Henry Asdon Gorham
Man Who Drove Oxen to Oregon Died Dec 31st
Leaving Jefferson County in 1865, when a young man 28 years old,
Henry Asdon GORHAM, with a large number of others, followed the
historical Oregon Train to Baker, Oregon, overland, using oxen and
cows instead of horses. Mr. GORHAM died at his home in Oregon,
December 31, 1927, just two days after passing his 91st birthday.
Mr. GORHAM will be remembered by many of the older citizens of Mt. Vernon
and other portions of Jefferson County, as he visited the old home county
a number of times after going to Oregon, his last visit being about
eight years ago. Mr. GORHAM was born in Russelville, Logan County, Ky., and
came with his parents to Jefferson County at the age of 18 years.
He often talked entertainingly of incidents connected with the long trip
overland to the Golden West, and said that when the caraven of 125 vehicles
crossed the Missouri River at St. Joseph, Mo., there were but two wagons in
the caravan drawn by horses, the remainder of the animals being oxen and cows.
Cows were worked side by side with oxen as there were not enough oxen to draw
the prairie schooners and other vehicles used in that day. The cow served a
double purpose, that of beast of burden and source of the milk supply on that
long overland journey.
After locating in Oregon, Mr. GORHAM engaged in ranching and lumber business
until his death. The journey to Oregon consumed four months and five days,
at a time when the great West was undeveloped and the Red Man held undisputed
sway over much territory, used as hunting grounds, and when the buffalo roamed
the planes and wild horses were very numerous. Four oxen were used to one wagon
as the wagons were large and heavy and well loaded with personal belongings of
the settlers, among which were plows and similar agricultural implements.
Mr. GORHAM was the son of Henry S. and Mary COOPER GORHAM and was the second
oldest child. He leaves two living sisters, one in Mt. Vernon, Mrs. Vermont COWGER,
and the other, Mrs. Jennie BURKE, at Decatur, Texas. One half-brother, Judd GORHAM,
lives in Mt. Vernon, and the following half-sisters survive: Mrs. W. S. WALKER and
Mrs. U. G. ESTES and Mrs. H. D. HUTCHISON, Mt. Vernon, and Mrs. J. L. VINSON,
Franklin, Ind. Mr. GORHAM was the father of 13 children, five of whom with the
mother preceded him in death. The surviving children live in Oregon.
News of Mt. GORHAM's death was received here by relatives.
Source: Paper Unknown
Date: January 6, 1928
Submitted by: Mary Zinzilieta