Connected successfully  The Okie Legacy: Vol 18, Iss 37 April, 1889, Hard Traveling, Indian Territory

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April, 1889, Hard Traveling, Indian Territory

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, dated 19 April 1889, Friday, page 1, we read about "Hard Traveling."

Found on

Capt. Hayes set his watch ln that morning exactly with the railroad clocks, and as soon as his watch indicated noon Monday a signal would go up for the boomers to start. The three miles of road from the Arkansas River along the Ponca trail was in a frightful condition and it was most discouraging for the settlers. But these men were not made of the stuff to turn back. Difficulties of all kinds were met and overcome. A most neighborly feeling existed and each rendered the others all the assistance possible. A boomer got stuck in the mud. Twenty offers of help were volunteered, the wagon was pried from the black sticky mud, and the boomer went on rejoicing. The settlers mean to help each other, and wo to the lawless settler who attempted to create a disturbance.

Capt. Hayes, who had kept the boomers at bay, said he never saw a more orderly set of men, and was surprised at it. He fully expected an element that would cause him trouble. The Indian mission school, half a mile from he Ponca train, came in a body to witness the start, and men and women on horseback from Arkansas City galloped along the line of wagons and waved their handkerchiefs to the sturdy farmers. Carriages filled with the elite of the city were on the ground to witness the start. Prospective merchants, town-sitars, bankers, and speculators would take trains Monday.

It was estimated that there were 30,000 people near there altogether. Every wagon road as far north as Emporia was pouring prairie schooners with their burdens of humanity into every wagon road and trail along the northern and eastern borders of the Indian Territory. Many boomers had hired the cowboys, who were conversant with he trials, as scouts, paying them handsomely to conduct them tot he promised land.

The recent rains had swollen every stream around the territory to unusual proportions and unless the water subsided ti would be hard to get into the Territory over the old trails except by rail. To help out in this difficulty Untied status Commissioner Bonsell and Capt. Hayes had granted privileges to two ranchmen to construct bridges at Salt and Chillocco Creeks and charge the boomers 25 cents toll to cross. The old ferryboat on Salt Creek, which had not been used for years, was brought into requisition that morning.

Several of the better class of settlers who had fine horses said they would ride them into the territory and beat the train. A family from McHenry County, Illinois, arrived there on foot with a lot of fine stock they had driven nearly all the way. Their personal effects were on pack saddles.
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