This account of moving from Oklahoma to Rifle, Colorado in 1899 was written by Emma (Warmbrodt) Call. She was Melanie's great-great maternal grandmother. Melanie knew her great-grandma Grace well (the Gracie in narrative) from summers spent as a child at her grandparent's ranch in Eastern Washington state. [Dictated to Larry Grove for transcription. The spelling and sentence division therefore changed from the original.]
Started to Colorado 15th of May. Drove to three miles of Perry. Drove in Perry early Tuesday morning and stayed until Friday and drove to Tonkawa. Drove next day to Kildare. Drove Sunday to Chalock reservation Sunday evening and laid over Monday and washed. It rained and stormed that night.
Tuesday May 23 Started out and drove through to Arkansas City. Stopped and done some trading and drove about 12 miles west and had a mess of doves for supper.
May 24 Drove to Southhaven. Rained on us. Stopped and got our horses and Alpha's mules shod and stayed all night.
May 25 Started out at 7 o'clock and got to Caldwell about half-past 10. Stayed until afternoon and then drove to Bluff creek. The wind blew hard that night.
May 26 Drove through Anthony about 2 o'clock and camped about 13 miles east of Atica. The wind blew and was terrible stormy.
May 27 Started out about 9 o'clock. Eat dinner 2 miles east of Atica and then drove to Sheron and camped.
May 28 Sunday drove to Medicine Lodge by noon. Camped and drove about 7 miles and camped by a school house. Had a mess of quails for supper.
May 29 Drove to Lake City. Eat dinner north a mile then drove 5 miles north of Coats.
May 30 Drove to Wellsford and eat dinner and drove through Havlin and camped a mile and half east of east of Greenburg.
May 31 Laid over and washed. Had a nice day for washing. Old crazy John Evens was down to see us all day.
June 1 Drove to Mulinsville by noon and ate dinner then drove on to Ford 18 miles making 28 1/2 miles that day. Was in a dust storm. Prince [horse] was sick that night. It stormed terrible. We run the wagons side by side and chained the wheels together. Did not go to bed until after midnight.
June 2 It is raining. Did not get breakfast until late. Prince is all right this morning. Alpha & Bledso are tightening the mules shoes. Got dinner early and started and drove to Dodge City and camped. Rained a terrible downpour all night and the wind blew awful. We had to hitch up in the night and move our camp.
June 3 Left Dodge City about 11 o'clock and drove by Howell and Cimarone City and camped 3 miles west on the Arkansas River.
June 4 Got an early start and drove through Ingalls and eat dinner 13 miles on the prairie then drove to Garden City making about 33 miles
June 5 Left Garden City early in the morning and eat dinner out on the prairie. Had a young jack rabbit for dinner in the middle of the afternoon. Oat [Otis] Call & Mollie & Jim Weber overtook us and we drove on together and got to Lakin about four o'clock in the evening and done some trading then drove out about 3 miles and camped by the irrigating flume.
June 6 Started out early and drove to Kendle about 20 miles. Eat dinner and stopped in out of the rain. All got weighed. I weighed 105 [lbs], MC [Merritt Call] 47, CC [Clara Call] 38, GC [Grace Vera Call] 30, WRC [William Rielly Call] 120. It rained on us for about 5 miles. We drove on to Syracuse and done some trading and stayed all night by the court house.
June 7 Started early and drove to Coalage and eat dinner then drove and crossed the [Colorado state] line. 2:25 o'clock did not go through Lines but drove on and camped at the Salvation Colony town. It rained some that evening and night.
*June 8 * Started early and crossed the river at Granada making the fourth time drove through Granada. Then on to Groat and eat dinner. Then drove to Lamar and camped early because it looked so stormy. It rained some.
June 9 Left Lamar at 9 o'clock and crossed the river again and eat dinner on the prairie. Then drove on through the pastures close to the river then went out on the prairie and began to think we would not find water for the horses. But did at 5 o'clock in the evening then drove a few miles and camped. 12 wagons camped together.
June 10 Left camp at 6 o'clock in the morning and drove past Losangeles. Crossed the bridge and started to town but turned and re-crossed and drove on and eat dinner on the horse crick. Then drove on to Lafurrta and got hay for the horses. Paid 50 cts. a bale then re-crossed the river and camped.
June 11 Laid over Sunday at Lafurrta. Had a good time. Had a music night - an organ, guitar & two violins - and had singing too.
June 12 Started after ten and eat dinner on the prairie then drove to Rockey Ford about 5 o'clock. Watered and drove on a few miles and camped. Could see the mountains.
June 13 Did not start until late. And eat dinner west of Masszanola on the big ditch. Then drove on to Fowler and stayed all night.
June 14 Did not start until late. Drove over across the river and was going to wash. Found a fine camping place, but was not permitted to let the horses graze. So we drove back making twelve times we crossed the river. Then drove a few miles and eat dinner on the lane. Then drove on across 14 miles of desert and camped at Randall's Ranch. Bought hay.
June 15 Started at 5 o'clock and overtook Bledso at about 10. They were washing. We stated until after noon, then drove on to Pueblo. We saw our first trolley car and done some trading and drove out a mile to the lake and had a fine place to camp. Good grass for the horses. Could hear the music from the theater across the lake. It rained a little.
June 16 Started late and drove half-way around the lake and back. Found a gate in the South-East corner of the lake park. Then drove until noon and eat dinner by a ranch house in a deep gulch. Had fine water to fill the kegs then drove on to a settlement and camped overnight in the lane at the foot of the mountains. Could see a little snow on some of the high ones. We drove 27 miles that day.
June 17 Started pretty early and passed 2 stores. Saw a man camped that had a dog team. He had 7 but [we didn't] see them working as they drove at night. Drove on 6 miles farther and eat dinner. Then drove 16 miles. Could see the smoke up in the mountain gulch of some miners. Saw a big herd of sheep. Then struck the creek in a deep rocky canyon right in the mountains and camped overnight.
June 18 Started early and drove to Gardner, 10 miles by 11 o'clock. Got water and crossed Wathana Creek at the mill and started up the grade. Eat dinner in a pine grove. Started half-past one and drove over one hill and down and then over another and struck the pass creek and went clear up it all evening but did not get clear up to the top of the mountain. The teams were nearly played out. Found an open spot in the timber and camped. Had fine cold spring water - the best we have had on the trip. The mountains is all covered with pines.
June 19 Laid over to let the horses rest.
June 20 Washed some and went to the top of the pass to see the train on the other side of the valley. But I and Clara were too late. It had just gone out of sight.
June 21 Finished any washing.
June 22 Laid over.
June 23 Started afternoon down Pass Creek Pass and went over on Malakite and stayed all night at an old mill.
June 24 Willie [William Rielly Call] and Alpha went to look at a place and did not get started until about 10 o'clock. Then drove to Malikite office and got some wheat for the horses. Then drove on over almost to the Muddy creek and eat dinner then drove on clear up the Muddy and camped at an old used-to-be office named Bradford and thought of buying a ranch 320 A[cres] called the English Billy ranch. Eat supper with the old bachelor Coras. Eat breakfast with him too.
June 25 Started about 8 and went down part of wet mountain valley and eat dinner in a small gulch. It rained all around us. Got to Rozetta at 5 in the evening and an old mining town. It was awful cold that evening & night.
June 26 Started early. Was cold and raining some. Had a long hard pull up the hill north of Rozetta and went a mile & half to the Basic Mines and then went down the Oak creek. The mountains were full of holes where people had been prospecting. Eat dinner within 14 miles of Florence. Then got water at a camp station then struck narrow road down the deep gulch. High mountains on both sides. Saw the place where two women and a baby and horse & buggy went over. Killed one woman & broke the other's leg and killed the horse. Drove all afternoon on that kind of a road. Come down at Rockville, a mining town 3 miles southwest of Florence. Got to Merties about 6 o'clock.
June 27 Laid over at Florence.
June 28 Started out again and drove to camping station. Had three other movers for company. Then afternoon drove in 3 miles of Pueblo. Alpha stopped and traded horses. Camped off the road on the river.
June 29 Drove up the railroad to a school house and stopped and cut grass in the side of the railroad fence for the horses. Then it was 9 o'clock and we drove down to Pueblo and eat dinner. Drove back though town and on to St. Charles crick. I made some pies. We got rhubarb from a mex[ican].
June 30 Merritt's birthday. He got a whipping for wanting Clara's rope. [William Rielly Call was reputed to punish his children for no good reason.] We drove to a store and eat dinner. Then drove on and camped near an irrigating flume.
[Note: this is where they turned back.]
July 1 Drove to Fowler early. Got water and drove through Masszanola and eat dinner east of the town about 2 mile. Cut hay along the ditch then drove to Rockey Ford at three o'clock. Drove on about 5 miles then about a mile off the road and camped by a lot of mulberry trees. Some had berries on.
July 2 Drove off down to Lafurrta for the mail. Got a letter from Stella & Ed and cooked green beans for dinner. Shaved and cut Willie's hair. Then loaded up and drove 9 miles and stopped by a big ditch. It come up a dust storm as soon as we got things out to get supper. We got them all back in the wagon but my bonnet. And it blew in the ditch and down it it went. Merritt & Grace got to the house, but Clara wouldn't go till I went. I thought we would go with the bonnet!
July 3 Started early and overtook Alphas as they were harnessing up. They had camped about a mile ahead of us in the big ditch. Went across horse creek. Eat dinner at Lasanamas then drove to the river and camped.
July 4 Prince run over Gracie and stepped on her. Hurt her face and side. [Grace said the side injury bothered her all her life.] Dr. Reed of Perry came to our camp. He was going to Montana. We were ready to start. Drove on and eat dinner three miles north.