Pioneer Families

William Davis Family


Related Journey of Lacelle Pioneer

William Davis's Trip To Iowa In 1854 Is Told' Heard Land Was So Rich And Deep It Was Inexhaustable

William Davis, one of the pioneer settles in the Lacelle neighborhood, came to Clarke county in 1854.

At the time of the death of his daugher, Mary Elizabeth Davis, in 1929, the following description of their trip to Iowa was given:

"There came a day when her father, William Davis, who had watched many caravans of covered wagons journey westward, was seized with a desire to follow the 'Westward Ho.'

He succeeded in interesting a few close friends, and early in March, 1854, he and his brother John Davis, a brother-in-law, Stephen James, and a man by the name of Underwood, and their families started from Marshall county, Illinois, in covered wagons drawn by ox teams.

William owned a team of horses and a carriage, and in this way provided a more convenient passage for his family.

Thus began their journey to Iowa, the land of tall corn, where the land was reported to be so deep and rich that it was inexhaustable.

They had provided themselves with plenty of bedding, coarse foods, and a few farming implements, and behind the wagons a few cows were driven by the children.

This method of travel proved very slow and irksome, but the cows proved indispensible, however, for when the weary travelers camped the cows were milked, and this, together with a generous supply of corn bread, hominy and home cured meat satisfied the cravings of tired nature.

The journey from Marshall county carried them past Galesburg, then only a small village, then on to Burlington, where they crossed the Mississippi on a ferry boat.

Following the old state road, they continued their journey, coming to the Des Moines river near Ottumwa. Here they encamped for a few days and rested their beasts and did their family washings.

Crossing the river at the old ford, they continued arriving near Lacelle about the middle of May, having traveled more than 275 miles.

They journey, which took Mr. Davis and his company nearly three months to make, can be made today over hard surfaced roads by auto in a few hours.

Source: " Osceola Centennial Issue...1851 to 1951, Osceola Sentinel, August 2, 1951, Section 8, p. 5."

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