Transcript for Pickett, J. W. Autobiography, in Joel Edward Ricks, Cache Valley Historical Material [ca. 1955], reel 4, item 87, 1-2

I crossed the plains when a small boy. I came to Salt Lake City. From there I went to Tooele County. I had an uncle that went to Tooele County in 1851.

We generally left on the 15 to the 27 of April. I remember that we were with John R. Wimmer. He didn't have a church train. It was rather a mission train which started out. There was perhaps two or three other church trains left from Salt Lake City.

We went through Parleys Canyon, through to Eko [Echo] Canyon, the old Mormon trail to Sweet Water [Sweetwater]. Nothing particular happened on that trip, not so much so as in 1866.

We traveled Parleys Canyon and through Coalville country. Eko Canyon past Fort Bridger. I sold potatoes there for $9.00 a bushel and onions the same. This was in 1864. We camped at Fort Bridger. It generally took us a month to go from Salt Lake to Fort Bridger on account of the snow and mud, lame cattle and sore neck. And from Fort Bridger we traveled the Blacks Fork road and across Green River at Robison's Ferry. He went up in Zions Camp in '34 and was killed in Sanpete blasting rock for the temple, I believe. He run the Ferry on Green River. In reaching Green River we always swam our cattle there and run our wagons on the boat. In 1868 they made the mistake of trying to ferry their cattle on the boat. We always took flour and grain for the overland and flour for our own use and also for the passengers on the return trip. We left the flour at Plat[te] Bridge and Deer Creek Station. We bought flour down the river to last us up to this point. We were governed by the number of immigrants that came. It was generally valued at $6.00 per hundred, wheat was $2.00 per bushel, on the Missouri River $1.50. bacan [bacon] 3 cents and ham 5 cents. It was better to take flour back than leave it on the frontier.

We traveled on Blacks Fork and then we crossed Green River. At Green River we swam our cattle.

We got onto the Sandy's were Lot Smith burned the wagons in 1857. There was Dry Sandy, Little Sandy. It was quick sand. I was 18 years of age that year. But the return trip was where our grief commenced.

We go to Pacific Creek. My wife was buried there in 1849 when snow was up to the wagon hubs[.] Water runs into the Pacific on this side and into the Atlantic on the other side.

We traveled Sweet Water course until we reached the Devil's Gate.

It is a very large river in the spring of the year.

We were then in the vicinity where Martin's hand cart company perished. Sixteen died in one night.

Independence Rock is just the other side. There is a basin on top of the rock that catches water. Water stays in that basin until the sun dries it up.

We traveled down across the Sweet Water and we go on farther down and we strike the Goose Creek we wend our way to the Plat[te].

It was a picnic going on thos[e] trips but it was coming back where we had so much grief and sickness.

We were a wild bunch, I tell you, and I wasn't interested in the by-gone days to study it up and get information from men who traveled then.

We crossed Plat Bridge and then we go down and cross Plat Bridge on the North Plat and travel down between the two Plats. And this year we were going to Wyoming, six miles above Nebraska City. Nothing particular occurred. We rode from 15 to 20 miles a day.

We crossed the North Fork on Plat Bridge. We traveled between the two Plats and crossed the South Fork of the Plat above Kearny. From there it is 213 miles to Fort Kearny. We passed Beaver Creek, Salt Creek----

We traveled down the Little Blue. We left at Big Blue to the right and kept to the left and we crossed Beaver Creek and Salt River that leads us into Wyoming on the Missouri River.

A great many of the teamsters would be employed, others would take care of cattle, others would cook and others would put wagons together, make tent pins, tent poles. Immigrant girls at the old church store would make tents and wagon covers. We would buy Cherikee [Cherokee] cattle, Texas cattle 50 to $65.00 a yoke.

Warren S. Snow was a returned missionary from England that went out in 1860 from Manti.

It was generally according to the size of immigration. We were loaded with freight for the merchants and church freight.

The wagon I drove was a Newton wagon with no brakes. It was loaded clear to the Bows. I rode on the tongue of the wagon it was so loaded.

Some things I brought was some blacksmith tools for Oscar Young, a piano and some bailed factory. I drove it up into President Young's yard.

It was toward the latter part of July because we didn't get back early that season, I know. There was so many men kept out of each church train to come back with another church train that was made up on frontier and they were nearly all green teamsters—immigrants, and we were over loaded, I remember that well.

We had from 80 to 90 wagons under Snow's captaincy and all the church property was gathered up and when you go to gathering up anything like that, it takes a lot more room than you first expect. We brought a threshing machine and each side hill we came to, it was top heavy and when we came to a slope we would take a big long poll and attach the same to the top of the wagon bed. It would take one-half dozen men to hold it down to keep it from tipping over.