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The Western Star, April 8, 1921.

JOHN DUCKWORTH WRITES FROM OHIO

Tells of Conditions in That State
and Recalls Some Early-Day Events in Comanche-co.

Jackson Center, Ohio,
March 25, 1921.

Editor Western Star,
Coldwater, Kans.

Dear Sir: Please find enclosed remittance for your paper for another year. It has given me much pleasure to get the news from dear old Comanche-co., also to see the occasional mention of some of my old associates of 30 years ago, which all seems near and dear to us. It does not seem possible to us that it was 25 years ago the 10th of February that I landed here, having moved from Comanche-co., and I can look back and see the names in the Star of so many people who were there and who are yet living. How we would love to enjoy the beautiful spring weather of good old Comanche-co. once more, and above all, the good health we enjoyed during the 11 years we lived there.

My wife has been an invalid for the past six months with heart and nerve trouble, and has been in a very serious condition a great part of the time, which has made quite a care on me, caring for the house work and the outdoor work.

We have had one of the most peculiar winters I ever saw in Ohio - mostly warm; one morning it was 6 below zero, but it soon warmed up. We have had less snow than I ever saw in one winter - never enough at any one time for hauling on sleds. But oh, don't think say it hasn't rained, for it has put in one fourth of the time since January 1, raining, and not small rains, either. Yesterday it rained nearly all day, and nearly 1 3/4 inches of water fell. The farmers are way behind with their work. Very few have any oats sown. Fall sown wheat is generally poor. Grass is greening up nicely, but it will be a month before stock will be turned on the pastures. Our roads have been the worst ever known since they were piked. During February and March very few autos tried to go and those that did go had to be pulled out of the mud holes every once in a while. Even Fords would get hung up.

In the old state there are thousands of idle people as the shops have been closed indefinitely, or dropped off the major portion of their hands and reduced the pay of all they kept, which makes a very unsatisfactory condition among the people, as during war times and with war prices they just scooped up the money and blew it as fast as they got it, thinking, no doubt, that it would always continue the same.

I will give you some of our prices as we find them today: Wheat, $1.45 per bushel; corn, 49 cents; oats, 35 cents; red clover seed, $9; hogs, $9.50; eggs, 20 cents; cream, 48 cents; potatoes, from 50 cents to $1, and very plentiful. One year ago potatoes were from $5 to $8.

I read with great pleasure the letter from my old friend, G. W. Hollenback, formerly of Logan-tp., and how I would like to see him again. I wish too that I could see old Coldwater and note the changes it has made since 1885, also meet some of the old settlers and have a good visit with them. Among them are the names of ex-sheriff D. T. McIntire and H. O. Holderby, who was afraid of a four year old iron gray horse, which would have as soon kicked him out of Kansas as to look at him. I suppose it was his good looks that she hated so bad, as she was the most docile horse I ever owned. I often see references to J. M. McCay, Perry Johnston, Jacob Kehl, William Pepperd, S. A. DeLair, Shimer brothers, and many others. How I would love to see them all.

It was with sorrow that I read of the death of our old blacksmith and citizen, Walter Meers. He settled there the same year that I did. I am always glad to read the columns of 25 and 30 years ago, which always brings back the memory of many past incidents. And now I see that our old timer, "Cannonball Green", the old stage man, has commenced the story of his early career, starting out as a child at night to fight the great battle of life, to meet all the ups and downs, and many adventures as a traveler and stage driver in the early wilds of the great western plains. I want to read it all, and will have it published in our county paper here to show some of our tenderfoot people some of the early romances of the "wild and woolly west." I want to get every issue of it.

I would be glad to hear from any one in old Comanche-co., at any time. How I would enjoy some of your coyote chases, as it was great sport for me when I was there, and on my faithful sorrel horse, to chase them until they said they would give up and die. And, are the long eared jack rabbit and beautiful prairie chickens and quail as thick as of old?

With best wishes for all, I will close, expecting to hear from there every week for another year, with fond remembrances of the happy past.

JOHN DUCKWORTH.


Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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