This is an except of a chapter from "Story of The Old Home Town" Jewell City, Kansas by my grandfather, Everett Palmer. As published in the Jewell County Republican in 28 weekly installments beginning April 28, 1933
The Pioneer Horse
This story is an except of a letter written by Lillian Forest writing about her father, the Rev. Joseph Forrest, and sent to the Jewell County Republican newspaper.
"The heroism of the pioneer horse is seldom mentioned. There was one of the most intelligent and faithful of horses, known all over the Jewell and Marsh Valley circuits, and that was "Jack" - fine as a saddle horse, single buggy, or wherever put to perform service.
"He had a hound's scent for danger and three times saved my father's life; twice because he was a horse with a record for swimming, and once in a terrific blizzard, piercing winds that froze the snow as fast as it fell.
My father had been in what is now the Formoso and Montrose country, and the storm grew into a blizzard rapidly. He was hurrying homeward fearful that something might have prevented the wood from being delivered. (It had been delivered and cut) and his family would suffer. With such thoughts he kept urging Jack onward. The snow blew into immense banks in brief time making roads and trails across country, hard to keep, and winds cut like a knife.
There was apparently a person rolling along in the storm, and my father tried to get Jack nearer that he might find out, although he was growing numb, and Jack was white with frozen snow. But Jack refused to budge further, which meant he wanted the reins, *Jack wouldn't take orders fro women and children and when he refused a man there was a reason for it.) My father trusted him for he never failed.
They were not a great ways from the home of Rev. William Lowe, and Jack knew it, and turned in that direction, going as fast as he could under the circumstances, and did not stop until he was in front of the Lowe cabin home, then he nickered. Everything about looked like a great snowbank, and my father did not recognize the place until the door opened in response to Jack's nicker.
Mr Lowe said someone remarked, "There's a horse out," but Mr Love said, "No, that's Jack Forrest's nicker." And he also said, "A white horse and a white rider, light the lanterns, Charity." Tom and Jesse Lowe and their father lifted the white rider off and carried him into the house. And Mrs. Lowe said, "Now boys, keep your hands on the line, and hold on to the lanterns." A line had been stretched from the home to the stable when the storm started. The boys took Jack to the stable, and rubbed him all over with hay, they thought a curry comb too severe, and fed him. In about an hour they carried him a pail of water.
Mr and Mrs Lowe attended to the traveler, got the frozen overcoat and boots off, and a blanket around him, and Mrs Lowe made him a hot cup of coffee at once, their own supper was just over, but she prepared one for him. The raging storm made all feel like an impending doom was at hand, and they stayed up very late. The howling winds lowered toward morning, and by sunup the storm had passed entirely. When Jack was brought out of the stable he nickered when he saw his master."
This is the included in a series I'm posting. You can find the rest by clicking on the link "the story of the old home town".