Robert Nelson, the notes of 1901
Host: Mrs. Sidhu
In the spring of 1901, Robert Nelson McFarland, at that time in the 83rd year of his life, was interviewed by the local newspaper, the purpose being that he was the last survivor of the first pioneers to settle Brown County, Illinois in 1824 and they wanted to record his memories. But, as often happens, things intervened. The paper changed hands, Nelson passed away and the notes were lost.
Many years passed before the narrative was found in a box of old papers. In 1922, almost 100 after the events described, Nelson’s story was finally told in the Versailles Sentinal. What a shame it would have been to lose such a priceless treasure. Priceless to me because Nelson’s story is the story of my family. I didn’t have to imagine what they went through because there was a witness.
Uncle Nelson was born in Kentucky, in 1818, the son of Virgingia pioneers. After a brief stay in Ohio the family decided to head west to the fairly new state of Illinois. He was only 6 years old when he set eyes on the little cabin that would be their first home. Two families, 14 people, sharing one room that measured 14 x 14 feet.
Life was as simple as planting corn, clearing trees and stumps, hunting wild game, welcoming newcomers, living side by side with the Kicka-poo, having to carry water from a spring half a mile away after hearing a panther scream outside your door.
Join us for this special Broadcast of “They Were Preppers” , what it meant then and what it means now to be self sustaining and self reliant.
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