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

By Kenneth L. Holmes | Go to book overview

Across the Plains in 1845 Betsey Bayley

INTRODUCTION

Her maiden name had been Elizabeth Munson, nicknamed "Betsey." She and Daniel Dodge Bayley were married in Madison County, Ohio, on February 14, 1824. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on February 29, 18041 a leap-year baby. Daniel was a native of Grafton County, New Hampshire, born July 8, 1801.2 He was listed in the 1850 Federal Census of Oregon as a farmer. There are other sources that designate him as a shoemaker and a merchant. He served as postmaster both of Chehalem, and of Garibaldi, Oregon, the latter town which he is supposed to have named for the great Italian patriot, who was a Bayley hero.3

When the Bayleys crossed the Plains in 1845, there were seven children. They, too, were listed in the 1850 census as Timothy, 20 years; Caroline, 18; Mianda, 16; Bishop Asbury, 11; Zernai, 9; Iola, 7, and Delphine, 4 years old. All of the children were born in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, except the last-named who was born in Missouri.4

The Bayley family had moved from Ohio to the area of Savannah, Missouri, near St. Joseph, in 1841. Even at that time they had ideas of farming much farther west, looking

____________________
1
Myron A. Munson, The Munson Record, 2 vols. ( New Haven, 1895), 1:503-07.
2
Donna M. Wojcik., The Brazen Overlanders of 1845 ( Portland, 1976), p. 384.
3
Lewis A. McArthur, Oregon Geographic Names, 4th Ed. ( Portland, 1974), pp. 147, 302-03.
4
Elsie Youngberg, Oregon Territory, 1850 Census ( Lebanon, Oregon, 1970), p. 301; Wojcik, op. cit., pp. 384-85.

-31-

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