West Quincy, Missouri
Crossing the Mississippi River puts you on highway 24. After you get past the levee, this is West Quincy, Missouri. Go about one mile and on the north (right) side is Ayerco filling station. The Trail of Death marker is on the west side of the filling station, toward the back, by the parking lot.
Tuesday 9th Octr. [West Quincy, Missouri. The ferrying of the Potawatomi was accomplished Monday Oct. 8 and they camped on the west side of the Mississippi River.]
The wagons belonging to the emigration were early engaged in ferrying the river and by night time all were over. During the day the officers were busily employed in making out the accounts of the officers, laborers and wagoners engaged in the emigration most of who will be paid and settled with up the 30th ult. [That means the 30th of last month.] Two Dragoons [soldiers] Messrs. Kelley and Smith declined going further with the emigration - they were accordingly discharged. Dr. Jerolaman came into camp today - his health is still very delicate. Several of the chiefs assembled today and requested of the Conductor [William Polke] liberty to remain in camp each succeeding Sabbath for devotional exercises. Leave was granted. The health of the Indians is still improving. We shall continue in camp tomorrow. Mr. H. Barnett, a dragoon, was also discharged today at his own request.
(Note: The Quincy Whig newspaper and church records show that some Potawatomi attended Mass at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Quincy.)
Wednesday, 10th Oct. The settlements of yesterday was concluded today, and every person engaged in the service, save the Officers of the emigration, was paid up to the 30th ult. In order to allow the wagoners an opportunity of repairing the wagons, shoeing their horses and making other repairs necessary for the safe prosecution of the journey, much extra ferriage was done during the two days of our encampment at the river. This might have been avoided by remaining on the Quincy shore, but the dissolute habits of the Indians and their great proneness to intoxication, forbid such a step on the part of the agents of the government. At sunset all the wagons that had been repairing, were in camp and we were prepared for next day's journey.
Metal plaque on boulder at Ayerco gas station on highway 24 west of the Quincy bridge across Mississippi River. Erected in 2003 by Boy Scout Chris Pieper for Eagle award and Citizen Potawatomi Nation. (Photo by Larry Prichard, Lynn, Indiana, on Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan, 2003.)
West Quincy, Missouri - gas station west of Mississippi River bridge. GPS 39.928972 -91.444650.
Located west side of the gas station, about 1 mile west of the bridge across Mississippi River. Erected by Boy Scout Chris Pieper, Palmyra, Missouri, for Eagle award. (Photo by Bill Willard, 2004)
Go west on MO24 about two miles and turn south when 24 turns south to go to Palmyra.
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