Books [Early Pioneer Life]
I'm sure we've seen no picture
In the volumes anywhere
Of a tall, athletic woman,
With long and streaming hair,
Going out against the redskins,
To save a fleeing son,
And with her strong hand grasping
Her husband's trusty gun.
Thus sang a local pioneer poet, the son of a pioneer mother, some years ago. Yet a tragic tale of the border might thus be truly illustrated. The husband and eldest son were set upon and killed by Indians while on the range. A younger son, the shepherd boy, took alarm and fleeing toward home, pursued by the savages, was met and escorted in safety to the “inch-board shanty”, where the heroic woman kept the foe at bay with her rifle until succor came, as told by the narrator in verse:
And there of guard we found them,
When four long days had fled,
Half-crazed with sleepless watching
And sorrow for the dead,
And still that faithful mother,
When we came, a saving band,
Stood by the open doorway,
With the rifle in her hand.
Led in Hospitality.
Women in pioneer times led the van. In this connection, I recall, with a glow of admiration and tenderness, the life of Jane E., wife of Captain A. F. Hedges, during the cream of pioneer years, residents of Clackamas County....