Matthias Cowley Company (1857)
- Church Train
- 15 June 1857
- Departed From
- Iowa City, Iowa
- 13-15 September 1857
- Matthias Cowley
- Number In Company
Scandinavian company containing 198 individuals and 31 wagons when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Iowa City, Iowa.View Summary
- "Correspondence from the Plains," letter from Amos M. Musser to President Appleby, 16 July 1857 in Millennial Star, 26 September 1857, 620-22.
- "Immigration," Deseret News [Weekly], 16 September 1857, 224.
- "Immigration," Deseret News [Weekly], 2 September 1857, 208.
- Liljenquist, Ole Nielsen, "Autobiography of Bishop O. N. Liljenquist, One of the Fathers of the Scandinavian Mission," Tullidge's Quarterly Magazine , July 1881, 571; ibid., Morgenstijernen , 1883, 25-32, 37-46.
- Liljenquist, Ole Nielsen, "Biografiske Skizzer," Morgenstjernen, Marts 1883, 40.
- McRae, Anna Christina Jensen, Reminiscences, 2-3.
- "Mormon Trains," Weekly Council Bluffs Bugle , 7 July 1857.
- "Passage of Mormons," Arkansas State Gazette and Democrat , 20 June 1857.
- Richards, S. W. and Briant Stringam, 18 Aug. 1857, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 35, box 25, fd. 23.
- Sorensen, Isaac, [Journal], Utah Historical Quarterly, 1956, 52-53, 60.
- Young, Joseph W., "Correspondence of Elder Joseph W. Young," The Mormon , 4 July 1857, 3.
|Anderson, Niels||21||26 November 1835||11 June 1913|
|Christensen, Madgalena||29||29 April 1829||29 May 1906|
|Cowley, Matthias||27||2 December 1829||5 June 1864|
|Garff, Christian Nielsen||9||23 February 1848||10 March 1927|
|Garff, Decan Westmoreland||Infant||3 May 1857||15 September 1886|
|Garff, Josephine Patrine||2||5 April 1855||August 1857|
|Garff, Lauritz Nielsen||4||13 January 1853||21 July 1902|
|Garff, Marie||36||9 December 1820||7 February 1908|
|Garff, Niels Jorgensen||46||20 January 1811||August 1857|
|Gudmundsen, Gudmund||32||10 March 1825||21 September 1883|
|Gundersen, Anna Christina||24||11 September 1832||1 April 1913|
|Gundersen, Jens||24||21 September 1832||4 November 1902|
|Hansen, Ellen||19||23 December 1837||3 January 1923|
|Jensen, Anna Christina||12||5 October 1844||6 August 1932|
|Jensen, Jacob||52||10 May 1805||11-January 1886|
|Jensen, James||3||17 December 1853||16 October 1924|
|Jensen, Jens||28||22 March 1829||5 April 1902|
|Jensen, Jens Christian||8||2 August 1848||23 March 1923|
|Jensen, Johanna||3||20 June 1853||26 September 1886|
|Jensen, Johanne||27||27 April 1830||22 February 1909|
|Jensen, John||Infant||24 June 1856||2 February 1943|
|Jensen, Karen Sophie||7||29 April 1850||22 October 1943|
|Jensen, Lars||16||14 January 1841||24 November 1909|
|Jensen, Maren Sorensen||44||26 September 1812||29 October 1892|
|Jensen, Mary Ann||20||14 May 1837||13 April 1928|
|Johansen, Ane Kirstine||10||26 November 1846||12 July 1930|
|Johnson, Gunhild||49||14 August 1807||5 May 1881|
|Johnson, Johan Martin||21||4 September 1835||20 March 1913|
|Johnson, Lars||59||25 February 1798||9 February 1875|
|Jorgensen, Anthon Jacob||Infant||6 July 1857||28 August 1858|
|Jorgensen, Christiana||29||26 April 1828||12 October 1893|
|Jorgensen, James||34||18 April 1823||13 January 1905|
|Jorgensen, John Smith||1||17 June 1855||7 May 1933|
|Larsen, Anna M.||29||15 April 1828||28 December 1887|
|Larsen, Christian Grejs||28||17 December 1828||1 June 1911|
|Larsen, Christian Peter||17||11 October 1839||20 November 1911|
|Larsen, Lauritz||23||25 January 1834||2 November 1895|
|Lee, Christen Christensen||23||20 October 1833||1 January 1905|
|Lee, Kirsten Marie||32||24 September 1824||7 January 1863|
|Liljenquist, Anna Christine Hansen||35||1 January 1822||5 July 1903|
|Liljenquist, Clara Johanna Josephine||4||7 June 1853||20 October 1927|
|Liljenquist, Harold Frietoff||Infant||19 January 1857||14 January 1936|
|Liljenquist, Ola Nilsson||31||23 September 1825||24 April 1906|
|Liljenquist, Olaf Oscar||2||13 May 1855||6 May 1921|
|Liljenquist, Theodor Nicolai||8||1 June 1849||7 October 1924|
|Lund, Anna||1||2 July 1855||24 August 1942|
|Lund, Karen Marie||Infant||8 October 1856||1 February 1925|
|Lund, Maren Katherine||23||13 May 1834||1 February 1917|
|Lund, Rasmus||3||16 May 1854||12 September 1935|
|Lund, Rasmus Rasmussen||26||14 August 1830||11 November 1887|
|Madsen, Mads||26||20 July 1830||17 October 1895|
|Nelson, Hans Peter||8||24 April 1849||16 February 1915|
|Nelson, Ingeborg Sophia||41||13 May 1816||25 September 1908|
|Nelson, Karen Sofia||4||21 February 1853||6 May 1935|
|Nelson, Nels Hans||41||12 March 1816||10 March 1893|
|Nielsen, Maren Kirstine||9||17 June 1847||3 October 1930|
|Pedersen, Elizabeth Mette Clemensen||23||28 February 1834||1867|
|Pedersen, Jens Christian||23||17 April 1834||1 October 1902|
|Sorensen, Christina Kirsten||21||18 January 1836||7 April 1896|
|Sorensen, Frederik Abraham||19||18 November 1837||1 June 1928|
|Sorensen, Frederik Isaak||17||24 February 1840||7 November 1922|
|Sorensen, Henry Carl Christian||6||21 May 1851||26 November 1884|
|Sorensen, Ingeborg Kirstine Larsine||3||2 March 1854||28 November 1916|
|Sorensen, Jacob Frederick||12||29 September 1844||5 February 1934|
|Sorensen, Magdalena||50||21 March 1807||30 March 1887|
|Sorensen, Mary Caroline||13||25 June 1842||20 January 1928|
|Sorensen, Nicolai||57||6 June 1799||30 March 1887|
|Sorensen, Ole Peter||24||10 October 1832||21 October 1874|
|Sorensen, Soren Christian||10||7 December 1846||23 October 1923|
Matthias Cowley was an elder who was returning from England, having served a mission there. While en route, he presided for a time over 544 Latter-day Saint emigrants, 540 of whom were Scandinavians. These sailed from Liverpool aboard the Westmorland on April 25, 1857, and landed at Philadelphia on May 31. Almost immediately, to their horror, they learned that Apostle Parley P. Pratt had been killed and that President James Buchanan was sending an army against the Utah Mormons. Nevertheless, from Philadelphia on June 2, the company headed for Iowa City by rail, via Baltimore, Maryland, and Wheeling, West Virginia. In Iowa, the party divided into two components: a handcart company to be led by James P. Park (and later by Christian Christiansen) and a wagon company to continue under Cowley's leadership. By June 15, the wagon train was about 10 miles west of its starting point and the emigrants were in "first rate condition," in spite of the fact that they were still learning to handle ox teams. None of the travelers had ever seen an ox before arriving in Iowa City. One of the emigrants said that attempts to manage the teams were "comical as well as pitiful. . . . Sometimes the oxen would be piled up on top of each other in spite of the efforts of the men on each side of them, for many of the oxen had never been worked. . . . Fortunately, no one was hurt." Because it was so difficult to get the animals into their yokes, they were not unyoked for three weeks, until the company reached Florence, Nebraska Territory. Apparently, yoking and unyoking oxen was learned as the emigrants crossed the plains.
Captain Cowley's party arrived at Florence July 2 and was again headed west July 6. It consisted of 198 individuals, 31 wagons, 122 oxen, and 28 cows. As it crossed the plains, the train stayed on the north side of the Platte River, traveling along sandy, hilly roads, fording creeks and rivers, seeing buffalo herds and sometimes killing buffalo for meat, and experiencing all kinds of weather. The company had no stampedes but lost several cattle to alkali poisoning. Several individuals purchased additional cattle along the way. Though the travelers had expected trouble from Indians, they found the natives to be friendly and mostly interested in receiving gifts of food. At one point on the trail, grasshoppers swarmed around the travelers in great clouds for several days, almost blocking out the sun.
Meanwhile, the Christiansen handcart train was never very far from the wagons, and the two companies often camped together. The emigrants occasionally saw long government wagon trains that were headed for Utah and, on August 17, they camped near "one or more" of these near the upper crossing of the North Platte. Two other Mormon companies were also there. Captain Cowley's train made the entire overland journey almost without accident. However, as it descended Big Mountain, the road was slick as there had been rain, and though the men tugged on ropes to hold the wagons back, one vehicle rolled over into a gully, scattering its contents and startling its young occupants. The train arrived in Salt Lake City on September 13, the same day as the Christiansen handcart company. There were no deaths during the journey.