The Adams Family Migration to Oregon :: Genealogy
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The Adams Family Migration to Oregon

Journal by Harney

Where no written history is available, bits and pieces of information are necessary to reconstruct events. The family of Bledsoe ADAMS and his wife Lucinda CANNON from Kentucky are a prime example. Bledsoe and Lucinda had five children, Elizabeth Jane, Foster, Richard Bledsoe, Jacob "Dock" and Elijah. Elizabeth Jane is my great grandmother. History has treated her somewhat better than her siblings. We know a good deal about her in by placing Galloway in the search field and invoking Galloway Roots:The Oregon Trail of 1864/65. Foster ADAMS has a rich legacy stretching into Oregon. Somewhat less is known about Jacob and Elijah. This journal does not trace the movement of Richard since he did not come to Oregon.

We must assume a steady flow of correspondence between Elizabeth Jane and her brothers beginning in 1865. This correspondence continued for more than thirty years. Elizabeth Jane and her husband John Thomas GALLOWAY and their little daughter Elizabeth Jane "Lizzy" GALLOWAY crossed the continent via The Oregon Trail. We can safely assume Elizabeth Jane missed her siblings deeply. At some point in time she convinced her brothers to join her in Oregon.

It is my belief the brothers Foster, Jacob or "Dock, and Elijah and their families struck out for Oregon at different times. At this point history becomes "fuzzy". The first brother to arrive is Elijah Adams, his wife Melvina Hill and their children. We get bits and pieces that they came by wagon train and three children died on the wagon train. We are almost certain they did not come over the "Oregon Trail". The time is about 1896 and rail transportation has supplanted the wagon trains. However, we cannot completely discount the story about Elijah and Melvina and death of their three children. In 1893 James J HILL completed his transcontinental railrod, The Great Northern, stretching from St. Paul Minnesota to Seattle Washington.

I am sure the Elijah and Melvina did not go all the way to Seattle. More likely they deported in Eastern Washington. The Columbia River enters the United States in north eastern Washington State. It travel south to a point about fifty miles west of Spokane Washington and then veers west until it abuts the Cascade Mts. and then heads south to the Oregon border. Most likely they deported the railroad at Wenatchee Washington.

If the stories surrounding Elijah ADAMS and Melvina HILL arriving in Heppner by wagon train are correct, then we must assume they occurred between Wenatchee and Heppner. This trip takes us through the Columbia River Basin. At the end of the last ice age a huge ice lake covered much of western Montana called Lake Missoula. About 12,000 years ago the ice dam broke and a terrific surge of water came tearing down the Columbia River. At the height of the surge the Columbia carried more water than all the rest of the rivers in the world combined. To give an idea of the immensity of the river, the entire city of Portland would have been covered with water including its tallest buildings. Even today, granite boulders can be found in the Willamette Valley courtesy of Montana and Canada.

Nowadays when driving through parts of the basin the land is a bairn escarpment where the river removed all soil and the only thing remaining are basalt canyons. Fortunately, there are routes much more amenable to beasts and wagons. For it is at this juncture in 1896 where Elijah

purchased wagons and beasts of burden. The beasts of burden probably were horses but they could have been mules or oxen. How many wagons and beasts are uncertain. Elijah and Melvina had a huge family, sometimes listed as sixteen children. Why do we place the date as 1896? Jacob "Dock" Adams one of the three children who apparently died on the trip is listed as dying in 1896 on a wagon train to Oregon.

In general, we must assume their wagon trip kept them near the Columbia River. Perhaps we can even say their trip took them to Pasco, Pendleton Oregon, Hermiston and finally to Heppner. At Pasco a river crossing was necessary. If the brothers stayed on the east side of the Columbia they would ferry the Snake River at Pasco. If they stayed on the west side of the Columbia they would ferry the Columbia at Pasco. From there the trip heads south to Pendleton, west to Hermiston and south to Heppner.

Why move to Heppner Oregon? It was likely because kin-folk were there. My great grandparents were nomads. John Thomas GALLOWAY and Elizabeth Jane ADAMS seemed constantly on the move. Elizabeth Jane gave birth to Michael Bledsoe GALLOWAY April 15 1865 in Dayton, Yamhill, Oregon, she gave birth to my grandmother Laura Ann GALLOWAY March 15 1868 in Elk City, Benton, Oregon, she gave birth to Sula Parlee GALLOWAY Aug. 3 1873 in Buena Vista, Polk, Oregon, she gave birth to Estella GALLOWAY Dec 6 1884 in Heppner, Morrow, Oregon, she gave birth to John Wesley GALLOWAY May 31, 1889 near Buttercreek, Morrow, Oregon and finally she died Jan 12 1912 in Clarkston, Asotin. Washington. John Thomas GALLOWAY was raised as a Methodist, and we can be certain he was a devout Methodist. He wanted to be ordained as a Methodist minister but he lacked all the credentials. He was later ordained (at some level) as a United Brethren minister in Oregon so he could deliver the Lord's message. "Hand me down" stories say he was a "circuit rider" which was the term given for ministers who had a large geographical area to minister to, hence they traveled by horseback. John Thomas was also a Union soldier of the Civil War.

In addition, the GALLOWAY's had numerous kin-folk in the Columbia River Basin area. John Jackson GALLOWAY Jr. and his wife came to the Oregon country with John Thomas GALLOWAY and Elizabeth Jane ADAMS. John Jackson GALLOWAY had a large family of which nine of the children lived in Columbia county Washington. They were some of the earliest sheep farmers in the region.

I am uncertain about the actual children Elijah and Melvina had but I will give my best guess:

Elijah ADAMS
Birth 25 Dec 1859 in Owensboro, Daviess, Kentucky, United States
Death 2 Jan 1936 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, United States
Married to:Melvina HILL
Birth Mar 1864 in Missouri
Death 23 Nov 1942 in Walla Walla, Washington USA
Issue of Elijah and Melvina:
Blanche Lumont Adams
1901-1977 Death in Portland
Infant Adams Could this be the third child who died on wagon train to Oregon?
Charles Woodward Adams
1881 1974 Death in Santa Cruz California
Walter Richard Adams
1883 1929 Death in Gooding Idaho
Ida May Adams
1884 Last known info she was living in Talent,Jackson, Oregon in 1930
John Quincy Adams
1885 Last info living in Benton Douglas Missouri in 1930
Nora Elizabeth Adams
1890 1965 Death in Vancouver, Clark, Washington
Mable Estey Adams
1891 1968 Death in Umatilla Oregon
Jacob Adams Dock Died on wagon trip to Oregon
1893 1896
Lee Adams Died on wagon trip to Oregon
1893 1896
Thomas Theodore Adams
1896 1967 Death in Portland Oregon
Sarah Bell Adams
1898 1996 Death in Gresham Oregon
Elsie Virginia Adams
1904 Last info living in Marshfield, Coos, Oregon in 1930
Alex Adams
1905 1934 Death in Multnomah county Oregon
Juanita Adams
1908 1993 Death in Longview, Cowlitz, Washington

The ten children who made the trip to Oregon with Elijah and Melvina were:
Blanche Lumont
An infant girl who may have died on wagon trip
Charles Woodward
Walter Richard
Ida May
John Quincy
Nora Elizabeth
Mable Estey
Jacob "Dock" Listed as dying on wagon trip
Lee Listed as dying on wagon trip
All other children of Elijah and Melvina were born in Oregon

After the 1910 census, Elijah and Melvina have moved to the Portland Oregon area

The next brother to arrive in Oregon was Jacob "Dock" Adams and his wife Rebecca (Maiden name unknown). We have no information that would indicate they moved to Heppner. We do know they appeared in Granite, Grant county Oregon probably about 1899. Granite Oregon was a gold mining town per

The towns founder was prospector Jack Long, and he founded the town because his mule got stuck in the mud while packing a big load of whiskey on July 4, 1862. Long pulled the mule out of the mud and found gold dust mixed with the mud on its feet.

Immediately he staked a mining claim there. Within a week, he had company -- a lot of company. And the town sprang up in shockingly short order.

Back to Jacob and Rebecca, Granite Oregon is nestled in the Blue Mts. of Oregon. It is not a great distance from Heppner. Was Jacob smitten with gold fever? It is very possible. Although Granite is a virtual ghost town now, there are still people musing around for gold. Kathleen HURTT (grandaughter of Jacob and Rebecca) was born in Granite in 1899. As such, we will use 1899 as the arrival date. Jacob and Rebecca and their entourage probably followed the same route as Elijah and Melvina HILL I am referring to the Wenatchee Washington stopping point for the trip to Granite with a probable stop in Heppner.

The entourage of Jacob "Dock" ADAMS and his wife Rebecca are:
Jacob Adams Dock
Birth 13 Oct 1854 in Christian, Kentucky, United States
Death in Casper, Natrona, Wyoming, United States
Married to:Rebecca
Birth Dec 1853 in Kentucky
Death: ? ?
Issue of Jacob and Rebecca are:
Birth abt 1874 in Kentucky
Death: ? ?
Married to:John M HURTT
Birth 1872 in Tennessee
Death 28 Jan 1921 in Sheridan Wyoming
Issue of Nora and John:
Pauline Hazel Hurtt
1898 1971
Kathlene Hurtt
Helena Hurtt
Harold J. Hurtt
1901 1979
J Godfrie Hurtt
Ethel Adams
Birth Sep 1888 in Kentucky
Death: ? ?
George D Adams
Birth abt 1876 in Kentucky
Death: ? ?

Of this group, the following lived in Granite:
Jacob "Dock" ADAMS
Pauline Hazel HURTT

HURTT Children born in Granite:
Kathleen HURTT born 1899
Helenea HURTT born 1900
Harold J HURTT born 1901

None of the entourage of Jacob "Dock" ADAMS remained in Oregon after 1904. The family first moved to Sheridan Wyoming after leaving Granite.

The last brother to arrive in Oregon is Foster ADAMS and family. Again we assume Foster ADAMS debarked in Wenatchee Washington and followed the route of Elijah ADAMS and Melvina HILL. It is very Likely the families of Jacob ADAMS and Foster ADAMS travelled from St. Paul Minnesota to Wenatchee Washington together. We can place Foster in Heppner in 1900. We have already placed Jacob in Granite in 1899. Foster Adams left a rich legacy during his lifetime. An obituary appeared in the Portland Oregon Oregonian at his death. Among his outstanding legacies is enlistment as a Union private in the 7th Cavalry regiment of Kentucky from Nov 1862 to Aug 1865. This unit served in the west and were in numerous engagements. We can assume the unit was under the command of Ulysses S Grant during most of the war.

Beore going further, the mother of Foster's children (Ella CULP) did not come to Oregon. Ella died in Louisville Kentucky in 1897. Sometime after Ella's death, Foster married Maria CHARLES and she accompanied him on the trip to Oregon. The largest natural disaster in Oregon history will claim the life Maria. Following is a the story
Heppner, OR Cloudburst Sweeps Away Towns, June 1903
Posted April 6th, 2008 by Stu Beitler

Spokane, June 15. -- Special telephone advices to the Chronicle from Arlington, Ore., state that the town of Heppner was destroyed by a great flood of water which rushed down Willows Creek between 6 and 7 o'clock last evening. Reports from Ione state that from 350 to 500 people are believed to have been drowned. At 5 a.m. it was reported that 105 bodies had been found. WIres are down and only meagre reports of the disaster have been brought out by messengers.
Heppner is a town of about 1,200 inhabitants, the seat of Morrow county, Oregon, at the terminus of a branch of the Oregon Railway and Navigatioin company. Farming and stock raising are its chief industries.
Willows creek which is given as the cause of the disaster is ordinarily a small stream and early reports indicate the flood was caused by either one or two cloudbursts.
Portland, June 15. -- The general offices of the O. R. & N. received a report from Ione this morning that the company's depot at Heppner was washed away by a cloudburst last night and that many people of the town were drowned.
Portland, Ore., June 15. -- A telephone message from Arlington, Ore., a station on the main line of the O. R. & N., about forty miles from Heppner, says that a cloudburst occurred at Willow creek, above the town of Heppner, last evening between 6 and 7 o'clock. It is reported that between 300 and 500 people were drowned but the report cannot be veified as wires into the town are down.
Heppner is situated in a gulch and a cloudburst would cover a large part of the town. It is generally believed that the reports of loss of life are exaggerated, as the entire population of the town is only 1,200. The message from Ione says that among the drowned are DR. McSWARDS, and the family of G. A. ROY. It is also reported that the village of Lexington has been swept away. The O. & R. N. [sic] has sent a relief train from The Dalles.
Portland, June 15. -- The following dispatch was received from Heppner by the Oregonian at 1 p.m.: "Two-third of Heppner was swept away yesterday evening by a terrible flood. Fully 250 people were drowned. The weather is hot today and the bodies cannot be recovered on account of lack of men. The business portion of the town is left with small damage. Outside help is needed to bury the dead and clear the wreckage away."
Preparations for relief of the stricken community are in progress at various points, from Portland to Pendleton. The O. R. & N. dispatched a relief train from The Dalles at 12:30 and at 1:30 p.m. another train will leave this city, carrying Supt. O'BRIEN and a party of engineers. Dozens of wagons with supplies and doctors are being sent to Heppner from nearby places where there is no rail communications.
Spokane, Wash., June 15. -- A mighty wall of water rushed down the valley of Willows creek, about 5:30 p.m. yesterday, and swept through the town of Heppner, Ore., dealing death and destruction in its path. The dead are estimated to number from 350 to 500. The property loss is reckoned at $1,000,000. Heppner is situated in the narrow valley of Willows creek.
Advices to the Chronicle state that a great storm was raging yesterday afternoon. About 5:30 yesterday a cloudburst occurred a short distance above Heppner, and a wall of water, like the Columbia river, rushed down the valley. The roar of the storm deadened the roar of the water, and the people had no warning of the flood. Suddenly it rushed through the town, sweeping houses from their foundations and drowning the people in the wrecks of their homes.
Dead bodies were borne down the valley. Scores are still unaccounted for. At last reports 105 bodies had been recovered, and it is feared that three of four times this number perished.
At Lexington, Ore., some houses were wrecked, but no one was drowned.
At Ione one house was wrecked. The railway, telegraph and telephone lines were badly damaged in the valley. The flood at Heppner subsided quickly. The residence district, suffered most, though the business section was flooded. Advices at noon state that the county authorities are taking care of the sufferers. Besides the dead, from 100 to 200 people are reported injured.

The entourage of Foster Adams Follows:
Foster ADAMS
Birth 17 Oct 1846 in Hopkinsville, Christian, Kentucky, United States
Death 20 Dec 1934 in Portland, Clackamas, Oregon, United States
Married to second wife:Maria CHARLES
Birth Jul 1858 in Ohio, United States
Death Jun 15 1903 in Heppner, Morrow, Oregon, United States
Issue of Foster and his first wife Ella CULP:
Lillie M Adams Accompanied her Father Foster to Oregon
1872 1947
Married to:
George E AIKEN Accompanied Foster Adams to Oregon
Birth abt 1862 in California
Death? ?
Issue of Lillie and George:
Cyrus Willard Aiken Came to Oregon about 1900
1891 1959
Ella A Aiken Came to Oregon about 1900
Helen Aiken Came to Oregon about 1900
Henry Case Aiken Born in Oregon 1900
Jared C Aiken Born in Oregon 1903
Paul A Aiken Born in Oregon
Boaeta C Aiken Born in Oregon
Maude Adams
1875 ? ? Maude and her family come to Portland Oregon before 1910 Accompaied by her husband John George GROSZ and children Myrtle and Walter J GROSZ
Hettie Adams
1877 ? ?
Married to: James Franklin HAZEL
Birth feb 1875 in Larue, Kentucky, United States
Death 05 Aug 1944 in Portland, Oregon
Issue of Hettie and James:
Edna May Hazel Came to Oregon Before 1910
1896 1985
John William Hazel Came to Oregon before 1910
1899 1967
Edgar H Bruce Hazel Came to Oregon before 1910
Hettie Hazel Came to Oregon before 1910
James F Hazel Jr. Came to Oregon before 1910
Samuel Hue Adams Did not come to Oregon
1880 1933
Alexander Adams Did not come to Oregon
1882 1917
Robert Adams Did not come to Oregon

We have finally come to the end of the family members that came to Oregon at the pleading of Elizabeth Jane ADAMS. And this has does not include all the progeny of these listed.
A total of 36 people listed as follows:
1. Elijah ADAMS
2. Melvina HILL
3. Blanche Lumont ADAMS
4. Infant girl ADAMS Possibly died on wagon trip
5. Charles Woodward ADAMS
6. Walter Richard ADAMS
7. Ida May ADAMS
8. John Quincy ADAMS
9. Nora Elizabeth ADAMS
10.Mable Estey ADAMS
11.Jacob "Dock" ADAMS Listed as dying on wagon trip
12.Lee ADAMS Listed as dying on wagon trip
13.Jacob "Dock" Adams
15.Nora L ADAMS
16.John M HURTT
17.Pauline Hazel HURTT
18.Ethel ADAMS
19.Foster ADAMS
20.Maria CHARLES
21.Lillie M ADAMS
22.George A AIKEN
23.Cyrus Willard AIKEN
24.Ella A AIKEN
25.Helen AIKEN
26.Maud ADAMS
27.George GROSZ
28.Myrtle GROSZ
29.Walter J GROSZ
30.Hettie ADAMS
31James Franklin HAZEL
32.Edna May HAZEL
33.John William HAZEL
34.Edgar H Bruce HAZEL
35.Hettie HAZEL
36.James F HAZEL Jr.

Surnames: NONE
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by Harney Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-05-22 18:52:40

Harney has been a Family Tree Circles member since Sep 2010. is researching the following names: MCKINNON, CATLETT.

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