Edward Gant Pyle

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Edward Gant Pyle

Birthdate: (90)
Birthplace: Allegany County, Virginia, United States
Death: October 15, 1875 (90)
San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, United States
Place of Burial: San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Pile and Lucretia Pile
Husband of Rosannah Mary Pyle
Father of Sarah Riddle Cox; Thomas Riddle Pyle; Lucretia Gartin; Rosannah Whiteman; Elizabeth Carr and 7 others
Brother of Thomas Pile; Margaret Orme; Mary Wright Pearce; Francis Henry Pyle; Sallie Davis and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Edward Gant Pyle

Ed Pile led wagon trains from St. Joseph, MO to Sacremento. He led the Donner party (sic), who decided to take a shortcut separated from his party through the Sierras. They got stuck in the mountains for the winter and cannabalized each other. Ed Pile rescued them in the spring (sic). The Donner Party wagon train was trapped by winter weather in the high Sierras near what is now Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47.

(The first relief expedition was led by William Eddy, who left the Sacramento Valley on Feb. 4, 1847, and reaching the Party on Feb. 18. The second relief expedition was led by experienced mountaineers, reaching Truckee Lake on Mar. 1. The third relief expedition was led by Eddy and Foster reached Truckee Lake on Mar 14. Subsequently, the Mexican Alcalde of Sutter's Fort led an expedition on Apr. 10 to salvage the belongings of the party. It was from this party's account to Samuel Brannan that the story of the Donner Party went east, reaching New York in July.)



Overland emigrant of 1846, mentioned several times in Jacob Wright Harlan's memoir. By an interesting coincidence, "Old Man" Pyle was a first cousin of Margret Reed of the Donner Party -- his mother, Lucretia Keyes Pyle, and her father, Humphrey Keyes, were brother and sister. It's doubtful, however, that the two emigrants ever knew of their relationship.

The Pyles were living near Sutter's Fort when news of the Donner Party's plight arrived. Edward Sr. did not accompany any of the relief parties up into the mountains but rather helped transport supplies to meet the First Relief on their return. He is listed on Kern's payroll as serving 19 days and earning $28.50. Like many other emigrants of 1846, Pyle and his family settled in Santa Clara County.


Leader of the Pyle-Whiteman party in 1846. Operated the Pyle-Witman Transportation Company.

Husband of Rosannah May McMahon, they were married on January 16, 1806 in Washington, Kentucky.

Father of

  • 1. Sarah Riddle,
  • 2. Thomas,
  • 3. Lucretia,
  • 4. Rosannah,
  • 5. Elizabeth,
  • 6. Martha,
  • 7. William,
  • 8. Nancy,
  • 9. Edward Gant, Jr.,
  • 10. John Francis,
  • 11. Mary and
  • 12. Henry Pyle.

view all 16

Edward Gant Pyle's Timeline

September 22, 1785
Allegany County, Virginia, United States
July 22, 1807
Age 21
Bracken County, Kentucky, United States
March 1, 1810
Age 24
Breckinridge County, Kentucky, United States
February 2, 1812
Age 26
February 7, 1814
Age 28
Crawford, Lawrence County, Indiana, United States
March 2, 1816
Age 30
March 15, 1818
Age 32
Crawford, Lawrence County, Indiana Territory, United States
June 17, 1820
Age 34
August 15, 1822
Age 36
Crawford County, Illinois, United States