Alphonso D. Boone, I

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Alphonso D. Boone, I

Birthplace: Mason County, Kentucky, United States
Death: November 28, 1849 (53)
Long's bar trading Post, Butte County, California, United States
Place of Burial: Butte County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jesse Bryan Boone; Chloe Boone and Chloe VanBidder
Husband of Ann Boone
Father of Chloe Curry (Boone); Mary Elizabeth Norris; George Luther Boone; Jesse VanBibber Boone; {Infant} Boone and 5 others
Brother of Joshua Morris Boone; Jeremiah Boone; Harriett Morgan Baber; Minerva Susan Warner; Rebecca McCoy and 6 others

Occupation: Owned Boone's Ferry
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Alphonso D. Boone, I

Alphonso Boone (November 7, 1796 – February 27, 1850) was an American pioneer in what became the state of Oregon. A native of Kentucky, he was the grandson of Daniel Boone, and lived much of his life in Missouri. After immigrating to the Oregon Country, he established Boones Ferry across the Willamette River south of Portland near the present city of Wilsonville.

Early life

Alphonso Boone was born on November 7, 1796, in Mason County, Kentucky, to Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber. The grandson of frontiersman Daniel Boone, he moved to Missouri where he lived in the mid-1820s in Montgomery County. Boone later moved to Jefferson City in Cole County where he ran a trading post in the 1830s to early 1840s. There he supplied emigrants preparing to cross the Great Plains on the Oregon Trail. He married Nancy Linville, a second cousin, on February 21, 1822, and they had 10 children before her death in the early 1839. Boone then moved to Independence in 1841 where he continued outfitting wagon trains.


In 1846, Boone packed up his family and started west along the Oregon Trail himself, eventually taking the Southern Route to the Willamette Valley. He started the journey with his brother-in-law Lilburn Boggs, former Missouri governor, but parted ways when Boggs headed for California. After reaching the valley, he took up a land claim along the Willamette River on the south bank between Oregon City and Champoeg. In 1847, along with son Jesse, he established Boones Ferry across the river. The community of Boones Landing began around the north ferry landing, which later became the city of Wilsonville. The road leading to the ferry landing from the north was cleared by the family and became known as Boones Ferry Road, which still exists today. The route and ferry became an important transit point between Salem and Portland.

Alphonso and some of his boys left in 1849 for the California Gold Rush. Alphonso Boone died in California on February 27, 1850, along the Feather River near Oroville in Butte County. His daughter Chloe married Oregon Territorial Governor and neighbor George Law Curry in March 1848. Son Jesse continued to operate the ferry until his murder in 1872, and the ferry continued in operation until 1954



Alphonso D. Boone, born 7 November 1796. Married Nancy Linville Boone (died 1938), a daughter of John Linville Boone and granddaughter of George Boone, brother of Daniel (Boone Society), on 1 February 1822 in Callaway County, Missouri. Alphonso died 1 February 1850 on the Feather River in California.

The Boone Family

emigrants of 1846

Pioneer Family of the Month

February, 1998

Boones Ferry Road is one of the busiest roads in the Portland area, but not many modern residents are aware that there once actually was a ferry on Boones Ferry Road -- and fewer still know that the Boone in question was a descendant of the one and only Daniel Boone.

The branch of the Boone family that emigrated to Oregon was led by Daniel's grandson, Alphonso Boone. Moving west seems to have run in the family, as Alphonso "westered" at least three times in his life. In 1841, he set up shop in Independence, Missouri, outfitting fur traders and caravans on the Santa Fe Trail. From 1843 to '45, Alphonso cashed in on a new source of business: emigrants bound for Oregon and California. In 1846, Alphonso headed west with seven of his children, his sister Panthea Boone Boggs, and her husband Lilburn W. Boggs, former governor of Missouri.

The Boones jumped off from Westport, Missouri, where Alphonso's brother, Albert Gallatin Boone, ran his own general store catering to the overland trade. The Boones with their eleven wagons joined a California-bound wagon train which they expected to stay with to Fort Hall or thereabouts. Traveling in the same train were several people whose names are still known to historians, including Edwin Bryant, J. Quinn Thornton, T. H. Jefferson, George Law Curry, and George Donner and family.

Alphonso Boone's brother-in-law, Lilburn Boggs, wanted to be captain of the train, but he lost the election by a landslide to one William H. Russell. Dissatisfaction with the leadership of Captain Russell was widespread, however, and he complained that:

My duties as commandant are troublesome beyond anything I could conceive of. I am annoyed with all manner of complaints, one will not do this, and another has done something that must be atoned for, and occasionally, through variety, we have a fight among ourselves... I sometimes get out of patience myself, and once I threw up my commission, but to my surprise...I was again unanimously re-elected...

- William H. Russell, June 13, 1846

A week or two later at Ash Hollow, Russell resigned again, and the wagon train broke up into small groups for the remainder of the journey. These parties, including the Boones, remained loosely associated with one another, often exchanging members, banding together, and splitting up again as the days wore on.

The Boones reached South Pass on July 18, and two days later they encountered a lone horseman from the west urging emigrants to try a new, shorter route to California being promoted by Lansford W. Hastings. Led by George Donner, about twenty wagons from the Russell train turned off to follow this new route into the history books.

On August 8, at Fort Hall, the Boones met a man promoting another new route, this one leading to Oregon's Willamette Valley instead of California. Panthea Boone Boggs and her husband struck out for California, while Alphonso Boone decided to take a chance on the new road to Oregon, known as the Southern Route or the Applegate Trail.

This proved to be a mistake. The Applegate Trail was a hard road through difficult terrain with limited access to water. To make matters worse, the Indians of southern Oregon and northern California were extremely hostile to the overlanders. While they didn't stage a full-blown attack on the emigrants, they frequently harassed them by shooting arrows at their livestock and stealing from their wagons. Indians opportunistically attacked and killed two overlanders who got separated from the groups they were traveling with.

As winter weather set in and threatened to strand the travelers on the Applegate Trail, the emigrants began throwing away everything they could in order to lighten the load for their exhausted, footsore oxen. They cached their valuables in hope of being able to return for them later, but the Indians dug up and stole all but a few items of clothing. The Boones lost everything that they couldn't carry out of the mountains on their backs, including a compass and surveying instruments that had once belonged to Daniel Boone himself.

It was Christmastime when the Boones finally reached the settlements in the Willamette Valley. In the spring of 1847, Alphonso moved his family upriver and claimed 1000 acres across the Willamette from present-day Wilsonville. The Boones established a ferry on an old Indian trail running from Salem and the French Prairie area to the newly established city of Portland, offering a more direct route than going by way of Oregon City. They improved the trail by laying down a "corduroy road" of split tree trunks to get wagons through the muddiest stretches, and it grew into a major thoroughfare. Legend has it that their road was a hotbed for moonshiners, who operated stills hidden in hollows and glens nearby and used the road to transport their product to town. Alphonso made a point of operating his ferry 24 hours a day for the convenience of his customers, which may have had something to do with the number of illegal distilleries operating along his road...

One of the Boones' neighbors was George Law Curry, who knew the family from the Oregon Trail and had taken a shine to Alphonso's eldest daughter, Chloe. George courted Chloe by canoe, paddling up and down the river to pay regular visits until she consented to marry him. He later became the third and last governor of the Oregon Territory, in office from 1854-59.

When word of the gold strikes in California reached Oregon in 1848, Alphonso and his boys headed south to make their fortune. On February 1, 1850, Alphonso died at Long's Bar of an illness contracted in the gold fields. Though they lost their father, the Boone brothers did well in the mines, and Alphonso's sons gradually dispersed across the Northwest with their fortunes assured: Jesse returned to Oregon and ran the ferry for 26 years, until he was murdered by a neighbor in a dispute over access to the river; Alphonso (junior) briefly ran the ferry before selling it to Jesse and going into the steamboat business; Joshua settled in Benton County, Oregon; and James moved to Idaho and ran the Morning Star Silver Mine.

The only son of Alphonso Boone who didn't accompany him to Oregon was George Luther Boone. Many years later, he told his story to fellow Oregon Trail emigrant Eva Emery Dye:

When I was twelve years old, my mother died; and Father, Col. Alphonso Boone, named for an old Spanish friend of his Grandfather Daniel, moved us up to Jefferson City, where he opened a trading post to outfit caravans for the Oregon Trail. My father's sister, Aunt Panthea, the wife of Governor Boggs, lived in a fine house next to the Missouri state capitol. ... When Father moved to Independence near Kansas City I struck out on the plains as a trapper working for my Uncle Albert Gallatin Boone, agent for the Kaw and Cheyenne Indians. ...

In the early Spring of 1846 when my Father, Colonel Alphonso Boons, with his large family of boys and girls set out on the Oregon Trail, I was absent on a trading trip to the Arapahoes and Cherry Creek where Denver was yet to be. With my mouse-colored mules I was carrying trading goods for Uncle Albert into the farther Rocky Mountain wilds.

By midsummer, with goods sold out and three wagon-loads of furs for Uncle Albert, I returned to Westport to find my folks gone and Colonel Doniphan there recruiting for the Mexican War. ... Selling my mules to the government I was mustered in at Fort Leavenworth and was soon on the march for Santa Fe.

- George L. Boone

George was honorably discharged in 1847 and led a wagon train across the plains the following spring to join his family in Oregon. In 1849, he went to find his father and brothers in California, made some money shipping freight, and returned to Oregon to settle down in 1852.

The ferry established by Alphonso Boone in 1847 operated continuously for 107 years. It was finally shut down in 1954 after the completion of a highway bridge adjacent to the ferry crossing.

On February 21, 1822 Alphonso Daniel Boone married Nancy Linville Boone in Round Prairie, Callaway County, Missouri. He was the son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe (Van Bibber) Boone, grandson of the famous explorer Daniel Boone.

The family can be found in Lewiston, Montgomery, Missouri for the 1830 Federal Census.

On April 1, 1831 Alphonso Boone of Montgomery, Missouri purchased 80 acres of land in what was Saint Louis County, Missouri (now Cole Co.), being "the west half of the northeast quarter of section seven, in township forty seven north of range six west in the district of lands subject to sale at St. Louis, Missouri".

Alphonso and Nancy were the parents of Chloe Donnelly (Mrs. George Law Curry), Jesse Van Bibber, Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. Thomas J Norris), George Luther, James C, an infant that didn't live, Harriet B (passed at 4 yrs.), Joshua Morris, Lucy Ann (Mrs. Thomas R Musick), and Alphonso Daniel, Jr.

The widowed Alphonso and his eight surviving children can be found in the 1840 Federal Census of Cole (formerly St. Louis) County, Missouri. In this one document, the census taker misspelled his name with a z.

In 1846 Alphonso and children migrated to Oregon Territory and settled on the banks of the Willamette River and there, in 1847, they set up and started Boones Ferry, which necessitated "Boones Landing", which became "Old Town", which became the present town of Wilsonville. This original page creator, Bev, directly cited some excellent information on this history from these two sources:



Ancestry Family Tree


<p>[34041.ged.FTW]</p><p><p></p></p><p>Moved west over Oregon Trail and took fork to Oregon - 1846.</p>

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Alphonso D. Boone, I's Timeline

November 7, 1796
Mason County, Kentucky, United States
December 9, 1822
Montgomery, Montana, United States
January 25, 1824
Montgomery, Missouri, United States
April 3, 1825
Montgomery County, Montana, United States
June 6, 1826
Montgomery, Montana, United States
December 23, 1829
Montgomery County, Montana, United States
October 3, 1831
montgomery, Montana, United States
montgomery, Montana, United States
Montgomery County, Montana, United States