Ox team mired in mud

You bet I earned them, and lots of other stuff beside for I had then learned already, how to get my Clothing free:,, -- The third year I hired at $120 and a free horse to ride, every other Sunday;;,, which was my day off – to see the girls of course, [illegible] had no other ones to see!! – Yes I forgot – 10 Times a year a Preacher would come in our settlement – which is called to this day:,, Long [Pond?} or [ ]uiver settlement;, and such a day would be a big Jubilee; when old and young would turn out, on foot or with the [  ]wagen, to see the great and holy men.,, -- By this time I was well initiated in the farm work, and always willing to do my share; -- I hired to Wm Bruning, for the nice sum of $240.00/100 a year; besides all the Overalls and workshirts I needed, and washing and mending of Clothing Thrown in, besides two horses and a second hand lumber wagon, were at my command: at any time on Sunday – If I wanted to take my best girl to Lumberwagon riding; “ on moonlight nights These several years, I would be at the Creek or a rich Cornfield, with my shot gun;,, to Kill Duck Geese - - or any other game, that came in my way and There was a great abundance of all kinds,
     Especially Ducks -- -- Geese & Cranes –

The meat I gave to the farmers, for the shot and powder I needed – and the feathers and skins, I saved up, until the end of the season, and sold them for a nice little pile of Cash. -- -- --
After these years of hard knocks, and making a little money besides ; -- I rented 40 acres of fine land. – boarded with a friend at $2.00/100 per week – bought a Yoke of Oxen, and went to farming on my own hook; I helped around in The neighborhood for 50 Cent a day, and boarding myself – That Year I had a good Crop, and made some money;,, -- so I traded my Oxen for an old mare, and bought a filley to work with her –rented a 120 acre farm about one half very sandy, and the other good, but low bottom -- -- so the high water took everything; and This brought me back, to the Year before; besides being in debt, for about one half years board money. -- -- The next year I went to Prairie breaking --- traded my horses for two yoke of Cattle – and that year I made enough money to pay my debt; and had $175.00/100 to the good -- -- Now I felt encouraged – bought 80 acres of bottom land – paid $200.00—down, and the balance in two years. -- -- --- --- I worked here – There – Everywhere – at good wages. ---
Of my own land I broke about 30 acres, planted the same in Corn, and harvested a [illegible]  The next year I broke some more of the corn land, and served Timothy, on the [   ] years everything.  The spring showed up very nice, and my Corn showed up very fine – Then a very rainy time set in – and I lost everything!! ---- Even one of my Ox teams, mired in the mud, and perished after night -- -- Now I sold off everything that I had left – so as to get enough money together to pay for my Land; and get my Deed! –

Yes; Prunes! – When I offered the money; I found the man had no tittle [sic] to the land himself and I had to loose my $200.00/100 besides some interest I had paid:,, -- -- -- -- - -

Now I took my money and bought me another span of horses; rented better and higher land – and till the War broke out; I had accumulated a nice sum of money ; and about 1500 bushels of Corn in The Crip, on the place where I boarded:, We had now gotten to the Year 1861 -- -- the Year of the Rebellion had  broken out!!  -- -- --- -- I studied every [     ] of Newspaper, That I could get hold of: ,, listend to the many speeches, of The great men, Especially to our afterwards beloved Abraham Lincoln and Stephen [ ] Douglas  The best speakers of them days;,, and many others: ,,  What I didn’t understand, I talked over, with my dear old friends;,, in Bruning – Westing – Walker – [ eikirk]. – Yes, and a number of others; whose memory will not be forgotten; for they were all dear to me; and had always treated me as one of Their Son’s:” -- -- -- --

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

Fascinating!--the ups & downs, the accounting, the constant change. Makes me feel better about not doing the same job for 30 years! Variety IS the spice of life!!

Kim said...

I can picture where his farms might have been, lots of bottom lands along the Illinois River there!

Collagemama said...

I still don't know why he went to Havana, Illinois.


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