The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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dugout telling them to remain until he made a trip to his old home in Fremont county.

After waiting some days Foster became discouraged, walked back to Lincoln, bought a ticket to Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he had some friends; he afterward wrote his partner (Sol Marsh) to come to him, offered to send him the money to come on but Sol declined his proposition. Foster now resides in Seattle and has become immensely wealthy as a result of some of his real estate speculations.

In a few days a man from Long Island by the name of Carl came along by where Henry Oliver was still waiting for Alsop; he agreed to haul Henry's trunk, Henry to walk. which he did from there to Norton. 

Alsop returned later and let the boys have the cattle to break prairie with that summer.

Hillsinger, Marsh and Oliver settled at that time on the farms where they now reside and are the oldest settlers in Norton county of continuous residence.

Mott Wood located on the farm now owned by J. W. Graves; Tom Brown on the farm owned by A. N. McLennan.

The only thing raised that year by any of the party was some sorghum planted by Hillsinger and Wood on land owned by D. C. Coleman, fifteen miles east of Norton; this they made up into syrup and sold for $1.00 per gallon.

In November of that year John Storey Briggs a licensed Indian trader came through Norton with five wagons loaded with supplies following the Otoe Indians who had preceded him on a buffalo hunt. The party consisted of Briggs and wife, (Dr. Phoebe Oliver Briggs) and three hired men, (one of them Jack Brooks, whom I will refer to later on in this article.)

Hillsinger had by this time become very much discouraged; potato bugs had eaten his potatoes while he was at Coleman's raising his cane; he offered his entire possessions for $65.00 and could find no buyer, so when the Briggs outfit came along with Mrs. Briggs driving one team he applied for the job. Briggs agreed to take him on these conditions: Hillsinger to take a barrel of sorghum to trade to the Indians as his compensation for driving the team.

They failed to find the Otoes but at the forks of the Beaver where Atwood now stands they found 1600 Pawnees. Here they went into winter quarters and proceeded to "swap."

In February they had moved several miles up the north fork of the Beaver, the Pawnees having in the meantime moved up the middle fork to a point opposite Briggs' camp.

Several buffalo hunters were camped at this time with Briggs. Among them was Ame Cole, a hunter of great skill - a very eccentric men, of whom many blood curdling Indian stories were told in the early days; he had been among the Sioux a greet deal and spoke their language fluently, John Kelly, his sons Zan and Frank, John Bieber and Charlie, also Charles Vining (brother of Jim) were there.

Early one morning during a severe snow storm three Sioux Indians came into camp, asked for something to eat and inquired where the Pawnees were camped. Cole heard enough of their talk to find out that 800 Sioux were going through that storm on foot to steal the Pawnees' horses; they promised not to steal the horses belonging to the hunters and soon departed. Cole said to the boys "There will be a bloody fight" and advised them to pull for the settlement; they all hitched up and started in the storm except Briggs and his outfit.

The next morning at daylight the Sioux came back with an immense herd of horses and nine Pawnee scalps: they had a war dance at Briggs' camp

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