Posted by: Oklahoma Sun | February 19, 2010

God-Forsaken Kansas, Or The Drouth Of ‘60.

God-Forsaken Kansas, Or The Drouth Of ‘60.
By An Old Kansas Settler.


Ed Blair. Kansas Zephyrs, 1904.

 

“GOD-FORSAKEN Kansas,” yes, I saw it often then,
Printed on the covers of the moving wagons, when
They were moving eastward with their drivers in disgust,
Swearing that they’d never tread again on Kansas dust.
Yes, I watched them daily, often dozens in a row,
Pulling out of Kansas just as fast as they could go.

It was tough here, stranger, then just forty years ago,
When the drouth of ‘sixty came and delt us such a blow,
Many had to haul ten miles the water that they drank,
And ‘twas no wonder braver hearts than mine so often sank,
For drouth and war and sickness, all combined to drive us out,
That awful year of ‘sixty that you’ve no doubt heard about.

We came out here in fifty-eight and settled on our claim,
And called it home, but we had little worthy of the name.
We lived right in the wagon, ‘till I got a piece broke out,
And Nancy and the baby that whole season were not stout.
I tell you it’s a tester for ambition when you fight
The chills and fever daytimes and the pillager at night.

Those heavy logs you see out yonder, in that fence, are all
That’s left of our log cabin that we put up here that fall,
And it’s a fact, although some few might question it, I fear,
We thought more of that cabin than we do this building here.
For thirty years that cabin stood and no one e’er can say,
That he asked for a shelter and was ever turned away.

Yes, “God-forsaken Kansas” was in ‘sixty all the cry.
When the beds of all the rivers and the creeks were almost dry,
When the few ponds that had water in were so alive with snakes,
That if one-half the facts were told, they’d say ‘twas Kansas fakes.
I’ve often seen a hundred at a time go up the bank,
That I scared out when I went there for water that we drank.

We’ve fought grasshoppers and the drouth, chinch bugs, and ten per cent.,
(We paid that on a mortgage that poor crops and sickness sent)
And mixed up in the war a bit the time of Price’s raid.
But never for a moment have been sorry that we stayed.
For though we had it tough awhile, it paid us in the end,
For dear old Kansas never yet has gone back on a friend.

So tell the people, stranger, when you go back east again,
That this old state is different now from what it was here then,
And that a fellow fortunate enough to own a home,
In “God-forsaken Kansas” isn’t wanting now to roam,
That border warfares, drouth and such, have long since passed away,
And we’re happy and contented in our Kansas homes today.

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