Abbie B., age 21, Pennsylvania


I had a glorious ride home Fri. evening.  I did not get started until after 4 o’clock, and these short days – the sun sets early, but it was not dark, for the moon shone in all her glory.  It was a grand evening for a gallop over the prairie to the timber.  Mrs. Butler lets me have her pony to ride when ever I want it.  A hard trotter, but then she will gallop – and when I go home I ride fast but coming back Sundays I start early, and ride fast or slow, just as I feel.  Yesterday I was three hours coming the 8 miles.

Sunday one of Hiram’s neighbors was buried.  I went with them to the house, but could not go to the church or grave yard, as it would have made me too late starting  [XX]  [here].  When we got there several men were making a rough box which when finished they sent to the grave yard.  After a time the coffin was carried out, put in a big wagon – a sheet spread over it, and they started for the church.  Not a word was said, no preacher there.

There was to be a funeral service at the church.  Mrs. Brown’s had been buried some two years before, but his funeral sermon had not yet been preached, So that Sunday both Mr. & Mrs. Brown’s funeral sermon were to be preached.

They tell me sometimes there is a funeral and not a word said.  Then four or six months later, the sermon will be preached – suppose it is owing to the scarcity of preachers.  Sunday evening we went to church at Free Hall.  It is three miles from here, we went in the big wagon.  Mr. Murphy drove, and I sat on the seat with him.  The rest sat on straw and the wagon floor.  There was an endless number of children there – One little fellow after screaming loudly ran away from his mother, up the aisle up the steps, and crawled under the preachers bench.  It was too comical.  The Miss DeTerke from near Reading were there, I sat with them.

*(kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply)