The Diary of William Cole
describing his first hand contemporaneous description of this trip.
This diary as well as information from a book by Clifford Warrick
A number of Hancock families left, in 1850,
on a trip by boat and overland to Davis Co. IA. Ultimately
settled in Decatur
Co. The list of those going to Iowa, as decribed in a
Clifford Warrick included:
Robert and Martha Hatfield Warrick
Thomas and James Ramsey
Josiah and William Wheelis
William Cole also a participant kept a diary which very nearly was destroyed recently.
Nancy McDonald , provided the following information from his diary.
Diary of William Cole. He is believed by me to be the son of Israel Cole and Elizabeth Clouse and the brother of Nancy Cole above.
This is a transcription of a Dairy that William Cole wrote on his journey from Hancock County, TN to Davis County, IA. February 1850. He, along with his family, plus a large contingent of friends, traveled together on this journey. William Cole was married to Sarah "Sally" Maize and then, after the death of his first wife, he married Rebecca Anderson Ramsey. The spelling and some punctuation have been placed for easier reading. Parentheses have been placed in the transcription for clarification. This dairy was found by Clyde Edmond "Eddie" Adams in items to be disposed of. It was transcribed and printed with his permission.
February 28, 1850
I started down the mouth of Mulberry. (Mulberry Creek in Hancock Co., TN)
1 day landed at the mouth of Russell Creek at Blairs Creek in Campbell County where we landed with much difficulty.
On 4 landed at the mouth of Powell Rivers. (It now joins with Clinch River at Norris Dam, in Anderson County, TN).
On 5 landed in Anderson County 10 miles below Clinton and landed at the mouth of Hokerey (?) Creek at Mancyaten (?) Knox County.
On 7 landed at Kingston (?) in Roane County.
On 8 landed at acenten silent (?) in Meigs County.
On 9 landed at Lokis (?) Ferry in Rhea County.
On 10 landed at Hiwassee Island in Rhea County.
On 11 at 12 o'clock we passed the town of Hanzon (?) on the north side of the river in Hamilton County. There we landed and we looked at a steam boat.
On 12 landed at Chattanooga and lay there all the next day.
13 I attended the railroad and such sight I never saw in my life. Iongue (?) can't express the wonder that I saw. We landed 8 miles below the suck (?) in Hamilton County. About 10 o'clock the Pickaway (?) passed us which made our women stare.
On 14 landed 6 miles above Long Island. About 12 o'clock we landed in Alabama, Jackson County. We also lay in the same county that same night.
On 16 landed at Gunters Landing, Hamilton County.
On 17 landed a few miles below Paint Rock.
On 18 started and then rose a storm and we landed in the mouth of Flint River. At 10 landed at Whitesburg. Lay all night in the mouth of Indian Creek at the town of Trianen(?) in Madison County.
Started and 19 landed in the mouth of Limestone River and lay there almost all day on the account of the wind. The same night lay at Decatur.
Started on 20 and aganst (?) the 3 o'clock in the evening we was safe through the shoals. Soon passed the Florence brig (?) which made us stare very much for the Tilagaff (?) passed along come (?) of it landed at Tuscumbia in Franklin county.
Started on the 21 landed at the State Ferry then started and 22 landed at Hamburg. Lay there all night.
23 started passed Srevanes (?) at 10 o'clock landed at Whites Bluff in Harding County, Tennessee.
24 lay at the same place.
On 25 landed one mile below Whites Bluff.
On 26 started and stopped at Clifton and spent some money and drunk some rum and started and landed in Perryville in Decatur County.
On the 27 lay all the next day on 28 lay at the same place.
On 29 started and run all day and half and night and tied up to a tree because we could not get at the land.
Next morning started on the 30th landed Marshall County, Ky. Landed that night in Paducah lay there all the next day 31.
32 I got on the steamer Ohio Tilagaft and was 3 miles and lost weels (Wheelis). I hired a skift to carry me back to Paducah and I found him on 33.
I got on the Sligo on 34.
And on 35 landed at St. Louis. Lay there all night then got on Maney Stevens 36.
On 37 landed at Kokek. (Keokuk, Iowa)
38-39 I hired a team and moved (to) the Yellow Banks
On 6 day of April I landed at Kokerk (Keokuk, Iowa) found my family there from which I had been lost for 5 days.
On 7 day moved to the Yellow Banks.
Lay there 9 days while Johien Weles (Josiah Wheelis) went to Davis County for help for our money was out.
On the 16 night then 3 wagons and money plenty to carry us to Davis County.
17 we started about 12 o'clock we reached the Des Moines at the town of St. Francisville. The wind and snow blew so that we thought that we should all freeze. We suffered very much. Stopped at a house and there we suffered much. In crossing the river the snow and wind compelled us to stop before night.
On the 18 we started and suffered very much.
On the 19 night we fared near well.
20 night we fared near well.
On the 21 landed at Thomas Edwards.
22 landed on Soap Creek. (Davis Co, IA)
I was 54 days before I ended my journey.
Again from Clifford Warrick's book
These early families settled in Richland Township, an area which would later become known as the Tennessee neighborhood because so many of them came from Tennessee."
From Trail's West
by Clifford Warrick
TENNESSEE TO IOWA IN 1850
"Robert and Martha along with the families of Thomas and James Ramsey; Josiah and William Wheelis; Anderson Edwards, and Rebecca Edwards; along with doubtless other families built a flatboat and launched it on the Powells river in Lee County, Virginia, sometime in. the later part of March or early part of April 1850, They drifted down this stream into the Clinch River and on into the Tennessee River until they reached Padukah, Kentucky, There they sold their flatboats and took a steamboat up the Mississippi River to Alexandria, Missouri, near Keokuk, Iowa. They probably traveled in a side-wheeler steamboat with a cabin on top of the deckhouse and a high pressure boiler.
Although this steamboat was no comparison to the fancy steamboats of the 1860's to 1880's, it was sufficient for them and they reached Alexandria sometime near the end of April or very early past of May 1850.
Soon after arriving in Alexandria, Missouri, the families bought wagons and teams and drove sixty miles overland to Drakesville, in avis County, Iowa.
Sometime after reaching Alexandria and before crossing into Iowa, Martha gave birth to a girl who was named Margaret. She was born in Clark or Scotland County, Missouri on May 3, 1850. Martha's older sister Margaret King was there at the birth of her niece and acted in the capacity of midwife. Margaret Warrick later married Fuelt (or Fuel) Collins in Decatur County, Iowa. Several children were born to this marriage before her death September 14, 1869, The journey overland from Drakesville must have been quite an event, Such chores as taking care of the double yoke of oxen or horses and the family milch cow, and chickens, if they were taken, were probably designated to the children, Clothing was important for their welfare and Robert's wardrobe probably consisted of 3 to 6 pairs of rough sturdy shirts, one or two pairs of good buckskin pantaloons, a buckskin coat and a broad brimmed Possibly several pairs of boots and good stout socks and underwear.