Yvonne Dalluge
Kathleen Jacobitz
Marcia Borcher
Sandi Corbitt-Sears
Dick Taylor

Reminiscences of Judd Percival

The following narration describing pioneer life in southeastern Pawnee County was written sometime later, in the early years of the 20th century perhaps around the time of the First World War. Comments and annotations contained in parenthesis below are mine and not of the anonymous author of this work. ~ Dick Taylor, 2001



There are two families left who came in the early day, Del Andrews and family, also the Percival family. 

The first school house was built of logs, but stood thirty rods north of where it now stands, then it was moved three fourths mile north and one half mile west.  The log school house was sold and the new school house was built where it now stands about thirty-one years ago. 

The church was built in 1883.  The main trading point was Old Cincinnati where there were large saw mills and flour mills, but when Dubois was started the trade was all taken away on account of the water overflowing the land. 

There were two stores at Pawnee but was not such a very good trading point.  But if anything of importance was wanted they would take wagons and go to St. Joseph but this meant a five days trip which was excellent time.  They received one and a half dollars per hundred and thirty hundred could be hauled in one load if it will (were?) groceries or dry goods, but not quite so much if it were furniture. 
These trips which he described were made in the fall of 1866 and 1867.  It was really a hard trip of eighty miles which meant constant watching especially at night as horse thieves made attacks upon trading trains also whatever the wagons contained were stolen if not guarded. 

The trips towards St. Joseph was no less dangerous as they always carried the money on their person.  No one ever ventured without a rifle and a revolver strapped to him and no train was complete without a good dog.  The trip was a regular camping outfit as they would have to do their own cooking. 
Mr. Percival also run a thrasking (threshing?) machine and he had gone as far as Humboldt now stands.  He would be gone from home as long as four months at a time with never a house in which to sleep for that length of time but he didn't mind anything of that nature as he had been in the army. 

The social life too was very different in the early day.  If anyone wished a dance which was main amusement, boys would be sent out in all directions, then whoever had a wagon and a team would start out and gather up all on that road.  When by eight o'clock all would be gathered in.  Then would come a big supper, followed by the dance, this dance would last far into the night before anyone would think of going home.


Copyright 2008 Pawnee County History

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