Ence, Gottlieb, A Short Sketch of My Life [ca. 1900], 9-10. (MS 8658)
We arrived Florence near what we call now Ohmaha [Omaha] only then a Vilage with a few Stores, hear we remained a Number of weeks to prepare for the great jurny acrossing the Plains or Desert, we bought Cattle & Wagons to haul our Provision and luggage across a distance of over a thousend 1000 miles. This year, as well, as a few previous years, some companies went across with handkarts, this was tough, the last year theis companies were made up of such that had no means to buy Wagons themselves and teams to haul them across, it was a very hard jurney for them especially were they had littel children. Men and Women had to pull it across, the food was hauled for them by Ox teams[.] quite a few died on their way. I traveled with a companie of Ox teams and drove all the way across two yoke of Oxen and had verey good luck during the jurny[.] lost no Oxen[.] a good mainey Oxen died on their way, got poisoned by drinking alkaly water. Herey [Henry] Reiser a friend of myn lost 3, three Oxen out of four. I had to walk all the way across the Plain[.] everey other Night I had to stand guard. I deed not mind to walk & work but I did not had anough to eate. Blak Coffe without Sugar, old hard krakers, that we brought along from crossing the Ocen and rusty backon which I could not eate, the flour which has been bought for to eate some of it was sold for a verey high price in Dear Kreek to some Mountainners by the Men I drove Team for John Keller. Every thing went of all right with the aception Father [Henry] Keller Dieing on the plains, Mother [Elizabeth] Keller was the Wagon wheel run over her leg and myselve nearly drowned in the Platt river, but a Dannish Brother recused me in time, his Name I do not know. Quite a few died on the jurny young and old, mostly on the Diarhhea. I remember a old Lady was along name of [Kathrina] Naef[.] she took sick and died[.] I waited upon her while sick, she had no one of her own with her, she had quite a new [few] things and means left which I belive Brother Keller took charge over it. He gave me her Carpet bag for tending to her for wich I was very thankfull[.] by examing the bag I found 60 frenks in French God equal to twelf Dalers. I felt I had no right to it so I gave it to Brother Keller. Our train consisting of 50 wagon all owned by Dennish Train <&German Brothern[.] It was called the Dennish train> Brother [Charles] Widenburg [Widerburg] was our Presedent[.] a other Man lead us across the Plain that had cross it befor. At one time hundreds of Indians made there aparence, they almost scared us but we gave them some flour and bread, they traveled three Days with us and then they took a other route, we were verey glad, we could see the hand of God plainly in this thing, as they felt a little hostile to us a first, mainy little items of intrest could be told but it would take much time and Papper. We arrived in Salt Lake City on the place of our Destination October the fift 1860, we were met by the Brassband.