Pioneer Memories – The Call Of Duty

Friends and Enemies

Image by Rennett Stowe via Flickr

When I say “The Call of Duty”, I’m not talking about the ever so popular video game, I’m talking about the actual Call of Duty. The Call of Duty is more commonly known as the military service that so many fellow Americans provided for this country as they built up the foundation of America and continue to provide.today.

Take a step back in time and read one story about American pioneers, their military experience, and the mark they left in the history book. In the following 1943 letter by a distant cousin, Mary Lee Parker, writes to another distant cousin Hazel Bolton along with some other relatives, Margaret and Richard. In her recollections,  Mary Lee describes some of the military experiences of her father, grandfather, and uncle as they migrated west across the great plains of Kansas. Spelling and grammar mistakes are transcribed to help richen the true flavor of these pioneer memories.

Wichita, Kansas
May 26, 1943

Dear Hazel,

Sitting by a slightly open window through which I see clouds that cover the sky as they have so many, rany(sp) days through April and May, I direct your thoughts back about eighty years to the time when Aaron Holmes Parker, your Grandfather, Margaret and Richard, and your Great Uncle, Hazel was a boy of seventeen.

He had been left in charge for a short time of the quartz mill owned by his father, my Grandfather, who had gone to Denver on business accompanied by and older son Kirk. Grandfather Parker had temporarily left his home in Reading Mass. and lived for a while in Lawrence Kansas where his home had been in connection with the escaping of slaves going to Canada? Then he went on west to Colorado City, a few miles from Colorado Springs. There he established this quartz mill the purpose of which was to crush the quartz making it ready for the process of extracting the minerals.

Grandpa and Uncle Kirk had been gone several days when someone brought Papa word that his brother Kirk had joined the Union Army. Papa wanted to go too so he closed the mill and started for Denver. He met Grandpa on the way who permitted him to continue. The reason he was in such a hurry was that he wanted to get in the same compay(sp) with his brother, and he succeeded. He was not eighteen yet but was six feet tall. On account of his height they did not ask his age.

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