|Death: ||Feb. 7, 1847|
A member of the Donner Party.
The journey from Illinois to California is 2,500 miles, over the Great Plains, two mountain ranges, and the deserts of the Great Basin.
On April 15, 1846, the journey began in Springfield, Ill.
The trip was timed to begin when the spring rains had subsided and grass for the draft animals was available, and to end before snow makes the Sierra Nevada impassable. By about October 16, the party reaches Truckee River, which will lead them into the Sierra Nevada. As the party reaches Truckee, the winter weather takes hold and the snow begins to fall. In November of 1846 many of the Donner Party decide to take camp for the winter near what is now Donner Lake due to the bad weather. William Eddy builds a cabin up against a boulder for a few of the families. William is very instrumental in keeping much of the party alive and persevering through his many deeds. William was the most experienced hunter and killed some animals such as deer and bear for food.
Of the 87 members of the party, 48 survived to reach California.
Wife of William Henry Eddy a carriage maker from Illinois, married about 1841. William and Eleanor were the parents of James and Margaret Eddy.
When William Eddy left with the First Relief, Mrs. Eddy stayed behind at the Lake Camp with the children. While William was on the trail, he was surprised to find a half a pound of bear's meat hidden in his pack. It was attached to a paper upon which was written a note from his wife signed, "Your own dear Eleanor." She asked him to save it for a last resort, and said that it may very well be the means of saving his own life. He said later that without that meat, he would have surely perished. Eleanor's foresightedness must have very well saved her husband's life.
Patrick Breen recorded in his diary,
"February 5, 1847, 'Eddys child died last night'; on the 6th, 'Mrs. Eddy very weak'; on the 8th, 'Mrs. Eddy died on the night of the 7th'; and on February 9, 'John went down to day to bury Mrs. Eddy and child."
William Henry Eddy (1817 - 1859)
James P. Eddy (1843 - 1847)*
Margaret Eddy (1845 - 1847)*
Note: Margaret died on February 4, 1847, her mother, Eleanor died three days later. They were buried together in the snow.
Donner Memorial State Park
Maintained by: ; )
Originally Created by: Cindy Baldogo
Record added: Sep 16, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58735893