“Rose, put that crate in the wagon,” Mother Andrews directed. “Paul, does Father need help with the horses and cows?”
“Yeah, me and Robert are going to be herding them along the road,” seventeen-year old Paul replied.
A couple of hours later, thirteen wagons began the long journey west. The Andrews, along with nine other families, were leaving Columbus, Ohio, to settle in the new state of Nebraska. They had between eight and nine hundred miles ahead of them. “We have about fifty-eight days of travel,” Father calculated. “If we average fifteen miles a day, that is,” he added.
The Andrews family consisted of Father, Mother, seventeen-year old Paul, sixteen-year old Robert, fourteen-year old Cindy, ten-year old Keith, eight-year old Rose, and five-year old Emma. Besides the Andrews, there were two other Baptist families: the Mark Yoders and the Andrew Johnsons. The other wagon-train members dubbed them “The Baptist Braves.”
The first day they managed to get seven miles. They rounded up the cattle and settled down for the night.
“Father,” Cindy spoke as the family ate supper, “is that the sounds of a horse—”
“Hello!” someone called.
Father stood up. “Yes,” he said, “someone is coming.”
“Hello there,” Andrew called.
The horseman rode up to Andrew and dismounted. “Good evening,” he said.
“I’m Andrew Johnson,” Andrew said, extending his hand.
“And I’m Jimmy Sanders,” the horseman replied. “Are ya’ll on your way west?”
“Um-uh,” Andrew answered.
“I’m Martin Andrews,” Father introduced himself.
“Jimmy Sanders,” Jimmy replied.
“This is my wife, Martha,” Father answered.
“And this Amy,” Andrew introduced his wife.
The rest of the people were introduced, and Jimmy was invited to stay with them. Continue reading