[George W. Bates]
FORM C Text of Interview (Unedited)
NAME OF WORKER Edna B Pearson ADDRESS 108 E 18 So Sioux
DATE November 22, 1938 SUBJECT Interview No. 25
NAME AND ADDRESS OF INFORMANT George W. Bates, Dakota City, R F D
On August 8, 1953, my father, Leonard Bates, and his brother, Gibson Bates, came to Woodbury County, Iowa. That fall they came across the Missouri river to take up a claim here. They landed in Nebraska in 1853 but didn't stay. Father's brother stayed on the Iowa side and took up a claim near what is now Sergeants Bluff; father came back to what is now Sioux City and surveyed the land between the Big Sioux and the Little Sioux, what is now Riverside, a suburb of Sioux City.
Once, while he and quite a few other men were surveying at what is now Riverside a prairie fire came. The prairie fires would travel as fast as a horse could run, or faster, as the grass was so high and dry, it just went. There was a little creek near where they were surveying and someone said for them to wet their blankets and wrap themselves in the wet blankets and lie on the bank of the creek. They all did that but one man who wouldn't wet his blanket. He got badly burned and had to doctor all winter, but finally, in the spring he died from the effects of the burns.
My father located here in 1854 on a 160 and bought an 80 adjoining. When my father located here buffalo and deer roamed all through this part of the country and on account of the high grass and dense growth of brush it was like a wilderness. Our place is just three-quarters of a mile north of the Twin Churches. Father came from Vermont and mother from Ohio. I am living on part of my father's homestead. He located at Logan, where he had either 80 or 100 acres, two miles west and one mile north of Dakota City. I remember, as a boy, of seeing mounds on the east part of my father's homestead. These mounds had been sod houses at the old town of Logan. There is no sign left now of what was Logan.
Everybody's cattle roamed through there, nobody farmed around Logan. They would bring the cattle home at night and take them back in the morning to graze; got water for them out of Crystal Lake.
What they called the [Colt?] Baird spring is near the Taylor cemetery near Homer. That spring has never been dry.
They farmed different then than they do now. They had walking