Transcript

Transcript for Moesser, Joseph Hyrum, Autobiographical sketch [ca. 1921], 2-3

In 1847 we started West for the Salt Lake Valley.

Leaving Winterquarters we traveled about 125 miles to Loop Fork remaining there about three weeks, when we again took up the line of March Westward. I drove our team across to Salt Lake. My brother Henry [Moesser], next older, drove two yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows, for others and received 1 pound of flour per day and boarding himself, making a little over 100 pounds for his summer's work.

Daniel Spencer was the captain of our company of 100 with Perrigrine Sessions Captain of 50.

When we were near Grand Island about 235 miles from the Missouri River we saw the first buffalo. The first were seen about 6:30 a.m. being only three. Shortly after this a herd of about 75 were seen and later another herd still larger and our camp became all excited, the chase started and lasted from 1 to 4 p.m., and when all the hunters got in, it was found that 10 buffalo had been killed.

June 6, 1847: Today we saw thousands of buffalo, also a band of 13 elk and many antelope.

As we were nearing Chimney Rock, there was a large buffalo coming towards the wagon. Two of the men went out on horses and killed it, supplying the company with meat. When we came to the rock, we all went up to it and wrote our names on it. At one of the camps on the Platte River we heard a great rumbling noise, and looking up saw a large herd of buffalo coming directly towards our camp. They crossed the river opposite and turned to one side and went on without making any disturbance, and we felt the Lord had surely turned them aside as they rarely turn out of their course.

In traveling it was found that it would not do to travel single file, they then arranged to travel with the wagons three abreast, so if a herd of buffalo should come in contact with the train, they could not divide the camp.

At another camp on the Platte river, a band of Indians, came into camp one morning, the men were cleaning their guns, when one was accidently discharged, shooting a woman, but not killing her, which caused great excitement among the Indians. For some time they were up in arms until they found what had happened. Then they quieted down and were very friendly.

When crossing the river near Fort Bridger I walked in, driving the oxen when of a sudden, my feet were swept from under me. I caught hold of (Bills) the oxen bow and held on until we were through which saved my life, as I would surely have been drowned, had I not done so.

In many places there was no wood, so we had to gather buffalo chips for a fire. The children would have their sacks ready when they stopped and each go for their share of the chips, and yet there was no quarreling about it.

We arrived in Salt Lake Valley September 24, 1847.

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