Transcript for Scoville, Adaline Ballou, Life of Adaline Ballou Scoville by Herself [1906], 16-20

My mother had joined the Mormons a while before and was anxious to gather with the saints in Zion, and we thought to go to California, as a great many were going. I had a girl born on the 29th day of March, 1863, and before I was well they had sold and promised to give possession by the 15th of May. My baby took the whooping cough the day she was born and on the tenth day began coughing. The other children took it from her, and by the time we were ready to start they were very bad off, but all the same we had to leave, so we started traveling to St. Joe, Missouri, by rail, and there we went on steamboat to Nebraska City. There we bought our outfit—two yoke of oxen, one yoke of cows, the cows the center team. We stayed there and prepared for a long trip overland, getting wagon widened above the wheels to give room for sleeping comfortable, putting trunk and provision in the bed of wagon. We bought ham, bacon, dried beef, bologna, beans, dried fruit of different kinds, flour, meal, sugar, coffee, tea and many things I cannot recall. Canned meats had not been in use at that time. We took a supply of medicines of the kinds we thought we would need. I made a suit of brown denims skirt with pants of the same material. We got a sheet iron stove with two holes and an oven made to order, and it was an article very much used every night, not only by myself but anyone wishing to use it. Only three stoves in the train; the most had bake kettles with covers. My children coughed very bad. If my mother and family had not been with me I do not know how I would have got along with them. After getting our outfit and everything in readiness we traveled up the river from Nebraska City to Omaha and three miles above, at a place called Florence, the starting point for the Mormons, as the teams from Utah came there to carry their emigrants. We stayed a few days there until a train was formed and ready to leave. The train consisted of sixty wagons, with from three to six span of horses, mules and cattle. There were 500 souls—men, women and children of many nationalities and religion, but under Mormon rule—a captain by the name of Patterson from Payson. He had the men under organized system, each to take his turn at guarding stock and camp, as the Indians were very hostile. We would put the milk in the morning into a tin churn I had and at night when we camped a small piece of butter would be there. There were many going to meet their husbands and many that had left husbands and some their wives behind, and many emigrating to California—not for religion but the same purpose that prompted us to go. There was only one doctor and he was on his way with a sick wife in search of health. We had good order, as all obeyed orders, and we had but a few accidents for so long a trip and no roads. The captain was accustomed to the route so he knew where the best camping grounds were. We did not make long drives. We were nine weeks after we broke camp at Florence before reaching Salt Lake City. Only lost two by death—a child and an old man who had come from South Agrica [Africa], as there were several English families from there, Mormons; the church was taking them to Utah, as some others were also; but no difference was shown to Gentile or Mormon. There was some sickness, but all got well but the two mentioned. They dug their graves and buried them wrapped in canvas, as there was no lumber for coffins. We came down Emigration canyon, and a happy lot when we reached the point of the mountain and caught the first glimpse of Salt Lake City. It looked beautiful with its fruit trees ladened with all kinds of fruit and the valley dotted with small villages and fields. I cannot describe the sensation one can have after not seeing anything only a long stretch of uninhabited country after so long a time. I was glad to see a stop, as I was worn out with my sick children. The oldest one had mountain fever; had not been out of the wagon for three weeks, and I was truly weary and needed rest.

I must tell of the killing of a grizzly bear which was captured on the way. They brought it inside of the corral and stood it up. He was over seven feet high. Many ate some of the meat and it caused lots of sickness for a few days.

When we struck the alkali territory the cattle sickened and died many of them. We lost three head, and at a ranch, the first one we reached, sold one, so we reached the city with only one yoke, but many were not as well off as we were, having to hire a team to take them in, as they came out to meet us with stock for that purpose; also people that expected friends in that train.

We did not travel the route that the stage traveled, as they were on the opposite side of the Platte river. The grass and water was better where we went for camping purposes. Through the day we would gather material to cook and wash with after camping. We walked a little every day; in fact, some walked all day, as they had no place to ride; had their baggage carried and food.

If by any means we got behind our wagon we had to move lively to overtake it, especially if the team was in the fore part of the train. One day I was delayed a few moments in starting and did not reach the wagon until they camped for noon. We did not seem to travel very fast, but I found I was mistaken. It never occurred again. We had sixty wagons, thirty on a side, every night. When they camped they would drive and stop the thirty on a side, and then the other side, all turning the wagon tongues to the center in form of an egg, with an opening at each end for egress. All the work of camp cooking and washing was done inside the corral at night. Bonfires were made, if anything was available to burn; if not, lights of different kinds, lanterns of many varieties being used. Some evenings there would be dancing, as there was a violin with us, and sometimes singing songs of different kinds—foreign and some English. We always held prayers at night. All were welcome, but no compulsion. Guards were on duty as soon as we camped, appointed the night before, all taking their turn on roll call. We did not meet with many accidents. One child fell from a wagon and was run over, but did not break any bones. We had a small stampede, but got the teams stopped after a short run; did not do much damage, only caused some of the women to scream, as usual and men very much excited.

At the first ranch we sold the one remaining cow, so we came the remainder of the way with one yoke of cattle. Our train was the last one for that year that came down Emigration canyon, as a cloud burst a few days after we came down it and caused it to be in a bad condition until it could be repaired. Our train was the second one through that year, which was in 1863; the others went over the little mountain and down the Cottonwood.

When we arrived into the city we were accompanied by quite an escort, as the church officials were interested in the emigrants that were to be located in Utah, as the church had paid for many of them to be sent here.