James B. Cullison moved on to Oklahoma with his family, but the town named for him began to grow. (You may visit last week's blog to learn about the young family's arrival on the prairie and the roots of Cullison.) By 1887, the new town was thriving, and Isaac B. Werner decided to travel south of his claims in search of markets for his potatoes. On July 21, 1887 he loaded 4 bushels of a neighbor's corn and 9 bushels of his own potatoes "...and by 2 p.m. got started off & by sun down in Cullison, staied [sic] at feed stable."
When Isaac arose the next morning he left Cullison for "...Spring Valley with my potatoes and sold same to Bridge camp at 87 1/2 cents a bushel." The camp he mentions was an encampment of rail road workers building a bridge for the rails headed west. He passed through Cullison on his way home, but the next morning he took a load of potatoes north to St. John.
On July 12, 1887, he decided to travel further south in search of potato markets, and although he passed through Cullison, he continued in the dark to stay with Judge Purdy overnight. He was headed for Sun City, and "...by 11 got in there, among winding hollows & green trees." Isaac commented on the corn, only fit for fodder, and the dry crops.
Isaac's library contained books of all sorts, and his guesses about the terrain he was passing through suggests his knowledge of geology. "[C]urious country around there, once a flat country but gullies started and washed by ages & frosts crumpling projecting rock flatten bluff sides down to gentle sloping & now green grass covered." In Sun City he got a dollar and more for his potatoes and fifty cents for his corn, and with storm clouds coming from the west, he returned to Cullison for the night.
Near the end of August, Isaac made another trip to Cullison, again spending the night in the feed stable. Given the recent history of severe storms in the Greensburg area, I read this passage written in Isaac's journal on August 30, 1887, with particular interest: "Trifling shower working from NW against light-sprinkling clouds coming up from S tending to sprinkle from both directions, but the NW movement conquered finally, some lightning & thunder & towards 4 p.m. some of steadiest showering for a good hour's duration seldom witnessed; seemed like 6" of water fell, ground flowing & covered, the upper part of shower going S and lower part blown by on strong wind from S at wind of almost cyclonic for short spell tearing down some buildings and several at Greensburg. I staied [sic] over night in Metropolitan feed stable, its floor flooded 6".
Despite the conditions and the hard pull for the horses, he went to Greensburg the next morning and "by 4 p.m. soon disposed of my 18 bushel corn at 45 cents and ten and a half bushel potatoes at $1.25," calling Greensburg "a live town, business booming on all sides." He headed east for 12 miles, spending the night in Haviland to let the roads dry over night for easier travel.
Of particular interest to history is that when he reach Cullison the next morning, the "...Rock Island R.R. track entered town by noon"
Next week I will continue with Isaac's return to Cullison in October.