Transcript for Hansen, Martin, "A Synopsis or Sketch of My Life," 9-10

A Trip Back for Saints

In 1868, I with other boys from American Fork, were called by Bishop L. E. Harrington to go back to the Missouri river for a train load of Saints. There were 5 boys from American Fork and 3 boys from Alpine City. Here ar[e] the names:

American Fork, Martin Hansen, Amos Waggstaff, William Ovard, Neils Christensen, George Baker. From Alpine: Thomas Whitma, Jacob Beck, and Fred Clark.

Each of us were equipped with 3 yoke of cattle and a covered wagon and supplies for our trip. Our first camp was made in a green pasture for the purpose of giving our cattle a good fill up, ready for a good early start the next day. And oh, what a time we had to get our cattle hooked up together as they were nearly all wild steers. But of course we had to help one another until we were all ready to start and then one of us would take the lead and the rest follow. That day we got as far as the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon and unhitched our cattle from the wagons, leaving the young steers with their yokes on all night, having a night hereder [herder] to watch them till morning. After breakfast, he would bring them to camp, the young steers, many of them with their yokes turned upside down. Of course they soon got used to their yokes and ended that trouble.

The next day we left Salt Lake Valley and started up the canyon and when we got through the mountains to the plains, our troubles were nearly over. Our cattle were all broke in to know their places and all went well the rest of the way until we got to our journey’s end. We camped on the bank of the Missouri river until the saints should arrive. But they did not arrive until seven weeks later. The saints were delayed on the ocean and their drinking water went bad on them and gave them all the cholera and made them very sick, so when we got them from the railroad cars to our camp we had to let them rest a few days before starting on our journey. But some died on the camping ground and were buried there. So we concluded that we had better be on the move as the season was getting late, so at last, we started for Utah.

It was very hard on those that were the most sick to be shook up in our wagons and they died in our wagons every day and us teamsters had to dig graves every day or two and we buried from one up as high as seven in a grave. This was very hard for the saints to endure, as well as us teamsters for we shure felt sorry for them, to see their crying and weeping and nothing to mark their graves except a little writing on an old buffalo head or anything we could find. But as we neared the valleys of the mountains, the rest of the saints began to get better and we pulled through without any more deaths. When we got to Salt Lake City, the saints went in all directions.