William McDonald, "A Porshion of the History of My Life."
Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.
The Next Thing to Do Was to Fit up the Wagons and gether With the Company to orginise For to Cross the Pleans [Plains]. Camped at the gathering Place untill We got 50 Wagons. Apointed a Captain of Fifty for the Hole Company and a Captain For Each ten Wagons. That Was in the Spring of 1850. Us Boys Engoyed the Wild Countrey and the Wild game Whitch Were in abondance on the Pleans. the Buffilo Were So thick and Went in Sutch Large Hirds We Had to Stop the train and Coroll [Corral] the Wagons untill Sum of the Large Hirds Pased. in traviling We Were Strung out on the trail Haf a Mile long. I Was 16 years old When We crosed the Plains and Was Numbered With the gard and took My turn With the older Men. I Rember We Had to call the [h]our and all is Well Every our. When it came to that part of it I think there Never Was a young Rouster larning to Crow Felt Prouder than I Did. That Was My First Military Servis [service] Whitch Was Continued Mor or less in Setteling this Country utah and sorounding Country.
We had No Trouble With indeans [Indians] Crosing the Plains But We Kept ourselves in Redinence [Readiness] Coralled the Wagons Every Night and kept our Pouder Drie. Prepared for the Worst But all Went Well untill the Colary [colera] Broke out in Camp. that Proved to Be verey Fatle. Evere one that took it Died.
My Father [James] Helped to Buiry a Man one Morning and took Sick after the train Started and Died that Night. We Came to the Plat[te] River that Day in the afternoon and Part of the train Had crossed the River. Father Being very Bad We asked Him if We shoud Cross the River With Him. He Said yes So He Died that Night on this Side of the Plat[te] River. That Was the gratest triel We Ever Had in Our Family . . So Sudent [sudden] on the Dreary Plains of Americk and Burried without a coffin. But We Had Sum Large Boxis along Whitch We Broke up and Dug a Deep grave With a volt (sig) at the Bottom Large enouf for the Body an Covered it Securley With the lumber of Those Boxes Whitch We thought Would Prevent Wolves From Diging up the Body For We Had Passed Sum graves that Had Been Buried in Hast that the Wolves Had Dug up and Eat the Flesh all of their Bones Whitch we Buried again.
When We had traveled about two thirds of the Way to Salt Lake our Cattle Had lost their Shews [shoes.] Sum and Began to get lame and the Captain called a Halt to Rest the Teams and Shew those that were lame and tender futed [footed). Stoped at a Place the called Deer Creeck. Stayed there Two Weeks. Had Plenty of good Meat to Eat White there. I Remember one Night one of the Hunters Dident com in untill about Midnight. His Name Was Peter Shirts. The people thought He Had got lost or Was Taken By indians. We Built Fires all around Camp and Fired guns and about Midnight Peter came in With the Hind quarters of a large Deer on His Shoulders.
We got to Salt Lake about the last of September.