Lars Larsen diary, circa 1859-1863.
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On the 3rd of July, 1861, Elder Lars Larsen was instructed to take his provisions to the wagon in which he and Kirsten Jensen should ride in. He was given flour from the food supply that day. L. L. writes, that the day after, the Fourth of July, the company was baking bread and that he and Kirsten Jensen went to Florence to buy two cakes and a bottle of wine to have for their contemplated wedding that day. When they came back from town, the ceremony was solemnized by Elder Hestmark in the presence of the captain of the company. The Fourth of July was thus doubly celebrated by them by their marriage on that day.
On the 6th of July L. L. was given the watch over the camp. (The oxen were possibly grasing) the 7th of July the emigrants left Florence and after about two hours drive a halt was called by some Brother Jong (or probably Young), who complimented the company for being so well outfitted for the journey. It was soon observed, though, that some persons in the company were quite quarrelsome about the distribution of food and other things and L. L. and Kirsten decided thereafter to have things more for themselves, so they could better enjoy themselves.
The Scandinavian part of the emigrants was separated a short distance from the English emigrants, and when the sections had a stop, July the 8th, L. L. visited the English section and had a talk with a sister from Iceland (Island) who would have liked very much to be with the Scandinavians (herself being a Scandinavian) but the stop was not long enough to have the change made for her.
When the emigrants were camping at the different places, men and women would always have something to do. Some men went out short distances as outlooks, or to hunt wood. Other men cut wood for camp fires or for cooking, and the sisters baked bread, repaired clothing, or other articles. And others of the emigrants were perhaps reading books or writing letters, etc.
On July 11th the emigrants drove away from that camping place and at 11 o'clock they stopped at a water spring a couple of hours. L. L. went to the spring to take a bath, but was so unlucky as to lose a silver rim. From that place they drove to Elkhorn By the 17th of July some families were out of flour, amongst those families, L. L. and Kirsten, and although some persons grumbled, L. L. and his wife did not want to complain. In other wagons they had a supply left of peas, rice and other food stuff. It was Elder Larsen's 25th birthday anniversary he writes, but the other dates given in L. L.'s diary figure that it would be his 26th birthday. the emigrants proceeded and soon passed "Stage Station" and they camped at Parker's Place, so called, 123 miles from Omaha. On July 18th the company received some more flour. That night the company camped 2 miles west of "Lion Tree" place, so-called. L. L. writes, that he and his wife had been promised to have the use of some cooking pots and pans from other families, and for that reason they had not bought any, but they now regretted that they had not, for those utensils were evidently quite scarce and hard to get hold of when needed.
In the evening of July 20th, the emigrants were reminded that they should prove their faith in their daily doings and by patiently to live in peace with each other; and further the young people were admonished to accommodate the older people, as far as possible in regard to seats in the wagons and so forth.
The 1st of August the little wagon group came to a place where many clear streams crossed the road they were following, and the oxen as well as the emigrants enjoyed to drink from the clear streams. The 19th of August the teams drove over a long bridge and the company camped at that place. The 20th of August they drove forward about 6 hours time and then came to a place where two houses had been built and they camped at that place in the afternoon and night. On the 21st of August the teamsters drove about 25 miles and camped at a little creek with clear water; that was about 2 o'clock in the night.
On August the 22nd the company came to the Sweetwater river and camped at Independence Rock during the night. August 23rd they passed Devil's Gate and comped at the river side. On the 24th of August L. L. had to watch over the oxen and wagons in the forenoon. In the afternoon L. L. and others had a talk with Bro. Halling, who told them many things relating to "Zion". On the 25th of August, at noon, the teamsters again stopped almost at the Sweetwater River bed, but there was no water in the river at that late day in the summer. The next day at noon they stopped at a little creek bed which also was dry. On the 27th they again had a stop. On the 28th they came to a valley where there was plenty of water, and the wagons stopped in the evening with some where there was a little creek. On the 29th of August they were short of water, but on the 30th of August they found water at noon and in the evening they stopped again. On the 31st of August they continued their journey. At noon on September 1st they came to Green River at noon and on the next day they came to another river in the evening. On the 3rd of September the teamsters drove over Black River and forward to Green River and on the 4th and 5th they drove along the bank of said river. On the 6th of September they came to Bear River and on the 7th to a little creek at noon time.
L. L. writes: The 12th of September we came into Salt Lake City, and we lodged that night in a hay stack.