Muhlestein, Anna Caroline Wintch, Autobiographical sketch, 166-68, in Histories and biographies written by members of Camp Sunflower, Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Center Utah County, Provo, Utah, vol. 1.
A man met the steamer with a wagon and team. The sickest of the company, which included Jacob, who lay prostrate, were put in the wagon. The rest of us had to walk up from the river in the night and they put us in the only place they had, a stable where the government kept horses for the soldiers who had to protect the people from the Indians. It was clean, and clean straw was put down for our beds and it was dry. Most of the people were glad to get under shelter from the drizzling rain. Others complained. Finally a woman spoke up and said, "Wasn't our Savior born in a manger? Who then are we to complain.[?] We should feel honored." After that there was no more complaining. There were no stoves so we had to learn to cook on campfires, and get ready for the long journey on the plains.
We had to stay in Florence three weeks, and all this time my poor mother lay prostrate on the floor, and oh! How hot, and so many flies. And, also, my dear brother, Jacob, lay prostrate with no comforts. Then my youngest brother, John, took sick. My poor dear father felt awful because he couldn't make his sick [son] more comfortable. He didn't know whether to go on with friends or to stay in Florence without friends. Mother and father knew that Jacob could not live, but they finally started on with their friends. We were just one day out when he died, July 1, 1862. Father was able to get a hardwood coffin for him at Florence.
Father had to hire a man to drive the oxen and a girl to cook for us. My poor mother had to lay in the wagon on the trunks under the hot wagon cover all day. At noon they had to take her out and lay her under the wagon to get a little fresh air and then drag her back into the wagon to be jolted over the rough roads. One night my father woke us up, he said mother wanted to say goodbye and kiss us, so after we all kissed her she passed away, September 4, 1862 on the plains.
Oh! My poor father felt so lonesome, he always had the hope of seeing our older sister Mattie, who had emigrated in 1861. What hurt father most was that he couldn't get any coffin for mother. They had to sew her up in a sheet and a blanket. Brother Ballif our President, told them to make the grave deep and to make a kind of shelf so they could put some willows on, so the dirt wouldn't lay on the body, and so no wild animals could scratch it up. Then we had to go on.
So, we journeyed on. My younger brother, John was still very sick with the mountain fever. At last he began to get better, but was awfully weak, and nothing for him to eat. We couldn't make light bread. All we had was hard tack and bacon and he could not eat it, so it was a good thing we fetched a cow with us from Nebraska. She gave a little milk and that was what brought him back to his strength. Poor cow, she had to be driven along with the oxen and there wasn't much for the oxen and cows to eat. Everything was getting pretty dry, but we were thankful we had a little milk for my brother.
We had gotten provisions in Omaha, Nebraska, enough to do us until we reached Salt Lake City. They consisted of flour, sugar, rice, dried apples, bacon and coffee. Sometimes we had to drink our coffee black to save the little milk we had for my brother John. This was all that kept him alive on the long journey.
Father bought two charter-oak stoves. He paid $25.00 a piece for them. In Salt Lake City they were $200.00 each. He wanted to buy a step-stove, to attach to the wagon and which would make it more convenient to cook, but Brother Ballif advised him not to. Afterwards he was sorry he hadn't brought one. He also purchased some farm implements. We had to depend on others for everything as we could not speak English. At Winter Quarters we were fitted out to cross the plains. We had two wagons, and three yoke of oxen. Brother Henry had two yoke of oxen and two cows. One of the cows gave a little milk, but sometimes we had to yoke her up with the oxen.
We traveled on and on, a few miles before we reached Emigration Canyon our company stopped and repacked. My nephew, Henry, who was about ten years old and I watched with much interest. After awhile one of the people noticed us and asked us what we were doing, and why we weren't with our own people, because they were going another way to Provo and not to Salt Lake City. We looked around, then, and saw that our wagons had one. We got scared and began to run, but we couldn't see our wagon train, and it began to get dark. We kept on walking and I was so tired. Every noise made us jump. We were so afraid we might meet a bear or some Indians. I kept saying, "Let's sit here, I can't walk any farther." But finally we saw two campfires a long way off. There were two camps. We didn't know which way to go, one [camp] might be Indians, but we didn't dare stop so went toward the nearest fire. It was our camp and they were eating supper, and some of them were getting ready to hunt us. They were so relieved to see us that we didn't get the whipping we expected.
The next day a man came a two days journey from Salt Lake City to meet us, he was my dear sister's husband, John Mathis. He told us that she had died in Dixie, Oh! What a shock! I ran and told it to some of the people that knew her well out in the old country. The girls said they knew it a long time ago, but Brother Ballif, our President forbid them to tell us the sad news until we reached the Rocky Mountains as we had had so much trouble. He thought it would be too much for my poor father, for he wanted to see her so much. It was shock for all of us. I felt like if we had her she would take the place of mother, and we wouldn't be so lonesome. She was such a good girl, and my sister Louise and I surely needed a mother.
We were a sorry looking crowd when we reached Salt Lake City, weary, dirty, ragged, with chapped hands and burned faces. We were going on to Dixie, but we couldn't travel any farther, for one thing our oxen were so weak and poor, and for another thing my older brother, Henry, had three boys, 10, 8, and 6 years of age and his wife had been very sick during the last part of the journey and was still very weak, so we stopped in Lehi for the winter, . . . .