February 02, 2009

"By Dod, I Had to Bury an Indian!" George Madison Mendenhall was an Idaho rancher who raised cattle and horses and always wore a beard. He served as a minute man in the army and was a soldier in the Blackhawk Indian War. I picture a man of great courage. I look at this picture and I really think I see a twinkle in his eye - like he's going to start laughing any minute! In our family, this Grandpa is not known by the name Grandpa Mendenhall or Grandpa George. In fact, most of the kids don't even know his name. We just call him "The Grandpa that shot the Indian." That's because his story is famous (at least among us!) Uncle Leonard Perkins told the story in his own words (told probably in the 1950's) as Grandpa Mendenhall related it to him: Grandfather told me this incident that happened in their early-married life. (Sometime around 1868.) They lived in a one-room log cabin, which was located north east of the house which still stands today. As far back as I remember this log cabin was used for a chicken coop, with a wide shed built on the west side and in front of the barn. One evening Grandfather and Grandmother were sitting, side-by-side on the door step, enjoying the coolness of the evening, with a loaded gun lying across Grandfather's knees as protection in case of marauding Indians, when a bullet passed between them and lodged in a plank of the door. They could see where the shot was fired from by the smoke in the sagebrush as they looked out toward the point of the hill to the north. Grandfather quickly pulled up his gun and fired into the smoke and he and Grandmother passed quickly into the house. They were not molested any more that evening or through the night. The next morning, Grandfather walked over on the hill to the place where he thought the shot had been fired from. As he related the sotry, he said, "By dod, I had to bury an Indian!" In 1st grade, Miles, George's great-great-great grandson, had to make a journal entry in class every day. This is one of his entries - his version of "Grandpa Shot an Indian." I think it's the best retelling yet! What's your family's favorite ancestor story? Leave a comment and tell us about it! Just click on "comments" below and follow the instructions. Comments Imported from Blogger: 3 comments: tipper said... A wonderful story to be passed down through your family! Makes me smile too. Gayle Gresham said... What a great story! Gayle Gresham said... And Miles' version is a keeper! There's a writer in the making!

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