Cameos of Strength

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2 in the Cottonwood Series

Cameos of Strength

Prairie Girls: Ranching, Mining, and Writing 1880-1920

Collette L. Reichenberger and Judith A. Carroll Illustrated by Becky Foster

Cameos of Strength

Prairie Girls: Ranching, Mining, and Writing 1880-1920 By

Collette L. Reichenberger and Judith A. Carroll Illustrated by Becky Foster

j Author’s Voice McPherson, Kansas

Cameos of Strength, Prairie Girls: Ranching, Mining, and Writing, 1880–1920 By Collette L. Reichenberger and Judith A. Carroll Copyright © 2017 by Collette L. Reichenberger and Judith A. Carroll. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, except for brief quotations in reviews, without the written permission of the authors. This book is a work of fiction. The historical events, figures, and places are real. However, the characters and the circumstances of these stories are figments of the authors’ imaginations. Illustration by Becky Foster Editing and book design by Jan Gilbert Hurst Published by Author’s Voice 1315 East Euclid, McPherson, KS 67460 ISBN: 978-0-9970062-5-4 LCCN: 2017956044 Printed and bound in the United States of America by Mennonite Press, Inc., Newton, Kansas. This is Book Two in the Cottonwood Series. Book One, also by Reichenberger and Carroll, is Cameos of Courage, published 2017 under ISBN 978-0-9970062-3-0.

Praise for Cameos of Strength “Authors Collette Reichenberger and Judy Carroll have beautifully personalized history in Cameos of Strength. Students can learn history from facts and figures. But through Lindsay, Emily, and Rylie, they can live and learn— from day-to-day interactions and experiences—what it took to walk through the turbulent times from the 1880s to the early 1900s. Lindsay’s family dealt with Mother Nature’s hold over the lives of ranchers. Emily’s enduring struggle helped women get the right to vote. And Rylie’s writing efforts traced her family’s and the nation’s trials during the first world war. All three stories, woven with history and detail, showcase the strength of young people who helped pave the way for those who came after them. Students will love and identify with their stories.” —Carol McGarvey, former longtime features reporter for The Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa; now freelance writer “Cameos of Strength vividly imparts, through this trilogy, important aspects of universal truths.The struggles of mankind to learn, to grow, to overcome, and improve are poignantly expressed. Although illustrated in three very different, divergent places and times in Kansas history, each expresses the interconnectedness of life in both time and space. What applies to them, applies to us. Lindsay, Emily, and Rylie are dedicated to overcoming their limitations by courageously pursuing knowledge and understanding through perseverance, love, and faith. May we all do as well. A book needed in our time.” —Jerry D. Lomshek, R.N., local historian, author of A Century of Spirit and The Frontenac, Kansas, Mine Explosion of 1888 “Cameos of Strength contains three entertaining as well as educational stories about young girls in Kansas. I read the entire book in one sitting. I couldn’t wait to find out what was happening with each girl! The authors did a great job of weaving fiction with the historical. Having been to all three areas of Kansas where these stories take place, I could visualize the setting for each story as I was reading it. During the blizzard in ‘Lindsay: The Confident Cowgirl,’ I even shivered as I read the account. An easy read, Cameos of Strength will be enjoyed by the intended young audience as well as adults.” —Linda K. Smith, Archives Specialist Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum


Dedication Cameos of Strength is dedicated to all young girls and boys to inspire an interest in history and to our grandchildren, especially Lindsay, Layne, Emily, and Rylie.


CONTENTS Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Story One Lindsay: The Confident Cowgirl. . . . . . . 1 Story Two Emily: The Kind Suffragette. . . . . . . . . 55 Story Three Rylie: The Imaginative Writer. . . . . . . 97 Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 About the Authors and Illustrator. . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

A cameo is a piece of jewelry with a stone or shell on which figures are carved. —A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer, 22nd edition. The Dictionary Project, Inc., Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina


INTRODUCTION “…when a society or civilization perishes, One condition may always be found. They forget where they came from. They lost sight of what brought them along.” —From Remembrance Rock by Carl Sandburg

Cameos of Strength is the second book in the Cottonwood Series. The book features three girls, age ten, and covers the time period from the 1880s through the early 1900s.The unifying positive character trait of the three girls is their strength. “Lindsay: The Confident Cowgirl” takes place on the Martin family ranch near Abilene, Kansas. Hard work, cattle rustlers, and the hardships of killing blizzards are just some of the crises they endure. “Emily: The Kind Suffragette” is the story of Emily who is also ten. She lives in Hamilton Camp, a mining community located in southeastern Kansas during the years 1899 and 1900. Her kind disposition helps her befriend the one-room school’s bully. Emily strongly believes women should have the right to vote. The final story, “Rylie: The Imaginative Writer” begins in the new century and describes Rylie Olson and her family during the early 1900s. Rylie’s brother volunteers to fight in the Great War (WWI). While he is gone they experience life on the home front during the first total world war. Some events in each of the stories in Cameos of Strength and characters in this book are based on events which actually happened. Other events are fictional and creations of the authors. Real historical people, such as Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover, appear along with fictional characters in the stories. The authors have tried to portray a true picture of history.


1 Lindsay: The Confident Cowgirl By Collette L. Reichenberger with Judith A. Carroll Near Abilene, Kansas 1880s


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Lindsay and her family survive the rugged trials of life on a ranch in the 1880s.

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CONTENTS Chapter One – The Plan Chapter Two – Branding Calves Chapter Three – I Earn My Supper Chapter Four – The Fence Cutters Chapter Five – Pa Gets Hurt Chapter Six – Back to Usual Chapter Seven – Hoof Prints Chapter Eight – The Great Blizzard Chapter Nine – The Worst Is Yet to Come Chapter Ten – Joy with Dawn Authors’ Notes

bc HELPFUL TERMS Branding: marking an animal with a heated metal instrument (branding iron) Persimmon: an orange-colored, edible fruit resembling a tomato and tasting like a plum with sweet, tart flesh Remuda: a herd of saddle-broken horses. Ranch hands choose their mounts for the day from this herd. Roundup: the process of gathering cattle into an area for sorting, branding, and doctoring


C H A P T E R O ne

The Plan To Repair Cuts: • Put grease or oil and turpentine mixed together on any bad cut to make it heal right. If you use it on an animal, it will heal the cut and make the hair grow back over it. • Soak a cut in salt water.



earing an old pair of Layne’s jeans and a shirt, I pulled on my boots and quietly walked into the kitchen. I heard Ma’s laughter as she talked and joked with the cowboys and my family. The delicious smells of ham, eggs, and biscuits made my stomach growl. Ma moved around the table, refilling each coffee cup. When I entered, everyone looked up and then back down at his plate. All the talking stopped. Charley started first. “What do you think you’re doing wearing jeans? Girls wear dresses; even tomboy girls do.” “Yeah, and those look like my old jeans,” Layne added. “Ma, I thought you gave our old clothes to the church to send to the orphans.” “Looks to me like I missed a pair,” Ma said as she frowned at me. “What’s up Missy?” 4

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“Not much,” I answered as I took my seat next to her. I realized that bringing up my plan in front of everybody had turned into a bad idea.When Ma called me “Missy” trouble appeared. “Pa, could I have a meeting with you in your office after breakfast?” Whenever one of the ranch hands or my brothers needed to talk with Pa, they went to his office. I saw him look at Ma, and she shrugged her shoulders. “Of course, Lindsay, right after you finish your breakfast,” he said. His lips tightened like he was trying not to smile. “Pass her some biscuits, boys. Eat up, men. A long, busy day awaits us. The sun’s been up for ten minutes.” Everyone returned to eating. Pa continued telling Hank, the foreman, what chores needed to be done before everyone left for roundup. I tried to listen to them, but Layne continued to pester me about his jeans. He pelted me with questions about why I wore them. I turned my attention to him when he mentioned the roundup. “If you think for one minute you are going on roundup, think again. No one wants a girl out on the range. It’s a distraction, and Pa will never agree to it,” he warned me. I chose not to reply, but instead thought about my plan. My confidence grew weaker as the minutes passed. I rehearsed my ideas again in my mind. Now every step appeared harder than I thought. I wondered: Are You telling me “no” already, Lord? My brothers argued over the last biscuit until Ma added more to the plate. “Get your elbows off of the table and ask someone to pass the butter instead of reaching for it,” she said as she refilled cups with more coffee. “You boys can’t expect to ever get a girlfriend if you can’t act proper.” “Who said we wanted to get a girl anyway?” asked Layne.


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“That’s the attitude Layne,” one of the cowboys said. “Girls got me into trouble more than once.” “You said we needed good manners when we ate, but Lindsay is dressed like a boy,” commented Charley. “No cowboy ever liked a girl who dressed and acted like a boy.” “Right,” Layne added. “What about her manners?” “That’s enough,” Pa said. “You boys need to finish your breakfast and get your chores done. Be ready to move out in an hour. Morning will be half gone before you leave the table if you don’t get going.” The ranch hands stood and thanked Ma as they left the kitchen and went to the barn. “Did you forget I wanted to meet with you, Pa?” I asked him as he moved toward his office. “I haven’t met with your brothers yet, so come in when you finish helping your ma with the dishes,” he said. I flew about the room gathering plates and cups and hurried toward the sink. On my second trip, I dropped some of the tin cups, and they clattered to the floor, spilling coffee. “Slow down, Lindsay,” Ma said. “I’m not going to get any work out of you until you have had your talk with Pa. Go. Maria and I will finish when she gets here.” Maria and her husband José had worked with my family since before I was born. “Thank you, Ma,” I said, relieved to leave my mess. I saw the closed office door, so I took a seat on the chair by the door. I heard Pa telling my brothers what chores needed to be finished before leaving for the roundup.When he opened the door and they came out, they turned around and went back inside.They wanted to hear what I planned to say to Pa. “You boys go ahead and see what needs to be loaded on José’s chuck wagon. Check with your ma about the extra grub for supper today.You can carry it down and get it loaded for José.”

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“Aw, Pa, we are ranch hands, so we don’t load or do low jobs like that,” whined Charley. “You do if you want to eat. You best treat José better than any other hand on this ranch if you want another meal out on the range. Now get going.” “Yes, sir,” my brothers said as they hurried out of the office. “All right, young lady. Tell me the importance of wearing a pair of jeans and forgetting you’re a lady?” Pa asked. I felt like trouble had appeared. “Well, the jeans have to do with what I wanted to ask you.” “Well, get to it. What’s going on?” My plan spilled out as fast as I could talk. “Pa, I’m ten now, and my brothers helped with the roundup at my age. You know about my roping skills and how well I ride my horse, Star. I want to be part of the ranch by helping with the cattle. I can do math better than my brothers, even though they’re older, and I want to learn about the business side of the ranch, too.” I continued babbling, but Pa frowned. I finished my last sentence with relief and dropped into the nearest chair. “Was that it?” he asked. “Yes, sir, unless you have some questions I can answer,” I replied. “Nope, no questions. Go back to the kitchen and help get breakfast cleaned up,” he said. Disappointed, I hung my head as I opened the door to the office and started back to the dining room. “Shut the door, please. Oh, and ask your ma to come in for a minute.” That wasn’t good. Ma would never agree to my helping with roundup. My plan had failed. Ma went to the office, and I cleared the table of the few remaining dishes and moved everything into the kitchen. Water heated on the stove for dish washing. I scraped


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the plates and wiped the mess. Everything sat soaking and ready for a scrub. “Lindsay Lee Martin, come back in here,” Pa said from the office. Reluctantly I dried my hands, went back, and saw Ma and Pa standing together. “Sir?” I said. “Your ma and I discussed the possibility of your helping during roundup.We both believe you are too young to do this.We also think it is important for a girl planning to live on a ranch to help with the family business. That includes not only the house, the bookkeeping, and the business side, but also the livestock management. So…you may go on roundup.You have to do whatever you are told. Basically, we are going to say José needs your help, and you will help him. I will teach you what you need to know about roundup.” “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I said as I hugged them both. Ma took me upstairs to pack the few things I needed to take. I smiled because I knew I could do it. Ma said that Maria and she would finish the dishes because I needed to get my horse ready. Ma packed my clothes into her own saddlebags, gave me a hug, and reminded me to be careful and do what Pa said. I promised to do whatever Pa wanted. I hurried outside and into the barn to get Star saddled and ready to go. I thanked God over and over in my mind for helping me. Most of the ranch hands and my brothers had left so I moved as quickly as possible, throwing my bedroll and saddlebag onto Star. I led her outside over to the chuck wagon and José. “Hola, mi chiquita,” José said as he gave me a hand up onto the wagon seat. “Good morning, Señor José,” I said as I settled onto the seat.

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“Just how did you convince your pa and ma to let you go on roundup?” he asked. “Oh, I had a good plan.” José slapped the reins on the backs of the team, and we moved forward. Chuckling, José said, “I am sure you did. You could always talk your way out of things, my confident little one. This time you talked yourself into getting to go on roundup. Yes, sir. I am sure you did.” José always understood me better than anyone.

Cameos of Strength Prairie Girls: Ranching, Mining, and Writing, 1880-1920

“You need to go back to the ranch and have one of the men bring a wagon for me. I can’t ride a horse until I get a splint made. Look at the break for me. Can you see just one bone broken or are there several broken?” Pa asked with his teeth clenched. “Students,” Miss Clara said, “there’s been an accident at the mine, and Billy’s father was trapped in a rock slide. The other miners are working to rescue him.” “It’s not George,” he replied. “It’s a note from the Castons. They received a telegram this morning saying Lucas is missing. He got separated from his unit, and they haven’t located him yet.” Like I watched a scene from a play, Edith collapsed right beside me. I had never seen someone faint before, but she did just that, right there on the bottom step of the stairway. Lindsay, Emily, and Rylie demonstrate strength of character in their lives along with Christian family values. Readers will learn about historical events and life on the prairie as they relate to these young girls in the book. Then readers can apply the positive character traits of the girls and the lessons learned to their own lives.

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