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April 5, 2016 > Historical talk on Early Local Women, their Families and their Work

Historical talk on Early Local Women, their Families and their Work

Submitted By Washington Township Museum of Local History

Join the historical community on Tuesday, April 12 to hear Jim Griffin, great-grandson of Angie Rix, talk about the talents and accomplishments of early local women, their lives, and their families. This free talk will be at the IOOF Odd Fellows Hall in Fremont.

In the early spring of 1853, European settler John McDavid (age 27), Native American wife, Kate (23), daughters: Angie (4) and Julia (6 months), and their great, high-arched prairie schooner, packed with supplies they would need on the way to and at their new home, were ready to begin their travels. On the journey, young AngieÕs task was to care for a seedling from a redbud tree, taken from the home they had left in Redbud, Illinois. The tree was to be planted at the doorstep of their new home out west Òwhere the snow never falls.Ó At Fort Laramie, Wyoming, ÒCrossroads of a Nation Moving West,Ó they joined the crawling caravan and the folks who would build a new life in California, the then two-year-old Golden State.

Kate was soon widowed and left to run the farm as a single mother. Marrying again at 35 and raising a second set of children, she was again widowed, and married once more at age 80,with a flock of great-grand children in attendance.

Daughter Angie blossomed and married A. O. Rix, son of early pioneer Timothy Rix, and raised four talented and accomplished daughters. Her youngest daughter, Mila Rix Norris wrote the poem ÒThe Redbud TreeÓ to commemorate their journey to and early life in Washington Township, future home of Fremont, Newark, and Union City.

Here are a few excerpts from that poem:

Angie with her limpid eyes wide and full of wonder
Watched the unusual packing Ð the rejecting, selecting
Of treasures more useful than fancy, soon to be stowed
With the flour and salt, the seeds and the plow, in the depth
Of the great prairie-schooner arched high with canvas,
Which is to be home for weeks and weeks upon end.
But what of the redbud tree by the door?

ÒAngie, child, you are a great girl, now youÕre a four-year-old.
So come mind little sister for a spell, while I
Find you a proper seedling from the redbud tree.
It will be a bit of home out West where the snows never fall,
And Ôtwill be your very own to tend and water as we go,
And your pride and your joy, when it blooms, as youÕll bloom out yonder
A gay new redbud by the doorÓ

Slowly the wheels rumble out through the gateway
And leave for all time the farm Ð the home of McDavid;
Leave the State of Illinois and the land so loved and so familiar,
To join the great crawling caravan moving endlessly Westward;
To join the Threlfalls, the Weekes, the Walkers and others;
To form in the long treck boon-friends of a life time.
With the hope of a redbud by the door.

View the poem in its entirety by visiting or the Washington Township Museum of Local History at 190 Anza Street in Fremont.

Historical Talk - Early Local Women, their Families and their WorkÓ
Tuesday, Apr 12
7 p.m.
The IOOF Hall (International Order of Odd Fellows) Hall
40955 Fremont Blvd at Bay Street, Fremont (Use Bay St. entrance)
(510) 623-7907

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