The Recollections of an Octogenarian
By Willis B. Newton

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If you have a family member in this Manuscript we would love to hear from you.  Please send a private email to admin@wagontrain1865.com.  We also are very interested in any new information that can be added to the Documentation of this story.  Please send us a private email.  Thanks.

Showing: 21-25 of 29
June Mc Cloud said:   August 24, 2013 9:26 pm PST
WOW! Thank you! A job well done. I am descendent of the Hutchisons. I read with smiles & tears. To actually read words that they said, and things they did makes me stand in awe and amazement. The hardships they went through makes me feel love & thankfulness to them. I wonder if they ever thought of us. I appreciate the part where Willis told of Charlotte's mother, Nancy Richardson Hudson, teaching her daughters to spin and weave. That told me something personal about her. She is my great great great grandmother born 1801 Virginia died 1856 Arkansas. Also parts telling of; the broken wagon wheel and fixing it, when Lizzie was needed to heard the cows and out did the boys (she was a husky girl), when Almira had to drive the wagon, the Oath of alegence at El Paso, when Billy Truman took the rope to swim the river instead of Willis. Each of these incidences show the character of these people. The part that took me unexpectingly by surprise and means a lot to me is when Willis was telling the deer hunting story about his neighbor whos name was Borrel, neighbors who lived at the foot of San Saba Peak. I stopped, took a deep breath, the tears ran down, and I said ,"Whoa!" Not only are Hutchison my great great grandparents, but also Burrel Neighbours who was a Texas Ranger at that time. I had often wondered if these families knew each other. Burrell died of small-pox in 1869 on the way to California His wife, son James and the rest of the family finished the trip and lived in Downey area. In 1881 James married Fannie Hutchison. Two of Burrell's brothers Allen W Neighbours and S.M. (Simpson Monroe) Neighbours are listed on the 1864 wagontrain. Allen W. Neighbours story is on the same page (577) as Willis Newton in the book of History of Los Angeles County, 1889. Again, Thank you to all who had part in making this manuscript available it is amazing. Thank you, to Helen Fagerburg for letting me know about it. June McCloud

Helen Fagerburg said:   July 6, 2013 1:12 pm PST
Thank you for putting this site together, and to Paul Baker for directing me over here. We are both descended from William L. Baker & Celia Ann Cole, who was a sister of Capt. Jack Cole. The story had been passed down in my family that the Baker family had come out to California in 1863, with brother George Cole, but I see that both of those details were incorrect. Another detail that was passed down, and is more likely to be correct, is that Mollie Baker, age 4, broke her leg while trying to brace her hands on the shoulders of the oxen and swing down, something she had seen the bigger boys doing. The story goes that she was laid up in some sort of hammock for about 6 weeks while it healed. My grandmother also told me that half of the children in the wagon train died; I'm glad that family legend is completely false. Perhaps it has roots in the cattle that were lost in the wagon train just ahead of the Newtons? It's certainly interesting how the threads of the original story get woven and distorted down through the generations.

Paul Baker said:   July 5, 2013 10:56 am PST
Correction: My mistake on the last entry. Billy Baker is the brother-in-law to Captain Cole, so he is married to Capt. Cole's sister, not niece. Thank You again for the great story, Paul

Paul Baker said:   July 5, 2013 10:50 am PST
Great story. I learned something new. My Great Great Great Grandfather is seen here in the story as "Billy Baker", Married to Capt. Cole's niece in the last chapter. He ended up passing away around 1867 or so, and is buried somewhere around Downey CA today.

Barbara Pickering said:   June 4, 2013 7:54 pm PST
My sister-in-law owns the ranch in San Saba where the indians attacked Billy and Sampson Cole. Were these the same Coles that were on the wagon train 1865? I loved the book that you wrote!

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