Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Wild, Wild West. . . near Deadwood, South Dakota

Owen Jerome McDonnell -standing center

This post is courtesy of my wonderful double cousin, Mary Margaret mentioned in this blog before here, here, and here.  I think her passion for family history exceeds my own, and she has many wonderful stories passed on to her by her father.

Crook City Tale

My Uncle Ambrose McDonnell was born in Iowa in 1900. As a baby he was taken to the Black Hills in South Dakota by his mother and father.

Owen Jerome McDonnell knew there was gold in the Hills and with four other partners, he had purchased land in the old Cook City site. After my uncle was born, he brought his wife, Elizabeth Burnette Allen and baby to a land where he was sure to make his fortune.

Owen Jerome McDonnell and wife
 Elizabeth Burnett Allen
with their childrem
One day, he had business in Deadwood and he left his young wife at home alone. Nettie heard a knock at the front door and when she opened the door she was dismayed to see a scraggly old women standing there. Nettie was frightened and did not invite her in. The old women looked sick, dirty and Nettie feared she had something Ambrose could catch. Then the old lady spoke, “ May I have a glass of water? I would never harm a hair on the head of Sunny Boy’s child.” Nettie knew that was a nickname used for her husband. She gave the old woman a glass to get water from the well. While she stood in the door way, the old woman said she was walking to catch the train to Lead. Nettie knew there was a hospital there. The old lady smiled her thanks, turned and left down the street.

Crook City home

When Owen returned home and heard the story he told his wife that he thought it was an old friend, Jane. Later that week, they learned that Calamity Jane had gone to Lead and died. This story was told to me by my father, Ambrose’s younger brother, Owen James, many times and is a family legend

The photo at the beginning of this post is presumed to be Owen Jerome and his four partners.  I would love to be able to identify the other men in this photo.  If you can help identify them,  please contact me.

1 comment:

  1. this was very entertaining and i enjoyed reading it alot.. thank you