Jefferson County



Mt. Vernon, IL Register News - January 7, 1928

Deputy Sheriff Lamar MILLS commenting this morning on the Register-News 
story yesterday regarding the death of Henry A. GORHAM, one of a large 
party who followed the Oregon train to Oregon in 1865, stated that his 
father, George MILLS of Dodds Township, a man named Tony, and probably 
couple of others from this locality were members of the party.

Mr. MILLS states that his father has related interesting facts in 
connection with the great overland journey.  Mr. MILLS was employed for 
the sum of $45 a month and his meals to drive oxen on the trip, and drove 
four ox teams to the wagon in his charge.  Four oxen was the number 
hitched to the wagons.

Oxen,horses, cows and mules were driven to the wagons.  Mr. MILLS says 
his father was 21 years old when he left with the caravan and that he 
remained only a year and a half in the West, but he did not think he 
went all the way to Oregon.

Mr. MILLS tells of cold weather his father experienced on the trip.  
Mr. MILLS slept in a straw stack one very cold night, and that night 
fifteen mules died of the cold, having but little protection. No other 
stock died that night.

Indians were very thick, and wolves, coyotes and other wild life roamed 
the planes and often made the night hideous with their weird howls.

The Indians never molested the party and as far as known no deaths took 
place among the many people in the caravan of 125 wagons.

Mr. MILLS father will be 84 years old if he lives until January 30, and 
he was born in Mt. Vernon.  His brother John MILLS, of Dodds Township, 
was 90 years old last July.


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