The Sequential History of How Tanglewood Came To Be – Part Seven
After we got on the boat we dropped the doubletree from point of the tongue loosing the lead team. And just as the leads being loosed they jumped overboard with the double tree and single trees hanging to them. We then droped evey thing to look after the excited team. We swim them back to the first end of the boat and got them in without any damage and was soon gently moving across the Illinois River. With glad hearts we arrived on the Peora side. Finding the streets crowded with people and teams, it did not look much like the people were all ded with cholera yet. However, we thought there was a good deal of cholera there. Having surmounted the dreded difficulty of crossing the Illinois River, with renewed courage we again struck for Ft. desMoins. But, oh the mud, the mud we had to contend with. I want to just say by way of explanation that 1851 was known as the rainy season. I’ll say we found it out to a demonstration. We plowed on west meeting from two to three heards of fat cattle per day going east. They did not ship beef on the cars as now. And you can imagine how we would leave the roads for moving wagons to get over. We had to leave the main road sometimes for two and three days at a time and we could only make about 16 miles per day. When we got about halfway through the state of Illinois the sad old story came to us about the cholera at Burlington where we were intending to cross the Mississippi. All ded again with cholera, nobody left to run the ferry boat. A little further on we camped at the Vermilion River where we got sad news from an emigrant that had become discouraged and bought a little 20 acre patch on the Vermilion River where milk sickness was prevalent. He had a lamentable story to tell us about Iowa. He said the cornmeal was worth $3.00 per bu. and flower was worth $18.00 per barrel and couldn’t be had at that. He said his son-in-law wouldn’t stop but went on for Iowa and he just expected he would starve to death. He almost cried when he left us. My father’s answer was, we have two good teams and if it is so bad as that we can come back to Ills. to winter. But he calculated to see Iowa. It took him until 10 o’clock to tell his sad story about the starvation out in Iowa. In the morning we saw about 20 rods up the hill side in the timber on what was called the stomping ground, the wood were just white with bones. They told us that it was where cattle had gathered to fight flies and had fallen with milk sickness.