C The third letter in the English alphabet, and the second of the consonant letters, has two sounds, which are produced by to very different positions of the organs; one hard, like K, which occurs before a, o, u, l, r, s, t, and when final; the other a sibilant, precisely like s, which occurs before e, i, and y. — Webster, 1882
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The following is an incomplete list of the remaining indexed main headings. Once a completed entry has been uploaded, it will be removed from the list below and added to the links above. Subheadings, reference locators, and cross-referenced subentries are not included in this list. Always consult the completed entry for referenced source of definition used below.
cabbage – A genus of plants of different varieties of the species Brassica oleracea, common as a garden vegetable.
cake – A small mass of dough baked; or a composition of flour, butter, sugar, or other ingredients, baked in a small mass. The name is applied to various compositions, baked or cooked in different shapes.
caldron – A large kettle or boiler, of copper or other metal.
calendar – An orderly arrangement of the divisions of time, as days, weeks, months, & c., adapted to the purposes of civil life, forming part of an almanac
calico – 1. Plain white cloth made from cotton, but which receives distinctive names according to quality and use; as super calicoes, shirting calicoes, &c. 2. Printed cotton cloth, coarser than muslin.
callus – Any preternatural hardness in the body, particularly of the skin, as on the hands or feet, from friction or pressure.
cambric – 1. A fine, thin, and white fabric of flax or linen. 2. A fabric made, in imitation of linen cambric, of fine, hard-spun cotton yarn, of various colors.
Cameron, Mr. and Mrs., see George Kimball
candle – A cylindrical body of tallow, wax, spermaceti, or similar substances, formed on a wick composed of linen or cotton threads, twisted loosely, used to furnish light.
candy – A preparation of sugar made by boiling and crystallizing sugar or sirup several times, to render it hard and transparent, and often flavored with various substances; a conserve, or confection of sugar.
canter – To move, as a horse, in a moderate gallop, raising the two fore feet nearly at the same time, with a leap or spring.
canvas – A coarse cloth made of hemp or flax, used for tents, sails of ships, painting, and other purposes.
canvasback – A species of sea-duck, Fuligula valisneriana, highly esteemed for the delicacy of its flesh, found in the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay and adjoining waters, and deriving its name from the color of the plumage on its back.
cap, head covering – A part of the dress, made to cover the head.
cap, for gun – A piece of lead laid over the vent to keep the priming dry.
cape – The part of a garment hanging from the neck behind and over the shoulders.
Cape of Good Hope – Colony established by the Dutch in 1652 at the southern extremity of the African continent, with a total area of 300,000 square miles.
capital, finances – Means of increasing one’s power; influence. Wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a company or investing.
capital – First in importance; chief; principal; excellent; as, a capital city; a capital speech.
Capitol – The edifice occupied by the congress of the United States in their deliberations. Also, in some states, the state-house, or house in which the legislature holds its sessions.
capstan – A strong, massy column of timber, formed somewhat like a truncated cone, and having its upper extremity pierced to receive bars, or levers, for winding a rope round it, to raise great weights, or to exert great power.
Captain – A head, or chief officer; the military officer who commands a company or troop, or who has the rant entitling him to do so, though he may be employed on other service;- also, the commander of a ship, the foreman of a body of workmen, and the like.
car, see also railroad – A carriage for running on the rails of a railway.
Joseph Card family
carpenter – An artificer who works in timber; a framer and builder of houses and of ships.
Charles Carpenter family
carpet – A heavy fabric, commonly woven of wool, used as a covering for floors; originally, also a wrought cover for tables.
carpet-bag / carpetbag – A traveling-bag;- so called because originally made of carpet.
carrot – An umbelliferous plant (Daucus carota), having an esculent root of a reddish-yellow color.
cartridge, gun – A case of paper, pasteboard, flannel, merino, &c., containing a charge for a fire arm.
Case, Mr. – Store owner in Malone, New York.
cashmere – A rich and costly kind of shawl, made from the soft wool of the Tibet goat; – named for the country where first made. A fine woolen stuff imitating the true cashmere.
cat / kitten – An animal of certain species of the genera Felis and Lynx. The domestic cat is the Felis domestica.
catamount screech – A catamount is the North American tiger; the cougar, or puma; it is the Felis concolor of some zoologists, Puma concolor of others.
cat-call – A squeaking instrument, used in play-houses to condemn plays.
catch-stitching – Overlapping diagonal hem stitch that alternately pierces the right and wrong side.
catfish – A North American fresh-water fish of different species, of the genus Pimelodus, as P. catus, the common cat fish; also called horned pout, and bull-head. In the western waters of North America, if often attains a large size.
Catholic church, De Smet – First Mass was said in the summer of 1880, with a resident priest sent in 1882 and first church built in the fall of 1883.
cattle / cow / calf – Domestic quadrupeds collectively, especially those of the bovine genus.
caw – The noise or cry made by the crow, rook, or raven.
cedar, tree – A tree of different species of Cupressus, Abies, and Larix. It is an evergreen, and remarkable for the durability of its wood, which has a fragrant odor. The white cedar is the Cupressus thyoides.
ceil / ceiled – v.t. To overlay or cover the inner roof of; to line the top or roof of.
cellar – A room under a house or building used as a repository for provisions and other stores.
chaff – The glumes, husk, or light, dry covering of grains and grasses. It consists of membranous scales which are separated from the seed by threshing, winnowing, or like process.
challis – An elegant, twilled, fine woolen fabric, used for ladies’ dresses.
charade – An enigma based upon a word, the parts of which, taken separately, are significant, their meaning, and that of the whole word, being discovered by description or representation.
Charley, see Quiner, Charles
Charley, see Power, Charles
Charley, see Reuben Webb family
Charlotte – Laura’s rag doll.
cheese – The curd of milk, coagulated usually by rennet, separated from the whey, and pressed in a vat, hoop, or mold.
chemise – A shift, or under-garment, worn by females.
cherry – The fruit of a species of Prunus (P. cerasus), of which there are many varieties. The tree which bears the fruit. Like a cherry in color; red.
Chicago and Northwestern Railway – Midwest United States railroad chartered in 1859, operating over 5,000 miles by 1900.
Chicago Inter-Ocean / Inter-Ocean – Began publication in 1852 as Chicago’s Famed Inter Ocean. Became the Inter Ocean on March 27, 1872, and ceased publication on March 21, 1914.
chicken / hen – The young of fowls; particularly, the domestic hen.
“children should / must be seen and not heard” – saying
chimney – Originally, the place where the fire is made in a house; the fire-place or hearth. Now, the vent or passage through which the smoke is carried up to the open air.
china-blue – Chinese blue, a pigment similar to Prussian blue, but when dry and in a lump form having a peculiar reddish-bronze cast. Its tints are purer than those of Prussian blue.
chink – n. A small cleft, rent, or fissure, of greater length than breadth; a gap or crack; as, the chinks of a wall. v.t. To fill up the chinks of; as, to chink a wall.
Chinook – Warm, southerly wind of winter.
chipmunk – A squirrel-like animal of the genus Tamias, sometimes called the striped squirrel. The common species of the United States is the Tamias lysteri.
chip – A piece of wood, stone, or other substance, separated by an ax, chisel, or any cutting instrument.
chipper – Lively; cheerful; talkative.
chirk – To make lively; to cheer.
chirrup – To quicken or animate by chirping; to cherup. To chirp.
choke cherry / choke-cherry – A species of wild cherry (Prunus borealis), and its fruit, remarkable for its astringent qualities.
chopping block / chopping-block – A block on which anything is laid to be chopped.
chops – The jaw.
chord – A combination of tones simultaneously performed, and in harmony.
chores – A small job; the light work of a household, either within or without doors.
Christmas – The festival of the Christian church, observed annually on the 25th of December, in memory of the birth of Christ, often celebrated by a particular church service.
chum – A chamber-fellow, especially in a college or university; one who lodges or resides in the same room.
church – 1. A building set apart for Christian worship. 2. A formally organized body of Christian believers worshiping together. 3. A body of Christian believers, observing the same rites and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; as, the Roman Catholic church; the Presbyterian church. 4. The collective body of Christians, or of those who acknowledge Christ as the Savior of mankind. 5. The aggregate of religious influences in a community; ecclesiastical influence, authority, &c.; as, to array the power of the church against some form of moral evil.
cider – A drink made from the juice of apples. The word was formerly used to signify the juice of other fruits, and other kinds of strong liquor, except wine: but it is now appropriated to the juice of apples, before and after fermentation.
cindery – A cinder is a small particle of matter remaining after combustion, in which fire is extinct.
cipher – To use figures, or to practice arithmetic.
circus – 1. (Roman antiquity) An open or inclosed space, or the edifice inclosing it, in which games and shows were exhibited. 2. A circular inclosure for the exhibition of feats of horsemanship. 3.The company of performers in a circus, with their equipage
civilized – Reclaimed from savage life and manners; instructed in arts, learning, and civil manners; refined; cultivated.
Civil War – A civil war is a war between citizens of the same country.
clapboard – A strip of board thicker at one edge than at the other, used for covering the outside of a house.
Clarence – Clarence Dwight, student in the De Smet school.
clasp – A catch, or flattened hook, for holding together the parts of any thing, as the ends of a belt, the covers of a book, &c.
clay – A soft earth, which is plastic, or may be molded with the hands, consisting of alumina, the characterizing ingredient to which it owes its plasticity, and silica, with water. It is the result of the wearing down and decomposition, in part, of rocks containing aluminous minerals, as granite, &c. Lime, magnesia, oxide of iron, and other ingredients, are often present.
clearing – 1. A place or tract of land cleared of wood for cultivation. 2. The act or process of making clear.
Clewett, James H. – Teacher of the De Smet town school, winter 1882-1883.
cliff – A high steep rock, a precipice.
cloak – A loose, outer garment worn over other clothes both by men and women.
clock – An instrument or machine for measuring time, indicating the hour and other divisions by means of hands moving on a dial-plate. It usually includes a train of wheel-work moved by weights or springs, and regulated by a pendulum or balance-wheel, and is often made to mark the hour by the stroke of a hammer on a bell.
clockwork – Machinery and movements of a clock; machinery resembling that of a clock.
clog dance / clog-dancing – One who dances upon the stage of a theater in clogs or wooden shoes.
cloth – A woven fabric, of fibrous material, used for garments or other purposes.
clothes-line / clothesline / line – A line on which clothes are hung to dry.
clover – A plant of different species of the genus Trifolium; as the common red clover, T. pretense; the white, T. repens, and the hare’s-foot, T. arvense.
cobbler – A maker or mender of shoes.
cockerel – A young male bird.
Cockrhan, Ida and May – Ida A. and Frances E. Cochran, daughters of Martha and Andrew Cochran. Their Redwood County, Minnesota, farm was in Section 36-109-39.
codfish – A species of fish of the Gadus family, and species Morrhua volgaris, inhabiting the northern seas, and especially the Banks of Newfoundland, in immense quantities. A species of the same fish, found on the Atlantic coast of the United States, the Morrhua Americana.
cold snap – Sudden, short spell of cold weather.
collection-box – Container used to collect offerings in church.
college – A society of scholars incorporated for purposes of study or instruction.
colt – The young of the equine genus of animals, or horse kind.
comb, hair – An instrument with teeth, for separating, cleansing, and adjusting hair, wool, or flax, or for keeping the hair in its place.
comforter – A wadded quilt.
commissioner – A person who has a commission or warrant from proper authority to perform some office, or execute some business, for the person or government which employs him; as, commissioners for settling the bounds of a state, or for adjusting claims. An officer having charge of some department or bureau of the public service.
complex sentence – A sentence containing one (only) independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.
complex-compound sentence – Usually written compound-complex, a sentence having two or more coordinate independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.
compound sentence – Two or more simple sentences joined into one; or, a sentence containing at least two independent clauses.
condescend – To stoop or descent; to let one’s self down; to yield; to submit; to relinquish rank, or dignity of character. To recede from one’s rights in negotiation, or common intercourse, to do some act which strict justice does not require. To consent.
Conductor – The person who has general charge of a railroad car or train, receiving the fares or tickets, directing its time of starting from stations, &c.
congregation – An assembly of persons, especially an assembly of persons met for the worship of God, and for religious instruction.
Congregational church – That system of church government which vests all ecclesiastical power in the assembled brotherhood of each local church, or an independent body.
consternation – Amazement or horror that confounds the faculties, and incapacitates for consideration; excessive terror, wonder, or surprise; dismay.
constitution – The principles or fundamental laws which govern a state or other organized body of men, and are embodied in written documents, or implied in the institutions and usages of the country or society; organic law.
continued story – A work of fiction separated into parts which are printed in consecutive issues of a newspaper or periodical.
contract – The agreement of two or more persons, upon a sufficient consideration or cause, to do, or to abstain from doing, some act; an agreement in which a party undertakes to do, or not to do, a particular thing; a formal bargain; a compact.
contractor – One who contracts; one of the parties to a bargain; one who covenants to do any thing for another; specifically, one who contracts or engages to perform any work or service for the public, at a certain price or rate.
contralto – The part sung by the highest male or lowest female voices; the alto or counter-tenor.
constable – An officer of the peace having power as a conservator of the public peace, and bound to execute the warrants of judicial officers.
cookie / cooky – A small, flat, hard, sweetened cake.
coonskin cap – A hat fashioned from the entire skin and fur of a raccoon, usually including the head and tail.
coop, chicken / hen – An enclosure for keeping small animals; especially a grated box for confining poultry.
coral – The solid secretion of zoophytes, produced within the tissues of the polyps and corresponding to the skeleton in higher animals. It consists almost purely of carbonate of lime. Corals have often the form of trees, shrubs, or hemispheres. Such are madrepores, astreas, and brain-coral. The surface is usually covered with radiated cells, each of which marks the position of one of the polyps; and, when alive, the animals appear like flowers over every part of the zoophyte. The red coral of the Mediterranean used for beads and other purposes is the species Coralium nobile. It is obtained at considerable depths on the coasts of Sicily and Southern Italy, and differs from ordinary white coral in being perfectly compact in texture.
cord, wood – A solid measure, equivalent to 128 cubic feet; or a pile eight feet long, four feet high, and four feet broad, used for indicating the quantity of wood, and other coarse materials; – so called because a cord or line was formerly used in measuring by this standard.
corn – In the United States, the term is generally restricted to maize, or Indian corn, of which several kinds are cultivated; as, yellow corn, which grows chiefly in the Northern States, and is yellow when white; white or southern corn, which grows to a great height, and has white and oblong seeds; sweet corn, grown chiefly at the north, and having seeds that wrinkle when ripe and dry; and pop-corn, which is a small variety, having small grains. The plants which produce corn, when growing in the field; the stalks and ears, or the stalks, ears, and seeds, after reaping and before thrashing.
cornflower – A flower or plant growing among corn, as the blue-bottle, wild poppy, &c.
Corse, Mr. – Almanzo’s teacher.
corset – An article of dress enclosing the chest and waist, worn – chiefly by women – to support or correct the figure; stays.
country girl – One who dwells in the country; as opposed to an inhabitant of a city.
County Fair – A gathering of buyers and sellers, assembled with their merchandise at a stated or regular season, or by special appointment, for the exhibition of wares and the conduct of business.
court – (a) The hall, chamber, or place, where justice is administered. (b) The persons officially assembled under authority of law, at the appropriate time and place, for the administration of justice; an official assembly, legally met together for the transaction of judicial business; a judge or judges sitting for the hearing or trial of causes. (c) A tribunal established for the administration of justice. (d) The judge or judges, as distinguished from the counsel or jury, or both.
courting – To endeavor to gain the favor of by attention or flattery; to ingratiate one’s self with; to pay court to. To seek the affections of; to seek in marriage; to solicit the hand of; to woo.
cousin – One collaterally related more remotely than a brother or sister; especially, the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt. The children of brothers and sisters are usually denominated cousins, or cousins-german. In the second generation, they are called second-cousins. [NOTE: only names with the mention of being a “cousin” are included. Need to all all mentions of each name.]
coverlet – The uppermost cover of a bed or any piece of furniture.
cowboy – One, usually on horseback, who herds and tends cattle.
coyote – A carnivorous animal (Canis latrans), allied to the dog, found in the western part of North America; – called also prairie-wolf. It is a very fleet quadruped, the upper parts of a dull yellowish-gray color, clouded with black, and the under parts of a dirty white. It stands about 20 to 24 inches in height, and its voice is a snapping bark, followed by a prolonged, shrill howl.
crab – see crawfish
crab-apple – A certain small, sour apple, borne by some varieties of Pyrus; as, the Malus coronaria. A wild apple, or the tree producing it; – so named from its harsh taste.
cracker – A hard biscuit.
crackling – The rind of roasted pork.
cradle, infant – A movable bed, so constructed as to rock, for the use of infants; hence, the place in which any thing is nurtured or protected in the earlier period of its existence.
cranberry – A red, sour berry, much used for making sauce, &c., the fruit of two species of Oxycoccus. The cranberry of the United States is the O. macrocarpus.
crane – A wading bird of the genus Grus, having a long, straight bill, and long legs and neck.
cravat – A neck-cloth; a piece of fine muslin, silk, or other cloth, worn by men about the neck.
crawfish – A species of crustacean of the genus Astacus, resembling the lobster, but smaller, found in fresh water streams. It is esteemed very delicate food.
cream – The oily, unctuous substance, of a yellowish color, which, when milk stands unagitated in a cool place, rises and forms a scum on the surface.
cream colored / cream-colored – Of the color of cream; light yellow.
creek – A small inlet, bay, or cove; a recess in the shore of the sea, or of a river. A small river or brook.
cricket – An insect of the genus Gryllus and order Orthoptera, characterized by a chirping note.
crinoline – A lady’s skirt expanded by means of hoops, or by being made of materials stiffened in various ways; – so called because formerly made of hair-cloth.
crochet – n. A kind of netting made by means of a small hook, the material being worsted, cotton, or silk. v.t. To perform the kind of netting called crochet; as, to crochet a shawl.
crock – An earthen vessel; a pot, or pitcher; a cup.
crockery – Earthenware; vessels formed of clay, glazed and baked; pottery.
crocus – A genus of plants valued for their early flowering, and the brilliancy of the blossoms.
croquet – A lawn game in which colored wooden balls are driven through a series of wickets by means of a mallet.
cross-stitch – An embroidery stitch formed in pairs of uniform stitches executed in an X. The use of repetitive crossed stitches in a pattern, used to form a picture.
Crusades – A military expedition undertaken by Christian powers, in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Mohammedans.
crying shame – Calling for notice; compelling attention and regard; notorious; heinous.
cucumber – A well-known plant and its fruit, of the genus Cucumis. The species commonly eaten unripe as a salad is C. saticus.
cud, chewing – That portion of food which is brought up into the mouth by ruminating animals from their first stomach, and chewed a second time.
curd – The coagulated or thickened part of milk, as distinguished from the whey, or watery part. It is eaten as food, especially when made into cheese.
curler – Any thing around which a wisp of hair is wound in order to curl it.
curlew – An aquatic, wading bird of the genus Numenius (N. arquatus). It has a long bill, and its color is diversified with ash and black. It frequents the seashore in winter, and in summer retires to the mountains. Its cry is well expressed in the name.
curry – To rub or cleanse the skin of; to scratch;- said of a horse.
cutter – A small, one-horse sleigh.
cutter-bar – A bar in which cutters or cutting tools are fastened, as in a boring machine.
cyclone – A rotary storm or whirlwind of extended circuit.