Transcript for Biography of Harvey Harris Cluff, circa 1910, 7-11

In 1856 the Saints who were emigrating to Utah in Handcart companies several of which were belated and being in Salt Lake City for the purpose of attending the Semi Annual Conference, and on the first day of the opening October 6th President Young realizing that it would be impossible for the handcart companies to reach Utah before the mountain passes would be closed by heavy fall of snow; called for volunteers to go back an meet the emigrants with teams and supplies of food and clothing. Harvey readily volenteered to go and on the following day twenty two teams started heavily loaded; with four animal and two men to each wagon. The march was made as rapidly as the animals could stand travelling. Passing over the South Pass in first crossing of the Sweetwater going East the company divereged from the main road and camped in the willows on the banks of the river about three miles from the road for the purpose of awaiting for some word from the express which had preceeded the company and to give rest to the teams. On the following day a terrific snow storm set in. This was portentious to the emigra[n]ts as they would be exposed to all the enclemancy of the winter. Another dialema confronted the company. Word was looked for at any time from the express in the company were three miles south of the road as in case any of the express men should be returning with the information of the where abouts of the handcarts, they would pass on to the South Pass the coldest spot on the road and possibly perish, as all trace of the company would be oblilerated by snow. Harvey who was naturally ambitious and wished, as a youth, to do some worthy deed, Volenteered to take a sign board to the main road directing any traveller to camp. The whole distance had to be footed, facing a terrible blizzard from the . The feat was accomplished and within two hours after the return of this half frozen youth, two men rode horseback into camp. One was Capt. Willie and companion from Willies company which was camped in one foot of snow twenty-five miles distance. As anticipated had not the sign board directed them their out all night without any bedding would have been serious if not fatal.

The relief Party hastened <the following day> to found the emigrant in a most pitable state. Leaving supplies and help with Captain Willie’s company the relief party persued their hasty march on until the handcart companies were found at the upper crossing on the Platt[e] river where the snow storm had laid them up. The work that devolved upon the young men from there until all the emigrants reach West was truly wonderful: Carrying aged men women and children upon their backs crossing rivers, providing fuel, making fires and otherwise aiding in camp life. It was near the close of December when Harvy arived in Provo.