Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trials of getting settled

West  had built his house and for a barn he plowed the prairie and lifted the sod and built sod walls. He then laid poles across the top of the walls, put brush crossways on the poles and with his scythe, cut the prairie grass and put it on top of the brush for a roof.  He brought his gun over with him.  Game was plentiful here, but one day in coming back from hunting, he laid the gun down saying, "There's no sport in it, there's no game keepers", and strange to say, he never cared much for hunting afterwards.

 As soon as West had entered land in North Tama, his large family of married brothers and sisters, other relatives, many friends, some already in Canada, all began arriving  on Big Creek – even before West had gotten his own family moved.  They continued to arrive for the next ten years;  so many it was like a Scottish clan moving into North Tama.  They settled, for the most part, southwest and west of Buckingham village, around Tranquillity Church.

  In a letter dated Aug. 5, 1856, West's brother in law, John Galt, wrote home to the family still in Scotland with this information: 
            “Dear Father,
We all took the Express train from Chicago to Iowa   City....We expected to meet West Wilson in Iowa City but he did not get our letter till the day we arrived at his   house.  We hired three wagons and six horses to take us from Iowa City to Buckingham which cost Gilbert and me 100 dollars.  It was a very tiresome journey coming in the wagons.  We were very much fatigued.  We had to sleep in and below the wagons and some nights there was temendous thunder and lightning and rain.  We were ten days coming from New York here.    The sea journey is nothing compared to the land journey.....West had not his house up when we arrived and I gave him a hand to get it up and shingled.  We stopped with John Wilson till we finished West's house   and then we stopped a week with him (the first night., thirty-two slept  there in the house and yard.”

Source:  "They Came to North Tama" by Murray

No comments:

Post a Comment