Transcript for Smith, Jesse N., Autobiography and journal, 1855 Oct-1906 Apr., 212-18
Wed. 10. Bro. Stickells took his team and my wagon and we went to Nebraska City where I had a hole drilled through the nut and through the point of the arm or axletree for a linch pin to hold on the wheel. Upon returning found Capt. William Hyde's train just starting out. John L. Smith was <so> far recovered as to start with this Company. Another young woman and child died, did not hear their names
Fri. 12. Hauled up a load of flour for J. W. Young from Nebraska City.
Sat. 13. Gave a Bro. Wiscombe a pair of pantaloons.
Sun. 14. Strolling through the grave yard noticed the grave of the infant son of [-] C. Geertsen also those of two daughters of C.A. Petterson from Skåne Sweden. Two children named Crawford and a man named Thomas Thurgood died recently. The blankets which I forwarded per Adam's Express Company from Chicago arrived at last[.] Went out to the rendesvouz of Capt. W. S. Snow's Company. rainy.
Mon. 15. Hauled some provisions out to the Camp, then bought 20 bushels of corn unshelled for J. W. Young, $1.00 per bushel. Still rainy. Several of the boys went to town, among them Joseph A. Young who got drunk
Tues. 16. Fitted up a lot of ox yokes.
Wed. 17. Helped Capt. Snows company to make a start, spliced a wagon tongue.
Thur. 18. A Mr. L.B. Kinney, a brother of Judge J.F. Kinney made an agreement to go through with me and pay me $200 for hauling him and boarding him on the road.
Fri. 18 . Bought another load of Corn
Sat. 20. Judge Kinney brought his brother up to our Camp. The latter had been appointed Indian agent for Utah.
Sun. 21. The steamer arrived bringing W. C. Haines and some luggage that was left behind. Loaded our wagons for the journey[.] I put in two large trunks to haul as far as Snow's train. Wrote to Bro. Silas, although the mail was reported stopped by Indians troubles beyond Fort Kearney. Started about 4 p.m. Drove about 11 miles[.] Camped near a farm house and got water at a well. Mon. 22. Our party numbered 6 wagons, 1 carriage, 13 men, and 15 horses and mules. Overtook a train sent out from Nebraska City by McCann and Metcalf[.] Nooned with them, one of their wagons loaded with Indians goods suddenly took fire from some unknown cause and completely consumed but little was saved, loss estimated at $6000 to 8000.—Camped at a place called Salt Creek[.] travelled some 40 miles.
Tues. 23. Rained last night[.] road heavy. At noon I gathered prairie gum, the first I had tasted since my boyhood. Overtook Hyde's and Snow's trains at Antelope Creek. travelled about 35 miles.
Wed. 24. Travelled with Snow's train it being Indian times. Met a man who had been wounded by the Indians, he with two children was fleeing to the settlements. A wagon wheel broke down, it was filled and the tire set. Made about 10 miles.
Thur. 25. Made 16 miles through a tract of country destitute of water and timber.
Fri. 26. 15 miles today. A young sister [Julia Cushing]Webb died and was buried at the noon halt. She was 19 years old and lately married, assisted at the burial, there was no coffin the body was sewed in a blanket, fresh wild flowers and boughs were strewn in the grave, was touched by the afflictions of the husband.
Sat. 27. Warm day[.] J.A. Young got drunk and <made> every body feel uncomfortable. Reached the Platte 16 miles. Hope for better health with plenty of water. Our camp of so many souls were entirely unprovided with Comforts for the sick, no tea or Coffee, no spirits nor wine not even any variety of food. Flour, bacon, beans and sugar Constituted the whole bill of fare although with great care a medicine chest of all the articles in the old mineral practice costing $300, was provided. Bro. Joseph W. Young asked me to take the medicines and deal them out to the sick, but this I absolutely declined to do, not understanding the working of the medicine and being too tender in the conscience to administer them.
Sun. 28. Made 7 miles, Hyde's and Groesbecks trains came up, also McCann's and Metcalf's train. Meeting was called[.] spoke as did others.
Mon 29. Made 15 miles.
Tues. 30. Called at Fort Kearney, saw many soldiers and some Indians in government uniforms, on to Kearney City where we over took some 50 wagons, William Adams among the number waiting for greater strength to face the dangers of the Indian Country ahead. Here Marcus Holling came to me and told a sorrowful tale, trying to drive oxen after he had got sick and been left at Fort Kearney Hospital. He was entirely out of money, he was not fully restored to health, the circumstances under which he left home were such that he could not apply to his former friends for assistance and he begged me to get him a place in one of the trains, failing to do which he must die on the prairie as he could obtain no employment and could neither go on nor return. I was moved by his appeal and applied to Joseph W. Young in his behalf. Camped 2 miles [from] Fort Kearney City 12 miles today.
Wed. 31. Prevailed upon Bro. Young to take Mr Holling into Capt. Snow's Company. Went back to Fort Kearney with Holling for his things and delivered a telegram for Bro. Young at the office and mailed a letter for Mr. Kinney. Overtook the train, we had now a vast moving Caravan of wagons some 200 in number. Made about 16 miles.
Thur. Sept. 1, 1864. In the afternoon a very large government train en route for Fort Caramie [Laramie] passed. And several small trains, also some troops passed. Made we thought 13 miles. Four Pawnee Indians Came into our Camp, after receiving some tobacco, they expressed a willingness to fight the hostile Sioux.
Fri. 2. Reached Plum Creek where some 200 soldiers were encamped. A train was captured and burned here about two weeks before and a number of people killed, the ranch was also burned. All the ranches in this region were now deserted. And much property was sacrificed, traveled 10 miles
Sat. 3. At our noon halt a woman named Mary Ann Price was run over and killed. She was a member of the Church. Assisted to dig the grave. The day was exceedingly hot. The burial was near Peniston and Miller's ranch, her husband had charge of a freight train. 14 miles today.
Sun. 4. Moving, Saw an Indian burial place, the dead were, after their manner placed upon scaffolds. 13 miles today.
Mon. 5. Travelled with Hyde's train, passed Gilman ranch, lately the scene of an Indian fight and another ranch that had been burned. Bro. Hilliard from England died. 15 miles. Heavy cold rain in the night, was on guard
Tues. 6. Passed Jack Morrow's ranch, deserted like the rest, although a strong place. 12 miles today.
Wed. 7. 18 miles reached O'Fallon's Bluffs[.] Met a party of 7 packers from Virginia City Nevada, they had seen no Indians.
Thurs. 8. 17 miles.
Fri. 9. 16 miles
Sat. 10. Our party left the oxtrains. And drove on ahead 25 miles.
Sun. 11. Crossed the South Fork of the Platte at Julesburg, 33 miles
Mon. 12. Took the Pole Creel route. Met some returning Miners from Virginia City[.] rained towards night, 40 miles.
Tues. 13. Our plan of travel was as follows: Start at ap. 3o [sic] a.m. travel about 10 miles[.] breakfast. Then until 3 or 4 p.m. dinner, then drive till after dark and Camp without fire. Made 38 miles. Pole Creek was destitute wood, a small stream holding an even size for over 100 miles of mountonous Country.
Wed. 14. Passed a camp where a man lay sick with diphtheria, and had so lain for 30 days, he had one attendant, he said he was better, but that his own brother went off and left him to die.
We had seen antelope for several days and to day Ezekiel Holman was fortunate enough to bring one in, which was divided with a famishing party of returning miners that we met.
Thurs. 15. Reached the Black Hills, ascending a divide a beautiful scene of undulating woodland presented itself. 38 miles. Camped on the mountain side[.] on guard.
Fri. 15 . 40 miles, Crossed the Laramie Fork of the Platte. J. W. Young and H. B. Clawson Concluded to go on with the Mail. Wrote to Bro. Silas to day that I hoped to reach the City in 12 days. Crossed the little <Careturie> Fork where there was a Mail Station. Met the stage <Coach> from the West, the first we had met.
Sat 17. Breakfasted at Rock Creek. Crossed the Medicine Bow and Camped at the foot of the mountain of the same name. 19 miles.
Sun 18. Passed Fort Halleck, saw a fine elk, H.B. Clawson went on with the stage[.] No feed, the Country very desolate. Crossed the North Fork of the Platte[.] There being no feed traveled nearly all night, 55 miles.
Mon. 19. Teams failing, drove 15 miles to the summit of Bridger's pass. Camped on Sulphur Creek.
Tues. 20. 30 miles. Dry Camp.
Wed. 21. 30 miles. Very cold. Strong head wind and very dusty[.] Passed Barrel Spring. Constantly meeting returning miners in various stages of destitution, Some on foot, with insufficient Clothing and without food[.] gave them food almost every day
Thur. 22. Stormy, reached La Clede Station at the head of Bitter Creek, Continued on[.] made 28 miles, no feed, tied up the animals. J. W. Young and my passenger Mr. Kinney, took the stage and went on.
Fri. 23. Cold and windy. Feed scarce, some of the animals failing very fast. 30 miles, was a chronic sufferer with piles, but to this was added bloody flux. Joseph A. Young left a wagon at a mail station. Brother Paul A. Schettler was very kind to me, he rode in the wagon with me.
Sat. 24. 30 miles. Weary of the desolate Bitter Creek.
Sun. 25. Were all glad to reach Green River, after watering crossed and stopped on the bluffs on the home side for breakfast.
Reached Granger's after dark on Ham's Fork. Obtained some flour and fed to the animals with water
Mon. 26. Very poorly. Overtook Warren's train and Camped with it. Here I saw Wm. M. West, David Ward and a number of others from Parowan as teamsters.
Tues. 27. Reached Yellow Creek
Wed. 28. Reached the mouth of Silver Creek, hard day for the teams.
Thur. 29. Breakfasted at W.H. Kimball's, here I saw John Smith and a part of his Company, took dinner at Hardy's. Reached the State road just as President Young and party were returning from the South. Fell in behind them and drove into the City.