Interview with Olive Knifong Hussey
While visiting the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center at Baker City, Oregon, I was leafing through a book "Conversations with Pioneer Women" by Fred Lockley, when I came across the name of my Great, Great, Grandfather Joseph Knifong's daughter Olive Knifong Hussey. It turns out that she was interviewed at her home in Willamina, OR in 1930 by the Oregon Journal newspaper. This is from the interview:
Mrs. Hussey was born in Missouri in 1851. Her mother died of cholera while the family was crossing the plains to Oregon in the summer of 1852.
"Father married Mrs. Polly Owen White. She was a widow with one child, a girl. She and her husband started across the plains with their little baby. Her husband was driving a team for their keep. When he died on the plains, the family for whom he had been working didn't feel like taking his wife and baby on to Oregon for nothing, so they made them get out, saying that maybe she could walk on to Oregon with her baby or she might pick up a ride. She had no outfit, no money, and no way to come to the Willamette Valley when she was abandoned, about half-way of the journey."
"A man named Woodin saw Mrs. White, with her little baby, sitting beside the road, crying, so he stopped to see what was the matter. She told him she had been abandoned and had no money and no food. She told him that her husband's brother, Mr. White, lived at Salem and that if she could get to Salem she could get enough money to pay for the rest of her trip across the plains. Mr. Woodin took her along with him to Salem and wouldn't charge her anything for it. Father met her in Salem and married her along about 1853 or 1854. She and Father had four pairs of twins---that makes eight---plus a number of singles."
September 17, 1930
Richard C. Smith
March 20, 1997
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Copyright © 1998 by Jan Phillips
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