I can’t imagine the determination and fortitude it must have taken to cross the Oregon Trail in one of these wagons. The long days, the physical labor, the elements these pioneers had to endure was no vacation. There was no turning back. They were committed. No wonder the Oregon Trail is littered with the graves of those whose bodies just gave up during the passage. Below is an obituary of Maragret A. Baughman Parks who crossed the plains with her parents when she was just 12 years old! Could you imagine reading her journal? For some it was a new adventure every day, for others – it was a drudgery. Her obituary was found in the Eugene Morning Register March 24, 1908, pg. 6.
“PARKS – On Monday morning at 3 o’clock, March 23, 1908, at her home at 622 Pearl street, after a long illness, Mrs. Margaret A. Parks aged 67 years, 4 months and 3 days. The funeral services will be conducted by Rev. J.S. Mc Callum, leaving the house at 9 a.m. this morning and interment will be made beside her late husband at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery at 12 o’clock. Mrs. Margaret A. Baughman was born in Fulton county, Illinois, November 20, 1840. In 1852 with her parents she crossed the plains when but 12 years of age. They settled at what was then known as Trent, near Pleasant Hill where she spent most of her life. She was married in 1858 to J.N. Parks who died March 10, 1886. There are eight living children all of whom were present at the time of her death. Samuel A., Albert L., Edwin, Anna V., Lloyd L. Claude C., Mrs. Elsie C. Cooper and Clyde L., all of who are residents of Lane county. She also leaves the following brothers and sisters: Daniel Baughman of Cottage Grove; Mrs. A.A. Lawrence of Nome Alaska, Mrs. E. Doering of Helix, Oregon; E.G. Baughman of Seattle and Thuston Baughman of Cosumne, California. She was a faithful wife and mother and one of those who helped to bear the burden of pioneer life in this great country. She was a consistent member of the Christian church for the past 50 years and died in a living faith in the life beyond. She has gone to her reward and her faithful life will live long in the memory of her children and friends.”
This is another good example of an obituary from this time period. It provides lots of good information about her and her family – and her maiden name!