Page images

the state. He however returned to Chicago satisfied that the outlook was more favorable here than elsewhere, notwithstanding the prevailing depression. Having completed arrangements for establishing himself in Chicago, he returned to Philadelphia, where he purchased a new supply of goods, having them made up to suit his western customers. From 1839 to 1841 he divided his time between Chicago and Philadelphia, his family remaining at their old home in the Quaker City, while he gave attention to his business affairs in the west. In 1841, he removed his family, consisting of a wife and four children, to Chicago, they arriving here in June of that year by the steamer "Illinois" of which Captain Lucius S. Blake, still living at Racine, Wisconsin, was


The first residence of the family in Chicago was at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets, while the store in which Mr. Lock carried on his business was located at the corner of Lake and Clark streets, in what was then one of the most pretentious blocks in the city. This building was known as the "Saloon Building," but it Ishould be understood that the term as applied in this instance had none of its modern significance. From the time he located in Chicago he gave his time and attention strictly to the business in which he was engaged. As the town built up, his business grew, and the judicious investments which he

made from time to time in real estate gave him a considerable fortune in early life, and enabled him to retire with a competency before he began to feel seriously the weight of years. He continued in trade until the fire of 1871 destroyed his business, and resulted in his permanent retirement.

Naturally of a quiet and retiring. disposition, Mr. Lock came less prominently before the public than many of his contemporaries among the old settlers, but he was nevertheless widely known and highly esteemed among those with whom he spent nearly all the years of his manhood. While he was a thrifty tradesman, he was at the same time a conscientious, high minded and honorable merchant of the old school, whose business transactions were always governed by the strictest rules of integrity. A modest, unassuming, kind hearted and genial gentleman, he spent the later years of his life living in quiet retirement at his home in Chicago, surrounded by friends who were deeply attached to him. His death occured on the 10th of August, 1883. His wife, who was also brought up in Philadelphia, and who prior to her marriage in 1835, was Miss Hannah Bushnell, survives him and is still residing in Chicago. Of their six children, five grew to manhood and womanhood. One daughter now lives in New York, and two sons and two daughters in Chicago.




I RECOLLECT having seen in some periodical or newspaper, an article. from the pen of "Howell" entitled "Food Supply: loss of natural products," in which occurred the following: "Where is the noble buffalo which once darkened the vast feeding grounds of this fertile country?" It was in the spring of 1847, a month or so after the battle of Buena Vista, which was fought Feb. 22, that a company was formed here (Chicago) for the Mexican War. Murray F. Tuley, Richard N. Hamilton, J. R. Huguniu and others were among its members, including the undersigned. The present Judge Tuley was elected the first lieutenant of our company. We were ordered to report at Alton in this State, where, late in April we were mustered into the service of the United States. There we went into camp and bided our time to move on. We were perfectly in the dark as to our destination. We knew, however, that we were the soldiers of our Government, and while the officers who knew, kept their own secrets, we kept up a great thinking, and not a soldier of the regiment (the 5th Illinois,) knew when we were ordered to break camp preparatory to leaving Alton what our des

tination was. It had been rumored that we were destined for Vera Cruz and Scott's line, but judge of our surprise when the steamer upon which we had taken passage reached the mouth of the Missouri River it turned into that stream. Then it was known, as by instinct, that the tramp then marked out for us would lead us into Santa Fe. The transports plodded their way up the river, and in due season we were landed in Fort Leavenworth, then one of the forts on the eastern border of the Indian territory. Here we went into camp, preparatory to a long march which was being marked out for us. July 24, the Commissary and other trains being in readiness, our command set out for the plains. We bore southwesterly, crossed the Quaw river and soon after struck the famous Santa Fe Trail, over which the caravans of traders had traveled for the past many decades with their supplies and goods from St. Louis, starting from the fitting out point at Independence or Westport for Santa Fe and the lower country, and even Chihuahua and beyond. This trail had become famous as the great highway from the earliest settlement of St Louis from that east

[ocr errors]

ern outlet to New Mexico and the Rio Grande country. The road over which we had come from Fort Leavenworth was a well-beaten one and made so by the soldiers and others connected with the army. We passed through the country of the civilized Indians, reached Council Grove, and passing on beyond Peru, soon thereafter, at Diamond Springs and between there and Cottonwood Creek, met large bands of Indians returning from their yearly hunting excursions. Their ponies were loaded with buffalo meat which had been dried for future use. These Indians belonged to tribes who were located on reservations, and which tribes were under the protection of our Government. They were thoroughly armed, not only for hunting purposes, but for any emergency that might arise with the tribes of the plains with whom they might have been at enmity.

In response to our inquiries how soon would we be in the buffalo country, they said that we were then in it, and before many suns we would see plenty "buffalo," which proved true. We had barely passed Cottonwood Creek when buffalos were first seen away in the southwest, and at Turkey Creek they had become more plentiful, as groups were observed in various directions, and ere we reached the Little Arkansas many had been killed. At this point great herds were to be seen, and the country southerly from our camp (where we lay over the last half of a Sunday) appeared to be alive with them; especially was this

the case away off near the main Arkansas or near the hills thereof, as they appeared from our lookout point. We were armed with the United States regulation musket, with their flint locks, and great numbers of these noble animals were shot as we were fairly entering upon their grounds and while passing along the old Santa Fe Trail. As we marched west the thicker they grew. At Cow Creek, Walnut Creek, Ash Creek, Ash Hollow, Pawnee Rock and Pawnee Fork, large numbers were constantly in view. They were as a general thing loitering and in feeding groups, though one or two large droves were seen near the "Stone Corral" and Cow Creek making to the north towards the Smoky Hill Valley. As a general thing, however, they were feeders, and hugging down to the water courses; especially was this the case as we marched around the great bend in the Arkansas, where the country on both sides of the river appeared to be simply the feeding grounds for the large numbers constantly in view. The great plains before us, and north, east and south of us, were reminders of closely fed pastures almost endless in their extent, and so closely were the grounds fed that they resembled the sheep pastures of the States from whence we came. If anything, they were more closely fed off; the whole country seemed to be alive with buffalo, and the extent of the country as then occupied by these buffalo, judging from our standpoint, seemed to be almost limitless in area and extent. As


we continued westerly the thicker or more plentiful, if possible, they beMany were killed both by the traders and the soldiers, the choicest cuts, including the tongues, of which were brought into our camps for food purposes, and it was a great treat to have such a plentiful supply of the choicest and best known meat or game known to the traveler. Those carrying the musket labelled "U. S." had lived high since entering their (the buffalo) country.


Westward our division wended its way, leaving the river at or near Pawnee Fork to strike it again farther To save in distance many miles we followed the well beaten trail, crossing Coon Creek-where we camped one night-but as before in the midst of buffalo. Our detachment was under the command of Col. Edward W. B. Newby, and it seemed to be his greatest delight to get the greatest number of miles daily out of his soldiers, and we poor soldiers had to abide the injustice of his arbitrary orders. Had it not of been for this we might have done as those did who came many years after us, killed these noble beasts of the plains for the mere sport of killing them, but as it was we were tired and nearly exhausted from the long daily marches which we were forced to make, and we did not, as a general thing, after having been in the country several days, feel like going ten rods out of our way, though a beautiful two year old buffalo cow could have been the result thereof.

It was far different with the traders whom we were protecting in their trips, for they had their saddle horses, and plenty of them, and at almost any time while on the tedious march, they could be seen singling out some pet buffalo, the fine cuts of which would be divided among soldiers and traders alike. We had then been in the buffalo county since having passed the Cottonwood, and had travelled more than 150 miles over and across their feeding grounds, and the farther west we went the greater were the numbers to be seen. It was about two days' march this side of where we crossed the Arkansas River, and a little this side or east from old Fort Mann and west from Pawnee Rock, probably thirty miles (perhaps more). We camped one night with groups of buffalos surrounding our camp in every direction. Many were shot almost within our lines, and the choicest pieces from the selected animals were brought in for the various messes. The next morning the reveille called us early on account of the great heat at mid-day, and judge of our surprise, on answering the bugle's call, to see the entire country, especially south of us, filled with buffalo. We had an early break. fast, and broke camp and took to the trail about 7 o'clock, and had hardly got fairly under way when the immense army of buffalo commenced moving around. They were in every direction. In the front, in the rear, and north and south of us. It was a

sight to behold. To gaze in all directions on the vast and boundless plains before us that lovely morning and see nothing but buffalo, buffalo, buffalo I mean outside our trains and its attaches. They were frolicking and playfully cantering around with seemingly no especial fixed purpose in view. Old bulls were locking horns, while calves were playing around. Others were wallowing, and indeed all appeared to be in a happy and good mood.

This, however, was of but short duration, for soon an uneasiness appeared to have seized them-or portions of the great army of them then in plain view. As before stated, they were in all directions, but the great mass of them were south of us, and south of the Arkansas River. The uneasiness took hold of those south of the river, and large numbers of them. could be seen in the distance coming down into the stream, to cross the same. Their leaders came up out of it with others following, and after shaking themselves and playing around for a while, they formed in large bunches, and it was noticed that they were beginning to leave the river and in the direction of our train. The traders, who were watching their every movement, volunteered to tell Col. Newby that he had better get his command in shape to meet any emergency that might arise through any movements of the buffalo, who were then crossing the river and collecting on its northern banks prepara

tory to some move unknown to them. Newby at once took in the situation; as he noticed they were beginning to leave the river in large numbers, though slowly, he ordered a halt and the trains to be corralled as quickly as possible. The train was more than one and a half miles in length when in single line, and consisted of 160 wagons drawn by six yoke of oxen each. The traders had forty wagons drawn by six mules each. Then there were 500 head of cattle belonging to the Commissary Department. It was no small job to form the corral with As stock inside, as had been ordered. good luck would have it, the trains were occupying on the march that day two trails running parallel with each. other, and ten to fifteen rods apart, hence the train occupying the right hand trail pulled its leaders into the left, while those of the left hand trail turned theirs to the right, and upon coming together the head of the corral was formed. The trains were hurried up with all dispatch, as the buffalo were seen moving in large bodies, and coming in direct line with the head of the command. The rush to get all the wagons into the corral was great, the traders were all in and the commissary cattle were also up and inside when it was found the buffalo were

nearing us. Most of the wagons had got up and the corral formed ready for the crushing process, provided the buffalo could not be turned, as we lay right in their route as they were then approaching. Large Large bodies bodies could

« PreviousContinue »