Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
Pages 6 to 11
Life of Jethro Bachelder
1840 - 1933


1865 In January went home to see father. Back again in the spring.

The American desert from Omaha to Denver was six hundred miles. A few white people on the route. These were the ranchers.

Sixteen miles apart, where Ben Halladay's men changed horses on the stage line. One stage coach going west and one east every day. Twelve to fourteen passengers. Many Mexicans on the road and thousands of hostile Indians ready to take your scalp. More so at one o'clock in the morning. At that time they would circle around us screaming to frighten us. It did too. They rode their fleet Indian ponies.. The Government ordered us not to move until we had one hundred wagons, so we were quite safe. We formed ours into a corral in the shape of an egg. Tongues of the wagon outside the one in front. Just space enough for a man to stand with his rifle and pistol to defend us from the Indians. Four wagons that year, sixteen tons., and not a scratch from the savages.
 

1865 The third trip, left Omaha with six wagons. A very severe winter was had at Giroux and Dion's; ranch two months. At Butt's ranch near Julisburg six weeks. Rode the pony to Julisburg, nine miles. Purchased a small bottle of strychnine and poisoned twenty-seven coyotes and got one beaver in one of the small streams. Had them tanned. Had them tanned and made a sleigh robe of their pelts with tails pendent. Gave to my father. Also an overcoat with beaver collar and cuffs. I did the poisoning alone. 

At first I invited the boys to join me. They said it was not worthwhile. But I was doing. so well they wanted to join. I said "No, you tried to discourage me, now I will remain alone". They called me The Hudson Bay Company. Quite a compliment. We moved on to Ogallolah Ranch. Then on to Living Springs. Then through a blizzard day to Box Elder. We could not see the nearest wagon, but the oxen seemed to keep the road. The pony strayed away once. I had the rear wagon, called the pony back he came squealing. I tied him to the wagon. We reached Box Elder at four in the afternoon. Our clothing full of snow. Nearly frozen. Chained the oxen to the wagons for the night. Had we let them go I doubt if we ever would have found them again. The Indians would have had a feast. The ranch was vacant with plenty of wood, so we passed a comfortable thirty-six hours there. All the oxen had to eat was a few spears of grass sticking up through the snow. Next day was bright. Snow was nearly all melted. We got news that the owners of the land returned and were murdered by the Indians two months after we left. When we reached Denver I put the wagons into Tabers Elephant Corral. Big enough to hold twelve prairie schooners. We had loaded our wagons with flour, bacon and sorghum syrup on arrival at Denver. Flour was worth sixteen dollars a sack 100 lbs. It had a few days before sold for twenty dollars. Mr. Taber advised me to wait for another rise but instead it fell and we sold at nine-fifty. I lost on four hundred sacks $2600.00. I had one mowing machine billed at one hundred and twelve dollars for freight. The man it was consigned to disputed the weight. I had it weighed 

in his presence. It cost him one hundred and sixteen dollars and seventy cents. He said nothing but paid. Our provisions cost us,-- flour at the mill $2.50 a sack, bacon eight cents, eggs eight cents, coffee thirteen cents. I was cook.. In winter on the road, bought a steer. Butchered it ourselves and sold to others as we moved along. We could in summer buy two hind legs of antelope from the Indians for twenty-five cents.
1865          - In eighteen sixty-four and five on the plains from Fort Treavery to Denver there were millions of buffalo. A continual cloud of dust was in the air. Weigh a ton or more. They were with their heads down and woe to the man in their path. They had destroyed in the past heavy wagons loaded with goods, only dust left to tell the tale.
1866 - Returning to Omaha, I wanted to go home to see Father and my brother said "No, stay and earn a. thousand dollars which we have always paid you for coming through Indian country." No, I must go now. I bought in Omaha the best suit of clothes that I could. A green whitish corduroy, shirts, socks, boots, cowboy hat. Reached home May 9th. The tenth a bright sunny morning. Sitting on the verandah. (Father kept the Post Office) I saw three people coming up the lane. A man and wife I knew. The third, a beautiful young lady that I had never seem. I fell in love with her at once. I said "Frank, if you please, I will walk home with you". I kept one eye on the girl and she eyed me. She told me later that she saw all at a glance, hat, blue eyes, full brown whiskers, suit of clothes. All perfect in her eyes. She was from Ottawa, Canada.. Studying French and music in a French convent. Living with her grandparents, two aunts and one uncle one hundred and fifty miles from home. 
I saw her quite often. She came often Saturdays to practice singing hymns for church service next day. She would say, "Have you a sleigh to take me home?" Sure I had. I met her often at a cousins. She would send me a note, "Meet in the parlor at ten.". It. was winter. I would stand outside the window. She would open it and I would crawl in and stay two hours without a light. The only chance I had to see her was to meet her on the sidewalk. Just a word or two at a time. I kissed her once in the hall at her Grandfather's. Then I knew that she loved me. After ten months I asked her to marry me. Said yes. Then I said I shall write to your father for their consent. "Oh", she said, "No, if you do, Father will order me home and I do not want to leave you". She says " Is there no other way without going to our church?" I said Yes., will you go?". She said "Where you go, I go". That was on Thursday. We will go next Saturday when there will be crowds at the market. ? Saturday morning my brother was in the sleigh. Father came and said "Where are you going?" "To be married to Sarah Cousens". "I would not, I never liked her family."

"Father she is quite different" Arriving at the town, I left the rig outside away from the centre of town, my brother in the sleigh. I met her going home to dinner. She said she would come with me. I waited a long time for her. Soon she came walking fast. After we got into the sleigh I asked her why the delay?
 

She said that in talking at the dinner table her aunt did not like something she had said and gave her a slap in the face. We drove sixteen miles to St.Johns, Province of Quebec. Took the train for (Rouses) Point , New York. At six o'clock we were married. As we stood up, I led her back a few feet and told her that I was a poor man, a farmer's son. If she could see any fault in me, now was the time to say it.. She took me by the hand and said, "I like you as you are". Were married,, March 8, 1867, and started home next morning. Home Sunday night. Stayed at my sister's. Next morning her grandfather came up to see us. Said "I am glad that you are married for I always respected you." Canada does not recognize such marriages. Go to our church and marry again. I drove to church to see if the Rev. Mr. Thornedy would marry us. An English officer who was our clergyman. I told him, his wife and three daughters. They all laughed. He said that I had taken the bull by the horns.. We were remarried in a few days 16th March. She was a beautiful Christian. Played the organ in the church for many years. I stayed home and got the dinner.

1868 - In 1868 I took care of my father's farm. He had cataracts on both eyes and my mother was frail. Father died in 1882 - 84 years of age. Mother died in. 1892 - 72 years of age. Twenty-two years of care of my parents. I am reaping the reward that God promises to those who honor their father and mother. I am in my ninetieth year (1930). There were eight children born to us -four boys and four girls. One son dead at five years of age. Another at fourteen of pneumonia. The other six are still living. Four sons and four daughters. They have to be an honor to any country they live in. 
1867 - Sarah was from the city and had no knowledge of the farm but in less than two years she was the best farmer's wife that I ever knew. Economical, meals all timed to the minute. Never had to milk nor feed a calf, chickens or make butter. Had plenty of work in the house. Had perfect confidence in each other, so happiness reigned supreme. We went to Nebraska soon after marriage. I got undulant fever in July and Sarah in September. Both in bed at the same time. For nine months didn't earn one dollar. The only relief was to return home. Ascidulated milk cured us both, never to return. 
Father had cataracts on both eyes, and my mother was frail, so I took management of the farm at fifty-fifty. I did that and took care of my young family at the same time in a separate house.  I did that until father died in 1882 and mother in 1892. I treated them the best I knew how. Now I am reaping the reward God offered to those who honor their father and mother. I am now in my 90th year and healthy as a child. (1930). I give notice to those who abuse their parents, the great pleasure they might have had. With God you can have everything.. Without Him you have nothing. Praise God by doing: your work well.
1870- Sarah's people visited us all at the same time and called my horne the house of plenty. Walter (son) was born.
1871 - Took prizes and cups every year. First or second.
1872 -  Made- from 400 to 500 gallons of maple syrup each year.
1874 - Had an apple orchard of grafted fruit. The best flavored apples in the world grow in the Province of Quebec. William Cousens Bachelder (son) was born.
1875 - A young gentleman, William Smalley, Newark, N.J. came to Rougemont for his health. Lived high up in the mountain. Came often to the post-office which I kept. Both my wife and I liked him. Spentmany evenings with him.
 Although I had no diploma, I engaged to teach our school. In the two winter months that I taught, the scholars said they had never learned so much any year before. Their age was from seven years to twenty. My son Walter died of scarlet fever. Bought the first mowing machine. A made in New York state. One of the best ones made. Arthur Lloyd Bachelder (son) was born.
1876 - On October 1st Sias Standish and I went to the Philadelphia Centennial. Mr. Smalley, had invited us to stop at his fathers before going to Philadelphia. Young Smalley had been there but went with us again. One day while there met Charley Frageure. We took him to one boarding place where we paid one dollar a day for board and lodging. A good place too. There was so much to see. When we got home could hardly tell what we had seen. Wonderful.
1877 My wife's grandfather died. Aged eighty-two years.
Aunt Harriet, Uncle Sias's wife died in her seventy-eighth year. William Smalley died of consumption in the pine woods of Wisconsin at a sanatorium. He died at 2 A.M. for he called my name.
1879 Uncle Sias Bachelder died , eighty-two.
George Whitfield from Barbadoes bought a large farm once owned by Mr. Charles Wilkins. - East side of my farm. He was worth ten hundred and eighty thousand dollars and built barns that housed seven kinds of purebred cattle. Cattle business on a big scale. Created a great sensation. Got many prizes at every prominent cattle show in Canada. Not being accustomed to the cattle business lost nearly all he had and died in 1902. This wife left New York for Barbados in 1911 and died there. I was with her when she took ship to sail.
1880 George Whitfield Bachelder (son)  was born.  (See George and Margaret Bachelder photo page)
Mr. Smalley senior and son, from Newark, New Jersey came to visit me. Stayed two weeks. The father left, and the son George stayed a month longer. He took a great fancy to a black horse that he bought for three hundred and fifty dollars.
1882 My father died the 22nd May, 1882 in his 84th year. A man that did much to help the community in which he lived. The railway was building that he had used his best endeavors to secure. He did not live to see it. Built two weeks after the track laying was in sight.
1882 I hired Nils Bovin ( a Swede) to work on the farm. The most competent man that I ever had. He stayed with us twenty-six years. Buried many large stones. Laid drains on every part of the farm. Re-built old line fences. Gathered up small stones and laid stable floor in cement. Built a cement pit to hold both dry and liquid manure inside the stable. If every farmer would preserve manure in that way, there would be less cry of poor crops. He was always kind and polite to my wife and children. Went to Sweden four times during his stay with me. Died in Sweden in 1908 of Bright's disease.
1885 Mr. William Cousens of Ottawa, my wife's father died. He had done a great part in the development of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. An admirable gentleman.
1888 J. A. Mercier (a Jesuit) elected in our County of Rouville. Member of Parliament. He played his game and proved what he was. The Jesuits had been expelled many years before. He reimbursed them with commercial money for their losses. Died a poor man.
1891 -The Quebec Government sent judges for Agricultural purposes to judge the best farms. They gave me a silver medal for the best farm in the province for that year. They photographed the farm buildings. I am looking at them as I write. I have the medal also. A success that I am still proud of thirty-nine years after.
1892  My step-mother died at her brother's in Frelightsburg in February. On her sick bed she told me that she would rather die at my home. She, in her will, gave me all her possessions. She had been a good mother to me. Came as mother when I was thirteen years of age and died when I was fifty-two.
1893  Robert Paterson, my brother-in-law, came to my house in July. A sick man and died in October. He said he could not pay my wife and I for the trouble that he had given us, but that his son Walter would do so. It has not come yet, - 1930.
1894 - My sister, Mrs. Gilmore and I visited my brother Sias in Nebraska. He was very ill. He was so glad to see us that he said he gained one thing by being sick, a visit from us. The two weeks that we were there he improved rapidly and was soon on his feet again.
My father made his will. In it he said that after mother died, I was to pay my brothers and sisters three hundred dollars each in six years. There were six to pay.
1898
 In the six years I paid all except Mrs. Daniel Austin (Harriet) then living in New York. I requested her on the last payment to name some reliable person to receive the last payment near my home so I could show at the Land Office that I had paid the whole debt and cancel the mortgage at the Registry. She could not understand. When I sold my farm in 1910, I had five receipts but that did not remove the mortgage. So I went to New York and paid the last payment and three hundred dollars. The farm cost me a lot but it was a nice home. I never regretted it.
1901 -I lengthened my barn that was thirty-six feet by adding fifty feet. My neighbors said "What do you intend to do with such a big barn?" In 1910, The year I sold I had to stick forty tons of hay outside. No room in the barn. My neighbor, Hyde Bachelder, sold his farm to Granville Gilmore, my nephew. Has planted the whole to apple trees.
1903 -My brother Sias, living in Nebraska, died. Seventy years of age.
I bought a hay farm two miles from home for sixteen hundred and sold in 1910 for eighteen hundred. The farm, when I took it from father was worth four thousand dollars. When I sold in 1910 - seventeen thousand and five hundred. People called me the scientific farmer. After I had sold, Walter Standish asked me how much I owed others. I said "Not one cent." "What? With all the improvements you have made, you will take all that money with you?" I said "Yes, it is mine." I moved to Manitoba where my son Arthur had bought a farm.
1906  Hyde Bachelder died in Quebec.
1910  Sold my farm for thirteen thousand, stock and agricultural implements for four thousand, five hundred more.
1909  Mrs. Gilmore (sister) died. Dr. Davidson and I were the executors. He was a tough one. Really a dictator.
1910 
 
- Arthur left for Manitoba the first of July with a carload of six horses, wagons, etc. After I had removed the furniture, my wife went to her mother's in Ottawa. I stayed on to get settlement for the farm. I had taken a mortgage for $7500.00 at 5%. I sold it to Louis Alex for $7300.00 cash. In December I sold the store for Arthur for $1800.00 cash. Sarah and Cozzie Cousens and I stayed a few days at Cousens. 
      

I stopped at Winnipeg with Annie (daughter). Next day we found Arthur and had Christmas dinner. He is on a farm of 685 acres, living in a house 12 x 20. Etta (daughter) was his housekeeper. There were deep open ditches to drain the land.
 

1911  Sarah came in April. We took an apartment on Crescent Court, Winnipeg. $30.00 per month not furnished. I invested $4000.00 in Winnipeg Paint and Glass Company. Walter Paterson got 40 shares for me. Trusted him because he was my nephew. W&P paid two percent dividends for three years.

 
 

If you have comments or additions please e-mail Bonnie Cromwell at walt.cromwell@sympatico.ca.
 
 

All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright © 2000 Bonnie Cromwell