History

Oregon’s first murder defendant was saved from gallows by his wife

It’s hard to tell, just from reading between the lines of the court documents, but it’s probably a safe guess that Nimrod O’Kelly’s neighbors did not like him.
It was the spring of 1852, and the Oregon Trail emigrations had begun a few years earlier. O’Kelly had been one of the very first; he’d come out on the Overland Trail in 1845, then traveled south in the Willamette Valley until he came across a 640-acre parcel that he could claim under the applicable laws – 320 acres for himself, and 320 acres for his . . .

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