Sunday, November 14, 2010

Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle
Watercolor of the Ship Emeral Isle Ship: 1736 tons: 215' x 42' x 21' Built: 1853 by Trufant & Drummond at Bath, Maine A famous clipper packet, the full-rigged Emerald Isle carried a total of 1280 Mormons in three voyages across the Atlantic Ocean.

From: Life History of the Francis Vernon and Elizabeth Cottrill Family
The Emerald Isle Sails from Liverpool

The magnificent packet ship "Emerald Isle" sailed from Liverpool, England,for New York, 20th of June 1868, with 876 souls of emigrant Saints aboard. Of these, 627 were from Scandinavia and the rest from the British Isles.The ship was a wooden sailing vessel with 876 Mormon converts leaving England for a home in Utah with the Latter-Day Saints. On board were Danes (512),Swedes (97), Norwegians (3), English (219), Scotch (16), Irish (10) and Germans (3)-all converts to Mormonism and all poor. (Information from Church Emigrants, Vol 3, 1858-1881) The ship was divided into wards of about 50 people. The leader of the Vernon's ward was H. Jensen Hale.) Previous to sailing, a meeting was held on deck by Charles W. Penrose in English.(To the right is a picture of a sailing ship similar to the "Emerald Isle" that sailed in 1867 for America from Europe.)

On the 26th of June, the "Emerald Isle" sailed into the city of Queenstown to take water on board as a certain machine on the vessel used to distill sea water for culinary purposes was out of commission and could not speedily be repaired. On the 29th, the ship left Queenstown, but the voyage after that was anything but pleasant. The emigrants received very rough and harsh treatments both by the officers and the crew and only by the strong protest of Elder Hans Jensen Hals on their behalf, did they succeed in getting a part of their rights according to the contract made.

On one occasion, when one of the ship's mates attacked a sister by the name of Sanders. Brother Jensen took a hold of the mate and pulled him away, while sharply reproving him for his misconduct. Soon a lot of sailors came up ready to fight, but the incident ended when the offender got a severe reprimand from the Captain when Brother Jensen reminded him of the promises made before sailing.

No other company of emigrating Saints is known to have met with such bad treatment on board any ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately this was the last company of Scandinavian and English Saints which crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing vessel. From that time on only steamers were employed in the transportation the Saints. It as not only the rough treatments which the emigrants received from the ship's crew that made the voyage so unpleasant, but the water taken on board at Queenstown soon became stagnant and unfit to use. It caused much sickness among the passengers and no less that 37 deaths occurred on this voyage. Many of these however were caused by Measles among the children but the stagnant water which all the passengers had to use only added to the deaths.

When they decided to emigrate, Francis and Elizabeth's two oldest daughters, Ann (19 years old) and Martha (17 years old), were almost young women at this time and desired to remain in England. So Francis and Elizabeth bade them farewell and with their five other children, Mary (14), Sarah Jane (11), Francis (7), James (6) and Joseph (4), left from Liverpool, England on June 20, 1868 on the packet ship Emerald Isle. A baby Hannah (child #8) had been born in 1865 and died in 1866 before they left England.

They were on the water eight weeks or approximately 60 days because the vessel was old and slow and very crowded. It was a very rough and hard voyage. There was a great deal of sickness and 37 passengers were buried at sea. The dead were immediately wrapped in a sheet, weighted and slid from a plank into the sea. Sharks followed the vessel all the way and could be seen plainly when the sun was shining. George Beard (a young man about 13 years old on the vessel who later settled in Coalville) told how he watched the sharks eat his mother's body. When the ocean was rough, the ship would rock and everything that was loose would be thrown about.

Elizabeth Cottrell Vernon was 41 years old, a tiny woman and expecting a child. She became so ill that preparations were made to bury her, but she rallied and finished the voyage. She was ill all the way but her faith sustained her to complete the journey.

The Emerald Isle arrived at the entrance to New York harbor. They were received by the managing conductor at the U.S. Port of Entry on Aug 11,1868. (The Emerald Isle stayed in New York and never returned to England.The Vernons were the last of the LDS emigrants to come by sailing ships.)Thirty of the sick passengers were taken to the shore of the Staten Islands.

The following day (Aug 12th) eight other sick people were landed and held in quarantine for 3 days. The rest of the emigrants were landed at Castle Garden on Aug 14th.(See photo on left of Castle Garden a receiving station for new immigrants located on the SW tip of Manhattan Island and used from 1855-1890 before Ellis Island was used.
On that same day, a steamer conveyed the emigrants a few miles up the Hudson River where they found shelter in a warehouse for a couple of days while their baggage was being weighed. While staying there, a boy belonging to the company died.

The Journey Continues by Rail and Ox Teams

On Aug 17th the journey resumed by railroad in open boxcars from New York via Niagara, Detroit, Chicago to Council Bluffs, Nebraska where they arrived on the 21st. The following day, Aug 22, they were taken across the Missouri River by a steamboat and then traveled by Union Pacific railroad to Benton City (near Rawlins, Wyoming)-the end of the line. They were now 700 miles from Omaha, Nebraska and 300 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah. Here the Church ox teams meet the emigrants and took them to their camp on the Platte River, about six miles from Benton. They remained in there until Aug 31st. Then they were organized into companies, under the direction of the outfitting agents, and equipped for the journey across the plains.

The Scandinavian Saints took up the journey across the mountains on Aug 31,1868 in 62 wagons pulled by oxen led by Capt. John G. Holman, while the English emigrants left a day later with 28 mule trains led by Capt Mumford. These wagons were manned by teamsters who were volunteers from Mormon towns
who came and helped the immigrants get to SLC. They left Benton City Aug 31,1868 and could only travel 15-20 miles a day. The Saints crossed the Green River in Wyoming on a ferry operated by two Mormons from Utah while their wagons were hauled across the river. These Saints were the last ones to enter the valley by wagon, arriving in Salt Lake City. They traveled quite close together and arrived in SLC only a day apart. The English on Sept 24,1868 and the Scandinavian saints on Sept 25, 1868. Soon thereafter in 1869 the train tracks were completed across the vast America landscape offering future immigrants an easier and faster journey. (See Church Emigration 145th company-Emerald Isle, also Ch Emigration vol. 3, diary of Hans Jensen Hals d471, Des News 17:257, Journal History Sep 23 1868 p. 3, Roster JH Sep 24 1868 p 1 as well as Mormon Immigration CD published by LDS Church.)

What was the day by day experience like crossing the plains? From the diary of Elder Hans Jensen Hals comes the description...of cold days filled with wind and blowing sand that blew in their faces all day long, roads that were sandy or hard and rough, many sick individuals with measles and Rocky Mountain fever who were administered to, several deaths, searching for runaway oxen, scanty provisions of bread and meat only for every meal, the Saints tired and discouraged at times but they pressed on only resting on Sundays. (Photo on left show a ferry crossing along the route to Utah.)

They passed a thousand of men working on the railroad grade near Echo canyon trying to complete the transcontinental railroad line which would be finished one year later and end the need for ox team and wagon travel for Mormon converts wishing to emigrate to Utah.The Vernons were among some of the last pioneers to come to Utah by wagons.

Here is information from the Ole Lasson Family.  They were on the Emerald Isle with Robert and Margaret:

Ole Lasson and Cynthia Philinda Terry Lasson


This following is a personal history of Ole Lasson Jr. as compiled and researched by Robert Eugene Lasson (2nd Great-grandson of Ole Lasson Jr.).  The information was collected from various sources that are sited with each entry of a source in the following narrative. 
[New bloggers, if you would like to copy anything from this blog, just block the piece you want or right click on a picture, then click " copy" or "save as", then paste it into your Word or other file--CarolL]

Journal Histories of Immigrating Saints in the John G. Holman Ox Team Company:

Mormon Pioneer Overland 1868 John G. Holman Company
Departure: 1 September 1868 
Arrival in Salt Lake Valley: 25 September 1868
Company Information:
About 650 individuals and 62 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Benton, Wyoming.

Narrative: John G. Holman Company (1868)
Holman's ox train of 62 wagons left the rail terminus at Benton, Wyoming, on September 1 with 628 emigrants. Benton was located 11 miles east of present-day Rawlins, Wyoming. This end-of-track town was in existence for only three months, but during its brief history more than 100 people were reported to have died there in gunfights. The company was delayed in Benton when a woman in their company was arrested on a trumped-up charge and they had to wait for her trial. U.S. soldiers had to protect the company when an enraged mob from the railroad town marched on the wagon company. The mob had been angered by false rumors to the effect that the Mormons were intent on taking a woman to Utah against her will.
Most of those who traveled to Utah in Holman's company crossed the Atlantic aboard the ship Emerald Isle. Many in this company were Danes and Swedes who suffered much sickness while crossing the ocean and after landing in New York. Also traveling with the company were 8 independent wagons with about 40 passengers. After getting off the train and being loaded into the Church wagons, this company traveled in a northwesterly direction from Benton through Whiskey Gap and northward from there until they reached the Sweetwater River and the old emigrant road on September 8. As did many other companies in the 1860s, after coming through Echo Canyon they traveled to Silver Creek and then down Parley's Canyon into the valley. They arrived in Salt Lake on September 25. Twenty-two people died between Benton and Salt Lake.

Source of Trail Excerpt:  "Last Train In," Deseret Evening News, 25 Sept. 1868, 3.
LAST TRAIN IN.— This morning Captain J. G. Holman's ox-train of 62 wagons got in, bringing a little over 600 passengers. He had with his train the immigrants that crossed the Atlantic in the Emerald Isle, a number of whom had to go into hospital on reaching New York, and among whom there had been much sickness on the sea voyage. Several were sick when they left the cars at Benton, but the mortality on the trip from that point was not high, considering these circumstances. The passengers are nearly all in excellent health now. Accompanying his train were also six independent wagons, and some 50 persons not included in the 600 immigrants. He left Benton with his train on September 1st, and, consequently, made the trip in about twenty-four days, although there were several detentions on the way. This is the last immigrant train of the season.

Crossing the Atlantic and Onward

I sailed on the ship Emerald Isle from Liverpool, England May 1868 for New York City. I came on the railroad to somewhere about Laramie City, Wyoming or there-abouts -- I came the rest of the way by ox teams to Sa1t Lake City, Utah, which is about 400 miles.
This was the year teamsters were drowned in the Green River ; one was from Fairview, Utah. There were no railroads in Utah at that time and no telephones. I walked all the way from the end of the railroad. Father was sick the entire trip. Mother and I had to take care of him. He died out on the border line of Wyoming and Utah, somewhere near what was called Devil’s Gate. It was about half a days drive to the first settlement in Utah. I arrived there on September 19, 1868. I believe the town was called Eden.

I was about nine weeks on the ocean. About one hundred persons died on the trip. I arrived in Salt Lake City, September 21, 1868. I went to work for a farmer for $10.00 per month. I worked about two years for those wages. I saved most of the money and bought cattle for it. I started cattle raising on a small scale and that was the beginning of the Clinton Ranch.   
By Ole Lasson Jr.
The Emerald Isle passenger list showed my ancestors names as:
LARSON, Ola (born 1804), Lissa  (1811), Ola  (1855),  Morten ? (1848), Lissa (1849), Pernilla (1861), and Nils (1862).

Ship register
Larson, Ola, born 1804
Lissa, 1811
Ola, 1855
Correct Info.
Lasson, Ole, born 1803
Sissa, 1821
Ole, 1854

Morten, 1848
Lissa, 1849
Pernilla, 1861
Nils, 1862
?likely, Morten Larsen, not related
Sissa, 1849
Pernilla (Nellie), 1858
Nils, 1860

History of the Emerald Isle Sailing Ship
Ship: 1736 tons: 215' x 42' x 21'
Built: 1853 by Trufant & Drummond at Bath, Maine
A famous clipper packet, the full-rigged Emerald Isle carried a total of 1280 Mormons in three voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. Described by her owners, Tapscott's Line, as a half clipper in model and a packet clipper in rig, the Emerald Isle hailed out of New York and was the largest vessel built at Bath, Maine, until the 1860s. She was somewhat full bodied, sharp, and heavily sparred. She was a three-decker but also had a forecastle deck with two large houses for a galley, storerooms, and crew's quarters and a small cabin abaft the main hatch. The first lower deck contained a steerage cabin with a double tier of staterooms on each side running forward to the main hatch. Each of these staterooms had eight berths. This graceful ship had a figurehead of a dog in the act of leaping. Her stern was half round with a carved molding which had the Harp of Erin in the center, an American Eagle on the right, and a dog on the left. Underneath were written the mottoes on the Irish and American coat of arms-Erin-go-Bragh and E Pluribus Unum. The Emerald Isle was among the first vessels to have standing rigging of wire. In 1885 she was sailing under the Dutch flag and renamed Berendina Oriria out of Batavia.

The first passage began on 30 November 1855 at Liverpool with 350 Saints on board. Elder Philemon C. Merrill and his counselors, Elders Joseph France and Thomas B. H. Stenhouse, presided over the emigrant company. Captain George B. Cornish, a veteran mariner, commanded the vessel. In 1848 he was listed as master of the 895-ton ship Sheridan. The crossing was marked by some damage caused by high winds and heavy seas, the deaths of two children, and three marriages. After a relatively fast crossing of twenty-nine days the ship arrived on 29 December at New York harbor.
Almost four years later, on 20 August 1859, the Emerald Isle again skippered by Captain Cornish sailed out of Liverpool with fifty-four Saints aboard-fifty from Switzerland and Italy and four from England. Elder Henry Hug was in charge of the company. After a forty-two-day passage, of which there are no details, the vessel arrived on 1 October at New York. 

This same ship began her third voyage with Mormon emigrants on 20 June 1868 at Liverpool. There were 876 Saints in the company, of which 627 were from Scandinavia and the rest from the British Isles. Elder Hans Jensen Hals presided over the company. His counselors were Elders James Smith and John Fagerberg. On this crossing the ship was commanded by a Captain Gillespie. After six days the square-rigger put into Queenstown harbor to take on fresh water, since the equipment to distill sea water for culinary use had broken down. On 29 June the voyage resumed, but life on shipboard became increasingly unpleasant. The officers and crew treated the Saints harshly, and Elder Hals protested to the captain and reminded him of the contractual and legal rights of the passengers. On one occasion a mate attacked a Sister Saunders, and a "Brother Jensen" pulled the mate away and chastised him. Soon a group of sailors threatened violence but were subdued after the master reprimanded the offender. According to the Church Emigration record, no other emigrating company was known to have received such bad treatment. "Fortunately this is the last company of Scandinavian Saints which crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing vessel." However, it was not just the treatment from the ship's officers and crew that created unpleasantness, but the water became stagnant and unfit for use, causing much sickness among the emigrants. No less than thirty-seven deaths occurred. Although many children died of measles, it was felt that the drinking water contributed to the high death rate. During the three days of quarantine in the New York harbor thirty-eight sick emigrants were taken ashore. On 14 August, after a fifty-five-day passage, the Saints landed at Castle Garden.

Journal Histories of Immigrating Saints Aboard the "Emerald Isle"

            The following named returning missionaries were in the company: -- Elders Hans Jensen Hals, John Fagerberg, and Peter Hansen, from the Scandinavian Mission; and James Smith and Henry Barlow, from the British Mission; also Samuel Southwick, James Stuart, Andrew Simmons, and Elisha Peck, native elders, who have been travelling in the ministry.  Elder Hans Jensen Hals was appointed president of the company, and Elders James Smith and John Fagergerg his counselors.  Previous to sailing, a meeting was held on deck, when the Saints were addressed by Elder Carl Widerborg in Danish, and Elder Charles W. Penrose in English.  Everyone was in good spirits, and was thankful to the God of Israel for deliverance from Babylon. . . . "

". . . About 630 emigrants left Copenhagen by the steamer 'Hansia,' June 13, 1868.  On the departure the brethren had considerable trouble with the police authorities in Copenhagen.  After a successful voyage across the North Sea, the company arrived in Hull, England, on Tuesday, June 16th, and in the evening of the same day they went by train to Liverpool.  Here they found accommodations in seven different hotels, where they, with the exception of one place, received anything but decent treatment; and when they on the 19th went on board the ship 'Emerald Isle,' they were insulted in most every imaginable way.  On the 20th the ship sailed from Liverpool, carrying a company of emigrants consisting of 877 souls, of whom 627 were Scandinavians, all in charge of Elders Hans Jensen (Hals) as president with James Smith and John Fagerberg as assistants.  Elder Peter Hansen was appointed commissary for the Scandinavians, and Elder Mons Pedersen, who had labored faithfully for four years in the mission office in Copenhagen, was chosen as secretary.  Eighteen other Scandinavian emigrants sailed this year by other ships, some of them from Hamburg and some from Norway.  .

(journal of Hans Jorgenson):
The 13th of June, 1868, President C. Widerborg came up to [--] and emigrants called to order, whereupon he gave suitable instructions for our journey.  5 o'clock in the afternoon we all went on board the steamer [-] (Captain Beck of Hamburg) and after the Saints from Malmo, Sweden led by John Faferburg, had come on board, we started for England 7 ½  o'clock in the evening in a beautiful weather. On the 16th, 2 ½ o'clock in the afternoon we landed in Hull, England and started off by rail same afternoon and arrived in Liverpool 1 ½ o'clock in the night.  Next day we were all quartered at Hotel Columbia [p.78] owned by David Full, a Jew.
            On the 19th we were all sent on board the packet ship Emerald Isle, Captain Gillespie of New York.  While in Liverpool, I saw the greatest steamer in the world, “The Great Eastern” which laid outside of Liverpool.
            On the 20th of June, 1868, we started our long and weary journey to America, being pulled out by a tug steamer.  Same evening a seaman belonging to the crew fell overboard but was rescued by a good swimmer.  Then a safety boat fell from the ship and all on board was called for help [to] pull it up.  The company of emigrants consisted of 876 souls of which six hundred and twenty seven were from Scandinavia and we had for [our] leader Hans Jensen Hals of Manti, Sanpete County;  John Faferburg of Fort Ephraim; and James Smith from Provo, his counselors.  Henry Barlow also returning elder from Utah. The treatment we had on board said vessel was anything but human.  The captain and crew showed themselves as rough and mean towards us (especially Danish) as they could and the provisions did not by any means come up to the bargain.  The shortest I can say about it is that this treatment was something like the Danish prisoners received in the 1807-1814.  I for my part can [p.81] never think on the deadly Emerald Isle but with the greatest disgust and hatred.
            About daybreak on the 11th of August, 1868, we to our great joy saw the land for which we so long a time had been longing.  Having now been on the deadly ship 7 weeks and 3 days, we all felt to thank God our deliverer that he had spared our lives and permitted us to see the land of which we had so great hopes and anticipations.  We were quarantined 3 days outside of New York and on the 14th we were permitted to put our feet on American soil. 
Saturday, 20--President Franklin D. Richards and Elders William B. Preston and Charles W. Penrose, from the Liverpool office, came on board and a meeting was held, on which occasion the vessel was blessed and dedicated to bring the Saints safely across the mighty deep.  President Richards gave me instructions as the leader of the company, and James Smith was chosen as my first and John Fagerberg as my second counselors.  Elders Peter Hansen of Hyrum, and a Brother Parks were called to act as stewards and Hans Petersen [Hans Pederson] appointed clerk of the company.  The visiting brethren then addressed the Saints under the influence of the Spirit of God and every heart was touched by the words uttered and the pleasant influence which pervaded the assembly.  As the brethren left us to go ashore, we gave them several ringing cheers.  Soon afterwards the anchor was weighed and a small steamer tugged us out into the open sea.  I was very busy assisting the Saints in finding their baggage, which was scattered all over the ship, and showing the Saints their berths and getting [p.8] them settled down.  Thus I succeeded in bringing some little order out of chaos.  I also appointed guards to protect the Saints against the sailors, who seemed to take delight in annoying and insulting us in every way possible. . . . Thursday, 25--The experiment was made with the distilling machine which should change the salt sea water into fresh water, but the trial proved unsuccessful, as the man who had been assigned the task of running the machine was incapable.  Consequently, Elder Smith consulted with the captain, and it was decided that the ship should touch at Queenstown, Ireland, to take fresh water on board.  Sunday, 28--More water was brought on board, and we held a meeting on the after deck, at which Elder Smith spoke English, Elder Fagerberg Swedish, and I both Danish and English.  Later we held four meetings on the lower decks and administered the sacrament.  Soon after that, anchor was weighed and a tug boat hauled us out into the open sea; this gave me an opportunity to write a few lines to President Franklin D. Richards, informing him that the English steward had left us, and also three of the crew, namely, the third mate, the boatswain and a sailor. Monday 29--I accompanied the doctor visiting the sick, who were given medicine.  We administered to a number of sick persons, and commenced to organize choirs, both among the English and Scandinavians.  We also started schools in which the English were to teach the Scandinavians to read and speak the English language.
Diary of Annie E. Bertelsen:
On June 26th the 'Emerald Isle' sailed into the harbor of Queenstown to take fresh water on board, as a certain machine on the vessel used to distill seawater for culinary purposes was out of commission and could not speedily be repaired.  While the ship waited at Queenstown Elders Hans Jensen (Hals) and James Smith had an excellent opportunity to accompany the captain on a railway trip to Cork.  On the 29th the ship left Queenstown, but the voyage after that was anything but pleasant.  The emigrants received very rough and harsh treatment, both from officers and crew, and only by the strong protest of Elder Hans Jensen (Hals) in their behalf did they succeed in getting a part of their rights according to the contract made.  On one occasion, when one of the ship's mates attacked a sister by the name of Sander, Brother Jensen took hold of the mate and pulled him away, while sharply reproving him for his conduct.  Soon a lot of sailors came up ready for a fight, but the incident ended when the offender got a severe reprimand from the captain, whom Brother Jensen reminded of the promises made.  No other company of emigrating Saints from Scandinavia are known to have met with such bad treatment as this on board any ship in crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  Fortunately it was the last company of Scandinavian Saints which crossed the Atlantic in a sailing vessel.  From that time on only steamers were employed in the transportation of the Saints.  It was not alone the rough treatment which the emigrants received from the ship's crew that made the voyage so unpleasant, but the water taken on board at Queenstown soon became stagnant and unfit for use, causing much sickness among the passengers, and no less than 37 deaths occurred on the voyage.  Many of these, however, were caused by measles among the children, but the stagnant water, which all the passengers had to use, was undoubtedly the real cause of the heavy death rate.  I remember very well the first death on board the ship, which was a two year old little girl, she was a very pretty child, and they built a large casket for her, twice her size, and the partitioned [UNCLEAR] it off in the middle placing coal in the one end so that it would be sure and sink when she was lowered in the ocean.  When they placed her down into the water, it did not sink, it just floated away, and as we sailed along, we could still see this casket still floating in the ocean.  Our ship sailing one way and the casket still floating in another.  The parents were almost grief stricken.  After this the dead were placed on long boards with weights on each end so that it was sure that they sunk and went to the bottom.  It was a wonder that any of us lived to tell the tale.  I later heard that the ship on its return voyage back [p.31] sank with all its crew. (Bertelsen, Annie E., Diary, (Typescript) Utah Pioneer Biographies vol. 5, pp. 31-32 (FHL))

Journal of Elder Hans Jensen Hals:
Tuesday, 30--We again distributed provisions among the emigrants, which this time was more expeditiously done than before.  Quite a number of the passengers suffered with stomach disorders, and about a dozen children were down with the measles.  Friday, 3--Conversed freely with captain about the rights and privileges of the passengers, as both the sailors and officers treated the emigrants roughly and uncivil.  It came to harsh words between us, as I stood up for the rights of the people, exhibited my papers, and demanded that our people should be humanely treated and also have the portion of the water due them.  I succeeded in getting some concessions, though the captain was hard to move.  Monday, 6--A Swedish child died with measles early in the morning; the parents were overcome with grief, as it was their only child.  We had three barrels of English beer brought up from the hold, which was distributed among the sick.  A number of the bottles were broken, owing to the fomentation and strength of the beer.
Tuesday, 7 July--We held funeral services over the remains of the dead child, Elder Fagerberg officiated and preached the funeral sermon.  The wind blew heavily from the northwest and many of the Saints were seasick.          Monday, 13--This was our washday, and the first mate acted ugly and brutal towards our people.  He cut the strings and threw the clothes down on the deck.  And just as I was passing with the doctor he (the mate) grabbed Sister Sanders (from Grenaa, Denmark,) in the breast which caused her to scream.  I seized him and pulled him away from her with main force and upbraided him for his brutality.  While held the mate a number of the sailors and many of our people gathered around; also the captain.  I reminded the captain of his promises to me in Liverpool to the effect that he would permit me to settle any difficulty that might arise between the crew and the emigrants and that the sailors should not be permitted to abuse the Saints.  Incidentally I also remarked that if the ship’s officers and crew did not treat the emigrants right and humanely there were experienced sailors enough among them to manipulated the ship and bring it [p.12] safely to New York.  The captain then called the mate into the cabin and gave him a tongue lashing; he afterwards kept him three days in confinement.  It rained hard during the day.
            Sunday, 26--The storm continued, though scarcely so severe as on the first day, but the sea was very rough; the wind tore one of the larger sails, blowing portions of it into the sea.  We buried two Danish children who had died the previous night; one belonged to Brother Jens [Carl] Osterman [Ostermann], from Grenaa, and the other to a widow from Sjaelland, Denmark.  Still another Danish child died the same day.
            Monday, 27 July--Rain and contrary wind.  We buried the dead child.  The doctor and captain insisted on amputating Brother Christiansen’s broken limb, but I objected, and so it was bandaged instead.  We distributed special food and drink among the people, in order to alleviate their [p.14] sufferings and cheer them, but a great number of the Saints felt downhearted and discouraged, and some fainted through weakness.  During the violent heaving of the vessel a number of beds or berths fell down with people, boxes and valises that were in them, and everything of a moveable nature that could possibly get loose, was tossed about in the ship.
            Tuesday, 28--I was taken sick with fever, diarrhea, and severe pains in the stomach.  The doctor and captain made another attempt to amputate Brother Christiansen’s broken limb, but he protested so earnestly that they gave it up. 
            Thursday, 13 August--I went to the bank with drafts and drew $26,777.25 in greenbacks and $1,000 in gold, after which I took passage on a steamer back to the quarantine landing, whence a boat took me to the Emerald Isle.  Soon after I came on board anchor was lifted and a tug boat took the vessel in to the city wharf.  Here I landed together with the captain and the doctor and put up at the Stevens Hotel.
            Friday, 14--I went to Castle Garden and received the emigrants who were landed from the Emerald Isle.  After passing through the general routine at the landing offices, we boarded two steamboats which took us a couple of miles up the river to a large shed by the railway station, where we commenced to weigh the baggage and make other preparations for the overland journey. 

Life History of William James Kimber:
            . . . I left England starting from Liverpool the 20th of June, 1868 on a sailing boat named Emerald Isle.  We sailed for eight weeks before landing at Castle Garden in New York, August 14, 1868.  Much sickness and some deaths occurred on the vessel due to drinking bad water.
            The members of my family which came with me were:  Father and Mother, Charles and Elizabeth.  We left New York for the west, going by train to Council Bluffs which was located on the Missouri River.  We crossed over the river in a ferry boat in a rainstorm.  Here we remained for a few days.  We then loaded into cattle cars and traveled to Fort Benton which is about four miles from North Platte.  This was then the end of the railroad.  The time was August 25, 1868.  Men who had teams and wagons met us there.  The captain of the company was James Rathall from Grantsville.  The teamsters names were:  James Kirk of Tooele, Utah; Armis Bates of Tooele, Utah; John Rydalsh, Grantsville; and Lou Hales from Grantsville, Utah.  We had mule teams.  There were about 800 people came when I did.  I don’t remember much of our trip across the plains.  At Devil’s Gate a fish was caught and it was cooked for my mother’s breakfast.
            We got to Salt Lake City, Utah about the 25th of September 1868.

New York, then Onward
On August 11th the ship arrived at the entrance of New York harbor and 30 of the sick were taken ashore on Staten Island.  The following day (August 12th) eight other sick people were landed, and finally, after being held in quarantine three days, the rest of the emigrants were landed at Castle Garden, August 14th.  On the same day a steamer conveyed the emigrants a few miles up the Hudson River, where they found shelter in a warehouse for a couple of days, while their baggage was being weighed.  While staying there a boy belonging to the company died.  On the 17th the journey was resumed by railway from New York and the emigrants traveled via Niagara, Detroit and Chicago to Council Bluffs, where they arrived on the 21st.  The following day (August 22nd)  they were taken across the Missouri River by a steamboat and thence they traveled by the Union Pacific Railroad to Benton, seven hundred miles west of Omaha, arriving there in the morning of August 25th.  Here the Church teams met the emigrants and took them to their camp on the Platte River, about six miles from Benton, where they remained till August 31st, when the Scandinavian Saints took up the journey across the mountains by ox train led by Captain John G. Holman, while the English emigrants about the same time left by mule teams.  Elder Hiram B. Clawson acted this year as emigration agent for the Church.  The English Saints traveling with mule teams could ride, while the Scandinavians traveling with slow ox teams, walked most of the way to Salt Lake City.  Sickness continuing to rage among the Scandinavian emigrants, about thirty died between New York and Salt Lake City, where the surviving part of this, the 28th, company of emigrating Saints from Scandinavia arrived on the 25th of September, 1868. . . ."

Ship similar to the "Emerald Isle"

Ship similar to the "Emerald Isle"
Christian Radick is a Norwegian full rigged ship similar to the "Emerald Isle"

John G. Holman

John G. Holman

Story of the Teamsters

This is the story of the teamsters that left Salt Lake Valley with there Ox teams to transport the Scandinavian Saints from the end of the Rail Road in Benton, Wy. to the Salt Lake Valley.

Source of Trail Excerpt:
Lindsay, William, Reminiscences, 1927-1930, 284-89.
We started early in June and we was to meet the Captain & the main body of the train at the head of Echo Canyon. We camped on Silver creek & I came near getting hurt[.] the oxen I had on the wagon were rather wild & had not worked on the wheel as we called it & as soon as I unhitched them & the tongue dropped they started to run & the off ox kept kicking at me as it was still between them[.] I however got hold of the yoke clung to it till they slacked their Warship then I dodged out in front of them all right. Of course I soon learned how to prevent further trouble. The Weber river was very high & at Manston they charge a heavy toll & we have no money so we drove down 37 to Rockport up to Peoa & crossed the Weber on an old bridge with their running over it & all around it & went down to Warship on the other over very rough rocky road that never been traveled before by team. We intended to camp at Grass Creek but just we got to the Chalk Creek bridge some boys were coming with a bunch of cows & rushed them on to the old bridge to be ahead of our string of wagons. The bridge gave way & the cows & timbers were carried down the raging stream towards the Weber river[.] of course we camped right there. It was known that a new bridge was needed & new stringers were all in place ready to lay the new plank on. So next morning the new plank was laid & we crossed on it. Two days after we reached Cache cave at the head of Echo & joined the main part of the train. The men & teams were mostly from West Jordan, Cottonwood & Salt Lake. The Springville Provo Battle Creek & American Fork teams came up Provo Canyon & joined us at Heber. Now there was over 50 wagons & that many men besides the Captain John G. Holman[,] his assistant Chauncy Bacon & some 6 night herders. We laid over one day to get acquainted & get instructions as to our places in the train & what we were expected to do. The Captain warned us all to be very careful of our health. He said we are now starting out on a long & tedious journey that will take all summer. We have no extra men & every one of us have our part to do. One thing I especially remember[,] he said boys it will be warm days & cool nights traveling over the high mountain country[.] be sure to keep your coats handy so you can slip them on each evening as the sun goes down. We started on our journey[.] got over Bear river on bridge all right[.] Went over the Quakingash ridge[,] crossed the Muddy near Bridger & on to Green river which was a raging torrent a quarter of a mile wide. Three days before 6 men were drowned there by the ferry boat being up set & it certainly was a dangerous stream to cross. The wagons & men of course were taken over on the boat. But there was some 400 oxen & we had a job making them swim over to the other side. We finally drove them up the river to where there was a ripple or shallower place & the men on horseback forced the oxen into the stream & we on foot waded into the stream as far as we dare to keep them from turning back & of course the water was very cold & everybody had to get in up to the waist & stand there for hours. It took most of two days getting all the oxen over. There was several narrow escapes from drowning[.] one man was saved by getting hold of an ox's tail as he was being carried down the raging stream. another on a horse in swimming water[.] the horse turned over backwards with him and kicked him but others were near & helped him out. I tell you we were all thankful & happy when everything was landed safely on the other side. Men from the other train were still trying to find the bodies of their comrades. Some I think were never found although the river & its banks were searched for miles[.] Our train traveled on day after day on what was the original trail of the Pioneers[.] passed Big Sandy, Little Sandy & Dry Sandy & Pacific Springs & on to South Pass & Sweetwater which we followed down for nearly a week to Devil's Gate. From there we struck off to the right through Whiskey Gap & on to Rawlins on the line of the WP railroad. Some grading was being done there at that time. However we traveled on till we reached the North Platt near a railroad town called Benton. Here was very good feed for the oxen & was decided best for us to camp right there until our emigrants came along. Some of the other trains went on to Laramie and got the emigrants that came in the earliest companies. We were the last-train going down & we had to wait for the very last company of the season & they did not arrive till the first of September. We had taken supplies of flour bacon & beans with us[,] enough to last us & our emigrants back home. But having to wait so long our stores would have come short. So Captain Holman took a contract to haul some hundreds of cords of wood to some of the railroad camps & us teamsters soon filled the contract & in that way raised money to buy all necessary supplies. The North Platte River was still quite high when first reached it & the best feed was on the other side of the river. So we had to take turns going over to herd the oxen[.] we used the horses to get over & back & they had to swim. That was the only time in my life that I ever rode horses in swimming water & I was lucky in always getting a horse or mule that was easily managed. Of course we had lots of leisure time while lying over on the river but we enjoyed ourselves very well when off duty sing songs or playing games & visiting other camps as they came along on the return journey with their emigrants on their way to Utah[.] In these trains I met several persons that I had worked with in the coal mines in Scotland. John Livingston, Wm. Wilson & James Elliot among the rest. Of course we were very glad to see each other but they had to go on with their train. I met an old Scotch lady named Osborn who had been an invalid for 20 years but she had a very great desire that her body might be buried with the Saints in the land of Zion. That was her great ambition & to get her daughter who was with her settled down among the Saints. The Dear old sister was very frail but she had faith that she would live to reach the valley which she did. She died at Grass Creek & was buried in the Coalville cemetery & had a LatterDay Saint funeral & a nice coffin to lay her body. While we were lying over on the Platte river we were right in the midst of an Indian country & the Indians were worked up to desperation as they could see the railroad being built right through the heart of their country. So of course we had to use every precaution by herding our oxen night & day & guard our camp each taking turns guarding & herding. We had 2 excitements while there. Along in the summer the boys herding used to bathe in the river. There was another company camped higher up the river who also herded their oxen on that side of the river but we were careful not to get the herds mixed. Their men had been bathing & let their oxen get right close to our herd. So they ran in naked to separate them & our herders just caught sight of them as they were going over a point and of course thought it was Indians driving off a bunch of our cattle & came as quick as possible & gave the alarm. In less time than it takes to tell it every horse & mule was mounted by some one armed & equipped & off they went but of course soon learned it was a false alarm & came back[.] another time the oxen when the herders were careless or asleep crossed to our side of the river a mile or more below camp & started on the run. Some of us saw the dust. Knew it was our cattle & of course thought the Indians were driving them. Another big excitement & men on every horse in camp were following that dust in a very few minutes. & they went some 20 miles before the horsemen could <[]> the cattle had almost run themselves down but no Indians were seen. Of course we learned to be on the watch more closely after these 2 scares. Willard Carroll one of our Heber boys was taken down with Mountain fever & was very ill for some 3 weeks but we nursed him & attended to him the best we could[.] he got well & strong again before our emigrants came on. I don’t recall any other illness among the teamsters all the time we were gone. The mails were very uncertain in those days[.] in fact we did not get any letters or papers all the time we were gone & the folks at home did not get our letters either.
About the 1st of Sept. our emigrants arrived on the train. There was no station so we drove our teams alongside the trains & got the luggage belonging to the emigrants into our wagon[.] not however coming near to having a stampede our oxen did start to run when the whistle of the engine was blown but we got them stopped without any serious damage. Our emigrants were Scandinavians & of course we had a little trouble to understand each other for a time but we soon got to understand each other fairly well. I had 13 persons assigned to my wagon with all their belongings & they sure had a log of pots pans kettles & dishes of almost every kind. It took a day or so getting everything arranged ready for the journey. Of course we were hearing quite often of the Indians killing people[,] Sometimes ahead of us & sometimes behind us. Mostly however they were men traveling not more than 3 or 4 together & mostly miners[.] Rawlins’s horse train with emigrants traveled as near to us a possible & all were continually on their guard to prevent the Indian's from taking any advantage of us in any way. So in that regard we had no trouble. We of course could not travel so far each day as we did on the way down[.] usually 16 miles was a good days drive. Of course the emigrants had to walk if they possibly could as our teams had all the load they could haul with the bedding tents cooking outfits of the passengers. Prayers were had every morning in the corral before the oxen were brought in the morning & instructions at the same gathering. All that possibly could were expected to [be] in attendance[.] of course all had to stand up but the services were short. In this way we wended our daily journey towards the setting sun. However sickness a sort of Disentery broke out among our emigrants & strong healthy looking people mostly grown men died in a very few days after being taken ill. Some 15 persons died almost within that number of days. I helped dig the graves & cover up the bodies of a number of them. It seemed very sad to have to leave them by the wayside in shallow graves & without coffins & travel right on never to see their resting place again. This of course was very sad for the near relatives & friends. Of course we all tried to be cheerful & to cheer up the mourners & those who were downcast. I am pleased to say my 13 men women & children all came safely through to Salt Lake City. With it all we had some good times around the campfires when we got so we could talk a little Danish & they could talk a little English. Our oxen stood the journey fairly well[.] some of the oxen got tenderfooted & had to be shoed. As we came back Green river & the other streams were very low & could be forded easily. We were some 25 days on the way arriving in Salt Lake City near the last of Sept. There we unloaded our emigrants & bid them farewell.

Jack Morrow--notorious thief

Jack Morrow--notorious thief
Jack Morrow (center, notorious thief) seated on barrel, Benton, Wyoming, 1868.)

The Benton Story

As mentioned in previous journal entries, Benton, Wyo. Was the location where the railroad ended during these years.  Benton was a wild place and not a very desirable environment for the early Saints to be in for very long.
Benton, Wyoming (source:
The town, itself, was named after Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858), senator from Missouri, father-in-law of John C. Fremont, and an avid advocate of western expansion.
Benton was Wyoming Territory's first ghost town. Benton, 11 miles east of present day Rawlins at UP milepost 672.1, lasted only three months from July to September 1868, and attained a population of 3,000. During that period, however, it provided an interesting contrast. On one hand, it had twenty-five saloons and five dance halls. During its brief existence, reputedly over 100 souls met their Maker in gunfights. One visitor referred to Benton as "nearer a repetition of Sodom and Gomorrah than any other place in America."
On the other hand, General Grant during his 1868 visit to Wyoming visited the town. Additionally, the town in August and September 1868, provided the jumping off location for 2,000 Saints in 5 companies heading to Utah.
The election of Grant brought out the voice of moderation, Legh Freeman, who again excited the attention of his readers, many of whom were Union veterans. Freeman, a former Confederate sympathizer, referred to Grant as "the whiskey bloated, squaw ravishing adulterer, nigger worshipping mogul rejoicing over his election to the presidency."  

Zane Grey continues with the Benton scene at night:

The sun set, the twilight fell, the wind went down, the dust settled, and night mantled Benton. The roar of the day became subdued. It resembled the purr of a gorging hyena. The yellow and glaring torches, the bright lamps, the dim, pale lights behind tent walls, all accentuated the blackness of the night and filled space with shadows, like specters. Benton's streets were full of drunken men, staggering back along the road upon which
 they had marched in. No woman now showed herself. The darkness seemed a cloak, cruel yet pitiful. It hid the flight of a man running from fear; it softened the sounds of brawling and deadened the pistol-shot. Under its cover soldiers slunk away sobered and ashamed, and murderous bandits waited in ambush, and brawny porters dragged men by the heels, and young gamblers in the flush of success hurried to new games, and broken wanderers sought some place to rest, and a long line of the vicious, of mixed dialect, and of different colors, filed down in the dark to the tents of lust.  Life indoors that night in Benton was monstrous, wonderful, and hideous. Every saloon was packed, and every dive and room filled with a hoarse, violent mob of furious men: furious with mirth, furious with drink, furious with wildness--insane and lecherous, spilling gold and blood. 

Ole's Route to the Salt Lake Valley


Trail Excerpt

 Source of  following Trail Excerpt:
Hals, Hans Jensen, Journal, in Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 25 Sept. 1868, 18-21.
Trail Excerpt:
Tuesday, August 25—We arrived at Benton, the terminus of the railroad, where we met two companies of Church teams, about 100 teams altogether. We traveled with these teams about seven miles and camped on the North Platte; during the night we had to sleep the best we could without our baggage.
Wednesday, 26—Teams went back to Benton after our baggage. After they returned, we all got very busy with washing our clothes, raising tents, etc.
Thursday, 27—I was busy with accounts, all were busy making ready for the journey with the Church teams.
Friday, 28—Accompanied by Captain John G. Holman I went to Benton to make purchases for the company.
Saturday, 29—I again went to Benton and bought goods for $400. On my return to the camp I opened store in a wagon and distributed such provisions to the saints as they needed for the journey over the mountains. Four persons who had died were buried this day.
Sunday, 30—We loaded the wagons and held a meeting in the evening. The instructions from President Brigham Young were read, and the company was organized. I was appointed chaplain of the company that went with Capt. Holman’s train. There were about 60 wagons, with 12 persons to each wagon. Church Agent Pyper gave instructions to the company.
Monday 31—Accompanied by Brother Carl C. Asmussen I went to Benton and bought some medicine which we thought might be useful for the sick on the journey. We also bought guns and ammunition and other things for a number of the brethren.
Tuesday, Sept. 1—We commenced our journey in the wilderness. I traveled free with the Brothers Christensen, on condition that I should help them on the journey.
Wednesday, 2—I returned to Benton with $700 to purchase a pair of mules and a wagon for Brother Rasmussen, being accompanied by Peter Hansen and Brother Scholdebrand [Skoldebrand]. After making the purchase I was asked to remain in Benton till the next day to receive information about the baggage belonging to the sick.
Thursday, 3—Elder Hiram B. Clawson, William C. Staines and David O. Calder arrived at Benton from New York; they said the baggage belonging to the sick would arrive the next day. In revising the accounts, the brethren returned to me $400, which had been overcharged the company in New York, after which Brother Peter Hansen and I started out with our new team; after traveling about 30 miles we reached the camp of our company.
Friday, 4—Three mule teams were sent back after baggage; and the ox teams continued the journey. The road was sandy and rough. I administered to a number of sick in the evening and spoke encouragingly to the tired saints at the prayer meeting.
Saturday, 5—We traveled over sand hills and hard roads. Two wagons were left behind but were brought up in the evening. The captain killed a wild animal.
Sunday, 6—Two persons, who had died the previous night, were buried. We held a meeting at which the captain spoke comforting words to the saints.
Monday, 7—We arrived at Verrtri gap, where we found a fine camping place. Some of the saints murmured because of the provisions which consisted of bread and meat at every meal.
Tuesday, 8—We arrived at a point on Sweetwater river, where we struck the old emigrant road. The three wagons which were sent back after baggage overtook us.
Wednesday, 9—We traveled up the Sweetwater and camped for the night on that stream. One of our number died, and a little English girl broke her leg. I set the broken limb and blessed her.
Thursday, 10—We arrived at Antelope spring. The weather was cold and the wind, which raised a terrific dust, blowed in our faces all day.
Friday, 11—the unfavorable weather continued. We traveled through the South pass. A messenger was sent to South Pass city with letters.
Saturday, 12—We traveled to Little Sandy
Sunday, 13—Traveled to Big Sandy, where we held a meeting, at which Brother Peter Hansen, Andrew Larson and I spoke to the saints in a spirited manner.
Monday, 14—We arrived at Green river. While the people crossed in the ferry boat the wagons were hauled over through the water. Several necessary articles were bought and fresh provisions distributed at this point.
Tuesday, 15—We remained in camp all day. A numbers of the saints, myself included, suffered with mountain fever.
Wednesday, 16—We traveled to Ham’s Fork over a heavy road. One death occurred during the night.
Thursday, 17—We reached the Muddy. Our oxen strayed away during the night.
Friday, 18—Our oxen were brought back about noon; we traveled up the Muddy and saw large numbers of men working on the railroad grade.
Saturday, 19—Our oxen again strayed away during the night, and it took us half the day to find them. We then traveled to Yellow creek.
Sunday, 20—We traveled past Carter and made camp for the night at the upper end of Echo canyon.
Monday, 21—We traveled down Echo canyon and camped for the night near Coalville, Summit county, Utah.
Tuesday, 22—We passed through Coalville, where I Met Bishop William W. Cluff; camped on Silver creek, for the night.
Wednesday, 23—We traveled by way Kimballs, or through Parley’s park.
Thursday, 24—We crossed the summit of the mountains and camped for the night at the mouth of Parley’s canyon.
Friday, 25—We arrived safe and well in Salt Lake City.
Source of Trail Excerpt: Beard, George, [Reminiscences], in J. Kenneth Davies, George Beard: Mormon Pioneer Artist With a Camera [1980?], 15-20.
Trail Excerpt:
"The terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad, at that time, was in Benton City, (Wyoming) which was composed of shacks and tents occupied for saloons, stores, and living houses, used by the people who lived and worked on the railroad. The railroad would have a terminus about every forty or fifty miles and these towns were always built at the terminus. Benton City was about 700 miles from Omaha and about 300 miles from Salt Lake City.
"An incident occurred at Benton City which I shall never forget. In the car in which we were riding was a young lady about eighteen years old. Her name was Miss Rose Taylor, who was coming from England to meet her sister who had joined the Church and was living in Salt Lake City. When we were a few miles from Benton City, a powerful stranger boarded the car at a small side station. He inquired for Joseph Quinney. The parents of Miss Taylor had placed her in the charge of Mr. Quinney before they left England. He sat down beside Mr. Quinney and told him he had a warrant from the Court made at the request of her sister in Benton to arrest Miss Taylor and take her to Benton City. Mr. Quinney naturally objected to Miss Taylor going with the sheriff, but when the sheriff showed his star and two pistols and told Mr. Quinney that he would use one of his pistols if it became necessary to take Miss Taylor, Mr. Quinney realized that nothing could be done until we reached Benton City.
"An ox train and a mule train with their teamsters, were camped waiting at Benton City for the trains to arrive with the immigrants. Captain Mumford and Captain Holman (Gillespie in another account) had charge of the trains. Both captains decided to wait until Miss Taylor's case had been decided by the court...
"Mr. Quinney had asked Miss Taylor if she desired to stay with her sister in Benton City or go with the immigrants to Salt Lake City as her parents had desired. She told him she wanted to go to Salt Lake. When she appeared in court she had changed her mind and informed the court that she wanted to stay in Benton City with her sister. After the decision of the court, which decided that Miss Taylor must remain with her sister, a mob, consisting of gamblers, murderers, drunkards and the keepers of brothels, claimed that the Mormons had tried to force Miss Taylor to go with them to Salt Lake City to go into polygamy. The mob started out from Benton City for the purpose of burning the wagons and shooting up the Mormons in the wagons. The two captains received word that the mob was organizing and would soon reach the immigrants. The two captains formed both trains in a circle for defense, running the wagon tongues under the hind wheels of the wagon ahead. All the teamsters who had come from Utah for the immigrants carried guns and a good many of them rifles. The captains ordered all the immigrants who had guns to have them ready. The mob could be seen coming from Benton City, but before they had come very far a company of United States soldiers headed them back to where they belonged. About three days were lost during the time we were waiting. We left Benton City on September 1, 1868.
"The teamsters who had come from Utah had all been sent from Mormon settlements in Utah. These men had accepted the job as a 'calling' and made no charge for their services. They were a happy, jolly, healthy-looking lot of men who used to entertain the immigrants at the campfires every night, dancing and singing and telling stories...
"The trains traveled about 15 or 20 miles a day. I walked most of the way as there wasn't enough room in the wagon for me and I slept at night with only one blanket under the wagon on the hard ground. One day, while camped for dinner, a scorpion stung me on the thumb. It was very painful, but one of the teamsters opened the wound with his pocket knife and sucked the blood from the wound, and covered it with tobacco while he chewed. In a few days I was all right.
"After we had been out for several days, early one morning Henry Harker, who came from Fort Hariman [Herriman], Utah, woke the camp shouting 'antelope, antelope, come and get yours.' It was my first close sight of any wild animals, but I saw several herds of buffalo. One day a herd of them stampeded and headed towards our train. The extra riders who were with our train headed them off. They were so numerous we could feel the ground shake.
"The trail across the prairies was mostly over dreary sandy knolls covered with sage brush. Our trains were the last to come over the plains as the railroad was running their trains always after. The grass was eaten with the animals who had traveled over them ahead of us.
"When we got our first view of the Rockies showing the snow-covered tips, the trip became interesting. The travel across the Rocky Mountains on the eastern hills, through South Pass, was impossible because of the scarcity of feed so the captains decided to go over a new road, over a pass which was called Whiskey Gap. We were all notified that the pass was infested with rattlesnakes. As I had never seen a rattlesnake before, I was very interested when I saw a genuine diamond back dead by the side of trail; it caused a peculiar feeling and a shudder to go over me.
"When we camped on the Sandy River we were shown where Lot Smith and his Mormon band had burned a train of supply wagons loaded with food for the United States soldiers (of Johnston's Army) who were camped further ahead on the trail at Fort Bridger. A large black circle showed the remains of the burned wagons where we could see king bolts, tires, axles, etc. plainly showing that a daring big job had been well done. The charred burned remains of the wagons were in evidence in the large black burned circle...Edmund Eldredge, my next door neighbor in Coalville, was a member of the band. He enjoyed telling the story of how it was done.
"Our wagons crossed Green River on a ferry boat which was run by a couple of Mormons from Utah. They lived in a fresh new log house, the first I had seen. The lady took a big pan full of hot biscuits from the oven and filled one with good delicious butter and oh how I did enjoy it, as it was the first hot biscuit I had seen. I was half-starved and hungry and I must have eaten so ravenously that the husband laughed and told his wife to give me another.
"When we left the railroad cars at Benton City I am sure there wasn't an immigrant who wasn't 'lousy'. They were covered with genuine 'Emerald Isle' lice. Every seam in my pants shone with knits. At our first camp my pal, Joe Barber, and I went hunting, hunting for a place to hide so that we could strip stark naked to 'delouse' ourselves. We went over a knoll and found a depression, but a bunch of girls from camp beat us to it. None of them had a rag of clothing on; there were fat girls, thin girls, and just girls, some with red hair, brunettes and blondes. They ordered us away and told us to find a place of our own, but Joe and I lingered around there and made haste very slowly.
"When we camped on the Muddy River just a little before sundown, a wagon with a brand new cover drove into our camp and a man with a grin all over his face inquired of the captain for the wagon containing the Beard family. When we found it was our brother John who had immigrated several years before, who had come from Coalville with warm clean bedding and plenty of good fresh food to meet us, our joy knew no bounds. We laughed and we cried and talked and we went to bed that night in a good, clean comfortable bed in the wagon, the first comfortable bed which we had since leaving Stoneheads. Next morning, bright and early, John left the his stepping young steers could travel much faster than the poor old hungry worn-out oxen of the train could do.
"We camped next night at Fort Bridger, which had several large log buildings and one large fort with portholes to shoot through. All of these buildings were built of heavy green cottonwoods by Jim Bridger, who had two young pretty squaws who were desperately in love with him and raised two nice families. Their eyes always sparkled and they were pleased when Jim addressed them with his pet names for them, 'Damn your eyes' and 'Blast your eyes.'
"Bridger kept a trading post and kept supplies for the trappers, hunters and immigrant trains. I am informed that it was he who led the first white group of men to the Yellowstone Falls. He was an agile runner, wrestler and a famous shot and was both loved and feared by the Indians. He offered Governor Brigham Young a thousand dollars for the first bushel of corn that could be raised in Salt Lake Valley"...
"After leaving Fort Bridger, we came through Bear River City, which was then the terminus of the railroad builders. I saw six limp bodies hanging and dangling with ropes around their necks from telephone (telegraph) poles. I wanted to stop and look into the matter but was told by my brother to keep going and keep my mouth shut. He said evidently vigilantes had been busy there last night.
"Bear River City was located about six miles above the present city of Evanston, Wyoming. At that time the Mormon trail crossed Bear River, went past Yellow Creek and came into Echo Canyon at Cache Cave. Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and many of the leaders scratched with a nail their names in the soft sandstone ledge in the cave and can be seen today.
"The trip down Echo Canyon was very interesting to me. As I watched the wagon ahead of us go out of sight in the bend of the road and saw the cliffs getting higher and closer together, I was sure we would never be able to find our way out of the canyon. When we got to the narrowest place, which just had room for the road and the creek, my brother stopped and called our attention that there was where the Mormons decided to stop the soldiers from coming down the canyon and that a high bank, about ten to twelve feet high, had been made so that the dam could be filled with water and cover the road a long ways back up the canyon. High on the south side of the canyon, from which the Mormons could protect the dam, were tiers of long trenches, one above the other— the Mormons had built, on top of the towering upright cliffs on the north, rock forts; I later photographed some of them. Tons and tons of loose rocks were piled on top already to come crushing down on the soldiers in the narrow road. A path had been made into Lost Creek Canyon a few miles to the north. Later, I saw several rifle pits made by the Mormons where they cached their supplies, to be moved to Echo Canyon as needed. A little below this point the cliffs rose higher and were shaped so that they echoed every sound from below...At that point the road narrowed and went through a space between two huge rocks, which sometime before had fallen from the ledge and just left space enough to allow a wagon with a hay rack on top to pass through.
"When we came to the mouth of Echo Canyon, where Echo Canyon Creek joins the Weber River coming from the South, my brother John pointed to a rocky ridge in the south and said, 'Behind that ledge lies Home Sweet Home in Coalville.'"

Source of Trail Excerpt:  Bertelsen, Annie E., Diary, in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 5:32.
Trail Excerpt:
On August 31st we started to cross the plaines by Ox Team which was led by Captain John G. Holman. We walked most all the way even if we were so tired and sick we could hardly go. There were 30 who died in crossing the plains, and in that number was my mother, who had hoped she would live to be buried on land, which she did. She was buried in a grave without any casket, just [w]rapped in a cloth, laid in the grave, placed brush over her before covering her with dirt. We arrived in Salt Lake City September 25, 1868, of a long and tiresome journey.

Source of Trail Excerpt:  Carroll, Willard, [Reminiscences], 2-3, in Daughters of Utah Pioneers Kane County Company, "Histories of Early Pioneers of Orderville and Kane County, Utah," comp. Hattie Esplin.
In 1868 I was called and went to drive a team after the emigration. The water was unusually high that year and while waiting for the bridge to be replaced over chalk creek near Coalville we heard of the death of Heber C. Kimball. The delay at Coalville caused me to miss the train I should have gone with, so with a horse team I made the trip with an ox team, being allowed the privilege of travelling at the head of the train the whole trip. The Green River was very high and just before we arrived there Capt. Seely of San Pete Co. had lost seven men by drowning. We had a narrow escape but all crossed safely. At the Sweet Water we came to a stage station still burning the Indiand [Indians] having killed the keeper[,] run off the stock and fired the station .

Crossing the Sweetwater

Crossing the Sweetwater

Devil's Gate

Location:Devil's GateDistance: 970 miles from Nauvoo
A significant landmark noted by most journal keepers, Devil's Gate is a narrow cut made by the Sweetwater River through an immense rock with sides measuring three hundred seventy feet in height and more than a quarter mile in length. It was here that the suffering members of the Martin Handcart Company were brought by the rescuers before being carried west to the Salt Lake Valley during the bitter winter of 1856. Twenty men, under the leadership of Daniel W. Jones, remained for the winter at Devil's Gate to guard freight unloaded there by the independent wagon companies, in part to make room for exhausted members of the Martin Company. The Jones party suffered misery and starvation at Devil's Gate, at one point being reduced to eating boiled rawhide until friendly Indians gave them some buffalo meat. The episode was immortalized in Wallace Stegner's story "The Man Who Ate the Pack Saddle."

Spoken at Ole's Funeral
Peter Sundwall: (statements at the funeral services of Ole Lasson Jr.)
My brothers and sisters, I assure you that I feel very humble in occupying this position and I pray that I may be able to say something that will be a comfort to these people. I have been impressed by the splendid tributes that have been paid to the character of this good man, Brother Lasson, by our Bishop Nielsen and Brother Anderson, and I hesitate to add anything to what they have said because I feel that all that has been said is true. I have myself become very much attached to brother Lasson from my associations with him in our administration of our bank as you know, he was for several years president and a director. He had the growth of the bank very much at heart, and as Brother Anderson remarked, during the worst years of the depression that we have just passed through, it was Brother Lasson’s thought, that no depositor in our bank must suffer any loss if it was in his power to help it. Everything that has been done in this hank is to the safety of the depositor. I admire Brother Lasson for the good common sense which he always displayed. He held that the affairs of this institution should be handled in a proper and satisfactory manner. There was much wisdom and council that Brother Lasson gave us. I am sure all the associated directors felt greatly indebted to Brother Lasson. He being the elder or oldest of the group naturally we looked up to him for the decisions on many problems which arose. We learned to love him for his wisdom.

He was a man of integrity, a man of honesty whose word could always be depended upon as being true and he achieved some degrees of success, in a way, and wasn’t he entitled to these blessings. Did he use these material blessings in a selfish purpose or way. When we think of the investment that he made in the institution across the street, the Fairview Mercantile Company, which institution he has been a large stock holder for many years, are we to assume that it was solely for a selfish purpose to acquire additional means for personal wealth, no it was certainly with a motive of doing a business service and a duty in this community. To think that Brother Lasson realized the need of such an institution, that it was needed In our community and he went about to help obtain one. In the establishment of the Fairview State Bank, I doubt his motive was a selfish one. It was to help the community because he realized the need for such an institution and he proved it and this was his primary motive. So we must recognize Brother Lasson’s business spirit and his desire to help in the development and foster the growth of our community. I might just go on a little farther and state that there are many individuals who can point out the fact that Brother Lasson has helped them financially when they have found themselves in need of finance, they have called on him.

It makes me very grateful to be privileged to have people of Ole Lasson’s character as a part of my heritage.  It motivates and inspires me to emulate his example. The statement made by Ole’s son Bernard Lasson says even more about the integrity of this great man when Bernard said: “Life was rich. We had a good family life; Mother and Dad were kind but firm with us. We learned discipline and carried responsibility. Honesty and integrity were impressed upon me from my earliest recollection. My parents were honored and respected by all who knew them. The Lasson name was almost synonymous with honesty.”

Fairview Merchantile Company

Fairview Merchantile Company

From the Website: Ogden's in Chico

They Believed - We Believe

Chico Stake Trek 2009

Edward and Betty Gledhill once again traveled the pioneer trail to the Salt Lake Valley. Their first trip was in 1868 when they left their home in Lancashire, England with a desire to join the saints in Zion. The second trip was 141 years later in July of 2009. However, this time they were represented by a Ma and Pa, also known as Brad and Teri Ogden, and 7 youth of the Chico California Stake. I am the Pa or father of this family and therefore had the opportunity of choosing the pioneer family we were to represent. I chose Edward and Betty Gledhill for reasons I will explain later, but it could have been Ramsay, or Johnson, or Ogden, or the Niels Anderson family or even the Ola and Anna Anderson family. But on this trek, at least for three days, we were to be Gledhill’s and we had a great experience.

Edward and Betty left England in May of 1868 and traveled on the ship Emerald Isle, arriving in New York on Aug 11, 1868. They then booked passage on a train, traveling in cattle and box cars to the end of line at Fort Benton Iowa. There they were met by Edward Mumford and his mule teams that would take them the final 3 weeks to the Salt Lake Valley. I suppose we tweaked historical facts a bit to suit our situation. We skipped the part about travel by ship and train, and went right to the part about the wagons. But a mule train can be somewhat difficult to handle for a novice, so we opted for handcarts, which was the only thing we had anyway.

Actually the original handcart era was from 1856 and 1860 so we were even a little out of sync there, but the Gledhill’s had six children with them and we had seven, so score one for close family size at least. We did have an auntie Kay, and they must have forgotten theirs. And we had blisters, which I’m sure they did also, and our nights were every bit as cold as theirs.

When we stopped along the trail we had a chance to talk about what it would be like to be a stone mason in England, how the family lived, and the closeness they must have had for each other. We discussed the dream of coming to America to live in Zion, and joining the other family members who had left 3 years earlier. We learned what the Perpetual Emigration Fund was and how that creative concept helped many to immigrate. Also we discussed the dream that Betty had of 2 young men with briefcases that would come to their door with a message, and how when it happened three months later, it changed their lives forever.

Overall we agreed that being part of a Trek re-enactment was a great experience. It helped each of us better appreciate the history of the great western migration of the Latter-day Saints. We had fun be we also had many, many, learning and teaching opportunities. It strengthened faith and testimonies and even built a little character. We even made a few new friends.