There has been a man who has had an influence on my life that, unfortunately he didn't know he did, I would like to pay tribute to that man and share with you what little information I have about my Great-Grandfather, who was profound, regal, adventuresome, and most intriguing, that man is Sebastian "BOSS" Neff!
A pioneer rancher of Texas County, Oklahoma, Boss Sebastian Neff was born on March 5, 1866, near Lewisburg in Preble County, Ohio. A son of Jacob and Margaret Neff, A member of various fraternal organizations and historical societies, Boss Neff was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1937. He died at Liberal, Kansas, on March 15, 1947, and was buried at Hooker.
Over the next several blogs I will be sharing with you from his personal writings, that were written for the Amarillo Globe starting in 1939. They are out of my copy of, "Some Experiences of BOSS NEFF in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle". I am in hopes that you will gain as much from them as I have over the years. This man has been one of the many reasons I have a fascination for the Old West!
May the Spirit Live on!!!
The Panhandle and Boss Neff—Part One
Well—Placed Rock Provided Best Tasting Beef
I was born March 5, 1866, near Lewsiburg, Preble County, Ohio, and was named Sebastian in commemoration of my paternal great grandfather and uncle. My folks abbreviated the name to "Boss" and my kinfolks and friends have always called me Boss. The title to my real estate and bank account has always been in the name of B. S. Neff.
My dad was strong for Abe Lincoln. He died in March, 1874, when I was eight years old. At that time we were living on a 160-acre farm where I was born. The following spring Mother bought a nice brick home in town, where we four children had a very good school. My father had left her probably $10,000, but like all women of that day, and I might say many of them in this day, had very little business ability. Therefore in five years, or by the spring of 1880 our financial resources were non too good, so Mother traded the brick home for an 80-acre farm some two miles from town. She undoubtedly had an ambition to make farmers out of her two sons, Ira and me.
Didn't Look Good
At that time I was 14, Ira 17, Maude 12 and Grace 16. When we lived in town Ira and I worked very much during the summer in the tabacco fields, at 50 cents a day. Now the prospect of a little country school did not look good to Ira and me. We could have continued school at Lewisburg by paying tuition, but on account of finances our schooling was not completed. Ira left home in December, 1881 to study or learn telegraphy, while I continued another year on the farm, raising tabacco, probably a little wheat, corn and clover. in the meantime Mother had give me a white steer calf.
Most young men those times learned a trade. I too had considered learning a trade. I thought of the village blacksmith. He was always black with coal smoke and apparently had very little of the worldly goods. Likewise the caarpenter and wagon maker were not prosperous. Old man Ruff the tanner, was makeing good money but there was no opening for an apprenticeship with him.
To Be Continued...