Transcript for John Martin autobiography, 1907, 54-57

Jedediah M. Grant wanted teamsters to accompany him to Utah and required them to deposit $10.00 to insure their going with him and he would refund the money when they arrived in the valley. I engaged with him and had to pay my passage up the Missouri river to a landing place called Bethlehem. In april I went up and when I got to this landing place the cattle and provisions had not arrived. I had to look for work now because board was $2.00 per week and I was broke. . . .

The day before I was to start back to Bethlehem, as I now expected that everything would have arrived by this time, I went fishing. I intended to take the biggest fish back with me but after setting and fishing all day I caught nothing but a mud turtle. Nor had they ever before.

Next day I walked back to the camp at Bethlehem and was glad that I had helped the Emerys as good as I had done while staying with them. When I arrived in camp all was bustle and life in getting ready to start west. It was a very hard task to mate and break the yoke cattle as some of them had never been hitched to a wagon before. In the course of two or three weeks we got over the Mo. [Missouri] river and camped. The first day of our journey west we had three wagon-tongues broken. The teamsters were inexperienced drivers of oxen and most of the oxen were not broke so it was no wonder we would get in such a mix-up.

When the train would go too far from us we would run to the hind of the wagon and “haw” them, but when they would get too close to us we would shout “gee”, So it was “hawing” and “geeing” all the way as we jolted over the prairie.

But when the oxen got broken and the drivers got accustomed to their new place it was not necessary to run around the wagons, but by simply speaking a word the oxen would obey. The second day we travelled six miles and so on by degrees.

Opposite Fort Kearney one of my lead cattle died. It was a fine two year old heifer. I worked three yoke some of the time, and in crossing a creek with four yoke they upturned the wagon, but slightly damaged the goods.

At Green river we met George Grant a brother of Jedediah, who came with some work oxen and provisions[.] When we got on top of Little Mountain we camped for the last night. We intended to make a very early start the next morning. But when the herders rounded up the cattle it was found that some of them had strayed off. We took a very scant breakfast and set out to find them. It was midday before we got them all together again.

Coming down Emigration Canyon three of our wagons broke down and one or two were left behind for the night. Some of the men returned from the city next day to bring them in. Most of us got to the mouth of the canyon by dusk, that evening, but had to wait there. There were two roads leading into the city. One at that time was Emigration Street, now known Third South Street. The other was South Temple Street. I came by this road. The hill was very steep and as I was descending it, my trunk containing all my worldly goods fell out without my knowing it.

[Journal excerpts also published in Drucilla H. McFarland and Ruth M. White, "Mormon John" Martin: Utah Pioneer Family History, [1969], 23-28.]