Transcript for Winterton, [John Marriott], Autobiographical sketch, 188, in Histories and biographies written by members of Camp Sunflower, Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Center Utah County, Provo, Utah, vol. 4

While waiting at Florence, Nebraska about a month for the immigrants’ train from Utah, John and I went out and worked for a Mr. Davis for our board. We learned afterwards that this was against council but were glad we didn’t know it at the time as we were almost starved. The night before the train was to leave, father came out and got us. It rained so hard that we had to sit up in the wagon all night. Brother John R. Murdock was captain of the company, with Brother Abram Hatch as first assistant. We traveled with this train almost to the Black Hills on the Sweet Waters. There Captain Cre[i]ghton’s train drivers had left him to go to California where there was a gold rush on[.] So Captain Creghton came to Capt. Murdock for help. John and I, with others, stayed with Captain Creghton’s train, but father continued with his train to Salt Lake City. This company promised to treat us well and to pay us $20.00 a month. Here is where I had my first experience with oxen, driving three yoke. Just imagine a green city boy trying to keep track of where they belonged. I marked the leaders with a big mark on the outside, two marks on the outside of the next pair, and three marks on the outside of the wheelers; and, believe me, I made the marks so they could be seen. I made the marks with dope off the wagon wheels.

Needless to say, we traveled slowly. On arriving at Devil’s Gate we turned our cattle out for the night. Next morning we found some of them dead, having drunk too much Salaratus [saleratus] water. We stayed at this place three or four days or until a Mormon train came along. The leader told Captain Creghton to get away as soon as possible because the Salaratus water would kill all our cattle. Among the dead were two of mine. We traveled so slowly that we arrived in Salt Lake about four weeks behind the company we started with. It was conference time in the fall of 1863.