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October 1858

1 October 1858 • Friday

Friday, Oct 1st,/58. Bro. Haight returned in the night from his hunt after Bro. Gorley. He had traveled about 80 miles from the time he left us. The old man when he had found that he had gone another road, had traveled all night for fear we should get ahead of him. He was 52 miles from the junction of the road when overtaken by Bro. Haight. They came down a road, (about 15 miles) leading from the old road to a ford of the Platte, where the old man stayed and Bro H returned to meet us. We started at ½ past 8 and traveled twenty miles to ford of Platte, where we found the old man, Gorley, camped. The first few miles were rather sandy, the remaining portion of the road was good. Started and traveled over good Road for about 8 miles and camped near bend of the Platte.

2 October 1858 • Saturday

Saturday Oct 2nd/. Traveled about 8 miles and came to Horse Shoe Creek, found a mail station here; three miles farther came to fine Springs, feed pretty good all along; we passed, another little spring creek, crossed rolling, hilly country and stopped for noon at a creek with cottonwood growing on its banks. Road rough part of the distance (about 18 miles) this forenoon. In afternoon passed small creek after traveling about three or four miles. Road hilly throughout afternoon; came to the junction of our road with the old pioneer trail and camped at bend of river. Traveled during the afternoon 14 or 15 miles.

3 October 1858 • Sunday

Sunday Oct 3rd/58. Commenced raining about 11 p.m. last night and continued without intermission until after noon. We started before noon. Bro Kesler and Dr Whitmore went round by Fort Laramie [to] obtain supplies. We traveled 12 miles road muddy and came to Ford of the Platte opposite Laramie, crossed and traveled one mile and stopped to cook supper Started a little after sundown and traveled 11 miles to Raw Hide Creek, found no water; went five miles farther to bend of river and camped. The road on this side of river very sandy.

4 October 1858 • Monday

Monday. 4th Started at 10. passed several bends of river traveled sixteen miles and camped at bend of river; road would be good if dry. Started before sundown and traveled 12 miles to Spring Creek over some sandy road. We camped at about 10 P.M.

5 October 1858 • Tuesday

Tuesday 5th. Started after breakfast and traveled 13 miles and camped on river; we passed Scotts Bluffs five miles after starting. After nooning we traveled about 13 or 14 miles passing Chimney Rock about 2 or 2½ miles. Chimney Rock is 19½ miles from Scotts Bluffs and 69½ miles from Fort Laramie. We started again about sundown, very cloudy, windy and dark, and traveled about 7½ miles and camped not far from the river about 10 P.M.

6 October 1858 • Wednesday

Wednesday Oct 6th/58. Started before sunrise, traveled about 6 miles and camped at the foot of the low bluffs; breakfasted and remained about 2 hours. About the time we started it commenced snowing and continued until afternoon. One mile across the bluffs, sandy road, Seven and half miles farther to bend of river. Ten and a half from this point to “Ancient Bluffs ruins.” We camped, at river about 17 miles from place of starting in morning. In afternoon passed “Ancient Bluff ruins.” 1¼ miles farther to foot of Bluffs; 2¼ miles over the bluffs, road sandy. Turned off and watered at river, Traveled 5 miles to Lake South of road, which we passed 1¼ miles farther to Crab Creek, where we camped; feed good. Night very cold and clear. Day’s travel 34¼ miles.

7 October 1858 • Thursday

Thursday Oct 7th/58. We left Crab creek before sunrise traveled eight miles to west foot of bluffs at bend of river. Started and crossed Sandy Bluff ½ mile across. Thence 12 miles to Sandy Hill Creek on right hand of road: thence to Castle Creek 5 miles here we camped for two hours. Started and passed Ash hollow, south side of river, 3 miles; watch creek 7 miles and camped 1½ farther near the river. Day’s travel about 37 miles. Road sandy in places, especially fore part of the Day. Cold night.

8 October 1858 • Friday

Friday Oct 8th. Started before sunrise; traveled two miles to foot of sandy bluffs; crossed ¾ of a mile, to Wolf creek; Sandy very heavy. Two miles to Pond Creek; four and a half to Camp creek where we stopped for breakfast. After starting traveled 4 miles to Crooked creek, passed several other creeks, several Sioux lodges, very friendly. and stopped for two hours on Rattlesnake creek, 7 1/4 miles from Crooked Creek. After starting, two men on horseback, who had passed us in the afternoon, rode up to us and told us that they had killed two buffalo and wished us to go and get some meat. Bro Horton D. Haight took the riding mare and two pack mules, and with two other brethern accompanied the men to where one of the buffalo lay and obtained some meat. We crossed Shoal stream 3 ¾ miles from Rattlesnake, Duckweed Creek 2 miles farther and several other creeks and camped between two on good feed; about 7 ¾ from Rattlesnake. Day’s travel 27 ½ miles. some. sandy in places afternoon.

9 October 1858 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct 9/58. Started in morning early, crossed two or three creeks[.] came to Sandy Bluffs, traveled two miles and came to creek six miles from where we started, and camped for breakfast. Started and traveled ¼ of a mile to Past foot of Bluffs, crossed one or two creeks and came to more Sandy Bluffs, 1 ¼ miles across; four miles farther road principally sandy, came to more sandy bluffs 4½ miles across; 1½ miles farther came to North Bluff Fork, a wide stream, quicksand bottom, where we camped. Feed excellent all long. The road has been very heavy to day. Day’s travel about 24 miles

10 October 1858 • Sunday

Sunday Oct 10/58. Started early, traveled 11 miles before breakfast over pretty good road, crossing small creek, at 3½ miles, bend of river 3½ farther, then Black Mud Creek at 2 miles and 2 miles farther came to bend of river where we stopped. Started again and crossed wide deep creek at 2¼, several bends of river and Carrion creek at 12 miles from where we breakfasted. Three miles a half after passing this creek came to Low Sandy bluffs, which we crossed and came to Spring on left of road 1¼ farther; road for the past 4 miles Sandy. In evening road quite sandy, night very dark and difficult keeping the road. Traveled 6¼ miles, which seemed very long in the night, and came to crossing of Skunk Creek, which was quite wide at the crossing, Day’s travel 36 miles. To day has been cloudy and threatening; it rained a little in the night last night. We have seen small herds of buffalo occasionlly since friday.

11 October 1858 • Monday

Monday Oct 11/58. Very misty, almost like <a> rain. Started early; traveled 3 miles down creek to where we left it, 2 miles farther to bend of river, 3 miles beyond to point of low sandy bluffs, where we breakfasted. After eating we traveled 14 miles to deep dry creek, passing several Indian Lodges, 2½ miles farther came to Ptah Lake, where we stopped to sup. We turned off the new road to get to this Lake which is on the old road. Road somewhat sandy this afternoon. After eating we traveled about 8 miles, over pretty good road, and camped for the night. The night was very dark. We would have traveled farther had not father Gorley’s give horse give out.

12 October 1858 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Oct 12th. Very misty again this morning. Traveled at 12 miles to Buffalo Creek, where we stopped for breakfast. This road is above the old road and is very good traveling, but a greater distance without water. Buffalo very plentyful. Started again traveled down Buffalo Creek, (after crossing it) and then struck off for Elm Creek, about 16 or 17 miles, and camped for supper. The creek was dry but we found water enough in the puddles to wet flour for our animals and to water them. After leaving this creek we found the prarie burned off. The old road here joined the new. We came to deep dry creek at 3¼ miles and at 4¼ miles farther to a slough south side of road where we camped, the grass not been burned.

13 October 1858 • Wednesday

Wednesday Oct 13. Stopped and breakfasted, and then after traveling about 4 miles came to a deep ravine with a little water in, after crossing which we kept straight ahead, leaving the old pioneer road to the right. We traveled 20 miles farther without water to Wood river, where we camped. About 5 miles from where we struck this river is a bridge but it was out of repair, and some of the company wishing to purchase supplies we concluded to go down the river to the old crossing below which a settlement had been formed by some Germans. We traveled after supper about 8 or 9 miles and camped. The bottom is burned over for miles; we obtained feed.

14 October 1858 • Thursday

Thursday Oct 14th/58. Started early, traveled 10 miles over a beautiful and fertile bottom, reaching from Wood river to the Platte, and came in sight of a house and some shocks of corn. We camped near the field, and close to the crossing, and bought what feed we needed. Hearing here that to go by our settlement called Genoa, would be a longer road, the greater part of the company concluded to go by way of Columbus to Florence but Bro Eldredge having business, to transact at Genoa, we took the direct road there, which avoids the German settlement, leaving it to the right. Our road was the old road that we made in ’47 but a greater part of the way it was grown up with grass and it was very difficult to keep; 11¾ miles from the crossing we came to Praire Creek, the creek where we camped; no fuel but good feed. After leaving this creek and traveling 1¾ or 2 miles we came to a good sized creek that was recognized to be Prairie Creek, the creek where we had supped was but a slough. The old road was so dim that we had difficulty in finding a place to cross. Bro. J. W Young crossed a horse back at a place we supposed to be the ford; but another place was found below appeared to be better. Before venturing in with the teams it was thought best for somebody to cross and ascertain the nature of the footing, the depth of the water etc. I started across on a small mule that we called “Dragon”; after getting fairly into the water he began to pitch violently and act as though he were trying to free his legs from the mire or from something that was tangling him. I stuck to him though he surged heavily and from side to side as long as he stood on his feet but he finally rolled over and I got [out] of his way as quickly as I could getting thoroughly ducked in the operation. I kept his head up out of the water and being joined by Bro. J. W Young in the water and Bro Haight on the bank, we drew him out on his broad side in which position he continued to lie, notwithstanding his struggles, from the time he first rolled over. The wagons crossed without any particular difficulty. We camped on the bank for the night.

15 October 1858 • Friday

Friday Oct. 15th/58. We started early and traveled about six miles and camped for breakfast near a small pond on the right of the road. Went on six miles farther and came to some wells on the right of the road, here we watered our animals. Went and descended the Bluffs on to the bottom and camped after traveling about 18 or 19 miles from place of breakfasting, for supper. The road thus far to day has been mostly sandy. After supper traveled about 10 miles to a lake on the left of the road where we camped

16 October 1858 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct 16/58. Breakfasted and traveled 20 miles to Loop Fork over not very good road. We came in sight of Genoa some miles before coming to the River. We had considerable difficulty in <finding a> crossing. Bro J. W Young searched down the stream where there had been an old ford. After he had searched awhile unsuccessfully I started to search up stream and after considerable difficulty succeeded in crossing too but then had slough and the Beaver River to wade before I got on to the main land. The river ran so rapidly and the wind was so very high and violent and so much quicksand underfoot that I thought several times in crossing that I would be carried down stream despite every exertion I could make. While I was crossing above some of the brethern from Genoa arrived with some cattle to help us across[.] Bro Davis found a tolerably good ford below (one much better than where I crossed, in fact teams could not cross where I did and I went over with them. They hitched up three yoke on to Bro. Eldredge’s wagon and before they reached the deep part of the river 3 yoke more were hitched on; there wagon was safely taken across by dark. When we reached the Genoa side of the stream it was concluded to be best to defer crossing the remainder of the wagons until morning and as the brethern with the wagons would be waiting in suspense not knowing what was to be done and I was the only one belonging to the wagons who had crossed. I told them I would return and tell the brethern what the plan was. I started into the river alone with no other light to guide me but the moon which was hidden by clouds[.] It being rather dark and the sand bars not plain to be seen I could not form a very correct idea of the proper route to take, and kept up a little to [too] high. The wind still continued very high and the current was very strong and I had much difficulty to make much headway, this joined with the uncertainty of the route, made me feel the unpleasantness of my position. I am not easily frightened in the water, but I had been in the water all the afternoon and was both chilled and tired, and I did not feel able to swim any distance; all around me was one wide, struggling waste of waters without anything to guide me, and I confess I wished I was safely across. I felt to ask the Lord to strengthen and enable me to get safely out. I finally got out of the deep water and reached a sandbar. I had to rest myself, being tired and breathless. After reaching the sandbar and traveling awhile I found the track of the wagon which had crossed and followed it until it struck the main bank. The whole distance across from one bank to the other bay the route we were compeled to take was upwards of ¾ of a mile. After reaching the spot where the wagons had stood I found nothing but their tracks. I hallowed as loudly as I could expecting that they moved lowe[r] down the river to more a convenient point for crossing, but could get no reply. I then tracked the wagons and had had almost made up my mind that I would have to spend the night by a fire (some embers having been left on the bank where the wagons had stopped) as I thought they would they would strike off into the grass in some direction and I would lose their trail, when I met Bro. Horton D Haight and another brother coming down to the river for water who directed me to the wagons. They had built no fire for fear of it spreading and did <not> expect me to return. The night was very windy

17 October 1858 • Sunday

Sunday Oct 17/58. We crossed in safety this morning this morning, five yoke of cattle drawing the wagon over; the horses and mules were driven over loose after the wagons. It was a cold disagreeable morning, and showery. After landing, we proceded, to Genoa which is situated about a mile from the Fork and near the confluence of the Beaver with the Loop Fork. It is built on a bench above the bottom and is well located, timber being convenient and somewhat plentyful. Bro Joel H. Johnson is president. We held meeting in the afternoon and after a few introductory remarks by Bro Eldredge I was called upon to speak which I did for about ¾ of an hour and had good freedom. Bro J. W Young and Bro. Eldredge followed.

18 October 1858 • Monday

Monday, Oct 18th/58. We started about one o’clock and traveled about 17 miles and camped; road wet and rather bad from the rain.

19 October 1858 • Tuesday

Tuesday Oct 19th We passed Cleveland, Columbus and don’t know how many other towns – the whole bottom almost being staked out in City lots – and camped about [blank] miles from where we started. In afternoon crossed Shell Creek and traveled a few miles farther and camped Day’s travel thought to be 30 miles

20 October 1858 • Wednesday

Wednesday, 20th. Started before breakfast and traveled about 12 miles and breakfasted. Traveled in afternoon 18 miles farther, passing the village of Fremont at 6 miles, and camped at the Elk horn which we found spanned by an excellent bridge.

21 October 1858 • Thursday

Thursday 21st. Started after breakfast and traveled about 22 miles to Florence, as Winter Quarters is now called passing the big Pappea at 4 miles farther. Our road lay through Cuttler’s Park which I would have passed without recognizing but when I was told that we were on the ground. I speedily stopped recognized our old places. of camping. We passed near the burying ground on the hill, and descended on to the bottom as we used to when we reconsidered <resided> here. The river land1 the bottom looked narrower than they used to; but otherwise the country looked familiar. Most of the house[s] were unoccupied and business was completely stagnated. There are many good houses here (the streets being laid out nearly ly as they were when occupied by us) but instead of containing a population of about 15.00, as one would imagine to look at them, there are less than 200. My reflections on looking at the old place were peculiar. I contrast our present situation with our past and I feel to thank the Lord for what he has done. Kept by Bro. Kinney.

22–23 October 1858 • Friday–Saturday

Friday Oct 22/58. busily engaged cleaning up etc.

We remained in Florence until the <morning of the> 23rd when we crossed the Missouri River into Iowa. Bros. Joseph W. Young and Horton D. Haight had the wagon and team which they were going to take with them to their stopping place – Fort Desmoines – in this Sis. Eldredge and the two brethren rode. Bros. E., Kesler and myself walked to Crescent City. Just as we started it commenced raining and continued about three hours. We stopped and took dinner at Bro. Lyman O. Littlefield’s, where we left Bros. Joseph W. & Horton D. It was painful parting with these brethren, for our association on the plains had endeared them to me. I had a very pleasant visit with Bro. Littlefield; we had not seen each other for <nearly> twelve years. Bro. [blank] hitched up a team and took us over to Council Bluff City (Kanesville) on the way we called on Joseph E. Johnson, editor of the Crescent City Oracle and I had some few minutes conversation with him. While at Council Bluffs city we stopped at Bro. Folsom’s. He is a master carpenter and appears like a very fine man.

24 October 1858 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct. 24/58. Rained heavily all day.

25 October 1858 • Monday

Monday, the 25th. Started before breakfast in Bro. Folsom’s wagon for the landing hoping to get a steamboat going down the river to St. Louis. Had to wait several hours for the E. A. Ogden on which we embarked. The river was quite low and continued so until we got below St. Josephs. It rained almost without cessation from the time we got on board until we landed at St. Louis. The river rose very rapidly from the mouth of the Kansas river down. I had some conversation and argument on board on the subject of “Mormonism” and found but few who <would> express unfavorable feelings. To me the contrast between the feelings of the people now and last fall, was very striking. We landed at St. Louis on the evening of Monday, the 1st of Nov. at about 8 o’clock. We stopped at the Townsley House.

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October 1858, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 21, 2024