About Mary Smith Roelofson

When Thomas Roelofson (1825-1897) was six-months old, his mother Mary, went back to her old home in Kentucky for a visit. She traveled by horseback alone, except for the baby, Thomas, whom she carried before her on the saddle, guiding the horse with her free hand.
Lawrence’s home was always open to ministers. At the time of the Meteoric Shower (in 1832), a number of neighbors flocked to his house in fear.
About 1835, Mary, climbing a fence with a bundle of yarn she was taking to a loom to be woven, fell and broke her right leg just above the ankle, and was bitten on the leg by a sow, which became infected and would not heal. She was bedfast, suffering great and constant pain for about 7 years. Gangrene finally made amputation necessary. The operation was performed at the hands of an unskilled doctor and crude instruments, no anesthetic. Three operations were performed before it would heal. Young Thomas witnessed his mother’s agony and vowed revenge on the Doctor when he grew up, but the Doctor died before he could carry out his threat.
Mary was described as of low stature, blue eyes, and of light complexion and red hair. She loved her home, used crutches when walking any distance after her injury. She did her housework with leg resting on a chair, which she shoved along so she could have it handy when she stopped.
“I have walked with her many times, carrying her knitting bag. I saw her for the last time in 1862; she was blind and feeble.” (Handwritten note in the Oregon State Archives, author unknown)

From Ancestors of Robert Carl Cook, by K. B. Cook

Nicholas and Sarah Hopper Lee

By Hon. Joseph D. Lee

The best information of the Lee family is that three brothers came from Normandy, France, with William the Conqueror in the year 1066. Their Norman name was DeLei and was Anglicized Lee.

Intervening history is too lengthy for recital in this paper. Joseph Lee, related to the Revolutionary Lees, was born in Cape May County, New Jersey, about 1781. When some 30 years of age he married Amy Lunbeck. In 1817 with their first child Jonathan Johnson Lee they moved to Pike county, Ohio, where were born Nicholas, Richard, Joseph Dunn Bradford and several daughters.

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Five High School Youths Brave Sands, Rain, Ocean During 105 Mile Hike

Hike Down Coast Proves Hilarious
By Virginia Muhle

A T-R Feature
Dateline July 1946

Malcolm March, Jim Hart, Dick Bennette, Joe Jensen and Dick Muhle made historic 105 mile trek down Oregon Coast in 1946.It was June 9—day for the realization of several weeks of planning when five McMinnville high school boys set off on the first lap of a proposed 105-mile hike down the Oregon coast. The five, Malcolm March, Jim Hart, Dick Bennette, Joe Jensen and Dick Muhle, planned stops all along the stretch of sand, trees, rain and ocean between Ocean Lake and Reedsport and they intended to make the trek within 10 days.

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The Wolf

As told by Anne Kemp Gowdy

When I was about ten years old – 1853 – there was no school near where we lived in Salem, Oregon. So I went to stay with my married sister, Mary, or Mollie, as we called her. She was living somewhere near the Santiam River. Continue reading

My Grandmother’s Wedding Gown

As told to Elsie Odell Bennette by Beth Gowdy

When my Grandmother, Sally Newbill, was preparing for her wedding in 1828, the most of her outfit was made, spun and woven by her own hands. Continue reading

Paul & Ruby Tuggle’s Short Trips 1975-79

from the diary of Ruby Tuggle Continue reading

John Glenn Newbill’s Slaves

As told to Elsie Odell Bennette by Beth Gowdy about her mother, Anne Kemp Gowdy

John Glenn Newbill of Virginia was a slave owner but his slaves were well treated. When his daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Riley Kemp, moved to Pettis County, Missouri, he gave her a couple. Continue reading

Riley’s Bet

As told by Beth Gowdy

Riley Kemp was sheriff of Pettis County, Missouri, for eight years. Once before an election he and the other candidate made a friendly bet that the one who lost would give the other one an overcoat. Continue reading

The Rattlesnake

by Martha Roelofson Caffee

Among the early pioneers of Kentucky were your great, great, great grandparents, Lawrence and Mary Roelofson who were married in 1796. They were the maternal grandparents of your great grandfather, John T. Gowdy.

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J. T. Gowdy and the Indians

As told to Elsie Odell Bennette by Beth Gowdy about her father

The summer of 1862, John T. Gowdy and a friend went north to Canada to hunt for gold. They had very little success, but John did bring home a very small amount of gold dust.

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Crossing the Plains

Personal Recollections of the Journey to Oregon in 1852, by Mrs. J. T. Gowdy of McMinnville

I was born Nov. 23, 1843, in Pettis county, Missouri, near where the city of Sedalia now is, but there was no city there then, the county seat, Georgetown, was the nearest town from where our farm was.

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The Cougar

As told to Beth Gowdy by her mother, Anne Kemp Gowdy

When I was ten years old, we lived for about a year in a little log cabin in Polk County, near where Fort Sheridan stood. Ever since we had been in Oregon, we had lived in Salem, and had near neighbors with children to play with me. This was a lonesome place, no houses in sight and no near neighbors.

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The Sun Bonnet

Told by Anne Kemp Gowdy.

I was six years old in November, 1849. The next spring I went to school for the first time. We were living on a farm, near where is now the city of Sedalia, Missouri. My teacher was Mrs. Ferguson. She taught, or kept school, as we said then, in her home.

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The Bee Story

As told to Elsie Odell Bennette by Beth Gowdy

Bellpassi was a little town, that was moved to be by the railroad and its name changed to Woodburn. Before that Mr. Brown had the station for the stage stops between Oregon and California. Mrs. Brown cooked for the passengers. The horses were changed there and my father cared for them, and made trips back and forth to Portland.

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The Oxen

As told to Elsie Odell Bennette by Beth Gowdy

Your great grandfather, John T. Gowdy, was only seventeen years old when he crossed the plains in 1852 by ox team. By the time he was telling this story to his children, he had forgotten the name of this river.

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