Transcript for Cooper, Joseph, [Autobiography], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 7:134-35

In 1866 we were called to go to St. Louis and help bring some more emigrants across the plains. The boys called from Wellsville were George Wood, Andrew Adamson, John Hall, John B. Hill, Wm. Parker and myself. (This was W[illia]m. Parker's second trip across the plains with emigrants.) It was May 5 th or 6 th that we started. We camped at Hyrum the first night. The second day between Soda Springs and Hyrum we ran on to an entelope[antelope]. This caused a stampede. We finally got our cattle all straightened out ready for the next day's start and we reached Bear Lake the third day. Here we went East until we came to Ham's Fork, this being the place where Lot Smith burned the soldier's train. Myself and others of our Company went over the ground.

We also run on to Jim Bridger and his two squaw women.

We went to Bitter Springs. We still traveled East. On this trip we killed a moose, which we sure enjoyed. We traveled east coming to Chimney rock. Next we went to Devil's Gate. Some of us went through the devils gate. I remember one man was carrying his shoes when he slipped and fell and lost both of his shoes and never did find them. I slipped and fell in the creek myself.

We went to the DuPlatte river and our next stop was to Darma. We arrived at Fort Darma on the Government's treaty for the Indians. There were 500 or 600 Indians. They were in all their colors. This was some sight to see. We traveled to Wood River. Here three companies going for emigrants met, being about sixty wagons. I remember one man saying, "Is all Utah coming back."

Peter Nebeker being our leader and knowing the road took a short cut, which put us ahead of the other Companies. We were first to load. We loaded and brought 200 emigrants with us. While on this trip traveling along the Saplate River, two children died. Two men and myself were called to dig the grave. We dug a grave a few feet deep and the water raised in the grave so fast we had to stop. The children were wrapped in a sheet and buried together, this being as sad a scene as I ever remember of seeing.

I remember seeing the surveying for the railroad which was later built to Utah. We made this trip in 52 days, being the quickest ever known to have been made by ox team. When reaching Salt Lake City, Bishop Hunter had a dinner for all the teamsters and also gave us a free ticket to the theatre. Leaving the next morning for home, we camped that night at Owen's Ranch at the head of New Canyon. Here some of our boys friends met us and we had some sorgum, we had a Candy Pull and had a real good time. We arrived home O.K. the next day.