2-11-1816 HANNAH WAGGONER
the time Willard Hadlock was born his parents lived in the
western end of what is now known as the state of New York.
very probable that he was the first native born child of this
There is no record of other children, and we have only the stories
told to us by our grandfather, when we were very young, on which
build our story.
This period of time
was a very long time ago, and the second
was with Great Britain, which was known as the War of 1812,
over only a few years. The Indians along the border were
friendly, and so the Hadlock family decided to go further west.
They traveled in covered wagons using oxen for teams.
no roads and, in many places, not even trails. Usually
lies traveled together for company and protection. Grandfather
eight years old when they made this journey, and to him, it
venture at its highest.
They traveled as far
west as what is now the state of Illinois,
and settled near the place that is now known as the city of
burg, and here the boy grew up. The Indians here were
were the only playmates Grandfather had. He would often tell
of the good times he had with them, and how he often ate with
the meal consisting of boiled dog and biscuits. He said
only yellow dogs. If Grandfather had any brothers or sisters,
never told us about them nor did he ever mention the death of
parents, and we were too young at that time to think of anything
the exciting stories he so often told.
When he was twenty
three years old, Grandfather married an
Indian girl of fifteen. Her name was Hannah Waggoner.
One of his
best stories was that of carrying her off on horse back and
stealing her from his Indian friends. After they were
used to sleep in front of the cabin door so the Indians could
come and steal her back again. I have an idea there was
feeling in the affair, only a sort of friendly rivalry.
never seemed to have any ill feeling toward his red brothers,
often called them.
There were eleven children
in this family; two girls died in
infancy, one son died at the age of twenty-one. The remaining
children grew up, all married and raised families except one,
Willard, Jr., who remained a bachelor until his death.
kept filling up with more and more settlers, and they began
have schools of a sort. Children at last began to learn
and write. Their school houses were rather lacking in
things, but they made long benches of split logs, and the desk,
that had to do for all of them, was also a split log although
what wider than the benches. In addition to the lack of
at school, the children had to walk three miles to school.
in that area are severe, and there is lots of snow. When
melted, the trails were muddy and almost impassable. But
children went to school and learned to read, write and cipher.
we call it arithmetic. These three things were about all
be taught in those long ago times. Books, such as we now
still unwritten, and history, such as they knew was passed on
simple process of telling whatever you learned from the travelers
Sometime during these
hectic years, Grandfather became
converted. He believed he was called to preach.
I do not know how
preachers were educated in those days, but I do know that Grand-
father was ordained. Preachers, in those days were assigned
church; they were known as circuit riders and traveled a certain
route which they covered in a specified length of time, carrying
on whatever christian duties and activities they found awaiting
them on the road. Among those duties, the circuit rider
baptize children and to perform marriage ceremonies. Marriage
licenses were unheard of then, and the only records of such
were found in a family bible which was one of the first things
young couple acquired. Here they recorded their wedding
registered the births of their children.
I believe that Grandfather
was a farmer, and that he carried
on as such and rode his circuit as a preacher during the times
tween planting and harvest. The family, all grown and
began to look for a new frontier. They moved west into
what is now
Nebraska and settled
in Hamilton Co.
I do not know how many of
them came at first, but by January, 1884, all of the Hadlocks
were in Nebraska. The older daughters had married and
Kansas, which was also on the frontier at that time. My
and mother, who was the youngest of the Hadlock daughters moved
Nebraska in January, 1884. Soon the Hadlock boys, having
good land to be had in Colorado, decided to go there, and ac-
quired the land on which they spent the remainder of their lives.
Willard, Jr., remained with his parents because his father,
was now sixty eight and suffering from rheumatism so that he
no longer able to work, needed his help. However, the
of Nebraska soon helped Grandfather to regain his health to
tent that he was able to carry on his christian activities.
officiated at the funerals of many of the early settlers.
grieved over the loss of the children, and I remember one very
time when there was an epidemic of that dread disease diptheria.
In one week Grandfather held funeral services for three little
in one family. He felt it so much because they were all
the parents had.
My father was a carpenter,
and he and mother lived in a house
next door to the home of my grandparents, after they left their
Willard Jr. then went west and settled on a tree claim in Keith
Nebraska. There he spent the remainder of his life.
bought a farm and built a little house beside theirs for my
parents. We moved to this farm in March, 1891, and here
mother died at the age of seventy-one. Grandfather died
The years of my grandfather’s
life covered the administrations
Madison, who was the 4th president, to Wm.
25th president. The most memorable events in history,
during these years, was the discovery of gold in California
Willard and Hannah
Hadlock are buried in the cemetary near the
town of Phillips, Nebraska. Here also lies Willard Jr.
parents, Francis R.
and Elizabeth E. Reiter.