Here is my mother writing about her father’s family.
Sarah (Mother’s grandfather’s first wife, many years deceased by the time my Mother entered this world) died of “Inflammation of the Bowels,” the common name for appendicitis in 1887, and Nathan found himself a widower with five children, including a three month old baby girl. The following year he met and married Agnes Jones Roberts, twelve years his junior. They started married life with seven children, however Nathan’s two very young daughters continued to live with their maternal grandparents, where they had been left upon their mother’s death, so actually there were only five children in the home.
Now from my grandfather, my mother’s father’s autobiography,
“Between the years 1889 and 1906, more than half the State of Oklahoma was colonized by eleven “land openings,” of which four were “land runs.” The first of these “runs” was begun by a signal at noon on April 22, 1889 for claims of 160 acres each (1/4 section) in a large tract of choice, formerly “unassigned” land in the middle of the state. Nathan and Agnes participated in this “Run of ‘89″ with the assistance of George Leniton.
By the rules applicable to the run, one man on a fast horse could locate several claims, one for himself and one for each of several friends. If my (Ray) memory or information gained from conversations among the older members of the family during my childhood is correct, George Leniton on a good horse “staked out” four claims, one for himself, one for father and two for others. Father paid George $25.00 for his services…Father and Mother followed in the covered wagon. (note from my mother: None of Daddy’s half siblings made the run.)
Food supplies that the folks brought with them at the time of the run were of the staple variety: bacon, dried beans, wheat flour, corn meal (ground in the grist mill that Nathan’s father, Albert, built on Spring Creek), coffee, sugar, etc. Special mention shoudl be made of enough sun-dried apples for the orchard on Albert’s farm to fill a 100 lb. flour sack.
Additional supplies included seed grain, (corn, wheat, kafir) and all kinds of seeds for garden vegetables. A medicine chest containing Epsom salt, tincture of Arnica (a liniment for sprains and bruises) and Blackberry Balsam, used as an astringent in chases of diarrhea was the homesteader’s substitute for the modern corner drug store.”