Mary "Polly" May Leabo

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Mary "Polly" May Leabo (Lewis)

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Perry County, KY, USA
Death: September 10, 1901 (80)
Toledo, OR, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Martin Lewis and Hannah Louise Lewis
Wife of Isaac Jasper Leabo, Sr.
Mother of William P. E. Leabo; Ray G. Leabo; Noah John or Jasper Leabo; Hannah Margaret Phar; John James Leabo and 10 others
Sister of James Peelstraw Lewis; Ezekiel Lewis; Phoebe Vinson; Sarah E. Garred; Margaret Lewis and 8 others

Occupation: In 1846 Mary's family emigrated across the Oregon Trail to Marion County in Oregon Territory. Was in the first Applegate Trail journey to Southern Oregon; DOB could be Oct. 3
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About Mary "Polly" May Leabo

Mary Lewis b. 3 Oct. 1820 KY md. 21 July 1836, to Isaac Leabo, b .1815, Monroe Co, Indiana. Mary died with 12 children descents, at age 8 1, on 10 Sept.1901, at Toledo, Oregon. Mary & Isaac were married by Rev.B .Beamer, in Boone Co.,Indiana. She went to Platte Co, MO and left first f or Oregon. Mary & Isaac arrived Oregon in October 1846 and settled a la nd claim on 15 Dec. 1846 in Oregon, in Williamette Valley.

Mary made the trip (4)years ahead of her parents Wm.Martin Lewis & Hannah .


Mary May "Polly" Lewis Leabo

Added by BonnieVHMonroe on 16 Jul 2008

!) Mary; called Polly married Isaac Jasper Leabo Sr. 2 July 1836 in Boone County, Kentucky. By December 1837 Polly and Isaac were living in Atchinson County, Missouri, where their children Noah, Hannah, John, and Isaac were born. In 1846 the family emigrated across the Oregon Trail to Marion County in Oregon Territory. The settled on a homestead in French Praire. Polly and Isaac had another seven children while living in Marion County.

2) Mary "Polly" (Lewis) Leabo was the daughter of William Martin Lewis and Hannah Louise Snethen. She married Isaac Leabo on July 21, 1836, in Boone County, Indiana. They had thirteen children: William P. E., Noah, Hannah, John, Isaac, Unicy, Walter, Mary, Emily, Joseph, Sarah, William E., and Thomas. They were pioneers who moved first to Missouri and then to Oregon in 1846. They were in the first wagon train to travel over the Applegate Trail into southern Oregon. When their oxen became too weak to pull their wagons near modern-day Eugene, they made a dugout cannoe and floated down the Willamette River to Salem.

Michael Kaliher recounts Mary Leabo's heroic act during the journey that Levi Scott recorded in his journal:

The morning of September 30, [1846] the wagon train, now half a mile long, crossed the Lost River on the Natural Bridge and headed toward the Lower Klamath Lake. There, close to sunset, they found a 300-foot-high headland blocking their desired path around the lake. Scott had asked the teamsters to drive the wagons slowly while he surveyed the road ahead, but they had disregarded his orders and followed too closely. He could see it would now require some backtracking for the large company to make its way around the lake, and the trailblazer was in a quandary over what to do. Some of the men suggested that, by adding more yokes of oxen to each wagon, they might make it over the ridge. "I must admit that I did not think it possible," Scott wrote, "but told them, if they thought they could do it, they might make the effort." Teams were hitched to the lighter wagons, and when they were successfully hauled to the summit the others began lining up to take their turn: The multitude of people, the wagons, the cattle, the horses and mules, the humming murmur of the women and children, the clanking of chains, the clashing of horns, the popping of whips, the noise of the driver, and the shouting produced a scene, there under the slanting rays of the setting sun, as animated and sublime as the fighting of a great battle. But as Isaac Lebo's Prairie Schooner with a large, blue, boat-shaped bed, reached the ridge-top, the kingbolt gave way, and gravity tore the rear axle and wagon away from the front axle. The hill behind the runaway rig was covered with children, women, and men, wagons and teams. Lebo's infant child, just tall enough to peek over the top of the wagon bed, laughed at the excitement as the vehicle he stood in began its backward descent of the ridge. Everyone who witnessed the fearful accident paused in speechless horror, except Mrs. Lebo, the heroic mother of the crowing infant in the wagon. She seized a great stone, seemingly larger than any man of ordinary strength would care to handle, and staggering in behind the threatening vehicle, deliberately chucked it under one of the wheels before the backward motion had become much accelerated. The other wheel swung round nearly across the slope of the hill, and the forward part of the heavy bed dragging on the ground brought it to a stand, and thus she saved the lives of her child and the vast multitude below at the imminent risk of her own. Mrs. Lebo then grabbed the laughing child from the wagon, holding it fast to her bosom before staggering a few steps and falling to her knees. After a few moments of silence, earned by the potential terror of the situation, "the pale men who stood near her broke forth with a shout of grateful admiration."

"The Applegate Trail, 1846 to 1853," Journal of the Shaw Historical Library, 1 (1), 1986, pp.7-23:

Additional information about this story

Description 2 bios from Find A Grave website



Attached to Mary May "Polly" Lewis (1820 - 1901)

Other trees this object is saved to Williams / Stine Family

Johnny D Worley Family Tree


Mary Lewis Leabo

Added by Rudie2 on 23 Dec 2008

The Applegate account is chilling. How close the wagon incident was to a disaster had it not been for the quick thinking of Ms. Leabo. (also my ggg grandmother. These folks were so brave. About 1999 we visited the Applegate Trail Museum in Sunny Valley Oregon -off Hwy 5. A must see for all of the cousins. DeVonne

Notes for Mary "Polly" Lewis: Source: Carol Ann Hansen

Census: 1900, shows Ohio as birth state. Source: Betty Lebow Sutton

Mary Lewis was a descendant of Francis Lewis of Revolutionary War fame.

In the year 1846, Isaac Jasper Leabo, with his wife Mary and 4 small children and his brother James, headed for Oregon Territory by wagon train. They came with the wagon train which split at Fort Hall or Fort Bridger. The split was brought about by the following circumstances which occured in the camp. Mary Lewis Leabo was preparing meat fro breakfast and was hacking it to make it tender. She was a timid little lady, and while engaged at this task, an Indian slipped up behind her and reached for the meat, just as her knife came down. She nearly cut his hand off. The Indians demanded she be handed over to them. Some of the people in the wagon train wanted to turn her over to the Indians, but Isaac would not allow this to happen. Thus, the member of the wagon train were divided in their thinking, and the train split up. Isaac and James brought the family to where Eugene, Oregon currently is now and they stopped. Indians stole and killed their cattle, and they were stranded as winter was coming in a few weeks. Isaac and James cut a large tree, nade a dugout of about 50 feet, which took them about three weeks to make. Loading their belongings and their family into the dugout, they set out to navigate the unknow and uncharted waters, which later became the Willamette River.

When they neared the point where Independence, Oregon is, they sighted a large tree that had fallen across the river. Everyone had to lay down in the dugout, and with just inches to spare they were able to navigate under the fallen tree. They were the first white people to navigate the Willamette River between Eugene and Salem, Oregon, except one man who made the trip earlier, but stopped at Santiam. This is how the Leabo family avoided being in the Donner Pass during the blizzard which consumed the Donner Party.

More About Isaac Leabo and Mary Lewis: Marriage: 21 Jul 1836, Boone County, Indiana

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Mary "Polly" May Leabo's Timeline

October 12, 1820
Perry County, KY, USA
August 25, 1837
Age 16
December 25, 1838
Age 18
Atchinson, Missouri, United States
Age 17
July 17, 1841
Age 20
Atchinson, Missouri, United States
April 8, 1843
Age 22
Atchinson, Missouri, United States
May 5, 1845
Age 24
Atchinson, Missouri, United States
January 27, 1848
Age 27
Marion, Oregon, United States
June 16, 1850
Age 29
Marion, Oregon, United States