James Adelbert Jarboe Homestead
In 1901 there was a terrible drought in Missouri, so Del and Gertrude left for
Hope, North Dakota, and there Frances was born.
Early spring 1904 Papa went to North Dakota, Morton County, and Mama
stayed in Kansas until Anna Lou was born. Papa
went to Mandan, North Dakota where he took a five-year Government claim and
proved up on it. Anna Lou was born
in St. Paul Kansas, March 13, 1904, and Mama went to North Dakota that June.
Here the weather was cold, the virgin soil tough to plow with a one horse
walking plow. The roots of the
buffalo grass went deep, and after each plow, Papa had to sharpen the blades of
the plow. (Well do I remember
We lived in
the barn the summer of 1904 while Papa built the house.
My parents built their own house, and dug their own well--the water was
white with Alkali. Papa hated this
water, he was used to cistern water. The
stock was put in corrals at night; the country was bleak and barren with
rattlesnakes (rattle snake hill near us), jackrabbits, gofers, badgers, coyotes,
and prairie chickens. There were no
fences and in winter snow drifted high. In
summertime, there was the fear of prairie fires. Babies were born with the help of midwives.
It took from sun up to sun down to go twenty miles to the nearest
railroad market at Mandan North Dakota. The
coal was taken from the hills miles from home.
Papa would go early in the fall, and stay weeks at a time to dig out the
coal, then haul it home. Cow chips
were used for kindling. (I picked
(a wonderful time) a small bush was wrapped with cotton (there were no trees),
and placed on the dresser to show in the mirror.
Our stockings were hung and Santa left us each a stuffed toy, candy,
nuts, and sometimes an apple. We
prayed at home. Once in the Fall
Papa went to Mandan with a load of wheat and returned late in the night.
We were asleep but were awakened by the sound of music.
Papa had proudly returned and brought with him an Edison phonograph with
round barrel records. He was
playing "Just Because I am From Missouri."
This machine gave us much pleasure (I still have it). It was so much more wonderful than our modern color TV's
Schools? They started me at seven. I rode my pony but could only go part of the time as the weather was too cold, and the snow too deep. Later the teacher Miss Blanch Marquette stayed at our house. My folks enjoyed keeping her she was so gay, and they would go to dances. After the winter came and the snow got deep, she and I took feather beds, which we slept between, and enough provisions, and stayed weeks at a time in the school. I got homesick. When weather permitted, she drove a one-horse sled.
were Germans, (I learned to speak it as all kids at school spoke it) Norwegians, Russians, and Swedes. Names Bender, Suckeys, Cosgrove, Krutsingers (Papa stayed
here at first), Huncovsky, Leingang, Dwarshaks, Sheafer, etc, (all rich people
now). They all spoke their own
language, very poor English. When I
was twelve years old, Papa decided it was time to get his girls out before they
married a foreigner--Swede, Russian. (Ha!
Rosalie got one in Washington D.C.).
When we first went to our homestead Papa herded cattle for himself and others in the open range. At night they were put in a corral. Papa bought me a high-spirited spotted Indian pony. He was proud of the way I could ride. I went with him and we stayed all day. We had our first and only dog to help heard the cattle, a black shepherd. His name was "Brack," so called because Frances was a baby and she said brack for black pup. His feet would get sore from the cactus briers, so Mama made him leather shoes and tied them on his feet.
Aunt Bernadette sent a general drawing of the homestead, as it was when
she went back with Larry and Rosalie 50 years after the family left it.
She said she recognized it at once.
This page was last updated on 03/28/04 07:46 PM
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