Approaching the hill where Cleveland and Louisa lived at the end of his life. This is located on a ridge south of Mabton, Washington.
It was a typical summer afternoon: blazing sun glaring on the dusty windshield, clouds of dust kicked up by the wheels swimming past the windows. Thankfully, air conditioning isolated us from the grit, and beyond the haze the view was spectacular. We had followed gravel roads to a promontory overlooking the Yakima River valley, with Mabton in the distance. There were ripening wheatfields at our back, a rocky defile in front. The irrigated farms below were so green they nearly glowed, in contrast to the sagebrush and yellowed grasses around us. We found a dusty lot, scantily graveled, near an old structure that was probably used to load wheat onto trucks, or even wagons. Checking the map, I was sure these were the coordinates we were seeking. But there was no trace of a house, nor was there any indication that there ever had been one here.
This was the place that property records showed was the last dwelling place of my great-great-great-grandfather, Cleveland C. Rodgers and his wife, Louisa. A more bleak setting I could not imagine. Continue reading
Posted in Civil War, Family History, Genealogy and Family History, Seattle, Yakima
Tagged 13th Indiana Cavalry, 2nd New Jersey Cavalry, 3rd Indiana Cavalry, 9th Indiana Legion, Alabama, Baptists, Bolivar Brown, Buena Washington, Buhl Idaho, Camp Carrington, Charles Rodgers, Chester Rodgers, Civil War, Cleveland Charles Rodgers, Colonel Johnson, Confederate cavalry, David Francisco, David McClure, Dupont Indiana, Dysentery, Edward F. Reid, Elizabeth Wise Rodgers, Fortress Rosencrans, Gainesville, General Buford, General Hood, General Milford, General Rousseau, Georgetown Georgia, Gulf of Mexico, Henry Presser, Huntsville, Indiana, Ird (Erd) Rodgers, John Hunt Morgan, Johnson County Indiana, Kentucky, Louisa Jane Taylor, Louisville, Luther Martin, Mabton Washington, Macon Mississippi, Madison Indiana, Major General B. H. Grierson, Mathew Rodgers, Mathew Wise, Measles, Memphis Alabama, Mississippi River, Mobile Alabama, Monroe Rodgers, Murfreesboro, Music, Nashville, Nathan Bedford Forrest, New Orleans, North Carolina, Ohio, Overall's Creek, Paducah, Rodgers Tile Company, Seattle, Slavery, Smith Tower, Smyrna County Indiana, Snohomish Washington, Typhus, Vicksburg, Walla Walla, War Department, Washington State, West Florida, Wilkinson's Pike, William H. Brown, Wirt Indiana, Yakima River, Yale Street, Zillah Washington
I have to open this post with an apology for the long absence. A combination of circumstances has me hopping every which way, leaving me little time for writing. I’ll share some of it another time, like the process of restoring a log cabin on the Sauk River of Washington State. Other stuff I’ll leave to your imagination. Just remember I’m a teacher and the end of the school year just passed!
Since one of my subjects is Social Studies and my fifth graders study the foundation of our country, it seems appropriate to observe Independence Day from a family history perspective.
Born in Tidewater Virginia (his ancestors built St. Anne’s Episcopal Church near Tappahannock), Jesse apprenticed to become a wheelwright. In pre-revolutionary Virginia there was a wave of heartfelt religion, a rebellion against the official Anglican church. Jesse felt persuaded to become an exhorter in the Baptist faith. He was the first of my ancestors to migrate out of Virginia (we’d been there since 1619), moving to the hills of North Carolina. Still a young man, he traveled back and forth between Continue reading
Posted in Conflicts, Family History, History, Native Americans, Revolutionary War
Tagged Anglicans, Baptists, Bourbon, Cemetery, Cumberland Gap, Elijah Craig, Elizabeth Watts, Family History, History, Holston, Indiana, Indiana Territory, Jesse Vawter, Kentucky, Log cabin, Madison Indiana, Marriage, Military, Native Americans, North Carolina, Ohio River, Orange County Virginia, Religion, Revolutionary War, Sauk River, Tappahannock Virginia, Virginia, Washington, Whiskey, Wirt Indiana
Oscar Danielson on his Crab Creek farm in Grant County, WA, circa 1920
“FIDDLE, n. An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse’s tail on the entrails of a cat.”
Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914) American journalist and short-story writer: The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
My father’s claim to fame is that an incident in his life made it into a book, Sagebrush Homesteads, by Laura Tice Lage. In this passage, Lage describes how my grandfather was working in his hay field when he spotted a pesky wabbit. At that time, rabbits were destroying crops so completely that many farmers near Crab Creek were being ruined. Grandpa Oscar was prepared, though. He snatched up his twelve gauge shotgun and fired at the bunny. The book doesn’t say if he hit the thing, or not. The most dramatic result of that shot was that Oscar’s horse was spooked. It galloped away, towing the wagon along with it…and my child father in the wagon.
My father always detested horses.
I’m wondering if that trait isn’t hereditary. Not that I detest horses, but that horses seem to have a thing about me! I first noticed that problem when I was a teenager. Years before, I had blithely told my mother who it was that I someday hoped to marry. Let’s call her Julie. As a teenager, I would never have revealed such a secret, but the feeling remained. Julie was still the woman I most wanted to impress. She was my age, so I knew her well, since all the children in that end of Adams County attended the same schools. I had been, for a time, her brother’s best friend–had even spent some sleepovers at her house. So when I ran across this beautiful, statuesque blond at the local fair, I considered it a matchless opportunity to impress her. But Julie was on horseback, and as I stood close by, chatting her up (as the Northern Irish lads would have described it), Julie’s horse decided to dispose of the suitor: it took a deliberate step in my direction, and it landed on my foot. Have you ever had eight hundred pounds dropped on your toes? My courtship ended suddenly and dramatically.
Posted in Crab Creek, Dogs, Family History, Fiddle, Genealogy and Family History, Horses, Pets, Washington
Tagged Adams County, Ambrose Bierce, Armenia, Austria, Brezhnev, Camping, Cats, Christmas, Crab Creek, Czechoslovakia, Dogs, Eastern Europe, Family History, Fiddle, Fjord Horse, Friesian Horse, Hanoverian, Hiking, Horses, Iron Curtain, Kentucky, Laura Tice Lage, Life Magazine, Logging, Marriage, Moldova, Northern Ireland, Oscar Danielson, Pets, Ponies, Rabbits, Riding, Russians, Sagebrush Homesteads, Seattle, Shotgun, Siberia, Soviet Union, Trail Riding, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Washington