The headstone on this
grave reads "Wm. L. Clary, June 21, 1850." Some early emigrants
read it as William Clark, an error that confused subsequent researchers.
Clary, of Ashley, Pike County, Missouri, along with his traveling companion,
George A. Gillum, traveled west with a Missouri to California cattle drive
organized by their Missouri neighbors, Walter and John Crow. Two Clary
boys, William, 19, and John, 17, joined the company which included 46
men from Pike and Lincoln counties in Missouri. They left Independence
on May 13 with 721 head of loose cattle and 64 work steers as well as
The company was plagued
by ill health. The main body of men camped on the river near here on June
15 and waited for Clary and Gillum to catch up. They had been left behind
on June 13 because of the illness of George Gillum. While most of the
party continued westward on the 16th, a small party remained
behind to tend to the ill men. On July 4, John Clary met up with the rest
of the party, who were celebrating Independence Day at Devilís Gate. John
Clary informed them that his brother, William, had died of cholera on
June 20. George Gillum succumbed the next day. His grave has not been
Service Comprehensive Management Plan
The Clary headstone, which existed in the 1950s, has now disappeared.
The remaining stone is believed to be the footstone. The site has been
marked and fenced by the Oregon-California Trails Association. There are
no known threats. The site is not listed on the National Register.
[Owned by Gary Nickal, Nickal Brothers Farms, 118 Arrowhead Road, Torrington,
WY 82240, (307) 532-4770. Leased to Adam & Teresa Cross, RR2, Box
317A, Torrington, WY 82240, (307) 532-4542.]
Goshen County, Wyoming. T23N/R60W
From the intersection of U.S. 26 and U.S. 85 at Torrington, drive south
on U.S. 85 for 2.4 miles. Turn left on Nebraska 92. In 1.3 miles, turn
left on gravel County Road 126E G5. Drive east 3.8 miles to ranch headquarters
to obtain permission and directions to the William Clary, Charles Bishop,
and Henry Hill graves. Permission is required to visit the site.
"Who Was William Clary?" News From the Plains (publication
of the Oregon-California Trails Association), January, 1993.
From the diary of Cyrus C. Loveland, 4 July 1850: "This evening we
heard from our company behind by the arrival of John Clarey. They have
had three deaths since we left them: John Mosier died the 19 June, from
Pisgah, Cooper County, Missouri; William Clarey died the 20th
June, from Ashley, Pike County, Missouri; George Gilam died the 21st
June, from Louisville, Lincoln County, Missouri. They all died with the