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 cure
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, inte
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.