JOHN H. ANDERSON.
John H. Anderson came to
York County in February of 1865 with his father, John
Spencer Anderson, and four brothers. The father was the
first to homestead in that county, filing on Section 2,
Town 9, Range 1, W. Their home was located on the bottom
lands of the Blue, 1 mile west of the Seward county line.
When quite young he had to break prairie with 5 yoke of
oxen, and had aften (sic) to go to Nebraska City a
distance of 100 miles, driving 2 yoke of oxen. The trip
was usually taken 3 times a year, and needed seven days
to make it, and sometimes the journey was undertaken to
get a new plough shear, or an old one sharpened. During
these trips, which were along the Government Freight
Road, he would meet trains of as many as 100 Government
wagons coming west.
On one occasion he had
been to Beaver Creek ploughing and, on returning home
with his colts, and when between the Blue and the
Government road, an old Indian named "Kee-walk," a Pawnee
with one eye, ran up to him and presenting a revolver
tried to frighten him, hoping evidently that be would run
away leaving the colts. But young Anderson snatched the
revolver out of his hand and made his escape. On reaching
home and telling his story a complaint was made, and the
Indian had to quit the country.
Mr. Anderson has seen
thousands of Indians passing up and down the Blue and
could therefore give more stories than are here recorded.
The following are selected because they are somewhat
different to the others already given, and present to us
a new feature of pioneer life.
In December of 1870 he
went with a well armed hunting party composed of nine men
and five wagons. They made their way up the Blue to the
forks, and then crossed over the country to the
Republican river, and crossing the old Cottonwood ford,
passed on South into Kansas, going up the country between
the Sappy and Prairie Dog Rivers. One man had been sent
ahead on horseback to find a camping ground and was seen
to suddenly stop and turn back. He reported that he had
seen nine Indians, and then as soon as they saw him, they
jumped onto their ponies, and said he; "They are coming!"
The party at once made a barrackade with the wagons, the
whole arrangement being in charge of Anderson senior, a
The Indians soon rode
up, and one came near, saying, "We are tame Indians, we
won't hurt you! come with us to wigwams." After some
parleying, they accepted their invitation and went to
their camp to spend the night, but someone stood guard,
and they were careful to refuse to turn their horses
loose with the Indian ponies. In the morning the Indians
told them where they would find the buffalos (sic), "they
had to go one steep (i. e. sleep or night) and they find
heap of buffalo." The party set out as directed and found
as the Indians had said, "heaps of buffalo."
It was Sunday when they
made ready to return, having secured all the meat they
could haul. It was getting dark and they were thinking of
their night's rest in preparation for the return journey;
when the air was filled with the most unearthly noises.
It was as though the whole country was filled with wild
Indians and buffalos, which made them feel alarmed, they
very naturally wondered what was going to happen to them.
Soon a band of Indians came from out the distance,
yelping and howling like wild beasts, until the hunting
party felt scared. At last one of the Andersons ventured
to go and ask what they wanted. It appears that the
Indians had lost the location of their wigwams, and this
was their method of making the fact known to those in
They departed for home
on the Monday morning, and in three days reached the
Republican river but were unable to cross because large