Hicks, George Armstrong, Family Record and History of Geo. A. Hicks, 10-11.
We were organized into companies of 50 wagons with a captain over us then we were again organized into tens with a captain over each ten wagons. The name of our Captain of 50 was—[John B.] Walker and the number was 14th, the capt. of our ten was John Myres [Myers]. On the last day of June we crossed the Mo. [Missouri] River at Winter Quarters and bid farewell to the United States. We had not gone far on our journey when the c[h]olera broke out in our company and 13 died of that malignant disease. My brother Moroni was the first to take the disease but recovered. It was sad to part with loved ones and leave them forever on the lonely plains to return to "dust". I remember one woman strong and healthy at the Loup fork of the Platte River who did a big washing of clothes and the next day died with the c[h]olera and was burried. I remember one woman the wife [Elizabeth Hobson Robinson] of one Joseph Robertson [Robinson] who got frightened and believed she was taking the colera; her husband believed it was fear that caused his wife's sickness, he forced her to get out of the wagon and walk about; he forbid her under penalty of a "good flogging" to go to bed any more that day—she recovered immediately[.] We hurried along as fast as our ox teams could be made to travel so that we could get out of the stricken district. Our company was the 14th in number and believe there were 22 in all. The wayside was marked by graves—more frequent than milestones in the old States.
Apostle Ezra T. Benson came along and told us that it was our duty to laugh and dance and make merry as much as we could. I often saw the ordinance of laying on hands tried to no purpose: it was generally young people and women that died on the plains. I remember helping to bury one woman on the plains who was still warm. We had no coffins but used the bark off the cotton wood tree when it could be obtained. Our road lay on the North side of the Platte River until we reached Fort Laramie then we crossed over to the south side.
We saw many large herds of buffalo and killed many of them. I killed one myself. We saw many of the Sioux Indians who were very peaceable. When we reached a higher altitude the colera disappeared from our midst. After we got through the Black Hills we divided up into smaller companies for feed for our teams. The feelings of the Company was generally good but we had one little "difficulty" which grew out of a love affair, in one of the "tens" of our company there was a young and beautiful girl of about 17 years of age, a young man—in our company, a gentile—by the name of James Mathews was pay[ing] his addresses to her and she was coquetting with him, another young man in our [company] by the name of Samuel Curtis asked the girl to go to a dance with him (the place selected for the dance was perhaps a few hundred yards from the camp) she refused which was her right of course but she afterward went with Mathews. Curtis made some light remark which soon reached the ears of Mathews. Mathews was of a fiery temper and threatened the life of Curtis if he did not recall his words and exposed a dagger which said he would take the life of Curtis as soon as opportunity offered. It was told Curtis that Mathews threatened his life. One night some time afterwards Mathews was in the act of leading the Columbia Williams out to dance when Curtis stepped up to him, forbid him to dance, saying at the same time "You have threatened my life and you shall not dance." The two young [men] stepped aside and the matter was peaceably and amicably settled between them. The next day, outside parties were giving their opinion as we rested at noon when one Stewart Dixon [Dickson] expressed the opinion that Mathews got off too easy. Some one of the friends of Mathews took up the saying and in a few moments not less than 25 men and half-grown boys were menacing each other and making loud threats of what they would do. There was a young man—a cripple in one leg—by the name of "Jet" Sherman who was very abusive in his language toward Curtis. Curtis at last became exasperated at the abuse and stepped up to Sherman and with his open hand hit him a slap on the cheek, Sherman struck at Curtis with his crutch but did not hit him. Then there was a general rushing together of the parties from both sides, but no more blows followed. A man by the name of Davis McAleny [Mc Olney]—a man of resolute courage and good sense—seeing the course things were taking jumped upon a wagon tongue and in a short and eloquent speech in which he told them how foolish they were acting and warned they were in an Indian country—that union was necessary for self protection. All parties slunk off to their wagons and there was no more public demonstrations, but some were not satisfied and a council was held by the captains of "tens" where some of these thought Mathews ought to be put out of the way (i.e., killed) for threatening the life of a Saint. One Daniel M. Burbanks plead for Mathews and he was spared. Nothing further disturbed the peace of our Company and in closing the chapter I will say that crossing the plains with ox teams is a trying ordeal- one requiring great patience and fortitude. My health which had not been good for years vastly improved and for the first Autumn in seven years I did not have the chills and fever.
On the 3rd day of October 1852 we arrived at Great Salt Lake City all in good health but very much worn by our long and weary journey of 1,030 miles. We were within two days of being 4 months from the time we left our home in Pot[t]awat[t]ami Co., Iowa, until we reached the end of our journey and rest was sweet.