From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Marcus and Emma Eaton, Homesteaders

Pioneers of Cherry County, Nebraska


I've been enjoying the Rancher.net's Forum and website recently. Today, I came across a nice tribute that "Soapweed", a forum member, wrote about his father, Bob Moreland. Moreland is a life-long resident of the Nebraska Sandhills and a veteran rancher.

Soapweed states in a brief family history that Great-grandfather Moreland came to the Sandhills in 1885. He walked from the end of the railroad at Valentine, Nebraska, to somewhere around Merriman, Nebraska, a distance of about 60 miles.

Marcus and Emma (Hart) Eaton
I was interested in this because my mother's grandparents, Marcus and Emma (Hart) Eaton, came to the Lavaca area of western Cherry County in the late 1880s or thereabouts. They probably got off the train at Valentine, too. I wonder if they walked to Lavaca, or if they made the trip in a stagecoach or wagon, or if they rode horses. By any method of travel, Lavaca, the site of their homestead, was about 75 miles of sandy trail from Valentine.

During their years at Lavaca, Marcus and Emma had a family of four daughters: Cora, Almira, Letha, and Violet. Violet was my maternal grandmother. As the girls grew up, Marcus and Emma wanted them to be able to attend high school, so they sold their homestead and moved to Gordon. There, the girls completed high school, and Marcus ran a livery stable.

I remember that when I was a little girl, my mother would point out a certain frame building in Gordon as her Grandpa Eaton's livery stable. The building had big doors -- beyond that, I don't remember much about it. When I was in Gordon with Keely and Isaac several years ago, I tried to relocate it, but I learned that it had been torn down. I think the fire department is built on the site.

One other thing of interest about my great-grandfather Marcus Eaton -- he remembered that as a little boy in Iowa, he played in the buffalo wallows on the prairie.

1 comment:

Dia said...

Thats a lovely amazing story :) Its amazing how many things you discover and learn by searching a little bit in the history of people :)

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