Transcript for Israelsen, Andrew M., [Autobiography], in Orson W. Israelsen, ed., Utah Pioneering: An Autobiography [1938], 21-22

The Journey Across the Plains

I shall not go into detail describing the journey across the plains. Many have written about the covered wagon and hardships of the journey, and as there was such great similarity in them all, I shall only mention a few special incidents.

At night the wagons would all be put in a circle so as to make a corral, or pen, to hold the oxen in. In this circle fires were built and here the cooking was done. One morning, after the oxen had been caught and yoked up and many teams had been hitched to the wagons, either buffalo, Indians, or something else, frightened the oxen so that they stampeded, upsetting wagons, breaking wagon tongues and hurting a few people. I was eating bread and milk, and I lost my spoon, a good new silver one.

The next mishap was in crossing one of the large rivers where the people had to wade to decrease the load on the wagons. Even then many of the wagons were very heavily loaded, and got "hung up" on the bank, so several extra teams had to be put on to pull them out.

On one of these hard pulls, father's best ox, a very "high-lifed" one, "burst" something inside, and died in a short time. This made it necessary for father to buy another ox.

From then on, all went as usual on such journeys until we crossed the line into Utah, when the youngest child, a boy named Israel [Israelsen], died, fulfilling father's dream to the letter; namely: "That he had arrived in Zion and was gathering up his family and found all but one. " The child was buried by the road side. The exact place of the grave is not known. After arriving in Salt Lake City, we stayed there a short time to rest.