The Journal of John Frantzen 1837-1905 edited by Shirley Janet Clare Sobol, 21-24.
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On the 14th day of April I left home, and Father went with me nearly to Moroni, when we parted with peculiar feelings. I started with three yoke of oxen and one yoke of 3-year-old steers. The steers had never had a yoke on until the day I left. One yoke of the oxen, belonging to Walter Barney, was very poor and I had no idea that they would be accepted. All the teams from Sanpete County came to Fountain Green the first day and traveled together from there, everything going alright with the exception of a wagon tipping over the second day in Salt Creek Canyon, driven by James Morison. The only damage sustained was the wagon bow was broken.
We were all requested to meet at President Brigham Young’s grist mill in Sugar House Ward, which was promptly complied with. John R. Murduck [Murdock] was appointed Captain for the company I went with. At the grist mill we were partly loaded with flour, which was left at different places on the road to be used for emigrants on our return trip. I got 1600 lbs of flour in my wagon.
That poor yoke of oxen before mentioned were passed alright. The Captain said he had no extra oxen, hence they had to go till they could go no farther. But they went first rate all the way, and when I came home, they were better than when we started. I was, of course, very careful with them in the beginning and did not allow them to pull just any load whatever.
I cannot remember the exact date we left, but it was between the 22nd and 27th day of April. We started up Parley’s Canyon. The road was very bad, almost impassable, hence we did not travel but a few miles a day.
During our journey we met, after we got as far as to the Platt[e] River, emigrants nearly every day from different parts of the U. States, though I think the majority of them came from the western and southern parts. They brought with them some of the finest horses I have ever seen. Instead of driving them loose as generally is the case, they were tied to a long rope, one on each side of it and two men were in front of them on horses leading the balance. They all had blankets on.
The principle reason, and perhaps the only reason, for this emigration to the west was that the war had just begun between the North and the South, commencing at South Carolina. I will here remark that this was foretold by the Prophet Joseph Smith over 20 years ago so minutely, telling the cause of the war, where it would begin, and that thousands of men would fall in battle.
Although many were made acquainted with this very important and remarkable prediction, the great mass of the people did not believe it, although it was literally fulfilled. But it is as it is recorded in the scriptures: in the last days the people will not listen to the truth, but believe a lie and be damned. This certainly is the case in this dispensation, which is the dispensation of the fullness of times spoken of both by ancient as well as modern prophets.
Now back to the emigrants. Most of these were no[t] Mormons, going to California, Oregon, Montana, etc. There were, however a few claiming to be Latter Day Saints, baptized early in the rise of the Church, who were acquainted with the prophet Joseph while he lived, and consequently considered themselves old members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For some reason, when the body of the Church took up their abode in the Rocky Mountains, a few preferred to stay on their well-cultivated farms where the land was fertile and plentiful and wood and timber in abundance. Whether it was the war or something else that caused them to gather with the Saints in the mountains, I am not prepared to say.
In our journeying to Florence, we had peace and good order considering that most of the teamsters going were inexperienced men. We arrived there alright in the latter part of June.
Soon after our arrival the emigrants came by steamer from St. Joseph. Among them were many of my acquaintances from Norway. We went down to the river with our teams and hauled their baggage up to where we were camped. Among those with whom I was most acquainted was Knud Halvorsen and family, Niels Christophersen [Christoffersen] and family from Christiania, Maren Haraldsen and her mother [Ane Lavine Olsdotter Haroldsen] from Kragers. Maren Haraldsen was afterwards married to Gustav Andersen of Hyrum, Cache County.
Apostle Erastus Snow was in Florence when the emigrants arrived and he preached to them in the Scandinavian language. We remained here about one week. The company to carry emigrants of about 50 teams and nearly all of them were loaded with livestock, 10 and 12 persons to each wagon.
Among those in my wagon was Maren Andrea Adolphsen Hansen from Valerverne, near the city of Frederikstad, Norway, with whom I afterwards became intimately as well as favorably acquainted, of which I will make mention more fully hereafter.
On our homeward journey, the emigrants were furnished with all the provision they needed, such as flour, bacon, sugar, dried apples, etc. A few deaths occurred among the emigrants, otherwise everything went as well as could be expected, good order and kind feelings generally existed between all parties.
Before we left Florence, the company was thoroughly organized, appointing a Chaplain, making provisions for night guards, herding stock, etc. Prayers were regularly attended to every morning and evening. The same rules and regulations were adopted and carried out on our way going down. When we came to Kimball’s range, we were met by Elder A.M. Murser [Musser], sent from Salt Lake City in behalf of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, to settle with all the emigrants who had received assistance from said Fund, hence we were delayed here for sometime.
I will here merely remark that Maren A. Adolphsen was met by an old friend of hers by the name of Sister Wilhelmsen, living somewhere on the Webor [Weber], who wished her to go home with her and had a team there for that purpose, but for some reason she did not go.
We continued our journey through Parley’s Canyon and reached Salt Lake City in the afternoon of the 12th day of September, feeling thankful to the Almighty for His protecting us on our long journey across the plains, having met with no serious accident and all the teamsters returning in reasonable good health. . . .
I will just mention one incident in relation to her [Maren Andrea Adlophsen] occurring on the plains. It was expected if any of the emigrants took sick or got too tired to walk, they should have the privilege to ride in the wagon where they belonged. On the first part of the journey, she walked all the time, but after awhile she took sick and was compelled to stay in the wagon from morning till night, and being extremely hot under the cover, it was almost enough to make a well person sick.
It was sometime before I realized her situation. It was ascertained she was attacked with mountain fever and she was very sick, but the Lord through His Mercy restored her to health. During her sickness, she manifested such an endurance and patience that few will equal under the same circumstances.