Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1909 - MAKE STRENUOUS RIDE

Fayetteville, Ark., Feb. 5 - Mrs. Mary E. Wellman and her daughter have accomplished, a ride on horseback which makes the 90 mile ride required of the army officers look small in comparison. They rode alone from El Paso, Texas, to Fayetteville, Ark., a distance of 1,500 miles and undertook the hard journey for the sake of education. The daughter is now in college and doing well. Mrs. Wellman tells the experiences of her trip in the following graphic words:

"Necessity, and a desire to keep our horses, which to us are members of the family, compelled us to undertake the ride. Our collie dog Flossie, came with us. Climate and educational advantages attracted us to Fayetteville, Ark. My daughter Marguerite has been a rider for six years and is just 16. Almost daily, in New Mexico, her rides were from eight to ten miles, but I was no rider and avoided learning, so I had reason to dread the undertaking, especially at 53 years of age.

"Our first day's ride was 30 miles and from that on, except in deep sand and when our horses got sick in North Texas, we rode from 20 to 30 miles a day.

"When we left El Paso, Tex., on horse back, we had $12.50. At Pecos, Tex., we received money from my son, and after horseshoeing and other expenses were paid, left there with $20 in pocket. Ten cents was all we had when we reached McAlester, in Oklahoma, and were disappointed in not finding money awaiting us, so we left there without a cent, and were forced to beg our way to Fort Smith, Ark. There again was money from my son. So much for the financial side of the trip and that we got through safely and with so little is due to the big-hearted Christian spirit of the western people.

"We were 73 days on our journey. Yes, we were armed, and twice had need of them, but contrary to report it was the white toughs who gave us trouble and we went to Indians for protection.

"We traveled some scarey country alone, not seeing a human being from half to a whole day at a time, and I tell you we felt safer on horseback than in a wagon. We could run.

"In crossing the dangerous San Bois creek in Oklahoma, both horses got off the levee which was covered deep with swiftly running water, and old Daisy had to swim out of water up to her back. Even the dog found it difficult to swim. There is much in our experience of interest, but  it would take too much space to tell. We drew our courage from a consciousness of Divine Protection."

The Chanute Daily Tribune
Chanute, Kansas

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