Augustus Wildey Jessee-McDannald Home--> Harry Jessee--> Odie Wildey--> -->Augustus Wildey

Augustus Wildey

Trapper, explorer, school teacher, restaurant owner
Feb 2, 1836 (New York) - Dec 9, 1931 (Santa Ana, Calif.)

          | Archibald Jessee
      | Abraham L Jessee --------------|    1850-1911
      |    1868-1938 | Mary Ann Purcell
    Harry Jessee --------------|        1833-1873
       1894-1950 |   | Augustus Wildey
    | | Odie Wildey --------------|    1836-1931
    |      1877-1958 | Mary Jane Roberts
     Linnie Rexene Jessee ------------|          1833-1906
        1922- |     | John Tho. McDannald
    | | David W McDannald --------------|    1817-1890
    | |    1851-1926 | Margaret Cull
    Gladys McDannald --------------|        1817-1887
       1892-1967 |   | Samuel Reeves
      | Lucetta Reeves --------------|    1827-1899
           1859-1931 | Lydia Cleminson

Augustus Wildey (1836-1931)

Agustus Wildey - 1915 - Santa Ana, California Augustus "Gus" Wildey was born February 2, 1836 in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York.(1).
His parents were Edward Wildey (1812-1880) and Nancy A. (unknown last name) (1816-1861).

Edward Wildey’s parents were Eli Wildey (1784-1860’s) and Anna Fenton(1782-1860’s). The Wildey family history goes back to the early days of New York in the 1650's. Augustus' great great grandfather was Thomas Wildey, who died in the Revolutionary War in 1776 during the Battle of White Plains where George Washington was almost captured by the British.

Edward and Nancy had only two children, Augustus and Ebenezer. His brother Ebenezer married young and was drafted into the Union Army during the Civil War. He was killed in the war, leaving his widow to fend for herself as a house servant.

Augustus lived with his parents until his late teens. In the mid 1850's he left New York taking the Panama route to the California gold fields. He bounced around the gold fields for awhile, and then traveled north, where he was a school teacher, trapper and hunter along Idaho/Canada Border for nearly 15 years.

His mother Nancy died in 1861, after which, his father, Edward Wildey moved to Albia, Iowa. This must have been quite a decision for Edward, as the Wildey family had been living in New York for 200 years.

Around 1870, Augustus took a break from his wanderings and came to Iowa to visit his father. It was in Albia, Iowa that me met 38 year old Mary Jane Roberts, considered an "old maid" in those days. She was a worker in a millinery shop. After he returned to his travels in the west, he began writing her letters. The letters still exist in a University collection. In the letters he talked of his travels. He mentions having been a prisoner of Indians at one time. The last of those letters was dated February 21, 1872. He mentioned having written to her the previous March and he asked if his father was still living. He also asked "Miss Roberts" to write to him at Hole in the Rock, Idaho. Apparently she did write back, because they were married at Albia, Iowa, on April 17, 1872.

It was decided to move to Kansas, and Edward Wildey, Mary Jane's parents, John and Margaretta Roberts, and Augustus and Mary Jane Wildey moved there all together. Most people were moving there for the free government land, but Augustus was not much of a farmer, so he tried his hand had running a restaurant. Around 1880, Edward Wildey was returning from a visit to Iowa when his buggy overturned and he was killed. Around the same time, Mary Janes' parents also passed away. They are all buried in Kansas.

Augustus and Mary Jane had three children, one of them dying in childhood. The other two daughters were named Ossie Della "Odie" Wildey and Sara "Sadie" Wildey.

Sadie married Alfred "Alf" Warren and they had three children, Effie, Bernice and Carl Warren. Effie married Alvin Teal, and had one boy, Russell. Bernice, married Harry Foot, and had a girl Jean. Carl married Jill and had Thatcher, Goodell and Tommy.

Ossie Della Wildey, who first went by the name Della, met and married Abraham Lincoln "Linc" Jessee, from Virginia, who was in Kansas visiting his sister. Linc and Odie came to Santa Ana, in Orange County California in 1900. Odie wrote to Sadie still in Kansas and said they grew pumpkins in California to feed the cattle, and one particular pumpkin was so big they couldn't carry it to the cows.

A couple of years later, Sadie and Alf Warren, along with Sadie's parents, Augustus and Mary Jane Wildey, moved to Santa Ana to join Della and Linc Jessee.

Mary Jane Roberts Wildey died in 1906 and was buried in Santa Ana Pioneer Cemetery. Gus lived with the Warrens until he died in 1931, at the age of 95, and is buried in an unmarked grave in Fairhaven Memorial, Santa Ana. His two daughters and most of his grandchildren are buried there also.

(1). Various family trees give has birth year from 1832 to 1840, but census records from 1840 to 1930 generally give 1836 as his birth year. According to 1830 and 1840 U.S. Census records, his family lived in Bainbridge, so that's where I'm assuming he was born.

Census Records
For Augustus Wildey and Wildey ancestors

For more on Wildey family history back to 1635, click here: Wildey History

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