Transcript

Transcript for Eunice Billings Snow, "Sketches from the Life of Eunice Billings Snow," Woman's Exponent, 1 February 1912, 47-48

In the spring of 1847, we bade farewell to St. Joe, and proceeded to Winter Quarters, where we joined the different companies of Saints. The first company of pioneers was making active preparations at that time to cross the plains, and my brother, George P. Billings, was one of the early pioneers to cross the desert with Brother Kimball. My brother came back to Winter Quarters with Brother Brigham Young and Brother Heber Kimball, and in the spring my father [Titus Billings], mother [Diantha Morley Billings], my brother, George P. Billings, Mr. [John E.] Warner and myself started for the Rocky Mountains. My brother was not with us all the time, since it was necessary for him to drive Helen Mar Whitney's carriage most of the way. She was not feeling very well, due to the fact that she had recently lost a child. This sorrow so preyed upon her mind that it was necessary to have some one with her all the time to comfort and console her. She was a very devout woman, and the brethren, all of whom loved and respected her, administered unto her and she became more reconciled. My father was captain of fifty in Brother Kimball's company. When there was no wood to be had, I gathered buffalo chips and as a child I enjoyed it. I also took pleasure in cooking the meals, since I had no other great responsibility. One time, while cooking supper over a fire of buffalo chips on the ground, my clothing took fire, and had it not been for my brother George, who came up with a bucket of water just then and threw it over me, I should have been burned to death. On the trip I rode when I pleased and walked when I wished, so the journey was not so tiresome to me. The present president of the Church, Joseph F. Smith and his mother [Mary Fielding Smith] were members of Brother Kimball's party of fifty and the young Joseph was old enough to drive a team for his widowed mother. We fortunately had two cows with us on our trip and usually we had plenty of butter to supply our needs, but sometimes the amount would fall short, in which case we would buy a pound from Sister Smith, young Joseph's mother.

One time there was a stampede of our cattle, as they were corralled within our wagons, and bursting over the wagons and demolishing some of them, they killed a small child. Such were some of the sad events of our journey. We would see herd after herd of buffalo, crossing our path, and coming quite close to our wagons. In fording the streams, we sometimes had difficulty, but never any serious mishap. Often it would take our party a whole day to cross a river, since the return would have to be made to help the others over. In several instances, my mother acting as midwife, delivered women in confinement, and there was no interruption to our journey, since mothers and babes continued the trip right along with us.

But oh! the joy and pleasure I shall never forget when we reached a hill, from the summit of which we caught our first view of the Salt Lake valley, the promised land. When we reached the valley, the teams were halted, and the people all took up the shout of hosannah, which was repeated three times.

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