Transcript for Warnick, Christine Marie Larsen, "History of Christine Marie Larsen Warnick by herself," in Merrill N. Warnick, Warnick Family History, vol. 1 [1967], 252-56

My folks soon became desirous of going to Zion. Father [Lars Christen Larsen] put forth every effort to dispose of their property and make preparations in the way of spinning and weaving and making clothing, that the family might be well prepared for the long journey.

In the spring of 1863 they were ready to start, leaving behind those things that had been their life's ambitions, their new faith and hope prompting them on to face new fields and to strive for new goals. I remember how interesting it was to have the neighbors come in to bid us farewell. To prove their good will they gave me and my brother a few coins to enjoy on the journey.

From New York we went to Florence and from this place we began the long trip across the plains. We came across with the Cache Valley company, which consisted of fifty-five wagons each drawn by four yoke of oxen or cattle. Our Captain's name was William B. Preston and our teamster's name was David Reece. The whole train of wagons was loaded to capacity with merchandise before they took on the immigrants. They stuffed in the wagons what they could of the immigrant's belongings and tied the rest on the outside and all must walk who could possibly do so. My mother [Maren Bertlesen Larsen] had to ride occasionally as she had not fully recovered from her terrible seasickness, and there was a little corner of the wagon into which they tucked me. My father and brother walked all the way.

The immigrants would start out to walk in the morning as soon as they could and the same way at noon. In this way they avoided the dust of the wagons and could get an occasional few minutes of much needed rest. It was extremely hot and I sat against the wagon cover. The teamster noticed how quiet I soon became as I had little to say to him when he came up to ride. He could leap on the wagon tongue and get up and down without stopping the cattle. He said it was not good for me to sit all the time under the hot cover so when he would get down he would reach back and put his arm around me and boost me down and have me walk along with him until I was tired—then he would toss me back into the wagon. He couldn't have cared better for his own child than he did for me.

One morning Mother thought she would take me with them when they started out and when I got tired I could sit down and wait until the wagons came along to pick me up. But they had gotten an extra early start and I had a long wait. I was not afraid, none of us realizing the danger. But when the good teamster picked me up he said, "You can't go with your mother again. I will take care of you. The Indians might have picked up you."

I had learned some English from the Elders who stayed at our house so much. Now being with the driver so much I had learned to speak English very well. And it was there in the covered wagon and when I was only seven years old that I learned a great deal of the art of courting.

Our good driver had not been going around with his eyes closed. There was one young women who looked especially good to him but they could not understand one another. So it happened like this. One morning he motioned for her to come and ride with him, proving true to the old saying, "there is always room where there is heart room." But it was not so interesting because they could not understand each other. So he motioned for me to come and sit between them, so that I could tell each one what the other said. It went on like that for some time, I acting as their interpreter. But love is such a beautiful language and so easy to learn, so as time went on I was not asked to sit with them. The last time she came and rode in our wagon she told me that when they got to Salt Lake she was going to open her trunk and she would give me material for a new dress.

As I grew older and learned the joy of courtship and real love, I wondered that she didn't offer me a half dozen dresses.


Two years after coming to Pleasant Grove we had the great pleasure of greeting my sister [Johanna Christine Larsen] who was left behind when we came. Father had been disappointed in some of his money at that last moment. It was truly a happy meeting to have our family again united in our new home in this far away land.