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Weston Wagons West - Ep. L8 - Levi Weston completed his move to Oak Springs

Updated on December 13, 2014
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

It took a few days to get to Oak Springs

Three horses grazing as the men talked about their trip.
Three horses grazing as the men talked about their trip. | Source

Levi and Ezra Weston arrived in Oak Springs with all packs intact

Upon arrival in Oak Springs, Levi and Ezra went directly to the General Merchandise Store which also served as the freight station for the McDonald Freight Lines, since much of their cargo was for the store anyway. Levi had arranged for some temporary storage there for his larger items that had already been shipped. All of the items he had shipped were there, waiting for him to arrive. They unpacked the mules and also stored most of the smaller items that wouldn't be needed right away. They next went to the Livery Stable and arranged for care of the horses and mules. Finally, they went across First Street to the Patton Hotel where they got their rooms and freshened up after their long journey.

Levi and Ezra had arranged to meet with Hugh Truesdale at his office in the Sale Barn just on the other side of the Livery Stable, when they had been there, earlier. Hugh was pleased to see Levi and to meet his brother, Ezra. They had a good discussion with Hugh about their trip down, and Levi talked a bit about what they wanted to accomplish in the next few days. Hugh said that Victoria was expecting Levi and Ezra to join their family for the evening meal at their home on the south edge of town. Hugh offered to give them a "tour of the town" as they walked the four blocks or so, essentially from one end of the town to the other, down Central Avenue. They set off on their tour.

Going south on Central, Hugh pointed out Gideon Inman's Insurance and Real Estate office on the west side, across from the Livery Stable, then the Ames and Mathison offices just south of that. Crossing First Street, just west of the Hotel, Hugh pointed out the Jones Dry Goods Store, the Jones' Boarding House, behind the store to the west, and their home, just beyond, further west. On the corner of Central and Patton Street, across from the Tavern, he showed them the Baldridge Lumber and Seed Store, noting that the Robert Baldridge home was beyond the store, facing on Patton. As they crossed Patton Street to the General Merchandise Store, Hugh mentioned that Patton Street seemed to be, in most folks minds, Patton Road as it extended into the country both east and west. Especially to the west, they all referred to it as Patton Road, coming into town.

The Community Building was located just south of the General Merchandise Store at the corner of Central and First Street South, where they turned east walking along the residential area to the south of them. As they turned, Hugh pointed out Jake and Kate Patton's house on the corner, and the Victor Campbell home south of that. Hugh and Victoria lived in the house just east of the Patton's. The two houses to the east of their house, he told them, belonged to the Ames and the Mathison families. He added that Jonathan Ames was a physician and Wesley Mathison was a lawyer. The two had also formed a joint real-estate venture, and built the two buildings housing their professional offices and Inman's office.

The first novel in "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fictions stories

Nice to be at the end of the ride

The horses were put up at the livery stable
The horses were put up at the livery stable | Source

Ezra, along with Levi, experienced the local Oak Springs hospitality

At the Truesdale home, Levi and Ezra met Victoria, Hugh's wife, of course, as well as the two younger Truesdale children, Lewis, 15, and Nellie, 7. Lewis was home for the summer following his second year of secondary school in Jefferson City where he lived with his Truesdale grandparents during the school year. Nellie was getting her schooling at home, from her mother and father, and also helped out at the Store, of course, she wanted them all to know.

Victoria wanted to hear all about Ezra's new baby, of course, and the wedding of Hiram. She had heard about both events during visits up north, but had not been there, of course. She was also anxious to hear about any plans that Levi was willing to share about his new life here in Oak Springs. Levi said that his first interest was his horses, of course, and that he was a farrier by trade, with some blacksmithing skills, that he generally used only as a support to his other work. He did mention that he had trained his younger brothers in these skills. Ezra was quick to support that and pointed out that Levi was also a skilled woodworker and a carriage and wagon builder.

Levi added that among his first responsibilities were to build two wagons for the McDonald Freight Line. He hoped to do that yet this summer and before too much of the fall had passed. He also wanted to have a shop and a modest home built before winter set in. Along with Hugh, Levi spoke of putting his horses and mules to use at the Livery Stable, as needed, as well as getting some of the mares bred yet this summer, as he and Hugh had discussed. Their Morgan lines were very compatible, Levi added, and he looked forward to the opportunity to breed with the Patton and Truesdale stallions, over time.

The mystery novella in "The Homeplace Saga" series of stories

All aboard for the trip home

A recreation of an early familiar stage coach
A recreation of an early familiar stage coach | Source

Ezra prepared to leave Oak Springs for his return to his wife and child in Jefferson City

The next few days were taken up with orientation walks and rides by both Levi and Ezra, talking to people they met, and arranging to talk to other people they heard about. Levi had his list of early tasks to accomplish, and he got several of those items checked off before Ezra had to leave.

They stopped by the Jones Boarding House, and learned that a room would be opening up there, in about a week, and Levi decided to take it. They made several visits to the Baldridge Lumber and Seed store, where Levi made arrangements for delivery of some of the lumber and other materials he knew he needed. They spend some time at the storage area at the store, getting out some materials he wanted to use, immediately. They set up the sturdy, large tent he had chosen, so he could use it as a temporary shop on this property. Earlier, Levi and Ezra had staked out the general areas on Levi's property where he envisioned the various work areas, gardens, house and farming plots to be.

They learned there was now a twice a week stage coach through Oak Springs, stopping at the Hotel. Ezra had purchased a ride connecting through to Jefferson City on the next coach through town. Although Ezra had enjoyed his time on the trip, and becoming acquainted generally with Levi's new home, he was anxious to get back to his new family and his own work. Likewise, Levi hated to see Ezra go, but, following his departure, Levi felt some relief as well that now he could concentrate on all the projects he had before him.

The latest novel in "The Homeplace Saga" series

Historical note by the author

As noted in Episode L1 of this series of historical fiction family saga stories, all of the characters in this episode are fictional. Activities and events are consistent with known historical facts, but are entirely fictitious. The Jacob and Levi Weston characters were first created as a part of The Homeplace Saga stories collectively identified as The Founding - during their later lives in Missouri. This current Lx series fills in the early years of their lives.

Some of the stories of the forthcoming "American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1875)" collection of historical fiction family saga short stories are being published on "The Homeplace Saga" blog, found at the link, below, including those introducing Levi and Jacob Weston.

“The Homeplace Saga” historical fiction family saga stories are the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”


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