Couple Found Romance on Wagon Train During Gold Rush Days
Widow begins journey alone during Gold Rush days, only to find love as wagon train heads West.
Not all the stories of the Gold Rush days were of grief and disappointment. There was romance, too.
Cora Reed's husband died two weeks before the wagon train started West. She didn't know what to do. If she stayed she would be all alone because her daughter and her family were part of the party going in search of treasure. Finally, they persuaded her to go with them.
She had a good team and wagon and insisted that she would drive it herself because she was used to animals. By the time they had reached Leavenworth, Job Witherspoon, a widower, had appointed himself as Cora's guardian, and he helped her with her team in all the hard places. Long before they had reached the gold fields, they had decided to marry.
"But, Ma, you don't know much about him," objected Cora's daughter.
"I know that any man as nice to young-uns as that man is will be good to a wife," Cora replied.
"Pa, how in the world will you find work enough to take care of a woman?" Job's daughter asked.
"I've noticed," said Job, "that if a body isn't a'feered of work, they generally can find something to do!"
When they realized how determined Job and Cora were, all the members of the wagon train decided to give them a "commencement party." That's not what it sounds like. It was the name for a pioneer wedding shower.
Each family checked and rechecked possessions to see what they could find to give the bridal couple. There was much speculation as to whether or not there would be a preacher to do the marrying at the mining camp. Some trappers passing on the trail stopped to visit and assured them that the camp had a preacher, one who had been quoted as saying, "There's enough sin in this camp to keep one preacher busy the rest of his life."
Cora Reed was a very hospitable woman and it disturbed her that she couldn't have plenty of refreshments for the friends who were giving the commencement party for her. It was near the end of the journey and supplies were low. She knew she didn't have the ingredietns to bake cakes.