Mary Martha Houghton (Donner) (1839 - 1860)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Sangamon Co., IL
Death: Died in San Jose, Santa Clara Co., CA
Cause of death: childbirth
Managed by: Elizabeth-Gaye Jeans
Last Updated:

About Mary Martha Houghton (Donner)

Survived. Mary’s feet were badly injured from frostbite and fire during her rescue. She lost four toes from her left foot; William G. Murphy remembered his sister Mary sitting at Johnson’s Ranch holding Mary Donner on her lap while the dead digits were removed. She was taken to San Francisco to be treated by William Powell, a naval surgeon; she boarded with a member of the local Mormon community.

b. 18 Mar 1839 in Sangamon Co., IL m. 23 Aug 1859 in San Jose, Santa Clara Co., CA to Sherman Otis Houghton (b. 10 Apr 1828, New York City; d. 31 Aug 1914 in Long Beach, Los Angeles Co., CA)

    Ch: Mary Martha "Mollie"

d. 21 Jun 1860 in San Jose, Santa Clara Co., CA

    Mary’s feet were badly injured from frostbite and fire during her rescue. She lost four toes from her left foot; William G. Murphy remembered his sister Mary sitting at Johnson’s Ranch holding Mary Donner on her lap while the dead digits were removed. She was taken to San Francisco to be treated by William Powell, a naval surgeon; she boarded with a member of the local Mormon community.
    Money from their father’s estate was used to purchase lots in San Francisco for George and Mary Donner, but a complicated legal battle ensued that went on for years. See McGlashan, History of the Donner Party, 253-257.
    Mary was raised by the Reed family in San Jose. She married an up-and-coming lawyer, Sherman Houghton, but less than a year later she was dead, apparently from complications of childbirth, when her daughter Mollie was only two weeks old. Houghton later married Mary’s first cousin, Eliza Donner, who raised the baby as her own. Mary was buried in the Reed family plot in Oak Hill Cemetery, San Jose, California.

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Mary Donner, Donner Party's Timeline

1839
1839
Sangamon Co., IL
1860
1860
Age 21
San Jose, Santa Clara Co., CA
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Oak Hill Cemetery, San Jose, California.