Johnson, Seth E., Autobiographical sketch [ca. 1922], -16.
the trip back was made in about 9 weeks as the teams were heavily loaded & traveled Slow[.] the Company was made up of many nationalities English[,] Scotch[,] Welch[,] Swiss & others & there was always a very large number of fine young mariagable Women aged from 20 to 30 years in the Companies who were coming to find them husbands as men in the Country where they came from were scarce & as nearly all of the teamsters in the Companies were single men Scores of them found wives in the companies & Seth had plenty of chances to get him a wife from the very best but he never caught on & during his absence Lydias father would often jeer her & say oh that fine fellow of yours wont come back to you[.] he will find plenty of nicer ones than you to wont anything of you when he gets back[.] during the trip back there were some happenings that he will mention[.] during the month of August while they were traveling they traveled much of the way under the Telegraph line[.] one day there came up a fierce thunder Shower & the Lightning Struck the wire & came down into the wagon of one of the Boys & also Struck his team of 3 yoke of oxes & killed 5 out of the 6 & the driver who was Walking by the Side of his team was knocked down[.] Seth was also knocked down as he was only about 2 rods away from the other man but they were both on their feet again in a minute[.] the man whose team was killed was named Charles Adams[.] they both ran to the fallen team & while examining the oxen they looked around at the wagon & saw that it was on fire[.] it was loaded with Freight & included 300 lbs of gunpowder[.] Adams ran & tore off the cover & Seth ran to his Wagon & got a water Can partly full of water & they found where the fire was coming from & dashed the water into it & happened to put it out at once[.] the fire had caught in the hay in which the powder kegs was packed & if the powder would have exploded it would have made a terrible wreck of wagons[,] oxen & everything around[.] it was a little Singular how the water happened to be in the Can[.] every wagon in the company was furnished with a 5 gallon water can for handling their water & with <morning> every can was expected to be emptied & put into the wagon empty but somehow Seth’s can that morning was put up into the wagon more than half full of water which was all that saved the explosion[.] on Seths arrival home he took the Molasses mill to Dixie & worked on it for 5 weeks & then came home & on Nov 11th they were married