Martin W. Mills autobiography and journal, circa 1875-1885, 4, 10-11.
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- Church History Library, MS 28854
Brief history of father, John Mills
My father [John Mills] traded his big wagon to a man named samuel snyder for two cows and an old wagon and then my father moved to the town of Kanesville for all of the saints who were not able fit out to go on were ordered to move east of the missouri river because the rulers of the nation of the united states would not alow them to remain on Indian lands[.] he still eserted himself to fit out to move to the Valey of the Great Salt Lake as that had been the place decided on for the gathering of the Saints[.] he resorted to diferent kinds of labor but throu[gh] bad luck he was unsuckful so in the spring of 1850 he started to the valies of the mountain as a teamster for a merchant by the name of Livingston, A O Smoot was the captain of the company my father left all of the money with me that he could get with instructions to do the best that I could to fit out the next year[.] he thought that he could do better to go ahead and make a home for his family to come to so he started in june or july and arived in salt lake city some time in October 1850[.] when he arived there he was aflicted with [illegible]iles and was not able to work much till the 2d day of February 1851[.] he started to Utah county with David Evans to work on a carding machine at provo for Shadrick [Shadrack] Holdaway[.] they set the machine a runing during which time they laid out the town of Lehi[.] my father took a share of forty acres of land and fenced it and planted some potatoes but on account of the scarcity of water and lack of esperiance in irigation he failed to raise a crop so he went to Provo and with a shingle machine in pardnership with Shadrick holdaway he continued to labor at provo till his family arived at lehi about the first of october 1851. . .
Brief history of own life, Martin Walderfin Mills
. . . Br [Thomas] Ashton helped me to gather the crop and to get up hay for winter and he took a contract to fit up a log house for a taylor by the name of Joseph Armstrong[.] we had some steers to brake and I hitched them up and hauled the logs with them to build the house[.] we earned what we could during the winter and fitted up our wagons to start in the spring[.] during the spring of 1851 my cousin Araminta Lawrance was maried to brother Thomas Ashton[.] We had good wages offered to us if we would stay there an other year and brother Ashton concluded to stop so he sold his wagon[.] I tried to perswade him to not give it up but I could not[.] he thought that he was not able to go but as luck would have it you may call it good or bad which you please[.] I called it good[.] the Lord sent a wind and rain storm from the north west and it blowed a large tree on one of his steers and killed it and the nest [next] morning when he found it he told me if I would stay and help him he would make him a wagon and go with me to the Valey for he said that he had had nothing but bad luck ever sinse he had lived in that place[.] so we went to work and in two weeks we had a wagon done and was fitted out ready to start and the waters was so high that we had to lay by till in the month of june 1851[.] we started with two wagons and and provisions for the journey[.] the <team> that I had on my wagon one yoke of four year old steers on the tongue and two yoke of cows and one yoke of two year old steers for leaders[,] and br Ashton had on his wagon one yoke of eight year old osen [oxen] on the tongue and one yoke of cows and one yoke of three year old steers for leaders[.] the number of persons that we had to travle in the two wagons were eight souls consisting of my mother [Jane Sanford Mills] myself[,] br ahston [Ashton] and my cousin his wife[,] my Sister Barbara [Belinda Mills] Joseph[,] Joseph and Mary Ashton, and sister sarahs baby [John Mills Ashton] that my mother had the care of[.] we crossed the missouri river on the 27th day of June and traveled to a place called the six mile grove wher the saints had colected to organize in companys to cross the planes[.] we were organized in a company of sixty wagons under a good captain whose name was Moris [Morris] Phelps[.] the elkhorn river and loupfork [Loup Fork] river was reported to be so high that we could not cross them and the authorities thought that we would gain time to make a new road to head theam so we traveled some two hundred miles out of our way over sandy roads and gained nothing but esperiance[.] I had to leave an ox after I had traveled about 150 miles which seemed a great loss as there was yet about a thousand miles to travel to end of the Journey[,] but I put a cow on the side of the other ox and roled on and the Lord blessed us with good strength and we arived at Great Salt Lake City on the 27th day of september all well nearly tired out both us and our teams[.] we learned there that my father was at Provo so we started to Lehi in Utah County and arived there on the 6th day of October