In 1852, David and Asa McCully brought a wagon train from New London, Henry County, Iowa, to Harrisburg, Linn County, Oregon (see The McCully Train 1852). On arrival in Oregon, Asa almost immediately left for the East Coast (by sea, this time) to arrange for supplies for a store and to gather together a herd of cattle to use on their Oregon range. He reached the Willamette Valley with a wagon train and large herd of cattle about 11 August 1853. We haven't found an actual journal from this train, but Wesley W. Briggs, who was on the trip, wrote brief reminiscences. His contribution is printed farther down this page.
So far, we only know a few of the
names of people who were definitely on this wagon train. According
to Wesley Briggs (below), there were 20 men to herd the cattle,
and "a few" families. We've been trying to identify
all the participants, using various sources.
(1) We've looked for names in journals of wagon trains that left from Iowa and nearby states at about the time Asa McCully's wagon train left Henry Co., Iowa, and/or arrived in the Willamette Valley about the time that the McCully train arrived.
(2) We checked the records of emigrants who obtained donation land grants in Oregon, noting those who said they arrived in Oregon within a few weeks of when Asa McCully's train arrived.
(3)On 25 Jul 1853, some known members of the Asa McCully wagon train registered at the Umatilla Agency, which was about 150 miles east of The Dalles, OR. That was not the only wagon train that passed the Agency that day, but some of the other names on the register that day were almost certainly from the McCully train. We found this list two places, with only minor variations in spelling (all variations shown below):
-"Weekly Oregonian" (Portland, OR) 29 October 1853, A list of the single individuals and heads of households who passed Umatilla Station in 1853.
-L. C. Menafee. 1984. Immigration rosters of the Elliott Cut-off 1853 & 1854 and immigration registration at Umatilla Agency, 1853. Albany, OR: Early Pioneer Publications.
Wagon Ruts on Windlass Hill, Ash Hollow, Nebraska
We've listed the names and information from these and other sources, then added pertinent information as we've found it. At this point (November 2004), we have no idea how many of these people were on the 1853 McCully train, but they all have in common that they said they arrived "in Oregon" [i.e. the Willamette Valley] on or within a week or so of 11 August 1853. [The names of people we are certain - or nearly certain - were on this train are identified in red.] We know some of the names are misspelled (or, at least, mis-deciphered from the original list). Also, in the case of the Umatilla Station names, we aren't certain that all the information we've added after the names really pertains to those particular individuals. For example, "M. J. Shurk" is certainly Martin J. Shuck, but the only reason we have so far for including John W. Short under the "Short" from the Umatilla Agency list is that he reportedly arrived in Oregon about the correct time.
If you have any information about any of these people - or even suspicions about who they might be - please e-mail us. Also, let us know if you'd like to be kept informed as we find more information on these people.
ALLEN, William Anderson - b. 1826 west Tennessee; donation land claim in western Douglas County, Oregon (old Umpqua County).
ANDERSON, 1 son & l dau
(1) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 1: DLC#2316 George B. ASHBY, Polk Co. OR; born 1826 Clay Co., MO; arrived OR 11 Aug 1853; m. Martha Ann ___ 13 July 1854 Polk Co., OR
(2) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 5: DLC #2316 Polk Co. - T6S R4W Sec. 27, 28, 320 acres; m. 25 Aug 1854 in Polk Co., Martha Ann McCARTY.
(1) Linn Pioneers Volume 1: A John BARNS married Lilly Elizabeth WYATT. She allegedly wasn't born until 1868, so doubtful this is the J. BARNS that was on the 1853 trip; maybe a son?
(1) From James M. Cook - Bellingham, WA Nov 1999: Frederick BARNEBURG b. ca 1836 Europe; d. 1907, Jackson Co., OR. Frederick and his brother William were in southern Oregon for a few years, then returned to Iowa. Fred m. Electa NORTON in Iowa ca. 1860 [she b. ca 1840, dau. of Daniel P. and Jemima J. [___] NORTON. The Barneburgs returned west with the Nortons in 1860. They settled in Eden Precinct, Jackson Co., OR, six children known.
(1) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 3: DLC 117 Jackson Co., OR - William BERNBURG/BERNEBURG/BARNABURG b. 1 Dec 1827 [or 1829] Hesse Kassel, Germany; arrived OR 12 Aug 1853; m. Sarah Ann HATHAWAY 1 Feb 1853 New London, Henry Co., IA. Came to U.S. when about 18 years old in 1848 - his father was already in the U. S., having been naturalized in 1837.
BEAMER, Henry - b. 1803 Monroe Co., Missouri [1860 census says b. Virginia]; donation land claim in Linn Co.
BENJAMIN, H., and his wife W. BENJAMIN
J. BETHEL and wife
(1) Federal census of Des Moines County, Iowa, 1850: George BISSELL lived in Burlington, Iowa, a farmer, with seven children.
BRIGGS, Wesley W.
(1) From "The McCully Train:" Wesley W. BRIGGS b. 4 Dec 1832 in Rush Co., IN; lived in Henry Co., IA, where he knew the McCULLY families; settled in Harrisburg, Linn Co., OR, where he married Harriet TOMPKINS 4 July 1858. He died in Harrisburg 4 June 1917.
BRITON, H. J.
(1) Henry Co., Iowa 1850 Census: There was a Harmon BRITTAIN, age 17, born IN, son of James
BRITTAIN [age 47, b. KY] and Margaret ____ [40, b. KY].
(1) Linn Pioneers Volume 1: A Samuel BROWN arrived in Oregon 25 Aug 1853; born Ohio.
(2) Samuel BROWN- b. around 1825 Ohio; donation land claim in Linn Co.
BROWN, William - b. about 1806 Boston, Massachusetts; donation land claim in Multnomah Co.
BULLOCK, Charles J. - born 1822 Virginia; donation land claim in Washington Co.
(1) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 1: DLC 2298 Marion Co., OR - Samuel C. BUSTER; b. 1833 Pulaski Co., KY; arrived OR 10 Aug 1853; married Nancy Jane ___ 8 Mar 1855 Marion Co., OR
(2) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 5: DLC 2298 Marion Co., OR, T8S R1W Sec. 7, and T8S R2W Section 12, 153.52 acres - Samuel Clinton BUSTER/RUSTER [name is RUSTER on marriage record, BUSTER on 1860 and 1870 MarionCo. censuses] married Marion Co. 8 Mar 1855, Nancy Jane OLINGER.
CHENERY, Albion P. - born 1821 Oxford Co., Maine; married 7 May 1854 Harriet Ann CLARK [b. 29 March 1839 Canton, Illinois; d. 10 Sept 1861); donation land claim in Clackamas Co.
CLANCY, Cornelius - b. 1819 Jackson Co., Tennessee; donation land claim in Lane County
CLARK, S. and W., w/2 sons &
(1) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 4: Rejected Applications - Stephen CLARK, Tillamook County; b. 1800 Connecticut; arrived Oregon August 1853; m. Eunice Ann ___ 1830 NY; children Arsinae (?), Harriet, Byron, and Stephen.
CLARK, W. and W.
COFFIN w/wife, 3 sons & 4 dau
DAY, Adam - b. 1794 Johnstown, New York; m. 1821 Washington Co., New York; donation land claim in Douglas County
DOUTHIT, James H. - b. 1816 South Carolina; m. 23 April 1835 South Carolina; donation land claim in Linn Co.
EASTON, "Mrs." C., and 1 dau
EDES, E. J.
EVERY, George - b. 1807 New York City; m. 15 Dec 1830 Delaware Co., New York; donation land claim in Linn Co. May have moved to Michigan before 1873.
(1) Henry Co., IA, 1850 Census: Oliver FIELDS, age 19, b. OH; son of Isaiah FIELDS [age 50, b. KY] and Mary ___ [age 43, b. VA].
FINK, J. F.
FORDYCE, Asa G. - b. 1816 Wabash Co., Illinois; m. Sarah CLAPOLE 1839 or 1840 Lee Co., Iowa; had children George W., Susan, and Mary; donation land claim in Jackson Co.
GABY, Elijah - b. 1814 Berks Co., Pennsylvania; m. 1840 Indianapolis, Indiana; donation land claim in Marion Co.; apparently moved from Oregon around 1862.
(1) Henry Co., IA, 1850 Census: Terry GOSS [age 22, b. OH] and Daniel GOSS [age 20, b. OH], sons of Solomon GOSS [age 62, b. OH] and Mary __ [age 51, b. OH].
GREEN, C. [or G.]
HASTINGS, Burres L. - b. 1831 Tennessee; donation claim in Polk Co. had been sold by 1868.
HENDERSHOTT, Sidney Breeze - brother of James HENDERSHOTT who came on the 1852 McCully wagon train. He was b. 8 Jan 1832 Maricoupin Co., IL, the son of David HENDERSHOTT [1785-1859] and Catherine BENHAM [1787-1844]. He settled in Josephine Co., OR, where he mined and was a jailor. He married 25 Oct 1860 Delilah Frances McCULLY. The family moved to Crescent City, Del Norte Co., CA in 1871, and Sidney died there 3 Aug 1886.
HOLT, James E. - b. 1827 Green Co., Tennessee; donation land claim in Lane County.
HOWARD, Royal Varney - b. 6 Dec 1833 Knox Co., Ohio; m. Edna Jane Smith in Oregon 15 April 1858; donation land claim in Polk Co. [This could be the HOWARD mentioned in George Miller West's journal of an 1853 trip from Burlington, Iowa.]
HOWARD, Jonathan B. - b. 1803 Cecil Co., Maryland; married 1827 Shelby Co., Illinois; donation land claim in Clackamas Co.
HUGHES, Isaiah J. - b. 1829 Champaign Co., Ohio; lived at Junction City, Oregon; donation land claim in Lane Co.
HUNT, B. T. - traveling w/wife, 1 son and 5 dau
JEWETT, J. W. [or J. M.]
LAUGHLIN, T. G.
LENK, J. T. - traveling w/wife, 2 sons & 1 dau
LINVILLE, John - b. 1810 Tennessee; donation land claim in old Umpqua Co. (western Douglas Co.)
(1) Genealogical Materials in DLCs, volume 4 - Rejected Claims - Harrison LONG Yamhill County; born 1826 Somerset Co., PA; arrived OR Aug 1853.
LOVE, John Dillard
(1) McCully Family records: John Dillard LOVE b. 18 Aug 1824 Jackson, Madison Co., TN; m. Mary Jane McCULLY in Henry Co., IA, 14 Mar 1852; settled in Harrisburg, Linn Co., OR, and died there 7 Mar 1872.
LOVE, Mary Jane
(1) McCully Family records: Mary Jane McCULLY b. 29 Dec 1824 Jefferson Co., OH, dau. of John McCULLY and Mary COPP; married John Dillard LOVE in Henry Co., IA 14 Mar 1852; died Harrisburg, Linn Co., OR 21 Jan 1902.
(1) Henry Co., IA, 1850 census: Included was a James MAEL, age 21.
MANUEL, J. - traveling w/ 3 sons & 3 dau
McCALLISTER, John - b. 1794 Kentucky; married 1818 in White Co., Illinois; donation land claim in Linn Co.
McCARTY - possibly McCARTNEY?
(1) Genealogical Materials in DLCs, volume 1: DLC 2384 Linn Co. - John B. McCARTNEY; born ca 1827-1830 Madison Co., IA; arrived OR 15 Aug 1853; m. Eliza Jane ___ in Linn Co., IA ca 11-15 Oct 1851.
(2) Genealogical Materials in DLCs, volume 5: DLC 2384 Linn Co., T11S R1W Section 3, 160 acres; born ca 1827-1830 Madison Co., IA; married 17 Oct 1851 in Linn Co., IA, Eliza Jane CALDWELL.
McCLURE, John R.
(1) Genealogical Materials in DLCs, vol. II: DLC 2682 Linn County - John R. McCLURE b. 1814 Ohio; arrived Oregon 29 July 1853; settled claim 11 Aug 1853; m. Sarah E. ____ 24 July 1839 Ross Co., Ohio.
(2) Information from Nancy Shire <email@example.com> : John Ross McCLURE b. 9 March (probably) 1814 Ohio [but some records say born as late as 1819 in Pennsylvania], son of John McCLURE and Susannah ROSS. Married 24 July 1839 Ross County, Ohio, Sarah Edna HENDRICSON, dau. of John F. HENDRICSON and Nancy WILSON, and brother of Wilman Firman HENDRICSON, another Linn Co., Oregon, pioneer. John and Sarah had 8 children: Mary Ellen McCLURE 1840-1842; Elis McCLURE b. 1842; James Kerrswell McCLURE 1846-1903; William Firman McCLURE b. 1847; Phebe Elizabeth McCLURE 1852-1880, m. Marion HUSTON; John Milton McCLURE b. 1854; Albert McCLURE b. 1861, d. after 1920; and Sarah Sarinda McCLURE b. 1856. John Ross McCLURE and Sarah McCLURE are buried at Sand Ridge Cemetery, Linn Co., Oregon. He died 10 May 1881, she on 6 June 1887. [NOTE: This reference does not state where John McClure was living when he departed for Oregon, but he and his brother-in-law William Firman Hendricson were living in Des Moines Co., Iowa, prior to 1853, which may indicate a geographical connection to Asa McCully's wagon train.]
McCULLY, Asa Alfred - see The McCully Train 1852.
McNEMAR/McNEMER, Noah W. - b. 1816 Ohio; donation land claim in Washington Co.
MENDENHALL, Jacob - born 1805 Ohio; donation land claim in Josephine Co.
(1) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 1: DLC 489 Marion Co. - John NASH b. ca 1830 Claiborne Co., TN; arrived OR Aug 1853; married Mary CATHORN 9 July 1853 Marion Co., OR.
(2) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 4: Rejected Claims - 4959 Marion County - John NASH b. ca 1832 TN; m. Mary C. 9 July 1854 Marion Co., OR; the claim was for one presumably abandoned by Seth Smith.
(3) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 5: DLC 489 Marion Co. T7S R2W Sections 26, 27, 75.66 acres; married Mary CATHORN 9 July 1854 Marion Co., OR
ORR, J. - w/wife & 4 sons
(1) Henry County, IA, 1850 census: There was a Joseph ORN [age 44, b. OH] and his wife Catherine [age 41, b. OH]. At that time, their household included only 2 sons [John, age 12, b. OH] and Taylor [age 3, b. OH]. They had several marriage-aged daughters.
PARISH, David J. - b. 1831 Nicholas Co., Kentucky; donation land claim in Lane County.
PENDLETON, Rice - b. 1831 Illinois; donation land claim in Lane Co.
PENNY, "Mrs." - traveling
with 1 dau
(1) Henry Co., IA, 1850 and 1852 censuses: There was a PENNY family in Marion Township - Henry [age 33, b. IL], Louisa [26, b. TN], Maria [5, b. IA], and Georgiana [2, b. IA]. In Iowa, the PENNYs were related by marriage to David BUSEY, an 1852 emigrant.
PROMODE, E. M. - traveling w/wife
REDICK, Thomas Harvey - born 1830 Fayette Co., Pennsylvania; donation land claim in Jackson Co.
REED - traveling w/wife, 2 sons & 1 dau
REED, Alexander - b. 1832 Ontario Co., New York; donation land claim in Douglas Co.
RICE, A. E.
RICE, E. H.
RIGGERS [or RUGGERS], C. S. - traveling w/wife, 2 sons & 2 dau
ROOT, W. P.
SAMPSON, E. A.
(1) Linn Pioneers Volume 3: Ephraim A. SAMPSON had DLC 1322 RB; m. Eunice A. WARNER [dau. of Jabez WARNER and Elizabeth GILPIN] 11 Nov 1854
(2) Henry Co., IA, 1850 Census: Elisha SAMPSON, age 16, b. OH; son of John SAMPSON [age 47, b. NY] and Sarah ___ [age 43, b. NY]
SAWTELLE, Henry C. - b. 1829 England; married 1852 Illinois; donation land claim in Clackamas Co.
SAWTELLE, John - b. 1821 England; married Levena LOWERIDGE ca 1851 Knox Co., Illinois; donation land claim in Clackamas Co.
SCHIEFFLIN, Clinton - b. 1822 New York; married 1844 Pennsylvania; donation land claim in Jackson County.
SCOTT, Samuel R.
(1) Genealogical Materials in DLCs, Volume 3: DLC 1711 Josephine Co. - Samuel R. SCOTT b. 1823 Belmont Co., OH; arrived OR 11 Aug 1853; m. Mary A. __ 4 Jan 1853 Henry Co., IA. [NOTE: S. B. HENDERSHOTT was one of his co-signers for DLC.]
SCOTT, J. - traveling w/wife
(1)Joseph SCOTT, Samuel's brother, was allegedly on this train. We have been unable to find any information on him.
(2) Henry Co., IA, 1850 census: Included was a James D. SCOTT [age 26, b. IL] and his wife Rebecca ___ [age 19, b. IL], with a 6-month old daughter Emily SCOTT. There was also a James SCOTT [age 19, b. OH] in the household of Margaret SCOTT [age 54, b. VA].
SHORT, John Wesley
(1) Linn Pioneers Volume 8: check Rev. John W. SHORT, DLC 1915.
(2) Genealogical Materials in DLCs, Volume 1: DLC 1915 Linn Co. - John W. SHORT b. 1816 Sussex Co., DE; arrived OR 29 Jul 1853; m. Mary Ann ___ 21 or 22 Jan 1841 Des Moines Co., IA.
(3) Genealogical Materials in DLCs, Volume 5: DLC 1915 Linn Co. T12S R3W sections 2 and 11, 302 acres; Elder John Wesley SHORT born 23 Aug 1815 Sussex Co., DE; a Missionary Baptist preacher; married Mary Ann CLYMER 21 or 22 Jan 1841 Des Moines Co., IA; Mary Ann was dau. of Christian CLYMER, DLC 4505, who came in 1852.
SHORT, Merrill - b. 1827 Lawrence Co., Indiana; donation land claim in Marion Co.
SHUCK, M. J. - traveling w/wife
& 3 dau
(1) Genealogical Materials from DLC, Volume 1: DLC 1418 Washington Co. - Martin J. SHUCK b. 1806 KY; arrived OR 11 Aug 1853; m. Margaret Nov 1828 Montgomery Co., IN.
(2) Genealogical Materials from DLCs, Volume 5: DLC 1418 Washington Co., T3S R2W sections 2, 10, and 11, 306.95 acres; married Margaret JONES [born 1806, died 1863].
(3) Henry County, Iowa Census - 1850: The SHUCK family lived in Center Township. Martin SHUCK age 44, farmer, b. Kentucky; wife Margaret 44 born North Carolina; daughters Susannah, 19, b. Indiana - Sarah Ann, 11, b. Iowa - Elizabeth, 7, b. IA - Margaret, 3, b. IA. [NOTE: if they really came west with only three daughters, Susannah may have stayed behind, or come as someone's wife.
SMITH, Isaac - b. 1816 Warren Co., Kentucky; married 1840 Warren Co., Illinois; donation land claim in Polk Co.
(1) McCully Family records: William WATERS b. 9 Jun 1795 NY; m. Rachel COX 15 May 1822 NY [she died Henry Co., IA 1 Apr 1848]; d. Harrisburg, Linn Co., OR 9 Feb 1875. He was the father of Hannah Keziah [WATERS] McCULLY, wife of Asa Alfred McCULLY.
WELCH, George - b. ca 1825 Virginia; married 1851, Iowa; donation land claim in Multnomah Co.
WHITE, William C. - b. ca 1832 Gibson Co., Tennessee; donation land claim in Yamhill Co.
WHITE, Sanford H. - b. 1818 Fleming Co., Kentucky; married 1848 Tazewell Co., Illinois; donation land claim in Benton Co.
WHITNEY, Elkanah - b. 1832 Monroe Co., New York; donation land claim in Lane Co.
WHITNEY, William M. - b. 1810 Livingston Co., New York; donation land claim in Lane Co.
WILCOX, Thomas J. - b. 1822 Christian Co., Kentucky; married 1845 Christian Co., Kentucky; donation land claim in Marion Co.
WILSON, A. H.
(1) From Bill Gateley over Internet Nov 1999: Samuel WILSON b. 19 Feb 1824, the son of Paton WILSON who moved to Henry Co., IA in 1839. He was related by marriage to George W. WOOD [below].
WITHERS, John E. - b. 1830 Jessamine Co., Kentucky; donation land claim in Benton Co.
WOODS, G. W.
(1) Henry Co., IA, 1850 Census: George WOODS [age 16, b. OH], son of Daniel WOODS [age 53, b. NY] and Eady ___ [age 40, b. SC]
(2) From Bill Gateley by E-mail Nov 1999: George W. WOOD b. 19 Feb 1833, son of Daniel and Edith WOOD; came to Henry Co., IA, probably in the 1840s; related by marriage to Samuel WILSON [see above].
WOOD, G. - traveling w/wife 7 dau.
Wesley Briggs is the author of the two accounts of this 1853 wagon train, which are included below. They are typical of the period in their attitudes toward Native Americans and women, but are nevertheless interesting.
NOTE: This account was published by Wesley W. Briggs as a "Letter to the Editor" of the Oregonian [Portland, OR] 27 June 1908.
Brownsville, Or. June 27 -- (To the Editor) -- The meeting of the remnant of the old pioneers at Brownsville last week once more stirs the memory to a retrospect of the ordeal of crossing the plains in the early 50s.
This writer came to Oregon with a train organized by Asa A. McCully, and outfitted at New London, Henry County, Iowa, in the Spring of 1853. Mr. McCully was chosen captain without dissent. He crossed the plains in 1849 on his way to the gold fields of California, and again in 1852 with an emigrant train that included his own family and those of three of his brothers as well. In these trips he kept a memorandum of camping places, distances between and where bad water was to be avoided, etc.
March 17 we made our first drive to camp. Here it was arranged to divide the train, the two sections to travel by different routes. We had about 400 head of stock which required feed, and the large amount needed could be obtained with more certainty at two feed yards than one. The journey of our section of the train to the Missouri River was without event of interest, except a stampede of the stock and teams in Northern Missouri. A scare occurred among the cattle in the rear of the drive, and in less time than it takes to tell it the fright was communicated to the front teams and a genuine stampede was on -- uncontrollable as a Kansas cyclone and forming a spectacle never to be forgotten. The horsemen were unable to gain control until the frenzied beasts had spent their strength.
In rounding up it was discovered that the women and children had been safely taken in their carriages from the course of the stampede. Sidney Hendershot, brother of Hon. James Hendershot, of Union County, was riding in one of the wagons on account of a sprained limb. The wagon was turned over and he was severely scratched and bruised before he could extricate himself. No one else was hurt, but the scattering of bedding, cooking utensils and all manner of camp equipment for a distance of about two miles, furnished an idea of the terrific force with which the teams went forward in their wild fright.
We proceeded to gather the wreckage and make needed repairs on the wagons for an advance, and this occupied three days. Pursuing our journey we arrived at the Daherty ferries, better known as the Government crossing, of the Missouri River, and after a delay of two days we were safely landed on the west side of the river. April 19 we found many Indians on the west bank, who were very annoying. They had gathered here for the purpose of begging and stealing from the emigrants, and particularly were they disturbing to the minds of us "tenderfeet," who had never before seen an Indian. Our only knowledge of them had been gained from reading the history of their depredations and cruel murders of the first white settlers on the Atlantic Coast. Therefore we hope that our perturbation will not be held as a doubt of our heroism.
On our road to the Platte River we passed over a beautiful and fertile country. Arriving at Platte we proceeded up that valley without anything occurring worthy of note, until we came to Salt River, where we camped for the night. The next morning we observed 50 Pawnee Indians approaching us from the west side of the river. Captain McCully, as a precaution, had the wagons placed in a circle for the protection of the women and children, and he also ordered that every firearm in the train be loaded and made ready for use.
In the meantime the Indians crossed the river and stationed themselves across the road within 50 yards of our camp. Their first move was to demand an animal for beef. This was promptly refused. Captain McCully explained that to grant a Pawnee Indian's demand was equivalent, with them, to admitting fear or weakness. Therefore he would treat them with defiance. The Indians were now loading their guns, of which they had six, and stringing their bows as if for action. Our boys at the same time were posted to the best possible advantage, with their guns and revolvers bearing on the red-skins with unerring aim, and awaiting the signal to fire. At this juncture Captain McCully, with a revolver in each hand, went near to the Indians and motioned to them to clear the road, and to our general surprise they yielded. But when it came to stacking their arms they protested rather firmly. However, when they understood that they must stack them or fight, they consented, but in a very sullen mood.
This easy ending to what threatened to be a serious affair, was a great relief, and especially to the women folks. Their fright during the danger was without bounds and of very prostrating effect. But when they rallied and understood that the danger was passed, their cup of joy was full. Before proceeding on our journey, Captain McCully gave the Indians a yearling calf, which they very quickly prepared to roast.
We crossed the river without being further molested and made easy drives in order that the other section of our train might overtake us. We did not have to wait long for them to come up, and reunited our force was sufficient for protection in any emergency liable to come up.
The following morning we set our faces to the west with renewed energy. We traveled up the South Platte to the emigrant crossing, crossed over without accident and made our way to Ash Hollow on the North Platte.
As to our journey from there across the Rocky Mountains and down the Snake River, there is nothing to report except that the daily grind of travel had worn the teams to an appreciable extent. David McCully, a brother of Captain McCully, met us with supplies, fresh horses and late messages from the Willamette Valley. His coming was heartily welcomed. Besides being very companionable he was a veteran in the work of handling stock, having twice crossed the plains.
We next crossed the Blue Mountains, over the plains where now flourishes the prosperous, happy and great Inland Empire. Then we arrived at the foot of our grand old Mount Hood. We crossed the Cascade Range by the Barlow route, reaching the valley August 11, making the trip from the Missouri River in four months and 21 days.
For the dangers, privations and
long plodding through storm and alkali dust the surviving pioneers
of Oregon have satisfactory compensation in the knowledge that
they helped to make it possible for the conditions which now prevail.
They look upon the churches, school houses and happy homes that
dot the country with a pleasure that can only come from a sense
of work well done. Now that the success of this glorious country
is assured, they serenely await their final summons. W. W. Briggs
NOTE: This account was probably published in The Bulletin [Harrisburg, OR] about 1914. The other six articles were about an 1852 wagon train, and are printed in their entirety in "The McCully Train: Iowa to Oregon 1852." No copies of the papers that included this series appear to exist, anymore.
A.A. McCully arrived in New London, Iowa in due time and at once applied himself to the task of his mission. He had bought 300 head of stock in a very short time - about three weeks. The winter had been a very severe one and feed was running low, therefore the farmers offered their stock very reasonably. He now set himself to the equipment of a train that would carry supplies for twenty men who would assist him on the trip. Similar to 1852 the activity in making these preparations created an interest in the Oregon country, and soon the Oregon fever ran high and the supply of men offering their service to help with the cattle, was in excess of the need. In the meantime there were several families who had determined on a home in Oregon, that associated themselves with our train for the trip. Mrs. Love was a sister to the McCullys and mother of Mrs. C.E. Maxson of this city.
The late accessions had so increased the number of stock, that it was thought best to divide the train into three sections, each pursuing a different route while traveling through Iowa and Missouri so as not to overstock places where feed was in light supply. From the 10th to the 15th of March the sections of the train started on their march. The scene of leave-taking, as in 1852, was very sincere and pathetic.
The section of the train headed by Captain McCully, while traveling through Shariden County, Mo., had a very exciting experience - a stampede of the cattle. The drove was scattered along for about a mile behind the teams, when without a moment's warning, they formed in a frenzied, crushing mass, their heads to the ground and tails in the air. There were some plainsmen with us who had experience with stampeded cattle, and they forced their horses to their utmost speed for the purpose of warning the carriages and wagons that were carrying the families, to desert the road and clear the way for the onrush of the crazed beasts. These barely escaped, but the wagons drawn by oxen did not fare so well - many of them were badly wrecked. In one of these wagons there was a man - Sid Hendershott - riding, who was laid up on account of an injured limb. This wagon was turned completely over and he was dragged beneath a considerable distance and until by some lucky chance the oxen became freed and then he was left a prisoner until help arrived. The cattle continued their course until exhausted and rounded up. In their wake was scattered all kinds of camp stuff, but with light damage, some broken dishes and battered camp-stoves. The most expensive damage was to the wagons. We were delayed three days in making repairs, when we took to the raod again. We arrived at the Missouri River on April 16th, 1853 and at the same point where the 1852 train crossed. The ferries were occupied two days in landing us on Indian Territory.
In our travels over to the South Platte River and on up to the Big River, near in confluence with the Platte, there is nothing of importance to note. Here we had a fine camping place and good feed for the stock. Next morning, after breakfast, when looking to the west, we discovered a band of about 75 Pawnee Indians approaching.They came onto the river and halted to cool themselves before wading across. Their actions were looked upon by Captain McCully with grave suspicion, and as a precaution, the wagons were wheeled into a circle as protection for the women and children, and all the firearms were very carefully charged and held handy for use in case there should be any wrong move on their part. In the meantime, the Indians crossed to our side of the river, alligning themselves across the road and proceeded to string their bows and to load six U.S. yaugers. These movements were being made - as we took it - as a threat to back up a demand to be made upon the train. Finally, the demand was made for cattle, and we were referred to their fighting force as a reference; but to their great surprise, they were flatly refused and scornfully defied. At this juncture, Captain McCully with a cocked navy-revolver in each hand, motioned them to clear the road. At first they refused, but when told our men to be ready they complied. Then they were forced to stack their arms, and we guarded them until the teams and stock were safely across the river. Mr. McCully stated afterward, that if we had shown the least weakness, we would have all been massacred without doubt.