In the early years of the twentieth century, the Ferguson’s started their new life together in Kansas. Automobiles were not being produced for the general public so the main mode of transportation was via horse, wagon, or train.
Family stories show that sometime after their marriage the couple went to Colorado where Tom became a hired hand on a ranch. Because Kansas was the crossroads for several train lines Tom and Lola most likely traveled by train. Tom grew up on a farm so he was probably used to the hard work, but we are not sure just what he did on the ranch. And no one knows the circumstances, but Lola wound up cooking for the ranch hands.
According to my husband Dave, his Grandmother’s cooking was plain but good. She made great fried chicken and saved the hearts and livers for him. We make meatloaf using her recipe and Dave has fond memories of her Buckwheat pancakes. This has carried over into our life as Dave makes Buckwheat waffles for our grandchildren when they spend the night.
How long the job on the ranch lasted can’t be determined. The Ferguson’s most likely returned to Kansas prior to the birth of their first child Glennie who was born on November 3, 1903. I can’t imagine losing a child, especially a young child, but Glennie died on August 6, 1905. How heartbreaking. Glennie was one year and nine months old when he died; Tom was twenty-five and Lola was twenty-two. How poignant is the button, taken from a piece of Glennie’s clothes, one of the few remembrances of that short life that remains one hundred and four years later. And as Glennie’s life ended, the life of a new child was forming within Lola, probably unbeknownst to the young couple at the time.