Olsen, Livy, [Autobiography], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 22:32-33, 38-39.
We left Florence with the intention of reaching Fort Ephraim, Utah, where a brother of my mother's lived. Love for the teachings of the Church of Latter-day Saints was the reason for their journey. We arrived in Salt Lake City, in the fall of 1857.
The leader of our company was Chris Christensen. Our method of travel was by a handcart pulled by my father, which contained not only all our food and supplies, but was also the baby buggy in which I took my long ride across the country to Utah. . . .
Some of the most vivid memories I have of our journey across the plains are certain stories related to me by my father; the following incidents have been related to me many times and I am sure they were truthful.
It was necessary to eliminate all weight possible in making up loads for the handcarts, and as a result cooking equipment was kept down to the absolute essentials; one skillet was assigned to the use of nine families; under these regulations each family were alloted a specified amount of time, amounting to so many minutes; at the expiration of their allotted time they would have to surrender the skillet to the next in turn regardless of the fact that their bread was still not baked; as a result many times the handcart families would eat bread hardened on the outside and dough in the middle.
I was six months old baby at this time; my mother had spent two of these months on a sailing vessel in the voyage from her home country the constant strain of foot travel had so depleted her strength that her milk dried up; in my hunger I would keep up a low whimper instead of crying; my father would stand this as long as he could and would stop and feed me, which he would do by making a roll of half baked dough and pushing it down my throat with his finger.
At this time my mother's health had become so bad that she could not keep up with the hand carts and she was left to come as fast as she could, and many times at camping time she would be behind the company as much as a mile. It would be necessary for my father to retrace his steps and assist her to camp often carrying her in his arms.