THE MARTINS AT LOVELY RIDGE
Narrators: Mrs. Carrie Royer and Lottie Martin
George B. Martin and his wife Lydia Duncan Martin (the first born in Illinois, the latter in Ohio) came to the Lovely Ridge Community three to five miles west of Hamilton in 1877. They had been poor people in Illinois and could not buy a farm but hearing that land was much cheaper in western Missouri; they came out and bought an eighty (80) acre tract. The family stayed at the Van Volkenburg Hotel (Broadway Hotel) located where the present Davis Motor Co. is, until Mr. Martin bought a place.
The Martin Post Office was Kidder and they rode there once a week to get their mail. Often one man would get mail for all his neighbors along the way, so they could get it more often.
The farm conditions were back of those in Illinois but that was to be expected of cheaper land. There were many unfenced lands till the 80's when the stock law required people to restrain their stock - a law rather unpopular at first, because it cost money to fence. Up to that law, Miss Lottie used to get on her pony and go after the cattle late in the afternoon. They might be a mile away feeding on the open prairie. Miss Carrie the elder sister was the housekeeper. If by chance Mrs. Martin went, she would go on foot because she hated horse back riding. In the days before 1880, one could go across the prairies from Martins house for miles without meeting a fence.
The Martin girls went to school at Lovely Ridge School. They attended when the second one was burnt 1878 by the carelessness of Mr. McAtee the teacher. He was followed by Hettie Martin (Brown) who walked out from Hamilton every week end. She was followed by her sister Addie Martin who boarded with Dan Jones. Boys and girls went to school till they finished their books and then maybe came back to review. They learned the State Capitals in a song. There was a tardy roll on fools cap paper on the wall to be viewed by visitors. Corporal punishment was frequent especially by the above McAtee. School was often started by a song:
"O where have you been tardy boy, tardy boy
O where have you been all the morning?
O to school I have been and they would not let me in
And so I have lost all the morning."
The roll of Lovely Ridge pupils of their day include many familiar names: Carrie and Lottie Martin, Lizzie Booth, Anna and Belle Rogers, Simon, Jake and Chas. Hendricks, Ida Lane (Rauber), Kate Esteb, and always some of the large Bennett family.
Interview taken March 1934.
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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998