Lige Tredway

picture of Lige

Lige Tredway, who is a pioneer of the Burden community, has submitted some of his memoirs to The Cowley County Reporter as he feels they would be of interest to many residents in this area.


Lige was born on February 8. 1878 to Mr. and Mrs. Dan Tredway on a farm 2 miles south and 1 and one half miles west of Burden. He was one of ten children. In 1899 he moved to town.


The streets of Burden were quite different in appearance as well as the kinds of businesses which were common here in the 80's and 90's. The streets were lined on both sides with large maple trees and many hitching posts. At least one of these maple trees remain and is located in front of the Alexander Lumber Company.


He recalls the business houses and their owners and has named them starting on the east side at the south end of main street.


Grain Buyer ----------- Tom James
Grain Buyer ----------- John Ledley
Stock Buyer ---------- Bill McComa
Stock Buyer ---------- Mr. Marsh
Lumber Yard --------- Henry Rawlins
Livery Stable --------- Ernand Harvey Tredway
Blacksmith Shop --- Dave McIntosh
Cheese Factory ----- Joe Holand
Hardware Store ----- John Clover
Jewelry Store -------- Jack Mercer
Burden Enterprize--- Bill Hutton
Restraint --------------- Steve Lane
Racket Store --------- Bell Jones
Store -------------------- J. B. William
Harness Shop ------- Billy Horn
Barber Shop --------- Tip Cochran (The City Jailand was made of 2 by 4s)
General Store-------- Jones and Snow
Grocery Store ------- Temp and Jessie West
Dry Goods Store --- Dee and Howard Collins
Livery Barn ----------- Lee Wells (Ernie's Auto Service is now located there)
Livery Barn ----------- Charley Walch (Bair Oil Co. location)
Wagon Shop---------- Mr. Trask (John Barrett property)
Hotel -------------------- Marshall Lambert (Miles Mortuary location)
Furniture Store ------ Mr. Denbo (Mr. Denbo also made Caskets. However he did not embalm, as they didn't do this very much at that time. Funerals were usually held at the home or churches. He had a hearse, which was used to make trips to the cemetery. Several years later Ed Gann moved here and was the first licensed embalmer in Burden.) Continuing with the shops and their owners:
Skating Ring ---------
Lyson Building ------
Medical Doctors ---- Dr. Rude and his son Dr. Tom
School House -------- (This was the same location as the school is now, but many changes have been made and much adding on.)
Dick Watsonberger was the school janitor and earned $15.00 a month.
Shoe Repair Shop -- Sam Strattan
General Store--------- Joel Dyer (D&L Service is now located there)(The names of the city officials were put in a bottle and placed in a hollowed out stone in the northwest corner of the wall just a little bit above the foundation.)
Blacksmith Shop---- Robert Ogilvy (Site of present Krug Welding & Repair)
Wagon Shop---------- Court Skinner (West of Krug Welding)
Dry Goods Store---- Mr. Chapman (Kelly standard Service is now located there)
Hardware Store----- Den Cunningham (Sam Tull shot and killed Henry Cosey. in the Cunningham Hardware Store. Henry Cosey had dug and walled his own grave with cement in the New Salem Cemetery several years before his death. He was known as quite a rough character.)
Drug Store------------- Joe Henderson and Mr. Frazier
Bank---------------------- Henry Miles
Drug Store------------- J. M. Hooker
Medical Doctor------- Dr. Henry Manser
Dentist------------------- Dr. John Mansur
Furniture Store------- Jim Cunningham
Butcher Shop--------- Ed Reed
Restaurant------------- Charlie McIntosh
Post Office------------- Bert Woods, Postmaster. (The first rural mail carriers out of Burden were Dick Peck, R. R. 1; Ed Paine, R. R. 2; Sam Cheever, R. R. 3.)
Medical Doctor------- Mr. McClung
Bank---------------------- Frank Stoddard and Pete Walton (This bank was estab1ished in 1884 and is still operating as The State Bank of Burden)
Blacksmith Shop---- Byron Potter
Hotel--------------------- Mr. Zeigler (Tom Courtney property)
Mill----------------------- Mr. Cline
Depot Agent---------- Mr. Phyillips
Section Boss--------- George LaForge
Town Marshall------ Smith Gailey (He drew a salary of $15.00 per month)

The Railroad came through Burden in 1872. The depot burned to the ground in 1876, but was rebuilt a short time after the fire.


In the late '80s there were approximately 1400 residents in Burden. The town was named after Bobby Burden who was a rancher near Burden.


There was a water line laid from a well under a part of the house now owned by Mrs. Jim Anderson. Formerly owned by Mr. Brooks, to the depot. Mr. Brooks had a franchise with the City of Burden for 99 years. Very few ever took advantage of this water system. Some of the wooden pipe was recently dug up and was still in surprisingly good condition.


There was an old city Well with two wooden buckets in front of what is now Wingert's Market.


This supplied the storekeepers with water. A well in back of the present Standard Service supplied the storekeepers with water for their stock.


There were many private wells and cisterns all over town. Refrigeration was unheard of at this time however ice sometimes froze as much as one foot thick in Silver Creek. They marked it off in blocks and cut it out With saws and stored it in sawdust in the icehouse back of Henderson's Drug Store.


The Baptist Church was built in 1884 and the Methodist Church about the same time.


Transportation consisted mainly of saddle horses, lumber wagons drawn by horse and mule teams. Lots of buggies and two wheeled carts drawn by one horse.


Men in this area worked at whatever jobs were available and many farmed. Most families depended on their gardens and livestock for a large part of their food.


The Eastern Cowley County Fair was organized in 1893 by Joe Henderson. Ed Reed. Pat Thompson and Howard Collins.


Lige recalls his father, Dan Tredway, selling fat calves just off the cow and weighing between 300 and 400 pounds for $3.5 to $4.00 each. The biggest corn crop he can ever remember was in 1889 when many fields made over 100 bushels to the acre. Corn sold for 10 cents per bushel, wheat at approximately 25 cents a bushel and eggs at 3 cents a dozen.


Indians would come to Burden and camp south of the spring on the farm currently owned by Junior Beckham. They wore their colorful hand woven blankets and moccasins. Their blankets were so tightly woven that when water was pored into them it didn't go through. They took any unwanted dogs when they came to town as they used them for food and would beg for anything people would give them, but were never known to take anything that did not belong to them. Lige's father gave them a sheep occasionally.


Editor's Note: These are just a few of the many things that Lige remembers of the "Good Old Days" and our thanks to him for sharing these memories with us.



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