Friday, July 3, 2009

Dolly and Dixie

When I was six years old, i.e. in 1946, our family moved from uncle Alvin's place to the Alexander Farm which was south of Trenton Missouri. My dad was a share cropper. That is my Dad farmed the land and shared the profits with Mr. Alexander who also was the president of the bank in Trenton. We had six or eight dairy cows which my brothers and I had to help feed and milk as chores each evening. My dad also raised beef cattle, pigs and chickens. And for crops my dad raised corn, soy beans and grew hay for the cattle. So we also had other chores to do each evening such as feeding the calves, pigs, and chickens, and gathering eggs. I'll try to write a few stories about life on the Alexander farm, but this story is about Dolly and Dixie.

In the beginning, Dad could not afford a tractor, so he bought a team of young horses. They were named Dolly and Dixie. I think that they were sisters with Dixie being a year or two younger than Dolly. Dolly was bigger than Dixie and a light grey, and Dixie was a darker grey with mottled black spots on her back. In a very short time, they became a very well trained team. When my dad was picking corn, no one would be in the wagon, the horses would be lined up along side the row of corn to be picked and my dad would just say giddy-up and whoa when he wanted the wagon moved ahead a few feet while he was on the ground picking the ears of corn and tossing them into the wagon. The horses would obey his voice commands. To pick corn by hand, a man would wear a leather strap on his hand that had a metal hook in the palm of the hand that would quickly remove the ear of corn from the husk in one motion and with the other hand; he would toss the ear of corn into the wagon. A good corn picker could move along a row at a walking pace and pick every ear of corn. Not as fast as a mechanical harvesting machine, but surprisingly fast.

In any case after a few years, Dolly developed a bad habit. In the evening, Dad would un-harness the horses and put them into their stalls in the barn. In the front of each stall was a large wooden trough in which hay would be placed for the horses. It ran the length of the barn. Well Dolly got into the habit of pushing on the boards in the front of her stall until they fell off and then she would walk into the hay trough area. That way, she could get to the hay in front of the other stalls. Unfortunately she had to turn left or right to fit into the trough and then she could not get out once she got into the trough area. The only way to get her out was to remove more boards to the trough to get enough room for her to get out. The boards then had to be nailed back in to place to get the stalls and feeding trough back to where it should be. That was a lot of extra work and wasted time. In any case, my Dad got so angry after this happened several times that he made a fist with his right hand and hit Dolly in the head right between the eyes. Well horses have very thick skulls so I don’t think Dolly felt much pain, but my Dad came running out of the barn holding his hand and yelling #!@%*<& in pain. He had broken his hand hitting Dolly in the head, and it was corn picking season when that happened. So my Dad had to hire another man to help him get his corn picked that year.

Later on my father bought a tractor and Dolly and Dixie did not need to work as much, but they were a good team. One night there was a terrible storm and Dixie and Dolly were out in a pasture. The next day, my dad found Dolly tangled up in the pasture fence and badly cut from the barbed wire that ran along the top of the fence. Evidently the thunder or lightning had spooked her into running into the fence. Dolly was so badly injured that she had to be destroyed.

After that Dixie was a lost sole. I think that my Dad sold her, but don’t really remember. It was sad that she really could not function as a member of another team. I’ll have to ask my Dad about what happened to Dixie after Dolly passed away.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The following is a short biograph of Henry Eugene Moore who was my Great Great Grand Father

Henry Eugene Moore
(June 2, 1840 - August 27, 1911)

Henry Eugene Moore was born on June 2, 1840 in Michigan. He died on August 27, 1911 at the age of 71 in Lock Springs, Missouri. His death certificate listed his occupation as Hotel Keeper and cause of death as “killed from a fall”. His death certificate also states that his father’s name was John Moore who was born in Ohio, and his mother’s maiden name was Rebeka Nerwis or Nerwin (It is difficult to read the hand writing on the Death Certificate). She also was born in Ohio. It lists his 2nd wife’s name as Leah Moore.

Henry married his second wife, Leah Mary McKracken , who was born in Pennsylvania. Her Father was James McKracken and her mother’s maiden name was Martha Stewart also from Pennsylvania. The 1910 census of Lock Springs lists their house hold as Homer E. Moore (age 27), William P. Moore (age 20), Bulah S. Moore (age 15), Mabel F. Moore (age 27 – daughter in law – probably Homer’s wife), and Irene B. Ferguson (age 55). Evidently they all worked in the hotel.

Henry’s nick name was “Doc”. I don’t think that my Dad or anyone knew how he got that name. My dad did say that Doc owned a saloon and lived upstairs above the saloon. Evidently his living quarters had a balcony or porch over the entrance to the saloon. Pretty much like you might see in a western movie. Supposedly, Doc fell off the balcony one night and died. The speculation was that he may have been drinking and that might have led to the fall. However, the death certificate just states that he was a hotel keeper. It doesn’t say he was a saloon keeper, and it doesn’t say that he fell from a balcony. So who knows the real story?

I tried to find information on John Moore. I did find the 1850 census of the town of Marengo Michigan that shows John Moore (age 41 – born 1809) with his wife Betsy (age 35 born 1815), daughter Lydia (age 12 born 1838), son Henry E. (age 9, born 1840), daughter Elaine (age 4 born 1846), and Lydia Moore (age 70 born 1780). Perhaps Lydia Moore was John Moore’s mother. John Moore was listed as a farmer in the census. Ohio became a state in the union in February 1803, so it appears that John Moore was born in the Ohio approximately 6 years after it achieved state hood.

Henry Moore enlisted as a private in the 5th Michigan Calvary Company C from September 20, 1862 until July 3, 1865 and fought in the Civil War. He is listed as age 19 upon enlistment from Marengo Michigan. His length of service is listed as 2 years, 9 months and 14 days. He received a pension which may mean that he was wounded in the war. He was 21 when he entered the military and was 24 when he left.

The 5th Michican Calavary was organized at Detroit in Aug. 1862, leaving the State on December 4th with 1,144 officers and men. Proceeding directly to Washington it joined the Michigan Brigade, then being formed, composed of the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Michigan Cavalry, to which the First Michigan Cavalry was subsequently added. General Custer assumed command of the brigade while on its march to Gettysburg, where it had its first opportunity to distinguish itself under fire. The brigade sustained the heaviest loss at Gettysburg of any cavalry brigade in that battle. The Fifth was commanded there by Colonel Alger, who had served previously as a Major in the Second Michigan Cavalry, from which he was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the Sixth, and thence to the Colonelcy of the Fifth; he was one of the ablest cavalry officers in the Army. The loss of the Fifth at Gettysburg was 8 killed, 30 wounded, and 18 missing; Major Noah H. Ferry was killed there. At Hawes's Shop, out of 151 engaged, 55 were killed or wounded. The regiment met its heaviest loss in the cavalry affair at Trevilian Station, where in addition to the killed and wounded 136 Were taken prisoners,— the regiment having charged too far through an opening in the enemy's line, and being cut off from the brigade it was obliged to cut its way out.

The 5th Michigan Calvary was formed with 1909 men and was in the following battles during the Civil War:
  • Hanover
  • Gettysburg
  • Falling Waters or Hoke's Run
  • Williamsport
  • Mine Run
  • Wilderness
  • Todd's Tavern
  • Yellow Tavern
  • Haw’s Shop
  • Snicker's Gap
  • Deep Bottom
  • Opequon
  • Trevilian Station
  • Dinwiddie Court House
  • Five Forks
  • Appomattox Station
  • Appomattox Court House

Their losses during the Civil War were

  • Killed & Mortally Wounded
    Officers 6
    Men 135
  • Died of Disease
    Officers 3
    Men 322
The officers were:

Alger, Russell A. Colonel
Clark, John E. Major
Copeland, Joseph T. Colonel
Dake, Crawley P. Major
Ferry, Noah H. Major
Gould, Ebenezer Lieutenant Colonel
Hastings, Smith H. Colonel
Hickey, Myron Major
Lee, Edward M. Lieutenant Colonel
Mann, William D. Lieutenant Colonel
Norvell, Freeman Major, Colonel
Purdey, Stephen P. Major
Trowbridge, Luther S. Major
Wallace, Robert C. Major

It appears that after the war, Henry went back to Michigan and married Elisa Jane Cyphers if he wasn't married before joining the 5th Michigan Calvary.

I believe the photo below is a picture of Henry Moore with his 1st wife, Elisa Jane Moore who was born Elisa Jane Cyphers. The Cyphers family moved from Michigan to Missouri by covered wagon and Henry and his wife Elisa went with them. I think that they had two children at the time. The story is that Elisa died on the trip from Michigan to Missouri and was buried in a along the way in a farmer’s family cemetery lot. Henry left the children with his father in law and mother in law to raise in Grundy County Missouri, and he moved on to Lock Springs Missouri to make his fortune. I don’t know the age of the children at the time, but evidently he was not in a position to raise them.

Henry evidently moved on to Lock Springs Missouri and married Leah Mary McKraken and started a second family their that we really don’t know much about, only the names in the 1910 Lock Springs census.

My father says that our Moore family is descended from the children that Henry Moore left with the Cyphers family to raise. One of Henry Moore’s children with his first wife Eliza was Franklin Moore also known as Dan. He was my great grand father. I will try to write about him including his picture in a later blog.