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Joseph S. Chick interview

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[Ind. Kan.]


[notes by Lu Adams.]


[Chick, J.S.]


4: H5 p. [x]

Union Depot, K.C. Oct. 19, ‘08.,


Memories with Jos. S. Crick, Sr. at his office in the Dwight-Build., K.C. Oct. 19, 1908:


None of Wm. Johnson’s child were born at the Kan. Mission.  Ann Eliz. was living at the boarding school at Fayette, Mo., when she suddenly sickened & died.  Her little brother, Wilbur Fisk Johnson died while his mother was visiting her sister Mrs. John C. McCoy in K.C.  He was drowned in an ordinary tub, in 6 inches of water.  This was after the death of his father.  He was between 2-3 yrs.


My sister Mary Jane Peery had one child after her marriage Wm. P. but it


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died early.  Mrs. Peery died in the present K.C. on their farm.


Mrs. Elizabeth Bolles was a white girl who helped Mrs. Johnson with her hand work while at the Kan. Mission for several years.  After Mr. Johnson’s death she married Mr. Bolles, a member of the M.E. Ch. south.  I do not recall his name, but he lived near Ark. City, Kan. later, & died near there.  I think he was and stationed at Wilder.


Chouteau’s pirogue was coodelled up the Kaw river.  It had a plank deck.  The goods were all down in the hold.  There was no awning over the boat.


Cyprian Philibert lives down on a farm south of town.  [Xxxxxx] at the


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Post office.  He father Gabriel Philibert was living on Turkey Creek in the west bottoms when I arrived here from Westport in 1843.  He still was a gunsmith.  Turkey Cr. then ran with the Mo. Riv., but now empties into the Kansas.  I think he died there.


The Kaw houses were circular, made over a frame of poles, with earth piled up about the outside.  They were warm & comfortable.  There was no div. of the lodge into rooms.  A fire was in the center for all to cook by, & the smoke escaped thru a hole in the roof over the fire.


The Kaw village I saw was on the Kaw river abt. 2 miles west of the Mission. I should think, on the south


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side of the Kaw river.  I remember the farm on the south side of the river, I should think about 2 miles from the mission.  Do not remember in what direction.  I think the Kaw farmer who was employed on the farm, lived here.


I remember I went to the Kaw village mentioned above, with Mr. Johnson.  The lodge I went into was prob. the largest & prim. one of the village.


Francis Chouteau was a highly educated & very intelligent man.  He was the head & front of the Chouteaus while he lived.  He died in 1840 in the spring.  I remember it because my father & mother went back to Vir-


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ginia that year to visit their people, & when they got back he was dead.  He died suddenly when down in the river bank watching some cattle swim across the [xxxx].  He dropped dead.


I think Cyprian was also an educated man.  I don’t think Frederick was.  Cyprian wrote a pretty round hand.


Mrs. Della C. Rice on E. 12 St. & Brooklyn, a daughter of P.M. Chouteau is a grand daughter of Francis Chouteau.  It is possible that she has a picture of Cyprian & his wife, the present Madam Nancy Chouteau, which she would be willing for you to copy.  She lives in a frame house & is something of a recluse.  Go to her back door.


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Mrs. L. Fugna, a daughter of one of the Philibert’s lives in the country on the state line, about 85th St.  Write her for her grand father’s picture & history.


The place where I went to find the arrow heads was on the east part of north Terrace park, about where the old Scarrett house stood.  There was a large spring there on the north side of the bluff.  The site was on a high place, a difficult place to get to from the north, & I should think a good village site.  The spring was on the side of the bluff, convenient for the men of such a village.


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I do not know anything about Gonville or his family.


The Kaw village abandoned about 1836, was about 15 miles south of here, & about three miles east of the Mo. state line.  I think they had bark houses, and did not claim the land, but were squatters.


Fool Chief was a fine looking Indian.  He was about 40 yrs. old I should think during Mr. Wm. Johnson’s life time.  He used to bring him down here.  He was a well proportioned man.  Yes, I heard that he was killed while drunk a few years later.


Such traders as the Chouteaus obeyed the restrictions of the Govt.


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about the selling of liquors to the Indians.  There may have been boot leggers who sold to the Kaw Indians.  The Chouteaus were licensed traders.


I think Cyprian abandoned his Delaware Crossing trading house after the opening of the Ty. to settlement.  At the beginning of the war he was living here in a suburb of Kan. C.


Mr. [Francis] Barker taught a country school in the Westport district about 1838 & 1839, for two years, I think, a public school.  It was when he first came from Mass.  I don’t think he was married.  Mr. Barker was a severe teacher, & had several rows with the school children.


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In the “Kan. City Annual” for 1908, pub. By the Business Men’s League, I have something about the military road between Ft. Leav. & Ft. Scott.


There was a Barada family at St. Joseph, Mo.  Two brothers by the name of Jarbol of Kan. City married two of the Barada sisters.  About 1850, I think it was, I had been [xxxxxxx] to go up & assist at the wedding, but when the time came the thermometer was abt. 30 below zero, & as we had to go up in a boat I begged off.  Mrs. D. C. Rice could tell you about the Baradas.


I remember when I used to trade with the Pottawatomies at Uniontown


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about 1850-51, that the California emigration was going in large nos. to that point to cross the Kansas, on the main road right north of Uniontown.  Union town was built along this road, a distance of about two blocks in length on both sides of the road.  The waggons were driven across the river there.  I do not remember about any ferry there whatever.  I think this was about 4 miles west of the old mission.  The Cal. road was lined with there waggons all the time.  There were quite a number of cattle driven to California that year.


 Our clerk in charge at Uniontown was Harrison McDowell, our principal man.  There were other


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men who helped him.  I think our trading house among the Pottawatomie was always at Uniontown.  We had a log store building.  The tribe was scattered then.  Some were still on the Maonis des Cygne, & some in Iowa.  All of the traders were licensed at Uniontown, so as to bring the Indians there.  As I remember the trading houses were all on one street, perhaps a couple of blocks long.  The traders wives & families & employes lived there.  Whether there were any dwelling houses off the street I do not remember.  The houses were log.  The Indian blacksmith, gun smith &c. were all there at Uniontown.  The town was a little


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way south of the Kaw river, possibly a mile.


In 1838 I went to the Kaw mission, & on my return followed the wagon track, & as I remember it crossed the Wakarusa at Blue Mound.


There is a tradition that when Capt. Bonneville went over the mountains, that he passed over this mound, & let his wagon down by ropes.  For awhile all followed his road.  In coming east I do not see how they could have paved that way.  When I got to Blue mound in returning home in 1838 the road was at the foot of the mound on the west, & followed around to the northern end in getting


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out to the better ground.


The California road to Uniontown in 1850 was on the divide between the Wakarusa & the Kaw, following up to the Shunga nunga mound.  It then came in the S.E. side of the mound, crossed the Shunga nunga, & then up to Uniontown on the divide south of Mission Creek, I think.  Uniontown was in high land.


There was a aide tract of the Cal. road that saved several miles up the river valley, by the Baptist mission, leaving the divide road several miles south.


I remember Fremont’s [xxx] expedition, & when he came back from his first expedition.  I do not remember where he crossed the river.


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My sister, Mrs. J.C. McCoy died at the Baptist Mission on the emigrant route, in the spring of 1849.  Her husband took her [xxxx] [xxxxx] away from the cholera, but she took it & died of it, I think Dr. Lykins was in charge of the mission then.  Our family went out on the Big Blue & camped out, & escaped the cholera.  I lost a little brother who was one of the first who died of the cholera, before we went to the Blue.  The rest of the family escaped.  My sister died at the Baptist miss. near Thos. Johnson’s mission.


Mrs. W. J. Anderson, 3914 Walnut St., Kan. C., Mo. is a daughter of Thos. Johnson.  You might get a picture of her mother from her.  I think she


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would be willing to give you any information she has.  Her telephone is the Bell, “south 1623 Y.”


Mrs. Emma Moore [Mrs. J. S.] the daughter of William Chick, lives on 24th St., west of [Xxxxxxxx], about one block.


Daniel Yoacham was not much of a man.


[These notes were taken by Miss Lu Adams at Kan. City, Mo., Oct. 19, 1908.]

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