William Wood autobiography, 1915, 23-33.
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On arriving opposite Council Bluffs on a very dark night. The boat ran alongside of the river bank and landed the gang
By eight a.m. Brother Joseph W. Young who was our church emigrant agent that year called a meeting explaining the circumstances, telling us that teams would be sent down to the river to haul up our luggage to a camping ground and provisions would be served out to all who needed it; and that tents also would be given to every ten or twelve persons. Thus we were again organized into tens, fifties, and hundreds. I was appointed Captain of the guard.
The teams began to haul up our baggage and when about half of it was hauled onto the camping ground a fearful tornado started with heavy rain and the most vivid lightning, just like those encountered in the tropics. It scared the cattle and they stampeded doing great damage and running over Brother Young and nearly killing him. Those who were already on the camp grounds were almost drowned by the cloud burst. The volume of water washed gullies
from ten to fifteen feet deep and in some instances washed away boxes and bags and buried them in the sand, some of which were never found. Three persons were struck dead by the vivid lightning, one being a teamster
We returned to camp
and returned to the camp and put up our tents and prepared for the long wearysome journey accross the (then) Great American Desert. While here in camp all who had the means bought wagons and cattle and everything needed for the long trip. Of course I was found very handy in fitting out—in making wagon sheets, splicing a rope and handling cattle as they had to be broke to the yoke. The young tenderfooted men from the big cities were not much in it, and were generally out of the way when most needed.
I was engaged by a man by the name of Cooper to break his cattle to the yoke and get everything ship-shape, and to drive a team to Salt Lake City for the hauling of my young lady and her baggage. We had got nearly to a stream called <I think I am not sure> Loup Fork when Mr. Cooper said, "Brother Wood you are a young man and can do well to take up a farm at Wood River where I am going to stop, and I want you to stop with me." I says, "No Sir, I am bound for the valley of the Saints." "Well," said he, "if you will not agree to stop with me I shall turn you and your girl right out here." I said, "Sir, I will never agree to stop with you." < God will see that I get to the Valley> So he went back to my wagon and pitched out my baggage and told my girl to get out, and he drove
r on and left us without bread or water. My dear girl wept bitterly, but I did not feel like weeping but rather like meeting the peculiar circumstances.