John Wesley Osborn, senior (pictured below, center) was 47 years old when he headed west with his family which included seven children and his wife Susannah (also pictured below, right). They headed for Sacramento, California from Illinois on the way crossing Donner Summit. John Wesley, junior, was one of the seven children. At the behest of his nieces, he wrote a letter talking about his wagon trip across the country in 1849. The letter’s text can be read here by clicking on the link below left. To the right (or in the lowest part of this page if you are using a smart phone) are four links to four PDF’s of the four pages of the actual letter in case you would like to see the original version. Be aware that although their resolutions have been reduced to screen resolution, they are still 2 meg each or so.
John Wesley senior was a trader by occupation according to the census in Sacramento in 1850. He would later go back east to Iowa where he would become a minister. John Wesley, junior would later follow in his father’s footsteps as a minister in Iowa.
John Wesley Osborn, Senior, is the great great grandfather of Jim Hoelter, DSHS board member and proud owner of the 1917 letter.