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Martha Jane "Patty" Reed Lewis
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Birth: Feb. 26, 1838
Sangamon County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jul. 4, 1923
Twin Lakes
Santa Cruz County
California, USA

Donner Party Survivor, Pioneer, Boarding House Owner. "Little Patty Reed" was 8 years old when her parents, James Frazier Reed and Margret Wilson Keyes left Springfield, Illinois as members of the ill fated Donner Party. Her father was banished from the train on October 5, 1846, and her mother left her behind at Donner lake with her brother Tommy on February 21, 1847 when she, Virginia and Jimmy departed with the First Relief. After their food was gone, they ate rawhide, leather scraps, bones, whatever else they could find but by the time the Second Relief, led by her father arrived, they had already started eating the dead but as she wrote to her cousin in 1847, "thank god we have all got throw and the only family that did not eat human flesh." As her father was leading them and the refugees down to the California settlements, a blizzard set in. When the storm eased two days later, most of the emigrants had become too weak to continue. Reed took three with him, but had to leave the rest behind at what was to become known as Starved Camp. She preserved a lot of family documents and artifacts, which she donated to Sutter’s Fort in 1946 and retained many memories which she shared with other writers. She married Frank Lewis on December 25, 1856 and they had the following children: Kate, Margaret, Frank Reed, Martha Jane, James Frazier, Carolin "Carrie" Elizabeth, Susan Augusta and a baby who died in 1888. After she widowed in 1876, she supported herself and her children by keeping a boarding house, first in Santa Cruz and then in Capitola. Martha Street in downtown San Jose is named after her.

Inscription:
Mother
Little Patty Reed 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  James Frazier Reed (1800 - 1874)
  Margret Wilson Keyes Reed (1814 - 1861)
 
 Spouse:
  Frank Lewis (1828 - 1876)
 
 Children:
  Kate Lewis (1857 - 1908)*
  Margaret Ballard Lewis (1860 - 1917)*
  Frank Reed Lewis (1862 - 1926)*
  Martha Jane Lewis (1864 - 1944)*
  James Frazier Lewis (1866 - 1943)*
  Carolin "Carrie" Elizabeth Lewis (1870 - 1924)*
  Susan Augusta Lewis (1873 - 1929)*
  Baby Lewis (1888 - 1888)*
 
 Siblings:
  Virginia Elizabeth Backenstoe Murphy (1833 - 1921)**
  Martha Jane Reed Lewis (1838 - 1923)
  James Frazier Reed (1841 - 1901)*
  Thomas Keyes Reed (1843 - 1915)*
  Charles Cadden Reed (1848 - 1927)*
  Willianoski Yount Reed (1850 - 1860)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Oak Hill Memorial Park
San Jose
Santa Clara County
California, USA
Plot: Pioneer Section, Reed-Lewis Plot
 
Created by: Debbie
Record added: May 11, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10946193
Martha Jane Patty <i>Reed</i> Lewis
Added by: Margaret Tomer
 
Martha Jane Patty <i>Reed</i> Lewis
Added by: Debbie
 
Martha Jane Patty <i>Reed</i> Lewis
Added by: Debbie
 
 
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 Added: Aug. 11, 2016

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 Added: Mar. 15, 2016
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