Heyborne, Melissa Keziah Rollins, Autobiographical sketch [ca. 1934], 2-3.
Soon after the Meadow Mountain Massacre, word came from President Young, “To your tents, O Israel!” In seven days from then we were on the road to Utah. Many of our possessions had to be left behind. The dining room table was piled high with dishes and we left them all. Father had taken his share of stock from the store which made about four wagon loads of goods.
For me, that was a wonderful and exciting journey from California to Utah. We camped at the Mojave one day, the sight being around the point of a mountain. My brother Henry who was ninteen years old, seemed in a great hurry to reach Utah, and when camp broke up he started out ahead of the company with Mother, my two and a half year old brother, and me. Three span of mules pulled the wagon. Presently we saw a large prominent rock by the side of the road. As we drew near, two big Indians jumped out from behind it, all painted and with head bands, feathers, and bows and arrows. One grabbed the lead mules and turned them so that the wheels were cramped, while the other drew his bow and arrow upon Henry. We were terribly frightened. Mother caught up little brother and jumped over the wheels and I followed. John Henry coiled his black whip with the loaded butt and would have struck them but Mother cried out, “Don’t touch them or they will kill every one of us!” At that moment the company drove in sight and the Indians ran away.
A child was born that night but it died. Mother was very ill. Father had intended going to his old home in Salt Lake but because Mother was so sick he tried to rent a room in Cedar for two weeks, but no rooms were to be had. However, we stayed in our tents and wagons and then went to Parawan [Parowan]. We ramined there a year.
Another droll incident of that trip happened when in the course of our travels we reached a long steep hill. My grandmother Nancy Walker, a fleshy woman, was coming to Utah with us and she declared she would not ride down the hill and so began walking but she stumbled and fell. Down Grandma rolled right to the bottom of the hill. Although we were very frightened the woman got up laughing and apparently suffered no injury.
President Young sent word to Father that he wanted him to be bishop of Minersville. So you see, he never reached Salt Lake with his family.