Pomeroy, Irene to Ophelia M. Andrews, 5 Mar. 1848, in Letters, court orders, and documents pertaining to the Saints in Missouri.
North New Salem
(Care of Col Wilson Andrews).
Kane Io[wa] May 16 1848
Great Salt Lake City March 5th 1848.
Cousin Ophelia; Having a little leisure from domestic cares I thought (I would) write you a few lines knowing you would be very anxious to hear from us. We are all well contented and happy. We have a log house made of hewed logs sixteen by eighteen and covered with planks and slabs. Our fireplace is made of clay pounded into one corner and the fireplace cut out just such shape as you please. The rest is sticks plastered outside and in which makes it quite nice. We have quite a nice door made of fir boards which were sawed since we arrived. We have nothing but the boards of our wagon for floor yet. We have a window with five squares of ten by twelve glass and one of cloth pasted on. There is two beds at the east end of the room and curtains drawn across the room in front of the beds and a little chamber floor over the beds where we keep our provisions. Picture to your self Irene sitting in such a room as this writing on her same chest which stood in her chamber in Mass. Mr. Pomeroy and Thales have gone to what is called the Cotton Woods for poles to fence the land. Francelle is filling the little creampither (your mother and mine used to play) with water and washing it in the washdish. Mother is knitting. (I will fill this page with family concerns now I have come so near to it and tell you on the next how we came hear and what kind of place it is). We have two yoke of oxen; two cows, two heifers (two years old) a pair of horses, three hens, two chickens and a dog. We have killed one yoke of oxen for beef. We expect to have a garden in front of our house. Our farming land is five or six miles from hear. The houses are built adjoining each other in the form of squares enclosing ten acres each. It was thought wisdom to have them in this manner for this season because we could better defend ourselves from all kinds of danger. When the companies arrive next summer we expect to commence a brick house. There will be a city laid out then and each building will have land for all necessary purposes and a large garden and the farming land will be with out the city. When Mother [Ursula Billings Haskell] wrote you at winter quarters we were preparing for our journey still fart[h]er west. Thales went down into Missouri with Br Wallace and bought a new supply of provisions and we left winter quarters June 17th and I can assure you we passed through a variety of scenes (for) a distance of ten hundred and sixty miles from W.Q. Rivers, brooks, mudholes, mountains, plains, woods, broken waggons, Indians, Buffaloes, Wolfs, deer, antelope, wild dogs, bears &c. The Indians were very friendly. They do no hurt if we kept strong guard out so they could not steal our horses and cattle in the night. We passed through some places where it (was) almost impassable, mountains of cragged rocks seeming as it were bending over us on either side of the road. At another time we would be on the side of a mountain below us on one side of the road 50 or 100 feet straight down a Grandmother says on the other side a mountain and seeming every moment as if the waggon would be upset. This was the last part of the road. The first 1000 miles was mostly praries, see nothing byt [but] land as far as the eye could reach. You can look on the map and see where we came. We came nearly the whole of the length of the Platte river and camped on its bank most every (night). We walked a great part of the way where there were bad roads. (Catherine says tell them I could walk 10 or 15 miles per day.) We generally travelled from 10 to 15 miles in a day sometimes 20 and once or twice 25. We did not travel on Sundays (and) on the whole we had quite a pleasant journey. We would (about half a dozzen) go on ahead of the waggons, find some place of curiosity and wait for the teams to come up. How many many (times) mother and I would say how Aunt Lomanthy would love to see this and that. Grandmother might have come if she had thought so. There is some older than she here. I presume you have heard of Richardson's bitters. The old man's son is here and his sons mother came from Vermont. Emeline is yet in W.Q. When we came away she was teaching school in the same family where she has been.
The[re] was about 500 waggons came last summer. Such only came as could buy provisions, the rest stayed to raise it. We expect a much larger company this season. Well after all this long journey when we were coming over mountains and between them, all at once a little narrow passage between the mountains called a cannian [canyon] (I think I have not splled i[t] right) opened into a beautiful valley.