Diary of Sarah Jane Norman Hebble

Sarah Jane Norman Hebble was born May 18, 1873. The daughter of Horace and Ethelinda Dickerson Norman, at Yorktown, Delaware County, Ind. From there she was raised at Conersville, Bunker Hill, Bentonville, Cambridge City, and at Dublin. Went to school at all these places, but Conersville. Went to Crietys school at Cambridge City at the age of 16 years, joined the M. E. Church, at Dublin, was baptized in Simmons Creek south of Dublin. I was 20 years old when I married Elmer Hebble, Dec. 21, 1893, the year of the Worlds Fair at Chicago, he went but not I, staid at his parents, untill Oct., we went to house keeping at Dublin, then in Dec. we sold everything & went to Okla., got to Okla.City on our Wedding Day nothing there but a few little shacks & the soldiers, in camp. We went to his brother John (John Hebble), his bro got him to take all his money & buy hogs & the hogs starved to death & died, & we lost all we ever had. Then in May in 1895, he made the run, into the Kickpoo Indian Country, & he got 160 acres of land, with nothing (Nothing was underlined!) on it, we went in covered wagon, & lived in covered wagon, & a canvas put over poles to keep the rain & sun off. I was so homesick I cryed every day, to think I had a nice house in Dublin, Ind. & then had to live in a covered wagon, then in a little while we built a 8 X 10 shack out of foot boards then I had a bed & cook stove, before that we slept on the ground. (it was nothing to have centipedes & tarrantlus around on the bedding), the roof was foot boards t00, so they had warped & left a crack, so when it rained I rolled my bedding up & raised my umbrella, & sit on my bedding to keep it dry, & we had terrible rain & storms. Then in August, I & him cut & sawed logs & made a stockade house with a good shingle roof & moved our little house at the side of the other one for a kitchen then I had one room & a kitchen, then in Sept. 3, 1895, our first baby was born, we named her Ruby Kickpoo, she was the first white child born in Kickpoo Country, I did not have a Dr. I had an old lady from Texas. I got along all only we did not have such things as breast pumps, so one of my breast nearly gathered but she knew what to do there was a neighbor about a mile away had a dog that had little puppies, so she sent Hebble to get one, so it nursed the breast, & it got all right, then we lived there two years, fighting other men that wanted the land, then we came back to Ind. on a visit, then I did not want to go back, but I knew I had to, so we went back & in the spring of 1897, we sold out us & a neighbor, so we went to Colo, & Hebble went too, but sent me back to Ind., we got $1,500.00 for the farm (160 acres) he gave me $200.00 & I sewed the rest in his coat, so he went out there & I went to Ind., he was gone three months, before we took up the claims. I wanted him to buy a little house in Okla. City, he could of got it for $35.00 & now it is in the heart of the city.

Well when he came back we had enough to go house keeping in Anderson, Ind., he worked in the straw board mills where they made paper out of straw, then in Jan. 11, 1898, our second child was born William DeVere, his sister Anna, was with me, but I had a Dr., then we moved to Germantown & he worked on the rail road, then we moved to Greenfield & he worked in glass factory, then back to Dublin in the same house we went to house keeping in, then he painted with Ol Hess, & then in spring 1901 my bro Charles left home at Dublin & went to our Uncle Franks (my Father bro) in Kansas, then he rote Mother he was starting home, but he never came, & we have never heard from him, then in July 3, 1901, another girl was born Lea May. Miss Huddy was with me, (Mrs. Sallie Huddleston) & Dr. McKee, of Dublin, then we sold our place for teams & tools to go to farming on J. D. Maple farms at Lewisville, then in fall 1903 we sold out & went to Franklin Co., Ind. & bought a small place, in Feb 22, 1903 his father passed away, then in Oct 12, 1903, a girl was born, Mary Ethelinda, in Laurel, Ind. Mell Welshimer was with me & an old Lady, then we lived there until the last of Dec. 1906, in Oct 6, 1905 a girl was born Eva Bell, my sister Bell & an old Lady was with me then in Dec 1906 we sold out & went to Dallas, Texas. I was sick when we got there, I had to go to bed with a baby & four other children & me in bed, the hotel lady got a nigger girl to see after the children the Dr. said I started to travel too soon after the baby was born. I was not strong enough, from there we went to Lawton, Okla. we was not there only until I was able to go again, then we was in Lawton, Okla, when we got a letter from Jennie Kimel (Mother Hebble's old friend) that Mother had passed away, Feb 8, 1906. She was found dead in bed, she had three strokes. Father Hebble had cancer on nose & it eat his face & one side of his neck off, before he died, & he was blind for several years. Then we moved on a farm near Geronimo, Okla (there I met my friend Mrs. McNeil) the farm was owned by (Big Cow) Indian Chief, then we moved farther east, on a farm, there Lea, DeVere had diphtheria, then Ruby took black diphtheria & only lived from Friday until Sunday at 2 o'clock, Aug 11, 1907, then on Sep 11, 1907 a girl was born Marie Blanch, then while I was in bed Eva took diphtheria, the Dr. gave her antoxine, & she soon got better, Lea & DeVere got better slow. Mrs. McNeil was with me when Marie was born, she laugh & said I would have four more. I told her I did not want to get well, but I did, then the next summer there came a storm. & we ran in storm cellar & it hailed & rained so hard the cellar sprang a leak & we had to stand in water up to our waist & hold the children up out of the water, well when we got out we did not have any thing, no crops, the hail cut the grass all off & all crops & killed the rabbits too, we lived close to Indian, one died & they buried her on her own farm & everything she had, they put all her clothes & blanket in the grave. & her iron bed they laid on the grave, they sang songs & danced for three days, the medicine man was there too, when Ruby was buried a man put the casket in a spring(board) wagon & no one was there but I & Hebble, & the neighbor that drove the spring wagon, did not even have a undertaker, Mrs. McNeil dress her & laid her in her casket it is pretty hard to see your loved put away that way, when you know they do better other places, on Sat night before she died on Sunday, was the Halley Comet. I was up with her & we all seen it, it sure was a big thing, it looked like a big star with a long, wide tail. Then we left there & went to Harrah, Okla. & there a boy was born Earl Elmer on Jan. 22, 1910. Mrs. Ragland & Dr. Hess was with me, then the next summer Hebble had thyfoid fever, he was sick for three months, had (Dr. Hess). I had all the work to see to, to see that DeVere got the cotton loaded, the niggers loaded it for me, but he was not hardly big enough to get out of field with a big load, so I left the children at the house, & Hebble in bed & went to field to drive the mules out on road so he could follow another man to the gin, then run to house to see after the rest. I did not know some times if I was a coming or going the Dr. would not allow no nurse nor no one around so I had it all to do some times I did not have a clean dish in the house when the Dr. would come, he would say that is all right, he would wash what he wanted, then in Dec 9, 1911, a boy was born John Alvin, then I was so wore out I did not care if I lived or died. (Mrs. Ragland, Dr. Hess was with me) then in 1912 we moved from Okla to Neelyville, MO & he bought 80 acre in that over flow country. I staid in town with the children, with a baby 8 week old & he cryed day & night, he had three months colic, & he had to work on the land to clear it up, it was covered with brush & timber, he had to work for others so we could live for we only had $50.00 when we landed at the town, so I had a cook stove & beds & table & chairs is all I had to do with of course a wash tub & board, then some men helped him & he build a house then we went out there to live, the next summer so we could raise our own living, then he worked different places, & hauled freight for a Coon Island store, and he built a large barn, then we lived pretty well, in the fall a flood came & took all our crop, our house was three feet off the ground & it was in the house up to the bottom of cook stove so we had to stay up stairs, only the children played in it. it warm, & John wanted to play in it to so he jumped off of back porch & went under, then he was glad to stay in, then in the late winter we had another flood & it was awful ice, we had to take the cattle out of barn & put them on a big saw dust pile & one cow got down & died, & we had lots of hog in woods & we lost nearly all, one old sow swam home & got in the cow barn & got her front feet on cow manger & then died, chilled to death, & one heifer was fresh & we put her up in the hay mow on the baled hay & she was all right, then we had chills. I would be sick one day with chills, & the next the children it was sure awful, then I took the three smallest children to see my Mother. I had not seen her for 10 years & I past my Father on the St. & ask him where the H. Norman lived and he told me & I thanked him & went on he did not know me, it made me feel queer. but my Mother knew me before I got to the house, then a young man, (a friend of DeVere) & DeVere was going to a ball game one Sunday & they got nearly there, & this boy said he was sick, & for DeVere to go on & he would go back home, DeVere said no, I will go with you, he never got out of his bed, he went wild & mad, he tore his bed up, broke the wooden bed all up, no one but Mr. Webster, could do anything with him, he lived over a week & then died. Hebble & DeVere were there sitting up, & the next day they took him to MO, they bury him, they did not get home untill 2 or three o'clock in morn & in about a half hour, a little girl was born, Vera Louise April 9, 1915, so I was all alone until they came home. I was sick nearly all night, Mrs. Delanery was with me to tend to baby, then that summer, Hebble was sick nearly all summer, after the hay was cut & grain in, & hay baled he went to Colo., & was gone 3 months so I & DeVere had to do the farming & put the hay away, & see to hog in woods, every Sunday we rode horse back to see the hog & feed them, one day DeVere found some bee in woods & he put them in hive, so he said I would go with him. he would take the little wagon & the pony & go haul them up, so we went & got the hive in, & some thing scared or a bee got on the horses & away they went for home, well the bee hive went out the cuppling pole broke & they went to the house with the front wheels, so we walked home & had no bee & a wagon to fix. I had never heard DeVere swear an oath, so one day I was walking out in the corn field where he was plowing (it was full of stumps) & he was sure laying it off, he did not see (me) at first. I said that sounds nice, he never said a word he turned around & went on. I never said anything to him & he was a young man, but I can't say that about the other boy, but there father always swore. Then in early spring in 1917, we moved to Colo. in a emigrant car (on the train) there were 28 of us, all in one car, all from MO, the worst thing any of us could of done, we all found out later, some had nice homes traded for nothing, there we traded our 80 acres (or he did) for 160 with nothing on it. I was so sick & I did not like it in the San Louis Valley. I cryed & the children cryed, so I wrote the man & told him what I would do if he did not give I & my children our place back or get us a place we could live on, so he got us a place we could make a living on (Oh How I always hated that place), then in Aug 26, 1917, a boy was born Glen August. Dr. Stephenson was with me Lea the oldest girl tended to baby by the Dr. telling her & showing her. Then we left Colo. and went to Kansas, then we were there 2 years & he wanted to go to New York State. I did not want to go (I wanted to go to MO), so we came to New York in 1921 in a Ford car, 7 of us. I sure was tired, when we got here, the sheriff said we had sold stock that had a mortgage on, we had left it all with a man untill he could go back & sell it, but they would not listen, so they took him back, & I had to stay with children in a house, where & old man lived, but we had one room & layed on floor. (I never went to sleep) & about midnight the man came to door & look in. (I was so mad & afraid of him), so I said "You get Out" or I will shoot (I had a 22 rifle, Oh he said don't, then I said "Get". Hebble had learned me to shoot, Well when he got out there the man swore they gave him more for the stuff than it was worth so there was nothing to it. (a banker was the one), so I give him the place, with $10,000 mortgage on it & the man that live on it had trouble with same banker & he took his farm away from him, so before he left the barn & silo burnt (I don't know how) so that was Kansas, so we got a place here below Upper Lisle, then we got one north of Upper Lisle, we just lived & that was all, then in 1934, he got sick with prostate gland trouble & he passed away Sep. 3, on Ruby's birthday, so I was left alone, the men took everything, so I had nothing, so I live with my children as best I can. I was to Calif twice, but it is no pleasure going alone.

I have seen Chief Big Cow & Parker, his mother was a white woman, I seen him in Lawton, Okla, 4 big mules to a stage coach, him & driver on top & 2 squaws inside & old Geronimo with his coat made of scalps, there was in the back that had long hair, then 2 woman talked smart to him (in Lawton) & he run them upstairs & they had to call the soldiers at Fort Sill to take him out there, he was a prisoner of war at Fort Sill.

At noon before Ruby died at 2:00 O'Clock I had to get the children a piece of bread and butter. I told her to lay still on my bed until I got back, she was in her bedroom sitting on the pillows, I said Why did you come in here? Come on and lay on Mama's bed, she took hold of my hand and said "Mama, do you see them little girls all in white?. I said "No", she said Mama. they are coming after me, I said No, you can't go, Yes, she said they are coming closer and I am going. Dad had been fishing and just got back before she went.

(The information regarding Chief Big Cow and the death of Ruby seem to have added after the main part of the diary.)

Typed from her handwritten journal by Helen Joyce Nichols Battleson, grandaughter of Lea May Hebble White. Sarah Jane "Sadie" Norman Hebble passed away 24 Mar 1951 in Tucson, Pima Co., AZ while living in her daughter Leah White's home.