26 April 2009
This afternoon I travelled the now familiar route while returning my youngest son back to college. Not before we agreed on a doorpost to start a new tradition of measuring and recording, in pencil, our heights. Nathan is still a few hairs just under 5 feet tall. I am not quite as short as I’d thought, still close to 5 feet 5 inches, and youngest son has gained half an inch to now stand at 5’11 and a half inches tall. That made him happy. At age 18 I’m sure there’s still growing room possible.
So back to the above reference to “familiar route,” which means passing a side road named; Dillon’s Furrow. It always intrigues me, and finally this evening I searched it out, and below is a brief description of it. Wonder of wonders, it has historical significance–not quite as much as the lady’s dress (about from 1860’s, pictured here.)
1860stripe
In the Fall of 1839, Lyman Dillon, Cascade, plowed a furrow from Iowa City to Dubuque. Mr. Dillon, accompanied by a driver and a two‑horse wagon, started from the Capitol city with a large breaking plow pulled by five oxen. They plowed during the day and slept at night in the wagon. They continued in this fashion until they reached Dubuque. Dillon’s furrow is believed to be the longest furrow on record. Today, this furrow forms the marker for a great axis in Iowa s road network.
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“It is still best to be honest and truthful, to make the most of what we have, to be happy with simple pleasures, and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
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Early Iowa settlers – The edge of the timbers (Can be found online at http://www.ohno.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/pages/early%20iowa%20settlers.htm)
Story told on August 27, 1936 by Mrs. Matilda Kennett at the age of 97.
By Marti Talbot
“I came to Green County, Iowa with my parents, brothers and sisters in the spring of 1852. We settled in the edge of the timber where my father bought seven hundred acres of land at two dollars an acre. What fine rich land it was. Everything grew so big. We had all kinds of wild game, fish and wild fruits, but very little money. Our nearest trading post was Des Moines – a little less than one hundred miles distance. With horses and bad roads, the trip was quite an undertaking.”
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“Well, we had our sorrows and our joys; hardships and good times. Hardships that would seem great indeed today; but, we were taught to work and to make the best of everything as it came along. We were thankful for our blessing, too. By our hardships and sacrifices we were made strong and brave. Hardships gave us this lovely country with all its beauty and conveniences that can now be enjoyed by our children and their children.”

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