Matilda Dougard Jensen, Reminiscences, reel 5, box 6, fd. 9, item 6, 1-2.
"We came around the last bend of Emigration Canyon at night," she related, "and the little village of Salt Lake lay below us in the darkness. Candle light shone from every window, and the whole town looked hospitable and friendly. We camped almost on the outskirts, and in the morning several women came out to meet us, bringing their aprons full of peaches to us. I can’t tell you how good that fruit tasted to us.
"It was the middle of November, and we had left Denmark in April. We had been traveling all summer, and we hadn’t eaten fruit of any kind. The trip had been indescribably hard. Caught in the early snows on the trail, we had slept for many nights in it piled deep around our wagons. Mother’s feet had been badly frozen and there was a lot of sickness in the train. So, though Salt Lake was only a straggling little settlement with streets that were like cow paths, and tiny doby houses, it looked like a metropolis to me.
I certainly hope the ‘Covered Wagon Days’ celebration will portray those days realistically, so that people now may know of and understand pioneer hardships. I’m looking forward to every phase of the fete.
"Mother was a widow," she went on, "and left four of her children in Denmark to come to Utah. I was the youngest, so she brought me along. We crossed the ocean in a sailing vessel, the S. S. Kimball, and were six weeks on the way. An epidemic of measles broke out and we buried fifty children at sea.
"We travelled from New York to Florence, Nebraska by railroad, and were met there by wagons and ox teams from Utah. When we started westward across the plains, I was so ill that I had to be carried most of the time. After I recovered, I walken with my mother. It was a long and tedious trip, I can tell you.
"Our cattle stampeded on several occasions, and it was terrible. If a yoke of oxen at the back of the train were frightened, panic would spread the length of the cavalcade until every animal was on the rampage. One woman was fastening some wood she had gathered to the back of her wagon when a stampede started, and she was knocked to the ground and stamped to death before anyone could drag her out of the way. I remember seeing her lying there on the ground. She was young, and pretty, with long dark hair spread under her."