Category Archives: Family History

Civil War PTSD Along the Creek

The Farm has a connection to Civil War veterans: a son in the homesteading family married the daughter of a veteran. The families of that veteran and his brother-in-law, who was also a veteran, lived about four miles up the … Continue reading

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Locating the Dugout

Although our homesteading family arrived in the area in 1870, they didn’t settle on the farm along Kanaranzi Creek until 1871. Their first home, like many other early settlers, was in a dugout. We know some things about this dwelling … Continue reading

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Trails to Rails

Overland trails became the routes of railroads that provided critical links between farms and markets. In the 1920s and 1930s, Grandpa George (the son of the homesteaders) shipped cattle to Chicago from a siding called Midland located in Iowa about … Continue reading

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Civil War Trails

The trails that our family followed in 1870 weren’t confined to just stream valleys. Their overland route from Waseca to the Kanaranzi Creek was probably laid out 10-15 years earlier, before the Civil War. This map was compiled (Trygg, 1964) … Continue reading

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Homesteading on the Kanaranzi

In the spring of 1870, John B. Shurr and his nephew, stood on a hill about one mile south of the State Line and looked out to the east over the valley of the Kanaranzi Creek. The Rock River valley … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name?

“Runs as the crazy man walks.” That’s what Grandma Daisy Walker Shurr said the word “Kanaranzi” meant. This is what the Creek looked like back in the early Seventies below the hill where our house is located. A friend of … Continue reading

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“Sabbath” on the Farm

Voluntary self-isolation during this current COVID-19 crisis can be considered an opportunity to celebrate an extended “Sabbath”. That was the suggestion made by one of our favorite pastors in his virtual sermon this past Palm Sunday. He reminded us that … Continue reading

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Old Books

Winter is a good time to do some reading. Sometimes the books themselves have stories that are just as interesting as those on the pages between their covers. My family has been blessed with school librarians. Our daughter is currently … Continue reading

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Snowbound

Earlier this week we were snowbound in Colorado. The first storm dropped about 10 inches on our kids’ home in the mountains west of Boulder. The snow piled up on the trees and then fell a second time when the … Continue reading

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Making Winter Wood

Now we’ve had the first frost and the first snow of the season. The leaves are turning yellow and the snow that stuck to tree trunks has melted. It was in times like this current reprieve from impending winter, that … Continue reading

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