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From the Journals
                                         From the Journals
                                    Cornelius Hedges, 1864
                                    Cornelius Hedges, 1864

                                Reid Gardiner, Past Grand Secretary, Editor
                                Reid Gardiner, Past Grand Secretary, Editor

           The following is a selection from the book, “For This   In  addition  to  the  wagon,  pistol,  and  rifl e  already
         and Succeeding Generations, The Cornelius Hedges  mentioned  in  Will’s  reminiscence,  the  following
         Story.”                                               supplies were taken on the trek: team of mules, harness,
                                                               tent  for  wagon  cover,  40  pounds  of  sugar,  40  ft.  of
          In the spring of 1864, Cornelius Hedges began making   rope, 29 pounds of ham, 6 pounds of lard, sundries,
        preparation to seek his fortunes in the gold mines of   5-gallon water cask, 10 pounds of coff ee, screws and
        Idaho, and he received a pamphlet about Idaho and a    bolts, 2 papers of tacks, bake oven, hay, milk, bushel of
        map of Idaho from a friend, J. R. Devery on February   corn, apples, peaches, and lead for bullets, fresh pork,
        13,  1864.  The  pamphlet  was,  “The  Northern  route   3 pounds of nails, gold pan, sack of fl our, 3 woolen
        to Idaho, and the  Pacifi c Ocean,” by C.A.F. Morris;   shirts, pair of woolen blankets, pair of rubber blankets,
        Merrill, D. D., St. Paul, publisher, 1864. Also published   pair of boots, shovel, 2 other rifl es, one pint of Brandy,
        as “Minnesota Route the Shortest and Best to the Idaho   l oz. of quinine, and 4 pounds of smoking tobacco.
        Gold Mines.
                                                                 On that day, he left his wife Edna, with $60. They
          Many  years  later,  as  he  again  remembering  and   managed to travel l2 miles on bard roads that day before
        writing  of  his  life  he  wrote  of  his  reasons  for  going   nightfall. His destination was originally the mines of
        west included being unsettled in business, belief that   Idaho;  however,  the  portion  he  fi nally  reached  was
        it  would  be  years  before  general  confi dence  would   included in the new Montana Territory. While Hedges
        be resumed with the enormous national debt with its    was  in  route,  Montana  was  created  by  Congress  on
        crushing weight of taxation, and also to wear away the   May 26, l864.
        time till the issues of war were in a way to be settled
        and for health. Like many other pioneers who headed      Hedges  traveled  with  his  partners  southwesterly
        west, it was probably also to seek his fortune and in   across  Iowa,  passing  through  Vinton,  Le  Grand,
        response to a yet newer challenge.                     Newton,  and  they  reached  Des  Moines  on  the  25th
                                                               of  April.  Continuing,  they  passed  through  Adel  and
          The day of departure was April 20, and Hedges, son,   Lewis,  crossed  both  forks  of  the  Nishnabotna  River
        Will, well-remembered that day: It was a memorable     and reached Council Bluff s on April 30.
        day in our memory when my father, Cornelius Hedges,
        started to “cross the plains” in company with Timothy    On May 2, they crossed the Missouri River by ferry
        Wilcox, and Henry H. Clark. Weeks had been spent in    and camped just west of Omaha. Traveling along the
        preparation and fi tting up of their wagon, made by a   north bank of the Platte, they reached Columbus, then
        local blacksmith and wheelwright.                      the outpost of settlement on May 6 and Hedges utilized
                                                               his last opportunity to stay in a hotel before crossing the
          Those who have known my father eminently a man of    plains. By May 11, they reached the struggling frontier
        Peace can only reconcile his appearance at departure,   settlement of Kearney, and it was that day he recorded
        to a changed condition of the environment, long since   fi rst eating buff alo meat.
        passed away; and only existing are the pages of History
        and the memory of a living few. With closely cut hair,   Travel  on  May  15  and  16,  put  them  into  the  sand
        lest in some unlucky time someone might try to remove   hills  region  with  tougher  traveling;  so  on  the  17th,
        his scalp, a “six shooter” in his belt, and a rifl e on his   they lightened their load by 328 pounds and pocketed
        shoulder,  my  recollection  points  him  as  the  typical   $19.68 from the sale.
        pioneer of his day, when on that early Spring morning
        in ‘64 he bade my mother and myself “goodbye” as he      On  the  afternoon  of  May  20,  they  “passed  Ash
        started for Idaho.”                                    Hollow, saw teams coming on opposite side of Platte.”
                                                               They were in sight of  the landmarks of Chimney Rock

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