Transcript for Probert, William, Jr., [Autobiography], in Orvilla Allred Stevens, Biography of William Riley and Hussler Ann Probert Stevens [1981], 57

When we arrived at Florence there were a great many people waiting for us, to see how to make up the trains for traveling across the plains.

On my way through the States I had heard of good many hard stories about the Mormons, and a number had tried to get me to stop and not go any further west. I thought if the Mormons in Utah were as bad as reported, I could go on to California, so I would not stop. Well, at Florence, I began to think that there might be some truth in it, as I found that some of the teamsters would drink whiskey. I had been taught that the Saints in Zion were perfect, and I should have to be the same, or I could not live with them. Some of the immigrants got so badly disappointed in the Mountain Saints, that they turned back, but I went on, and found it badly mixed.

Now this was something new, to emigrate, and it was not very pleasant, but the thought of going to Zion inspired us to do so, for they thought all was good there, and it would pay them to do anything to get there.

When we reached the point on the Platt[e] River where there was no wood for about 3 hundred miles, we had to burn buffalo chips, or droppings. After a good rain it would take an expert cook to get a first class meal with such fuel, but the meal was always flavored and not too great a variety, as we used sourdow [sourdough], or soda to make bread with, and that and bacon, and dried apples with a very little sugar, was our fare. Sometimes the boys would kill a deer or a chicken, and one buffalo was killed. We had been without fresh meat for so long, and using so many kinds of water, it was not good to eat much fresh meat. We did not see many buffalo on the plains, but plenty of deer and antelope. They were like flocks of sheep. Bear and wolves were plentiful.

The way we got our news, was by writing upon the shoulder blades of a dead buffalo or oxen, and leaving them by the wayside for the next company to read.

We arrived in Salt Lake City on the 12th of September 1861 about noon. The next day we began to divide up, and each mess or small party of teamsters went for their own homes, some for one town and some to others.