Transcript for Simmons, Mary Ann Ford, Autobiographical sketch, 1932
we were two weeks geting ready to start on the Plains. there was another company camping there, and it was said they were from Texas. when the Saints were persecuted they went a way and when things were quiet, they started to go to Utah. But the Lord stoped them, on there way they were taken with cholery [cholera], and died in a few hours. They left the grove before we did. When we started we passed by there graves, five and six in one grave; the entire family of some passed away; things were put out of the wagons and left behind; they were lovely things too, but no one was allowed to pick them up. we traveled along over hills and dales; sometimes it was good some times bad but at all times thanking our Heavenly Father that we were on our way to zion; each day brought us nearer to our journey s end. When we were about two days journey from Laramie, a sister was making her bed in the wagon, a gun was there and it went off and shot her arm, breaking the bone half way betwen the sholder and elbow. She ran out in camp with her arm swinging by a piece of flesh. they took her to Latamie [Laramie], but she died on the way. After we passed a days jorney beyond we camped. I do not know what for, but we was surrounded with Indians, heeps of them; they were dressed up with paints and feathers, going to some great meeting, they wanted to trade pon[i]es for white girls. A foolish young man was playing with his gun and it went off, and the red men went too. They were gone before you had time to look. When they found all was well, they came back again. I do not know what would have become of us if one of them had been shot; but it was a sister who was shot in the leg; they took her to Laramie but she died and her husband came on by another company.
As we were traveling west, we met the grasshoppers going east. For days we passed them and they were so thick, you could not see the sun. They had eaten everything in Utah. Had a baby boy on the 16 of August, which lived about a half hour, and was buried. Then we started on our journey. About a week or so we had a stampede. It was dreadful to here the oxen bellowing; The women and children screaming and the wagons rattling, our wagon did not. They turned it on one side and stood around the oxen but they did not start. I think if they had it would have killed me. No one in camp thought I would get to Salt Lake, but I did and am living yet. When we got to Salt Lake our troubles were not ended. I arrived in Salt Lake City 25 of Sept., 1855.