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Saturday, October 23, 2010



Panaca Stories

Grandma Lee and the Indians

Francis Lee arrived at what was to become Panaca 4 May 1864. He arrived with his wife, Mary, 5 unmarried sons, one married son, Samuel and his family and nephew, Samuel F and his family. They built dugouts to live in and proceeded to pioneer.

There was a camp of Piute Indians 10 miles from where the Lee family had settled. One day when all the men were gone, Grandma Lee was alone in her dugout. Two young Indians came to the dugout. They saw a gun in the dugout and demanded that Grandma give them the gun. Grandma Lee refused. The Indian tried to snatch the gun and run out the door, but Grandma Lee whacked him with a piece of fire wood and he fell to the floor. He jumped up, grabbed his bow and arrow and aimed an arrow at Grandma Lee. She whacked him with a second piece of firewood which broke his bow and arrow. Meanwhile the second Indian had stood by watching the fight. The arrival of the Lee men sent the Indians whooping into the distance. Thus ended the first battle of Panaca.

The Fifty Dollar Turn Around

Panaca is located 11 mile south of Pioche Nevada. When the silver mines were going many families in Panca made a living raising truck gardens and selling produce in Pioche. As a boy John N Hollingshead accompanied his father to Pioche to sell produce. A drunken miner bet $50 young John couldn't turn the team and wagon around on Pioche's main street which to this day is narrow and steep. John's father handed him the lines, climbed off the wagon and told him to turn it around. John turned the wagon around. The drunken miner paid off his bet and John and father went home $50 richer.

The Sorry Farm

Nephi John Wadsworth freighted and ranched. In his time he acquired several pastures and meadows in and around Panaca. He named his fields after the people from whom he purchased them. He owned one field south of Panaca that almost everyone considered worthless. One year Nephi John decided to plant rye there. All his neighbors told him he would be “sorry”. That year Nephi John harvested an enormous crop of grain from the field. Today that field is still called the Sorry Farm.

Nephi John and the Outlaw

Nephi John Wadsworth owned and worked a freighting company. He hauled the first lumber from Salt Lake into Pioche. He hauled the first load of freight into the mining camp of Delamar.

Nephi John was a friendly man. He had many friends. One of his friends was a notorious outlaw whose hang out was near Desert Springs where the freighters watered their teams. This outlaw robbed many a freighter of his freight and cattle. But he told Nephi John, “ Now don't you worry, Nephi, I'll take care of your cattle and horses, and whatever you have in your wagon, especially the jockey box will be safe.” So it was the outlaw was a man of his word.

A Full-Time Job

Joseph Adelbert (Bert) Price worked as freighter, miner, and cowboy. Bert had a sense of humor and he exercised it regularly. He went to work for a rancher one week and then was home the next week. When one of his friends asked about the job. Bert replied that the he had worked for the rancher from 4 in the morning until midnight, but there were four hours when there was no work so Bert had quit, because the rancher had promised Bert a “full-time job”.

Story-a-Day is an attempt to bring a small bit of humor and amusement to Mrs. ~brb and Audrey as they fight very serious illnesses. If you have a short, amusing story, please send it to kersley.fitz at yahoo dot com. If you'd prefer, you can drop it in the drop.io (password: challenge) and email me to let me know it's there.
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