Kremlin Homesteader Harry Cady, 1911

This history of Kremlin Homesteader Harry Cady was written
by Harry Cady himself!

Kremlin Homesteader Harry Cady was among the earliest arriving
Kremlin homesteaders in 1911.

In his own words ...

At the age of 26, in the summer of 1911, I left Nebraska by railroad, going to Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Sask. and on to Camrose, Alberta, Canada, looking for land. It was open to homesteading several years before it was down here in the U.S.

It was a ten day trip by railroad with plenty of snow along the way. All the land in close to roads or railroad was taken, land open was out fifty miles and so much muskeg, it would sink a bullfrog!

  The "Skidoo"   (Courtesy of Vernon Sohm Family)
The Skidoo So, in October, I crossed the border down to Shelby and boarded the "Skidoo" for Kremlin. At Chester they had had a fire in the railroad coal chute and because part of the tracks were burned out, the train was delayed.

I arrived in Kremlin late at night. Charlie Mills, the Kremlin depot agent, (he homesteaded what later became known as the Ross Cameron place) told me if I would walk to the southwest, I would find a house where I could stay.

It was so dark I couldn't even see the Kerosene light in the window, but Charlie assured me that I would find it. Billy Shaw lived in the house which was located on a strip of land homesteaded by Carl Farley (K.C.), mother and family. That house was moved from Kremlin to the Carl Sorenson farm in later years.

Locating the land

A land locator also was staying there and the next morning we started out looking for land. First land we looked at was what is now called the Westbrook place, it had a railroad through it and I did not like that.

Then we came and looked at this place where we live now, it didn't look too bad, there was no road, U.S. 2, or anything else here then. We then went down south and looked at the NW¼ of 21, it was not very good, so came back and again looked at the W½ of 4. I decided to file on it and the land locator and I left for Havre that evening on the Skidoo.

Next day was Columbus Day, so was a holiday and Havre lived up to it's reputation. I never saw so many saloons before in my life! Since it was a holiday I couldn't file til the next morning. R.B. Hale had filed on it before, but his time was up and he did not get back here, however next year, Hale came back and got the land across the road, it was a delinquent piece of ground, unsurveyed.

Getting started

In Gildford I hired a team and hauled my lumber from the lumber yard there to build my shack. It was built right where our house is today, first we dug about a 8 foot cellar hole, which is about where our southeast room is now. The weather was nice, it was mild winter and I pounded a lot of nails in my shirt sleeves. My shack was done before Christmas and it looked like a mansion in comparison to some of the other shacks.

The people on the next section West, had dug a well down in a coulee there. It was a shallow well curbed up with rock about eight feet and boarded up the rest of the way. If I went with two pails, I was lucky to get one pail of water. I carried drinking water from there.

First place I worked was at F. M. Wilson's. He sent me out with a green team of mules to drill, and I surprised him by being able to drive them. Paul Swinney and I broke the east half of the school section with horses, it took 8 horses for each two bottom plow. Swinney and F.M. Wilson was picking rock and there were lots of rock, but they tried to pick them ahead of the plows.

We also fenced the west half of the school section for pasture, as Wilson had lots of mules and horses. Didn't have a post hole digger, but dug all the post holes with a tile shovel. Glad it was a wet spring. Mr. Wilson was a good man to work for, he had the nickname of "Moonlight" Wilson, as he said a day wasn't long enough to get the work done in.

Besides the farming ...

In the summer of 1914, I helped build homestead shacks and grainarys. Another job I had was as deputy assessor under John Fenton, who was county assessor of all Hill County. It was my job to drive around 18 of the townships assessing the property of the homesteaders.

I had this job for three years. The first two years I did it with horse and buggy, the third year I had a Ford which I purchased from John Lucke and Wells Dye, for four hundred and some dollars, new. I was paid twenty dollars a township and it took two months to do the work.

To pass some time, Hale, Evans Carroll and I, used to play cards, (Pitch). One time at my shack, I asked them if they would like some pie, as I had already made a prune pie. It sounded fine to them, so we guit the game.

(Click on Photos)

Harry Cady, 1942
Harry Cady, 1942

Early Day Homesteaders of Hill County, Homesteaders Day 1966 at James Laughnan home in Havre
Early Day Homesteaders
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