Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Caught In Blizzard Stayed With His Sled
Glendora and Phoebe Norris furnish the following interesting account of the coming of Jacob Norris to Appanoose county, his experience in a blizzard, and other incidents:
Late in the fall of 1865 Jacob Norris bought a farm eight miles west of Centerville, Iowa. In February of '66 he loaded his household goods into three wagons and started to move out west, for of course he lived way down east in Davis county, close to Drakeville. The wife, daughter and a neighbor boy drove the teams while he and we girls drove the cattle and sheep. They had to camp two nights on the road, one night near the Centerville square. It had been a cold snowy winter and of course what roads existed were very muddy. They arrived at the farm about 5:00 p.m., a tired but happy family, for weren't they how located in their new house, a large two-story frame house, about 20 x 40 feet long with an L-kitchen heated by two large fireplaces. The house had not been entirely finished, so we had a pretty hard time heating it. Here he lived the remainder of his life and raised a large family. The mother died in 1880.
One particular incident of that first hard winter: Mr. Norris thot (sic) he would move a sled load of geese and ducks to the new home. He got stuck in the snow and blizzard and had to stay all night. The ducks and geese got out and he never did find all of them. They had to drive through fields over fences, the snow was so deep.
At his time Centerville was just a trading post. The only high school in the county was located in old Bellair, which when the railroad went through was called Numa. Later the old high school was torn down and bather bought it and built the big read barn, which was replaced four years ago with a smaller one. But after all the hardships of the early pioneers, they were a happy family. The Centerville weekly Citizen was in our family so long as it existed. Then we have taken the Iowegian ever since.
[Originally published in the Progress Anniversary Edition of the Centerville Daily Iowegian, 10 January 1934, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of Iowa in 1843; reprinted in Early Pioneer Stories (page 151) published by the Appanoose County Genealogy Society. Reprinted with permission from the Iowegian and the ACGS.]