Surnames/tags: Kenoyer Rhoads
These stories are from the profile for Eunice (Kenoyer) Rhoads
A True Story, by Eunice Elizabeth Kenoyer Rhoads
This is how some cowboys in the early days of 1878 in Oregon caused a lot of people to be murdered and their property to be destroyed by selling whiskey to the Indians. The chiefs of the Piutes and Powder River Indians, Chief Sitting Bull and Rain-in-Face, were so enraged when some of their men returned from over the mountains to Umatilla country because these men had wiskey and were drinking and fighting among themselves. These Chiefs were so grieved about this that they called a council or pow-pow and decided to go and punish those who sold the firewater to them by driving them from the country or killing them. They then sent some scouts out to ascertain who the parties were and to see if they could get some of the Umatilla Indians to join them in their undertaking. They learned it was some cowboys who were herding their stock near the reserve. These scouts failed to get the Umatilla Indians to join them, though a few of the most daring warriors did agree to help. The news began to spread by the better class of Umatilla Indians, warning the white settlers to be ready for the attack. These reports were disbelieved by most of the people as General Howard with a troop of soldiers had been sent to the Pacific Coast some time before to protect the settlers. Their headquarters was at Vancouver, Washington. The people in Idaho had had similar trouble the year before and General Howard with his men had driven the Indians back to the Salmon River Mountians, and handled the situation so well that the people did not look for much trouble. The stockmen had been taking their herds back to the mountains every summer when the grass in the valley began to get dry and short. Some of them had already taken their stock to the mountains but as the Umatillas kept warning them to get ready for the fight, sixteen of them organized and went up to stay with their herds for a few weeks. They selected their captain and took their best horses to ride and packed provisions on other horses. When they had their guns and ammunition ready, they bade their loved ones goodbye and went up the mountainside as far as the Willow Spring camp. This camp consisted merely af a log pen about 20 feet square. They were to remain there overnight, but before they had their evening meal over and their horses put out to grass they were surprised by about forty Indian warriors coming as fast as their horses could run and as the pen was only two or three feet high with no roof or floor they could shoot easily over or between the logs. This fight was simply awful. There were only four white men who escaped, and they jumped over the pen and ran down a steep cliff when they first saw the redmen coming. We never knew how many Indians were killed, as they carried their dead and wounded back with them. After this fight the Indians seemed to scatter, going in groups of five or six together, killing men and burning things as they went. The next day after the Willow Spring fight, one group went down a ridge to where there was a sheep camp. The man had field glasses and saw them a long way off. Leaving his dogs with the sheep, he went down the field where there was a straw stack, climbed upon it and dug a hole down in it and crawled in, out of sight. When the Indians came to the camp, not seeing the herder, they looked for his tracks and followed them to the straw stack. When they couldn't follow them any further they set fire to the stack. Then they danced around giving those awful yells they were so capable of. Another herder was riding not so far away and saw and heard the whole performance. After the straw had been burning for some time the man come out, tumbling down at the Indians' feet. They soon put an end to his suffering. Just across the ridge one might have seen a cabin where two men and their wives and some children were standing at the front gate. The women were begging the men to stay with them because of the reports they had heard. The men pointing up the hillside to a drove of sheep and a herder slowly wending their way toward the mountains, kissed their wives and children goodbye, and one of the women said, 'Go on, I will fight all the Indians that will come." But alas, she was not so brave when in less than an hour, her friend stepped to the door and saw a man coming as fast as his horse could go. He called to the women and asked if there were any men there. The answer was, "No." He then said, " I am General Howard's scout. He has ordered everyone to leave the valley at once as we cannot keep the Indians from the settlement.
The Indians will be here in less than an hour." The women asked him to come and help with the children. His reply was that the bridge had washed away during the night and he couldn't get across. "Anyway, I have to go and warn The people down the road." And he went on. The women started running to their neighbors which lived nearly a mile away. When she got about half-way she met their neighbor coming to tell them, not knowing that the men had left. She says to him, " Are you going with your team?" He said,"Yes, but we will have a load." She told him he would have to take them for they had no way to go, but he refused, saying, " The Indians will be here in less than an hour and they will burn everything that is left. We are going to move." The woman then turned and ran back to the house and told the other woman, who began to cry and wring her hands, saying, "Oh, what will we do?" She turned around and around. Then the first woman told her to get the children together, put on their shoes, coats, and hats, but she did nothing but cry. So the other woman put the eldest to dressing the younger ones. She then spread a sheet on the floor, put in a pillow, a folded quilt, and a few clothes for the children, some groceries, a piece of bacon, a loaf of bread, some tin cups and a fry pan, then tied the corners of the sheet together and carried it out to the road. Then she got an old ax and gun and went out to where the road came nearest the house and stood there with the children. When the man with the team drove up, he said, " Woman, out of the way so I can go through." She said, "Not until you put these children on. They can't walk. We can walk but these little children cannot." Finally he said, If I must, I must," and lifted them up. The woman put the six children up among the old chairs, boxes, and bundles, and he drove on up the grade. As he passed her she put the gun and ax on the back of the wagon, they ran into the house, grabbed her baby from a cradle, and ran after the wagon. When the wagon got to the top of the grade it stopped and waited for the women to catch up. They climbed on and were going down a long slope toward Pendleton. When we had gone nine miles, we came to a store and a hotel at Pilot Rock. There we found about twenty wagons trying to decide if they would fort-up there or go on to the Pendleton. When Mr. Smith drove up with his queer-looking load, someone called out,"Bill, we will leave it up to you whether we go on to Pendleton or fort-up here." He turned to his wife, and said, "Wife, what do you say?" She said go on to Pendleton, there is no protection here, so they all went down the road as fast as their teams could run. This was the next day after the Willow Springs fight but the men with the sheep had not yet heard of the fight and like many others they did not believe the reports they heard. They were gone two days and after they had located a place for their sheep and fixed the camp for the herder they came back, telling him if there was any trouble they would come for him. But on their return they did not find a single person to inquire of until they reached Pendleton, where they found their wives camping in a new house that was being built. It was without windows, not even a door or a floor. This story would be too long if all was told that occurred while they were there. The husbands moved their families down in the brush a half-mile below town. They said there was measles, smallpox, and scarlet fever in town and they didn't want them exposed. Then they returned to the mountains to bring out the sheep and the herder. An hour later the women were rushed to the grist mill to fort. There they found the mill so crowded with people, they must stand, bracing themselves against the wall to protect the children, who were sleeping on a quilt on the floor. They stood that way all night. The men busied themselves by piling sacks of flour up before the windows to keep bullets from entering the building. The men went out and formed a line standing two feet apart from one bluff to the other. After a scout had been chased into town by some Indians, they shot his horse. They said some Umatillas had done this and they were trying to get all the men to go out to the reserve and help keep the Piute warriors away. When the Indians came near enough to see the men were ready for them, they turned back. Their intention had been to get all the men out of town and then come during the night and burn the town. The people were so short of provisions they offered an award for anyone who would take a team and go to Umatilla Landing where the boats landed, coming from Portland with supplies, as there were no railroads there at this early date. They finally found a man who said he would go if they would send six men on horses, armed to protect him. So they arranged for him to go but he never returned. While on their way back with the load of food they were attacked by about twenty Indians who fought so furiously the six men ran before them and while yet in sight of the wagon the men were killed. The Indians took as much food as they could carry with them, also they took the horses. There was a man by the name of Peterson who said he thought the Piutes were gone and he was not afraid to go out to his home to turn his horses out and the calves to the cows. But on arriving at his home, before alighting from his horse he saw some of the redmen coming over the hill near the house. They began shooting at him and he returned the fire. Most of the bullets went over his head but one hit him in the back. He then climbed down off his horse, standing and leaning against it, took good aim and killed one Indian and wounded another. They took the dead and wounded men back over the hill. Mr. Peterson then found he could not walk or climb back on his horse. He crawled to his house, found a board and wrote on it that he was wounded and that he could be found in the brush near the creek. It was nearly two days before the search party found him. He then was brought back to Pendleton on a stretcher. The doctor took a piece of his belt buckle out of his flesh where the bullet had carried it, also the bullet. He soon recovered and was able to ride after his stock in a few weeks. There were many more incidents that I could relate concerning this war, but I will desist by saying that it was a lesson to these people not to sell whiskey to the Indians. This was in 1878 and we have had peace with the Indians ever since.
- Note: the writer of this story is the woman who compelled Mr. Smith to take the children on his wagon and saw many of these with her own eyes.
- Mary Adelia Rhoads was the baby she went back to the cradle to get and on this date, July 16, 1955, copied this from the original with her left hand, having fallen and broken her right wrist. Mary Adelia said that once her mother looked out the cabin door and saw some Indians approaching. She was alone with her baby
(Mary Adelia ) and being afraid what they might do, hid the baby under the floor. The Indians were only hungry and when she fed them they went on their way.
The following is another true story written about early pioneer days in Oregon and Washington by Eunice Elizabeth Kenoyer Rhoads, daughter of Jeremiah Kenoyer. (Written about 1927)
- If any of us think we are living a hard time in these days, let us compare notes with some of the frontier missionaries of 50 and 60 years ago. Let us take a look into our Kenoyer family pioneer life. We see two boys, though so young, clearing the grubs and fencing a field, then working for a neighbor to get it plowed and put into grain. One night, when the oats were nearly ready to cut, the boys and their father were gone from home. A dozen or more drunken Indians came about dark, threw down the fence, and rode their horses through it until what was left of it lay flat on the ground. While they were doing this, the missionary's wife and small children were so frightened, they would not dare open the door. They were up all night with a loaded gun in the darkness, for they thought, if the Indians saw a light they would sure break in and murder them; but having two large dogs for the purpose, managed to keep the Indians from the house, though they came close many times trying to make friends with them. When they would fail, they would ride back to the oat field with awfull savage yells. When morning came the Indians became still, and the family lay down and slept about two hours. The mother and oldest daughter arose and went out, thinking they would milk the cows and turn them out to graze. As they neared the corral, they saw, to their awful horror, the savages lying near the cows asleep. "Mother", said Mary, "We must go back or we will be murdered yet." So they returned to the cabin and fastened the door and blinded the only window, and lay down. She told the smaller children the Indians had not gone and for us not to so much as whisper until she told us to. We had gone to bed without supper, as we ate only twice a day, and we were kept in bed until noon. Then mother heard the Indians get their horses and ride away. Where the beautiful oats had stood the day before, we found a dollar bill and a half in silver, two handkerchiefs and two shirts that had been torn, soiled with blood from their fighting. That was all of the remuneration we received for the field of oats. When the boys returned there was not a word of complaint, patiently bearing all this for Jesus sake, saying they were so thankfull that the 'red-men' did not break into the house and kill us all. We prayed and trusted God for protection from harm of both man and wild beasts, which there were many. When their father, Rev. Kenoyer, returned, the children all ran to him trying to tell him the story. He lifts the two smaller girls on his knees and 'trotts' them and sings to them in German, which always pleased them. There were no partitions in the cabin and the older sister is found turning a spinning wheel, making yarn, saying she must get the yarn done soon, as Father and brothers must have new socks and mittens before the cold weather. The smaller children come with their arms full of flowers of the Golden Rod, and they say, "Mama is going to color our new dresses with these. She bought a bolt of hicky, and after she makes Papa and the boys shirts, she thinks there will be enough left for all of us two dresses. She will color one brown with this alder bark and if there is enough left, we will get Sunday dresses colored with these flowers." Rev. Dr. Kenoyer was gone from home most all of this time. Fermin, the older boy, was taking Mother to town, which takes two days, as they must drive a yoke of oxen, and Layfaett, which was the nearest town, was 20 miles away. It had rained all the night before the children expected them to return home. They saw a team coming; the little girls said, "It isn't Mama, because they had a bed on their wagon". But, sure enough, they were riding on the bolster and were wet all over. They told us that, while they were crossing the Yamhill River, the bed floated from the wagon, and as Fermin saw it was going, he jumped out on the wogon tongue, climbed on one of the oxen and was soon on shore. Then running along the bank to see what had become of Mother, he found the wagon bed lodged against some drift and Mother was hanging to some willows. She could not climb up as she was afraid to let go for fear they would float away.
- The Early Life of a Minister in the Far West, by Eunice Elizabeth Kenoyer Rhoads
- This man,Joseph Smith Rhoads, when very young, had the impression that he should be a preacher when he grew up. He fought this conviction for many years. He was raised by his grandparents, his mother having died soon after he was born. When the Civil War started, his father, James Rhoads, enlisted in the army, his son was just forteen years old. His father had planned on educating him to be a lawyer, as he had been an officer in town. It was a sad day when news came that he had become sick and died. The man and an older brother knew that they must support their grandparents. The brother, Jefferson Rhoads, went to work for an uncle, and our minister boy on a farm for a friend. After a year the farm was sold and they moved to town, keeping a tavern or hotel. Our boy, Joseph Rhoads, served as bell boy and helper for two years. He made many friends, and among them a family planning on going west. They were having a very cold winter in Iowa at that time, so plans were made to go with them to Oregon, the land of gold and golden flowers. The government had sent them several hundred dollars, that they said belonged to them as orphans' bounty. The boys divided the money with their grandparents; then bought oxens and cows with most of their money. By spring, arrangements were completed and they were soon on their way to Oregon, with the intention of finally going to California. They, with their stock, were working for their board and keep. They walked and drove ox teams, milked the cows to supply milk for their friends. By the time they reached the Powder River Valley, their money was all gone, and they had sold their cows to keep the poor immigrants from starving, as it had taken them so much longer than they had expected. Some of the oxen had died from eating poison weeds, grass being so scarce. Their wagons moved very slowly thru the dust, sand, and sage brush. Many times they were held back by the savage Indians, who were on the warpath. The boys had to stand guard over the cattle most of the night, and walk and drive teams through the day. Our minister boy was very brave, but on one occasion, while they were surrounded by red-skins, he slipped out by himself and cried, wishing he was back with his grandmother and prayed the good Lord would protect them, and he did. Mysterious as it seems, the savages moved away and by morning were out of sight. When they reached the Powder River Valley, the boys, Jeff and Joe Rhoads, decided to stop and get work. Letting their friends keep their oxen, they went on to the Willamette Valley, in
- Oregon. The boys kept nothing but some blankets and their clothing when they decided to stay in a little mining town. There were two young men by the name of Tom and Ed Jamison, whom they decided to stay with. As the four of them were walking along, they came to a cabin, and as they were all hungry and tired, they must get work, if only for their suppers. They talked it over and the lot fell to our minister boy to go in and ask, he being the most talkative. The man said he did not want to pay for help, but after talking to him awhile, asking where they were from, and what kind of work he could do, the reply was, "anything, I can saw wood, wash dishes or cook". He had been taught as a small boy to help his grandmother, she being an invalid. The man said, "come on in, you shall have your supper and breakfast anyway". When they were in, he pointed out the window to a large log and handed them a saw. Our minister boy and one of the friends went out and started to saw the log. Before they had finished one length for the fireplace, the man came out and said that was enough, to come into supper. When they had finished the meal, they started out to finish the work, then the man said that he didn't want it cut. He just wanted to see if they really would work. He kept them overnight, gave them a good breakfast, and told them where they could get work. The boys thanked him and said they would send the money back as soon as they could, but he said, "never mind boys, just do it for the other fellow". They did, helping many before they left camp. Their first work was digging a ditch for seven miles in frozen ground. Much of the time they would build fires to thaw out the ground and some places they would have to blast the rock. Their pay was by the foot. The cost of food that they must buy from the company store, was such, that when they had worked all winter into spring, they found on settlement, they just came out even. Pretty hard work to just pay for food and sleeping in a hole dug back in a bank, with no bed but fir boughs, and a pair of blankets, having to keep a log fire in front all night to keep from freezing. They received good wages, but the food was so high. They gave one dollar a pound for flour and as much as one-fifty for bacon. Seventy-five cents for beans and thats about all they had to eat. The next summer they did much better and got some money ahead. They decided to go into new country and prospect for gold and make their fortunes quick. After the summer was past they had only found a quartz ledge that they thought would be worth their time. They had no money to buy machinery to work a quartz ledge. So, they found they had to work through another cold winter for their 'grub'. They then went up into higher mountains where the timber could be worked and made shingles and boards, hauling them out on sleds by hand, going over more than 15 feet of snow. They had to wear snow-shoes to keep on top of the
- soft drifts. This winter they had a man and wife with them, At one time they sent a young man, who had come to them begging for work, to town for supplies. He claimed to be good on snow-shoes and toboggans. They had just about enough food to last until his return. When the time came and he did not return, they sent a man out to meet him and help him. It usually took about three days for the trip. But when the man got to town, he found their 'trusty drunk'. He had sold the shingles and spent the money. Then they were both in a strange town without money. It took them a day to find a store that would trust them with enough food to last them until they could get back with another load of shingles. When they got back to camp they found the woman and man had nothing to eat for four days except rosebuds and they were hard to find because the snow was so deep, so they were nearly starved. In the spring the brothers worked for awhile, then went down to the Walla Walla country, where they found work. On one cold day, the man Joseph was working for sent him to town. It was a cold day and he was very thinly clad, and was most chilled to death. A man persuaded him to go with him and have a hot drink to warm him. He was not a christian at this time and had no convictions as to taking a drink, though his father had been a strong 'teatotaler'. The young man took the drink, but instead of warming him up, it made him deathly sick. He was so blind he could hardly see his horse. He thought they had put tobacco juice in the drink so that they could rob him of his money. He then made an oath that he would never touch the stuff again, and he kept his promise. Not long after this at a camp meeting being held near, by the Methodist and United Brethren combined, he attended and became interested, and convicted of his wicked life, went forward and was converted, joining the United Brethren Church. Bishop Shuck was their Bishop at the time and was a great influence in talking him into becoming a minister. He then began to study the Bible and read at every opportunity and soon had a license to preach. He then became acquainted with a minister's daughter and they were married in 1868. In the spring if 1872 they were sent as missionaries to the Yakima, Washington country. That country was very new and no houses to be had. Finally, a bachelor, Clark, by name, moved his effects to a tent and let them have his hut for the winter. There was only one room and no windows. There were none to be bought within 90 miles over rugged mountains. There were no stoves and Rev. Rhoads made an old-fashioned fireplace of coble-stones and sticks daubed with mud. When it became cold, it kept him busy to keep them warm. One day the young wife said "Dearie, it is so dark I can't see to mend the clothes in the daytime". He said, 'If you will let me take the glass from the picture frame, I'll make a window of it". With an auger he bored holes in the logs until he could get the saw through. He succeeded in getting the window in, 14 by 16 inches. They then had light to sew and read. Coal oil for lamps was scarce and hard to get, so at night the wife would split pitch wood into small sticks and light one after another holding them so her husband could read. He liked to read aloud, for he said he could remember it better. When winter set in, they woke up one night to find the bed covered with snow, about three inches of it. They swept it out and moved the bed to the other side of the room; but during the night the wind changed and the snow blew in on them from that side. They fought the cold and the damp all winter. The hardships were so great that the wife's health gave way and she could barely endure it. That was the year the Modoc Indians were at war with the whites in northern California and southern Oregon. The Yakima Indians became very sousy, going around wearing war paint and feathers in their hair. When spring came, his wife could not travel much. She would sit in the door of their hut, sometimes for hours, watching the red-men on their ponys killing rabbits for food. One would take after a rabbit, jumping his horse first one way and another through the sage brush until the rabbit would tire and stop. The Indians would whip him around the neck with his quirt or whip, then he would dismount and cut the rabbits throat, saying, "I ketchem, I ketchem". Sometimes they would come to the house asking for bread, which she always gave them, for she was afraid to refuse. They would say, "Skucum cluchman", meaning good woman or wife. She would give them all they ask, even though they were short of provisions. Finally, her nerves gave way and she became very sick. As there were no doctors near, her husband had to take her 150 miles in a wagon. On the trip they came to a stream where the spring rains had washed the bridge away. They must find a place they could cross. They drove along the bank for miles, then decided to cross where the stream was not very wide. It took only a few plunges, but to their horror, the horses could not take the wagon up the bank. After a long and tiresome journey they arrived in Walla Walla. He went back to complete his work after leaving his wife and two babies in good hands.
- Written by E.E. Kenoyer Rhoads
- My grandfather Kenoyer had a sister, Father's own aunt, she was engaged to marry an Englishman by the name of Wright, I don't remember his first name. Grandfather and all his family opposed the marriage because he was English. The Germans had very little to do with the English at that time and did not want one in the family. Father's aunt loved this man and they were married. They went north, supposedly into Ohio. She never wrote back and they knew nothing of her until Bishop Wright came out to Oregon to teach in Sublimity College. He boarded at our house. He was the father of the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville. They must have inherited much of their genius from their father, for, I remember him as an inventor. Pro. Wright made the first balloon I ever saw. My brother, Fermin, came in one night and said, "Dont't go to bed early for I want you to see a balloon". We stayed up and watched and when it went up it looked like a ball af fire, as it went higher it looked like a dim star.
Another story by Eunice Elizabeth Kenoyer Rhoads
- There were some people came down from Norway seeking a warmer climate. They settled along the Rhine River, this being German territory. They were sent to German schools and there learned the German language. Some finally came to the United States and one of the young men attended Dr. Pfrimmer's revival meeting, was converted and felt the call to the ministry. He visited in the Pfrimmer home and married the daughter Catherine (Mary Madgaline). His name was Fredrick Kenoyer. This pair were my great Grandparents. They had a family of six, Rev. Jeremiah Kenoyer was first named Jeremiah Dean, but when a boy, he knew he didn't like it, so he dropped the name Dean. There were Jacob, Silas, and Louisa. Grandfather and Grandmother died at the age of 75 years. They sold their home in Indiana and went to visit some of their children. Grandfather died on the train on his way, and they put him in a small room in a hotel. Grandmother had him packed in ice, as there was very little embalming at that time. This was about 1867
- Preachers-Farmers-Pioneers, compiled by Elizabeth Kenoyer Davis,1971.
- OCCU Nurse, Minister Eunice was born in Wisconsin and was two years old when thefamily moved out west. After living in Yamhill Co., Oregon, she moved to Walla Walla, WA, where she married Joseph Smith Rhoads.They had eight children. Both Eunice and her husband were ministers in the United Brethren Church. She was also a nurse.She died in 1939 at Klamath Falls, Oregon, where she is buried.TEXT Recipes And Remembrances From Descendents of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Kenoyer, compiled by Cathy Sherwood McBeth, 1995.
- List of Early Yamhill County Oregon Surnames The following Surnames are taken from folders in the Yamhill County Historical Society library. The folders contain a variety of data ranging from just the name to a complete genealogical listing.
- bio folder contains:
- RS = Ruth Stoller, Historian, now dec'd
- hw = handwritten
- tw = typewritten
- sh = sheet
- ychs = Yamhill County Historical Society
- FGS = Family Group Sheet
- unka = Unknown Author
- 12 sh tw, Jeremiah & Elizabeth Kenoyer by John E. Sherwood, Jr., 10/24/1993
- 6 sh printed, copied from United Brethren book Our Heroes, 1908, discusses Grandpa Rhoads
- 1 sh copy of photo of Eunice Elizabeth Rhoads taken about 1909
- 1 sh tw, Early days in Oregon, by Eunice E. Rhoads, undated
- 13 sh copies of Oregon Donation Land Claim application, Jeremiah Kenoyer
- 1 sh copy of portion of map showing location of Kenoyer Homestead westerly of Willamina
- 2 sh tw, re; various articles on Rev. Joseph Rhoads; building of Hopewell Church
- 7 sh tw, from the Kenoyer Book by Elizabeth Davies; re; Jeremiah Kenoyer
- 9 sh tw, from United Brethren book Our Heroes, 1908, re; various Kenoyer histories
- 7 sh tw, Eunice Kenoyer Rhoads, recollections of the Oregon Trail, 1853
- 12 sh tw, Home at Last by Jessie Bruntsch, 1853, recollections of early pioneer life
- 1 sh tw, Eunice Kenoyer Rhoads, 1927, A Story of General Sheridan
- 2 sh tw, from Jessie Bruntsch to RS, 7/1/1991, research on Kenoyer
- 2 sh tw, from her Kin, undated, Kenoyer lineage, historical data
- 2 sh hw, from to RS, 2/14/1992, re; picture of Kenoyer, Eunice Rhoads
- View the Photos: 1.) Jeremiah & Elizabeth Cuppy Kenoyer and http://sites.onlinemac.com/history/JeremiahandElizibethCuppyKenoyer.jpg 2.) Eunice Kenoyer Rhoads http://sites.onlinemac.com/history/EuniceKenoyerRhoads.jpg
- A Story of Early Pioneer Days by Eunice Elizabeth Kenoyer Rhoads
- THE INDIANS ARE COMING! by Eunice E. Rhoads
- Eunice Kenoyer
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