Sumer cemetery records dawson county nebraska


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It was plain that the gun in my hand was a surprise, and the earnest entreaties of my five-year-old boy "not to shoot them" may also have given them pause. They said they were cold and hungry; I assured them that I had neither room nor food for them—little enough for my own babies.

At last they all went on to the house of our brother, Andrew Everett.

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I knew that they were foraging for a large party which was encamped in the grove. Soon they came back laden with supplies which they had obtained, and now they insisted on coming in to cook them , and the smell of spirits was so unmistakable that I could readily see that Andrew had judged it best to get rid of them as soon as possible, thinking that they would be back in camp by dark, and the whiskey, which they had obtained between here and Fremont, would have evaporated. But it only made them more insistent in their demands and some were looking quite sullen.

At last a young fellow, not an Indian—for he had long dark curls reaching to his shoulders—with a strategic smile asked in good English for a "drink of water. A giggle ran through the crowd at the expense of the strategist but it was plain they were growing ugly.

Now the older Indian took the opportunity to make them an earnest talk, and though it was against their wishes, he at last started them toward the grove. After a while Frank Everett, my nephew, who had come down to bolster up my courage, and the children went [35] to bed and to sleep, but no sleep for me; as the gray dawn was showing in the east, a terrific pounding upon the door turned my blood to ice.

Again and again it came, and at last I tiptoed to the door and stooped to look through the crack. A pair of very slim ankles was all that was visible and as I rose to my feet, the very sweetest music I had ever heard saluted me, the neigh of my pet colt Bonnie, who had failed to receive her accustomed drink of milk the previous evening and took this manner of reminding me. This was the only time we were ever menaced with actual danger, and many laughable false alarms at last cured me of my fears of a people among whom I now have valued friends. Hunter were pioneer settlers of Nebraska and Weeping Water, coming from Illinois by team.

Their first settlement in the state was near West Point in Cuming county where father staked out a claim in Things went well aside from the usual hardships of pioneer life, such as being out of flour and having to pound corn in an iron kettle with an iron wedge to obtain corn meal for bread. When the bottom of the kettle gave way as a result of the many thumpings of the wedge, a new plan was devised—that of chopping a hole in a log and making a crude wooden kettle which better stood the blows of the wedge.

This method of grinding corn was used until a trip could be made with an ox team, to the nearest mill, forty miles distant; a long and tedious trip always but much more so in this particular instance because of the high water in the streams which were not bridged in those days. These were small hardships compared to what took place when the home was robbed by Indians. These treacherous savages stripped the premises of all the live stock, household and personal effects. Cattle and chickens were killed and eaten and what could not be disposed of in this way were wantonly destroyed and driven off.

Clothing and household goods were destroyed so that little was saved except the clothing the members of the family had on.

From the two feather beds that were ripped open, mother succeeded in gathering up enough feathers to make two pillows and these I now have in my home. They are more than a half century old. A friendly Indian had come in advance of the hostile band and warned the little settlement of the approach of the Indians with paint on their faces.

His signs telling them to flee were speedily obeyed and in all probability this was all that saved many lives, as the six or seven families had to keep together and travel all night to keep out of the reach of the Indians until the people at Omaha could be notified and soldiers sent to the scene.

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As no one had been killed by the Indians, it was the desire of the soldiers to merely make the Indians return the stolen property and stock, but as much property was destroyed, the settlers received very little. A number of the Indians were arrested and tried for robbing the postoffice which was at our home.

My parents were the principal witnesses and after the Indians were acquitted, it was feared they might take revenge, so they were advised to leave the country. With an ox team and a few ragged articles of clothing they started east. When he reached Rock Bluffs, one of the early river towns of Cass county, father succeeded in obtaining work. His wages were seventy-five cents a day with the privilege of living in a small log cabin. There was practically no furniture for the cabin, corn husks and the few quilts that had been given them were placed on the floor in the corner to serve as a place to sleep.

Father worked until after Christmas time without having a coat. At about this time, he was told to take his team and make a trip into Iowa. Just as he was about to start, his employer said to him: "Hunter, where's your coat? An explanation of the purpose of the trip into Iowa will be of interest. The man father worked for was a flour and meat freighter with a route to Denver, Colorado. In the winter he would go over into Iowa, buy hogs and drive them across the river on the ice, to Rock Bluffs, where they were slaughtered and salted down in large freight wagons.

In the spring, from eight to ten yoke of oxen would be hitched to the wagon, and the meat, and often times an accompanying cargo of flour, would be started across the plains to attractive markets in Denver.

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The writer was born at Rock Bluffs in We moved to Weeping Water in when four or five dwellings and the little old mill that stood near the falls, comprised what is now our beautiful little city of over 1, population. During the early sixties, many bands of Indians numbering from forty to seventy-five, visited Weeping Water. It was on one of their visits that the writer made the best record he has ever made, as a foot racer. The seven or eight year old boy of today would not think of running from an Indian, but half a century ago it was different. It was no fun in those days to be out hunting cattle and run onto a band of Indians all sitting around in a circle.

In the morning the cattle were turned out to roam about at will except when they attempted to molest a field, and at night they were brought home if they could be found. If not the search was continued the next day. Some one was out hunting cattle all the time it seemed.

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With such a system of letting cattle run at large, it was really the fields that were herded and not the cattle. Several times a day some member of the family would go out around the fields to see if any cattle were molesting them. One of our neighbors owned two Shepherd dogs which would stay with the cattle all day, and take them home at night.

It was very interesting to watch the dogs drive the cattle. One would go ahead to keep the cattle from turning into a field where there might be an opening in the rail fence, while the other would bring up the rear. They worked like two men would. But the family that had trained dogs of this kind was the exception; in most cases it was the boys that had to do the herding.

It was on such a mission one day that the writer watched from under cover of some bushes, the passing of about seventy-five Indians all on horseback and traveling single file. They were strung out a distance of almost a mile. Of course they were supposed to be friendly, but there were so many things that pointed to their tendency to be otherwise at times, that we were not at all anxious to meet an Indian no matter how many times he would repeat the characteristic phrase, "Me good Injun.

Hungate's parents being residents of our vicinity at that time. Her sister, Mrs. Barnes, now resides in Weeping Water. Thus it will be seen that many Indian experiences and incidents have been woven into the early history of Weeping Water.


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In conclusion to this article it might be fitting to give the Indian legend which explains how the town received its name of Weep [39] ing Water. The poem was written by my son, Rev. Hunter, of Boston, and is founded on the most popular of the Indian legends that have been handed down. They, the red men, feared no hardships; Battles were their chief delights; Victory was their great ambition In their awful bloody fights. Then one day the war cry sounded Over valley, hill and plain.

From the North came dusky warriors, From that vast unknown domain. When the news had reached the valley That the foe was near at hand, Every brave was stirred to action To defend his home, his land. To the hills they quickly hastened There to wait the coming foe.

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Each one ready for the conflict Each with arrow in his bow. Awful was the scene that followed, Yells and warwhoops echoed shrill. But at last as night descended Death had conquered; all was still. Then the women in the wigwams Hearing rumors of the fight, Bearing flaming, flickering torches Soon were wandering in the night. There they found the loved ones lying Calm in everlasting sleep. Little wonder that the women, [40] Brokenhearted, all should weep. Hours and hours they kept on weeping, 'Til their tears began to flow In many trickling streamlets To the valley down below.

These together joined their forces To produce a larger stream Which has ever since been flowing As you see it in this scene. Indians christened it Nehawka Crying Water means the same. In this way the legend tells us Weeping Water got its name. Jacob Vallery were living in Glenwood, Iowa, in , when they decided to purchase a store from some Indians in Plattsmouth. Vallery went over to transact the business, and Mrs. Vallery was to follow in a few days. Upon her arrival in Bethlehem, where she was to take the ferry, she learned that the crossing was unsafe on account of ice floating in the river.

There were two young men there, who were very anxious to get across and decided to risk the trip. They took a letter to her husband telling of the trouble. The next day, accompanied by these two young men, Mr. Vallery came over after her in a rowboat, by taking a course farther north.

The boat was well loaded when they started on the return trip. Some of the men had long poles, and by constantly pushing at the ice they kept the boat from being crushed or overturned. Vallery's oldest daughter was the third white child born in the vicinity of Plattsmouth. And this incident happened soon after her arrival in Vallery had the baby in a cradle and was preparing dinner when she heard a knock at the door. Before she could reach it, an Indian had stepped in, and seeing some meat on the table asked for it.

She nodded for him to take it, but he seemed to have misunderstood, and then asked for a drink of water. While Mrs. Vallery was getting the drink, he reached for the baby, but she was too quick for him and succeeded in reaching the baby first. He then departed without further trouble. At one time the Vallerys had a sick cow, and every evening several Indians would come to find out how she was. She seemed to get no better and still they watched that cow.

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