Page 146


C. S. OSBORN



The following is copied from the "Aberdeen World" of September, 1936:

"Few men now living can tell eye-witness tales of an Indian War, of the great wagon trains moving across the prairies to settle the West, and of wild buffalo herds being stampeded and shot by Indians and white hunters. Of these few, is C. S. Osborn, age 74, who, for the past 22 years, has lived at Neilton near Lake Quinault.

As a lad of three, Osborn's mother carried him to safety from their ranch home to town (now Wisconsin Rapids) during an Indian uprising. At six, he crossed the plains in a covered wagon with his parents. He lived in a sod house. He saw the great wagon trains moving across the plains to settle the West.

"Sometimes these trains were three miles long, with hundreds of wagons in them", Osborn recalls. "Many of the wagons were pulled by oxen. Some by a single pair - others by as many as seven yoke."

As a boy, Osborn, in the late sixties, stood by and watched engineers survey the route of the B. & M. (Burlington and Missouri) railroad, one of the first to build across the continent.

"The engineers came with wagon loads of lath and used them to stake out the survey", Osborn said. "Guards, armed with the tall old-fashioned muskets, marched along to protect workers against Indians."

The family's Nebraska home was within about 35 miles of the present site of Lincoln. Osborn can recall when the prairie often was covered with great herds of buffalo.

"I've know them so thick they held up a train for an hour and a half" he said, "The Indians - Sioux, Omahas, and Pawnees - came down in the spring and fall to hunt them.

Beaver, too, were plentiful. Anyone who could set a trap could catch 'em."