Symons, Charles William, [Autobiography], in Carley Budd Meredith and Dean Symons Anderson, comp., The Family of Charles William Symons and Arzella Whitaker Symons , 6, 8.
For two weeks we lived in a little brush shelter awaiting preparations for the journey over the plains, the loading of wagons, with freight of 900 people being tedious and slow. It required 120 wagons with from two to four yoke of cattle. Finally one train of 60 wagons and oxen was in shape and Captain Hyde placed in charge. On account of Indian depredations they halted and waited for the next train to overtake them so that they would be stronger in case of attack from Indians.
I was engaged to drive one of the teams to Salt Lake, the agreement being my fare and board as well as that of my mother for my services. This was new work for me as I had never seen any oxen yoked before, but by watching old teamsters it soon became easy. Experience taught me that kindness to oxen availed much for the cattle came to know my voice. While many accidents occurred, I had no trouble from the Missouri River to Salt Lake. Mother rode in the front of the company and I with the rear guard, so she had a fire started an hour before I came into camp at night and something hot ready for a meal. One night coming in I found no fire nor supper and found mother very ill. She said, "I am afraid I shall not live to get to Zion." I answered, "Yes, mother, you will live to get to Zion and will live for twenty years among the Saints," which promise was fulfilled.
John Kay, president of the company on the ship "Hudson" died on the plains and we made a rough box and dug a hole for burial. Other deaths occurred and I assisted in the burial.
We arrived at the 8th Ward Square where the City and County building now stands, on November 2, 1864 in Captain Warren S. Snow's wagon train. It was a cold reception for we had no relatives or friends to greet us. Here we remained for two days and nights while I sought employment.