Thursday, April 24, 2008

Krajicek Story About Early Days In Nebraska

Because we are getting to know our Krajicek ancestors just a little better through the blog, I thought this little piece of their family history might be interesting for those who have never heard this story.

From letter of Rose Krajicek Allgeier in Round Robin, January 23, 1967 – received January 26, 1967 (Mother had handwritten Rose’s notes, but I have typed them to save space on the blog)

Back to bygone years. When Mother and Father were building the sod house on the claim, they went to Pine Ridge across the Niobrara River and cut logs for the roof. We kids were supposed to debark them as our part of the work.

Henry was about 6 months old and we had to take care of him. Mother had gone the three quarters of a mile to Mrs. Schultz’s and Lou was using the little ax to loosen the bark. We had Henry sitting by and like a baby he had to help, so he reached over and his little finger mixed with the ax.

We were all frantic. Lou picked him up and ran all the way to Mother. Mrs. Schultz chewed snuff, I guess or tobacco. Anyway she grabbed chunk of the stuff from her mouth and bound it to the little finger. It grew together in no time, but Henry always had that broken finger nail.

Stanley had a job herding cows for Tom O’Keefe at Nonpariel, which was 17 miles or so away. He would come home sometime on Sunday. Father had to stay in Alliance most of the time on account of his tailoring business. When he came out he would cut some sod and then we would help Mother build the sod walls as high as our supply lasted. We thought it was fun to run up and down the walls as the sod was laid as if building stairs.

We hauled our water from the Niobrara River in a barrel, guess it was two barrels, which was five miles and that road was an old Indian trail which ran up and down over hills and rocky hillocks. Those barrels bounced around in back of the wagon and old Jack and Bill, the oxen, would run down with the wagon pushing them, then back up the hill they had to pull it. Mother surely had a time to control the entire outfit. She had to tie the barrels so we would get home with our supply. As it was, we did get our backs soaked as the water splashed from side to side in the barrel. The Crow Agency wasn’t very far away and some Indians often crossed through our land.

Father decided he would try digging a well; it was in a draw where it was very rocky. The farther down he dug the more rocks we found. To us it was fun finding all those pretty rocks; however that was all he did find; even if he had dug through to China!

That first summer we raised some wheat and in the fall had a threshing crew at the farm. All the farmers wives were very wonderful in bringing foodstuffs and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves even with all the work there was to be done. The wheat was stored in one end of the house until Father bought some sacks.

Father and Mother were ardent and beautiful dancers and of course, they had to take us along, all riding in the wagon box on some straw. Those of you who have read “The Virginian” will have a good picture of everybody’s kids being packed on the floor of one room to bed, while the parents enjoyed the dancing.

I remember the old covered wagon in which we moved out from Alliance, a dilapidated tarp covered it about half way. There was more of “us kids” than furniture. Mother’s feather beds, some quilts made from samples of good for men’s suits, as Father used to have in the shop. I remember we stopped that first day going out, at Tim O’Keefe’s farm over night. She had some old lace curtains on the windows which I thought were very wonderful.

Stanley, Lou and I started to school that fall. We had three miles to walk. Didn’t seem to think much about it as walking went. It wasn’t Kindergarten stuff, it was first grade. You had to be smart in those days. Father and Mother had taught us the “1-2-3’s and ABC’s before we ever started to school, but they were in the Czech language.


Elizabeth said...

We are so fortunate to have this story from Rose. It opens a window to a family that we want to know more about. Thank you for printing it.

Judy said...

Don't stop! Is there more? This is good stuff and really breaths life into the pictures and names.

Louise Blood said...

Great family history story.