Thursday, December 15, 2011




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.
Read Trail Excerpt:
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.

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