Transcript for Merrill, Clarence, Autobiographical sketch, 4-5, in Utah Pioneer Biographies, compiled by Yalecrest Camp, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers

In 1852 we started for Utah, and left our place in charge of John Forsyth. We crossed the Missouri River the 9th of June. We used to have good times with crossing the plains. We would have a dance of an evening, and mother [Margaret Ann Richinson Merrill] would often sing songs for us—she had a lovely voice. We had a half-breed Omaha Indian for our hunter, his name was Louis Sousese [Saunsocie], his wife [Narcissa Rebecca Fausett Saunsocie] was Bro. Follett’s daughter. One day not far out on our journey, one of Sousese’s cousins came to bid him goodbye. As the Indian was passing Bro. [James] Maycock’s wagon, he raised his blanket upon his shoulder. A white-faced cow which was tied behind the wagon got scared and commenced bellowing which frightened the teams and they stampeded. It was on the prairie and although there were three and four wagons abreast of each other at the time, no damage was done. I was loitering behind the train, so escaped being in the fracas. The Indian was badly scared and left as soon as he bid his cousin good-bye.

There were large herds of buffalo and we had plenty of fresh meat. Sousese would often be late getting into camp. He always killed the cows or young buffalo, and the meat when jerked would very hard and course grained, but it was sweet to the taste. After passing the buffalo, we saw many antelope, they resembled the deer but are smaller.

Fort Laramie on the Platte River was about half way to Utah. We saw Chimey Rock when 90 miles from it; it was a tall spire of rock. We saw many Indians, but had no trouble with them. I remember quite a number of cattle died from drinking alkali water. We had Tom and Jerry on the tongue of our wagon—they were a large yoke of oxen. When the alkali dust got on Tom’s sore neck, he would rant around in great shape, and wear out Jerry. Father [Albert Merrill] put zinc on the yoke collar over the neck but it was almost impossible to keep his neck from being sore. Our second yoke of cattle were three year olds, and were called “Buck and Bright.” Our next yoke were cows, they were “White Face and Boss”, and our next yoke were two year old heifers “Rosa and Pink.”

We entered the valley in Sept. 1852, coming down Immigration Street, now 3rd South,...