Nodaway County, Missouri
from Standard Historical Atlas of Nodaway County, Missouri containing maps of Villages, Cities and Townships of the County. Maps of State, United States and World. Farmers Directory, Business Directory and General Information. Published by The Anderson Publishing Co., Map & Atlas Publishers. Chicago, Ill., 1911; pages 1 & 2, section 2.
(Transcribed by Pat O'Dell:
By P.J. Hainey

I was born in Pulaski County, Ky., June 29, 1838, and lived there with my parents, James F. and Rachel Hainey, until March 15, 1851, when we started for Missouri with two yoke of oxen and an old-time crooked wagon-bed, now called box, we meandered along many days to Louisville with a tendered-footed team, having been on the pike several days, in the meantime having traveled about one hundred and thirty miles, then father concluded to board a steamer at Louisville.

We came down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to St Louis, was aboard the Lexington, by her officers claimed to be the fastest boat on the river. Accidently or intentionally we fell in with a fine packet from New Orleans soon after we struck the Mississippi River; said boat's crew seemed to dispute our title as the speediest boat. And Oh! such a boat race as we had. It lasted for several hours, and our boat won the race, reaching St Louis first. Many had not yet recovered from their scare over that desperate race. We changed boats at St Louis, taking an old slow steamer, named Anthony Wayne for St Joseph, Mo. The river had not begun its spring rise and was low and full of sandbars and snaggs. The prevailing strong spring winds were facing out boat and the wind and obstructive sandbars conspired against us to the extent that we were eleven days from St Louis to St Joseph, then a mere village; and landed there on the evening of April 13, 1851. Pulled out of St Joe by ox team on the morning of the 14th for Nodaway County, reached near the county line south of where Guilford now is on the evening of the 16th of April.

Father located about three miles southeast of Guilford, where neighbors were scarce, but they were of the true-blue kind and thought nothing of going from two to five miles to wait on and watch with the sick. We had no buggies, spring wagons or horse wagons of any kind, but worked Buck and Bright, or Tom and Jersey (oxen).

We had no laid out or worked roads, but generally meandered with the ridges and followed Indian trails for crossing of streams, for in most places the streams were miry and impossible to cross, but Indian trails alwasy led to gravel or rock crossings where it was safe fording. A bridge, large or small, was not to be found in the community.

We got our mail once a week if streams were not too high or snow not too deep. It was delivered at Whitisville in Andrew County carried on horse-back from Savannah. A small sack was ample space for the weekly mail for all the northern part of Andrew and south part of Nodaway Counties.

The lands of Nodaway County were nearly all vacant or government lands, the few pre-emptions that had been made were without exception along the streams and composed of timber tracts. Five to fifteen acres composed the farms, twenty-five acres in cultivation was then a big farm. People required but little tillable land as they had but little stock and it run at large and required but little except when snow covered the ground and stock of all kinds flourished and fattened on the range. Mast being abundant, hogs became well fattened, beside wild game was abundant; all kinds from the deer to the squirrel, consequently wild meat was plentiful.

The Indians had recently left here and gone to Kansas and Nebraska and owned and occupied all west of St Joseph and the Missouri River, but often returned and camped for the winter along the streams for the purpose of hunting and trapping and generally returned to Kansas in April well loaded with furs and their adroit manner of packing their ponies from ears to tail with cured furs would be interesting at this date.

Schools were rare, few and far between, and not more than three months term in any year, but some of us walked three miles to school and did learn a little about spellin', readin', writin' and 'rithmetic, and only a little for we had to stay at home and haul wood for two big fireplaces or go to mill one-third of the school term.

Preaching was almost as scarce as schools and was only had once every month or two at the log school house. It had a sod top and the windows had neither sash nor glass. It was heated by a fireplace and the worshippers sat on seats made of puncheons set upon legs. But then everybody attended meeting, young and old, maybe on foot or horseback and often the whole family went in an ox wagon including the beaux of the daughters. But the daughters and their beaux were different from this day an did not spread on so much style, but I think were just as pretty and as honest. Did much more work, thereby got manual exercise which produced muscle sufficient for any emergency and resulted in rosycheeks and red lips without artificial means. But what another sixty years will bring forth I do not even predict.