Transcript for Benjamin Franklin Cummings reminiscences and diaries, 1842-1879, folder 1, page 8

Finally, all had arrived and the whole number was organized into subdivisions or companies of ten, fifty and hundred with a President two councilors over the whole and a captain over each Subdivision or company father John Smith Prest I was attached to the first hundred Daniel Spencer Cap second fifty Ira Eldredge Captain third ten Samuel Ensign captain Perrigren Perrigreen [Perrigrine] Sessions being Captain of the first fifty.

I will now mention that B.W. Nowlin from who I got a yoke of oxen to work through my journey was one of the same company he being without any family with him as his wife had deserted him at Winter Quarters returning to Kentucky from <:w>hence they had emigrated, taking three children and two young negro slaves and quite an amount of property in team[,] carriage and dry goods. This she did while he was on a trip down into the State of Missouri for Supplies.

Bro Nowlin and my self entered into an arrangement to unite in our Cooking and eating arrangements as one family, both of us being bachelors. He had <also> a young man, by the name of William Bryant along with him as teamster driving a team he furnish to haul one of the canon had in the company.

My bro Alva also drove a team for Bro Nowlin he having three teams. My sister Mary [Mary Cummings Nowlin] acted as cook and house Keeper and I might as well state now that after we had been on the road a few week (the date I have lost) She became the wife of bro Nowlin being married by father John Smith President of the camp


566 wagons


26th June we started on our long and tedious journey across the plains having no definite idea of our destination[.] We encountered many difficulties <and hardships> having to make our own roads and bridges, ford rivers to large to bridge lost some of our cattle by their getting poison water and meeting with many annoyances in various ways not necessary for me to mention in this Sketch.

We traveled from the Elkhorn river in a Southwest direction untill we came struck the Platte. Then followed that river up to the junction of the Loup Fork[,] followed up that river some 40 or 50 miles and then forded it and made our way across in a South westerly direction till we again struck the platte[.] Continued up the North Side of that river until old Fort Larime [Laramie] where we ford it. Then made our way westward through the Black Hills to the upper Crossing of the platte and on to the Sweet water where we met president Young and a number of the Pioneers From them we learned of the location that they have made in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, Having laid out a city and named it Great Salt Lake City afterward shortened to Salt Lake City.

I emerged from Emigration Canon and camped at its mouth Sept 21st 1847 the company I was with being the first to arrive in the valley.