William Jex autobiography, circa 1921, 4-5.
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We arrived at Atchens [Atchison], Kansas and soon arrangements were made for crossing the plains. Cattle, wagons, tents and etc. were bought and the company was organized. William Phelphs President and Dr. Dervin [Darwin] Richardson captain. Companies of 15 to a wagon and tent. We were delayed in Camp about 5 weeks in making arrangements. braking in cattle and etc. as many of the cattle were wild stears and some cows. Our provisions and tents had to be loaded into the wagons, so there was little chance to ride, only in case of sickness. Many women in crossing small streams of water would carry their children on their backs. We would travel from 15 to 20 miles a day or until a suitable place was found to camp. The camps would be formed by placing one wagon behind the other and a correl [corral] would be formed to hold the cattle and tents on the outside and cattle would be taken to feed and guard placed over them and change made at midnight and cattle brought in in the morning. As soon as camp was formed the sisters would go to cooking supper. When supper was over the bugle would sound for prayers which were attended to in each tent. Soon after this another call was made to turn in and lights and fires out. Call would be made in the morning for prayers and for cattle to be brought in and yoked up ready to start out again.
We often found Indians whom we found friendly, especially if we had something to give them. We often met large herds of Buffaloes and other wild animals. The buffaloes would be in large herds and sometimes we had to stop until they got out of the way in passing from the river to the bluffs to their range. Our hunters would try to shoot one but with poor success without it was one too old to follow the herd.
My friend, Horace Howlett, and I, had a happy time together, we often would seek some lonely spot and offer up our prayer and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for His goodness to us in opening up the way for us to gather with the saints. But my brother would rejoice in spirit as his body was very weak. He was very sick with mountain fever and by the time we got to the Little Sandy he died. He was burried at the Sweet Water. We all went to bed tired and sleepy. He lay by my side and in the morning I raised up and laid my hand on his to wake him and found him dead. There was one other brother died the same night and was burried at the same time and place.
We traveled on from day to day and finally arrived in Salt Lake September 30th 1854. We were met by many of the brothers and sisters who brought us many things to eat and administer to our comfort, so it made us feel that we had indeed landed in Zion among the people of God.