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Clipping: John Pea One of Pioneer Settlers


Posted By: Linda Hughes Meyers (email)
Date: 11/12/2008 at 16:54:34



John Pea was the second settler of Boone county and some have insisted that he was the first. The difference in their time of arrival on Boone county soil was only three months which is a short duration of time. C. W. Gaston, the first settler, located on the south half of section 34-82-26, January 12, 1846, only half a mile from the Dallas county line and on the west bank of the river, while John Pea settled near the center of the county near Pea's point, a very prominent part of the county at that time, taking these matters into thought it is no wonder at all that so many people are mistaken and took Pea to be the first settler.
At Pea's point John Pea built a log cabin, made rails and fenced about five acres which he put under cultivation, on which he produced considerable produce for the coming year. Not only this, but Uncle John, as he was called, was an able hunter and game was plentiful and he kept his family well supplied with meat. When winter came he did little else but hunt.
One dark evening in December he came home with as much deer as he could carry, and by the time he got all of the meat dressed it was too late to prepare any wood for the morning fire. When he awoke the next morning he was much surprised to see the ground was covered a foot deep by snow and a terrible blizzard raging. Every dry stick in the timber nearby was covered by snow. To cut the green wood he could not build a fire with it, and he was much puzzled to know how to get a fire started that morning. but all of a sudden it dawned on him that the dry rails that surrounded the five acres of cultivated land would be just the kind of wood he wanted. He then exclaimed, "Fifty good rails will make fifty good fires, and I know that I am man enough to make fifty rails any day after this storm has quit." It was not long after this that Uncle John had a good fire.
When Sidomanidota and his band of fifty Indians raided the Lott family at the mouth of the Boone river Uncle John Pea, although advanced in years, was one fo the first white settlers who came to the rescue. Every one of that little band of settlers expected when he arrived to get into a fight with the Indians, but it was found that they were many miles away and escaped with the horses belonging to Lott.
They found Mrs. Henry Lott more dead than alive and, in fact, she did die later from the shock of the attack. She lived long enough to learn the fate of her 12 year old son who was so terribly scared when the Indians came, he ran from the scene of the raid, intending, it was supposed, to reach the settlements following down the Des Moines river. His father and John Pea followed the tracks he had made in the snow and 20 miles down the river found him frozen to death. This was a sad story to carry back to the afflicted mother but she had not long to suffer for death carried her away.

---Probably from the Madrid or Boone newspaper in 1933, although the date is not included the clipping was from Vol LII, No. 48.


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