Jake Patton Memoirs - JP16 - Jake Looked Forward To New Valley Arrivals In 1836
The Mild Winter Was Not Without Snow
Jake Welcomed The Campbell Family
I was particularly interested in the way the weather played out in the winter and spring of 1836 as I knew we were expecting new settlers, especially the Campbell family. I would not have been surprised if others arrived as well, without advanced notice. Turned out, they were the only ones. It was generally a fairly mild winter. No real sustained cold spells. We had two or three inches of snow each, every couple of weeks, through January and February, and that was about it for precipitation. It was our driest winter so far. No rain until March.
It had just warmed up enough in the middle of March that we were each in our first preparations for spring field work when the Campbell family came through to settle in the west valley as planned. They came in from the north past past Robert and the mill first, and then stopped at our place before heading on west. It turned out to be Robert and his wife, Camilla, with three children. The boys, Ralph and Delbert, were 11 and 9, respectively, … not quite the teenagers I was expecting. The also had a young daughter, Lillian, a three-year-old. Kate, Victoria and Anna were quite taken with young Lillian, of course. They were accompanied by a couple of young men, cousins, we were told, who drove the second wagon, and helped with the livestock.
Young Ralph and Delbert each rode mules and helped keep the livestock in line. They were doing the work one would expect of teenagers, though, so perhaps that wasn’t so far off. Very responsible and disciplined. Much like their father and mother. They were anxious to move out the next morning to settle on their new place, and get to work. The cousins would stay around a few weeks to help them get settled in, and then head back to the northeast to their home, Victor said. We offered to help out when they wanted it, and invited them to our place for Fourth Sunday. They said they would let us know, and headed west.
Jake Could Not Resist Adding Another Mare To His Herd
Jake And Victor Travelled South And Back
We got the rain we needed during that spring season, without getting too much. It had been a good year. Each of us that wanted to were able to make slight expansions to our crop land, and our animals and equipment held up well to get those jobs done. Early in April, I accompanied Victor Campbell in riding south to the land office to file his land purchase using the survey that Robert and David had completed earlier. While we were down there, I introduced him to Don Perkins, from whom I had purchased my mares in prior years. To our pleasant surprise, he had two more young mares that were available, that met our needs, so Victor and I each returned home with a new breeding mare.
By going on that trip together, even though it was only a few days, Victor and I got to know each other even better, of course. I learned that he was only 32 (to my 40) so his maturity at his age did surprise me a bit. However, everything about him convinced me he was a great addition to our valley, and would become a partner in much that needed done as we moved forward. I was correct in that judgement.
He was interested, as was I, at the continued activities of the settlements to the south of us, that each had a distinctive southern flavor, but that none of them had drifted to the north. We chatted amicably with a number of folks as we moved back north, but got no impression that they had more than a passing interest in our valley or us. We talked about that quite a bit on our way home. And, of course, we were very happy to get back home and get to work on our own places.
Valley Residents Continued To Observe Their Fourth Sunday Gatherings
Jake Appreciated The Community Working Together
We did help Victor and Camilla ‘raise their cabin’ when the time came, but other than that and their regular visits to our place for Fourth Sundays, there was little other interaction. They did however, actively participate in Fourth Sundays. The ladies worked and talked together, the young folks intermingled enthusiastically, and Victor became a full participant in our discussions of current and future plans for the valley. He said they had not had that kind of neighborly interaction previously, but really learned to appreciate the value to be gained by everyone through such activities, both social and business-wise.
Thinking about Fourth Sunday gatherings, I realized at some point during this year, that everyone had managed to acquire a buggy or carriage of some kind. Also, the goats, sheep and geese that we had not originally been brought over, had found a way of appearing at most homesteads. Life was moving on. We were enriching our lives in many ways through our planning and hard working executing of our plans. Robert reported that his customer count from the north had increased in the fall over the prior year. He was happy with this small progress.
Kate and Victoria enjoyed having their General Store. By having the ‘post office’ there, they also got the benefit of regular visits with each family, and those interactions were very useful to all. In addition, by the end of the year, it was becoming noticeable to all that both Victoria and Anna Olsen would be adding to the valley population come the spring of 1837. We all looked forward to those occasions of course.
[See JP17, 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.