Transcript for Woolsey, Elnora Jane Miles, Autobiographical sketch, in Stella H. Day, comp., Builders of Early Millard: Biographies of Pioneers of Millard County, 1850 to 1875 [1979], 777-78

. . . . my father died May 15, 1855, leaving my mother with five children, my brother Lee being the oldest and I came second. We had to go into the fields and care for the crops my father had planted. That fall Uncle [George] Wash[ington Hickerson] came back from his mission, and my mother decided to come to Utah. On June 15, 1856 we left to make the trip to Utah. I was sick at the time with chills and fever, and had to be carried from the house to the wagon. My father's brother told mother she would have to bury me before long, however my uncle Wash promised mother that I would never have another chill, and I didn't. I drove a team across the plains.

We crossed the Missouri River the last time on Sunday, June 27, and there were 15 armed men who searched our wagon for arms and ammunition but we had none. We camped out along until we caught up with the train of wagons. After four days my uncle went over to the camp to see if it were a camp of Saints and found that the Captain of the train, Ben Clap[p] was his former missionary companion. Now we were all together with the Saints. I was fourteen years old and had never been well all of my life before I left home.

We enjoyed our trip across the plains, we never had any deaths but we had two births, Sister Eastmo gave birth to a girl, and Sister Corlile had a boy. My mother was very sick for a long time. We traveled with her for several weeks until she became so ill, that the Captain of the train said we would have to lay over for her. That being a Friday, the Captain asked the grown-ups to fast and pray for mother. Brother Billy Godby unloaded his wagon to find a bottle of oil to consecrate and annoint my mother. They promised her she would be well and reach Utah where she would have the privilege of embracing the gospel along with her children. This she did and this was my first testimony. She told him she was ready to travel again.

We traveled on all right until we reached Ash Hollow. There we had a big hill to drive down. Lee, my oldest brother was driving the buggy mother was riding in and it tipped over. Mother walked to the bottom of the hill with some of the women helping her. From then on she seemed to improve and was soon well and strong again.

We always laid over on Saturday so the women could wash and prepare for Sunday, which was a day for worship. On Monday we went on our journey. As we traveled along the Platte River we traveled four days through buffalo herds so thick that men were sent on horses ahead to part the herds so the train of wagons could pass through them, but our cattle never got scared of them even though, as far as you could see, there were buffalo. After we had gone through the herds there was hardly one spear of grass, our teams nearly starved to death. We saw many graves along the way, with no markers, just dead ashes of the camp fires.

On June 23, we formed a nice camp ground and our captain said, "We will spend the 24th of June here." The men and boys got busy clearing the ground and stretching wagon covers to make shade for the women, and they began to cook, and we had a good time. This was the first time since I left that I had tried to dance and I danced with Bill Godby, and the next day we finished our journey, rejoicing that our Heavenly Father had blessed us with the riches of good health and a safe journey to Utah.