Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lone Tree

Yesterday my husband and I took a road trip up McPherson way. We were on our way to the Chimney Specialists to pick up the stone for our fireplace. (I'll post about that when we get that installed.)

This past month I read a book that my mother handed to me. She had gotten it at the public library. It was called "The Lone Tree" by James D. Yoder. A very compelling book about some Mennonite immigrants who came to Kansas. It followed a girl and her family, why they left Russia and decided to come to America.

They endured terrible hardships - no bathing at all for months due to lack of privacy on the boat. Smelling of urine and puke. They were sent to Hutchinson but Hutch did not want them. They were sent to Florence in cattle cars and put in a warehouse for the rest of the bitter cold winter. Of the 700 immigrants, 300 died due to smallpox. They are buried in a mass grave outside Florence. I would like to go check that out.

Finally, they moved to land close to Canton. In the area close to the Chimney Specialists (the Elyria exit). Only, instead of going west, you go east. So we had to go!

We stopped at the historical marker.

Here is what it says (it did not have correct punctuation so some of the sentences are a little mixed up): Three fourths mile north-northeast of this spot is the site of a historic cottonwood tree that became known as "the lone tree". It was already a large tree early in the mid nineteenth century with no other trees near it was visible to travelers along the santa fe trail who named it "the Lone Tree" Located in a protected bend of running Turkey Creek, it alone survived prairie fires that regularly swept the area before the European settlers arrived
in the mid and late nineteenth century when McPherson county was surveyed and platted. The thirty square mile area in which the tree was located was named the Lone Tree Township one & a half miles east of here. The Lone Tree school was opened in 1881 and closed in 1954, two miles east. The Lone Tree post office was established in 1880 and closed in 1888. Four miles east and half south. The Lone Tree Church of God in Christ Mennonite is located. It is estimated that when the tree died in the early 1930's it was at least 150 years old, between 7 and 8 feet in diameter and more than 100 feet in height.

We drove out to the church and had to get out and look at some of the old gravestones.

This one is so old you can't read it at all.

Although these aren't close relation (although maybe we are related - seems like we all are! Allen and I are related - not only are we 3rd cousins, we are also 7th cousins. Al is a 3rd cousin to himself!! His mom and dad were 2nd cousins) it was very interesting to read. We have life so easy compared to what they had to.
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." 1 Cor. 16:13,14

1 comment:

Marc, Sarah, and Luke said...

Now, admittedly, I didn't know all of the history behind "Lone Tree," but I have A LOT of family buried at that cemetery -- all three of my grandparents who have passed away (and my only other living grandparent will be buried there someday), several of my great-grandparents, quite a few great aunts and uncles, and a few of my mother's AND father's cousins (my parents are also related)....So, I'm VERY familiar with that cemetery, and it actually is special because of my grandparents. You probably noticed quite a few Koehn's, Becker's, Unruh's, etc....Yep -- they're probably all of my relatives :) In fact, now that I think about it, my name is actually on one of my grandparent's tombstone...You might have seen it even. Thanks for sharing the history!