Kirby, Thomas Wright, Autobiography, 1887, 85-89.
I never was more Pleased than I was when I saw the covered wagons with our Brethren coming to fetch us to Utah. John Needham, was President. And Bros. Philip DelMare and Samuel H[arrison] B[ailey]. Smith, his two Counselers over the Company. After we arrived I found there was quite a demand for teamsters to drive Oxen across the Plains so I proposed to Edward [Kirby] to Engage to somebody to drive team to which he agreed. we went to a Bro Hoyte, but John Neeham told him we should not suit him as teamsters. I was very much supprised at that as we knew Needham was aware we had been used to all kinds of work and I referd Bro Hoyte to him in our behalf. I found another (John Leatham) of Provo who wanted two teamsters and Engaged to drive for him without telling John Needham
anything or asking any questions of him as I felt he was no friend to us in this matter. I found out after why I took such a dishonest course. In fact he told me he wanted to get to Utah before me so as to see Ann first. He did but that was all the good it done him)[.] Edward and I agreed to drive a team each for Leatham if he would let Edward’s wife [Ann Argar Kirby] and the two girls come with us by the teams and he to board us all fine, to this he willingly agreed, we could have earned more by taking wagers but we wanted to keep together as we had done since we left England and as My Brother and wife had lost their only Child on the water and w
ere feeling very bad I did not want to leave them. And as Emily’s [Emily Ellen Swain’] Uncls (John Watters of Spungrutte) did not meet her at Florence nor send Anyone as he had Promisesd we felt it would not be right to leave her to shift for herself so we agreed to see her through. We stayed three weeks at Florence waiting for Freight, during this time Leatham bought up Eleven yoak of Oxen and three new wagons for the Journey. Brother Hoyt left about two weeks before we did. Also John Needham and Most all the saints with whome we had crossed the ocean and the States: had left soon after we arrived at Florence[.] There were two ship loads came there before we left among them a young man (George Dunn?[)] who engaged to drive the other team with us, he was a very good boy but was too Small to handle a yoke therefore was not much help in camp, and yokeing up time and we had to help him all the time. he was very willing but not able. We left Florence one Saturday evening to join the Oxen train two or three miles out and on Sunday Morning in August we Made a Start for our future home Among the Rockey Mountans. with Captain Hoorten C. Height [Horton D. Haight] and Wm Player as his Assistant. I believe we had about sixty wagons. I started with four yoke and forty hundred weight of Freight[,] Edward with three joke and about thirty hundred and George Dunn thirty eight hundred and forty hundred weight. All Merchandise, Driving Oxen was rather new business to us[.] still we soon got so as to do very well except George[.] we had to help him very often to get along. One day soon after we left we experienced the most severe Thundry and rain storm I ever saw before in my life. next the roads very soft. And having to stop a little time while the fore part of the train Crosst a Mud hole. I got stuck when one of the Missionaries (Wm Dalling of Springville) now an a Postate, took my whip thinking suppose he was better Teamster than I was. Haw’d my Cattle and although I shouted who’a who’a as loud and so soon as I could he brok the tongue of my wagon and then went of[f] and left me and went on ahead (as I supposed) to tell the Captain but I was mistaken for he never said a word to anyone about it and as there were but few wagons behind me they drove round me and left me to my self. We had sent George over and he went with the train as I told him thinking we should soon catch up with them but had the flour in his wagon and the Bacon in Mine. I had about fifty pounds of flour in my wagon belonging to S H B Smith or I should have been in a bad fix. Next Wm Player missed me and came back to meet me. I had fixed up my tongue and was making pretty good head way and catched the train After four or five days travel as they where crossing some River by ferry, one night I lost My Cattle and had to pay 2 Hoes out of the load of Merchandise to Recover damages. We had never seen any Indians till we were left along and having heard of their Stealing propencitise did not know but they would steal from us[.] Shortly after we catched up one of my Oxen died one evening soon after we camped and another was furnished. After we had left About three weeks driving very late and night as we did very often. Edward went Back a little to see After George and help him along. I being on lead of our three wagons I heard a loud hollering and learning very soon that George’s wagon had run over My Brother I stop’t My Team and running back as soon and fast as I could. I met Edward who dropted at my feet
(“as I supposed”)[.] I picked him up and put him into his wagon. This was a trying time for poor Ann, but he soon come too and was able to tell how it happened. How that he was on the off side of George’s hind Oxen, trying to urge him on when he stumbled
and pitched headforward under the wagon and booth the off wheels passed over his Body before he could extricate himself. the Captain as soon as the news was sent forward to him Stopted to camp[.] the dust was so dence and thick we could Scarce see anything. After camping we administered to him and he rested pretty well that night but next Morning was very sore. And was without a teamster and had to Induce first one and then Another to help me but there where none in camp who understood Anything About teaming but those who had already a team. After four or five days we fell in with a gentile who said he would like drive to Salt Lake city if I would board him and find him in Tobacco, to which willingly concented as he appeard a good teamster. but after he got on the road a day or two I found him to be one of the Most trifrilg Men I ever hope to see Again. And would Ride Most All the time and get down and whip the Cattle Horriable[.] one day I told him of it and he began to swear at the Cattle and me and I told him to drive to camp at dinner time and then I had no more us[e] for him. at noon he complained to the Captain who sent for me and when I told him why I did as I had done told (Dan
) I done just right. After that Edward would sit in the front of his wagon and drive and I used to help him through the rivers, but never yoked up any Cattle but when the herd where driven into the Coral he would drive them together in yoks for me to yoke up and so we did tell we got to within about one hundred miles of Salt Lake city. We reached Laramie four weeks from the time we left Florence. we left Florence on Sunday Arrived and left Laramie on Sunday and Salt Lake city Sunday October 4
1863. I had to let George have one pair of My Oxen when we got to Laramie and drove through from there to the city with three yoke of Cattle. when within about 150 Miles of the city the Captain told me I had better not try to keep up with them as I was too heavey loaded[.] he after wards sent two fresh teams to take two wagons of us sending word for me to come on as fast as I could with the other one. Captain Height [Haight] and Company reached Salt Lake city at about 2 P M And I arrived at about 4:30 PM of Course all smothered in dust.