Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Crossing the Plains

It was 1848 and the time had come.
Paternal Great, Great, Great Grandmother Polly Hendrickson Stringham's daughter, Elmeda and her husband were living in a small community in Nebraska.
It was their turn for a move west.
A couple of experiences in Elmeda's words:
We were very busy getting ready for our departure to the valley in the mountains where the first pioneers had located a permanent home for the poor travel worn people.
We had a good team of 2 oxen, also 2 cows, 2 heifers, 2 chickens, 1 pig and 1 horse with provisions enough to last a year, so we were all very happy to be on our way to our future home.
We crossed the Horn River on a raft, where we joined the camp under the leadership of Heber C. Kimball and were placed in Brother Isaac Higbee's company of 60 wagons.
At one time on our journey along the Platte River, a band of [natives] came to our camp.
They were always asking for food and watching a chance to take a horse or ox.
They were given as much food as we could spare, for it was wisdom to keep on friendly terms with them.
I noticed a fine-looking [native]--evidently the chief--talking to my husband, counting on his fingers as though offering something in a swap or trade.
My husband kept shaking his head--no--no. 
Afterward, he told me the Chief wanted to buy me, offering him 20 ponies for me.
After that incident, we women were cautioned to stay close by the wagons when we were walking ahead of the train.
We arrived in the Valley September 24, 1848 and camped in Pioneer Square.
As soon as we were camped, the women of the company got our kettles of water hot and went to washing our dirty clothes...

Here's where I mention that, for me, any long journeys are never undertaken without hotel (and quite possibly dinner) reservations.
And though I admit I would have been a bit flattered to be a '20-horse-woman', I'm just as happy that, for me, a kettle is used strictly for making tea.

Sundays are for Ancestors!
There are just so many stories . . .

3 comments:

  1. 20 horses......and he resisted the temptation lol.

    ReplyDelete
  2. They underwent hardships and conditions which would have had us hiding under the bed as a matter of course didn't they?
    A twenty-horse woman is a fine compliment isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have you ever thought about how your family history might have been VERY different?!

    ReplyDelete

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