Peter Rasmussen autobiography, 1932, 2.
View this source online
In 1857 my father and mother sent three of the older children on to Salt Lake City with handcarts. I had an uncle, Rasmus Rasmussen, in Spring City, who was well fixed and he sent word that he would take care of them till we reached the valley. Due to exposure, my one brother took sick and died in Laramie, Wyoming. One of the sisters died in Salt Creek Canyon. The other one reach[ed] Spring City and as my uncle had heard about them, he came to meet her. The next year, that sister, Maria, got married to Hans Beck. They were living in Mt. Pleasant when we came.
When we left Omaha there were 17 of us with one wagon. I walked all the way, with only three little rides. I remember them well. The way I came to get them was crossing the river. Where the river was shallow we would get up behind the wagon and hang on and ride across.
Another brother died while we were crossing the plains.
Then our oxen died and our cows died. We didn’t know how we could pull our wagon. Then our things were put in with another wagon.
My father had a box 1’ x 3’ which was filled with tools. He carried it across the plains. It was very heavy and there was no place in the wagon for it. I can remember mother saying,
“Why don’t you throw it away. It is too heavy for you to carry”.
Father said: “I will need these tools when we get to the Valley. We will have to build a house and work for a living.”
Mother said, “No, we won’t have to work. The Lord will provide for us when we get to Zion.”
The first time she said it, Father picked up the box and took it down from the road and threw it down and kicked it. Then he picked it up and brought it back and carried it across the plains.
We arrived in Salt Lake in 1859 on the 30th day of August (my birthday). We got a yoke of oxen and I herded it every day. Then Hans Beck came for us and we moved to Mt. Pleasant. We lived there and built a room in the Fort. One brother and one sister came across the plains with me. Our sister, Maria, was already in Utah--married to Hans Beck.
While crossing the plains I remember one time when our Captain stopped us and would not let us go on because our path crossed a buffalo trail. We could see the buffalo going to a stream to water and someone said there were 10,000 of them. We were told that if one buffalo got scared and stampeded, they all would and we would be right in their way. So we stopped till we could see them cross over the river. We were very frightened because we had heard stories of buffalo stampedes killing and hurting many other companies.