Tragedy Struck, Hardships Overcome and Dream Was Realized. The rest of the story… Tragedy struck the family on April 3, 1872 when David died, leaving Mary and eight children on the prairie homestead. Throughout the hardships, Mary kept her family together and eventually was able to realize the dream of owning her farm. In 1889, Mary made the final $8 payment on her homestead in Pleasant Township. The farm was officially hers.