Peter Ranck Company (1861)
Ranck's company was regarded as independent because the emigrants owned their own cattle and wagons and didn't need Church assistance in outfitting. Peter Ranck, from Utah, was returning from Pennsylvania, where he had gone to see his mother, who was gravely ill. After her death, Peter purchased a supply of dry goods and groceries that he transported west. The company organized and left a camping place in Iowa on June 19. They passed through Bluff City, crossed the Missouri River on a steam ferry to Omaha in Nebraska Territory, and camped about a mile west of Florence. From there they crossed both the Little and the Big Papillion. Being one of the early Mormon emigrant companies to leave for Utah, they met several of the eastbound out-and-back teamsters and wagon companies coming to assist in the emigration. On June 24 they met two companies, one headed by Ira Eldredge. The following day they met an ox train from Salt Lake captained by Joseph W. Young. On June 28 they overtook another group of westbound emigrants with five wagons who joined their company. They crossed Wood River on July 2 and reached Fort Laramie on July 31. Three weeks later they reached the Sweetwater region. At Strawberry Creek on August 21 they reorganized the company (the leadership of the company prior to this is not known). It was at this place that Ranck was appointed captain. Others appointed included James Watson as captain of the guard and two new captains of ten. The next day they reached Pacific Springs and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 8.