Saturday, August 20, 2011

Little family on the prairie


Lillian and Will's 1st home was a dugout on this timberclaim in Bellwood, Neb.  Amy and Lydia were born there and two years later they built a frame house and moved into it. This is Amy's memory of the dugout.Three children were born to this union, Amy Arvilla, Lydia Luella and Glen Ray. William and Lillian worked hard and loved their family. The children felt this and enjoyed their childhood. 



In the year 1879, on October 19, just in the midst of "Indian Summer, I was born  in small dugout on my father's timber claim.  This was up on the "table land" as it was then called.  This timber claim was in Butler Co., Nebraska.   My sister was born in the same dugout, 15 mos. later.    Long after, my parents told me that I could not remember the dugout, but I told them where the stove was in the middle of the room, the yellow clay floor and walls, the little room, where the bed set, and my trundle bed that went under that larger bed.  I even remembered my mother staying in that bed when my sister was born, although I was only 15 mos. old.  I told them where the one window 
Lydia and Amy Tannahill
was, with a wooden wash bench and always a pail of water and a wash basin.  I remembered very vividly the "thousand legged worms" that now and then invaded the place. They seemed to come suddenly from nowhere, and left just as suddenly.  I have never seen these worms since, but still remember them.  And when I  told my parents these things they were convinced that I remembered the dugout. 
Little beaded Indian purse
Amy continues,"How I loved it when, with my sister and I,  our  mother would go out in the pasture and gather up  "buffalo chips" to burn.  The buffalo trails were deep, narrow paths, going on and on  over the prairie, which was then rapidly being fenced into farms.  This  land was the old Indian campgrounds.  I never remembered the Indians coming to our doors, but used to hear others telling of these things.  While we were very young, the Indian stories and the howling of the coyotes made it very easy to keep us in the house after dark.  Sometimes the Indians would come and want to trade things.  I remember a beautiful little Indian purse that I wanted so much.  I told my father and he went to the Indians and traded something and that night brought me home my little purse.  I have kept that all my life

In 1881 they moved from the dugout into a little frame house that Will had built for his family.

Here is  a picture of that little house a few years later.  There is Lillian (Bowlsby) Tannahill and the little boy is her grandson, Marvin Ray with the dog named Spot.  Little Ray is Glen's son.




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