Transcript for Day, Thomas, Reminiscences, 32-33
At Council Bluffs I commenced working on farm owned by a friend and while he purchased the farm I purchased the stock exchanging a beautiful hunting watch and guard for the horse and plow and my wife obtaining a cow for a lovely silk dress:
I located at Springville branch and was nominated and sustained as counselor to the President of that branch. The Bishop attended to nothing but the <tithing> affairs. This position I held all the time during my stay here which was two years. <Was> Also called as home missionary in five branches.
I was greatly prospered while here and was beginning to feel comfortably settled when Ezra T. Benson came from Utah with the special mission of calling the Saints to gather to which I responded promptly.
While at this place I had taken a small sickly <orphan> boy into my home to care for whose name was James Meredith. He gave us considerable trouble but as we had no children of our own we tried patiently to do the best we could for him and took him with us to the vallies.
I had four cows and two steers but no wagon with which to travel. But a widow who was anxious to come supplied the deficiency and by joining into one company we got along very well. We were organized at the Missouri river as Company 4 with Jos. Outhouse captain. There were twenty-one companies that year with 52 wagons in each. As we started early we came through safely with no loss whatever but of the companies that came on late many died of cholera and exposure and quite a number of horses and cattle were stolen besides
very various other troubles.
When we had crossed the Missouri, being the first night of camping out, we turned our stock out to graze, well guarded by armed herdsmen. A small party of Californian travelers were camping not far from us and some of them asked us why we guarded our stock in arms. I replied that was a custom with us. We had hardly finished speaking when a band of <eleven> Omaha Indians came rushing like the wind toward our stock but seeing that we were in arms whirled straight for the California camp and stole their stock almost before they had time to comprehend what was going on. Our men went in pursuit but got only two or three back.
We had no trouble before coming to the Platte River.
When There we were met by a large company of Indians who would not let us pass before we had fulfilled their demands to fill their spread blankets with provisions . After this they troubled us no more.
When grazing & water were good we would stay over on Sundays. Sometimes the men would hunt buffalo and other game. Once I started off to hunt but the following lines came over me with a strange power and I returned to camp.
“In the desert let me labor,
On the mountains let me tell,
How He died, the blessed Savior
To redeem the world from hell”
When we came to the Sweetwater as I was walking along in front of my team they <suddenly> began
ne a stampede carrying me along between the two head steers. For a time I did not know what to do but at last jumped quickly to the side and as all the teams in the company were in the same spirit as mine I was saved from a horrible death.
Our captain proved himself a genuine crank and many of the company deserted him so before we reached our destination we were well broken up.
We arrived in Salt Lake City Sep. 9 1852 <having traveled since the 10th of June> And on seeing the goal, took my hat off and shouted “hurrah for Salt Lake!” My wife looked curiously and asked “where, where is the city?” I replied, “Don’t you see that little white house on the hill?”