Jane McClain's story

  • Updated: August 21, 2012 - 9:18 AM

The settlers of Maine Prairie, including my great, great grandfather, James Jenks and his family, built a stockade two stories high to protect themselves.

When it was ready, everyone came, bringing food and ammunition. 

One family did not come. So James Jenks left the fort  with a wagon full of hay. He zigged and zagged instead of driving straight to the family's house.

He yelled at the top of his lungs as he traveled, to scare any Dakota that were nearby.  The settlers believed that they would think he was crazy and leave him alone. He picked up the family and drove back, still yelling and zig-zagging.

I told this story in my children's book, "May and the Brown Cow," Moody Press, 1983.

Jane McClain

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