|Memories of French's Fort
|This is the old two story farm house I was raised
in. It was a historical house, built by John French, who homesteaded
our farm and people traveling highway 69 when it was a dirt road would stop
for the night and he would put them up- they called the house "French's Fort".
Memory of Joe Cukjati
|I was raised in "French's Fort", a two story farm
house that was built in 1870 by John French- it had twelve rooms in it. John
French homesteaded 110 acres where our present farm is. Broadway was
the military highway from Fort Blair( Baxter Springs) to Fort Scott- people
with covered wagons frequently came along this road and stopped at French's
Fort to stay the night because of their fear of indians and hooligans.
French's Fort (our old farm house) was torn down in 1956 and
our present house was built. Gardner's house was built in around 1900,
he was station master of the railroad and that was one of the finest houses
in the area for a long time. The chandelier-oil lamp in my office came
from French's Fort and was stored in our pig barn for fifty years until one
day when I built my new animal hospital in Texas that I mentioned to my Dad
that I would like to have some artifacts from the farm and he came up with
this old oil lamp from French's Fort. Memory of Joe Cukjati
|I would like to tell the story that my Grandmother
told to me about their arrival at "French's Fort". They had loaded
their possession up on a conestoga type wagon in Fleming Kansas, (it was
a town that no longer exists but it was near present day Weir) and Grandma,
Grandpa Cukjati and three boys took out for Franklin. They traveled
all day in the rain on a cold March day. They arrived late in the afternoon
expecting to move into their newly purchased home and Mr. French was still
in it and refused to leave them stay in the house. They had to go down
in the camp to a small two room house where they had to live for three months
before Mr. French gave up the two story farm house known as "French's Fort".
When Grandma and Grandpa moved into the farm house, there was another building
to the west of the farm house that was used as a storage building by Mr.
French. It was full of hams and smoked meats hanging and indian aritifacts.
Grandpa and Grandma was wary that the meat was poisoned or no good so they
loaded up all the meat and destroyed it. Grandpa took several wagon
loads of indian aritifacts including bows, arrows, war bonnets, axes made
of stone and several other things down to a big ditch on the farm and threw
all this stuff away. An incredible fortune by todays prices of authentic
indian aritfacts. Memory of Joe Cukjati