Transcript

Transcript for Young, Samuel, [Autobiographical sketch], in Pioneer Pathways [1998- ], 1:59-61

In the spring of 1859, our president told us that a call had come from Utah for all of the Saints to come there that possibly could. They nearly all had a team and wagon except for a widow woman with three children. The president said if he had another yoke of cattle he would bring them with his family. I had a little money saved to pay my fare to Utah, so I let him have my money to get the team. I started from Burlington about two weeks before the company. I walked across the state of Iowa up to Florence, Nebraska. There I met Captain Joseph W. Young, told him who I was, and where I wanted to go. He furnished me with four yoke of cattle and a wagon, and I hauled some stoves across the plains to Utah. Horton D. Haight was our captain. We arrived safely on the first of September 1859. . . .

In April 1881 [1861] I was called to take charge of four yoke of cattle and a wagon and to go back to Florence to bring some emigrants. This time I brought a man, his wife, and four children; also some machinery. There were about two hundred wagons in the train. Ancel P. Hansen was my captain. It was on this trip that I met my future wife, Jane Evans . While waiting for the emigration train to get ready to leave for Utah, I and some of the other boys were walking along the street having a jolly time. I said, "Let's go across the street and have a chat with the girls." There was a group of girls sewing tents and wagon covers to be used in crossing the plains. We walked inside and there they all were busy at work. We laughed and joked with them, and I slipped my arm around the waist of one of the girls and said, "If I have my way, this is going to be my wife." She laughed and said it was all right with her, and we all took it as a joke.

While we were on our journey, I noticed a girl in the train of wagons kept watching me. It seemed that she knew me, but I couldn't remember her. We all had to take turns at the cooking in camp, and, when it came my turn one day, I was trying to mix bread. This girl stood by the corner of one of the wagons watching me. When she saw what a hard time I was having, she came and helped me. She asked me if I didn't remember her, but I just couldn't. She said she was the girl I had joked with that day they were sewing tents and wagon covers. From then on, when it was my turn to mix bread, Jane always mixed it for me. Sometimes she would come and ride in the wagon by me, or we would walk together. Her parents were a little jealous when she used to ride with me. One day the captain of our train rode up to me and asked if I figured on marrying this young lady when we reached Salt Lake City. I said, 'That's my calculation." He then said, "That's right, but do you know that there is still fifty dollars on her emigration?" I told him I already knew that and it was all right as I had put fifty dollars in the emigration fund before I left so I had enough to pay that off.

We had a lot of good jokes coming and going back across the plains and had many jolly times together along with the hardships. We were told to be very kind to the Indians and to treat them the very best we knew how, and above all, not to lead the Indians into any traps or to play tricks on them, nor should we tell them anything that wasn't truth as this made them angrier than anything else. If they came to us begging, we should give them just what we could spare such as a little flour, sugar, or bacon. They would also beg powder and lead to make bullets. In those days we had to make all of our bullets by hand. I have made thousands of them.

One time an old Indian came begging to our camp. We gave him a few things, then he wanted us to come with him. Some of the boys went with him. He had us all sit in a circle. He sat down on a block of wood, took a long pipe, and began to fill it with "lobe" and just a little bit of tobacco. He then handed it to me and I did the same. His daughter was sitting next to me so I handed the pipe to her. The joke was on me, and they all had a good laugh. I should have reached behind the Indian girl and handed it to the next man. This was what they called smoking the pipe of peace.

At times we would run into such huge herds of buffalo that you couldn't see the ground for miles around. It would be just black and we met a herd of buffalo. They were heading toward the river to drink. I was afraid they would stampede our cattle. I swung my lead ones around and held them back by the wheel ones. This stopped the whole train of emigrants. We then waited till the buffalo had gone to get their drinks. As luck would have it, no one was hurt nor were any of our cattle stampeded.

Our camp had stopped at one time to wash our clothes and clean up a little. I was walking around and a little ways away there was a ridge. There on the ridge was a big coyote looking right at me. He turned and ran down the other side of the ridge I crawled to the top of the ridge to get a good look at him but he was no where in sight. What do you think I saw instead: Well, it was a great, black, bull buffalo. They are about as ugly as any animal could be. He was looking straight at me. I turned and ran down the ridge to camp. I told the others what I had seen and just then the big buffalo came charging down over the ridge. Nearly everyone in camp took one or two shots at him as he went charging past camp. The last we saw of him he was running as fast as his legs could carry him and leaving a big cloud of dust behind him.

On this second trip, I was among the last to enter the valley that fall. When we had safely arrived, President Brigham Young invited us all to a dance in the Social Hall. That was a time long to be remembered. Soon after, Jane Evans and I were married in the Endowment House by Daniel H. Wells. This was on October 23, 1861.

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