John, from all evidence, came with his brother Edward and sister Catherine to Illinois. From dates found, they probably migrated about 1866. The Dearing family members settled in an area near Lynnville, Morgan, Illinois though they were enumerated in Scott County, Illinois . John met and married Mary Parkin in 1867 in Winchester, Scott, Illinois.
John and Mary were listed in the 1870 census with their son George living in Jacksonville, Illinois. John was listed as a farmer. In the 1880 census there were six more children listed with John again having farming as his occupation. John and Mary's first child Richard Edward, named after his two grandfathers, died at the age of eleven months and is buried in the Liberty Cemetery next to the Liberty Church just outside of Lynnville.
In 1883 John and Mary migrated to Kansas with members of Mary's family. John, known as Jack to family members, had a public sale to raise money for the trip. They kept an old Jersey cow and a team of mules they would use for the drive to Kansas. One of John's neighbors made an offer to buy the two mules but when he was told they were not for sale the neighbor cut the hamstring of the jack mule which meant the jack mule had to be put to death. John gav e the mare mule to Mary's nephews Charles and Rich Foster. The mare mule kept breaking out and letting the horses loose so Charles and Rich Foster's father sold the mule to a horse trader.
Three of the Dearing children took a covered wagon full of belongings, the Jersey cow, the mule and some chickens while the rest of the family took the train as far as it would go. John' s son George drove the wagon, his daughter Mary went along to cook and his son Len rode the mule. As the wagon stopped at a crossing to wait for a train to pass the horses bolted, having never seen a black thing belching smoke before. The wagon was upset, the other animals scattered in all directions while the mule with Len on it flipped his tail in the air and took off with Len at his mercy. It was hard to say who was more scared of the train--the mule or Len. It took the three children a whole day to gather the animals and continue their journey.
The Dearings, with the Parkins traveled by covered wagon halfway across Illinois, across Missouri and across Kansas to the southwest corner and settled about 65 miles from Richfield, Kansas (the nearest town). At that time Kansas was unsettled prairie with great distances between towns. With spade and shovel the Dearings dug out square sections of sod to build living quarters or what we call a "dugout" or "soddie". These living conditions presented dirt fl oors and dust on everything. Since the nearest town was 65 miles away many supplies and foods were hard to get.. There were no fruit trees. The family had to burn buffalo chips for heat. Severe sandstorms swept across the prairie. One time, when the corn was about a foot high, a sandstorm sheared off the corn at ground level. You could say life was hard.
The two youngest children were born to John and Mary while living in Kansas. Ann Elizabeth, who died shortly after birth, and Dulcie.
The Dearing children had different stories of their experiences in Kansas. Len and his dog ran a rabbit into a prairie dog hole. Len put his hand into the hole to get the rabbit and was bitten by a rattlesnake. As Len's father dug out the hole they found the rabbit, a rattlesnake, a prairie dog and an owl. It is a wonder that Len didn't die. They gave Len some whiskey to kill the pain and used lard and turpentine to get the poison out. Len was lef t with holes on the backside of his hand and bad scars on his palm.
Ada, the sixth child of John and Mary, was wearing a freshly starched bonnet to protect her head from the heat of the sun when she got the bright idea to turn the bonnet into a plow. Ada tied a nail to the end of a string and then tied the string to her bonnet. Ada had been chasing grasshoppers while her brother Len was herding cattle. Ada placed her bonnet on top o f a grasshopper and as the grasshopper would hop it would pull the bonnet which could pull th e string and in turn the string would pull the nail that acted as a plow. Needless to say, Ada got in trouble when her mother saw her freshly starched bonnet had become dirty and limp.
In 1891, the life in Kansas was so hard that the Dearing and Parkin families decided to call it quits. The Parkin families returned to Jacksonville, Illinois while the Dearing family migrated to Colorado.
John and Mary took their family to Salida, Colorado where John became the town's cemetery caretaker. When there was a funeral in Salida, John would dig the gave and have his daughter Dulcie climb a tree at the cemetery entrance to watch for the funeral procession leaving Salida. Dulcie would then warn her father when the funeral procession was coming up the hill so that everything would be ready.
In the 1900 census, John and his family were living on Caufield Avenue in Florence, Colorado (about 35 miles from Salida). John was listed as a day laborer and it states that he owned his house free and clear.
John Dearing was a Free Mason and a member of the Episcopal Church. He died of liver cancer in 1902 while living in Florence, Colorado. John and Mary died leaving two young children, Roy and Dulcie. Roy went to Milford, Utah to live with his eldest brother, George Dearing who was an engineer for the railroad and Dulcie Dearing went to live with her sister Mary Cameron.
John kept in touch with his family. He took family trips back to Canada and Illinois. There is even a picture taken at the farm of his brother Edward in Nebraska. He was married to Mary (Parkin) ROBINSON on 5 Nov 1867 in Winchester, Scott, Illinois.
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