The year 1844 marked the beginning of emigration to the West Coast from the St. Joseph area. St. Joseph was founded in 1843 by Joseph Robidoux near his 1827 trading post. In 1844 it was a new and rapidly growing town and offered many advantages over the Independence/Westport rendezvous of 1841-43. The route was many miles shorter and eliminated the major hazard of the Kansas river crossing. Moreover, many families participating in the westward movement were from the Platte Purchase counties of northwest Missouri in the St. Joseph and Weston vicinity. Added to the state of Missouri in 1836 by treaty with the resident Indian tribes, the Platte Purchase attracted many restless, dynamic and ambitious frontiersmen from the states west of the Alleghenies. Now, less than ten years later, some were ready to push on. Oregon and California were foreign countries in 1844, but Manifest Destiny was in the air, and the new settlers confidently expected to change all that. Oregon was up for grabs under a joint occupation treaty with Great Britain, and the first settlers expected to be rewarded with a free section of land, although legislation had not yet been passed by Congress.
The Cornelius "Neal" Gilliam party blazed a completely new wagon road from St. Joseph westward to intersect the original Oregon & California road from Independence in 1844. Gilliam had advertised in the summer of 1843 that he would lead an emigrant party to Oregon in the Spring, and that the rendezvous would be on the Missouri river's right bank opposite Owen's Landing (present day Amazonia). Camp was set up as scheduled on 9 March, and the journey commenced on 9 May. Eventually the party consisted of 84 wagons and 370 persons when organized west of the Iowa/Sac & Fox Presbyterian Mission.
"Neal" Gilliam was a leader of the type frequently encountered on the frontier. According to his daughter, Martha Elizabeth (Gilliam) Collins (five years old in 1844),he was a personal friend and political ally of Presidents James Monroe and James K. Polk. He had served in the Black Hawk and Seminole Indian Wars, and had held elective office in Missouri as sheriff and in the state legislature. He was also an ordained minister, and as Martha Collins said, "He was used to having people do what he said." No doubt he expected to further his political ambitions in the new territory, and take advantage of the free land offered to settlers who would help secure Oregon for the United States. Probably Gilliam's selection to command can also be attributed to the fact that the party was composed of several related families, including Gilliam's married sons, daughters, and brothers-in-law who could be counted on to support him.
Extensive rainfall and consequent flooding of 1844 have become legend, and caused delays and hardships from the beginning. The topography of the area was only vaguely understood, although general knowledge existed as to the course of Wolf river and the Big Nemaha. West of the South Fork of Big Nemaha was a largely uncharted region. James Clyman, traveling west on the Independence road in 1844, speculated in his journal on 4 June that a better route might exist "Taking the high lands between Kanzas and wolf river still Keeping west after passing wolf river between the Nimahaw and Kanzas until you pass the heads of the Platt." This was precisely the plan which Cornelius Gilliam was in the process of carrying out.
During the almost continuous rainfall of the first six weeks, small creeks became raging torrents, and larger streams overflowed their banks and covered their flood plains from bluff to bluff. A week was required to get the entire party across Wolf river east of the Great Nemaha Subagency when Gilliam's temporary bridge washed away on 12 May. Once beyond the Subagency, Gilliam was on his own. His route from the head of Wolf river to intersect the Independence road south of the Black Vermillion is not certainly known, but Maj. Clifton Wharton followed part of his trail in August of the same year, and Col. Stephen W. Kearny's expedition in May 1845, also sheds light on the subject.
Wharton's report is the more illuminating of the two, because he followed Gilliam's trail from the head of Wolf river to the South Fork of the Nemaha. His report and accompanying map are vague. He was as ill informed of the geography of the region as Gilliam, although he was accompanied by Jim Rogers, a seventy-two year old Delaware Indian guide. Rogers had accompanied John C. Fremont's expedition to the Rocky Mountains in 1841, but was totally unfamiliar with the area they were now traversing. Supposing that Gilliam knew where he was going, Wharton followed his trail into a cul-de-sac formed by the South Fork of the Nemaha and an eastern tributary. Wharton's description of this dead-end pocket conforms perfectly with the point of land formed by the intersection of Harris creek and the South Fork. Although a suitable crossing of the South Fork was later established at future Richmond, about two miles north of present day Seneca, the steep bluffs on the east side and high water which Wharton estimated at twenty feet above bankful, caused Gilliam to retrace his course and locate a crossing higher up the stream (further south).
Wharton estimated that the emigrants lost two days' travel time in this area, and noted two recent graves, one of which was a child. Wharton then ascended the river "three or four miles" to a crossing where the course of the river was from southeast to northwest. He camped between two small waterfalls, probably near Maxwell Spring, east of present day Seneca. Crossing the South Fork, Wharton abandoned Gilliam's trail and attempted to travel due west to the Big Blue. This route cut across the extensive northern tributaries of the Black Vermillion, and his report reflects the attendant problems and tortuous winding of his course, sometimes south, sometimes north, and at other times even eastward, to find a suitable passage for his wagons. After seven miles, Wharton regretted his decision and considered a detour to the south to "regain the great ridge which we here left." Estimating that this would cost him twenty miles' travel, he decided to proceed, no doubt painfully aware that Gilliam had taken the longer southern route.
Gilliam's route from the South Fork of the Nemaha to the Independence road is not known. Due to high water and muddy lowlands, he probably passed southwest around the head of the Black Vermillion near present day Centralia and traveled west on the divide south of the river. A more direct route, known as the Ohio Settlements road, was developed during Territorial days, but this route, even if known to Gilliam, required two crossings of the Black Vermillion and heavy going in the creek bottoms.
The delay between 31 May when Gilliam crossed the South Fork on a temporary bridge, and 7 June when he finally moved up to attempt a crossing of the Black Vermillion was not caused by high water, but by lack of leadership. The birth of a baby on the 31st caused two days' delay at the South Fork, and illness on the part of Mrs. Alec Gage, Gilliam's married daughter, delayed them another day and a half after reaching "Burnett's Trace" (Independence road) on 5 June. Ten wagons of Nathaniel Ford's company from Independence successfully forded the stream on the fifth, but two weeks were to elapse before Gilliam was able to construct rafts and cross his wagons on 18 and 19 June. Rev. Edward E. Parrish, John Minto, and others were unhappy with Gilliam for not pursuing a more aggressive course. Later, on the South Platte river in Nebraska, Gilliam was to forfeit his command, and the party split into several smaller companies, without an overall commander.
Col. Kearny's expedition crossed the St. Joseph trail at only one place, but it clearly establishes the point on the divide between Wolf river and Walnut creek where the emigrants turned nearly due south to head the Walnut creek tributaries. It might be argued that Kearny encountered the emigrant trail again in the vicinity of present day Fairview, since a staff member stated that their route (Kearny's) was nearly the chord of the arc described by the emigrant trail around the head of Walnut creek. Kearny's troops continued northwest to the rock bottom crossing later known as "Baker's Ford" on the South Fork, which became the established route of the St. Joseph & California road. This crossing is on the farm now owned by Jim and Betty Sudbeck of Bern, Kansas. From this point Kearny continued west until he intercepted Wharton's trail of 1844, and camped at the same sulphur spring where Wharton had encamped the previous year. He then turned south over a "vast, elevated and nearly level plain" to cross the Big Blue river near present day Marysville.
The 1845 and 1846 emigrants may have followed Kearny's new route. In any event, some of their journals show that they crossed the Big Blue river seven or eight miles from the intersection with the Independence road, probably near present day Marysville. However, some of the 1845 emigrants were ahead of Kearny and their route beyond the head of Wolf river cannot be positively identified. Word of the difficulties encountered by Gilliam and Wharton no doubt convinced later parties to seek a better route, and knowledge of Kearny's mission to explore a less difficult road probably induced emigrant companies after 1845 to follow his lead.
Francis Parkman, accompanied by his cousin, Quincy Shaw, and three British sportsmen, plus five assorted servants, set out from Ft. Leavenworth in May 1846, for a summer of adventure. Their intention was to follow the trail of Wharton and Kearny to its intersection with the St. Joseph emigrant trail, and then proceed west to Ft. Laramie. A detachment of the 1st Dragoons was one day ahead of them, on their way to Table creek on the Missouri river just below Council Bluffs. Their mission was to meet a boat load of supplies from Ft. Leavenworth and construct Old Ft. Kearny. After passing near the Kickapoo trading post of Pascal Pensineau on Stranger creek, at present day Potter, Parkman lost the trail. Finding it again, he looked in vain for "Clough Creek" (South Fork of Wolf river) where Wharton and Kearny had diverged to the left. Following the Dragoons on what Wharton and Parkman called the "Council Bluffs Trail," they were eventually overtaken by four dragoons who told them they were on the road leading to the Iowa village and Subagency. In fact, Sac & Fox Indians occupied villages on Wolf river, south of the Subagency, which was located on the boundary line between the two reserves. These villages existed at what was later known as Hooper's Ford, about one mile east of present day Leona, and at future Bayne's Crossing, three miles northeast of present day Severance. No doubt the dragoons had one of these villages in mind. Sometime in 1844 these Sac & Fox villages were attacked by Pawnee Indians who claimed the land which had been granted in 1836 by the Federal government as a reservation for the Iowa and Sac & Fox Indians.
On Sunday, 16 May, Parkman wrote that they crossed a deep creek (Wolf river) and had great trouble with the wagons. "Nooned here--a beautiful spot...Shaw and I set out in advance to find the Iowa village, but without success. Struck the St. Joseph's trail. Followed it for many miles over a vast, swelling prairie with scarcely any trees in sight...Camped on a spot occupied about a week since by the Mormons." The Mormons, driven from their homes in Nauvoo, Ill., in February were thought to be enroute to Utah in the summer of 1846. In fact, the only Mormons to cross the Plains in 1846 were the Mormon Battalion, enlisted by Gen. Kearny to fight in the Mexican War. However, overlanders in 1846 were extremely wary of Mormons, fearing reprisals for the brutal treatment meted out by the mobs in Illinois and Missouri.
Very little tangible evidence of the 1844 emigration can be positively identified today. The Missouri river has changed course and destroyed Gilliam's campsite in Burr Oak Bottoms opposite present day Amazonia, and his road to the mouth of Smith creek. However, the trail up Smith creek has been replaced by a modern county road, a portion of which lies very close to the original route.
A water powered grist mill was constructed by the U.S Government north of Troy near the emigrant trail crossing of Mill creek (now Mosquito creek) in 1838. Two thousand eight hundred dollars of Iowa treaty funds was expended on this project, but in a few years it was burned by the Indians themselves as a gesture of defiance. It was probably destroyed before 1844, since neither Minto nor Parrish mentioned it in their journals. Only the millstone has been preserved, and is now exhibited at the Mission. Later emigrant parties reported tree top platforms of Indian dead at Mosquito creek, but this practice was discouraged by the missionaries who constructed caskets for their communicants.
The Kansas Territorial Surveys record the old California road westward from the top of the bluffs at the head of Smith creek, and about one-half mile of this trail, where it descends to the crossing of Wolf river in S27 T2S R20E still exists as a dead-end farm road. Except for addition of a thin layer of crushed rock, this road probably looks much as it did in emigrant days. No grader ditches, culverts, or fences mar the landscape. All evidence of the Wolf river crossing was destroyed when the river was dredged and straightened just prior to World War I.
The log buildings of the Subagency, constructed in 1842, have long since disappeared, and the brick and stone Presbyterian Mission, part of which still stands, was not constructed until the following year. A large communal bark house, belonging to the Iowa Indians and visited by Minto, is gone, and the five double log houses constructed by the U.S. Government in 1842 for selected Iowa tribesmen, survived only a few years before their owners removed doors, windows, and hardware in exchange for liquor and trinkets.
A member of Gilliam's party named Bishop, traveling alone for health reasons, died on 12 May at Wolf river, and was buried at the Mission. Rev. William Hamilton, one of the missionaries, conducted the funeral while some of the more unruly members of the company were noisily racing their horses with Indian braves nearby. Bishop's "costly and complete outfit" was turned over to the Mission and Subagency for their use.
Breaking camp on 15 May, the emigrants moved out on the prairie about eight miles, probably at the head of Roy's creek, known as "Prairie Springs" by early settlers. Here, on 20 May, they organized as a civil and military body, electing "Neal" Gilliam, general, Michael T. Simmons, [Bcolonel, Willard H. Rees, adjutant, and dividing the party into three companies captained by Robert W. Morrison, William Shaw and Richard Woodcock. John Minto, in Morrison's company, married Morrison's sixteen year old daughter in 1847 and became an official member of the family.
On 21 May they moved further out on the prairie and celebrated the wedding of Martin Gilliam and Elizabeth Asabill, Rev. Parrish performing the ceremony. On the twenty-second at a camp on a Nemaha tributary (probably Walnut creek), they were robbed of six prime beef, and their stock was stampeded by Indians from the Subagency. Pursuing the culprits on horseback for eight or ten miles, they found where the Indians had butchered four animals and killed the other two. Proceeding on to the Subagency, and arriving about dark, the emigrants demanded replacement of their stock, which was agreed to by Agent William P. Richardson. As insurance, Gilliam demanded the surrender of the guilty parties, and took them back to camp hostage until all stampeded stock was rounded up. The return to camp took all day, indicating that they were at least twenty-five miles from the Subagency.
On the ridge separating Harris creek and the South Fork of the Nemaha are the two graves identified by Maj. Wharton, exact location unknown. These were only the first of many overlanders buried nearby in the next twenty-five years. Death was a constant companion of emigrant parties, and the major trails became bordered with graves which are thickly clustered at campsites such as Maxwell Spring, located just east of present day Seneca.
It appears that Wharton did not cross the South Fork at the same place as Gilliam. Gilliam's temporary bridge of logs, brush, and earth was probably swept away by high water in a few days, but his approach ramps should still have remained. Wharton found twenty foot perpendicular banks which required several hours to cut down and make passable for his vehicles when he crossed 18 Aug. 1844. If the two waterfalls he described could be located, they would define his crossing but this portion of the South Fork has also been dredged and straightened in recent years.
Somewhere on the divide south of the Black Vermillion it may be assumed that rut swales left by Gilliam's company still exist. Even though no other emigrant party may have followed their track, Gilliam's wagon wheels cut deeply into the rain soaked earth. The subsequent heavy rains most certainly left scars still visible on virgin prairie hillsides. Unfortunately, there is no way to distinguish Gilliam's swales from those of more recent origin.
The Black Vermillion has two major southern tributaries, and Gilliam probably crossed them in their upper reaches. If he was lucky, he found the excellent crossing of the South Fork of Black Vermillion near future Wyoming (present day Lillis). A good crossing of the Clear Fork also existed at future LaGrange, but if Gilliam crossed here he would have intercepted the Independence road much further from the Black Vermillion than the reported distance. Apparently this portion of the journey was made without incident, covering the estimated thirty mile distance in two and one-half days, about average for ox teams.
The next point on Gilliam's itinerary that can be identified with certainty is the point where he intersected "Burnett's Trace" within two miles of the Black Vermillion crossing. John Minto's description of the area confirms that this was, indeed, the trail as mapped by the Public Land Surveys. Minto roamed the countryside during the two week rain delay, and commented on the dome shaped hill about three-quarters of a mile east of the ford, which he called "Blue Mound". Probably covered with cedars in 1844, Minto thought it had a man-made appearance. He also reported firing into flocks of passenger pigeons and noted seeing two red deer. He remembered seeing two wild turkeys in the bottoms of the South Fork of the Nemaha, and prairie chickens were plentiful, but in general, he reported that game was scarce.
James Clyman, veteran fur trader and a member of Ford's company, crossed Burr Oak creek (Black Vermillion) on 24 June, and "found the date of Mr. Gillham's (sic) company having crossed four days previous." North of the Black Vermillion he wrote: "Today struck our old trail made on our return from the mountains in 1827...Some points look quite familiar...our evening camp in particular." This creek was designated "Middle Camp creek" by Clyman, who states that it was about five miles from the Big Blue river. Presently called "Elm creek" on modern U.S.Geological Survey maps, it was known as "Mosquito creek" on their 1886 Marysville 30-Minute quadrangle.
James H. Marshall, traveling west for health reasons wih Andrew Sublette's division of Ford's company, died on 27 June at the campsite some two miles south of the Black Vermillion. His wife had accompanied him from St. Louis to Independence, and Clyman comments in his journal: "Kind companion her worst fears are realized her Husbands bones rest Quietly forever on the bluffs of Oak creek whare no noise disturbes his rest but the carrol of summer wild birds and the nightly howl of the lonely wolf." Sublette's party consisted of a Jesuit priest and about twenty parishioners from St. Louis seeking a healthier home in the West. Half were invalids, and several died enroute.
The landscape has changed in the intervening years, but Marshall still rests quietly in his unmarked grave overlooking the valley of the Black Vermillion. Tuttle Creek Reservoir now extends its upper limits to include the Trail crossing, but the normal water level is forty feet below the floor of the valley. Timber has been cleared and the neighboring villages of Barrett and Bigelow have been demolished, as well as many farm structures. Truly, the scene has reverted to the solitary grandeur described by Clyman.
On 30 June another of Sublette's invalids named Ketchum died ten miles west of the Big Blue river and was buried on a small stream known during emigrant days as "Ketchum's creek" or "Ten Mile branch," somewhere near the intersection of the road established by Kearny in 1845 and the original Oregon Trail from Independence. Clyman states that "Mr. Ketchum was (a) young man his Brother came with him and attended him to his grave in this greate wilderness of Prairie which stretches in all most all directions beyond the field of vision."
Gilliam's further travels followed the original Oregon Trail, and will not be discussed in the context of this article. It was 25 June before they finished crossing the Big Blue river near Alcove Spring, and Minto was nearly drowned in swimming the cattle over the flood swolen stream. Col. Ford had left rafts, and this made their ferrying operations simpler than at the Black Vermillion.
In spite of the fact that floods and indecisive leadership delayed Gilliam's party nearly six weeks, they were able to cross the Blue Mountains of Oregon and enter the Willamette valley in late October and early November without major hardships. In future years, overlanders who reached the Blue Mountains later than September could count on severe problems with snow and freezing weather.
The Oregon pioneers of the 1840s formed the nucleus of the civil and economic life of the region for the next thirty years, although not all remained in Oregon. In 1848, Gilliam was chosen by his neighbors to lead them aginst the Cayuse Indians, and lost his life in an unfortunate firearms accident. Due to his untimely death, his wife was granted only half of the 640 acres promised by the U.S. Government when the time came to prove up. This loss was bitterly resented by the family because of his patriotic service. Some, including Peter Burnett, moved on to California during the gold rush, where Burnett was the first governor of the state of California in 1850.
1. Popularly known as the Oregon Trail, the emigrant road to Oregon & California branched from the Santa Fe Trail west of present day Gardner in Johnson county, and was pioneered by the fur traders in the 1830s. It was variously known as the Independence or Westport road to distinguish it from feeder trails serving later Missouri river rendezvous points. Members of Gilliam's company called it "Burnett's Trace" with reference to Peter Burnett who had led the "Great Migration" to Oregon in 1843. This party consisted of almost one thousand persons and large herds of livestock.
2. Louise Barry, The Beginning of the West (Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, 1972): 578-79 & 1071. Amazonia is the locale of the "Savannah Landings". Nicholas C. Owens had a tobacco warehouse here in 1842, and Elizabethtown was established about a mile upstream in 1845. Charles and William Caples succeeded Owens c1846 and it was known as Caples' Landing until they platted Nodaway City in 1849. In 1851 the settlement was officially re-named Boston. A ferry was in continuous operation after 1846, and sometimes two ferries operated simultaneously from Elizabethtown and Boston. Several veterans of the Gilliam party called it "Caples' Landing" in their memoirs.
3. Martha E. Gilliam Collins, Fred Lockley, ed., "Reminiscences of Martha E. Gilliam Collins", (Oregon Historical Quarterly, 1916) 17:358- 72.
4. James Clyman, "His Diaries and Reminiscences," (California Historical Society Quarterly, Dec.1925), 4:315.
5. Barry, 509-11. Nathaniel Ford's company was guided by Moses "Black" Harris from Independence to Ft. Laramie. Andrew Sublette, who also traveled with this party, was identified by Martha (Gilliam) Collins, and her brother, Smith Gilliam, as their guide as far as Ft. Laramie. If a formal agreement was reached on this matter, it must have been after the two parties made contact somewhere west of the Big Blue river. James Clyman, an experienced frontiersman, was also in Ford's party, although he was four days behind Gilliam's company when he crossed the Black Vermillion on 24 June. Gilliam had no guide from the Missouri river to the Black Vermillion, as far as known.
6. John Minto, H. S. Lyman, ed. "The Oregon Trail in 1844" (Oregon Historical Quarterly, 1901) 2:134. John Minto, a member of Gilliam's company, approximated their route many years later as follows: "We followed the Nimahaw (sic) divide to near the southern head, where we came to the main Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri, on the drainage into the Blue Fork of the Kansas. Col. Ford's company had just passed westward, and had driven across a small stream called the Black Vermillion. The nearest I can now trace the route by names or position is by towns on or near the route. Leaving the agency of the Sacs & Foxes, we passed via Hamlin, Fairview, Woodlawn, and Centralia, crossing Black Vermillion river near Bassett (sic), thence to crossing of Big Blue north of its junction with Little Blue...." (Substitute "Barrett" for "Bassett")
7. Clifton Wharton, "The Expedition of Major Clifton Wharton in 1844," (Kansas Historical Collections 1925) 16:277. In his report for 17 Aug. 1844, Wharton states that "....the timber...was that of the Nemehas (sic) which we had on either hand and that we had got by following the Emigrants into a sort of cul-de-sac. Yet it was but reasonable to follow them...(since) it is understood that they always start with Guides perfectly acquainted with the country...Early after starting this morning we found ourselves on a ridge with evidently plenty of water, as indicated by timber on each hand, the timber on right and left, sometimes being not more than three quarters miles apart."
8. J. Henry Carleton, The Prairie Logbooks, (Bison Book, 1983), 28. The adult grave was encountered some 8 or 10 miles east of the South Fork, perhaps in the Woodlawn vicinity. Carleton mistakenly believed that it was the grave of "Gen." Gilliam's wife.
9. Barry, 509-11. Ford's company formally organized on 25 May at the Wakarusa river crossing, south of present day Lawrence. Heavy rainfall, illness, and recovery of stock stolen by Indians caused some groups to fall behind the leaders until the van and rear guard was separated by as much as two and one-half weeks' travel. James Clyman's companions, who had suffered the stolen stock, arrived at the Red Vermillion crossing to find it completely flooded with water backed up from the Kansas river. After some indecision, they turned up Lost creek to reach the highlands, apparently crossing the Red Vermillion near future Laclede. They rejoined the original trail at "Cannon Ball creek" (Rock creek) near future Westmoreland. Gilliam's company and components of Ford's company were intermixed during the balance of the journey to Oregon.
10. Barry, 545-46. Lt. J. Henry Carleton of Kearny's staff wrote on 21 May 1845, that they crossed a divide late in the afternoon and camped on a Nemaha tributary (Walnut creek?). "On this divide the Oregon Trace from St. Joseph runs and where we intersected it, it bore due south making an immense detour to avoid the branches of the Nemaha that here cut up the country in every direction like the sticks of a fan. Our course is nearly the chord of the arc it describes, but that trace (the emigrants) keeps clear of the streams, while ours passed them with but little trouble."
11. Carleton, 176. "...crossed the main river on a smooth limestone ford several miles higher up than we did on the Pawnee Campaign. We fell into the trace made at that time from the left at 11 o'clock a.m. and followed it for eight miles..."
12. Clough creek was named for Pvt. Clough, a member of Maj. Clifton Wharton's expedition to the Pawnee villages in 1844. He died 14 Aug. at Wharton's first campsite west of Independence creek. The creek's name has not survived to the present.
13. P.L. Gray, Gray's Doniphan County History, (Bendena, KS, 1905) Part II:136.
14. Ibid, I:34.
15. Francis Parkman, Mason Wade, ed. (New York 1947, Harper Brothers) The Journals of Francis Parkman, 422-28.
16. Smith creek empties into the Missouri river at the foot of the Kansas bluffs, and provided a relatively easy wagon access to the interior. It was named for John E. Smith, who was founder and first postmaster of Smithton in 1855, a small village which catered to emigrant needs in the 1850s and 60s.
17. Albert Robertson Graves, Walter B.Montgomery, ed., "Reminiscences", Illustrated Doniphan County (The Weekly Kansas Chief, Troy, KS, 1916), 344. Also see statement by Rev. S.M. Irvin, p.8.
18. Roy E. Meyer, "The Iowa Indians, 1836-85," (Kansas Historical Quarterly),28:276.
19. George A. Root, "Ferries in Kansas", (Kansas Historical Quarterly), 5:378-80. Roy's creek was named for John Baptiste Roy (or LeRoy) who married an Iowa woman and was interpreter for the Iowa Indians when they removed to Kansas in 1837. He operated a trading post and ferry at the old Pawnee village near the confluence of Roy's creek and the Big Nemaha on the Kansas-Nebraska border. He was associated with the Robidoux family in the Indian trade and was deeded "Wolfsgrove" north of present day Highland in 1854 when the Iowa reservation was diminished to its present size.
20. Carleton, 31. "The Oregon Emigrants...turned back and 'headed' it, (S. Fork) bearing off to the south and circling between it and the Blue They must have had a dreadful march of it; wherever they went...their wagons...cut through the turf and sod, nearly up to the hubs of their wheels."
21. Clyman, 4:318.
22. Ibid, 319.
23. Barry, 513.
24. Clyman, 322.
25. Barry, 509.
26. Collins, (Oregon Historical Quarterly, 1916) 17:365.