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Weston Wagons West - Episode L22 - Levi Weston in Oak Springs in early 1876

Updated on November 19, 2017
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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.

Caring for horses was important to all valley residents

Horses were a critical part of life in the valley
Horses were a critical part of life in the valley

The men hobbled the horses near the creek

A pair of fine horses
A pair of fine horses

“Fourth Sunday” gatherings continued in Oak Springs in 1876

Levi Weston enjoyed attending the Oak Springs monthly social event known as “Fourth Sunday.” It had grown out of the practice of Jake Patton and the other first pioneers in the valley dating from their arrival in the late spring of 1833. Those first four or five family had settled a few miles apart, so to keep in touch on a more formal basis, they had agreed that on each “Fourth Sunday” they would all gather together for a social afternoon as well as to coordinate planning for mutual assistance projects, and to exchange stories of their experiences and progress on their individual farms. It had been very successful in building the cohesiveness across the valley that continued to the present time.

By 1876, not every family was able to participate every month, but the peer pressure to attend was very strong, as well as mutually beneficial. In addition to meeting new people and sharing valley news, each gathering normally had a brief general meeting with announcements and introductions. In addition, special gatherings of interested persons could be held for the convenience of everyone. Levi also knew that most of the business people in town used the occasion to gently remind folks that their products and services were available, as well. He had certainly found that being there and circulating regularly among the men, demonstrating interest in their various horses, had been very useful in building his own business.

Fourth Sundays in both January and February in 1876 had been chilly and a bit blustery, but attendance had held up fairly well. Most people stayed in the Community Building, which was fairly crowded and not much chance to move around. In March, ten inches of snow had fallen on Saturday, and the temperature stayed in the twenties, so everyone knew not to try to get together. It was one of the rare times that a Fourth Sunday gathering had not been held in recent years. When April rolled around, everyone was anxious to get out to participate and get the latest news of the valley.

Can you smell the lilac?

A blooming lilac bush
A blooming lilac bush

Fourth Sunday, April 23, 1876, Oak Spring

In contrast to March, the fourth Sunday in April was an extremely pleasant day, sunny, a gentle breeze and perhaps a little above normal temperature. Grass was growing in the park, and trees were exhibiting flowering leaf buds and even a few new leaves were out on some of the trees. Some of the lilac bushes were in full bloom, with that familiar scent in the air, if the breeze was blowing your way. While some folks were in the Community Building, most were outside. The children were playing south of the building, and the adults were standing in clusters west of the building and in the park across the road to the west. As they arrived in wagons or carriages, the women and children generally disembarked, and the men took their vehicle and horses across the park on the west to near Patton’s Run, where the horses could both get water and graze.

Levi Weston had been chatting with a couple of the men who had dropped off their families near the Community Building, and brought their horses down near the spring-fed stream, Patton’s Run, to be near the water. They were just leaving when Owen Olson approached along with a younger man, that Levi did not recognize, leading two magnificent Morgan Horses. Owen introduced the man as Karl King a new young farmer who had purchased the “Old Hamby Place” west of town. Owen also mentioned Karl’s wife and four children, but Levi was most anxious to talk about the horses, at the moment. Karl and Levi were soon deep in conversation about their mutual interest in the horses and examining the two in front of them in great detail. Each seemed to impress the other with their depth of knowledge of, and interest in, the breed.

Having taken care of the horses, near the stream, Karl and Levi continued their conversation as they walked back across the park to near the Community Building where Katherine was in conversation with Lewis and Caroline Truesdale, along with his sister, Nellie Truesdale, the school teacher, about the school Open House later in the afternoon. In a few minutes, the Truesdales excused themselves, and Karl, Katherine and Levi had a few minutes to chat before the dinner bell rang. Katherine learned that Levi was a woodworker and wagon builder in addition to being a farrier and breeder of Morgan Horses. Levi had already made a dinner commitment, so he left them shortly after the dinner bell rang.

Levi was proud of his horses

A Morgan Horse
A Morgan Horse

Levi talked to the Kings later in the afternoon

Following the school Open House, Levi noticed that a number of folks were talking to Karl and Katherine King about aspects of building their farm house which Gideon Inman had suggested folks do in his General Meeting remarks when he had introduced the Kings as a new family in town. Levi joined the conversation. Before they finished, he was careful to mention specifically that if they recognized a particular woodworking need, now or later on, he encouraged them to talk to him about that.

Levi also was careful to invite Karl to visit his shop, at his convenience, and let Levi show Karl his Morgan Horses, as well as tour his other operations. Levi let Karl know that he was anxious for them to have the opportunity to continue their earlier conversation, when Karl had the time. Levi was careful to show that he recognized that Karl and Katherine had much more urgent concerns, but he was available to assist them in any way he could, at the appropriate time. Karl and Katherine thanked Levi for his offer of support and assistance. Levi looked forward to spending more time with them, in the future.

Note by the author

This episode continues the Jacob and Levi Weston family saga fictional stories. The Levi and Jacob families were included, from time to time, in the ‘Life in Oak Springs’ and ‘The Kings of Oak Springs’ stories elsewhere here on HubPages. Those stories occurred during the 1876-1886 time frame. In this present series, that period will be the focus of the first several episodes, but will then continue beyond that period.

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, as well as the McDonalds, were first created as a part of “The Homeplace Saga” stories. The first 20 episodes of this Lx series filled in the early years of the lives of Levi, Jacob and their family.

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

These first 20 episodes of the Levi Weston story have been compiled into an ebook: “Weston Wagons West: Levi Weston, L1-20 (1823-1874).” Thank you for your support.

“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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    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you! I agree totally. A prime reason I enjoy writing about this small town...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Here is one thing today's society is missing far too often....a sense of community! Just one reason why I enjoy this series so much.