Transcript for Johnson, John. Reminiscences, 1899-1935, 7 p

We were about six weeks bying outfits and geting rady for crosing the plains, there were about 170 Church teames that year but we were in the independent Company and had our oanTeams wagons and provisions to look after[.] Father (Knudsen) bought 4 yoak of oxen three cows one mare (for me to ride on and help drive the stock) two wagons which was loaded with our close [clothes] and provission to what they thought would be about right for two yoak or four oxen on for the wagon, we made several trips to Nebaska City wher Father don[e] most of the bying and he did extra well in bying there as he had the gold to pay with. owing to the civel war that was on at that time the price on curesy was very uncertain. The whole Company consisted of 60 wagons. Patriarck [Patriarch] John Smith being our Kaptain of the Co and J[ohn]. P[eter]. R[asmus]. Johnson his asistent. We were all Scandinavience and non of us had ever driven or even seen a yoak of oxen so when we gat rady to start it was considerable of a mexup. stil there was no on kiled or injured very much[.] there were some wagon toungs broken and one or two tipovers but in a day or two we were able to herd them along very well[.] The fore part of the tavel were through roling hils[.] very good feed for the stock but fuel was scares [scarce], most of our fuel was from droppings of stock or Bufelow chips as we used to cal them and when they were dry made a very fuel aspesialy for baking bred in our skillets as it required a slow moldring fire for that purpas.

Everything went along very well til we came to plat[te] river (a large Mudy stream)[.] as we had taken the oxen to grass efter our days travel Engebret Olsen (our teamster for one of the teams) thought he would take a bath, he was very warm at the time, he took his bath in Plat river and took a very sevear cold which turned in to Pheumonia and efter 10 days or more sickness he died. he was buried by the way side on the Plains[.] a large pile of rocks placed over his grave to prevent the wolfs from diging him up. I had to drive the team which I gat along with very well[,] Captain Smith telling me I was the bes teamster in the train, Lina my sister taking my place to ride the pony and driving stock. When we gat further west water was scares and there was much alkelie water which would stand in ponds along the road but on acount of the elkelie it was poison to men and beast, driving all day in heat of the sun the oxen became very thirsty and when turned loos for feed would run to those ponds and drink[.] some would git sick and git well again but many would die. We had two dien and others get lame so we had more load then team. Ariving at a mail Station (the Guverment had Stations along the road where they would ceep som fresh horses to take the mail through. allso a gard or some Soldiers to look efter thing[s] and protect them from the Indians) we desided the best thing to do was to leev one load at the Station which we did, inteding to send for it or come efter it the following season, whil onloading[,] the Company moved on and we were left in the rear. We left the Station [with] Father driving the loaded team, I was in the rear with the emty wagon, my team was one lame ox and one cow, we gat to ahill where my team could not bring the wagon up, so I took my ox & cow[,] hurraid up the best I could til I overtook Father and the rest of the folks, where we stoped and had a counsel as to what to do. Father somewhat descuridgesed let wagon stand there, we can not overtake the Company to day if we go back efter the wagon which was true, but Mother and us Children desided to make a drye camp right there ang [and] go efter the wagon with one of the good teams which we did[.] Lina and myself brought it which was not with out considerable risk for us to camp there alone with out any protection from the Indians. it was efter dark before we gat togather again. Father and I stayed up all night herding the oxen and such a howling as it was from wolfs and Kioties I have never heard before or since in the fore part of the night[.] J.P.R. Johnson came back to see what had become of us and he stayed all night which was very much appreciated.

next morning we gathered our oxen and started on our jurny again and overtook the Company about 10 a.m. who were waiting for us[.] we traveled along with the rest of the Company efter that without any further truble[.] I had to take my turn in hurding the stock and standing gard at night. Just think what would have hapened to the Indians if they had come[.] I was armed with a pepper box with six barels all loaded and about 7 inches long[.] it was quite havy and would make an exelent club for defence. we seen no hostile Indians however than [them] we seen were Friendly next year in 1865 they Indians were on the war path[.] they took the Station where our close and things were left[.] helped them self to what they wanted and set fire to the rest, so we gat nothing of wat we left. My youngest sister Eline was sick nearly all the way[.] she died and was buried in ekko [Echo] Canjon [Canyon]. We arived in Salt Lake City October 1st.