Transcript for "William R. Boren," in Biographical Information Relating to Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel Database

I was born in Hancock County, Illinois, on March 11, 1845, being the 4th son of B.C. and Mary Boren. The family moved to Pottawattamie County, Iowa in the Spring of 1847, using ox-teams as means of transit.

We departed for the "Land of Gold" in 1852. After our family had reached the old ferry on the Missouri River, a company of Argonauts was quickly formed, comprising of no less than 100 wagons, under the leadership of Captain Ben Gardner, a man of uncommon bravery and skill. Few, if any of this large party had ever been further west than the Great River, near which we were camped. The route was extremely long, tedious and dangerous.

Our family outfit consisted of two-yoke ox teams and one two-horse team, which safely carried father, mother, brothers and one sister, besides all our movable possessions.

Nothing of interest happened the first few weeks of travel, but when we were a short distance from Bluff Ruins, the dreadful cholera struck in our midst and death ensued. Almost every wagon had sick and dying. My sister and brother died and were buried near Willow Creek, which empties into the mighty Platte. For miles and miles could be seen almost countless newly-made graves.

After a few days' encampment at Bluff Ruins the epidemic subsided, then a few days later my sister made her appearance as a pioneer.

One pleasant evening, the young men built a large fire in the center of the camp. Soon afterwards two young couples made an appearance and were married by Ezra T. Benson.

Close to our next encampment was a large Pawnee village, but we had no trouble with this tribe of Indians, but we did not neglect to put a strong guard around the camp every night. I can still hear the hourly call of the sentinels, "Oh yes; Oh yes; half past twelve and all is well!"

From here on we began to lose cattle by various diseases; we had great difficulty in continuing our journey. We used cows instead of oxen and progress was slow, but we finally reached Salt Lake City on September 1st, 1852.

Source: (accessed 13 February 2006)