In September and October of 1894, Carrie Sayre, a young woman living in Garnett, KS, traveled to Arkansas with her two sisters and brothers-in-law to look at some claims. They traveled by mule wagon and camped every evening. The round trip took three weeks. Carrie recorded the events of each day in her travel journal, including her impressions of the places they visited and the people they met along the way.
Rodney Royston, a descendant of Carrie's sister, has transcribed Carrie's travel journal and generously allowed me to post it on the Anderson County KSGenWeb Project homepage. As much as possible he has preserved her spelling and punctuation. Words that could not be made out are indicated in brackets.
September 20, 1894
Started from Garnett to Arkansas. Alice, Elmer, Pearl, Fred and myself.
Camped for dinner on Little Sugar and camped for the night on big Sugar. Fred and I went after hay and water and got it of Mr. Hawkins.
Passed through a little town by the name of Oakwood.
Rained last night--real hard but didn't get much wet. The sun is shining nice and warm this morning as we are getting ready to start on our journey. Passed through Blue Mound this morning Camped for dinner on the Osage and a crazy old man came up while we were eating dinner. Passed through Mapleton this afternoon
Camped for the night on the Osage near a very nice place and a lovely morning as we start on our journey again. Camped 18 miles from Fort Scott
Passed through Harding a small station Camping for dinner about 3 miles from Fort Scott
Passed through Fort Scott this afternoon and then through a little station named Clarksville.
Are camping for the night 8 miles from Ft. Scott.
Passed through Arcadia this morning and through Liberal, Barton Co. Mo. the first town in Mo. we have passed through, are camping for the night on a nice large farm. Haven't seen any Mo. drunks yet. Have played high five most all day if it is S_________
Passed through Janthe [Ianthe?] this morning and it is so cold and cloudy. We think there must be a [spuch?] or something going on this morning there are so many farmers coming to town
Passed through Lamar County seat of Barton Co. 2860 inhabitants and through a town, Golden City, 773 inhabitants but a lovely little town We are camping a mile from this town
Passing through Lockwood Dade Co. A town of 633 inhabitants. The fair is going on this is the first day
Passed through Miller, Lawrence Co. a small town, and are camping for the night a little ways this side of town on a small creek.
Passed through Mt. Vernon the County Seat of Lawrence Co. It is a nice little town of 733 inhabitants but the roads are the roughest roads I ever did see we could hardly sit in the wagon, passed through a little town by the name of McKinly, a school house, church and store were all there was of the town, and we have traveled over the roughest roads all day today and most of the day yesterday that I ever did see and the prospects are they will be rough for several days to come.
Almost every farmer we have seen today have been sowing wheat, they seen to raise more wheat than anything else and I don't see how they raise anything for the ground is all covered with rocks every where we look and we are all so tired we feel like we had been pounded soft.
We are camping for the night about 2 miles from McKinly
We passed through Billings Christian Co 464 inhabitants this morning not through the business part of town
Crossed the James river just before noon and it was a mean river to cross, one of the mules fell down and frightened us all. We are still traveling over rocks and they are something terrible. I guess they all have [fire? plows?] in this part of the country.
Camping for the night in sight of Ozark the Co. seat of Christian County
Passing through Ozark this morning It is a rocky looking town for the county seat but then it corresponds pretty well with surrounding country.
One thing I like about this county the wind doesn't blow scarcely at all.
After leaving Ozark we travel continually through timber. It is a beautiful sight to see, but the roads are so rocky and rough.
We camp for dinner in a creek bottom and the watter is so clear. Just like crystle.
Haven't made very good time today on account of the hills. and camp within 9 miles of Tany City and it is 25 miles from Ozark to Tany City. Pearl and I went to a house this evening and got eggs and tomatoes. The lady of the house was so nice and pleasant, her oldest boy had the typhoid fever.
I never did see such a heavy dew as there was this morning. We traveled over better roads this morning than we have for several days. and at last have reached Tany City.
There is one store one hotel and a house or two and that is all thire is of this city.
In passing a farm this morning we saw this on a board out in front
It struck us as being awfully funny
We are camping about 2 miles southeast of Tany City on Jerry Gordon's farm It is a lonesome place. They came here from Chanute and today is the first day his wife has spent on their farm. She says she has cried most all day. I feel so sorry for her. She has one little boy.
It has been raining a little this afternoon. Fred and I went out hunting but didn't kill anything but time. We are going to stay here a few days.
It is a nice clear morning but real cold. The boys have gone out hunting before breakfast.
Elmer went to see his claim this morning. Fred and I went hunting this afternoon, walked about 4 miles but didn't kill a thing or even see anything to kill.
Oct 1 1894
Monday morning We are still in the valey of the Ozarks. It is sprinkling a little this morning. If it doesn't rain we are all going up to see an old bachelors claim. he is homesick and tired of baching and wants to sell out.
We went up to see the old bachelors claim but he wasn't at home so we didn't get to see him.
We took our guns and Fred killed two squirrels.
Oct. 2, 1894
It is raining this morning and promises to be a gloomy day. Fred and Elmer have gone with the old bachelor to look at his home or rather his claim
It has cleared off this afternoon and is nice and warm.
I was frightened this afternoon by a Triantular coming into our tent. I was lying on one of the spring seats reading when I heard somone say hello. I went out to see who it was and it was a little boy that had brought us some apples. he says look at that big spider on the tent and I looked and thire it was crawling from the direction where I had been laying and right close to me. It made me feel awfully funny.
I would like to leave these diggins if that is the kind of varments they have.
The boys killed two squirrels today so we are going to have squirrel for supper
The two boys and Mr. Gordon have gone to town.
Have started our homeward journey this morning. Are camping for dinner 10 miles from Taney. stopped this morning at a farm-house where they were making molasses and bought 3 quarts Camped for the night 4 miles from Ozark.
Got to Ozark real early this morning It is awfully chilly. Will go from here to Springfield. Camped for dinner in a shady grove. Pearl and I went to a farmhouse after some milk. They were genuine Missourians and so pleasant. They gave us some tomatoes.
The Finly river runs through Ozark. The town is on one side of the river and the depot is on the other This is where the cute little barber lives
We found some movers this morning that were camping on the other side of Ozark and one of their children had died last night. The mother looked so sad.
Passed through Galloway a small town southeast of Springfield where thire were two lime kilns.
Passed through Springfield late in the afternoon and camped 2 miles this side.
Passed through Nichols this morning another small town and through Ash Grove this afternoon. Camped for the night 3 miles from Ash Grove
Passing through Everton this morning. Dade Co. a town of 275 inhabitants A very nice town. Camped for dinner by the Sac river and a little ways from Pilgrim a town of 100 inhabitants
Passing through Grienfield the Co. seat of Dade Co. They have a nice square here and a very nice courthouse and altogether a very nice town.
Was in sight of Lockwood this afternoon was one mile north.
Camping for the night 18 miles from Lamar. Last night Alice, Pearl, and myself imagined we felt a tirantular crawling on our faces and we got up and had a little parade while Elmer shook all the covers. Fred slept so sound he didn't know a thing of it until morning.
We had a drawing school in our tent tonight, drawing cats going from us.
Oct. 7 Sunday
It rained this morning a little. Just as we were leaving camp and looks very much like rain this noon while we are camping for dinner on muddy creek. Six or seven boys have a tent here on the creek. I think by the looks of them they are town boys and have come out here for today to have a time.
We are not very far from Lamar. Camped for the night in sight of Irwin Barton Co. a town of 110 inhabitants Wood was so scarce here the boys had to go to a hog lot and pick up cobs to get supper and breakfast.
Oct. 8 Monday
There was a big frost here this morning and it has been cold all fornoon
Passed through Sheldon Vernon Co. 396 inhabitants and Milo 100 inhabitants Camping for dinner not very far from Milo
Camped for the night about 6 mile from Nevada.
Oct 9. Tuesday
It is frosty and cold again this morning Passing through Rich Hill this afternoon 4008 inhabitants Camping for the night close to a widow woman's house, she is very kind to us. Alice has been sick all day and hasn't eaten anything at all.
The widow woman, Mrs. Morgan and her three children, and her mother and hired hand came down to see us this evening. They are nice pleasant people and we will always remember this nice widow.
Oct. 10 Wednesday
We are 40 miles from home now have just arrived at Mr. Bob Judy's this noon, will stay here for dinner although Pearl, Fred, and myself would rather not for they are perfect strangers to us but they won't hear to us going away until tomorrow so we have consented to stay.
We all went over to Virginia this afternoon to see Mrs. McFaden, Mrs. Judy's daughter. Stayed for supper and had a great time Got acquainted with Mr. Wolf "the leading lawyer of Burlington" dont you know. The ladies and the man the girls wanted to take a "moon shine" ride with
We didn't admire the "wolf" much but we did admire his team of a snow white and a coal black horses
We spent a very pleasant evening with the Judy family and retired early to get an early start for home the next morning.
Oct 11 Thursday
Didn't get a very early start after all. Drove like fury all day and got to Elmers about 7 in the evening The boys tormented me all day as it would be the last day they would get to torment me for a long time but I guess it is good for me to be dragged around and used as rough as possible.
We didn't get to see ourselves in a mirror for three weeks. Just think of it three long weeks. I was so glad cousin Jenie was still here when we got home. We will get to visit with her awhile anyway.
Bought 12 head of hogs Nov. 20, 1894
What I spend for feed What Pa spends Mill Feed $1.95 Corn $3.25 " " 2.00 Corn $9.85 " " 1.00 Feed 2.40 " " .95 " .40 Corn 10.00 " 2.00 Mill Feed 1.00 " .35 " " 1.00 " " 2.00 " " 2.40 " " 5.00 " " 2.00 " " 10.00
1 1/2 qt. hops 4 qt water
Transcribed by Rodney Royston