At Council Bluffs my father bought five wagons which he loaded with merchandise, household goods, and provisions, some of which had been brought from Elba. He also purchased cattle to haul the wagons, the cows not only supplying milk for the party, but serving in teams with the oxen.
It was during this tedious journey of three months' duration that the train halted for four hours to usher me into the world. The date was August 15th; the year, 1856; the place—well, my father subsequently wrote "near the foot of the Black Hills, five hundred miles from the nearest settlement;" while my mother stated in writing, "about fifty miles east of Fort Laramie." So my natal State may be Wyoming, but the country was then know[n] as Nebraska Territory. Twenty years later, my father, referring to the event in an autobiographical sketch, said; "This almost proved too much for my wife and child, being exposed to the broiling sun by day and the cold mountain breezes by night, with only canvas covers to shelter them, but they both survived."