C. R. Savage diaries, 1855-1909, June-September 1860, 28.
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under Franklin Brown
This morning the folks from the Bluffs were organized into a company of 10 wagons, and were told to move on west. We accordingly left Florence and got to Big Papiolon [Papillion] Creek. Camped for the day in the evening were joined by 3 wagons from Omaha. some little wood by the creek and goose berries.
Sunday [June 10] Moved on from Big Papillon through a drenching storm of Rain for Elk horn [Elkhorn] got over the Bridge finally to the crosing of Raw hide creak [Rawhide creek.] Some little wood. good feed—water middling Road here is wet weather very bad—
Monday [June 11] Drove from Raw Hide Creek about 15 miles and camped on the Platte River—feed good
Teusday [June 12] Travelled about 12 miles and camped at North Bend—½ day for washing &c—Heavy rain during the night—feed tolerable—no wood.
Wednesday [June 13] Over a muddy road we made Shell Creek—road heavy in Places—pretty good place to camp—but no wood. Near the creek plenty about 1 mile East Heavy rains during the morning—
Thursday [June 14] Made the Platte River after travelling about 12 miles—very heavy travelling, camped by a kind of long slough. Bro. Orton and the saints from Omaha passed us .
in camp during the whole day No wood, but plenty of grass
Friday [June 15] Camped during the day—a general loafing time and a hard struggle made to catch some fish.
Saturday [June 16] Drove about 2-3 miles along the Loup Fork—to a creek about 4 miles west of Genoa—pretty good road—plenty of feed—and—water.
Sunday [June 17] Camped this day owing to the Ferry not being in running order—was surrounded by numbers of the Pawnee Indians—very peaceable but great beggars—Got Moccassins &c.
Monday [June 18] Drove 4 miles further up the Fork and saw the Hand cart train ferried across without accident, a jolly time generally. Woman and girls wading with the greatest gusto.
Teusday [June 19] Our company got safely over the Ferry without any accident. further than 1 Yoke of cattle breaking loose from the boat and floating down stream, but was got out in safety. made a Drive of about 10 miles to Prairie Creek—no wood poor water—tolerable feed—This is over the new road from Genoa.
Wednesday [June 20] After a drive of 15 miles Camped on the Platte. Road splendid from the Loupe to the Platte—camped at a place opposite to 10 islands—very little wood
Thursday [June 21] A drive of 10 miles over a tolerable good road brought us to the Lone Tree Nooned—and—travelled about 12 miles beyond Shoemakers—plenty of wood—water, and feed.
Friday [June 22] Left camp—about ½ mile above Shoemakers and passed Grand Island City a German settlement—proceeded onto Wood River, but on nearing it came upon a train of 32 wagons from Salt Lake with 42 missionaries, among them Bro. Ballif[f] and others—the hand cart company was also there. Our Company was organized anew with order to procede forward by Joseph Young—plenty of wood and water all along this section of country. 11 miles
Saturday [June 23] Travelled from Camp 3 miles east of Wood River forded &c first rate to ford in dry weather—followed up Wood R. to about 6 miles East of Nebraska Center <and camped> on Johnsons Ranche first rate for wood and water, grass rather short, splendid country for farms. passed hand cart train laying over for 1 Day—14 miles—Bade farewell to Bro. Ballif.
Sunday [June 24] Proceeded on to Johnson’s and camped for the remainder of the day—here our company made some exchanges of cattle &c—one of my oxen has a very sore neck—and I am under obligation to Philander Brown for the use of one of his yokes Johnson is building up quite a nice place in this vicinity—During the Evening we were visited by a terrific storm of Thunder & lightning—days travel—6 miles
Monday [June 25] Bidding good bye to the indefatigable Jos. Johnson we went on to Nebraska Center but anticipating that the distance across would be too much[,] halted and camped, on account of the rain we were late in starting. Wood River abounds with plenty of Ash, and Elm along its banks—in fact there is plenty of wood for camping any where on its banks—days travel—6½ miles
Teusday [June 26] From Nebraska Center we wheeled a cross for the Platte River being passed by the hand-carts Company—who camped where the river and road join. Swarms of Mousquitoes. pretty bad road. passed the upper ford for Kearney and camped by a slough some 3 or 4 miles ahead—here we saw our first Buffalo—consisting of 2 stray ones on the hill—Distance 16 miles
Wednesday [June 27] Started on our journey: but had not proceeded far when we were requested to camp as a little stranger was about to be ushered into the world. Bro. [William] Steven’s wife [Emma Crowden] being safely delivered of a fine boy [Theophilus]. Some ineffectual efforts were made to shoot Buffalo without success—day’s travel 2½ miles
wood scarce—myriads of mosquitoes
Thursday [June 28] Left our camp and made for Elm creek passing over 2 or 3 deep ravines—considerable number of Buffalo were seen and a[n]telopes road not very good camped about 2 or 3 miles from Elm Creek at a dry creek, slough water—no wood, plenty of chips, days travel about 16 miles.
Friday [June 29] Left camp and got to Buffalo Creek. nooned there with the hand-carts[.] could not see any Buffalo—passed on and camped near a dry ravine without wood and water, in fact there is no place to camp between the creek and where the road joins the river. Chips plenty some little water in a slough on the top of a hill. 16 miles
Saturday [June 30] After a tedious drive over sand-hills &c came near to the Platte and took a new camp road leading to the river, where we nooned [;] plenty of wood water and feed. took the road by the river which is in some places very soft and miry. joined the main road and camped by the platte river. good wood—water, and feed.
Sunday [July 1] Attended meeting with the Hand-cart company in the morning, after moved on and camped about 8 miles from them in company with Stuckey’s [Stucki] mule train for Salt Lake. No wood and not many chips—water not very good—feed excellent.
Monday [July 2] This morning we moved on to the Sand Bluffs marked in the Guide as 275 miles from C[ouncil]. Bluffs[.] bad road. Miry sandy &c. nooned and after a very hard drive over a soft miry bottom. Came to the crossing of Skunk creek—good water no chips—feed tolerable. Mosquitoes plenty—hard days travel.
July  Teusday Ineffectual efforts were made this morning to find some game, but without success. Moved on and nooned at the boiling spring an oasis in the desert almost. afterwards moved on and camped on the banks of the North fork of the Platte for the 1st time[.] Junction passed road as far as Carrion Creek very bad, afterwards good. no wood, few chips, feed tolerable.
Wednesday [July 4] Grand celebration of the 4th of July firing of one rifle and a pistol[.] travelled about 6 or 7 miles and camped by the side of the Platte. Tremendous hot day. laid over for the remainder of the day, dancing and singing in the evening. no wood, chips. feed good
Thursday [July 5] Started from camp—passed over 4 or 5 bad sloughs. very bad to cross—damaged
my the tongue of my wagon at one of them. road sandy[,] soft and miry most of the way. Mosquitoes in swarms. Camped at the west East foot of the first sand hill—saw 5 wagons of apostates in the evening chips—feed good
Friday [July 6] Made an early start for the sand hills over which we lugged getting over safely—travelled over two of them and nooned[.] travelled over more sandy road in some places and camped at Small creek running between the bluffs—no wood, chips feed good plenty of water on the road—days travel 16 miles—met 4 men from Camp Floyd
Saturday [July 7] Owing <to> the swarms of flies and mosquitoes we left camp at 3 A.M. and traveled over the big sand-hill, a very hard pull[.] Bluff creek runs through to center of the Bluffs—good chance to camp—better further on <East> crossed several creeks, road very bad and sandy[.] after crossing Goose creek, had a splendid road to Rattlesnake river <creek> across the bottom to the river. Days travel 22 mile[s], <good place to camp>[.] not many chips
[Sunday July 8] Left camp and travelled about 10 miles up to the side of the Bluffs—passed several good springs. Camped for the day at a splendid spring gushing out of the rocks—good place to camp. some wood at the head of the spring. Held meeting in the evening. Good feelings manifested.
Monday [July 9] At the commencement of our journey got some sandy spots further on, after crossing Wolf creek we crossed the Big sand-hill: had to double teams for some loads—this is the worst of the sand hills and the hardest on the cattle. nooned on the west side, found some of the oxen’s necks rather sore, after a few more tugs on sand, got upon a splendid road—and got nearly opposite Ash-hollow; feed poor. some brush, travel 16 miles
Distance from Bluffs—380 miles
Teusday [July 10] Got a sight of Ash-hollow and forded Castle Creek—easy fording. Good water here and a mile or two further on—passed a creek on the south side of the road. road rather rough—feed here not good—only at and near Sand-hill creek—. got about 8 miles from the last creek, could not find water, alkali here; had to camp on the prairie. Tremendous Storm no wood. feed or Chips—better to camp at Shell creek. then move on—First Sight of Prairie Dog Holes
Wednesday [July 11] Left camp early in the morning and after a pull through the sand—got to the Banks of the Platte no creek being on the road. feed good nooned and travelled through a sandy road most of the way—got to Camp Creek, a nice clear stream of water easy to ford—Camped. good feed. plenty chips.
Thursday [July 12] Laid over this day. Caught some fish in the creek above near the Beaver dams—Had a hunt for game, but could not meet with any luck. A general turn out in the camp—burning of boxes and throwing of extra truck
Friday [July 13] Started from Crab Creek. had a very sandy road all the way, passed over the Cobble Hills—a very hard pull on the cattle. pretty good ascent—deep sand on the descent. nooned at the west side of them—and after another sandy pull camped on the Banks of the Platte. feed tolerable—got a view of Bluff Ruins—and Chimney rock—
Saturday [July 14] Left camp—and travelled over an uninteresting country, sandy all the way. nothing particular to note. nooned on the Platte crossed another Sandy Bluff—<but> not very hard to cross—camped for the night at the West foot in full view of Chimney rock—and other interesting sights—
Sunday [July 15] Left camp and travelled to a few miles East of Chimney Rock, a solitary column of rock standing perpendicular on a tapering cone—of rock—found good feed—at this point but the country around is very barren except near the river. Held meeting in the Evening. The surrounding scenery is one of romantic gra[n]duer
Monday [July 16] From point below Chimney Rock we pushed on and nooned near the river. finally got to East of Scotts’ Bluffs—Here got visited by the Sioux but in small numbers. Road splendid—easy to camp—anywhere—chips tolerable plenty—in full view of the Rock all the time, Trading post opposite—
Teusday [July 17] Got under weigh [underway] and had a splendid Road East of Scotts Bluffs—nooned and after a pretty good road by the side of the river got to Spring Creek—very good water[,] splendid feed—chips plenty Scotts Bluffs is a remarkable promontory of Rock standing nearly 500 feet high—
Wednesday [July 18] Left the creek—and got a very hard days pull—across pebbly-sandy roads. very hard on the cattles’ feet—nooned by the river and made the creek south of the road in the Evening[.] feed very good—water plenty, Land sterile and arid on the Benches—no signs of Game. days travel about 17 miles
Thursday [July 19] At daybreak—we got a visit from the Pilot of the Hand-cart train calling upon us for assistance being out of flour. 10 Sacks were furnished receiving in return a receipt for receiving 10 Sacks at G. River[.] passed on and camped about 16 miles East of Laramie. very poor feed. Wood plenty—a heavy storm of rain
Friday [July 20] Over a very hard road we travelled to about 3 or 4 miles of Laramie. very sandy and hard pulling—feed very bad. Wood plenty
Saturday [July 21] Several of the Brethern went to Laramie to get shoes, nails, &c—none to be got. Prices very high for every thing. Soon after the hand-cart train came up—out of flour again by buying & borrowing they raised about 7 sacks more—from us, many sick in their company. in the Afternoon moved on past Laramie to Dry Creek, 4 miles above. feed poor—wood plenty
Sunday [July 22] Started for the hills—and got on a very rough stony road[,] very hilly, and hard on the oxen’s hoofs—Camped by the Platte for nooning feed better, many relics of broken wagons around. Started over the hills again and got some treme<n>dous hard pulls, and some very steep rocky paths, of the worst kind. Camped in a hollow. no running water but rain water. feed good.
Monday [July 23] Still on the Black Hills with very little feed and water. this morning we descended one of the worst hills I ever saw, and had to Double teams to ascend again. road of the worst kind. from this point to the river the road descends upon a tolerably good road to the river. no feed, wood. Platte water. Here I was taken very sick and our company laid over for the rest of the day
Teusday [July 24] Another ascent and pretty good travel over a hard road brought us to Alder Clump—the first place that water could be found after leaving the platte. here the grass was pretty good and green, the grass on the hills was dried up. From here we descend by a fine road by a creek, where there is some very good feed and water. 2 or 3 miles further on is another creek rather deep, grass tolerably plenty. good place to camp.
Wednesday [July 25] A very long pull over a tolerable good road of nearly 6 hours brought us to the river, where feed was tolerably plenty but very short. from here we went to near where the river joins the road again, some 5 or 6 miles from the last place[.] Land here barren and sterile but little grass at any time. River water. hard road. rather rough. There is an excellent spring of cold water near the river bank.
Thursday [July 26] Travelling in company with the hand-cart train and got started towards the mountainous <road>
guide mentioned on the Guide over which we got and camped by the river, no feed. over a first rate road we got to another camping place by the river. better feed: plenty wood, water &c. Travelled about 16 miles. Distance from the Bluffs 566 miles.
Friday [July 27] Got on our way thinking we had passed the mountains and when after a short pull we came in sight of the same found it hard on the oxens’ hoofs—descent very steep—another very hard and rough road over another hill and we reach the bottom. feed poor, travelled about 7 or 8 miles more and camped by the river. poor feed everything dried up. found we had mistaken our distance.
Saturday [July 28] For the guide makes it 16 miles from where we strike the river after going 4 miles from the foot of the hills when we travelled the whole of this day Saturday—and had not got up to the Ferry then—I found the same mistake in one or more guides as to distance. We camped on the brow of a hill near Deer Creek Station. found good feed by the river.
Sunday [July 29] Travelled about 8 miles this day on the 16 miles stretch, and found splendid feed among some timber after passing over the sand hills. We also discovered that <one of> Bro Brown’s oxen had been bitten by a Rattlesnake. Gave it whiskey, and Tobacco Poultice. plenty of wood water[.] was the best Camping place we had found since leaving Scotts Bluffs—Meeting in the Evening
Monday Got a good start and travelled still another 8 or 10 miles before Dinner. Sand all the way. found little or no feed where we nooned. This is still on the 16 mile stretch, passed over several hills and camped about 4 miles East of the first Bridge on the Platte. passed over a rich bottom abounding in good feed. road bad and full of holes—
Teusday On the start we had a hard tug up a rather steep hill sandy most of the way. Then over a very steep sand-hill, very hard tugging road sandy all the way. passed the first bridge on the Platte and in the Evening camped by the Upper Bridge—got the Flour from the hand-cart folks. Kimball & Lawrence Train came up and camped above us. Feed pretty good
Wednesday Took the lower road to the Red Buttes over a rather mountainous place—rather hard on heavy loaded teams, upper one best saves 2 or 3 miles . sandy before reaching the Buttes. found feed eaten down close. Here my little white steer showed unmistakable signs of giving out. Got the loan of a yoke from Br. F. Brown and went over a good hard road to 1 mile past Rock Avenue where we camped[,] for short feed or water[,] made Spring creek in the morning Early no feed good water passed 3 or 4 Alkalai Springs. Lost an old ox belonging to Sister Stokes.
Thursday Camped at the Junction of the road with the little creek. took Breakfast and got to Willow springs—thence Prospect hill and finally to Bad Slough mentioned in the Guide—feed very good—here we let our cattle rest for the day—it is advisable to make the trip from the Buttes in one day if possible Distance 20 miles Road very good—
Friday Road very good most of the way to Grease wood [Greasewood] Creek where we nooned, from there we [went] to the right hand bank of Horse shoe [Horseshoe] Creek near the Rock and camped for the night in the midst of splendid feed—Independence Rock and Devils Gate in sight to the westward. Here we let our cattle have a good rest. splendid feed—
Saturday Over a sandy road gravelly in places we turned toward the Rock passing the great Saleratus Lakes from where we obtained a supply[.] passed the Sweetwater Male [Mail] Station and
camped <nooned> by Independence Rock. finally, got to Devils Gate and camped. In the morning we found our cattle affected with a heavy breathing which we could not account for. some supposed it was alkali and gave Broth and vinegar according, we were informed at the Station that the water was poisonous however the symptoms wore off through the day
Sunday Got a Splendid view of Devil’s Gate, a remarkable freak of nature[.] the river trickles through a deep chasm of the rocks some 300 or 400 feet deep—feed very good. Made the point in the evening about 15 miles from the gates in a bend of the river. the road in this section of country is a kind of gravelly sand, hard on the hoofs. One of my oxen shows signs of getting a very sore neck.
[August 8] Through a sandy pull on a tolerable hard road we made the point near the 3 crossings of Sweetwater. In the evening Elders Cannon, Moffatt, Eldridge [,] Hooper & others passed us—in mule wagon 17 days from Florence—all well—found upon calculation that we were 295 miles from Salt Lake, tolerable feed—but rather dry fine open country East of the crossings.
Teusday Passed the 3 Crossings of Sweetwater over a rather rough road we camped about 2 miles East of the 4th Crossing. feed good. Bros. Stevens & Van der Woode left the Company and remained behind without giving any reason for their conduct. Came up however towards night
Wednesday Made the stretch from the 4th crossing to the 5th[.] distance about 17 miles, nooned at the junction of the Seminose Cut-off. but there is only an apology for feed there. The road is hard and covered with fine gravel very hard on the hoofs[,] passed tolerable good feed at Ice spring, but not a safe camping place owing to a Saleratus lake being near.Distance from Bluffs 72 mile
Thursday After crossing the River we got a hill for 4 miles up and down. afterwards forded the River twice making in all 8 times from the Rock. The Road from this point to where it leaves the River is up the Sweetwater’s bottom. Which makes it good—Camped for the day at this point. Feed good. first rate place to camp
Friday After leaving the river we ascend a high hill[.] on the top the road forks[.] the left hand road by the Rocky Ridge the other 4 miles round but a much superior road. the Ridge road for 3 or 4 miles is of the worst kind. after that hard granite—Nooned at Alkalai Springs 2 miles east of Strawberry Creek—Camped for the night at Rock Creek. feed rather short, hard days travel and harder on the hoofs. according to reports the left hand road is much the best
Saturday Over a very pleasant road we passed Willow Creek A report was prevalent that Gold was being found in large quantities. feed seemed better here than at Rock Creek—Finally we got to the last crossing of Sweetwater. Attended to shoeing cattle and other matters. Feed Poor[.] Price for shoeing Cattle $6.00 for yoke all round in Single shoes and nails 25 cts—nails 1 ct each for leather for Iron 1½ cents
Sunday We now start for the South Pass. The Rubicon of this journey—found the road gravelly and rough. We nooned about 1 mile from the Pass, on Sweetwater, good spot—found by taking the right hand road 2 miles from the pass after passing the twin mounds—From the summit of the Pass we descend pleasantly to Pacific Springs. follow the Creek about 3 miles. found splendid Feed. Here Bro Stevens upset his wagon while crossing Pacific Creek
Monday Started at ½ past 6 on the 22 mile stretch, road a kind of fine gravel hard on the hoofs & heavy running for the wagons. passed over dry Sandy no feed here or any water between the 2 camping places. There is a road running along Pacific Creek said to be smoother one coming into the main one near Sandy. got to little Sandy about ¼ past 5. feed near the crossing very short—lower down tolerable—Country around looks smooth and level—An awful windy, dusty day
Teusday Our road was tolerably level and smooth but considerable fine gravel. At Big Sandy we found but little grass, the distance being but 8 miles we lay over for the rest of the day to recruit our cattle. Attended to shoeing cattle. Found good sole leather and tacks very useful, but the tacks sho[u]ld be of wrought Iron—
Wednesday Another long stretch of 17 miles over a rolling road very hard in some places on the hoofs. the road runs along the Big Sandy Most of the way. water can be got within a mile from the road at some places. Bunch Grass scarce—Got to the Big Sandy and found tolerable good feed—
Thursday Road still good to the Ford of Green River Sandy in places—Obtained the remainder of our flour at the Ferry—Everything was forded in safety. Camped about ½ mile from the ford Some alkali there—plenty wood—grass plenty and first rate water. Distance from Camp on Sandy—10 miles—
Friday Roads run along the bottom for 5 miles and hard and gravelly—ascends a steep gravelly hill and follows over a hard rolling barren country for 15 miles—to Blacks Fork. Road hard on the hoofs needs careful driving. Sandy—Stony and clayey[.] short Feed[--] tolerable at bend in the forks (Distance from ford 20 miles) We were informed at the Ford that their was a kind of trail from the Ford to Ham’s Forks—Distance only 15 miles saving nearly 10 miles—Found the travel [illegible] for cattle [,] better to camped near where the road [illegible] the river [illegible] to [illegible] from the Ford.
Saturday Followed up the road by Blacks Fork, and after a short pull of 2 or 3 hours reached Hams Fork[.] there is a bridge over this creek but a poor one and feed on some places very good. we passed on and reached Blacks Fork again. followed it up on the right about 2 miles and found first rate feed, and camped for the day.
Friday [Sunday] Instead of going back to the Ford we crossed the river. There we camped and made a Short cut for the road[.] the road heavy and most of the days travel is good on the hoofs—passed a singular kind of a Bluff—washed by the rain into all kind of queer shapes and forms. Made the 3rd crossing of Blacks Fork and found good feed off the road open and pleasant The Wahsatch [Wasatch] Mountains in the distance
Monday Road tolerable this day after passing the 4th Ford the road is rather stony. passed Millersville this day and saw hundreds of old wagons on the Road from Hams Fork to Bridger with the bones of hundreds of cattle who died during the fuss with Utah, camped about 2 miles east of Fort Bridger[.] good feed. Country around [sentence unfinished]
Teusday Passed Fort Bridger which is a clean assemblage of Frame and Adobe Houses. Road runs along the bottom past Bridger. then ascends a hill long and steep in some places[.] 6 miles from Bridger is a spring to the right—on the left is very good feed in a hollow, from here the road runs along high table land to Spring creek where we camped for the night; feed very good down the <Creek> the Altitude 7-315 [7,315 ft.]
Wednesday About 1 mile from Spring Creek the road descends a very steep bad hill[.] roads still descends to Muddy Fork not much feed. from here the road ascends a long hill. 2 or 3 springs about 4 miles from the Muddy. Water not very good. From here the roads still ascends—nearly to Quakenasp [Quaking Aspen] Ridge where we camped—found water and feed in a bottom near by.
Thursday Road leads along the ridge and up the side of a long hill—then descends a very long hill. but very soft and good for the feet. springs on the left. Road after this is first rate down to Sulphur Creek[.] then stony to Bear River. Good place to camp[.] Murphy’s Train just behind—John Smith came up in the evening with one of his company shot in the arm—
Friday Travelled by a beautiful road to about 1 mile east of Yellow Creek where we nooned after ascending a bad hill—we descend by a magnificent road to Cache cove plenty of water and feed—from there we travelled to the station in Echo Can[y]on and camped for the night—Murphy’s train in the rear about 4 miles—feed plenty—
Saturday Our road this day was a succession of creek crossings—and soft holes—this may properly be termed a hard days travel. nooned by the bare road on the left—and got safely to about 1 mile from the Mouth of the canon[.] in the evening here we held a meeting and released Bro Brown from further charge of us—he desiring to go by Ogden—failing [illegible]& the rest of the company voted to go on unitedly to the city through Parley’s Park
Sunday Our road this day lay through the beautiful Weber Valley now taken up and under cultivation by the Saints, road soft and easy on cattle; here several of the company parted to remain there—camped for the night about 2 miles from 3 mile Canon Agreed to let Br Wild[e] have 1 yoke of cattle at $45.00
Passed the coal mines.
Monday Ascended 3 Mile Canon pretty easy—then by a stony descent to parley’s Park [-] splendid feed—and every inducement to make this the main travelled road—camped for the night near the Tar Killn. Met Bro Wild who gave us some Potatoes.
Teusday Started about 7 oclock—and
f mounted a steep pitch of 2 miles then, descended to near the mill—where there is a very bad hill to descend for a short distance. Afterwards the road Descends by Parley’s Canyon[;] rather rocky in places and sidling. Reached the City alone about 10 oclock P.M.