Transcript for Crooks, George, [Diary excerpts], in Elna P. Atchison, [Genealogical information on the Crooks family, ca. 1955], 15-16

Crooks, George, [Diary excerpts], in Elna P. Atchison, [Genealogical information on the Crooks family, ca. 1955], 15-16.[ The following account is from a letter written by Elna P Atchison, granddaughter of George Crooks, in which she copies from her grandfather’s original journal. She explains that the document was in very poor condition due to age and children’s scribblings. Some of the account is her summary of the experiences she has been able to make out. (Her words are italicized.)]

My grandfather was clerk of the train in which they (the Crooks) traveled. His book had entries of his shop work at Garden Grove followed by records of meetings held in organizing the members and grouping them in Tens.

Copied from George Crooks’ book—

“According to previous appointment a number of the Brethern met to-gether for the purpose of organizing a Company of 50 and accordingly appointed Pr John Telford as Prest. of the Meeting[.] Pr Telford took the chair and motioned for William H. Walton as Captain of 50 and seconded by Pr George Carson[.] the vote was unanimous

Mr. Walton then motioned that G[eorge]. Crooks and G[eorge]. Hales should act as Clerks for said companies[,] the which was put and the vote was unanimous[.] Mr. Walton motioned that Br [Joseph] Merral [Merrill] should act as Captain of the First 10[.] the vote was unanimous on motion of Br Telford[.] Br William Carson should be Captain of the Second 10[.] the vote was unanimous[.] Br Steven Hales motioned that Br John Ellis be Captain of the Third 10 this vote was unanimous[.] Br Telford motioned that Br. Moses Jones be Captain of the Fourth 10[.] the vote was unanimous

Incomplete, I think there was another meeting with William Barton elected as Captain of the Fifth 10 and Samuel Prat[t] as Captain of the Sixth 10.

It was motioned by Captain [William Henry] Walton and seconded by W. Carson that the First Company take the cattle at 4 o’clock in the morning and guard them till 4 next morning[.] the vote was unanimous.

Number of persons and stock in each 10

First 10: 34 Persons, 10 Wagons, 5 Horses, 37 Oxen, 10 Cows
Second 10: 34 Persons, 11 Wagons, 9 Horses, 32 Oxen, 15 Cows, 0 Sheep, 4 Loose Cattle
Third 10: 41 Persons, 10 Wagons, 5 Horses, 46 Oxen, 20 Cows, 0 Sheep, 10 Loose Cattle
Fourth 10: 37 Persons, 10 Wagons, 5 Horses, 27 Oxen, 22 Cows, 19 Sheep
Fifth 10: 31 Persons, 9 Wagons, 2 Horses, 40 Oxen, 19 Cows, 0 Sheep, 4 Loose Cattle
Sixth 10: 49 Persons, 9 Wagons, 6 Horses, 35 Oxen, 22 Cows, 0 Sheep, 15 Loose Cattle
Whole amount: 226 Persons, 59 Wagons, 32 Horses, 217 Oxen, 108 Cows, 19 Sheep, 33 Loose Cattle

Captain of fifty
W.H. Walten [Walton,] F. Merral [Merrill]: No. of family 8, 1 Wagon, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows
Arthur Waltors [Walton]: No. of Family 8, 5 Wagons, 4 Horses, 17 Oxen 5 Cows
Frances M. Owens James Barons: No. of family 6, 1 Wagon, 6 Oxen, 1 Cow
Edward P. Clide [Clyde]: No. of family 6, 2 Wagons, 1 Horse, 4 Oxen, 6 Cows
German Buchanan: No. of family 6, 1 Wagon, 4 Oxen

Second 10 under Captain W. Carson
William Carson: No. of family 6, 1 Wagon, 6 Horses, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows, 2 Loose Cattle
George Carson: No. of family 6, 3 Wagons, 4 Horses, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows, 2 Loose Cattle
John Carson: No. of family 6, 1 Wagon, 1 Horse, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows, 2 Loose Cattle
Thomas Ewing: No. of family 2, 1 Wagon, 2 Oxen, 1 Cow, 2 Loose Cattle
Paterson [Patison] Griffeths [Griffeth]: No. of family 4, 1 Wagon, 2 Oxen, 2 Cows
John Tetford [Telford]: No. of family 7, 3 Wagons, 1 Horse, 12 Oxen, 4 Cows
Charles Stoddard: No. of family 3, 1 Wagon, 2 Horses

Third 10 under Captain John Ellis
John Ellis: No. of Family 6, 1 Wagon, 8 Oxen, 2 Cows, 1 Loose Cattle
William Thom[p]son: No. in Family 6, 2 Wagons, 1 Horse, 6 Oxen, 5 Loose Cattle
Steven [Stephen] Hales: No. in Family 4, 1 Wagon, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows
George Hales: No. in Family 6, 1Wagon, 4 Oxen, 3 Cows
Henerey [Henry] Hales: 3 in Family 1 Wagon, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows
George Crooks: No. in Family 2, 1 Wagon, 2 Horses, 1 Cow
x At first thought Thomas Crooks and his 2 children Jim and Agnes made up the 3 but since have concluded that they were with his father[,] also named Thomas[,] and party
x Thos. Crooks[,] G.G. Thomas, James [-], Thomas & 2 children[,] 7: No. of Family 3, 1 Wagon, 1 Horse, 6 Oxen, 4 Cows, 4 Loose Cattle
John Miller, his wife Janet Crooks, 8: No. of Family 8, 1 Wagon, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows
Charles Drusey [Drury,] 10: No. of Family 5, 1 Wagon, 1 Horse, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows

Fourth 10 under Captain Moses Jones
Moses Jones: No. of Family 8, 2 Wagons, 15 Oxen, 5 Cows
Colman Boren: No. of Family 13, 3 Wagons, 2 Horses, 4 Oxen, 7 Cows, 19 Sheep
[-] Roberts John Clarks [Clark]: No. of Family 5, 2 Wagons, 2 Horses, 10 Oxen, 4 Cows
Horace Roberts Thos. Weir: No. of Family 4, 1 Wagon, 0 Horses, 4 Oxen, 3 Cows
Elijah Barens I. Crary: No. of Family 7, 2 Wagons, 1 Horse, 4 oxen, 3 Cows

Fifth 10 under Captain William Barton
William Barton: No. of Family 3, 1 Wagon, 6 Oxen, 1 Cow, 4 Loose Cattle
Samuel West: No. of Family 10, 2 Wagons, 8 Cows, 8 Sheep
James Huntsman: No. of Family 10: 4 Wagons, 2 Horses, 4 Oxen, 6 Cows
T.J. Kande_____t: No. of Family 5, 1 Wagon 3 HorsesIrah [Isaiah] Huntsman: No. of Family 3, 1 Wagon, 6 Oxen
Joseph Hawpes [Hawkes]: No. of Family 3, 1 Wagon, 6 Oxen

Sixth 10 under Captain Samuel Prat[t]
Samuel Prat[t]: No. of Family 9, 2 Waggons, 0 Horses, 5 Oxen, 5 Cows
______[Daniel] Roberts: No. of Family 9, 2 Wagons, 4 Horses, 8 Oxen, 2 Cows, 12 Loose Cattle
H. Roberts: No. of Family 8, 1 Wagon, 0 Horses, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows
Frances Owens: No. of Family 4, 1 Wagon, 0 Horses, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows
William Critchlow: No. of Family 1 [5], 1 Wagon, 2 Horses, 4 Oxen, 4 Cows
George Zimmerman: No of Family 1 [7], 1 Wagon, 0 Horses, 4 Oxen, 3 Cows, 3 Loose Cattle
Jarusha Bindack: No. of Family 1, 0 Wagons, 4 Horses, 4 Oxen

I deeply regret that records made by George Crooks have been so mistreated, some items were erased, other pages scribbled over by children who played with the book or torn out and lost. While I have used a magnifying glass on some of the faded parts[,] much of Grandfather’s writing remains very legible after about 111 years[,] the first enteries beginning at Garden Grove in 1846 for shop work, marriages 1850 and in 1851 the following----

Garden Grove
Decatur Co., Iowa
Se May 4th 1851 George Crooks
Married to Elanor[e] Pearson Both of the same place

Meetings followed as mentioned on pg. 5 of this letter, the purpose of which being to organize the Company into Tens, the journey across the plains, description of terrain, condition of road, likely spots for feed and water, camping ground, sometimes wood was available along the streams, width and depth of water at fording places, quicksand, weather, stampedes, deaths----

There were a number of bad stampedes which caused trouble[,] delay and losses. It was the general opinion and of my grandparents that the stampedes were caused by thieving Indians or white renegades disguised as Indians. Sometimes two raids were made before daybreak, searchers saddled horses and rode over the country thereabouts finding only a part of the missing animals, once they completely failed in locating stolen horses and had to go on without them, there were always losses and delay.

The following is copied from Grandpa’s record as they made the journey but I do not have the whole story due to the damage that has been done to the book---


Came to West Prong of Elk Horn River and made that Point on the 12th of July when on that night or the morning following 4 of our best horses were stole[.] several horsemen started on track of them and pursued them over sand hills till their horses were almost exhausted and at last had to give up their chase and come back again. We then thought it best to move on again[,] accordingly which we did and Mr. Telford and Mr. [William G.] Thoms[p]on went back but without success[.] the supposed Indian thieves were gone[.] We then went on through a sandy and barren country when on the 22ndof July at 10 o’clock at night we had the misfortune to witness a dreadful stampede with our horses and cattle[.] The cattle ran over a guard[,] wounding him badly[,] but we soon got them headed and drove them in again at about 11 o’clock[.] they all sprung to their feet again and in spite of our endeavors they got away the second time and scattered in every direction but before day arrived we had the most of them in the herd again and at 7 o’clock we started on our journey[,] hoping this would be the last scene we would have of this kind[.] but we had not proceeded far on our way when some of our cattle got scared and run afoul of some other wagons[.] Ellon [Ellen] Kingsley endeavoring to make her escape from the danger[,] when in the act of jumping out of the wagon fell and[,] the wheels passing over her[,] she died in a few minutes. Several of our wagons were broken[.] we stayed the rest of the day and repaired broken wagons and buried the remains of this our Sister.

My grandmother was afraid of the stampedes, she and Ellon Kingsley were close friends and in relating the story of the catastrophe many years later[,] grandma was yet quite shaken by it.)

July 24th slight storm

July 25 We had the painful misfortune to witness another dreadful stampede in which 55 head of our cattle ran to the hills[.] here we had to make a halt for several days to make a search for them

26th 6 head found[.] Began to tye up our cattle this evening

28th 5 head more found[.] Capt Walton and Drusey [Drury] brought in word of Platte River

29th 20 head brought from Allred’s Camp[.] Found we were only 260 miles from Rushville and had traveled 428[.] found some companys [companies] there that had started on the 4th of July

August 2 Started up the Platte

5th had a stampede with the lose cattle in which Germon [German] Buchanan was run over by the cattle but was able to drive his team in a few days

August 9 Crossed cobble hills. Mrs. Thom[p]son departed this life a few minutes before[.] she said she felt bad and wished the wagon would stop on driving[.] 100 yards further to the Company ground she died. Her death was lovely as the mildest sunset of a summer evening when the sun goes down tranquilly without a cloud.

16th made fort Lariamie [Laramie] (writing very dim but this is what I think it is. E.P.A.)

17th laid by

18th went on about ___ miles

19th James Huntsman being dissatisfied with our Company went on ahead with 5 wagons. Company all went on this morning but the tires being so loose on some of the wagons wheels 8 or 10 wagons stopped on Horse Creek and set some tires

21st cetched up with the company


2nd Ten stopped back on upper Platte for a ferry[.] Company went on over Some rough roads

26th Good roads but no feed[.] very windy and very little water and no spring this evening[.] no grass and water

27th started at 5 oclock this morning[.] drove on 6 miles[.] stopped for the 2nd Ten and let our cattle feed all day

28th the 2nd Ten not come yet[.] Company moved on to Sweetwater[.] violent wind storm with some rain and hale [hail] come up this evening[.] All well

29th Company considering[,] our teems tired out[,] our wagons wanting repairs[.] We thought it best to stay a day or two[.] the first good camping place[.] Accordingly[,] as usual[,] our Captain took the lead and proceeded us up to a beautiful creek meadow where we had an abundance of feed and water

Sept. 2 Left this camping place and proceeded on (Here writing fades, can barely make out that cattle and steers are dead[.] can’t tell how many)

Disagreeable traveling through sand with strong west wind[.] Camped on Sweetwater 111 miles from -----

Crossed over the last Big Bend the 8th of Sept. and camped 3 miles below Pasipic [Pacific] Creek Crossing[.] Cold but pleasant[.] 3/8 in. ice this morning

9th camped on little Sandy[.] not much feed[.] camped on Big Sandy

10th plenty of feed and water[.] held a meeting this evening for the purpose of ascertaining if there was any surplus steers[,] and help those that were becoming weak if there was any[.] It was unanimously agreed on that Capt. Walton should have control of them[,] big or little[,] old or young[,] and by so doing we might equalize our teams to a considerable extent again and be the means of hastening the Company faster to the Place of Destination[.] It was also unanimously voted that James Huntsman[,] with those who left our company with him[,] be cut off and dropped from the Company for refusing to comply with general rules of the Company.

Made Green River on 12th[.] good water[.] Plenty of feed

Made Fort Bridger on the evening 16th[.] all well[.] our teams now are generally looking very weak

Sept. 14 had counted 25 Dead oxen and cows on the road same date

Deaths of Cattle in our Camp
Mr. Walton 1 ox
“ Critchlow 1 cow
“ J. Carson 1 ox
“ Telford 1 Sr
“ Zimmerman 1 Sr
“ [Thomas] Weir 1 Sr

We had better move on and Divide the teams we have so that all might go on

I have found no mention of G.G. Thomas Crooks and party separating from the Company[,] but this may be lost as pages are missing or sometimes the writing has faded so that little or none of certain paragraphs can be deciphered. However there is the beginning of a letter in the book written by George Crooks to his father[.] it is headed Chimney Rock, he mentions pleasant weather, all well and there have been two deaths ____ ____[.] Since the women’s deaths occurred on the 12th and 22nd of July it appears G.G. Thomas Crooks had gone on ahead before Ellon Kingsley’s accident[.] this letter was written on a page of the book and never forwarded. Then we have a difference in the time of arrival at Salt Lake, you have record of the Thomas Crooks party reaching there Sept. 24, 1851[,] same year as their departure from Garden Grove June 17 which was remarkably good time[.] Thomas started with 1 horse and 6 oxen, Grandpa had 2 horses but later drove an ox team[.] They experienced a rigorous winter on the Platte[,] according to Grandma. The record shows they made Fort Bridger Sept. 16, with weakened teams and stock dieing [dying.] they were making [a] valient effort to keep on but I do not think they could not have gone much farther than the fort before going into camp for the winter.

When spring came they made a fresh start on their journey toward Salt Lake. I recall that Grandma once mentioned Echo Canyon where voices reflected back over and over again. After their arrival at Salt Lake in the spring of 1852 I find that Grandfather went to work at his trade doing carpentering in that city and American Fork