In 1883 Mary's family decided to move to Kansas with her brother Charles Parkin and wife, her sisters Elizabeth Parkin and Emma Foster and family, and cousin Walter Parkin. The family had a public sale to raise money for the trip. They kept the old Jersey cow and a team of mules. A neighbor of the family made an offer for the mules which was turned down. The neighbor cut the hamstring of the jack mule out of spite. The jack mule had to be killed. The family decided to give the mare mule to Mary's nephews Charles and Rich Foster. The mare kept breaking loose and in the process let the horses out as well. Charles and Rich's father , John C. Foster, sold the mule to a horse trader.
The Dearings and Parkins drove their covered wagons across Illinois, across Missouri and across Kansas to the southwest corner of Kansas, about 65 miles from Richfield, the nearest town . Kansas was an unsettled territory of prairie land. With the use of a shovel and spade the families cut the prairie sod to build a dugout. The sod was later cut into pieces square in shape and stacked upon one another to build a sod house. There were no wooden floors, onl y dirt. Buffalo chips were used for cooking, heating and fuel.
There was a lack of many comforts. This included the comforts one might expect when having a baby.
Mary would require her daughters to wear freshly starched bonnets to protect their heads from the heat of the sun. One of Mary's daughters decided one day to tie a string to her bonnet and use it as a plow. Her daughter tied a nail to the end of the string and then placed her bonnet on top of a grasshopper. As the grasshopper would hop, it pulled the bonnet that would pull the string, that would pull the nail. The clean starched bonnet was very dirty and limp by the end of the day. Mary was upset, as you might expect.
In 1891, after trying to make a life on the Kansas prairie, the Dearing and Parkin families called it quits. The Dearings moved to Colorado while the Parkin family members decided t o return to Illinois.
The Dearing family made their home in Salida, Colorado. Mary spent the last few years of her life suffering from breast cancer. The cancer developed large sores that refused to heal . Mary's daughters would care for their mother, keeping the open sores cleaned and covered . While living with her daughter Mary Cameron in White River, Colorado, Mary became so bad that her sister Emma Foster and Emma's son John Albert came to care for Mary. Mary died 31 Aug 1903.
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