Lewis, Joseph, Reminiscence, in Jennie S. Crane, Biography of Joseph Lewis, Sr.
Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.
We landed in New York on the fifteenth of June where we were detained two days, and then traveled by water to Albany and took a train to Iowa City where we arrived in the midst of a most tremendous rain storm which flooded the city and destroyed much property besides rendering the roads almost impassable from the depot to the camping ground, and as the storm continued at intervals for several days and we were totally unprepared to protect ourselves against its dangerous results, as a natural consequence many were sick and much suffering was caused throughout the camp, and while in this dreadful condition, exposed to wind and rain my wife gave birth to a son, (Heber Brigham,) and was not taken under shelter till the next morning, when we were kindly permitted to occupy the tent of Brother Findly while himself and family, succeeded us in their exposure to the wild elements. We remained in this condition for eight or nine days when the whole company moved on for Florence, on the eastern border of the state of Nebraska. Druing the greater portion of this trip we were subjected to the scorching rays of a July sun, though for several miles from Iowa City the mud was so deep that with six yoke of oxen to each wagon it was almost impossible to move them along the road.
Some had ox teams, some mules, and others pulled handcarts, loaded with baggage that could not be dispensed with. I pulled a handcart and my family walked nearly all the way across the state, about three or four hundred miles.
My wife, carrying her infant babe in her arms and suffering with hunger and fatigue that was experienced on this long march cannot be described. Language is inadequate and no one, but those who suffered will ever know what this brave and hardy band of pilgrims endured.
Hungry and worn out we reached Florence on 11, August, 1856. My daughter was taken sick with the fever, and the rest of the children all had the scurvy so badly that we were unable to proceed farther with the company. After a stay of two weeks we however moved on to Council Bluffs, where I rented a small house and obtained a little work at shoe-making.
I had not a cent in the world and the family was completely destitute of clothing and other necessities of life, . . . .