I lived my childhood in rural Lincoln County, on some of the same land I’ve written about in my two historical novels. I was the only kid in my grade for eight years at the one-room schoolhouse close to our farm. My graduating high school class in Vesper, Kansas, totaled five. That life was —from another time.
My novels, Never Waste Tears and Never Waste Dreams, are fictional. However, I wanted to be true to the history of the area and the times. So, one of my research sources was the book LINCOLN—that County in Kansas by Dorothe Tarrence Homan. When I was a young girl attending school, she was the Lincoln County School Superintendent.
Through Ms. Homan’s research, I learned of the early families that founded the history of Lincoln County, including the battle for county seat between the town known as Lincoln Center (at that time) and the town of Abram. I trusted her research and used it to show the growth and development of Lincoln and the end of Abram, Kansas. I’d never heard of Abram before. Unfortunately, a quick search on the internet gave me no information that the town existed.
My curiosity piqued when I read her accounts about several murders and a vigilante party. I wanted to mention them to bring a bit of Lincoln’s history to the story. Yet, I didn’t want to focus on them, so I used Tinker’s version of those events.
Dorothe’s book also told of the devastation Lincoln County suffered during the years of the Rocky Mountain Locust Invasion. I used that material with the brochures and postcards sent to me by a friend (thanks, Jim) to show the true grit of the people who settled in Kansas. It was all—from another time.