Sunday, March 13, 2011

Early Settlers

I was reading some of Far Guy’s family history on his Mothers side of the family.

March 13, 1890 Zack Lemon gets in with the stage before dark.  (He must have been busy in Detroit ( Detroit Lakes) that day.)  He purchased the mail route between Osage and Detroit. (The stage went out one day and returned the next day.)

Zackary Taylor Lemon was seven years older than his brother Robert ..Robert was Far Guys Great Grandfather. They were both born in Monroe, Wisconsin.  Sometime after 1857 they moved to Deerfield Township, Chickasaw County, Iowa.

For now I am just going to talk about Zack. Zackary Taylor Lemon was born September 27, 1848.  He married Sarah Jane ( Aunt Janie) on December 29, 1875.  They moved to this area in October of 1880. Zack would have been 32 years old. Aunt Janie would have been 24.  ( If you ask me, October would be one of the last choices I would make for a  move to Minnesota) They were one of the first three white families to settle in the Ponsford area.  The others were Mart Stephens and John Snyder ( John a Civil War Veteran was married to Phoebe Lemon.. a sister to Zack and Robert.)

Counting babies and all there were twelve people in three wagons that were loaded with their household goods.

There was four feet of snow on the ground when they got here.

They built two shanties, with the Stephens and Lemon family sharing.

Their flour was stolen when they were near they lived on biscuits made of horse feed.  ( ground oats and corn)

They finally went to Verndale ( as the crow flies 41 miles) on homemade snowshoes and brought back 100 pounds of flour on their backs.

Wild game provided their meat, Deer and even a Moose were on their table that first winter.

In the spring Zack traded in his team for a yoke of oxen and began to clear the land.

In Iowa, they couldn’t afford land. In Minnesota homestead land was free…it cost you 2.50 to file your claim.

Zack said “ The first winter we were snowed in and after that so short of money that we were not able to get out of the country anymore.”


I have heard that Zach and Aunt Janie used to sit around and talk about the early days and that they were quite the story tellers. Ohhh..what it would have been like to be a mouse in the corner and listen!

Martha and  Sarah Jane Lemon Martha and Aunt Janie.

Martha was married to Robert..Aunt Janie was married to Zack.  They were sister in laws.

Robert and Martha must have joined Zack and Janie at some time…but I am not sure how that all came about. More than likely they followed because of the lure of free land.  I only know of two people who are alive that would know..I will have to go and pick their brains again.

Zack and Aunt Janie had one son Clarence, he married Inga. IMG_2294

I do not remember Clarence, but I remember Inga. She was a single lady for a long long that even my Grandfather Y  took a shine to her. When he showed up at our place all slicked up sometimes he was going to visit “one of his lady friends.”  He courted quite a few widowed women…Inga was just one of them.

Inga lived at the edge of Ponsford for years in a little house near the road..

Inga lemons old place

This is all that is left..trees.

Zack and Aunt Janie had a few grandchildren Ray, Zachary and Florence..but their family tree has all but disappeared over the years. There might be a relative or two out never can tell:) 

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Muffie said...

Connie, I love reading your family histories. Neither of my families went back in the US that far -- all immigrants in the early 20th Century. Your stories make US History come alive!

Country Gal said...

Awesome post, I enjoyed the history of the family. Have a great day !

DJan said...

They had to be strong and hardy to survive those conditions. And how right you are about moving to Minnesota in October! Musta been quite a shock. But they survived long enough to sit around and tell stories... :-)

Darlene said...

I enjoyed reading your family history. It took a lot of determination and grit to survive back then.

Rae said...

The hardships they endured is amazing. I enjoy hearing old family stories.

Patsy said...

Great family history, thanks for sharing it with us.

L. D. said...

That is a wonderful story. The price of land made the sacrifice worth it. I suppose they had to go in October as things were also frozen up to help with the trek. It is an amazing history.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting Connie. I loved this post and your photos.

troutbirder said...

They certainly were a stong and hardy lot. I'll bet the children were all above average too.... Oh wait a minute, that was in Woebegone.

LindaG said...

I love history. And especially family histories. Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

What a history you are recording for future generations there. I hope they treasure you girl!

Hubs great~uncle was a Lemon...realted??? Heeehehe! :o)

God bless ya and have a marvelous Monday!!!

Lynda said...

We owe a lot to our ancestors. And we fuss when we lose electricity for a while. I praise God for being born at this time in history because I'm not sure I would have been a good pioneer.