Transcript for Leatham, Mary Evans Williams, [Reminiscences], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 18:94-95 and 37:59-60

"Our ship went to New Orleans and then we took a river steamer up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to Omaha, Nebraska. At Florence we got our outfits and various families contributed towards a wagon or a yoke of cattle. We were in a big company, led by a Captain Duncan. We had 12 head of oxen hitched to each wagon. The wagons were so heavy ladden [laden] that most of us had to walk. I was nearly 11 years old and remember many of the incidents of crossing the plains.

"We saw big herds of buffalo but did not hunt any. Sometimes our oxen stampeded when they were frightened or thirsty and then the children were put in the wagons where they would be safe from harm."


"Indians had been giving trouble and we had to keep constant guard. Each night the wagons were drawn into a big circle with the tongues inside so as to form a kind of corral. We made our camps inside the circle and the night guards took the cattle out to graze.

"There was some sickness on the journey and several persons died. Sometimes the wolves would dig up the bodies before we left a burying ground.

"For fuel we burned buffalo chips and I used to gather them in my apron for our campfire. We slept on the ground."

"During the day we sometimes picked various kinds of berries. We carried flour, bacon and beans for provision. We had plenty to eat on the trip. In the evening the camp had a good time singing and dancing and telling stories. My father was a musician and could play most any instrument.

"Often when we were tired and weary we would join in that famous Mormon hymn. 'Come, Come, Ye Saints,' that was written by William Clayton.

"There were some babies born along the way. I remember seeing Independence Rock on the Sweetwater river. We suffered from cold when we crossed South Pass in the mountains.

"When we were coming down into Utah, I remember seeing the stump of a tree large enough to dance a cotill[i]on on.