Iman family notes

"Margaret" (A Windsor Perspective) (draft)

Contributed by James Windsor (with footnotes and editing by Steve Iman)

Please feel free to download a much more comprehensive view of Skamania family history. Though there are minor imperfections in the file, there is comprehensive information about the descendants of Felix and Margaret here (Microsoft Word)

Note: To the Windsor genealogists, Margaret was lost. She'd run away from home and was not heard of for years. The family has been persistent through the generations and creative at locating her. Their efforts and good will have gained them great authority in matters of knowing about our family.

MARGARET WINDSOR (Jeremiah), daughter of Jeremiah Daniel and Martha (Compton) Windsor. She was born In Tippecanoe Co. Indiana the 22 February 1834, and died the July 28th 1924at Stevenson, Skamania Co. Washington, died at 90; buried in the Iman Cemetery at Stevenson. A Housewife. Resided Stevenson, Washington for 72 years.

She married 14 January 1853, at Cascades, in Washington Territory, to FELIX GRUNDY IMAN, the son of Christopher Iman and Mary Whiteside of Monroe Co. Illinois, his first wife. He was born 24 November 1828 in Monroe Illinois, died the 17 July 1902 in Portland, Oregon, died at 73; buried in the Iman Cemetery at Stevenson. A carpenter, boatman, saloon keeper, logger, and worked in the sawmills. Lived in Illinois and in Stevenson, Washington.

Martha the mother of Margaret died about 1838, while Margaret was a small child. After that Margaret was passed from one family to another. (1) Margaret never knew when she was born, and the families either did not know or did not tell her. She never had a birthday. At times Margaret lived with her father and his wife Louisa. At the time of the 1840 and 1850 census she was living with her father and stepmother. Like her brother, William, she did not like her stepmother, who made her work all the time very hard and never provided. Even years later Margaret wrote in her diary that her stepmother was cruel.

When she was about eight years old her parents moved to the village of St. Joseph, Missouri. Margaret lived with her parents there and in De Kalb Co. Missouri until she left for Oregon in early 1852.

A genealogist of the Windsor family (James Windsor) provides the following account in a 1999 e-mail: "The wife of Felix Grundy Iman was Margaret Windsor, she was the daughter of Jeremiah Daniel Windsor (c1800-1854) and his first wife Martha Compton (1805-c1838). The first wife of Jeremiah died and he married 2) Mrs. Louisa Short (c1818-c1884). They married in 1840 in Tippecanoe Co. In 1842 the Windsors went to Buchanan Co. Missouri. Mrs. Short was a very cruel mean stepmother to the Windsor children, and she sent all the Windsor children to live with other neighboring families, but for some reason kept Margaret in the house to help with the work. After many unhappy years, in 1852, Margaret decided to run away from home. She was then about 17. Margaret was friends with some neighbors who lived near the Windsor house. The Windsors were now living in DeKalb Co. Missouri. These neighbors were the Wilson family. The Wilsons were planning to move to Oregon . One day she just left her house and went to the wagon camp where the Wilson family were at getting ready to go with the other wagon trains and she never went back. Margaret's father came after her, and made her come back home with him but on the way home there was some trouble with crossing a river and while her father had gone to look for a way for the buggy to cross the river, Margaret ran back to the Oregon wagon camp. Her father coming back seeing she was gone, gave up on her and went back home alone. After she left none of the Windsor family ever heard from Margaret again. No one knew what had ever happened to her. It was a big mystery.

Sometime in the 1920's a Windsor cousin in Kansas put an advertisement in the Ladies Home Companion asking if anyone could answer the question about a long lost relative who had gone to Oregon in 1852 and was never heard from again. Louis Iman a brother of your Theodore Iman, was in a barber shop reading the magazines while getting shaved, and he recognized that the advertisement was asking about Margaret. He showed the ad to his wife who wrote the cousin in Kansas. So the mystery was solved. After some time the cousin came out to Washington and visited the Iman family.

In 1850 the Oregon legislature had offered large tracts of free land to settlers who would live on and cultivate the land for four years. In 1852 70,000 people, their wagons and livestock migrated west on the Oregon trail from Missouri to California Oregon or Utah (2). The Wilson family were among the emigrants that year to Oregon with relatives who the year before had settled in the Willamette Valley. Margaret was a friend of the Wilsons, and wanting to leave her stepmother, she decided to go to Oregon with them. She told her father Jeremiah and he said, "When the time comes to go, you won't go." The Wilson family left St. Joseph in the spring of 1852. Never did Margaret see her father sisters or brothers again.

The wagon train followed the Oregon Trail west, but the summer of 1852 was very rainy, the trail difficult, and many died. One baby became an orphan and Margaret carried him for five hundred miles. Every evening she asked mothers to nurse it and no mother refused. He made it to Oregon and was given to his relatives there (3). Indians also attacked the wagons. It took six months to travel the 2000 miles to Oregon. Margaret walked all the way.

The Wilsons, with Margaret, arrived in the winter at the Dalles. From there they were to take a raft down the Columbia River to Portland. But Margaret had become sick with "mountain fever (4)" and became unconscious. So the Wilsons stopped at Shepherd's Point where Stevenson now is, and left her at the hotel-hospital of Isaac H. Bush. The Wilsons left her there, not knowing if she would live or die, and traveled on to the Willammette Valley. Margaret remained in the hospital, sick for several weeks.

She got well. After her recovery to support herself she worked as the waitress at Bush's Hotel. There she met and married one of the hotel boarders, Felix Iman.

Felix Grundy Iman came from Illinois to Oregon for the better-paying jobs. In Illinois as a mechanic and carpenter he earned $8.00 a month. In one day in Oregon he could earn that building boats and boathouses.

He arrived in Oregon on 11 September 1852, coming by ox team wagon on the Oregon Trail. There were 37 wagons in the train, for protection from the Indians. "When father's wagon train came to the Snake River they dumped out a lot of their supplied and furnishings and used the wagon boxes for boats to float down the river but you can't navigate a stream like that in wagon boxes and this they found out!" (Louis Iman in 1933).

Felix came to Portland, and worked as a carpenter. Then he went upriver to build steamboats for Capt. Lawrence Coe at the Cascades. He was building the COSMOPOLITE when he met Margaret, and they married. Felix also built the MARY and in 1855 the WASCO, early steamboats on the Columbia River.

Margaret and, Felix married at Bush's Hotel, the justice of the Peace, also a resident of the hotel. Theodore Columbus Iman their first child was born the following year.

1853 - the Territory of Washington formed from the Oregon Territory.

1854 - 9 March, Skamania County, Washington created from Clark County, Washington.

On 10 March 1855 under the Oregon Donation Land Act the Imans were given 323.24 acres of the public land. They chose to patent land described as "a half-mile north of the rapids on the Washington side of the river and next to the claim of Isaac H. Bush". The claim was on Rock Creek, a mile from the present town of Stevenson. The Imans built a hewed log house on this land, and grew potatoes and onions.

"In the early fifties money was plentiful, but clothing and provisions were high. A 50 pound sack of flour which my, husband purchased cost $50. Coins ranged from a silver half-dime - to the fifty dollar slug, and I will include the copper cent. Once my husband had $1500 worth of greenbacks or paper money which he had to let go at forty cents on the dollar. A few days later they were full face value. I want to tell you he never loved a greenback after that." Margaret Iman diary.

The arrival onto Indian land in Washington of permanent white settlers resulted in several wars, between Indians and settlers. In the Cascades the Yakima War of 1855-1856 began with the murder of Chief Peupeumoxmox of the Walla Walla, by settlers. A few months later, hostile Indians attacked white settlements along the Columbia River. On March 26, 1856 Rock Creek settlement was attacked and burned by the Yakimas.

Since an attack by Indians was to be expected (5), Felix moved on the claim about a mile nearer to the river. There he built a log house-fort. His plan was to fight off the Indians. He had to abandon this idea, wood shavings lay everywhere and could so easily set the place on fire. Felix was pondering over the situation, and the Yakimas appeared. Two days before, on March 24, Flora Adella Iman was born.

The Yakima warriors were fierce huge naked men, painted red, with guns and six-foot-long war bows and arrows. It was a visitor Mr. Carter who asked Felix if he had guns. The Indians intended to kill them.

Children of Felix Grundy and Margaret (Windsor) Iman:

  1. Theodore Columbus, b. 23 Aug 1854, Cascade Locks, Wasco Co. Oregon; d. 19 March 1927 at Sevenson, Washington, aged 72; buried in the Iman Cemetery. A mail carrier and carpenter, he lived at Stevenson. A family tradition, Theodore was the first white child born in Wasco Co. Married:
    1. Emma Kyler (6), on 21 April 1878; dau. Of Joseph and Emma (Holmaker, Haymaker) Kyler b. 12 Aug 1864 Sarpy Co. Nebraska; d. 11 July 1900 Stevenson, aged 35. Buried in Iman Cemetery. Children: Jeremia "Jerry", Ida M., Elmer B., and Francis E. Iman
    2. Mary Anna "Marie" Kirchner, on 9 September 1901 at Stevenson; b. about 1858, Canada; d. after 1920. Marie had previously been married to Michael Rosier.
  2. Flora Adella, b. 24 March 1856 at Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co. Washington Territory; d. 28 March 1949 at Stevenson, Washington, aged 93. Buried I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Stevenson. A family tradition, Flora was the first white child born in Skamania Co. Married:
    1. Charles Morgan, on 7 November 1873, Portland, Oregon; b. 1844 Norway: Sailor. He served in the Civil War. Charles and Flora lived at Stevenson in the 1880 census. Later divorced. No children.
    2. Ira Isaac Foster "Ike", son of Fenner and Julia Ann (Babbitt) Foster; b. 7 November 1858, Tootsboro Co. Iowa; d. 5 May 1919, Stevenson, aged 60; buried Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Stevenson. He came with his parents to Nebraska in 1869 and to Portland, Oregon in 1870. He was in the logging and wood business. Later, with his brother Monta Foster, in the scow business between Cascade Locks and the Dalles. After that ran a jitney business at Stevenson. Lived in Stevenson. Children: Pearl A., Ruby Margaret, Lenna I., Ira D. Leana "Lena"(7), Vernon "Fenner" Felix, Hattie M. Foster and an infant died young.
    3. Jefferson Davis Nix(8); b. April 1862, Texas; d. 28 September 1945, age 83; buried in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Stevenson. A farmer, he lived at Stevenson. No children.
  3. Mary "Merry" Elizabeth, b. about 1857 at Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co. Washington; d. before 1870; buriend in the Iman Cemetery.
  4. Elnora Supronia, "Ellen" "Nora", b. May 1859 at Rock Creek, Skamania Co. Washington; d. before 1870; buried in the Iman Cemetery
  5. Marth Luchada, b. March 1861 Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co. Washington; d. 17 December 1948, Stevenson, Washington. Married
    1. Malcolm McKinnon, about 1880; b. June 1851, New York; d. 19 August 1921, at Stevenson of a heart attack, aged 70; buried in the Iman Cemetery. A carpenter and shoemaker, lived in Wasco Co. Oregon and at Stevenson for 40 years. Children: ?, Burton, Otis, Georgia, and Morris McKinnon
    2. Oscar Bevens (9), after 1921; son of William and Samantha (Walton) Bevens; b. May 1875, Des Moines, Iowa; d. 6 January 1942, Skamania Co.; Resided with his parent in Des Moines, Iowa. Parents then moved to Medicine Lodge, Barbour Co. Kansas in 1880 and to Stevenson in 1889. Laborer, lived at Stevenson. No children.
  6. Rosalia Almeda "Rosa", b. September 1862, Rock Creek, upper Cascades, Stevenson; d. before 1931. Buried in Sitsap, Wasington. Married:
    1. Daniel Jones, about 1890; b. June 1862, Wisconsin. A blacksmith, lived at Tacoma and Sitsap, Pierce Co. Washington. Children: Donnie, Ella, Nellie, Eva, Rosa and Daniel J. Jones.
    2. Si Townsend. Children: Frank Townsend.
  7. "John" William b. 3 April 1864, Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co. Washington; d. 1 February 1938, Stevenson, aged 83; buried in the Iman Cemetery. A saloon keeper and mill filer for a logging company, lived at Stevenson. Married Martha Waldon. They divorced.
  8. "Albert" Odum, b. September 1866, Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co. Washington; d. 31 December 1952, Raymond, Washington. Worked in a saw mill, lived Stevenson and at Raymond, Washington. Married Christina Nelson about 1902; dau. Of John and Ina (Thompson) Nelson. Christina had married 1) James Riley Iman, a brother of Albert Odum Iman (see James Riley Iman.) Children: Jessie, Arthur, Albert Iman and an infant died young.
  9. "George" Washington b. 8 July 1867, Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co. Washington; d. 9 April 1935, Skamania Co. Washington, aged 67; buried in the Iman Cemetery. Worked in a saw mill. Lived at Stevenson. Married May Freeman.
  10. "Louis" Franklin, b. 4 March 1869. Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co. Washington; d. 27 September 1947, Stevenson, aged 78; buried in the Iman Cemetery. A farmer and liquor dealer, lived at Stevenson. Married Emily May Eyman, a cousin, in 1889 at Stevenson Harriet Eyman was daughter of Louis Eyman and wife Harriet Caroline (Kidd). Louis was brother of Felix Grundy Iman. Windsor has death certificate for Louis Eyman that shows his father as Christian Iman and Mary Whiteside.; dau. Of Louis and Harriet Caroline (Kidd) Eyman; b. 4 September 1872 in Monroe Co. Illinois; d. 13 September 1945 at Stevenson; buried in the Iman Cemetery. Eight Children: Emily F., Elma V. , Robert Hon "Pink", Edith, William "Earl" B., Nell, Frank, Louis Felix "Mike" Iman.
  11. "James" Riley, b. October 1871, Rock Creek, Upper Cascades; d. 1901, probably at Stevenson; buried in the Iman Cemetery. A teamster. Married Christina Nelson 27 March 1894 at Stevenson; dau. of John and Ina (Thompson) Nelson; b. 4 February 1877, Norway; d. 1 February 1935, at Stevenson; buried Iman Cemetery. A housewife. Children: Ethel, Hazel Kay, Simeon Iman and an infant d. young. [Christina married 2) Albert Odum Iman a brother of James Riley Iman (See Albert Odum Iman.)
  12. "Alfred" Edmund, b. 12 May 1872, Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania County; d. 13 March 1895, Stevenson, aged 23; buried Iman Cemetery. Never married.
  13. "Emily" Cordelia, ba. About 1875, Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania County; d. circa 1896, Stevenson; buried Iman Cemetery. Married Monroe Vallett, 1892, Skamania Co.; b 19 November 1864, Illinois; d. 17 Sept 1930, Skamania Co., aged 67; buried in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Stevenson. A carpenter and farmer, he lived at Stevenson. Child: Myrtle Vallett.
  14. Annie Laurie, b. about 1876, probably Rock Creek, Upper Cascades, Skamania Co; d. November 1879, Stevenson; buried in the Iman Cemetery
  15. Charles Nathaniel "Charly", b. 12 August 1877, Rock Creek, Upper Cascades; d. 6 January 1936 Spokane, Washington, aged 58; buried in the Iman Cemetery. Carpenter at a sawmill. He lived with his mother at Stevenson, never married.
  16. "Josia" Malcom, b. 28 June 1880, Stevenson; d. 17 January 1909, Stevenson, of pneumonia; buried in Iman Cemetery. A farmer, never married

(**) Christopher Columbus Fields, b. 4 January 1856; d. 25 June 1928 at Stevenson; buried Iman Cemetery. He was an orphan raised by Felix and Margaret Iman.

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Footnotes:

1) James Windsor provides helpful context here; "After the death of the mother, I believe the father was forced to send the younger children to live with neighbors. After all, he could not work and stay home with babies at the same time. He married a second time to Mrs. Louisa Short and it was she who insisted the children from the first marriage live outside the home. Of course Jeremiah brought all his children to Missouri when he and Louisa moved to Buchanan Co. Missouri, but Louisa soon had them all sent to live with other families."

2) 40,000 to 70,000 people traveled West on the Oregon Trail in 1852. Of those emigrants most went to California and Utah, 10,000 went to Oregon. ("The Plains Across, the Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1860", by John Unruh.)

3) Ruth Shawcross says the orphans name was Sully Williams. Conrad "Tommy" Lundy of Stevenson (1995), grandson of Louis Franklin Iman, remembered that a grandaughter, who lived in Ohio, of Sully Williams advertised about fifty years ago in a ladies magazine for information on Margaret Windsor who had saved her grandmother. The advertisement was answered by Emily Iman (Mrs. Louis F. Iman). Later the granddaughter came to Stevenson and met the Iman family. The granddaughter said that Sully Williams had lived in California. [Sully Was actually a man, and the lady who advertised was his daughter. So the line should read.. ."had saved my father."]

4) This may have been what is known even today as 'rocky mountain fever' -- an acute tick-borne illness caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsi. The disease is characterized by sudden onset of headache, chills, and fever which can persist for 2-3 weeks. A characteristic rash appears on the extremities and trunk about the 4th day of illness. It is often fatal if not treated with antibiotics.

5) Windsor believes that the Cascade settlers anticipated an attack by Yakimas, though it's not clear from some other sources that the Yakimas were suspected. Local Indians were, tragically, among those hung subsequently. Windsor points to this quote to help clarify the situation: "I read the settlers in Skamania Co. at the Cascades had been expecting an indian attack for some time. Some of the friendly local indians had been warning the settlers that unfriendly tribes were planning an imminent attack, and for this reason Felix decided to build a new house closer to the river in case the family had to escape by boat. The original Iman house had been farther back from the river by about a mile. Of course no one knew when the attack would come and all were suprised by it. The local indians who were hung had been on friendly terms to the white locals. Indian Jim was one of the ones hung, and he was a good friend of Felix. They were of the Cascade tribe. The motive behind the hangings was anger and racism. Quite a few of the white settlers had lost relatives besides homes in the attack and there was some kind of revenge wanted, and as the Yakimas had all returned back to their land, the Cascades were the only Indians to take revenge one, even though they were innocent. Of course most white people at that time did not like Indians and did not trust them, so of course most of the locals were none too squeamish to get rid of them. Margaret claimed she witnessed the hanging, or at least at some point she claimed to have seen them hanging. Felix was away at the time and when he returned a day or two later he was sorry to hear about the hangings and told the locals that those Indians were all innocent and it was wrong to hang them. At least that is how history has left the story for us. There were also some sordid details a few days after the Yakima attack. There was a friendly indian and his wife and children and they were travelling by boat on the Columbia River near Shepherd's Point. It is said that Samuel Hamilton with some other local men, but not Felix, captured these Indians and their children and raped the woman and then killed them all, children included, in a very cruel way, by strangling them and chopping off their heads. Lt. Philip Sheridan (he later to be famous in the Civil War) was there serving as the commander of the force that had chased off the Yakimas, and Sheridan claimed it was Hamilton and some others whom he named go after the two indians who were then found murdered shortly thereafter. But of course this was hushed up and Sheridan declined to press charges and consequently never spoken of again, so no one prosecuted Hamilton and the others, but it is a sordid story and a sad comment on the history of the area."

6) Records for Kyler marriages in Sarpy Co. Nebraska show that the Kyler family came to Sarpy Co. from Clearfield Co. Pennsylvania. (See Caldwell's Illustrated and Historical Combination Atlas of Clearfield County, Pennnsylvania, p. 21, pub. 1878 for a genealogy of some of the descendants of Leonary Keyler, 1767-1861.)

7) Lena changed her name to Elizabeth, and was called Betty.

8) Jefferson Davis Nix married 1) Nora Ann Bevens, a dau. Of Willim and Samantha (Waltong) Bevens on 1 Jasnuary 1893, Skamania Co. Washington (VR). They divorced. Nora was born April 1877 in Iowa; died 5 May 1950, Stevenson; buried I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Stevenson. Nora Bevens was the sister of Oscar Bevans who married Martha (Iman) McKinnon, no. 5.

9) Oscar Bevens married 1) Daisy __, in 1898. She was born in February 1882, Kansas. (See 1900 census Skamania Co. Washington, ed. 206, p. 11a).

10) Exact relationship a bit obscure.. see next footnote.