Transcript for Folkman, Christopher Olsen, [Reminiscences], in Pioneer Pathways [1998- ], 7:236-37
Peace was declared between the United States and Utah, and we were ordered to make ready at once for the trip across the plains. Emigration Agent Joseph W. Young sent a Brother Homer, from Crescent City, to us for the purpose of assisting us in buying oxen and wagons. In a few days we were ready, and started our journey over the plains of Iowa with this, for us, strange method of traveling. We had great difficulty in handling the wild oxen. Several times when they were out feeding they ran away from us and hid themselves in the woods, but I had that special gift that when no one else could find them, I could walk right out to the place where they were.
Heavy and prolonged rains caused all of the rivers and streams to swell. In many places it seemed almost impossible to get over because the bridges had been washed away. A number of times we had to use some of our best wagon boxes as ferry boats wherein to bring over our baggage. In several places the oxen swam over, and we had to pull over the wagons with long ropes. At one place we came to a tumble down bridge, but we laid some of the boards in place and pulled the wagons over by hand. No sooner had we got the last wagon over before the bridge was carried away by the stream.
At last we got to Florence where our six wagons were joined by five others. . . .
A young girl was struck by the electric power and fell to the ground as if she was dead. Brother Homer called to me and told me to annoint her, which I did. She soon regained consciousness, but was considerably burned and had to stay in bed several days. A few moments later, Homer again called to me and asked me to annoint his little son who was yet lying as if he was dead. I laid hands upon him and prayed for him, and at once he showed signs of life. After I had breathed into his mouth he came to life, and the day after he was out driving cattle. Many of the brethren took sick as time went on, but I and Brother [Christian Daniel] Fjeldsted administered to them and they were soon well again. At last I took sick of the ague, and was shaken for quite awhile.
During the journey through the Black Hills, I one day caught sight of a large dry tree standing by the roadside. On it I found the following written: “Jorgen C. Folkmann became lost here in these hills, and we, the undersigned, went back and searched for him two days, but we did not find him which made us feel very sad.
My father had emigrated from Denmark in the spring of 1857. As he had used what means he had for the support of missionaries and for my brother Peter’s emigration, he had very little left and was compelled, therefore, to travel over the plains with handcarts. Naturally, I felt very much grieved over the sad news about his supposed death. Upon my arrival in Zion, I, to my great joy, found Father well and happy. He gave me the following description of his disappearance on the plains. One day while the company with which he traveled drove through the Black Hills, his son Peter and wife pulled their handcart. Father felt a little unwell and unable to walk as fast as the company traveled, for which reason the lagged behind a good deal. Finally he got in on the wrong track, and got lost in the wilderness. He walked aimlessly around in the Black Hills for three days, and found nothing to eat but a few berries which he picked. On the evening of the second day he felt very sick and tired, wherefore he made himself a bed of dried grass and laid down to die, as he thought. The next morning, however, he felt rested and in better health, so he continued his tramp. At last he came to the Platte River and waded across. On the other side he met a mountaineer, a white man and his Indian wife. This man took my father up in his wagon, brought him to his tent, and cared for him as well as possible. The day after, he brought him to the company where all had given up hope of finding him.
On October 6th, we arrived safe and sound in Salt Lake City, and were received with great joy by our friends.