The Diary of George H. Hildt
June to December, 1857
Pioneer of Johnson County
August, 1941 (Vol. 10, No. 3), pages 260 to 298.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.
Charles Wood arrived in Kansas territory from their home in Canal Dover, Ohio, about the first of June, 1857. After spending several days looking over the land and visiting friends who had preceded them, they selected adjoining claims in southern Johnson county, naming their settlement Tuscarora.  Other Ohio friends  took claims near them, and in the fall William C. Quantrill,  who later became the notorious guerrilla leader, came up from Franklin county to join his schoolmates. Quantrill filed on a claim near Hildt's. The claims were a part of the Shawnee Indian lands opened for purchase and preemption on November 19, 1857.  Two weeks later Hildt filed declarations of intention at the Lecompton land office for himself and several of his neighbors. About the first of January, 1858, he left for St. Louis, Where he Worked for a short time before returning to his home in Ohio. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in an Ohio regiment, and presumably did not again live in Kansas. 
as he wrote in the journal, was "to keep a record of what I do & hear of others doing." This record,
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 261
diary form, covers the period from June to December, 1857.It was written in pencil in a small leather-bound volume, and was in tended for his family and friends in Ohio. The diary provides an interesting day-by-day account of life on the Kansas frontier, and gives important sidelights on the politics of the time. It came into the possession of the Kansas Historical Society through Mrs. J. E. Hildt, a daughter-in-law of the author. It is reproduced here without change except for an occasional Word necessary to clarify the text.
II. THE DIARY
Shaw says Qwindare [Quindaro]  never will be much of a town the Delaware reservation running back about forty miles and no squatters allowed to settle yet on the land.  Levenworth City 35 miles from Lawrence splendid road and Coach fare 3.00. Camden a little town on the Missouri above Lexington with no Steamboat Landing. the channels of the river having changed since the town was located a usual occurence on this river Where the channel is constantly changing at every rise of Water. Gambling on board last night for money. One man lost 260 all the money he possessed and won by a professional black leg. He then offered to stake his note with the captain or check for security on a game of poker for 200 dollars, which was accepted. The game Was played and Won by the unfortunate loser and he rose from the table minus only 60 dollars instead of 460 had he lost. One of these lottery jewelers on board yesterday picking up stray dimes. He had his prizes arranged on numbers on the table and by throwing dice the number which turned up took the prize answering to the number. He had the valueable prizes arranged on low and high numbers or all 3s or all sixes of something of that sort the numbers which turned up most frequent were from 20 to 30 and upon these numbers small prizes were arranged. 1.00 a throw at first and next 50 cts One luck[y] man thru forty four, and won a gold watch Which the lottery man offered him $35 for. All other who engaged in the game appeared to lose some ten fifteen and 20 dollars and many from 2 to 5 dolls. I invested 50 cts and drew a comb & brush Worth about that amt John did the same and drew a blank.
262 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Harris House. 
Leavenworth City situated on the Missouri a very nice site for a town not any grading of any acct required to make it just as it should be John & I strolled out this morning saw 2 Surveyors Offices and one drug store just the place for a new business of almost any kind. The Hotel very much crowded so much so that five of [us] roomed together last night in three beds I had John of course for my bedfellow A meeting of the unterrified this afternoon [3 o'clock, June 6] and one of the free state men to night. Will be on hand and try and report proceedings. Hotel fare two dollars a day or five dollars a week without Lodging Not quite as bad as I expected. fare from Leavenworth to Kansas City by Boat 2.00 The Hotel keeper seemed to have a preference for Ohio men or we should not have had a room. Mechanics of all descriptions appear to be on demand. The Ladies are here as well as in the states. At Kansas City [Mo.] went to the post Office first thing and meet two young girls of that place with hoops black silk Joseph and Nun bonnets Here have saw about a dozen ladies but some of them common dressed of course but the generality of themvery fine looking women. Democratic Meeting at Leavenworth City. Easton  about fifty present though seemed to be coming during the speech He was aware that another ticket was gotten up & he could call them nothing else but disorganizers as they did [not] act in accordance with the convention held at Lecompt[on] of which they were members 10 Had the D met openly and nominated their ticket [but?] they met in secret conclave and have had some half dozen tickets the ticket today may not be the one elected A mongrel ticket got [up] composed of free state men & other Democ &c related the anecdote of the boy &c eating the said party will eat until dead A voice in the crowd [said] dont say anything against free state men Maj Moore then made a speech in which he said not that the disorganizers intended to be such but that they had been misled and that he hoped
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 263
that they would suffer themselves to be deceived no longer He was followed by Anderson [John Henderson] of the [Leavenworth] Journal who denounced the whole mongrel ticket and every man on it Looked upon them all as abolisionists and would as soon shoot an abolishoner down on the plain as a dog was very vindictive the meeting then adjourned.  Sheriff Jones [of Douglas Co.] was there and the hard[est] countenance of any man I believe I ever saw he carried he was neatly dressed however and the phiz presented a strange contrast to his clothing From Leavenworth we came down to Wyandott Ci[ty] where Bill McMass  is at work and making as he says lots of money. Wyandot quite an embryo town  Houses cost a great deal of money and rents are very high. Several he pointed out to us which cost in the states about 100 rent here for from 30 to 50 dolls per month according to location.
Boarding 6.00 per week. He owned a share in the town and had sold a few lot[s] from it Leaving the rest at a very low figure
Leaving Wyandot we started to Quindaro and were overtaken by a storm which for violence exceeded anything I ever witnessed Trees fell in every direction dust blinded us and we were brought up standing by seeing a tree fall directly over our path rails rattled around us and we concluded to stop at the next house which proved to be an Indian one Old Mises Hicks  claimed to be proprietor a Wyandot Indian She conversed before us to an old Indian sqaw in her native tongue though she spoke English as well as any of us In the front room or the room in which we were was a pianer a calash top Baby wagon with springs and silver plated hubs pictures lounges and all of the best material She had horses cattle wagons a very nice garden and orchard. I think Marion Bear would not have ever thought of Indians if she had been there and I dont think that she would have thought her an Indian if she had not conversed in that tongue. That was the first apprehension I had of her Indian Blood.
After the storm we trudged on towards Quindaro carrying our
264 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
carpet sacks and enjoying the cooling breeze after the refreshing shower. Quindaro laid out quite extensively and a great deal of money expended in grading the streets Quite a bluff bank in ascending from the river though it contains rock which reduces the price of grading to the Co: a very rough site for a village though the Steamboat Landing is said to be the best on the river We got a team here and started for Olathe, the Shawnee Indian word for Beautiful John [Diehl] Charlie [Wood] & Myself and two gentlemen from Quindaro accompa[ny]ing us. We traveled some distance until we reached the prairie and just at the edge a fine cultivated Indian farm was before us Choteau's it is called and looked like an old Tuscarawas farm or one farmed by a neat farmer  My Ideas was set up at once. The prairie looked beautiful covered with flowers of all shades and colors and kept growing more and more beautiful until we reached Olathe. I think the town very appropriately named.
The laid out plat contains 320 acres of land and the houses I should think number about 20 altogether. John D is putting up one for $200 Houses of all kinds are contracting to be put up and I think that Olathe next spring will not be the little town which it is now. Saw the New Ham[p]shire girl next morning think her tolerable handsome and judging by the appearance of the table I should think her a tolerable cook also two very essential points you know.
Bright and early on the 9th of June we started for Stanton  Charlie having bought a mule team and wagon here he took us down We called to see a few claims which were offered for sale on our way down Halted at noon at a shanty and bought 1/2 gall of milk and carried it over to the boys in a large tin pan. As the sun was hot we got under the wagon and all headed round to the milk pan and had a fine laugh over the thought of our Dover friends taking a peep at us in that situation Our 1/2 gall of milk disappeared as well as some of our biscuits and snaps they did not taste a bit stale. We traveled on until within about six miles of Stanton  one mule gave signs of giving out and we took it more moderate and at last concluded to camp on the prairie about 4 miles from Stanton We unharnessed the mules and turned them out to graze while we took supper Our supper was the same as our dinner with the exception of the milk water supplied its place After supper we made our sleeping arrangements which consisted of removeing everything out
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 265
of the wagon and laying down two comforts on the bottom of the box which Charlie had brought from Quindaro Upon these we laid covering up with John['s] Blanket John D['s] shawl and another comfort We laid two and two with our feet together in the middle and 2 of us heading to the tail board and the other two the front We took nothing off but our hats & boots, but feltvery comfortable with the exception of one thing and that was that whenever we looked up we saw stars, and at every side prairie and sky met our view We would have been much pleased to have had some of the Dover boys see us in that situation we must of looked quite cosy though we were packed very tight. We were afraid it would rain as it lightened in the south but did not come up our way. A heavy dew fell however which saturated our blanket completely, though underneath we were as dry as a chip. I was awake at 12. 3. & heard John Bear calling to the mules at 5. when we all got up, harnessed up the mules and started for Stanton feeling quite refreshed after our first camp on the prairie. We reached there sometime after breakfast though we had none we made out of our carpet sacks. Saw Torry first going in and out of his cabin as if he was washing dishes and cleaning up He appeared quite glad to see us and had a great many questions to ask about the Furnace &c Beeson & Bill Q[uantrill] were out after the cattle. they are breaking prairie with three yoke. they all appeared glad to [see] us and were much pleased that we intended to stay with them until tomorrow. They live in a cabin about 14 ft square filled up with trunks meal bags bedding pots pans buckets guns tin ware side meat &c. For dinner we had pan cakes molasses, wild goose berries & side meat and it tasted right good I tell you Wild strawberries grow here in abundance we had quite a feast today minus the cream Beeson has a prairie claim I think about as good as any that I have seen Torry owns one of timber as a small portion of prairie  Bill Q[uantrill] own[s] one entirely of timber.  We remained all night here and slept all over the cabin the floor was covered with beds and sleepers. Left in the morning
266 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
for Lawrence and passed through Palmyra and prairie City  at the latter we found a nice young man who offered to show us claims and John B [air] thought it just the thing. But on examination of our maps we found it about 45 miles from the Missouri and about 15 from Lawrence, and [we] would rather have claims down about Olathe where it is only from 16 to 20 miles from there to K[ansas] City Came into Lawrence about 4 O'clock looked around at the city until about 6 and drove out a mile to camp.
Slept in our wagon had not yet procured a tent and during the night we were aroused by quite a smart shower beating in upon us As John & I slept in the wagon we were the greatest sufferers Charlie & John slept under on the ground We were soon under upon the boys w[h]ere a council was hastily held and we concluded to decamp, and procure the nearest shelter I was safely lodged in a privy near at hand & the rest took themselves to a carr[i]age which stood near Again the old expression was what would our Dover friends say to see us in that situation Or what would Marion say to see John with his blue blanket pacing rather hurriedly to an old carriage for shelter. It did not rain as much as we expected however and we were soon again at the wagon making vain attempts to sleep One of our mules which had been lame all through the trip from Olathe was so badly crippled that we could not go out of a walk We concluded to wait until after dinner on him and look round at Lawrence
Lawrence is not near as large a place as Leavenworth but has a much more pleasing site. Business of all kinds very brisk and a great many strangers in town inquiring and prying into everything. One Jewelry & Drug store looked as well as anything of the kind I have saw in the States Ladies appear on the streets in full dress Hoops flounces and nun bonnets appear to be the rage Every thing you ask the price of is ten cts-i e of small-those which you bye in the states for 5 and you cannot get a copper off your hands without giving it away 3 cts is the lowest coin they know in business
Charlie procured a tent here a thing which we very much needed as we had found sleeping in an open wagon in a thunderstorm was not very agreeable. We made as far as Wakarusa Creek and camped as our mule was getting worse. Here we put up our tent and felt again as if we had a home or at least a kind of a protection against the weather We all slept soundly and we intended to make an early start and reach Olathe before night but we found our mule
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 267
so lame that we could not use him. We concluded however to hitch the other alone to the wagon and two of us walk at a time and in that way we possibly might reach Olathe. We got within 12 miles of it and camped at a little town called McCamish  This morning Sunday we made Olathe about 11 O'Clock pitched our tent and made ourselves comfortable- Quite a dull day nothing doing The shops all kept open however for loungers. We had supper to night cooked by our Quindaro cook Charlie and his slapjacks were very good under the circumstances as they were cooked in the smoke of a fire built on the ground as the wind was very high and would have been poor cooking in a stove in a house, let alone cooking out in the open air. The wind kept up high all night and this morning no better. Our tent went down-one of them-and we concluded not to put it up for we had two Charlie got one at Fish's Hotel. This prairie country is noted for its high winds even the hottest day does not appear more than pleasant as gentle breezes blow continually.
Monday June 15. Election day in Kansas  Great excitement One Tennessean floored five men in about two minutes bowie knives & revolvers were drawn but were not used fighting swearing and rowing kept up until sundown or until the citizen of Missouri returned to Westport when no further disturbance was made I did not expect to see such a crowd in Kansas Scarcely a man could be seen who had no arms and they appeared to want to show them. One man I noticed looked as if he had no shirt on at least he had none as far as I could see yet he carried a large size Colts revolver strapped to his waist For supper we had excellent slapjacks very good fried shoulder tea sugar & thats all Perhaps you would all like to know what I call a slapjack. I can tell you very easily how they are made and if you want to try and see how they taste you here have the receipt. We make a batter of flour and water and at the first baking put in some soda cream tartar & salt. After the first baking we try and have from a pint to a quart of batter left which gets sour from one meal to another to this we add a little soda & flour & water and bake them in a pan similar to your small thin frying pan which does not belong to your stove. They are as light as a fether and with the addition of a little shoulder gravy for butter is thirty cts per pound, and sugar they suit my taste exactly. John Bear agreed to cook for us and he does it first rate takes as much pains to make it good as you could. Went this morning to see a claim belonging to Doct
268 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Barton  which he offered me for 250, 100 down and the residue in 2 months that kind of pay does not suit me exactly and further admonition is continually ringing in my ears "dont go in debt" There is a good cabin 10 x 12 a running stream of water a thing very desirable in this country, and the land lays very nicely from one point about the center you can view the entire farm
Charlie bought a yoke of oxen here of a man from Iowa and we moved out on to a claim which he had picked out I have taken one adjoining which has a beautiful lake upon [it] in which fish abound to some extent. The first night we had some bacon in our wagon and I suppose the wolves must have got the scent for soon after dark they howled around the tent at a great rate The[y] are the small prairie wolf and are perfectly harmless
To day June 19 Bill Welty made his appearance he came from Stanton the day before and remained all night at Olathe and come out to see us this morning He had the same opinion of Prairie City that we had that it was the nicest part of the Territory, the distance from market he appeared not to care a great deal about Our claims are about five miles from Olathe the intended county seat though a little Free-State Town called Princeton  also is contending about three miles from here We are only about 11/2 miles from timber and on the adjoining 1/4 section coal is found which resembles cannel i[n] its appearance We are having an acre broke apiece Charlie and myself and intend putting it out in corn and perhaps we may put out some turnips and buckwheat This afternoon Bill Welty John B[air] Charlie & J D[iehl] all went to Olathe leaving me in charge of the tent. Bill Welty went on to Leavenworth. John Bear remained in Olathe and Charlie and John D went to a saw mill about 12 miles with the ox team for lumber for our cabins We intend building 10 x 12 and board them straight up and down and put a shed roof upon them. We can buy timber from the Indians at 25 dolls per acre which will fence in perhaps the whole 1/4 section in the manner in which fences are put up here You would call it in Ohio a good for nothing post and rail but here it is quite a substantial fence. Posts are set in the ground about ten feet apart and two rails are nailed on to these at such a distance apart so that a mule
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 269
cannot walk under or jump through Hogs are a nuisance and are shot whenever found running at large. On the adjoining claim to me a man from Washington Twp lives by name of [Anson] Berkshire he has a large family of children. Almost too large for this country now when everything is so high. We get our washing done there at least took a shirt down yesterday and have not yet had it returned and cannot say what kind of washers they are. It was very cold here last Wednesday and I was very uneasy about the wheat crop. I walked all day with my overcoat on and did not feel uncomfortable and that kind of weather for Kansas in this month has never been known before I hope you fared better in the states. Charlie & John came back from the mill late last evening and only brought about 1/3 of a load all scantling enough however of them to build both cabins.
Sunday avery dull hot day a good deal of traveling on the road a great many going to Paoli when the land sale goes off this week  Sunday evening we all felt in the humor for singing and Old hundred Boylstin 0 for a thousand tongues to sing Alass and did my savior Bleed, &c went forth on the prairie w[h]ere no such sounds were ever before uttered. The ox goad and Haw Buck the braying of mules cattle bells &c are much more common We sang just as we felt and I need not tell that we all thought of home we all conjecture where we would pass the time were we in Dover & how much rather we would be here with our present prospects than there lounging round with nothing to make us exert ourselves
Monday I planted my acre of corn in the sod sod corn it is called. We plant quite different than you did in the states. I planted mine with an ax in every third furrow by chopping in the sod at a suitable distance apart and putting in three or four grains of corn and stamping it under with your foot or axe. It requires no further attention the first year as weeds do not bother you The Indians raise fifty or sixty Bu to the acre the way they farm and I have no doubt that 100 Bus can be very easily raised with proper care and attention We will plant about 2 or 3 acres in beans if we can get the seed, and I think they may do well John B [air] will plant 2 acres too in beans.
Tuesday helped Charlie W. plant his corn while he and a hired man went about four miles to Bull Creek for timber to build our cabins they found a very nice tree and paid ten dollars for it. It is a red oak about 4 feet across the stump and forty feet without a
270 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
limb knot or woodpecker hole as sound as a dollar we can get enough stuff to build our two cabins and have enough to sell to pay for both cabins and hired help, so our cabins I think will not cost us a great deal.
Wednesday went over and helped cut down the tree and saw off the but[t] cut enough in that one cut to build 1/2 a cabin To day Charlie went to Quindaro & Kansas city to bye a stove and some provisions cabin utensils and [etc.?] Charlie & I and I think John Diehl will live together and see to our claims
Thursday afternoon was splitting some shakes for my cabin when who should make their appearance but John Bear & McCartney He was the last man I expected to see out here They had walked on in advance of their wagon & when it came up I was introduce[d] to his brother who was traveling with him hunting claims. They had been from home about 10 weeks and had been all through Indiana Illinois Iowa Nebraska & are now here and McCartney says that Nebraska is not near as well timbered as this Territory or he says there is not 1/4 as much timber in it as there is here and the land and appearance of the country bears about the same proportion. His brother [Alexander] took a claim adjoining Charlie and myself and they commenced unpacking their goods and such a lot of stuff I have not seen for a long time Every old fashioned thing which you were forced to use at crooked run they had and all very serviceable here I assure you He had 2 yoke of cattle, wagon and one horse and Charlie's yoke of cattle and his span of mules are now in sight and make us feel as if we did live here sure. We [are] intending buying a cow yet and perhaps I may buy a yoke of cattle and then our live stock list will be complete. We took supper tonight together as we have done since and had coffee, brown bread bakers bread slapjacks molassess and meat Our slapjacks appeared to be as much of a rarity to them as their coffee did to us as we had none since we have been camping
Friday. Went to the timber today for more shakes for my cabin Took all the cattle and brought a big load Charlie had got back from Quindaro when [we] got back with the quite a lot of serviceables among which are a stove coffee sugar molass check shirts overhauls, nails glass sash plates cups & saucers &c &c Our stove is a very nice No 3 with a very large baking oven for that size and cost us $8 with all the rigging belonging to it I think I [t] could not have been bought much cheaper of John Rex.
John Bear and McCartney are our cooks and McCartney baked
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 271
2 very nice loaves of bread in our new stove. We have named the lake on my claim Tuscarora lake and the town which our shanties will make when completed the same name "Tuscarora" We did think of naming it Dover for some time but finally agreed that Tuscarora would sound more romantic for the lake and the town of course should bear the same name. All together tonight until quite late giving accounts of our trips to each other and Charlie brought John B some letters and papers from Dover and one paper for me sent to Wyandot, came from Danny I suppose.
Saturday plowed some prairie to day for the McCartneys and run round our claims with the compass to find corners. Think seriously of laying out a town and making a blow but I think the time is not yet. To night we had one of the thunderstorms at least so much of one that it rained right through our tent and we were forced to get into McCartneys wagon w[h]ere they slept to keep dry. It did not do a great deal of injury however as We kept our bedding dry my cabin will be finished in a day or two now and we will not be in such a fix again.
Sunday morning went down to "Tuscarora lake" to bathe and aroused a very large turtle who made into the lake with all possible speed. It is an excellent place to bathe being about five ft deep with a very smooth rock bottom and the water as clear as crystal. fish dart about in every direction We have not tried to catch any and I think they would not be good at any rate as it is too hot Sunfish appear to be much abundant. Charlie tried to lasso an Indian pony with one of his mules this morning as a drove of about twenty were teasing McCartneys horse but as everything Was wet and the rope full of kinks he failed but gave them a fine race which we viewed from our tent with great satisfaction. Put on a check shirt to day and a pair of overhauls and tried to look as much like a Kansas man as possible. This afternoon wrote home along with Charlie John D McCartney & myself & John Bear all around one table I hope you will get the letter in due time for it is a long one. Sunday evening, sang hyms and Charlie gave us some Music on his guitar which he bought at Chicago
Monday rode about 25 miles after cattle they had strayed off in the night and were nowhere in the morning. Found them about four O'clock only about 21/2 miles from the camp or I must say "Tuscarora" Ploughed a few hours this evening and picketed the cattle so as to have an early start in the morning This morning started early and ploughed about an acre was quite tired
271 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Wednesday ploughed until noon after dinner helped Charlie with his cabin and at dinner there was nothing done except a few shakes split and to night the cabin is up and three sides closed and ready for roofing Kansas a fast state I can tell to morrow noon it will be finished and tomorrow night we will sleep in it. My cabin was finished last night with the exception of the floor & door they are lacking. There is one window [in] it and one door and we in tend to make it the cook room in Charlie ['s] we intend to have our beds and McCartneys I suppose we will find some use for yet. To day I got a job of surveying I think a ten dollar job will go and do it on Friday morning only about 1 1/3 [miles?] from here. Mc Cartney will go along with me he bought a cow and calf to night for 25 dollars a very nice young cow & the prettiest heifer calf you ever saw we will live now with butter & good milk slapjacks & molasses will go down slick Talking about eating I must tell you a good joke. One of our neighbors bought a sheep last Sunday of a drover and came to us and we told him [we would] take a quarter Next morning one of [them] came to tell us that the sheep had been stolen that the rope was there that it had been tied with but no sheep was to be found they hunted all that day and the next and found nothing A few days afterwards they found some bones and some wool and [the] result was that the wolves had taken it off. We had set our mouths mutton fashion and were very much disappointed and bacon was still our old stand bye
Thursday Rode all day after the cattle they had wandered off in the night inquired of every one I met but found none answering to that description Friday morn started with McCartney to do my first job as surveyor in Kansas or I might say or anywhere else. We got along fine started about 7 0 clock and got through about 5 charged him 6.00 3.00 went into my pocket and the same amt to McCartney we heard of more jobs on our return and I think it likely I may make the old compass pay.
Saturday 4 of July fixed up and went to Olathe and in the afternoon went again after cattle as they had not yet been found Sunday Rode after the cattle again and so did Charlie and McCartney's brother came home to night but had heard nothing of them I fear they are gone for good The McCartneys had two yoke and Charlie one.
Opened my trunk today and took notice to some little pieces of news papers stuck in the top of my trunk lid found some very good
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 273
advice and instructions I need not ask who put them in. Charlie Wood is playing on his guitar and though the music is not very fine as he is only a beginer yet it has the same affect that music has anywhere and everywhere.
Monday put some of the roof on Charlie's cabin and went to the timber and procured some poles for A McCartneys cabin. John D here When we returned had been at the celebration on the 4th at Wyandot and heard Gov Walker 25 & some others speak The citizens got up a free dinner and all were invited, and John says it went off first rate ice cream oysters beef ham nuts raisins &c. Commenced a letter to Mary to night will try & send it by John B hear that he is going home next week.
Tuesday finished Charlies cabin and put up our home spun bed steads and arrived at A McCartneys Thomas Mc[Cartney] put his up on the 4th of July. it is smaller than the rest only 8 x 12 Tried to plow with the horse and the mules but found it no go. the ground too dry and they did not work together well. Heard nothing of the oxen yet I think they have gone for good loss about $300 Charlie's about 75 the rest to McCartneys Our stove bakes very nicely Charlie made some soda biscuit to night which are excellent We decided to night to kill our calf and not raise it as we intended as it makes rather a large draw on our allowance of milk. Could support two cows reasonably well
Today 8th of July finished another cabin for A McCartney have now three in Tuscarora An Indian called to day and wanted to know what we called this town. Charlie took a man to Paola this morning who had two sons there wondered when I saw [him] w[h]ether father would come out here this fall or uncle Kuhn or Joe or any of the Dover people to see me.
Thursday helped McCartney to make a tongue for a plough, and in the after noon found some of our corners With the compass and laid out a patch to break about 5 acres. Found some very nice building stone on about 3/4 of an acre of my claim They are not exactly flag stone but a kind of flat limestone not shalely however but very suitable for building they are used extensively at Lawrence and at Leavenworth they have our regular flinty limestone. Went surveying, for an Indiana man [H. H.] Wilcox set his open corner and run off some Indian land and found out that there was about 70 acres of very fine timber not taken up yet in the hands of Uncle Sam.
274 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Saturday layed out a land of prairie to break in partnership with McCartney across our claims near s/4 of a mile long made eight rounds and went 2 miles for oxen and took them home.
Sunday wrote to father, took a bath in Tuscarora lake and put on a clean check shirt wore the last one one week For supper had stewed cherries dried apples slapj acks corn bread soda biscuits molasses McCartney is going home tomorrow to bring out Phebe Beeson  will be back in a few weeks at least 6.
Monday July 13 Went to Quindaro with Charlie J B & Mac for a mower. got in about 5 Oclock No mowers on hand sent with [McCartney] to St Louis Mac & John Left for Dover about an hour after we got in Bought part of a bill of Goods and went to bed about 110 clock but not to sleep our old cabin is altogether preferable to the hot suffocating air of a hotel room.
Tuesday July 14 Finished buying and started for home about 11 0 clock got as far as within 2 miles of the Sante fee Road We had some mackerel in our wagon and the cattle belonging to the Indians smelling the salt troubled us exceedingly so much so that we were forced to harness up and move off until within a half mile of the Sante fee We camped a second time
Wednesday July 15 Started at 3 0 clock for home very cool & pleasant driving & reached Olathe just as people were getting up. Got out to our claims at breakfast time. Helped A Mac to put a door on my cabin & wrote to Mary Slingluff.
Thursday July 16. Commenced mowing prairie hay before breakfast. A new thing for me but I learned to do it up as I thought brown before I quit. Put up all I cut about four Oclock. Could have mowed until noon and put it all up before night There is such a hot dry wind sweeping over these prairies now that grass turns while you are cutting it Charlie went into Missouri with some posters we had struck at Quindaro for our cattle did [not] think he would be home until Saturday night A Mac & John D went to the timber for a tree for John['s] house leaving me alone. After I got through mowing I dug out the spring and fixed our three legged stools by driving in the feet more tightly We had made them out of green wood and the dry we[a]ther affected them so that when wanted for use they were frequently minus a leg. Had supper ready when the tired boys came home about 8 0 clock and soon went to bed.
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 275
Friday July 17. Boys went to the timber again to day taking the team with them and a strange looking team it was. Charlie had rode one of the mules and they put Elicks [Alexander McCartney's] large horse in his place which made a very odd looking rig I mowed some and when it got too hot put up a cupboard in my cabin to hold dishes and eatables. It is made out of shoe box has three apartments and a[n]swers the purpose admirably. I had quite an accident happen to day or some thing might have been one A snipe came up to the cabin and was feeding round for some time and at last I resolved to shoot it and see how they tasted as I had heard of their eating very well. I loaded up one of Elick['s] pistols and fired at it. It Was sitting near a wagon wheel and the ball instead of hitting the snipe as I intended hit the wagon tire and glanced and came back almost in a straight line hitting me in the stomach but with little or no force and fell at my feet very much flattened
Saturday July 18 Had some fried mutton for breakfast this morning quite a treat made a good deal of gravy and the consequence was that the molasses was not touched. Went to work to day to make a patent horse rake running on wheels the rest of the boys were making hay ladders. We intend taking a load down to Quindaro when we go for the Mower. Hay there is $1.50 a hundred, here and scarcely any grass to make it out of what it will be next spring is hard to tell.
Sunday July 19 Had a very good breakfast this morning warm soda biscuit & fried mutton & gravy. We only cook twice a day this hot weather breakfast & supper for dinner we take a piece For supper we will have mutton soup & dumplings.
Monday July 20 Started out this morning before breakfast to mow hay along with John D Charlie went over to an Indian to get him to hunt his cattle Elick made shakes for Johns cabin Mowed about a half acre to day and put up the hay in cocks. It made a great change in the looks of the prairie to see a dozen hay cocks sccattre over an acre and the grass very neatly cut & well dried. Tuesday loaded up a load of hay and started with Charlie about 4 Oclock for Quindaro We had taken a great deal of pains to load it carefully and to keep it very nice and square and to boom it just right. Elick pronounced it when he finished to be a No 1 load of prairie hay. We got along with it very well until we got to Indian creek the worst crossing on the Santa fee road  It was then about
276 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
nine Oclock andvery dark It was almost impossible to see the road The lead horse struck out of the main track in the direction of a light and we soon ascertained by the motion of the wagon that we were not in the track Charlie got off to reconnoitre and found the track without much difficulty. But in the attempt to get back into it the wheel on the lower side run into a rut and my humble self landed out on the dusty Sante fee very unceremoniously. I expected the hay to be on top of me but for a moment but I had landed so far out that four loads of hay could have scattered between myself and it. We had prepared ourselves for camping out and had our mess box well stored with provisions and one of the proprietors of the Olathe Hotel had brough[t] along some eggs to boil which we intended to cook that night You can imagine the scene which presented itself when a light was struck and we viewed our situation by candle-light. There were the eggs all broken soda biscuit scattered in the dust tin plates, spoons molasses bottle broken and a jug which the Hotel man had brought for Molas or rather the pieces of a jug Our tent cloth coats blankets and boom pole were all underneath The load had not scattered at all there it all lay just as it was loaded, except what was top then was now bottom. We gathered up the rem [n] ants of our supper and our eggs had stepped out and soda biscuits were very well peppe[re]d with dust the molassess bottle had cov[er]ed our plates and spoons had appropriated a part of Kansas soil for their own benefit and to sum it all up we had no appetite as the excitement of the upset had completely done away with everything of that kind. But if the view of the scattered lunch was pleasing the idea of having the wagon to right & the hay to re load was infinitely more so. But what could we do in the night. it was as much as we could do to load hay to haul 20 miles over bad roads in the light of day, and as the case now stood we had no light not even a single star deigned to look out upon our forlorn and almost helpless condition. Our wagon was all right not a thing even twisted out of its place. We concluded to load up that night as much as possible in order not to obstruct the road any more than necessary and set to work in right good earnest to carry out our purposes. We had not worked long before we found that we could not accomplish much and as we werevery well fatigued we lay down in the hay & slept until daylight.
Wednesday July 22 Commenced loading about at daylight and at sun up started off with the rem[n]ant of our provisions and I might say with a determination very well fixed in our minds never
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 277
to attempt to haul hay on a dark night after nine Oclock. We made Kansas river about noon and stuck in the sand on the bank Charlie went across after oxen to pull us and while he was gone a team came along which with some persuasion were prevailed upon to hitch to us they drew the load out and I halloed to Charlie to come back. He came just in time to, witness upset No 2. It appeared to be a very easy matter to upset in a sand pile at least the teamster thought so when the wheels on the lower side sank in above the hub and the whole wagon turned up above the hay shortly afterward as quiet and as easy as a feather bed could have done After a survey of conditions for a second time we found we were worse off than at upset No 1 for this reason we were without a fork Our fork in reloading had Worked loose in the handle and as we had stuck it in the hay near the boom in the centre of the load we could not get at it with out moving the whole load. Our boom we could draw out with the horse by loosening both ends but the fork was not [to] come at all. We sent word with the teamster across for a fork and the oxen and Went to work to load with our hands until they came The oxen came but no fork as the farmer had never owned one. We procured one at an Indian house a mile off and soon loaded up and crossed the river. Camped within a mile of Quindaro in the woods. Charlie went into town and heard Gov Robinson making a speech he was giving Gov Walker fits about the troops at Lawrence  &c he got the letters and papers which were there and I received the letters & papers dated July 12 which appeared to be the only one written since I left. I was very much surprised at this circumstance though after considering the matter thought it all right
Thursday July 23. Drove into town but could not sell our hay for what we considered it worth as it had settled almost one half in hauling 25 miles Drove over to Wyandot and sold it for thirteen dollars. MacCartney had not purchased a Reaper at St Louis and we could procure none here I walked over to Kansas City and found they had a few for sale but no seperate mowers all combined machines The rope at the Ferry was cut and we could not cross with the team so we were forced to go home without accomplishing the object of our trip And another great reason was th[at] McCartney had the money or one hundred of our scant means though we recd a
278 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
letter from him at Quindaro in which he stated that he would either bring it or send it in a few weeks. Your letter was eagerly read and your kind offer I am happy to say was anticipated My letter contained an order for an article which is most needed in Kansas and as McCartney had 40 of my money I could do nothing towards buying a horse, with the residue. I suppose as he started on a marriage trip he will need it all We will make out a bill of eatables which you may make out among hands as it may suit you best and send it along with Beesons good John B may help you some as he may know what we may need, to some extent.
Friday July 24 Got home safe about 5 Oclock found the boys anxiously waiting our arrival were much surprised that we did not sell our hay at Quindaro we were just one day behind in making the trip. We had intended to be on hand at the Free state meeting which went off July 23. Marcus J Parrotte  our candidate for Congress made a fine speech I wasvery sorry I missed it Saturday July 25 Mowed until noon enough for a load of hay to take to Kansas City Monday in the afternoon fixed up the wagons Sunday July 26 took a bath in Tuscarora and put on some beans to cook by the breakfast fire so that we could have pork & beans for supper and a piece of ham to take along to Kansas City.
Monday July 27 took the hay up which we made Saturday in the afternoon it rained so in the night that it did not dry until 2 Oclock Started a little before Sundown for Kansas City traveled as far as Olathe and camped
Tuesday July 28 Started early next morning and reached Kansas City about one Oclock Had our hay weighed at Westport Hay ladders wagon & all weighed 3180 Avery fair load to haul 25 miles with our rats of mules and our poor rundown horse. Sold the hay that evening for $10 not a very fair profit to haul hay 25 [miles] &sell for 10. but to look at the subject in another way it is as much as ten made clear as we had to go to Kansas City for a mower and for some Goods for our neighbor Wilcox and the 10 for the hay added to the charges for back freight will make the trip pay and we have the mower beside
Wednesday July 29 Bought a reaper and mower this morning of Walker & Chick Browns Patent Buckmaster & Wise Maker, Alton Illinois Could get no single mowers Price 150 gave a hundred & ten dollars down and for the remaining 40 gave our note or Charles Wood & myself gave our notes and John D['s] watch for security.
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 279
They did not suppose our notes worth any thing but with the watch in their hands worth 115 to secure 40 & our notes they let us have it. We started about 3 Oclock & came out 3 miles or within about a mile of Westport when we missed Zack our dog & McCartney ['s] dog I took the horse and rode back while Charlie went on to Westport with the mules & load Found Zack takeing quite a comfortable snooze in the shade of a store box at the establishment where we bought our mower Went about 15 miles and camped.
Thursday July 30th Started early and got home the rest of the 10 miles before breakfast or before the boys cook breakfast about nine Oclock unloaded the reaper and commenced putting it up mowed a few rounds to see how it would work or to grease & oil up Think it may cut well We will give it a fair trial as it is a warranted machine Whittier  one of the proprietors of the Olathe Hotel came down to our claim to night to tell us that our Cattle had been taken up at Little Santa fee  Charlie will start in the morning to see if the report be true I hope it may we can use them now to haul hay &c or even work them on the reaper I do not think the knife would choke.
Friday July 31 worked at our horse rake have invented a new patent which I think will work well can either use a tongue or shafts Should we be so fortunate as to see our Oxen at home to night we will use a tongue and work them Had a very refreshing shower to day revived the parched grass and helped the weak springs After supper Elick & I took one of Charlies mules and his horse and rode out to meet Charlie thinking as it was dark he might have some trouble with the oxen i e if he had them Had not ridden over a mile when we met him coming with but five of them. The man who had taken up these told him that a few days before he saw the reward notice he noticed that steer around with his cattle and that he had no doubt that he was still in the neighborhood and should they find him would bring him here. As they had offered 30 dollars reward for [them], Charlie paid him 25 for the five and brought them along. They looked very well have done nothing since they left but consult their own comfort would all make very good beef To insure their staying with us for some time at least we tied heavy blocks to their heads and [illegible] them well They lie down soon after and appeared to feel at home, but to our minds their travel to day added a great deal to their willingness [to] feel at home so quickly
280 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Saturday August 1 Tried our mower to day it worked as well as a machine could in the hands of greenhorns. After oiling & tuning all round Charlie drove off and had not went more than a few feet until the machine choked as we thought it rubbed over the grass and the horses exerted them a great deal to take it along. After some examination we found that Charlie['s] whip was the cause of all the difficulty as it had caught in the coggs and wound around until it had choked the wheels After much sport and joking about our green driver & finding the whip lash tarred well we started on. The machine worked well could find no fault with it could mow just as we chose high or low without difficulty The only, impediment here on the prairie are gopher hills little mounds on the prairie from 5 inches to 2 feet high some perpendicular others sloping gradual with from 5 to 10 ft base &c The large ones are not so troublesome as the small ones. The knife runs right into them as the wheels on either side are on level ground Sometimes the wheels strike them when this is the case the machine goes right on leaving the grass not as evenly cut as the rest but does not make us stop and go around them The machinery is very simple and easily managed. though the best and most simple of all machinery is liable to get out of gear Only cut about three tons as we intended to experiment and know what the machine Would do. Our neighbor Wilcox wishes us to cut 20 tons for him and several at Olathe. I think we may find it profitable employment until the grass is too much dried up to use for hay.
Sunday Aug 2 Wrote to Joe Deardorff, Bill Hodge & somebody else
Monday Aug 3 Worked our machine this morning until 2 Oclock then quit and went to the election voted for State officers Senator and representatives.  Only 42votes were polled We went with an ox team and hay ladders as our mules and horse needed rest and old Birk [Berkshire] & Meiser [Mosier] accompanied us. Old Birk not so gassy as usual but voted all right We voted for the Topeka constitution at the same time and seperate ballot boxes were kept for each The constitution box was an old cigar box with a hole cut in the lid to receve the ballots and on the end which was visible was the word "Opera" emblematic of the scenes which transpired last summer, I suppose. Conner of the Hotel asked me whether I had heard from John Bear and then told me that his house was going up and that the man was using very good lumber better than any house
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 281
which had been put up there yet. will not write until I hear from him. Tuesday Aug 4th Charlie & John went to cut hay for Wilcox with the machine and Elick & I hauled a part of what we had cut and staked it up The patent rake did not work as well as we expected and it took up a great deal of time fixing it
Wednesday Aug 5 Kept on hauling and stacking until after dinner when we went over to the boys to rake up what hay the [y] had cut Took supper, at Wilcox's and eat some of a womans cooking Had a very good appetite and eat heartily.
Thursday hauled hay in the morning one load and went to Wilcox and hauled for him as there was an appearance of rain all the rest of the day
Friday Aug 7 finished our own hay and hauled for Wilcox until the rain prevented us took our suppers and came home to our cabin which turned rain admirably The hardest showers when the rain blew in every direction gave us no trouble.
Saturday Aug 8 still raining this morning and a very poor looking hay day Old Birk this morning unloaded a load of scantling on his claim near the road and intend[s] putting up a shop or provision store I regret to say that the first house put up in Tuscarora must be a shop of that kind instead of a stone hotel or a building of some size He is in partnership with a Dutchman who is to attend the shop Continued wet all day.
The old adage necessity is the mother of inventions was verified here to day, for my boot sole came off and I could procure none short of Quindaro and I was forced to make a last to mend it. which I did by taking some leather out of an old saddle flap which McCartney had brought along for that purpose and by the aid of 6 oz tacks I put it on quite neatly & securely, and the boots now which were worthless before will last until fall or until I can get a pair for the winter season.
Sunday Aug 9th Wrote home to day nothing but Journal I fear my letters are getting stale but then consider that to keep a record of what I do & hear of others doing has been my chief object in Kansas.
Monday 10 took Charlies mule over to Spring Hill 2 miles to be shod. An Indian had brought in some new potatoes which he asked 25 cts for or about a cent a piece and they were not very large at that. He had beans and corn for sale atvery exhorbitant prices I should have liked a mess of potatoes but at a cent a piece I thought
282 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
it dear eating. Came back & took dinner at Wilcox's found Elick & John there they had been working oxen in the mower and the heat stopped them or stopped the oxen You may think [it] strange to hear that oxen will work in a machine but such is the fact. MeCartney has one yoke of cattle seven years old which cannot well be beat as to work, they are not as large as many I have seen but are better broke than I supposed oxen ever could be. I can drive [them] any where with more ease than I could a span of horses indeed I fancy myself a No 1 ox driver My first impression was when oxen were named to work in the machine that the knife would choke but there is no difficulty on that ground with our machine the heat appears to be the only obstacle Charlie started this morning for Quindaro with Walters our store keeper or Dutchman
Tuesday Aug 11. John & I worked the oxen in the machine to day Elick raked up hay with a horse rake John & I finished our patch and brought the machine along home. Cut a small patch in the evening for ourselves.
Wednesday Aug 12 Charlie at home this morning I expected to receive three or four letters but not one came was much disappointed Says he sent a lot of Chindowans  to my friends hope you will get them
Had a job of surveying to do to day for Moiser Charlies coming made us late starting but we got off at last. Set his corner for him and as the day was windy could not work very fast I would [give] anything if that old compass had a telescope and tripod yet, and then I think it would be thevery thing for this rolling prairie country Elick raked the hay John & I had cut and Charlie came over & helped measure all the mowing we had done for Wilcox and found it to be 22 acres and at $3 per acre would be sixty six he offered us 5 and Charlie would not take it We will split the difference with him on the breaking prairie arrangement and nothing less Saw some of the Indians today some of them wanted hay cut I should like to cut for them to see what kind of board they get up and how they cook.
Thursday Aug 13 Charlie & I went to the timber to buy an acre or two from the Indians & cut hay for them to pay for it. Found none of them at home. the squaws were making hominy out of white corn it looked very nice, but they would not sell any. lent a load of poles to build a stable & wagon shed 20 feet square and cover it with hay for the winter John & Elick cut hay all day with the machine
Friday Aug 14 Elick & I hauled in hay & John & Charlie worked the machine Saturday I started for Lawrence as it had rained some in the night and looked as if it would rain during the day for a horse rake the old fashioned revolving rake Charlie & John went to Santa fee to trade or try to exchange one yoke of oxen for a mule I arrived at Lawrence about 5 Oclock attended to my business procured a rake & some papers and drove out of Walkers rebellious Lawrence about 7 miles and camped on Wakarusa Creek It was the first time that I camped on the open prairie alone. But I slept as sound as usual and did not wake up till sun up Harnessed up the mules and started for home
Sunday Aug 16 Got home about 1/4 past 10 Oclock & found Elick making arrangements to start for Quindaro after letters If I do not receive any this time I will not soon again expect any The boys came home this evening from Santa Fee thoroughly drenched with rain as we had avery heavy shower in the afternoon They did not make a trade of any kind but brought along 14 dozens of oats [?] at 40 cts per dozen and a piece of dried beef The Missouri State fair commences on the 29 of September, Tuesday & lasts four days We think of going down.
Monday Aug 17 Still raining this morning and an idle day I think look anxious for Elick every minute It rained all day and nothing could be done Elick made his appearance about 12 O'clock to night with the letters & I received your letter dated Aug 10 with Dannys enclosed. Avery quick trip. After reading our letters and telling each other the news we gave McCartney and his bride 3 cheers & a hearty welcome to our prairie home & went to bed in a much better humor than usual Hope the report is true Elick thinks it quite doubtful as he has written nothing to him to that effect. That only proves to my mind that the report is correct as young men are not apt to make many bosom friends in cases of this kind
Tuesday Aug. 18. As soon as it was dry enough went to work and got up hay Wednesday worked in the morning and went to Olathe in the afternoon to attend a free state meeting Mr [J. M.] Walden editor of the Chindowan was announced as speaker He disappointed us and did not come Towards evening we got together as many as possible and appointed delegates to attend the Convention at Grass-
284 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
hopper falls  Mr Ansen Birkshire our neighbor was president of the meeting & your humble servant was elected a delegate It is altogether impossible for me to think of going as we are just begining to make things move in the mowing time & should one of us go we might as well all go as we could not do much here as it takes 2 to mow & two to haul. The trip will take about a week perhaps get home Friday evening. I should like to go for I think that it will be the most important convention held in Kansas
Wednesday Aug 19th Elick & I put up hay the rest of the week Sunday Aug 23 Charlie & I started for Quindaro about 5 O'clock after it had stopped raining Camped at Shawnee town and drove on next day No letters for me Charlie recd two or three. We were told of an emigrant aid [New England Emigrant Aid Co.] sawmill which could be had by any one who would put it up We went and looked at it on the levy found it too large for our use as it was a 40 horse power engine An engine to drive a sawmill on Bull creek would pay now as there is no sawmill within 15 miles of here or about that distance from Olathe. And it would keep us employed during the winter should we choose to remain here. Started from Quindaro about 5 Oclock Monday eve 24 & reached home about 12 feeling a little chilly the nights are sensibly colder than they were a few weeks ago
Tuesday Aug 25 Hauled hay
Wednesday Aug 26 heard of a stray horse in the neighborhood and as we needed such an article we concluded to take him up as a stray that is if we could catch him. So as soon as we could get our horse and mules rigged for the chase we started in the direction which had been pointed out to us. He was described as an old bay would work they supposed in among a drove of Indian horses which were escorted by a jet black stallion. After riding about 3 miles we came upon them & found them to be indian ponies with the exception of the old bay which they seemed to fight & drive off We all stopped in a ravine and made some preparations such as adjusting picket ropes used for larietts & tightening girths &c. Charlie & John had lariett ropes and while they were fixing up I rode in into the drove slowly so as not to fright them and found the old bay some distance from the rest as the stallion of the drove kept driving him out. He lookedvery nice and sleek alongside of our poor gaunt horse and mules and tossed his head disdainfully whenever I approached him
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 285
By this time the boys rode up and we singled him out from the drove and drove him towards home & every now and then when an opportunity would offer they would fling their larietts but to no purpose they would slide off of his sleek sides and fall on the grass After driving him a mile he broke back to the drove again and we concluded to try some other plan to capture him as the lariett we could do nothing with. We placed a slipnoose on the ground to catch one of his feet and I held the rope while the boys drove him up to it he jumped over it once but the second time he stepped in with his fore foot and I drew it quickly and he was ours He plunged forward three or four times and then stood perfectly quiet while we bridled and saddled him John D rode him home He had been ridden before as his back Was sore with saddle marks We now hold him as a stray. Charlie started to night down to Beesons to get our money which McCartney had sent out.
Thursday 27. Hauled hay to day and kept thinking about Mac ['s] wedding &c how it happened that he did not get married and all waiting for Charlies return to hear the news & correct report. Charlie got home about 12 Oclock to night
Friday 28 Charlie came to my bed this morning before I was up to tell me what kind of a trip he had had Found them all there every tad as Aunt Mary would say. Mrs Torry Augusta Redfield 35 and all the Beesons Their goods had not come on yet and they had nothing to do but to cook & eat. Girls all idle and a splendid chance to make a visit. Mrs Torrey Charlie says told Gusta not to eat so much pork or bacon or it would make her coarse & she looked up wonderingly & said "what shall I eat then" Before they are many months in Kansas bacon will supply the place of chicken I think. Beesons wanted Charlie to come down with the machine and cut some hay for him say 8 or ten tons I think it very likely we will go.
Saturday 29. Hauled hay to day & the boys commenced cutting a large patch about 20 acres cut all day we hauled one load in the evening to top out a stack Sunday 30 Not very well to day a little head ache lots of Company Pintel McKaig Forrest Goer Moser 36 and a load of Quindaro men stopped and took our letters Monday 31 Finished cutting hay in the patch commenced Saturday & we hauled in with two teams
286 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Tuesday Sept 1 Moser came this morning with his oxen and we hauled with 3 teams until noon & until night with two put up 2 large stacks
Wednesday 2 hauled hay with our team until noon and finished the patch John & I mowed after dinner in small patches and Flick fixed up stacks & Charlie went to the timber for post to fence around the stacks
Thursday 3rd John & I mowed some. for the Dutchman & Flick baked bread & cooked beans &c made a shingle herse axe helves &c Friday Sept 4 Hauled in our small patches until noon & helped the Dutchman in the afternoon
Saturday Sept 5 Finished hauling for the Dutchman by noon & went to the timber after dinner for posts & fire wood. Charlie got home to night from Missouri had started Thursday morning to trade his oxen for anything except oxen. Made a trade for a grey horse thinks he did very well. Brought some green corn & some wild plums & 25 bus of oats Will take his oxen down & bring the horse up next week Sunday got up late Charlie started for Quindaro about noon. I started after dinner to go to McCamish to hunt Flick's ox as we had heard he was there or one answering to that description Found the oxe by he did not prove to be the one I was hunting. Came after dark tired and hungry & we had not a bit of flour in the house and only about 1 qt of cornmeal & some green corn made our suppers on mush & green corn, and must live on that until tomorrow night when Charlie will be on hand with flour &c.
Monday Sept 7 Dug post holes around the stacks along with John Flick baking bread & cleaning up the tent. At One Oclock we started for Princeton where [the] voters of Johnson Co were requested to meet to organize in companies for the protection of the ballot box 37 After hearing a few blood & thunder speeches an organization was formed and Officers elected Bishop of Olathe John B knows him was elected Captain Flick First Sargent & John D Commissary the other officers you would not know. The policy is not to go armed to the polls but to have them in the immediate neighborhood so that in case of necessity and that, only, they are to be used to make nothing but a fair demand for our rights as citizens of Kansas, & have them we must in some way.
Tuesday Sept 8 Cut hay for the Dutchman Charlie started for
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 287
Missouri to deliver his cattle and bring his horse & some seed wheat & provisions
Wednesday Sept 9 Cut hay for ourselves until noon & after dinner hauled in a part of the Dutchman's We were visited to day by the most friendly indian Shawnee I have seen yet He gave us a great amount of information about his tribe about councils dances buffalo hunts &c His squaw had the ague and he gave her some blankets to lie on in the shade of the cabin while he yarned to us at dinner
T[h]ursday Sept 10 Cut hay for ourselves to day Tried to haul the remainder of hans but the wind was too high we could do nothing. We broke the cast iron point of the mower the one which divides the grass. It ran into a gopher hill and snapped off like a pipe stem. Unhitched and young america had it fixed before night to work better than before.
Friday Sept 11 Charlie & John cut hay until noon and Flick & I put in a row of posts around the stacks After dinner it rained and we did nothing of work line but wrote letters fixed up journals & harness &c
Saturday Sept 12 All went horseback to Princeton where we were requested to meet to train We entered Princeton abreast six of us (Moser & the Dutchman accompanying us) some on tall horses and others on mules blind bridles halters and ropes making a curious as well as pleasing appearance. The company is called the "Olathe Border Guards" After sending an order for arms and going through some movements we came home though not with out being gassed up by the fearful and shown blue lodge  flags which were stuck up around Olathe & Princeton as guide posts to Missourians coming into the territory. After we got home Charlie & John concluded to go to Beesons this week and I will start for Leavenworth on the 15 leaving Flick at home in charge of affairs this week According [1y] the machine was taken apart and loaded in a wagon and every thing got ready to start tomorrow early
Sunday Sept 13. The boys left this morning leaving us alone to write letters &c. In the afternoon Flick & I rode over to McCamish & brought the ox home which I had found
Monday Sept 14 Flick & I went down to the timber for posts brought home a load about dark Called at Wilcox's & got our clothes She is such a nice woman so motherly in the care of our
288 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
clothes & give[s] us directions about cooking &c just as if she had some interest in our welfare.
Tuesday Sept 15 Started for Leavenworth on a black colt which we had caught expressly for the trip but 2 years old past and avery fine animal I did not know how he would stand the trip but from his make color & all I concluded that he could go as far as I should want to ride in a day. As I got in sight of the Kaw River it com menced raining and rained or showered from that on until night. I crossed at Tolas [Toley's] ferry and stopped at his house & inquired the road and how far it was to the next house. I was 16 miles from Leavenworth & 7 miles to the next house It had cleared up some and I started on though the sun was not more than an hour high & the colt pretty well jaded I had [not] went far before another shower overtook [me] and I was forced to seek shelter in the woods I started on again & it still rained harder & harder and was getting quite dark I knew I had not traveled far and at any rate not more than half the distance to the next house. I had passed some indian houses at the edge of the timber & thought if it rained too much I would put for one of them which I was soon forced to do by a heavy gust of wind and rain coming directly in my face and my pony stopped and turned round to take it I however had no such intention & put for an Indian house about 1/2 a mile off reached [there] thoroughly wet and enquired of the indian whether I could stay all night and he was almost too drunk to say yes, but he finally managed to get it out after a great many futile attempts The squaws went to work to get me up my supper and after supper made me a nice bed to sleep in with clean sheets & pillows. After drying my shirt & hanging up my coat & clothes I turned in & had just commenced to snooze when I waked up and heard two other Indians outside more drunk than the Indian landlord & demanded an entrance They came in loaded down with bottles jugs & flasks filled with whiskey. After taking a dram all around they commenced drying themselves and then another dram & another offering me one every time and they drank & sung & cut up all night not letting me sleep one wink & every 15 minutes the Indian would come to my bed and say "Ugh sleep, have dram" and then to the others.
Wednesday September 16 In the morning the bottles were so plenty that I knocked one over and spilled the contents. I immediately asked how much & paid 25 cts for the accident though he had told me repeatedly that it only cost him 15 cts. After breakfast I
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 289
found that my bill was 1.00 which added to the whiskey accident makes $1.25 for my night's lodging and not one wink of sleep.
I started off and reached the Fort about 9 O'clock and commenced search for Leut Hildt 39 A company of Cavalry were on drill for inspection by Genl [William S.] Harney which was a pleasing sight to me to see their gaudy dress & equipments & their spirited horses, which they manage to turn so nicely with a six inch lever bit & spurs on each foot. Genl Harney is as grey as a rat and his white hair & whiskers contrast strangely with his military rig Found out at the Office that Lieut Hildt had left in the night for New Mexico and this company of cavalry which was being inspected was going to start for Utah this evening or tomorrow morning As John was not here I went over to Leavenworth City and bought myself a hat two woolen shirts note paper &c and started for home stopped at an old pennsylvanian's 8 miles out of Leavenworth.
Thursday Sept 17 My colt as pert as you please and I concluded to come home by Quindaro & Inquire for letters, going that way, only about 53 miles from home which I thought I would try to make to day. Recd your letter dated Sept 6 with your account of circumstances. Recd no letter from John or Joe D took dinner here & started for home. Reached home about 8 Oclock pretty tired & hungry with my 1/2 a hundred miles ride in one day on a two year old colt These Indian ponies you cannot kill its no use trying
Friday Sept 18 did not do a great deal of work to day Sharpened some posts to drive in the ground & in the evening John D came back from Stanton accompanied by Bill Q[uantrill] and left Charlie there with the machine still cutting with a request that Elick or I should come down Saturday or Sunday eve and help work the machine
Saturday Sept 19. Bill Q[uantrill] Moser [J. Mosier] [H. H.] Wilcox [James] Alexander Reeves [G. G. Reeves?] & Elick & I rode up to Olathe in our Ox wagon to hear a speech from a Mr. Leggett 40 While we were there some little dissatisfaction arose about the nomination for sheriff (Charles Osgood) Some expressed an opinion that they did not consider him a true free state man. After some little discussion it was referred to the central committee to consider upon The speaker of the day came in the evening but could not speak as
290 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
he had come on business exclusively. We came home cooked our suppers & after discussing politics went to bed
Sunday Sept 20 Bill Q[uantrill] and I started for Stanton about noon afoot and thought we might reach it by nine or ten oclock. When we got within 3 miles of Stanton we stopped and turned into a shanty and tried to sleep. But the night was cold and we concluded to go on though we could scarcely get along as we were very tired We stopped 11/2 miles from Stanton at a farm house & they gave us a bed on the floor which wasvery exceptable & we had not been in the house fifte[e]n minutes until it commenced raining and rained right on until ten Oclock next day.
Monday Sept 21 Started out in the rain for Beesons and reached there soon after breakfast They seem to accommodate themselves to the Kansas way of living and all appear lively & cheerful but Mrs Beeson she appeared somewhat down hearted though not a great deal Mrs Torrey will not live in their cabin more than three or four weeks, will move into town & keep hotel 41 All the Beesons have had the ague but Phebe & Gusta Redfield was sick with the fever when I was there. They need not tell me that they have selected as healthy a location as we have When I met Charlie he told me that he had the machine loaded and ready to start but the weather prevented After dinner we hitched up and Beeson hitched on his three yoke of cattle to help us up a slippery hill near his house after we got up we unhitched to make an early start, tomorrow
Tuesday Sept 22 After bying 16 melons at ten cts a piece we started for Tuscarora. This is one of the greatest countries for melons I ever saw. We met some young gents going to steal some the other evening and they took 2 yoke of cattle One of the sixteen that we bought was so large that we were forced to cut it outside our cabin. And if the rind was of such a material to stand frost we should trouble ourselves no longer about a protection from winters blasts.
Wednesday 23 Unloaded the machine & put it together & eat so many melons that I was sick on Thursday
Thursday 24 Rested to day & went to bed in the afternoon all on account of the big water melons.
Friday Sept 25 Started over to cut hay at Spring Hill for Mr Hovey 42 Came home in the evening found our council man Mr
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 291
E S Nash  and a lot of chaps who were on their way to Lawrence to procure arms for the "Olathe Border Guards" They intended to start at 3 Oclock with the Dutchmans team and take breakfast in Lawrence. Elick went along.
Saturday 26 Finished cutting at Spring Hill. John D helped me to day has been harrowing his wheat ground to sow next week. Sunday 27. Doct [B. M.?] Jewett came here to day on his way to Northups to see if we could cut some hay for him next week We agreed to go and cut for him Monday Northup very sick & not expected to live Was taken with the diarrhea and went through with the water cure treatment and that only which resulted in his hopeless weak condition the Doct has no hopes of his recovery.
Monday 28 Went to Jewetts with the machine & commenced cutting the machine all out of order & did not cut an acre to day. The doctor went to Northups to day and he found him dead
Tuesday 29 The machine did not work any better to day broke the reel and were forced to make another got it in order in the evening Charlie went to Santa Fee to day for oats John D still putting in his wheat.
Wednesday 30 Finished cutting for Jewett to day did not cut quite six acres in all
Thursday Oct 1 raked up the hay & he paid me eleven dollars & 75 cents & I came home Charlie at home from Sa[n]ta Fee & John & Elick putting in his wheat Elick young Nash & Case & the Dutchman started for Lawrence for the Sharps Rifles which were promised them when they were their last week left about 12 Oclock & expect to be home tomorrow night.
Friday Oct 2 at Home to day as Charlie does not feel well enough to help me with the machine
Oct 3 Saturday Charlie no better and I started this afternoon for Dr Barton and found him coming on the road to Butler[?] As it rained I wasvery glad to meet him. He prescribed for him for bilious fever jalap quinine &c
Sunday Charlie not so well to day Oct 4. and the, fever not yet broken A crowd at our cabin to all excitement about the election
Monday Oct 5th Election day  John & Elick went over to Spring Hill to vote But could not do so on acct of the six months
292 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
residence  proscription as every man who offered to vote was challenged. I went in the after noon to Olathe but did not offer myvote. About nine Oclock in this evening nine of us who had not been in the territory six months started for Lawrence tovote. Got up there about day light and voted as soon as the polls were opened The election was altogether different from those in the states Every one who came up to the polls voted and no questions were asked We reached home about 1 Oclock Tuesday night tired and sleepy
Wednesday Oct 7 Rested to day. Elick started for Quindaro and John went to the timber to get rails to fence in his 13 acres of wheat.
Thursday Oct 8 Tried to plow around the stacks with the young yoke of oxen but could not make them work. After the[y] had run 1/2 mile over the prairie with the plow at their heels, we unhitched them and quit Charlie well enough to be around
Friday Oct 9 Started out this morning on the hunt of some prairie chickens armed with a shot gun and thinking that I might find some on Johns wheat I started over about sun up when I got over I saw a flock fly up out of the range of my gun and after waiting for two hours for more game I came home without any and found the horses harnessed & ready to go to Olathe to cut hay for [Charles] Osgood. John Charlie & myself all started up We made a nice commencement on an eight acre patch and took our suppers at the Olathe hotel & slept at Nash's cabin our council man
Saturday Oct 10 got up at daylight and fed our teams and commenced cutting finished at noon and moved the machine to Hendricks a proslavery man who has negroes where we will cut Monday if the weather is fine.
Sunday Oct 11 wrote home to Grandfather Addie Miller & father Monday Oct 12 Went to mow at Hendricks along with John D Found Mrs Hendricks a very fine woman & avery good cook puts me in mind of Aunt Mary. commenced to mow on a very hard piece of groundvery uneven and hard on the horses.
Tuesday 13 To night Smith of Olathe came and wakened us up to go to Oxford 14 miles from [here] to get or take by force a judge or clerk of the election up to Lecompton and have him make oath before Gov Walker to the returns or that 1626 votes were actually
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 293
polled at Oxford  A company of 25 men came down from Lawrence and were on their way and wished some one who knew some of them to go along and direct them to their houses. I had never been there neither had Elick & Charlie was not very well and one must stay with him so neither of us went Benj Dare  who knew of the judges & knew exactly where he livedvolunteered to act as guide to the Company. The[y] were all armed with revolvers some of them 2 Had an excellent dinner to day at Hendricks Ham boiled chicken potatoes baked pumpkin corn bread biscuit sweet milk butter milk tomatoes cucumbers watermelons, molases, jellies &c pumpkin pie & watermelon for desert They have sold $40 worth of Watermelons this year and a wagon load are now ripe and yet you people think that we have nothing of this kind apples are 75 cts at Kansas City I do not eat many melons as I am afraid of them but the whole family little and big (and the [y] have 5 small children) eat them, when they are thirsty for a drink & not one of them has been sick
Wednesday Oct 14 Finished at Hendricks to day & went to Lewis this evening a methodist preacher who is professor of a female seminary at Independence Mo a very jolly old soul  His claim joins Olathe on the North East
Thursday Oct 15 this morning very cold and blustery and the lard oil froze up so that we could not work without warming it & we concluded not to do it Benj Dare at home again the expedition did not accomplish much. they were expected and a large company were prepared for them Benj was taken up and questioned very closely but the[y] could make nothing out of him and they let him go. He made his way back to the party and they left with all possible speed.
Friday Oct 16 Gov Walker went down to day report says to see
294 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
for himself whether the returns are correct or not  He is afraid of his head I suppose or he would wink at it and let it go Free state men are bound to have their rights at all hazards and he knows it. He found out that but 150 votes were legal and the others were fraudulent. Went to Lewis this afternoon and commenced cutting
Saturday Oct 17 Cut all day & raked it up We were at work in fullview of Olathe and it presented quite a busy appearance carpenters at work teams drawing lumber lime kilns burning children playing and holloing the blacksmith's noisy hammer and the constant travel upon the Santa fee Road made us feel as if we were now w[h]ere somebody lived
Sunday Oct 18 Wrote to day to Bill Hodge It was cold & rained all day
Monday Oct 19 Elick and I went down to the timber after a load of rails.
Tuesday Oct 20 mowed at Lewis to day The weather cold and disagreeable the ground froze hard and quite a heavy white frost
Wednesday Oct 21 Today the scykle broke and we had it welded Thursday Oct 22 the scykle broke again at the weld and we put in the other one which we had left at Jewetts
Friday Oct 23 finished to day at Lewis had mowed 20 acres under great disadvantages & made $40
Saturday Oct 24 Went to Olathe to day collected $16 from Hendricks for his mowing and brought home a long necked pumpkin on horseback 3 miles and a cantelope He has the largest pumpkins I ever saw and the greatest lot of them.
Sunday Oct 25 Cooked some of the pumpkin this morning for breakfast found it first rate
Monday Oct 26 Rainy all day & could do nothing out of doors finished a letter commenced yesterday
Tuesday Oct 27 Went to Olathe this morning and got some letters at the mail but none for me & heard nothing from John B
Wednesday Oct 28 Started this morning for Quindaro & took one mule & expected to get a buggy at Leubenville[?] 3 miles East of Olathe as we had the promise of it yesterday. Were disappointed and had to come home, the last I will start on an uncertainty.
Thursday Oct 29 Rainy & cool with a prospect of a rainy day Friday Oct 30 John D & Charlie started for Quindaro this
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 295
morning & intended getting a light wagon at Olathe. Found the wagon with the tire off & of course came home
Saturday Oct 31 John & Charlie started with our own team & wagon & will be there tonight. I bored some holes with a post augur It did not work as a post augur should, but still I made some headway.
Sunday Nov 1 the prairie on fire all around us & no one but Elick & myself at home. Bill Q[uantrill] who has been with [us] for over a week left for Stanton this [morning] to get his clothes & Charlies guitar. It was a magnificent sight & had been I thought well represented in paintings that I had seen. But there was some difference to look at the real thing itself coming towards 50 tons of hay worth $20 dolls a ton on the ground or $30 at Kansas City & the picture as we had taken the precaution to plow a few furrows away [from] the stacks we did not feel as uneasy as we otherwise should. but nevertheless the raging flame at every side excited us, & to night as I am writing the horison is light up at every side as if we were surrounded with furnaces and all of them were burning ore. We had been uneasy for some time about our large amount of hay at risk but now I shall sleep soundly as the prairie is burned all around them and in some directions for 10 miles beyond & they are safe
Monday Nov 2 All alone to day Elick gone to Missouri to hunt his cattle Bill Q[uantrill] to Stanton after a few things to take along on the [buffalo?] hunt & John & Charlie gone to Quindaro to buy goods provisions &c Fixed up the stacks some as the hay had blown off of some of the stacks & this evening Bill came along
Tuesday Nov 3 Bill & I went down to the timber & made some rails made 56 with one ax & with wooden wedges & walked 4 miles there and back.
Wednesday Nov 4. Bill & I started this morning to haul the rails got a load on & broke the tongue & came home without the wagon. The boys at home to night with blankets Jewelry guns gloves calico &c.
Thursday Hauled up some rails to day with the mules
Friday Nov 6 Went to Spring Hill to collect a debt for mowing got the money & surveyed some for [David] Sprong & rode to Olathe to night bought 30 pds nails candles &c and came home tired
Saturday Windy & rainy all day long and could do nothing without exposure
Sunday Nov 8 The ground covered with snow this morning the first snow in Kansas has not melted a great deal yet at 5 Oclock in
296 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
the afternoon Our cabins leak snow if they do turn rain and this morning my breeches were stiff with snow but very singular none of us have the least symptoms of cold & all enjoy ourselves bravely.
Monday Nov 9 Hauled rails to day from the timber & finished Tuesday 10th Nailed them on with Elicks assistance
Wednesday 11 Rainy all day and enough to do to keep dry & warm.
Thursday 12 Snow again this morning with sleet & a cool air John D went to Olathe & Elick went over to Winthrop to sell his odd ox we had intended to beef him but we can get another larger one cheaper & a much better one for beef
Friday 13 Butchered to day and a cold ugly job it was Beef weighed about six hundred and very fat & tender.
Saturday peddled out what beef we did not wish to keep though the wagon came home with a part of one of the 1/4 we will have no trouble to get it off this weather
Sunday 15. Snow an inch deep this morning and we moved our stove into one of the other cabins as they were tighter and warmer. Monday 16 cold & disagreeable
Tuesday 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 all cold & nothing could well be done Monday noon only four degrees above zero.
24 Tuesday cold & disagreeable
25 Wednesday weather pleasant and not cold
Thursday 26 a meeting of the Free state men to consider upon the constitution framed at Lecompton I had the honor to be chosen president of the meeting and of course I presided with honor to myself and the meeting.
Friday 27 quite warm but damp
28 Saturday rainy all day the land open for preemption do not believe it yet 50 Hope it is so though.
Sunday 29 An editor called to see us to day & took our names & called us quite clever young fellows He was from Cincinnati and interested in the Herald of Freedom office, [at Lawrence]. He put down Tuscarora Lake as he said to give it publicity. I will send you a paper with the account in if published
Monday 30 A very pleasant day and we put up sod around two sides of our house making it much more comfortable to live in though it presents avery novel appearance to the beholder
Tuesday Dec 1 Started this morning for Lecomptonvia Lawrence
CALDWELL: THE DIARY OF GEORGE H. HILDT 297
& Gardner a little Free State Town 3 miles from Tuscarora directly west It has now a good stone hotel 30 by 40 and a very good neighborhood surrounding it The citizens of Lawrence have shares in it & are figuring for good roads & a great many of them to center there Stopped at Lawrence over night
Wednesday 2 Started this morning for Lecompton got there about 12 Oclock Filed my intentions for all our boys and for myself. Lecompton laid out in a hole on the river with a half moon bank intervening between the prairie and the town so that you can, not see the town until you are into it after partaking of a good dinner we returned to Lawrence in time to attend a free state meeting After the committee reported a series of resolutions read by "Jim Lane" Speeches were made by Lane Conway Davis Redpath Thatcher Bar Foster Vaughan "Miles Moore" Kob Phillips & McKay  After the reading of the 1st resolve of the resolution the noisy exclamation[s] of joy were so great that for ten minutes Lane could not proceed I have witnessed political meetings and heard applaudits but none so general and with so much of heart in them as the meeting at Lawrence of the down trodden and oppressed people of Kansas
Thursday 3rd started for home sent a [Lawrence] republican home with the proceedings of the meeting last night and sent one to A Patrick of the advocate
Friday 4th Made a stall to day for McCartneys horse
Saturday 5 Helped set a man off a claim to day over at Alexanders 
Sunday 6 had some beans to day for breakfast and past the time singing reading & writing
Monday 7 pulled down a cabin which had been put on Alexander claim
Tuesday 8 Hauled a load stone and fixed our cabin by lining it inside and stuffing the middle with hay
Wednesday 9 Went down to Sprongs & brought up my compass. Thursday 10 Set a corner for Walters
Friday 11 Laid out twent[y] acre field and dug or helped dig 33 post holes
298 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Saturday 12 Dug 106 post holes 3 of us and thought we were doing very well. Two of us Conner & myself are to build the fence around 20 acres for our passage to St Louis and back The weather has beenvery fine all week almost like may days. While you people of the states are bundled up in your furs and over coats we are out at work in our shirt sleeves
Sunday 13. I walked out over my farm and was pleased with [it] more than ever
Monday 14 dug 120 post holes to day with Conner Tuesday 15 dug 100 holes to day
Wednesday 16 finished digging the holes and set over one hundred posts
Thursday 17 set Some more posts and nailed on a few rails
Friday 18 set all the posts he had and carried the rails around
Saturday 19 nailed on the rails on one side and quit for the week Sunday 20 Went over to Gardner to day 3 miles from here to church for the first time in Kansas. Heard a young man try to preach on the resurrection and an old man exhorted in a manner which pleased the outsidervery much
Monday 21 Washed one pair of my drawers a woolen overshirt and a check shirt and some collars. Snow to day but nearly all off by noon
Tuesday 22 Worked at the fence Wednesday 23 Worked at the fence Thursday 24 Worked at the fence Friday 25 Went into the timber and hauled a load of posts
Saturday 26 Hauled a load of poles for Conners cabin
1. The claims were located in T. 14, R. 23, in the northwest corner of spring Hill township.-E. F. Heisler and D. M. Smith, Atlas Map of Johnson County, Kansas (Wyandotte, 1874), p. 46. Hildt failed to record the legal description of his land in the diary. Probably it was the NW 1/4 sec. 34.
2. John Bair, Alexander McCartney and his brother.
3. William Clarke Quantrill came to Kansas from Canal Dover, Ohio, in March, 1857, with H. V. Beeson and Col. Henry (or Harry) Torrey. Beeson and Torrey purchased relinquishments on claims in the eastern part of Franklin county near the present village of Rantoul. Torrey also bought a relinquishment in Quantrill's name (see Footnote 18). It was illegal of course for Quantrill, who was not quite twenty, to take a claim. such irregularities, however, were common on the frontier. For further information on Quantrill's early life in Kansas see William E. Connelley, Quantrill and the Border Warse Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1910) pp. 55-74, and a compilation of articles in The Kansas Historical Collections (1902), v. VII, pp. 212-229.
4. Wilder, Annals of Kansas (Topeka, 1886), p. 128.
5. Letters of Mrs. J. E. Hildt to Historical Society, June 14, 1938, and July 18, 1941. George H. Hildt was born in Baltimore, Md., in 1835. On April 20, 1861, he volunteered in Co. F, Sixteenth Ohio infantry, and four months later joined the Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer infantry. By November, 1862, he was lieutenant colonel. He served until September, 1864, and participated in several engagements, including the battle of Antietam, and the sieges of Vicksburg and Atlanta. After the war he returned to Dover. Ohio, and married Angeline Switzer in the early 1870's. Two sons were born the couple: John E., deceased, and Fred T., now of Tulsa, Okla. George H. died at his home in Dover in 1913.-Ibid., and Official Roster of the soldiers of the State of Ohio . . . , v. I (Akron, 1893), p. 334; v. III (Cincinnati, 1886), pp. 394, 395.
6. Quindaro was founded in 1856 as a Free-State gateway into Kansas territory. It is now extinct and its townsite is a part of present Kansas City, Kan.
7. The Delaware diminished reserve established by the treaty of 1854 was ten miles in width and extended forty miles west from the western boundary of the Wyandot lands. A Compilation of All the Treaties Between the United States and the Indian Tribes (Washington, 1873), pp. 340-345.
8. Mrs. Nellie McCoy Harris wrote of the Harris Hotel: "The fame of that incomparable inn, conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Harris, . . reached far and wide. To think of a village tavern with a large patronage, serving hot waffles, buck-wheat cakes, chicken pie, fried chicken, turkeys, broiled venison, prairie-chicken, buffalo steak, and such other toothsome viands! These were supplied at all times at the Harris Inn, good and plenty."---- "Memories of Old Westport," by Mrs. Nellie McCoy Harris, in The Annals of Kansas City (Missouri Valley Historical society, Kansas City, Mo., October, 1924), pp. 470, 471.
9. This may refer to Gen. Lucia. J. Eastin as being the speaker.
10. On January 12, 1857, a Proslavery convention was held at Lecompton "when the Law and Order party rechristened itself," and was "henceforth to be known as the National Democracy of Kansas."-A. T. Andreas, History of the State of Kansas (Chicago, 1883), p. 156.
11. Political meetings were held throughout Leavenworth county prior to the election of delegates to the Lecompton constitutional convention. On June 6 a meeting was held at Leavenworth City. Two tickets were in the field, the Regular ticket whose candidates were chosen through a county convention, and the Independent ticket, formed by those who were diasatisfied with the work of the convention. This ticket included the names of a few Free-State men, hence it was called the' mongrel ticket. Lucia. J. East_ and John Henderson were candidates on the Regular ticket.-The Kansas Weekly Herald, Leavenworth, June 6, 13, 20, 1867.
12. Possibly William McMath, a justice of the peace in Wyandotte.-Andreas, op. cit., p. 1231.
13. Wyandotte was founded early in 1857 on the site of a Wyandot Indian village.-Ibid.
14. Possibly the widow of Francis A. Hicks, a Wyandot chief,' who died in 1866. Ibid, p. 1229.
15. Probably Frederick Chouteau's farm in the northern part of Johnson county.-Heisler & Smith, op. cit., p. 45.
16. A town in the western part of Miami county.
17. Claims of Beeson and Torrey comprised the north 1/2 sec. 34, T. 17 S., R. 21 E.
18. Torrey also owned this claim bought in the name of Quantrill. It was the NE 1/4 sec. 21, T. 17 s., R. 21 E. "Kansas Volume 24," p. 157, filed in the General Land Office in Washington, showed the sale of the quarter to William C. Quantrill on June 293 1857. William Brindle, receiver, made out Receipt No. 325 to Quantrill on that date of $360 in full payment for this quarter section of Kaskaskia, Peoria, Piankeshaw and Wea trust lands. On the same day Quantrill assigned the quarter to Harry Torrey. These transactions were recorded April 19, 1859, in Franklin county's "Deed Record A," p. 380. Less than a year after the purchase Torrey transferred 20 acres of the quarter in two parcels by warranty deeds to Joab Torrey and E. Hicks. Patent on the land was issued to Harry Torrey, October 1, 1858, on assignment (Franklin county, "Deed Record 55," p. 393). It was recorded July 7, 1887.Information furnished by James C. Malin from records in Washington and in the Franklin county courthouse at Ottawa.
19. Free-State towns in the southern part of Douglas county. Palmyra is now the northeast part of Baldwin.
20. In southwest Johnson county- on the Santa Fe road, now extinct.
21. Election of delegates to the Lecompton constitutional convention.
22. Dr. John T. Barton was formerly surgeon for the Shawnee Indians. He selected the Olathe town site and organized the "Olathe Town Company." In 1857 he and Edwin S. Nash were partners in showing claims subject to preemption. Having purchased the field notes from the government surveyor of the Shawnee lands, they secured the description of the land selected by the Shawnees from their chiefs, and had the advantage of knowing the land subject to preemption long before it was made known to the public. Dr. Barton was the first postmaster and the first mayor of Olathe.-Ed Blair, History of Johnson County, Kansas (Lawrence, 1915), pp. 86-89.
23. In Johnson county two miles southwest of Olathe, now extinct.
24. Land sale at Paola took place June 24, 1857.-Wilder, Annals of Kansas, p. 170.
25. Robert J. Walker was territorial governor of Kansas from May 9 to November 16, 1857.
26. Phoebe Beeson was the daughter of Harmon V. Beeson. The families of Beeson and Torrey did not come to Kansas until August, 1857. For some reason Phoebe did not return with McCartney. Instead she came with her family and later married G. A. Colton-Connelley, op. cit., p. 54.
27. Indian creek crossing on the Santa Fe road was northeast of Olathe.
28. The charter of Lawrence was amended in the winter of 1856-1857, but the city was never organized under this charter and was therefore without municipal regulations. Not recognizing the authority of the territorial government, the city applied to the Topeka legislature but failed to get a charter. In July, 1857, the Lawrence citizens organized and formed a charter for themselves independent of legislative action. Governor walker considering this a "treasonable act" of the "rebellious" citizens of Lawrence, declared the town under martial law and sent troops there.-Andreas, History of the State of Kansas, p. 326.
29. Parrott, the Free-State candidate, was elected delegate to congress in October, 1857.
30. J. B. Whittier, a relative of the poet, settled in Olathe in the summer of 1857. He and Jerry D. Conner opened the first hotel in the town. They became managers of the Avenue House when it was built in the fall of 1857.-Ed Blair, op. cit., pp. 87, 88.
31. A town on the Kansas-Missouri border, now extinct.
32. Election of state officers under the Topeka constitution.
33. The Quindaro Chindowan, a Free-State paper published at Quindaro. It was first issued May 13, 1857.
34. The Free-State convention met at Grasshopper Falls on August 26, 1857, to decide whether to participate in the general election called by Governor walker for October 5. Andreas, History of the State of Kansas, p. 162.
35. Augusta Redfield was probably Mrs. Torrey's sister.
36. Possibly J. F. McKaig, J. C. Forrest, Jonathan Gore, and J. Mosier, all living in Johnson county in 1857.-Andreas, op. cit., pp. 625, 634.
37. At the Free-State convention held at Topeka, July 15, 16, 1857, resolutions were passed authorizing James H. Lane to organize the people in the several districts to protect the ballot boxes at the coming election.-Ibid., p. 161.
38. Blue lodges were secret organizations of Proslavery men having for their purpose the extension of slavery into Kansas and other territory of the United States.-John H. Gihon, Geary and Kansas (Philadelphia, 1857), p. 30.
39. John McL. Hildt was breveted second lieutenant, sixth infantry, July 1, 1856. Transferred to Third infantry, February 18, 1857. Brevet lieutenant colonel, March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service during the war.-Thomas H. s. Hamersly, Complete Army and Navy Register of the United States . . . (New York, 1888).
40. Probably James F. Legate who was living in De Soto, Johnson county, at that time. In 1858 he was appointed probate judge of the county.-U. S. Biographical Dictionary, Kansas (1879), pp. 716, 717.
41. "Colonel Torrey sold his land as soon as he could and bought a building in Paola where he kept a hotel as long as he lived." --Connelley, op. cit., p. 57.
42. James B, Hovey settled on Little Bull creek in March, 1857. He was the first postmaster at Spring Hill.-Blair, History of Johnson County, Kansas, pp. 131-133, 135.
43. Edwin S. Nash was elected to the territorial council from Olathe in the fall of 1857. -Ibid., p. 89.
44. Election of members to the territorial legislature and a delegate to congress. Governor walker promised a fair, free election.
45. An act establishing council and representative districts passed in February, 1857, made a six months' residence requirement for voters. Laws of the Territory of Kansas, 1857, p. 68.
46. The election returns from the Oxford precinct, containing not over a dozen houses showed that 1,628 Democratic votes had been polled. On October 19, Governor Walker and secretary Stanton issued a proclamation throwing out the entire vote of the Oxford precinct. -Andreas, op. cit., p. 163.
Returns of the Oxford election held October 5 and 6, 1857, were deposited with the Historical Society, November 1, 1906, by J. R. Burrow, secretary of state. Names of voters and their votes were recorded on lined paper fifteen inches wide. Ends of the pages have been pasted together and the entire roll measures forty-five feet. The official recapitulation shows 1,604 votes for Ransom and one for Parrott. R. Clarke, the forty-second voter, was the lone individual listed for Parrott. Election officials were: s. D. Barnett, G. D. Hand, clerks; James H. Nounnan, C. C. Catron, Batt Jones, judges.
47. Benjamin F. Dare was one of three commissioners appointed in Johnson county in 1867 to establish voting precincts and arrange for the election on the Lecompton constitution. In 1858 he bought the Avenue House in Olathe. While acting deputy postmaster in 1859 he rifled the mail, was found out and "left for parts unknown."-The Kansas Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, December 26, 1857; Blair, op. cit., p. 88.
48. Dr. W. H. Lewis conducted a school for young ladies in Independence, Mo., for a number of years.-W. S. Woodard, Annals of Methodism in Missouri (Columbia, Mo., 1893), p. 339.
49. On October 12, Governor Walker and secretary Stanton passed through Lawrence on their way to Oxford.-The Kansas Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, October 17, 1857. "They expressed their astonishment that so large a city which had polled 1,600 votes had escaped their notice since residing in Kansas."
50. On November 19, 1857, the Shawnee Indian lands were thrown open for purchase and preemption.-Wilder, Annals of Kansas, p. 198.
51. Martin Conway, Dr. Davis, of Leavenworth, James Redpath, T. Dwight Thacher, Wm. V. B. Barr, of Iowa Point, Charles Foster, of Osawatomie, Champion Vaughan, H. Miles Moore, Dr. K. Bob, of the Atchison Zeitung, William Phillips, and William McKay.-The Kansas Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, December 6, 1857.
52. James Alexander's claim was the SE1/4 sec. 34, T. 14, R. 23.-Heisler & Smith, op. cit., p. 46.