Robert Gardner (1819-1906)

Robert Gardner, 1819-1906
Autobiography (1819-1848)
Typescript, HBLL
St. George, January 7, 1884

I now begin to write a history of my life but not being in the habit of keeping a daily journal and my parents leaving nothing written to go by I have to go by what I can recollect and of what they and others told me, and my own personal experience. My father’s name was Robert Gardner. He was born March the 12, 1781 in Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and died November 20, 1855 at Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Utah.

His father’s name was William and his mother’s name was Christeny Henderson Gardner. And his grandfather’s name was Robert Gardner. This is as far back as I can go.

My mother’s name was Margaret Calendar. She was born January, 1777 as near as I can find out in Falkirk, Sterlingshire, Scotland. Her father’s name was Archibald Calendar and her mother’s name was Margaret Ewen of Falkirk, Sterlingshire Scotland and mother died in 1862 on Millcreek, Salt Lake County while I was on my mission in St. George.

My father had many brothers but only one sister; her name was Mary. My mother had a number of brothers but I only know of two sisters. One was named Ann and other was name Lishman. Ann married a man by the name of Baud; they had one daughter and her name was Margaret one of my mother’s brother’s name was Robert. I think he was the oldest and another was Archibald and the others names I do not know. Archibald Calendar was sailor and was pressed into the British Service at a time of war and he deserted while in Baltimore and changed his name to John Williams. My father used to correspond with him from Canada when I was a boy.

Some years ago I tried to find some trace of his family but I failed to find them. My mother had three sons and four daughters. The eldest son’s name was William; and he was born January 31, 1803 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Christee, eldest daughter, born in Scotland. Mary, born in Scotland. Janet, born in Scotland and in 1812 died aged 12 years 1824 in Canada. Second son, Archibald, born in September 3, 1815, Calsyth, Sterlingshire, Scotland, next myself Robert. I was born October 12th, 1819. This is the date of my birth as my father and mother could tell. My father emigrated to Canada in the year 1821 and brought brother William and sister Mary with him to hunt a home for his family. I think he located in the backwoods of Canada in the Township of Dalhousie, Banthest District, Upper Canada.

This was a very poor part of the country consisting of rocky ridges covered with heavy timber mostly hemlock, pine, cedar and some hardwood. Some swamps and mud lakes, and here and there small patch of land that would do to cultivate, after cutting and burning the heavy timber then there was a kind of a thistle that came up among the grain which compelled us to reap it with gloves or mittens on our hands, cradles, reapers, and thrashing machines was not in fashion in that country in those day. And it was hard, cold country to live in but we lived in it about twelve years. Here I lost my education, or rather never got it. As the people was poor and in such a scattered condition they could not have school. When after a while we got a school I was grown to quite and father needed my work on the farm as I was the youngest and the only one at home, so six weeks was all the time I ever went to school when I started I was spelling in two letter words and when I quit I was a fair reader in the Testament and the best speller in school but there I had to stop which has been the lament of my life what little I have learned since I have had to pick up the best I could.

My sister, Janet, died in the year 1824, Christee died young and that was before we left Scotland. William married a young woman named Ann Leacky. I think she was born in Ireland. By this time Archibald was a young man and was tired of the poor country and started west in search of a better country which he found about 500 miles of in the township of Warwick then known as county of Kent, Western District called Canada West, near the lower end of Lake Huron. He then bought some land claims called W. E. claims that was then in the market, and entered some land and then returned home and soon as it was convenient he and his older brother William started for there new home in the West. By this time William’s wife had three children, two boys and a girl, and our sister, Mary, went with them. Their second child John was left with grandmother to go when we went Mary had come home, and in following fall, mother, sister Mary, myself and the little boy John started leaving, father to follow after settling up his business. Our fitout was one yoke oxen and one wagon. I was only fourteen years of aad to take care of the team and wagon, which was quite an undertaking as I had never been from home before.

I stated before that Mary had gone with William and had returned all alone and had walked much of the way and being with me now was quite a help to me in showing me the way. We traveled about 180 miles by wagon and the rest by steam boat. We arrived late in the fall. We went on our land and father come on in the winter.

We then went to work to clear off another timbered farm the labor was hard as we had to cut down the timber, cut it in about sixteen foot lengths haul it together with oxen, pile it in piles four or five logs high and seven or eight logs wide and set fire to it and burn them up in the summer. Then we had to plant among the stumps which it took years to rout out. There was no prairie’s in that country and it took a long time to make a start in a new country in them days. Those who have been raised in the far west has but little knowledge of the labor it took to make a start in the Canada timbered lands, although this was a much better country than the one we first settled in country of Dalhousie.

By this time father and mother was getting old and there was no one to help but Mary and me but I was full of life and strength at that time and was willing work and we soon began to gather comforts around us. In a few years my sister Mary was married to a man named George Sweeten, a native of Ireland and lived two miles from our home. By this time William’s wife had four children and she was subject to fits and had fallen in the fires several times and was badly burnt. William took the best care of her he could but he was poor and being in a new country and having nothing but his labor to depend on he could not watch her as close as was necessary. His father-in-law lived in Delhousie where we moved from and had a number of single daughters at home and they wrote to him to bring her back there and they would take care of her until her daughter grew up or she got better. And so he took her and her youngest child William by name back to her father and mother and getting no better she died in a few years.

I think it was in the year 1844 that an elder named John Baraman brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to our neighborhood but I did not oppose but I went to their meetings to hear and judge for myself. The Methodist minister used to hold meeting in his house but where the meeting come at the same time as the Mormon meeting he would go two miles to hear what the Mormon’s taught. I would tell them they could go ahead hold their meeting. My wife and father and mother would take care of them. They advised me not to go near them for if I did I would be deceived but I went when I pleased and never went out of my way to shun meeting them.

The Methodists soon drew their meeting from my house but I continued to go hear what the Mormon’s taught. He would then compare their doctrine with the doctrine of Christ and his apostles till he was satisfied it was from God. Then he applied for baptism, this the first days of January 1845. He remarked I never will forget the time we went a mile and a half into the woods to find a suitable place. We cut a hole in the ice. It was 18 inches thick. His ther William baptized him. He was confirmed on a log near the water edge under the hands of William Gardner and Samuel Bolton the latter being mouth. He often said I cannot describe my feelings that I had at that time but he felt like little child and was very careful what I said or thought lest I might offend my Heavenly Father. My secret prayers and all my leisure time I kept a pocket Testament with him all the time and I found something new on every page and I began to turn down leaves and I found such strong proofs in favor of Mormonism. He said he only got three weeks in school and the rest he picked up in business and from his mother not having education has been a great drawback to him through life. It has made him feel awkward in society and made him prefer a backseat for fear of exposing his ignorance. He said he might have been some use to community if he got an education and it would have been quite a comfort to himself in place of fretting for the want of it.

He often said to his children to educate their children if it was only common book learning that they need to use everyday of their life even if they have to do without some of the things of the fashions that are outside of the Kingdom of God.

I wish them to profit by what I have suffered in not having an education when he was seventeen or eighteen years old, a temperance man come around and I signed the pledge not that I was given to drinking, but they advised him to sign it to encourage others that was give to drink to sign it. And that pledge he kept for eight years although he lived in a neighborhood where whiskey was most as common as water at all public gatherings and I was often urged to drink and often sneered because I would not way back in 1838 he joined the Methodist church and though it was all right but he found they were not sincere and he could not stand a hypocrite and he found they were not honest in their belief.

At this time he become acquainted with a young woman by the name of Jane Mccuen born of Irish parents in Canada. And in 1841, March 17 they were married by a Methodist minister named David Hardy and as father and mother was getting old and I was the youngest and they wanted us to live with them and I was strong and willing to work so I commenced to plow and plowed until the stars was shining. Next day he was sick and in a few days he was shaking with the ague and kept it up for months, he never was able to do another days work until haying time in the fall. He was so reduced that he could not walk and father was not able to do much. He thought this was a hard way to make a start in life, however he was not discouraged and I went to work again as soon as he could, we had not stores to go to buy our clothes but they kept their own sheep in that country our women cleaned it and prepared it and it went to the carding machine 30 or 40 miles away then they spun it on hand wheels and wove it or got somebody to weave it who followed that business. Then the women made the clothes for both men and women, enough to do for another year. Our first child was born December 31, 1841.

In the beginning of January 1845 in company with a few Saints we went a mile and half into the woods and cut a hole in the ice about 18 inches thick and was there baptized in the township of Brook in a stream called Brown’s Creek. I was there baptized by his brother William who had been ordain elder, and I was confirmed by another elder, named Samuel Bolton, on a log by the water’s edge that was the happiest day of my life up to that date. I can’t describe my [feelings] but I felt as humble as a little child to think I had lived to have my sins remitted and received the Holy Ghost. It being winter time there was little work done by me for he wanted to spend all his time studying the scriptures and the Book of Mormon and other latter-day work.

I had no trouble in believing the Book of Mormon for I had a burning testimony in my bosom every time I took the book. It was so plain to me I thought I had nothing to do but run and tell my neighbors and they would believe it all. Mother was a Methodist but never fought against the gospel but believed it right along after awhile she was taken very sick not expected to live. She wished to be baptized. Our neighbors said if you put her in the water we will have you tried for murder for she will surely die. But we put her on a sled and took her two miles through the snow and then cut a hole in the ice and baptized her in the presence of those who came to see her die. One man declared if she did not [die] that night he would be a Mormon next day. The next day he met her going to her daughter’s; she was on foot. He gazed at her as if he had seen a ghost. He gave her the road but never spoke nor never joined the church.

Sister Mary and her husband, Roger Luckham, was the next to be baptized and the family has all joined now but father and he was the first one in the family to believe and said that it was only true church on the earth and when he heard anyone opposing he would stand up for it although he would not be baptized as soon as Robert. He embraced the gospel he had a strong desire to go to Nauvoo to see the apostle and the Saints in their gathering place, a distance of five hundred miles. He left Canada on 1st June, 1845 traveled 30 miles on foot to Port Sarnia, there took steamboat to Chicago and then traveled on foot to Nauvoo a distance 160 miles. He made the trip in two weeks his wife made him a lot of crackers and he put his crackers in a two bushel sack and he traveled on foot. He packed them on his back and the lasted him to Nauvoo. But it was a pretty good day for crackers, better than it was for money.

I only had enough to pay the steam boat ride, and enough left to pay 6 cents a night a bed and a trifle. Left for the return trip. He had five dollars to make the round trip to Nauvoo and back to Canada. He did not do this because he was poor or stingy but because money is scarce then. And he was determined to see the home of the Saints when he reached the beautiful city of Nauvoo. There was not a person there that he knew. And unlike other towns he could not find a tavern or house of entertainment he traveled around until bedtime. Finally got the privilege of sleeping on a man’s carpet for which was very thankful, for Brother Park was with him and the next day he found a place where he could work for his board and he stayed in Nauvoo but Robert only come to stay two weeks and then return to his family.

In looking around the [Nauvoo] temple which was under erection then, I got a little acquainted with Archie N. Hill who, working on the temple he kindly invited him to come and sleep with his children on the trundle bed and get something to eat. He accepted the trundle bed could not have the heart to do much eating for he soon found out that the Saints in Nauvoo was very poor and was spending the most of their time on the temple without pay. And he did not have money to pay for boarding but by getting a place to sleep and buying a three cent loaf at the bakery each day he got along first rate.

He traveled around town [Nauvoo] a good deal and some in the country made some acquaintances heard some of the apostles preach and learn a little how the kingdom of God was build up, he started back for Canada. He had an empty sack, no crackers into but he had some faith and very little money. He started to walk to Chicago, 160 miles. The prairies were thinly settled and it was then that he would get lonesome. He would sit down to rest. He would sing, “Hail to the prophet, Ascended to heaven.” Then he could get up and start on. When he reached Chicago he had neither begged nor stolen but my money was all gone. Then he tried all the steam boats to get a chance to work my passage down the lakes but they refused me until he reached the last boat and he seen the captain and he said, “Yes. You come along in the morning and help the Negroes load wood,” and then he had a time of rejoicing to think how he was blessed. Morning come and the Negros come with two sticks to pack the wood on, but he was so much larger than Robert, he had to get he longest ends of the sticks. He would pile the work up against Robert’s arms and when the darky got tired another darky would change. But there was no change for that poor Mormon. But the boat took him one hundred miles past where he wanted to go. But he made friends on the boat and got along fine but he had to run his face to get back but he was blessed again and he got home.

When I was in Nauvoo I had a patriarchal blessing from William Smith and he told him in time of trouble he would meet with a friend and he did for a man by the name of John Wilson, a lawyer befriended him and saved him going to jail. Robert and his father sold out their property 100 acres of land, 50 of it cleared and 50 under timber all fenced and a good barn 60 feet by 30 and sheds and a pretty good house and all for five hundred dollars. And they had to go up to London to draw their pay and they went in a store to do some trading and they seen some men standing around and soon two come up and come in and said you are our prisoner and took Robert and stood guard over him at the tavern. But the next day John Wilson come along and being a lawyer he went his bond and Robert left all their notes and papers and he was to settle up the business and when Robert went to Canada on his mission he met Wilson and got the money. It belonged to Brother Archie and he says if I can find out when Wilson dies I will do his work in the temple and if I do not do it he wants some of his boys to see to it he is a Scotchman and live London, Canada West, London district.

He soon got ready and started early in March they went with horse teams. It was a very wet time and very muddy. They traveled through Michigan and took the nearest route for Nauvoo the company met Brother Archie he having gone ahead we met him at Otaway on Fox River. They had started to load ox teams some time before and they overtook them a few days before they got to Nauvoo. Arrived at that place on the 6th day of April. They were having conference and apostle Orson Hyde was in charge of affairs there then for the main part of the church had gone west. The Canada company went to conference and they stayed a fays and bought our fitout; such things as we would need such as flour, corn meal an corn to parch to eat for food and such things as we would need on the journey.

We crossed the Mississippi River and passed Montrose and went a few miles north and camped. He then went up in Iowa to try and trade my horses for oxen but the oxen had been bought up and they were scarce and could not be bought at any price. I had one Canadian horse that was very bad with the heaves, but I was told he would get over it out west. I met a man and inquired if he had any oxen to trade for this horse. He said, “No, but I have a fine mare,” he would give me for him. I went to see her, but rode my horse very slow lest he would begin to have. His mare was a very one, but I had to give him 14 dollars to boot. I got on my mare and rode away and thought I had done it.

I rode about two miles and I met a man. He asked me if I had bought that mare. I said “Yes, wasn’t she a fine one.” He said “Yes, but she was stone blind;” that took me down a notch. But I did not go back for old Pat. I had been fooled but there may be some more fools out on my track so I went on shortly. I met a man with a fine team and buggy well dressed. I though he was a preacher or judge or lawyer or somebody smart. He stopped for he had got his eye on my mare and he bantered me for a trade. He said his horse had no faults but too much life; “What is the character of yours?” I told him he must be his own judge for I had just got her so he took out his glasses and examined her all over and pronounced her good so he took off his harness and I took off my saddle and we were both soon off the trading ground.

After that I traded that horse for one yoke of cattle and I bought another yoke and a cow, went back to camp we then rigged up our ox teams instead of horses and started west. We traveled about twelve miles and camped for the night, 22 of May, 1846 in Lee County, Iowa. The next morning we fixed mother and baby as comfortable as possible and started on for the companies from Nauvoo was all ahead. And we loaded in more flour at Bonapart for we had strengthened our teams and we were pushing on for the Missouri River expecting to overtake the main camp of Saints there. By this time our company had got the name of the Canada Company for we traveled so close together. There was in the company John Park, William Park, David Park, and their families. James Hamilton and family, James Kilfoyal and family, Samuel Bolton and daughter, James Crage, John Baroman, George Coray and family, Andrew Coray and family, Brother Johnes and family, and John Smith and family, my brother William and family, Archibald and family, father and mother Rodger Luckham and family, myself and family.

Iowa was a new and thinly settled territory, and many of the Saints were poor and not having teams to travel with was counseled to stop where the land was not taken up and put in crops until they could help themselves they had settled a place called Garden Grove and another called Mount Pisgah and other places. Some of our camp began to drop off at some of these places and others went on. We overtook what was known as Orson Hyde’s camp near Mosquito Creek close by the Missouri River. Here I began to see some of the suffering of the Saints. The first night we come to Hyde’s camp there come up a storm thundered and the wind blew very hardso very hard rain next morning it was painful to see the Saints with tents down (blown) down and wagon covers tore off and everything wet with the rain.

I went to one tent that was blown down and found a woman sitting on the ground and a very young baby both shaking with the ague and a number of larger children sitting around in their wet clothes, shaking with the same disease, no one able to help the rest. I asked where her husband was and she said he was called to go to Mexico to fight for Uncle Sam who had driven us to the wilderness endure these hardships. I tried to gather up her tent but I could not; it was wore out. They had been driven from Nauvoo in the dead of winter, in the depth of poverty, traveling through deep snow. The men having to leave part of their family by the wayside, and travel on perhaps for a wee, then leave that part and go back for the rest with the same team, until themselves nearly every think they had was work out. And many died by the way from hardships.

We next traveled on a few miles to the main camp at the liberty poll on Mosquito Creek where President Young and council was making the rest of the 500 hundred men of the Mormon battalion to go to Mexico.

They were soon off and leaving their families in wagons and tents where they had them but some was without and in the middle of an Indian country this things made me feel like asking O Liberty and Freedom, where art thou gone? For the demand was made of us by the government of the boasted nation of freedom. The demand was made as a trap thinking we would not comply, then they could slay us as traitors; that was what was wanted. And they were very much disappointed. When President Young raised the company, the next thing was to cross the Missouri River, the first company was to build a boat. When Brother William got his team and wagon on the boat, one yoke of wild steers jumped into the river with the yoke on and turned to come back, he jumped in and caught their tails headed them around and swam them to the other side by their tails.

We then traveled on about half a day to a camping ground near a grove of timber which was called Cutler Park. The season now being so far spent and so many of our best young men gone to Mexico. President Young thought best to go no further this fall but find winter quarters cut hay for our stock and start on early in the spring. A town site was selected down the river called Winter Quarters. Streets, blocks and lots were layed out and given out to the people. And in a few days a town of houses were in sight. Lots of hay was cut and stock taken to herd grounds, a large log meeting house was build and a good grist mill was build to grind our corn and wheat. The people had brought with them houses and wood had to be provided for the family of the men that had gone in the battalion and there was a meat market erected and several blacksmith shops, shoe shops, chair makers and nearly all kind of work as if the people was going to stay for years.

Men that could work had to work nearly night and day, for many of the older was taken with a disease called the black leg and was entirely helpless and many died with it. Their legs from their knees down would get as black as a coal.

My father and eldest brother, William, and brother-in-law, Rodger Luckham, and Williams’ eldest boy, the only one large enough to do anything all had it. This left the work of five families on Archie and me. Many an evening I have visited the family of men who had gone with the battalion in time of snow storm and found them in open log houses without any chinken and it snowing inside as fast as it was out. And nothing but green cottonwood to burn, I would go and get them some dry wood and help them all I could, but it seemed hard times but there was no one to blame; men was so scarce, and so many sick and dying, that I have had to go and help the sexton bury the dead. Yet the authorities kept up their meetings and now and then have a dance to keep up the spirits of the people.

On the account of having to stay there that winter and use up their provisions many had to go to Missouri to work or trade for provisions and seed to take with them across the plains for it was the intention to start west early in the spring. But the first Presidency and the Twelve Apostles thought it would be better to start a small company of pioneers on a head of the main company, to look out a location and try to get in some crops.

So the pioneers started April 5, 1847. This company consisted of 143 men, 3 women, 2 boys. They hunted their way and made their roads to Salt Lake Valley, a distance of one thousand and third miles through an Indian country. The people suffered a great deal and passed through many hardships for there was not a house nor settlement in all that distance except one government fort at Laramie about half way to Salt Lake, and a mountaineer station called Fort Bridger and that was one hundred miles from Salt Lake. And this [Jim] Bridger offered President Young one thousand dollars for the first ear of corn he would raise in Salt Lake.

This was very discouraging but had not effect on Brigham Young nor his brethren for they knew that God was leading Israel, so they went on and reached Salt Lake Valley, the new home of the Saints on the 24th of July, 1847 a day that is loved and celebrated by the Latter-day Saints the world over, ever since they located in Salt Lake Valley and raised the American Flag on Ensign Peak and took possession of the country in the name of the United States, or at that time this part of the country belonged to Mexico but the United States was then at war with Mexico.

They then planted corn and potatoes and other seeds and surveyed the city, left a company to build houses and then some of the pioneers started back for Winter Quarters, while this was going on the Saints on the Missouri River for there was many camps there besides Winter Quarters. All that could was preparing to follow the pioneers for that was the counsel, and farming places was selected for those that was not able to go, so that they might put in crop and sustain themselves until they could come. Brother John Taylor and Parley P. Pratt arrived in Winter Quarters, from a mission to England while the Saints was getting ready and we traveled with them across the plains, the most of the company left Winter Quarters and other places early in June, went to the Elk Horn River about 20 miles there or near there we was organized into companies and we started on the 15th of June.

I will go back to Winter Quarters and tell some things of interest. Brother Archie and myself and James Crage, one of the pioneers got out the timbers for the grist mill before-mentioned. I done the hewing with the broad ax while doing so I was taken with fever and ague one day I went home and went to bed and was crazy all next day but when Archie and Crage come home they come and administered to me. Next morning I was well and at work again and kept so until we started west.

Now some more about the starting west. At the river where we was all camped at the Elk Horn we had to make a raft to take the wagons over the river. It was made of logs and pulled across by a rope by men’s strength. We concluded to try ox strength instead of men which proved a success but my wagon was the first try with oxen and we lacked experience and the team started before the wagon was blocked or balanced being too near the hind end of the raft and the rope being hitched to the front and raised it up and my wagon and family and all I had began to roll back into the river. I caught the hind wheel and held it until we was across but the raft was nearly on end but God helped me and we were saved. Next the rope broke that pulled the raft and I swam the river twice to get it tied and kept on ferrying in my wet clothes which gave me the chills and fever again and they stayed with me half way across the plains.

The company was divided into hundreds, fifties, and tens, each having a captain; Apostle John Taylor was in our company. It was all smooth traveling until we got about one hundred miles to a place, Pawnee village, a deserted Indian town. The train stopped to fix a bridge and I being several teams back I started on to help. I had gone but a few steps when my nigh leader turned out to get a bit of green grass. My eldest boy, Robert R., being in the wagon and being very careful stepped down of the tongue of the wagon to stand at their head till I come back. So the night wheeler kicked, throwing him under the wheel then started up the wagon running both wheels over his bowels. I was near enough but could not save him. We laid him in the wagon and started on that afternoon and after awhile he got out and ran and played to show me he was not much hurt to try and make us feel better, but he soon got into the wagon and never got out again without help. He lived till we traveled several hundred miles and died on Deer Creek on the Platte River. He seemed to fail every day. He was hurt in his kidneys and suffered fifty deaths. He lived till there was nothing left but he shin and bones. I had to drive my team all day and sit up and hold him all night and see him suffer all the time.

My wife done all she could but she had three other children very small to attend to and sick part of the time, and I was shaking every other day with the ague. We buried him on the bank of the Platte River. He was about five and half years old, but the next season my Brother William went that way. He found his bones all dug up and he gathered them up and reburied them.

By this time I had lost two of my best oxen and replaced with unbroken cows. My next heavy trouble happened near Fort Bridger something near one hundred miles from Salt Lake. Here my only illiam fell out of the wagon when going and the same two wheels that run over Robert ran over him. It ran over his two ankles. He was our baby. I picked him up, some elders come and administered to him and he was all right in a few days. My wagon was very heavy loaded for three yoke of oxen. I seen the wagon wheels go over both his ankles, there is no mistake about that. Afterwards I through some buffalo bones under the same wheels and they were crushed to powder.

With many other difficulties we made our way over rivers through the canyons and over the mountains and reached Salt Lake Valley. At the mouth of emigration canyon on October 1, 1847 my wagon was badly broken, my team nearly given out, and myself wore out. We looked over the valley there was not a house to be seen nor anything to make one of. But we was glad to see a resting place. And felt to thank God for the same. We then drove down to the camping place, afterwards calling the Old Fort. It is now in the lower part of Salt Lake City. I unyoked my oxen and sat down on my broken wagon tongue and said I could not go another day’s journey, and the rest of the folks was nearly as bad off as me but they did not have so much sickness as I had in my family. But that was happy day for us all, for we knew that was a place where we could worship God according to the dictations of our own conscience, and mobs would not come, at least for awhile.

All of the families that belonged to the Canada Company that reached Salt Lake at this time was John William and David Park and their families, George Coray and family Rodger Luckham and family, my father and mother, William Archibald and myself and our family, Rodger Luckham’s wife was my sister, James Crage come with the pioneers, and John Baraman went with the battalion and to the valley by way of California. The rest of the company stayed back till they got ready by getting teams and fitout. Some stayed back and apostatized.

My brother Archie and me soon went to work building a saw mill on the warm springs two miles north of Salt Lake City. But this proved a failure. We had been used with running mills in Canada with heavy streams and a low head, or a few foot fall, say from two to eight feet and we thought where we could get from twenty-five to thirty a very little would do, but we had too little there and we could not make lumber. This first winter was very fine, mild weather, hardly any snow in the valley and very little in the mountains no rain and the sun shone nearly all winter.

My father and Archie and myself sowed six acres of wheat and early in the spring of 1848 we moved camp six miles south of Salt Lake on Mill Creek. We moved our saw mill and we rebuilt on Mill Creek and commenced to make lumber and build houses and get us farms and by this time provisions was very scarce and we were anxious to get in an early crop and not being acquainted with the nature of the country, we thought it a good time to plant all our garden seed right after a heavy rain right in the mud in clay land and they never came up; yet part of our corn we treated the same and it done the same, but some of our corn we planted in a better time, and that come up but the land was covered with black crickets and they picked if off as fast as it come up.

This looked very discouraging, one thousand miles from any supplies our provisions fell short on account of taking on one of the pioneers whom we found without any provisions. So we fell from half ration to quarter rartion. We tried to help out with weeds and what I could with my gun, hawks, crows, snipes, ducks, ranes and wolves, and thistles, roots and rawhide. I had no cow for I had to kill the only one I had the fall before and we had no milk. I took the dry hide that come of my cow. I scalded it and boiled it and eat it. And believe me this was tough. I have known my wife, Jane, to pick wild onion and violets when they first come up on the hillside for hours at a time, and boiled them and thicken them with a rich gravy made of two spoonful of corn meal that would make just what would lay on a small plate. This made a meal or a dinner for my wife and me and three children, but we were blessed in one thing; our children never cried for bread, and that was a thing I often dreaded, lest a time might come when my children might cry for bread and I have none to give them. But all was quite contented and we enjoyed good health . . .