Transcript

Transcript for Gardner, George Bryant, [Autobiography], in James Albert Jones, comp., Some Early Pioneers of Huntington, Utah and Surrounding Area [1980], 90

While crossing the plains, many incidents occured. We traveled in Brother Wilford Woodruff’s company. He was Captain of the first 100, Edson Whipple of the first 50 and I was Captain of 10 in Whipple’s 50. We reached the road on the south side of Platt[e] River. After being out a few days cholera made its appearance in our train. There had been a train of gold hunters who passed us on their way to California, which had the cholera. We counted from 20 to 100 graves in a days travel. Many graves had been robbed by wolves and the skeletons of the poor victims were scattered on the ground. We lost 16 adults and 1 child who died of cholera before we reached Fort Kearney. We had two severe stampedes, but not much damage. The day we passed the Fort, one man was killed by lightning and one child died.

That night, while we were mourning and weeping for the dead, there was a family, a little distance from us by the name of Graham, who were swearing, drinking and gambling. They belonged to the church and were traveling along with us. They were turned out of the camp the next morning. Since this incident, in the vicinity of Ogden, three of them have been killed for cattle rustling. It seemed that all the power of hell, combined to stop us, in our progress. Cholera, stampedes, thunder and lightning storms, rain and tempests of winds and false brethren.

When the man was killed by lightning, it came to my mind, it would be the last of our troubles on our journey which I prophesied to my friends. We had no more trouble, but some excitement, herds of buffalo and one day we were surrounded by about 500 Indians, all mounted and armed to the teeth, with good weapons. It looked very scary for awhile, but trusting in the Lord and with stout hearts, the Paiute Chief reached out his hand to shake hands and peace and friendship soon gladdened our hearts.

I started from the Bluffs with a good wagon, well stocked, but being delayed in the mountains by snow, many ran short and I divided with them, so that when we got to Salt Lake, we had not a mouthful to eat. But by the kindness of Brother Jonathan Pugmire Jr., who knew what hunger was, having been in the Mormon Battalion, took us in and gave us something to eat, for which we were very thankful.

After resting a few days, I went to Mill Creek Canyon.

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