Thursday, December 15, 2011



Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Hans Peter Olsen Company (1854)

Departure: 15 June 1854
Arrival: 5 October 1854
Company Information: About 550 individuals and 69 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Westport, Missouri.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Bohn, Oluf Veggo, [Life sketch], "Genealogical Surveys of L.D.S. Members," 35 vols., 3:266.
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We left Copenhagen between Christmas and New Year 1854. The Saints then did cross the great Plains. With ox teams: When we came across one of the big in the after noon. The Train had stop[p]ed for rest. The Buffaloes came by the thousands across the river in two files and came close to the wagons. The brethren did shoot after them and the dust was so thick. That we could not see Wagons, men or Buffaloes for about 15 or 20 minutes. There was 17 Buffaloes shot. I can also not ret remember seeing the Sioux Indians siting by the raad [road] and seeing us in the train of 76 Wagons. There was a great ma[n]y Indians. There was on[e] of the Brethren leading a cow. The cow was fraid of the Indians, and the old man did think that the Indians did hunt his cow. He did strike one of the Indians and the Indian did put a arrow in the cow. at night the cow die. In the morning the Captain did go over to Fort Kearney [Kearny] and did have a talk with the Captain who was a Irishman. The Captain did have a talk with the Indian Chief and would have the Indian who had put the arrow in the cow. The Chief would not give up the Indian. The Captain bought the soldiers over to the Indians. The Indians Whiped the soldiers and did burn Fort Kearney a Mexican company and a big Train and all Three Trains did travel for some any to geter. On the Big Platt[e] river. The brethern did train the cattle over with yokes on. The Oxen got to some high bank and [illegible] not find the way accross. My Father was a good Swimmer. Did Swim to the Oxen and got the yokes of[f] and by so doing did save the a good many Oxen. My mother did give birth a beautiful girl on the Plains. Our Train came to Salt Lake City October the 6, 1854.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Borreson, Niels H., Autobiographical sketch, in Biographical sketches 1891- , reel 7, box 8, fd. 1, item 23.
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Now we were transferred to a steamboat and sailed up the Mississippi River to St. Louis. From there we sailed on another steamboat to Kansas City. Many of our dear brethren contracted cholera and died and were buried there. The rest of us bought oxen and covered wagons and started on the trek across the desert, which took 17 weeks. The Indians took some of our cattle so president Olson commanded us all to carry guns on our shoulders. When we came to Fort Laramie, the Captain with 32 soldiers promised us compensation for our loss. The[y] pursued the Indians but were ambushed and killed by the Indians who then took over the fort.
We finally arrived in Salt Lake City Oct. 5th 1854, and shortly after that my sister Anne Marie Olhus died.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Dalley, Johanne Bolette, Reminiscences, 3. (Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.)
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We reached St. Louis about April 1, 1854. A great many died there also.
[During the several weeks they were encamped in St. Louis they were all very busy preparing for their trip across the plains. Those who had means were buying wagons and equipment, oxen and cows for teams. Many of the men had never driven ox teams, so the captain of the company advised the men to see that their equipment was in good shape and then hitch the teams to the wagons and all be ready at one time to start as a tryout.—Sarah Ann.]
[I, too, have heard Lette relate the funny, but at the time very tragic experience of getting ready to make the trek across the plains from St. Louis. The company of Danish Saints, unfamiliar with the mode of travel by ox teams, could speak no English and the oxen could understand no Danish. When they finally learned how to yoke them up and tried to start on the journey, the oxen were confused and went in every which way, to the bewilderment of all concerned. She called it their "fitout" while we in America call it an outfit. I've heard her relate this incident many times and laugh till the tears streamed down her cheeks.—Rachel Dalley]
We went up to here Kansas City now is and camped on the bank (of the Missouri River). In our company was a man by the name of James Black, whose wife died of cholera at St. Louis. He began paying attention to me, but I did not encourage him, as I disliked him, although I couldn't tell why. He was good looking and attractive in manner. In a way, I was dependent on my uncle, and he and his wife were very persistent in persuading me to yield, although I repeatedly told them all I did not want to marry until I reached Salt Lake City. This marriage was most unfortunate for me and resulted in great unhappiness, for as I became better acquainted with him my dislike increased. Although he was a Mormon, he did not entertain the same ideas in regard to living the principles as I did. He was also ill-tempered and jealous.
We traveled across the plains in Mr. Olson's [Olsen’s] company. I walked every step of the way, wading rivers, climbing mountains, often tired and weary, but always glad my face was turned toward Zion. I would have been happy but for my unfortunate marriage. We had a great Indian scare and exciting times with the buffalo and finally reached Salt Lake City October 5, 1854, after three months of traveling.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Dalley, Lettie Bertelson, Autobiography, in Dalley family biographical sketches, fd. 4, 3.
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We traveled across the plains. I walked every step of the way, wading rivers, climbing mountains, often tired and weary, but always glad my face was turned toward Zion. I would have been happy, but for my unfortunate marriage. We had a great Indian scare and exciting times with the buffalo and finally reached Salt Lake City October 5, 1854, after about three months of traveling. We were in Mr. Olson's Company

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Hansen, Christian James, Reminiscence, in My Great Grandfather, Christian James Hansen, 1-2, (Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.)
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From here [St. Louis] we embarked on another flat boat for Kansas City. Here we remained for about 3 weeks until we were rigged out for out [our] journey across the plains. It took us about 2 weeks to go from St. Louis to Kansas City. Brother Empy came from Salt Lake and purchased our cattle for us. Of course we all had to pay for our own or our proportion as we were 10 people to each wagon. I was the teamster for our outfit and drove 4 oxen and two cows. It was a great sight when we were all hitched up, and the cattle ran and stampeded in every direction. Of course were all green hands, except our captain. It’s almost a miracle that none of us were hurt. Wagons were tipped but nothing broken. There were 62 wagons with 3 or 4 men dragging at each team by ropes on the cattle. Some got away and ran until they were exhausted when they were caught, but I can tell you it was a sight that will never be forgotten by those who saw it.
We started across the plains in June. One day as we were camped on the Platt[e] River hundreds of buffalo came among our cattle and right at our camp; we killed 18. Another time when our provisions were nearly gone another herd of buffalo was sent by the Lord to replentish out [our] store. We used to form our wagons into a correll with the cattle on the inside, but one night they stampeded from the guards twice in the same night, but fortunately none were lost. When we arrived at Chimney Rock we had another stampeed with our teams hitched. We had been warned of this as every company who passed this rock with ox teams had a stampeed. There were 2 or 3 accidents. One exen was drowned, while Fording the river at Fort Levenworth. Two days before we arrived in Salt Lake City a baby girl [Josephine] was born to my wife Elizabeth. We arrived in Salt Lake City October 5, 1954 [1854] having been nine months and 13 days from the time we left Denmark

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Hansen, Jens, Autobiographical sketch, 6-8.
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I was appointed captain of the camp, which assignment I had until our arrival at the Great Salt Lake Valley. It consisted of seeing to it that there was order in camp etc. While we stayed in this forest my wife and I wrote letters to our relatives in Denmark. We spent a great deal of time reading the D[octrine]. and C[ovenants]. while waiting for the oxen, wagons and other supplies to arrive.
I spent much time pondering over the laws as revealed by the Lord. Here died the little child previously mentioned we had fostered. Would the parents know where we laid it.
A part of the company was removed from the forest as we received our oxen and wagons we had been waiting for. I was assigned as temporary leader for those who came there until brother H[ans]. P[eter]. Olsen arrived with the rest of our party. The company was organized as follows; H.P. Olsen, as camp Captain, brother Bent Nielsen as wagon Captain. The company composed of sixty wagons and was divided in six groups and each group with its Captain. With every wagon was four oxen, two cows, besides a certain number of reserve oxen. While we camped here my wife [Maren Kathrine Christensen Hansen] took very sick that lasted to June twenty nineth when she died.
Because of the sickness of my wife, I had many difficulties as I had to carry her to and from the wagon in addition to caring for our little child [Joseph Christian Hansen], besides my camp assignment which caused me to get sick. I regained my health shortly after my wifes death.
After a couple of days travel we had to send back for more oxen, which we received from the church. My mentaly disturbed brother, Jorgen P[eter]. Hansen resisted to go with us after the first days departure and he would not follow, but demanded to have his clothes from the wagon. I tried to persuade him to come along, and told him what sorrow he would bring upon our father in Zion, if he did not come, but nothing helped. He said he would lie on the ground until the wolves ate his body. Several of the brethren tried to persuade him and even offered that he could drive all the way but of no avail. I then consulted with our Captain, brother Olsen, who after careful consideration said that we should leave him, as he supposed that he, after our departure, would go to the closest city and seek employment. We did this, but while we waited in camp for the oxen we should have from the church we received the rumor that my brother was still lying there, and as I now as alone without our leader, I called the company together and counseled with them. The result was that some one would go back to him bringing along a rope with which to tie him if he refused now willingly to come, but as he saw and heard this when they approached, he consented to come along.
After receiving our reserve oxen, we continued our travel across the desert. In the beginning we went a new way where the grass was extremely tall and plentiful, which was very helpful for the cattle. The beatiful vast plains layed before us, which at some places were covered with forests, and in between we also came to rivers and small creeks. My brother [Jorgen] Peder Hansen got sick and died in June (no year given). We arrived soon after to the regular used road, that took us by Fort Laramie. To this point thr [the] prairie has been level plains, but now it became more rocky and mountainous. We passed the peculiar rock formation named "Chimney Rock." We came later by "Independence Rock," and soon after we reached the very unusal rock formation, formed by nature called "The Devils Gate." It is a great rock formation that is divided all the way through making an opening for the Sweet Water river to go on its meery way. There was a whole days many wonders of nature to see, which thrilled ones every sight. And especially Echo Canyon which we also came through. It is very narrow and through runs a good stream. The road is partly dugout or cut out of the banks of that stream. When one looks to the right it is like some ancient buildings or ruins. The color of the rock formations are red, yellow and grey, and among them grow the ever beautiful Ceder trees besides many other types of trees, which gives it all a very romantic and interesting sight.
I feel and understand by all of this, partly the greatness and power of the Lord by viewing his hand work. We crossed the large and smaller mountains and entered in through Emigration canyon, where my father [Hans Jorgensen] came to meet us. We were very happy to see each other in the camp of Zion, the gathering place of God's children. My father had now another by the name of Dorthea [Christensen Jorgensen]. My mother [Else Maria Jensdatter Jorgensen] had died aboard the ship that took them from England to America, but because they were so close to land she was buried in America. October fifth 1854 we came into the great Salt Lake Valley and the beautiful laid out City.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Jensen, Hans, Reminiscences and diary, 1867-1910, 4-5.
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When we came to Kansas we received our wagons and lived in them and in our tents in the forest. Here we bought provisions for the trek across the plains. Many died of C[h]olera and among them was my mother. She became ill in the evening and died the next morning. She was buried in the Kansas forest 1 English mile from the town. She died in good faith in the gospel to the last was very ill but didn’t deny the Lord. The whole camp was moved out upon the plains on the western side of the state. Here we received 4 oxen, 2 cows to each wagon and we began to set them in yoke.
There were several companies of English Saints here also and a large number of Meixicans [Mexicans]. My brother Laurits became acquainted with a merchant from Mexico or Santa Fe, and was talked into traveling with him, to my great sorrow. Their company went and we didn’t know it. We now began our trek in the plains. 73 Wagons. Olesen [Hans Peter Olsen] from Zion was captain. The company was well organized all the way through. We made a new road for 330 English miles, through grass as high as the knees. I was at this time sick with cold fever and climate fever, but became well again and could handle the oxen myself. Shortly after we reached the old road we came to Fort Corny [Kearny]. Two days later we killed 22 buffalo. We had an over abundance of meat, many became ill of it. We met a company of missionaries among them were two of the Quorum of 12. Benson to help the company into the valley and Erastus Snow to go to the States on a mission. They spoke kindly to us. We departed happily each in different directions. When we came to Fort Larami[e], the Indians shot 2 cows from our company. Word was sent to the Fort and the soldiers departed and shot the Chief. The Indians killed several soldiers and burned a good part of the Fort. We became afraid and joined with 3 other small companies. We traveled together a long time. We kept strong guard night and day but they didn’t come after us. Another company lost most of their oxen and it was necessary for us to take one from each of our wagons to help them through. Many of our oxen died. We ran out of provisions but there came 16 wagons loaded with flour from Zion to us. They took a number of people with them on their wagons, which were drawn by mules, and we continued rapidly forward. Father Sjaessing stayed with us and showed us the way, and found camping places for us. There came again a small company with provisions for us, and several well known brethren came to us. We reached Salt Lake the 5 October, and camped on Union Square.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Larsen, Christian John, Journal 1851-1914, vol. 5 (translation), 198-202.
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June 5th. We held a council meeting at which complaints was entered against Brother Hans Jensen Strand for unchristianlike conduct and for apostasy against certain principles in the Gospel. His certificate of Priesthood was remanded and he was warned and advised to repent and ask God for forgiveness that he might have a good spirit again. In the afternoon we held meeting and partook of the sacrament and I spoke to the people for some time and the spirit of God seemed [to] inspire and cheer every heart. As the time was now near for our start on the plains, it was decided to draw lots for the animals. Our captain informed us that he had been advised or ordered to take the companies over a new road for several days, but by whom so ordered, I never learned, but, said he, there would be found better grass that way, and he then enquired if the company was willing to do so; all agreed to this proposition. He farther stated that it would be necessary to equip five men with arms, like soldiers, to be on guard on that road, and the following brethren were selected: Wm. Walentinsen, A. Anderson, Fred. Nielsen, Peter Madsen and Brother Ries.
[June] 11th. We held meetings, both in the forenoon and in the afternoon, and partook of the sacrament. Brother C. Schou and I occupied the time speaking; blessed some sick persons and consecrated two bottles of oil.
[June] 15th. After prayer in the morning and breakfast we started and travelled two miles.
[June] 16th. We travelled about 8 miles and then camped. After prayer in the evening it was decided to raise money enough wherewith to buy one more yoke of oxen for each wagon.
[June] 18th. I wrote in my journal and attended meeting in the afternoon.
[June] 21st. I went back to Kansas after the oxen that we had bought, and some of these cattle were yoked up the next day.
[June] 23rd. We broke camp at noon and travelled ten miles that day, and travelled each succeeding day without anything happened of special interest. A few persons were sick.
[June] 29th. One of our sisters gave birth to a baby boy, and I administered to some of the sick and I also baptized one sister in the evening for her health by her own request.
[June] 30th. I was awakened at 4 a.m. to administer to some sisters who were sick. When we camped for the night, I baptized Ove Hansen for his health and also his brother Olin Hansen into the Church, and confirmed him a member by the laying on of hands. The new road which we had travelled so far we found to be very heavy, as there was no tracks broken, and the grass was from 3 to 4 feet high, wherefore, we did not go more than 8 or 10 miles a day, and we found it necessary to easy our loads by emptying our boxes and threw them away, and put our things loose in the wagons.
[July] 6th. This day we took a wrong course and had to turn about and return back the same way the next day.
[July] 8th. This day we also took a wrong course. In the evening a Brother Anders Larsen requested to be excommunicated from the Church, as he would not stay with us longer than we could reach the fort (Fort Leavenworth) in a few days. His request was complied with.
[July] 9th. We had meeting in the forenoon. A few of us spoke in that meeting. Afterwards we travelled a short distance and at last we descended a steep hillside and made camp. The following three days we were kept buzy by getting our wagons down a very steep hill side and making road for them. This was accomplished by hands and with having ropes attached, that were strong enough to hold them back, while the wheels were locked. The cattle were made to swim across the river while our wagons were taken over in the ferry, which was quite a difficult task, altho the distance was not very great. We, wherefore, made camp, to wait for all the wagons and luggage was safely brought over the river.
[July] 13th. Finally we got ready and left our into camp about 11 a.m. and travelled about 10 miles that day.
[July] 16th. We remained in camp and had a very good meeting and several brethren spoke and all seemed to have gained new strength, after the last few days of hard work. Some few sick persons were administered to.
[July] 22nd. Saturday. We struck the old emigration road by the Little Blue.
[July] 23rd. Sunday. We had meeting in the afternoon and several of the brethren spoke. In the evening Brother Rasmus Johanson baptized a small girl and I confirmed her.
[July] 28th. Friday. We passed Fort Kearney and this day we killed the first buffalo.
[July] 29th. While encamped for noon a herd of buffaloes, numbering several hundreds, came from the opposite side of the river, passing very close to our camp, and the brethren killed several of them and afterwards the meat was dried and we all got as much meat as we could take with us.
[July] 30th. Sunday. We held meeting, administered the sacrament and several brethren spoke, and I married Brother Gardner to Sister Nielsen. We had a fine time that day.
[August] 4th. We made our camp about 4 p.m. Apostles E. T. Benson and Erastus Snow and Elder Orson Spencer joined us, coming from Salt Lake City and Erastus Snow spoke to us in our meeting. The other two brethren spoke to the emigrants in Capt. Brown's company in the evening.
[August] 5th. We had a splendid meeting; the three brethren from the Valley spoke to us and we appreciated their presence very much. We were adviced by them to divide our company by two or three divisions, when we had passed Fort Laramie.
[August] 12th. After we had travelled 6 or 8 miles, we were overtaken by Elders Benson and Eldredge, who asked us to send 15 yoke of oxen back to assist an English company who had lost their cattle, and Brothers H. P. Jensen and J. Bentsen were sent back with help. We made camp and there we had to settle some difficulty between Christen Laursen and Niels Beck who had one wagon together and it was concerning the weight of each party's luggage. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter and decide.
[August] 14th. The wife of Christen Lauritzen gave birth to a baby.
[August] 17th. We passed a large encampment of Indians before we reached Fort Laramie. They shot one of our cows, that was lame and we let them have the meat. They also had shot one belonging to Hans Monsen, and it came into our camp wounded, where we had it butchered. We then camped for noon half a mile from the Fort. We crossed the river and passed the Fort, about 4 p.m. Here I mailed several letters.
[August] 21st. Brothers H. P. Jensen and J. Bentsen joined our company again. They reported that the Indians had killed 30 soldiers in Fort Laramie. In the afternoon we crossed the river and camped, joining Richard[son]'s company of emigrants. All with whom we came in contact had something to tell about the Indian fight in Fort Laramie. From that date and for several days after we travelled closer together and made large camps at night.
[September] 2nd. We laid over for a rest. At our evening prayer meeting each captain over ten wagons was requested to investigate the condition of each family and what they were in need of and it was decided to make the next day a fast day.
[September] 3rd. We had two meetings and many of the brethren spoke; we also partook of the sacrament and I gave a boy the ordinance of laying on of hands, and also blessed the baby of Christen Lauritzen and some few who were sick. The spirit of God was greatly felt in our midst and several of the Saints brought voluntary donations or provisions for the needy, as it was fount that several families were in need. I was constantly around among the people, during those five days that we remained here and all were willing to help their needy neighbors.
[September] 12th. A company from Salt Lake Valley brought us some flour and from that time on we were not left in want for anything, as teams would come out to meet us with provisions.
[October] 5th. We this day reached the end of our journey, making our final camp in Salt Lake City at 6 p.m.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Neilsen, Christian Emil, Autobiography, 1902, 10.
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We continued up the river (April 1) to Kansas City and canped [campted] a short distance from there at Westpart where we stopped for some time, perhaps a month. There we got our outfit of teams and made ready for the journey acros the plains.
There the measels broke out in camp. I took them and having no care came near dying. I was bathing in the creck with the measels broke out on me and was sick all the way over the plains. In fact I have never got well of that to this day. The [they] left me with a cough and weak lungs. I do not recolect aney of the journey until on the Plat[te] where the Buffalow was the [they] where [were] so numerous that the[y] hade to correl the cattle to keep them from going with the Bufolow. 13 was killed near the camp. I was geting a little better and went to se [see] the neares [nurse] one then asked to go to the river to Bathe. The[y] tooke me there the watter was but 6 inches but when the[y] left me to Bathe I fainted and would have drowned if some one hade not seen me and helped me out. I do not recolect aney more of the journey til we got nearley to the valleys. When we got in the mountains I could get out of the waggon in the Evning.
October 5, 1854: Jensens Chronolegy says that Hans Peter Olsens companey of Emigrating Saints arieve in Salt Lake City Thuresday Oct 5th 1854, that meney hade died from chloera while crosing the planos [plains]. That is not correct. None died of chloera on the planes but on the Mississippi river.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Twede, Christian Frederick Nielsen, Autobiography 1886-1897, 27-30.
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1854 left England arrived in America April.
We landed about first of April in New Orleans, U.S.A., traveled up the Mississippi River to St Louis from there to Kansas City, then a small town[.] I took work in a saddle shop and stopped there about a month. The boss was a German. He was content with my work but did not pay me all it was worth;
Finally we got ready to start[.] 72 wagons in all[.] some three hundred milch [milk] cows from four to six oxen to a wagon, We broke a new road from Weston six miles from Kansas City[.] We had pilots to stake the road off for us[.] We traveled through tal gras all the time and finally got to Leavenworth by the river[.] We had to ferry out wagons over at that place[.] Then we proceeded onward to Fort Kearney[.] Erastus Snow and Benson met us there and
One morning at 10 A.M. Capt[ain] [Hans Peter] Olsen, the leader of the company ordered halt[.] We drove the wagons together in a circle our wagons close up to each other[.] herd of buffalo came running across the road[.] I will here say that we beheld a sight that lords and millionaires would leave Europe to participate in[.] it was a sight that never can be seen again unless the whole country ar[e] led waist [waste] again for that butifull [beautiful] animal is almost extinct. There must have been 100=1000. It appeared like the waves of the ocean to see them move or gallop. The Capt [k]new the danger having crossed the plains before, Had we not drove into a Camp, we would have been destroyed for they never stop nor go aside. In fact they could not for there was no room, No human being can imagine the sight the awe the impression the noise or roar of so many thousands of wild animals moving all as one.
We captured 22 of these beautiful animals, the friends of the red man, the remnant of Jacob and if a half a dozen painters had been there they would have had a treat and could have made thousands of dollars in working up rare pictures for the European market,
the life in Camp is about as hard to describe for me as the sight of the buffalo—-the ideas of 750 people from all parts of Scandinavia having all at once as by a miracle 22 fine buffalo left right in camp for them to enjoy all free gratis for nothing[.] Wel[l] everyone in camp was a butcher or rather a part of one, one skinned another cut up the meat, then the women got it ready to dry everybody laughing and were as busy as bees. I stood and looked at one of the beautiful heads and the large innocent Eyes and then in the evening I made a pair of shoes of the hide, but they dried so I could not use them. but most of the meat had to be thrown away some days after, We continued our travel day after day and nothing of importance transpired making any note of[.] The Capt said we should kill the rattlesnakes. I killed about nine. some Indiens [Indians] stopped us and asked tribute of us for passing through their land. some 200 miles east of the mountains we made a grand halt. the oxen gave out and the provisions too so we had to lighten up[.] I made a pair of pants for a boy and got 5 lb of flour in pay and I was as happy as a lark. I was in the wagon with a family by the name of Hansen. Bro [Peter] Beckstrom and I was with them as a kind of passenger
when we came to Fort Bridger I took charge of the oxen and drove them into Salt Lake City[.] Before we reached the city my oldest sister Caroline and another sister Marie met me and give me some eggs and bread. we camped in Union Square in the evening of the 5th October 1854.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Winberg, Anders Wilhelm, Reminiscences [n.d.], fd. 3, 3-4.
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On the 9th day of May the Company was ready to cross the plains. There were sixty wagons, which we made into companies, each company having a captain. I was one of the captains. Ten wagons to a company. After traveling for a short distance we found out we did not have enough oxen to pull the loads. Some of the brethren left for more oxen, coming back with 25 yoke. We were then requested to unpack our trunks and do away with all that we could possibly do without. I packed my things in a sack and threw away my trunk as many others did. In hitching some of the wild oxen to our wagons I was run down by one of them but was not hurt very mch.
The road we traveled had never been gone over before. We waded in grass knee deep, and every day would have to cut down the banks of creeks. For this purpose a corps of men traveled ahead with spades and shovels. At one time we were led out of our path coming to a steep bluff near the Kansas River. We could go no further, and so went back to the turning point taking the whole of one day. We had many such stops. Many dangerous roads to cross. At one place on the Kansas river our cattle had to swim the stream. Here one of the boys 18 years of age was drowned.
We finally reached the old emigrant road on July 22nd. What a change it was after we had traveled such a hard road. Walking now seemed easy.
On the 4th of August we met Erastus Snow, P.P. Pratt and E.T. Benson, of the Twelve Apostles, also a Brother Spencer. They stayed over night with us, and before parting next day Apostle Snow blessed the Scandinavian Emigrants. This day we traveled by the Platt[e] River and saw herds of buffaloes. We killed some of them and had a great supply of meat to our journey’s end. A little later we passed an Indian Camp. The Indians shot two of our cows. Further on we met a band of traders and told them what the Indians had done. Thirty of them went down to the camp and demanded the Indian that had shot the cows. They would not tell, so the traders took the Indian Chief and killed him. This enraged the Indians and so there was a battle between them. We had now crossed over the Platt[e] river and heard that the Indians were going to make an attack on us so we prepared ourselves. Late in the night we heard the tramp of horses feet on the other side of the river and thought that the Indians had come, but found out that it was the traders returning.
We were being joined by other companies and by this time there was a large train of us. We camped at Sweetwater for four days to give our cattle a good rest.
On Sept. 4th we passed Devilsgate and met a band of Indians. One of them gave me a new pair of moccasins. We were nearly out of provisions.
On Friday the 12th we met four wagons loaded with flour and we had 4 pounds for each individual in the train. These wagons were sent from the valley together with others who we met later.
On the 16th we met 16 more wagons with flour and we had 30 pounds for each individual in the train and that should last us until we arrive in Salt Lake Valley.
We camped on the Green River on the 18th of September and rested there until Sunday the 23rd. Our cattle, our traveling power was weak, many of our oxen had died and the most of those we had left were weak.
On the 29th we held a dance in the evening.
The 30th of September and the first of October we drove through Echo Canyon.
Brother Olson started ahead of us for the City to have a talk with President Brigham Young. A brother from the Valley whose name I did not learn, took charge of the company. We were told that we had 36 miles left to reach the Valley.
On the 2nd of October we drove through Spring Creek Canyon, a narrow Canyon where we drove over the creek many times.
On the 4th we drove over Big Mountain and part of the wagons drove up on top of Little Mountain and camped.
On the 5th the other wagons drove up and we continued this day, the 5th of October to the City.


JOHN OLDHAM 1813-1874

William S. Warren Company (1864)

Departure: 21 July 1864
Arrival: 4 October 1864
Company Information: About 329 individuals and about 65 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Wyoming, Nebraska (the west bank of the Missouri River about 40 miles south of Omaha)

Read Trail Excerpt:. . . .We then spent nine days and one night on a steamboat traveling up the Missouri River, arriving at a village called Wyoming, Missouri [Nebraska] in July 1864. After remaining there about three weeks, we started on our journey across the plains in Captain Warrens ox train.We traveled for eleven weeks before arriving at Salt Lake City on October 4th 1864. It was a very arduous journey. My father [John Oldham] and mother [Maria Heap Oldham] were both sick for about three weeks before we arrived at our destination. The Indians were very hostile during the first part of our journey, and during the latter part, nutritious food was very scarce. As soon as we arrived in Salt Lake City, we all commenced to improve, until we were soon enjoying the best of health.
Source of Trail Excerpt:Oldham, Samuel, [Interview], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 22:5-6.Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868William S. Warren Company (1864)Departure: 21 July 1864; Arrival: 4 October 1864
Company Information: About 329 individuals and about 65 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Wyoming, Nebraska (the west bank of the Missouri River about 40 miles south of Omaha)
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:"Got In," Salt Lake Daily Telegraph, 5 Oct. 1864, 3.Read Trail Excerpt:LOCAL AFFAIRSGOT IN.—Captain W. [William] S. Warren's company of about 400 immigrants and 65 wagons, arrived in the city yesterday, having made a good trip from Wyoming since July 22d. The company we learn was composed of English, Scotch, Welsh and a few Germans and Danes. One birth and twenty-six deaths occurred on the journey, the sickness was chiefly dysentery. Thirty head of cattle also died on the road.Elders Thomas E. Jeremy and G. [George Gwillym] Bywater returned with this company from four year's missions to Britain.Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Daybell, William, Autobiographical sketch, 3-6, in Histories and biographies written by members of Camp Sunflower, Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Center Utah County, Provo, Utah, vol. 4.Read Trail Excerpt:. . . . then we went to Nebraska which was called the Camping Grounds for the Saints.We then waited 2 weeks for the Ox teams to take us across the plains, it was very disagreeable while we were camping there. I have heard my mother say it would rain nearly every day and they had but little shelter. They were very uncomfortable having scarcely enough to eat.But the time came when the teamsters with Ox teams came and the company of saints of 800 was divided and put into different trains, the company was so large it took 2 trains to bring them to Utah. We were put in the WARREN train, a train of 80 wagons, 2 yoke of Oxen at an average to the wagon and we started across the plains to Utah traveling from the 25th July until 4th October. During the journey we had some trying times from sickness but very few deaths. At night the train would be brought into the camp. The wagons all put in a circle, one wagon tongue run under the other until it made a correl or a safe place to yoke up the cattle. Fires were made within the circle and the young people would enjoy themselves, some times at dancing on the bare ground. My father would get some wood if there was any to be got, my mother and her children would go and pick up the buffalo chips then we would help her carry them to make our fire, so the time passed on.We crossed the plains when the Indians were very bad. In fact, they killed a great many people, but they did not molest us as a general thing. Those who were known to be Mormon emigrants they used to visit our train in great numbers and talk to the people. So this was our experience as we traveled that dreary road day after day, and week after week, but the time came when we were nearing Utah, the word went ahead that Captain WARREN's company was nearing its destination.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Edwards, Elizabeth, Reminiscences, in Biographies of Elizabeth Edwards Hanks, Pioneer of 1864, Sarah and Morgan Edwards, Pioneer of 1864, and George William Hanks, Pioneer of 1857.Read Trail Excerpt:
Our outfitting station was Wyoming, Nebraska. Our date of departure for "Zion" was July 19, 1864. The Captain of our company was William S. Warren. Four hundred souls were in our wagon train of about 65 wagons. We arrived in Great Salt Lake on October 4th, 1864. Our leaders on the plains were George Bywater and Thomas Jeremy.I walked all the way across the plains, a distance of about a thousand miles. I was not quite fifteen years old at the time. I wore out three pair of shoes and walked the rest of the way barefooted. Often I could see the blood from my sore feet in the sand as I walked. There was a boy in our wagon. His mother was too old to do any cooking. His sister had to do that. Tom was the boy's name. And he was such a grumbler. I told him to stop his grumbling and he pulled my hair. He was a boy about 19 years old. I lost my temper and jumped right at him and pulled his hair until he went right head over heels on the wagon tongue, and whoever was looking on said, "Give it to him. And shame on you Tom for striking a little girl like that." I went behind the wagon crying then. Mother laughed and said, "That was a good battle. That was as swift as the battle of Waterloo." Later on my brother William challenged Tom to a fight, saying, "I'll throw my coat for fifty dollars, and then you won't strike my sister again."There was one time soon after this event that I remember well. Just after we passed Ft. Laramie we came to a little station. I had never seen and Indian. We came to this place and there were a lot of Negroes there. They were a band of minstrels and had all kinds of musical instruments with them. I stayed behind the wagons with the other walkers in our wagon train. The Negroes were singing and we listened to them. Then one of the walkers said, "Well, I think it is time we were making tracks. The wagons are way ahead of us out of sight." So of course we started out after them. Just as we came around the hill, our wagons had gone around the other hill. At the point of the trail we saw a drunken Indian as he came shooting his gun in the air. It just went to my heart so. There was a big band of Indians after him to capture him. The man with us said, "Don't be afraid. They are trying to capture him. He is drunk." I fainted away, and dropped right down. A man came by and said, "This child is scared to death." So he helped me along. Mother and the rest of our family had gone ahead with the wagons and they did not see the Indians.I reached the wagon at last and the team was going, and I tried to get in the wagon without stopping the team. They move so slowly. There were three pair of oxen on each wagon. I was weak from being so ill and scared, so when I tried to climb in the wagon, this boy Tom, whom I had had the fight with, gave me a push until I fell right on the wagon tongue. Mother caught me by the dress and saved me from getting killed. Mother said, "That boy Tom tries me to death." It was then that my brother wanted to fight Tom, but Tom would not fight anyone his own size. That boy Tom and I never did like each other, and mostly because of him I walked the rest of the way to Salt Lake City. In all the miles from Omaha to Salt Lake I walked all but 25 miles.The next day after leaving Ft. Laramie we met a family and they stopped to talk to the people in our wagon train. There was a man and his wife and family. We asked them where they were going. They were going to see some friends at the fort. Their home was way back on the trail and they were just going to meet their friends. The day after that we came to their home. The house was all on fire. The Indians had been there. The man they had left to guard the place was dead in the road. The corrals were on fire. As the man's body was right in the trail, our leader said, "Don't touch him." The soldiers would soon come from the fort to care for him. We made a track around him. There was a woman who arrived there just then, and she screamed, "I know it is my John," but it wasn't. We camped near that place that night. We didn't go very far in a day. During the night it looked like there were regiments of soldiers coming into camp. They said that there were seven men who had been killed by the Indians and that three women had been stolen. The soldiers had taken care of the bodies. The next day we came to the seven graves the soldiers had spoken of. It looked like there had been an awful fight. We were told by our leaders not to touch a thing, even though there were things that would help us. The soldiers would come back and get what provisions were left.Our water captain on the plains was William Davenport, who later lived in Parowan[, Utah]. Our teamster was Ephraim Thompson, who later lived in Fillmore[, Utah]. My brother William Edwards was a hunter on the plains for our wagon train. Sometimes he would be gone for many hours alone hunting what little he could bring back for us to eat. Mother would worry about him. We had bought him a gun at the outfitting station in Nebraska. He was a very good shot for a very young man who had worked in a mine all his life.I had walked and walked so much that the soles had come off of my shoes. I then went barefooted. The shoemaker was sick and he couldn't fix my shoes. He was always busy. I walked barefooted until my toes would bleed from walking through prickle pears. I walked through all the rivers but one, and that was the Platte. There was a young man by the name of Stephen who liked to be among the Welsh people. He had been in the Civil War and had lost his leg in battle. He used a crutch. When we would come to these rivers, he would say, "You are the smallest one of all, take hold of me." Being hold of him would help me. He had his crutch and wooden leg. I walked through all the rivers holding on to Stephen. The rivers were swift and deep. The water would come into the wagon box and over the oxen's backs and the oxen would make such a loud noise driving the water out of their noses. The teamster would have to ride on the back of the oxen to guide them in the water.We soon came to one of the women who had been stolen by the Indians and had escaped from them. She was at a government station along the way. Her husband and two boys had been killed and her two girls had been stolen. Her mind was completely broken and she was nearly dead. She didn't want anything. She was right out of her head. We could look at her through the window of a cabin. I thought it was the most pitiful sight I had ever seen.I remember one day in particular. I was barefooted and I couldn't follow the wagon because I felt so ill, and my feet were so sore and bleeding. The wagons got farther and farther ahead. My brother and mother were sick in the wagon and so were not with me. I gave out and sat down to rest a bit and I could see that they were a long way ahead. When they camped at night my mother saw that I wasn't with them. And, as sick as she was, she came back for me. I had been crying, but I dried my tears and go up to meet her. "Oh, Mother", I cried, "Why did you come back for me as sick as you are?" But she only smiled at me. She looked very ill when we got to camp. Thus we traveled along from day to day.We arrived in Great Salt Lake City on October 4, 1864.[Source:]
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Fletcher, Eliza Duncombe, Life of Eliza Duncombe Fletcher, 1. (Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.)Read Trail Excerpt:We started across the plains July 10, with Captain William Warren in charge of oztrain [ox train]. I saw bodies lying where the Indians had killed them and left them, but we were a large company—150 wagons, 485 oxen—so the Indians were afraid to come too close to us. I saw where they had burned wagons.One afternoon we saw a fire where they had camped. The next morning two boys went back with field glasses and saw that the whole camp had been wiped out.One night the captain told the teamsters not to turn the cattle loose as he expected the Indians, so the men and boys stood guard and at midnight we heard them coming, shouting their warhoops. When they got about halfway round the camp the men fired on them and the Indians found we were ready for them so they fled.I walked nearly all the way across the plains and one time layed down to rest and went to sleep. When I awoke it was nearly night, and I didn't know which way to go, but I suppose I was inspired to look for the oxen tracks and followed them until I saw a man going for water with a can like a big milk can. I hurried to catch him and went into camp and found they had had supper and had not missed me.Of the family I came with, the father [Edward Chappell], mother [Agnes Boardman Chappell], my chum, their oldest son [Robert Edward Chappell; second oldest son], and their baby [Jemima Elizabeth Chappell] died with mountain fever, and were buried on the wayside. I am thankful I was too young to sense the sorrow very deeply.These are a few thing we went through in coming to Zion but I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for his protection and care over me so that I came through in safety. I arrived in Salt Lake City 4 Oct. 1864.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Hanks, Eliza Edwards, [Diary excerpt], in Josephine Peterson Hanks, Biography of William David Hanks, 4.Read Trail Excerpt:Quoting Eliza, "I walked all the way across the plains—a distance of about 1000 miles. When we started, I had three pair of shoes but finally they wore out and so much of this way was bare-footed. Often I could see the blood from my sore feet that was left in the sand as I walked along. Sometimes I would set down to rest, and then the wagon train would go on and leave me all alone. Once I felt I just couldn't go any more but mother came back to find me after the wagons had stopped for the night."
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Jones, John Lee, Reminiscences [ca. 1900-1926], 12-14.Read Trail Excerpt:In 1864, I was Called to fill another Mission to Drive 4 Yoke of Oxen & Wagon down to the Frontier of "Nebraska Territory on the Missourie River, to Pick up the Saints Coming from England who was Emigrated by the Perpetual Emigration Fund up to this Point, we was yet in rather destitute Circumstances, in Order to prepare me for the Journey of nearly 4000 Miles, my Wife was Obliged to take the Blanket from her Bed to make me a Shirt. My out Fit Consisted of the Following, a Small Bag of Flour, 20 lbs of Crackers, a Knife, Spoon, Tin Cup, & Plate, a Blanket & two Quilts, Pr of Buckskin Pants, the above Blanket Shirt, " A Gun & Pistol", the last Named was borrowed, from Bro H Lunt. Bros"Edward Parry" & Cha[rle]s Nye, was called to go on this Mission at the Same time. Our Steers & Oxen with Yokes Chains & Waggons were furnished by the Breathren of the "Cedar Ward", who furnished them until our return, & was Credited on Labour Tithing for their use.We Started on our Long Journey April 10th 1864 nearley 4000 Miles, Our Steers were very Wild, wich retarded our progress in Traveling at first, we would be till 10. O.Clock in the Morning in Catching Some of the Wilder Cattle, we would only Make 6 Miles per Day, but we Soon got them Tractable, & proscuted our Journey with More Speed, & increased the Distance to 12 & 16 Miles a Day.When we got into Wyoming Territory We found the Platt[e] River Runing & nearly one Mile Wide we had to Swim our Cattle & Waggons Over, Wich took us some 4 Days the Snow Water was Very Cold & Made us all very weary & Cold, being in the Water So long, but the Lord blessed us & our Bodyes & prepared us for the Occation.We arrived in July on the Banks of the Missourie River, & Met the Saints who had been brought, from Europe, thence up the River to the City of Wyoming, wich was then the Outfitting Post, for the Emigration, (for this was before the Union Pacific Rail Road was Built.) Consequently these Deserts & Plains had to be Travesed by Oxen, Mules, & Ho[r]ses. Some Even Came to Utah With Hand Carts a few years prevous to this time. I think it was in the Years 1858-9After resting our Cattle a Short time, We Loaded in the Luggage of the Saints, Souls was apportioned to Me to bring Home to Zion, there Names were as follows Mother [Mary Ann] Lord & 2 Daughters [Jane and Hannah], Bro [John] & Sis. [Amelia] Mills & three others I forget their names, in returning Home we lost Many of our Cattle, Dying of Poison.We had a Stampeed Just after we Crossed the South Platt at Juelsburge On the Pole Creek Route, resulting in the loss of 5 or 6 Head of Our Cattle. Some of them had their Legs Broken others had their Hornes torn off from their Heads Others had their Backs Broaken, & as they was in Tolerable Condition in Flesh we Butchered two of them for Beef & distributed it among the Emigrants and Teamsters, this Act proved to be very bad for the Saints, as the Fresh Beef gave them the Cholera & Many of them Died. I Buried 3 Souls that was in My Waggon, Vis Sis Lord & Bro & Sis Mills, they were good Saints, & will be Resurrected When the first Trump Shall Sound, in the Morn of the Millennium. The Teamsters were Compeled to Sleep out Upon the Ground, in Consequence of the Waggons being Loaded up to the Bows, those in My Waggon had a Tent to Sleep in.There was one circumstance on the way, the Weather was very Stormy it had been Raining all Night Our Bedding was Completely Saturated. On waking in the Morning I found we had been lying in two Inches of Water all Night, & two Large Black Reptiles about 2 feet Long, who no doubt Crawled in between us out of the Rain. I notified Bro. "Edward Purry," My Companion who Slept with me, of the two Black Inmates in Bed, he Soon gave them a wide Birth by Springing out, leaving them Sole Possessors of the Bed. But we Soon dislodged them. We then Wrung out the Water from our Cloths, Placed them in the Waggon & Prepared for the Days Journey, the Indians were very bad at this time Attackting Many of the Gentile Emigration, who was going to Montana & California in Search for Gold & Silver, but the Lord preserved us his Saints, we had a double Guard out every Night & Traveled in a Co of 110 Waggons, wich reached 5 Miles in length when all in Motion.In due time we arrived in "Salt Lake City" Where the poor Saints were provided with Homes among the Saints in Zion, Untill they Could get Homes of their own.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Rampton, Ada Alice McDuff, Reminiscence in "Called at the Age of Sixty," Davis County Clipper, 16 Sep. 1910, 1.Read Trail Excerpt:Mrs. Rampton emigrated to Utah in 1864 with her parents, crossing the plains in Captain Warren’s company. It was the time of the Civil War and the Indians were on the warpath. She relates that a number of times they came up to farms and ranches where the inhabitants had all been killed off; the Indians being scared away by the approach of their train. One small mule train, bound for California, that had been traveling in their company for protection, getting impatient at the slow progress of the ox teams, pushed on ahead. The next day the slower ox teams came up to a place where all the company had been massacred and horribly mutilated by the Indians, their mules killed and the wagons and property destroyed.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Stannard, J. W. P., "The Journey Over the Plains," Deseret News [Weekly], 26 Oct. 1864, 27.Read Trail Excerpt:THE JOURNEY OVER THE PLAINS. TO THE EDITOR OF THE DESERET NEWS:"Ublest Libertas, ibl est Patria."-CICERO. [Where liberty is, there is my country.]SIR:—Being advised that an account of the Emigrants' journey over the Plains, would be acceptable to many of your intelligent readers, I respectfully submit to their perusal, the following narration of a company's procedure under the supervision of Captain William S. Warren; and as I am a member of the Church of England, the statement by a "Gentile" may on that account be deemed impartial, respecting the judicious arrangements made for the Emigrants' welfare.The "Agent of the Emigration," at Wyoming, Joseph W. Young, Esq., furnished the Emigrants with excellent provisions. The flour, hams, bacon, rice, sugar, apples, beans, etc., were the very best that money could procure; and the Emigrants generally concur with me in feeling grateful to that gentlemen, for supplying them so well. En passant, it seems not irrelevant to add, for the benefit of future Emigrants, that those who roasted the beans, then ground them into powder, and used it as coffee, were preserved from Diarrhoea, which attacked others, and proved fatal to some; as might naturally be expected among several hundred persons, in a journey of 1100 miles, and occupying upwards of ten weeks. "Tell me," said the Irishman, "the place where people don't die, and I will go and end my days there." The "Commissary" carefully superintended the distribution of the provisions, every alternate week; and saw that "every one had his portion of meat, etc., in due season." With such good provision for the body, the wants of the soul were not neglected. The "Chaplain" called us together, mornings and evenings, for public worship. The Prayers appropriate for the occasion, nullified the latter part of the following statement, which recently appeared in the Chicago Tribune: viz. "the Mormons believe in Joseph Smith, but do not believe in Jesus Christ!" Whether this latter clause proceeded from a penny-a-liner's gross ignorance of their religion; (which a perusal of any of their books, or an attendance upon any one of their services would promptly remove: or from his base pandering to the morbid antipathy against the "Mormons," and was overlooked by the intelligent Editors: it was very reprehensible in a public journal, and discreditable to its respectable conductors. Many of the Hymns sung, being compiled from Wesley, Watts, etc., were familiar to me: and I enjoyed the singing, especially of that fire old Doxology."Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heavenly hostPraise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."Which reverberated on the extensive plains of Dacotah: and why not? Divine worship should not be confined to human buildings: the Universe is God's temple; the dome of heaven its lofty roof; the plane of earth, its wide basis; sun, moon, and stars its glittering ornaments; every devout heart, an altar; every upright man, a priest; and prayer and praise, the incense, which arises to heaven with acceptance, and draws down a gracious benediction. "Guards" were regularly set, morning and evening, for the protection of the passengers, Cattle, Wagons, etc.; and thus, like the ancient Israelites under Nehemiah; "we made our prayer unto God, and had a watch set night and day. In describing the various Officials, the "Teamsters" should not be overlooked. Coming, as many of them did, from various parts of Europe, the Teamsters' knowledge of the English language, was remarkable to an experienced Tutor, long accustomed to educate Scholars and train Teachers in English, inter alia. I remember at Bourbon College in France, when I was Professor there, a Parisian studying English, exclaiming, one morning. "Some thieves stole Mr. Durand, last night: they robbed his watch, and other articles:" instead of "some thieves robbed Mr. Durand, last night: they stole his watch, etc." No such error was made by the Teamsters, as was made by that Collegian. Their correct pronunciation too was gratifying. In adjacent wagons, were two young men, each eighteen years old; one was a native of Norway, who had been in Utah six years; the other was a North Briton, who emigrated from Scotland this year. The Norwegian's pronunciation of English was correct and intelligible. The North Briton's was in the broad Scotch dialect; which (like the Irish brogue) is difficult to be understood by the English or Americans. The superiority of the foreigner's pronunciation of English is to be ascribed to his long residence in Utah; for the Americans' orthoepy is remarkably good. Of course, well-educated Englishmen and Americans speak alike; but taking the vast majority of the people of Great Britain and America, the superiority of American's pronunciation is obvious; and forcibly impressed my mind during the last three years that I taught Private Families and Public Schools in Illinois, and held a "first-grade Certificate of Qualification." The Americans have no "patois," (as the French term it;) they never say "I wull" and "you shull:" they never speak of "hogs and happles;" " 'ouses and 'orses;" "wirtue" and "winegar;" "this vicked var," etc; which dialects and provincialisms disfigure the pronunciation of many Britons. The "Captain" ably superintended the whole; and at times seemed almost ubiquitous; and he was "here, there, and everywhere," when his presence was requested; and by wisely tempering authority with benignity, secured for himself general respect.With such physical and spiritual provision; under such able guardianship; and with the beneficent protection of our heavenly Father, we at length arrived at this far-famed city; and here my expectations were completely surpassed. Much as I had read about Utah and its inhabitants, from the elaborate and masterly work of Captain Stansbury, (one of the earlier and best books on the subject,) to the recent publication of Captain Burton, I was impelled to exclaim with one of old, "the half has not been told me," and was reminded of the inscription on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren, in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and its celebrated Architect. That inscription is, "si monumentum quaeris, circumspice," i. e. "if you seek his monument, look around:" see the cathedral he has erected, &c. So, to any one desirous of knowing what the calumniated "Mormons" really are, I would say, "come hither, and 'look around.'" See the beautiful city, they have built; see the extensive fields they have cultivated; see the rich productions they have raised; see how they have made the wilderness and the solitary place to be glad for them, and the desert to become "DESERET," and to rejoice and blossom as the rose. Surely such a people; so industrious, as surrounding objects indicate; so religious as their crowded Bowery evinces, eminently deserve to have their "Territory" formed into a "STATE." For maintaining this truth in Illinois, I was assailed, defamed, maligned, and as the climax of my opponents' vituperation, I was called a "Mormon;" but the only answer I received was, "perhaps it would be made into a State, but for its peculiar institutions." Irrespective of the declaration, "Congress shall pass no law respecting religion, or the exercise thereof;—(which concerns Americans exclusively, and might be deemed presumptuous for a foreigner to intermeddle with)—I contended for the broad, grand doctrine that with "Institutions," whether "peculiar" or general, which emanate from Christian principles, no Government has any right to interfere. While as an Englishman, I readily concur with Dr. Watts."Let Caesar's dues be ever paidTo Caesar and his throne, As a Christian, I cordially add, with that poet,But consciences and souls were madeTo be the Lord's alone.""Conscience," said an eminent judge, "is not amenable to human laws, nor subject to human tribunals." All that governments have a right to require is, that the inhabitants should properly perform their duties; and then they are justly entitled to possess their rights, as denizens of a Free State. The maligned "Mormons" have nobly discharged their duties; and therefore preeminently merit to enjoy their privilege, as citizens of THE FREE STATE OF "DESERET." I cordially rejoice in the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, although, like the former day Saints, they are every where spoken against; (thus proving what Dr. Paley terms an "undesigned coincidence," thus Mormonism and Christianity are identical, by each meeting with the same reception;) and I heartily wish that their future progress may resemble "the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day."I am, sir, yours respectfully,J. W. P. STANNARD,Professor of Languages and Mathematics.G. S. L. City, Oct. 13th, 1864.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Stott, Edwin, "A Sketch of My Life," Utah Historical Quarterly, July, Oct. 1941, 187.Read Trail Excerpt:In 1864, I was called to go back to the Missouri River after Mormon immigrants. Our company was composed of sixty wagons with eight head of oxen to the wagon, which made a total of four hundred eighty head of cattle in the company. My calling in the company, with three others, was the night herding of these cattle. It was a hard task, and I slept but very little night or day for six weeks. It was also a year of unusually high water, every creek and river being flooded. We had to swim our cattle and wagons in crossing the South Platte River. When we were on our journey about six hundred miles, we came to a section of country of much rain at that season of the year. We had rain and thunder storms every night for two weeks or more. We journeyed on and finally reached the Missouri River. The Mormon immigration was there ready to be loaded. We started back for Utah, but the Indians were very troublesome. A small company of three wagons, four mules to each wagon, bound for Oregon, traveled with us until we passed Fort Leavenworth, then they left us, as we were traveling too slow for them. But in two days we came upon the place where the Indians had killed them all, set fire to their wagons and stolen their mules. At this time the country was being settled to some extent. men were coming out and taking up ranches and building homes. Indians were killing them and setting fire to their homes and stealing their belongings. As we were traveling along at night we could see the homes burning on the horizon. When we were about five hundred and forty miles on our journey we camped about one half mile from some freighters, forty wagons in all. They had been to Denver, Colorado, with their loads, and were on their way back. In the night we heard yelling and shooting. Presently we saw the fire start burning. The Indians had set fire to all the wagons and driven their cattle away and killed all the men.As night herders we had many narrow escapes from the Indians. But the blessings of the Lord were up on us, and we landed home in safety.var channel = " LDS Church History";var pageName = " LDS Church History: Source of Trail Excerpt: Stott, Edwin, "A Sketch of My Life," Utah Historical Quarterly, July, Oct. 1941, 187.";var locale = "eng";
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868Source of Trail Excerpt:Wilson, Stephen Fairchild, Reminiscence, 17-23 (Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.)Read Trail Excerpt:Early next spring 1864, my father said we must make a start for Salt Lake City on account of the persecution of our neighbors which grew more and more unbearable day by day. With all the haste we could command under the circumstances we got ready the best we could, and father fitted up his span of ponies and light wagon and one morning about 3 or 4 o'clock A.M. early in April 1864, he took us by surprise by driving the team into the door post close to the door and quietly said in a low voice make haste and load up no time to lose, and in less time than it takes to write it, Aunt Rebecca and her 6 children, my sister Sarah Alice and myself with our scanty bedding, clothing, a few dishes and small provisions we were packed into the little wagon all ready to start! Father said now—"Stephen is the teamster" and he held the lines while the "teamster" got firmly seated for the ponies were restless and seemed to catch the spirit of it and were impatient to start for Utah! It was about 4 a.m. and about the 5 of April 1864 when father handed the lines up to me saying "peace and good luck be with you" till father, mother, sister Elizabeth, brothers Ira Lyman, Oliver Cowdery and little Joseph Ellis Wilson mother’s baby and brother Sidney Smith, his wife Nancy Brizandine and baby boy 1 year old, with his light rig overtook us 50 miles from the old homestead which we left for the dogs to fight over!! I stopped at a place which father previously designated till they came up. That was indeed a happy reunion of a family of refugees fleeing from persecution which we suffered more or less since we fled from Nauvoo Illinois June 1846, a lapse of 18 years. We indeed felt to thank our Heavenly Father for our freedom in the pure fresh air of the prairies of western Iowa while on our journey to the promised land of Utah.After several more day's travel of 150 miles taking turns riding and walking along side of the little rickety light family wagons, some of the family walking all the way. We arrived all well and safe at the Missouri River opposite the church Wyoming landing over to which we were soon ferried and said good bye to old Iowa and Ill. It was in the latter part of June 1864, when we crossed the River and were soon looked after at the church emigration headquarters. In a few days we were all baptized except father and mother and "aunt" Rebecca who were previously baptized in Illinois, prior to 1846. also little Joseph Ellis Wilson 6 years old. We were baptized in Weeping Water Creek which empties into the Missouri River near the Wyoming Landing by Elder George Bywater about the 1st of July 1864 and confirmed same day by whom I do not know. That baptism was one of the happiest days of my life. On coming up out of the water the spirit of testimony from above rested upon me in a manner that I shall never forget as long as memory lasts. It was a momentary joy I can not explain and a testimony to me that the ordinance of baptism by immersion is essential to salvation in the kingdom of heaven and that the Lord was pleased with what I had done. I felt that I entered the door of the kingdom of heaven which the Lord had set up in the last days through the prophet Joseph Smith the "choice seer" in fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel II chapter and 44th verse.Some time after the 4th of July a few days 1864, my father loaded mother and her children into Captain Warren's train of ox teams according to arrangement, Sidney my brother, wife and 2 children into Captain Canfield's train. Father took "aunt" Rebecca and her 6 children in his light pony wagon and traveled along with the trains till we arrived in Salt Lake City Utah about the 5th of October 1864.About two weeks after we left the Missouri River and somewhere in Nebraska Territory—now a state—just as father and I were tieing the hame strings on his ponies they started in a second on the back road leaving their harness strung along the road for about two miles before they were overtaken by the horsemen belonging the two church trains of ox teams which both stampeded before you could say scat, and leaving broken wagon wheels, crippled oxen, wagons tipped over and mdse. provisions and all kinds of goods scattered along the road on the plains for about a mile or two. My mother was in one of the wagons which tipped over and a heavy goods box fell on her side and brok[e] two ribs. The effects of which made it uncomfortable for her to ride in the jolting wagons for a long time, but the Lord had a work for her to do in temple for the living and for the dead and He spared her life till it was done. We soon started on and soon passed some of our men repairing a wagon wheel which had been broken in the stampede. A few days after this incident our train passed by a small train of gentile freighters whose wagons were burning to ashes and all the provisions, bedding and clothing &c had been taken, also their animals, and 9 of the dead bodies of the freighters were lying stretched out side by side near the ruins, all of which was the work of the savage indians a few short hours before. I do not know whether our men buried them or not. Our trains did not stop, but I was among a number of the brethren who were walking and we saw the sight! Nothing more of importance transpired till nearly all of our family were down with the mountain fever a little before we reached the summit or south pass, where my sister Elizabeth died and was buried by the road side. The trains cannot stop for funerals; two or three persons have to stop long enough to bury the dead, hastily. Two or three days after that my teamster called me out of mountain fever stupor saying Stephen, look! there goes your father with your last full sister Miss Sarah Alice Wilson in his light wagon to the Echo grave yard. With great I looked over the side of the wagon box in which I was riding and saw the light wagon go by at the forks of the road just behind my wagon. In a day or two we arrived in Salt Lake City about the 4th of Oct. 1864 near fall conference.var channel = " LDS Church History";var pageName = " LDS Church History: Source of Trail Excerpt: Wilson, Stephen Fairchild, Reminiscence, 17-23 (Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.)";var locale = "eng";




Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

John B. Walker Company (1852)

Departure: 26-30 June 1852

Arrival: 2-7 October 1852

Company Information: About 258 individuals were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs).

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
"14th Company," Deseret News [Weekly], 18 Sep. 1852, 2.
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14th Company, John B. Walker, Capt., wife and 5 children; James Dailey [Dayley] wife and 8 children; Elizabeth Meckam [Meekam] and son; Joseph Bidlecom [Biddlecome]; Geo. Bidlecom [Biddlecome]; Wm. Pope, wife and 5 children; John Page, wife and 4 children; Davis McOlney, wife and 4 children; Billey [Billa] Dixon [Dickson], wife and 5 children; James Woodward, wife and 3 children; Mary Ann Elivens and 3 children; R. W. Nobles, wife and son; Zial [Azail] Ri[g]gs, wife and 3 children; Benour Chase and wife; Wm. Heap, wife and 5 children; ¬[Ezekiel] Hopkins, wife and 6 children; Lewis Whitesides, wife and daughter; Cragun [Origin] Southworth; Sam’l Curtis; Ralph Thompson, wife and 2 children; Jos. H[arrison] Tippets and 9 children; S.[Gustavus] A[dolphus] Perry, wife and 3 children; Joseph Barton and 3 children; Chas. Williams, wife and 5 children; John Currie and 6 children; Henry Box and 4 children; John [Johannes] Alleman and 7 children; Jos. Bisselle and wife; Thos. McKinzie [McKenzie], wife and 3 children: D[aniel] M[ark] Barbanks [Burbank], wife and 4 children; Reuben Carter, wife and 6 children; Alvin Nichols, wife & 3 children; Elizabeth Moore; D[ennis] Do[r]rity, wife and 7 children, Joseph Robinson and wife; Elizabeth Huntsman; Geo. Robinson, wife and 3 children; [David] Daniel Peet, wife and son; Reuben W. Strong and 2 children; John Nichols, wife and 2 children; Chester Southworth, wife and 4 children; John Palmer, wife and son; Jacob F[arnum] Abbott, wife and 3 children; Martha Bickmore and 5 children; John Myers, wife and 1 child; John Dixon [Dickson]: Stewart Dixon [Dickson]; wife and son; Joseph Dudley, wife and 4 children; Sitbbel [Sybell] Stevens; Wm. B[uckminster] Lindsey [Lindsay], wife and 2 children; Ephraim Lindsy [Lindsay], wife and son; Wm. B[uckmunster] Lindsey [Lindsay] jr., wife and 5 children; Martha Bickmore; Ed[win] R[euben] Lindsey [Lindsay], wife and child; Jane A[manda] Presley; G[eorge] B[arton] Hicks; wife and 5 children; Geo. A[rmstrong] Hicks; Henry Emery, wife and 1 child; Mary Moore; Wm. Moore.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Burbank, Daniel M[ark], Autobiography, 1863, 47-48.
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. . .so we started into the Wilderness West leaving our farms houses[,] orchids [orchards] and Temple and got Nothing for all our Labors[.] many vary Poor and destitute for the Cumferts of life yet We must go on or Be Killed[.] yes utterly Distroyed as Trusting in God we Draged a long till we got into the Valley of the Grate [Great] Salt Lake the lard [Lord] Ruling and over Ruling for our Good and Safety in all things Both in spirit and temporal as our surcum Stance [circumstance] Stood in need. . . .then on to the Bluffs or a plase called Kanes Ville [Kanesville], heare I lived on Indian Creeke and Was Bishop for sum tim[.] then North 60 miles thare takeing Charg of the Church afares till in the yeare of 1852 started West for Salt Lake[.] When on the planes [-] My Wife Abigail dide leaveing me With 4 Children one Boy and three Gearls so in October the seventh in 1852 I landed With my famley in the City of Grate Salt Lake

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Burbank, Sarah Southworth, Autobiographical sketch, 1924.
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In June we camped in a place called Winter Quarters where the company was organized in companies of fity with a captain over each. D.M. Burbank was our captain. Then we went on our journey among the Indians. At night we had to guard the oxen so they would not steal them. We chained the cattle to the wheels of the wagons. The bugle was sounded in the morning and all the camp called together for prayers. The cows were yoked with oxen and traveled many miles before getting water and wood. On the first part of the journey when we came to streams of water we found willows to make bridges so that they could take the wagons over.
When we came to a stream we would wash our clothes and dry them on the grass for we might not get a place again for fity or one hundred miles. We gathered dried dung or buffalo chips to make a fire to cook our food, dug a hole in the ground, put the skillet in the hole with a tight lid on it, put the buffalo chip on the lid and set it afire. It baked the bread fine. That was the way we did our cooking until we got where there was wood again.
Then we went along the Platte River where we had the cholera. Five died with it in our company. My youngest sister was born on the planes. My oldest sister gave birth to a baby on the planes and many other women gave birth to babies but the company was not hindered in their march as they would move on the next morning making quite a hardship for the women. My husband’s wife Abby [Abigail] died with cholera and buried without a coffin by the Platte River along with others. We had to go on in the morning never to see their graves again. The night that Abby was buried the wolves were howling. It was awful to hear the dirt thrown on their bodies. A young lady and I were the only ones to wash and dress her with what we could find, her under clothes and night gown. We sewed her up in a sheet and quilt. That was all that could be done for her burial. All the women in the camp were afraid to prepare the body for burial for fear that they would catch the Cholera from her. This young girl and I were not afraid to take care of the body. We were only sixteen years old but brave in that case.
We started in June and were four months on our journey before we arrived at the Salt Lake Valley. Three months after Abby died I married D.M. Burbank on the Plains. Captain Walker of another company that camped by us married us one evening. The bugle called the camp together to witness our marriage. We had cedar torch lights instead of candles. It was by Green River in September. There I mothered four children that were sick with scarlet fever. My husband and I had great trouble with sickness the rest of the way. We also had a number of oxen die and had to stop for the camp to get cows instead of oxen. A hundred Indians took D.M. Burbank a prisoner. We thought he would be killed but the Chief gave him up to us if we would give them flour sugar and coffee. We rejoiced when we saw the Captain alive. He had gone to hunt a buffalo that he spied through a spy glass. He had killed buffaloes before when hunting for a camping place. The poor cows furnished us with milk or we would have suffered for a drink as the water was so bad for hundreds of miles. We had to grind parched corn in a coffee mill to eat in milk to save our flour. We would eat it at night in milk. We parched a sack full before we left home. I stood over a fire place and helped mother do it. The oxen stampeded and ran away with the wagons toward the river. One woman was killed. I jumped out of the wagon with mother’s babe and came nearly being killed. It rained so hard that night that everything was wet through. The wind blew so hard that we had to sit up and hold the covers on all night. That happened many times.
When fording streams we could just see the oxens backs and horns and thought our wagons would go under, but we got out alive by the help of the Lord.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Dickson, Albert Douglas, Reminiscence [ca. 1911], 2-5.
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In the spring of 1852 he sold his place and bought 2 yoke of oxen and 2 yokes of cows. Went to the Missouri River bottom where Ezra T. Benson organized the Saints which gathered there which was the fourteenth company which left for the Salt Lake Valley in the spring of 1852 <(bapt. John B. Walker)>. Crossed on a large flat boat, two wagons to a trip, three men to the car and one to the rear to steer; would land down the river about 1/4 of a mile from the starting point, and pulled the boat back with oxen. The company consisted of 50 wagons and five tens and each ten had a captain and our captain was David M. Conley. Made the westward start and went over to the Elkhorn, Neb., river and found an old decaded flat boat of about four or five tons capacity. We supposed it to be the property of some fur traders who had lost or left it there. The next camp was on the Platte River, Neb., where the cholera broke out and two of our number succumbed to the dread disease, which did not leave our company until we reached Loup Fork, which is up the river from our first camp on the Platte and ten more or our company died of cholera. At this point some one threw out a buffalo robe and stampeded about fifty wagons and one woman was thrown out and killed. Trailed along up to the Grand Island. Traveled two days up the river and saw the first buffaloes on the route, six or eight, and my father and some of the rest of the men tried to kill one and shot and crippled one bull and our dog took up the chase of the injured buffalo and melted itself and we children mourned the loss of our noble dog, and the hunt was unsuccessful for we got no buffalo.
Went on two more days and the first buffalo was killed by our company[.] Wm. Lindsey [Lindsay], which was distributed in our company. After this we saw them every day and got one any time we needed meat for there were thousands of them and we would stop the train and watch the vast herds pass. Now, of course, there were lots of buffalo bones and we began to learn somewhat concerning the advance companies for they would write their messages on the skull bones and set them by the roadside and we, likewise, would leave messages to the companies still to come. It will be remembered that we were going up the north side of the Platte and now in a few days more we could see thousands of buffalo on the south side of the river but none on the side we were on. So when we had used all our meat it was necessary for some of the company to cross the river and try and get some for meat. So my father [Billa Dickson], Ephraim Lindsay and Geo[rge]. [Barton] Hicks waded the river and killed some and night came on and in the darkness they dared not cross the river for camp and consequently had to lay out, which greatly alarmed the rest of the company, and I never expected to see my father again. The next morning a search party was organized but before they were ready to start they saw them coming carrying all they could of the very best meat from the carcass. Farther up the river small buffalo small bluffs and cedar were in sight. The cedar, however, were on the other side of the river. We observed that a large number of the wagon tires were getting loose so we camped by a small bluff and men with their shovels soon dug around a piece of earth, which was used for an anvil block. In the meantime some had crossed the river to get a load of cedar. On their return they made a pit by setting the wood on end and in the form of an Indian wigwam and then covered it with grass and dirt and then burned it and the next morning, with the charcoal, they cut and welded the tires and set them. We passed Ash Hollow after several day's travel. The next place of importance was Chimney Rock. Traveled twelve miles and came to Scotts Bluffs and 64 miles from here we arrived at Fort Laramie. Here we forded the Platte to the south side. We stopped at Deer Creek where the washing for the camp was done. I went hunting with father and we saw a bunch of buffalo of about 50 head. They run out on a large plain. Two men were after the same ones as we were and they were on one side and we on the other but out of sight. They shot and they came straight toward us up a hill where we were on the top. When within 50 yards father shot and killed one and the others came on in their mad rush not seeing us till their hoofs were nearly on us. They just parted enough to keep from killing us. We went down to where the buffalo lay and found that he was not dead and father had to finish him with a butcher knife. The two men then came over. They belonged to a Welsh Company. Father cut out a pack or what he could carry and gave the rest to them, being the first buffalo meat they had on their trip. We got back to camp after dark.
We traveled a few days and stopped again for repairs, setting wagon tires, shoeing oxen, etc.
Went on up the Platte until the last crossing and we crossed back on the north side. After traveling for a few days we arrived on the Sweetwater. Here a man overtook our ten who belonged to the ten in the rear and said he had broken his wagon tire and father was sent back to make the repair. He took a piece of wagon tire and a drill and with four rivets, made the mend and then made a fire and set the tire and it came through to the Valley.
Passed Independence Rock and next to the Devil's Gate. Got short of tar; found some nice pitch pine and we had a big sugar kettle in our company. We split the pitch fine in small pieces, drove these in to the kettle in a vertical manner as tightly as possible, turned the kettle bottom side up on a large flat rock and then made a fire over the kettle, and was successful in making enough to grease our wooden axles and linch pin to last us to our journey’s end.
We went up to the three crossings of Sweet Water and camped. These crossings are not a half a mile apart. Father and some went out and killed a buffalo, the last one we saw on the trip. It must be remembered that we also killed antelopes, and only father killed a dear on the trip.
The next place is Ice Springs where there is several boggs and some say that there is ice there year round if dug after. Crossed over Rocky Ridge and several small streams and crossed the last crossing on the Sweet Water, and passed over the pass and camped on Pacific Creek. This pass is the divide of the continent and why they named the creek Pacific, because the water runs into the Pacific Ocean. Went over to Dry Sandy, thence to Little Sandy. In this vicinity is where the roads fork, one going to Oregon and California, the other to Salt Lake. This is called the Sublett Cutoff.
The next point enroute is Big Sandy. Traveled down this until we came to Green River. Crossed the river and went over onto Black’s Fork. Traveled up this a few days and came to Fort Bridger, Next to the Muddy; from here over to the Pioneer Ridge. Came to a little creek called Wolf Creek. From here to Needle Rocks on Yellow Creek and there we buried a young man by the name of [Samuel] Sherman, the last death on long and wearisome march. From here we came down a fork of Echo Canyon. We came down and passed Redden’s or Cache Cave. Traveled down a day or two and came to Weber River. Traveled down the Weber four miles and crossed where Hennefer [Henefer] now stands. Went about ten miles southwest and came to East Canyon. Beaver dams and mud holes and brush made it very difficult for us to drive the sheep. It will be remembered that we brought sheep across the plains. Went up East Canyon and then up a hollow to the right nearly to the top of the Big Mountain. From here we crossed over the Little Mountain late that afternoon and down Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley about the last of September or the first of October, 1852. <(Oct. 3, 1852)>

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Emery, Henry, Journal [ca. 1845-1879], 18-21.
Read Trail Excerpt:
The brethren thought as we were a small family we might take sister Mary Moore and her little son William. My family consisted of myself, my wife, and my father so with Mary Moore and boy we were 5 to the wagon and we all got ready
and on Thursday the 10th of June we left and started for Great Salt Lake City. We moved about 1 or 2 miles and camped til the 12 when we moved to the big spring about 10 miles from Kanesville[,] crossed the Missouri river
on the 26 the remainder of our company crossed
the 27 after we were all across and camped. Elder Esra [Ezra] T. Benson came among us and said he wanted five men of our company to stay at Missouri with others who had been chosen from other companies to act as a guard to protect in case they needed protection and also to help to ferry the rest of the saints across the river until all was over that intended to cross the plains this season. I was one of the five chosen[.] we were then told to see our families across the Elk Horn and then return to the guard
next day 20th we moved about 11 miles[.] we had plenty of grass for the cattle and good water but no timber.
On the 29 we moved to Elk Horn and camped on its banks[.] plenty of wood, water and grass in the evening; we washed ourselves in the river. Likely Samuel Robinson would have been drowned but th[r]ough the help of Providence I swam with my clothes on and got him out safe.
On the 30 we crossed this river (Elk Horn) at the ferry and
on the 1st of July our families moved west and we (the 5) returned to the Missouri river where we staid and did our best until the Brethren were all over.
On the 12 of July we left Missouri river and traveled about 10 miles
next morning the 13th the Cholery [cholera] made its appearance among us. Henry Oakes was taken in the morning and buried in the evening
14th we crossed the Horn. Tho[m]as Ashby was buried and also several of the last company
on the 15th we staid at our camp, I threw a cast in the river and caught a catfish about 40 lbs weight.
16th after seeing the brethren over the river we started for our families who were still pushing on for Great S.L. City. We passed considerable of graves[.] the most of our company was afflicted more or less with Diarrhoea.
18th we crossed Loupe Fork
and on Friday 23 I overtook my family about 300 miles from Winter Quarters. I found them all well and had been well since I left them. After Travelling a few miles we killed a buffalo[.] we rested on Sunday
and on Monday recommenced our journey,
28 I baptised Sister Barbara [Ward] Heep for restoration of her health. She was much better.
29 we travelled over several sandy bluffs and camped by Piccaninia [Picanninni] Creek.
30 at noon we baited at Rattle Snake Creek and camped at night at 6 feet Creek.
31st we moved between Watch Creek and Lone Tree.
1st August we moved a few miles to Ash Hollow and camped,
2nd we crossed Castle Creek and camped about 2 miles west of it;
3rd we traveled past Castle Bluffs which have the appearance of large ruinous buildings; at night we camped at Sandy Bluffs 121 3/4 miles from Fort Laramie;
4th we crossed Crab Creek, Cobble Hills, and camped at Ancient Bluffs, ruins which have the appearance of ruinous castles, forts, etc.
6 we had some very heavy sand to draw through, we traveled about 12 miles and camped;
7th we had pretty good road and camped at Chimney Rock,
8th we saw an Indian wigwam, past Scott's Bluff and camped at Spring Creek; we staid here to recruit our stock and repair our wagons untill the 12th;
this day [12th]this day we traveled about 15 miles[.] saw a many Indians and gave them bread;
13th moved to dry creek
14th traveled to Fort Larimie [Laramie];
15th crossed the Platte and camped about 4 miles from the ford;
16th descended a very steep hill and crossed a very rough rocky bluff dangerous on wagons, at night camped at Bitter Cottonwood Creek;
17th the feed being now very scarce for our stock we thought it adviseable to divide into tens and travel so till we came to deer Creek and t[h]ere to stay to do our repairs, recruit our stock and them move on our journey as it might seem best. Capt. John Myers being captain of the ten[.] I was in moved on the journey[.] we followed and left Capt. [John Beauchamp] Walker at Bitter Cottonwood Creek. We past over some rough hilly road; we came to a beautiful spring, the grass was green all about it so here we camped all night.
18th we left the spring[.] about 3 miles from it we crossed a creek pretty good place to camp about 10 miles further we came to the Platte; we staid noon then travelled 4 or 5 miles near the river; at this point we left the river again ascended a very steep bluff and also descended some; we travelled 5 or 6 miles and camped by a small stream of water.
19 travelled 14 or 15 miles and met a moderate chance to camp;
20 we crossed some steep bluffs, also some 4 or 5 miles of red rock[.] the first water we came to was about 17 miles[.] we crossed this and went to LaPrele where we found a good place to camp;
21st killed 3 buffalo and took what meat we could, crossed a small creek also Box Elder Creek and came to Fourche Boise, a good place to camp here; we gathered the wood made fires and jerked our meat;
22 good road moved to Deer Creek;
23rd moved 1 1/2 miles on Platte, good place to camp, We staid here till the whole of our company came up[.] we did our repairs, I caught several fish while we staid here. We agreed it was best to travel by tens the remainder of the journey.
We staid here until 27th[.] this day our ten moved about 13 miles;
28 day we killed 2 antelope, catched more fish,
29th moved within 4 miles of upper Platte Ford,
30th we crossed the Ford, traveled about 12 miles over a very rough bad bluffy road and camped at the last camping ground on the river Platte;
31st no water fit to drink being poisonous for 15 miles we past willow spring and camped about 4 miles from it;
1st Sept it is wonderful to see the lakes covered with saleratus[.] it is firm[.] capable to bear any weight[.] looks exactly like ice but is deadly poison. We came to sweet water and camped, several of our company's cattle having got to the saleratus water died almost instantaniously;
2nd forded sweet water came to Devils Gate this Gate[.] is a narrow pass for the river sweet water to pass through[.] the rock on each side standing perpendicularly about 400 feet high; we went about 2 miles beyond it and camped.
3rd travelled 11 or 12 miles through some 1 or 2 miles very heavy sand, We camped and like as at Devils Gate found good feed in the ravines of the mountains;
4th turned pine[.] made tar[.] let the cattle rest and killed a buffalo;
5th moved about 9 miles[.] were drenched with a heavy shower of rain, camped at foot of gravely bluff.
6th crossed the crossings of Sweet Water, very poor chance for cattle grass being mostly eaten out;
7th moved 17 miles to 5th ford, cattle most worn out[.] poor chance of them here;
8th went about 10 miles[.] drove our cattle up the creek, they fared moderate;
9th we traveled about 13 1/2 miles over some rough rocky ridges and camped on a branch of sweet water feed bed;
10th we drove to the upper ford of Sweet Water, found good feed about 2 miles north west of the ford;
11th we remained at our camp;
12th good road past south Pass Pacific Springs and camped at Pacific Creek;
14th left Pacific Creek and had a good road[.] travelled about 25 miles and camped on the banks of Little Sandy, moderate feed considering we were on a sandy desert;
15th traveled about 17 miles and camped on Big Sandy about 7 miles;
16th very cold and rainy travelled about 17 miles to Big Sandy again;
17th travelled to Green River 10 miles and camped on Big Sandy 2 miles from Green River Ford[.] it was very cold with showers of rain and hail;
18th remained at our camp, cold with rain and hail, caught several fishes. Bro. Nichel from Valley came with team and took Sister Mary Moore and boy forward to the valley;
19th forded Green River travelled about 19� miles[.] good feed on bunch grass but very cold during night;
20th travelled about 21 miles to Blacks fork[.] 3 times we had moderate feed;
21st moved 8 1/2 miles to stream;
22 past Fort Bridger and camped about 1 1/2 miles east of Muddy Fork;
23 very cold, rain, we camped at Copperas or Soda Spring. In this night the snow fell some 1 or 2 inches thick;
24 we travelled to Sulphur Creek and camped. We found moderate feed;
25 we moved to Yellow Creek[.] crossed the creek at the foot of Rocky Bluff[.] bad to cross this bluff[.] has a singular appearance forming a number of pyramids;
26 this morning Samuel Sherman was found dead in bed, we buried him on the east side of Yellow Creek, we then moved to a deep ravine 16 miles from Red Fork of Weber River;
27 we travelled down Echo Creek and camped in Echo Canyon a few miles from Weber[.] it was a very bad road;
28 we moved down to Red Fork of Weber and camped;
29th we travelled over long hill and camped near Kanyon [Canyon] Creek;
30 we went up Kanyon Creek[.] crossed it a number of times[.] bad to cross and camped about 1 mile up the mountain[.] we found good feed;
31st crossed the big mountain[.] it was very cold and rainy, we camped by Browns Creek[.] some snow fell during night.
Oct. 1st it continued to snow[.] we drove on to little mountain[.] had to put from 7 to 9 yoke of cattle to each wagon before we could cross, we got over and camped about 1 mile from the foot.
Saturday Oct. 2nd 1852 we entered Great Salt Lake City.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Hicks, George Armstrong, Family Record and History of Geo. A. Hicks, 10-11.
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Early in the spring of 1852 my father [George Barton Hicks] began to busy himself in preparing for our journey to the "valley". We sold our home for a "song" and on the 5th day of June 1852 we bade adieu to our home where we had toiled for 5 years preparing for the journey, we had one ox team and a couple of cows but we had great faith we believed we were of the chosen of God—that it was our duty to gather out of Babylon while the judgements of God should pass over the nation, and in past it has been so for the great rebellion in the U.S. which has cost the nation so much blood and treasure, has "passed over" the country. I think I am safe in saying that Utah has suffered the least of any state or Territory in the Union by the war, it would be very hard for me to believe that the gathering of the Mormon people was all the work of chance and fanaticism— "there is a divinity"— (Shak.)
We were organized into companies of 50 wagons with a captain over us then we were again organized into tens with a captain over each ten wagons. The name of our Captain of 50 was—[John B.] Walker and the number was 14th, the capt. of our ten was John Myres [Myers]. On the last day of June we crossed the Mo. [Missouri] River at Winter Quarters and bid farewell to the United States. We had not gone far on our journey when the c[h]olera broke out in our company and 13 died of that malignant disease. My brother Moroni was the first to take the disease but recovered. It was sad to part with loved ones and leave them forever on the lonely plains to return to "dust". I remember one woman strong and healthy at the Loup fork of the Platte River who did a big washing of clothes and the next day died with the c[h]olera and was burried. I remember one woman the wife [Elizabeth Hobson Robinson] of one Joseph Robertson [Robinson] who got frightened and believed she was taking the colera; her husband believed it was fear that caused his wife's sickness, he forced her to get out of the wagon and walk about; he forbid her under penalty of a "good flogging" to go to bed any more that day—she recovered immediately[.] We hurried along as fast as our ox teams could be made to travel so that we could get out of the stricken district. Our company was the 14th in number and believe there were 22 in all. The wayside was marked by graves—more frequent than milestones in the old States.
Apostle Ezra T. Benson came along and told us that it was our duty to laugh and dance and make merry as much as we could. I often saw the ordinance of laying on hands tried to no purpose: it was generally young people and women that died on the plains. I remember helping to bury one woman on the plains who was still warm. We had no coffins but used the bark off the cotton wood tree when it could be obtained. Our road lay on the North side of the Platte River until we reached Fort Laramie then we crossed over to the south side.
We saw many large herds of buffalo and killed many of them. I killed one myself. We saw many of the Sioux Indians who were very peaceable. When we reached a higher altitude the colera disappeared from our midst. After we got through the Black Hills we divided up into smaller companies for feed for our teams. The feelings of the Company was generally good but we had one little "difficulty" which grew out of a love affair, in one of the "tens" of our company there was a young and beautiful girl of about 17 years of age, a young man—in our company, a gentile—by the name of James Mathews was pay[ing] his addresses to her and she was coquetting with him, another young man in our [company] by the name of Samuel Curtis asked the girl to go to a dance with him (the place selected for the dance was perhaps a few hundred yards from the camp) she refused which was her right of course but she afterward went with Mathews. Curtis made some light remark which soon reached the ears of Mathews. Mathews was of a fiery temper and threatened the life of Curtis if he did not recall his words and exposed a dagger which said he would take the life of Curtis as soon as opportunity offered. It was told Curtis that Mathews threatened his life. One night some time afterwards Mathews was in the act of leading the Columbia Williams out to dance when Curtis stepped up to him, forbid him to dance, saying at the same time "You have threatened my life and you shall not dance." The two young [men] stepped aside and the matter was peaceably and amicably settled between them. The next day, outside parties were giving their opinion as we rested at noon when one Stewart Dixon [Dickson] expressed the opinion that Mathews got off too easy. Some one of the friends of Mathews took up the saying and in a few moments not less than 25 men and half-grown boys were menacing each other and making loud threats of what they would do. There was a young man—a cripple in one leg—by the name of "Jet" Sherman who was very abusive in his language toward Curtis. Curtis at last became exasperated at the abuse and stepped up to Sherman and with his open hand hit him a slap on the cheek, Sherman struck at Curtis with his crutch but did not hit him. Then there was a general rushing together of the parties from both sides, but no more blows followed. A man by the name of Davis McAleny [Mc Olney]—a man of resolute courage and good sense—seeing the course things were taking jumped upon a wagon tongue and in a short and eloquent speech in which he told them how foolish they were acting and warned they were in an Indian country—that union was necessary for self protection. All parties slunk off to their wagons and there was no more public demonstrations, but some were not satisfied and a council was held by the captains of "tens" where some of these thought Mathews ought to be put out of the way (i.e., killed) for threatening the life of a Saint. One Daniel M. Burbanks plead for Mathews and he was spared. Nothing further disturbed the peace of our Company and in closing the chapter I will say that crossing the plains with ox teams is a trying ordeal- one requiring great patience and fortitude. My health which had not been good for years vastly improved and for the first Autumn in seven years I did not have the chills and fever.
On the 3rd day of October 1852 we arrived at Great Salt Lake City all in good health but very much worn by our long and weary journey of 1,030 miles. We were within two days of being 4 months from the time we left our home in Pot[t]awat[t]ami Co., Iowa, until we reached the end of our journey and rest was sweet.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Southworth, Chester, [Autobiography], in B. Glen Marble, comp., Mormon Marbles: Roots and Branches [1979], 87-88.
Read Trail Excerpt:
About 200 left Kanesville, 5 July 1852, mostly members of the McOlney Branch in Pottawattomie, Iowa. The McOlney Branch was located about one and a half to three miles north to Kanesville at a place called Bluff city. The company was supposed to number 250 families each. This company was called the 14 company or the John B. Walker Company.
Myself and wife [Mary Byington Southworth] and four children were assigned to Captain Daniel Mark Burbank. My four children were: Chester, Joseph, Laura and Sarah. In this Walker company was another Southworth, Cragun and wife. The three Capts. as I remember, John Myers who settled in Panguitch, Utah, Davis McOlney who settled in Lehi. The other two I have forgotten. All were men with families. The organization was completed the 25th of June 1852.
We crossed the Missouri river the 30th of June 1852 but did not all get together until the evening of July 3rd/ 1852 and spent the 4th of July celebrating our National Holiday. We were a company of devoted Christians, having prayer morning and evening, putting our trust in the Lord each day and thanking him at the close of the day for our day of safe travel.
Elkhorn river is where the actual treck began. We crossed the Elkhorn river by rafts pulled by oxen, some of the horses swam across. Beginning at North Platte we established camping proceedures. The mules and horses were tied inside the wagon circle at night. No one was to leave the camp without permission. The indians set pra[i]rie fires all around us, they were so close our faces and clothing were black from the flying ash.
Register Cliff was a resting place with good water and good grass. Farson is where we crossed the little Sandy.
Fort Bridger, an army post. Here the Pioneers spent a day repairing wagon wheels and making general preparations for continuing the treck. Here we caught mountain trout, enjoying the opportunity to clean up and rest.
Our oldest daughter Susannah, who had married John Palmer at Oregon, Holt Missouri, had a daughter born 22 Sep 1852 at Black Fork in the Sweet water, Wyoming.
Sarah our second daughter married Captain Daniel Burbank as he had lost his wife near Sweet Water Nebraska along the Platte river. We were unfortunate enough to have cholera break out among our members, we lost 13 with cholera. Sarah was just a young girl but was unafraid to render help. She prepared the boy as best she could. Abigail Burbank died 20th July 1852 and was buried not far from the trail. Sarah and Daniel Mark Burbank were married by Capt. John. B. Walker the 10th of September 1852. Capt. Burbank had three children, one boy and two girls.
The John B. Walker Company entered Salt Lake Valley the 5th of October 1852.