Transcript for Williams, Henrietta Elizabeth Crombie. "A Sketch of Henrietta Elizabeth Crombie Williams," in Journal of Enoch Burns, 7-13
We left July 4, 1848 with an ox and cow team and wagon. There was five in the family, Dr. E.G. Williams, Mrs E.G. Williams Dr's mother Mrs. F. G. Williams <Lucy Ellen Williams> and an adopted son of the Dr.'s sister Lovina Riggs, his name was James Goddard, 10 years old.
We journeyed to the Salt Lake valley, arriving in the Valley Oct. 28, 1849. My eldest daughter had the whooping cough for her part of the long journey, four months. I was very sick with the flu when we camped on Sweet Water Creek in a heavy snow storm.
When we crossed Loup Fork, men made a network of willows to avoid the wagon wheels from sinking into the quick sand. There were steep banks to descend into the water and men were tying ropes to the wagons to lower them into the water easily. Dr. Williams was wading the stream and hanging to the yoke of the wheelers while the men shouted to the leaders to travel to the opposite bank. Brother George Albert Smith led the Welch Saints Co. He said the Co. talked Welch and English to their cattle till they learned how to gee, haw, buck to perfection. When they started thru the river, they struck for the other side to avoid the noise all hands made. They were scared into rushing thru quickly.
The Sioux Indians on the Platte River came around the camps trading buckskins. the squaws were very pretty, intelligent looking, happy set, decorated with beads and ornaments charging around camp on their find horses so unlike Utah Indians. When we went to Fort Bridger, D. Williams bought a pony to ride up the big mountain. It was so steep that the saddle would slip and I could not ride astride, so I walked up an packed my 13 mos. old daughter a few rods <at a time> and then stopping and looking down at the teams. the boys and men were standing on the wheels to keep them from rolling back, while resting their teams, calling to us as we stopped to rest, "don't roll your gravel down here." but it was impossible to walk without rolling gravel from the mountain side.
We camped at the foot of the big mountain on the east side at night then traveled up the mountain an down the other side, camping at dark for the night. We then traveled over the little mountain and camped in a grove. Next we traveled to Emigration Canyon and crossed the creek 18 times, looked into Salt Lake Valley then camped in the mouth of the Canyon for the night. The Welch Company with G. A. Smith Captain went to the city. Next morning, which was sunday, brother Brigham and N. K. Whitney and wives and others came to meet us and welcome us to the valley.
Memory seems to remind me of the trip across the Missouri River. We started down from the upper ferry 12 miles from Kanesville and Crossed to Winter Quarters. The boat would float down stream to Council Point, up the river from Council Bluffs. The boat was drawn up stream by three yoke of oxen driven by teamsters. When our wagon was landed at the foot of the Bluff, the boat returned for the cattle, to haul the wagon up the Bluff to Terra Firma,. A very hard pull for several yoke of cattle. When the wagon reached the top, Dr. Williams and a hired man went back to camp for his mother. Tit was then too late to cross more wagons. I remained all alone by the side of the river bank all night. Farther on was two Emigrant wagons camped. They were not of our faith. I asked them for a piece of bread for my baby and they gave me a tin cup of mush and milk. It was a treat after looking in vain for the other folks to arrive after dark.
They came the next morning and we drove into camp to prepare for crossing Elk Horn River. The boatman came to bid the Camp goodbye and took a letter to my mother at Kanesville, who died next year at that place, July 20, 1850, Kanesville, Iowa. With the Cholera several of her friends were lain in that cemetary at that time and are sleeping with her until the resurrection day. She was preparing for meeting on Sunday and while arranging her bonnet she took ill. On Monday, my brother John was alone with her when she died, my sisters were afraid to stay as there were so many dying around them.
After leaving the Loup Fork River, we traveled towards the Platte River. Dog Town was lively and they would pop their heads out of their holes and bark as wee passed them on the prairie. There we commenced to pick Buffalo chips for cooking and using our dress skirts for chip baskets because aprons were scarce. We saved them to wear when we were cooking and laid them among the dishes for next time. We met two deserters with one horse and one gun. They tried to claim a horse that was found by one of the brethern in Silas Richards Company.
When we arrived at Fort Laramie, officers were inquiring after them. Letters were posted at the Fort to be sent to friends in the East and West. Many covers were soaked through during the nights and we were obliged to put quilts up inside to keep dry. Mother Williams had a stove in her wagon enabling her to cook and not use the ground as some were obliged to. Wet weather was very trying for the cooks with wet chips, sage brush and willows that were very green.
Three buffaloes rushed across the Bluff ahead of the traveling camp. The hunters rushed forward, killing one. Fresh meat tasted very nice in that country. Towards the mountains nearing the South Pass we were getting meat hungry; as the camps were driving in the cattle to move the wagons three antelope ran into the corralled wagons. They stood and looked at the women as if they were amazed. They were beautiful creatures. The men ran for their guns and before the Antelope know where they were they fell. The meat tasted as good as it looked. Never could campers be more thankful and appreciate more the hand of Providence, than they.
Mother Williams cried right out, "The Lord is on our side, he sent those animals into our camp, He knew we needed them." We had feasts and feasts. Brother Kimball said the people had knick-knacks when the cow came up it was a knack when she did not come up it was a knick and we realized it in that forlorn country with no trees or shrubs.
One day at noon we were traveling toward the mountain when some one said that that creek ran thru Devil's Gate. Doctor started out to take observations. He went part way and he decided he might as well go on as to return to camp.l It was a lonely looking place and he jumped over rocks to the other side of the creek as no further progress could be made on that side. He was obliged to let himself down the ridge to the bank of the creek. After tedious climbing up the ridge, it was not far at that point of rocks from the camp. He was coming out of Devils gate when I caught the first glimpse of him, not knowing he had left camp train.
In 1851 my brother John H Crombie started to the valley. They were in company of Apostles Orson Hyde, Albert Carrington, Judge William Gooch [Brocchus] and others. Near Loup Fork, three hundred Pawnee Indians robbed the company of several thousand dollars worth of property. My brother was traveling in the wagon with Dustin Amy. He was sleeping on the ground when a little Indian snatched the pillow from under his head, ripped it open and scattered the feathers in the air; setting up a whoope with the little Indians who were looking at him. John lost all he had. Mother died the year before, July 20, 1850, with Cholera. He was bringing some of her goods to me. Before mother died she sent a very nice parcel by a Mrs. Bowers who died on the plains and I never got it.