Transcript for Nielsen, Lars Christiansen, Autobiography 1828-1924, 12-13

At Chicago, we had to wait several hours and then went by train to St. Joseph where we went on board a steamboat on the Missouri River and sailed to Florence. On June 22, the church wagons picked us up. It was a sight to see.—such huge covered wagons pulled by three pair of yoked oxen and wagoniers with long whips who called. "Gee Haw". They drove us a ways outside Florence where we had to wait two weeks.

Neils [Niels] Peder [Peter Nielsen] was very sick and we were afraid that he might die, but the Lord blessed him and he became well.[ Hans Olesen & Karen Peterson] Westonskov's [Westenskow] baby son died and was buried there.

While we were there, I was asked to help several days at sewing tents, but we could not get a tent. Ole Madsen, Hans and I decided to take some sheets and make a large tent for our three families where they could lie at night while we traveled over the plains. This was a good thing for us.

On July 6, we began our journey over the desert in John F. Sanders Company. They were from Sanpete. Our wagon master was Jep Sumager from Manti. He was a very fine young man, he was so good to the children. On mornings when I walked ahead with my two oldest sons, Peder and Jens Christian, to entertain them a little Jep would say "You can let them sit by the side of the trail and I'll pick them up to help in the wagon.

I rode in the wagon not more than two hours during the entire journey from Florence until we came to Parley's canyon. There he called me to some sit with him and see Salt Lake City and how far I could see. I went quickly to the wagon and rode until we had nearly reached the city. There I began to walk so that I could see things better, He told me that we were in the desert and that I should ride with him, but I answered that if he could drive as well as I could walk we would soon be in Salt Lake City. I wanted to look around and gather bracken until I reached camp. Sometimes I had found berries and when Sidsel was sick for a day, I could bake bread and roast meat. That was all we had to live on. Jens Christian began to be sick and became very weak. His prayer was always that he might live to taste Zion's fruit, which he did.

August 7, a little before we reached camp, we broke an axle on the wagon which was enough for my wife's sake, for the next morning about two or three o'clock she brought a pretty little girl into the world. Things went very well. There was a good older sister in our company who was a capable midwife and she was good to Sidsel. It was August 8, 1863. We gave her the name Berthe Marie. I prepared a good meal for Sidsel, she felt really well. She said it was the easiest birth she had had with any of her five children. All this took place in a pretty little glade where they were many trees and berries and a clear stream of water.

We camped for a day and a half while they repaired the wagon so Sidsel had a good rest. I told her, "You are the most thoughtful of wives in the company to pick the best place and time." It was a delightful place and the longest rest we had crossing the plains.

A couple of days before we reached Salt Lake several people driving light carriages came out to greet us and bid us welcome. They brought with them some peaches and shared them out according to the size of the family. It made us very happy to see brothers and sisters from Zion come out to us to show their respect and brotherhood this way. This was the first fruit of Zion we had seen and tasted.

We had a few deaths while crossing the plains. One was an elderly woman from Torby on Lloland, another a (weak chested) young man who died on the train in the neighborhood of Bluff. Brother Lund went back and buried him. I cannot begin to describe all that happened on land and sea.

We reached Salt lake about three or four in the afternoon of September 5, 1863. It took four months and fourteen days from Falster, Denmark to Salt Lake City, Utah.