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The Daniels family in Holt County, Missouri

Austin Miles Daniels, my 3rd great-grandfather, was born in Campbell County, Virginia, about 1812, and if you've been following along, you know he was married in Morgan County, Missouri, in 1836 or 1837, and bought land there in 1843. Details can be found in my previous post here.

Digging into the history of Missouri, we find that most of the state was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase, which was finalized in 1803. Thomas Jefferson negotiated the purchase which he made from Napoleon, the Emperor of France, adding 828,000 square miles to America's territory. In 1820 Missouri was admitted into the Union after the Missouri Compromise, however the northwest portion was still owned by the Native American Indians and the U.S. government did not allow white settlers to encroach upon their lands -- that is until the Platte Purchase of 1836. The deal added present day Platte County, Buchanan County, Andrew County, Nodaway County, Atchison County and Holt County to the State of Missouri. In 1837 the pioneers came pouring in from Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. [Source: 1877 Atlas Holt County].

I found no record of when he sold the land, but seven years later, Austin's family was counted on the 1850 Census in "District 38", Holt County, Missouri. I believe this was in the area of present day Lewis Township and Forbes Township.

Then, on April 10 of the following year, 1851, Austin purchased 160 acres of Byram Lewis's land, from Jesse Lewis.

This land was located in present day Forbes, Holt County, Missouri. This illustration shows where Austin's land was located:

You can zoom in and have a look around on this interactive Google map:

Austin's 1851 land patent was signed by Alexander McCormick, Asst. Secretary, for President Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States of America.

Oddly enough, within a few months of purchasing this land, Austin packed up his family and left Missouri, making a 1,700-mile journey to Oregon. The gold rush that started in Oregon in 1851, along with the Donation Land Act of the same year probably had a major influence on their decision to leave Missouri.

The transcontinental railroad wasn't built until 1869, so the family either crossed the Rocky Mountains on foot, or perhaps they traveled by boat along the "natural highways that carved their way through the mountainous terrain", up the Missouri River. Austin and Mary Ellen had four children at the time: William Daniels, age 13 Jonathan Daniels, age 10, Thomas Daniels, age 5, and Emily Viola Daniels, age 2. They arrived in Benton County, Oregon, in August of 1851.

When the census was taken in July of 1860, they were living in Soap Creek, Benton County, Oregon. Austin was a farmer. His oldest son, William, age 22, my 2nd great-grandfather, was in the home working as a farm laborer. There were four more children in the home, who were born in Oregon. They were Harrison Daniels, age 7, Margaret Daniels, age 5, Nancy Daniels, age 3, and Andrew Daniels, age 2 months. Details about the Daniels family in Benton County, Oregon, can be found here.

More details to come! See the Daniels page for more on this family.

For more reading on Holt County, click here.



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