Thursday, December 15, 2011


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";

No comments:

Post a Comment