Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hardships on a Homesteading Trip in New Mexico in 1928


Helen Costner Skinner, wife of Vester Skinner, daughter of Gene and Alice Costner, writing her parents from western New Mexico on a trip to find land to homestead on.  Loyd or Lloyd is Lloyd Parker, husband of Martha Costner Parker. Orpha Lee is their only child, but Wilburn was born a few weeks later, on 19 November 1928.

Quemado, N. M.
Oct. 5:1928

Dear loved ones.
I will try to write to you once more.  we arrived here Wed. night and was so worn out and didnt write as we should. We are here in our tent and I sure dont like here either. if they dont file here we are going back to Guymon. I would be willing to start to day. we havent seen any good land yet.
               Loyd and Vester has gone this morn to see about the land it may be all right if we had a house to live in. Orpha Lee gets so dirty and we have to cook out side on a fire. Martha and I are both good and tired of cooking that way. they intend to try to move from here as soon as possible. we told them we would give them untill to day at noon but they are doing their best . I dont want to live here. it sure was cold last night there was ice on the water and we washed yesterday evening and didn’t get to hang out some of the clothes and they was frozen stiff this morn. sure is hot now. I believe we are nearer to the sun here than there. I think this would be a healthy country. we may stay and we may not. I will write and let you know if we do not. I hope papa is feeling better by now. if we ever get settled we will try to help him. every thing sure is high here 1 gal of lard cost $1.90 and salt meat 65 cents a lb. everything thing more than twice the price. the tripp out here cost Lloyd and Vester 53 dollars gas 35 cents and they was out about 50. dollars before we left Guymon on the trailer. We sure did have a long trip out here and didnt’ see much pretty country either and not any good farming land. I will tell you the towns we passed on our way out here and you can trace it up on the map. We went to Delhart from Guymon then to Nara Visa, Obar, Logan, Hudson, Tucumcari,Ccueruo, Los Taros, Santa Rosa, Pastura, here there was land to file on but they didnt go to look at it. The next was Vaughn, Ensino, Negra, Lucy, Willard. Mountainair, was a pretty little place. We came into the mountains on this side of Mountainair. The Manzano Mountains sure was a dangerous drive the high way just went right over the Mountains. Martha and I sure did get scared. Martha said if she was only over those mountains she woudn’t dare to go back we went on to Socorro camped there Tuesday night had to cross the Magdelena Mts the first thing Wed. morn. it wasn’t as bad as the other mts to cross it taken us 5 days to make the trip but it would’nt have if we hadnt had trouble with the trailer. We went from Socorro to Magdalene, that was the last town of any size we left the railroad there. it is 100 miles from there to here. the mail comes her to Quemado every other day. just write here at once we are anxious to here from you all, tell Ethel I will write her a long juicy letter when I get some where I can. am in to rotten a place to write only what I have too. don’t know whither I will get to write to Mr. Skinners folks are not [,] Vester may if he get a chance. you can let them here from us and tell them were to write. Martha said for me to write for her and me too. We dont know yet that we will stay here if we don’t we will come back nearer home. I will quit hoping to hear from you all soon. is Jewel still there has Elbert ever come home. Write real soon with oodles of love
                                                                           your children.
Tell them all “Hello” from us.
look on the other side of this page.
This is Sat. Morn. We all need a beaten for not getting you all a letter sooner but the mail has done gone this morn. We went yesterday evening and looked at the land. they are going to file on 2 sections that is all you are allowed we are leaving here to-night going back to Guymon for 5 months and then come back you have to live 7 months out of a year on your land I believe we will like if we ever get a house to live in.
your daughter Helen.

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