Page 25 - Cornelius Hedges Story
P. 25

For This And Succeeding Generations  Gardiner 12

                  Leaving the States

    In the spring of 1864, Cornelius Hedges began making
preparation to seek his fortunes in the gold mines of Idaho, and he
received a pamphlet about Idaho and a map of Idaho from a friend, J.
R. Devery on February 13, 1864.33 The pamphlet was, The Northern
route to Idaho, and the Pacific Ocean, by: C.A.F. Morris; Merrill, D.
D., St. Paul, publisher, 1864. Also published as “Minnesota Route
the Shortest and Best to the Idaho Gold Mines (Pocket Map & Guide
Book, 8 pages).

    Many years later, as he again remembering and writing of his
life he wrote of his reasons for going west included being unsettled
in business, belief that it would be years before general confidence
would be resumed with the enormous national debt with its crushing
weight of taxation, and also to wear away the time till the issues
of war were in a way to be settled and for health. Like many other
pioneers who headed west it was probably also to seek his fortune
and in response to a yet newer challenge.

    The day of departure was April 20, and Hedges son, Will, well-
remembered that day: It was a memorable day in our memory
when my father, Cornelius Hedges, started to “cross the plains” in
company with Timothy Wilcox, and Henry H. Clark. Weeks had
been spent in preparation and fitting up of their wagon, made by a
local blacksmith and wheelwright.

    Those who have known my father eminently a man of Peace can
only reconcile his appearance at departure, to a changed condition
of environment, long since passed away; and only existing are the
pages of History, and the memory of a living few. With closely cut
hair, lest in some unlucky time a “red skin” might try to remove
his scalp, a “six shooter” in his belt, and a rifle on his shoulder, my
recollection points him as the typical pioneer of his day, when on
that early Spring morning in ‘64 he bade my mother and myself
“goodbye” as he started for Idaho.34

    In addition to the wagon, pistol, and rifle already mentioned in
Will’s reminiscence, the following supplies were taken on the trek:
team of mules, harness, tent for wagon cover, 40 pounds of sugar, 40
ft. of rope, 29 pounds of ham, 6 pounds of lard, sundries, 5-gallon
water cask, 10 pounds of coffee, screws and bolts, 2 papers of tacks,
bake oven, hay, milk, bushel of corn, apples, peaches, and lead for
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