Hulda Carson Gibson and The Colorado Gold Rush
As told by James Lloyd McClurg
Aunt Hulda always seemed to me to be older than my Grandmother Mahala. However, she out lived her, so may have been the younger of the two daughters of the first marriage of my great grandfather John Samual Carson.
Hulda married Arch Gibson. The Gibson family were pioneers in Green County (Iowa) having come from Indiana to a new land about 1852. There were several Gibson families around Scranton when I was a young man. Hulda Gibson was known to most Scranton residents as 'Aunt Hulda.' She was a widow for many years making a livelihood as a seamstress and by weaving on a hand loom, rages into carpets. She also made beautiful quilts for others who didn't want to under take the task themselves. Aunt Hulda lived well into her nineties. Hulda and Arch Gibson's children were: Matilda, Lucinda, Isaac, Jesse, Albert, Cyrus, Ann, also three others whose names I do not remember.
Colorado's gold rush days of 1853 to 1858 brought the family to Golden Colorado seeking a fortune.
An epidemic of a serious illness brought death to Isaac and to Ann. Aunt Hulda refused to see her children buried in the Rocky Mountain frontier wilderness. So two wagons were prepared, one with their possessions, the other, perhaps an oxcart since oxen could travel the faster, with the two strong boxes of their dead.
My Mother (Mahala) told this story on several occasions saying that the trip required three weeks of hard traveling. The bodies could not then have been embalmed so time was an important element of the situation. By tying logs to the wheels of the wagons, they floated them across the Missouri River behind the swimming animals in their harness.
Indians stole one team of oxen. They were later returned. Aunt Hulda ran out of soda for making biscuits while enroute so she substituted alkali salts for bicarbonate of soda. The bodies of their children were buried in the Summers Cemetery near Scranton, more accurately about one and one half miles northwest of my old home. It is back in the woods away from the present highway and is much neglected. Hulda and Arch are buried there. My Great Grandfather John Samual Carson, also lies there (and there) was a tall pure marble head stone to mark his grave. Summer Cemetery and the Gibson Cemetery are the same sites.
(George Washington was given Bounty Land in Ohio as payment for his service in the American Revolution. But because he did not register the land correctly, it was lost to his wife and children after he passed away.)
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