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NoneSully Williams

Forum: Iman Family Dialog
From: James Windsor
Date: Friday, April 29, 2011, at 8:49 p.m.
Re: None Fort Rains Rising (Jack E. Moore)
Well it was not Sully Williams that Margaret Windsor Iman carried on the Oregon Trail. Sully was the first white child born in the Stevenson, Washington area. His father had died on the Oregon Trail, somewhere in Idaho I believe, and his mother had continued on to Oregon Train, pregnant, until she arrived at the Upper Cascades and there soon after gave birth to Sully Williams. Roger Gerard Atwell was there and he said something concerning Mrs. Williams, that "a woman with a small child should not be alone in this wild country." And so he decided then and there to marry her.

Some years later, Roger Atwell went to Texas and he never returned to Skamania Co. Washington. The family believed he had died in Texas around 1865.

Interesting and sad story of a lost father..... actually I found Roger Atwell in Texas. He did not die, but remarried and had another family and died there in Chambers Co. Texas in 1890.

Here's what I wrote about Sully Williams history:

  In the spring of 1852 the parents of Sully Williams, Cornelius John Williams (1816-1852) and Mary Jane (Hervey) (1820-1901), with their five year old son Charles Edwin, “Eddy”, left Madison Co. Illinois for the Oregon Territory. They traveled on the Oregon Trail, and somewhere along the trail in Wyoming in July 1852, John Williams became sick and died within the day. After burying her husband Mary, several months pregnant with a second child, decided to continue the westward journey on the Trail.
        A month or so later on 22 August 1852 Mary Williams arrived at the Bush Hotel on the Upper Cascades, then in Clark Co. but now Skamania Co. Washington. About two weeks after her arrival she gave birth to a son and named the child Cassius Marcellus Williams. He was soon given the nickname Sully or Celly, short for Marcellus, by which name he was known all his life.
        On 29 August 1852, a week after the arrival in Washington of Mary Williams, Roger Gerard Attwell (1821-1896) also arrived at the Bush Hotel. Mr. Attwell took an interest in Mrs. Williams, and said, “It is not right for a woman to struggle alone here and with a child.” Six months later, in 1853, he and Mrs. Williams were married. Shortly afterward the Attwells homesteaded on a donation land claim in Wasco Co. Oregon, just across the Columbia River from the Bush Hotel. The Attwell claim was located near the present–day town of Cascade Locks, Wasco Co. Oregon. There on that claim Sully lived with his mother and stepfather, and brother Charles Edwin. Sully took the name of his step-father and was known as Cassius M. Attwell. Over the next few years John and Mary Attwell had three more children. Then in 1865 Roger Attwell went on a trip to Texas, and from Texas he wrote letters to the family. One day the letters suddenly stopped, and he was never heard from again. The family suspected that he had died. (Note: Recent research shows him in the 1870 and 1880 census of Chambers Co. Texas with a new wife, Mary Jane (Stubbs) [1842-1928]. Roger died in 1896, in Chambers Co. Texas.) Sully was then about thirteen years old. In order to support herself and her children after the disappearance of her husband Mrs. Atwell turned her house into a hotel, renting out the rooms to boarders. It was probably difficult for her to manage a hotel and raise five small children at the same time, the youngest child then being only five years old.

I really have to get this Iman history out, but the photographs, of which I have about 100 are holding me up as I have some major projects to finish before I can work on adding the photographs to the history. But it is slowly getting there.



OkI wonder by Jack E. Moore, 5/01/2011
NoneSully Williams by James Windsor, 5/02/2011

to: "Sully Williams"