Henry H., Jr. and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt’s 1843 Ox bell 🛎 worn by their lead ox 🐂 named “Doc”. This ox bell was entrusted to me by my Grandfather, Derrel D. Hewitt. He was entrusted with it by his Grandfather, Daniel Matheny Hewitt, as a young boy, as was I. Daniel received this from Henry H. Hewitt, Jr., his father as a young boy. Henry, Jr. & Elizabeth, his wife, were the original owners of Doc and this bell.

I was told by my grandfather the brass bell was new when they left Missouri and upon arrival in Oregon the corner of the bell had worn through as seen today. This is simple proof attesting to the roughness and jostling of the Oregon Trail, and why many chose to ride horseback or walk rather than ride in a Conestoga type wagon.

Of all Hewitt family heirlooms this and the hair wreath are the most highly prized and sentimental in my eyes. I suppose the fact that it was present from Missouri to Oregon and handed down from generation to generation is what makes it so precious to me and is a tangible reminder of the magnitude of the undertaking that the crossing of the plains and crossing the rivers and mountains really was for our ancestors and their contemporaries.

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