Jake Patton Memoirs - JP14 - Jake Recalled 1834
Liam Olson Was The First Baby Born In The Oak Creek Valley
Jake Watched the Valley Blossom That Year In More Ways Than One
Possibly the most memorable thing from 1834 spring and summer was Anna Olson out working in the garden, and the fields, becoming more and more visibly pregnant. As the first baby to be born in the valley, everyone hoped for the 4th of July, but little Liam waited until the 10th. He still made valley history, of course. He became the fourteenth valley resident, and the youngest, of course. His mother and father were very proud, and everyone adopted him in their own way. I felt like the women took the most interest, but we were all very pleased with this happy event.
Each of us expanded our tillable farm land available in 1834. Each of us chose our own way to use it, of course. I added more oats and some wheat. The McDonalds chose to primarily increase their corn and bean acreage. Hugh chose to increase primarily corn acreage while Robert Baldridge added more wheat to his mix. With everyone helping out as they could, under the careful direction of Robert, the mill reached its initial completion in late July. I say initial, because Robert continued to improve and expand the mill and related activities each year after that. By fall harvest season, he did receive grain to process from the north, as he had hoped, in addition to what those of us in the valley had to process. He had build an initial grain storage facility so that he could accept a portion of the grain brought in to process as his fee for doing so. That began the process, as well, of making grain available for sale to meet future needs.
Beginning in 1834, each family had their own garden, their own pigs, and their own milk cow(s) according to the original plans and agreed adjustments as time passed. Oxen, mules and bulls were available to use by those who needed them under our agreements related to them. By summer 1834, everyone had chickens of their own at their homestead. I still had the only horses, but that would change as time went by. We talked of adding sheep, goats, geese and beef cattle, but that remained in the future.
Jake Found And Bought A Bay Stallion
Jake Got His Bay Stallion
Earlier in the spring, I had faced the decision of how to breed my three mares, once they had dropped their foals and were each healthy. Would I take them somewhere to be bred, bring someone’s stallion here to do the deed, or acquire my own stallion from somewhere. I needed a fresh bloodline, of course, so going back south was not a preferred option. When Henry announced he was going to make a freight run in late February, I decided that was my chance. I rode along with him, and Harry, over to the Big Piney region and hoped there would be a quality stallion available for sale. It also made a good chance to talk to some folks over there as well as catch up on the news of the day from the perspective of that location. Henry and I both hoped the weather would hold, of course. At that time of year, you never knew. It had been over a week since the last snow storm. The snow had all melted and the road was in decent condition, so off we went.
I knew I was taking a chance by making this trip, of course. Henry would want to be returning promptly once he had done the work he came over to do. Would I be able to find what I was looking for in time to return with him, or, would I be left to return on my own…with the proper horse bought to justify the trip? Or walk back, perhaps… I didn’t plan to walk. I had brought a saddle, saddle bags, bedroll and a tarp. I was prepared to return in the cold, on a horse. I would get a horse or return in the wagon without one. Those were the real choices. I’m not accustomed to having to stay calm while I hurry through a task. This was a challenge, but I soon had talked to a number of people and realized there was likely only one source I needed to contact if I was to get the horse I was looking for. Good and bad option.
Darrell Conner was a person I knew as an acquaintance. He had a ranch about five miles away from the main lumber camp. I rented a carriage to go see him. Meeting him again was a pleasant experience, so that got us off on the right track, at least. He did have two stallions he was willing to sell, but his prices were high, as was to be expected. I took to the bay over the grey almost immediately, but tried my best not to show my excitement that I had found my horse. We talked and haggled and haggled and talked, as one would expect. He was reasonable to work with and we came to an agreement. It was a real pleasure to drive back to see Henry with my bay stallion in tow. The horse was accustomed to the name Sparky, and that was fine with me. He took to me and my saddle with no difficulty, and trip trip home was as stress free as I could have hoped. The nights were cold, but I had achieved my goal, and all was right with the world, for that time.
They Returned With Two Dogs
Jake Recognized The New Freight Run Schedule
In July, Henry and Harry made their first set of what would become their standard: two freight runs per month to the Big Piney region. They didn’t always have big loads, but they did always carry the mail, each way, which everyone appreciated. Each of us found ourselves falling in to a routine of having something we had made available to continue to send for sale. This ranged from tanned deer hides, to preserved food products to our metal workings and some wood crafts.
On one of those freight runs, Henry and Harry returned with two dogs. One was pregnant and ‘blessed us’ with five puppies in the fall. They did the same with some cats in the fall. I’m still not sure whether to thank them or curse them for these two contributions to the ‘common good.’
[See JP15, to follow]
From the Author
This series of stories, JPx, is part of a first draft of what I hope and assume becomes a published novel in support of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction stories. It features the self-told story of one of the original settlers of the Oak Creek Valley, Colonel Jake Patton. Some, including him, would say he was the leader of the group. He had a very big ego, that is for sure, but he always tried to make it look like what he was doing was for the benefit of the community. And, of course, it was. But, there was always something in it for him, as well. He managed to grow the inheritance he was fortunate to receive from his father into something that left a nice trust fund for his descendants. We’ve already seen some of these stories, earlier, in the Saga tales. Come along, and let’s see how Colonel Patton tells his own story.
Note: I will publish JPx hubs, from time to time. I will write occasional notes at Patreon about Jake Patton. I may write other things elsewhere. These are each a part of the creative process to create the true first draft of a novel. You, my readers, can take part in this effort at www dot patreon dot com slash HomeplaceSagas. Join us there Today.
This is "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories
- "The Homeplace Saga" Blog
The home blog for "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories set in the southern Missouri Ozarks. All updates of the series are mentioned on the blog, regardless of platform.