Friday, 30th. Traveled about 5 miles and encamped. Guess what took place; another family was created! Widow Gray, who was a sister to Mrs. Kelsey, was married to a man who joined our Company at Fort Larimie. His right name I forget; but his everywhere name, in the mountains, was Cocrum. He had but one eye — marriage ceremony performed by Father De Smet.
I like the idea of an “everywhere name,” although how the man got that nickname is anyone’s guess. Jimmy John called him Cockrel; his real name was Richard Phelan. He was a fur trapper who joined the wagon train at Fort Laramie. Unattached women were in short supply in the West at that time, so maybe the Widow Gray looked like a likely prospect for a single man.
We don’t know Mrs. Gray’s first name, only that she was the sister of Lucy (Mrs. Samuel) Kelsey and had a young child with her. It’s likely that she was in her twenties; not as old as “Widow Gray” sounds.
Phelan gave up trapping and continued on to Oregon with the half of the party that took the safer route, and with his wife settled down to farming in Oregon.