BUEK – Letters From Burlingame, Kansas by Max Buek

The following is taken from the website:
http://narafriends-pittsfield.org/buek.htm
by:  Arlen Jennigs, CG

But Max did not stay long at home. By the spring of 1866 he was in Kansas. Again in a letter to brother Ben he told about his journey to Kansas and settling in.

Burlingame, Kansas
April 21st, 1866

Dear Ben,

Maxamilian Adolph BuekHaving at last arrived at a place where I intend to remain for a short time I will write at once and let you know of my whereabouts. Burlingame is a city in which there are 3 stores, 1 grocery, a blacksmith shop, post office and a hotel and is the county seat of Osage county. I shall probably remain here through the season and see how I like the country and if I like it buy in the fall. You can buy land here from $1.25 to $15.00 an acre and they tell me if a man has a little money and just watches his chance very often he can buy land here for less than what the improvement cost them. I am going to work around here and just watch for a chance or else if I get a good chance to drive a team across the plains I may go to the gold regions, but that will depend all together on what they pay to drive. . . . . Howlett has bought a very good farm about ½ mile from town. He has got 2 good log houses, 40 acres improved and a good fence around it, 30 acres timber and [?] of unbroken prairie and a good well and a creek running through the whole place. There are 10 acres sown into oats and 20 planted into corn he got the whole for $1200. Wages are pretty good here. Howlett has gone back to Lawrence to bring his wife out here and when he comes back I shall probably go to work for him. They pay $1.25 to $1.50 by the day. What they pay by the month I do not know as there is no one to hire. What little I have seen of the country I like first rate. There is good farming here, all the fault I can find is scarcity of timber. But they do not need so much timber as they do in Michigan because they have so much coal. They find coal on nearly every section of land and for building purposes they have stones. There are kind of ridges run all through the prairie which are full of these stones just piled up of great nice flat stones. I like Kansas the best of any state I have been in yet. Missouri in some parts is full as nice but the people there are such a horrible set of heathen. We were in Mo. 5 days looking around. We like the country well enough but not the people. In Ill. we staid [sic] nearly a week. We went to see the Kankakee prairie of which we had heard so much. But we got stuck in the mud there and as soon as we could get out we hiked for St. Louis, Mo. We came through Logan Co., Ill, where Ernst used to live but did not stop. Next time when I write I will tell you all about my travels. This time I have neither paper nor time.

Rob has gone for my trunk as I want to send this out by todays mail. I have had lots of fun since I left home and spent lots of money too. It cost me over $100 coming out here.34

Burlingame, Kansas
October 20th 1866

Dear Ben,

Your welcome letter dated Oct 7 came to hand a few days ago and found us enjoying usual good health and in the best of spirits. I have a right to be in good spirits as I am blessed with such extra good luck. I suppose I might as well tell you of what my good luck consists of, so here goes. 1st. I sowed 10 acres of wheat and got 10,000,000 nice fat grasshoppers. I had to go 40 miles after the seed but that is nothing. I have got all those fat grasshoppers and won’t have any harvesting to do another summer. 2nd Three months ago bought 6 steers about 5 miles from here, did not bring them home on account of the Spanish fiver [sic] in this neighborhood. Last Sunday week I went up to look at them I found 4 out of the 6 dead, now if the other two will only die you see it will save us the trouble of driving them home which would be very nice. 3rd We have a stupid calf that had the consumption and we have been feeding it fresh milk for the last 4 months and now it has died also, so we don’t have to feed it anymore fresh milk and consequently can make more butter. I could name a good many more lucky events. But if you cannot see the beauty of Kansas from what I have already told you, you must be willfully blind and of no use for me to try to convince you to the truth. . . . . I intend to stick to Kansas until the last dog is hung. It suits me just fine here.41