Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Text from The Meeker REA Pioneer, October 1975. The Waylanders had two sons, Nels Jr. and Albert, and one daughter. Dr. Arnold Waylander and Rosella Waylander Nordlie, both of Litchfield, are grandchildren of Nels Waylander Sr., and children of Albert Waylander.
Rosella Nordlie recalls her uncle Nels, who was 12 years at the time the family sought safety at the fort, tell about their trip to the fort by ox cart. Rosella's grandmother, Elsa Waylander, had made bread the day they received word of the massacre. As they fled from their home, they took the bread along. When they arrived at the fort, there was much commotion as the Indians were already there, and the Waylanders had to leave their ox cart a distance away and run for the fort. In their rush, they forgot the bread in the cart. Later, inside the fort, they remembered they had forgotten the bread. Young Nels heard this and slipped out of the fort. He ran down the streets of Forest City to the Waylander cart, found the bread, and with a loaf under each arm made his way back into the fort. Nels remembered the flying dust as he ran amidst the Indians who were shooting burning arrows at the fort, but they paid no attention to the young boy running with bread under his arms. Rosella also recalls her uncle telling her the family always had good relations with the Indians. The Indians would come to the Waylander home and ask for salt and bread. Mrs. Waylander always gave them what they asked. Rosella also said, "Uncle Nels told that a large group of Indians camped overnight near their farm by the lake. A group of Sioux were on a hunt and stopped there. They killed a large number of venison and dressed and hung them in the trees. They came up to the Waylander home and offered them venison. He also told that the Henderson Pembina trail went right through the Waylander woods, then on toward Peterson Lake. Waylander's "front room" was used as the first meeting place for church services when an itinerant preacher came through. There were no chairs, just planks for the people to sit.