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Hi friends and neighbors of the Marshfield Mail community. We certainly are so very blessed to have plenty of rain this year. After three years of drought I hope I never complain about mud again. O K everyone are we all ready to continue on with our story about how our Native Americans were treated when they were being rounded up for the forced march known as the Trail of Tears? Before we pick up where we left off last week, let me remind everyone about the last eight weeks. During the administrations of President Jackson and Van Buren they both had a joint goal to rid America of the five civilized tribes of Native Americans. Through years of haggling, bogus peace treaties and local hatred from greedy plantation owners and other white settlers our Indian friends stood little chance against the thousands of federal and state troops searching for their capture. Our weekly focus has been on the Cherokees however the other tribes went through similar experiences of torture and brutality. Now let’s bring everyone up to the watering trough of knowledge and remind everyone where we left off last week. General Winfield Scott commissioned Captain Folers with hundreds of federal troops to take over the Valley Flatt Plantation. The soldiers used the Valley Flat as their base of operations to ride up into nearby Cherokee land and bring Indian captives back to keep them incarcerated until the time was ready to begin their forced march to Oklahoma. The Mr Igley Moley of the Valley Flatt wants the rich farmland and slaves of the Cherokees and the army wants to capture the Indians. Idimer Hader is the Valley Flatt’s head henchman and has used a former captured slave of the Cherokees to lead the soldiers to the Cherokees hiding place inside Buzzard Beak Cave. Last week we left off with the soldiers and Idimer surrounding the cave and setting fires inside and outside to smoke the Indians and slaves out for capture. O K my faithful readers one more step. Mount up your favorite history horse to take us back into the past for this week’s sad story. All mounted? Let’s ride! Close your eyes count to three and —------ we made it! We are now in stealth mode invisible to everyone around us below. Let’s listen and watch–oh, over there by the cave entrance, fire is raging while the Indians and slaves are trapped inside. Idimer Hader, “O K men, them Injuns and slaves will be coming out like rats before you know it.(suddenly a 6 year old Indian child comes running out screaming and crying) Idimer Hader, “let me get him. (Idimer spurs his old mule and ropes the kid and dragging him around while he is screaming and hollering in pain. He stops and from a distance begins talking in Cherokee) We have one of your Di-Ni-Yo-TLI. (means children in Cherokee) Come out or else!” Instantly the child’s father comes running out with a rifle and a barrage of gunfire from the awaiting soldiers opens up and he is killed instantly.) O K rambling readers let’s listen inside the cave to what is going on with our trapped Indians and slaves. Chief Rain Frog, Tender Leaf the school teacher, Ezekiel the slave that used to be with the Cherokees until Idimer captured him and others are frantically running around dipping up water to put out the internal fires. Chief Rain Frog, “Everyone come together we must council! We finally got the fires out. Tall Tree has already been shot and killed by the white men trying to rescue his son.” Swift Horse—raising up his spear, “I say we all go out together and charge the white men and destroy them now!” Tender Leaf, “No! Please listen to me. The White Soldiers have many guns waiting for us. We must think of the future of our children and people. We must have faith that we can endure this present trial and persevere for the future of our people. I say we surrender. Otherwise we all perish.” Little Fox, “I will never surrender to them. I would rather die than surrender and be the white man's slave. What do you think Ezekiel? You’ve been the white man's slave for the last three years and our’s since birth.” Ezekiel, “ My family and people here have no choice. We either will die here today or we more
Not too many years ago could be found on many dairy farmers’ calendars the telephone number of their “cow breeder.” more
Hi rambling friends and neighbors of the Marshfield Mail. I’m very glad to be back to share week 7 about the history of the Trail of Tears. We have a lot of ground to cover this week so let’s begin with a review of the last six weeks. At one time our country had Native Americans everywhere. As the white men approached they pushed them off of their land. President Andrew Jackson had as his priority to remove our Native Americans from the United States to take them to the Oklahoma Territory by any means possible. He assigned General Winfield Scott with thousands of federal troops. In addition the locals were asked to join in to help locate and capture Indians that did not go willingly. The most prominent of the Native Americans were the Cherokees since they were considered wealthy and many were educated. In addition they owned over 1500 black slaves and even gold was discovered on their land in northern Georgia. Our priority through the rambling weekly articles has been on the Cherokees. O K folks: are we all ready to ride? Our magical history horses are all saddled and ready to get started. My personal horse ‘Flashback’ is already saddled along with the others. Mount up, close your eyes, count to three. Whoa! We made it. We are now in Northern Georgia overlooking the Valley Flat Plantation. Idimer Hader and the federal troops are getting started to ride out to search and find by any means where the Cherokees are located and bring them back in chains and put them in stockades until the time to begin moving them. Let’s listen in and watch for ourselves what is going on. Idimer Hader, (speaking and pointing at one of his slaves) “hey Mulebone, go get Ezekiel and bring him here. He’s in the cotton barn.” Mulebone, “Yes sir Master Hader.” Mulebone goes over to the cotton barn and sends Ezekiel to Idimer Hader. (O K readers I need to give you a little background about Ezekiel. Originally he was with his family and a slave for the Cherokee Indians and his master was Chief Rain Frog. One day Idimer Hader was going after a runaway slave in Cherokee country when he found Ezekiel picking peaches. Being that Ezekiel was a strong healthy black man he knew he would make a fine slave for the Valley Flat Plantation. He captured him and brought him back. Ever since he has made it known that he wants to return. Once he escaped and Idimer captured him back and gave him a severe whippin’) Idimer Hader, “Ezekiel, how would you like to join up with your family again? Ezekiel, “Master Hader, yes sir I would! Do you really mean it?” Idimer Hader, “Sure do we’re going to Cherokee land now. You find your family members and you will get to be with them. Go saddle Windstorm and ride with us.” Ezekiel, “Yes sir Master Hader.” (In the meantime Captain Folers of the federal troops begins questioning Idimer Hader while Ezekiel is gone saddling up his horse.) Captain Folers, “Idimer, what’s the meaning of taking a slave with us? We don’t need him. I thought you knew where all of the Cherokees lived.) Idimer Hader, Don’t you understand? Ezekiel has lived with the Cherokees for over 30 years; he knows all of their hiding places and everything about them. I am using him to find his family alright but also to find your Cherokees for you. We will both be happy. You get your Injuns and I get their slaves for the Valley Flatt Plantation.) O K rambling friends let’s take a little break and fast forward two weeks. We are now looking down at Chief Rain Frog’s cabin and village where his people used to live. It is very obvious they have left the area and are in hiding. Captain Folers “Idimer—- where are the Indians?” Idimer Hader, “Don’t worry Captain we will find our Indians. Just be patient with me and don’t say anything. Let’s pay a little visit with Ezekiel; he's at the end of the column. (meanwhile Idimer and the Captain ride back to where Ezekiel is) Idimer, “Ezekiel, we made it. It’s just like you told us. I don’t see your family or your old Master Chief Rain Frog. Tell you what I will do. I'll give you two weeks of food and we will turn around and go back to the Valley Flat more
Hi rambling readers. I am so very glad to be back in the saddle for week number five to continue our series about the Trail of Tears. O K–- let me catch everyone up that may have missed a week and for the new readers that need to know where we are in this story. A quick summary is: 190 years when Andrew Jackson was president he pushed congress and our nation to rid our country of all Native Americans. Fraudulent peace treaties, unfair laws and the power of the United States military were very successful in capturing the vast majority of the Indians by any means. We also learned that the Cherokees were very educated and lived in log cabins, owned hundreds of slaves and many had adapted the Christian religion. O K, enough review, let's get started! I already have our history horses saddled for everyone to ride with me in stealth mode into the past. Please mount up and let’s go ride and observe and listen in- first person- present tense. Let’s begin where we left off last week. Close your eyes–count to three. One, two, three–swish we made it! Look below—-friendly reminder: Mr Igley Moley of the Valley Flat Plantation is joining up forces with General Winfield Scott of the United States Army. The army is after the Indians and Mr Moley wants their slaves and land by any means. Let’s all hideout in the clouds above and listen in on Mr Moley and General Scott negotiating terms as they are eating supper. The servants are serving Mr Moley with his family and General Winfield Scott a fabulous meal. Steak, sweet potatoes, gravy and peach pie. Mr Igley Moley, how about it General anything more my servant can serve you? “ General, “I’m fine this has been one fine meal!” Mr Igley Moley, “very well let’s go into my study and join me for one of our cigars that we market and make ourselves. General Scott, “I would be delighted Mr Moley.” (Mr Moley and General Scott get up and go to the study room and sit down and light up cigars.) General Scott, “not bad, this is a great cigar, no wonder your plantation is famous for its cigars.” Mr Moley, “thank you general—- we ship wagon loads of our cigars and tobacco per year up to you yankees. General Winfield Scott, O K Mr Moley let’s get down to business and discuss terms. I have 500 soldiers camped on your land this evening and I appreciate you letting me use your mule barn as a stockade for the captured Cherokees we are holding until we can send them to Oklahoma.” Mr Moley, the Valley Flat joins Cherokee land on our northern border. I believe we can work together.” General Scott, “Mr Moley I am going to be to the point. I want to use your plantation as a staging area for my soldiers and I want to build stockades for the captured Indians. Also: I need the use of your slaves to build stockades for the Indians and to grow enough food for my troops and fodder for our horses. I will keep my troops busy day and night rounding up the Indians.” Mr Moley, “Very well General. You have some high demands however I can do it for the right price. I will need double the income I received last year from my cotton and tobacco acres. General Winfield Scott, “money is no problem Mr Moley. President Jackson wants these Indians captured and removed quickly! Mr Moley, “General you have a deal.” General Winfield Scott, “not quite so fast, Igley Moley there’s one more condition that must be met before we shake hands. I want Idimer Hader as my personal scout and tracker for the duration of rounding up the Indians. His reputation is infamous for his ability to track runaway slaves.” Mr Igley Moley, “now you have gone too far. He’s needed here to keep my slaves in line.” General Scott, “no deal without Idimer Hader and his mule.” Mr Igley Moley, mmmm O K I tell you what I can do. We get all the slaves and land that the Cherokees own when we capture the Cherokees.” General Scott, “It's a deal Mr Igley Moley. You want to shake hands and we start tomorrow?” (The two men shake and finish smoking their cigars) Whoa up rambling friends. Just think about what we have all seen and heard. Mr Moley and General Scott are more
The farmer down the road was the first person to pay me for working. more
I told myself I wouldn’t write this column, but Angela just won’t let go, nor would I wish it so. This is for all who mourn Angelas of their own: more
Hi rambling friends and neighbors. I am so very honored to be back for a new exciting adventure that all of us will enjoy and learn about our local history. Now for a little bit of background to explain why this is so very important. I have always liked stories from the past, especially the 1800’s. Forty years ago I soon realized that many of our families have Indian lineage in our family trees. I often wondered why and soon discovered that the Trail of Tears is the reason. Today nearly everyone has heard something about the forced march of the Indians through our county of long ago. Now let’s go back to a story that I heard in 1990 about a family of Indians that came to our county to pay respect for their fallen family member as a result of the forced march. I will admit I simply could not shake this story from my head so I began researching and going back into the past to the root reason why they came through to begin with. I want everyone to sit back at this time and pay close attention to everything written this week because in the future everything will hinge on this background knowledge to understand (the rest of the story) as the famous Paul Harvey used to say. Also: dear friends: I have a whole herd of special horses for all of you to ride with me into the past to understand and personally witness for yourself what happened. Other writers tell you about their story- as a rambling reader you can read and watch both. O K everyone got your mount picked out? We are riding into the past to the year of 1829 and President Andrew Jackson was our president and he was a ( I don’t care what you think) kind of President. One of his first actions was firing everyone from the past administration and hiring his own people to run the country. This custom began with his administration and is continued today as a result of President Jackson. Also: General Jackson years earlier was the hero of: ‘The battle of New Orleans.’ Alright everyone, I see that everyone is mounted. Follow me, let's ride!------- Whoa everyone!! Let’s look at what our country looked like long ago. Everything looks so very different. Congress is in session and President Jackson is speaking .Let’s all listen to President Jackson telling members of congress what he wants to accomplish during his term. “I want all of the civilized tribes of the Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw and especially the Cherokees to be removed from our country. I am going to submit the Indian Removal Act soon and I want congress to pass it and I’ll sign it. Our country will be much better without Indians in our land. I want them all to be sent to a place called the Oklahoma Territory, the land of red clay and rattlesnakes.” O K my friends let me tell you a few back stories as we listen to Andrew Jackson talking again. The five civilized tribes were considered a threat to white Europeans citizens because they were educated and many of them had adopted the White man’s ways. The Cherokees in particular were worrisome to Jackson and considered them a threat and a scourge. The governor of Georgia was a good friend to Jackson and let’s fast forward a bit and listen in on their conversation. Governor Gilmer: “President Jackson we have been good friends for several years. Now I think we both share the same sentiments about the Indians. They are educated, well respected by many and even gold has been discovered on their land. My state is passing a law making it legal to take everything away from the Indians especially the Cherokees and Seminoles! President Jackson: “well done my friend, If I have my way I am going to get congress to give me the authority to tell them to get out or I will round them up like cattle and force them out of our great country. I want it to be my greatest accomplishment that I –Andrew Jackson was responsible for removing all the Indians. Don’t worry Governor Gilmer I will not let you down.” Governor Gilmer, “Thank you my friend I knew I could count on you for support on this personal matter.” Oh my rambling friends, these two aren’t very nice! Now let’s give you some more back stories, The process of trying to more
Nearly a century ago, Vance Randolph began wandering the hills and hollers of the Ozarks visiting rich and poor alike, on shady porches, and beside the welcoming fire of foxhunters. Truly a man of the people, he listened to bankers, ferrymen, hunters, doctors and itinerant berry pickers, recording what he heard, saving large swaths of Ozark country’s culture in story and song. He made every attempt to meet and try to understand the people he was recording, by “immersing himself in village life, contributing items for the paper, dabbling in local politics” and in some cases living with his informants for several months. This culminated in classics such as Ozark Magic and Folklore, Who Blew up the Churchouse?, and finally the bawdy collection, Pissing in the Snow. His newest work, Mildred Quit Hollering! holds true to all previous volumes, and provides fresh commentary on the subject matter. Published forty-three years after his death, this volume became a labor of love for Curtis Copeland, who was given the unfinished collection by Dr. Gordon McCann who in turn, had received it from Randolph himself. more
I want to thank the citizens of Marshfield for electing me to another term as Mayor. The weight of this honor does not go unnoticed. I want to thank all of those that showed support by delivering Easter eggs, watching the forum or even a simple message to say you were on my side. It all means the world to me. Your confidence in my continued leadership is humbling and so appreciated! more
Good news, armchair critics: Young people can still write compelling and coherent prose and poetry with exceptional candor and grammatical skill. more
Last night around 11 p.m., we heard a familiar noise from the darkened hallway outside our bedroom door. It was part moan, part growl and part muffled meow. Tom and I glanced at each other because we knew what that sound meant. Percy had another mouse. more
Continued from the Feb. 28 edition of the Marshfield Mail: more
Hello to all my wonderful friends and rambling reader family. I will admit it has been a tough week for me because I have had a mental war going on between my ears. more
One hundred and thirty years ago, John Bollinger, who owned and operated the water mill in the vicinity of Pitts and Burford, had a dog that went mad. According to the Chronicle, before it could be killed it bit several head of cattle, numerous hogs and a flock of ducks; more
The Missouri Ozarks are chock full of both caves and legends about them. Gaudily colored advertising of outlaws and wayward conquistadors, cry forth from tourist brochures, billboards and painted barn tops, often alluding to buried hordes of plunder. Caves with more credible tales get more dignified advertising and historic markers. These “cave tales” whether true or not have one big difference with Marshfield’s subterranean wonderland; those caves actually exist. It is easy to build a cave legend around some wild tale. In Marshfield we seem to have legends “of” a cave, rather than those “about” one. Where did they come from? Three answers, wagons, newspapers and land speculation. more
A submitted response from David Tunnell, who brings us  a different story from his grandfather George Tunnell regarding last week's “Quote of the Week”.  He writes: more
Have you ever heard the legend of the cave? For generations, tales have persisted that beneath Marshfield lay a grotto of extraordinary breadth and depth, connecting many of the buildings around the square. The stories range from outlandish to downright plausible, with no one able to put an “X” on a spot of known entry. Rumors of alleged openings, some still supposedly in use, follow every building with a lower level. The only thing found thus far that even closely denotes an entrance is/was an old cistern in the back of the Ritz, which served in the theater days as part of an arcane cooling system. It is unknown whether it survived the remodel, but pictures of it can be seen at the museum. Scouring the rock outcroppings in the park and springs around the city yields nothing, but every old-timer you ask, can relate, with a twinkle in his eye, about somebody long dead, “who coulda told ya.” more
Species: Eastern Bluebird more
Jan. 26, 2024 more
A friend called a few days ago asking if I had a lantern she could borrow, not an unusual request from someone needing a light, but she had another purpose. more
Last week I wrote about “Mean Girls” and the problem of having seen a version of the movie before, which made it too familiar and predictable. I meant it in a very literal sense – there was a 2004 movie called “Mean Girls,” written by Tina Fey, with basically the same characters and story (though no more
Hi to all my wonderful rambling friends. I am glad to be back for another story from the past. Last Tuesday, I had a call from a school wanting to bring 100 third graders to Frontier Theater for their annual spring field trip. I told the teacher that I was no longer hosting school field trips. Folks, for those who do not know, I started Frontier Theater in 1989. For five years, it featured many different venues. In 1994, we hosted our first school field trip. Long story short, the park entertained and educated over 100,000 kids. We featured Native American Skills, Early Settler Adventures, and Civil War Reenactments. Plus: old-fashioned games and much more. Friends, I can not begin to tell you how wonderful our artisans and reenactors were. The best of the best! The kids loved and respected them greatly. more
I’ve come across the word “anachronism” often in reading, but I was never exactly sure what it meant. Context usually hinted it was something out of place, but I wanted to be sure; so, as a last resort I looked it up in the dictionary. more
Hi to all my rambling friends of Webster County and beyond. A few weeks ago, I was driving down Old Wire Road (west of Marshfield off of Hwy 38 and E ) and noticed a crew of skilled masonry workers. They were restoring the old spring house that kept the milk cool before electricity was available across from the famous Hosmer dairy barn. O.K. folks: Let’s all go back into the past and review when the Hosmer’s dairy operation was the pinnacle of all dairy herds. During the early 1900s, the Wire Road was the main travel route through Webster County. In addition, Highway 38 West from Marshfield was nothing but a dirt trail. When the Hosmer’s first began they milked a handful of cattle with the aspirations of expanding. They were always trying to improve and be the best. Through hard work and good management, they expanded over the years to an unheard number of 100 cows. more
Now that we’ve had a cold snap – and along with it, snow – we can say that winter is here. Although many of the conditions associated with winter (snow, ice, cold weather, etc.) make us grumble, it should be pointed out that there is a bright side. Because of our recent periods of less-than-balmy weather, it should be a great time to see one of the area’s most eye- catching winter visitors – bald eagles. more
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