Evans, Ruth Blair, [Reminiscences], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 9:91-92.
We arrived in Laramie City where we were met by mule teams and wagons for our trip across the plains. Captain Joseph S. Rawlins was in charge and there were 31 wagons and nearly 300 passengers, and we left on July 25th. Grandma Johnson survived the ocean trip, but she died on the plains. She had brought a rocking chair and several nice trunks with her from England. The rocker was placed in the wagon and she sat with her back to the teams. As the wagons moved her chair would rock. I used to help her get in and out of the wagon. I was only seven years old, but I could take her foot and put it on the wheel so she could step up or down, she always had trouble finding where to put her foot. She had been so good to me on the boat that I was glad to help her on the plains.
Grandma Johnson wasn't feeling very well when we left Laramie. Mother had me to run back a time or two and see if she was all right. I would run back to the wagon and look in and I could see her sitting there in her rocking chair, rocking back and forth, so I told mother she was alright. But mother was worried and went back herself to make certain. She found the dear old lady was dead. You can see how slowly we traveled if we could walk faster than the wagons. Well, they stopped all the wagons and put up a tent and prepared Mrs. Johnson for burial on the plains. We didn't travel any farther that day.
We also buried a young boy who was drowned while crossing the Green River. He was such a good boy to his poor mother, who was a helpless cripple. He would carry her everyplace, in and out of the wagons and everywhere. We had to stop quite a while and build a sort of bridge to get across the river. My, we had an awful time there. The boys swam across, and we heard that one of the young boys had been drowned. Mother thought sure it was my brother Sam. It was several hours before we found out who it was. Mother was so glad it wasn't Sam, but she felt terrible about the other boy being drowned and leaving his mother in her condition. She made the remark that she could have more easily have spared one of her boys. Maybe that sounds funny for my mother to have said that, but it shows how closely knit were the fortunes of those people who made the trip across the plains.
We always had to walk in the mornings and part of the afternoon, but at night or just before we would camp we could get in the wagon and ride a little way we would be so tired. I can remember father gathering 'buffalo chips' for a fire and then he would wave to us and holler that he would have the fire going when we got to the camping spot for that night. He did most of the cooking and he would stir up some flour and water and baking soda and make flap-jacks. Then he would pour this batter in a big iron kettle and hang it over the fire to cook. My little sister Rosa always asked for some of the crust because the crust of course was cooked the best.