"Pioneer of Richmond Tells Interesting Story of Life," The Journal, 29 January 1927, pp 1-2.
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Father William L. Skidmore is one of the early pioneers of Richmond, and for many years was bishop of that thriving town. He has given us a brief sketch of his journey across the plains which we feel his many friends will read with interest. . . .
“In April 1855, with my mother and other members of the family we started for Utah. We first went to Pittsburg by rail, then down the Ohio and up the Missouri rivers to Atchison, Kansas, where we had our first experience of camp life. It rained for several days which made it very unpleasant for us. My brothers soon bought some cattle and an outfit, and we joined Captain John Hindry’s [John Hindley’s] company for the journey across the plains. I[t] fell to my lot to provide fuel to cook our food, and as no wood grew on the plains I would take a sack and gather up the dry buffalo chips, to fry our bacon and bake our bread. Often the wind would blow the lid off the pan and season our food with sand and ashes, annoying the women until all of us would have to laugh. We had no fresh meat except when some one killed a buffalo. What we did not eat we cut into small strips and dried in the sun. At one time we saw a band of Indians coming towards us and the captain gave orders for the train to stop and all who had guns to be ready to defend us. When they saw we were ready for them they became friendly and wanted to trade buckskin and moccasins for sugar and salt. My brother Henry’s wife [Sarah Ann Skidmore] was young and pretty and the chief wanted to trade a pony for her. Some time we would stop for a day to rest, and shoe the oxen, and make necessary repairs. One day when the captain was riding by, he told my brother that our family was one of the best in the train and never caused him any trouble as some others did. At a place called Ash Hollow, the road was very steep and mother with two little girls had to walk, and were left behind. Darkness came on and they thought they were lost and were about to give up, when they saw our camp fires. They were very hungry and tired when they reached camp, but no other trouble came to them. We had tried to play a joke on them by filling the wagon with service berry bushes, but when we saw their plight we were sorry.
“When we neared the Rocky Mountains, we met a company from Utah, on their way east. They advised us to go back with them as the grasshoppers were so bad in the valleys that they had eaten everything up and we would starve. We were not convinced by what they told us and continued our journey to the valleys.
“We reached Salt Lake City October 3, after a journey of five months by ox team.”