Smith, Thomas Merrill, Reminiscence, [1-2].
Shortly after arriving in Florence I met a young man who was the son of Edwin Scott, who had been President of the Essex Conference (stake) to which my father belonged. This young man had joined David P. Kimball’s freight train, which was shortly to leave for Salt Lake City and as it would save paying for my trip across the plains I too joined Kimball’s train. It consisted of 20 wagons drawn by oxen. I was assigned to drive the baggage wagon, drawn by 2 oxen.
July 12th we started out. I had charge of and drove the outfit containing the baggage also two lady passengers, Miss Hasty Young of Illinois and a Miss Tessie Keets, whose brothers drove the lead team in the outfit.
The first day out we only drove about 12 miles, in order not to over drive the teams, the weather being very warm. We made camp about 5:00 in the evening, and gathered fuel, fed the team, and prepared supper.
Brig. Kimball, brother to David P. road a mule a great port of the time and with one of the teamsters herded the cattle at night which had to be done in order to keep them from straying off, or being stolen, as there were plenty of stock thieves along the plains at that time, both Indians and white men.
The trip for several hundred miles was much of a sameness, but, there was plenty of wild game which furnished a little diversion as well as plenty of meat, buffalow, deer, and prairie hens, being the favorite edibles. We had no trouble with the Indians as we found by feeding them we gained their friendship. The first apparent trouble we met with was on the Laramie plains caused by a herd of buffalo crossing the trail. It looked to us that there were countless numbers of them. We had to wait until they passed before we could presume our journey. they were led by two or three male animals. Our younger cattle became very nervious for a short while, but, there was no stampede. After that our trip was somewhat monotanus, and we landed all safely in Salt Lake the latter part of Sep. 1862.