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Travel in western Nebraska 110 years ago

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Martin Jr.

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In 1889 August F. A. and his son, August F. Jr. of Waverly, Lancaster County, Nebraska, took out homestead and tree claims in Arthur county.
In 1893 August F. Sr. wrote this letter to his daughter in Valentine, NE:
"Sunflower Valley Feb 8, 1893
My Dear Daughter,
Your letter from Feb 1 I received, if Frank comes here he have to go from Valentine to Cody & from there to Brush Lake, & from there to Whitman, from there to White Water, the R.E. or Cap. Haskell Ranch, from there 16 mile south in my place. This is the nearest & best Route, if he goes more east of this Route he could not cross the Dismal River it is miry & will sink. This route brings him around the head of the Dismal & is the nearest and & best route to go, & is the route John Bratts men sent with cattle to the Rosebud Agency. The most trouble is, that it is from 30 -35 mile distant & he will have to start from evry stopping place very early so as to reach the next place at night as there is no other place to stop so Bratts man tells me, they know the country all round.
If Frank will come let him come as quick as he can, I want to start soon so get back soon as I got so much to do befroe spring comes. I will come out sure & very soon do not send the boy horse bak unless he has very warm clothes. Cannot write more as the man to take this letter to mail is waiting. Your Father, August F. Arndt"

August spent his last years in Deadwood, SD and died there and is buried in Mt. Moriah cemetery although his name is not listed in the records there.
 

theHiredMansWife

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I've found myself whining on more than one occasion on the lack of roads when trying to get from point A to point B...
I never even considered how fortunate we actually are to have luxuries like the bridges over the Dismal... :wink:
 

Soapweed

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Thanks, Martin. That was an interesting letter, and puts the early history of this country into perspective. We are pretty spoiled in this day and age, and reading a letter like that gives us more appreciation for the easy ways of traveling that are available today.
 

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