Sign up to follow by e-mail in order to not miss my posts. Enter your e-mail address in the box on the left and click on submit..
Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
New FREE e-book: The Old Man and the Widow
To Order my E-books click on the Book or "My Book"Tab
Since GOD is a triune being oft times we tend to view one
personage or the other at a time.
We may pray to Jesus in his name and exclude the Father and the
Holy Spirit in our thinking process.
Everything GOD does is by the Father, Son , and The Holy Spirit.
In Genesis one it is repeatedly said; "And GOD said" until we get to
1:26 we find the words, Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in
Perhaps this is the first hint of the Holy trinity. In any case the
totality of GOD was involved in the creation. Getting back to what I started to
point out is when we pray we need to consciously be aware that we are praying
to the whole of the GODHEAD.
Every prayer should encompass three things. The will of the Father.The authority of the Son and the power of the
First and foremost is the will of the Father. The Lord's prayer
had within it, "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." Every
prayer is a supernatural action, it is changing the natural course of events
and we should be aware of what we are trying to do which is to change history
even in minor things.
I suppose that GOD sees this as a more serious occurrence than we
do. Matt. 28:18 “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power
is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” He has power to command it to be done
but the Holy Spirit will complete the action or not as directed by the other
two members of the GODHEAD.
While built into my consciousness is the three fold nature of GOD
there is also the knowledge of the unity between the members. The key factor in
prayer is the will of the Father. Pray out of his will and expect to get
nothing. Pray in the will of GOD and have every expectation of the answer you
The will of GOD and how to find it is another issue that perhaps I will
share some thoughts on that at a later time.
Papa met me when I arrived
and we went to the bank. After the obligatory greeting we adjourned to my
office and we spent the next four hours going over the events I dealt with and
made plans to keep the bank safe from the family's claims and to protect our
I finally made it home and it
took several hours for me to properly greet Mercy. Being gone for to weeks
required me to show her how much I missed her… and oh yes the kids also.
It was times like this I
remembered how I first saw her on board ship, while on our way to America. How
innocent she was and how Mama took to her and protected her.
Now she is a fully matured
woman with a mind of her own. I often think about how lucky I am to have her
Too many married men I know
only have part of the women they married. They are holding back part of themselves
perhaps for someone else, I don't know. In my case she gave her whole self to
me, holding back nothing, she's all mine.
and I had no more financial interest back in the farms my brothers still owned
but there was still the family connection. Anything that affected the family
was of concern for Papa and me.
both of us couldn't be away from the banking business Papa decided I should go
and see what could be done to straighten things out.
got along with papa's new wife although she wasn't very new now because they
had been together for a number of years. Given that she had lived in the East
all her life and associated with the lower society (people who were not super
rich) she had good manners and Mercy helped her to be proper in the higher
This was where the real money was to be made and Papa
wanted to fit right in. He had no
trouble mixing with the men for most of them were a bit raunchy.
However with the women it was a bit more difficult
because the women of that ilk were quite catty and gossipy.
The idea was to add something to the subject matter
and be able to fight off the slings and arrows that were cast at you; All this
while remaining friends with the people you were slamming.
Since my step-mother was quite successful in this
endeavor Papa always had an open door for conducting business.
was going to be busy going back and forth between Sacramento
and San Francisco
but he thrived on all the action he was getting. The only thing I didn't like
about this arrangement was he would change the way I operated into his style of
doing things. When I returned I would have to change things back.
finally hired three extra employees to setup an extra set of books and when he
wanted to see how the business was doing he could look at his books. He found
out what I was doing and started to pitch a fit till I told him it was a check
and balance way to keep the employees honest.He never mentioned it again. He liked the idea of keeping the hires’
it was time for me to head back east and deal with whatever the issue was back
I stated before there was no connection between the two businesses. The ranches
belong to the part of the family that had remained and the West coast
businesses belong to Papa and me.
I arrived it seemed that no one was happy to see me. Neither of my brothers
wanted to see me so I stayed in town instead of going out to one of the
thing, no one wanted to talk to me so I went to the bank and found out what the
problem was. It seemed that some of the in-laws had borrowed quite a large sum
of money against our holdings on the West coast. They claimed to be partners
with Papa and me, putting up our holdings as security. They wasted the money
they borrowed and now it was time to pay it back.
bank told me that if I didn't pay up immediately they would sue. I asked for
copies of proof that the in-laws owned or had an interest in our properties.
produced some papers and documents which were forgeries and I told the bankers
that they should have the in-laws arrested for fraud.
went on and told them they should come against the ranch properties the
families owned. The told me that the ranches were up to the hilt with mortgages
and there was no equity left in them.
saddened me for before I had love and respect for all four of my brothers,
Albert, George, Phillip, and Charles.
I wasn't sure why they shunned me;
whether they were ashamed or just lost respect for me. Whatever the reason we
were finished and no longer a family.)
hearing that I produced evidence that Papa and I were the only owners of the West
coast properties with the history of said properties. The bankers could immediately
see that what they loaned against wasn't the same holdings as that which Papa
and I owned.
apologized and said they hoped I understood how the mistake had been made. I
told them I would forget the whole matter if they paid my expenses incurred by
the travel including a new suit I damaged in a fight with a drunk on the main
street. They agreed and as I left, the bankers called for the sheriff.
By the time I left I knew
everything about everything. What they did and why they did it. I understood
why they didn't want to see me or talk to me. After making the discoveries I
didn't want to see them either.
I contacted Papa and laid
everything out for him he said catch the next train and come home. He added let
them stew in the mess they made family or not.
A month had passed and much
had happened. We bought the building and remodeled it. Our huge safe had
arrived and was installed. Our grand opening was near and Papa had made some
good contacts in Sacramento and San Francisco.
Papa and I had put our money
in the safe so we had assets right off. Papa said there were something called
vaults in the works that would be better than the safe and he wanted one when
they were perfected.
Right now the huge safe was
the center piece of our bank and had a double lock system it was a safe within
a safe. The outer safe could be open while the inner safe was still locked. The
outer safe was for conducting business and the inner was for the big money.
I must admit papa had a head
for business. In six months we had most of the money business in Sacramento and a branch in San Francisco.
Papa had moved to the big
city while leaving me to tend the bank in Sacramento.
The bank was thriving because of the reputation we had built up. No one ever
lost their savings in our bank because of the bank closing up and the bankers
absconding with the funds.
There seems there are always
some problems waiting in the wings just waiting for the right time to manifest
Isaac had arrived at the old
age of fourteen and was on the courting circuit big time. You have to realize I
was really busy because Papa had left me with all the bank business in Sacramento.
He of course was just as busy
in San Francisco
and didn't have time to come to my aid if I had a situation to deal with. Then
it happened. Isaac fell in love with a girl about his age and he wanted to
This wasn't going to happen
but how I was going to stop him wasn't very clear at the moment. On one hand I
had Isaac to deal with and then was Mercy having a fit.
She had plans for him to go
to college before he married up. Then to top it off his grandfather found out
about it. It seemed like I was the only one left that had any common sense.
Then it happened. If things
weren’t bad enough another issue complicated the matter. Isaac was supposed to
go to a dance with his intended and when he went to pick her up she had already
gone with another guy.
He questioned her father and
he said he didn't know anything about it. Her mother told him her daughter
could go with whomever she wanted to and for him not to bother her anymore and
closed the door. Isaac wasn't used to rejection and he didn't take to it very
He came home and went
directly to his room slamming the door. I never paid any attention to it for
the kids were always making a lot of unnecessary noise, but Mercy knew
something was up for he was supposed to be at the dance.
Mercy was upset with me
because I couldn't talk Isaac out of wanting to marry the girl. I told her the
dang boy wouldn't listen to me.
The problem was he was just
like his mother and like her he ignored me unless I got really het up. Then
there was his grandpa. He had a lot of his traits like wanting his way and
flying off the handle if he didn't get it.
I wondered why he wasn't like
me in some ways. I couldn't see myself in that boy in any way except my good
Mercy tried to talk to the
boy but he had locked her out and turned the light off. The other kids were not
making a sound. Mercy retired to the bedroom and I was left alone in the parlor.
There wasn't a sound in the house and I didn't want to go to my bed with Mercy
in her present mood.
Alone with my thoughts I
surmised I have three of these offspring and I don't think I am going to like
this part of their raising if there is much of this. I knew this wasn't over
with the worse to come. Here Isaac was ready to go to the parson and his
intended was courting someone else.
I didn't sleep much sitting
in the big chair and was awake when Isaac came down from his room.
I immediately saw some of Grandpa’s
nature showing forth because he had his gun in his hand as he went out of the
I leaped up to stop him when
I saw his grandpa leading him back into the house. I asked Papa, “Where did you
come from?” and he said; "I spent
the night here in Sacramento."
Papa said; "Someone has
to talk some sense in that moonstruck boy."
I told him, “The job is yours
if you want it.”
Our cook was in the kitchen
so Papa took Isaac into the kitchen and told the cook to feed the both of them.
After a couple of hours they came out and I went in and got some coffee. I
didn't want to disturb them so I stayed out until they got finished.
Papa had Isaac's gun, the
same one he had taught Isaac how to kill with. He was a crack shot and never
missed thanks to his grandpa. He was so much like the old man that he paid
attention to everything he said. He went up to his room shutting the door
without slamming it which told me he had settled down and the crisis was over.
While I was content with the
outcome of the circumstances Papa wasn't for this was his grandson they were
He had other grandsons back
where we came from but Isaac was his favorite and lived nearby. He found out it
was a college boy that took the girl away from Isaac. He fumed, “What chance
did a fourteen year old boy have with one of those fast talking college boys
laying their lies on a gullible young girl.”
There was strong evidence
that the college boy had his way with her and that made Papa even madder. The
next day it seems the college man was sorely beaten and he and the soiled girl
was taken to a parson and was married.
I felt it was the duty of her
father to have handled the affair, but apparently he was willing to let things
Papa didn't see it like that
and let it slip while talking to me saying: "I reckon he won't be able to
enjoy his honeymoon."
That told me everything I
wanted to know about what happened. To myself I admitted that Papa knew best
how to handle the situation and for that I was glad.
Isaac never confided in me as
to how he was feeling but he told his mother everything, and was comforted by
her much like when he was younger for after all he was her baby… still.
As I watched, I saw the
little boy that was left in him seeking comfort from his mother for the last
After that session was over I
could tell the man he was to be had his beginning and never again would he look
to Mercy for solace. From this point on he would stand on his own till he found
a woman he truly loved.
I hoped it would some time before
she came into his life for he needed to experience life growing up as a young
boy and not be thrust into adulthood before he was actually an adult.
One more talk by Grandpa to
Isaac and the issue was put behind him. Grandpa explained how the future was
going to unfold as Isaac went forward.
Isaac like a knight of old would go forward
with armor polished and sword in hand winning every battle forthwith.
Our business was finished and
our money was in our suitcase. Our goods we wanted to take with us filled a car
half full. We had a compartment to stay in which helped us to be more
comfortable. It had a lock on the door if we wanted to lock it.
Our money case we kept with
us at all times. I was packing my six guns in my hostler and a derringer in my
vest. Mercy had a small 32 in a pocket in her dress.
I also hired an
ex-Pinkerton man to keep an eye out for anyone who might look suspicious.
We were made more nervous
when the train broke down in the middle of nowhere.
One of the baggage car guards
climbed a telegraph pole and sent a message to the nearest station requesting
help. By the next day we were on our way
Because of the breakdown it
took us five days to make the trip. I had some hot water brought in so Mercy
and I could wash up. We felt better after our sponge bath. The kids were
scrubbed up lastly for they were getting nasty is the best way to put it. Crawling around in the floor of the train
dirtied them up rather quickly.
We arrived in Sacramento worn out and
needing a bath. Traveling with three kids was something I promised myself I
would never do again. I threatened to throw them off the train more than once
but manage to rescind the threat before I carried it out.
Papa met us with some wagons
and armed men. I asked, “Why the men with guns?”Papa said, “I am carrying some money and I figured
you might have some also, so I am just being careful.”
I answered, “You're right
about that, is there a bank in town we can trust?”
“Not with for our money there
I told him, “It sounds like
we need to go into the banking business.”
Papa agreed as we pulled up
to the house he had built for us.
He called the kids over to
him and said you must be feeding these kids very well for they have grown since
I last saw them. He asked, ‘Have you been teaching them to work?”
I told him, “Yes but I've
been teaching how to use their head mostly.”
He said, “I guess that is
The men started unloading our
goods and Mercy showed them where she wanted everything put. In an hour we were moved in and ready to start
living in Sacramento.
One of the guards took Mercy
to the general store and she bought enough food to feed a small army. Though I
never said anything I couldn't help but wonder what we had got our selves into.
Then I realized Papa was
wearing a suit and it wasn't even Sunday or a funeral. As he walked about I saw
he had a pistol under his coat in a holster. Later I found out he had a small
derringer in his vest pocket. Papa's
wife was carrying one also and he was learning my half brothers how to shoot
just like he taught me. He said when he took the kids for the next lesson he
would take mine also.
The next day Papa came by in
a buggy and said, “Let's go.”
I climbed in and he took me
down to a tailor. In short order he had me fitted for three new suits. He said I could carry my gun under the coat
and it wouldn't show.
He said he had found a building he wanted me to buy and
it would make a good bank with a few changes. Then I realized the reason for
the new suits. He wanted me to look the part of a banker.
He had outfitted Mercy with a
derringer and told her not to hesitate to use it to protect herself and the
It didn't take long to see
why Papa was doing all these unusual things. The gold fields were playing out
for small claim prospectors and only the large mining operations were still
running at a profit.
A lot of the prospectors had
drifted to Sacramento
and they were broke and looking for women. When they had money the whores were
available but with no money they were out of luck.
Women were assaulted on the
streets until they began to carry guns and knives. Papa said things were
getting better but it was going to take some more time before the law got the
He insisted that a guard go
with the women when they went out. I realized the reason for the wall around our
house he had built and the mean dogs that roamed the premises. Oh, those dogs
took to Mercy and the kids right off so I knew anyone would have to go through
them before they could bother my family at home.
The time had passed without what you might call a catastrophic event occurring in the
family. Unless you consider papa's new wife having three children and all us
boys siring several kids of our own.
Mercy had presented me with
three of our own being two boys and one girl who I could see was going to boss
the boys around.
Papa was beginning to become
bored once more and I could tell he was on the verge of wanting to move on
again. On paper it made no sense but this was an emotional issue.
Papa sold of some of his town
holdings the saloon being one of them. Almost every night I was called upon to
come to the saloon and break up a fight so I felt relieved that it was gone. I
hesitated to tell him I was tired of having to be the bouncer of the joint
because it was his cash cow and he always had a need for the money it brought
Shortly after he had raised a
substantial amount of money he called the heads of the family together and told
us of his plans.
He had decided to head west
and look into several investments he had in mind. He said he was going to take
his new wife and three kids with him. He said each of the rest of us should
manage the ranches we owned and that I should care for the investments in the
town. He seemed to forget that all the town investments were Mercy's and mine.
He went on saying that the
gold rush was over and we missed out on that except there was a few mines still
producing that belonged to some large corporations.
Where there are failures
there are opportunities you just have to know where to find them. The last
thing was that he would let us know what he was doing and if he needed some of
us to come and help him.
That last remark didn't set
too well with we boys for we had everything we needed right here, and didn't
feel the need to look for new horizons. None of us gave voice to our feelings
so papa was of the mind that all he had to do was whistle and we would come
After Papa had left each of
my brothers said they had no intention of starting all over again for it made
no sense to them at all. I had to agree with them although Mercy wasn't in
totally agreement. She said if it made sense to move west then we should at
least consider it. On that note I said this meeting is over for I knew we would
start to disagree with what she said.
A few weeks later Papa was
packed up and left. Everything was different with Papa gone.
Mercy and I sold everything
in town except the hotel and our house. Albert and my foreman on my ranch were
not getting along very well. I didn't want to get in the middle of their
disagreements for I felt my foreman should handle the situation. As it turned
out it was more serious than I thought. The thing was the hands on the two ranches
were ready to start a war. I went to see Albert and told him I would sell him
my place for a reasonable price. Then he would be able to solve any and all
disagreements as they came up.
I felt relieved for some
reason. We could have resolved the problem between the two ranches; but selling
out seemed the best way to go.
Then came what all of us boys
Papa wanted Charles and
Phillip to come to the west coast. They absolutely refused to do as he wished. They had been several years building up their
ranch and had no desire to leave. We all had taken bare land and build houses
and barns on it and raised crops and cattle. These were our homes and to up and
leave them and go to a new place with no guarantee of success didn't appeal to
As you might expect Papa was
incensed at the boys refusal but there was nothing he could do about it. I was
waiting for the other boot to drop.
Since the boys refused to move
I knew what was going to be Papa's next move. You must remember Papa sold all
of his holdings when he left and I had sold our ranch to my brothers. My place
was the crown jewel of all out properties and I wanted it to stay in the family
should I leave the area.
Then I received my expected
letter. Mercy got hold of it first and read it. By the time I got home she had
time to think it through and was waiting for me to read the letter.
When I arrived home she was
in the parlor and had the three kids sitting on the floor on the side of her
chair. I knew something was going on and read the letter after she gave it to
For the longest time, I
didn't look at her but I could feel her eyes on me. I looked at the letter
again and she just said; “Well?”
I was still thinking about it
so I said; “Well what?”
She said, “Well when do you
want to leave?”
I could see she had made up
my mind for me so I said; “As soon as we can settle up our business here.” We
had a house and hotel to sell along with some valuable lots to sell. The Mayor
and some business partners bought all of our holdings in two weeks and we were
free and clear of everything that held us there.
The Mayor had one
stipulation. He wanted me to get rid of the sheriff. About a year ago when I
was out of town they had brought in a new sheriff and now they were afraid to
I could understand why they
wanted him out of there for he never bathed and stunk to high heaven. His deputies were as bad as he was. He was
also unjust and mean and they were scaring the old people.
Since I didn't have anything
to do with the hiring I had let the council deal with them. However because it was part of the deal I said
okay but told them I would do it my way to which they agreed.
There was a sheriff who had
semi-retired but was getting restless just sitting around so I sent for him. He
was all business and what he said was going to happen was law.
When he arrived I put the
sheriff's badge on him and told him that he was in charge from that moment on. I let him know it was time to go get rid of
the old sheriff.
I removed my coat and
strapped on my guns. The sheriff just grinned and said,“Let's go.”
When we got to the jail the
sheriff was asleep at his desk and his deputies were asleep in the cells. I
slipped his gun from his holster and took the badge from his shirt. He awoke
and I told him to meet the new sheriff.
It took him a minute or two
to realize what was going on. I said there was a train going east in an hour
and for him to be on it. I told him he had a half month's pay coming and paid
him off. I also said for him to pay his debts before he left.
As he left he has some unkind
words for me. The new sheriff started to go after him but I said to let it go.
The new sheriff had woke all
the deputies, and brought them into his office.
After looking at them he said
the two of them were fired. He said to me pay them off. I gave them twenty
dollars each and sent them on their
The sheriff told the others
he was in charge and if they wanted to work under him they had better listen
and obey his rules.
He said the first order of
business was they were getting a ten dollar a month raise. He explained that
was to pay for some nice clothes and a bath everyday if they were in town. He told them, if they ever smelled bad again, they
were fired on the spot.
The men looked at each other
but didn't say a word. He then told them to see that the old sheriff and the
two ex-deputies were on the train when it left or they would be on the next
He said; “Don't let me see
you again until you have cleaned up and then we will clean the jail for it
smells like a pig sty.” There were a
couple of prisoners left over from the weekend that he put to work cleaning out
I took the new sheriff down
to meet the city council and they were pleased with my choice. They had seen
the old sheriff and the two worthless deputies leave on the train and breathed
a sigh of relief.
After proving up on my ranch Mercy and I spent most of out
time in town.
The town had grown and on a couple of our lots we built a hotel.
Our rooms were full most of the time and the restaurant also had a full house.
The railroad made our town one of their stops and put up a
station with cattle yards. This one particular year we had the round up and
took our much improved herd to the railroad to sell them. We were the first
herd for sale so we got top dollar for them.
There just happen to be a cattle buyer in town that bought
cattle for a packing house in Chicago.
He spent a lot of time out at Albert's place; in fact he spent too much time
there. Sarah, Albert's wife had chosen that name when we arrived in New York and had smartened
up a bit but still wasn't too bright. This buyer had pretty well mesmerized her
into thinking he was madly in love with her.
A woman out on the prairie was not used to the wiles of a
city dude. As you recall she was an immigrant and was married to Albert while
still on shipboard. In any case Albert was in charge of the cattle sale and he
insisted we receive payment in gold coin. The buyer agreed but said it would
take a few days longer for payment to which Albert agreed.
When the gold arrived Albert was back at the ranch and Sarah
who was staying in town signed for it. I had been watching over the transaction
from afar not being active in the sale of the cattle.
Mercy came and told me that the buyer was going into Sarah's
room from time to time and she didn't think that it was proper for him to do
I sent for Albert to come to town and deal with what I
thought had suspicious overtones. By the time Albert arrived, silly Sarah had
moved the gold coin strong box to the railroad station and had bought two
tickets to the West coast.
Albert went directly to the station and took possession of
the coins and removed Sarah from the train.
The buyer wasn't aware of what was happening so he got
aboard the train and was looking for Sarah. When he couldn't find her he began
to panic especially when he saw two of my brothers and me on the train.
As we approached ten mile trestle we escorted the buyer to
the platform between cars after hitting him on the head with a six gun. The
river was rushing madly below in the canyon and as we crossed the trestle we
gave him a downward toss to the canyon some hundred feet below. He quickly
disappeared below the surface of the rushing river. Our other brother had
brought horses for us on the town side of the trestle and we stopped the train
and got off telling the conductor we were going to look for some missing
cattle. He smiled and said we might also look for a missing passenger while we
were at it. Phillip said we would but doubted if we would find him.
Perhaps some might say that was a harsh treatment for the
man but in our world people had a way of coming back and try to get even from
some ill treatment and we made sure that never happened.
Meanwhile Albert was dealing with Sarah! He had used a whip
on her and she could hardly sit down.Papa had found out what had happen and was in full agreement with the
lashing she had received. Papa said Albert should get rid of her right now but
Mercy said; I will handle this and everybody stay out of it. She told Albert to
come to her room for she had something to tell him. When Albert came in he was
all flushed and highly agitated.
Mercy told him to have a big drink of whiskey and settle
down. After three big shots he began to cool off and she started in. Her
defense of Sarah went along the lines of her not being able to cope with
someone that Albert had allowed to come to the ranch when he wasn't there.
After an hour later and a couple more drinks Mercy said
Sarah hadn't laid with the man she had just been deceived with his telling her sweet
things Albert had never said to her.
Mercy said, “A woman needs to hear loving complements and things
like that from her man once in a while.” She then told him, “Now go and makeup
with her and do not beat her anymore.” He told Mercy; alright he would do as she
He staggered out of the room as the whiskey was having it
effects on his equilibrium to where Sarah was weeping. She was cowering in a
corner when he came in.
He asked her questions about the affair the main one being
if the man had bedded her. She
vehemently denied that anything happened yet, and he accepted her explanation as
he fell into the bed and went to sleep.
Come the morning he became amorous and she did her wifely
duty through the painful stripes she wore.
I was glad Mercy had intervened because Albert might have
killed Sarah in a moment of rage. Albert was happy Mercy had settled him down
also although he never said so.
Over the last year papa had made some friends who were the
chief politicians and government men in the area.
The time was getting nearer to the land rush and papa had
picked out several parcels he wanted, It was well watered land by a full
flowing creek. He had all of us boys get familiar with the lay of the land and
how to set the markers. All told we had several thousand acres we were going to
lay claim to on rush day. I wasn’t too interested in living out on the claims
but knew I would have to make improvements over the first years of ownership.
Then there was the new town that was going to spring up.
Papa had picked out several lots that were laid out in what was going to be the
new town. After waiting for what seemed to be an eternity it was only a few
more days to rush day.
It wasn’t but five o’clock A.M. and I couldn’t believe my
eyes when I saw all the hundreds of people lined up to make the run for parcels
they had picked for them selves.
Papa had us to be a part of what was later called Sooners,
It wasn’t a title to be proud of but it assured you got the land you wanted. My
brothers had already headed out to the place we were going to claim as ours.
After being amazed at the number of people who were already
lined up I left the mass of people and circled around as if I was heading back
toward what was going to be the new town then I turned toward our claims.
When I arrived there I saw some Sooners who had the same
idea as Papa but they weren’t in very good shape after my brothers got through
with them. We put them on their horses and told them there was some pretty good
land to the east of where we were standing. Albert advised them to head over
there before some other Sooners beat them to it.
Shortly thereafter all we could see was a cloud of dust.
The boys had already placed our stakes and markers. Papa had
all the necessary paper work ready to file as soon as the clock struck twelve.
He also had a bag of money to spread around to the officials. I headed back to
town and met with Papa, his new wife, and Mercy and we claimed our lots in the
As the sun set we had prime land on the prairie and some of
the best lots in town.
By the end of the week papa had wagon loads of lumber on
their way to our new property. There was a lot of available labor due to many
not getting a piece of land so our houses and barns went up pretty fast.
Papa sent me to some of the towns east of us to buy
furniture and other supplies. When I finished shopping I had several wagon
loads of goods and headed west.
I dropped off one wagon in town for Papa's and my houses in
town and then headed out to where the brothers were overseeing the construction
of the houses out there.
Even with the long list of goods I bought the brother's
wives were arguing over who got what.
Since I was on title for one of the ranches I had to live
there (at least part of the time.) Mercy
liked being out on the ranch because of the privacy we enjoyed but she also got
pleasure from spending much of her time in town. When she was on our ranch it
wasn't too far to visit the other brother's wives if she wanted to catch up on
the latest gossip.
My next task was to find cattle for our ranches. I must say
what I ended up with was a mixture of Mexican, scrub and longhorn cattle that
were pretty much a poor looking bunch.
Papa had some unkind words for me about my selection even
after I showed him how cheap I had gotten them for. After a half days grumbling I told him to go
himself and see what he could find. That shut him up for the time being for
after one days search he came home with a sorrier looking bunch than I had
found and paid more for them.
After seeing his demeanor when he returned I decided it
would be best not to say anything about his poor effort and the result.
After a few months on the rich, lush, grasses the cattle
began to look pretty decent and brought a good price when it came time to sell
them. We acquired a lot of calves from them so we were on our way to building
up our herd.
By running all the cattle together under one brand we saved
a lot of money compared to what the other ranchers costs were.
After the second year a number of people had given up and we
bought their terrain from them. They had found that even though the land was free
it took many dollars to make the property profitable.
Mercy's and my lots in town were prime property and as the
town grew they were some of the most valuable in the town.
Papa considered them to be his and wanted to sell them early
on but Mercy and I balked at that notion. We felt if we waited they would be
worth many times what he could sell them for at the present; and as it turned
out we were right.
Papa had another idea which was to start a general store on
one of the lots. Again Mercy and I objected because I knew too many people
would buy on credit and never pay what they owed.
As usual Papa prevailed on that one. It turned out that
things were better than we thought it would be at least for the first six or
seven years. Then what we feared became to pass.
People were beginning to fall on hard times because of lack
of rain and failing crops; and Papa began to buy up properties from people who owed
us money they couldn't pay. Some just packed up and left while others sold out
for almost nothing. Most of the land was as worthless to Papa as it was to the
people who left it but Papa said some day the rains would start again and then
we would make more money than we ever dreamed of.
Papa refused to sue for the money people owed us but when he
cut off their credit they had no other choice than to sell cheap or just move
Our neighbors invite us to leave the Old Country - -
It was late in the 1800s and being immigrants everything was
still new to our family. We soon realized the city life wasn’t for us.
In what we still call “The old country” we had found
ourselves disliked more each year after year. It wasn’t because we were bad
people but because we were successful and gaining in wealth.
A lawyer for a big firm kept trying to buy all of our
holdings and papa decided to sell due mostly to the attitude of our neighbors.
He said these folks are not going to like it when the big firm takes over and
replaces many of the local workers with people from other areas but they want
us out, so be it.
Papa had decided to come to the new world as he called it
and try to increase our fortune there. He was thirty years old when he married our Ma
and for the next five years she bore him a son each year. There were five of us
boys but for some reason she quit bearing children after I was born.
Perhaps it was because of the neighbor’s attitude that we were
a tight knit group. In our village it was well known that if you started a
fight with one of us you had to fight all of us. It was because of that we were
left alone and had little trouble with the neighbor’s kids.
We planned for a year before leaving and when the day
arrived papa had converted all our holdings into gold and enough cash to get us
by until we arrived in the new world.
Since we had money we had staterooms to travel in and ate
the best food the cooks could provide. There were those who had to settle for
steerage with little more space than a bunk and could only get on deck with
My older brothers spent a lot of time looking down on the
deck where the poorer immigrants, especially the young females flitted about.
They would slip down to the steerage deck and talk to the girls. They would get
a good deal of information from them such as education, age, and more
importantly if they were still a virgin.
By the time we arrived in America they knew everything about
most of what they considered marriage material. The two older brothers had
selected two girls to marry and the next oldest had found one he thought he
wanted. She was alone and was vulnerable to the point where though he wasn’t
sure he wanted her for a wife he wanted to bring her along with us.
Ma laid down some rules about keeping our hands to
ourselves. My older brothers were married to two of the steerage girls by one
of the almost captains.Caleb being
strongly urged by Ma, he finally agreed to marry Mercy (as my mother called
her) because Ma didn’t want her to be lost in New York and taken advantage of.
They had an “I do” session by one of the crew after which Masaid Caleb could just ignore his shipboard
marriage when we were landed in America
unless he decided to keep her for his wife.
Mercy told Ma that she didn't want to take up the wifely
duties until she had been fully accepted as a wife by my brother Caleb. Mercy
had told everyone she was eighteen years old but once we were situated in New York she confessed
she was only fourteen.
Caleb decided not to take her for a wife because she was a
little young and by now she was more like a sister in his eyes. He had told the
Immigration officials she was
his wife in order for her to enter the US.
So far the courtship of my brothers was a little strange but
they were satisfied with the results.
After we arrived in America, the entire family managed
to find jobs and we were living very well compared to some but papa wanted to
move West for he was intrigued by the stories he kept hearing.
He was really taken by the Oklahoma land rush that was coming soon. The
idea of free land was too much for him to ignore. Papa said he was going ahead
and would send for us when he needed us. Three months later he sent for the two
oldest boys, Albert and George. These were the names they choose for themselves
after we arrived here.
Papa had already changed our last name to Barkley and told
us to select names that sounded English. He was determined to leave our old
persona where we came from. Our accent didn’t sound exactly like Englishmen but
the mixture of the north and south and all of the first year immigrants no one
could be sure from whence anyone came from.
Another three months passed and papa sent for my other two brothers
Phillip and Charles. This left mama, Mercy and me still in the big city. My
brothers would write mama every so often and tell her about the West.
Finally when papa sent for her to come west she had made up
her mind not to go. She had a job working for a man her age that had just lost
his wife and he convinced Ma to get a divorce from papa and marry him. The man
was very well off and liked mama very much and mama was also taken by him.
I had finished my schooling and was on my own but Mercy
moved in with mama and her new finance. A year or so had passed since Phillip
and Charles had moved to be with papa in what they called the west.
They had heard about something called; “mail order brides.” They had become interested in a couple of
women and were considering sending for them. Since I lived near the ladies my
brothers wanted me to go and check them out.
I didn’t feel comfortable doing what they asked but finally
along with Mercy we did as they wanted. After meeting the women, without
revealing our intention, we had a pretty good idea about who they were.
Mercy decided to do the writing and we tried to be fair in
our assessment of them. One thing for sure they were older than they pretended
to be and Mercy put it best by saying if you need someone to keep you warm in
the winter these women was large enough to generate a lot of heat even in the
coldest weather. We went on with our negative evaluation of them and I felt
sorry for them but I had my brother’s future to consider.
The brothers decided to heed our advice and broke off the
correspondence with the ladies in question.
I was glad for I thought that ten years was too great a
difference in their ages to be compatible. Papa sent for me and I didn’t want
to leave Mercy for we were very close.
I asked her if she wanted to marry me and she said she did
so we were wed by a preacher instead of a crew member. She had made some
friends and two of them agreed to go with us and meet my brothers with the idea
of marrying them.
By the time we headed west Mercy was with child and shortly
after we arrived she brought forth a baby boy. He was the first of our
eventually four children. Mercy wanted to call him Isaac.
Phillip and Charles were excited about meeting the two women
and met us when we arrived.
Phillip wanted to go straight to the preacher and marrying
the one he selected but Mercy insisted that the boys get to know the girls
before they decided to take them for wives. She felt that getting married
should be for a lifetime even though mama had divorced papa.
When papa met the two friends of Mercy he wanted to know if
she knew any more like them for him. She
told him one of the girls had lost her father to disease and her mother was a
fine looking woman and was available. He instantly told Mercy to have the girl
send for her mother for he wanted her for a wife.
Mercy agreed to talk to the girl who said it looked to her
like papa was in bad need of a woman for he had been alone for over a year.
They laughed about that. The girl agreed for she said her mother needed a man
about as bad as Papa needed a woman. When the mother arrived the two unmarried
boys and papa all got married at the same time with a grand ceremony.
We heard mama had married the man she was working for and
for some reason she was going to have another child after these several years.
The man she married was very happy about having a family and that was the last
we heard directly from mother. She cut the ties she had with us but from time
to time Mercy would get some news from friends she had in the city.