Transcript for Eccles, Bertha Marie, [Reminiscences], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 9:26-28

"We had to wait three or four weeks at North Platte before the outfits arrived. There were about 600 or 700 persons in the emigrant train, in charge of Captain Leonard G. Rice. Our company was the first large independent company of converts to come to Utah. Up to this time the church had always sent wagons and teams and other assistance to companies crossing the plains but this year no aid was forthcoming.

"Father had a fine outfit of three wagons with four oxen yoked to each wagon. Father had never driven oxen in Denmark and he didn't know anything about them but soon learned. He had purchased a big Texas long horned steer that frightened us at first.

"Being new to the country father had been sold a brindle ox with no teeth. He did not know that the buyer should inspect the teeth. The ox was healthy but had a hard time to get sufficient food because he couldn't graze the tough grass.

"It fell to my lot to care for the ox. Father bought a quantity of damanged [damaged] flour from an army post and mother baked this into bread for the ox. Whenever we passed green herbs or weeds or volunteer corn that had sprung up from a few kernels spilled when freighters had fed their teams the preceding year, I gathered these young corn stalks and thus got a little tender forage for the toothless ox. Every time the wagon train stopped it was part of my duty to feed the animal a piece of bread. Each evening we fed him at the wagon before turning him out with the others. In that way we got that ox to Salt Lake City in as good condition as any of the stock ad he worked in the yoke every day but two when father hitched up a milch [milk] cow in his place.

"Another job I had was the collecting of dried buffalo chips for fuel. We always had a sack of them hanging on the side of the wagon on the plains.

"No buffalo were killed by our party but we did see a big herd coming towards us one day. We were fearful lest they stampede into our train and frighten the cattle but just as the herd got within a few hundred yards of us the leaders veered off <to> the east and passed around our party.

"The weather was good most of the time and as we had plenty of food we did not suffer any particular hardships as many of the pioneers did. No Indians disturbed us.

"I recall that one woman died during the journey. Another time one of the men was shot by accident. We halted a day or two to attend to his wounds but after suffering for some time he died and was buried along the trail. After that the men were forbidden to do any hunting in the vicinity of the camp.

"Whenever possible our camps were in grassy flats along streams or near spring[s]. I always detested camping in those sticky, yellow weeds that infest much of the west.

"At that time I had not learned the English language and consequently I do not recall the names of all the places along the route.

"I remember one time, when the wagon train was near a large mountain that looked as if it had been split, something broke on one of the wagons and the men halted to fix it. The women and girls walked on ahead expecting the wagons to come up soon.

"We walked for a long time, and as the day was hot, we got very thirsty, soon we were out of sight of the wagon train and we could find no water. Then off in the distance we saw a group of tents and a man near a little ditch. We went over and made signs that we were thirsty and he gave us some milk to drink.

"One of the men there took a fancy to me, the only little girl in the group, and tried to get me to go with him over to a group of buildings nearby. Finally my father and some other men came riding up on horses searching for us. I was glad to see my father. The man still wanted me to go with him, so father nooded [nodded] that it was all right and the stranger took me by the hand. Just as we got near the buildings I could see soldiers drilling in a courtyard of the garrison and I was frightened. I remembered the war between Germany and Denmark and the coming of the soldiers in 1866. When we were almost to the fort I pulled my hand away quickly and ran back to my father. The man went on to the fort and came back in a moment laughing and presented me with a big bag of stick candy which he made me understand I was to divide with the others.

"There were several cows with our livestock so we always had milk and butter along the way. We used to average about ten miles a day and I believe that I ran an extra five miles trying to gather feed for the toothless ox and buffalo chips for our evening fire.

"Once I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake. A teamster yelled 'jump' and I Jumped.

"In the evenings the older people played games, and dance to music, but I usually was busy helping my mother in camp and then I had to go to bed early.

"We traveled up the Plat[t]e river, then up the Sweetwater and over South Pass, down to Fort Bridger and then through Echo Canyon, and over the mountain to Emigration Canyon and down to Salt Lake City, arriving there October 5, 1867, just at conference time.