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Guardians of the Frontier Cover Image

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The Cross Family Chronicle 1836-1903 by

Hardback, by Xlibris

ISBN10: 1465308784 | ISBN13: 9781465308788

Page count: 268

Guardians of the Frontier: The Cross Family Chronicle, 1836-1903, is a story of three generations of the Cross family following their arrival from England in 1836. In 1849, Isaac heads west from New York to fulfill his dream of seeing the frontier before the inevitable inroads of civilization destroy it. Arriving in St. Louis, he takes a job as a carpenter with the American Fur Company and is sent to Fort Pierre. Isaac maintains contact with his twin brother, Edward and family, through a series of letters, sent from the frontier. He revisits St. Louis, in the Company of Alexander Culbertson, following the death of his friend and fellow carpenter, John O'Connor. In time, he becomes a skilled hunter and scout. Among the Sioux lodges at Riverview, 35 miles north of Fort Pierre, his friendship earns him the name, Little Brother. Moving on to Fort Union, he develops a strong friendship with His Horse Was Wounded, an Assiniboine Indian. Like many of the early frontiersman, he marries an Indian. Her name was Lodge Pole, younger sister of his Assiniboine friend. Together they have a son. Lodge Pole, who by now is known as Manna, is killed at Fort Randall while Isaac and the fort's soldiers are in pursuit of James All Yellow, a renegade Yanktonai Sioux Indian and his followers. Isaac returns to her village in the company of Bear's Child and Speckled Wing. There, he leaves his son, William First Boy, in the care of His Horse Was Wounded and his wife, Yellow Bird. Isaac travels to Fort Abercrombie, located along the Red River of the North. Colonel Abercrombie hires him to serve as a scout and hunter. Here, he is killed by his nemesis, James All Yellow. After Isaac's death in 1859, his nephew, Abe Cross, leaves New York and makes his way to Fort Abercrombie to gather his uncle's belongings and find his son. He is successful in locating William First Boy, but while at Fort Union in 1862, he learns of the outbreak of the Civil War. He joins several other men in returning to St. Louis to join in the fight. Together, the men join the 10th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry. In 1864, the men of the 10th, under the command of Major Frederick Benteen, participate in the Battle of Mine Creek. Abe receives a letter 1865 notifying him of the death of his parents, Edward and Charlotte. Following the war he returns to their family farm near Hawkins Landing, New York, to settle his affairs. Departing New York, he returns to the frontier in search of Isaac's son. While at Fort Berthold, Abe learns that Sweet Bears, a Hidatsa Indian and wife of his deceased friend, Judd Strong, is alive and well, following her escape from her Sioux captures. She becomes his wife, and together they search out William First Boy. When His Horse Was Wounded is killed hunting buffalo, Abe, Sweet Bears, Yellow Bird, and William First Boy, leave the Assiniboine village, never to return. They make their way east toward the Mouse River, resettling along the Wintering River, Dakota Territory. Smallpox, contracted from three broke, down and out, white prospectors, takes the lives of Sweet Bears and Yellow Bird in 1866. Abe and William establish the Cross Ranch along the Wintering River, where they develop a new breed of horses and raise a few Texas Longhorns. William marries Rebecca Stevenson in 1880. Their son, William, is two and one half when his father, suffering from bouts of extreme depression, commits suicide. In time, Rebecca remarries Kincaid, a trusted friend and long-time employee/partner of Abe Cross. Death comes to Abe in 1903, followed by Rebecca in 1908. Kincaid lived for few more years, dying in an automotive accident 1911. The Cross Ranch is sold, breaking it up into several farms. All that remains to remind new generations of the days of yesteryear along the Wintering River is the small, weathered cemetery of the Cross family. William Cross married Hilma Youngquist. After living in several small towns in McLean and Ward Counties, the

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