Olsen, James, Autobiographical sketch 1921, 4-5.
We left Salt Lake City about the twentieth of Apr. We went up Parl[e]ys Canyon and over the mountain, came down through Coalville, on the divide we traveled over solid snow over the tops of Quaken Asp trees without any serious accident. We just broke one wagon tongue. We came down on the Weber River and traveled down it to the mouth of Echo Canyon, up the canyon to Evanston, Wyo. and so we pushed on and on day by day until we reached North Platt[e] in the Black Hills, about 350 miles from Salt Lake where we left some of our provisions for the return trip. We crossed back to the north side just before we reached Fort Lar[a]mie a government post to protect emmigrants from the Indians and we pushed on and all went well plenty of grass and water for the cattle in the spring of the year. We averaged about 18 miles a day.
We reached Florence the 4th of July 1861. The immigrants had not arrived yet, they came up the Missouri River on flat boats. We were there to see them land, the cattle had rested about a week and were in fine shape for the return trip and
July 15, we were loaded and ready to start back. We had in each wagon 15 to 18 souls but they were supposed to walk and even wade the rivers and streams of water unless they were sick or very feeble. Captain Horn would watch himself and see that his orders were carried out. Well every thing went just fine for some time, camp orders were carried out to the letter, up in the morning at five o'clock prayers and breakfast ready to start about eight o'clock, all went well the first half of the way but when we got up in the Black hills the country had dried up feed was scarce and water had dried up and many times we had to drive half of the night and some times make what we called a dry camp, so the cattle got leg weary and lame and poor but still we pushed on every day except Sundays when we rested and held services.
At the upper crossing of the North Platt[e] we safely crossed alright and drove out to a place called Willow springs where we intended to camp for the night but Captain Horn heard that General Johnston of the Utah Expedition was camped over on the Sweet Water [Sweetwater] and not wishing to meet them the next day with women and children he gave orders to bring in the cattle and make a night drive as they were camped off from the road and we slipped quietly by in the middly [middle] of the night and were all safe.
But a very serious cercumstance happened just as we started an old English lady [Mary Ann Campbell Foreman] sat in the front of the wagon hanging her legs down outside, the wagon bounced into a hole and she fell out in front of the wheel and it passed over her and killed her. At Willow Springs and of course we held a hurried fernal [funeral] and buried her at Willow springs without a coffin as we had nothing to make one from.
So next morning we were at Independence Rock on the Sweet Water [Sweetwater], Wyo[ming]. some three Hundred miles east of Salt Lake still pushing on, nothing of any particuliar interest took place only cattle getting poorer and leg weary. Finially we reached Bear River and then over the divide to the heart of the noted Echo Canyon the defence against General Johnston. Thence up and over the big mountain where Captain Horn's son met us with a loar [load] of melons and you may be sure he was a welcome visitor.
Next day down the Emigration Canyon to Salt Lake City having traveled about 21 hundred miles since Apr. 15, 1861.