Transcript for Crockett, Rachel Maretta Homer, Homer Family History (1942), 28-29

In the spring, father bought a home in the Second Ward and moved into it. It was necessary for father to make another trip to Iowa to dispose of the last of his property there. In the spring, he took his oldest son Edmund with him, planning to attend to his own affairs and bring a train of emigrants on the return trip. They left mother, with the help of one hired man, to look after the stock and the family, and made the trip to Iowa the summer of 1859. During that summer, mother Homer’s last child, Russell King Homer, Jr., was born. On the return journey, father was the captain of another wagon train which was made up mostly of Scandinavian people. They were mostly poor people whom the church had helped in furnishing with the necessary wagons to haul their small belongings and enough provisions to last them on the way; they were not nearly as well equipped as the company he had piloted across the year before. Each wagon was loaded with as much as it was considered safe for it to carry without breaking down, and it was necessary for most of these people to walk the entire distance.

Father, as captain, led the train with a light spring wagon and a team of horses. Four women rode with him. Edmund drove oxen on wagons loaded with goods. On this trip, father brought more supplies for his family, including a large full-sized mirror, some silk for mother, Nancy, Anna, and Lovisa each a dress, together with some lace window curtains, fine linen table-cloths, a china dinner set, some sugar, a five-pound caddy of tea, and a beautiful Brussels carpet.

All of these things were certainly rare luxuries for that time and place, and mother Homer always took great pride in them.

These Scandinavian immigrants were earnest, hardy, and industrious people. They earned father’s everlasting respect for the way they bore their burdens and hardships on this journey. He always said that he did not know of any people who had the actual physical endurance of some of the Scandinavians he knew.

Among those who set out to walk was a young woman who was not well. She had a hard time keeping up all the way. Her husband was a teamster, so was too busy to give her much attention, but her father helped her along and kept up her morale, until one morning she was taken severely ill just as all was in readiness for starting. The whole company was held up while she gave birth to a child. No provision had been made for her to ride, and the teamsters were uneasy to get on the way. Father fixed her a bed in one of his wagons on top of some kegs of nails, where she was permitted to ride until someone else needed it worse. She jolted along there for a week when another member of the company needed the place. She said she could walk if she did not have to carry the baby. Father took the tools out of the jockey box, built a little extension on it, and put the baby in it, where it jolted along in perfect safety. When they were stopping over one Sunday, the young woman said, “Captain Homer, I know I can never repay you for what you have done for me and my baby, but I would like you to name the baby for me.” There was nothing father would rather do than name a baby, so he replied, “I would consider it an honor and a pleasure. We will just name the baby after her mother.” Dortea was her name.