James Bean was the name of my mother’s oldest son. He married a girl by the name of Elizabeth Lewis while he was yet living in the state of Missouri, afterwards to the state of Illinois, Adams County, where he removed until 1842. About that time he and his family united with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the spring of 1845 he removed to Nauvoo; in the spring of 1846, he removed to [the] west. The names of his sons was William George, and James William died while he was young. The names of the daughters was Nancy Sarah Ann and Elizabeth.
Garrett was the second son; he married Nancy Crow in Adams County where he now lives, this being the spring of 1846. The names of the children not recollected.
William Bean married Nancy Hillery of the state of Kentucky in Adams County; the names of the children not recollected. He also removed to the Iowa territory in the year 1843 where he now lives. Polly Bean was married to a man by the name of David Crow in the state of Missouri; lived there a number of years and then removed to the state of Illinois. The names of the children not recollected. Polly died in the year 1843.
In the year 1812, I was born in Pike County, in the state of Missouri on the 10th day of April. About that time my father and mother and the rest of the family was compelled to remove to Lincoln County to the fort, then removed to St. Charles County where my father had obtained a grant from the Spanish government of six hundred and forty acres of land. There he remained until I was four years old. Then we removed to the south side of the Missouri River and lived there one year, and then removed to Pike County on Ramsey’s Creek where we lived the year 1829. We then removed to the state of Illinois, Adams County, near Quincy. Remained there one year and then purchased a tract of land seven miles above Quincy where we settled and made additional improvements, and there we lived ’til the spring of 1831 when I purchased a tax title on a quarter section of land laying about four miles northeast of my father’s farm. Commenced improving it, and on the 7th of August I married Miss Elizabeth Campbell.
During this period of time my mother had five sons and three daughters. The names of the sons is Andrew, Jesse, Jonathan, Milton and Eli. The names of the daughters is Elizabeth, Anna, and Armilda. I shall now proceed to a short history of my brothers and sisters who are younger than myself.
Andrew was next oldest to myself. He married a lady by the name of Frankey Washburn, and now lives on my father’s old farm [which] I helped to improve before I was married in Adams County. His wife has three or four children, girls and boys. Jesse was the next oldest. He died in about in his nineteenth year.
Jonathan was the next oldest son. He married a lady by the name of Elizabeth Alexander, and removed to the state of Missouri [towards] the head of the Fabius River; had one or two children, the last account.
Milton was the next oldest son. He married a lady by the name of Henderson from the state of Kentucky. Her christened name not recollected. She has buried one child and has one living by the name of William. Eli is the youngest and remains single, the last account.
My sister Elizabeth was the third child after myself. She was married to a man by the name of Marcus Stow in her fifteenth year, and has lived in Adams County ever since. Her oldest son’s name is Milton; her oldest daughter’s name is Marietta. She has several other children, their names not recollected. Anna was the sixth child after myself. She was married to Harrison Washburn, brother to Andrew’s wife. She has three children, their names not recollected. They live in Adams County at present.
Armilda is the youngest daughter. She was married to a man by the name of Jacob Miller. She has three children, their names not recollected. They lived in Adams County ’til the spring of 1846 then removed to Iowa Territory towards the head of Skunk River.
I shall now proceed to give an account of my transactions from the time that I married my wife ’til now. About a year previous to the time that I married my wife, I set my mind more attentive to search after knowledge, having received education so that I was able to read, write, and cipher some in the arithmetic. After reading the Old and New Testament and other books I became a believer in the existence of a supreme being who created and upholds the universe; hence, I concluded that it was no more than reasonable that He should have the privilege of governing the same. And when I come to consider the greatness of such a being I formed an idea that his place of abode was far superior to an earthly habitation. Therefore, I thought it reasonable that he should have the privilege of forming a code of laws with the penalties, and next deliver them to man whom he had formed after his own image and likeness and made him master of all his creatures besides. Hence, I was taught to believe that the Bible and New Testament contained the revealed laws from God to man with their penalty annexed. I therefore, as one of God’s creatures thought it my duty to become obedient to the laws of God, my Heavenly Father.
But man had sought out many inventions in religion and forms of worship as well as other things. For some truly said, “To here,” while others said, “To there.” Some said, “This is the way,” while some said, “No, for this is the way, follow us.” For my part I did not know which of the churches the Lord was best pleased with, but I was inclined to think that it made no difference what the name of the church was called, so that a person lived humble, feared God, and worked righteousness, my father and mother having belonged to the Methodist Church from before I was born, and of a natural consequence they taught their children to follow their footsteps. I therefore united with the Methodist Episcopal Church lived in that Church until I was married.
I married Elizabeth Campbell on the 27th of August, in the year 1831. I was then improving my land which I had purchased in the spring of the same year. But in about a week after we were married, she was taken sick with the fever and lay very low for about six weeks. She then gained her strength so that we removed to my land. Then I commenced steady on my land clearing off skirts of timber and hazel [rougue] and fencing in land and breaking up land, and working out for the neighbors to obtain such things as we needed for to keep house. The next summer my wife united herself with the same church to which I belonged.
On the 21st day of August, in the year of our Lord 1832, my wife was delivered of a daughter; we called her name Sarah Ann. We lived together enjoying the comforts of life, as much so as any persons could under the same circumstances, laboring daily with our hands diligently for a living, endeavoring to procure the comforts and conveniences of life until the 8th of July, 1834 when she gave birth to a son. We called his name George Washington. Our affections still become united stronger.
My father died some time in July, 1833; he died of the collery [cholera ?]. He sent for me the morning before his death. He told me that he was about to leave this world of trouble and rejoiced that he had lived an honorable and upright life and that he should depart in peace and exhorted me to live in like manner and to teach my brothers and sisters to do so likewise.
He also charged me to take charge of his business and settle it up honorable. I therefore proceeded according to the law of the land and administered on the estate of personal estate, which was worth something like two thousand dollars besides the real estate, which was divided leaving from forty to sixty acres apiece.
Inasmuch as there considerable of debts to collect and some of them of old standing and in bad hands, I was some two or three years before I got the business accomplished. I shall now proceed with an account of my own history.
After the birth of our second child we still lived in peace and prosperity, having by our united exertions by our industry and economy procured a good farm and stock of all kinds that we needed to make us comfortable. In this way we lived until the 25th of October, 1836. My wife gave birth to the third child who was a girl; we named her Polly Ann. We still continued to live in peace, union and prosperity until the spring of 1837. This was the time The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was driven from the state of Missouri and inasmuch as the greater part of them crossed the Mississippi River at Quincy, they settled in Adams County in great numbers, renting and leasing all the land that could be obtained so as to procure a living. I had then about eight acres in cultivation but had rented and sowed wheat in a great part of it, so that I did not expect to spare anymore. But as I was going to Fairfield to a two day meeting, I found some of those unfortunate individuals camped out in the snow storm and I was filled with compassion towards them. And I told them if they would come home with me that I would receive them into my house until that the weather become settled.
They told me they was much obliged to me for my kind offer. But they was in search of land to rent and if they stopped many days they would be out of money. But they said if I could tell them where they could find some land to rent they would like to stop. I told them that I did not know of any in the neighborhood, but I had about eight acres that I intended to sow in oats. But if they could not do no better, I did not know but I would rent that. They told me that they knew of no chance any where else and if I would let them have it they would pay any rent that I should ask. So I concluded to let them have it to tend, but inasmuch as it was contrary to my principle to take advantage of the necessity of any person, I did not more than what was customary, which was one third.
So one of them come home with me, his name was Alexander Williams he had a large family. I furnished him a house to live in and eight acres of ground to tend and give him considerable of work to do for which I paid him a good price.
Alexander Williams was an elder in the Church and was a very sociable man, and conversed very freely upon the principles of salvation. And inasmuch as I had been taught to believe the Bible both by my parents and priests, that is, to believe that it was the only resource to go to to learn the way in which I could obtain a knowledge of the way in which I should walk in order to obtain eternal salvation.
And when I come to take a close examination of the scriptures, I found that the Latter-day Saints was the only people that believed and practiced them in full, and also the only people who professed to enjoy the gifts, graces and blessings of the same. Therefore I made up my mind that if the gifts and blessings of the gospel did actually exist in the Church, as was promised in the New Testament, that it should follow the believer that I should throw away all my former traditions and unite with the people that received the greatest blessing from God. Accordingly, I humbled myself before the Lord and asked him that if it was his will that I should unite with the Church of Latter-day Saints, that he would manifest it some way or other as he saw proper. There was one thing which I desired to witness above any other, that was the healing of the sick by the laying on of the hands of the elders.
About this time my wife was taken very sick with a strange disease in which I could find no remedy in the way of medicine. And it came to pass that on one evening that Alexander Williams was present, when the time come that we should have prayer I asked him if he would not lead in prayer. He said he had no objections, so we united in prayer. After we arose, Alexander Williams remarked that it was manifested to him that if Mrs. Edwards would covenant to obey the gospel that it was her privilege to be healed by the laying on of the hands of the elders. But nothing more was said at that time. She still grew worse until the next evening when she complained of the pains which was in her head and body as being more severe than she was able to bear much longer. I then told her that I thought she would do well to take up with the offer that was made her the night before.
She very readily agreed to, and we entered into a covenant before the Lord that if she was healed by the laying on of the hands of the elders that we would obey the ordinances of the gospel, that is baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and laying on of the hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, I went immediately to see Alexander Williams and told him that I desired him to come and administer to my wife that she might be healed of her sickness. He come home with me and we kneeled down and prayed and then we arose and he layed his hands upon her head and rebuked the disease in the name of Jesus Christ. Her pains immediately left her and she was filled with the spirit of God. She rejoiced and acknowledged that she had been healed from her pains by the power of God through the instrumentality of the laying on of hands and faith and prayer.
And as soon she recovered strength enough to walk to the creek which was about one mile, we went to the water and was baptized by immersion for the remission of [sins], and came forth out of the water and was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We rejoiced in the happy change which we had experienced and on the 21st of July, 1839 my wife gave birth to another daughter and we called her name Louisa Jane. And on the 6th of October we attended a conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held at Nauvoo, where Joseph Smith presided, and the Church was organized again after having been broken up and dispersed in the state of Missouri. I was then ordained an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ. We returned home and I began to make arrangements to remove to Nauvoo and sold a part of my farm, for building in Nauvoo.
About this time, Brother Alexander Williams insisted that I should accompany him in a mission to the south. Accordingly, I consented to do so and we took our journey late in the fall and traveled southward through the state of Illinois as far as Golconda, and then we crossed the Ohio River into the state of Kentucky, traveled through a part of that state preaching the gospel as we passed through both states where we could obtain opportunity, until we came to the state of Tennessee, where we spent the winter preaching the gospel and baptizing until about the first of March when I returned home, he having traveled on still into the middle of the state to see some of his relations and to preach to them.
After I returned home I found my family enjoying tolerable health. I then in a short time went to Nauvoo and contracted for a lot on the bank of the Mississippi River and began to improve it by getting out timber and fencing it on the 5th of April. When I arrived there with my family on the 6th day, conference commenced and lasted two or three days in which time we received a great deal of good instruction. I soon began to make preparations for building by digging a cellar and collecting materials for building myself a house. And so I fenced my garden and planted it and then I commenced digging and walling my cellar, which was 52 feet long and 18 feet wide. I also put me up a frame building which was designed for a stable, 20 feet in length and 17 in width. As soon as this building was covered I moved my family into it until I could get my house up, for houses was very scarce in Nauvoo at that time and could not be hired at any price. And so we lived all that summer without a house and suffered considerable with the chills and fever.
I also was disappointed in obtaining lumber and other building materials so that I failed to get the walls up that summer. But when winter come I succeeded in obtaining an old log cabin to live in through the winter.
During the winter there was an old man by the name of Mikesel who persuaded me to go in partnership with him in building a steam mill. I yet had not sold my farm in Adams County yet, but we had an opportunity of obtaining an engine on credit so we went to work with all our mights and had the mill running some time in June, both grinding and sawing. But we had gone in debt several hundred dollars, for which I had given my notes. Soon after we had started the mill to running, he proposed to buy my interest in the mill.
I told him that if he would pay up the debts, which I had contracted for materials and refund me the money which I had furnished and pay me for my labor which I had spent towards the mill, that he should have my interest in it. He very readily agreed to do so. I therefore gave him possession of it trusting to his honor in the matter. But I learned a lesson by so doing which I shall not forget very soon. He put me off from time to time with fair promises until it was too late to recover anything by law, then I could do no better than to lose my money and labor and pay the debts and let him keep the mill. I was not able to get lumber to finish my house so I lost several hundred dollars. I succeeded in selling my farm during the summer for $1200 in money and groceries.
So I proceeded to finish off my house and settle a part of the mill debts; the balance, the remainder of the debts, I paid afterwards by laboring for means to do it with. The size of my house was fifty-two feet long and eighteen feet in width with a good cellar under the sholl size of it, with a living spring in it and a drain from there to the river. Also, two good fireplaces in it also two stories above the cellar containing three rooms each, four of these rooms were supplied with four fire places and two stove rooms. The house was situated on the northwest corner of what is called the Garland Purchase on the bank of the river. I finished my house in the summer of 1842. And on the 22nd of August, 1842 my wife gave birth to a son to whom we gave the name of Thomas Andrew, it being the name of both of our fathers.
About this time there was a call made for a great many elders to go and labor in the vineyard. I for one was called upon personally to take a mission by the authorities of the Church, to which I readily consented, and towards the last of September, after having made arrangements for my wife to take a visit with the children to our connection, which lives in Adams County about forty miles distant from Nauvoo where we then [lived], I set off on my mission towards Galena in company with a young man by the name of William Greenwood. We traveled on foot, a north course preaching every opportunity until we came to where my brother-in-law lived. His name was John Wells. He had married my oldest sister whose name was Sally.
We had not seen each other for several years and were very glad to see me, although they were very much prejudiced at what they supposed to be my religion for we were everywhere misrepresented, in every shape and form that men or devils could think of or invent.
But however they had so much confidence in the honesty of my heart they could not think that I could not be so much deceived as some had reported that the Mormons were. And out of respect to me they made an appointment for me to preach at their house, accordingly [to] the neighbors, and I delivered a lecture on the first principles of the gospel to a respectable congregation which could find no objection. We soon received invitations to preach at different places, so we continued to preach every opportunity for a considerable time without much opposition. Many people appeared to be very much interested with the doctrine which we preached, for it being the doctrine of the Bible and the New Testament which they professed to believe, they could find no fault. However there was one methodist priest undertook to oppose us at Elizabeth-town but he was soon put to shame.
Now it began to get cold weather and I had not received any letter from my wife as I expected, and I became very uneasy about my family something seemed to whisper me that all was not right at home. Accordingly, I made preparations to come home. By this time my brother-in-law and sister had become quite interested in the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints and disliked to see me leave. I told them that I knew that all was not right at home and I must hurry home. Accordingly, I, after making them a present of a Book of Mormon, bid them farewell and started home. I went to Savanna and took a steamboat to return home, paid my passage for Nauvoo, but when we came to the head of the upper rapids, there was a snowstorm sat in so severe that we was under the necessity of laying by. But I could not wait for the storm to cease. So I left the boat and traveled on foot through the storm and snow, all the day and arrived at Davenport that evening. In the morning the storm had ceased and the ice was running very thick so I proceeded on by land and when I arrived at Nauvoo my wife had not returned from her visit to Adams County, where her connection lived, and Brother [Richardson], the man which was living in my house had not heard a word from her since she had left there in the fall. This struck me with surprise for I knew that she intended to have been home long before that time.
So I immediately started to Adams County on foot through the snow lame, as I was to learn what was the matter, and when I arrived at the place where she was, I found her laying at the point of death in which condition she had been laying for several weeks. She was insensible of the time that I returned for several days. I removed to my mother’s and humbled myself before the Lord in mighty prayer and layed my hands on her head and in the name of Jesus I rebuked the power of the destroyer and she began to amend from that very hour. But she was so much reduced that it took great care and attention before she recovered so that she could be removed home. But after about three weeks, she was able to ride home in a sled so I hired John Riddle to bring us home in one day.
When we returned home we found things in an unfavorable condition. Brother Richason ?, the man in whose care I left my house and garden, had been sick and had let my garden get destroyed and it was very cold and we had no wood to burn. My wife was yet so feeble that I could not leave her long at a time. But I made out to get up considerable of wood and in about three weeks I was taken very sick myself. This was about the first January. My wife was still very feeble but could go from the bed to the fire by helping herself with a chair. I lost my reason and was insensible the greatest part of the time. [It] was very cold and we had a very hard time; the babe had to be fed by hand, it having been weaned in the time of her sickness.
At length after about three or four weeks [of] severe fever I had a very copious discharge of blood through my bowels, and after that immediately I recovered my reasons and began to amend. My fever become intermittent and I was more comfortable at times but did not recover until spring so that I could do not any labor. At length we all recovered and rejoiced in the God that saved us from death and sustained us through our sickness.
In the spring I went to work laboring for a living and the next fall I engaged in making spinning wheels. I took a man in to work with me by the name of Laurtis Newell. We worked together all winter and done tolerable well. In the spring he left the shop and went to work at other business but I continued working at that business ’til the fall. The Church agreed to leave the state. It then became necessary for me to go to work making wagons which I attended to almost day and all that winter in order to be ready to remove next spring with the Church.
But I must go back and relate many things which happened from the time we recovered from our sickness ’til we left Nauvoo after my wife had recovered from her sickness which she had through the winter. She was taken with a severe pain in the stomach which brought her to the point of death and when she was about to breathe her last and I had used all the faith and means which I was in possession of, I sent for Doctor Young, [who] was a physician and also an elder in the Church. He took his bottle of consecrated oil, come in haste to see my wife and found her speechless. He anointed with oil and layed his hands on her head and in the name of Jesus and by the authority of the priesthood he rebuked the disease.
She immediately recovered her speech and arose from her bed of sickness and her disease returned no more. But in about three or four weeks afterwards she was attacked with the liver complaint which was rebuked by the laying on of hands but returned frequently. At last we overcome that disease but about that time our babe, whose name was Thomas Andrew, was taken with a lingering disease which terminated in his death in the later part of July, which was the first death that ever occurred in my family.
Nothing of particular interest occurred in my family from that time the next summer. But I worked at manufacturing spinning wheels for a living until next summer ’til Joseph and Hyrum Smith was murdered in jail at Carthage, which caused great sorrow in the Church. And on the 14th of September my wife gave birth to a daughter which we called Elizabeth after herself. The child grew finally and done well until its mother was taken with a severe pain in her head. This was [the] third of April, 1845 and on the 6th of April, 1845, she died leaving five motherless children and a broken-hearted husband to mourn her loss with deep sorrow.
That event placed me in melancholy condition that any person could imagine. I felt so lonesome and so afflicted in mind that I knew not what to do, therefore I went to Brother Heber C. Kimball for counsel on the subject and told him my condition. And told him that Sister Bennett, wife of Thomas Bennett desired to take the babe and raise it until it became a woman. He told me that he would advise me to let Sister Bennett take the child on certain conditions, which I did. He also advised me to get me another wife as soon as opportunity would permit and not to mourn as those who had no hope. And inasmuch as I could not well keep house without some person to assist in taking care of the children, I looked around until I found a young woman by the name of Sarah Catherine Gibbs. Her step-father’s name was Henry Moore and her mother had formerly lived in one room of my house and she had become very intimately acquainted with me and my wife and family. She readily consented to become my companion through life.
Accordingly, we was joined in matrimony on the 27th of April, 1845. She was born in upper Canada, March the 26th, 1823. Her father died shortly after she was born. Her mother’s maiden name was Cornelia Boyce. We lived together ’til the temple of the Lord was finished in the winter of 1846 when we received our endowments together.
And on the 22nd of February, 1846 I was compelled to part with another of my family. Louisa Jane died after a short sickness with a pain in her head similar to that of her mother’s sickness. This was a winter long to be remembered on account of the Saints being driven by mobs from their homes.
The Saints was generally employed through the winter in preparing wagons and other things necessary for moving to the west in the spring. But on account of the dull sale of property there was a great many that could not fit themselves out with wagons and teams so that they could remove to the west, and I as among those who was obliged to tarry on account of not selling my property. However about the first of June, I rented my house and crossed the river in search of labor.
I pitched my tent near Montrose in Iowa. And when my family became very unwell I met with a chance of being removed to Iowaville about sixty miles up the Des Moines River, where I found one of my uncles by the name of Daniel McHue, his wife was a sister to my mother and as goodhearted woman as I ever become acquainted with. There I obtained a good situation for the winter and found plenty of labor to do and have good pay for it. During all this time my wife had many very severe fits of sickness which she scarcely survived but through the mercies and blessings of God her life was spared until the 18th of October, 1846 when she gave birth to a son to whom we gave the name of Esaias. She scarcely survived her sickness at that time but by close attention I, by the help of the [Lord], restored her to tolerable health again. As soon as she recovered from her sickness she become very anxious to go and visit her mother which lived at Montrose and I being willing to gratify her, although I didn’t think it wisdom for her to undertake such a journey at that time, yet I prepared a wagon in as good and comfortable a manner as I could and we set out on our journey and reached her mother’s house on the third day and found her mother very sick.
We stayed there a short time and then returned home on our way home it rained and my wife took cold and became very sick so that she was scarcely able to ride in the wagon but I stopped the team and layed my hands on her head and in the name of Jesus and by authority of the priesthood I rebuked the pain so that we traveled on our way home.
After we arrived at home nothing remarkable took place until in March except my wife had several severe spells of sickness and about the first of March she become very uneasy about her mother. She had received no letter as she expected and she became fearful that her mother was dead, and she could not [blank] although she was very feeble. But nothing would do but she must go and see her mother again. I told her that I feared she was not able to endure the journey but she insisted that she must go so, I hired Mr. Bentley to take his wagon and horses and take us on our journey.
We arrived at Montrose on the second evening and found her mother and all of the family enjoying good health. Her mother had given birth to a daughter about seven or eight weeks previous. But my wife was so much fatigued with the journey that she was not able to return home for several days.
But at length we returned home. She was very much fatigued and began to decline in more than common. She became very subject to vomit all her food up so that she be almost a skeleton. I called Dr. Smith of Iowaville to see her and he told me that it was impossible for her to recover. I doubted what he told me for awhile and kept it hid from her for sometime.
But at length I thought it would be right to tell her what the doctor told me concerning her sickness. But she did not seem to mind it much. She said she desired very much to live and raise her babe but if she could not live she told me how she wanted to be buried and also the place. I told her if she died she’d have her request granted but that I was willing to do all that layed in my power to preserve her life and restore her to health if possible. So I employed her aunt, Nancy Gilbert, to assist me in nursing her and we succeeded in keeping her alive ’til the 29th of April, 1847. When after much severe pain she departed this life, leaving her husband and all the family to mourn their loss. And so I had her buried according to her request in the graveyard near Iowaville by the side of Mother Smith, wife of Asahel Smith, uncle to our prophet.
Not long after that I let Polly Ann, my second daughter go and live with Sister Gilbert. The babe appeared to have an uncommon desire to suck the breast so I employed Sister Parish, wife of Brother William Parish, to take the babe and gave it suck and take care of it.
I also removed into a house nearby in order to have the children to assist in taking care of it. The babe appeared to do well ’til towards the last of June. I received a letter from Nauvoo stating that my property was sold in Nauvoo and there was one hundred and seventy-five dollars ready for me, so I immediately started for Nauvoo. On the first evening I met with quite an accident, being throwed from my wagon. And my right wrist severely sprained but I continued my journey to Nauvoo where I found my money ready for me. I went from there to Quincy in Adams County where I purchased such things as I needed and returned home and found all well, but my wrist was so lame that I could not labor with it to any advantage. But my babe was soon taken sick with what was called the summer complaint and died July, the 23rd, 1847 and was buried by his mother near Iowaville. My family was now reduced to my two oldest children and myself. So I began to prepare to remove to the Council Bluffs on the Missouri River where the body of the Saints had stopped to winter when on their way to the valley of the great Salt Lake. So we started some time in August with one wagon, one yoke of cows and one yoke of oxen. In this condition we left the United States to seek a home in the wilderness.
We soon fell in with company and had quite a pleasant journey for about two hundred miles, when early one morning we started in a short distance when going up a hill my daughter Sarah Ann in attempting to jump from the wagon fell and the forewheel ran over her head and arm which broke her arm and injured her head some. But we stopped the wagons and anointed her wounds in the name of the Lord, and then we drove on without any difficulty ’til we reached the settlement of the Saints on the Putawatomie lands near the Missouri River, where I stopped and immediately began to make preparations for winter by cutting hay, building a house and so forth.
I soon had this accomplished. My location was on what was called Little Murketoe Creek, about 1 1/2 miles from the Indian Mill. About this time I began to think it was about time for me to seek me another companion. I became acquainted with a young woman by the name of Belinda Miles, which was formerly from the state of Ohio and lately from Adams County, Illinois and at that time lived at Council Point on the Missouri River. And we was united in matrimony by Elder Hyde on the 24th of October, 1847. So it was I again found a companion who delighted to make me comfortable.
Not long after that time my oldest daughter Sarah Ann was married to Thomas Algar, which was the son of Samuel Algar [Alger?]. During that winter I was working at wagons and other mechanical labor in order to obtain means to remove to the great Salt Lake Valley in the next spring if possible.
But every exertion failed; one of my oxen died, which left me with only one ox and two cows so that the way appeared to be shut up, and I planted a garden and also some corn, potatoes, pumpkins, and [etc.?] but about the 1st of June I had the good luck to obtain [a] good yoke of oxen from Brother William Bennett for a wagon which I let him have in the state of Iowa. I then bought me another old yoke of oxen for which I paid my ox and the wood work of a wagon. I now had two yoke of oxen and one yoke of cows and a good wagon which I had made, so I considered myself quite rich. I then sold my garden and crop and obtained six or seven hundred weight of bread stuff, mostly cornmeal and buckwheat flour, with clothing enough to do us for that season. But not any tea or coffee and no sole leather, so about the first of June we left Little Murktoe Creek in Putawatomie County, state of Iowa, for the Great Salt Lake Valley in the Rocky Mountains, more than one thousand miles west of the Missouri River.
And so we crossed the river in order to unite with a company at Winter Quarters, which expected to start in a short time under the directions of Amasa Lyman, consisting of one hundred families and one hundred and sixty wagons and there we was detained ’til about the 1st of July when a part of the company left and removed to the Elkhorn River about 30 miles distant. Crossed the river and waited for the rest of the company ’til they arrived and the 6th of July we all started on our journey together and traveled pretty much together for over three hundred miles and then it was thought best to separate and travel in smaller companies. So we divided into three companies; the 1st consisted of 4 tens under the direction of Barnabas Adams, the 2nd consisting of 3 tens under the direction of Phineas Richards June, the third under the direction of Andrew Cunningham that consisted of 3 tens. Also these 3 tens was under the direction of Moses Martin, Ezra Clark, and Wilcocks. It fell to my lot to travel in the ten that was under the direction of Moses Martin. And so we continued our journey ’til we arrived at Sweet Water a river that was a little over six hundred miles from where we left the Missouri River. The feed had been very scarce for the distance of about 150 miles. My team had become very feeble and it become necessary for me to take extra care of it.
And so I obtained leave of Captain Cunningham to drive on ahead of the company in order that I might be enabled to take the better care of my team. Accordingly, I left the main company in company with brothers Abraham Hunsaker and Randolph Alexander and we traveled on, taking extra care of our teams stopping and giving rest to our teams occasionally and killing buffalo and antelope when we needed them, ’til we came to a place called Little Sandy, about two hundred miles from the great Salt Lake. We there rested on the Sabbath day and Sister Hunsaker gave birth to a fine son.
Next morning we started on our journey and traveled on our journey three days and arrived at Green River. There one of my cows gave out so that she could not work in the team. But I continued on my journey and on the fifth day of October we arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake where we found many of our brethren and friends. This was a time of rejoicing which will never be forgotten; our friends that we left behind soon arrived in safety which added to our comfort and satisfaction.
We had a very pleasant journey taking everything in consideration.