Wagon Train Party Over Cowlitz Trail
Yakima Valley Historical Society Minutes and
Historical Papers Vol I. - September 20, 1917
to July 25, 1946
Yakima Valley Museum
Puget Sound Emigrant Road
James K. Hurd
In this connection it is well to mention the
origin of what is believed to be the first
wagon road from the Columbia River to Puget
Sound. This was constructed by the following
T. Simmons and Mrs. Elizabeth Kindred
and their children -
George Washington, David Crockett, Francis
Marion DeKalb, McDonald and Christopher
and Mrs. Martha Smith McAllister
and their children - George,
America, Martha, John and James
and Mrs. Talitha Kindred
and their son John Karrick.
and Mrs. Keziah Brice Jones
and their children - Lewis,
Morris and Elizabeth.
and Mrs. Isabella James Bush
and their children - William
Owen, Joseph Talbot, Riley Bailey,
Sandford and Jackson January.
Crockett and Jesse Ferguson.
In all thirty-one persons, twenty-nine of whom
crossed the plains in 1844 and spent the
winter on the Washougal, about twelve miles
east of Vancouver. The other two – Christopher
Columbus Simmons and James McAllister – were
born at the Washougal camp on April 10 and
September 23, 1845, respectively.
All of this company of settlers able to work
began their road work in the vicinity of
Cowlitz landing, near what is now Toledo, in
July 1845, and took their families through to
the Sound in October. Bush, Simmons, Kindred,
Jones and Ferguson settled on and in the
vicinity of Bush prairie; McAllister settled
in the Nisqually bottom, not far from what is
now the station of Sherlock on the N.P.R.R.
The first American wagons in the Puget
Sound basin were taken thither by these
people. Prior to their advent rude
wooden carts, with wheels made by sawing off
round logs, were used to some extent.
Conveyances of this kind were used on the
Cowlitz by the Hudsons’ Bay Company farmers.
It is quite certain that there were a few
English wagons in use by the members of the
Puget Sound Agricultural Company, brought by
English vessels to Nisqually bay. Roads
connected Mound and contiguous prairies with
the other prairies further north and east, and
crossed over the Nisqually plains, in 1847-8.
South, Porter’s and Connell’s prairies were
connected with Indian trails for many years
prior to white settlement, and in 1851-2 were
connected by roads. In 1849 or 1850 a road was
started towards the mountains, with a view of
working it through eastward to the interior,
but it is believed that at that time nothing
was done east of the Puyallup river. This fact
was alluded to by Col. Isaac N. Ebey in 1850