctions had been in
augurated between the slave
holding planter class and the
poor white trash, among whom,
in a way, the aristocracy 111us
established, had come to asso
ciate the non slave holding jk o
pie of the north; and the young
bloods of that exclusive and
'.self styled superior caste, had
; sought, ou all occasions ol con
; tact with the mud sills of the
north that is the name they
i were known by to impress
| them by .ill manner of insolent
bravado, with that unpalatable
tact. This foolish and falso no
I (ion was spreading wider and
wider as time passed, and the
, two sections of the country
were rapidly becoming more
estranged and hostile, and the
absurb cheap John exhibitions
indicated, were the natural et
fects ol such a cause.
In another day, and under an
other social order not unlike
that in vogue in the southern
states in ante-helium dav-. one
of the privileged classes who
had killed another of the class
of no privilege, had the lawful
right to be tried for the offense
by a jury of his pirrs, that is, a
jury composed ol his class, to
the exclusion of all others.
Such a right did not exist in the
south bv express statute law.
but it did by .1 custom more- uni
versally observed and enforced,
than any law ever was.
There came a test of personal
courage and lighting qualities
among the people ot the two
sections, and it was found that
there were just as good men on
one side as on the other, and all
controversy on that head ceased
long ago, and the question of
class privilege lias also been
settled and settled right. I Jut
1 have been digressing.
There were several other
families on the Muddy of whom
no mention lias been made. Ben
Henchman was among the early
settlers, and his oldest son has
the honor of being the tirst
white baby born in the county.
His name is Frank, now past
the middle age, and with his
brother, the only surviving
members of the family, are still
living on the old homestead
three or four miles north of
Falls City William McK.
Maddox, a brother of Wilson M
mentioned in these papers,
came here in isaft. married and
bought all the land ndjoing his
home farm .1 little south of the
Henchman place; raised a large
family, most of which are still
in life and citizens of the coun
ty, and departed this life about
two and a half years ago.
Isaac Clark opened a farm a
little west of the Harkendorf
homestead, and a certain Mr.
Arnett located a little west of
Clark and was a justice of the
peace most of the time he lived
there. I didn't admire the man,
nor was I at all sorry when he
left the country.
On tin* other side of the
Muddy ami about where Verdon
now stands, Mr..\sbur\ Walm’s
lv located, though 1 think his
quarter section was pre empted
by a man named Sloan, from
whom] Walmsly purchased it
Walmsly enlisted in the Union
Army during the Civil war and
died in the service. He left a
widow and several children.
His son, Christ Walmsly is with
us.’and is one of Richardson
county's most successful farm
ers. I do not know of any
other member of that family.
Further np stream and on the
same side, two brothers, John
anil Charles Cornell settled at
an early day. They were from
the stati of Maryland, liberally
educated, and descended from
the old Revolutionary stock
who believed in the rights of
the individual as well as in the
rights of the state: and above
all they believed in that kind
of liberty that guarantees to
each of Cod’s creature*, the
right to earn his or her own
bread and to eat it in peace.
They established excellent
farms in that neighborhood, did
their whole duty as citizens, and
i left many descendants, some of
I whom are -till citizens of the
county. John F. Fornell, son
of the elder John, was Auditor
of State for Nebraska, during
the last four years of the last
(century, lie died some two or
i theree years ayro. < 'harles For
: Hell has a son still in the same
neighborhood, and 1 think is
Iiviny on the old home farm,
though I have not the pleasure
of his personal acquaintance.
I think his name is Headier Cor
lie 11.
There wa> another early set*
(tier up then- of the name of
Cunningham. At this moment
I cannot give his Christian name,
though I knew him intimately
anti well in the early days. He
was a man of great learning, a
scholar and a classic, but he
chose to come to a westesn ter
ritory. help to build the future
state and devote himself to
rural pursuits as well as to his
boohs. He has lung been one of
the sil* nt majority. One of lii.s
sons Thomas ('. is yet a citizen
of the county, honored and res
pected by all. For many
years this son was prominent
in the political and business
affairs of the county and state,
has been honored by the people
with many public offices of trust
and confidence, and in every in
stance discharged the duties i
imposed, with scrupulous lion
esty. There are no better men
than he in all Nebraska. Mr. ,
Cunningham has not lost inter
est in public affairs though in
later years lie has devoted his
whole time to improving his
farm and caring for his family,
and in obeying tin1 great com
maud to love his neighbor as he
loves himself.
He has a brother living in
South San Francisco,California,
who. thirty years ago was the
most conspicuous figure in the
current political and legislative
fields of this state. He subtie
;«ju«*n11 y abandoned politics to
| engage in mining ventures in
j the western gold Helds and
finally settled permanently in
the vicinity of the great Pacific
. t tv. The brother's name is E.
E, < 'unningham, who is well
| known to a large part of the
in ople, not only of this county,
but of the whole state.
Among other* of the old set
tiers whose names occur to me
j an Amos Frank, Oliver Fuller,
and Harrison Mark. They wen
early on tile ground and they
an- here yet, hale and hearty,
with every promise of many
years of active usefulness They
are among our best people and
in years past contributed their
lull share towards making the
country rich and prosperous.
In their day, they, with others,
bought land from the govern
ment for i< 1.lT. per acre, and
have lived to see that same
land grow in value till it is now
worth in the market, from SlOo
t<> *1 per acre: have lived to
see school houses and churches
dot the country like mile stones
on some familiar road as they
r« ally are on the great highway
of intellectual and moral pro
gress that runs all tlie weft of
li .man history like a golden
thread have seen the country
gr dimmed with railroads, those
hi raids of the ever advancing
tide of civilization, reaching out
with their Hriarian fingers in all
directions, from the shores of
tin stormy Atlantic, over plain
and mountain to the peaceful j
sea in the west; from those ■
n giltyr inland seas in the north, 1
to the placid waters of the!
Southern gffelf, binding the coun
try together with thews of steel
never to be broken bv the ma
chinations of uneasy and ambi
V mus political adventures.
What I write here will perish,
will find its way to the waste pa
per baskets and rubbish heaps of
t country,but if it i- pleasant
to travel in memory,in a reverse ^
A pure, wholesome,
reliable Grape Cream of
Tartar Baking Powder
The cream of tartar used in Dr. Price's Baking
Powder is in the exact torm and composition in
which it occurs in the luscious, healthful grape.
Improves the flavor
and adds to the health
fulness of the food
jvo a i^tme j
order, the road that ha* been
made long by the flight of yAirs,
it is just as pleasant to commit
the attendant incident* of the
journey to writing, for, while
in their telling the memories of
others, who were fellow travel
ers and are plod ing, still,
be refreshed, the same service
is being" performed in my own
case, and thus ultimate rorgvt
fulness. the certain fate of all
tilings human, will be uef< rred
a little longer.
Further up the Muddy, and
about where Mr. Andy Tynan's
farm is—but as Andy owns most
of the land up there this desig
nation of the place is anything
but definite there occurred, in
tile winter of 1'.'" and 7> 1. on -
those awful crum s that blacken
tlie world, pollute humanity
itself, stain tr- fa;r name o
any christia community, ar i
savor on!. of the furies*.I hob.
I have not the leisure, nor tb •
space in this paper, to recourr:
the tacts * that horrible trans
action that resulted in the nun
der of a man and th • i'orciab! -
expulsion of a woman from th
house in her niylit dress to
freeze to death on the Idea
prairie within two or three
hundred yards of her home. /.
I was connected prof* ssionalJ■
with the pro's* intion of tile hr
man devil who did the mischief,
tile womai husband, I a •
sufficiently advised of the fact
s<> far as they were ever known
to recite them in another pape*.
Sold only in
Moisture Proof
No woman
ever once bought
Uneeda Biscuit
and then willingly
bou gKt any other
kind of soda crackers.
No biscuit can be the
National Biscuit unless it is