The Stump Ranch

Family & Community History
of the Upper Skagit Valley

Torrey Girls
"History of the James Daniel Torrey Family"
(Royal Stump Ranch 1927)
Torrey Girls

Some Background

      The biggest heartbreak for the Boyd family is that after years of struggle and bearing fourteen children, the beloved wife of Capt. L.A. [Alex] Boyd, Olive Clara passed away Sept. 7, 1897 at age 43 years, after struggling with "a complication of diseases" according to an obituary in a local paper at the time. Alex had been elected to the office of Skagit County Clerk with the Peoples Party in 1896, the office itself was only for a term of two years, but the income was $100.00 a month, a phenomenal amount of money during a time of economic depression.
      The fact was that at the time of her death, according to her daughters she was tired, worn out, haggered and even though she was enjoying a more leisurely life with a new home in the city of Burlington [next to Mt. Vernon] with a garden she enjoyed working in, she was apparently ready for the long sleep. My best guess at her unknown diseases that caused her death would be diabetes, which ended the life of her daughter Eva Jane in 1943 and has shown up in numerous descendants since. Another irritation to the nine Boyd daughters of Alex and Doll was their fathers advise to each of them when they married was to not have as many children as their mother did, which he figured contributed to her death.
      The wide gap in the ages of Etta & Clara can be attributed to the death of two other sisters, as mentioned in this story; Georgetta Adielia was born 1848 (at the moment I believe the young lady pictured above left is Etta; according to Gladys Pape Miller, who we're indebted for the pictures) and Clara born 1856-1857 in Illinois; Jane 1846-1847. The only son Ira Torrey was born 1860 and I will be posting his obituary in the near future.
      According to the wedding certificate of George Savage to Georgetta A. Torrey, they were married at the Omaha Mission, Nebraska, July 1865 directly following the end of the Civil War. The witnesses were Georges father Jehiles Savage and Ettas sister Eva Jane Torrey, which would indicate this as the mission Jane was working for as mentioned in this story. Olive Clara Torrey married Lewis Alexander Boyd at the age of 14 sometime early 1869, as their first child Archie was born July 1870, one of the first children born in the area soon to be Antelope County Nebraska.
      It's a fun but long story and I haven't divided it into chapters yet, so you might want to print it a each side of your pages.
Return to Torrey Family Genealogy Homepage


To those in the Boyd Family who are interested in the history of their maternal ancestors. I will roll back the years of about 1835, when my mother's family first came to the United States from Eastern Canada.

The History of the Torrey Family

by Mabel Boyd Royal-Steen

     My Great Grandparents were born in France, and coming from there, settled in Eastern Canada. The father was a hard working stooped man bearing the marks of hard labor, yet had the youthful look of cheerfulness and twinkling eyes that seemed to smile. The Mother more fragile and dainty and always a busy little soul. The daughter, Olive, later our Grandmother, was a pretty girl with dainty ways and a fair amount of schooling. She was a girl who had never been far from home and had always been sheltered, of course like all girls of her time, she was taught the art of housekeeping, jelly making, sewing and all other duties in the line of domestics to become a good wife. Like most girls of that age, Olive had plenty of Suitors from nearby homesteads.
      But none took her fancy until a Stalwart you; fullng pioneer by the name of Daniel Torrey [James Daniel Torrey] came along who won her heart. He was a French Canadian, who had settled somewhere in Minnesota. He was of sturdy stock, and a great woodsman of that day. As was the custom of that day, a youth starts out to find him a wife when he decides to take up land and settle down. This young fellow, who was traveling through the country afoot, stopped at her parent's farm for the night. A traveler was always welcome to bed and meals, for living far from friends and neighbors, they appreciated having company. That was the only way people found out about what was happening in other parts of the country. They made Dan Torrey welcome, and as soon as he laid eyes on Olive, he would go no farther. Olive herself was much infatuated and ready to toss off all the other boys and go with him, after a short acquaintance.
 :     So they were married and set out together in a crude wagon and a team of oxen, given to them as a wedding gift from her father. At first every thing was like a happy dream to Olive, but as the miles dragged on, she began to get tired and a little homesick, things began to lose their glamour. To make things seem worse, one of the oxen rebelled and lay down, when they came to the Hilly country. Dan became exasperated and was about fit to be tied, for there is nothing quite so aggravating as a stubborn ox that will lie down and beller when he has to pull a load. His bride was in tears. Fate must have taken a hand for after several hours of wasted time, along came two men on horses who stopped when they saw their plight and oxen laying in the road and Dan prodding at him. The men dismounted and while Dan prodded and swore, they tied a knot in the old ox tail and pulled. This was more than the ox could stand, so he got up and they were on their way again. The two men mounted and were on their way, as Dan heartily thanked them. These two men were going the way that the Torrey's had come and the bride thought and wished that she could go back with them, to the friendly place that she had left behind. On their way again, her gay Romeo seemed happy and sung the old rollicking songs that he had learned in his travels, and time soothing her feelings as they journeyed on.
      Their next hard luck was almost disastrous. The ox lay down in the middle of a swollen stream and Olive was in hysterics, and Dan was trying to quite her and keep from drowning in the stream at the same time, aid like a man, he tried to cover his fright end act brave. Again the good lord must have been with them for along came a horse thief with a herd of stolen horses who saw their plight, and throwing a loop on the struggling oxen, drag him by lariat and saddle horn up onto the bank. The ornery ox still in a mean mood refused to stand up or heed a twisted tail, lay bellowing on the ground. They saw that they would never get anywhere with him, so one of the outlaws pulled his pistol and shot the ox dead. The outlaws then offered two of their stolen saddle horses to finish their trip. Not living far from the Torrey home, they were glad to get help, even if these men were outlaws. Dan thanked these men as best he could. The bride felt no thrill of admiration for their bold rescuers as they rode away. If they had a heart of gold it was too deeply covered with crudeness to be attractive. They were brothers and called themselves King. Perhaps they meant king of the horse thieves, but to this tired weary bride they were no more than just renegades.
      At last when their journey had ended and they were settled in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. Life went on but there was always a longing for home and her parents in Olive's heart in those days. Families would move on a place and grow crops until the land run out and got poor. Then move to another place where there was new rich land. They knew nothing about building land up or fertilizing with manure. Few people had cows and kept oxen or horses for work and transportation. Dan and Olivia Torrey then moved to Illinois, then to Wisconsin and had six children, two of them having died with Diphtheria.
      A pill doctor (as they called a medical doctor then, because it was mostly herb doctoring people used in those days.) At that time medical science hadn't made much progress and the pills that were dosed out to patients were of little use. Therefore people had more confidence in herbs of which a lot of that knowledge was leaned from the Indians. Olive put her children in the care of a pill doctor and the consequence was that two of them died. She told the doctor what she thought of him and threw the bottles of pills at him as he went out the door. Then she went out and gathered an armful of weeds of various type of some kind that she knew about, (her father had been an herb doctor and a good one so she had leaned a lot from him. The other three children were nearly dead so she quickly brewed up those weeds and set one after another in those hot-steeped tub of weeds, steaming them in the tub with a blanket over them. When they were thoroughly hot then wrapping then in a warm blanket she kept on with this treatment till they showed signs of improvement. This way she saved the rest of her children. From this incident, she developed hatred for medical Doctors, and to anyone who mentioned the word; it was like a Battle Cry. She would trust herself to Faith, and nature's remedies, to any other hope of health, but never a doctor again.
      About this time, they had a son born to them in addition to the two older girls Jane and Adelia, who was always called Etta, and the two they had lost. This small son was not the robust healthy child that his sisters were, and was considered backwards. He was guarded and pampered by his doting mother and to others seemed peculiar. He never married, and never mixed with those about him. After his mothers death he finally drifted away to other parts of the country. Even his sisters had very little in common with him, and though he was loved, he seemingly was never understood.
      Etta was the one who really took the part of a Son. She was a wild happy go lucky girl and thought she could do anything that a boy could do. Such as outside work, fishing, hunting, and tagging her father around and singing any kind of a song he taught to her. Lugging a heavy, smooth bore gun, bringing down a wild deer or other game at hand. She did not like even the thought of wearing the yards and yards of full skirts as her sister Jane loved to wear, she was so taken up with a mans work that she liked to dress accordingly. Often she welded the axe or crosscut saw, so her usual garb was her dad's homespun's and shirt and often as not any shoes at all. She often tramped miles to the trap lines or the distant Indian villages. Georgetta A. Torrey Savage
      It was well that her father gave this daughter this wood lore training for one harsh winter with the usual hard times an injury laid the father low. He was a Gun maker by trade, and also mended broken guns. There was no one else to mend the guns so Etta mended them by doing exactly as he told her to do. She thus kept the family in meat that winter. When spring came the family was destitute for shoes and clothing. Etta said that she would go to the village and see if she could find some sort of work to do. You can't do that, said her Mother, you have no fit clothes to wear. Turning to her older sister, Etta said, perhaps lane can loan me some lane started rummaging around, and produced an old pair of shoes and a red dress with a full skirt.
      Decked out in this regalia, Etta started out carrying the shoes in her hand, trudging the fifteen miles to the village. Unless Etta found a job, no matter what kind, from doing housework to sticking hogs, she made up her mind she would take it. So swinging along at a fast pace, her sisters red ruffled skirt swishing around her bare feet and legs, and the dainty scarf, which was suppose to be worn around her neck was tied around her waist mated to be rid of it. In one hand swung the shoes and in the other her Mothers bonnet which she had snatched off as soon as she was out of sight of the house.
      It was not to be wondered at, dressed this way, that any door she knocked was shut in her face, no one wanted a hired girl at 50 cents a week it seemed. Arriving at the village she applied at every shop and store in the little town, and thoroughly becoming discouraged. On the way out of town, she saw a bush loaded with berries. She placed her mother bonnet full and went back to town to sell them. She managed to sell them for a few cents, to a sour faced housewife, who said she hoped there were no lice in the hat. So with the few pennies in her hand, which seemed to give her courage again, life took on a rosy look once more.
      Etta was beginning to wonder by this time where she would sleep, for she did not like the thought of walking back over the Prairie in the dark with the wolves howling, and prowling Indiana at hand. She made her way to a shop and bought her Father a once of twist tobacco, for he was to have his treat at least. The storekeeper asked her casually if this was for her Pa or her young man. Blushing the girl said for her Pa. Questioning Etta the keeper found out their situation at home but said that he didn't know of anyone who was likely to be in need of help right off hand.
      Neither had noticed a tall bearded man who stood listening to what had been said. He spoke up and said if this young lady request work, I can direct her to a place where a girl is needed, and better still, I'm on my way there now and she can ride to the very door with me, Etta stared at him with rising hopes, and the store keeper said, Well, Lambert, ain't you the smart one now? Going right out her way an all. Only if she cares to accompany me, smiled the lanky Lambert."
      Etta was infatuated with the strange man, for never before had she seen such a fine looking man. The blackness of his whiskers off setting the whiteness or his teeth was such a contrast, caused Etta knees to shake as he strode from the store. So as to what her promised job might be or for whom, she never thought to ask, as she was terribly afraid he would change his mind about taking her.
      He conducted her to a carriage, which was pulled by a spanking pair of black horses. When Lambert lifted her over the wheel into the seat, no princess ever felt grander or more certain that she was on her way to good fortune. With her old shoes sticking straight out before her, her bonnet askew on her heads her hands gripping the side of the seat as Lambert cracked the whip and away they went, Etta thought how different this was from the she had come to town. Had Etta known that her newfound friend was one of the hated Mormons, she would have fainted with fear, but not knowing she asked where they were going as it was the opposite way from home? Lambert replied that they were going to the river, so she asked so more questions.
      Finally she was aroused by the man shaking her and saying, "Well! This is our destination Miss. He said, "being a Christian man I feel sorry for you, serving people whiskey and rum." " What do you mean? Asked Etta; don't you know? Said her escort, this place is a Road House. How should I know wailed Etta, you said nothing of this.
      That is true, said Lambert, but from your appearance, as I saw you with your red gown, and tousled hair, brazenly buying tobacco, what else could I think, However, your gentle manners on our journey has proven to me that you are a lady, and my heart has been moved to your plight. I would take you as a wife if you win come across the river with me in the morning. During this entire recital the bewhiskered man made no attempt to caress the frightened girl. I am honored that you asked me, said Etta, but you must give me time to think it over. No really nice girl would consider such a hasty proposal she as sure. Very well said her suitor, I will present you to Madam La Rue, sin you will be her guest for the night at my expense end we will discuss it in tie morning. So taking Etta by the arm he escorted her to the porch of the Inn.
      The house was divided into two parts with a door entrance to each. He opened the door to the right and bid her to enter. The room they entered was large and comfortable, furnished with a fireplace at the far end and sons chairs of' ox hide, with the hair left on. Motioning Etta to one of these chairs he left the room, and she could hear his clicking heels as he strode away.
      Etta was half asleep in the comfort of the chair, when she was aroused by someone entering the room. She sprang up at once to find a lady before her, the likes of which she bed never seen before. The lady had auburn red hair with bangs and curls, and long jeweled earrings bobbed from her ears. Etta had never seen such crimson lips and cheeks. The lady's eyes were large and gray with long dark lashes, her dress was tight fitting to the waist, and tight sleeves end full skirt with a large bustle. There were several jeweled rings on her fingers, which were well cared for, and not at all like Etta's mothers hands, which were coarse from hard work. A gold cross glittering with small diamonds hung from her neck to her bosom and rose and fell as she breathed. She wore a faint perfume and had a low husky voice such as Etta had neat dream of.
      She addressed Etta in her French and broken English; so you want to stay for the night? Etta nodded. Well! Come with me, and started up the stairs, Etta trailing at her heels, tangling her feet in the long skirt as she went up. She was glad when they got to the top and on down a hall with doors on each side. At the very last door down, the Madam opened it and said; "here Cherri" I will give you the end room then in the morning you slay gaze over the veranda to the river. Perhaps you may find a fine bluecoat to flirt with you. Etta blushed scarlet, she knew from her strict bringing up that nice girls did not flirt with soldiers, so she said, "Oh, I could never do that". The Madame arched her brows high and said;" a, La, puckering her full red lips. I quite forgot that you were Mormon faith, and the Bride of a Saint. Etta stared at her in astonishment; her reeling was that of being numb all over. Her tongue clinging to the roof of her mouth and her heart thumping like a caged bird. She finally gasped, "A Mormon" The bride of a Mormon? She gasped again, what do you mean? A Mormon to her was a man who took women where they found them, carried them away to their lair never to return. Etta would have trusted Satan as to trust to a Mormon.
      "But are you not brother Lamberts bride? Said the Madam, noticing the turmoil she had created in the girl's breast. The brides he has taken over in the past few years, and he has brought each one here as he has brought you, I presumed that you were his bride. You are the youngest and I think the nicest. A woman that goes with a Mormon to wed is no more a wife than a squaw.
      "But Madam, said the girl as she nearly collapsed on the bed, I am by no means a Mormon, and further more I am no mans wife. I only came with Brother Lambert because he said you needed a girl here to work for you.
      The Madam changed her attitude at once, she stared at Etta, at her hands, her sturdy young shoulders, her dress end scarf and said;" So I do, but you are so young', that matters not said Etta, who decided working at a roadhouse was far better than the fate of being a Mormon bride. I am strong Madam, and I can cut wood, run a trap line, and shoot game.
      I nave a man to do such jobs as that around here, but if you can cook, make beds, wash dishes, and serve beer and other drinks when needed, I will take you to work for me. I will do everything but serve liquor, said Etta. That I will not do. "Very well said the Madam, I thought you might help business, being you were young and healthy, and not bad looking. I would have given you a percentage on the sales, but since you are too pious to help with the bar, I'll have to serve there myself and let you do the other chores.
      Lay off your hat, wash your face and come down to supper. "Oh, said Etta, I cannot face that Mormon again. Well since he has already paid for your room and supper, I would if I were you, said the Madam, turning to go and leaving the room.
     Young Etta preferred the solace of the bedroom, so locking the door, she climbed tiredly into bed heartily wishing that she were home lying on her own husk filled mattress. She was so tired that it seemed she had only been to sleep a minute when the rattling of the doorknob awakened her and she muttered sleepily, "Who's there? 1t is I~ Lambert replied, "go away, wailed Etta in a terrified voice. ~You are going across the river to become my wife, "said the Mormon. "No, screeched Etta. "What yelled the outraged man, are you saying that you are staying here in such vile surroundings? Well, said Etta, it's better than living with you end your three wives in a harem.
      "Well, said the disappointed Lambert, of course there is Mary, Hattie, and Sarah at home but we could make room for you too. "Never said the girl, now please go away. Well then, said the man, as long as you prefer to live in sin there is nothing I can do, but I would have taken you to my home and prayed f or you. In our righteous atmosphere you may have become as true and sainted as the other three. Go away, said Etta, if you ever bother me again Ill tell my father. This had its effect, so he turned and went away saying," God Bless you sister and his footsteps died away, never to see him again.
      The frightened girl waited until she heard his carriage pull away before venturing down stairs to assume her new duties in the kitchen. They proved to be numerous, for there were many loaves of bread to be made and many rooms to clean, dishes and bar glasses to wash, and true to her word she would not have nothing to do with the bar itself, or appearing in any public part of the house where the Bluecoats and other travelers who indulged in the glass. But she often unbeknown to them caught sight of life in the raw, and being reared in decency, this was revolting as well as secretly exciting to her. She learned strange things from the Madam, and how while indulging in her cup, she was not averse to accepting the embraces of the gay fun loving soldiers, causing her husband to show a bit of temper now and then. Aside from the night carousels in the barroom, which drifted to her ears, at night Etta was to tired and sleepy to let this bother her much. Every drinking man represented a profit and they could not be too choosy about their patrons conduct.
      The wages that Etta made soon grew to size, as she greedily saved every cent that she could earn. After several weeks of work, there, Etta could endure no more of it at the Inn. The very smell of liquor sickened her, and she shuddered as she heard the soldiers come dashing up for their nightly carousals, so with her little store of money she had earned, she told the La Rues that she was leaving. Seeing that she was determined to go, the La Rues arranged for her to make the trip with Father Tom, the priest. Then sent her upstairs to pack his bag for him.
      Etta was fascinated at the fine array of gold's and peal crucifixes, and Holy Water bottles so fascinating to her. They were lovely jewels to be admired. Then she began on his clothes, such fine shirts, under things, and robes. So different that anything she had ever seen before. She opened the closet for his boots, which were of the very best make, and they seemed to fascinate her. Of all his belongings those were the nicest, perhaps because all of her life she had dreamed of having a nice pair of boots for herself. These boots were beautifully made, and of the softest leather.
      After polishing them up, they shone beautifully. She decided to find out how her own feet would appear in such fine boots. Quietly she slipped them on and strutted up and down the room, admiring every step she took. All at once she heard the Madams voice and the footsteps of the Father ascending the stairs. Off must come the boots in a hurry Etta thought, so she sat on the bed and tugged at the boots with might and main but nothing happened. Frantically she tugged and pulled again but the boots remained firmly upon her feet. Now the footsteps approached nearer, terrified she made a dash for the closet door and shut it tight. The Madam and the Father entered the room together. Well, well, "said the Priest, I see your little helper has everything packed, now for my boots. He approached the closet door and opening it, stood his beautiful pair of gleaming boots. He sized them up and then for the first time, realized why they wouldn't budge as there behind the clothes there was not only two feet in them but their stood Etta. Shrinking back, the poor Priest gasped for breath, too filled with shame to speak, as he had never seen a woman in his boots before and particularly in these circumstances. Etta came out, her face red with embarrassment. Etta shirked the Madam. What in the name of God are you doing in the Fathers boots? The tears ran down the girls face but to the relief of both, Father Tom was shaking with laughter. Tut-Tut he said, don't scold the girl, "What was the matter child, wouldn't they come off? "Here he said, drawing a bootjack from under the bed, sit down end I'll have them off in a Jiffy. Like a freed animal from a trap Etta scampered from the room and soon she was away with the Father, in his two-wheeled cart. She was finally going back to the home and people she loved and had missed for so many weeks.
      As the slow miles crept past the Father entertained Etta with gay songs in his native tongue, He also told her in detail of the new mission school that lie was getting established under his super vision at the Indian reservation. The Father and his wife were going to teach, but both wished the aid of some intelligent young woman who would be helper and a companion to the wife. Etta thought at once of her oldest sister Jane, this would be the refined position &e had always been looking for. So eagerly Etta told the Father about Tone. He was quite interested and said that he would talk to her. Later the result was that Jane, dressed in her best1her crocheting, and knitting neatly packed in her bag, started her first hoped for adventure, was in high spirits as she rode away with the Father to the new mission.
      Etta was back to her old duties again at home. Her father was able to be up and around again, so once more she helped with the cutting of wood, and followed the game trails with her trusty gun. Now and then a letter came from Jane, at the Mission telling of her progress and success as a teacher. Loving the work as she did, she had soon won the respect and love of all her pupils.
      With Jane away, Dan, would not agree to Etta going away to work again, considering her strange venture of the last time, he flatly refused to allow her to strike out again. Mr. Torrey said that he'd be a poor sort indeed if he could not find some kind of work to support his family. He did find work cutting logs until the next spring. Dan Torrey, being of the roving type, next moved the family to Wisconsin, where another daughter was born. This daughter they named Clara Olive Torrey. [Olive Clara Torrey] From Wisconsin, they traveled in a houseboat down the Mississippi River. Dan worked at any kind of work that was available, often cutting logs, cordwood, for the Steamboats that traveled the river, and cutting wild hay to sell, They also kept them selves supplied with all kinds of wild meat, such as venison, wild turkeys, wild hogs, and game birds of all kinds. The banks of the river grew many kinds of wild fruit such as wild plums, grapes, raspberries, each in their season. There was also many kinds of fish in the river, Sturgeon was especially easy to catch, This was done by baiting a hook on a rope this was the only thing that would hold them, with a piece of wild hog, and in the morning pulled in the big fish.
      The Torrey's went down the river till they come into Iowa, they followed the rivers across Iowa till they came to Missouri 'Valley, Iowa, where they took up land. They finally bought a small mill, trading the houseboat in as part payment. Along the river, near the mill, grew groves of cottonwood trees. With these he logged and sawed into lumber at his mill. Of course this started an industry there and the men who worked the mill moved their families near into houses provided by Dan Torrey.
      With all these families there soon became a need for a schoolhouse but they didn't have a teacher, or books and seats, the books were sent for, and the benches were made fore seats. As Jane Torrey had learned teaching at the Mission, naturally she was thought of for the teacher. Each family agreed to pay a certain amount each month. So progress set the mark of culture upon the little frontier children who had never had any "Book learnin" till Jane started the new school.
      Jane, prim and lovely in her billowing hoop skirts, tramped each day to the little school house at the edge of the woods and back home each night. She was a plucky little Schoolmarm too, for often there were danger from the Indians who often traveled about, some times drunk and other times on the 'Warpath.
      I will tell of an experience she had once, which proves her bravery. This was just after the Civil War, and after one of the great Massacres of that Country. This happened while Jane was still teaching at the Mission for the Father and his wife, although the young Indians that she taught there took readily to the restrain of the reservation life, the older ones did not.
      Especially the young bucks that grew restless, and quite often refused to return to the reservation, when allowed off it to hunt. If no bad reports came from these trips, they were ignored by the "Troops", left to guard the Indians, for sooner or later, the Braves would return again. Most of the time they would do no more then visit the distant tribes, or prolong their hunt in peace, But once in a while they filled their bellies with "White mans Firewater" and then their conduct was not to be trusted, for they dared to do mast anything then.
      Jane walked to and from her School at the reservation, over a path that led through the Flyer bottom, which was an Old Indian trail, still used by hunters and fishermen. Tall cottonwood trees lined the way and often she met parties of "Sioux or Crow" coming or going, The Crows were usually peaceful, good natured and friendly, while the Sioux were sullen and aloof; but since neither tribe bothered her, Jane paid little attention to them.
      One day the Father and his wife found it necessary to leave the homestead to go to the distant town for supplies. This left Jane home alone for one night at least, but she was not afraid, as she had stayed alone on other occasions. So on returning from School, she did the chores, and then proceeded to bake some bread that had been left rising. It was quite late when she got the last of it baked she turned it out to cool. She was just thinking of retiring when the sound of horses approaching made her pause. She knew by the sound that it was a large party of riders, and thought at once of the young Braves that were missing from the reservation. As they had been gone for a month, it was time they returned, she knew since she wasn't expecting anyone, that is must be the Indians.
      The Sioux braves had filled themselves with Firewater before coming home, so were ready for devilment. They drew up before the house, beginning to shout end yell. Fearing that they may force their way into the house, thinking no one was there. Jane went to the window and asked what they wanted; they asked to see the Father. She told them that he was not at home. They then demanded some bread. Seeing the braves were far gone with liquor, the girl thought it best to comply with their wishes, although to hand out that nice fresh bread to these savages made her resentful and indignant. But fearing some worse demand, she carried the bread to the window and tossed it out to the waiting Sioux.
      They were still not satisfied, and wanted to be let in to sit by the fire while they ate the bread. Jane knew that they would break in, if she refused, so she opened the door and the half drunken braves filed in. They staggered about the room end at last squatted around the fireplace. Throwing back their heavy blankets, and standing nude to the waist, their long hair hunt down their bare shoulders, their black eyes glittering in the glow of the fire. Their hair smeared with oil to keep it in order.
      At first Jane stood back, hoping they would go after eating their bread, but having finished it they produced their pipes, and more liquor instead. The girl thought she'd better take a hand and do something about it now. So she asked them to get out, and told them she did not want them there in her home. But they were feeling free to do as they pleased, and laughed at her, making signs that they were going to stay all night by the fire. Jane knew this would never do for they were sure to get to fighting among them selves, or forcing their attention upon her.
      She looked around the room for a likely weapon; the Father had taken the only gun. The only other object that offered any idea of defense was a heavy iron poker resting beside the hearth. So with this, pretending that she was going to stir the fire, she lifted the poker. It had a long handle and a sort of rake for lifting coals. Standing with her back to the fore and the poker behind her, in the hot coals, she waited to see if the Indians would leave.
      It was only a matter of time until one urged on by the others made an attempt to embrace her. Instantly she lifted the heavy poker and brought it down upon his bare skin. The blade from resting in the fire was glowing hot. Knowing that she could not stop at one blow, she intended to punish as many as she could and maybe scare them off, before her strength and courage failed her. Every blow fell upon a bare back or an unprotected head. Howls and shrieks of pain arose from the Indian braves while they tried to catch the red hot weapon, burning their hands as their only reward. Above the uproar, the girls voice rang out, ordering the drunken braves out.
      Finally still yelling, they made for the door and safety. Tie little school marm quickly barred the door behind them, then waited to see what they would do, but satisfied with the nights carrousel and the beating they got from a white squaw they sobered up a bit and rode away.
      Jane shrugged her shoulders when she seen her nice clean house all wrecked and all her fresh loaves of bread all gone. The Indian and liquor smell combined was sickening to her stomach. However the girl was glad she had escaped no worse than she had. She feared the Indiana could make trouble for her when she appeared at the mission the next day. "Well, I suppose there is no use to worry about that, she thought, so she fell fast to sleep. She woke up to the morning sun, and was soon on her way to the mission. As she strolled along the cottonwood grove along the river, which was an old Indian trail, Jane hoped that she would not encounter any of the Sioux that morning, as the fiery reception she gave them the night before was probably known at the reservation by this time, but her hopes were in vain. Halfway through the bottom she saw a band of hunters approaching, the sun shone down through the leaves upon their bare shoulders and blue-black oily hair, as they rode along. The girl knew that they were Sioux.Not knowing what to do, or what to expect, she drew back from the path and waited for them to pass as the men drew nearer and nearer. Her terror increased for they were the guests or the night before. More than one of them carried scares of the night's battle, but to her relief they filed past her one by one, in a sober state. Perhaps they had forgotten their drunken state of the past night, or maybe they feared what the troops might do to them for molesting a white girl. The last Indian paused and holding her gaze with his black eyes, withdrew his hand from his blanket. His face was twisted in a sinister smile. The girl shivered as she fully expected him them to grab her by the slim throat or hair and throttle her at once. As his hand darted out of his blanket it held nothing, but was raised in the "peace sign". Then he followed the other braves on up the trail and disappeared around the bend. Happily tae girl went on her way, and it seemed that the braves had accepted the punishment they had deserved.
      Jane, who taught at the mission, always vowed that she would never marry one of the sons of the Pioneers. Her choice was to be a man from the east. She had often heard her mother speak of the refined men from the eastern states, and wished that she could meet some of them. As time went on, she luckily found the man from the East whom she'd been looking for. His name was Will Ramsey; he rode right up to the schoolhouse door inquiring the way to the mill. She assured him that he was at the wrong stopping spot but the right location. She could plainly see that he was not from this part of the country but the cut of his clothes and the way he sat on his horse, his manner of speech was perfect, he had the "East" written all over him. When Jane saw him she seemed to think that her dreams had surely come true, if he would think the same about be.
      Jane's mother had come from the east and she had lauded the eastern men to the sky, thus Jane was brought up on the same idea as her mother. After Jane explained to the young fellow about the directions to the mill, she had an afterthought, if you are not in a hurry you may rest under the big oak tree in the yard until I dismiss school, and then I will walk with you. That is where we live. We all walk together to and from school everyday. He quickly agreed, for what man would pass up an invitation to escort a pretty schoolteacher home, in a land where pretty girls were so scarce.
      Jane's mother, Olive, had never liked the crude men of the west so naturally Jane disliked the plain disheveled plainsmen also. She made up her mind that she would not throw herself into the arms of a Plainsman, then live to regret it as her mother did, despite the love she felt for her husband. When school was dismissed, the children all stood around with staring eyes, and mouths agape as the young man was waiting. She knew that every word and action would be carried home to the interest of their families as soon as they reached home.
      They walked along the winding trail beneath the shade of the cottonwood trees, him leading his fine horse, until they came to the mill where she turned him over to her father, who stared solemnly so that her heart felt it would sink into her feet. Something in the youths respectable bearing changed the older mans mind as he shook the slim fine hand of the young man and mumbled a few polite words: "So you want to work? He said. "That is what I came here for," said the youth. "What can you do? "Asked her father. This seemed a deep puzzle to him. I am an accountant, said the youth, and a pretty good one, declared the boy modestly. An accountant? "Said Mr. Torrey, oh you mean a bookkeeper. "Well, I might use you at that, for I'm not so good at books myself. So the city youth was established in the dingy cubbyhole called an office. He kept the books, straightened up the ill kept ledger and checked the columns of figures.
      Every afternoon about four, Will kept an eye out for the little school Marm to arrive home swinging along the trail with her brood, laughing and singing. When the prairie moon was rising, round and bright, as if ascending from the very earth itself, they would stroll arm in arm along the trail near the river, watching the moonlight dance on the ripples. It was there that be asked Jane to marry him, and she blushed modestly as she accepted the words she had wanted to hear for so long. It was there that they made their plans for the future.
      Will meant to take Jane back east with him, if her father gave his consent. So with some embarrassment, he broached the subject to her father, asking for his daughter's hand, as was the custom then. The old Plainsman seemed honestly shocked, though why he should, I do not know. How do you expect to support her, Dan asked? For once the youth lost his temper and replied: "I know you are her father and I respect you for it, but by God, she'll live a life of luxury with me, for my Dad is some pumkin himself. I don't like to brag, and never nave, but let me tell you this, mister; my dad is a railroad Magistrate, and a wealthy man. Maybe this doesn't mean a thing to you, since I'm not a rowdy, but you need never worry about your daughter starving to death as my wife.
      And thus it proved to be, for Jane, the simple prairie maid had married the son of one of the east's best families. Decked out in her wedding finery, then in traveling clothes she went with her husband to join his parents in their luxurious home far away. If her heart felt sad at the last it showed no sign of it. So with proud bearing and happy face, she entered the carriage that he had provided for her and waved "goodbye" to them all. Our families always received chatty letters from her, telling of the gay life in the east, and often clippings of social affairs, naming their daughter as the leader of the wealthy set, but the little family group was never again united.
      Jane and Will were never blessed with children, although they would have given half their wealth could it have been so. Unlike her other two sisters who in spite of their poverty, were blessed with a healthy baby every year, after they were wed. However Jane was goodhearted and generous with her wealth, and useful things and much needed clothes found there way to her less fortunate sisters. In later life her health failed and she suffered for several years. They finally decided on an operation for her but being weak from long suffering and the shock of the operation, she passed away. She left behind her husband and the two children she had adopted and raised as her own. Thus ended Jane's not to long a life, but a very happy and prosperous one. And she got everything she had always dreamed about, love, happiness, and prosperity.
      Here is a little experience our aunt Adelia had. Or as we all call her Aunt Etta. At this time, she was about twelve years old, end her folks were looking for land to settle as they drifted down the Mississippi river. This was shortly after the Indians were put on reservations and the white settlers were somewhat worried as to their safety, as the Sioux resented their lack of freedom and those allowed to go hunting for game of or fish for the tribe passed the house boat of my grandparents coming and going, but since the savages paid the new comers little attention, this feeling gradually wore off.
      This isolated place offered no schooling advantages until a French missionary and his wife came to teach the small natives. Etta, at length decided to attend this school also. Although it cost her an effort to overcome her dignity to associate with the dark skinned little natives who were her schoolmates. This she gradually overcame in time and in turn they called her "Little Missou", because of her blond hair and fair skin. It was not lung until she became accustomed to her strange surroundings and could speak a few words of Sioux, while the natives learned English.
      One young girl in particular attracted her attention being about Etta's age. Eventually she was a white captive for under the buckskin dress that she wore, her skin was white. She had no knowledge of other parents than the Sioux and spoke no other language, but like the other natives she mastered the English language as they did. This girl and Etta became fast friends, exchanging confidence and visits but it was a set rule of the natives never to cross a white mans threshold.
      One night in the winter a blizzard was raging down the river and the family was sitting around listening to the storm rage, they were sitting by the fireplace as they were startled by a series of long wailing cries. At first they thought it to be the cry of a roaming panther, but as the sounds continued carrying high above the wind, Grandpa Torrey declared that some human was in distress. So he seized his gun and plunged forth into the darkness of the night. After searching and listening through the roar of the wind, he made out the human cries, which he followed and it led him back into the forest behind his house. The cries were made by a young Sioux hunter as he leaned against a tree singing lies death song.
      Caught out in the storm he was nearly frozen to death from exposure. Feeling his strength going he was calling to the unseen "spirits and the great Gods beyond." His old battered gun lay at his feet. Mr. Torrey picked it up and half carried the frozen Sioux through the wind and blizzard to the house, hoping that he himself wouldn't get lost before he got there. The youth was given every care and his body warmed and by morning he had fully recovered. In the meantime Grandpa Torrey, who was a gunsmith, repaired his gun and cleaned it up for the young Indian. "The young Sioux was very grateful and this was proven by the fact that he always shared his game of fish with the white family. He seldom appeared in person but they would find a haunch of fresh killed venison or wild pig hung outside. Often wild turkey and pheasant.
      When the worn out old musket once more failed him, he again came for Grandpa Torrey to fix it. This time the Indian sat on the porch watching while his friend worked his magic on it. The Indian said nothing, but when Adelia came running up from somewhere out door, she was amazed to see the Sioux boy blocking her path. He was not unknown to her due to the fact that her father had saved him from freezing to death, that cold winter night.
      His name was Standing Buffalo and he was not unpleasant to look at. He stood six foot tall, and well built. From the hips he wore a pair of "buckskin britches" the rest of his body was bare. Cleanliness was a virtue with the Sioux and aside from the fact that he smelled of teepee smoke and rancid bear grease, he was not offensive. Etta saw nothing attractive about his dark face, as he stood in her path. Many times he had cast his dark eyes her way, the light haired playmate of his people. "Standing Buffalo's" brother "Little Bear" had lately married the white captive girl known as "Darting Fawn, so perhaps this has something to do with his desire for Etta. Anyway he came often to her home bringing food and stopping to smoke his Kinne- Kennick with the whites. Grandpa Torrey came to near fondness for him, never guessing his real reason for these visits.
      At the teepee of Little Bear and Darting Fawn a baby had been born and Little Bear was in the hills trapping at the time. Etta, a well-developed girl now of 14 years, stopped to see Darting Fawn now and then. She was delighted at the new arrival; and to find out the baby was white. Darting Fawn was frankly worried for the natives all hated a pale face baby. If she hung it outside in its bark cradle the women and children would throw stones at it, and the older squaws would spat at its face. Darting Fawn loved it and made tiny beaded things for it. When Little Bear came home the look of the white child aroused his anger and hatred at once. In a fit of rage, at its white blood, he seized the helpless baby and hurled its head against the walls. Adelia was horrified at such cruelty and pity for her friend. She lost every spark of any liking that she ever had for his brother, "Standing Buffalo", so when her father told her the Indian wanted to buy her for his wife she flew into a rage. Even to joke about such a thing was more than she could stand. When Grandpa Torrey tried to make the Indian understand that the refusal was for the best and that white women choose their own husbands, not buy them, his dignity was hurt.
      The Sioux are proud people and when Etta rejected him he felt that the white maiden thought him inferior, and this called for some brave action or deed to prove his worthiness. He then thought this was best proven by slaying an enemy, so he went to another ranch where a paleface lived and shot the man while he was making hay for his stock. Then with the scythe, the young Sioux severed off the mans head. To make sure that "Little Missiou" should know of his bravery, he carried the head to her house and with a wild cry flung it against the door. As the family rushed to the door this terrible offering lay at their feet. He was never caught and punished although troops from the nearby fort were called and took his trail at once. It was believed that outlaw tribes concealed him for he was never seen again. Etta was very glad of this for she had no desire for so fiery a suitor.
      Eventually she found her own Prince Charming, but of her own race. Instead of spears and armor he carried a fiddle in a case. One day he rode up, fiddle and all on a horse and carriage with his father. Outside of having his father along this wasn't the way a Knight should arrive at the door of his ladylove. This young man was pleasant appearing with red curly hair and beard. He sat on his horse straight as a lance, for this reason he was laced into a corset like contraption, which all gentlemen of the east savored in those days to acquire a military carriage. He was tall and slender with round blue eyes. All in all he was the answer to Etta's prayers. Hearing the horse and carriage, she hastened down to the kitchen thinking a meal would be ordered and she was right. Her mother hurried in saying: "Get something on the table Adelia, for there are two men waiting. There was nothing unusual about two men waiting, so it was not until the meal was ready and she came in with the coffee that she saw them as any different than any other men. They sat before the fire piece warming their hands. That was the first impressions she had of their difference to other men, for the hands of these men were slender and well kept, the hands of well trained musicians and the type that the girl had never met before. Both men had layed aside weatherproof violin cases as they entered. These men proved to be father and son. Each strangely alike in height and build and the same mop of red curly hair.
      After supper end dishes were cleared away the two men were asked to play and sing for the people gathered there. After watching the slender bow sliding over the mellow strings, everyone knew that they were listening to born musicians. Such entertainment the listeners had never heard before. After a while the musicians grew tired of their own performance and lay their fiddles to rest. The evening proved to be a huge success and people hoped the two travelers would linger awhile. Adelia, especially, for she had completely lost her heart to the tall graceful violinist. She bad no way of knowing his regard for her but she couldn't help but hope, anyhow. Finally the two men, weary from travel, "asked to be shown to their room and as the tall youth stepped courteously aside to let Etta pass down the hall, his eyes lingered upon her and his softly spoken "good night" finished the thrill that his musical ability began.
      The next day to Etta's delight, they both applied for work at the mill. In spite of there gently appearance both were strong and rugged. The father was given the job of hauling logs and other chores with the team of horses while George kept the books and time in the office, he also had numerous other chores around. There was but one drawback as far as the Torrey family could see and that was that they were or had been members of the Mormon colony, but to their credit they had banished the sect, and gotten away. "There had been a big upheaval which had taken place among the members caused when the highest Saint, departing to places unknown, and taking the community funds with him. He also deserted his several wedded wives to run away with a young girl whom he had not taken the trouble to marry. So many of the colony had become disgusted by this act of treachery and denounced the faith altogether. George and his father was one of them that did. They were no longer members but outcasts in the eyes of the Mormons.
      Savage, as the tall Irish musician was called took his son, George and started away to some place where they could earn a living for his only wife and son, George. One day when the mill wasn't running, or on the weekends Mr. Savage would look the country over for suitable land where they could settle. At last he found a suitable spot a ways from the river and the mill sight, and since winter was not far away they began to prepare and build a house of sorts on the property. Now the next step in their plans were to bring the wife and mother from the colony, and this was not going to be easy to do while the broken affairs at the colony in the withdraw of some members had caused no great opposition at the time. The remaining Saints had reorganized and had control over the flock again, now there would be serious opposition, in the removal of any of their women folks. Since the proper husband had withdrawn himself from the fold there was no doubt that some elder would see fitting to join her to his household and his other harem of wives. They never lost their belief in the Sainthood of their den, and any withdrawal from the colony were regarded as wrong and sinful and a victim of "Satan's" wilds.
      Enlisting in the aid of a friendly Indian who peddled venison to the Mormons, the violinist sent a message to his waiting wife telling her of the little home he had prepared for her and that they were waiting for her. They told her to try to get away somehow by pretending that this Indians wife was sick and wanted her to come. The family had been friends with these Indians for years, so there was nothing odd in her going. So the patient little woman who had waited three months since her men folks withdrew from the temple acted at once at the Indians suggestion. Going to the elders she told them of the pitiful condition of the old Indians wife who may possibly lie dying at the old mans camp. It seemed but right that she should return with him, and carry a few fresh vegetables and some bread. The Elders gave their consent asking only that Martha, her oldest stepdaughter accompany her. Of course the wife whose name was Catherine, resented having her stepdaughter along to spoil her plans, so thinking she would have to get rid of her someway, but how, as this big redhead Virgo, was determined to come."
      With no actual plan in mind, Catherine tied a small rope about her waist. For what purpose she did not know. Then donning all the full "petticoat" and dresses and various other garments she then put her most valuable possession in a basket under the bread and vegetables, that she took, thus making a very innocent and healthful looking basket of food. She handed it to the eager waiting stepdaughter smiling inwardly to think that the disliked girl was aiding her plans. So away they went Catherine making plans as to how she was going to get rid of Martha. There seemed but one thing to do and that either she or the Indian must hit her on the head and stun her with something and tie her hands and feet while they made their getaway. What became of her after that they didn't care for some white of Indian would be sure to find her within a few hours. When they arrived at the old Indians teepee, Martha ran ahead and stopped to raise the flap to peer within, it was then that Catherine saw her chance to pounce upon her. The smaller woman bore her to the ground and the Indian sat on her while the other woman bound her hand and foot. Although the captive kicked and floundered, cussed and swore it did her little good. Then breathless and exerted they proudly observed their captive who lay howling before them her yells resounded throughout the forest, but there were none to hear then. Hastily tearing down his Teepee, the old Indian threw it into his canoe, gathered Catherine aboard and shoved off. Martha's screams of rage followed and echoed as the Indian swiftly and smoothly dipped his paddle sending the canoe swiftly and gracefully along as they rode the rippled of the river. They had little fear of being followed unless the screaming Martha or her bonds might brake or alarm someone. Anyway Catherine was free of the Mormons and their fantastic belief, and for this she was happy.
      Just what Catherine thought of her new home is not recorded but it was a happy reunion for them all when she arrived, and they spent a winter there in comfort, and when spring opened up, a road was built into their property. In the meantime Adelia infatuated for the younger Savage boy became much in love with him. She adored his deep voice when he sung, and his ability upon the violin and the verses that he wrote about her really had her in a dither. In the end, he asked her to be his wife. Of course they were both penniless and very young, and he was still under the curse of the Mormon belief, but what were those slight drawbacks compared to the facts that they were two young people madly in love with their whole life ahead of them. Then for the first time Adelia defied her parent's wishes saying that home or no home, money or not she would wed the Mormon's son.
      Just what the future would bring with this tall quite fellow beside her or what they would carve out of life was yet unknown to them. However everything looked bright with their youth, strength and courage. Again one more wedding had taken place at the simple prairie home. So they went out together as man and wife to create their own world. In after their own daughters lived and grew up with much the same traits and adventures of these from the prairie frontier, although they were born and reared far from there.

      "The next Torrey girl was Clara, the youngest at this time. She was just 14 and a sweet pretty girl, unspoiled in spite of the affections of her family. Her large gray eyes and smooth complexion and girlish figure were the likeness of a "doll". She was the pride of the family and that was why she was nicknamed Doll, the rest of her life. Clara's sister Jane had been teaching the little school to which the children of the community were going, but when Jane married there was no one to take her place, not at least until one day a sturdy broad shouldered young man came into their midst. His name was Alex Boyd. This man had been educated in France and had been Captain on a sailing vessel traveling all over the world. Captain Alex Boyd was an interesting fellow to talk to, winning every one with his friendly ways and winning smiles. His broad tanned face beamed with good nature as he told tales of far off places. He had left the sea after many years of travel in foreign lands, with the intention of settling down somewhere in the Midwest. So coming to the Torrey mill he applied for work.
      Right at that time there was no opening at the mill, but Olive, who questioned him in French, soon made known that he was far from stupid. In fact her conversation with him proved the man extremely brilliant, and well educated. They learned that his name was Highland Scotch and that he had run away from home at an early age and went to sea. He followed the sea for many years until he reached the honor of Captain Boyd, owning his own ship. After many years at sea and traveling all over the world to far off countries he got the longing to see more of America and his homeland. He felt that his folks needed him at the time. His mother had just passed away before he got to see her again, so he wandered free and footloose until he reached the little mill sight where he asked for work. No hands were needed just then, although the mans broad shoulders and sturdy build gave every evidence of strength and ability. So hating to lose sight of a man who might fill a needed gap later on, the Torrey's suggested that since the young men proved to be a well educated fellow, he take the school to teach, at least until there was an opening at the mill.
      At first he was averse to the teaching of children, as it was out of his line of work, but it took only a short time with pencil and paper to prove that his handwriting was superb and that he was deeply capable in all branches of Math, geography, spelling and branches of literature, so there seemed no reason why he couldn't teach. Captain Boyd's round the world experiences aboard ship made him like a god like hero to the younger kids, who were elated to have this jolly fellow as an instructor. Soon there he was, a big laughing, good-natured seaman, struggling to drum the three R's into his pupils heads. In the meantime he whistled, sang sea songs, drew pictures of strange birds and beasts of other lands upon the blackboard, and spent most of the recess hour telling his enchanted young listeners many stories of foreign lands. There was no doubt by now that the new teacher was a positive hit, for every one of the children was improving rapidly under his teaching.
      He boarded at the Torrey's, eating at the Torrey Inn, walking home with the children and to school with them as well. They were always eagerly awaiting the big fellow as he came striding along in his well known attire, whistling along the pathway, shouting greetings to each, both in English and French. Clara, the youngest Torrey daughter, whom I spoke of before had for some time been holding the admiration of the growing boys at school, but she paid little attention to them. But to the seaman, or teacher, a man who had been places and seen many beauties of the world, there could be no thought of romance of interest in this young girl. So they went down the steps together every morning, the girl tripping along by the teacher's side, no one gave it a thought. Also of an evening around the glowing fire, side by- side, while the teacher helped her and explained the knotty problems to the eager eyed girl, again end again. That the girl had any romantic ideas toward this man never occurred to him.
      Summer came with its store of fruit end wild berries. The busy mother wished very much for someone to dash out and gather for her the usual store of wild strawberries, blackberries and wild plumbs. Since Adelia marriage, Clara tried to take her place and offered to pick the wild fruit. This she did after school or on the weekends. Usually the big good-natured teacher would accompany her, as there were wolves, bears and Indians lurking about. So away they would go, the teacher's broad shoulders swaying back and forth along the winding path and Dolls little feet hurrying to keep up with him. No one suspected that they were in love until they came to her parents for their consent.
      Needless to say that it was a shock to the folks, taking Dolls youth into consideration. The parents thought they were both mad and told them so. In spite of all the pleadings, Clara had her way in the end. After the wedding and heartbreaking goodbyes were said, the seaman teacher and his girl bride went away to locate in the state of Nebraska, where they, (my mother and father) lived for many years. Clara had fourteen children. Adelia had eleven children, she was my aunt Etta, and Jane had none of her own but had adopted two.

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