Transcript for Alice Parkes Isom, "The life of my father, John Parker," Library of Congress collection of Mormon diaries, 1935-1938
In the spring of 1852 father sold out his business and prepared to emmigrate. Mother sewed the lining of his and Richard's vests full of twenty dollar gold pieces and put a false lining in them when they went to buy the outfits in which to cross the plains. They bought eleven wagons, two yokes of oven [oxen] or cows to each wagon, a threshing machine and stoves, a complete outfit to take to the valley. They also had one large spring carriage with projection boards at the sides, so that a bed could be made across. This was drawn by two large horses. Father, mother, grandfather, and we two little children rode in it. Aunt Alice and Uncle Edwin Corbridge came to St. Louis in 1850. They buried two children in a week while there. Aunt Ellen and Uncle William Corbridge came in 1852, just before we left. The night before they reached New Orleans they lost their little daughter, Margaret. They never knew what had become of her, whether she had been kidnapped or fallen overboard. They could not find her and had to leave the boat without her.
Father brought all my brothers and sisters, his two sisters and families across the plains. It was an independent company. He only hired one teamster. We came without an accident of any kind.
The cows furnished milk and butter for the company, besides taking their places as teams. The milk was strained into a kit in the morning and the jolt of the wagon churned it. The only non-mormon in the company was the teamster, a Catholic on his way to California in search of gold. The rest were all relations and a jolly crowd they were. They often spoke of crossing the plains as a pleasure trip.
Many emmigrants had died of Cholera that year and the year before. We saw where they had been buried by the beds of clothing left by their graves.
August the twenty-eighth, 1852, we arrived in Salt Lake Valley.