A Barton Family Saga
Preface from Beyond the Horizon
The protagonist of Beyond the Horizon is my great grandfather, John Barton, who was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1868, and died in Rapid City, South Dakota in 1956. John married in Iowa and had seven children—three sons and four daughters. He homesteaded at Three Tree Creek in Rainy Creek Township, Pennington County, north of the town of Wall in western South Dakota from 1907. He proved up his claim in 1912 and continued to work the land until 1932.
Preface from Two Hearts
The genesis of this novel is a Barton family myth that has been passed down through the generations for more than 140 years. As the story goes, the Barton brothers rode with the James brothers after the Civil War. During these outlaw days, my great-great grandfather ran off with Cole Younger’s sweetheart. It has been further claimed that she may have been part Seneca or Cherokee Indian. As the tale has been told, the couple first met along a small river in northwest Missouri where she was doing laundry. They fell in love, later ran off, got married, and had children who continued the Barton family march west into the Dakota Territory and beyond.