One wonders whether Lucy Coleman Garrett or Emma (Mamie) Garrett Kimberley ever visited the environs of Fort Kearny or Plum Creek, perhaps seeking some sense of closure or a trace of their husband and father Wesley Green Garrett. Emma was not yet 3 years of age at the time of her father’s death and likely had few if any memories of a father who must have often been gone from home. Perhaps after the initial shock of Wesley’s death, Lucy and her daughter could take some comfort in knowing his fate, unlike the countless families who never knew the ultimate fates of their loved ones who traveled the Oregon Trail but who perished anonymously along the way.

In the end as its use faded into history, the Oregon Trail was largely plowed under or paved over. Because of the trail’s existence, John Garrett had arrived safely in Oregon while Wesley Green Garrett lay in an unmarked grave, a victim of an unspeakably brutal and violent act. Their father Thomas Garrett who led the family on its westward march had also traveled the Oregon Trail, but had returned to his farm in Iowa where he lived for the rest of his life. Thomas lies buried in Union Cemetery near Murray, Iowa.

© 2018