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|Birth: ||Aug. 12, 1798|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jun. 4, 1878|
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo County
Isaac Howell was born in Covert, Seneca Co., New York 12 Aug 1798 to Joseph Howell and his wife Catherine Sebring Howell who had been married ten years when Isaac was born and had four older children. Isaac married Margaret Tunison 15 Jun 1822 in Covert and had six children there before moving west. Isaac was a blacksmith for many years and a stockman and farmer. In 1836 they moved to Macon, Lenawee Co., Michigan near Isaac's brother Dr. Joseph Howell. In 1838 they moved in to Quincy, Illinois where their seventh child Isaac Levant Howell was born 11 Jan 1841. Soon after their eighth child in 1845 they moved across the Mississippi River to Hanibal, Missouri.
In 1846 they prepared for a wagon train to Oregon and gathered the possessions they would need for the trip. In mid April the family joined a party headed for St Joseph. It was a rainy spring and Missouri was a wet and muddy place that spring so the party made slow progress. They reached St Joseph on May 17. They gathered a company of 40 0r 50 wagons and crossed the Missouri on May 25, 1846 a late start for the trip ahead.
Weeks of travel took them across the plains crossing the Platte River, bartering with Indians, seeing buffalo, crossing the North Platte, Chimney Rock, reaching Scotts Bluff on 29 Jun 1846. Leaving westard for Fort Laramie they arrived on 3 Jul and celebrated July 4th with a feast. They repaired their wagons and equipment and rested their stock for the next leg of the trip. Howells started out again on Jul 5th heading into the steep mountain trail and met more Indians. Between Laramie and Fort Bridger the Howell party joined the Donner Party heading west. At Fort Bridger they received word that there was Indian trouble ahead on the Oregon Trail and they were convinced to take a southern trail to California. The went on to Fort Hall where they finally decided to take the southern trail to California. The Donner Party and the Graves family that started with the Howells were behind them but all of the families headed down the Mary's River toward the desert and California. It was getting late in the season and they needed to hurry to beat the snow.
Finally crossing the Utah and Nevada desert they arrived at the Truckee River. Up they went again crossing the river 27 times before reaching the Truckee Lake (now called Donner Lake). Supplies were dwindling and stock were run down from the constant traveling and poor feed. At the lake they stopped to rest a few days. They received word from Sutter's Fort that all emmigrants should hurry over the pass before snows fell. The Donner Party was still behind them with the Graves Family. They reached the summit with pulleys and ropes and headed down to Bear Valley.
They head on down on 27 Oct as it began to rain on the west side of the divide. Behind them the snow began on the Donner Party gathering strength by the Lake. They arrived at Johnson's Ranch with no food. They were still 40 miles from Sutter's Fort but decided to stay with Johnson's for the winter. They built cabins and waited for the Donner Party which did not arrive. They had been the last party over the Emmigrant Gap in 1846. They went with the party to rescue the Donners in January but were unable to traverse the snow. It was April before the last members of the Donner Party were found. Forty-two Donner Party members died in that fateful and notorious winter camp.
Isaac Howell and his family settled in Napa and built a ranch on Howell Mountian. They lived there until 1868 when they moved again this time settling in San Luis Obispo.
Isaac Howell died 4 Jun 1878 in San Luis Obispo and is buried in the IOOF Cemetery Lot 43.
Joseph Howell (1766 - 1847)
Catherine Sebring Howell (1768 - 1842)
Margaret Tunison Howell (1803 - 1883)*
John Howell (1824 - 1888)*
David Howell (1828 - 1885)*
San Luis Cemetery
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo County
Created by: Ken Reedy
Record added: Apr 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67929808
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