Goodaker, Lydia Franklin, Autobiography, [ca. 1927], 6-7.
The Indians that year were not very peaceful and the Secretart Balbet [Secretary Babbitt] and officials of Utah Territory were killed by the Indians near Fort Kearney not far from the Sand hills. We saw the place and the remains of part of their vehicles and some hair from their heads and parts of burnt clothing where they had been massacred. I think they were the Sioux or Cheyennes. I was just a girl of 14 years of age.
My Mother [Jane Franklin] was sick with fever and ague and she had a bed springs and Mattress placed on 2 trunks in the ambulance. My Father [Thomas J. Franklin] drove 2 span of mules to haul the ambulance to haul the sick and aged. Her bed was placed on the back across the ambulance. We had to travel as far as we could every way as we were very late in the season to make it through before winter set in.
I was a healthy young girl. I was very troubled for fear of losing my Mother. I walked from Iowa City to Council Bluffs, crossed the Missoura [Missouri] river there and that was the last house of civilization till we reached the sweet water ran through a natural arch at Devils Gate where there were a couple or more of log houses where emigrants stored goods they could not take on that year to have them come the following year by paying storage and cost of delivering to the owners. Not far from there I saw 9 bodies interred in one deep large gravel pit just wrapped in any piece of cloth or convas [canvass] that could be procured near in the sand hills close to Fort Kearney on or near the Platte River on the way to the great Salt Lake City.
On the next morning I was sitting front of the ambulance and looking up the road that we would have to travel I saw two or three men with packed horses or burros coming toward us. I called Captain Martin to bring his glasses to see who they were. They seemed to me to be white men. They proved to be a party looking for us. They had left their wagon and had started to find us.
They had principally clothing for us but there was wagons loaded with pr[o]visions and everything needed for to help the poor emigrants. When the Captain told the People that help was coming to relieve us and to help us through the Mountains and we would travel on as soon as possible and meet the parties and would reach our journey's end, it was a sight to behold to see the old and young go right to those men and almost try to pull them off their horses and caress them for their goodness in trying to help them to the land of promise.
We had to travel over two mountains before reaching Salt Lake City. One called the large Mountain and one the little Mountain. All that could was ordered to walk as it was hard pulling for the animals. They built fires here and there to warm by. It was Sunday Noon just as the Latter Day Saints were coming out of their church and Brigham Young had told the people to meet us and all that could possibly help us to take those poor souls to their homes and help them; give them food and clothes and shelter till the[y] could help themselves.