Aotes aid Docmets
rie 8ifgratiof af the XA If6 Co#ler amlJ
from Oneida, Jlliois, to Waco, exas, ti 1870
ROGER N. CONGER
OR MANY YEARS the writer has been interested in the account
of the pioneer journey to Texas from Illinois made in the
fall of 1870 by the family of his grandfather, Norman
Hurd Conger. From Ralph Conger, the writer's father, who was
seven years old at the time of the trek, and from other members
of the family the story has long been fairly well reported. In addi-
tion, in recent years several manuscript letters written by older
members of the group have come to light. The latest source is a
diary that was kept during the entire trip by the seventeen-year-
old daughter, Clara. From these authentic sources the complete
account has been assembled and compiled. While not a unique
adventure, the journey is still of broad general interest, depicting
as it does one fairly typical example of the hundreds of pioneer
cavalcades which moved toward Texas during the years immedi-
ately following the Civil War. The account is reproduced here-
with in tribute to the resourceful settlers who chose to "pull up
stakes" and cast their fortunes with the boisterous and "unrecon-
structed" Texas of 1870o almost a century ago.
A good starting point is a yellowed newspaper clipping headed
"Oneida Letter." This clipping presumably was taken from the
paper of near-by Knoxville, Illinois, and bears the date line
"Oneida, August 29th":
Saturday the 27th inst. was a gala day for Oneida. Messrs. N. H.
Conger, Wheeler, and Todd had a public sale of their personal
goods and chattels, preparatory to their emigrating to the "Lone
Star" State. Everybody for miles around was on hand, not only to
give tone to the sale, but to give the farewell hand to old neighbors,
tried and true.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed January 28, 2015.