The History and Genealogy Pages

Iowa to Oregon - 1852

Sanford "Sandy" Wilbur


Approximately 62 people were known to have been on the wagon train led by David and Asa McCully that left Henry County, Iowa, in mid-March 1852 and arrived in Oregon's Willamette Valley in mid-August 1852. In the book "The McCully Train: Iowa to Oregon 1852" [SYMBIOS 2000], we included biographical and genealogical information on those participants we could identify. Since publication of the book, we have accumulated additional information on the "McCully Train" cast of characters, and have been able to correct and clarify some of the data on some of the families. We've presented those updates below. [NOTE: We've only provided enough of the original write-ups to make the new information - highlighted in red - understandable. See "The McCully Train" for further details.]

To repeat our original caveat: We have spent considerable time compiling these histories, but some information is still meager and some is still based solely on secondary or tertiary sources. We would be pleased to receive corrections or additions to anything presented. For some families, we have much more information than is presented here;, or in the book. We would be pleased to share it with anyone interested. (Contact us via e-mail, or through SYMBIOS, 4367 S. E. 16th St., Gresham, OR 97080.)


The Angell family was represented on the trip by Thomas Angell, his wife Susan Pinney (Yeomans) Angell, and their infant daughter Sarah Margaret Angell. A hired hand (not specifically identified) and Susan Angell's brother, Benjamin Yeomans (see the book), were along to help with the wagons and livestock.

1. Thomas Angell and Susan Pinney Yeomans. One of their sons:
2. Oscar Franklin Angell born 3 August 1854 Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon; farmed near The Dalles, Wasco County; died 8 June 1934 . Oscar married first Minnie Whetstone 14 February 1881 (born 5 December 1864, died 21 August 1943). They had four children. They divorced
in 1896 (Ref. 1), and he married second Mamie Baker.
2.Sarah Margaret Angell born 31 December 1851 in Lowell, Henry County, Iowa; married William Ellis Campbell 4 March 1872 at the Angell home near The Dalles. One child was:
3. Charles L. Campbell born 20 April 1878; died July 1917; married Elsie Tong.
Elsie Tong was the daughter of John James Tong and Ann Bond. (2)


David S. Busey was born either 2 December 1831 or 14 November 1830 in Putnam County, Indiana, son of L. W. Busey (born about 1811, in Indiana; died Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1877) and Jane (Penney) Busey (born Indiana; died Iowa about 1840). He married Nancy Porter about 1855 in Linn County, Oregon. She was born in Jamestown, Boone County, Indiana 18 March 1840, the daughter of William D. Porter (born 6 June 1811 Russell County, Virginia) and Elizabeth (Knott) Porter (born Wyone County, Indiana).
One of their children was William Duncan Busey born 22 October 1862; married in
1892 Hannah (born 20 July 1872 Mulino, Oregon; d. 17 Nov 1954 Lebanon, Oregon) (3) [NOTE: marriage date in "The McCully Train" was mis-typed as "1862"]; lived in Sodaville, Linn County; died in Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon, 23 June 1960, and buried in the IOOF Cemetery, Lebanon .


James Hendershott was born 11 September 1829 at Lebanon, St. Clair County, Illinois, and died 26 January 1897 Cove, Union Co., Oregon. His parents were David Hendershott (born 1785, New Jersey; died 1859, Iowa) and David's second wife, Catherine (Benham) Hendershott (born 1787, Kentucky; died 1855, Iowa). He married Harriet Jane Vincent on 7 December 1848. She was born 14 April 1831 in Youngstown, Mahoning County, Ohio, the daughter of Benjamin Vincent. She moved to eastern Iowa with her family, settling in Des Moines or Henry county. [Alternate possibilities are that Harriet's family did not move from Youngstown to Iowa when Harriet moved, or that the family moved back to Ohio (4).] She died in Salem, Oregon, 5 December 1917, but was buried with James in Cove, Oregon.

James came to Oregon alone in 1852, leaving his wife and two children in Iowa. [Some records indicate the family may have returned to the Vincent family home in Youngstown, Ohio (4).] In Oregon, he lived first in Salem, Marion County, where he worked for John L. Starkey (5), then moved to the gold mining area of southern Oregon. [It is possible that James returned to Iowa in 1853, returning west with Asa McCully and a large herd of cattle (6).] His family joined him in Kerbyville, Josephine County, probably in 1857, having come from Iowa by ship via the Isthmus of Panama. She died there 5 December 1917, at age 86, but was buried at Cove, Union County.


Eathan Addis Linn was one of nine children of John E. Linn (born Bedford County, Pennsylvania 1798; died Henry County, Iowa 1879) and Elizabeth (Swinehart) Linn (born Pennsylvania 1801; died Henry County, Iowa 1842). He was born 25 August 1832 at Somerset, Perry County, Ohio. He died at Wallula, Walla Walla Co., Washington, 4 December 1900. He, his wife, and their son William Homer Linn are buried in the Mountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla Co., Washington, but were probably originally interred at Wallula, then moved when Lake Wallula was created and the old cemetery was inundated (7).

Eathan Linn married Caroline James in Walla Walla County 4 July 1870. She was a native of Kansas, the daughter of Calvin and Perlina James (8). She was born 12 May 1852, and died 7 June 1882 (9). Eathan and Caroline had six children, three of whom died in infancy, and:
Elisha Linn, born about 1873; was a warehouse manager in Wallula, Walla Walla County, Washington .
-Elizabeth Martha Linn, born about 1875;
married Wesley Franklin Burger [erroneously listed as Burgess in some records (8)] 9 November 1896; lived in Dayton, Columbia County, Washington.
Homer Linn born 14 August 1879, died 3 January 1884 (9).



On the trip representing the McDonald family were John Nelson McDonald; his wife Margaret Hamilton (Blodgett) McDonald; and their children Benjamin A. McDonald and Jennie McDonald. A third child, Clara McDonald, was the only baby born on the wagon train.

Benjamin A. McDonald born July 1848 in Henry County, Iowa. He died in Dayton, Washington, in September 1914 (10).



John S. McKiernan, author of the McCully train journal, was born 25 March 1829 at Yellow Springs, Huntingdon (now, Blair) County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Edward McKiernan (ca. 1802 - ca. 1880) and Catherine Stanley (ca. 1805 - 1886), both born in Pennsylvania. John was the oldest of seven known children. He died 4 May 1897, and was buried at Gulich, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.

John McKiernan married Sarah C. Stanley at Tyrone, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, on 4 September 1856. Sara, one of nine children of Simon Stanley and Susan Ginter, was born about 1840 in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. She died in Williamsburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania, 27 March 1902. She and John McKiernan had six children, among them:
Irenaus McKiernan born 31 October 1869 Gulich Township, Clearfield County; died 11 Nov 1955 Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California. He married 6 September 1909 Margaret Ann Gilmore, daughter of James Gilmore and Caroline Skinner. They had two children: Gilmore Edward McKiernan b. 31 Dec 1911 Dormant, Pennsylvania, d. 28 Oct 1987 Gresham, Oregon; and Caroline Louise McKiernan b. 12 Sept 1914 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (11).



The O'Donald family coming west on the McCully train included Jonathan P. O'Donald, his wife Catherine (Weaver) O'Donald, and (probably) infant sons John O'Donald and William H. O'Donald.

Jonathan P. O'Donald was born 6 September 1826 in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. He died in Salem, Marion Co., Oregon on 1 January 1910. His parents were both Pennsylvania natives; his mother's maiden name was Martin. Before leaving Pennsylvania, he married Catherine Weaver 23 December 1847. She was born 15 February 1826, either in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania (probably Westmoreland County: there are three Mt. Pleasants in Pennsylvania), or Williamsburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania. Her parents may have been John Bibighaus Weaver and Susan R. Delany (12). The O'Donalds moved to Henry County, Iowa, in 1849, and lived in Mt. Pleasant until they moved to Oregon in 1852.

In 1862, O'Donald was estranged from his wife Catherine, and his Salem lands were being foreclosed upon and sold for taxes. He and Catherine were divorced in 1864 (13). On 4 July 1865 he married Eliza Ann Cross, daughter of Thomas Cross (born in England) and a mother born in Virginia. Eliza was born 2 August 1839 at Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, and died 3 February 1918 Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. She was buried in the Salem, Oregon, pioneer cemetery. Jonathan and Eliza had four children:
-Anna O'Donald born about 1868
probably in Salem, Oregon; married A. C. Wyman; was living in San Francisco in 1910, and in Portland, Oregon in 1918.
-Frank O'Donald born
5 Nov 1869 Salem, Marion County, Oregon, died in Salem 21 May 1910 and is buried in the Salem pioneer cemetery. He was unmarried, and had worked at the Salem woolen mills for many years.
-Harry O'Donald born
April 1872 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon; died of rheumatic fever in Salem June 1880; buried in the Salem pioneer cemetery.
-Freddie O'Donald born about August1881 Salem, Oregon; drowned about 18 September 1882; buried in the Salem pioneer cemetery (14).



When we wrote "The McCully Train," we thought Eugene (or Eusebe) Michael Plamondon was the only member of his family on the 1852 wagon train. We knew that his mother, brother, sister, wife and daughter were in Oregon by 1853, but thought they might have come by sea or perhaps on the Asa McCully wagon train in 1853. We have since found two obituaries that say all the family came on "the McCully train." That by itself might not be conclusive, as dates may be mis-remembered by later generations, but we also found the marriage record of Eugene's sister Clarissa, showing she was married in Marion County, Oregon, in May 1853. This would put her in Oregon several months before the 1853 wagon train arrived.

Angelique (Valin) Plamondon was born 15 October 1790 in St. Hyacinth, Quebec, Canada. She married Mitchell Plamondon in St. Hyacinth 15 October 1818. Mitchell died young (probably by 1835?), leaving Angelique with six children. Three of the children died before ca 1847, when Angelique and her three remaining children moved to the United States, probably settling first in Ohio (location undetermined). By 1851 the family had moved to Henry County, Iowa, where they lived until March 1852, when the McCully wagon train started west. In Oregon, Angelique lived with her children in Salem, Marion County, until her death 11 June 1887 (15).

Maria Clarissa Plamondon was born about 1824 in St. Hyacinth, Quebec. In Oregon, she married 19 May 1853, Isaac Dillon. They lived some time in Salem, before moving to Olympia, Washington, where Isaac (a Methodist minister) had a congregation. We haven't yet determined Isaac's death date, or whether they had children. Clarissa died in Seattle, Kings Co., Washington, 7 April 1883 (16)

Eugene Michael Plamondon was born 27 May 1826 at St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada. He was married (apparently in Ohio; wife's name undetermined) about 1847. They had one daughter in 1849; this first wife apparently died by 1850. By 1851 the Plamondons were in Henry County, Iowa, where Eugene married Edith Pocahontas Virginia Davies on 21 August 1851. Pocahontas, daughter of Tamerlane W. W. Davies and Jane Smith Payne, was born 6 September 1820, Bedford County, Virginia. She made the 1852 wagon train trip, but died in Salem, Oregon 17 November 1853, without children (17).

Eugene lived in Salem with his mother, daughter and brother Francis for seven years after Pocahontas died. He married 3rd Elizabeth Illidge 10 September 1861 in St. Paul, Marion County, Oregon. Elizabeth, the daughter of George and Elizabeth Illidge, was born in Australia in 1842. She died less than six months after their marriage, 25 January 1862. He married fourth, 15 March 1867, Mary A. Scott, who was born in Ohio about 1850, and had come to Oregon with her father and mother (English and Irish-born, respectively) in 1864. She was still living in Portland in 1912. Eugene and Mary had three children before he died in Salem, 14 September 1881. He, his last three wives, his mother, and others of the family are buried in the Salem Pioneer Cemetery (18).

Eugene Plamondon's children:
-Elmina Plamondon born
October 1848 in Ohio, of Eugene's first wife (name unknown); married 14 November 1872 in Salem, Oregon, to Elisha C. Harlan (June 1850 - 17 April 1938) and lived in Contra Costa County, California.. They had two children.
Eusebe Plamondon born 21 February 1868 in Salem, Oregon, (he, Addie, and James by Eugene's fourth wife Mary (Scott) Plamondon); died 30 March 1868; buried in the Salem, Oregon, Pioneer Cemetery.
-Addie S. Plamondon born 22 August 1871 in Salem; married Henry Pape
(23 February 1861 - 2 February 1926); died 7 January 1915, of brain cancer; buried in the pioneer cemetery in Salem (19).
James Dillon Plamondon born 13 December 1875, in Salem; a surgeon; married Areta Barrett in 1901, but they divorced in 1917 (20).

Francis Flavie Plamondon, younger brother of Eugene, was born 20 June 1830 in St. Hyacinth, Quebec. He lived with his mother and brother and was a saloon keeper like Eugene, until June 1860, when he married Matilda DuBois (born ca 1840 in Canada). They had six children, two whose names are so far undetermined by us, and:
-Earnestine Plamondon born ca 1865 (in Canada?)
-Anna Plamondon born ca 1867 Marion County, Oregon
-George Plamondon born ca 1868 Marion County, Oregon
-Minnie Plamondon born ca 1869 Marion County, Oregon
Francis died 15 April 1871 in Butteville, Marion County, Oregon, and in buried in the Salem Pioneer Cemetery (21).


1. Information from Oregon State Archives, Salem.
2. Personal communication from "Rose" (Ashland, Oregon), the great-granddaughter of Emma Rachel Tong, Elsie Tong's sister.
3. The correct marriage date, and Hannah's birth and death information are from: J. Miles & R. R. Milligan (1987), Linn County, Oregon Pioneer Settlers, Volume 9. Albany, OR: Linn Benton Genealogical Services.
4. Harriet (Vincent) Hendershott's obituary, as well as other family lore, record that Harriet was in Youngstown, Ohio, not Iowa, when she and her daughters started their move to Oregon. We haven't been able to find any record of Harriet's father, Benjamin Vincent, in Iowa, supporting the possibility that he might not have left Youngstown when Harriet moved to Iowa, or that he might have returned to Ohio after being in Iowa for awhile.
5. From: A. S. Albertson, "The Hendershott Family," pages 55-56 in Sixth Supplement to the History of Union County (Union County Historical Society: cited in Alan J. Hill's 2000 manuscript on James Hendershott).
6. Alan Hill (Bountiful, Utah) and Judy Rascoe (San Francisco, California) both found records that had James Hendershott and his brother Sidney traveling west together. Because we were certain that James was on the 1852 McCully wagon train, and were equally sure that Sidney Hendershott was a member of Asa McCully's 1853 party, we have assumed that the later reports were erroneous. (It would not be the first time that family members remembered and recorded incidents of their ancestors slightly wrong.) However, there is some room for reconsideration. We know that Asa McCully made two overland trips in two years; there is no reason to rule out James Hendershott doing the same thing. He was alone in Oregon without his family, so he would have been free to go with Asa; and we can find no definite record of him in Oregon in early 1853. One of the records found by Alan Hill noted that James helped bring a herd of cattle to Oregon; that occurred on the 1853 trip, and acquiring a herd of cattle was one of the principal reasons for Asa McCully making the second trip. Perhaps the two Hendershott brothers did travel together in 1853.
7. Margaret Strickland (Walla Walla Valley Genealogical Society) provided the cemetery information on the Linns.
8. Sheri Twenge, Eathan Linn's great-great granddaughter, provided the information on Caroline James' parentage, and corrected Elizabeth Linn's married name from "Burgess" to "Burger."
9. Birth and death dates are from the records of the Mountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla, Washington.
10. Benjamin McDonald's death was noted in the 24 September 1915 issue of the Lebanon, Oregon, "Criterion."
11. When "The McCully Train" was written, we had no idea that John McKiernan's son, Edward, had married. Thanks to his descendants Sue and William McKiernan for providing information on several more generations of McKiernans, and for providing a long sought after photograph of John S. McKiernan.
12. The new information on Catherine (Weaver) O'Donald is from a record in the L. D. S. Family History Library I.G.I. files. No source was given, and we have not yet tried to confirm the data.
13. The O'Donald divorce is Marion County, Oregon, case number 1380. Details are found in the Oregon State Archives, Salem.
14. All the new information on Eliza (Cross) O'Donald and her children is from the records of the Salem Pioneer Cemetery (website:!pioneerc/index.html ).
15. From Angelique Plamondon's obituary in the Oregon Statesman 17 June 1887, page 3.
16. Plamondon - Dillon information from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon publications "Genealogical Materials in Oregon Donation Land Claims," volumes I and V. Isaac Dillon had donation land claim number 220l in Linn County, Oregon.
17. Information provided by James D. Boyle and Eleanor Woodard 2004. These reseachers first brought to our attention that Eugene Plamondon's daughter Elmina was from a wife previous to Pocahontas (Davies) Plamondon, as we had believed when we published "The McCully Train."
18. The new information on Elizabeth Illidge and Mary Scott is from the website of the Salem, Oregon, pioneer cemetery (cited above).
19. The new information on Eugene and Mary Plamondon's children came from James D. Boyle, Eleanor Woodard, and the website of the Salem, Oregon, pioneer cemetery.
20. The divorce record for James Dillon Plamondon and Areta Barrett is Marion County, Oregon, case number 13574, on file at the Oregon State Archives, Salem.
21. Information on Francis Flavie Plamondon and his family is largely from information on the Salem, Oregon, pioneer cemetery website.


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