Letter Written by Richard Cheadle
Donated by Charlotte Cheadle
Lebanon Dec. 23, 1896
My Dear Boy,
You were asking (*1) me for reminesences of the trip across the Plains (as I crossed them in 1848). Well, we left our home in Iowa 6 miles east of Ottumwa the 4th day of April 1848, two wagons of us; my oldist sister (*2) and her husband Aaron Chamberlain, my second sister (*3)) who afterward married the Rev Lewis Thompson, and myself. We came through Missouri crossing that river at a small town 25 miles above St. Joe called Oregon town at that time. We fell in company in and traveled through Missouri with a Mr. Greenwood from Burlington Ia. He had two teams. We also fell in with two teams belonging to Mr. Blain the father of L. L. Blain of Albany. Just before we reached Oregon town, we fell in with JosephWatts and his Father’s family , J. Watts not being married. The Watts family consisted of 2 boys, and 4 or 5 girls. We also fell in with Daniel Simonds father of D. Simonds of Sodaville, also 3 brothers by the name of Jackson from Ill. With a man by the name of Roberts from Ind.–making in all I think 13 wagons the most of the wagons had two hands. J. Watts had about 300 head of sheep.
With these wagons and sheep we crossed the Missouri river the 4th day of May 1848, camping that night on the banks of said stream right among the Indians making them a present of a beef. There was also a man by the name of Holdrige from Peoria Ill. And family, also one by the name of Armprist (?) From Burlington Ia. They each had a family and one wagon each. This at that time was the Indian territory–not a house from there (save and except 4 forts; to wit Larima, Bridger, Hall, and Boise) to Foster’s in Clackamas Count Oregon. In traveling across the Blues rivers and on towards the South Platte, we formed connection with two other companies known as the Walker Co., and the Bustan (Burstow/Barstow?) Co.–Joseph Watts was Captain of our Co. The Pawnee Indians were said to be hostile, and that was the cause of the companies combining protection. We moved on up the south until above the mouth of the north Platt when we crossed the south Platt and proceeded by way of Ft. Larima to the crossing of the North Platt. It was just after crossing said stream that we came upon a large encampment of Sue Indians. I should have stated before that Holdridge was a member of the Peoria Brass Band, and had his instrument. He frequently played for us as he did at this time. The Indians formed in a square and hoisted the Ms. Flagg. We made them quite a donation and had a nice time.
(*1) Richard Cheadle b. June 13, 1830 Morgan County, Ohio
married Eliza Lodema Lee February 13, 1851 Sodaville, Linn County Oregon
(*2) Adeline M. Cheadle b. October 18, 1825 Morgan County Ohio
married Aaron Chamberlain November 9, 1843
(*3) Sarah Elizabeth Cheadle b. June 19, 1828 Morgan County Ohio
married Rev. Lewis Thompson October 17, 1848 in Oregon (Astoria?)
(These were the 3 oldest of 7 children of Richmond and Mary H. (Keyes)
Richmond Cheadle b. December 26, 1801 Washington County, Ohio died October 30 1875 Lebanon, Linn County Oregon
Mary H, Keyes b.May 11, 1803 Holden, Worcester Co. Mass.; died August 28, 1861 Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon
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