Transcript for Sketch of the life of William Morley Black, 9

On reaching home at North Prairie I found a letter from a blind man, Leonard, waiting me. He wished to come to Burlington, Iowa. He had purchased a large stock of goods and wished me to buy the cattle and wagons needed to freight the goods to Utah. I cheerfully agreed to aid him as it provided a way and means for me to emigrate my family to the valleys. I purchased twenty-one yoke of oxen, seven wagons and loaded them with Mr. Leonard’s goods, and about the first of April started for Zion. It was near the last of May when we reached Omaha, on the Missouri river. Here we formed connection with the 18th company, the last Mormon train of the season, James C. Snow captain. As he was not quite ready to go it was thought best for me, with twenty teams that were ready to move out to the Elkhorn, and there wait for the main company. We camped and waited until our patience was worn out. Leonard and all in camp urged me to go on. Under these conditions I consented to lead them, and away we went. Our company being small and mostly men we were quick in moving and easily out traveled the large emigrant trains. We soon passed two of them. At Bush Hollow we overtook Captain Wimmer with 15 train. Here also we were overtaken by Apostles E. T. Benson and J. M. Grant, emigration agents. President Benson censured me sharply for running away, as he called it. President Grant eased the chastisement by wishing they had more men like Brother Black.

In the morning a council was held, and it was deemed wise to divide Captain Wimmer’s Company, to be handled to advantage, so they added 20 wagons to mine, giving me forty and told us to go. We were prospered. On the 2nd of October we landed in Salt Lake City.