Tuesday, July 31, 2012

conclusion, transcript of Olive West's letter, traveling west


Mother had a real heartbreaking time when she finally was united with her folks, the Hulberts. Messages between the two families were few and far between, so she hadn’t heard that her mother had died and her father had remarried. Her youngest sister Emily had also died.  She saw for the first time her sister Ellen Blue.  Mother was grief stricken, but the pioneers were made of stern stuff. She could not take time out to grieve, for winter was coming and they had to settle into a farm that father had rented. They put the children in school and the next two years were busy ones.
It was about this time that I was born.  Two years later another boy, James was born. Mother was then 42 years old.
Father then bought a 300 acre farm nine miles north of Eugene and when I was three weeks old we moved in. I lived on that farm for 21 years. My mother Miriah made all my father’s clothes, even his coats and pants and knit all the sock for the family, including the boys’ until they grew up big enough to rebel and get their “boughten” clothes themselves.  She ground all our coffee, made all the soap from ashes taken from the fireplace and mixed with lard.  We girls were taught to wash dishes at seven years old and to churn butter and cook and sew.  We had to do most everything around the house, as mother became a semi-invalid after she was 50 years old. She raised nine children to adulthood except the boy who died in Missouri.  Many of these children became pioneers of the Palouse country. A number of their descendants still live there.  She died an old woman at72, and father at 77. She is buried in the Palouse cemetery plot with her daughter Louise.
Well my story is done. When you read this and see some mistakes I have made please remember that today is the 18 of April 1952 and I am 85 years of age.

Olive McConnell West

Walter Kirk, captain of the wagon train. His son, Crocket Kirk, married Molly McConnell