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Person Sheet

Name James ROSS5
Birth 15 June 1855, Bloomington, McLean Co., IL5
Death 13 June 1935, Hays, Ellis Co., KS5
Occupation Farmer5
1 Magdeline Florence LAUGHLIN6
Birth 23 June 1858, Atchison, Atchison Co., KS5
Death 30 January 1899, Coal Creek, Nemaha Co., KS5
Burial Coal Creek, Nemaha Co., KS5
Marriage 27 January 1880, St. Benedict, Nemaha Co., KS117
Children Vincent Neal (Died as Infant) (1881-1882)
Marie Florence (1883-1905)
Albert Thomas (1884-1975)
Charles Louis (1886-1970)
Catherine Leona (1889-1905)
George Francis (1891-1949)
Edward John (1894-1942)
Francis James (Twin) (1896-1977)
Frederick Charles (Twin) (1896-1979)
William (Died as Infant) (1899-1899)
Notes for James ROSS
Mayme Rochel, James' sister told the following story: Our father, Thomas followed railroading for many years. In the 1860's he came to Hiawatha, Kansas and bought a farm 5 miles south of Sabetha in Brown County. He decided the farm was the place to raise the boys, so in 1873 he rigged up a new covered wagon and three dandy horses and the older boys and myself started for Kansas. It was the year that the grasshoppers invaded Kansas, and on our trip we met a great many people going back. In turn each one told us we would not stay as there was no feed of any kind. We were from Missouri and had to be shown. We enjoyed the trip very much and arrived at the farm one fine day in September of 1873. We found things even worse than we had expected. There was a vacant house across the road. We stopped there. We found an old stove and I did some washing and baked a batch of bread. The boys wrote the folks at home saying we would start back Monday morning. So back w went. The horses made the trip in a day less than when we came out. They knoew they were going home. Then in 1875 we came out again. This time to stay. Found things some better but plenty of grasshoppers for a year or two after that but did little damage. We hardly stopped long enough at noon on our trip to prepare a warm meal. It was hard to always get wheat bread, so rye bread was our only standby as it did not dry out as the other did. Howerver, in after years anyone saying "rye bread" I still could taste it.

We started to build a house and fence the farm. They told us plaster would not stay on the ceiling, so we left that off for a couple of years. The boys hauled the fencing from White Cloud. Then in 1876 our parents came. Father thought a hedge fence was the best, so they got Osage balls and raised the plants and fenced and cross fenced all around. These were happy days. We had always lived in town until we came to Kansas but would not have give up the farm for any city life.

Father bought an ox team, Dick & Darb. We planted sod corn with the hatchet. Carried the corn in our aprons. There were years when wild strawberries were plentiful. We wold gather them by the gallon. Wild gooseberries also. We made soap from wood ashes. Nearly every back yard would have a row of barrels to keep the ashes in with holes made low down. When full of ashes we put water in them and the lye would run in a hopper. If hard soap was wanted, cook it longer. If soft soap, not so long. The soft jelly like soap was fine to take paint or rust from plow and cultivator, shovels, etc.118

Brother, Frank remembered the following: Father bought three horses for the trip to Kansas. One was unbroken. The boys hitched it with one of the other horses to see how the outfit would look. New wagon and new harness. This took place on a side street in Fulton, Missouri. The unbroke horse reared up and put his front feet over the neck yoke of the other horse and came down on his head. An old lady came out of a hourse across the street with a butcher knife in her hand and started to cut the traces to get the horse loose from the wagon. She couldn't cut them so she cut both lines. It happened more help came to hold the horses or we would have had a serious time of it. We started for Kansas ten days later.

One of the horses while being tid to the wagon during the night on our trip had the habit of pulling back on the halter rope. It was unusual if we didn't find ourselves a few rods from the wagon or vice verse in the morning. Sister Mayme slep in the wagon. We three boys slept under the wagon. At least we tried to. 119

James and Magdeline had ten children, two of which died in infancy. Magdeline died in 1899 and In 1901, James and his remaining children moved to Hays, Ellis Co., KS.5
Last Modified 25 March 2007 Created 15 September 2008 using Reunion for Macintosh

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