Nehemiah McDannald

Nehemiah McDannald in front of the McDannald cabin

John and Margaret McDannald's son Nehemiah was born on January 24, 1849 in Brown Co. IL. He traveled with his parents across the plains in 1865 from Illinois to Oregon, when he was 16 years old.

In the 1870 Oregon census, he is "Farm labor", 21 years old, living at home with his parents.
In 1880, he is a "teamster", 31, living at home with his parents.
In 1900, he is 51, living alone in his parents cabin, they have passed away. He is listed as a farmer. Next door is his sister Emma Kralman, widow, and several other Kralman families.
In 1920, he is 70, living alone in the cabin. The Kralman families have moved but the Hodgen families are close. His sister Malinda married into that family, but she passed away in 1915.

Nehemiah never married.

Nehemiah's sister, Alice, had also married into the Hodgen family, but, Alice passed away in 1927, leaving only two children left of John and Margaret's family, Nehemiah and Emma. And then, there was only Emma left, as Nehemiah died on December 11, 1928 in Milton-Freewater, Umatilla County, Orgeon. He was buried in the Ford Cemetery, Milton.

Article from the Milton Eagle, 13 December, 1928.


Nehemiah McDannald, a pioneer resident of this section since 1865, ended his life Monday at his home near Fruitvale, using a shotgun to commit the deed. Mr. McDannald who was a bachelor, lived alone in the log cabin built by his father in 1866. He had recently suffered a fractured collar bone in a fall and refused medical attention. It is believed by neighbors that this injury prompted his self destruction, as he had been known to declare that he would kill himself if he ever became helpless.

McDannald used a very ingeniously devised scheme in carrying out his plans. Placing a kitchen chair with its back to the wall, he laid an old fashioned single barrled shotgun across the chair seat with the butt supported by a stick of firewood, held solidly against the wall. The barrel of the weapon protruded through the back slats with the trigger guard firmly holding the gun in position. He then placed his bare right foot on the chair seat and tied a string attached to the gun trigger around the foot. Bracing the chair and weapon with his left temple to the muzzle of the shotgun and pulled his right toward himself, releasing the charge of shot.

The body was found at about four o'clock Monday afternoon when a nephew, George Hodgen, who lives nearby, went to visit his uncle. Coroner Folsom was summoned and the body taken to Walla Walla.

McDannald was born in Illinois January 24, 1849, and crossed the plains with his parents in 1865. The family settled in the Walla Walla valley and in 1866 his father built the log cabin in which the tragedy occured.

Mr. McDannald is survived by a sister, Mrs. Emma Kralman of Umapine, Ore.

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