The Diary of Lizzie Dopps


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One summer day in 1935 two friends of mine, Mrs. Maud McIntosh, of Bremerton, Washington, and Mrs. Madelin Bissell of San Francisco, and I were visiting my little mother, Mrs. Lizzie Anna Dopps, in the Home at Retsil, Washington.  

We had such a splendid interesting time, mother telling us of some of her experiences of pioneering.  Of course, I had heard many of them before, but they have always thrilled me.  

My friend, Maud, Mrs. McIntosh, had just finished reading a very popular, late book of pioneer life, and exclaimed, "Mrs. Dopps, why don't you write a book telling of your experiences?  They are as Interesting as those in this book I have just finished, and I think it is one of the best books I have ever read."

Mother laughed and said she did not think she was capable of writing a book, especially at her age, then eighty-four.

Both Mrs. Bissell and Mrs. McIntosh suggested I, Mrs. Dopps' daughter, do the writing as mother related it.  They so strongly urged her, and I said I'd be only too willing to help her, so she consented to do so.

I have tried to tell of these happenings in my mother's own words as near as possible, not building up or exaggerating anything to make fiction.  I have merely been a thought recorder,  

I have enjoyed writing these experiences and it has made me realize more fully what our pioneers have gone through, their indomitable courage, the courageous cheerful characters, the hardships they endured to make this country what it is today.  God bless the pioneers in anything.

Jessie E. Botsford




This copy of her book was sent to Wilbur and Clara Close brother of David Close and Ellen Dopps who lived side by side with them in Norton, Kansas.  Ellen was Eli’s sister.  At the time of this writing both  David and Ellen had passed and the book was passed by Creighton Close (the only child of Wilbur and Clara--who had no children) to Paul Henry Close -- David’s great grandson, my brother, who has given permission for us to share this treasure with others who had family who lived in the Norton area.     Loris Close Arnold    November 2006


Lizzie Ann Matthews
1851 – 1941 

Eli E. Dopps
 1848 – 1920

Jessie  Dopps

Nellie  Dopps


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 © 2006 Laurie Arnold.  All material presented herein was transcribed or otherwise provided by Laurie Arnold from the unpublished text of the diary, family photos and personal genealogy.  She and her family have graciously given permission for the diary to be posted to the Norton County Kansas GenWeb website, for the benefit of others who had pioneer families in Norton County, Kansas. This diary, photos and personal genealogy may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders.  web design © 2006 Ardie Grimes