Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849 - Vol. 1

By Kenneth L. Holmes | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE
The following letter was written, not by Rachel Mills, but by Alfred, the oldest son of Elizabeth and Henderson Luelling, her dearest friends from back home in Salem, Iowa. Evidently the editor of the Oregon farm newspaper, the Willamette Farmer, of Salem, Oregon, had heard of the death of Rachel Mills and sought information about it from the Luellings as to details. This letter is in answer to the editor's enquiry and was published in the Farmer on Saturday, March 26, 1870 (page 37). It has a one-word headline: "Obituary."

DAIRY CREEK,14 March 19, 1870.

DEAR FRIEND: -- Yours of Feb. 18th is received, after considerable time, occasioned by my removal to this place and the consequent necessity of forwarding it to Forest Grove. Mrs. Mills was born in Wayne county, Indiana, April 20th, 1822; died Dec. 11th, 1869, her age was, therefore, 46 years 7 months, 21 days. Her parents removed in 1837 to Henry county, Iowa. She was married in 1842 [ 1841] to Mr. John Fisher, with whom she started to cross the Plains to Oregon in 1847. Mr. Fisher died, June 6th, on Platte River. In August, and on Snake River, she buried a bright little girl, something over 2 years of age. She arrived in Tualitin Plains late in the fall; during the following winter made the acquaintance of a Mr. W. A. Mills, who had been here since 1843. They were married the next spring, since which they resided most of the time in this county, until her death. Her

____________________
14
Dairy Creek is a stream flowing into the Tualatin River in Washington County, Oregon. The most prominent Oregon community that stands on its banks is Hillsboro. The Hudson's Bay Company is supposed to have operated a dairy in that area. Lewis A. McArthur, Oregon Geographic Names, 4th Ed. ( Portland, 1974), 203.

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