Bowen, David D., Reminiscence and journal, 1845-1863, 23-26.
April 6, 1852 We started from the Gravois to St. Louis stayed there most of the day and went out few mils out of town and camped for the night. Here we meat together all the wagens that wanted to travel together. We were nine wagons in company from Gravois. All acquentance. We were five in number in our wagen, Thomas Vargo and wife[,] myself[,] wife [Phebe Evans Bowen] and child. And on the seventh we traveled all through a very bad road and raining all day and camp in a big bottom about one mile from St. Charles on the banks of the Missouri and 25 miles from St. Louis.
April 8 th We crossed the Missouri today and took most part of the day to cross in concequence of so many wagens and the wind blowing so hard. Camp a little off St. Charles. The company travled together through Missouri over a very hard bad road through rivers and woods intill we arrived at Arrow Rock where we cross the Missouri to the west side. From there we jurneyed through a bouteful country and hansome farms along the road intill we arrived at Lexington where we heard of the sad news of the unfortunate steem boat Salvida. Her boilers had exploded a few days before and killed 22 of the saints, which was on board on they way to the Great Salt Lake valley. Among the victims was our old friend William Rowlard and family from Hirwain. Him and one of his children was blowed over board and never seen any more. His wife Rachel Rowland was in bed and two more of the children when a piece of the deck fell on them and killed the both children at onecs and brock Rechels leg in two places. She had a very narrow excapt [escape]. Good many gentails [gentiles] was also killed at the same time. Here we crossed the Missouri again to the east side, and here the company divided. One went one way and the other the other way and Vargo and myself traveled alone intill we arrived at St. Joseph. Vargo and myself had a slite misunderstanding on the road a few days before and the best of feeling did not exist between us, therefore here in St. Joseph we parted by a mutual consent and divided our team one yoke of oxen and cow and half the wagen to each. I sold my half of the wagen to Vargo then I left 2 oxen and one cow. We stayed at St. Joseph but few days, when a boat came up from St. Louis bound for the Bluffs. I send my wife and child in her to the Bluffs and I traveled all the ways from St. Joseph to Councel [Council] Bluffs on foot and drove my oxen and cow all the way before me, where I arrived about the middle of May and found my wife and child well and harty and doing first reat. I was five days travling from St. Joseph to Councel [Council] Bluffs the distance of 150 miles. I had a very good plesant jurney through a rich bouteful country. My wife and son was staying at old sister Friences. I stayed there also. Soon after I arrived at the Bluffs I agreed with an old man by the name of Daniel Sherar an old yankee to haul him and five hundred weight to the valley of the Salt lake for a wagen that he had. I was to have his wagen for hauling him and his laggage [luggage] to Salt lake City. I comence working at the Bluffs, sometimes unloading the Steam boats and other times hauling good to Franesville with my team. I made good many dollars which was of great help to us to get the things that we neded for to cross the plains.
June 20th We started from Councel [Council] point to meet the company at or near the Missouri River, with two yoke of cattle 2 cows and old Sherar wagen. Passing thought Fransville we arrived at the camping ground where the we ch Saint was camping a little before dark. We uncamped with our old friends all night.
June 21st A little after breackfast Abostle Esra [Ezra] T. Benson one of the Twelve Abostles [Apostles] of the Church of Juses [Jesus] Christ of Letter [Latter] Day Saints come to our camp to organise the company. It resented as follows, William Morgans Captain of fifty Bishop W[illiam]. R. Davies and [John Davis] Rees[,] [Rees] Jones Williams his councelors. Abel Evans Captain of the g[u]ard, William Beddo Clark of Camping. Evans, John Rees and Goward [John William Coward] was Captains of tens. In the evening we moved to the bigg hallow near the bigg springs and camp there for three days.
24th Today our company cross the Missouri River to the Mormon old winter quarters and camped about half a mile from the river intill the 28th. Gards and wagens fixed in all their places.
28th This morning the hue and cray was, evrybody to be reddy for starting to our long jurney. After breackfast all the men was yoking their cattle and the women preparing their cooking utensels in their respective wagens, which made our camp all alive and in two hours evrybody was reddy for a start. The train started with the Captain on the lead. And Captain David Evans Captain of the first ten was the first in the train. Evry wagen in their respectaive places and I was the ninth wagen in the first ten. I had a deal of trouble with my cattle for they was not broken, but very whiled and young. The day started from winter quarters was very hot. I leboured so hard with the cattle and sweet so much that I had the headache that bad I all most blind all day. Sometime in the afternoon Bishop [William R.] Davies run against another wagen and brook his axed tree, the camp had to stay that day and part of the nexed [next]. gust as we camped a wagan came to our camp from the west. There was inscribe on the cover of their wagen Thes Salt Lake Boys. They were missionaries from Salt Lake City for England. They where six in number and Thomas Margets their Captain. They camped with us that afternoon, and went a little before dark. Weather was very hot and disagreeable.
29th Bishop Davies wagen was fixed again and the train traveled as far as the Pa Pa River and camped for the night. Marching along stedly evry day. We crossed the Elk Horn and Loup Fork and many other streems intill we came to Wood River where William David deid of the C[h]olera and was beried there. In few days afterwards his son Thomas was attacted by the colers and deid. We traveled along intill we reach Fort Larime [Laramie] and crossed the Platt[e] from the north side to the south. The river was very high. We had a hard times to cross the Platt[e]. We lost good many things by Crossing. We left Fort Larimie to our left side and travled on the south side the Platt[e] and over the Black hills, arrived at Deer Creek where we stayed for good many days. Here I had a quarrels with old Sherar in Consequence of his wagen which he promise me for hauling him and his luggedge to Salt Lake City. He said that he did not calculate to give me the wagen. We had to get other men to settle between us. He promise again to give me the wagen or I was going to leve him and his wegen there. I listen to his fair promises and haul him along again. The train was reddy and started once more, traveled evry day. We crossed the last crossing of the Platt[e]. We left the Platt[e] entirely and traveled intill we struck the independant rock and sweetwaters and the Devils gate where good many cattle deid. John D[avis]. Rees lost two big fine oxen. I lost one and good many more deid belonging to others. About here the company divided into several parties. Our ten traveled alone and did not join anyother intill we arrived at Salt Lake City. Morgan Hughes and Thomas Jones meet us at the big mountain. We got to the mouth of emigration kanyon [canyon] 23 rd of Suptember. Camp there that night and the nexed day. Bishop Loranso [Lorenzo] D. Young, Brigham Youngs brother and another Bishop came to us and preach to us. They pressed on our minds particularly to mind Nomber one. That was the first princebles in the valley.
Sept. 25th Captain David Evans thought that it was better for us to go to the city. We gathered up all our cattle and started. Arrived in Great Salt Lake City a little after noon this day. After a long tedious journey of nearly three mounths. Distance of ten hundred and eleven miles.