Transcript

Transcript for McKay, Williamena McKay, Autobiographical sketch, 1915, 2-3

Eventually enough money was saved to take us to Iowa City, Iowa. This was in the spring of 1858. Here as in New York father, the boys and the girls worked in various places to gather means to take the family the rest of the way to Utah. In the fall of that year a yoke of three year old steers, a yoke of cows and an old ox togeather with an old wagon were purchased. Next spring, 1859, we moved to Florence, a distance of three hundred miles th over very poor roads, where a company of Saints were fitting out prepairtory to crossing the plains.

After this Company finally got in to shape it consisted of 60 wagons in command of Captain James Brown. Just as a start was about to be made it was discovered that a woman by the name [Ann Whitehead] Garvy with a small child had no means of proceeding further so after talking it over my parents decided to add these two to their own family of seven. Her personal affects were piled into the already overcrow[d]ed wagon. She was badly crippled and had to ride all the way and as a consequence my own mother walked every foot of the distance. The trip was very hard on every one and especially women and children. Besides the natureal fatigue due to constant exertion there was the danger from Indians, privations, and sore a bleeding feet. At night the wagons were made in the form of a circle. The cattle were turned out to graze under guard at night. Bugle called all to prayer night and morning and Ambrose Greenwell and his wife led the singing when meetings or socials were held. All fires were built in the circle. On ocassion a piece of ground was cleared and blankits were hung up, lanterns lighted inside and on this smooth surface dances were enjoyed by young and old. Large herds of buffalo were frequently seen and somewhere on the trip we passed a handcaart Company. That was a sight I never shall forget: Men, women and children pulling and tugging at carts loaded with all everything they possessed, wading rivers, climbing mountains, through heat and cold, always tugging.

We arrived in Salt Lake Valley in October 1859 hungry and worn out.

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