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EARLY DAYS AT BLACK OAK

Narrator: Mrs. Kelley Brown of Far West

Mrs. Kelley Brown is a grand daughter of John T. Davis who came from Illinois into Caldwell County just after the Black Hawk War where he served with the Illinois troops. He and his wife Margaret Moore were married when she was sixteen years old. When she was twenty-two they came into the county in the summer 1840 and built near Black Oak Grove as it used to be called. There were no windows or doors hung in the cabin. They hung a wide cloth at the door and window openings. He needed windows and some tools for his work, so he left her alone and went back over the long pioneer trail to Illinois to get them. He was gone about three weeks and she used to build fires at night by the cabin door to frighten away the panthers who frequented those woods. The cry of the panther was something to scare you even at a distance, and especially terrible at your own door.

The Davis brothers were the first settlers in what is now Davis Township after the Mormons left. John T. Davis' place was a little south west of the present Black Oak village. Davis Township was named after this family. His father Dennis Davis (1791-1879) a Black Hawk soldier came into the county with his sons. He and most of the Davis family are buried in the Black Oak Cemetery, which is quite early in date.

Interview taken July 1934.

 

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998