Letter from H. W. Parker
Ironton Register, Thursday, April 29, 1858
Submitted by: Sharon M. Kouns
We have a private letter from H. W. PARKER, for so many years our Associate in the REGISTER, and just now removed to Nebraska, from which we take some passages that will be of much interest to his numerous friends among our readers, many a one of whom will deeply sympathize with the family, in the severe affliction from the death of his mother, whose counsel, from her age and experience, will now be greatly missed and ___id the trials incident to a home in the new country.
It will be recollected that Mr. Parker left Ironton with his family, all in fine health, on March 25th, bound for his new home in Nebraska, [his Post Office there, “Tecumseh, Franklin county, Nebraska.”] From Cincinnati to St. Louis, he went upon Capt. W. Davidson’s boat, the Frank Steele, and took passage thence up the Missouri on the Flosilda, we suppose on Friday evening, April 2d. he says under date of Kansas City, April 12th: “When we were two days out from St. Louis, at one o’clock Monday morning, April 5th, we ran on a sand-bar, and in getting off, the boat backed on a snag, knocking a hole in; but they succeeded in keeping the boat from sinking, tied up at an island, and remained three days in repairing.
All of my family had excellent health, and enjoyed the trip very much, until the snagging of our boat. I never knew my mother to appear in better health and spirits, nor enjoy herself more than she did up to this time. When the boat was snagged, up in the night, she got very much alarmed, and became very cold. When she found there was no danger of sinking, she went back to bed, complaining of cold. That morning she said she was not sick, but had taken a slight cold, and would lie in bed and sleep it off. On Tuesday she was worse, had no pain, and lay in a quiet state all day, approaching stupor. After Wednesday, she was unconscious, and on Saturday morning, at 10:15 o’clock, she ceased breathing, like an infant falling asleep, all the time having manifested no feeling of pain or trouble. Her whole appearance was that of perfect tranquility. We had a good physician on board, who attended her, who thinks her death was caused by a severe nervous attack from fright when the boat was snagged; but I think she had a congestive chill on that morning – she had a similar attack several years ago. Her remains will be buried in Nebraska, on my farm.
We are now lying at Kansas City, where we shall remain until tomorrow (April 13th.) We have about 400 passengers on board, and all the freight the boat can well carry. A more dissatisfied set of passengers, I venture to say, was never collected together; we have been 11 days in coming 456 miles.”