I Joseph Bowles, married Octavia P. Rollins, a
daughter of Lloyd Rollins of Clark Co., Mo., April 16,
1843. To us were born 6 children, namely, Louisa C. born
Feb 10, 1844, America V., Dec 8, 1845, Scott, Jan 21, 1848,
Jesse M., Mar. 11, 1850, Anne E., Sept. 30, 1852 and
Bourbon, Nov. 23, 1857. America V. died Aug. 14, 1850 and
was buried in the Locust Grove Cemetery.
On April 19, 1852 Coleman Talbot and family, T. H.
Tate and family, myself and family, Michael Couchman, John
Oliver and five sisters of my wife and their families left
Quincy, Ill., with ox teams for California. There were 16
wagons on the train. We had a very pleasant journey
crossing the plains, excepting our fear of Cholera, which
followed the trains to the Black Hills. We lost two
teamsters with the dreadful scoourge. In passing up the
Platte River it was a daily occurrence to witness from one
to ten fresh made graves, the victims of Cholera. Other-
wise we got along jolly and happy, not withstanding we had
to be vigilant in guarding camp and stock whilst passing
throught the Indian settlements. Our train was lucky in
getting through without any serious loss of property,
whilst other trains suffered more or less by the thefts and
depredations from the treacherous redskins.
We crossed the Nevada mountains by the Beckwith Pass.
The first mining we saw at 76. [?] The next we came to was
the Rabbit Creek mines. Here we laid off a few days for
rest and some of the train men went to work in tunnels,
among whom were Michael Couchman, John Oliver and others.
Couchman and Oliver both died at Rabbit Creek the following
spring, of exposure in the damp tunnels. Here our train
separated, some going to one place some to another. Bros.
Talbot and Tate, and myself and our families continued on
to Sonoma Valley, California, where we arrived about the
[?] of Oct. 1852.
Sister America Tate after remaining a widow 4 or 5
years married John Simpson of San Francisco. He died in
1886 and sister America died April 9, 1887 at White Sulphur
Springs, near Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co., California. My
sister Drusilla Talbot and myself are the only survivors of
our father's family.
I will now revert back to the pioneer settlement of
the Military Tract of Illinois. My father, after arriving
at our destination in Adams Co., Illinois, in the fall of
1830, was hard pressed to find a vacant house to winter in.
He finally secured an unfinished log cabin 6 miles N.E. of
Quincy. But before we could dob the cracks a cold blizzard
struck us and froze the mud as hard as bricks. So we
abandoned the idea of dobbing and lined the cabin with the
tent cloths and wagon covers. This was the noted winter of
the deep snow which fell in Dec. and Jan. of 1830/31.
After the snow had settled and crusted on top it measured
three feet deep and laid on the ground three months. The
drifts were 10 to 15 feet in depth. We kept from freezing
by rolling huge hickory logs into the 5 foot sod fireplace
which we had to keep at white heat both day and night
during the cold snap.
To be continued.