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Written by Hosea W. Rood 
Madison, Wisconsin 

Published by Horace M. Davis, Ord, Nebraska 


Walter G. Rood, North Loup, Nebraska 









A Kew Words Concorning 
this Family SRoich 

^TT^he work connected with the preparation of 
this family sketch has been a labor of love. 
It was undertaken with the conviction that it is 
well worth while to preserve what is good in fam- 
ily traditions, — those stories that tell of the am- 
bitions and desires of our parents and our grand- 
parents in behalf of their children and grand-child- 
ren; stories that tell how they met and overcame 
the primitive conditions of pioneer life; stories 
indicative of worthy character and right motives; 
stories that tell of something in them well worth 
our emulation, and that should inspire us to high- 
er ideals and better living. It is the sincere de- 
sire of those who have been concerned in the writ- 
ing and publication of this book that it may serve 
a good purpose; and that every descendant of our 
good grandfather George Thorngate may cherish 
the memory and emulate the virtues of both him 
and his worthy sons and daughters. 

Tho I have taken great pains to get at facts, 
I suspect that some errors will be found in this 
book; still I think that nearly all the facts stated 
and dates given are correct. I have undertaken 
to tell the story of our family life as plainly, dir- 
ectly and impartially as I could, and, above all 
other things, to have it true in spirit, even if not 
correct in every detail. 

In the writing of this sketch I have had some 
of the best of help. My good niece, Mrs. Ora 

Clement, prepared most of the malerial from 
which the story of the family life in Nebraska has 
been written; also, my brothers George and Char- 
ley, and my sister Mrs. Mary Davis and her hus- 
band, Mansell, have kindly contributed reminis- 
cences of pioneer life in Nebraska. My uncle 
Henry Thorngate has written sketches of the his- 
tory of his own family and that of uncle George, 
and has given his help and encouragement in var- 
ious ways. The v/ell written story of the family 
life and connections of uncle Charles Thorngate 
came from his two daughters Ella and Ethel. I 
could not have told the story of the Thorngate 
family in New York, and the coming to Wisconsin, 
had it not been for the interested help given by 
aunt Hanna Stillman, who has, since the begin- 
ning of this work, entered into the higher life. 

Among those who have given me moral sup- 
port and encouragement, I may mention my dear 
old mother, now in the eighty fifth year of her 
age, my brother Herman, and especially my 
nephew Ray Rood; also, my loving companion of 
forty years has sat by my side during all the time 
I have worked on this book, ready always to help 
and encourage in every way. 

I have depended much for counsel and advice 
upon my brother Walter and nephew Horace M. 
Davis. Walter has attended to the getting of the 
pictures and Horace has done the printing. 

To every one of these helpers I now return 
my grateful thanks. 


Madison, Wisconsin, October 13, 1906. 


It is said that not one American in twenty knows 
who his great grandfather was, to say nothing about 
knowing what kind of man he was. For mj^self I 
cannot think this ignorance commendable, tho now 
and then a great grandfather may have been hardly 
worth knowing. I am glad to say, however, that the 
great grandsire of my children, the children of my 
brothers and sisters and of my cousins, was well 
worth the knowing, and I wish to introduce them 
to him. 

Their great grandfather, George Thorngate, was 
not rich, he was not great, was not a man of culture. 
He was a poor man, one of the commonest of com- 
mon men, a man of almost no such education as the 
schools give. But he was what is better than all 
that, — an industrious, honest, God-fearing man; a 
man so just and upright, so true and conscientious, 
that he could not knowingly wrong any living being, 
man or beast. I cannot think of him as ever stoop- 
ing from his erect manhood to do a thing that had in 
it the least suspicion of meanness. 

Grandfather Thorngate was a modest man, timid 
and retiring even among his daily associates, — a 
quiet gentle man ; yet, in the presence of manifest 
injustice or cruelty he was apt to be stirred with 
righteous indignation to the very depths of his 
strong nature. Tho of a calm and quiet temperament, 
and a lover of peace, he cheerfully parted with his 

four stalwart sons when they thot they were needed 
to fight for the flag of his adopted country ; and he 
said that if it came to the worst he would go himself. 
He was intensely loyal, and hated slavery as he did 
every other form of oppression. 

I presume my Grandfather Thorngate had some 
faults, for he was but a man. I presume, too, that 
he could tell what those faults were, but I never 
found them out. I have heard it said that he had 
in him something of the spirit of John Bull. This 
means, I take it, that he had decided notions upon 
questions of right and wrong, and was hard to be 
moved from what his judgment told him was right. 

I think that every descendant of this good man 
should know about him. The knowledge that such 
a man as he was the founder of our family in 
America should make every one of us desire so to 
live as to be worthy of him. I am not so sure but 
that every day he looks down upon us from up yonder 
and bestov/s upon us his benediction. And others 
there are w^ith him who are dear to us in memory, 
and who have lived so worthily for us that we may 
well honor them in our own lives. 

It is to call loving attention to v>^hat has been good 
in those of our family who have gone on before ; 
to draw us who still live, especially the young, the 
more closely together in the sacred bonds of love 
and kinship ; to lead us to know more of one another, 
to love one another better; to inspire us with higher 
ideals and impel us to better living and more unself- 
ish service, that this little book has been written. 
May God help us ail! 



On the 30th day of April 1798, there was born in 
Marlborough, England, into a family of honest, hard- 
working, God-fearing people, a baby boy who was 
named George Thorngate. The father's name was 
William Thorngate. The other boys in this family 
were David, William and Jacob ;the girls, Betsy, Ann 
and Hanna, — seven children in all. The father 
died while George was quite young, but I do not 
know in what year. 

When George was about fourteen years old he 
was "bound out" to a man named Beason to learn 
the carpenter's trade. According to the custom of 
those days his apprenticeship must last seven years, 
— until George would be twenty-one years old. I 
suspect that he did not take kindly to the trade se- 
lected for him, for when he was fifteen years old he 
enlisted for life in the English army. I think he 
must have run avvciy from his master in order to do 

This was in the year 1813, during what we now call 
the "War of 1812," the second struggle between 
John Bull and his wayward son Jonathan. I do not 
know very much about the nature of the service to 

-11 — 

which this yonng sojdier was put at once, but I have 
heard him tell, after he became a white-haired old 
man, that his command was at one time guarding 
French prisoners on a prison ship somewhere on the 
coast of Scotland. Later, the troops with which his 
regiment belonged were sent in a fieet of seventy sail 
to Canada. His regiment was stationed on the Can- 
ada side of that part of the St. Lav/rence River con- 
taining the "Thousand Isles," and opposite Jeffer- 
son county, New York. I remember his once telling 
me about getting tired of army life, and wishing he 
were an American citizen on the Yankee side of the 
river. He said he found that some of his comrades 
had the same desire; that they talked the matter 
over and decided to desert the British army and, if 
they could, get across the river; that when outside 
the lines they made for the river, where, without per- 
mission of the owner, they borrowed a boat ; that in 
this boat they boldty pushed out into the swift cur- 
rent for" the land of the free and the home of the 
brave"; that they had a fearful night of it, coming 
more than once very close to a watery grave ; that 
their rations consisted mostly of a cabbage they 
had foraged; that after many hazardous experi- 
Ciices they succeeded at last in landing on New York 
soil, very wet, tired and hungry, yet thankful and 
full of courage. 

George Thorngate was then seventeen j^ears old, 
and according to his own testimony a very bashful, 
awkward "Henglish" boy. He managed sometime 
after this to get into the family, near Brownsville, 
Jefferson county, of a man named Ainsworth. They 


were good to him and suggested that he go to school, 
for he had not yet learned either to read or to 
write. He did begin to go to school, but,becaiise 
both pupils and teacher laughed at his ''Henglish" 
talk and manners, he quit at once the getting of an 
education. After this he worked by the month two 
years on the farm. Then he took the land to work 
on shares. He had a good home and was a steady, 
faithful worker. 


In the summer of 1820 there came to that neigh- 
borhod, to live with her brother Herman, a young 
lady namxcd Matilda Blanchard. I think that Her- 
man had come two or three years before, and had 
bought a farm there. He had served a year in the 
war of 1812, being a member of Captain Bradford's 
Company of the 45th U. S. Regulars. The native 
place of the Blanehards was Concord, New Hamp- 
shire. I must give a little attention to them just 
here, for they are ^oing to get into this story. Their 
father, David, had lived two and a half miles from 
.the state house, on a farm his father had taken up 
and cleared. David is said to have served in the 
Revolution.* He died when Herman was about twelve 
years old and Matilda ten. There was also a sister, 
Susan, who later married a man named Grover, also 

NOTE— Aunt Hanna thinks there is a mistake here. She thinks 
the father of Matilda and Herman Blanchard was WiUiam, and 
that David, who was in the Revohition, was their grandfather. 
Herman, himself, was a soldier in the war of 1812, having served 
in Captain Bradford's company of the 45th. Regulars. 


a brother, William Blancharcl. The mother of these 
four was living in Bethel, Maine, in 1830. Her name 
was Hannah. I have a letter written by her Septem- 
ber 8, 1830, to her "Dear Children," George and 
Matilda. In it she tells of the death of their grand- 
mother Eaton in March, 1829. The letter is full of 
religious sentiment, and shows great love and strong 
affection for those of her own family. It also shows 
her to have been a woman of bright mind. 

After the death of David, the father of Herman, 
"William, Susan and Matilda Blanchard, Matilda was 
put, for bringing up, into the family of a Mr. Clark, 
of Concord. They were good to her and treated her 
as their own. There was a Mary Clark in the family 
who was a talented writer and, I should think by 
her letters, a Quaker. When Matilda left the Clark 
home, in the early summer of 1820, Mary wrote for 
her, to take with her, a long letter in excellent verse. 
It abounds in expressions of lofty religious senti- 
ment and love of nature. This letter is dated May 
1, 1820. It must have been a blessed thing for Ma- 
tilda to have so good and true and noble a friend 
and sister as this Mary Clark. ]\^ary died in 1834. 

George Thorngate became acquainted with Her- 
man Blanchard, and, after Matilda arrived, bashful 
and awkward as he was, he got acquainted with her, 
too, and in such fashion that on the 18th of January, 
1822, they were married. Both were then 23 years 



When George Thorngate left the British army his 
people in England lost all track of him. They heard 
nothing of him for two years, excepting a rumor 
that he had been lost at sea. But after the boy had 
got settled in the home of Mr. Ainsworth, Mrs. 
Ainsworth, on August 14, 1817, wrote a letter home 
for him. This message was received in Marlborough 
November 12 following, and created no small sur- 
prise. All rejoiced to hear that George was alive 
and well, but they were not altogether pleased, I 
guess, that he had left the army as he had done and 
become a Yankee. 

Four days later his brother David, whose wife was 
Alice, answered the letter. I have that letter here 
as I write. It is yellow with age and worn by the 
tender handling of many fingers now still. In it 
David tells George that their dear mother is yet 
alive and in excellent health ; and says that the 
brothers, William and Jacob, and sisters, Betsey, 
Ann and Hannah, ''are all well and they send their 
kind loves to you." It is a long letter, full of home 
news. It is full of concern for George's religious 
welfare. David urges him to read his Bible and 
prayer book and above all other things to serve God 

Correspondence was kept up between these two 
brothers for sixteen years, till 1833. All of them 
speak of a deep and abiding religious faith. In one 
of them David tells of the death of Uncle Thomas, 
whose last words were, "I am complete in Him!" 
In a letter dated April 30, 1820, George's 22d birth- 


day, he is told of the death of his mother on the 17th 
of that month, and that on the following Sunday she 
had been buried at Preshute church by the side of 
her late husband, William Thorngate ; that she had 
been very happy in her last hours, talking to her 
friends until five minutes before she breathed her 
last. One of the letters says that Jacob had enlisted 
in the English artillery for twelve years and been 
sent to India. Other letters say he was never heard 
from afterward. A letter dated September 29, 1822, 
congratulates George upon his having taken to him- 
self a wife and wishes him and his companion all 
happiness in their new relation. A letter dated 
September 2, 1823, congratulates the young people 
on having a little girl born to them. This little girl, 
Marianne, in due course of time came to be my own 
good mother. Hereafter in this story I shall call 
George Thorngate grandfather and Marianne 
mother. On June 29, 1828, David tells grandfather 
that Uncle Daniel is much interested in hearing of 
his welfare, especially the welfare of his soul. In 
this same letter David exhorts him to bring up his 
children in the fear of the Lord. 

The last of these old letters was written August 
31, 1833. It brings to my grandfather the news 
that his brother William had died of asthma three 
years before, — the same disease that had caused 
their father's death. David says that he himself has 
lately had a ''sharp pinch" of asthma, — was laid up 
several weeks. And this same letter tells of the 
death of Uncle Daniel at 80 years of age. David 
rejoices that George has "sought divine grace." 


The brother who wrote these yellow old letters, 
these kind, helpful, brotherly, " homey ^' letters, died 
in May, 1834, and then no more messages came from 
grandfather's home in England till 20 years later. 
I will mention them in due time. 

I must stop a minute right here in this story to 
say that I am indeed glad to learn from these old 
letters that the parents and other relatives of both 
my Grandfather and Grandmother Thorngate were 
Christian people, temperate people, industrious, and, 
tho belonging to the working class, were intelligent 
people. There is a great deal in their short and 
simple annals with which to be well pleased, and 
nothing to make ashamed. All honor to them. May 
all who live after them be as worthy of respect as 
they were ! 


A little more than two years after my grandfather 
was married, and when my mother was something 
more than a year old, — that is, in 1824, Grandfather 
and Uncle Herman moved to western New York, 
Cattaraugus county, town of Persia. There they 
bought land on what was known as "The Holland 
Purchase." The two farms joined each other. Soon 
after this Uncle Herman married a Miss Betsey 
Taylor. The country was new, the timber heavy, 
and it took much hard work to clear off a small 
field. Neighbors were few and far between, all 

lived in log houses, money was hard to get, the com- 
forts of life were not known. Grandfather had 
sometimes to go away from home to work, leaving 
the young wife and little children alone in the 
woods, with only a blanket hung up for a door. 
Indians sometimes frightened them, but never did 
any other harm. Their lives and experiences were 
such as were common in those days to all frontier 
families in the heavy forest. Here five other chil- 
dren, David, Hannah, Henry, Charles and George, 
came into the family. 


Very soon after reaching this new home Uncle 
David was born, July 26, 1824. Aunt Hannah has 
this to tell about her arrival : ''Father used to work 
on a bridge at Lodi — now Gowanda — about the time 
of my birth, and mother had to get along alone with 
the chores at the barn and attend to things in gen- 
eral. One time she slipped and fell, hurting her 
some. When I came along it was a good while be- 
fore I could walk, and when I did I went with a 
limp, as I always have done." She was born Febru- 
ary 13, 1827. Uncle Henry was born September 27, 
1829; Uncle Charles, May 25, 1831; Uncle George, 
August 6, 183-4. 

About the year 1828, grandfather and grand- 
mother went on a visit to the people they had left 
in Jefferson count^^ I think they went on to Bethel, 
Maine, also, and spent some time with grandmother's 
folks. I do not know whether they went by way of 


Concord, N. H. It was a long trip to make with a 
team and sleigh, — a drive of more than a thousand 
miles, going and coming. The effort they made 
shows the love they had for old friends. 

The settlers in this new neighborhood got a log 
school house built, and after a while there were 
enough young people to make a good-sized school. 
A part of the time George C. Babcock was teacher. 
My grandmother was some of the time in not very 
good health, and so mother had to do work at home 
when she would otherwise have been in school. 
When her little brother George was a year or two 
of age grandmother had inflammatory rheumatism 
and mother had almost the entire care of him. Uncle 
Henry was not a healthy little boy and Uncle Charles 
was puny when j^oung. ''George was a nice little 
boy, and good," so Aunt Hannah says, 

I have said that grandfather at the time of his 
marriage was not able to read or ^vrite. Grand- 
mother was a bright woman and she taught him to 
read and to write his name. He became quite ^ 
reader later in life. Grandfather was a quiet man 
as I knew him, and I guess he was so in his younger 
days. Aunt Hannah says of him : ' ' I may say con- 
cerning my father that he had his own troubles and 
trials within himself, and he doubtless made mis- 
takes and had some shortcomings. He was, you 
know, no talker — had no gift that way — in words 
and phrases to express what he thot and felt. Since 
words would not come readily at his call, he was 
commonly silent. As he had not when a boy been 
sent to school, he could not write, and he always 


grieved over the matter. He learned to read, tho, 
and to sign his name." It seems to me that, as I 
knew my grandfather, a better man never lived. 
Uncle Daniel Babcoek, of whom I shall speak later, 
and who knew grandfather well for many years, 
once said that he would be so glad to see George 
Thorngate again that he would kiss him; he would 
be glad even to kiss his foot. That dear old grand- 
father of ours has left us all a precious heritage. 

I have grandfather's naturalization papers before 
me as I write. It was in the county court of Catta- 
raugus county, October 7, 1841, that he declared his 
intention to become a citizen of the United States, 
and in the same court, January 31, 1844, when he got 
his full naturalization papers. 

Some time in the early days of this settlement 
there came to it a colony of people from Brookfield, 
Madison county, New York, among them the Bab- 
cocks, the Prentices and the Whitfords. They were 
Seventh Day Baptists, good people and religious. 
They began holding meetings in Deacon Hosea 
Whitford's house. He was their leader in religious 
services and in singing. Preachers of the denomina- 
tion came there from time to time and held meet- 
ings. In due time a church was organized Under 
the preaching of the Rev. Walter B. Gillette grand- 
father made a profession of religion, was baptized 
and joined the church. Grandmother had been a 
Baptist, but she thot the Seventh Day folks all 

wrong on the Sabbath question.. She thot, too, that 
she could easily convince them of their error and she 
went about doing it. But when she began studying 
the question she concluded that they were right and 
she wrong. She was a woman of decision of char- 
acter, and so both she and grandfather began to 
keep the Sabbath. They at once set up a family 
altar, grandmother reading a chapter from the Bible 
and grandfather following with prayer, grand- 
mother taking turns with him. 

This little Seventh Day Baptist church in Persia 
had several preachers whose names have since then 
become well known, among them Elders Gillette, 
already mentioned, Varnum Hull, Nathan V. Hull, 
Russell G. Burdick and Thomas E. Babcock. Under 
the preaching of Thomas E. Babcock, mother, Aunt 
Hannah and Uncles Henry and Charles became 
members of the church. Uncle George wished to 
be baptized too, but it was thot he was thop. too 
young. Years later, when he was baptized at Da- 
kota and joined the church there, he sail that if he 
had ever experienced religion it was at that time 
back in New York, when he was nine years oid. 

Two of us boys bear names that commemorate 
those days, — names of two good men in Persia. I 
was named Hosea Whitford after Deacon Whitford, 
and my brother Walter G., got his name from Elder 
Walter B. Gillette. 


These Brookfield people brot with them to Persia 

the country literary society and set it to going in 
their new home, where it was the means of no little 
culture. When the Cattaraugus folks moved to 
Wisconsin they took the literary society with them 
there, and in due time it became a lively institution 
in Dakota. I shall refer to this matter later. 

When Uncle David came to be eighteen or nine- 
teen years old he got acr[uainted in some way, at 
Clarence, New York, about forty-five miles north 
and a little east of Persia, with a young man named 
Charles P. Rood. For some reason David invited 
this friend of his to his home at Persia. The young 
man seemed pleased with the Thorngate family, es- 
pecially with the daughter Marianne. He worked 
in that vicinity for the next year or so, and on the 
13th day of July, 18M, he and Marianne Thorngate 
were married. And now, as he has become a part 
of the family, I must stop and tell who he was and 
whence he came. 

I would give a great deal now for an hour of talk 
with my father a])out his early life. I did not, while 
he was alive, think so much about the matter. I 
have come to feel that it is well vv^orth while to learn 
things one wishes to know while he has the oppor- 
tunity. Father did not talk very much about his 
early life, and what little I have been able to find 

out has come from various sources. At this time 
there is living in Vermont, Franklin county, town 
of Swanton, an Elisha H. Rood. He is a first cousin 
to my father's father. Here are some of the things 
he has told me by letter. I have abridged somewhat : 

"I shalJ be very glad to tell you what I know of 
the Rood families. Three brothers, Asa, Elijah and 
Elisha, moved from Massachusetts to Bennington 
county, this state, and from there to St. Albans, the 
next town south of Swanton. In a short time they 
located on the Missisquoi river, in Swanton town- 
ship, — Elijah on the north side, Asa and Elisha on 
the south. This Elisha was my father, and I now 
own, and live near, the old homestead. 

''I will tell you first about your branch of the 
family. Elijah Rood, my uncle, died longer ago 
than I can remember. He had three sons, Benager, 
Burrell and Elijah. I cannot remember anything 
about Burrell, your grandfather, for I was not born 
till April 18, 1835. But the name is very familiar 
to me, as I pass, every time I go to the village, what 
is still known as the 'Burrell Rood Place.' These 
boys had a sister, Polly Rood. 

"My Uncle Asa was twice married. One son only, 
William, came to bless the union, and he died young. 
By a second marriage he had a daughter, Betsey. 
She married a man named Reynolds and is now a 
widow with several daughters. I do not know where 
she is. 

My father, Elisha, was twice married, first to 
Polly Stillwell, by whom he had one son, Stephen, 
who died when nine years of age. Not long after- 


ward his mother died. Then my father married 
Betsey Higgins. I was the only child. My father 
died suddenly November 26, 1847, of heart disease, 
being then 81 years old. My dear mother died 
August 28, 1877, 85 years of age. My beloved 
parents were both members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church more than 40 years. I have one daugh- 
ter, born in 1863, wife of Dr. 0. A. Gee, of Brandon, 
this state. She is a graduate in art and music from 
Cowle's Art School, Boston. She was for several 
years a teacher in Montpelier. 

"Yesterday I asked a Mr. Barney, over 75 years 
old, if he could remember Burrell Rood. He said 
he could remember both Burrell and his wife, Mary ; 
that she was a lovely woman, but he could not recall 
her maiden name. ' ' 

There is much more in this letter of Elisha Rood's, 
February 16, 1898, about the various branches of 
the family of Elijah Rood, my father's grandfather, 
but I will here confine my attention to our own 
branch of it — that of the above-mentioned Burrell 
and his wife Mary. They had six children, Lola, 
Abram, Alonzo, William, Charles Persons, and 
Elijah. I am not sure where the sister, Lola, be- 
longs in the order of birth, but she was one of the 
elder children. 


I wish I had here many good things to tell about 
my Grandfather Rood, but I know little about him. 
He must have been a peculiar man, — bright and 


capable, but unsettled, and not much of a home- 
maker. He moved about a great deal. When the 
mother died he married again and more children 
came ; then there was trouble. I will not try to tell 
much concerning what I know so little about. 
Grandfather had four different wives in all. He 
lived at different times in Canada, northern New 
York, and then near Buffalo. It was there, I think, 
that the family was broken up. There w^ere, if I 
mistake not, three of the younger children left with 
my father to take care of. He was then about six- 
teen years old, and he tried to support himself and 
them by chopping cordwood. They were all desti- 
tute and, as the authorities and neighbors saw the 
struggle the poor boy was having, they took the 
children to support. One of them died and another, 
Martha, only four years old, was taken by a family 
to Illinois. At this time my Grandfather Rood had 
gone to Wisconsin Territory, and he was expecting 
my father to bring the children to the West. 


What little I know of my father's lot after the 
death of his good mother gives me to understand 
that the story is a sad one, — too sad, perhaps, to 
know in detail. It must have been especially sad 
to him, and I suppose that is why he did not often 
refer to his early life. 

My father, because of the unsettled conditions of 
the family life, never went to school any more than 
six months. But he, like many other boys with an 


imfavorable environment, longed to know what was 
in books, and his mind was active. He had only his 
Bible from which to learn, and so that book came to 
be very familiar to him. He read it during much of 
his spare time and, to use his own expression, never 
forgot a thing he read. He came to know much of 
the book by heart. Oh that the poor boy, so hungry 
for knowledge, could have had such schooling and 
books as most boys of these days enjoy! And he 
never knew by possession what a good suit of clothes 
was. A pair of shoes was to him almost a luxury. 

This study of the Bible brot the question of the 
Sabbath to his attention. He came to believe the 
seventh day to be the Sabbath, and, about the time 
he was chopping cordwood in a desperate but vain 
effort to support those three little children thru a 
long, cold winter, he began to keep alone what he 
had come to accept as God's Sabbath. A year or 
two later he heard of Seventh Day Baptists at Clar- 
ence, not far away, and he went there and got work. 
Whatever those who read this little book may think 
about this important question, all must respect and 
admire that honest, conscientious, struggling, six- 
teen-year-old boy and his manly decision of char- 

It was not long after this when Uncle David 
Thorngate found my father and invited him to his 
Seventh Day Baptist home. The boy did not know 
until just before he found work at Clarence that 
there was another person in all the wide world keep- 
ing what he believed to be the Sabbath. I do not 
very much wonder that he felt much at home in his 


new surroundings and that he should fall in love 
with and marry my good mother. I was the first 
born of this happy union, the day of my birth being 
May 30, 1845. 


Grandfather's folks led the typical pioneer life 
after their settlement in Cattaraugus county. They 
had at first a simple log cabin with only a blanket 
hung up for a door. Grandfather had often to go 
away to work to earn a little money for the pur- 
chase of such things as they could not produce on 
the farm. The timber was so heavy that it was hard 
work to clear the land. With a growing family of 
boys and girls grandfather found it all he could do 
to feed and clothe them, and so he was a long time 
in debt for the land on which he lived. They had 
visits now and then from neighboring Indians, and 
the woods were more or less infested with wild ani- 
mals. At first the nearest neighbors were two miles 

But for all of the loneliness and the struggle to 
get a bare living, there was hope in the good boys 
and girls growing up in that log house. In due time 
they came to be helpful in clearing up the farm and 
keeping house ; and they so lived and increased in 
strength, knowledge and virtue as to make glad the 
hearts of the father and mother who had toiled and 
sacrificed for them. 



In the early '40s there was much talk about the 
inducements to settle in the West, especially in Wis- 
consin Territory. Three or four years before I Avas 
born, in 1842, Uncle Herman Blanchard had moved 
to Michigan and settled in the town of Cooper, a 
little north of Kalamazoo. In the spring of 1845 
grandfather, with Uncle David and some others of 
the Seventh Day Baptists, went on a tour of obser- 
vation to Rock county, Wisconsin. The families 
of Elder Daniel Babcock, George Babcock and Allen 
Prentice had settled in Johnstown, about nine miles 
from Milton, and grandfather went there. He liked 
the country, with its fertile prairies and woodlands, 
and made up his mind to bring his family there. He 
left David at work there and went back to Cattar- 
augus county after the folks. He sold his farm and 
such stuff as he could, and about the 22nd of Sep- 
tember they all bade good-bye to what for twenty- 
one years had been the family home, w^here all the 
children but mother had been born, where she ha^ 
been married and her first baby born, and started 
for Buffalo, where the took a steamer up the lakes 
for Milwaukee. 

Now it came to pass that at Milwaukee they 
found my Grandfather Rood. Four miles out from 
the city he had a log house and he wanted them to 
go out and make their first stop with him. He had 
no wife then and was keeping house by himself. 
Aunt Hannah says that father's half-brother Bur- 
rell, who had been with his father in Milwaukee and 
had run away and gone to New York State to see 


my father, came back with us at this time to Milwau- 
kee, and she thinks my Uncle Elijah Rood came west 
at the same time. Uncle Elijah soon enlisted and 
went away to the Mexican war. Later he returned 
to Milwaukee, where he was married and lived about 
a year. Then he went to Minnesota and our people 
lost all trace of him. 


I can do no better here than to quote from a letter 
written by Aunt Hannah : ' ' The, result of going to 
see your Grandfather Rood was that we made ar- 
rangements to stay there that season. He wanted 
your father to stay, and he rather wished to do so. 
That, of course, would keep your mother and you. 
Now, your Grandmother Thorngate did not like to 
leave your mother and the baby, so our folks looked 
for a place in which to live. For the first few weeks 
we lived in a school house. Then your Grandfather 
Thorngate found a farm to rent, and we settled in a 
fairly good and roomy double log house. This was 
in the town of Lake, four miles south of the city. 

''In a few weeks your grandfather and grand- 
mother, your father and mother and I, and you too, 
of course, took a trip with the horse and wagon to 
Rock county, leaving your Uncles Henry and Charles 
to keep house. Mr. Prentice and George Babcock 
had rented land of Elder Daniel Babcock and were 
living in a double log house on the place. Your 
Uncle David was working there for Elder Daniel 
Babcock, so you see that nearly all of us were there 


together. We went to Milton on Sabbath morning 
to church. The meeting was held in the old gravel 
academy building, where EUery Burdick's photo- 
graph gallery now stands. Elder Stillman Coon 
preached to us that day. 

''After visiting a week we returned to Milwau- 
kee. The next spring all of us bi>t your mother had 
the 'fever and ague.' It was a sickly season. Our 
doctor bill cost us a nice young horse that we could 
not well spare. In the spring of 1847 all but your 
father and mother and you and I moved to Rock 
county. On the 12th of April your brother George was 
born and I staid to help take care of your mother 
and him. Father took land of Elder Babcock and 
lived in that part of the house where George Bab- 
cock had lived. In June your folks went- to Rock 
Prairie and your father and David took the Doctor 
Babcock farm to work together. You, Hosea, had a 
long and severe run of fever. At one time you came 
very near dying, but revived. It took you a long 
time to get well." 


This home on Rock Prairie was the first of my 
recollection. We lived there till the fall of 1850, a 
little more than three years. There, on December 
20, 1848, my brother Herman was born. My mind is 
full of my own recollections about Rock Prairie, but 
I cannot tell all the stories I recall. Brother George 
was only three and a half years old when we left 
there, yet he seems to remember about as much of our 
doings there as I. He has an unusual memory. 



The soil on Rock Prairie was rich, but our folks 
did not feel able to buy farms there, and so grand- 
father bargained for a piece of land sixteen miles, 
north of Milton, at Utica, in Dane county. Later 
he gave that up and moved to a place called Pleasant 
Valley, about three miles from Princeton, Green 
Lake county, and on the road to Dartford. There 
grandfather selected a piece of land, but for the first 
season worked a farm on shares. Again he lived in a 
log house. I think that grandfather moved up there 
from Rock Prairie in the spring of 1850. In the fall 
of that year LTncle David moved my mother and 
her three babies, Hosea, George and Herman, up 
there too. Father remained at work in Rock county 
till sometime in the winter, then he joined us. 


In the meantime George Babeock, Allen Prentice^ 
Lewis Pierce and their families had moved on fur- 
ther north, to the town of Dakota, in Waushara 
county. This was on what was then called ''The 
Indian land." That seemed to them a beautiful 
country and there was plenty of public land to take 
up. It was natural for my Uncles David and Henry 
and Charles and George to want to go there, too, sr^ 
as to be with their young friends, Oscar, Delia and 
Heman Babeock, Asa and Nathan Prentice and 
Franklin and Harrison Pierce. They said they 
wanted to take up farms there, too, and so they went 
up and made "claims" and built a house of pine 


logs for the family home. In the early spring of 
1851 we all moved up to this new house of grand- 
father's. It was built on the east bank of Pine 
Creek, one mile east of the little village of Dakota. 

It was in April, I think, when our folks moved up 
to Dakota. Grandmother had been taken sick in 
the February before, and it was thot best that she 
be taken to a neighbor's home — that of Mr. Loomer 
— to stay till the weather was warmer. Grandfather 
staid with her till sometime in May, when they both 
went up to the new home. She was not well all that 
summer of 1851, and on the 8th day of February, 
1852, she died. She w^as the first to be laid at rest 
in the little burying ground across the river from 
the village of Dakota. Her sickness was of a drop- 
sical nature. 

The loving testimony of her children is that she 
was a good woman. My mother has this to say 
about her: "I can say that my dear mother was a 
good woman; a kind neighbor, always ready to do 
for others what she could; a Christian woman, a 
kind and sympathetic mother. In stature she was 
of medium height and very straight; her hair was 
straight, not thick, soft and fine ; her complexion 
dark. She weighed, I think, about 120 pounds. She 
was quite a talker, a great reader and a good one. 
Your grandfather was not, you know, a ready talker, 
and so she had to talk for both." 

Aunt Hannah says: "She was a good woman in 
every place — a true wife, a tender and loving 
mother, a faithful friend, a kind neighbor, always 
ready to give help when needed ; self-sacrificing, hos- 


pitable, quiet and peaceful; a Christian woman in 
character and living; patient in tribulation, gener- 
ous, forgiving; and doing the best she could under 
all circumstances." 

Mother and we three children, George, Herman 
and I, were with grandfather's folks when they 
moved from Princeton to Dakota. In the meantime 
father had come up from Rock Prairie and taken up 
some land two and a half miles up the Mecan River 
from Dakota, had built a log house there and began 
breaking. On the 13th day of May, 1851, — mother 
thinks it was the 15th, — we moved into this new 
home. Here our folks were living ten years later 
when I went into the army. This was in the present 
town of Richford, Waushara county. 

Here, on the following 4th of July, my brother 
Charey was born. Here, also, my four sisters were 
Charley was born. Here, also, my four sisters were 
born, — Mary, August 27, 1853 ; Genia, March 11, 
1856; Emma, March 27, 1859; Etta, September 14, 
1861. During the war father moved to a farm two 
miles north of there — the ''Clark place" — and that 
was my brother AValter's birthplace, June 5, 1864. 
In this new home on the Mecan River we had at 
first very few neighbors, but as the years passed bv 
settlers came one after another till it did not seem 
so much like a new country. 



The Babcocks and Prentices, who had been Grand- 
father's neighbors in Cattaraugus county and Rock 
Prairie, settled a little to the south of him on Pine 
creek. There came, also, other Seventh Day Baptist 
people, and in two or three years a church was or- 
ganized and meetings held in the school house at 
Dakota. This school house was a small one, but 
made of boards and was a pretty good one for those 
days. There were at this time quite a large number 
of young men and women in the community, and the 
school there was a good one. And there a literary 
society was organized and kept up year after year, 
both old and young attending and taking part. The 
men had a debating society, and in that little school 
house many j'oung men got their first lessons who, 
later, became public speakers and men of influence 
in the world. 

The church grew in membership and influence 
until it included three or four such mischief-makers 
as could kill the healthful growth of anything. 
After this its influence for good was not so great — 
still, it was a constant elevating force in the com- 
munity until the members got the fever to move 
somewhere else, then everything declined. The peo- 
ple were hardly able to support a settled pastor. 
Elder J. M. Todd, pastor of the Seventh Day Baptist 
church four miles south of Berlin, used to come now 
and then to preach, as did other ministers of our de- 
nomination. Elder Henry B. Lewis, Hiram Babcock 
and George C. Babcock used at different times to 
preach. Later, Oscar Babcock and my father led 

^ —34— 

Old school house at Dakota 

the meetings, both preaching for nothing. 

Our home in Richford was a little out of the com- 
munity, tho we went to Dakota to meeting. At first 
George and I went there to school. Then we had 
school a year in a log shanty on my Uncle David's 
''claim," half a mile west of our house. Later, a 
neat little log school house was built close by our 
house, and in a few years we had a good school. Our 
best teachers were Esther Maine and J. L. Pope. 
Miss Maine taught five terms and Mr. Pope two. We 
had great spelling schools in those days. 

In the early days Dakota promised to become a 
thriving village. It had a store, tavern and a grist 
mill. One morning the mill took fire and burned. 
This was discouraging. My Uncles David and 
Charles, being of a mechanical turn, undertook to 
rebuild the mill and run it, but they were financially 
unable and so had to give it up. The village never 
prospered after that. 


In the meantime the young folks were growing 
and mating. Uncle Charles, on the 5th of June, 
1856, married Eugenia Torrance, who had been a 
teacher in the log shanty school near our home. She 
was of a sweet spirit and was beloved by everybody. 
The preceding winter Uncle Charles had taught the 
school at Dakota. The next spring he took his young 

wife' and what goods he had in a sleigh and started 
for Nebraska. They had not gone far before they 
had to exchange their sleigh for a wagon. They 
had a long, hard journey. They settled ten miles up 
the creek — Salt Creek — from Lincoln, the present 
capital. Finding conditions there quite discouraging 
they moved, in a year or so, back into Fremont 
county, Iowa. 


In June, 1856, after Uncle Charles' marriage, 
grandfather and Aunt Hannah went to visit Uncle 
Herman Blanchard, in Michigan.. They staid till 
October. Henry and David both spent some time 
there. David met Miss Lucina Duell, whom, on 
November 7, 1857, he married and two years later 
brot to Dakota, with their baby boy, Charley. He 
settled on a farm and did carpenter work when he 
had time. Uncle Henry was married at Dakota, June 
14, 1858, to Miss Lorenda O. Crandall. She was a 
daughter of one of the old New York families — that 
of William Crandall, commonly known as ''Uncle 
Bill" Crandall. Uncle Henry worked on a farm at 
Dakota two or three years. 


On the 16th of March, 1857, grandfather was mar- 
ried to a Betsey Langworthy, sister of Elder J. M. 
Todd's second wife, Emma Janette Langworthy. 


She was a good woman, but not healthy. On the 6th 
of March, 1860, she died and was buried by the side 
of Grandmother Matilda. On the 25th of August, 
1860, Aunt Hannah was married to Robert Stillman. 
He bought a farm and settled about two miles south 
of grandfather's home. He had a young boy, James 
I. Stillman, son by his second wife. 


About the year 1858 father's half-sister Martha, 
one of the little children he was trying to support 
by chopping wood near Buffalo when he was sixteen 
years old, came to us. She was about twenty-two 
years old. She had found father by advertising in 
Buffalo papers. She lived with us tv/o or three 
years and was then married to a neighbor of ours 
named Burton IMonroe. Some time after that they 
went to Minnesota to live, and I have never seen her 
since. She is still living in that State, I think. Soon 
after Martha came, father, by chance, heard that his 
brother Abram was living in Dane county, Wiscon- 
sin, four miles north of Sun Prairie and sixteen 
miles northeast of Madison. Father went to visit 
him and then heard that his brother William was 
living in the town of Dane, fifteen miles west of 
Abram 's. Father and Abram visited William, and 
later both William and Abram visited us at our 
home. Abram was quite well-to-do, owning a fine 
farm where he and his young wife, Elizabeth, had 
settled when the country was new — when Aunt 

Elizabeth was only sixteen. Abram had five chil- 
dren — Charlotte, Calvin, Selden, Howard and 
Horace. William had two or three children by his 
first wife and four or five by his second wife, Sally. 
Father brought one of the elder girls, Jane by name, 
home to live with us, but she did not stay long. The 
children by the first wife were William, Ruth and 
Jane ; by the second wife, as nearly as I can remem- 
ber, John, Robert, Jordan and Sarah. I think that 
neither Howard, Mary nor Alice had yet been 
born. I think it was in the summer of 1859 that I 
went down and worked thru harvest with Uncle 
William. It may have been a year later. He was 
just getting started on his farm and was having a 
struggle of it to support his family and pay for the 

I may say here that about this time Grandfather 
Rood came and visited at Uncle Abram 's. He had 
a German wife at that time and two boys, Caleb and 
David. He did not come to our house. Later he 
moved to Iowa, — Tama county, I think, — and a few 
years later he died there. 

When my Aunt Hannah was married Uncle Abram 
was visiting us. He saw that Grandfather Thorn- 
gate would be left with no housekeeper, and so he 
told him of a Mrs. Dickinson, a good woman living 
near his home in Dane county, who would make him 
a wife worth having. Later, grandfather went down 
and saw the widow and they liked each other so well 

that on June 4, 1861, they were married. She was all 
to us that any grandmother could be. We all loved 
her as our very own. She lived with grandfather 
till his death, November 29, 1881, near North Loup, 
Nebraska, and died herself August 27, 1890, at the 
home of my mother at North Loup. 

About the year 1854 my Aunt Hannah wrote to 
the Thorngates in Marlborough, England, grand- 
father's old home. Her letter was received by some 
of grandfather's nieces. They v/ere very happy to 
hear about their Uncle George, and some of them 
wrote letters in answer. Correspondence was kept 
up for about three years and then dropped. I have 
som^e of the old letters before me now. They are full 
of good will and friendship, and abound in religious 
sentiment. They indicate a strong trust in God, the 
merciful Father of us all. I think none of them have 
since been heard from by letter. 


I must now bring this sketch up to the time of the 
beginning of our civil war, in 1861. At this date our 
people had lived in Dakota ten years. The country 
was a delightful one in many respects — fair to look 
upon, the best of water, clear, sparkling streams, 
and the land easy to clear and work — but the soil 
was sandy. When first broken up it produced pretty 
good crops, but after a few years, unless well fertil- 

ized, it was disappointing to the farmer. Grand- 
father was a careful farmer, but his land was par- 
ticularly sandy and he could not get ahead. My 
father was not a natural farmer. Our fast growing 
family demanded much to eat and something to 
wear, and we were not able to get far from primitive 
conditions. We knew more about the necessities of 
life than its comforts. Luxuries were unknown to 
us even by rumor. I guess, tho, that we did not con- 
sider ourselves very poor, for our condition was 
about like that of our neighbors. Our standard of 
living was not such as to give us any high notions. 
So we got on fairly well, tho I am sure that our good 
mother was every day struggling with problems a 
hundred times harder than any we got at school. 

My father got to digging wells for people. That 
work brot in quicker and surer returns than the 
sandy farm. If he had been a better farmer it might 
have been different, but he did the best he could to 
meet the demands of his growing family. Father 
was a hopeful man, full of fun, and with much 
physical energy. He could hold his own in a rough- 
and-tumble scuffle Vv^ith half a dozen of the big boys 
and young men of our community. Ke was a great 
reader and, whatever we might want beside, he 
would take the New York Tribune and The Sabbath 
Recorder. These two papers had no small influence 
in our home. And so did the family altar. I wish 
every home of the Thorngate-Roods would maintain 

a family altar. Father was always in favor of good 
schools, and it vras mostly thru his influence that we 
came to have a good school in our district. 

My uncles and Aunt Hannah were great readers, 
too, and they also had the Tribune and the Recorder. 
Aunt Hannah taught school one term while living 
near Princeton. Uncles Charles and George became 
teachers, and both sang well and played the violin. 
George went to school at Milton College a term or 
two. All my uncles were good men. Grandfather's 
home was a place where God was worshiped every 

On the 2nd day of April, 1861, with my father's 
permission, I left home and went south, 75 miles by 
the road, to Dane county to find work for the sum- 
mer. Iwas not sixteenyears old till the following 30th 
of May, — rather young to start out in such a way. 
About a week later I was settled in the family of 
Dw^ight Brown, town of Vienna, about fifteen miles 
north of Madison, capital of the state. I had en- 
gaged to work there six months at ten dollars a 
month, and was to have the privilege of keeping the 
Sabbath and working Sundays. Within a week after 
I commenced work the w^ar began, and there was 
great excitement. John Gillespie, a young of 
twenty-two living in the same family with me, went 
to Madison on the 17th of April and enlisted for 
three months. After serving his time in the First 
Wisconsin regiment he was discharged August 21st. 

He went to Delton in Sauk county and there, in con- 
nection with Abraham Vanderpoel and Lewis T. 
Linneil, raised a company for the war. On the 6th 
day of October, 1861, I enlisted in this company and 
went, on the 16th, to Delton and began with my com- 
rades to learn how to be a soldier. Our company 
went to Madison and into Camp Randall, just at the 
western edge of the city, on the 1st day of Novem- 
ber, where we became Com.pany E of the Twelfth 
Wisconsin infantry regiment, commanded by Col. 
Geo. E. Br^^ant, who had served as a captain in the 
First Wisconsin. 


Our regiment left Camp Randall on January 11, 
1862, and went to Weston, Missouri, and a month 
later to Leavenworth, Kansas. In Kansas we 
marched to Fort Scott, from there to Lawrence, 
thence to Fort Riley, and then back to Leavenworth — 
500 miles of marching from March 1st to May 27th. 
At Leavenworth w^e took steamer down the Missouri 
to Columbus, Kentucky. We spent the summer of 
18G2 in Kentucky and Tennessee, staying three 
months at Humboldt, Tennessee. Then we joined 
General Grant 's army in northern Mississippi. After 
the surrender of Holly Springs we moved north into 
Tennessee, then on to Memphis, where we arrived 
on the 14th of March. May 11th we started down 
the river for Vicksburg, in the siege of which we 
took part. After the surrender we went, under 
General Sherman, to Jackson for a three-weeks' 






campaign. On the 14th of August we went to 
Natchez, where we did service till, in the early part 
of January, 1864, I with fifty-two others of my com- 
pany re-enlisted for another three j^ears. Two or 
three times we made trips back and forth from 
Natchez to Vicksburg. On the 3rd of February we 
started with a good-sized army on what was known 
as the "Meridian Expedition," from Vicksburg east 
to the Alabama line and back. We got back to camp 
near Vicksburg March 4th. On the 13th of that 
month we started home as a regiment on what was 
known as a "veteran furlough" — a furlough given 
because we had re-enlisted. We got back to Cairo, 
Illinois, where our troops v/ere gathering. May 3rd. 
A week later we moved in steamers up the Ohio and 
Tennessee rivers to Clifton, Tennessee, a.nd from 
there across the country to Sherman's army operat- 
ing against Atlanta. We joined this great army on 
the 8th day of June, at Big Shanty, near Kenesaw 
Mountain. We took our part in the campaign 
against Atlanta, being attached to the First Brigade, 
Third Division, Seventeenth Army Corps. Atlanta 
was taken and evacuated about the 1st day of Sep- 
tember. I was in the hospital from August 14th 
till about the 1st day of November. I was slightly 
wounded in my right arm at the great battle of At- 
lanta July 21st. 

Our regiment left Atlanta Nov. 16, 1864, for the 
famous ' ' March to the Sea. ' ' We entered Savannah 
December 21st. January 5, 1865, we started on the 
"March thru the Carolinas" and were at Raleigh 
when Johnston surrendered his army to Sherman. 


We then made a quick march to Richmond and so on 
to Washington, where we took part on the 24th of 
May in the famous ' ' Grand Review. ' ' In early June 
we went to Louisville, Kentucky, and there, July 16, 
1865, we were mustered out of the service. We left 
Louisville on the 18th for Madison, where we ar- 
rived on the 21st of July. Twelve days later I went 

We were in camp about two weeks near 
Washington and there I had several visits with my 
father and brother Herman. While in camp at 
Louisville my brother George's regiment, the Thirti- 
eth Wisconsin, was there, and we had some pleasant 
visiting. My father and brother Herman had been 
nearly a year in the Thirty-seventh Wisconsin Infan- 
try. It so came to pass that they got to Madison so 
that we three could go home together. We got there 
at daylight on August 3rd, marched into the house 
and gave my good mother and the rest of the family 
-a pleasant and rousing surprise. 

Now I must go back and say that all of our folks 
and grandfather's were, for one reason or another, 
just the kind to enlist for the defense of our flag and 
all for which it then stood and still stands. During 
that first summer of the war the Dakota boys went 
to the army in large numbers. All my uncles enlisted 
early, and my peaceful, saintlike old Grandfather 
said that if the cause needed him he'd go too. In 
order to condense I shall here tabulate the facts of 
the army service of the members of our families. 

i\cr^i-^. yntiA 


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i06i), 1863 

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ficial Records at 
















SO far 
in the 

Madison, Wisc onsin , anendant 

";vill be 






































































Died July 19, 18(iin the 

April 1, 18G3 

January 1, 1864 

January 30, 186c 

July 27, 1865 Henry 

January 5, 1861 same 

Sept. 20, 1865 ugust 

July 27, 1865 ^f^ 

DiedAug.22,18(^^ .^ 


January 1, 1861 State 

October 31, 1864 gton, 

January 4, 1864 me a 

Died Sept. 21, 18C ^^^' 
_rs on 

July 27,1864 
July 24, 1865 



Julyl6, 1865 ^ j^ 

September 4 186] gjj. 

September 4,186,ttle- 

numbers of regiments, 
-vice of the above nam 

Wisconsin is to be understood. Qder 
ed fourteen soldiers was about tl.h uf .f T^nrtwyn^ernjng Arm v^ervke. T^e^ ^^ Madison, Wisconsin, and Pes Moines. Iowa 


DATE AND Place of Kni.istm'nt 








David Thornjtfate 
Henry Thorn^^ale 
CliaH. Tliorn^ale 
Geor>fe Tliorii^ale 
Cliarles P. Kood 

June 23, 1H(3I 
June 23, 1801 
July 23, I8()l 
May 10, 1H()1 
Nov. 2, IKfU 



Civil Hend, Iowa 




4tli la. 






3 yean' 
3 yearj^ 
3 jearr 
.i yean 
1 year 

Hoeea W. Rood, iWi! 

Vienna, Dane Co. 




3 j'ean 

George H. Kood 

Aiij--. 20, IHC.L' 





3 year 

W. Herman Kood 

Nov. 22, I8(;i 





1 year 
3 year' 

Calvin Wood 

Sept. 9, 1S()1 

vSun Prairie 




W. II. 11. WocxI Sr. 

Aug. 15, 18()2 

Dane, Dane Co. 




3 year' 

VV. 11. H. Wood Ir. 

Nov. (i, 18(11 

I.odi, Columbia Co. 




3 year' 

Unrrell Rood 

June H, IHOl 


loth Mo. 


3 year' 

Daniel Dearie 

Sept. 10, 1801 





3 year' 

* Alexander Taylor 

Dec. 30, 1863 

Shopiere, Rock Co. 


Wis. Pat 


3 yean 


Nov. 20, 1S()3 




George Thornj>ale 

3 yea 

Cliarles Thorn;.;:ite 

Jan. 1, 1SC)4 

Civil Ik-nd, la. 


Ith la. 



Hosea W. Kood 

Jan. (), 1801 

Natchex, Misa. 




3 3ear? 

W. H. H. Kood Jr. 

Jan. 1, ISC.t 

Indianola, Texa.s 




3 year 

Daniel Deaj^Ie 

Jan. 4, I8G4 

Indianola, Texas 




3 year 























































































Date of Disch. 

Died July 19, 1802 
April 1, 1803 
January 1, 1804 
JaiHiary 30, 1803 
JtUy 27,180.1 
January 5, 1804 
Sept. 20, 180.-) 
July 27, ISO.-) 
Died Au8-.22,18(i2 
Died Feb. 19, 18(« 
Jatnuiry 4, 1804 
October 31, 1804 
January 4, 1804 
Died Sept. 21, 1803 

July 27,1804 
July 24, 18()r) 
July 1(), 18()r) 
September 4 ISCu 
September 4, 18(r) 






















at Wash., D. C, disease 
wounds at South Mt., Md. 
for re-enlistment as veteran 
wds W' msburo- V'a. May 5 '02 
close of tlu> war 
for re-enlistment as veteran 
close of the war 
close of the war 
at Oldtown, Ark , disease 
at Younj^'aPoint, La., dis. 
for re-enlistment as veteran 
close of term of service 
for re-enlistnient as veteran 
at Madison, Wis., disease 

for promotion in U. S. C. T, 
close of the war 
wd. at Atlanta, Ga., Jul 21 '04 
woimded at Ft. Blakely, Ala 
close of the war 

Where no state is indicated in the above table, in connection with places of enlistment a^^ numbers of regiments, Wisconsin is to be under.stood. Tho great pains have been taken to 

verify every fact in the table, thein; may possibly be a mistake or two. The full time 
average of two years and two months each. 


service of the above named fourteen soldiers was about thirty-one years,— a little more than an 





etl .. 



thi ' 
at ■ 
a I . 










d Des Moines, Iowa 













1st Serg. 









at Wash., D. C, disease 
wounds at South Mt., Md. 
for re-enlistment as veteran 
wds W msburg Va. Ma5^ 5 '62 
close of the war 
for re-enlistment as veteran 
close of the war 
close of the war 
at Oldtown, Ark , disease 
at Young'sPoint, La., dis. 
for re-enlistment as veteran 
close of term of service 
for re-enlistment as veteran 
at Madison, Wis., disease 

for promotion in U. S. C. T. 
close of the war 
wd. atAtlanta,Ga., Jul21'64 
wounded at Ft. Blakely, Ala 
close of the war 

Tho great pains been taken to 
lirty-one years,— a little more than an 

{S<^€ Table Herg) 
I will now undertake to give brief sketches, so far 
as I can, of the army services of those named in the 
foregoing table. I think every patriotic descendant 
of my good grandfather, George Thorngate, will be 
interested in these sketches of what various members 
of the family did to save our Union and maintain the 
honor of our fla«r. 

It will be seen by the table that David and Henry 
Thorngate enlisted on the same day in the same 
company. They went with this company on August 
30th to Camp Randall, near Madison, where they 
were attached, as Company I, to the Seventh Wis- 
consin Infantry. They spent some time there in 
drill, learning the various duties of a soldier. Under 
Colonel Joseph Van Dor, the regiment left the State 
on the 21st of September, 1861, for Washington^ 
where it arrived October 1st. There they became a 
part of what came to be knov/n as the ''Iron Bri- 
gade." The brigade went into v/inter quarters on 
Arlington Heights across the Potomac from Wash- 
ington. This Iron Brigade consisted of the Second, 
Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin Regiments, the Nine- 
teenth Indiana and the Twenty-fourth Michigan. It 
becam^e famous for its ready service, the physical en- 
durance of its men and their courage on the battle- 
field. The brigade, first under General Rufns King, 
then under General John Gibbon, and later under 
Colonel Cutler of the Sixth, was, from the 10th of 

May, 1862, in active service along the Ra[>palian- 
nock, and in all that part of Virginia during the 
summer. On the 28th of August it was in the de- 
structive battle of Gainesville. Here Herbert Cran- 
dall, of Company E of the Seventh, was killed. He 
was a Dakota boy, brother to Uncle Henry Thorn- 
gate's wife, Lorenda. 

The second battle of Bull Run was fought two 
days after Gainesville, and the Seventh did good 
service there. General Lee crossed the Potomac on 
his way north and the Iron Brigade was a part of 
the army that marched around by Washington, then 
up the northern side of the Potomac, to intercept 
him. While the brigade was, on September 14th, 
storming the position of the enemy at South Moun- 
tain, Uncle Henry was severely wounded in the 
ankle. This wound unfitted him for any further 
service. After some time spent in the hospital he 
was, on April 1, 1863, discharged for disability, hav- 
ing served nearly two years. 

In May of 1862 Uncle David was detailed to do 
service in a detachment of bridge-builders. He was 
taken sick and died at a hospital in Washington of 
bleeding at the lungs. There is a little uncertainty 
about the exact date of his death, but it was, prob- 
ably, July 19, 1862. 

I do not know from any public records about 
Uncle Charles Thorngate's army life, but I have a 
bunch of letters he wrote during the war to Aunt 


Hannah. Also, he was in Sherman's Army in the 
Atlanta Campaign and on the "March to the Sea/* 
and so he and I saw each other now and then during 
the last year of the war. The letters I have show 
that in 1861 and the winter and summer of 1862 his 
regiment was in General Curtis' army in Missouri 
and Arkansas; that it was once on an expedition 
across the Mississippi river and out into the State 
of that name. In the summer of 1863 his regiment 
was in the Siege of Vicksburg. In the spring of 
1864 it was in Sherman's army starting out from 
Chattanooga for Atlanta and in the many battles 
along the route. George Torrance, brother to Aunt 
Genia, Uncle Charles' wife, was with him and was 
mortally wounded at Resaca. Barnum Torrance, 
another brother, was also there and was hurt by a 
falling tree while in a detachment building fortifi- 
cations. Barnum recovered, tho. After Atlanta was 
taken Uncle Charles was on the "March to the Sea," 
and from Savannah north through the Carolinas, at 
the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston near Raleigh, 
then on to Richmond, then to Washington, thru the 
Grand Review, and then off to Louisville, Kentucky, 
where he was mustered out with his regiment. It 
was just four years and one day from the time of 
his enlistment to the date of his muster out. 

Tho Uncle Charles was a musician in the regiment, 
when a battle came on he picked up a musket, put 
his fife into his pocket and fought with the men. He 
was a cheerful, contented soldier, and much loved 
by his comrades. The few visits I was able to have 
with him did me good. Tho in fairly good health 


during his service, he contracted a disease that wore 
his life out. He died at Weeping Water, Nebraska, 
November 7, 1883. He was a good man as well as 
a good soldier. 


Uncle George Thorngate's company was brot to 
Camp Randall not long after his enlistment. May 10, 
1861, and it there became Company E of the Fifth 
Wisconsin Infantry. I visited him once or twice in 
Camj) Randall, as I also did Uncles David and 
Henry. It was on the 24th of July that the Fifth 
Regiment, under command of Colonel Amasa Cobb, 
left Wisconsin for active service. Having arrived 
at Washington it was attached to what later became 
known as the Iron Brigade, but on the 4th of Sep- 
tember the regiment was taken from this brigade 
and permanently attached to the brigade then com- 
manded by General Hancock. 

After some service in the vicinity of Washington 
the brigade went into winter quarters at Camp Grif- 
fin, where the troops remained until the 10th of the 
following March. On the 23rd of March they em- 
barked at Alexandria and went down the Potomac 
to Fortress Monroe. After some skirmishing in 
that vicinity they advanced toward Yorktown and 
were in the siege of that place till the enemy left it. 
On the 5th of May the battle of Williamsburg was 
fought, in which the Fifth Wisconsin took part in a 
gallant and successful charge upon the works of the 
enemy, and for which General McClellan gave them 


^ . 

HERMAN Rood Charles P. rood 


great praise. In this battle Uncle George was 
wounded. A ball struck his chin and broke the 
bone of his lower jaw. This terminated his service 
in that regiment. He went to the hospital and later 
to Dakota on furlough for sixty days. He went back 
to his regiment but was, on January 30, 1863, dis- 
charged because of disability. He came home in bad 
condition but, with good care, recovered. During 
the following summer he taught a term of school in 
what was known as the ''Chaffee district." There 
my wife, Lizzie, then Elizabeth Monroe, went to 
school to him. On the 20th of the following Novem- 
ber he enlisted in the Thirteenth Wisconsin Battery. 
The men were mustered into the United States ser- 
vice December 29th, at Camp Washburn, Milwaukee. 
On January 28, 1864, they left for New Orleans. 
On the 18th of February they were at Baton Rouge, 
Louisiana. They were on duty there or near there 
till they were mustered out on July 20, 1865. 

On the 27th of July, 1864, Uncle George v/as dis- 
charged to accept promotion in a regiment of colored 
troops. For some reason he could not be mustered 
in that regiment, and so he returned to his battery 
and served till it was mustered out. For some time 
he was detailed as teacher to. negro children. He 
was the kind of a man to make a first-class soldier. 

My father was drafted. He had just the spirit in 
him to take him into the army, but, with two of his 
boys in the service and seven younger children at 


home, he thot it his duty to stay with his family. 
When he was drafted he thot that, because of a 
stiffened elbow, he would not be accepted; but 
Uncle Sam was, in the fall of 1864, too anxious to 
get recruits to be very particular about physical de- 
fects; so he was told to get ready for service. He 
thot at first he would let brother Herman go in his 
place, and that idea just suited my little brother. 
But, someone having remarked that "Rood will send 
all his boys to the army but stay out of it himself," 
he determined to go. Herman made no small fusa 
about this decision, and he said to some of the neigh- 
bor boys, "I'll be darned if I don't go after father 
leaves home !" Father heard of this remark and said 
that if that was the boy's plan they'd both go to- 
gether, and so they did. At Berlin an old gentleman 
heard that Herman was to enlist and so told him 
that if he would go as his substitute he'd give 
him a good sum of money. The bargain was made. 
I do not now know how much Herman get. 

Both father and Herman were sent as recruits to 
Company G of the Thirty-seventh Wisconsin In- 
fantry, then at Petersburg, Virginia. Nathan Pren- 
tice, Henry Chase, Heman Babcock, Lawrence Bris- 
tol and some others of our Dakota friends were in 
the Thirty-seventh.. When father and Herman 
reached the regiment it was in the siege lines at 
Petersburg. The weather was cold and wet. I will 
copy here some of the regimental history of that 

"On the morning of the 30th of November, 1864, 
they took position in the second line of works, but 


in the afternoon moved to the woods in the rear of 
the line, where, with a New York regiment, the Thir- 
ty-Seventh was held in reserve. In this position, 
more or less exposed day and night to the enemy's 
fire, their time was occupied in building houses for 
the winter, and in the performance of picket, guard 
and fatigue duty. 

*'0n the evening of the 8th of December the 
regiment moved to the rear, by order of Colonel Rob- 
inson, commanding provisional brigade. Here they 
lay in an open field on a very cold night without 
shelter or fire, a cutting north-east wind sweeping 
over the bare surface of the country with a chill that 
went to the very marrow. Next day they moved a 
few rods to a ravine, where they were somewhat 
sheltered from the keen wind. Towards evening a 
cold rain set in which, freezing as it fell, covered 
everything with a sheet of ice. At length, on the af- 
ternoon of the 10th of December, the third day of 
this apparently needless exposure, orders came to 
march. Marching down the Jerusalem plank road, 
almost knee deep in half frozen mud and sleet, they 
advanced during the night a distance of 25 miles in 
a south-westerly direction, arriving about daylight 
the next morning at Hawkins' Tavern on the Not- 
toway River. 

"The object of this movement was to reinforce 
and protect the rear on the return march of the Sec- 
ond and Fifth corps, which had previously been dis- 
patched on a raid along the line of the Weldon rail- 
road at Jarrett's Station, 30 miles from Petersburg, 
and had torn up the track from that point to the 


North Carolina line burning the bridge across the 
Meherin River. At three in the afternoon the Sec- 
ond corps passed through the camp of the provis- 
ional brigade, which was at once put in motion on 
the return to camp. Without rest they went back 
the 25 miles they had come the night before, getting 
there about two o 'clock in the morning of December 

* * The men, overcome with fatigue by the exposure, 
suffering and want of sleep during the three nights 
before starting, were almost completely exhausted. 
Many fell out on the march, utterly unable to pro- 
ceed farther, and did not reach camp until evening 
of the following day. All that day the men came 
straggling in, and towards night they were ordered 
to move again out into the open field. Manj^ unable 
to get their feet into their shoes, bound them with 
cords to the bottoms of their feet for protection from 
the frozen ground. In this manner the Thirty-Sev 
enth marched nearly two miles to a piece of timber 
in the rear of the Jones House, where they biv- 
ouacked for the night. The regiment lay there two 
nights and a day, returning on the 13th of December 
to the old camp ground on the Baxter road, there to 
go into winter quarters till spring." 

I have given at some length this account of two 
weeks of the first service of the Thirty-Seventii after 
father and Herman joined it. They, having just left 
home and not being at all used to army life, thot 
it pretty severe, and I do not wonder. Sometime 
after this it was found that Father could not, on ac- 
count of a stiff arm, handle his musket very well, so 

he was detailed to duty in the quartermaster's de- 
partment, and Herman was sent with him. The 
regiment was in all the movements about Petersburg 
till after the surrender of General Lee at Appomat- 
tox. Then it went to Washington, where it was in 
the Grand Review on the 23rd day of May. On the 
26th day of July the men were mustered out of the 
service near Washington, and on the 31st of July 
they reached Madison, where they soon after were 
paid off and disbanded. Father had a very sick 
spell at Washington in June and July, but recovered. 
I have said on a previous page that Father, Herman 
and I went home from Madison together. I think 
we got to Dakota on the morning of the 3d of Aug- 


My brother George, having enlisted August 20, 
1882, in Captain A. B. Swain's company, at Wau- 
toma, went soon after to Camp Randall, near 
Madison, where the organization became Company 
G of the Thirtieth regiment, under Colonel Daniel 
J. Dill. It was the fortune of this regiment to be 
kept in the north during the most of the war doing 
various kinds of duty. Som^etimes they were broken 
into groups of two or more companies each and sent 
here and there as they were needed to keep the In- 
dians quiet or to help enforce the draft. 

Immediately after the organization of the regi- 
ment Company A was sent to New Lisbon, Wiscon- 
sin, and four companies, one of them Company G, 


went to West Bend, same state, to prevent trouble 
arising from resistance to the draft. They returned 
to Camp Randall in February, 1863. In the mean- 
time the rest of the regiment had been sent up the 
Missouri River to the far north-west, where thej^ 
remained till the fall of 1864. Company I was sta- 
tioned at Fort Union a year and a half, and did 
not rejoin the regiment till the summer of 1865. 

May 24th, 1863, Companies G and E were sent to 
Milwaukee and from there to Lake Superior, Com- 
pany E being stationed at Bayfield and Company G 
at Superior. On the 6th of the following August 
they were started by boat back to Milwaukee, Camp 
Washburn. They remained there till the last of the 
following November, Avhen Company G was sent to 
Davenport, Iowa, where they were put in charge of 
the Indians captured in Minnesota during the great 
uprising of 1862. They did duty there till the 7th 
of May, 1864, when they went by boat up the Mis- 
sissippi to Fort Snelling, Minnesota. There they 
were joined by Companies B, E and K, and they 
started for Fort Ridgely 120 miles west. Compa- 
nies B, E. and K proceeded 180 miles further into 
Dakota Territory and there built Fort Wadsworth 
35 miles west of Big Stone Lake. 

On the 18th of September Company G started for 
Fort Wadsworth, arriving there ten days later. Af- 
ter twelve days the four companies, B, E, G and K, 
started back to Fort Snelling, stopping two days at 
Fort Ridgeley. Five days after reaching Fort Snel- 
ling they went by boat down the Mississippi to Cai- 
ro, then up the Ohio to Paducah, Kentucky, where 


they arrived Oct. 31st. Troops were being hurried 
to Nashville, and the Thirtieth was destined for that 
place to help defend it against the approaching army 
of General Hood. But as a part of the men that had 
been in the far north-west had not yet arrived, nine 
companies were put on duty at Bowling Green, Ken- 
tucky. This was just before General Thomas' de- 
feat of Hood at Nashville, Dec. 14 and 15. He-.e it 
became a part of the Second brigade. Second divis- 
ion, military district of Kentucky. Colonel Dill, of 
the Thirtieth, had command of the brigade. On the 
10th of January, 1865, the regiment returned to 
Louisville, where they did guard duty at the mili- 
tary prison there. 

On the 8th of February Major Clowney, with Com- 
panies B, E, and G, proceeded by rail to Frankfort, 
Kentucky, where the men became the permanent 
garrison of the city till early in June, when they 
returned to Louisville. Thence came Company I 
from Fort Union and the ten companies of the regi- 
ment were once more all together for the first time 
in three years. Here on the 20th of September, 
after three years and one month of service, the regi- 
ment was mustered out. On the 25th it arrived in 
Madison, where it was disbanded. I have said on 
a previous page that George was at Louisville when 
our regiment got there from Washington on the 12th 
day of June, and so was Uncle Charles' regiment, 
the Fourth Iowa. George and I and he had fre- 
quent visits from time to time till the 16th of July, 
when my regiment was mustered out. 

Tho the Thirtieth regiment never got far south, 


and did not do any fighting, the men in it wera of 
the best and they did faithful service where they 
were sent. 


Uncle Abram's son Calvin, Uncle William's son 
William and Daniel Beagle, a cousin of my father's, 
all belonged to the 11th Wisconsin infantry. I will 
tell the story of their service together. 

Calvin belonged to Company G,Wiliiam to Compa- 
ny K and Daniel to Co. B. The men of theEleventh 
gathered in Camp Randall in September and October 
1861, where the regiment was organized under Col- 
onel Charles Harris. The men of this regiment left 
the state on the 20th of November. They went to 
St. Louis, then to Sulphur Springs, Mo., where they 
did railroad guard duty during the winter. In the 
middle of the following March they were sent to Pi- 
lot Knob, same state. On the 27th day of March 
they joined General Steele's forces at Reeves' Ferry, 
From there they moved southward short distances at 
a time till, on the 24th of June, they were on the 
White River in Arkansas, near Jacksonport. On the 
1st of July the troops began a toilsome march down 
the Vfhite River to Helena, Ark. They had some 
fighting on the way and the Eleventh lost several 

On the 26th of July the troops moved to Old Town, 
24 miles below Helena, where the regiment had its 
headquarters till September 20th. Calvin Rood, of 


Company G, died at Old Town August 22nd. Sep- 
tember 26 they went into camp at Sugar Point, ten 
miles from Helena. Then in October, they proceed- 
ed by way of Sulphur Springs and Pilot Knob to 
Patterson, Mo. During the winter the regiment did 
patrol and railroad duty in that part of Missouri. 

In March they took passage down the Mississippi 
by boat to Vicksburg, where later they became a 
part of the Thirteenth Army Corps and took an act- 
ive part in the siege of Vicksburg, which surren- 
dered July 4th. They did splendid service in this 
notable siege. After the surrender they went with 
General Sherman on an expedition against Jackson. 
The enemy was driven from the place, and on the 
23d Sherman's forces got back to Vicksburg. 

On the 13th of August the regiment left Vicks- 
burg for Carrolton, Louisiana. From this time till 
the middle of November they did some hard march- 
ing and skirmishing in the eastern part of that state. 
Then they took boats on the Mississippi at Algiers 
and went to the mouth of the big river and across 
the Gulf of Mexico to Brazos, Santiago, Texas, GOU 
miles from New Orleans. Here in Texas they did 
hard and faithful service till, in the early part of 
January, 1864, at Indianola, Texas, more than three- 
fourths of the regiment re-enlisted as veterans. 
William Rood of Company K, and Daniel Beagle, of 
Company B, were tv/o of the mxen who re-enlisted. 

On the 14th of January they started home on vet- 
eran furlough, but because of many delays they did 
not get to Wisconsin until March 21st. On their re- 
turn, after their 30-days leave of absence, they went 


to Memphis, Tenn., where they arrived April 29th. 
Here they were sent on an expedition in Tennessee 
and northern Mississippi that kept them till May 
9th, when they took boats and went to Carrolton, 
Louisiana, six miles from New Orleans. 

From this time till the 9th of the following March, 
the regiment was in constant and hard service in 
Eastern Louisiana. On March 9th they went to 
Dauphin Island, near Mobile, Alabama, in the vicin- 
ity of which they were in active service till they 
were mustered out at Mobile on the 4th of September 
1865, when they returned to Madison, where in the 
latter part of September the regiment was disband- 
ed. They received their pay and final discharge, 
having been four years and two days in the United 
States service. 

In a hard fight at Fort Blakely my cousin, William 
Rood, was shot through with a musket ball. It was 
a terrible wound, but he was not easy to kill. I am 
told by men of the regiment that he was a brave 
soldier, always on duty, and afraid of nothing. 
Daniel Beagle, of Company B, my father's cousin, 
was, his captain has lately told me, a fine man and 
a model soldier and officer.. 

My Uncle William Rood came, with Company H 
of the 23rd regiment, in which he had enlisted Aug- 
ust 15th, 1862, to Camp Randall in the latter part of 
the same month. The regiment had for its colonel, 
Joshua J. Guppy, of Portage City. The Twenty- 

Third left Camp Randall for the South on September 
15th. On the 17th they arrived at Cincinnati, Ohio, 
and crossed into Kentucky, where they became a 
part of General Green Clay Smith's division. They 
did various kinds of duty in Northern Kentucky un- 
til November 11th, when they were ordered to Louis- 
ville, where they arrived on the 15th. On the 19th 
they embarked on the Ohio and went down that 
river and the ]\Iississippi to Memphis, where they 
landed on the 27th and became a part of the First 
brigade. Tenth Division. On the 21st of December 
they were put on boats and sent to Milliken's Bend, 
25 miles above Vicksburg. Until January 1, 1863, 
they were active in the operations of the troops on 
the river above the city. In the early part of the 
month they went up White River to the ''Cut-off", 
then crossed to the Arkansas River and moved up to 
Arkansas Post. There they were engaged in an at- 
tack on the place in which they lost several men, — 
four killed and 34 wounded. On the 15th of Janu- 
ary they took boats again for Vicksburg, going into 
camp on the 24th at Young's Point. This was on the 
Louisiana side, a short distance above Vicksburg. 
The health of the men had been greatly affected by 
the malarial conditions of the region and nearly all 
were sick, while many died, among them Uncle Will- 
iam. His death took place Feb. 29th. 

My father's half brother Burrell was in the army, 
but we did not know anything about him then. La- 
ter — in the spring of 1866 — he came to Dakota and 
made us a visit. He told us he had served through 
the war as first Sergeant in a Missouri regiment. I 

do not know just where the regiment served, but a 
part of the time it was in Tennessee. After the war 
he lived about Moberly, Missouri. He died a few 
years ago at Leadville, Colorado. 


The last of the soldiers of whom I am to speak 
here is Alexander Taylor. He was the son of my 
father's sister Lola. We knew nothing about her 
till a few years after the war, nor of her children. 
There were two of them,-- Alexander and Mary Jane. 
Alexander, as may be seen in the table, enlisted in 
Company F of the Thirty-Third Wisconsin. The- 
rgiment had been in the service a year when he 
joined it as a recruit, near Hebron, about ten miles 
east of Vicksburg, near the Big Black River. The 
regiment spent a part of the winter there and then 
started February 3d, 1864, on what is known in 
histor}^ as '^The Meridian Expedition," from v/hich 
it returned March 4th, after marching 416 miles. 

On the 9th of April the regiment left Hebron, took 
boats at Yicksburg, and went dov/n and joined the 
ill-fated Red River Expedition, from which they re- 
turned on the 24th of May to Vicksburg. On the 
30th of May they were at Memphis. On the 22nd of 
June the regiment went on a campaign of a month 
in northern Mississippi. On the 3d of August they 
entered upon a hard campaign in Arkansas and Mis- 
souri, which ended in the middle of November at Ben 
ton Barracks, Missouri. On the 23d of November 
they embarked for Nashville, Tennessee, arriving 


there on the 30th. On the 15th of December the 
regiment was in the battle of Nashville. After this 
they were in a short campaign about Corinth and 
luka, Miss. After this they went by way of the 
Tennessee,the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers to New 
Orleans. In the middle of March they were near 
Mobile, Alabama. From this time till the 21st of 
July they were in active service in the southern part 
of Alabama, taking part in the fighting at Spanish 
Fort and Fort Blakeley. On the 23d of July they 
went across the country to Vicksburg, where they 
were mustered out. 

Alexander's time not having expired, he was 
transferred to Company F of the Eleventh Wiscon- 
sin, a regiment near Mobile at the time when the 
Thirty-third left there. On the 4th of September 
1865, the Eleventh was mustered out of service. 
Alexander was sick at the time, and, being among 
strangers, he did not get good care. He got back 
to Madison and there died on the 21st of September 
of brain fever, so the record says. The record al- 
so says that he was buried at Madison, in Forest 
Hill cemetery, but I cannot find his grave. It is sad 
that the poor boy, after two years of hard service, 
should die after he had been discharged and got 
back to Wisconsin. 


I have told, in as little space as I could, the story 
of the service in the Civil War of the different mem- 
bers of our families — the Thorngates and the Roods. 
Not one of them failed to do his duty faithfully and 
well, and I am proud now to be able to give so good 


an account of them all. I may just here say to those 
who read this sketch a long time after we are all 
gone that they need not be ashamed of what their 
ancestors did in the war that saved our Union, did 
away with slavery and made this land of ours in 
fact, as in theory, ''the land of the free and the 
home of the brave." 

It was a happy day in Dakota when, after all our 
soldiers had come home from the war, — except 
those whose lives had been given for the cause, — 
we all got together for a bit of jollification. We 
and our friends had as good a time as we knew how 
to have ; yet there was sadness, withal, as we thought 
of our dead comrades. 

I may say here that from the families belonging 
at one time or another to our Dakota community 
seventy-two young men and boys went into the 
army. Our folks were a patriotic people. 

I think that before leaving the war quite behind 
I must mention several young men closely connected 
with our family, who were in the army. My Uncle 
Henry Thorngate had married Miss Lorenda Cran- 
dall, and three of her brothers, Herbert, Samuel and 
Porter, went into the service from Dakota. Herbert 
was in Company E of the Seventh Wisconsin infan- 
try, and was a sergeant of his company. He was 
killed August 28th, 1862, in the battle of Gainesville, 
Virginia. Samuel served with my brother George 

in Company G, Thirtieth Wisconsin ; and Porter was 
a member of Company C, Fifty-Second Wisconsin. 
Two brothers of the wife of my Uncle Charles Thorn- 
gate, Barnum and George Torrance, were in the 
same company with him — A, Fourth Iowa. George 
was mortally wounded at the battle of Resaca, 
Georgia, in May, 1864, and died a few days later. 
William S. Monroe, brother of my wife, Lizzie, 
served three years in the Sixteenth Wisconsin Infan- 
try. He went out as a corporal in Company H and 
became captain of Company I. All these were good 


In September, after we had got home from the 
war, my Uncle George Thorngate opened a term of 
select school at Dakota. If I remember rightly 
there were twenty students, sixteen girls and four 
boys. The boys were my brother Herman, Robert 
McMullen, John Sheldon and myself. I suppose 
we learned something from our books, yet I, just 
home from nearly four years of army life, had little 
of the student in me. I did have a jolly good time, 
tho; and I suspect that Herman and Robert and 
John can say the same thing concerning themselves. 
Fun was easier than either grammar or arithmetic. 
But my good uncle did his best for us, exerting over 
us the best possible moral and intellectual influence. 

On the 15th of November, just after the close of 
his term of school. Uncle George was married to 
Miss Arloena Crandall, sister of Lorenda, Uncle Hen- 

ry's wife. I wanted him to teach the district school 
at Dakota that winter so that I could have the ad- 
vantage of another term of instruction from him, 
for he was a most excellent teacher and a good man ; 
but he took a school four miles north of Dakota. 
Then I thought I would go to Madison and begin a 
course of study in the university, but by an unfortu- 
nate trade I was cheated out of half the money I 
had saved from my pa^^ in the army; so I taught, 
in what was known as the ''Francisco District," a 
six weeks' term of school instead. 


Father had, after the war, gone to ''teaming" 
from Dakota to Berlin, buying and selling cattle, 
selling beef, farming etc. He was a hard worker, 
and when he had anything to do he would keep at it 
regardless of the dinner hour or bed time. He often, 
in order to push business, drove his team the most 
of the night. He had little care for his health when 
hurried about his work. He used to take a load of 
produce to Berlin on Friday, then drive over to the 
Seventh Day Baptist settlement four miles south of 
the city and preach to the church there on the Sab- 
bath. On Sunday he would drive home — 30 miles — 
stopping half way to feed his team and preach at 
a certain wayside school house. I cannot tell just 
how man}^ years he did this kind of work, — five or 
six, I think. He would not take much pay foi his 
preaching; he believed the Gospel should be free. 
Almost all the time while he drove his team along 

Old Home at Dakota 

the country roads he read a book or a paper. He 
was an inveterate reader and had a retentive and 
ready memory. 


We had in Dakota an active and successful Good 
Templars' Lodge, and there were numerous such 
lodges thruout Waushara county. Our folks 
were zealous temperance people and all belonged to 
the lodge. Father was, much of the time, district 
deputy, and was presiding officer at our district con- 
ventions. He was a ready speaker, and in his tem- 
perance lectures he was radical in expression. He 
was nothing, if not in dead earnest. He had an in- 
tense hatred of both whiskey and tobacco. 

We used in those days to have great times attend- 
ing district conventions. We went — young and old 
together — in big loads, got well acquainted with 
leading temperance men and women in various parts 
of the country, and, I am sure, did much to create 
and maintain a wholesome temperance sentiment. 
And the work was educational in various ways. We 
learned how to preside, keep records and take part 
in literary programs. Our Good Templars' Lodge 
took the place of the literary society of earlier 

The Seventh Day Baptist church at Dakota was 
smaller than before the war. Elder George Bab- 

cock, who used to preach there more or less, moved, 
in the spring of 1866, to the vicinity of Brookfield, 
Missouri. And with him went my Uncle George 
Thorngate and his young wife, Arloena. Some 
time in the following summer my Uncle Henry and 
some others moved to the same place, Uncle Henry 
starting May 29, 1867. This migration of so many 
good people thinned out our Dakota community. 
Church services and Sabbath School were still main- 
tained, my father and Oscar Babcock leading the 
meetings and preaching alternately. Both these 
men were faithful in their labor of love, yet the res- 
ident church membership ran as low in 1869 as thir- 
teen. Tho there were many of us young people 
we were none of us open professors of religion. 

In May, 1870, the Rev. Charles M. Lewis came to 
Dakota and held a series of revival meetings. He 
was a good man and a wise one. Within a few weeks 
the church membership was raised from thirteen to 
fifty-four. All but two or three of the Roods be- 
came professing Christians at this time and members 
of the church. The prospects of the church came 
to be bright, indeed. This wonderful religious in- 
terest was kept up thruout the following summer. 
Tho some fell away, the most of those who then 
professed Christianity and joined the church have 
remained faithful. Also, some who then , tho 
almost persuaded, resisted the influence of the spirit 
have never yet made a public profession of religion. 

I presume they have never since then felt so deeply 
on the subject. 

Among so many young people there was naturally 
some falling in love and marrying. I have said that 
when we had got home from the war my Uncle 
George kept an eight-weeks term of select school. 
Among the sixteen girls gathered there in the old 
time-honored school house, one attracted my spe- 
cial attention. Her full name was Ann Elizabeth 
Monroe, better known as Lizzie, — sometimes as 
Libbie or Lib. She was sister to Captain William 
Monroe of the Sixteenth Wisconsin regiment, whom 
I have mentioned on a previous page. I can hardly 
say what drew us together. I do not think it was 
good looks. I know it was not money, for neither 
of us had that. I guess it came about with no par- 
ticular reason, — just 'cause. With no formal en- 
gagement we together took it for granted that we 
were sometime to be married, and we let it go at 


After teaching school in the winter of 1865-6 in 
what was known as the "Francisco District," I went 
in April to the town of Vienna, in Dane county, to 
work during the summer. I found employment 
with a Mr. Fisher, near where I had worked in the 
summer of 1861. 


During the harvest time my brothers George and 
Charley also worked for neighbors of the Fishers, 
and in the fall, after we had gone back home, Octo- 
ber 13, 1866, Lizzie and I were married. I taught 
the school in Father Monroe's district, five miles 
west of Dakota, and we lived with Lizzie's people. 
In the meantime I bought of my father what was 
known as the ''Allen Place", a farm a quarter of a 
mile south of Dakota village. There, in a log house 
in a beautiful spot on the river bank, Lizzie and I 
began, March 19, 1867, keeping house,— and we are 
still at it, tho Vv^e have moved since then about 
thirty-five times. There on the 17th of July of that 
summer our son Louis was born. We had two other 
children born in that house, — Minnie May, August 
11, 1869, and Ida Lillian, October 11, 1870. There, 
too, our sweet little Minnie died when only a month 
old, of whooping cough. 

In the winter of 1867 I taught the school atDakota, 
having among my pupils six of my brothers and sis- 
ters, — Herman, Charley, IMary, Genia, Emma, and 
Ettie. I am glad to say concerning them that 1 
never had in school better behaved pupils than they, 
or more respectful. The next winter I taught 
again in the Monroe district, where I had Lizzie's 
brothers John and George in school. We lived with 
Lizzie's people again, her mother being in poor 
health and needing her help. The following winter, 
that of 1869-70, I taught again at Dakota. 

During the summers of these years I worked on 
my farm. Tho it was a pretty place, the soil 

George and Jennie Rood 

was sandy. I was not a farmer by nature and I did 
not get much out of the sand. I laugh now as I 
think of the frolicsome times I had with my steer 
team when they ran away from time to time, tho 
I did not enjoy it then. I did not swear at them,but 
I did do some loud talking. The most of the time 
when I was plowing and husking I was thinking 
about teaching, and wishing I could go to school my- 
self. I was finding out that I could not be content 
on the farm. I guess I did not try very much to 
be satisfied there. 


For a year or two after my marriage my brothers 
George and Herman worked much of the time in 
the Seventh Day Baptist settlement four miles south 
of Berlin. George was employed by Uncle Datus 
Lewis, father of the present Rev. Dr. A. H. Lewis, 
editor of the Sabbath Recorder. While there George 
got sight of Miss Virginia Saxton, daughter of Ray 
Saxton. I think that with him it was a case of love 
at first sight. We had always thot George very 
bashful, but by some means he and Jennie, as she 
was called, came to an understanding, and on the 
21fot day of March, 1869, they were married. Dur- 
ing the summer they lived with the family of Uncle 
Datus and worked for them, but in November they 
moved up to Dakota. George made a bargain for 
a farm two miles north of Grandfather Thorngate's 
home, and in the spring of 1870 they began house- 
keeping there. Their daughter Stella was born 
there June 28th, 1871. 



I have said that in 1866 and 1867 my Uncles 
George and Henry Thorngate and some other Da- 
kota people moved to the vicinity of Brookfield, Mo. 
Others began to talk about moving away somewhere, 
and the question of whence to emigrate came to be 
one of common discussion. Wherever and whenever 
two or three Dakota people came together, there 
they talked and talked about moving away. They 
declared the soil of that region unfit decently to 
afford subsistence for man and beast, and they 
sought many reasons for leaving it. 


Our Dakota people, especially those of our church, 
desired to keep together, and so, after much discus- 
sion of the question, it was decided to form a colony 
association and go about the matter systematically. 
This association was organized in the spring of 1871. 
I have before me a printed copy — yellow and worn — > 
of the articles of agreement of that association, a 
part of which I will write down: 

''The object of this association shall be: 

''First, — To procure a suitable location on Govern- 
ment or railroad lands, somewhere in the States of 
Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, or elsewhere, to settle in 
a body such persons and families of this place and 
elsewhere as desire to obtain cheap lands. 

"Second, — To give such of our people as observe 
the Seventh Day of the week as the Sabbath the op- 
portunity to settle together for purposes of conven- 

ience to themselves, as well as to avoid molesting 
others who differ from them in religious faith, while 
they carry out their convictions of duty in keeping 
another day than Sunday as the Sabbath. 

''Third, — To secure the immediate advantages of 
good schools, good morals in society and church 
privileges, as well as to mutually assist each other. 


''First, — Only persons of good morals and sober, 
industrious habits shall become members of this asso- 
ciation, and the Board of Commissioners hereinafter 
to be designated shall have povv^er to reject such ap- 
plicants for membership as the members thereof shall 
deem unsuited to promote the general good of the 

"Second, — No m.ember of this Association shall 
establish or patronize any gambling or liquor shop 
within the bounds of the Colony, nor shall intoxicat- 
ing liquors be sold as a beverage by any one there- 

The remaining articles specify, among other 
things, that the colony shall be considered organized 
when ten persons, five of them being heads of fami- 
lies, shall have subscribed to the articles and paid 
each a membership fee of five dollars; that the offi- 
cers shall constitute a Board of Commissioners, 
which shall be the executive body of the Colony; 
that a Locating Committee of three or more persons 
be chosen by ballot, whose duty it shall be to find 

a suitable place for settlement; that this committee 
shall start in the month of June following to spy 
out the land. 

The officers chosen for the colony were as follows : 
President, Hon. Oscar Babcock; Vice President, 
George B. Rood; Secretary, Nathan B. Prentice; 
Treasurer, Edward M. Carpenter. The date of or- 
ganization was April, 1871. The Locating Commit- 
tee, chosen by election, was, Charles P. Rood, Nathan 
B. Prentice, Amos Travis and Charles Wellman. 

It v/as some time in the latter part of May when 
members of this Locating Committee started out. 
My father had not been much in favor of this no- 
tion of leaving Dokota, and it was with no little re- 
luctance that he joined in the movement. But, be- 
ing chosen as a member of this committee, he 
meant to serve the colony faithfully. He and his 
associates went thru lov/a without finding such 
location as they wished, a^d then they crossed over 
into Nebraska. They found that much of the gov- 
ernment land even in this state had been bought up 
by speculators. They went on west and heard of 
what was known as "The Loup Country." In due 
time — July 3 — they found themselves on the 
North Loup River below the chalk cliffs that are op- 
posite the present village of Scotia, in Greeley coun- 
ty. Some of the men did not wish to go any farther. 
They wanted to return without deciding upon any- 
thing. But my father said they ought to go and 


see the valley beyond the cliffs of chalk. The owner 
of the horses said his team should go no farther. 
Then Father alone climbed the bluffs and went to a 
high point, — what has since been known as "Sugar 
Loaf/' From the top of that bluff he looked upon 
the beautiful Loup and Mira Creek Valleys. The 
sight charmed him. I will put down here, as nearly 
as I can remember, what I heard him say about the 
country as he saw it spread out before him: *'I 
fell on my knees there and thanked God for having 
brot me to that place. I said then that whatever 
others might do I would return and live in that beau- 
tiful valley, and that I would be buried there!'' He 
did as he said he would, and today he lies at rest 
in the beautiful North Loup cemetery in full view of 
the bluffs where he stood and thanked God that 
summer day in 1871. 

It was only a hurried survey of the land that he 
could take, for the owner of the team had threatened 
to go avv^ay and leave him if he did not soon come 


And so the committee returned to Dakota. Then 
a meeting w^as called to receive the report. I re- 
member how crowded the little school house was 
with eager listeners. My father was decidedly in 
favor of accepting the North Loup and Mira valleys 
as the location for the Colony. One other member 
of the committee was as decidedly opposed to doing 
so. None of the committee, exceping Faher, had 


seen tlie land at all. Therefore he plead with the 
people to decide with him. It was a warm discus- 
sion. When the vote was taken there was a major- 
iiy in favor of Father's recommendation. But inter- 
est in the matter was not strong enough to make a 
general impression on the people. The colony as an 
organization did not exist after that evening. 
Some went one way, some another. There Avas no 

Some time after this meeting my father, deter- 
mined to know more about the valley he had looked 
into from the chalk bluffs, started with three others 
to travel 700 miles — 1400 miles for the round trip — 
to get a fair look at it. The three others were my 
brother Herman, John Sheldon and Mansell Davis. 
John Sheldon had been a neighbor boy of ours since 
some years before the war. He was of sturd}^ Ger- 
man stock and was not much past twenty-one years 
cf age. Mansell Davis was also young. He was a 
good man in every way, and intelligent. He was 
married just before starting west to my eldest sister, 
Mary. For this journey my father took his own 
team, and they paid their own expenses. They start- 
ed on the 28th day of September and drove directly 
to the Loup country, passed over the chalk hills and 
explored the valley my father had looked upon in 
the summer. They all liked the place and John and 
Mansell took claims. Then they returned, my fa- 
ther being well satisfied. But the return trip was 


a hard one. They had little money and I guess both 
they and the team suffered for want of food. I know 
they suffered from cold, for they did not get back to 
Dakota till some time in December, and they were 
not dressed in winter clothing. 

I wish it to be remembered that my father, in his 
effort to get our people favorably located, traveled 
from 2,800 to 3,000 miles, sometimes in intense heat, 
sometimes in storm, over muddy roads, and a part 
of the time in severely cold weather. And he spent 
nearly six months in the work — from May to Decem- 
ber. Tho he met with some determined opposition 
he persisted in bringing about what seemed to him 
a desirable result. I am sorry that some of those 
who later profited by his self-sacrificing efforts did 
not give him more of the credit he deserved. But, 
I am glad to say, my father was an unselfish man. 
He was glad to exert himself for the good of others, 
and he did not care very much about himself. It is 
pleasant for me now — older by five years than he 
was when he died — to think of this trait in his char- 


During the following winter my brothers George 
and Charley, John Sheldon, Charles Wellman, Mrs. 
Janes and Mrs. Bartow with her two sons, made act- 
ive preparations to start for Nebraska as early in 
the spring as practicable. In the meantime an ac- 
count of the plans of the Dakota folks got into the 
Sabbath Recorder, our denominational paper, and 


so others in several different states began making 
similar preparations. It was during the first three 
days of April, 1872, when the first emigrant train 
started from Dakota for the future home in Nebras- 
ka. I cannot now tell just how many started at 
that time. I will copy here a few lines concerning 
the journe}^ They were written by my brother 
George : 

''The snow was deep when we started and some of 
, us got stuck several times in the drifts, after getting 
a hundred miles on the road. Snow, mud, wind and 
dust were sandwiched all along. Some features of 
our journey were very trying, but it was, on the 
whole, interesting to us, and much of it pleasant. 
John Sheldon and Mrs. Janes, Mansell Davis and 
Mrs. Bartow started on the 1st of April. Charles 
bellman and I started on the 3d. At the edge of 
Dodge Prairie we overtook Mansell and Mrs. 
Bartow and her two boys. Mrs. B. had an ox team. 
We left them behind the second day ofter getting in- 
to Iowa. Wellman, by traveling every day, came 
up, before reaching North Loup, with John Sheldon 
and Mrs. Janes. We stopped at Central City on 
May 7th and later a short time at Grand Island, 
getting to North Loup May 12th. A dozen families 
had already got there. The first of these to reach 
the place was G. H. Johnson, who came from Minne- 
sota; then there came L. C. Jacobs from Kansas, and 
some families from Long Branch, Nebraska. Others 
came in quick succession from Welton, Iowa ; Milton 
and Dakota, Wisconsin; Jackson Center, Ohio; 
Brook field, Missouri, and various other places. 


By the first of June there were about thirty-five fam- 
ilies, or, at least, that many claims taken. Some men 
secured claims and then went back to return with 
their families in the fall. 


''Two religious services were held in the month of 
May, tlie first one May 18th, at both of which Elder 
Oscar Babcock preached, and Charley Rood — our 
brother— led the singing. Oscar was there two or 
three weeks in May to see the country and take up 
land. He then returned to Dakota for his family. 
He got back, I think, in December. It was in Aug- 
ust, I think, when the Sabbath School was organized. 
It was kept up — with but little irregularity — until 
the return in the fall of the most of the men who had 
gone after their families. Then the interest in the 
school was increased and it was thereafter held reg- 
ularly. When Oscar Babcock returned in the early 
part of winter he preached for us, and from that 
time until now Sabbath services, both preaching and 
Bible school, have been regularly maintained. The 
Seventh Day Baptist church of North Loup was 
organized March 23, 1873, with thirty-seven mem- 
bers. '^ 


Now that I have got the colonization of North 

Loup well under way, I will tell about further 

migrations from Dakota. I have said on a page 


not far back that my father did not much care to 
leave Dakota, yet because the most of his family did 
wish to go he entered heartily into the plans for 
emigration. Oscar Babeock, having gone to North 
Loup in the spring of 1872 and made choice of some 
land there for himself, returned in the summer to 
Dakota. Later, his good wife, a most lovely .woman, 
was taken sick and about the 20th of October, she 
died and was laid at rest in the Dakota cemetery. 
After her death Oscar and his four children went 
to their future home in North Loup, and my brother 
Herman went with them. 

In the following spring Herman went to Omaha 
to work. Just before harvest time my brother Char- 
ley joined him there and they went together into 
Minnesota to work in harvest. In November Char- 
ley returned to North Loup and Herman came back 
to Dakota. The next spring — March 30, 1874, — Fa- 
ther and sister Genia, with Elder True, started for 
North Loup. They drove the 700 miles in just a 
month, arriving there on the 30th of April. I can 
hardly understand how they could get over so long 
a road in so short a time at that time of year. On 
the following 17th of May Herman and Sister Emma 
started on the journey, Jay Knapp and his wife and 
a few others going with them. They drove a herd of 
cattle along had no easy time of it. In the mean- 
time Mother and Walter and Ettie went to Grandfa- 
ther's to live until such time as arrangements could 
be made for them to go, too. 

Father had taken land about four miles up the 
Mira Creek valley, from North Loup, and there Her- 
- 78— 

man, Genia and Emma went to live in a "dug-out.'* 
Father came back to Dakota in December of that 
year by railroad and stayed with mother, Ettie and 
Walter that winter at Grandfather Thorngates's. 


On the 18th day of May, 1875, Father started with 
Mother and the two children on his fourth trip to 
Nebraska. They drove a team of young oxen and 
took with them a cow. They made pretty good time, 
getting to North Loup on the 4th day of July. 

I and my family were living at Hancock at this 
time, fourteen miles northwest of Dakota. We came 
down a day or two before Father and Mother started 
for North Loup so as to have a last visit with them. 
It was hard for Mother to leave Grandfather. When 
the wagon was loaded with what goods they were to 
take, the team was hitched in front, the cow tied be- 
hind, and the last thing in making ready was done, 
we all stood talking. In due time Father said he 
supposed they might as well start, and asked Mother 
if she were ready. She spoke up abruptly and 
said: "I suppose I am as ready as I ever shall be!" 
It seemed as if she could not bid Grandfather good 
bye. She was 52 and he 77, and they had never 
been apart for any length of time, and it is no won- 
der the parting at this time was hard for both. It 
was soon over, tho, and they drove away leaving 
Grandfather and Grandmother standing in the morn- 
ing sunshine watching them as they went out of 
sight. It had been twenty-four years since we all 


came from Princeton to live in that same log house 
when it was scarcely finished. 

Those 24 years had brot to none of us any very, 
great sorrow,except Grandmother's death during the 
first year, and Uncle David's death in the army ten 
years later. To my mother there had been born, 
during that time, two sons and four daughters, Wal- 
ter, the youngest, lacking then only a few days of 
being 11 years old. Those years had brought many 
poor folks' pleasures, — not such as money brings. 
The sandy soil of Waushara county had not yielded 
abundantly the fruits of the earth, and none of 
those people who lived in the vicinity of Dakota had 
much more than made a bare living. But our peo- 
ple had enjoyed during those years all the pleasures 
that come from good, honest, hard-working lives. 
And they left behind them a good name, which is 
rather to be chosen than great riches. 

When Father and Mother and Etta and Walter 
started on their way that m.orning Lizzie and Louie 
and Lillian and I drove along with them with ''Old 
John", the honest horse Grandfather had owned since 
he was a colt. We ate dinner with them by the road- 
side and then went two or three miles farther with 
them before bidding them goodbye and going back 
to Grandfather's. I was always a kind of ''mother's 
boy," and I felt pretty lonesome. 


My brother Walter has told me about two inci- 
dents of this journey to Nebraska that I will tell 

here. I have said that Father and Mother, with Wal- 
ter and Ettie, made the trip with a team of young 
oxen to draw the load, and that they took a cow 
with them. The team was not only young but frisky. 
The flies were thick along the dusty road, and they 
so tormented the steers that they were minded now 
and then to run away. In order to hold them in 
check Father tied a rope to the horns of the ''nigh" 
steer, and Avhen the flies were very troublesome he 
would walk along side, holding on to the rope. 
Sometimes his strength was hardly sufficient to keep 
his frisky young cattle from leaving the road and 
making a desperate dash for the bushes by the 
wayside. One day in particular the flies made the 
steers almost frantic. Buck said to Bright: ''Let's 
make a break for yonder clump of plum trees and 
rub these pesky flies off, and scratch ourselves." 
"All right," said Bright, "here goes!" And away 
they went, fairly snorting with delight at the pros- 
pect of rubbing up against those scratchy bushes. 
They had a brave start before Father got a 
good grip on the rope; and then, with his running 
at great speed, he could not overcome the inertia of 
the team and load. 

As the wagon bumped along the rough roadside 
and Father was making long jumps to keep hold of 
the rope. Mother, who was in the wagon, began to 
think that something \v£[s doing outside. She put 
her head, with her traveling sun bonnet on it, out- 
side the wagon cover and with an anxious tone 
called out: "Charles, where are we a-going?" Fa- 
ther, out of breath, hat gone, taking long strides and 


clinging to the rope, shouted back: '' Marianne, how 
in the world can I tell where we're a-going!" 

When they started from Dakota they intended to 
tie the cow to the wagon and let her follow on. But 
she positively objected to being led in that way. 
She'd not go a step there unless dragged; and she 
continued all along the road to object, so Walter had 
to lead her. Ettie would sometimes take his place 
while he got on the wagon to rest. 

One day when Walter and the cow had fallen a 
mile or two behind the team he got to thinking how 
mean it was of the old jade not to be willing to fol- 
low the wagon, but make him walk all the way. 
A bright idea came into his mind, — he thot he might 
ride anyhow ; so he got astride the cow and let 'er 
go. She ran like a steer and soon caught up with 
the team — and Walter was there, too. After that he 
did not walk, except when he wanted to rest himself. 
With considerable training on the broad prairies of 
Iowa his brindle cow came to be something of a 
racer, and her speeding along the highway with 
Walter astride astonished the natives. 

The day when they came to the Missouri River 
opposite Omaha they fell in with two smart young 
chaps out on a horseback ride. They had come from 
Omaha and were returning. All had to cross the 
river at a ferry three miles up stream from the city. 
The young fellows were amused at Walter's riding 
the cow, and on the ferry boat they undertook to 
tease him by proposing a race with him after getting 
across the river. Walter was shy and did not much 
like to be made fun of about riding the cow. Father 


heard the talk, and when he had Walter where he 
could speak to him he told him to agree to a race ; 
and he said that if Walter would keep up with the 
young chaps, and stay by them on the way down 
town, he would give him a quarter of a dollar. Now 
a quarter of a dollar was wealth to Walter in those 
days and worth the getting. So, when the young fel- 
lows renewed their proposal for a race, Walter 
agreed to give them a go. It was great fun for them 
after landing to get into the road for a start. No 
scoring was necessary and away they went, the 
horsemen enjoying the fun. Walter was thinking of 
the quarter and stayed by them till they were in the 
suburbs of the city. Then the young men began to 
think that such a race would not look well in the 
streets where they were known, and they told him he 
would better go back. But Walter's getting the 
stakes depended upon his staying by them, and he 
wanted the money ; so he kept along. They tried to 
ride away from him, but the cow herself seemed to 
have caught the spirit of the race and she kept close 
to the horses; and in that way my brother Walter 
first entered Omaha. In these days he laughs about 
it whenever he goes to the city. 

In those long journeys of several hundred miles 
by team over all sorts of roads and in all sorts of 
weather, our people had all sorts of experiences, try- 
ing, hard to bear, amusing and jolly, — enough inter- 
esting experience to fill a big book. 


Grandmother had never wanted to go to Nebras- 
ka, and so sometime that summer they moved down 
to Dane county, town of Bristol, where my grandfa- 
ther had, 14 years before, married her. They went 
to live with Myron Sweet, whose wife was daughter 
of our grandmother by a former husband. This 
Myron Sweet lived three or four miles east of the 
home of my Uncle Abram Rood, also about four 
miles north-east from Sun Prairie. Here I will 
leave them for the present. 

So far as I was concerned I never thot much of 
going to Nebraska to live. I wanted to be with my 
folks, but I was a teacher, and I thot Wisconsin a 
better place for my work than an entirely new coun- 
try like that about North Loup. And then Lizzie's 
people lived in Waushara county and she liked to 
be near her folks as well as I to be near mine, so we 
thot it best, on the whole, to stay in Wisconsin. 
And now I will go back and tell as briefly as I can 
the story of my own family and my work up to the 
present time. I have said on a previous page, that 
during the winter of 1869-70 I taught the school at 
Dakota. The winter following I taught at what 
was known as Coloma Corners, 13 miles north-west 
of Dako|i, and in the summer of 1871 I worked for 
the Berlin Courant as collector and correspondent. 
It was during this summer that Father went twice 
to Nebraska to find a suitable location for the Da- 
kota Colony. 

In the fall of that year I undertook a term of 


study at Milton College. I had to practice the strict- 
est economy, — board myself, — but my goinj:: there 
was profitable for me in that I not only learned how 
little I knew, but was made hungry and thirsty for 
more knowledge. I was led to get books and study 
all my spare time. That winter I taught again at 
Coloma, and to better purpose. In the following 
spring, 1872, I assisted our county superintendent, 
Theodore Chipman, to conduct at Pine River, what 
was called a county normal school for teachers. Dur- 
ing the following four years I helped him in one 
other such school, at Wautoma, and organized and 
taught two at Coloma, two at Hancock and one at 
Richford on my own account. I also, during that 
time, taught the public schools at Auroraville two 
terms, at Hancock four term.s and at Richford one 
term. In the fall of 1874 I was an independent can- 
didate for county superintendent of schools, but for- 
tunately for me I lacked a few votes of election. In 
the fall of 1876 we moved to the village of Sun Prai- 
rie, Dane county, where I was for the following year 
principal of the graded school. 

I have said that when, in May 1875, my Father 
took Mother and Walter and Ettie to Nebraska, 
Grandfather and Grandmother were left alone at 
Dakota ; and that in accordance with previous plans, 
they soon after went to live at Myron Sweet 's home 
four miles north of SunPrairie, Mrs. Sweet being 
Grandmother's daughter. While I was teaching at 

SunPrairie tliey came to live with us. Grandfather 
had for several years suffered intensely at times 
from asthma, the same disease that had caused the 
death of his father and his brothers William and 
David in England. In all his sickness Grandmother 
gave him the best of care and attention. She was 
a blessed good woman. It is pleasant now to think 
of her faithful devotion to him. 

Tho I had come to be thirty-two years old I felt 
that, if I were to continue teaching — and I liked the 
work better and better — I must go to school at least a 
year or two. And so it came about that in the year of 
1877 we moved to Milton and settled in some rooms 
in the basement of the college. We took our grand- 
parents with us to Milton. They had come to think 
that they would like to go to North Loup and live 
with Father and Mother. So Father came to visit 
us at Milton and took them back with him. 


Father had never, so long as I remember, cared 
for his health, and his hard work getting the family 
settled at North Loup had been too much for him. 
Lizzie and I could see, when he came to Milton, that 
he was broken down in health and strength. In 
walking only a short distance he would have to stop 
now and then to rest and get his breath. It was sad 
indeed to see him, who had been so strong a man, 
in such a condition. We never saw him again. He 
gradually failed in strength until, on the 17th of the 
following March, he left this world for a brighter 
and better. 




4 ^^^ 











May 30. 1907 -62nd Birthday 





O Q 
O O 

cr o 

N [^ 
-j "^ Q 









I was in Milton College a year. I took full class 
work, taught some classes and did all I could beside 
to help pay my way. In the following June I was 
graduated from what was known as ''The Teachers' 
Course," with the class of '78. In October I became 
principal of the high school at Pewaukee, twenty 
miles west of Milwaukee. I taught there a year, 
my family still living in Milton. In September, 1879. 
I became principal of the high school at Omro, ten 
miles west of Oshkosh. I had charge of the schools 
there three years, then in October 1882, went to Ca- 
dott, Chippewa county, to teach, where I was princi- 
pal one year. In the fall of 1883 I returned to my 
former position at Omro, where I remained another 
three years. My school work in both Omro and Ca- 
dott was pleasant, and I am now glad to know that 
I yet have many good friends in both places. Lizzie 
had two brothers in Cadott, James and William. 

In 1879 y/e bought a house in Milton, and we still 
call that house our home. During the first year I 
taught at Omro Lizzie and our children remained in 
Milton, in our new home, but in the fall of 1880 we 
moved to Omro. When I went to Cadott they re- 
mained in Omro till the following March, then they 
returned to our home in Milton. They remained 
there during my second term of three years in Omro. 
It was during my last year in Omro — September 23, 
1885 — when Grace, our youngest daughter, was born. 
I did not see her until the Christmas vacation. 

While I taught at Omro and Cadott I used my 
spare tim.e in hard study for a state teachers' cer- 

icate. In the summer of 1886 I passed the required 
examination and secured the much coveted prize. 
I had to pass in twenty-two different branches. 
It gave me the right to teach for life in any public 
school in Wisconsin. I was proud of that certifi- 
cate — justly proud, I think. 

In September, 1886, I became school principal at 
Palmyra, a village twenty miles from Milton toward 
Milwaukee, and I remained there four years. The 
first two years my family lived in our Milton home, 
then we moved to Palmyra for the next two years. 
Louis, however, remained at work in Milton, and the 
last year Lillian was there in college. In the fall of 
1890 I became principal of schools in the city of 
Washburn in the extreme northern part of Wiscon- 
sin, on the shores of Lake Superior. I remained 
there eight years, when I resigned my position and 
in September, 1898, became principal of the schools 
in the city of Shawano. While at Washburn I taught 
four terms of summer school for teachers. Yv^ash- 
burn, when I went there, had a population of a little 
more than 3,000; when I left, about 6,000. While 
I was there the people erected an elegant brown- 
stone high school building at a cost of about $40,000. 
No teacher's work could be pleasanter than mine at 
Palmyra and Washburn and Shawano. In all, I 
have taught 94 terms of school. I taught every 
year for thirty-four years, — from January 2, 1866, 
till June 1900. 



After teachino: two years at Shawano I went into 
the office of the Shawano County Journal as editor. 
The intention was to go into partnership with the 
publisher, David B. Gorham ; but after six months of 
working together we found that the income would 
hardly support two families. So when the legisla- 
ture of 1901 met at Madison I got the position of 
assistant postmaster in the senate. During the ses- 
sion I was instrumental in having a bill introduced 
providing for a Memorial Hall in the Capitol, where 
war relics, books, and pictures might be gathered 
and preserved as memorials of what our state had 
done for the preservation of our Federal Union. 
The bill was passed and it afterwards pleased Gov- 
ernor La Follette to appoint me custodian of this 
room. I am still occupying that position, and the 
work connected with it is very congenial to me. 

In the summer of 1901 a beautiful room was fitted 
up in the capitol for this IMemorial Hall. During 
the following two years I succeeded in getting to- 
gether a large collection of such relics, books and 
pictures as I wanted. It was an interesting place 
for the public in general. About 800 visitors regis- 
tered there every month, and it was becoming more 
and more attractive, when, on the morning of Feb- 
ruary 27, 1904, the capitol was almost entirely de- 
stroyed by fire, and everything I had gathered went 
up in smoke. This was a most discouraging misfor- 
tune and I whined some about it. Then I went to 
work making a new collection. Now, December 26, 
1905, I have, in a large room near the Capitol 

Square, nearly as much as we lost by the fire ; and I 
am receiving frequent additions to the collection. 
My room is also headquarters for the Grand Army of 
the Republic for Wisconsin. 

In June 1901 our home was moved here from 
Shawano, and we have now lived in Madison nearly 
five years. 

Our son Louis was married December 30, 1891, to 
Addie Holmes of Milton Junction. They settled in 
Milton and Louis worked in a wagon shop. In 
1899 they moved to Beloit, where Lou worked in the 
large manufacturing establishments of that city, the 
most of the time as a pattern-maker. He has great 
skill with tools. One day while at work, he had the 
misfortune to have the second and third fingers of 
his left hand taken off up to the knuckles by a pla- 
ning machine. This loss did not, however, prevent 
his continuing at his work. In 1904 he came here to 
Madison to work at his trade, but, finding continued 
shop work not good for his health, he gave it up, 
and is now living on a seven-acre farm three miles 
south of Madison. He works in the shops in the 
whiter and on the farm in the summer. On the 21st 
of January, 1900, a little girl was born to Lou and 
Addie, but she died a few hours after birth. In the 
spring of 1898 they adopted a two-year old girl 
whom they named Thelma Grace, and she is now 
their only child. Louis is a member of the Sons 
of Veterans here in Madison. 



O rn 

o r 


Our principal reason for keeping the family home 
in Milton while I was teaching was the fact that we 
wished to keep the children in school there. Lou 
did not take to college, but Lillian got into the clas- 
sical course. When I had taught at Washburn 
four years she came to the point of graduation with 
the class of '94. That summer we moved to Wash- 
burn, and Lillian became the principal teacher in 
a two-room school at Mason, a lumbering town 
about thirty miles south of Washburn. On the 18th 
day of the following July she was married, where 
we were camping out near Washburn, on the shore 
of Lake Superior, to John R. Wheeler, son of Rev. 
Samuel R. Wheeler, a leading Seventh Day Baptist 
minister. Soon after their marriage they began 
housekeeping in our Milton home. John v/as clerk 
in a store there. 

In September, 1897, John and Lillian moved to 
Palmyra, where John v>^ent into the business of 
photography. In the fail of 1899 they decided to 
go to Boulder, Colorado, where John's parents were 
then living. He went then, but Lillian lived with us 
at Shawano until the following March, when she 
went to the home John had prepared for her. John 
opened a photograph gallery there. They still live 
in Boulder. September 8, 1897, while still at Milton, 
their only child, Doroth}^ was born. 

We have with us now our only daughter, Grace, 
twenty years old. But she is in her fourth year of 
attendance at Milton College, and so we have her at 


home only during the school vacations. 


"While our home was in INIilton we had in our fam- 
ily, from time to time, several young people who 
attended school there. Some of them we came to 
think almost as much of as if they really belonged 
to us. Among those who thus lived with us for a 
time I will name the following : 

Mary A. Rood, daughter of my father's brother 
William. She is now Mrs. Emerson Odell, of Okee, 
Columbia County, Wisconsin. 

Lola Sherman, granddaughter of my father's sis- 
ter Lola. She is now the wife of Judge C. A. Smart, 
of Ottawa, Kansas. 

Ethel De Ford, who was a pupil of mine at 
Omro. She is now Mrs. Orson Stillman, of Buffalo, 

Frank E. Peterson, an\3ther of my Omro high 
school students. He graduated from Milton College, 
studied for the ministry, and is now pastor of the 
Seventh Day Baptist church at West Hallock, Ills. 

Charles A. Smart, who later married my ipousin, 

Edward D. Dike, one of the friends of our family 
in Waushara county. 

My brother Walter G. Rood, my sister Genia, and 
my sister Mary's son Horace M. Davis were all with 
us at different times attending school. 

I must here take a little space to tell about Cousin 

Lola and her family. I have said that my father 
had one older sister, Lola. He never saw her after 
he was sixteen or eighteen years old near Clarence^ 
New York. It seems that she had married a man 
named Taylor. After his death she had come with 
her two children, Mary and Alexander, to Rock 
county, Wisconsin, where her father was then liv- 
ing; that she died there and w^as buried in a ceme- 
tery near what w^as known as INIount Zion, on Rock 
Prairie, close by where the Thorngates and Roods 
had lived before moving up to Princeton and then 
to Dakota. I have told on a former page about the 
army service of her son, Alexander. 

In due time the daughter, Mary married a 
man named Bedford, and to them a little daughter 
was born, who was named after her grandmother, 
Lola. Just before the w^ar began Mr. Bedford went 
down the Mississippi to get w^ork in the South. The 
war came on, and he was never heard from after- 
ward. There was good reason to believe he was 
killed because he w^ould not go into the Confederate 

After the war Mary married a Samuel Sherman, 
who had served as a musician in Company F of the 
Thirteenth Wisconsin regiment, having enlisted 
from Shopiere, Rock County, September 21, 1861, 
and been mustered out November 21, 1864:. By 
Mr. Sherman i\Iary had two sons and a daughter, — 
William, now living in Chicago, Charles, a musician 
of some note, and May, now a Mrs. Stott in Chicago. 
Samuel Sherman died in Chicago in the early 90 's, 
and Mary is now a trained nurse in that cit}^ She 

is a bright, intelligent and capable woman. 

Mary's daughter Lola, a most lovable girl, came in 
1878 to live with us in Milton and attend college. 
In 1885 she married one of the young men whom she 
came to know in college, named Charles A. Smart. 
Mr. Smart had become a teacher, then a lawyer, set- 
tling in Ottawa, Kansas, where he got a good prac- 
tice. He and Lola, with their family of five girls, 
still live in Ottawa, where he is now judge of the 
District Court, having jurisdiction oyer four coun- 
ties. He is an earnest Christian man and a church 
worker. He and his family are Congregationalists. 
.Here are some facts concerning the members of their 
bright, happy household: 

Charles A. Smart, born January 5, 1858. 
Lola Bedford Smart, born October 8, 1860. 

Georgia Ethel Smart, born March 19, 1886. 

Lola Lucile Smart, born January 31, 1888. 

Mary Euphemia Smart, born March 11, 1890. 

Charlotte Ella Smart, born April 3, 1892. 

Carolee Bedford Smart, born April 5, 1901 
An infant daughter died September 6, 1897, short- 
ly after birth. 

In 1877 Lizzie and I changed our church member- 
ship from Dakota to Milton, where we still belong. 
Our son Louis joined the church there in 1884, as 
our Lillian had done in 1879. Louis thot, after he 
went into the shops to work, that he could not keep 
the Sabbath, and he has now no church connection. 

Lillian and John are members of the Seventh Day 
Baptist church at Boulder, Colorado. In the spring 
of 1903 our daughter Grace, attending Milton Col- 
lege joined the church there. 

Tho we have for thirty-five years lived much of 
the time away from our own church home, we have 
undertaken to keep the Sabbath as well as we could, 
for we thoroly believe in it. Yet we have attended 
regularly the services of some church where we 
have lived, and have tried in every way we could 
to help in its work. Nearly all this time I have been 
superintendent of some Sunday School. To the 
credit of those among whom we have lived and wor- 
shipped I am glad to say that they have manifested 
respect for us, tho we differed from them in belief 
and practice, and have taken us into as cordial and 
and fraternal fellowship with them as practicable. 
Tho firm in our own belief, we have easily found 
common ground on which to stand with other de- 

I have never been much of a ''jiner." My mem- 
bership is limited to two societies, the Good Tem- 
plars and the Grand Army of the Republic. I have 
been a Good Templar nearly all the time since I 
was fifteen years old, my membership having been 
with the lodge at Omro about twenty-five years. 
For nearly five years my G. A. R. membership has 
been with the Lucius Fairchild Post of Madison. I 
have been its adjutant during the past four years. 
The only club to which I belong is that meeting ev- 
ery evening in our own home. I do not know of a 



George Rood and his young wife Jennie, Mansell 
Davis and my sister Mary, and Charley Rood were 
the first members of our family to reach North Loup 
as permanent settlers. They left Dakota April 3, 
1872, and arrived there May 13. They did not have 
an easy time of it all the way, but they were young 
and hopeful, and so did not much mind some mis- 
haps and hardships. Oscar Babcock started for 
Nebraska on the cars and reached Grand Island 
in time to go with George and Charley up to their 
future home. Others who had started from Dakota 
about the same time with George and Charley were 
already there ; also, a few people who, having heard 
thru the Sabbath Recorder, our denominational pa- 
per, about the proposed settlement at North Loup 
were just arriving to select homesteads. 

Tho these people were tired after their long jour- 
ney they did not neglect ''the assembling of them- 
selves together." On the first Sabbath after their 
arrival they gathered at an appointed place on the 
bank of the North Loup river, about a mile and a 
half from where the village now stands, and held re- 
ligious services. 

When the Sabbath was past the people began 
to hunt about the country for such spots of God's 
green earth as best suited them for home making. 
George Rood and Charley made claims on opposite 
sides of the road near the present location of the 
cemetery, and Mansell Davis settled about four 
miles south-east of the present village site, and not 
far west of the river. 


I wish that the story of those early clays could be 
told in this book in such manner as to impress the 
minds and hearts of all who read it with the hard- 
ships undergone by those pioneers of North Loup, — 
the self-sacrificing labor they endured; the dangers 
of both fire and flood thru which they passed; the 
drouth that destroyed their crops, and the grass- 
hoppers that devoured both grain and vegetables; 
the terrible blizzards in which a man might be 
utterly lost between his house and his stable; the 
cyclones that would almost pick up a ''dug-out" 
and carry it off thru the air; the lack of the bare 
necessities of life, to say nothing of the comforts; 
and many personal experiences that called for cour- 
age, hope, and faith in God. I wish, too, that it 
could be plainly put down here how brave they 
were, how hopeful, how full of life and energy; 
how, in spite of every deprivation and discourage- 
ment, they were almost all the time possessed with 
the spirit of fun, jollity and merry-making; how 
like boys and girls they played pranks upon one an- 
other and indulged in some rather strenuous prac- 
tical joking — just for the fun of it. It is interest- 
ing to me now to hear some of them tell stories of the 
trips up to' 'the cedars" after logs, and their 
"freighting" to Grand Island. They went with their 
teams in company, and tho they suffered many pri- 
vations they made up in fun what they lacked in 
comfort. In all their work, their hardships and 
self-sacrifice they thot of the homes they were found- 
ing for their wives and little ones. Thru the eye of 
faith they saw better times coming, and so they 

were brave and courageous. 


Mrs. Peter Clement, my sister Genia's elder 
daughter, Ora, has written about those early days as 
she has seen them after having heard her mother and 
uncles and aunts tell about them over and over 
again. This is her story: 

No one who did not live thru them can tell all the 
hardships of our Nebraska pioneers. As I have 
gone here and there thru the Loup and the Mira 
valleys, which Grandpa Rood found so beautiful 
when he first gazed down into them from the bluffs 
in that summer of 1871 ; as I have admired the fine 
farms and substantial buildings now giving the 
country so pleasing and prosperous an appearance, 
I have tried in imagination to see it as he saw it. 
I have tried to fancy those hills without a furrow, 
and the valleys without a road or a trail thru the 
waving prairie grass; without a building or a tree 
except where the willows and cottonwood fringed 
the river bank, or the cherry and plum thickets 
marked the ravines. I have wondered how it would 
seem to me to stand alone on one of those bluffs yon- 
der and look into this valley stretching away for 
miles with no sign of human habitation. 

Then as I think of the many present advantages 
offered by church, school, comfortable homes, good 
farms, railroad, commerce, telephone and rural mail 
delivery, I wonder about the life of the early set- 
tlers with only the barest necessities upon which to 
live, — when want, actual hunger, was not unknown. 

Peter and Ora Clement 


Earnest and Helene 

They endured hardships that make us shudder when 
they tell us of them, while in our hearts we feel 
thankful that, in spite of all they suffered, and their 
discouragements, they stayed here and so shaped cir- 
cumstances and influenced environment as to make 
our North Loup home what it now is. 

Some incidents of those early days will give those 
who read this little book to understand something of 
the conditions under which our people lived. 

One of the troublesome things of early life on 
the prairie was the lack of roads, paths or even land 
marks. Even the bluffs looked much alike until time 
made them familiar. The few houses were ''dug- 
outs" and could not be seen until close at hand. 
Many amusing stories are told of even the men's 
getting lost within hearing distance of their own 
homes. But I will tell a story of being lost that is 
anything but amusing. 

When Uncle Mansell Davis and Aunt Mary came 
to Nebraska they were both young and had been 
married less than a year. They built a little shed on 
the ''claim" he had taken, and where they still live, 
set up a stove under it and used their covered wag- 
on for a bed room. Mary was only eighteen years 
old and had never been much away from her mother 
until she came in that same covered wagon from Da- 
kota to Nebraska. I suppose no girl was ever more 
homesick than she, poor child. There was no place 
for her to go, no one to see, and no work to take her 
attention except to cook their scanty meals. She had 
just to stay day by day around that little shed over 

the stove on the big prairie. 

One day in June 1872, about a month after she 
and Mansell had built their little kitchen, Mansell 
went with his team up the river after a load of tim- 
ber. As he was to be gone all day Mary rode with 
him a mile or two to where John Sheldon and his 
Mary had a home something like her own. The 
two Marys visited together till toward night, when 
Mary Davis, instead of waiting for Mansell's return, 
walked back home. She then got supper ready and 
looked for Mansell. As he did not come she became 
uneasy and started out in the hope of soon meeting 
him. She had walked only a short distance when 
darkness came on, and with it a heavy black cloud 
in the north-west. Soon the rain, driven by a chill- 
ing wind, began to fall. It was too dark for her to 
see her way, so, being unable to go back or find a 
neighbor, she wandered about the prairie She 
knew that she was walking around over the same 
ground for she fell several times into a hole four 
or five feet deep where a well had been begun. 

At last she saw, not far away, a fire blaze up. 
Surely Mansell must have retured and lighted a sig- 
nal for her! She quickly started for the light, but 
in a short time it flickered and died out, leaving the 
night all the darker for her disappointment. So she 
still wandered, too cold to stand still or sit, sick from 
fright because of the yelping and howling of the 
coyotes. This sound was new to her and she thot 
great danger must be near. But the keenest of all 
her sensations was a sickening longing for **home." 
She says now that as she wandered about in the 

Mansell and Mary Davis 


darkness her thots kept going back to dear old Da- 
kota, where her mother and sisters were then sleep- 
ing at peace under the home roof little dreaming 
where their absent one was that dark, stormy night. 

Once as she was hurrying on in the darkness 
there came a sharp flash of lightning, when, to her 
horror, she saw only a step before her the brink of 
a steep bank at the bottom of which there was a 
small pond, the water being eight or ten feet deep. 
She turned away, but w^ith a new dread, as she 
walked aimlessly about, that she should again come 
to that steep bank and step off. How dreadful and 
long must have seemed those hours of wandering 
about in the rain ! 

At last, in the gray light of the early morning, 
she saw only a little way off the little kitchen shed 
from which she had started out before dark. Hast- 
ening to it she found her husband there. He had 
been belated because of the storm and camped out 
till it was light enough to find his way home. We 
can imagine their meeting and the story each had to 
tell. They found that the fire that she had left the 
night before had in some way got into the bedding 
piled near it, and this was the light she had seen 
and taken for a signal. Had it not been for the rain 
to put it out, the fire would have destroyed every- 
thing they had. 

I do not think that Aunt Mary and others are any 
the worse now for this and other similar experiences, 
yet we of the younger generation have reason to be 
thankful that they are not ours to endure. 


Fires on the prairie were not nncommon when 
both property and life were in peril. But the 
most notable of these fires, that of October 12, 1878, 
has come to be called "The Big Fire." For several 
days it had been burning off toward the north-west, 
tacking back and forth between the two Loup riv- 
ers. On the morning of the 12th it was so near 
North Loup that the black smoke arose in great 
masses, causing fearful anxiety. During the fore- 
noon the wind so changed that cinders came whirl- 
ing thru the smoke-laden air, a sure sign of danger 
close at hand. Uncle Walter was sent to summon 
Uncle George, who was working south of the village. 
This left no man on Grandma Rood's farm but 
Grandfather Thorngate, and he was old and feeble 
and dazed by fright. Uncle Solon and Aunt Emma, 
who did not live far away, saw the danger, and they 
came to do what they could. For greater safety all 
left the house and went to the j)lowed field nearby. 
Solon undertook, with a small plow to run a furrow 
around the house for a fire guard, but was not able 
to do much. In the meantime Uncle Charley, who 
was working at or near the village, had become anx- 
ious for the safety of the folks over in Mira Valley, 
where Grandma lived, about three and a half miles 
from the village, and resolved to hurry to their aid. 
He was working with a sulky plow and three horses. 
With this outfit he started on a ride almost equal 
in importance and excitement to that of General 
Sheridan from Winchester to the battle of Cedar 
Creek. This is a part of his story of it : 
—J 02— 




































*^I shall never forget the sight I got when I came 
to the top of Watt's hill. The whole Myra Valley 
seemed on fire. Here and there the flames leaping 
higher than at other places told where a haystack or 
a building was burning. I put the whip to my 
horses then, and ran them as fast as they could go. 
They, with me on the sulky plow, raising the dust 
we did, must have presented the appearance of a 
Roman chariot race. 

"As I came near our folks on the field, Solon ran 
to me shouting: ^ Begin here and plow up around 
there I' indicating what he had, on seeing me coming, 
quickly decided to be the surest way of protection. 
I followed his direction, using my "blacksnake" 
unmercifully on the horses, and they went into their 
work on the jump. I think the plow threw the dirt 
ten or twelve feet from the furrow. My first furrow 
retarded the on-coming flames a little, but did not 
stop them. The second furrow, a few feet inside the 
first, was made not ten seconds before the fire was 
upon it, — but that was enough. The fire was stopped 
and the house saved." 

A Mr. Burdick was that day helping a poor family 
move. My mother was riding with him on the 
load of household goods. The fire came like a race 
horse across the prairie after them. Mr. Biirdick 
saw that their only possible chance for safety lay 
in starting a counter fire. He had only one match. 
If that failed him they could not escape. My moth- 
er held her dress in such a way as to shut off the 


wind and Mr. Burdiek struck the match. It burned 
all right, and set the grass afire. This little flame 
spread rapidlj^ burning off a small space, and into 
this space he hurried his team with the load. He 
was just in time, yet when the two fires met they 
seemed completely to envelop the team and the 
load in the fierce, sweeping flames. Mother says 
that she gave up all hope of getting out of that fire, 
so she just shut her eyes and waited. It was only 
for a minute, tho, for the raging fiend swept past, 
leaving them uninjured in the smoky desolation. 
None of our folks lost anything of much value in 
this fire, tho there was great damage all about them, 
and some of their neighbors lost their lives. 


I have asked my sister Mary to tell me the story 
of a certain blizzard, that of 1873 ; and this is the 
way she writes it: 

The snoAV storm, or blizzard, when we lost our 
ox team comm.enced on Easter Sunday, April 13, 
1873. It was a warm, damp day. Mansell w^ent af- 
ter a load of wood in the morning, but after dinner 
he did not feel well — had a severe chill, and then a 
fever. His father was with us then, and so he did 
the outdoor chores. Monday morning it was snow- 
ing, and it came hard and fast, the wind blowing 
strong from the north. Mansell, not being well, 
did not get up from bed until afternoon. His father 
went out and fed the hogs, then attempted to go to 
the stable to milk the cow and feed the oxen; but 
the snow was so blinding and the wind so strong 


that Mansell urged him not to go. Toward night 
Mansell tried to get out to attend to the cattle, but, 
because of the fierce storm and his physical condi- 
tion, I persuaded him to stay in the house. 

Tuesday morning we talked the matter over, and 
Mansell concluded to undertake, if possible, to get 
the cow into the house. He found the oxen down 
in the snow and completel}^ chilled. He suc- 
ceeded in getting the cow^ into the house, and I emp- 
tied the straw and husks from our bed ticks for 
food and bedding for her. We had our seed corn 
in the house, and fed that to her. 

Mansell went, during the day, several times to 
the stable to try to do something for the oxen, but 
they would not try to get up. He fed them the best 
he could and tried to stop the crevices thru which 
the snow came. The snow was soft and wet, and 
every time he came to the house he was wet to the 
skin. Our house — or dugout — was completely 
covered with snow, and we had to keep the lamp 
burning all day. The load of wood that Mansell 
had got on Sunday was still on the wagon near the 
door. He w^ould get, now and then, a log of it into 
the house and cut it into stove lengths with his 
handsaw. We were comfortable enough in the 
house save for the worry and anxiety over our 
stock, for it was our little all. In the meantime we 
were wondering how our neighbors were getting 

It was terrible when Mansell went out. It was 
impossible to see ten feet away, and one in such a 


storm is quite apt to lose all knowledge of direc- 
tions. While he would be gone to try to care for 
the stock I was wild with anxiety, and the joy I 
felt at every safe return lessened, in a measure, my 
grief over the loss of our oxen. 

On Wednesday afternoon the snowfall grew 
lighter, and before dark it ceased entirely. Mansell 
said then that he would take the shovel and dig 
into the snow for the calf, Cherry. She was in a 
little pen near the stable, and was completely cov- 
ered with snow. After digging down to quite a 
depth he felt something below moving. He called 
me and I waded out. By that time he had the calf 
uncovered, and she was trying to stand on her trem- 
bling legs. Well, — I cried! We got her into the 
house beside her mother for the night. 

The next morning we turned them out of doors 
so that we could clean house. Our well was near 
the house and we had kept it covered with boards 
laid across it on the ground. It was only six or 
eight feet deep. When the storm first came on, 
the boards were blown away and the well was filled 
with snow. Well,the cow walked over it and down she 
went, sinking into the soft snow nearly to the bot- 
tom. We thot then we must surely lose her, too,, 
with our oxen; yet later, with the help of our good 
neighbors, we resurrected her. 

Our hogs had tunneled through the snow in vari- 
ous directions. In their chill and hunger they 
grunted and squealed their strong disapproval of a 
Nebraska blizzard. 

Mansell has added some statements concerning 

this particular blizzard, as follows : 

Our ''dug-out" was like most others, — like a 
house basement in a hillside, the door opening upon 
the low land, while the roof of the back of it was 
about on a level of the next higher bench of 
land. It was to be seen from the front but was 
scarcely visible from the rear. Our stable was 
built of large poles and was banked with hay; and 
it had a hay roof. It stood on the higher ground 
back of the house, and was five or six rods away. 

Before the storm we had been enjoying wonder- 
fully pleasant weather. Farming was well begun 
and grass had so started that our cow was giving 
more and more milk. The oxen had been allowed 
to run to the haystack, yet they preferred to eat 
the hay from the sides of the stable until there were 
more holes than otherwise. It was so late in the 
spring and the weather was so pleasant that we 
were off our guard. "Were it not for this we could 
easily have averted our loss. There were some people 
who had brot a good many horses and cattle to the 
country and depended upon the canyons and high 
banks for shelter for their stock. ]\Iany of these 
animals were running loose when the storm began, 
and as they wandered about in the blizzard, some 
fell over steep banks and were killed, while others 
got into the river and were drowned. 

To give an idea of the depth of the snow in some of 
the canyons I can say this: The deepest and widest 
canyon between here and St. Paul is near Elba. It 
is about 40 feet deep and 200 feet wide, and that was 
full of snow; and the snow was so hard that teams 

crossed the canyon on it for two weeks after the 
storm. Charlie Rood and I drove across there with 
a load on the 28th day of April 

This is what Mary says about the *' hoppers*^: 
I do not like very well to talk about the grass- 
hoppers, for when I do people look as if I were tell- 
ing a big story. They came first in 1874 and took 
nearly everything eatable. When on the wing they 
looked like a "black cloud rising over yonder.^' If 
the w^ind was blowing they would pass over. If the 
wind went down so did the '^ hoppers". When they 
were flying the air would be as full of them as it is 
of snowflakes in a heavy storm. It was surprising 
to see how fast they ate. A very few minutes was 
time enough for them to strip everything from a hill 
of corn, leaving only the hard stalks. Our cornfields 
were a sorry sight when they left. They would eat 
anything. One day I had some clothes spread on the 
grass to be aired. When I went to get them they 
were hardly worth the bringing in. They bothered 
us more or less for three or four years. 

I must tell one more thing about our oxen. After 
they died in that storm Mansell skinned them, so as 
to save what he could of them. They w^ere large 
oxen and their hides brought a good price. Man- 
sell took them for sale to Grand Island, our nearest 
trading point then, fifty miles away. Mr. Bartlett 
tells yet that Mansell said he did not know how we 
could have lived thru that summer had the oxen not 
died, for all the money we had to buy the bare neces- 
sities of life came from the sale of those hides. In 

this way we lived till we could raise a crop — and 
then the grasshoppers took that! 

I am thankful to say that we were never flooded. 
George can tell you better than we can about perils 
by water. Our dirt roof used to leak, tho. I re- 
member that one night we slept under the table, for 
that was covered with an oilcloth, so there was at 
least one dry place in the house. 

I must say that I do not very much like to talk 
or even think about those early days. I would 
rather forget them. Anyhow, I do not like to tell 
so much about ourselves and our hardships. We had 
no harder times than others. But I was — oh, so 
homesick! That is what made it so hard for me. 

I will now return to Ora 's narrative. 


As other members of the family came, with various 
old acquaintances, and made homes here and there^ 
life on the prairie became less lonesome and in many 
ways more endurable. There were social gatherings 
of one nature or another, and families visited back 
and forth, and thus they varied the monotony. All 
living in the valley, tho miles apart, were called 
neighbors. Being drawn closely together by ties of 
common hardships and like experiences, bonds of 
good fellowship were established which still exist. 
Families that do not now meet twice a year would,, 
thirty years ago, drive miles for a day's visit, and 
visitors were always warmly welcomed, tho the hos- 
tess might not have a cupful of sugar with which to 
*^stir up a cake," and could offer only a johnny-cake 
in the way of bread. Nor was there any embarrass- 

ment for want of chairs to seat her guests withal. 
They were content to sit almost anywhere. 
It was not long ago when I called on a lady who 
laughingly remarked, as I sat upon the edge of her 
bed, "Have a seat on the bed, Mrs. Badger. "Then 
she explained that that was an old saying, for in 
the early days Mrs. Badger, being the doctor's wife, 
was always given the seat of honor — on the bed. 

When I was a little girl and used to hear my 
mother tell of the Good Templar lodges, the singing 
schools and literary societies she attended in her 
younger days, I thot it must have been great fun to 
be a girl when she was. 

Grandpa Rood was a man greatly interested in all 
good works, especially in the cause of temperance. 
Thru his influence several Good Templar lodges 
were organized in Valley County. The charter of 
the first lodge he established was afterwards given 
by the state organizer to Grandma Rood because 
of the part Grandpa had in instituting it. 

Mention has been made on a previous page, of ear- 
ly religious services at North Loup, and of the organ- 
ization of the Seventh Day Baptist church there; 
also of the early beginnings of the Sabbath school. 
Most of the Roods and Thorngates from that time 

till now have been members of this church. Uncle 
George Rood was for several years church clerk, 
and was olso ordained as one of its deacons. Uncle 
Mansell Davis succeeded Uncle George as clerk. 
Uncle Henry Thorngate has been one of the deacons 
ever since he came there from Missouri, in 1879. 
Uncle Charle}^ Rood has for several years belonged 
to the board of church trustees. Uncle Walter Rood 
has for some years been very efficient as Superin- 
tendent of the Junior Christian Endeavor Society. 
He seems peculiarly fitted for this work. Various 
members of both the Rood and the Thorngate fam- 
ilies have been active as officers and teachers in the 
Sabbath School and Christian Endeavor work. 

Nearly all the members of both families, both 
old and young, are now Seventh Day Baptists in 
both belief and practice. Some of us who are 
younger have sometimes been so situated that we 
could not attend worship on the Sabbath, and so 
have worked with other denominations ; yet I think 
the most of us who profess to be Christians have not 
been backward about maintaining our doctrine and 
giving, on proper occasions, a reason for the faith 
within us. Still I believe that in this matter we 
have striven always to manifest the sweet spirit of 
Christian charity. 

Grandpa Rood used to preach much of the time 
for the church at Dakota, Wisconsin, before coming 
to North Loup, and he preached occasionally here, 
but not at any time regularly. 


In 1873 Valley county was divided into two school 
districts, the south half, w^ith North Loup, being 
number one, and the north half, with Ord, being num- 
ber two. Uncle George Rood was the first director 
in No. 1, and he engaged for the first teacher Miss 
Kate Badger, who came from Milton. She was a 
graduate from the Teachers' Course at the college 
there. She taught her school in an undersized and 
very earthy dug-out near the creek, and on Oscar 
Babcock's claim. Charley Rood taught the school 
at North Loup in the winter of 1874-75, and the 
following winter he taught at Ord. The first school 
house in North Loup was built in 1874 of cedar logs 
that had been hauled on wagons forty miles. Charles 
Wellman later bought it for a dwelling house, and 
his family still occupy it. My mother began teach- 
ing here in 1875 and taught ten terms before her 
marriage. She taught four terms before leaving 
Wisconsin. Aunt Emma and Aunt Ettie taught 
each a few terms after coming to Nebraska. 

As has been said. Grandpa brot Grandma here in 
the spring of 1875, and they settled on their claim 
three and a half miles from North Loup up the Mira 
Creek valley. He got the contract for furnishing 
beef to the soldiers at Fort Hartsuff, twenty-five 
miles up the river from North Loup. This work 
called for many long and tiresome journeys back 
and forth. He bot cattle for beef here and there as 
he could find them, and he often found them hard to 
handle as he led them home or to the fort. There 
were no bridges across the streams and he had to 

Charles D. Rood 

ford them, often in cold weather. Many a time he 
waded the North Loup River when the water was 
freezing', and then drove on without change of 
clothing. He also did "teaming" for other pur- 
poses, and all the time with little regard for his 
health. He ought not, of course, to have done this, 
but he was working for the sake of those he loved, 
and so he took little thot of his own ease and com- 
fort. It had, indeed, been for years his habit to do 
so. And so, under so much of hard work and expo- 
sure, he broke down and began rapidly to fail in 
his health. He held out as long as he could, but in 
the summer of 1877, he who had been one of the 
most robust of men, and of great physical strength, 
slowly but surely yielded to the hand of disease 
upon him. He was able to go on the cars to Milton, 
Wisconsin, in the fall of 1877, after Grandpa and 
Grandma Thorngate and get them settled in the 
home he and Grandma had opened for them, but 
this was his last work. He gradually grew weaker 
and weaker till, on the 17th day of March, 1878, he 
went to his rest. He had suffered from a complica- 
tion of diseases involving the bronchial tubes, liver 
and perhaps other organs. He suffered very much 
as the end drew near, and his death was to him a 
blessed relief. He was ready for the call of the 
Master and he welcomed the summons. 

Herman, with Walter's aid, was in the meantime, 
doing the work on the farm. 



During these earlier years the family had, accord- 
ing to the way of the world, been increasing. On 
the 14th of September, 1873,Uncle Mansell and Aunt 
Mary were made happy by the arrival of Horace 
Mansell. This was a particularly welcome event, for 
it furnished a happy relief from the young mother's 
homesickness. The new baby had had no part in 
the home life of Wisconsin, and so he created a real 
interest in the new home of which he was an import- 
ant part. June 11, 1874, little Warren Ray came to 
gladden the hearts of Uncle George and Aunt Jen- 
nie ; and on the 17th of February, 1877, Harry Lee 
was made welcome to the same home. 

And there were marriages, too. October 30, 1875, 
Uncle Charley took for his wife Miss Rosa Furrow, 
who in 1872 had come with her father, John Furrow, 
from Humboldt, Nebraska ; and on Christmas day of 
1877 Aunt Emma was married to Solon Terry, who 
had come here with his mother from Welton, Iowa. 
On the 13th of September, 1876, Bertha Alice was 
born to Uncle Charley and Aunt Rosa, and on the 
2nd day of October, 1878, Byron Ross came to be 
Bertha's brother. Also, on August 13, 1879, Loyal 
Erwin came into the family of Aunt Emma and Un- 
cle Solon. 

While in the fall of 1877, Uncle Charley was driv- 
ing the horses running a threshing machine he 
slipped and fell into the machinery of the horse 
power, and one of his legs was very badly hurt. He 






was taken to Grandpa Rood's and there he lay suf- 
fering fearfully for several weeks before the wound 
healed. He received the best of care, for everybody 
was glad to do something for him. Some years later 
the other leg was badly hurt. He has always since 
then limped a little because of the injury, but is 
thankful that nothing worse came of it. 

In the summer of 1903 a company of our people 
had a picnic over at *'The Ranch," as we call the 
place where Cousins Jay and Stella VanHorn live. 
While there they were enjoying sliding down a long 
rope stretched over a deep ravine near the house. 
As Uncle Charley was going down, the rope by 
which he was suspended to the cable gave way,and he 
had a fall that nearly broke his back. It was a 
long time before he was again able to stand. He can 
now do light work, but will never again be strong. 

In the early days there were rattlesnakes on the 
prairies, especially in the vicinity of prairie dog 
towns, and they were apt to turn up most anywhere. 
One day in the fall of 1878 Grandma Rood went out 
to where the family cows were staked out to grass. 
She drove the stakes in new places, where they could 
get fresh feed, and was about to return to the house, 
when she felt a pricking sensation on the top of one 
of her feet. She looked down and saw there a large 
rattler, and then heard the buzz of his tail.The upper 
part of her shoe was cloth and the snake had sent his 
fangs thru it. Having the ax in her hand she cut his 


snakeship twice in two, then went to the house and 
told Uncle Herman. He quickly wound her ankle 
with a strong cord, while Uncle "Walter rode after 
the doctor at North Loup at such speed as befitted 
the occasion — three and a half miles and back in 
twenty minutes. Careful attention on the part of 
the doctor and others got Grandma and her foot so 
that in two or three weeks she was able to walk 
again. Not so, however, with the rattler. In those 
days people used to go out in companies to destroy 


On the 7th da}^ of April 1880, there was another 
marriage in the family. Uncle Herman was married 
to Miss Linda Pierce, who had, with her parents, 
come to the country June 7, 1878, from Clinton, 
Rock county, Wisconsin. January 20, 1880, a sec- 
ond daughter, Tacy Fanny, was born to Uncle 
George and Aunt Jennie; and January 12, 1881, a 
second daughter, Nina, to Uncle Charley and Aunt 


Grandpa Thorngate had suffered from asthma for 
several years. As he came to old age he coughed a 
great deal and gradually failed until he was, No- 
vember 29, 1882, taken to a better world than this. 
Grandma Thorngate cared for him tenderly thru all 
the years of his ill health, and when he was taken 
from her she was lonesome, indeed. After Grandpa 
Rood had brot them to Nebraska they lived in a 








room of his house and kept house for themselves as 
best suited them. After his death Grandma contin- 
ued to live in that room, very lonesome, yet resigned. 


As has been said, Grandpa Rood's home was up 
Mira Valley about three and a half miles from North 
Loup. Uncle George and Uncle Charley had located 
on opposite sides of the road leading out to Grand- 
pa's, nearly as far as the present cemetery. Uncle 
Herman bot a farm on the same road, and about a 
mile from the village. Uncle Mansell and Aunt 
Mary lived then where they still live, about four 
miles down the river valley and a little west of the 
railroad. Uncle Charle}^ later took a claim on Davis 
Creek, and eight or nine miles from the village, 
where he and his family lived until 1895, when he 
sold his place and then moved to North Loup so that 
the children could have better school advantages. 

In April, 1883, Uncle Herman and Aunt Linda 
moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to work on a sheep 
ranch. They soon returned, however, and settled on 
the farm he had bot. In 1884 Uncle George sold 
his farm and moved to the village to live. Uncle 
Solon and Aunt Emma lived at first on a farm near 
Grandpa Rood's, one he and his mother had settled 
upon soon after coming to North Loup, but in the fall 
of 1879 they, too, went to the village to live. 

In the fall of 1878 Alpha Crandall came from Fa- 
rina, Illinois, and took up a claim about six miles 
north-west of the village. On the 22nd day of May, 
1882, he and my mother were married, and on the 

26th of February, 1883, I began to play my part in 
the family history. 

Grandpa Rood's home was home to all the family, 
and all were heartily welcome there, till one night 
in January, 1888, the house caught fire and burned 
to, the ground. Grandma and Uncle Walter then 
rented a place in the village, but in 1888 they 
bot the home where they now live, and where we are 
all delighted to find her and our good Uncle Walter. 

As the years went by children came into the fam- 
ilies as follows : To Uncle Herman and Aunt Linda, 
October 20, 1883, Sarah Inez. To Uncle Charley 
and Aunt Rosa; November 16, 1882, 
Esther Amy; January 23, 1886, Marianne, 
whom, for some reason, we all call ''Bird;" April 
24, 1889, Marcia May ; July 11, 1891, Carrie ; Novem- 
ber 27, 1894, Bayard Alvin ; June 3, 1897, Elsie Lea ; 
April 14, 1900, Eunice Pauline. To Uncle Mansell 
and Aunt Mary, July 22, 1880,Ainslie Loran ; July 17, 
1895, Mary, now known as ''Little Mary". To my 
father and mother, August 5, 1885, Paul Rood; Au- 
gust 31, 1893, Mary Hazel; June 4, 1896, Horace 

On the 15th of October, 1884, Aunt Esther, whom 
we call "Etta", was married to Calvin Crandall. 
His father, the Rev. G. J. Crandall, had come to 
North Loup as pastor of the Seventh Day Baptist 
church. In the year 1891, Uncle Calvin and Aunt 





Etta moved to West Hallock, Illinois, where they 
lived until the spring of 1905, when they settled on 
a farm near Milton, Wisconsin, in order that their 
children might go to school at Milton. There have 
been born to Calvin and Etta the following named 
children; April 17, 1886, Cecil Irma; February 17, 
1888, Ada Elizabeth ; April 14, 1891, Percy Jay ; May 
21, 1893, George Herbert; November 24, 1894, Es- 
ther. Esther and George were born at West Hal- 
lock, but the others at North Loup. They lost by 
death one child only a day or two old. 

I call this the last wedding, tho Uncle Walter is 
still left unmarried ; but I do not see much hope for 
him. He seems to prefer to live with Grandma and 
be a bachelor. He may yet surprise us all, tho. 
For the marriage connections of the younger genera- 
tion the reader may study the ' ' Family Tree ' ' in an- 
other part of this book; also, for the names and 
dates of birth of the children of the still younger 

Just after the close of the Civil War, in 1866, 
Uncles Henry and George Thorngate, with some oth- 
ers, moved from Dakota to the vicinity of Brook- 
field, Missouri. After the Dakota colony had got set- 
tled in and about North Loup, some of those people 
began to think about coming here to live. In Janu- 
ary, 1876, Uncle Henry came to see the country. In 
1878 Uncle George Thorngate and his family came 
here to live, and in 1879 Uncle Henry's folks came 
too. Uncle Henry settled later on on a farm about 
a mile south of the village and Uncle George close 
by Grandpa Rood's place up the Mira Valley. Their 


coming added not only to the pleasure but the num- 
bers of the Thorngate-Rood clan. Uncle Henry 
and Aunt Renda brot with them Cousins Herbert, 
Gajdord, Roy and Belle ; and Uncle George and Aunt 
Arlie brot Ray and Charley. By referring to the 
*' Family Tree" in this book, it will be seen that 
since then a goodly number of Thorngates have 
come into our expanding group of relatives. 

From the time when Uncles Henry and George 
came to Nebraska up to 1890, nearly all the members 
of both families were together here about North 
Loup, — the exceptions being Cousin Charles Thorn- 
gate, son of Uncle David, whose home has been at 
Martin's Ferry, Ohio; Aunt Hannah Thorngate 
Stillman, of Farina, Illinois; Uncle Charles Thorn- 
gate's family, at Weeping "Water, Nebraska; and 
Uncle Hosea Rood's family, in Wisconsin. In 1890 
Uncle Solon and Aunt Emma moved to Boulder, 


M}'- memory does not, of course, go very far back 
into those years. What I write must of necessity 
come from the family traditions, — stories I have 
heard told over and over in my own home and at 
the family gatherings to which we have long been 
accustomed. Yet I do remember many reunions at 
the home of this one or that, with the attendant 
feasting, chattering, games, — and some quarreling 
among us little cousins. I remember our being to- 
gether one cold day at Grandma Rood's — her sixty- 
fourth birthday it was — and how Cousin Bertha 

Alpha and Genia Crandall 


Hazel and Horace 

wrapped me np in a big cape so that I could stay 
out on tlie hill and see the big folks slide down hill. 
Grandma went down with the rest on the bob 
sleigh, and she said it was fun. 

I remember when ''the folks'' came in a big crowd 
to our home on the prairie one day in the summer of 
1887 to help my father and mother celebrate their 
*' wooden wedding". As usual there was a great 
deal of fun going on. Uncle Hosea Rood was then 
here on a visit from Wisconsin. He proposed play- 
ing "Donkey-tail." An image of a tailless donkey 
was pinned up against the side of the house. The 
trick was, to be blindfolded and then, after being 
turned around and around, go and pin a tail where 
it belonged on the donkey. I remember how we all 
laughed to see Grandma Rood undertake to put the 
tail in its appropriate place on the de-tailed donkey. 
She won the prize for getting the tail furthest 
from where it belonged, for in her search she had 
wandered around to the other side of the house 
and stuck it on a box. 

I remember another game played that day — called 
*'Tug of War," The men got a long rope. Grand- 
ma Rood's four married sons got hold of one end 
of the rope and pulled one way, while the four sons- 
in-law pulled against them the other way. It was 
a great tussle, and all the crowd of relatives looked 
on cheering and laughing. One set of contestants 
got on the steep slope of a ravine and were pulling 
the others down hill when — the rope in the middle! 
Then four stalwart uncles went rolling over one an- 
other to the bottom of the ravine. 

— 121— 

In those days both old and young united in get- 
ting a great deal of fun out of life. At all of our 
family gatherings there were lively times. After 
Uncles Henry and George Thorngate came from Mis- 
souri their families and those of the Roods were as 
one family in all these social events. 


The fall before Grandpa Rood died, that is in 1877, 
he wished to have all his children at home on 
Thanksgiving da}^ and arrangements were made 
to that end; but before the time came something 
prevented the gathering. This was a great disap- 
pointment to Grandpa, for he was never happier 
than when his children were together under the 
home roof. After this the Thorngates and the 
Roods began to hold annual family reunions on 
Thanksgiving day, and the custom has been main- 
tained to the present time, almost without interrup- 
tion. This gathering has been held now at one 
home and then at another as circumstances seemed 
to direct. And there have been other reunions be- 
side those on Thanksgiving occasions. These have 
come at weddings and various merry-makings, and 
when some of our folks have come from other places 
to visit us. Sometimes we have taken a birthday or 
a wedding anniversary as an occasion to turn out 
in force to offer congratulations and eat good things 
till we were all but uncomfortable. We always 
see to it that Uncle Henry Thorngate gets all the 
chicken he can eat. On such occasions the most of 
us talk — several at a time — and we all laugh 
together. We have some music, too. 






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One time, January 12, 1887, we went in a big 
crowd to the home of Uncle Solon and Aunt Emma 
to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their marriage. 
This was not the date of their wedding, — that was 
December 25. But for some reason we went on this 
later date. They had a small house and we crowded 
it full. In the midst of our merriment, about noon, 
there came on a fearful blizzard. This struck dread 
to the hearts of the farmers present, for they could 
not go home to care for their stock. Night came on 
and it was still snowing so that no one dared under- 
take to go home. For the best of reasons there was 
no going to bed, and so we had a night of it. Fun? 
well, I should say! Some tried to sleep. I recollect 
curling down on a comforter and wishing there were 
not so many others who wanted the same place. 
Morning came at last, and the storm had so moder- 
ated that we could go home. This blizzard of Jan- 
uary 12, 1887, was one of the worst we ever had. 


At all our family gatherings it has been the cus- 
tom for every housekeeper to contribute her share 
of things to eat, and all have united to do the nec- 
essary work, not putting the burden on the hostess 
alone. Almost without exception the sweet spirit 
of unity and Christian charity has dwelt with us 
as a family, whether at our various homes or togeth- 
er at any one of them. The close relations of one 
with another have been characterized by kindly feel- 
ings and filial affection. We have had within us a 

feeling that has led us to speak of ourselves as the 
*'Thorngate-Rood Clan/' tho I think we are not 
clannish in any wrong sense. 

It is not to be understood that we all think alike 
on every subject, for every one of us has a mind of 
his own ; and we differ somewhat in opinion on more 
than one subject. But we have not thot it best to 
talk much concerning our differences. We have 
found enough to say about things upon which we 
were in harmony; and I guess it has been good for 
us that this has been so. 

We have not, as a family, been money makers. It 
has been said of us that we 'd leave work or business 
at any time to attend a family gathering or an 
old settlers' picnic. This is better than to be 
charged with driving sharp bargains and being 
moved by selfish ambition. It is recorded that man 
shall not live by bread alone. In a most important 
sense we have been rich. 

I have alread}" said that one night in January, 
1888, Grandma's house on the farm caught fire and 
burned. The fire began in that part where Grandma 
Thorngate lived. Nearly everything she had was 
lost. She was hurried out of her room, blankets 
thrown around her, and taken down to Uncle George 
Thorngate 's, not far away. She was but little dis- 
turbed because of her loss, saying she should not 
want the things much longer anyhow, so it did not 
make much difference to her. In a day or two the 
folks made a sewing bee and dressed her up again. 



Some of the things in Granma Rood's part of the house 
were saved, yet much that was highly cherished 
went up in smoke. Uncle Calvin and Aunt Etta, 
also, were living with Grandma and Uncle Walter 
when the house burned. After the fire they all 
went to the village to live. For a few years Grand- 
ma and Walter lived in a rented house, — then they 
hot the place where they now live. 


Grandma Thorngate kept in pretty good health 
up to the time of her ninetieth birthday, but after 
that old age began to tell upon her health and 
strength. In her younger days she had been a great 
worker, and she kept going as long as her strength 
lasted. When she got so that she had to rest a part 
of the time she read a great deal. She often read 
late at night. She was greatly interested in all 
the questions of the day, but she gave special atten- 
tion to the subject of missions. Because she had 
these things to think of and interest her, she was 
happy and cheerful. Life was no burden to her. 
As the end drew near she was happy in the thot 
that she was soon going home. Those who saw her 
and talked with her in the last few days of her life 
say that her faith was beautiful. Uncle Walter said to 
her a few hours before she died that he thot it too 
bad that she was so sick and must be taken away 
from the family. She told him it was not too bad; 
that the going was to her no more than for him to 
go down to the postoffice and back. It had no fear 
in it for her. During the morning of the day of her 

death she said brightly and cheerfully to those 
about her bed, "I am going to see your grand- 
father, children! I am going to see your grandfa- 
ther!" And so, on the 27th day of August, 1890, 
she quietly and peacefully left us to go and see our 
good grandfather, who had nine years before gone 
to the home of the blest. 

I have said that in the summer of 1887 Uncle Ho- 
sea Rood came from Milton, Wisconsin, to visit us. 
It was his first trip to North Loup. He was with 
us about six weeks. In the summer of 1892 he came 
again, and with him Aunt Lizzie and Cousins Lillian 
and Grace. They were with us then four or five 
weeks. At the same time Aunt Emma came on a 
visit from Boulder, Colorado. In the summer of 
1889 Uncle Herman and his family went to Wiscon- 
sin and Grandma Rood went with them. It was at 
the time of the National Encampment of the Grand 
Army of the Republic in Milwaukee. They visited 
Uncle Hosea and family, then living at Palmyra, 
near Milton, and Aunt Linda's people in Clinton, 
Rock county. In the fall of 1890, Grandma Rood, 
with my mother, my brother Paul and me went to 
Farina, Ills., where my father's parents and 
Grandma's sister. Aunt Hannah Stillman, then lived. 
It was a wonderful journey to me. I had not sup- 
posed the world was so big. Grandma, before re- 
turning, visited Uncle Hosea 's folks in Milton. In 
the summer of 1890 Uncle George Rood made a trip 


Grandfather Thorn^ate 
George Thorngate sr. 

to Wisconsin. lie made a hurried visit to the old 
home at Dakota, and at Uncle Hosea's. In the fol- 
lowing summer Aunt Jennie visited friends in Min- 
nesota and different parts of AYisconsin. Grandma 
went to Wisconsin again in the summer of 1893, 
when the Seventh Day Baptist Conference was held 
at Milton. She visited Uncle Hosea's folks there 
and Calvin and Etta at West Hallock, Illinois. 
During these later years there have been several go- 
ings back and forth. I cannot remember them all. 


Now and then we have had here in the vicinity of 
North Loup what we have called hard years. Be- 
cause of drouth and hot winds crops have been poor. 
One of these seasons was that of 1890. Crops be- 
ing poor there was little demand for paying labor. 
Because of this there was complaint of hard times, 
and with it talk of change of location. That year 
Uncle Solon and family moved to Boulder, Colorado, 
where they still live. 

About the 4th of July, 1891, there came another 
break in the family, when Uncle Calvin and his fam- 
ily went to live at West Hallock, Illinois. Tho I was 
quite young I could see that it was hard to endure 
these separations. We missed the absent ones more 
at Thanksgiving time than on any other occasion, 
and we wished over and over that all could be at 
home again. 

As we had no school near our home six or eight 
miles from the village, in the fall of 1892 my father 
moved our family to North Loup so that Paul and I 


could have the school opportunities we needed. 

In the early summer of 1894 Grandma Rood and 
Cousin Inez went on a visit to Uncle Solon's folks 
in Boulder, and Grandma stayed there during the 
summer and following winter. This summer of 189-1 
was another time of poor crops. Many in our com- 
munity were in real want that winter. Early in the 
fall my father with his family, and Uncle Herman, 
went overland to Boulder, where work was said to 
be plentiful. We shall always remember that trip 
as, on the whole, a most pleasant one. We were 
followed two or three weeks later by Uncle Geovge 
and his family, — tho Cousin Ray was already at 
Boulder. Uncle Herman soon returned, but the rest 
of us remained till spring. The men managed to 
make a living for their families and horses, but the 
work — much of it teaming over the mountain roads 
— was hard. We were glad in the spring to return 
to our Nebraska homes. Grandma came back about 
the same time, in March, 1895. Our life there was 
not altogether enjoyable, tho we had a pretty good 
time socially. We met at Thanksgiving time there 
at Uncle George's. We found some good friends 
in Boulder. 

In the spring of 1902 Uncle Herman went to Cal- 
ifornia to do carpenter work and see the country. 
He had some thot of moving his family to that state, 
but in the fall he returned, and is still at home on 
his farm near North Loup. We are all glad they 
did not go. 

In the fall of 1901, because Cousins Ray and Tacy 
were in college at Milton, Uncle George and Aunt 


Jennie moved to Milton, and they still live there, 
George having sold his place at North Loup. It 
has been said that in the spring of 1905 Uncle Cal- 
vin and his family moved from West Hallock to 
Milton. His father was at that time pastor of the 
S. D. B. church at IMilton Junction. His father and 
mother were both in poor health, and he w^ished to 
be near them so as to help care for them. In July, 
1905, his father died, and his mother went to Chica- 
go to live with her daughter Grace, who was studying 
medicine. On the 7th of February, 1901, Cousin 
Bertha, Uncle Charley's eldest daughter, who 
had been married to Henry Williams, moved with 
her husband to Gentry, Arkansas, which has since 
then been their home, tho they have spent one or 
two winters in North Loup. His second daughter, 
Nina, who had married Roy Lewis, and her husband 
spent one year in Fouke, Arkansas, where she taught 
a school established, there by our S. D. B. people. 
They now" live in North Loup. 


Going to Nebraska in the spring of 1872 with little 
to do, yet with a good bit of ambition to make a 
home for ourselves and establish a Seventh Day 
Baptist Society in North Loup, we had many diffi- 
cult things to accomplish. First, we must break up 
a patch of prairie and plant some corn and garden 
stuff. Then we must get some logs from far up the 
river to use in house building. After that we must 
go 50 miles away to the Platte River valley to work 
in the harvest fields for a little money to help us live 


a frugal life through the winter; to get some hay 
for the horses and cow, and a great many other 
things incident to beginning life at the bottom. All 
these things to do made us late in getting into winter 

I will try to tell how we built the house in 
which we lived. We dug a hole in the ground about 
four feet deep and 15 by 19 feet in area. Then 
with this as a basement we built above it a house 
four logs high, the log part of the house being 
16 by 24 feet in size, and about seven feet high from 
the bottom of the hole in the ground. Then we 
put on for a ridge pole a good-sized cedar log, 
which was made the support for some good stout 
rafters of ash poles. On these we placed some 
willows, next some coarse hay, and then a layer or 
two of good tough sod cut first with a breaking plow 
and then by a spade into convenient lengths. These 
sods, when cut, were about two feet long, one foot 
wide and four inches thick. When care was taken 
to make it compact such a roof shed water very well, 
indeed. On top of the sod we put three or four in- 
ches of clay we got from a nearby ' ' buffalo wallow, ' ' 
and then pounded it down hard and smooth. A 
roof so made would not leak in the hardest kind of 
a shower unless it was long continued, in which case 
the roof would soak through. 

This house, or *' dugout," was built on level 
ground facing a shallow ravine, the ground sloping 
gently from the front to the bottom of the ravine. 
From the door in front we dug a ditch, or trench, 
the width of the door, the bottom of the ditch being 


as low down as the floor of the house. Tea or twelve 
feet from the door the bottom of this passage way 
came out on a level with the ground. This ditch 
was our passage way into the house and out. 

After it was too late in the fall to build a house in 
another place our neighbor Jacobs warned us that if 
a heavy rain should come we would be in danger of 
a flood; for the water would run down the slopes 
and fill our ravine up to where our house was built 
into the bank. We worried some for fear we should 
have trouble, yet, as a matter of fact, we could not 
very well help what might thus come to us. 

About the first of June of the next year, 1873, a 
heavy storm came suddenly upon us, and for half an 
hour or so the water came down as it can come in 
Nebraska when the flood gates are once wide open. 
We were eating supper at the time, and the door of 
our dugout was closed against the storm. I hap- 
pened to look toward the door and was somewhat 
surprised to see water runing in under it. I went 
and opened the door and there I saw rushing down 
the ravine a wall of water two feet high. When it 
struck the passage way into our house it came pour- 
ing in, covering the floor and rising rapidly. 

Mr. Paine 's people were living with us then and 
Mrs. Paine and her daughter Hattie were in the 
house. I told Mrs. Paine and Jennie to to get on the 
bed, which they did in a hurry. Hattie stood in the 
middle of the room and screamed, pulling her skirts 
higher and higher as the water arose. Though the 
condition of things was serious we could not help 
laughing to see her watch anxiously the rising flood, 


and hear her scream in her excitement till Frank 
Paine carried her ont. 

In the meantime I was fishing up snch things as I 
could and throwing them on the bed. 'Mrs. Paine 
and Jennie, thinking the water would fill the room 
and drown them, begged to go out to a tent we had 
pitched near the house. I caught little Stella up, 
wrapped a quilt around her and told them to come 
on. The water was then on a level with the top of 
the bed. Jennie stepped from there upon the stove 
- — one of the old elevated oven sort. All the floor 
we had consisted of a few boards laid upon the 
ground. These arose with the water and were then 
about on a level with the top of the stove. Jennie 
in her excitement, stepped ofc the stove upon these 
floating boards. They shot out from under her feet 
and she dropped into the water all over. Now, as 
this water rushing down the ravine had brought 
much of my garden with it, it was thick with mud, 
and Jennie was sticky v»^hen she came up out of it. 

Well, after getting Jennie and the baby and Mrs. 
Paine and Hattie out into the tent I went back into 
the muddy wetness of the house to save as much 
more as I could. The water was about tv^^o feet 
deep, and when I got back it had just begun to re- 
cede, and the current was carrying along with it 
such things as would float. I shut the door to stop 
those things from starting for the Gulf of Mexico, 
and remained there till the water had drained out 
under the door. In the meantime I was picking up 
things and wiping off the mud as I sang "Ye banks 
and braes o' Bonny Doon". 


Then I dipped and sopped the water out of the 
stove, chopped up a dry cedar pole and started a 
rousing fire that steamed us all after the manner 
of a Turkish bath. We kept the fire going till after 
midnight in order to keep any one from taking 
cold. Jennie was not at all well at the time. 

When we got things cleared out and cleaned up 
we found that not so much damage had been done as 
one might think. Still, some of our few earthly 
possessions were spoiled and others made to be of 
not much account. 

On the occasion of several other storms I was 
obliged quickly to dam up this passage way into our 
dug-out to prevent our being driven out of house 
and home again. 

Some of our neighbors suffered worse from such 
floods than we did. This story is told only to give an 
idea of one of the rather hard things with which we 
had to contend when we were early pioneers in Ne- 
braska. Before we got used to the country and 
its peculiar conditions something was every little 
while coming to pass that we did not expect and 
taking us by surprise. And then our having so lit- 
tle to do with left us open to many inconveniences. 
Sometimes we suffered, but we were young and full 
of hope and so not only made light of whatever 
was unpleasant, but got some real fun out of our 
hardships. Much of the time we heartilv enjoyed 


Much of what is put down in the foregoing pages 
about the family life in Nebraska is as it was written 
by my sister Mary and her husband, my niece Ora 
and my brother George. But I have changed the 
arrangement of the matter, somewhat, and have 
made some additions, the details of which have come 
to me from various sources. I am greatly indebted 
to them for the help they have given me. It seems 
to me that what they have told must give a pretty 
clear idea of the settlement and growth of our fam- 
ily in and about North Loup and the migration of 
some of them to other places. They have not told 
so much in detail of the families of Uncles Henry 
and George Thorngate, for it has been left to Uncle 
Henry to do that. "What has been told in general 
of our people at North Loup has had reference to 
both the Thorngates and the Roods, for they have 
been united in spirit and purpose and in their social 
and fraternal relations ever since, in the years 1878 
and 1879, Uncles Henry and George moved to North 
Loup from Missouri. It has been a wonderfully 
pleasant thing to us here in Wisconsin to think of 
our closely related families out there, and the har- 
mony existing among them. I have thot many times 
of that passage of holy writ, ''Behold how good and 
how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in 



Tho our Grandfather Thorngate and our Father 
Rood had almost no school advantages they gave 
their children a desire for knowledge. Grandfa- 
ther's children got as much learning as they could 
out of the rural school near their home in Cattarau- 
gus County, New York. After we moved to Wis- 
consin Aunt Hannah taught a term of school. Uncle 
Charles was teacher at Dakota in the winter of 
1855-56. Uncle George had a special desire for ant 
education. He went to school at Milton academy 
before the war and enlisted from there. He taught 
several terms of school in Wisconsin and continued 
teaching in Missouri as long as his health would per- 

I myself had little in the way of education, yet I 
went to teaching after the war and kept at that 
work for almost thirty-five years. I was, in 1878, 
graduated from the teachers' course at Milton Col- 
lege. Our daughter Lillian was graduated from the 
college there — classical course — in 1894. She was 
during the following year principal of the graded 
school at Mason, Bayfield county, Wisconsin. She 
was married in July 1895. Our daughter Grace is 
now a senior in the academic course at Milton. 
She expects to be graduated with the close of 1906. 

My brother Charley taught two or three terms 
in Wisconsin and as many more after going to Ne- 
braska. Mary and Genia taught four or five terms 
each, in Wisconsin, and Genia ten terms in Nebraska 
before she was married. Genia attended Milton 
College two terms in the year 1879-80. My sisters 

— 185 — 

Emma and Ettie were both teachers in Nebraska be- 
fore they were married. 

Brother Walter came to Milton in 1893 to study 
at the college. After being there four or five 
terms he went to West Hallock, Illinois, to teach. 
In 1897 he returned to North Loup and taught a 
term or two in Howard County. Then he began 
teaching in the grammar department of the North 
Loup Schools. In 1899 he bot the Loyalist, the local 
paper, and he is still its proprietor and editor. 
He is making a success of the business. In his office 
several of our nieces have learned to set type. Wal- 
ter calls them his "office angels." 

Stella, my brother George's eldest daughter, was 
the first of our family to be graduated from the 
North Loup high school. This vv^as in 1890. After 
teaching four or five terms she was married to Jay 
VanHorn, and their home has since then been on 
the VanHorn Ranch in Sherman County, ten m.ileg 
west of North Loup. They have three children. 
Dale, Ross and Everett. 

Ray Rood, George's eldest son, v/as graduated 
from the home high school with the class of 1892. 
About Christmas time, 1899, he and his sister Tacy 
came to Milton and began a course of study. He 
was graduated from Milton academy in 1902; from 
the college, classical course, in 1903 ; and from the 
department of music in 1904. He was engaged dur- 
ing the summer vacations for three years in evangel- 
istic quartet work. He taught nine terms of dis- 
trict school in Nebraska and was, in the years 1903- 
05, principal of the graded school at Drummond, 


Ray and Ella Rood 

Bayfield County, Wisconsin. At the present time he 
is first assistant in the high school in the city of 
Bayfield, on the shore of Lake Superior in Wiscon- 
sin. Ray's wife — Ella Babcock — whom he married 
at Milton, December 24, 1903, was graduated from 
the North Loup high school in 1395, and taught one 
term. She was graduated from the academic de- 
partment at Milton in 1902, and from the musical 
department in 1904. She took some work in the 
college course and spent one vacation in 
evangelistic quartet work. 

Harry Rood, George's second son, was a gradu- 
ate, in 1896, from the high school at North Loup. 
He taught two years. He spent some time in a busi- 
ness college in Omaha and at the School at 
Fremont, Nebraska. He had learned while yet in 
school, to set type. He edited the Loyalist, at 
North Loup, about six months in 1897. Later he 
was, for something more than a year, foreman in the 
office of the Holt County Independent, and after 
that he had charge of the Stuart Ledger. In 1899 
he became manager of the Greeley Citizen and was 
there nearly a year, when because of ill health he 
had to leave the printing office. He then joined a 
concert company and was for some time on the road. 
Having, in part, recovered his health he became ed- 
itor of the Stromsburg Journal. Failing in 
health again he was obliged to give up the newspa- 
per business, and he again joined the Davis Concert 
Company. He soon broke down completely and 
went home, he says, to die. But later he was takeu 
to Omaha for a very dangerous surgical operation. 

1 07 

lo I 

Contrary to all expectations he lived thru the trying 
ordeal and in time recovered, when he went with his 
parents to live at Milton, Wisconsin. This was in 
November, 1901. There he became associated with 
W. K. Davis in the management of the Edgerton 
Eagle, where he remained a year, when he became 
manager of the State news department of the Mil- 
waukee Journal. But the too close confinement of 
that work began again to tell on his health, when he 
left Milwaukee and became a city reporter upon the 
Leader-Press, of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He is still 
connected with that paper, having charge of the 
business and circulation in North LaCrosse. 

Tacy Rood, sister of Ray and Harry, was gradu- 
ated in 1897 from the home high school, after which 
she taught one year. At Christmas time, 1899, she 
came with Ray to Milton to attend school. In 1902 
she was graduated from the academic course of 
study. She took up some work of the College 
Course and was, in 1904, graduated from the school 
of music. She had learned, in the office of the Loy- 
alist, at North Loup, to set type, and was for some 
years a compositor in the office of the Milton Jour- 
nal. In August, 1905, she was married to D. N. In- 
glis, of Marquette, Wisconsin, who had recently 
been graduated from Milton College. He became 
principal of schools in his home village, and he and 
Tacy have set up housekeeping at Marquette. 

'Inez, only daughter of Herman Rood, was mar- 
ried, in 1902, to Otto Hill, of North Loup, where 
they now live next door to my mother. They have 
two children, Russell and Dwight. 

— J38- 


Charley Rood's eldest daughter, Bertha, was mar- 
ried, in 1899, to Henry Williams, of North Loup. 
Their home is now in Gentry, Arkansas. They have 
one child, Melvin. ' 

Charley's eldest son, Byron, was not a graduate 
of the North Loup high school, but at the Christmas 
time of 1900 he came to Milton, where he attended 
college five terms. Later he began work inVan- 
Horn's meat market, and he is still engaged there. 
He spent a part of the summer vacations of 1901 
and 1902 in evangelistic quartet singing. In 1904 
he was married to Miss Lena Nelson, of Dell Rapids, 
South Dakota. They have bot a home in Milton, 
and have a little boy, Leman, to make them happy 

Byron's second sister, Nina, was graduated in 
1898 from the high school and she began teaching 
that year. In the Christmas vacation of 1901 she came 
to Milton College, where she remained two terms. 
She then taught school a year at Welton, Iowa, 
after which she returned to North Loup, where she 
continued her work as teacher. In October, 1904, 
she was married to Roy Lewis, of North Loup. 
After their marriage they went to Fouke, Arkansas, 
where she taught a year in a school established there 
by the Seventh Day Baptist people. In 1905 they 
returned to North Loup, where they now live. Nina 
has taught sixteen terms of school. 

Charley Rood's third daughter, Esther, was grad- 
uated from the home high school in 1901. After 
teaching two years she came to Milton, where she 
has now been in school two years. She is a member 


of the senior class in the academic course of study. 

Charley's fourth daughter, Marianne commonly 
known as ''Bird", was a graduate from the high 
school with the class of 1902. Since graduation she 
has set type in the office of the North Loup Loyalist. 
Brother Walter calls her "the office angel." 

And there is yet another daughter of Brother 
Charley's family who has graduated from the home 
high school, Marcia, a member of the class of 1905. 
She is still at home, as are the younger members of 
his family. 1 suppose they, too, will in due time 
want high school diplomas. 

Horace Davis, eldest son of my sister Mary, was 
graduated from the high school at North Loup with 
the class of 1891. He taught two terms of school 
the following year, one in Greeley County, the other 
in his home district. The next year he attended 
Milton College, returning in the summer of 1893 
to North Loup and teaching during the following 
year in Valley County. In the fall of 1894 he 
again entered Milton College, but later went to teach 
in a ward school in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. During 
the year of 1895-96 he was principal of schools at 
Elba, Nebraska. The next year he was teacher of the 
grammar department at North Loup. The follow- 
ing two years he was principal of the high school at 
Ord, Nebraska. 'During his summer vacations, after 
returning from LaCrosse, he took special studies at 
summer schools held in connection with the state 
university at Lincoln — where he secured the degree 
of A. B. — and was engaged as instructor in several 
teachers' institutes. Also, he organized at Ord a 








:^ili^^^p :■:§ 


"mf. %il 


^R?4^V '<-'' ■ ^ .. ^piRHpF^^^M 


Normal and Business College, but did not continue 
in charge of it. In 1900 lie got into politics and was 
elected Clerk of the Court, in which position he 
served three years. 

. While teaching at Ord he became associate pub- 
lisher, with Harry L. Rood, of the Loyalist, at 
North Loup, Harry being the manager of the office 
work. Later he bought the Ord Journal, which he 
published a year,and then sold at a profit. In a 
few months he bot the Leader-Independent, of Gree- 
ley, Nebraska, which he published two years, his 
younger brother, Ainslie, managing the office. "Hav- 
ing sold his paper, he re-purchased, in January, 
1905, the Ord Journal, which he is still editing and 

'Horace likes newspaper work, yet says that were 
the pay for teaching better, and the tenure of posi- 
tion more certain, he would prefer work in school. 
He was, on the 17th of July, 1901, married to Miss. 
Besse Fackler, of Ord. They have one son, Mansell 
Fackler, born April 30, 1902. 

Ainslie Davis, Horace's younger brother, with 
an eye to good farming, has attended the state agri- 
cultural school in Lincoln; yet he has a leaning to- 
ward newspaper work. He has from time to time 
been engaged in the office of the Loyalist at North 
Loup, and with Horace at Ord ; also, he was, as has 
been said, associated with his brother two years as 
office manager of the Leader-Independent, at Gree- 
ley. He is as yet unmarried. 

Mary Davis, sister of Horace and Ainslie, com- 
monly known as ''Little Mary," is at home with her 


parents. She is a close attendant at school, and 
has, I guess, an eye open toward the high school, — 
maybe something beyond it. 

Ora Crandall, eldest daughter of my sister Genia, 
was graduated from the North Loup high school 
with the class of 1901. In September of that year 
she began setting type in the office of the Loyalist. 
In the November following she went to Milton to 
attend school. While in college she paid her way 
in part by working in the office of the Milton Jour- 
nal. She won two prizes there in college oratorical 
contests. She returned, in April, 1903, to North 
Loup, and worked a part of that summer in the of- 
fice of the Loyalist. In December she came back to 
Milton and was in college the rest of the year. In 
August 1904, she was married to Peter Clement, of 
North Loup. Peter was a teacher in the high 
school at Darlington, Wisconsin. They kept house 
in Darlington the following year, but in 1905 he be- 
gan teaching in the high school at David City, Ne- 
braska ; and they are now living there. 

Paul Crandall, Ora's eldest brother, was gradu- 
ated in the spring of 1902 from the home high 
school. About Christmas time in 1904, he came to 
enter Milton College, where he is still studying. He 
has a natural liking for the study of electricity. 
Hazel and Horace, the younger children are still at 

Loyal Terry, only son of my sister Emma Terry, 
went from North Loup to Boulder with his parents 
in 1890. He has lived there ever since, except a few 
months in 1902, when he was at work at Hammond, 






Louisiana. In January 1905, he was married to 
Miss Ethel Coon, of Boulder, and they have estab- 
lished their home there. 

Cecil and Ada Crandall, daughters of my sister 
Ettie, are both students at Milton College, and are 
doing good work.They began study there in Sep- 
tember, 1905. The two boys, Percy and George, 
attend the village schools of Milton, and Esther, 
the youngest girl, is a pupil in the country school 
near their home, two or three miles north of the 


I have said that in the spring of 1866 my Uncles 
Henry and George Thorngate moved from Dakota 
to the vicinity of Brookfield, Linn County, Missouri. 
I have asked Uncle Henry to tell the story of their life 
in Missouri and later removal to Nebraska; and he 
has done so as follows : — 

During the winter of 1865-66, Frank Babcock 
had letters from his brother-in-law, of St. Catharine, 
Linn County, Missouri, that caused him to decide to 
leave Dakota and settle in Missouri. A little later 
Elder George C. Babcock, who was brother to Frank, 
made up his mind to go there, too, and he induced 
my brother George and his young wife, Arloena, to 
go with them. Then they together persuaded our 
father-in-law, William Crandall, and his family 
and that of Matthew McCormick to go also. Nat- 
urally they wanted Renda and me to go with them, 
and we did so, tho we did not all start at the same 
time. This move was not altogether to my liking, 


yet I could not consistently ask Eenda to remain 
in Wisconsin when nearly all of her father's fam- 
ily were to settle together in Missouri. So on the 
29th day of May, 1866, we left our home in Dakota 
for what was to be our new home in Missouri. We 
drove thru to St. Catherine in a little more than a 
month, arriving there July 4. 

Not having a house in which to settle at once we 
went into camp near where Frank Babcock and my 
brother George and their wives were living, they 
having arrived before we did.Frank soon moved into 
another house, and then v/e went into the house with 

We had not been there long before we began to 
have the fever and ague. This so shook us up that 
we felt somewhat discouraged. Tho we were blue 
when the chills crept up and down our backs, we got 
what amusement we could out of it all. One day 
while Eenda was having a hard shake and was 
crowding close up to the stove in search of warmth, 
our Herbert, then about five years old, came in 
from the garden and crawled under the stove — one 
of the old-fashioned, elevated-oven kind. He had a 
chill, too, and was hunting for comfort. He had in 
his hand a little pail. His grandma asked him 
what he had been doing, — if he had been eating 
tomatoes. The little fellow said, as his teeth chat- 
tered, that he had eaten ''only one pail-full!" 

We found, that season, little profitable employ- 
ment. It was a semi-secession region and we were 
Yankees, several of us not long since in the Union 
army. A few months before this time the Hannibal 


and St. Joseph Railroad Company had put upon the 
market a tract of land in that county, a part of it 
being about ten miles north-west of St. Catharine, 
on what was known as "The Brookfield Divide." 
In the spring of this year Elder George Babcoek, 
his son-in-law, Henry Chase, and George Thorngate, 
had taken out contracts for forty acres each of this 
land. Elder Babcoek and Henry Chase moved up to 
their land, but George remained in St. Catharine, 
where he was teaching school, and continued to 
teach for, I think, two years. 

In October of 1866 Renda and I moved into a 
small house on a farm owned by Watson Crandall, 
which was three-quarters of a mile north of the vil- 
lage. We remained there until the 17th of the fol- 
lowing March, when we too, moved up to ''The 
Dvide." We went into the same house with He- 
man Babcoek. In the mean time my brother George 
had, as he intended to continue teaching, turned 
over to me his land contract. This land was just 
across the road from Heman Babcoek 's place. 

We all found it uphill work getting started there 
on the open prairie. All the land we wished to use 
for crops had to be fenced with rails, for that was 
before the day of barbed wire. We had taken 
a lease of a piece of timbered school land on Long 
Branch, nearly a mile from the forty on the prairie, 
and I did some hard work that spring, splitting and 
hauling about 1,200 heavy rails to the farm and 
building them into fence before beginning to break 
up the prairie sod for a crop. I had no team of my 
own, so I bought a pair of mules at a high pric€, 

running in debt for them. Two years later I turned 
them back to the man of whom I got them. 

In the spring of 1867 Elder James Bailey came as 
a missionary to our neighborhood. After preaching 
few times he thot best to organize a Seventh Day 
Baptist church there, which he did. It had thirteen 
constituent members. It was to be known as the Sev- 
enth Day Baptist church of Brookfield, Missouri. 
Elder George C. Babcock was chosen pastor and I 
was elected deacon. 

During this summer I did not break up much land, 
and so did not raise much of a crop. I spent consid- 
erable time getting out timber for a house. I cut 
logs and hauled them five miles to a portable mill 
to be sawed into lumber. I cut and split into blocks 
a lot of Cottonwood timber and hauled these to a mill 
in St. Catharine to be sawed into shingles, giving 
one half for the sawing. 

Before leaving our home in Wisconsin Renda had 
made a nice rag carpet of twenty-eight yards, which 
we expected to put down in our new house in Mis- 
souri. But we found that we needed a house more 
than we did the carpet; so I traded it to a lumber 
merchant in Brookfield for a thousand feet of com- 
mon boards, which made the sides of our house. 
We papered it inside with newspapers. We moved 
into this place about the first of October, 1867. 

As I have already said, I did not get much land 
broken up during the first two years nor raise much 
in the way of crops ; but, besides fencing and break- 
ing and building, I worked out a part of the time. 
The first two or three winters I cut and hauled eon- 

siderable eordwood to the Brookfield market, but be- 
cause it was so far away — seven miles from our tim- 
ber — the profits were small. I went down into 
Chariton County, about forty miles south, and 
bought apples and peaches to sell in the villages 
along the railroad. This work paid me pretty well. 
Brother George taught the school at St. Catharine 
about two years. In the early part of the winter of 
1868-69 he moved to what was known as the Cary 
district, about ten miles north-west of St. Catharine, 
where he taught that winter. In the summer of 
1869 he taught in the Fosher district, three miles 
north of where we lived. In the summer of 1869 a 
new school house was built in our neighborhood on 
*'The Ridge." I was clerk of the school board for 
the district and had the letting of the contract for 
the erection of the building. Brother George was 
our first teacher there. 

In August, 1869, Heman Babcock and family, and 
his father, decided to go back to Wisconsin on a visit. 
So Renda and I concluded to go with them. We 
made the trip with our teams, and arrived at Dakota 
on the 15th of September. Heman and his family 
and his father returned to Missouri in November, 
but Renda and I and our Herbert remained at Da- 
kota until spring. In March we sold our team and 
returned to our Missouri home by rail. 

During the winter while we were visiting in Wis- 
consin my brother George had a small log house 
built on the north part of our farm, and he and his 
family made their home there until October, 1878, 
when the moved to North Loup, Nebraska. He had 


for some time been failing in health, and, because 
of this, he was obliged to give up teaching — the 
work he liked best. His last term of school was that 
in our new school house in the winter of 1869-70. 

Having sold our team and wagon at Dakota and 
used a part of the money to pay our fare home, I 
found myself not a little handicapped in my work. 
During the following two years we had some pretty 
severe attacks of Avhat is known as "the blues." 
But in November, 1872, I was allowed a pension of 
four dollars per month, and this brot with it back 
pay amounting to $424. This was to us at that time 
a large sum of money. It set us on our feet again, 
and the world began to look brighter to us. 

I spent a part of the following winter peddling va- 
rious notions and drygoods, buying and selling 
hides, pelts and furs. In this business I traveled 
with a two horse team and wagon, and made good 

It was, I think, in the winter of 1871-72 when we 
organized a literary society and lyeeum. This was 
the outgrowth of the society in which the most of 
us had been associated back in Dakota, Wisconsin. 
Much good and no little enjoyment came to us thru 
the influence of this society. 

About this time we began to cast about for a name 
for our '* Corners", or neighborhood, and it was de- 
cided to call the place Branchville. But when it 
came to be known that our school house stood with- 
in a few rods of the geographical center of Linn 
county the name was changed to Linn Center. Dur- 
ing this same fall of 1871 the idea was conceived 

that we should have a postoffiee. So a petition was 
circulated to that effect, and the result was that the 
postoffiee department at Washington directed that 
an office be established at Branchville, Missouri ; and 
I was appointed postmaster. Yet, tho we were giv- 
en a post office, no provision was made for the car- 
rying of the mail. Besides, because the salary was 
so small, I declined the appointment of postmaster 
and recommended that the office be discontinued. 

About this time I was appointed Justice of the 
Peace for what was known as Locust Creek town- 
ship. This was to fill a vacancy. The business of 
the office, however, brot me but little pay. In the 
spring of 1873 I was elected Justice of the Peace. 
That year the township system of government went 
into effect, and I was made chairman of the town 
board. The other members of this board were old 
settlers and older men, too, than I. During that 
term of office I received some honor and, for the 
time I spent, good pay. 

After the organization of our church, and until 
the time when our school house was built, we held 
our Sabbath services in private houses; but after 
that in the school house. For about two years Un- 
cle George Babcock was our pastor, but after that 
we had no regular preaching. It was, I think, in 
the year 1874 when the Rev. Samuel R. Wheeler, 
of Pardee, Kansas, — now Nortonville — came to us, 
under the direction of the Missionary Board, and 
held meetings for a few weeks. I think he was there 
four different times in his work.He preached not 
only at our place but at some other neighboring 


school houses. During his labors in the spring of 
1876 there was quite a revival, and several converts 
joined our church. 

The winter of 1875-76 was a mild one, and about 
the first of January James H. Crandall and I talked 
over the matter of going to North Loup, Nebraska, 
to visit our relatives and other friends there, and 
to take a look at the country. We got ready and 
started on the journey the 17th of January. We 
went on horseback and led a third horse we had 
agreed to take to Mr. Horr at North Loup. We 
went by way of Weeping Water, Nebraska, where 
my brother Charles then lived, and stopped three or 
four days to visit with him and his family ; also the 
Torrances, who once lived at Dakota. Brother 
Charles' wife was, before their marriage. Miss 
Eugenia Torrance. We found Herman Rood there 
on a visit, and he went on to North Loup with us, 
riding our extra horse. 

We spent nearly two weeks visiting our friends 
at North Loup and in that vicinity, after which we 
sold our horses and returned by rail to our home in 
Missouri. While at North Loup our friends took 
considerable pains to show us the country. They 
hoped we would find places on which we would 
like to locate, tho Mr. Crandall had no thot at any 
time of making his home there. One quarter-sec- 
tion of land was shown to me that had been taken 
by a young man who wished to abandon it. He 
was willing to take ten dollars for his right to the 
land. I did not say much about it; yet as a mat- 
ter of fact I would not at that time have taken the 

land as a gift, and been required to live on it. That 
place is where John Barnhart now lives, and it 
would probably sell, with the improvements on it, 
for $8,000. 

As my brother George's health continued to fail, 
he and Arlie and our friends at North Loup, espec- 
ially our father there, thot it would be wise for him 
and his family to move to North Loup, where they 
might obtain a homestead claim. So on the 14th 
day of October, 1878, I started with my team and 
wagon to move them to Nebraska. We arrived at 
North Loup on the last day of the month. 

While I was at North Loup at this time it was 
thot that the railroad land there would soon be put 
upon the market. So I selected an 80-acre tract 
which I thot I would like, when the opportunity 
came, to purchase. This w^as about two weeks after 
the great prairie fire of 1878. It had swept over 
that part of the county, and I can assure you that I 
was not fascinated with the looks of the country. 
I returned to my home in Missouri, arriving there 
only a few days before the beginning of a severe 

By this time several of our Seventh Day Baptist 
families had moved away, and others were planning 
to go. And so we decided that it would be best for 
us to go to North Loup to live. We wanted to 
have our children grow up under as good influ- 
ences as possible and among people of our own de- 
nomination. But there came to us another ques- 
tion. If we should go where my father and step- 
mother and other relatives lived, Renda would have 


to leave her aged father, brothers and sisters. Our 
decision was made in accordance with what it seem- 
ed to us was for the best good of our children. 

We began in the early part of the following 
summer to lay our plans for removal. On the 29th 
day of September, 1879, we, in company with Uncle 
John Larkin and wife, Henry Chase and family, and 
Uncle George Babcock, started for North Loup, ar- 
riving there on the 20th of October. We had two 
teams of our own and drove along six cows. Ella 
McCormick, daughter of Renda's sister Mary, made 
the trip with us and that winter she taught the 
first term of school in the frame school house in 
what was known as the Barker district. In the 
spring of 1880 she returned to her home in Missouri. 

When we arrived at North Loup Brother George 
and family were living in the original ''dugout" on 
George Rood's homestead, and we staid for a short 
time with them. But before leaving Missouri I had 
made arrangements to rent the house and farm 
owned by Mrs. l^.Iary Babcock, and where Solon 
Terry was then living. Solon soon moved to the 
village, and in the early part of November we set- 
tled in the house he left. We continued to rent and 
live on this place three years. 

Brother George had taken a homestead near 
where we lived, but there was no house on it. Not 
being able to build at once he and his family did 
not occupy their place until the fall of 1880. 

When we arrived at North Loup there was no 
railroad nearer than Grand Island, fifty miles away; 
and, as we could not get coal, the fuel question was 

at that time a serious one. The most of our wood 
had to be hauled from the "Oak Canyons" in the 
western part of Valley county or from the "Cedar 
Canyons" over in Garfield County. The winter of 
1880-81, was, I think, the most severe we have ever 
known in this country, and we found it very diffi- 
cult to get fuel. We had to resort to corn and corn- 
stalks a part of the time to keep up our fires. And 
then another serious problem confronted us that 
winter; it was how to get our wheat and corn 
ground into flour and meal. All our mills were run 
by water power, and the extremely cold weather had 
frozen the streams almost solid, so it was very diffi- 
cult to get any grinding done. Yet in due time 
spring came, the snow and ice thawed, the water 
began to run and the mills began to grind, so we 
soon had bread and to spare. 

In November, 1882, we moved into Dr. Badger's 
"dugout," near where Samuel McClellan's barn 
now stands. In September and October of that year 
our son Herbert was very sick with typhoid fever. 
He did not fully recover his health for sev-^ral 

During the three years we had been living here 
we had broken up land as we could on the farm we 
had bought of the railroad company. What we 
broke up we planted to crops, and we rented some 
other land besides. This eighty acres of land w« 
got of the railroad lies a mile south of the Metho- 
dist church building in North Loup. In August, 
1883, we had a house built on the place, and on the 
28th of that month we moved into it. We lived 

there and worked the farm until October, 1891^ 
when we rented the farm to our sons Herbert and 
Gaylord and moved into the house in North Loup 
owned by the Rev. G. J. Crandall. While on the 
farm we had various degrees of success. Some 
years our crops were good and prices fair; on other 
years we had scant harvests and low prices. 

About the first of December, 1885, we heard that 
Father Crandall was very sick at his home near 
Brookfield in Missouri. So on the 6th day of that 
month Renda and Arlie, with our daughter Belie, 
started to Missouri to see him, and were gone about 
four weeks. During their visit there their father's 
health improved somewhat. While they were away 
our Gaylord was taken sick with a nervous ailment 
that proved to be a very serious matter — so much 
so that for some time we feared he could not recover. 
This nervous trouble required that for a long time 
he have constant care and attention. Much of the 
time he suffered intensely. It was not until the fol- 
lowing August that he recovered his health and 

Our principal reason for moving to the village 
was, to make it more convenient for our daughter 
Belle to attend school ; also, for our son Roy, who, in 
addition to attending school, was working in the 
Loyalist printshop. But, after living in the Cran- 
dall house for a year, we returned to the farm. Gay- 
lord, in the meantime, had been married to ^liss 
Mary Nurse, and they lived on the farm with us. 
In the following March, however, we returned to 
the village and moved into the house where we now 


Home of Henry Thorngate, North Loup 

live, near the Seventh Day Baptist church. 

After my brother George and his family had 
lived four or five years on their homestead they 
traded places with the Kev. Mr. True, who had come 
from near Dakota, Wisconsin, in the ealy days of the 
settlement. This is the place now owned and occu- 
pied by the Meyers Brothers. They lived on this 
farm four or five years, then bought a house and lot 
in the village of North Loup and moved to that 
place. They lived there until George's death, De- 
cember 12, 1891. 

In giving the foregoing sketch of our family and 
that of my brother George, I have left some of the 
most important facts to tell last. During the years 
over which I have hurriedly passed our families 
were, according to the w^ay of the world, increasing 
— first by births and then by marriages, and still 
later by more births. 

Our son Herbert was born in Dakota, Wisconsin, 
October 9, 1861, about three months after I had en- 
listed and gone to war. He is the only ''Badger" 
among our children. On the 31st of March, 1887, he 
was married to Miss Eva Matteson, of North Loup. 
They now have three children, Vera, Vesta and 
Ernest. Ernest is an adopted son. They have lost 
one daughter, Ena, who died at North Loup, No- 
vember 4, 1896, at three years of age. Herbert is a 
farmer and lives near North Loup. 

Our son Gaylord was born near Brookfield, Mis- 
souri, May 30, 1870, and was married at North Loup, 
October 14, 1892, to Miss Mary Nurse. They now 
live about four and one-half miles north of Boulder, 


Colorado, on a stock and hay ranch. They went to 
Boulder in 1898. They have three children — Paul, 
Ouy and Mabel. 

Our son Roy was born near Brookfield, Missouri, 
March 5, 1872, and was, May 31, 1894, married to 
Miss Zillah D. David, of Harvard, Nebraska. They 
have a family of three children-Roscoe Marion,Julia 
Belle and Bruce. Their home is in Lincoln, Ne- 

Roy attended the high school at North Loup, but 
was not graduated. When E. W. Black started the 
Loyalist at North Loup, Roy began work in the office 
and continued to do so much of the time from 1888 
till 1892, when he went to Lincoln, Nebraska, to 
work on the New Republic, state official organ of 
the prohibition party. Soon after that he was engaged 
with the Lincoln Daily Call, where he remained till 
March, 1894, when he worked a short time in the 
railway mail service. 

After his marriage he settled in North Loup and 
took charge of the Loyalist from June, 1894, till No- 
vember, 1895. From January, 1896, to June, 1897, 
he published the Arcadia Champion. In October of 
that year he went to Lincoln, where for a year and a 
half he worked for a type writer concern, then for 
nearly a year for a wholesale grocery house. He 
then received an appointment as letter carrier in 
Lincoln, and he has now served five years in that 

Our daughter Belle was born, July 14, 1878, at 
the home near Brookfield, Missouri. She was only 
a little more than a year old when we came to Ne- 


braska. She entered the 8th grade of the North 
Lonp schools when she was ten years old, and was 
graduated from the high school in the class of 1895. 
During the following fall and winter she taught her 
first term in what was known as the ''Hardscrabble" 
district, twelve miles west of North Loup. The next 
year she taught six miles west of Arcadia. The fol- 
lowing three years she was teacher in the intermed- 
iate department of the North Loup schools. In the 
year 1900-01 she attended the state university, at 
Lincoln, and then taught a year ten miles southwest 
of North Loup. Beginning September 5, 1904, she 
was one year in charge of the 8th grade of the Ord 
schools, when she became assistant to the principal 
of the Ord high school, a position she still occupies. 
During the summer of 1905 she attended summer 
school in Lincoln, at the state university. 


George was the youngest of Grandfather's four 
sons. He was only eleven years old when the family 
came to Wisconsin from Cattaraugus County, New 
York, and sixteen when we settled at Dakota. Aunt 
Hannah said of him in one of her last letters to me 
that ''he was a nice little boy — always was." Uncle 
Henry says, "I remember George as a pleasant, 
good-natured boy. He would at times get so 'tick- 
led' at anything he thot 'funny' that he would 
laugh so heartily hr could scarcely contain himself. 
Once when some of the boys and young men were 
on the ice at Crystal Lake, near Dakota, Oscar Bab- 
eock undertook to skate. It was the first time he 


had ever tried the sport and his antics made every- 
body laugh — especially George. He was so amused 
at Oscar's maneuvers that he almost went into con- 
vulsions. As it was, it was a serious matter, for in 
his laughing so hard he sustained some kind of in- 
ternal injury and was sick. It took him a long time 
to recover from the effects of the fun he had. But 
that did not break him of his laughing. ' ' 

I had myself a great liking for Uncle George. 
When I was a little boy he took pains to amuse me, 
and I have always loved him for it. It was he who 
first told me about Santa Glaus and his reindeers. 
Our folks in those days had not got into the Christ- 
mas habit, but Uncle George told me one evening 
that, if I would hang my little stocking up by the 
window, Santa Glaus would come in the night, and 
that one of his reindeer would poke his little hoof 
through a crack in the glass and put something nice 
into my stocking. I could hardly see how such a 
thing could be, but I had a childish faith in my 
uncle, and so I did as he said. In the morning I 
found some pop-corn and a doughnut in my stock- 
ing. Those things were more than common to me. 
Nothing of the kind ever tasted so good before. But 
no reindeer ever did for me such a thing again ; how 
could he without the co-operation of parents that 
had the Ghristmas habit of thot? Now we have all 
come into Uncle George's notions of Santa Glaus, 
and I am glad of it. 

Uncle George, as he grew into young manhood, 
wanted more of an education than the common 
schools afforded, and so he began study at Milton 


Academy, teaching a term of school now and then 
to pay his way. I have here a letter he wrote home 
from Milton in those days, in which he said he was 
studying German and music. I remember hearing 
that very letter read, and hearing my father remark 
that "the boy had better study something useful." 
But in these later years several of my father's 
grandchildren have studied music at Milton as well 
as various languages besides English. My father 
meant all right, tho. 

But, for all he liked school so well, in less than a 
month after the firing upon Fort Sumter Uncle 
George had enlisted and was soon in camp. Two 
months later his brothers had all enlisted. A year 
after his enlistment he was wounded, and later was 
discharged for disability. After coming home and 
teaching and getting well he enlisted again to serve 
till the close of the war. 

After the war he began teaching again. I suspect 
that he would like to have returned to college, but 
he was then thirty-one years old, so he married and 
with others went to Missouri to establish a home for 
himself. He continued his work there as teacher 
until, as Uncle Henry has said, his health so failed 
that he was compelled to give up his chosen occupa- 

It was in the year after the war when he began to 
have a kind of spasms. These continued at irregular 
intervals, and as the years went by increased in 
both frequency and severity, till they affected his 
general health of both body and mind. In time 
these spasms developed into epilepsy. It could 

never be determined what caused this disease. Some 
thot it the result of his wound in the army. All 
that could be done to bring about a cure was done, 
but with little or no effect. In what should have 
been the prime of his life he grew old and had to 
give up all work and wait patiently on the Lord. 

When I last saw Uncle George, in 1887, he was 
only 53 years old — eight j^ears younger than I am now 
— yet his gray hair and flowing white beard gave 
him a venerable appearance. He lived only four 
years longer. In his long sickness he required much 
attention and care. He could not for any length of 
time be left alone, and so for years Aunt Arlie and 
the boys watched over him tenderly and lovingly, 
doing for him everything that could be done. I 
suspect that in this way certain qualities of char- 
acter were developed in them that not all of us 

Uncle George was early in life a Christian boy. 
When, after the close of the war, he taught a term 
of select school at Dakota he exerted over all of us 
in attendance a positive Christian influence. He 
had regular prayer meetings during the term. But 
I am told that thru the unfortunate influence of one 
or more persons in Missouri he came to think that 
reason, rather than faith, should be the governing 
principle in our relation to the higher life. All 
this was, however, after his ill health began to tell 
upon him. I am glad to know that in due time the 
faith of his earlier life came back to him to bless 
him in his declining years. 

In both spirit and manner Uncle George was a 

genial companion, and he had a keen sense of humor. 
Little things that pleased him lighted up his face . 
with a wonderfully expressive smile I can see just 
how he looked when he thus manifested his pleas- 
ure. His voice was gentle in tone, and agreeable. 
With such a voice and smile as his he could more 
easily gain the confidence and good will of timid 
pupils than most teachers. He was a lover of 
music, and his violin led the singing in school. He 
was happy when playing his favorite instrument 
and singing either songs or hymns. Uncle Henry 
says of him that he would at any time rather sing 
with a company of his friends than eat a good 

It is with a feeling of no little sadness that I 
think of Uncle George's being so handicapped by 
disease that he could not reach out after the high 
ideals of his young manhood and become such a 
teacher as he once hoped to be. But the Father of 
us all knows what is best for every one of us. 

Uncle George and Aunt Arlie had two sons born 
to them in Missouri — Ray, December 24,1866, and 
Charles, September 2, 1868. Because of their fath- 
er's ill health they had while yet young to take upon 
themselves the responsibilities of life. Charles was 
married on the 5th day of September, 1891 to Miss 
Ethel Babcock. She is sister to Ella, wife of Ray 
Rood, my brother George's eldest son. Ray was 
married November 24, 1891, to Miss Flora David. 
Both have homes in North Loup and fine families. 
Ray and Flora have four girls and two boys, and 
Charley and Ethel three girls and two boys. I have 

heard it suggested that one of the four boys may 
become a preacher. I hope he will, for I'd like to 
see a Thorngate in the pulpit — and a Rood or two, 
as well. 

Because of their father's inability to work Ray 
and Charley could not go to school as much as they 
wished. Ray had something of his father's longing 
for an education, but chose duty rather than desire. 
He has the name of being '*sot" in his way. This 
means, in other words, that, whatever others may 
say or do, he will do every time what he believes is 
right. This is his way at the ballot box. Both are 
members of the Seventh Day Baptist church, and are 
active in all lines of church work. They are yet 
young enough in spirit to be working members of 
the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor. 
Ethel, wife of Charles, is a music teacher and is or- 
ganist at the church. In a musical way she is a most 
useful member of the church and society — always in 
her place. 

Ray is a paperhanger and painter and Charles 
works at carpentry. He and my brother Herman 
often work together at the trade. 

Aunt Arlie lives in North Loup. For some time 
her invalid sister, Angelia, has been living with her. 


In the early summer of 1845 Grandfather Thorn- 
gate and Uncle David left the old home at Persia, 
New York, and came to what was then the territory 
of Wisconsin to spy out the land. They liked the 
country about Johnstown, eight or nine mile south- 

east of Milton, and Grandfather went back to Per- 
sia after the family. But David got work near 
Johnstown, on Rock Prairie, and remained there. 
He was then twenty-one years old and so was begin- 
ning to plan for himself. 

When our people, five years later, moved up 
near Princeton, and then to Dakota, Uncle David 
went, too; and he took up a "claim" half a mile 
west of my father's, and three miles up the Mecan 
River from Dakota. There on the bank of the river 
he built a log shanty, intending some time to do 
more building and make his home there. As he was 
yet unmarried the house was left vacant, and when 
our school district was organized three or four 
years later it was used for a school house. Miss 
Eugenia Torrance was our first teacher. She was a 
sweet young girl of whom we children thot a great 
deal. She afterwards became the wife of our Uncle 
Charles Thorngate, and our beloved Aunt Genia. 

I stood a few days ago by the cellar hole of the 
little house which Uncle David built. As I thot of 
both him and Aunt Genia I involuntarily uncovered 
my head. My mind went back to the days when 
twenty of us boys and girls sat on slab benches there 
and studied our simple lessons. I recalled my first 
little arithmetic, and the geography having in it 
the picture of the Prince of Wales and his young 
wife, Alexandra. I recalled the games we played 
and a mean trick I played on Reuben Larue; and 
the time we children killed a big massasauga, a 
kind of rattlesnake. 

I found the other day that locust trees had grown 

—J 63— 

thick about the place. They were in full and fra- 
grant bloom. Oak trees and birches grow along the 
bank, and in the marsh below there are hundreds 
of graceful young tamaracks, or larches. All about 
me birds were singing the same old songs of 50 
years ago. Over across the field the crows were 
holding a convention. Pink phlox and blue violets 
bloomed in profusion with not a child to pick them 
for the teacher; and over it all was the deep blue 
sky of one of the rarest days in June. It did me 
good to stand there and think. 

My father and Uncle David were together a great 
deal. He was only a year younger than Father, and 
I think they must have been congenial companions. 
It was thru Father's coming to be acquainted with 
David at Clarence, New York, that he came to Per- 
sia, and so got into the Thorngate family. I think 
that on Rock Prairie and after we settled at Dakota 
Uncle David lived some of the time at our home. 
I remember him as a tall, square-shouldered man, 
with dark hair and beard. I think he was rather 
quiet and inclined to be serious. He was anything 
but boyish. When he was pleased a peculiar smile 
took possession of his face and a merry twinkle got 
into his eye that, it seemed to me, expressed more 
than the loudest laugh of some people. Tho quiet, 
he had a keen sense of humor. 

For some reason he let his land near my father's 
go, and later he spent some time in Michigan where 
his Uncle Herman and family lived. On the 7th of 
November, 1857, he was married to Miss Lucina 
Duell, of Ohio. A year or so after that he brot his 

young wife and baby, Charles W., to Dakota, and 
went to keeping house about a mile east of where 
his father lived. He had no little mechanical genius 
and spent a part of his time doing carpenter work. 

When the Civil War came on all my mother's 
brothers made short work of getting into the serv- 
ice. Four sturdy, intelligent men they were, rang- 
ing in age from 27 to 37 years. George enlisted 
May 10, David and Henry June 23, and Charles July 
23, all in the summer of 1861, and almost within 
three months after the firing on Fort Sumter. 

David and Henry were told by the enlisting officer 
that they might remain at home and work until it 
became necessary for them to go with the company 
to Camp Randall, Madison. They undertook to get 
Grandfather's summer's work as nearly done as pos- 
sible. They completed the harvesting and stacking 
of his grain, as well as settling up their own affairs 
so far as they could; and then they made ready to 
put up the hay. Uncle Henry went to the hay 
marsh along the creek close by the house, one after- 
noon, and began the mowing. He had just begun 
work, when a messenger came to the house with 
orders for both Henry and David to report at Waii- 
toma on the following morning. The company in 
which they had enlisted was to go at once into camp 
at Madison. 

Henry has told me the story as follows: **I hung 
up the scythe at once, and we began to get ready to 
go to war. When evening came we all sat and talk- 
ed the matter over until bedtime. Your Aunt Luci- 
na had gone a day or two before with a company of 


people up to the "little pinery" to pick blackber- 
ries, and had left little Charley at your grandfa- 
ther's. As we talked that evening he climbed up to 
his father's lap and there went to sleep. When it 
was time to go to bed your Uncle David looked at 
the boy asleep in his arms and said, 'And how will 
it be with this little boy!' I can never forget the 
expression on his face and in his voice as he said 
this. I can see and hear him yet as he tenderly look- 
ed into the face of the little fellow and then carried 
him to bed. 

''We arose early in the morning. David thot it 
best not to awaken Charley, and so he took his last 
look at him as he slept. Little did he think he should 
never see his little boy again. We thot when we 
went away that morning that we could surely get a 
furlough to come home a short time before leaving 
the state, and so we did not feel, in taking our leave, 
as we should have done had we known that we were 
going away for good. 

"Your Aunt Lucina, as I have said, was away 
from home, and so David did not see her gain. She 
felt hurt, on her return, that he had gone away with- 
out seeing her. She did not understand the fact 
that he could not have staid there till she came 
home, — that he must go then ; and that tho he might 
plead for the privilege, he could not come home to 
see her again. Some time after that she and Char- 
ley went back to her people in Ohio. After having 
been left a widow for some time she married a Doc- 
tor Barrett of Kent, Ohio. We never saw her again. 

"During the first seven or eight months of our 


service in the army we were hardly ever separate 
from each other.. If one got a pass to go out of 
camp, the other got one, too. In general, we were 
together on guard duty. When he was detailed for 
service in the bridge construction corps I was lonely 
without him. But he lived only about two months 
after we were thus separated. 

**My earliest recollection of my brother David is^ 
that he was a young man, and always at work. It 
was, of course, my boyish imagination that made 
him a young man then, for he was not quite five 
years older than I. As he was the eldest boy in the 
family Father depended much upon his help. There 
was, you know,heavy timber where we lived in Cat- 
taraugus County and it was hard to work to clear the 
land. Your mother and I both remember Father's 
telling how David used, when he was a small boy, to 
tease for an ax so as to help chop down trees. One 
day when he was but little more than five years old 
he got what was called 'the knot ax.' He took the 
whetstone and spent some time trying to sharpen 
it. Then he said to Father, 'There! that is sharp 
enough now to cut a fellow's toes off!' In letting 
it down it dropped so that it hit one of his big t0es 
and cut it very nearly off. All thru life that stub 
of a toe was troublesome to him. 

''When David grew to manhood he was equal to 
the strongest of men in chopping timber, cradling 
grain or any other heavy work. He was very fond 
of music, both vocal and instrumental. He was a 
good singer and used, in the earlier days, to lead the 
singing at our Sabbath services at Dakota. He was 


converted when he was about eighteen years old, at 
Clarence, N. Y., and he joined the Seventh Day 
Baptist church there. He was one of the constitu- 
ent members of our church at Dakota. I think he 
had something of a tendency now and then to be- 
come despondent, and to look on the dark side of 
lif.e I presume he inherited this characteristic 
from our father." 

Not long ago I was talking with an old veteran 
who was an officer of the company — 1, Tf:h Wiscon- 
sin — in which Uncles David and Henry served while 
in the army. He said that both of them were good 
men and the best of soldiers. I have today seen an- 
other survivor of that company. He, too, had the 
same thing to say concerning David and Henry 
Thorngate. David died in a hospital at Washing- 
ton, D.C., July 19, 1862, after a little more than a year 
of service, and a week before what would have been 
his 38th birthday. Had he lived till today, July 
26, 1906, he would be 82 years old. 

Uncle David was the only one of our family to die 
in the army. Tho others were very sick at times, 
and some were wounded, all came home alive. I 
think that because of his being the only one whose 
life was sacrificed in the service of our country I 
have a peculiar regard for his memor}^ 

The ''little boy," Charley, has for the last 25 
years lived in Martin's Ferry, Ohio. He says of 
himself that he is just a common, everyday work- 
ingman. He has so outgrown his littleness that he 
is now six feet and two inches in height and weighs 
200 pounds. He has a family of six healthy boys 


ranging in age from 15 years to 23. Charles V.,the 
eldest of these boys, was married recently to a Miss 
Eva Lucile Fowler of Martin's Ferry. He is an 
electrician and has a good position in the tin mill of 
the American Steel Company, one of the largest in 
the country. His sons Fred and Ernest work at a 
freight depot. George and Ross are twins. They 
also work at the tin mill. Walter, the youngest is in 
school. All are doing well. 

None of his family have yet seen any of the rest 
of us. 


Aunt Hannah was born in Persia, Cattaraugus 
County, New York, February 13, 1827. She came 
with the family to Wisconsin in 1845, and was al- 
most always at home -until her marriage, at Dakota, 
August 25, 1860, to Robert Stillman. She had as 
good an education as could in those early days be 
got from the country school. She taught a term 
of school near Princeton not long before we moved 
up to Dakota. 

After the death of our grandmother, and, in fact, 
from the year before her death. Aunt Hannah was 
the housekeeper. Grandfather's second wife, whom 
he brot home in March, 1857, was a sickly woman, 
and so Aunt Hannah was still the mainstay of the 
household. And she was a good housekeeper, too. 
Her butter was known as the best brot to market. 
We who were children then remember in particular 
Aunt Hannah's walk. From her birth one limb was 
shorter than the other and she limped. We used 


to wonder why. 

Eobert Stillman was a native of Berlin,New 
York. About the year 1856 he settled near Peoria, 
Illinois. In the summer of 1860 he came to Dakota 
to visit the families of Deacon Prentice Maine and 
Alozo Coon, old friends of his. He became ac- 
quainted with Hannah, and about two months later 
they were married. He bot the farm of Alonzo 
Coon, two miles south of Grandfather's, and there 
he and Aunt Hannah established their home. He 
had with him one son, James, seven years old at the 
time of his father's marriage to my aunt. 

They lived on that farm until the spring of 1866, 
when Uncle Robert sold out and moved to Farina, 
Illinois. They started at the same time Uncle Henry 
and his family set out for Brookfield, Missouri, all 
driving along together as far as Newville, near Mil- 
ton, Wisconsin, where Uncle Robert and his family 
stopped to visit a son by a former wife. When they 
got to Farina Uncle Robert bot a farm not far from 
the village, and there they lived till his death in 

The son, James I. Stillman, took to learning, and 
in due time entered Milton College, from which he 
was graduated in 1878. He taught school several 
terms and did other work to pay his way thru col- 
lege. He was one of the strongest students of the 
school. The next year after graduation he began 
the study of law in Vandalia, county seat of Lafay- 
ette county, Illinois, and was , in February 1882, 
admitted to practice before the supreme court of 
the state. In 1886 he was chosen county judge- 


November 20, 1887, he was married to Miss Sarah 
Meek, of Vandalia. 

James was regarded as one of the best lawyers in 
in that part of Illinois, and the future seemed to 
have much in store for him. But only seven weeks 
after his marriage, after a short illness, he died. 
He was considered not only a bright lawyer and an 
upright judge, but a man whose character was 
above reproach. He was said to have been ''the 
soul of honor, universally liked and admired by all 
who ever came into contact with him, either socially 
or in a business wa5^" 

At the time of James ' death Aunt Hannah was liv- 
ing in Farina. She had a small revenue from a 
piece of land she owned and she did some work that 
added a little to her income. There she lived among 
friends she had known for years, but I guess she was 
sometimes lonesome for the company of those who 
were of her own family. She made two or three 
visits among her old friends, and my mother went 
once or twice to see her at Farina. The infirmities 
of old age were, in the meantime, coming upon her. 

In the early part of the year of 1904 her strength 
began to fail her and she wanted to go to North 
Loup and be among her own relatives; and so in the 
early spring my brother Walter went to Farina af- 
ter her. With his good care she made the journey 
comfortably, and was soon settled in the home with 
Mother and Walter. The two old sisters, having 
been apart all the time for 38 years, took a great 
deal of comfort in living over again in memory their 
younger days. But soon Aunt Hannah's health so 


tailed that she had to keep her bed. She suffered in- 
tensely from eczema and a complication of other 
troubles, but she had the best of care. On the 18th. 
day of November her spirit was released from her 
old and worn out body and she went to her home 
where there is always sweet rest and no such thing as 
pain. She was buried near the graves of her fa- 
ther and her brother George, in the North Loup 
cemetery. She was a member of the Seventh Day 
Baptist church at Farina. 

Aunt Hanah was a good woman. Being a Thorn- 
gate she was rather quiet. She did more thinking 
than talking. She was quite a ready writer. The 
■Sabbath Recorder contained now and then some 
of her thots. She was a good letter-writer, and she 
liked to correspond with her closest friends. I have 
now a bundle of old letters that she gave me. They 
were written to her by her brothers in the army 
and other old friends of Dakota days. She prized 
such friendly messages very highly, ^he memory 
of her old friends was dear to her. She cherished 
family traditions, and well she might when there 
was almost nothing unpleasant to remember. She 
helped me very much in writing this family sketch. 
She had a ready memory ; she appreciated the earn- 
est and prayerful efforts of her parents, tho poor in 
this world's goods, to bring their children into hon- 
est manhood and worthy womanhood ; she cherished 
the memory of their many homely virtues; she un- 
derstood something of the subtle influence of their 
daily life upon their children and their children's 
children; she thot much of these things and was 


■glad that their lives and example, their labor and 
patience, their obscure struggle for what was best 
in this life, their hopeful Christian faith, might be 
held up as well worth the earnest emulation of those 
who live after them. 

Her trust in God was firm to the last. I have be- 
fore me, as I write, a sheet of paper on which not 
long before her death she tried to write me a letter. 
It is covered with faint markings of a pencil that 
she could not guide. I can make out just enough of 
the words she tried to put down to know that she 
wanted to tell me she was trusting Christ for salva- 
tion. The last sentence is fairly plain; it is this: 
*'I cannot see to write, but this is the main part of 
it. Your Aunt Hannah." 

God grant that everyone of us, when we ap- 
proach the river of death, may feel to say as Aunt 
Hannah did, that to trust Him is the main part of 
life. I would rather have her faith and hope and 
trust than houses and lands and a bagful of gold. 


The following sketch was prepared by my cousins 
Ella and Ethel Thorngate. It tels in a comprehen- 
sive manner the story of their family life, and con- 
tains loving tributes to the character and worth of 
their parents, now in the home of he blest 

Our parents, Charles Thorngate and Eugenia Tor- 
rence Thorngate, were married, June 5, 1856, in Da- 
kota, Wisconsin, and early in the spring of the fol- 
lowing year they came to Nebraska. It was a long 


and hard journey for the young couple at that time 
of year, yet they were starting out to make a home 
for themselves, and, with the hopefulness natural to 
youth and love,they did not think much of ordinary 
hardships. Arriving in Nebraska, they first stopped 
at Nebraska City, then one of the chief towns of the 
territory. They soon went to Salt Creek, near the 
present site of Lincoln, and there they took up a 


At that time Indians were numerous about Salt 
Creek. They resented the intrusion of the whites 
into their territory and began to make trouble for 
them. In other parts of the territory — Nebraska 
was not admitted as a state until ten years later — 
several families were massacred, and such distress- 
ing rumors came concerning these barbarities that 
our parents and other settlers decided to give up 
their claims and return to Nebraska City. 

Our mother used to tell us an interesting incident 
concerning some Indians at Salt Creek. One day 
while she was working about the house a big Indian 
appeared at the door and demanded something to 
eat. There was very little food in the house of any 
kind, and she was not a little frightened as she 
tried to think what to do; but she remembered a 
batch of soda biscuits she had attempted that morn- 
ing. They were a failure and about as hard as 
rocks,but she decided to try one of them on the big 
chief. He ate it, grinned his satisfaction and want- 
ed more, declaring that the little white woman was 


*'heap good squaw." After this Indian went away 
Mother felt a sense of relief, but was soon surprised 
by other red men who wanted biscuits, — and then 
others came singly and by twos and threes, all want- 
ing biscuits. The fame of them had spread, and 
thus Mother made those Indians her firm friends. 


Our parents did not live in Nebraska City long 
after returning from Salt Creek, but moved about 
1858 over into Fremont County, Iowa, settling at 
what was then known as Eureka — afterwards Civil 
Bend. Their first child, Walter Leslie, was born on 
the 19th of April. He lived only a year and a half. 
His life, tho short, was sweet; and with his affec- 
tionate ways he was, while he lived, the sunshine of 
the home. His death was a heavy blow, but in due 
time other children came to brighten the home. Ida 
Ella and Jennie were born at Civil Bend. Grand- 
father Torrence and his family came, soon after our 
parents moved to Civil Bend, to live near them there. 
It must have been a great comfort to our young 
mother to have her father and mother so near her. 

At Civil Bend Father worked at his trade, that 
of a carpenter, until the beginning of the Civil War, 
when he was one of the first to respond to the call 
for troops. He enlisted July, 23, 1861, in the Fourth 
Iowa Infantry. 

Grandfather had a large house, and, as he was a 
strong anti-slavery man, his place was made one of 
the stations of the "underground railroad" to aid 
escaping negroes on their way to Canada. Grandpa 


used to tell of a certain instance when some refu- 
gees came to him in a terrible fright, saying that the 
slaveholders were close after them, and asking to be 
hidden away from them. Grandpa quickly looked 
about for a place to put them. In a field nearby 
there were shocks of wheat, and he bade the negroes 
crawl in among the sheaves. They did so, and were 
well hidden, soon their pursuers came riding in hot 
haste and demanded their slaves. Grandpa told 
them to search his house and premises, which they 
did; but they did not think of looking into the 
shocks of grain; and so they went away baffled. 


Father served in the army four years. His regi- 
ment was all the time in active service and took part 
in some heavy battles ; yet, though he was sometimes 
in ill health, he was never wounded. Once when he 
was home on furlough he and Mother, with Ida and 
Ella, then little girls, went back to Dakota, the old 
home in Wisconsin, to visit Grandfather Thorngate 
and other friends. 

Our mother, like all other soldiers' wives in those 
days, had need of much courage and a heroic spirit, 
— which, indeed she did have. Father's being always 
at the front where there was much fighting gave her 
cause for constant anxiety. And then the cost of 
living was very high. Here is an extract from one 
of her old letters to our Aunt Hannah Thorngate, 
dated February 25, 1865: **Wood costs from eight 
to ten dollars per cord; Sugar is 30cts to 35c per 
pound ; tea. $2.50 to $3.50 per pound and coffee 65cts 


per pound; cotton cloth T5cts to $1.00 per yar^j'eal- 
ico, -iDc to 55c per yard; wool sold in the fall for 
$1.00 per pound. I am told tha.t it is liiglicr now. 
Butter and cheese sell readily for 50cts per pound. 
''I suppose everything is higher priced here now 
than it would be if the country were not over- 
run with refugees from Dixie land. Thfey 
are driven from Missouri because they will 'not 
swear allegiance to the Union, so they come up here, 
and they are destitute of everything on which to live. 
But they must have something to eat, let it cost 
what it may. ]\Iany of them have money, yet others 
are wholly destitute, and there is much suffering 
among them. There are half a dozen such fami- 
lies in our neighborhood and they are living on the 
charity of the people." 

Not long after Father came home from the war he 
bought a farm about two miles from the tovfn of 
Percival, which was four miles from Civil Bend. A 
railroad had by this time come thru the state, and 
Percival was a new town on this line. The post- 
office was moved there from Civil Bend. The fam- 
ily, home was, after this, on the farm, but Father 
rented the land to a neighbor and still worked at the 
carpenter's trade. He was not at all strong, and 
he suffered much from bronchitis, which he had 
contracted during his army service. He had always 
an annoying cough. 



Mother's younger sister, Susan, was not long after 
this married to Frederick F. Rexford, and they 
went to Weeping Water, Nebraska, to live. In the 
northern part of our count}' there was a college 
town, Tabor. Many people going back and forth 
between Weeping Water and Tabor made Grandfa- 
ther Torrence's place a sort of halfway house, or 
inn ; and so it came about that our folks got to be in- 
terested in the little town over in Nebraska and 
werepursuadedto move there. First, Mother's broth- 
ers, Barnum and Oscar, settled there and after them 
Grandfather and Grandmother. Later on Father 
found a business opening in Weeping Water, and he 
moved his family there in 1874. Soon after this our 
mother was taken very ill. From September until 
the following April she suffered with a long run of 
typhoid fever and typhoid pneumonia. It v/a.f 
feared during this time that she w^nlri not recover, 
yet God in his goodness spared her life for us. 


After about a year's residence in Weeping Water 
Father went into the furniture and undertaking 
business, having as a partner a Mr. John Chase, who 
had come there from Council Bluffs, Iowa. The 
firm name was Thorngate and Chase. After several 
years this partnership was dissolved and Father 
alone conducted the furniture business. He was 
also a cabinet maker. When the firm dissolved Mr. 
Chase took the undertaking department, and he sold 
hardvv'arealso. Later, he bought out Father's business 


and again combined the two stores. Father then 
put up a new building and opened a general store. 
His health had been poor ever since the war, and 
after this it began to fail more noticeably; so he 
took with him into partnership Horace H. Russell, 
a young man, son of Judge Calvin Russell. But Fa- 
ther's health continued to fail and he was obliged 
gradually to give up the responsibiliy of the busi- 
ness to his partner. At last, finding himself unable 
longer to work, he sold the stock to Mr. Russell, re- 
taining ownership of the building, however. 


In August, 1883, our eldest sister, Ida, was mar- 
ried to Horace Russell. Three months later, Novem- 
ber 7, 1883, after long suifering, our father died, 
leaving Mother with three daughters for whom to 
care, — Ella, Jennie and Ethel, the last only four 
years old. Father was a man who Vv^as held in high 
respect by all who knew him. He was a quiet man 
and undemonstrative, yet kind and affectionate. 
He possessed a high sense of justice and fairness 
that made him loyal to his friends and quick to de- 
fend the w^eak, or those whom he thought had in 
any way been wronged. 

He was a natural musician and played well on sev- 
eral instruments, among them the flute, the fife, the 
violin, and the cello. He is known to have made 
at least one violin, and he often repaired other 
instruments of that kind. He had considerable lit- 
erary ability. When young he had the training of a 
good literary society in the village of Dakota, his 


Wisconsin home, and in later years he occasional- 
ly wrote articles for the papers. At one time a 
friend of his was in disgrace and under the shadow 
of an offense that, if proven, might send him to the 
penitentiary. Father knew the facts of the case 
and, feeling' that there were extenuating circumtan- 
ces, he wrote for his friend a loyal and masterly de- 
fense. This was published over his own signature 
in one of the leading state papers. Though written 
in defiance of public sentiment, and in spite of the 
harsh criticism to which it might subject our father, 
this letter undoubtedly did a great deal to change 
public opinion and save both the man and his family 
from disgrace. 

Father was a member of the society of Odd Fel- 
lows, and of Lafayette Post, No. 61, Grand Army of 
the Republic. 

To return to other members of the family, Ida and 
Ella attended school in both Percival and Weeping* 
Water. After finishing school nt the latter place they 
spent some time in study at Tabor College, the State 
CongTegationalist school for Iowa, though neither 
completed the Course. The Weeping- Water schools 
were not always of the best, and so both girls took 
private lessons for two years of the Reverend James 
Chase, Sr., fatlier of the John Chase once partner 
with Father in business. This Rev. Mr. Chase was 
a Yale graduate, a splendid old nuni and a fine schol- 
ar. He was cousin of Salmon P. Chase, once Chief 
Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Under 

his instruction the girls got their start in Latin. 

Ida showed some talent for painting, while Ella's 
taste was for music ; so Ida took lessons in painting 
at Tabor College and Ella lessons on the piano. Ida, 
also, had some musical ability and played and sang 
fairly well. Ella later attended Doane college at 
Crete, Nebraska, the state school of the Congregation- 
alists, for a part of a year and studied music there. 

Jennie had about the same schooling as her elder 
sisters, attending the i)ublic schools of Weeping Wa- 
ter until she had completed the course — which was 
not then up to the high school standard — and then 
going for a part of a year to Tabor College. There 
she took lessons in both drawing and music. Tho 
she payed the piano quite well her special taste was 
for art, and she was always drawing pictures. She 
had, however, little opportunity to cultivate this 


We have said that on the 28th of August, 1883, 
our sister Ida vv^as married to Horace Russell. 
They established their home in Weeping Water, 
where they lived until her death on the 29th of 
May, 1889. Her sickness was the same as our fath- 
er's. She left two little girls, Grace Irene and Ma- 
bel. Ida was a member of the Zetetic Club, a ladies' 
literary society, of which our mother was also a 
member. It was one of the first women's clubs in 
the state, its original purpose being the study of 
-standard literature. It is still in existence. 

Horace Russell, after going out of business in the 

store which he bought of Father, engaged in the 
sale of musical instruments. He played the piano 
to some extent, also several wind instruments in the 

Grace and Mabel inherited from both their parents 
a love for music. At the time of her mother's death 
Grace was five years old. She went to live with her 
father's parents, then residing in Plattsmouth, Ne- 
braska. Mabel, at the time of her mother's death, 
was only a year and a half old. Our mother took 
her then into our home and loved and cared for her 
just as tenderly as she had loved and cared for us 
when we were little. But in 1895 Mother, too, died 
and little Mabel was again homeless. For about two 
years after this she lived with different relatives in 
Weeping Water. In the meantime her father had 
married again, and Mabel went to live with him at 
Villisca, Iowa. Grace went there about the same 
time and the two were once more together in the 
same home. But in 1902, owing to a change in her 
father's business and domestic affairs, Mabel came 
to Omaha and into the care of her aunt Ella Thorn- 
gate, who was teaching in the city. Here she at- 
tended the public schools and entered the high 

Mabel showed decided musical talent, and so in 
the fall of 1905 she went to Weeping Water, w^here 
she is now, April, 1906, attending the high school 
and studying music in the Weeping AVater Academy. 
She is living with two unmarried sisters of her 
father 's. 

Grace has, the most of the time, made her home 

with her father's relatives. She was oTaduated from 
the high school of Villisca, Iowa, and later studied 
music at Highland College, Des Moines, Iowa, tak- 
ing voice culture. At present she is livin?; at Lin- 
coln, Nebraska, and is a seamstress. 


At the age of seventeen Ella began teaching. For 
a sliort time she taught in Weeping Water, after 
which she spent a part of a year at Doane College. 
She then returned home and resum^ed her work as 
teacher in the schools at Weeping Water. In the 
fall of 1887 she accepted a position in the schools 
at Omaha, where she has taught ever since. 


Jennie was married in January, 1886, just a few 
days before the golden wedding anniversary of 
Grandfather and Grandmother Torrence, to Edward 
Payson Churchill, a son of Prof. Charles Henry 
Churchill, of Oberlin College.Edward Churchill had 
come to Weeping Water just after his graduation 
from Oberlin, upon invitation of a former college 
friend, and gone into business there. He was for a 
time a partner of John Chase, in the firm of Chase & 
Churchill, hardware and china salesmen. This Mr. 
Chase was the same who was at one time our fa- 
ther's business partner. 

At the time of their marriage Jennie was not quite 
nineteen years old. For about three years they lived 
in Weeping Water. During this time two chil- 
dren were born to them, Philip Charles and Ella, 

After a time Chase and ChiircliiU dissolved partner- 
ship; vrhen Mr. Churchill and his little family re- 
moved to Lincoln, where he went into the real 
estate business. This was at the time of a great 
boom in Lincoln property. Later, in the consequent 
depression, Mr. Churchill, with many others, suf- 
fered no small loss. 

After living- in Lincoln about four years the fam- 
ily returned to Weeping Water, where Edward took 
the management of a pressed brick plant, making a 
success of the lousiness until the general financial 
deprerssion whicli sweT)t over the country in 1895 
and, 1896. 

Our sister Jennie vras never strong in body, and 
about this time her health quite gave way. So Ed- 
ward decided to take her to his old home in Ohio, 
hoping that she would receive benefit from the 
change in climate. They v»'ent to Oberlin in the 
fall o£ 1894. Jennie received the most tender care 
from Edward's good mother, who loved her as if 
she were her own daughter. But she failed rapidly, 
and on the 6th day of the following January, her 
ninth wedding anniversary, her gentle spirit took 
its flight. Before her death they sent for Mother 
and she hurried to her bedside in time to see her 
once .more before she died. Her sickness, too, was 
the same as our Father's. 

Jennie was buried at Oberlin, and Mr. Churchiirs 
mother took charge of both children, Philip and 
Ella, and gave them a good hojne ; but within two 
years she, too, died, and again the little ones were 
left motherless. Since then Edward has been both 


father and jnotlier to tliein. They lived in Oberlin 
and Youngstown, Ohio, till ?ilay, 1901, when they 
went with tiieir father to Seattle, Washington, 
Avhere he went into bnsiness. 

Philip is now in Vashon College, at Biu-ton, \Yash- 
ington. Ella attended the high ^eliiiol at Seattle, 
kee])ing house a part of the time for hei- father and 
brotlier, until this winter of 1906. In January of 
this year there came to her the advantageous oppor- 
tunity of going to Paris to spend a year with an 
nnele and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred V. Churchill, 
who are are artists there. She is now with them in 
that great city. Ella inherits her mother's love of 
art and shows considerable a])ility in that line. She 
is now, under her uncle's care, studying drawing 
and painting. 


Ethel was the fourth daughter, and baby of the 
family. She attended the public schools of "Weep- 
ing Water and the Academy, graduating from the 
latter school in 1898. She then attended Doane 
College for a year, w^hen she returned to Weeping 
Water and began work in a printing office. 
In the fall of 1901 she went to Lincoln, where she 
pursued some studies in the state university, work- 
ing a part of the time in a printmg office there. 
After two years of this work she secured a position 
as proof reader on the Lincoln Evening News. In 
this capacity, and that of reporter, she was connect- 
ed with that paper two years, then came to Omaha 
to engage in a similar line of work. She has in- 


heritecl lier father's love for the violin and has 
studied it for several years. She and her sister 
Ella, the only remaining members of the family;, 
live together in Omaha. 


Our mother, though quiet and unostentatious, was 
held in high esteem by those who knew her, as a 
woman of a noble character and high ability. She 
was not apt to put herself forward, but she was< 
ever kind and gracious to all v/hom she met, and 
those who knew her best loved her most. A lady 
who once came as a stranger to Weeping Water 
told years afterward of meeting Mother at the first 
social gatliering she attended after her arrival. She 
was a dear, white-haired old lady herself, and vshe 
said, with tears in her eyes: ''I thot your mother 
was the sweetest lady I had ever met — she was sa 
kind to me then.'' A neighbor who had known her 
for years said of her, ' ' She is the most unselfish per- 
son I ever knew." 

After Father's death Mother was left with her 
three daughters, Ella, Jennie and Ethel. Ella was 
teaching, and in a little more than tvro years Jennie 
was married. Mother kept her home, and as her 
father and mother became old and feeble she took 
them into it ; and when Ida died she took Mabel too. 
Grandmother, always hale and strong for one of her 
age, was taken suddenly ill and soon died, leaving 
to Mother the entire care of Grandfather. He was 
so stricken by Grandma's death that he failed rapid- 
ly. With her aged father and two children for 
whom to care, Mother was ever devoted, patient and 


cheerful, though her burden must have been heavy. 
She gave them faithful and tender attention until 
on the 6th of September, 1895, just nine months 
after our sister Jennie's death, our good mother en- 
tered into her rest. 

Mother was a member of the Congregational 
church of Weeping Water, and was a faithful and 
consistent Christian. She was not apt to talk much 
of her religion, but she lived it all the time in her 
kind, patient, loving every day life. 

Mother loved music and had some literary ability. 
As one of the first members of the Zetetie Club, she 
took great pleasure in the study of literature, and 
in writing papers upon the subjects under considera- 
tion. Though she had not enjoyed the advantage 
of much early schooling, she was possessed of a 
good degree of native culture and refinement, and 
sought to perfect herself in the little things that are 
the outward evidence of true culture. 

But while our mother enjoyed her v/ork in her 
club, and vras devoted to it, it never took first place 
in her thought and purpose. Her home and all per- 
taining to it held ahvays the highest place in her 
desires and her affection. She was a true and loving 
daughter, wife and mother. 

The memory of the unselfish and devoted lives of 
our father and mother and our tvro sisters who have 
gone on before, comes to us who still live like a 
blessed benediction. 



Uncle Henry was sixteen years old when the fam- 
ily came to Wisconsin, and twenty-one Avlien 
we settled at Dakota. I do Jiot remember anything 
of him as a boy. I think he was more serious in 
manner when a young man than Uncle George was. 
As I remember him he was thotful and practical, 
and had about him something of his father's quiet 
dignity of manner, I may as well confess that I 
was a little afraid of him vrhen I was a child. I 
guess he never played with me much. He gained 
mj^ good will, tho, when he carried me on his back 
thru the deep snow to school. He has, of course, 
forgotten doing it, but I remember. Matt. 25 :40. 

During the next few years after our settlement at 
Dakota Uncle Henry was principally concerned in 
getting a start in life, and he was a steady, hard- 
working young man. He w^as one of the active 
members of the liteTary society at Dakota, and by 
his interest in the work of the society he, with oth- 
ers, received a training that was of great value to 
him. The young men of my grandfather's home 
were great readers. The two papers that came to 
all of our homes were the New York Tribune and 
the Sabbath Recorder, and I remember that Grand- 
father took the Milwaukee Sentinel, the leading 
newspaper of the state. I remember, too, that my 
uncles, Henry and George in particular, took ''The 
Phrenological Journal," published by Fowler and 
Wells; and they studied the science of Phrenolog.y 
to that extent that they undertook to "examine 
heads," that is tell by the "bumps" on a person's 



cranium what manner of man he was. And they 
got to be students of hydropathy, or "water cure," 
as we call it. According to that system of treat- 
ment, when a person was sick with any manner of 
disease he must be put into a "pack." This con- 
sisted in wrapping him in a sheet soaked in cold 
water and then covering him up w^ith a stack of bed 
clothing and keeping him there an hour or so — until 
hd was in so much of a sweat that he fairly begged 
to be let out. Uncle Henry "packed" me once 
when I had the measles. I thot it heroic treatment. 
I lost some faith in him as a doctor because I was 
not well at once. I slept one night in the winter at 
Grandfather's. When Uncle George got up in the- 
morning he took a bath in ice-cold water. 

You will perceive, my dear reader, that my uncles^ 
of the Thorn gate family were young men of ideas. 
It is my opinion that when a person gets out of bed 
on a winter morning in a room where the mercury 
is below the freezing point, and, before going down 
stairs, takes a cold-water bath, he is not only a per- 
son of ideas but of positive convictions. Well, my 
uncles were of that kind of folks. 

Uncle Henry took a liking to ]\Iiss Lorenda Cran- 
dall, vrho had come with her people to Dakota from 
the same neigjiborhood in New York where our 
family had lived, and on the 14th day of June, 1858, 
they were married. Aunt Renda was in those days 
a jolly girl, given to much laughing. She could see 
fun in most anything. Tho she has now had a long- 
life of hard work, and suiters from some of the ills, 
to wliich flesh is heir, she still iiiids something to 


laugh at. When I saw her and visited with her 
last fall she made me think of the old days. She 
has practiced the doctrine, ''Laugh and grow fat." 
After I grew to manhood I found my Uncle Henry 
the best of company. I never enjoyed visiting with 
him better than I did last fall. Tho he was seventy- 
six years old he was hearty in manner, sociable in 
spirit and genial in temper. He and Aunt Renda 
have lived good lives, and now^ as the}^ w^alk togeth- 
er down the sunset slope, respected by their many 
friends and loved by their children, I guess that life 
does not seem to them to have been a failure. Their 
Christian faith tells them that it is still better 
further on. May God bless them both ! 

I do not feel like closing this family sketch until 
I have said some things in particular concerning my 
father and my mother. Neither had much opportun- 
ity for education. Grandmother Thorngate w^as, 
when my mother was young, often in ill health, and 
Mother had to stay out of school to help do the 
work. I have heard Father say that he never went 
to school more than six weeks all together. But he 
had a strong desire for knowledge. He became 
while yet young a great reader. Newspapers w^ere 
not then common and books were hard to get. He 
had the Bible, however, and he read that a great 
deal — some parts of it over and over again till he 
knew much of it by heart. Later he read other 
books, papers and magazines. He used to say that 
he forgot almost nothing of what he read. And 


then he had the ability to recall readily what his 
memory held in store. Words for the expression of 
thot came to him easily and he became a ready 
speaker. But he did not know grammar, and his 
speech betrayed him. And then he was not free 
from some mannerisms in public speakin^^, such as 
are common to those who lack the culture of early 
training'. But for all this he was able to talk to 
the point and with no little force. He did con- 
siderable preaching' for our Seventh Day Baptist 
churches at Dakota and Berlin, and lectured fre- 
quently on the subject of temperance. 

Mother, too, got into the habit of reading a great 
deal, and as books and magazines came to be com- 
mon she became a well informed woman. At her 
present age, 83 years, she does much reading and 
keeps up with times. She was always a good letter 
writer, and those messages she sent to us in the army 
brought with them so much of m.other and home, of 
love and hope and good cheer, that they inspired 
us w^ith faith and courage. And the letter I got from 
her last week was just as neat in penmanship and 
clear in expression as these of forty-five years ago. 

I do not think my father got much religious train- 
ing in his boyhood. But he w^as religious by nature, 
and his bible study strengthened this tendency. I 
have said in another place in this book that, tho he 
did not know of another person in the world who 
kept the seventh da}' of tlie weelv as the Sabbath, he 
began to do so alone before lie was eighteen years 
old. With him, to believe a thing w^as right was to 
do it. This was the settled habit of his life. He 


had a strong iiatiire, and was no goody-goody. I 
have seen his temper get so much the better of him 
that, but for the grace of God, I guess he woukl have 
used pretty strong Umguage. He was by nature not 
only strong but tender. Toward us children, espe- 
cially when we were young, he was very affectionate, 
yet we gave him without question quick and ready 
obedience. I guess that if he were now living and 
should tell me to do this or that I'd think of nothing- 
else than to obey him at once. I and my brothers 
remember that he did not spoil us l)y sparing the 
rod. lie Avhipped me once or twice when I did not 
deserve it: bnt he thot I did. I suspect that most fa- 
thers make some such mistakes. I have my- 
self found that one cannot always know what i.s 
best for careless boys. 

]\Iy mother was a mild woman, — timid and unde- 
monstrative. She never thot she amounted to 
much. I think she sometimes wished it were 
so tliat she might accomplish some of the things 
strong v»^omen of the vrorld bring to pass. But she 
lived in a log house on the frontier, and, in spite of 
hard work, the wolf would soinetimes come prowling 
around the door. Children came into our home faster 
than dollars. There v»'as no sewing machine, no 
washing nuichine, no ejisy wny of doing ;niy liind of 
work. She sewed, and sew(id and sewed; aiul I of- 
ten saw big tears moistening the slovviy lengthening 
sciim. She Avas, I suppose, finding the problem of 
making both ends meet, almost too much for her. 
Sometimes she was playful, bnt she was not so ex- 
pressive of her emotions as Father Avas. She kissed 


Marianne Rood at home 

and fondled the baby, bnt did not manifest so much 
affection for those of us Avho had got out of the cra- 
dle. There was no time before I came home from 
the army when there was not a baby in our house. 
I may say here, too, that up to that time I had never 
seen a bottle with a rubber tube attached to the neck 
of it. 

Mother, too, had a deeply religious nature, yet 
she did not talk much about it. She sometimes 
spoke in meeting, but commonly broke down crying 
as she told hoAv unworthy she was. When she did 
this I alwa.vs felt guilty — as if I had been naughty, 
which, indeed, was quite likely to have been the 
case. Yet, on the whole, we children meant to be 
good. We always knew we had one of the best 
of mothers, but we did not know it so well then as 
we do now. 

Tho our mother was a timid, modest little woman, 
she could, when the occasion for it came, be as 
strong as the strongest. She could without a word 
of complaint, give up her four brothers, her husband 
and three sons for the defense of her country. She 
could, during those four long years of waiting and 
suspense, pray for us and bid us be of good courage ; 
She could care for the six children left at home: 
She could have faith in God and wait patiently and 
hopefully for victory, the end of the war and the re- 
turn of her dear ones. 

As I look back upon it all now, and think it all 
over, I feel sure that no braver, stronger, more he- 
roic woman lived thru those dark days than our bles- 
sed, good little mother. 

1 tliiuk tliat wlien times were hard, and the out- 
look not encouraging, Father was more hopeful than 
Mother. As I remember him he was almost always 
cheerful. I think that ^Mother leaned on him more 
than she knew. She had little notion of business 
matters, and wlien he was taken from her she felt 
lost, — as if her trusted guide had suddenly left her 
in the dark. But her faith in the goodness of God 
asserted itself, and she was able to say, "Blessed be 
the name of the Lord. ' ' 

Mother's love now for her grown up children, and 
their children, is like a strong, deep, steady current, 
not like a babbling brook. And all these are in love 
Avith their mother and grandma. Everyone is glad 
to do all that is possible for her comfort, pleasure 
and happiness. 

I am glad I can say of both Father and Mother 
that they were as unselfish as any two persons I 
ever knew. Neither sought any pleasure or profit at 
the expense of others. Father's chief delight was 
found in the pleasure and good of those who were 
dear to him. He cared very little for his own com- 
fort. I think that, had he taken better care of him- 
self, he might still be living. Mother was like ma- 
ny another good nu)ther in being satisfied with what 
was left after all others had been served. Tho she 
may have had some personal peculiarities I have 
never yet found out that she had any faults at all. 
She would never knowingly do wrong. I think she 
took her characteristic traits from her father. 

It must be that my father and mother had now 
and then diflierences of opinion, for in many ways 

they were by nature quite unlike; yet I cannot re- 
member anything at all like a quarrel between them. 
In fact, I cannot recall so much as a hurd word spo- 
ken l>y one to the other. I think each had full faith 
in the other. I suspect that it wns a good thing that 
Father's somewhat impulsive , emotional nature 
was held slightly in check by Mother's quietness 
and reserve. And no doubt his buoyancy and love 
of fun was what she at times most needed. I can 
even now liear her gentle rebuke. "Why, Charles,!'' 
come across fifty years of space. And there was no 
particular tone of displeasure in it, either. It 
seems to me that each of our parents was the com- 
plement of the other. 

Father, when we all sat around the fire of winter 
evenings, used to tell us stories of all sorts. — folk- 
lore jingles and conundrums. Nothing could j)lease 
us more than such evenings with him. Some of 
those jingles still ring in my ears. And then he 
used to play" blind fold" with us, and tumble on the 
floor with all of us that could climb over him. Af- 
ter we were tired of that we used to "play tricks." 
One evening he told me that if I would go out of 
doors and turn over three things he would tell me 
when I came back what I turned over last. While 
I was gone he leaned a chair against the door. It 
was quite plain to all on my return what I upset 
last. Another time he said that if I would go out of 
doors and stay till he called me I would be as big as 
Uncle David. Now there was nothing I wished 
more than to be a man, and so I went out gladly. 
Well, I stood around and waited, till I got so cold I 

could stand it no longer: then I went in. I was dis- 
appointed that I was not big:, and I told Father so. 
But he, with a bit of twinkle in his eye, said that had 
I stayed till he called me in I would most certainly 
be as big as Uncle David. I saw the joke and felt 

While this kind of fun was going on Mother used 
to knit on our stockings, and look on and smile. Yet 
Mother used to laugh sometimes as hard as the rest 
of us. She could not read a humorous storj^ aloud, 
she laughed so. Now and then she would get off a 
joke. Once when I asked the distance between two 
places she answered, "Twice the length of a fool; 
if you don't believe it lie down and measure it." 
Such a remark was so unusual with her that it was 
all the more amusing. 

I am glad to remember that our home was not 
without the family altar. Dail}^ scripture reading 
and prayer led us children to feel that God 
was at all times within speaking distance; 
and I think our family worship had a greater 
influence for good over us than we then knew or 
even to this time appreciate. I am sorry that fam- 
ily worship is coming to be regarded as rather too 
old fashioned for these days. 

My mother is of medium height, slender, aud of 
of light complexion. When in middle age she 
weighed about 105 pounds; but now in her 84th 
year she weighs only 85 pounds. Father had dark 
hair aud beard, and ruddy complexion. He was 
five feet five inclies in height, thick set, and weighed 
about 170 pounds. 


Walter (f. Rood 

I have now compiled personal sketches of 
some length of all of Grandfather Thorngate's 
children and given brief accounts of the children 
of the fourth generation, our present young peo- 
ple; but have not taken much space to tell about 
us grandchildren— of the third generation. I sup- 
pose there is enough about us scattered all along 
thru the story. All along I have had my grand- 
father and grandmother, father and mother, un- 
cles and aunts, more in mind than the rest of us. 
We of the younger generations owe to them all 
that is worth while in us, and we all think of them 
with love and gratitude. Tho not perfect in life 
and character, they were good men and women. 
They acted well their humble part in life, and v/e 
can do no better for ourselves than to honor them 
in our own lives. 

There is much more that I would like to write 
about them; but if I should put down all I'd like 
to say, this book would be a big one,— too big. So 
now, dear reader, I bid you good bye. 


I have had the pleasure of readhio- the ad- 
vance sheets of this family book. I am «:lad it has 
been written, and that it is nearing completion. 

I have tried as well as I could to keep ev- 
ery statement in it as close as possible to the 
truth. No error that may be found was intended. 
I am sorry to find several typo«>Taphical eri'ors. 
They are more annoyin<j: to us tlian they can be to 
others. I will not mention them in detail here; ev- 
ery reader will find them and can make mental cor- 
rections for himself. 

I am glad that long after we are gone our 
children and grandchildren can have this book to 
read. It is a kind of message to those who will 
live after us. Some may not care very much 
about it, but others will, I think, prize it highly,. 
— not because of its form and substance, not for 
the way in which the story is told, but because of 
tlie knowledge it gives of the life, the character 
and the spirit of the pioneers of our family. 

Let us assure you, my dear boy, my dear 
gii'l, that the greatest desire of those sturdy pio- 
neers for you was, that you should so improve 
your opportunities as to become better men, bet- 
ter women, than they; that you should be strong- 
er in mind and purpose, braver in spirit, tenderer 
of heart and conscience; that thru you and such 
as you the world may be made better and happier 
and the hope of heaven stronger and brighter. 
Madison, Wisconsin, February 17, 1908. 


A Table Showing the Thorngate-Rood Family Connections 









Geoi'ffe Thorng"ate. Sr 

iMarll)oro En'-' 


Matilda Blanchard 

Concord, N. H 


Betsey Lang"worthy 

Bridgewater N Y 


Lucretia Dicl^inson 




. . .^^. . . 


■ ■ d" ■ ■ 













""d " 

Marianne and Her Family. 

Marianne Thorngate 

Brownsville. N. Y 


Charles Persons Rood 

S wanton. Vermont 


Hosea Whitford Rood 

Persia. N. Y 


Ann Elizabeth Monroe 

Sheboyg-an Falls. Wis 


Dakota. VV' is 


Addie Ann Holmes 

Near Milton. Wis 

Thelma Grace Rood, (adopted) 

INIinnie ISIay Rood 

Lancaster. Wis 

Dakota, Wis 


Ida Lillian Rood 

Dakota. Wis 



Dorothv Kent Wheeler 

Milton, Wis 

Milton. Wis 

Seymour Norton Lowther 

West Union. West Yn 

Virg"inia Annette Saxton 

Scioto, Ohio 

Edna Estella Rood 

Dakota, Wis 

Dale Rex Van Horn 

Near North Loup. Neb... 

Geor'j'e Ev^erett Van Horn 

Near North Loup, Neb.. . . 

North Loup, Nel) 

Harrv Lee Rood 

North Loup Neb 

Tacy Fanny Rood 

North Lovip, Neb 




William Herm an Rood 

.Tohnstown. Rock Co., Wis. 

Linda Marcia Pierce 

Chemung", 111 

North Loup, Neb 

Otto Ralph Hill . 

Russell Rood Hill 

North Loup. Neb 

Dwisht Castello Hill 

North Loup, Neb 

Kate Linda Hill 

Near Dakota. W'is 

Near Peoria. Ill 

Bertha A lice Rood 

North Loup. Neb 

Henjy An^'^elo ^V'illiams 

Orleans, Neb 

Melvin Lonville Williams 

Gentr.v. Arkansas 


lames Leross Williams 

Gentr\' Arkansas 

Olena Sophv^ Nelson 

Dell Rapids. South Dak... 

Milton. Wis 

Nina Rood 

Near North Loup. Neb 

Near Trenton. Minn 


Near Logan. Iowa 

Near North Loiip. Neb.... 

INIarianne Rood . . 

Near North Loup. Neb.. . . 

Near North Loup. Neb 

Carrie Rood 

Near North Loup. Neb. . . . 

with Places and Dates of Births, Marriages and Deaths. 


Date. i 















Brownsville. N. Y.... 
Brownsville, N. Y.... 

Berlin. Wis 

Bristol.DaneCo.. Wis 


J an. 







North Loup. Neb. 

Dakota. Wis 

Dakota. Wis 

North Loup. Neb 


Nov. 29, 1881 
Feb. 8.1852 
Mar. 6.1860 
Aug. 27,1890 


Jan. 13.1823 
May 31,1823 

May 30,1845 
Nov. 24,1847 

Persia N Y 

July 13,1844 
July 13, 1844 

Oct. 13.1866 
Oct. 13.1866 
Dec. 30.1891 
Dec. 30,1891 

Persia. N. Y 

Uichford, WHs 

Rich ford. Wis 

Milton Junction, Wis. 
Milton Junction, Wis. 

North Loup, Neb 

Mar. 17,1878 

July 17,180/ 
Dec. 4,1869 

Aug. 11,1869 
Oct. 11.1870 
Nov. 21,1866 
Sept. 8, 1897 
Sept. 23,1885 
Aug. 21,1885 

Apr. 12.1847 
Dec. 17.1847 
June 28,1871 
Nov. 12.1868 
July 29.1895 

Dakota. Wis 

Sept. 10, 1869 

Near AVashburn. Wis. 
Near W^ashburn, Wis, 

July 18, 1895 
July 18, 1895 

IMarlison Wis 

Oct. 10.1907 
Oct. 10,1907 

Mar. 21.1869 
Mar. 21,1869 
Sept. 27- 1892 
i^ept. 27, 1892 

Madison Wis 

Near Berlin, Wis 

Near Berlin, Wis 

North Loup, Neb 

North Loup. Neb .... 

Dec. 27, 1898 
Dec. 11,1W3 
June 11.1874 
Nov. 14,1878 
Feb. 17, 1877 
Jan. 20,1880 
Jan. 1,1883 

Dec. 20.1848 
June 2,1858 
Oct. 20,1883 
Dec. 26,1880 
Oct. 27,1902 
June 23,1904 

'Miitoii', wis !!.'!'.'.! !''^ 
Milton. Wis 

"bee. ■24," {903 
Dec. 24.1903 

Aiiiton Wis 

Aug. 9.1905 
Aug. 9,1905 

April 7.1880 
April 7. 1S80 
Jan. 1.1902 
Jan. 1.1902 

Milton Wis 

Near North Loup.Neb 
Near Xort ii Loup.Nel) 

Nortii Loup. Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

July 4.18.51 
Aug. 1,18.56 
Sept. 13,1876 
Oct. 8,1878 
Dec. 17.1902 
Mar. 11.1907 
Oct. 2,1878 
Sept. 30,1883 
June 18.1905 
Jan. 12,1881 
July 5, 1876 
Sept. 18,1897 
Nov. 16.1882 
Jan. 23.18S6 
April 24.18h9 
July 11.1891 

North Loup. Net) 

North Loup. Nel) 

North Loup. Neb 

North Loup. Neb 

'neiiRapids! S.bak.'.' 
Dell Rapids. S. Dak.. 

Oct. .30.1875 
Oct. 30.1875 
Alar 14 1S99 

liilv iVl*>OA 

July 6.1904 

North Loud. Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

Oct. 22.1904 
Oct. 22.HX)4 










Bayard Alvin Rood... 

Elsie Lea Rood 

Eunice Pauline Rood. 

Mary Matilda Rood 

Mansell Davis 

Horace Mansell Davis. .. 

Besse June Packler 

Mansell Fackler Davis 

Norton Kieth Davis 

Loren Ainslee Davis 

Mary Davis 

Eug-enia Rood 

Alpha Latimer Crandall 

Ora Adelia Crandall 

Peter Ernest Clement 

Ruth Helene Clement . . . 
Ernest Crandall Clement. 

Paul Rood Crandall 

Mary Hazel Crandall 

Horace Charles Crandall. . . 

Emma Janette Rood 

v'^olon Chapin Terry 

Loyal Erwin Terr.v 

Ethel Lenore Coon 

Warren Austin Terry 

Esther Amy Rood 

Calvin Eug'ene Crandall 

Cecil Irma Crandall 

Ada Elizabeth Crandall.. 

Percy Jay Crandall 

Georg'e Herbert Crandall. 

Esther Crandall 

Walter Gillette Rood 

David ami His Faiuiiy. 

David Thornirate 
Lucina Duell 

Charles W. Thorng-ate 

ELsieL. P. Mitchell 

Charles Verne Thorng-ate — 

Eva Lucile Fowler 

Fred Allen Thorng-ate , 


Georg-e Thorng-ate ' 

Ross Thorng-ate f 

Ernest Thorng-ate 

Walter Bracken Thorng-ate. 

Haiiuali and Her Family. 

Hannah Thorng-ate. 
Robert Stillman 

James Stillman 
Sarah Meek 

Henry and His Family • 



Henry Thorng-ate 

Lorenda Otis Crandall 

Near North Loup, Neb . 
Near North Loup, Neb . 
Near North Loup, Neb . 

Near Dakota. Wis 

Jamestown. New York. 
Near North Loup. Neb. 

Astoria, 111 

Ord, Nebraska 

Ord, Nebraska 

Near North Loup. Neb . 
Near North Loup, Neb . 

Near Dakota. Wis 

Milton Junction, Wis. . . 

North Loup. Neb 

Welton. Iowa 

David Cit.v. Nebraska . . 
North Bend. Nebraska. 
Near North Loup. Neb . 
Near North Loup. Neb . 
North Loup. Neb 

Near Dakota, Wis , 

Bolton. N. Y 

Near North Loup, Neb . 

Hutchinson, Minn , 

Boulder, Colorado 

Near Dakota. Wis 

Watson. N. Y 

North Loup, Neb 

North Loup. Neb 

North Loup. Net) 

WestHallock. HI 

West Hallock, 111 

Near Dakota, Wis 

Persia, N. Y 

Tallmadge. Ohio 

Cooper. Mich 

Mount Pleasant. Ohio . 

Wellsburg, W. Va 

Martins Ferry, Ohio .. 
Martins Ferry. Ohio... 
Martins Ferry. Ohio... 
Martins Ferry. Ohoi... 
Martins Ferry. Ohio... 
Martins Ferry. Ohio.. . 

Persia. N. Y 

Berlin, N. Y 

DeRuyter. N. Y 

Vandalia, Til 

Per.sia. N. Y 

I'ersia, N. Y 




27. 1804 



April 14.1900| 




5, 1848 






3. UXIS 


24. 1007 










26. 1883 




13. 1006 


28. li)08 


5, 1885 




4, 1896 


27, 18.59 


7. 1852 


13, 1870 


22. 1884 


5, 1007 





April 17.18861 


17. 1888 

April 14. 1801 i 




24. 1894 


5. 1864 

July 26.1824 

July 20.18.58 
Mar. 2,1850 
Auff. 12.1883 
June 22.1884 



8. 1884 

1, 1886 


24. 1888 

12, 1891 

Feb. 13.1827 
Jan. 31,1807 

Nov. 21.18.53 
Jan. 0. 1860 

Sept. 27.1820 
Aug. 18,1836 







Dakota. Wis 

DalvOta Wis 

Sept. 10. 1871 
Sept. 10. 1871 
July 17.1901 
July 17.UX)1 

Ord. Neb 

Ord Neb 

North Loup, Neb. ... 

North Loup. Neb 

North Loup. Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

May 22.1882 
May 22,1882 
Aug. 14.1S104 
Aug. 14.1904 

Near Noi-t h Loup. Neb 
Near North Loup, Neb 
Denver, Colo 

Dec 25 1877 

Dec. 25,1877 
.Ian. 3.1905 
Jan. 3.1005 

North Loup. Nel) 

North Loup, Nel » 

Oct. 15.1884 
Oct. 15.1S84 

Tallmadse. Ohio 

Tallmadge. Ohio 

INIartins Ferry, Ohio . 
Marthis Ferry, Ohio.. 
Martins I'erry. Ohio.. 
Martins Ferry. Ohio.. 

Nov. 7.1S57 
Nov. 7.1857 

June 21. 1882 
June 21. 1882 
July 9,1906 
July 0.1006 

Washington. D. C... 
Heidelberg. Germany 

July V^.^mk 
Feb. 21.1001 

Dakota. Wis 

Dakota AVis 

Aug. 25.1860 
Aug. 25. 1860 

Nov. 20.1887 
Nov. 20. 1887 

June 14 1858 

Noi-th Loup. Neb .... 
Farina. Ill 

Nov. 18. 1W4 
Oct. 26.'1878 

Vandalia. Ill 

Vandalia. Ill 

Jan. 7. 1888 

Vaiid-ili-i 111 

Dakota Wis 

Dakota. Wis 

.June 14. 1S.58 


































































































Herbert Henry Tliorngate 

Eva Melissa Matteson 

Vera Viola Thorng-ate 

Ena Thonigate 

Vesta May Tiiornji-ate 

Ernest Earl Thorngate (adopted). 

Gaylord William Tiiorngate. 
]\[ary Nurse 

Paul Gaylord Thorngate... 

Guy Henry Triorngate 

M Sihel Anna Thorngate 

Roy Roscoe Thorngate 

Zillah David 

Roseoe Marion Tliorngate. . . 

Julia Belle Tiiorngate 

Bruce WhitHeid Thorngate. 

Belle Thorngate. 

Charles and Mis Fansily. 

Charles Thorngate. 
Eugenia Torrence. 

Walter Leslie Thorngate. 

Ida Viola Thorngate. 
Horace Hart Russell. 

Grace Irene Russel! 

Mabel Russell 

Ella Thorngate. 

.Jennie Thorngate 

Kdward Paysou Churchill 

Philliy Charles Churchill 

Ella Churchill 

Ethel Lena Thorngate 

George, Jr., and Mis Family. 

George Thorngate, .Junior 
Arloena Crandall 



Dakota. Wis 

Troy, N. Y 

North Loup. Neb.. 
North Loup, Neb.. 
North Loup. Neb.. 
Near Omaha, Neb. 

Near Brookfield. Mo. 

Hallock, III 

Noi'th Loup, Neb 

North Loup. Ne]j 

Boulder, Colo 

Near Brookfield. IMo. 

El Paso. Ill 

North Loup. Nelj 

Arcadia, Neb 

Lincoln, Neb 

Near Brookfield. Mo. 

Persia, New York — 
Pen Yan, New York. 

Near Lincoln, Neb. 

Civil Bend. Iowa 

[ La Crosse. Wis 

1 Weeping Water. Net). 

Weeping Water. Neb. 

Civil Bend, Iowa 

Civil Bend, Iowa 

Oberlin, Ohio 

V/eephig Water, Neb. 
Weeping Water, Neb. 

Weeping Water, Neb. 

Persia, New York. 
Persia, New York. 

Ray George Thorngate Near Brookfield. Mo. 

Flora David I Near El Paso. Ill 

Arlie Gladys Thorngate j North Loup. Neb 

Melva Rachel Thorngate I [ North Loup. ^eV) 

Arthur Ray Thorngate j North Loup. Neb 

Walter Allison Thorngate i North Loup, ^eb. 

Aletha Ruth Thorngate. ., 
Alice Angelia Thorngate. , 

Charles William Thorngate 

Ethel Angelina Babcock 

Myra Willametta Thorngate.. 

George Thorngate 

John Harold Thorngate 

Mai-gueiite Helen Thorngate. 

Eleanor Kathryn Thorngate.. 

North Loup, Neb. 
North Loup, Neb. 

Near Brookfield, Mo. 

Welton. Iowa 

North Loup, Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

North Loup. Neb 







Place. 1 


Oct ^ ]8w] 

North Loup. Neb 

North Loup. Neb 

Mar. 31.18871 
Mar. 31.1887 


Apr. 15.18b2: 
Dec. 20. 18iH>, 


Aug-. 29. 18i>;>' 

Nortli Loup, Nelj 

Nov. 4,1896 

Au"" 13 1S9HI 

Sept 15 1902 

Mav 30.1870 

North Loup. Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

Oct. 14,1892 
Oct 14, 1892 

Au^. 14.1868 
Sept. 17.1893 

Jan 13 1896 


June 5.1903 

Mar 5 187'' 

Harvard. Neb 

Harvard. Neb 

May 31.1894 
May 31,1894 

April 25,1871 
Oct. 14. 1895 

June 23.18971 

Aug. 3,1902' 

July 14.1878 


Mav 25. 1831 

Dakota. Wis 

June 5,1856 
June 5.1856 

Weeping Water, Neb. 
Weeping Water, Neb. 

Civil Bend. Iowa 

Weeping Water, Neb. 

Nov. 7,1883 

Jan. 25, 1837 

Dakota. Wis 

Sept. 6.1895 

April 19,1857 

Oct. 28,1858 

Dec. 6, 1859 


Weeping Water, Neb. 
Weeping Water, Neb. 

Aug. 28.1883 
Aug. 28, 1883 

May 29.1889 

May 25,1884 

Sept. 5 1887 

May 30,1861 

Mar. 1,1867 
Sept 19 1860 

Weeping Water, Neb. 
Weeping Water, Neb. 

Jan. 6,1886 
Jan. 6, 1886 

Oberlih. Ohio 

Jan. 6,1895 

Nov. 7, 1886 

May 27 1888 

June 19 1879 

Aug-. 6. 1834 

Dakota, Wis 

Nov. 15.1865 
Nov. 15, 1865 

Nov. 24, 1891 
Nov. 24, 1891 

North Loup. Neb 

Dec. 12.1891 

May 24,1846 
Dec. 24 1866 

Dakota Wis 

Nortli Loup, Ne b 

Nortli Loup, Neb 

Oct. 7,1867 

April 5, 1893 


Jan. 9, 1895 

June 2, 1897 

Oct. 12, 1898 

Feb. 17. 1900 

Sept. 17.1905 

Sept. 2 1868 

Nortli Loup, Neb 

North Loup, Neb 

Sept. 5,1891 
Sept. 5,1891 

Aug-. 16,1872 


June 7 1892 


Oct. 14, 1893 


Aug. 13 1895 


Sept 25 1898 

Oct. 5. 1902 


Notes. 1 . In the foregoing " Family Tree" the names of Grandfather Thorngate's 
six children are marked by Roman Numerals, I, II, III, IV, V, VI: the names of his 
grandchildren, by the Arabic figures, 1, 2. 3, etc., the names of his great-grandchildren 
by the letters, a, b, c, d, etc., while the names of his great-great-grandchildren are 
left unmarked. The letter m marks the names of those who became members of the 
family by marriage. 

2. There may be some errors in the dates as I have given them, yet I have taken 
great pains to have them as nearly correct as possible. 

3. Of the 149 persons named in the table, .six are Grandfather's children; 21 his 
grandchildren; 62 his great-grandchildren: 15 are his great-great-grandchildren. 
One is a step grandson, one an adopted great-grandson, and two adopted great- 
great-granddaughters. Forty have come into the family by marriage. Of those 
named, 74 are men and boys and 75 are women and girls. Today— November 18, 1908 — 
131 are still living. Eighteen have passed on to the higher life. 

4. In none of the families of the foregoing table has there been a separation of hus- 
band and wife. I do not know that one of the 149 persons named has ever been in a 
court of law as either complainant or defendant: but I do not know everything. I guess 
that not one knows the taste of one kind of liquor from another, and very few of them 
have used tobacco. I have never heard one of them use profane language. If any 
one of them does drink or swear he must feel lonesome and out of harmony with 
those of his own kin. Nearly all are professing Christians and church workers. 

Addition to Table of Family Connections Since 
Thanksgiving, 1908 




Esther Amy Rood 
Martin Lester Nelson 
Ainslie Loran Davis 
Zua Murrell Reed 


North Loup, Nebr. 
Loup Gity, Nebr, 

March 24, 1909 
June 2. 1909 




Ghild's' names 




Byron Rood 
Lena Rood 



Nelsie Evelyn 


Milton, Wis. 

June 4, 1909 

Grace Lowther 
Norton Lowther 


Sarah Eliza- 
beth Lowther 


Milton, Wis. 

Oct. 6, 1909 

Ainshe Davis 
Zua Davis 


Anslie Reed 


Greeley, Neb, 

March 12, 1910 



Remarks Concerning this Family Sketch y.'.^'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'. 9 

Introduction H 

Geortre Thoi-njzate. . - . . . •■•••■ 13 

Herman and Matilda Blanchard 14 

Geortfc and M atilda Married _ 15 

Letters from Eiiffland • ; ; 17 

Removal to Cattarauffus County 18 

About (grandfathers Family 20 

Seventh Day Baptists 21 

The Literary Society. .. .,. ••■■■•■••■■: 22 

Charles P. Rood-Roods m Vermont 24 

Grandfather Rood 25 

My Father • 27 

Pioneer Life 28 

Removal to Wisconsui 29 

Settled in Milwaukee County 30 

On Rock Prairie v^- •,- • : 31 

Movintr to Princeton— to Dakota 32 

Grandmother's 1 )eath~ Character 34 

Relitrion and Education ■"".■.'.■..... 35 

Father finds two Brothers and a Mster 3g 

Grandfather's third Marriage 39 

More Letters from England 39 

A Prett.v Country. 1)ut— 1 40 

Some Personal Remarks 4I 

I Start out into the Woi-ld.— Enlisted ^ 

Our Folks in the Civil War, • • 42 

M.v own Service 45 

David and Henry Thorngate 4g 

Charles Thorngate 48 

Georg(^ Thorngate 49 

My Father and Brother Herman ^3 

George B. Rood • • • • • • ■ • - • .- 56 

Calvin Rood and others in the Uth Wisconsin ^ 

Uncle William Rood ^ 

Cousin Alexander Taylor •••••:; m 

Some Soldier Friends of our Family ^ 

A Term of Select School 64 

My Father's Work i^T*; fi5 

Temuerance Work.— Church at Dakota ^ 

The Great Revival gg 

Some I'^alling in Love, of Course g- 

Teaching and Farming gg 

George li. Rood M airied .^q 

Emigration— (\)l()nization ._ 7, 

Articles of Agreement and Association ij 

Journey of the Lo-at ing Committee Lx 

Reix)rt of the Committee 74 

Fath«'r's Sr.-oiid Trii) to Nebraska L\ 

The I'i rst M igrat ion 77 

Other M igrat ions-- Early Religious Services ' ' 

The Final Exodu^s ^f 

A Stoiy oi- Two by the Way ^1 

Grandfather and Grandmother °7 

My Work in School ''* 

Grandfather and Grandmother go, too 85 

Father's Health Broken 86 

Mv High School Work 87 

I Leave Off Teaching 89 

Our son Louis IMarried 90 

Our Lillian Married 91 

Some Inmates of Our Family at Milton 92 

Cousin Lola's Family 92 

Our Church Membership 94 

Early Life in Nebraska 96 

Ora's Story .- 98-12a 

A Night Alone on the Prairie 99 

Prairie Fires— A Narrow Escape 102 

A Blizzard Story 104 

Grasshoppers 108 

Neighbors, tho Miles Away 109 

Grandpa Rood a Temperance Worker 110 

The Church 110 

Early Schools 11^ 

Grandpa Rood's Health Pails — His Death 112 

Natural Family Expansion 114 

Uncle Charley Meets with Accidents 114 

Grandma and the "Rattler" 115 

A Marriage — Births— Grandfather Thorngate's Death 116 

Where the Roods Lived About North Loup 117 

More Children — The Last Wedding 118 

Family Gatherings — Thanksgivings 120 

A Stormbound Party 123 

Strong Family Ties 123 

Grandma Rood's House Burned 124 

Grandma Thorngate's Death 125 

Visits Back and Forth 126 

Some Later Migrations 127 

George Rood tells of a Flood 129 

Remarks on the Stories told by Ora, Mary and George 134 

Brief Personal Sketches 135-143 

Uncle Henry's Story of His Family and that of Uncle George 143 

Uncle George and his Family 157 

Recollections of Uncle David 162 

About Aunt Hannah Thorngate 169 

Uncle Charles and his Family 173 

Uncle Henry and Aunt Renda 188 

Our Father and Mother 190 

Tables of Army Service and Family Connections— Appendix.