Keeler, Eliza Shelton, Autobiography and journal, [ca. 1886-1898], 10-12.
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in the Spring of /54, on the 10 th of May we started for the land of the Saints, leaving my Dear Old Father and sister Lucy behind, my Brother Charles [Shelton] and family and little Albert [Shelton] was then 8 years old, and 5 of us girls, with all our little branch started[.] it was a great trial to leave our Father, and he took it so very hard too, he went to live with Lucy and he lived with her as long as he lived, Pa's
was getting worse all the time, and he was afraid he would be more trouble than good to his children before he got to Utah, he had a good deal owing to him; there that he expected to collect and then he thought he could serve the Lord there as well as to come to Utah to do it, so we left him with tears and sorrow, I imagined it would be very nice to travel on the cars and steamboat, but I got enough of it, Just before leaving home we got a letter from William[.] we were already to start, he wrote that he done pretty well for a while. got good wages, then he fell sick and it took all he made and more too to pay the doctors bill &c he was not able to work yet, he begged Pa's forgiveness, and wanted to return home, Oh joy[.] Pa's prayers was answered, he shed tears of joy, he answered his letter immeadiately, forgive him, and desired him to come back; he came home but it was after we had left, Oh how bad I wanted to see him, he taught school and boarded at Lucys, for some time, then he left home on a fishing tour, finally married and w[r]ote to us, but I have not heard from him now for a long time, when we got to St. Louis we bought our teams and wagons, cows, provisions and all our outfit for traveling on the plains, Charles and his family occupied one wagon and us girls and brother Albert the other, my sister Martha [Shelton], Louisa [Shelton Obray,] Emily [Shelton], and I were baptized at fort Leavenworth by Alonzo [Alondus D. Lafayette] Buckland on the 24
of June 1854 [4 June 1854] with some others, Louisa was married to Thomas Obray the same day, by the same man, Thomas was returning from a Mission from Malta coming to Utah, with his brother Sam[uel Obray] and family, we got the measles, all of our family except Charles & Sam, they were the only ones that had already had them[.] we suffered very much, Rebbecca [Shelton], (my brothers wife) had the Cholera morbus, suffered dreadfully till death came to her relief, my sister Louisa first had the measles. she was commencing to get better with them when she took a backset[.] Cholera set in and she worse off after being a bride just 3 weeks, Thomas [Obray] took this pretty hard, also my brother Charles was worn out with waiting on the sick and his children died one after another till 5 were layd away all but his oldest son Alfred, it is hard to imagine that mans feelings, I dont know how the poor man stood it, a great number of our company died, and us girls continued very weak and poorly[.] not much appetite and Diareah [diarrhea] all the way to the Valley, we traveled on under trials and difficulties till we arrived in Salt Lake City 29. Sep. 1854, pretty well worn out, and also our teams, nevertheless was much rejoiced to view a city after our long march full of hope for the future, for now we were to the end of our journey and among the saints of God,