Transcript for Louisa Decker, "Reminiscences of Nauvoo," Woman's Exponent, 1 April 1909, 49-50
At Winter Quarters I met my sister Mary. She had lost her young husband John Murdock. While driving the cattle through the Missouri river, he had taken cold and died, and was the first white man buried in the Indian Mound at Winter Quarters, leaving a bride of five months, a widow at the age of fifteen. She stayed with her husband's mother, and journeyed across the plains in Captain Jedediah M. Grant's company. I traveled in Captain A. O. Smoot's company. [Farnum] Kinyon being captain of ten, I drove a two horse team for him as far as Fort Laramie, where my teams and three other horses were stolen by Indians. From there to the valley I drove a yoke of oxen; walking most of the way to lighten the load. I helped set out the meals, wash dishes, make mush for next day's lunch, milked four cows that gave enough milk for our mush. This I strained in a churn, and the jolting of the wagon churned butter for one meal; seven in family, three boys, Mr. and Mrs. Kinyon, her brother George [W.] Swartout [Swarthout], and myself.
One morning at Green River, Sister [Lucinda] Kinyon's babe was born, a widow by the name of McKimins acting as doctor and nurse. In about two days we drove on, joining our company at their noon lunch. The babe became a great comfort to me, it was something to love all the next winter. I would hurry through my work to hold it in my arms. The family never knew how the orphan girl longed for the kind words they so freely gave their own, and that I had been so recently deprived of. The mother was a good woman, but the father was always surly with me; only speaking to order some work done. He became weak in the faith, and later going to California to seek better conditions. On his return trip he and two others were killed by the Indians. I heard the family went to southern California in the spring of '48.