• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

Sweet Betsy from Pike

SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE

Oh, don’t you remember sweet Betsy from Pike, Who crossed the wide prairies were her lover Ike,
With two yoke of oxen, a big yellow dog, A tall Shanghai rooster, and one spotted hog.

Chorus:
Sing too-ral-li-oo-ral-li-oo-ral-li-ay.
Sing too-ral-li-oo-ral-li-oo-ral-li-ay.

One evening quite early they camped on the Platte, ‘Twas near by the road on a green shady flat, Where Betsy, sore-footed, lay down to repose; With wonder Ike gazed on that Pike County rose.

The Indians came down in a wild yelling horde, And Betsy was scared they would scalp her adored;
Behind the front wagon wheel Betsy did crawl, Fought the Indians with musket and ball.

They soon reached the desert, where Betsy gave out, And down in the sand she lay rolling about;
While Ike in great terror look on in surprise, Saying, "Betsy, get up you’ll get sand in your eyes."

Sweet Betsy got up in a great deal of pain. And declared she’d go back to Pike County again;
Then Ike heaved a sigh and they fondly embraced, She traveled along with her arm round his waist.

The Shanghai ran off and the cattle all died, The last piece of bacon that morning was fried;
Poor Ike got discouraged, and Betsy got mad, The dog wagged his tail and looked wonderfully sad.

They passed the Sierras through mountains of snow, Till old California was sighted below.
Sweet Betsy she hollered, and Ike gave a cheer, Saying, "Betsy, my darlin’, I’m a made millioneer."

A miner said, "Betsy, will you dance with me?" "I will that, old hoss, if you don’t make too free.
But don’t dance me hard, do you want to know why? Doggone ye, I’m chock ful of strong alkali."

Long Ike and Sweet Betsy got married, of course, But Ike, who was jealous, obtained a divorce,
And Betsy, well, satisfied, said with a shout, "Good-bye, you big lummox, I’m glad you backed out."

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Did You Know?

The hosptial/visitor center is the best example of French Colonial architecture on site. Note all of the elements.

Fort Scott uses three styles of architecture: French Colonial, Greek Revival, and vernacular. The most dominant is French Colonial; characterized by wide porches, stairways and a broken roofline. Most living quarters are on the second floor to avoid bad air believed to exist at lower levels.