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11 April 2006 - Tuesday

     We awoke about 6:15 and had to move fast as we had an 8:00 am appointment at the Ford dealer.  After leaving the van in with the service manager we walked over to a Wal-Mart Super Center for a haircut and breakfast.  Apparently we had encountered the only Super Center where a cup of coffee could not be had let alone a meal!  We just couldn’t understand how this type of situation could occur her in the Heartland of America.  When Fred brought the problem to the attention of the store’s management team it was not appreciated, as their response was, “we couldn’t get a cup of coffee either”.  Now with an answer like that he was beginning to feel like he was back home in New Jersey!  Maybe the cozy mom and apple pie lifestyle advertised in those “red states” isn’t all it could be.     Since the hair salon would not open until 9:00 am we entertained ourselves looking at the goods.  By 9:10 the salon operator arrived but two other patrons were ahead of us so we left.  We had no success at the world’s largest retailer.   After returning to the van we drove back into downtown Woodward and found a nice café on Main Street that that was so typical of small town America a quarter century ago but less so today.  Appetites satisfied we headed on to the Courthouse to look up land records in an effort to establish when our great-grandfather Jeremiah E. Moreland had come to Woodward County.  This information would be extremely important in determining the birth location of our maternal grandfather Jerre’ F. Moreland.  We know that Jerre’ was born 25 June 1899 and that his father died in Woodward County 20 November 1901, a mere 29 months later.  Unfortunately we were not able to locate any record of Jeremiah owning property while living here.  After a short stint at the local library we left town at about 1:30 pm and headed northwest towards Kansas.

      In hind sight we realized that we had failed to look for several other records that may have answered our questions as to when Jeremiah had settled in Woodward thus we had left the door open for another trip back to this part of the country.  Out on the prairie the strong crosswinds continuously buffeted the van making it very difficult to drive.  Along the way we saw plots of evergreen trees on the tops of each hill. 

 

Apparently the local government had planted them as wind barriers to stop snowdrifts during the winter.

     Around 4:00 pm we arrived in Liberal, Kansas.  One must surely wonder how this small city got its name.  In 1872 Mr. S.S. Rogers became the first homesteader in what would later become Liberal. Outside of the Cimarron River, water was very scarce in Southwestern Kansas and there was usually a charge for even a small amount; however Mr. Rogers always gave his water free to passing travelers. Quite often he would hear a reply of "that's mighty liberal of you" from the grateful recipients.  By 1885, Mr. Rogers had opened a general store and the government established an official Post Office. It seemed only natural to call the new town "LIBERAL".

     Upon our arrival in town we set about looking for a place to stay overnight.  After consulting our books and maps we decided to check out the Seward County Fairgrounds.  As they were acceptable we paid $10.00 for a site with electric and headed back to the center of town where we visited the local library.  Although we didn’t find any information to assist in our research we did obtain a coupon for dinner at Pizza Hut.  As such we proceeded to the nearest location where we ate salads and a large veggie pizza.  Following this we found a free Internet hot spot near a motel were we checked our email.  Then back to the fairgrounds for the evening.  We rated this place a “2”, which would be expected from a location that was not developed for family camping but rather a place for vendors and exhibitors to hook-up during the annual fair.  During the night the sheriff came by so Fred got out to tell him that we had paid, and he acknowledged that he had already seen out receipt in the windshield. Other that that we slept pretty well this night.

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