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Jones Place on the Osage Highlands
Page 9

Joseph or "Joe," grandfather, was molded by his Welsh ancestry. He was strong beyond our comprehension. He lived to be 96.  His life had been one of constant struggle. He had claimed land in Oklahoma as a young man. He fought through drought and every hard living circumstance. Then there was the  building of the ranch and these were his golden years. The input into the lives of others in his older years was more to being observant as to the needs of the children. He was not a conversationalist, but was a man of few words. Living  through the terrible losses with his own family when the state was just opening up before the turn of the century, had left their imprint on his personality. There was probably, not much he had not seen. Actually, the planning of the building and the organization of the lands at the ranch was  his thinking. One only has to make this deduction by knowing what he had done before as to his building around the area of Marshall, Oklahoma where he had staked his claim.  In her notes, his daughter, Gertrude Wadley, makes the observation that Joe had moved a whole town, buildings and all with his carpentry skills when the railroad moved to another location away from the original town site.

Fame Flower - Talinum rugospermum Fireweed - Epilobium anguestifolium
Fame Flower - Talinum rugospermum                         Fireweed - Epilobium anguestifolium

The meadow established at the ranch is of no consequence to anyone unless they be aware of how important the rich prairie hay is to the growing of beef. The vegetation is comprised of annual and perennial 'weed' species such as broom weed, buffalo burr, giant ragweed, western ragweed and snow-on-the-prairie. The blue stem tall prairie grass was what was desired. In the spring the blue haze over the meadow is truly beautiful. This eighty acre meadow is surrounding the ranch place still produces and is prime land.

Joe Pye Weed - Eupatorium maculatum Milkweed, Sand - Asclepias amplexicaulis
Joe Pye Weed - Eupatorium maculatum                  Milkweed, Sand - Asclepias amplexicaulis

Dennis stood behind his father, Joe's philosophy as to protecting the land. There was an unwritten understanding as to not driving on the meadow, except at the time of haying. Truck tracks could cut into the soil making a permanent scar and no one wanted to cross Joe or his sons when they were alive to drive on the meadow.

The day after Dennis's death we drove by the meadow and there across one end of the meadow in a mark of defiance was the rude marks of tracks in the meadow. It didn't anger me. More than that it seemed more like a tribute to Dennis. "They didn't do it while he was alive."  This was my feeling. The meadow was never grazed because it too destroys the grass, especially if pasturing isn't controlled. This was the reason there was no fences established on the meadow. The grounds of the meadow comes right out to the road.

Track vehicle activities cause extreme disturbance to the soils
Track vehicle activities cause extreme disturbance to the soils

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