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George Donner, Jr
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Birth: Mar. 7, 1786
Death: Mar. 29, 1847
Nevada County
California, USA

George, a prosperous farmer of German descent, lived just outside Springfield, Illinois. On April 14, 1846, he, his brother Jacob, and James F. Reed, along with their families and hired hands, set out for California in covered wagons. Three months later, at the Little Sandy River in southwestern Wyoming, several wagon trains regrouped and George was elected to lead a newly formed company, which thereafter was known by his name: the Donner Party.
Most of the company spent the winter in cabins near the eastern end of Donner Lake, but the Donners, delayed by a broken axle, were caught about six miles back in the Alder Creek Valley in what is now Nevada County, California. They had no time to erect cabins, so 22 people -- George and Jacob, their families, and six other individuals -- camped in three crude shelters. During the winter the emigrants ran out of provisions; they ate their animals, rawhide, mice, and bones. George's right hand, injured while repairing the wagon, became infected. He spent the winter bedridden.
Learning of the Donner Party's plight, settlers in California organized rescue parties, or "reliefs," to save the trapped emigrants. By the time the first relief arrived at Alder Creek on February 19, 1847, four of the emigrants had died, including Jacob Donner. The rest were weak from starvation, and George Donner's arm had become gangrenous. The rescuers took the strongest emigrants with them, including George's daughters Elitha and Leanna, leaving George behind with Tamzene and their three youngest girls. The second and third rescue parties found George too weak to travel; Tamzene was comparatively well, but refused to leave her husband. Their daughters Frances, Georgia, and Eliza were rescued by the third relief. When the fourth and last relief party arrived on April 17, they found George Donner dead in his bed at Alder Creek. After his death, Tamzene went to the camp at Donner Lake, where she died of hypothermia. 
Family links: 
  George Donner (1752 - 1844)
  Mary Huff Donner (____ - 1840)
  Susannah Holloway Donner (1790 - 1826)*
  Mary Blue Tennant Donner (1800 - 1837)*
  Tamsen Dozier Eustis Donner (1801 - 1847)*
  Elizabeth Donner Harmon (____ - 1849)*
  William Donner (1812 - 1867)*
  Elitha Cumi Donner Wilder (1832 - 1923)*
  Leanna Charity Donner App (1834 - 1930)*
  Frances Eustis Donner Wilder (1840 - 1921)*
  Mary Donner Dick (1778 - 1847)*
  Lydia Donner Walters (1783 - 1871)*
  George Donner (1786 - 1847)
  Susanna Donner Organ (1796 - 1855)*
*Calculated relationship
Oak Hill Cemetery of Clear Lake
Clear Lake
Sangamon County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Searcher
Record added: Oct 18, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43236694
George Donner, Jr
Added by: Tony Cannon
George Donner, Jr
Added by: Don Springer
George Donner, Jr
Added by: Searcher
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