1876 Move to Missouri

Written by Will White, Julia White Jones, and John Henry Farmer

David Farmer and his second wife, Priscilla Ward White Farmer, her two children, William and Julia A. White, with the Farmer children, Jesse, John, Olie, and their daughter Bertha, three years old.

We left our house at Clermont, Indiana, September 20, 1876 with two two-horse wagons with household goods, stoves and furniture, and a one-horse spring wagon which David, Priscilla, and Bertha rode in with the sewing machine.  We drove to Avon, Indiana to Etta and Thomas Huron's (Etta was David Farmer's daughter) and stayed all night, leaving September 21st for Iowa through Danville, Indiana.  We camped the second night on the banks of the Wabash.  The next morning, we were ferried across the Wabash.  It was a flat boat just large enough for two wagons, so he made two trips taking the spring wagon on the second trip.  The boat was held by two cables anchored upstream and fastened at each end of the boat in such a way that they could be adjusted in a way that the current of the river carried it across and landed safely.

We drove through Danville, Illinois; Bloomington, Peoria, and Burlington.  We arrived at Uncle John Quakenbush's in twelve and a half days without any trouble.  After visiting in Jefferson and Keokuk counties two weeks, we drove on down to Putnam County, Missouri.  It was a four day drive, the last day in rain and mud all day.

We stopped near our destination to inquire for an empty house of a man, Judge Ellis, David had met.  He insisted we stay there that night.  So we did and were very thankful for the chance.  Next morning, he went with David to look for an empty house and found one near our farm but could not find the owner.  So they came back and we hitched up and drove to our farm and pitched our tent.  That was Saturday, October 23rd, just one month from the time we left Clermont, Indiana, northwest of Indianapolis.  The owner of the empty house came and told us to move into his house and we moved in that evening.

The next morning, bright and early, we took two teams and drove to Seymour, Iowa twenty miles for lumber and bought a whole house pattern on two wagons. It was dark before we got home.  In two weeks, we had the house built and moved in.

Everyone was very kind to us going to Iowa   David would watch at night parttime.  Then Will and John later part of night.  Except one night we camped in front of a farm house and the farmer told us we did not need to stay up.  Nothing would bother us.

One wagon Will and Jesse rode us.  Will driving going to Missouri from Iowa.  Will took the chills and Jesse drove.  The other wagon, John, Olie and Julia rode in.

Farmers were good to us all the way.  Apples were ten cents for a two bushel sack.  Twenty five cents for hay for five horses per day.  Corn was cheap.