Journal ofAndrew Bruce
Contributed by, Barbara Burce Butler
I was born of Scottish parentage, July 11, 1850, in the city of New York. My father's name was William Bruce and my mother's name was Helen Scott. They came from Galashiels, Scotland the latter part of the year 1849. They stopped in New York City a while then moved to Rishing, New York. There my father was a foreman in there ossy Dekita (???) in a woolen mill for about two years. From there they moved to Elgin, Illinois where my father had the same position in a woolen mill belonging to Dester 'til the spring of 1856 when they moved to Delaware, Iowa and took a homestead of 320 acres of prairie land their post office was Nugent Grove, Linn county, Iowa.
In 1858 father moved about 4 miles to a creek named the Buffalo Creek where he built a flouring mill and dam which he operated in connection with a store 'til spring of 1862 when he sold it and bought a farm near what was called the Stone School House where we farmed a year then he bought a saw mill and water over on the American River at a place afterwards called Troy Mills. During this time there was born to them 3 daughters and 3 sons, our son Robert died when a small boy at the Buffalo Mill 1862. Maggie was born on homestead 1857. William Scott was born at Troy Mills, Iowa. George Bruce was also born at Troy Mills, Iowa. Eliza the oldest was born in Scotland in 1848.
I worked in the Sun and grist mills in 1867 father sold out. Father had the asthma so I had all the business to move to Troy Mills and he bought 200 acres of land near Troy Mills, Iowa. There I worked on farm working late and early; working and improving the farm 1870. Till father traded if for 160 acres in Buchanan County 4 miles north of Troy Mills afterwards father bought for me 160 acres near Richard Peyton 120 acres from Henry McKee 40 acres in 1877 when I was married to Abigail Wickham, March 31, 1877. I had labored on farm at home 'til this time when we commenced housekeeping on our farm. We lived on farm 'til spring of 1881.
We moved to Franklin, Nebraska and went into partnership with J. H. Fairchild in a shop improved a water power on a small creek near town. We had at that time 2 small boys, C. J. Bruce and W. S. Bruce. The partnership broke up in one season as Mr. Fairchild's wife and little boy was killed by lightening that struck the shop one Sunday when they were visiting. He became discouraged and went back to Iowa. So I continued the shop business over the first winter 'til spring of 1882 when I went into the woolen mill business and continued that 'til March 1884, as the business did no pay. My father settled the business up and we went on a trip to Arkansas. We found the country so very unhealthy we could not stay there. So we went from there to Butler County, Kansas where my cousins James Mosman lived on a farm. About the last of March we had one little girl about 5 months old born at Frontland, Nebraska. My health had been poor and I was discouraged so we stopped at cousins about a month when we moved in to a house we rented at Towanda, Kansas. I worked at carpenter work there 'til fall 1884 about September. When we moved to our farm 7 miles south from Leon in the Brodie neighborhood. About a week after my wife, Abigail, died with malaria fever then I left the farm and went to my parents in Iowa with my 3 children. I stopped and worked on the farm at home first winter. I worked one winter in a wagon shop at Troy Mills. Then father traded for the Troy Mills again. So I fixed it up and ran it 'til February 12, 1880 when I went to Kansas to improve 320 acres of land in Butler County, 7 miles south of Leon, Kansas. Labored on farm improving till June of the same spring.
When I went to run the Troy Mills again was there till March 1, 1887 when I went to Norden, Nebraska where I bought half interest from A. M. Baker in a sawmill on the Niobrara River 7 miles from Norden. I and Baker ran the sawmill and built a 2 run burr-flouring mill. During the summer of 1887 I got it running in the fall the next spring. I bought out Mr. Bakers 2 interest on April 6, 1888. I ran the grist mill till February 13, 1891 when I got married to Charity Isabell DeWitt, up to that time I had kept both my 2 boys with me and daughter Mable May Bruce lived with her grandma Bruce, so I continued the mill business sold 2 interest the burr in company with J. W. Furry 1890 after this 'til I bought his interest about 1900 and took a homestead June 28, 1904 in Cherry county, 5 miles west of Niobrara Mills.