1843 Wagon Train Pioneers

1843 Wagon Train Pioneers

updated: 4 July 2002

Travelers on the Trail, A - M

"The following list contains the names of every male member of that great train over the age of sixteen years. It was prepared by [James Willis] NESMITH when the train was organized, and preserved among his papers for a third of a century before given for publication.

(Publication was in TOPA [Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Association] 1876, The Occasional Address of Hon J W NESMITH with this list appearing on pp 49-51.)

All reached the Willamette Valley, except a few, the exceptions being designated by marks and foot notes:" --[The original published list was "corrected by Nellie B PIPES, Secretary, Oregon Historical Society" prior to publication in TOPA. The list below is re-alphabetized and notes included for this publication. I have also compared it name-by-name with the list published by Jesse A APPLEGATE in A Day with the Cow Column in 1843 [Chicago: Caxton Club, 1934], which lists the adult male immigrants on pp 195-201. Jesse APPLEGATE and William MARTIN split the Wagon Trail into two units, and Jesse led the group with herds of cattle.]

Please notify me of any errors, corrections, or links to other sites on these names -mjr]

source coding key:

JWN = James W NESMITH list
JAA = Jesse A APPLEGATE list
Oregon Genealogical Society, Pioneer Certificate Project Springfield/Eugene.

Charles APPLEGATE married Melinda MILLER, per OGS Pioneer Certificate.

At sixteen years of age, Jesse Applegate worked for the Missouri Surveyor General's Office. In 1831, he married Cynthia Parker. They moved to Oregon in 1843. He settled first in Polk County and worked for the Territorial Government as the first Surveyor General in 1844. Jesse was appointed Captain of the third successful road exploration party in 1846 (The Applegate Trail). Jesse settled in Yoncalla OR on his donation land claim, but lost all of it in 1866 due to indebtedness. He left Oregon in 1872 and went to California. He made enough money to return to Yoncalla, where he spent the rest of his days raising grapes in the first established vineyard in Douglas County. Jesse died in 1888 in Yoncalla. --from his thumbnail biography from the Douglas Co OR Museum.

Lindsay APPLEGATE married May CARPENTER, per OGS Pioneer certificate.

Lindsay Applegate took up a Donation Land Claim in Yoncalla after the road expedition of 1846 and established the Grist Mill on Halo Creek (Halo was the chief of the Yoncalla Indians). Lindsay was a carpenter by trade, building the first Ferry in Polk County in 1844. Lindsay owned the Toll Road out in the Siskiyous along the trail, finally selling to Dollarhide in the 1860's. Lindsay was also an indian agent in Klamath Falls. He spent his last days with his family and died in 1892. -- from his thumbnail biography from the Douglas Co OR Museum.

The three APPLEGATE brothers and extended families rafted the Columbia and lost some members. They determined to find a safer route to the Willamette Valley, and did, by blazing the Applegate Trail in 1846 to Humboldt NV, connecting with the California Trail there. For information about the South Road Expedition, go to The Applegate Trail.

TOPA [Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Association] 1887 p 96-104 has the article, A Brief Account of the Experiences of A Pioneer of 1843 by John Arthur.

"I have information that my gg grandfather William ARTHUR III travelled with the APPLEGATES over the Oregon Trail in 1843. I am trying to follow this line back to William ARTHUR II (eventually to William ARTHUR I). Names mentioned in the anecdotal writings I have are "Jesse APPLEGATE and relatives, the DELANEYS, MINEVICH, EPHRAIM, NIMROD, John FORD, J J JAMES, W C ANDREWS, A J HEMBREE and William WALDOX. Peter H BURNETT was elected Captain and J W NESMITH was orderly Sargeant part of the trek, then William MARTIN was the captain. The ARTHUR family stopped for a few days at the Dalles. Here they put all their belongings on rafts and rafted them down the Columbia River to Fort Vancouver......" e-mail: MRS INGRID M STEINWASCHER

[reportedly turned off at Fort Hall and went to California]; but may be the John BOARDMAN who met John McLOUGHLIN at Ft Vancouver.

"Oris BROWN is the eldest son of Tabitha Moffatt BROWN of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. He came out in 1843, took up a land claim and then returned East to bring out his family( wife and about 13 children), his mother, and his younger sister and her family. Oris settled in the Forest Grove area along with his mother. His sister settled in the Salem area." --from Norma FRISCH, 27 Oct 1998.

Peter H BURNETT, from Tennessee, joined his Oregon neighbors in organizing the provisional government in 1843. "After service as a member of the Supreme Court of Oregon, he organized a party to pioneer the gold fields of California ... before he became the first governor of California in December 1849. peter burnett photographLater, he was a Supreme Court Justice of California. It is interesting to note that the primary purpose of Peter H. Burnett's pioneer pilgrimage to Oregon and to California was to enable him to pay his business associates in St Louis MO an indebtedness he could not otherwise meet. In 1852 he paid them the last dollar of indebtedness with interest, amounting to $28,740." from How Adventurous Gold Miners Won Immortal Fame as Lawmakers found at the Museum of the City of San Francisco.

The Oregon Blue Book [1989-90, p 433] includes this quote from Peter BURNETT: "At every public meeting, it was easy to distinguish the new from the old settlers. They were lank, lean, hungry and tough. We were ruddy, ragged and rough. They were dressed in broadcloth, wore linen-bosomed shirts and black cravats while we wore very coarse patched clothes; the art of patching was understood to perfection in Oregon. But while they dressed better than we did, we fed better than they. They wanted our provisions while we wanted their material for clothing.
"Many of the men immigrants were childish, most of them discouraged, and all of them more or less embarrassed. There was necessarily, under the circumstances, a great hurry to select claims; and the newcomers had to travel over the country in the rainy season in search of homes. Their animals being poor, they found it difficult to get along as fast as they desired. There were no hotels in the country ... the old settlers had necessarily to open their doors to the new immigrants ... our families were often overworked in waiting upon others and our provisions vanished before the keen appetites of our new guests. They bred famine wherever they went."

George BUSH was one of the first free black men west of the Rocky Mountains (the earlier LEWIS & CLARK expedition included CLARK's slave, York; also, Moses Black HARRIS and Jim BECKWOURTH were born into slavery, but were "free men" while working in the fur industry, HARRIS in 1823, BECKWOURTH in 1824), and one of the first black settlers in Oregon Territory, then the first in Washington Territory. He was a free black from the South, and lived in Missouri several years before coming west on the Oregon Trail in 1843 [editor: 1844], in one of the earliest years of the wagon trains. Upon arriving at the end of the trail, he found that the whites already in the Willamette Valley had decided to ban all blacks, slave or free. They could not very well send him and his family back east on the trail, so they allowed him to settle a number of miles north of the Columbia River, in unsettled land past the known frontier, making him one of the very first US citizens to settle in what is now Washington. As other settlers arrived, he became prosperous and very well respected. found at Note 1 by Kevin FRALEY in the 1850 Census, Lewis County, Oregon Territory

Much more biographical information about George Washington BUSH is found at Black Pioneers of the Pacific Northwest, which also says he came in 1844, not 1843.

More historical information: State owes much to George W. Bush -- a black pioneer (newspaper story). George Washington Bush was with the Cornelius Gilliam Caravan to Oregon in 1844. See St. Joseph: 1844 Gateway to Oregon

"F C CASON was Fendall Carr CASON, b 14 Oct 1799, took Donation Land Claim (DLC) #92 in Clackamas County. He appears in the 1850 census as F C CARSON. He came to Oregon with his family, including wife Rebecca Rawlings (HOLLADAY) CASON, b 23 Jan 1803, daughter Frances Caroline CASON, b 28 Nov 1824; William Alexander CASON, b 23 Apr 1828 (DLC#970); Adoniram (Ad) Judson CASON, b 27 Nov 1829; James Pulliam CASON, b 5 Jan 1832; Joseph Holladay CASON, b 19 Dec 1833; John Lewis CASON, b 1836; Thomas Benton CASON, b 1 June 1840; Benjamin Franklin CASON, b 17 June 1842.
The daughter Rebecca Rawlins CASON, b 13 Sep 1826, married Peter Grant STEWART in Missouri, and they traveled in the same train with the CASON family. P G STEWART was later elected to the Executive Committee of the Provisional Government of Oregon, on 14 May 1844. In the same election, Dr John E LONG was elected Territorial Recorder or Clerk; Dr. Long married Frances Caroline CASON on 31 July 1845. The Dictionary of Oregon History records that Dr LONG arrived in Gladstone OR in 1843.
If you would like any more information, let me know. STEWART, CASON and LONG have much information printed about them, and I have papers belonging to PG STEWART, in an old leather trunk he brought over the trail." Jon Ridgeway, Bellevue WA.

I would like to know more about FC and James CASON that took the Oregon Trail and I guess, didn't stop until the only thing left to the West was water. Ben CASON in MD.

From: Richard F. Klein "the name Joseph CHILDS should be changed to Joseph CHILES. This is a frequent mix-up with an Andrew CHILDS of that era. See John UNRUH Jr. The Plains Across page 77, and other sources." [including JAA]
Dick, (member Or.-Ca.Trails Assoc.) 11 Nov 1996

Go to Oregon State Archives Search and type in "ransom clark" to see entries for his 1845 marriage to Lettice Jane MILLICEN, an 1846 land claim, and his 1859 estate records.

See a picture of his 1859 [?] cabin at Fort Walla. Noted by Don HOWARD at Univ of KY.

Married Elizabeth Ann LINEBARGER; from Jasper MO. --OGS Pioneer Certificate Project.

"Daniel DELANEY came with his three sons, wife, and black slave, Rachel. They settled near Turner. Daniel was murdered. His killer was hanged. I have copies of several articles about the DELANEYS published many years ago by historical societies. I also have family information." Dianne Baker

"William Clement DEMENT was born 10 March 1823 in Washington DC. He died 2 Jan 1865 in Oregon City OR and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery there. He married Olive JOHNSON on 4 July 1846 in Oregon City. William was founder of the Oregon City Woolen Mills and the Oregon City Railroad. They had 7 children. There is an interesting account of his brother John Daniel DEMENT (1825 - 23 Jan 1891) written up in a recent book called "Ship of Gold". John D DEMENT was one of the few survivors of the NC shipwreck. The ship was transporting the CA gold to the east coast." -- 1 Jun 00, from Dawn DEMENT DETRING, Treasurer of the Dement Family Association.

Nineveh FORD photograph

Nineveh FORD, 1815 NC - 1897 OR. Read his 1878 narrative account of the Oregon Trail and country.

I am a great great grandson of Ninevah FORD. His daughter Martha Jane (FORD) RULAFORD was my great grandmother. I have taken up the research started by my late brother Douglas. Through Stephenie FLORA's 1843 Oregon Pioneers annotated list I have contacted another g-g-grandson, Bill KELLEY. Ninevah's obit mentions 11 children, and we have identified 10 of them. I would like to contact others researching this family. See my genealogy web page, or send e-mail: Cecil HOUK, USN (Ret), San Diego CA.

my g-g-g-Grandfather William Beverly FRAZIER traveled along with his brother Abner and his mother Sally (Sarah Russell FRAZIER McHEALY) who was married to John McHEALY. Will FRAZIER also traveled on the 1845 Train. I'd love to get more information on them!" --31 Aug 99, Heather BERNARD

"I am interested in finding information on Captain GANTT." --email:Marilyn Haworth CUMMINGS, Ocala FL.

Absalom Jefferson HEMBREE m Nancy DODSON, per OGS Pioneer Certificate project

"Samuel J HENSLEY was also one of the same party [which arrived in 1843 in CA]." - from The Century Magazine (Dec 1890) - Life in California Before the Gold Discovery

[JAA: H H HYDE]. Henry Harrison HYDE of New York m Henrietta HOLMAN, per OGS Pioneer certificate.

"I have information and pictures of my great, great grandparent Almoran Hill and his wife Sarah Hill. Would love to exchange info with others. Send inquires to "??Jack Lord??

"I was surprised that Glen O BURNETT wasn't listed. I thought he was on the same wagon train that Peter was on. Daniel HOLMAN was one of my great+ grandfathers. He married the daughter of Glen BURNETT. Her name was Martha." 8/9/97 from Elizabeth L SMITH

He participated in blazing The Applegate Trail. "John Jones traveled a lot after the road expedition. He settled in California and is believed to have died in Idaho." -from Douglas Co OR Museum bio notes.

"This is my great-grandfather. He is one of 4 KELSEY brothers; three went to California. This one settled in the Bellfountain area [southern Benton County], then moved to Harrisburg and died c1894. My grandfather Jesse KELSEY was b 1869, died at Eugene OR in 1937. I am contacting cousins in California [descended from the "other" KELSEYS] to learn more about names and stories." Warren WALSH

"We might have some info on the KEYSER family. We spell it KEIZUR and if I am correct Keizer OR was our homestead." Sue & David RUTH

Lots more KEIZUR information at Stephenie FLORA's 1843 page. There is also a book, The KEIZER Story (KEIZUR) by Daisy KEIZUR BARRETT & Ginger POWERS at the Brownsville Historical Museum

Thomas Dove KEIZUR married Mary GURLEY, per OGS Pioneer Certificate.

[Aaron Maxwell LAYSON, 1820 LA - 1886 OR; married Sarah Jane MATHENY, daughter of Daniel MATHENY. (see genealogical and historical link there for both.)

This may be (Capt) David Thomas LENOX, from Todds Creek, Missouri, who married Louise SWAN and founded the first Baptist church west of the Rockies, at West Union (west of Portland). The original building still stands. This family was featured as a Pioneer Family of the Month at End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in March 1998. There is also information about him in Blazing a Trail to Oregon, A Weekly Chronicle of the Great Migration of 1843 by Lloyd W COFFMAN, 184 pages. Buy the Book Today! from Amazon.com.

"I am descended from Lewis (Lew) LINEBARGER, and his son John. Lewis and Jane (HENDERSON) LINEBARGER made the trek with seven other children besides John, who was 16 at the time). Daughter Elizabeth married Lewis COOPER (listed above). The family settled first on the Tualatin Plain, in Washington County, then took up a Donation Land Claim near Tangent in Linn County, where my grandfather, Lewis Edwin LINEBARGER, was born. The older brothers fought in the Cayuse Indian War, and then went to the gold fields in California. Many of them later returned to settle in California. Lewis and Jane remained in Linn County and are buried in Sand Ridge Cemetery." --30 Dec 1999, Jacquelin (Jackie) McLAUGHLIN

"Jesse LOONEY is my g-g grandfather. He was married to Ruby Crawford BOND and they crossed the plains with six children. They eventually had 14 children. They settled on the Santiam River near what is now Jefferson in Marion Co. He is buried there on Looney Butte. He became a large land owner and left each of his sons a large farm, some of which is still owned by his descendants. Would love to hear from any other descendants."
--1 Aug 2001, Barbara CARPENTER

"Andrew Jackson MASTERS married to Sarah Jane JENKINS. Her parents, the Willis JENKINS, came on the 1844 wagon train and settled in Goldendale WA. The MASTERS settled in Reedville where their home is still standing and occupied, and is listed as a Century House. A J MASTERS was shot in the back and killed over a property line dispute on a Sunday morning. Sarah JENKINS MASTERS eventually married a Mr WILLOUGHBY from whom I am descended. Following that marriage, she married Mr Noah MULL. My father is 83 and remembers Sarah's son, his grandfather, Charles WILLOUGHBY." --29 Nov 1999, from Chris McKINLEY

There appear to be 15+ pages devoted to "The Death of A J MASTERS" in the book Washington County : politics and community in antebellum America, by Paul Bourke and Donald DeBats

My g-g-g-grandfather Daniel MATHENY and my g-g-grandfather Henry HEWITT were on the 1843 wagon train. Daniel MATHENY was one of the leaders of that train. The Wheatland ferry was owned by grampa MATHENY and now carries his name, he also started the town of Wheatland. Half of the Hopewell Cemetery is filled with relatives of mine who came here in the early days before statehood. 6/9/97 from Walt Davies in Monmouth, OR

See photos and biographical information about the MATHENY and HEWITT families at Pioneer Family of the Month at End of Oregon Trail interpretive Center site.

The HEWITT-MATHENY-COOPER Family Association has more biographies and information on these families.

See genealogy of Daniel and brother Henry Younger MATHENY posted by John CARLISLE

Henry Younger MATHENY married Rachel COOPER, per OGS Pioneer Certificate. Also see the link above for genealogy. Henry is a brother of Daniel.

possibly Jasper Newton MATHENY, age 9, son of Daniel. Jasper b 1834 IL, d 1893 CA]

"Walter Jefferson MATNEY was born in 1817 in Knox Co TN to Broadwater and Sarah (McCULLY or McCULLOUGH) MATNEY. He married (1) Martha Jane ---- in 1847 at Dallas OR [Polk Co]; and (2) Julia Ann COOPER in 1853 at Dallas OR. Walter J MATNEY died in Modoc County CA in 1874. He had 10 children, all born in Oregon. His son, John B MATNEY is my GGGrandfather. He married Alida LESTER and lived in Wasco Co at The Dalles for many years, but also lived in Gilliam Co and Polk Co. I would appreciate any information on this family in Oregon." 7 May 98. , Cottage Grove OR (27Jun2002).

"We have a great deal on Walter Jefferson MATNEY but are missing the Oregon Trail acivities for him, except for a duel written about by Charlotte MATHENY KIRKWOOD. I would like to know if there are any more writings like that?
Walter is my Great Grandfather. His son (my Grandfather), William H MATNEY, m Sarah Pearl PENROSE. They had 5 children: Goldie, Alice, Faye, Mary & James. James is my father. The family settled and still live in Jackson Co OR. Please contact me to meet more of the MATNEY family." 26 May 1998 -- Dan MATNEY; (doing MATNEY genealogy since 1972), see my Web Page and MATNEY research list!

John Burch McCLANE was born 31 Jan 1820 in Philadelphia PA to John and Mary (SWALLOW) McCLANE. He came west with Dr Marcus WHITMAN, and took up a claim in 1844 near Salem. He served in the Cayuse War as an aide to Gen GILLIAM. In 1848 he wintered in California, looking for gold, and returned in 1849. First postmaster at Salem; county treasurer 1851-1852; Indian Agent for Grande Ronde Reservation; 14 children. -from History of the Pacific Northwest, pp 451-452, courtesy of DCOLLVER.

"I am a descendant of John Burch McCLANE and I have a typed copy of the interview done with him in 1878 by the historian BANCROFT (available on fiche at Oregon Historical Society). McCLANE married Helen C JUDSON, daughter of the missionary Lewis Hubbell JUDSON. John & Helen's daughter, Anna Maria Isabelle McCLANE married my great great grandfather, James Hodson McCORMICK. He had a son, James Jay McCORMICK who married Jesse May SMITH, daughter of Hiram Jackson SMITH, (son of) another Salem Pioneer. My Grandmother Katherine was their daughter." --6 Oct 99, mailto: David COLLVER

John McHEALY was married to my g-g-g-g-grandmother, Sarah Russell FRAZIER, mother of William Beverly FRAZIER and his brother Abner FRAZIER. I'd love to get more information on them!" --31 Aug 99, Heather BERNARD

"John McHALEY is my g-g-g-grandfather. Over the past 15 years I have acquired information on his descendants, siblings, and ancestors that I will share with anyone who is interested." --6 Apr 2001, Burt McHALEY,PO Box 550, Chimayo NM 87522.

Miss Jane MILLS is mentioned by Capt James NESMITH at Independence Rock

You mentioned a Gilbert MONDON as coming to the Willamette Valley in 1843. My William "Gilbert" MUNDEN was believed to have come about 1850-1852! We'd sure like to know if this one is ours! He married an Elizabeth DEAN either in MO or OR about 1850. Any info appreciated! 7/1/97 from JaNa Alexander

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Accessed times since 19 Feb 1998

updated: 4 July 2002