Transcript

Transcript for Maeser, Reinhard, Karl G. Maeser: A Biography [1928], 34-36

On August 1 st , 1859, soon after their return to Philadelphia, their eldest daughter, Ottilie, was born. Attention was now centered upon the problem of getting to Utah. Everything that could be done was done to obtain means to pay the railroad fare to Florence, Nebraska, then the outfitting station for crossing the plains. Since his return from the South, Karl had been President of the Philadelphia Conference, and continued in this position until June, 1860, when the family left for Zion. Four months was spent on the plains traveling with ox teams. Patriarch John Smith was captain of the company. Karl had been given charge of the emigrants as far as Florence. He was then appointed Chaplain. This position brought him into some prominence among his fellow travelers.

Imagine, if you can, how Karl G. Maeser would handle three yoke of wild, unbroken steers; how he would hitch them to a wagon; and how he would "Whoa-ha" and "gee" them after they were yoked up! Soon, however, he obviated the necessity of doing these things by sharing the wagon with a young Englishman named Duke, on condition that the latter would attend to hitching up and driving the oxen.

People who have made this tedious journey tell of the hardships encountered; of the constant trial of one's faith in God, in the Gospel, and in one's fellowmen. In this connection, let us consider for a moment the great contrasts that came into the lives of these Germans. From association with a class of people, the highest and most cultured, whose language was elegant, refined, and select, among whom etiquette was so carefully practiced that it became almost an art, and men and women were immaculate in their dress; they had been thrown into the company of plainsmen, rough, uncouth, and undignified in manner and dress. How could it be endured: Did these men really represent the people of God, extolled by the Elders, who had been at the home of the Maesers in Germany? Were these fair samples of the products of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Was it for this as an ultimate that all the sacrifices had been made? Was it possible that he, Garl [Karl] G. Maeser, through association and environment, would some day become like unto them? Many an hour was passed in serious reflections along this line of thought. However, before the journey was completed, Karl became thoroughly convinced that, though these men presented a rough exterior, the true man was still abiding within. He learned long before the company reached the 'valleys' that he was associated with men of honor and integrity, men whose word was their bond, who would risk their lives in defense of their fellowmen, and who would die, if necessary, for the Gospel's sake. Indeed, they were rough by reason of their environment, but they were real, true men.

So far as accidents and delays were concerned, nothing of consequence occurred. The weather was generally fair; each day's mileage was not so great as to become exhausting. The evening were usually spent in pleasantries-singing, dancing, testimonies. The company reached Salt Lake on Saturday, September 1st, 1860. Edward Schoenfeldt, who had arrived almost exactly three years before, was on hand to greet his relatives. He took them to his home, about half a block west of the northwest corner of the present Union Railroad Depot. The wagon box, placed just outside of the Schoenfeldt lot, was, for a short time, used by the newcomers as a bedroom.

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