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Hudgel, Reason (1860 gold fields of Colorado)


Posted By: Barry Mateer (email)
Date: 1/19/2024 at 11:03:39

August 26, 1926
The Osceola Sentinel

Reason T. Hudgel of New Virginia
Letter from Pioneer

In the spring of 1860, twenty of us left Osceola for the gold fields in Colorado. At that time, I was twenty-one years old. The twenty people of our company were as follows: Porter Glenn, our captain, Uncle Jimmy Polly, the oldest man in our company, and my brother Will Hudgel, the youngest Ziba Brown, a Christian minister, was our chaplain and the rest as follows as best I can remember: Bill Polly, Bob Hamilton, Sam Hart, Ephram Polly, Hosea Harlan and Valentine Harlanís father, Crawford from the Hawkeye Mill, Phil Taylor, two from Warren county, Sam and Ben Hall and other names I donít remember.

We made the trip with teams of oxen, some had two oxen, some had four or more for their outfit. We never traveled but one Sunday. We would stop to rest and have church each Sunday except the last one, we were all so anxious to get into the mountains that we traveled and on Tuesday we were in camp and thinking of mining. We took our baggage, picks and shovels and went further up the creek about ten miles from our first camp. A happier set of fellows was never seen. About an hour after we made camp it came a very hard rain, and it rained about as much and as hard as ever I knew it to rain, but we did not mind that we were so enthused over our prospects here. We all thought we were going to make our fortune, so no one could have hired any man of us for ten dollars a day, but in a week things had changed and almost anyone would gladly have worked for two dollars a day. Then we began to scatter out in little groups of two, three and four, and it wasnít long before some were started back home. My brother stayed until fall, then he and Uncle Jim Polly came back together. I stayed on. When war broke out nearly everyone enlisted, Ephriham Polly and myself joined Co. M, Hosea Harlan went into Co. H, and of all the boys enlisted from this county, I donít think anyone was killed in battle. I enlisted in Central City, Colorado, was in the service four years, 2 months and 14 days, got my discharge in Denver, Colorado. After the war was over nearly all of the boys went home and were married. Will and I were both married. We and our wives are still living and in pretty good health considering our ages. Will lives at Sloan, Iowa, and my wife and I at New Virginia. So far as I know we are the only ones living who started west in our company.

Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa 1886

Reason T. Hudgel, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 31, 1839. His parents, Thomas and Ellen Hudgel, were born, reared and married in Virginia, emigrating to Ohio ten years after marriage. Reason was reared a farmer. In October, 1856, the family came to Clarke County, and for two or three years the father rented land. He then purchased 120 acres in Liberty Township. He died in 1875, aged 62 years. His wife died January 27, 1883, in her sixty-seventh year. She had been a member of the Methodist church over fifty years, and her husband over forty years. Both are well remembered by all the old settlers for their many excellent qualities of mind and heart.

In 1860 Reason T. Hudgel left the parental home and started out himself. The gold fever took him to California, where he was moderately successful. In September, 1861, he enlisted in Company M, First Colorado Cavalry. Serving out his time he re-enlisted in Company H, and remained in the service four years and two and half months. He participated in several campaigns against the Indians, and was honorably discharged late in the year of 1865.

He returned to Clarke County, and June 3, 1866, was married to Miss Martishy, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Williamson, of Liberty Township. Her parents are pioneers of Clarke County. Soon after their marriage they settled in Liberty Township. Their home consists of 160 acres of land, 120 being under improvement. They have no children. The brother and sisters of Mrs. Hudgel are Mrs. Ann Miller, of Warren County; William, of Monona County; Knotts, of Murray, Clarke County; Mrs. Susan Proudfoot, of Liberty Village; Angeline, died at the age of sixteen years; Mrs. Amanda Pattison, of Warren County; John Wesley, died young in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Hudgel are members of the United Brethren church. Mr. Hudgel is a Republican.

Article in Osceola Sentinel 1926

Clarke Biographies maintained by Brenda White.
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