My Life’s Story
by Eleanor Van Dusen Bowen
Chapter 2: French, New Mexico
French, New Mexico [near Cimarron] was in the northeast part of the State. It is not on the maps anymore. The only buildings still there are the old livery stable and the store building. Everything else is gone as though it never existed. This in about 1978.
When we arrived in French, it was very cold and snow lay on the ground. Grandfather met us with a horse and buggy, hot bricks for our feet and plenty of blankets. We learned that Grandfather’s farm was several miles west of French on what was called the French Tract. When we arrived at the house, my Grandmother had the most enormous amount of food on the table and lots of fresh, cold milk for us to drink.
Mother soon started to get better. When spring came, Grandfather put her into the fields to plow and drive other farm machinery. It wasn’t long until she was well and had begun to gain a little weight.
I remember that the biggest events of the year were to me, hog killing time and Christmas. Thanksgiving came next in pure pleasure and fun. On the holidays, the table was always loaded with lots of good food, and Grandfather would tell us ghost stories and tales of his life as a young boy in England.
The next year, my Father came west and we moved onto the huge Taylor Ranch not far from Grandfather’s farm. Mr. Taylor had herds of cattle and be did a lot of farming. Father worked here for the next few years. Charles and I went to Andrews School. The first year we drove a horse and buggy, but the next year there was a bus to pick up the children and take them to school.
We lived in Springer during the winter of 1920 and 1921. Harry and I went to the grade school and Charles attended the Junior High School.
In the spring of 1921, Mother divorced Father and we moved back to Grandfather’s farm on the French Tract. There is a separate story about the French Tract and my life there.
To be continued…
Catch up on Eleanor Van Dusen Bowen’s story: Chapter 1
Thank you for reading.
J. R. Findsen