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The Western Star, February 17, 1922.


A few Reminiscences of Pioneer Life

By F. C. Jones

Moscow, Idaho, January 22, 1922.

Editor Western Star,
Coldwater, Kansas.

Dear Sir and Friend:

I do not know the penalty for trying to get into print twice in one year and as I do not feel that I can qualify for your contest for "letters from the early day settlers," there is really no excuse for me to write this letter, but as it is Sunday afternoon and a little too cold to get out, I guess I had just as well take up your time as any one else's.

When I first landed in Coldwater I was nine years old, so any "impression" I got of the place was more of people than of the county or town. About all I can remember about the place at first was that there were no railroads there and that two of my brothers, my aunt Kate Veatch (at that time) and myself left Kingman early one morning and got off the train at Cullison, in Pratt-co. and were met there by a man and team which my father had sent from Gentry's livery stable to meet us. We left Cullison about 10 in the morning and drove till about 9 that night before we got to Coldwater.

None of the brick buildings that are there now were there when I first arrived, and one large one which was built (the Sombart block) had just been destroyed. Main Street was about 3 blocks long with one story frame building on each side of the street, except a hotel on the corner, and the Comanche-co State Bank, which also had a two story building opposite the hotel. On the corner where the Sombart block afterward was built there was a two story building too. The principal sport in those days was coyote hunting with greyhounds and horses. The country close to town was not fenced like it is now and the chase was seldom interrupted.

Prairie fires were the greatest menace in those days.

There were several nicknames bestowed upon me there in Coldwater that remain with me yet with some people. One of the first names I was called was "Squint," then "Comiskey" and R. E. Goddard used to call me "Sitting Bull."

I will leave the telling of the early excitements there to those who were older and know more of the happenings than I do.

My Aunt Kate, referred to once before in this letter, died the 10th of this month at Long Beach, California. Her name was Mrs. Victor B. Humphreys and she leaves 3 grown boys besides her husband. Most of the older people there will remember her.

After my letter to you last fall in which I asked some of my friends and acquaintances of other days to write to me, I had a nice letter from Elmer Snare in Chicago.

A couple of weeks ago I got a card from Callie Chandler Clampit, now in California.

I told you in my other letter also that I, was after the postmastership here. Well I didn't get it so I still have a job instead of a position.

The sleighing is fine here now and has been for a month and will probably continue for another one. We have not had much cold weather though. Two days it was down around zero but that isn't bad for this country.

Well, I hope some of you people will drift out west some time and when you do, don't fail to let a person know where you are.

Hoping that 1922 will be a big year for all of you, I am, as ever,


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

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