Lowder, Emily Hodgetts, Reminiscences, 5.
Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.
Ben [William Benjamin Hodgetts] was put in charge of the emigration to see the emigrants to Iowa City. There were forty-nine wagons, ours being the first. While we were on the plains, we came across John A. Hunt with eleven wagons. The Indians were very hostile and my brother told him it was not safe to travel alone and invited to him to travel with our company, which he did.
We camped in these camp grounds twenty-one weeks. I was very much upset over the separation in our family and my health was poor, so my brother put me in a boarding house for twelve weeks. During this time, he was in Missouri on Church work.
Miss Brenchley, Squire [Thomas] Tennant and our mother's money bought two hundred heifers, which were afterward used in helping to feed the handcart company. We never got our heifers off the plains.
I did not walk across, the plains. I rode a horse and a good animal it was.
We then came on the plains. My brother, William Ben Hodgetts, was appointed Captain of the last independent wagon company in 1856. Nathan Tanner Porter was his assistant. There were 33 wagons led by Ben. At this time, the Indians had become very hostile.
Squire Tennant died on the plains. Ben left the train and traveled 60 miles with his body to have him buried at Laramie, Wyoming. Later his body was taken to Utah for burial.
We got as far as an old fort known as Devil's Gate. There we were called upon to help the Martin handcart company, which we gladly did. It was bitter cold. We were snowed in for ten days. The Martin handcart company camped by us and we shared with them. Then Joseph A. Young and Brother Grant, George I think, came back to meet us from Utah. We gave up our five wagons and 20 yoke of oxen to the handcart company and moved into the old fort. We stayed there 10 days and the handcart company went on. Brother William Carter from Utah came and helped us on. Hundreds of teams came. We left our belongings in the old fort in our four blue chests.
The next summer Ben went back for them and for some freight for the church. Of the four chests, we only got one back. The blue box is the only relic of my childhood home.
As you know, I still have this blue chest which was made in England by John Newman, father of Callie (Caroline) Newman Mitchell, my dear life-long friend, wife of John T. Mitchell of Parowan.
I must tell you about one thing that was in that chest. It was 16 yards of the very best satin which had been bought in Paris, France, by my father to make dresses for Mother and we girls. But in taking things from the ship, it had been left for Maria and me. After Maria went home, I fell heir to this, and I feel I put it to good use. I have had that material made into almost every style from polineau to hobble skirt and have been a well-dressed woman each time. I have worn this satin in some style to the christening of each of my nine children.
As to the blue chest, it has been my shrine and many times I have knelt before it in humbleness and tears. It always contained my best clothes, for clothes closets were not as plentiful then as now.
We reached Salt Lake City, December 15, 1856.