Magazine Articles

I have an article in the February issue of Roundup Magazine, a publication of the Western Writers of America, about the Cartwrights, a pioneering family in the mid-1800s. This group, complete with prairie schooners, was headed up by Reddick J. Cartwright. They started out from Illinois westward with ten to twelve other families. Their first destination was Uncle Jack’s farm near Chico, California.

There seemed to be a penchant for the name Jack. There was Jackson Mantford Cartwright, and a three-year-old they called J.M. The child started crying when they were crossing a river without a bridge. It was the Platt River in Nebraska. He and his sister were on top of the bedding inside the covered wagon, rocking and being jerked around when he decided he wanted to go home. There was no turning back, of course.

Along the way there were Indian skirmishes, births and deaths. One of those deaths happened when a man from another family accidentally shot his wife.

The Cartwrights settled down in Modoc County for several years, but after a very hard, snow-piled winter, Reddick J. Cartwright read about sunny Arizona. He insisted that the Indian uprisings had nothing to do with his desire to move on. J.M. was eight years old by this time. I expect he could voice his opinions verbally when water and grass became scarce and the horses became weaker and weaker. The Indians even stole old Flory, one of their best mares.

Eventually, they got to Phoenix, then Glendale, and ended north of Cave
Creek, Arizona. You would not believe their good fortune.

The Cartwright family owned their very large ranch for almost a hundred years.
_ _ _ _ _ by Gene K. Garrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a blog at

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