Transcript for Folsom, Hyrum P., "Pioneer Experience Confirming an Answer to Prayer," Improvement Era, July 1917, 784-85
In July, 1860, my father and family left Council Bluffs and joined the pioneer train from Salt Lake City to the Missouri river, which returned the same year. Joseph W. Young, Captain; Wm. W. Riter, Joseph Weiley, Ansel Harmon, James Malin, guards of the train, which contained over sixty wagons. Our family joined them at Florence. The following night our two cows strayed from the camp, and in the morning I got on a pony and started out to find them. When about a mile from the camp I came to the brow of the hill that led to the Missouri Bottoms, and on a mound I knelt down and prayed that I might be directed to where the cows had strayed. Looking off on the Bottoms, I saw a farm house at the edge of the timber and close to the Missouri river, probably two miles away. I was very strongly impressed to go to that house and did so, and inquired of the party living there, if he had seen my cows, and described them to him. He said he had not, but I was impressed that he was not telling the truth. However, I started through the timber and rode two or three miles through it where I could not see out, and finally came out at the same house. I saw some cattle down the open plains in the river bottoms and during the day I traveled some twenty miles. Two or three times I went into the woods, and when I got into the woods I would follow a trail, wandering around probably a mile or two, and invariably I would come out where this house was.
Each day when I left camp, I would kneel down on the mound and pray that I would be directed to where the cows were. For five successive days, I repeated my travels from twenty to twenty-five miles, and each time passed through about the same experience, enquiring each day of this man at the same farm house, if he had seen my cows. He always said no. The next day, about 7:30 in the evening. I was again traveling through the woods and again came out at this farm house. After I came into the open, my two cows came out of the opening on the opposite side and stood and looked at me for a minute, and then walked on towards this house and started to go into the yard. I headed them off, and drove them off to camp.
This man beyond a doubt had been milking these cows night and morning, for they showed that they had been properly attended to from day to day. It was a great source of satisfaction, not only to our family but to the general camp, to see me drive these cows into camp, for the next morning the train started for Utah.
At the time we lost the cows one of our oxen strayed from the camp. I had only seen this ox two different times. The next day the train started for Salt Lake City and camped about eight miles from Florence, on the Papio. I left the camp in the morning to find this ox. When I arrived at this hill I knelt down and prayed and I was impressed to go North, up the River from where I had been going , and I again traveled all day without hearing or finding out anything about this ox. About dusk I concluded I would take a route leading through Florence, where I bought some crackers and cheese. The moon was shining brightly, and by taking this round-about way, which I was very peculiarly impressed to do, it would be some three miles farther to reach the camp. I traveled up by the farm houses around Florence. Each house that I would come to, I would look among the cattle to see if I could discover my ox. Finally a farm house which was probably a hundred yards from the road impressed me, and in looking around among the cattle that were lying down resting for the night, I discovered an ox that I thought looked very much like the one I was hunting. I tied my pony to the fence and went and kicked the ox, and he got on his feet. I said, "There is my ox." I tied a rope around its horns, tied the other end to the saddle, and started to the camp, eight miles away. The ox came along nicely for about three miles, when it laid down in the road. I got off my pony and kicked it, and got it on its feet. After a mile or so, it again lay down, and after two or three repetitions I started the pony and went behind and drove it. I arrived at camp as it was coming day light, and not only my parents but the whole camp were surprised and glad to see me with the ox.
I have never at any time of my life doubted but what the impressions I had given me were in answer to my prayers. On some occasions since, when faith has been inclined to be weak, these instances have made my faith strong.