Submitted by Neil S. Smith
The author, Sarah Frances Hatcher was the 7th child of mygggg-grandparents, David and Nancy Rawlins MULLINS.
Browning Leader-Record 6 Mar 1919
"Pioneer Days in Missouri"
We are in receipt of a letter from Mrs. S. F. Hatcher, of Woodland, Calif., in which she encloses sufficient funds for another year's subscription to The Leader-Record. Mrs. Hatcher has written an interesting brief sketch of a few happenings in the pioneer days when she first moved to Linn County with her parents, and we reproduce the article here:
"My parents with seven children, (I being the youngest, one year old), moved from Howard county, Missouri, to Linn county in 1834. Linn county was sparsely settled at that time, though there were quite a number of Indians living in the wooded part. I remember when I was a child my father used to hold court as he was a Squire or Justice of the peace. Everybody called him Squire Mullins. As we had no court house then, my father used to hold court in our home which was a large log house with one room. I remember distinctly how it was arranged inside. In one side of the room there was a bed in each corner with trundle beds underneath, and a bureau in the center between the beds. (This bureau is still in my brother's family as a relic of the past.) There was not another bureau in Linn county for many years after we moved there. On the other side of the room in the center was the fireplace where we did our cooking and in the corner we had shelves for our dishes and cooking utensils and dining table. In the other corner was another bed and in the center of the other two sides of the room were the doors. Father always held court at our house as we had a large room. Every man from fifteen to twenty miles around would attend court when it was called. I remember most of them stood up as there was not room for them all to sit down. In summer, mother had us children stay out of doors when court convened but in winter time she used to put us on the bed and we had to be quiet as we could while court was in session. In my mind, I can see my father as he stood behind a small stand with the Bible, and whenever a witness was sworn he would reach out the Bible and make him kiss it. I remember one time in particular when we were on the bed, of a man that was tried for stealing some hanks of colored yarn, that had been hung out to dry over night. The man that stole the yarn and the man that sued him, got to quarreling over the yarn, and began to fight. The men quickly separated them and took them out of the house. I do not remember what the verdict was. My father and my husband's uncle John Yount were the only two officers in Linn county at that time. I may tell you in the near future of the trip across the plains to California in 1852 of my husband and myself."