Friday, December 20, 2013

The Founding of the Homeplace - Summer 1848, Progress Report, Part 2 of 4

The Founding of the Homeplace
Summer 1848, Progress Report
Part 2 of 4

"The Founding of the Homeplace" stories will continue here on every other Friday during August and September. This is a serial presentation of the story, beginning in 1833, when four families decided to settle the land, the valley, that would become the setting of the first two books in the The Homeplace Saga: "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited" and subsequent series stories, set in 1987 and 1996, to date. The underlying premise of this series is the desire of the family matriarch to retain the family farm in the southern Missouri Ozarks in whole and in the family. 

Characters in this series become actively involved in the study of their family history and snippets of that research appear, from time to time through the series (one example). This serial presentation begins to share that ‘research’ in Story Form, and, some of the Stories represent 'writings of the family' that were ‘discovered’ in the process of that research. Each Story is an essay or report of the activities of the initial four families and their descendants that settled the Homeplace – the farm and the surrounding valley.

Summer 1848, Progress Report

In this episode, we share "Part 2 of 4"

           Throughout the 1840s, following getting the mill up and running smoothly, Robert, Susannah and David Baldridge had expanded their cattle business in the pastureland on the ridge on the north half of their property. Dense forest of oak, hickory and pine covered the western and northern borders of that land. The road from the north ran along the east side of the property just west of Oak Creek which flowed from the Big Spring several miles north of the county line and near the Baldridge property line down to the falls. When Victor Campbell had brought his small beef cattle herd into the west valley, it had enhanced cattle breeding opportunities for everyone, as had the arrival of one or two cattle each with other new residents of the valley. Robert, Susannah, and David had effectively become cattle brokers, stockmen, from their position at the mill where they saw most everyone a few times a year.  During this same period, they had added some modest grain storage capacity where they stored, sold and exchanged excess grain with their customers in the valley and beyond.

Last summer (1847), Owen Olson and Jake Patton entered into a set of agreements where by Owen 1) became the primary blacksmith at the Patton Shop, 2) purchased outright the land the Olsons had been working on shares with the Pattons, and 3) purchased the additional forty acres directly north of their original land. Liam Olson, now 14 years old, began an apprenticeship as a blacksmith under his father with additional guidance from Jake Patton.  Owen’s wife, Anna, and their daughter, Allison, now 11, in addition to helping on the farm and garden, also continued to work closely with Kate Patton and Victoria Truesdale at the General Store and the Patton Hotel to do the work that needed to be done, whether clerking, housekeeping or other activities.
Earlier, in 1843, organized as Ashley County, the area directly to the west of Oak Creek Township in 1845 was officially organized as Texas County, named after the Republic of Texas. In 1846, the town of Houston was organized near the Big Piney River somewhat south of where the lumber camps had been. 

[ be continued... on Jan 3, 2014, with Part 3 of Summer 1848 Progress Report]

No comments:

Post a Comment