Researching My Family History Helps Me Understand Who I Am and Where I Am Going
Lew Galloway (1883-1962) was my great grandfather, my father’s grandfather. I never met him; he died a decade before I was born. Growing up in a small town in western Kansas, I knew the old-timers who knew Lew. They spoke of him in a way that made him seem larger than life. I have his journal from 1912, and I’ve gotten to know him through reading his words.
Lew was a worker, expanding his father’s homestead of 640 acres to 2400 acres in the Saline Valley. The Galloway Ranch was an example of what a man could accomplish with effort and tenacity. It’s all gone now. Lew’s son (my grandfather) and his grandson (my dad) sold 80% of Lew’s land, leveraged the rest, and couldn’t sustain what Lew spent 50 years creating. Eventually, the remaining land was sold too. I cried when I found out. My heart is on that property, I grew up there.
I’m researching Lew, especially using the 1912 journal. I’ve spent countless hours on it, reading newspapers from 1912 from Trego County, KS, scouring census records, county records, cross referencing people (and horses) in the journal.
My goal is to write a screenplay about Lew, use the money from that to buy back the ranch. Not the whole thing, but enough to give me peace about it and ensure that my grandkids know who Lew was and how hard he worked for our family. ~shared by @iamfarmerjohn