JOSEPH PRATT-Mariposa County Pioneer
Joseph Abner Pratt married Nancy Callaham and to them were born five children in Georgia. The oldest child was Mary Pratt, born near Atlanta, Georgia on Sept 5, 1852.
During the Civil War, Joseph Pratt joined the Confederate Cavalry, and Mary, being the oldest of five children was forced to assume some of the responsibility of their livelihood. After the War ended, Joseph again became a cotton planter and Mary learned to card and spin cotton thread and to weave the cloth for the family clothing.
In 1869 Joseph sold his home and the family set out with an ox team for Chattanooga. From there they moved to Memphis, then on to St. Louis by boat, and then on to Omaha, which was then the end of the Union Pacific Railroad.
On May 28, 1870 they left Omaha and arrived in California on June 2, 1870 on the second train ever to leave Omaha for the Pacific. The family remained in Sacramento for a few days until Joseph secured a team and wagon and could equip it for his search for a new home.
They started south, and journey over bare plains for several days until they came to a large sheep ranch near Buchanan owned by Johnathan Rea. They had in mind a place near Visalia, but Mr Rea advised against their going there because of the chills and fevers prevalent in the swamps, recommending instead, that they search for a place in Mariposa County. This they did, and there found a home where they lived for many years.
On June 3, 1871 Mary married Marcus Lewis of White Rock, but Mr Lewis only live a few short months after they were married, dying of lockjaw caused by an injury to his foot.
On Feb. 11, 1875 Mary became Mrs. Joseph Dick, and together they moved to the first mill site above Fresno Flats where a mill was being operated by W. H. Thurman and James Dickerson. Summers were spent working in the mill and in the winter the family moved to the flats.
After the death of Joseph Dick she again married, Lee Smith. He passed away before 1910. She then took Mrs. Joseph Dick as her name.
On June 2, 1898 Mrs. Dick became the Postmistress at Fresno Flats and served until March 2, 1910, after which she moved to Raymond where she now resides. Mrs. Dick will be 86 years old Sept. 5, 1938, and is in very good health. Failing eyesight is her greatest handicap, but she still loves to go places and see new sights, and finds a great deal of pleasure still in life.
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Dick were the parents of five children: Anna, who died at the age of two and is buried in the Oakhurst Cemetery; Lucy, now Mrs. John Krohn of Raymond; Ella, Mrs Walter Mills of Madera; Emma, Mrs Koontz now Mrs. C. R. Shepherd of Los Angeles, and Walter J. who died Oct. 21, 1925.
Mary Eleanor Pratt Lewis Dick Smith died in Raymond on March 10, 1945 in Raymond.
Submitted by Carol Lackey
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