Revised Feb. 2013
They are people who had probably never been more than 50 miles from home.
They traveled on foot, by sailing vessels, with wagon trains and handcarts,
aboard trains and river vessels. A six month journey, a distance of about 5,500
miles and a world away from their homes. They settled in the valleys between
the Utah Mountains and were among the first settlers of these areas. They are
families with names of Gordon, Park, Meikle and Peacock and they are the
Erma Phyllis Gordon Anderson
My Mother, Erma Phyllis Gordon Anderson, was a proud member of “Daughters of the Utah Pioneers”.
One of her activities involved locating the gravesite of her great great Gordon grandparents and helping
to prepare and install a gravestone to mark the site. The story of this activity is included with the “Foster
Gordon and Sarah Francis Hogg” file.
My Mother, along with many members of the Gordon family, was an active genealogist. I now have a
considerable amount of genealogy material prepared for and by Gordon, Park, Meikle & Peacock family
members. After retiring and finding more time for interest in family history, I became curious to learn
more about where these ancestors had lived and how they traveled to Utah. Through the resources of the
internet and LDS Family History Centers, Smithfield & Tooele Historical Societies, and other sources, I
was able to significantly expand my understanding of these ancestors.
The family histories attempt to tie together the genealogy data my Mother passed on and the
supplemental information I have found and added to these family histories. I hope the information may
be useful and/or interesting to other family members or to others who may find the source cited useful in
investigating their pioneer family history.
OUR PIONEER ANCESTORS
The mid 1800’s was truly an epoch period. Our ancestors crossed the Atlantic aboard the last of the great
sailing ships. Travel by ship involved a voyage of 40 to 60 days on the high seas. These were not today’s
ocean liners. Passengers provided their own food, and laundry. Toilet facilities were on the open deck.
Passengers were not housed in cabins, but in dormitory areas that were dark, cold, wet, crowded and
down right miserable. Not only seasickness, but disease outbreaks were common place. Also marriages,
births, and development of life long friendships were part of the voyage experience.
Upon arrival in the USA these ancestors became acutely aware that the Country was engaged in a Civil
War. Encounters with troops were common place. From their arrival port (Boston, New York or New
Orleans) they made their way to the Wagon train or Handcart staging areas, in Iowa or Nebraska, via
trains and river boats. Nothing like travel today as this part of the journey took 10 – 15 days. They
experienced hunger, crowded/cramped conditions, delays and often scorn from local populations.
With handcarts and ox wagons, they traveled across the prairies of Iowa, Nebraska and eastern
Wyoming and through the mountains of Wyoming and Utah. Most pioneers, unless they were teamsters,
walked all or much of the distance. This was a time when settlements were most often military forts and
were far between. Wolves, coyotes, buffalo, antelope, rattle snakes, bandits and Indians were common.
Periodic encounters with US Military patrols were also common. Again deaths and births were frequent
occurrences. Incidents of women being abducted by Indians (or maybe others) are noted in pioneer’s
After arrival in Utah, they were faced with making a living in what was truly the wild wild west. The
territory was still in the early stages of development and where our ancestors settled was open country.
But our ancestors helped carve out and build the cities and towns that make up our modern day
These Histories try to keep some of that “pioneer history” alive for our family and friends.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I will appreciate any corrections and/or additional information.
1863 - Harriet Louisa Peacock Meikle sailed aboard the AMAZON. “Amazon” later renamed “Mary
Celeste” An engraving of the Mary Celeste as she was found abandoned
GENERAL INTEREST COMMENT
The Mary Celeste was a 103-foot (31 metres), 282-ton brigantine. She was built in 1861 as the Amazon at
Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia, the first large vessel built in this community.
The Mary Celeste was a brigantine found in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and under full sail heading
towards the Strait of Gibraltar in 1872. The fate of the crew is the subject of much speculation; theories
range from alcoholic fumes to underwater earthquakes, and a large body of fictional accounts of the
story. The Mary Celeste is often described as the archetypal example of a ghost ship.
1861 - Monarch of the Sea - Emily Ellen Peacock & her new husband traveled aboard this ship
A big three-decker, this clipper ship was exceptionally strong and fast and operated in the Washington
Line out of New York. Built with the usual three masts, a round stern, and billethead, she was owned by
Captain William R. Gardner and other businessmen. After more than a quarter of a century in service
the Monarch of the Sea was reported lost in 1880
The first company, consisting of 955 Saints,
sailed from Liverpool on 16 May 1861.
Elder Jabez Woodard presided over the
passengers. Captain William R. Gardner of
Providence, Rhode Island, commanded the
ship. During the passage the Saints were
organized into eleven wards and lived
together harmoniously. There were eleven
weddings, nine deaths, and four births on
shipboard. After thirty-four days at sea the
Monarch of the Sea dropped anchor on 19
June 1861 at New York
The second company, totaling 974 Saints, sailed from Liverpool on 28 April 1864.
Under Sail to Zion
By Conway B. Sonne
It was Saturday, 6 June 1840. A full-rigged packet ship flying
the American flag glided out of Liverpool harbor, bound for
New York. Her hull was black with a white strake running the
length of the vessel. Black squares painted on this white band
would suggest gun turrets to any craft with hostile intentions. It
is likely that the ship’s fore-topsail bore a painted black ball,
the emblem of the famous Black Ball Line.
[ … ] She was carrying among her passengers the first organized emigrant company of Latter-day Saints,
Elder John Moon presided over these 41 British converts. [ … ]
Waiting at the Docks
This voyage was the beginning of an epoch a
period when thousands of newly converted
Latter-day Saints migrated from the Old World
to Zion (Zion: a name for Utah). [ … ]
In responding to the call, new converts left their
homes, families, and native lands for an unknown
future in an untamed country. Between 1840 and
1890, at least eighty-five thousand LDS emigrants
braved the treacherous oceans, surviving the
dangers of wind, wave, and arid disease. Some fifty
thousand of them crossed the water in sailing vessels.
Bringing Supplies Aboard Search for Stow Away
he Sailing Craft
tually all LDS emigrants crossed the
Underway – Leaving Port
ware of the hazards of an
significant that in a fifty-year period not one LDS y
From the outset, LDS emigrants were uniquely
ne languages were spoken aboard the ship, the 725
Saints had a successful and harmonious voyage.
From 1840 to 1868, vir
Atlantic and Pacific in sailing ships. There were 176
known voyages under canvas, of which 154 were mad
full-rigged ships, and the remainder in barks and brigs.
[ … ]
Church leaders were well a
ocean crossing and had read the reports of emigrant
ships sunk in the wrathful Atlantic. In fact, between
1847 and 1853, fifty-nine such vessels were lost, with
all who were on board. Knowing this, Church leaders
chartered only the most seaworthy ships, and it is
emigrant company was lost in the Atlantic. The onl
shipwreck that took Latter-day Saint lives occurred in the Pacific; the bark Julia Ann was lost, and five
Church members died. Morning Roll Call
organized. An early example was a meeting held
February 1841 in Liverpool to organize 235 Saints prio
to their sailing on the Sheffield, Shipmaster Richard K.
Porter joined Brigham Young, John Taylor, and
Willard Richards in the planning session. Hiram C
was appointed president of the company, with six
counselors to assist him. [ … ]. Large companies w
divided into wards, each with its own presidency.
Aboard the William Tapscott, five English and Sw
wards occupied one side of the steerage quarters, and
five Scandinavian wards the opposite side. Although ni
Life between Decks
the early years, emigrants supplied their
own food. Later maritim
required shipping lines to provide a daily
ration. Few emigrants could afford ca
fare, and sleeping accommodations in
steerage were rude and usually
overcrowded. For emigrants who trave
ships that did not exceed two tho
both space and privacy were very limited.
During the time of the wind ships, despite
improvements in conditions under successi
[… ] Rations included water and such staples as beef, pork, beans, and pota
assigned two men to assist him. During the crossing, measles, chicken pox, and other ailments claime
lives (43 of them children), or 11 percent of the company. Mortality was especially high among childre
The only sanitary facilities were buckets or chamber pots. Some later packets had water closets built on
down and could not get to the deck. It is easy to imagine the resulting chaos and stench
British and American passenger acts, sea travel remained qu
toes. There were eleven
nterns, five furnished by the emigrants and six by the ship. The emigrants hired an extra cook and
e main deck, but during severe storms sometimes lasting for day’s steerage passengers were hatched
Problems from Overcrowding
Overcrowding compounded the misery of seasickness, dysentery, cholera, and other diseases. Between
n huddled together in a heaving, rocking craft, suffering in body
In 1861, during the first of her two emigrant passages, the Monarch
f the Sea (Emily Ellen Peacock was aboard) carried 955 Latter-day
decks, these men, women, and childre
and spirit. Even under the best conditions and discipline, the situation created a fertile environment for
the spread of disease.
Saints. The passengers were housed on three decks. Families were
berthed amidships, where there was somewhat more space, but
single individuals were cramped uncomfortably together. The
resourceful company president found a happy solution. He
suggested that betrothed couples be married to relieve the
imbalance. Many marriages were promptly solemnized, and
The Lonely Sea
For travelers under sail, fear of the ocean often
submerged all other hardships. It was a well-founded
ific oceans in all
eir vastness created feelings of awe, loneliness, and
officers and crew scrambling on deck and aloft.
was dark and confined. It was a
sengers often attributed the safe voyages to the hand of
ps were usually dedicated and blessed before embarking. Many of
Sometimes ships were becalmed for days, creating
o combat disease, tedium, and discouragement,
hed patterns of shipboard
spend time on deck in the air and sunshine. Religious
games, instruction classes, reading, and needlework w
r , wife Jean and son Samuel
as aboard] In his journal, Richard Ballantyne, who presided over the company of 403 Saints, recorded incidents
fear. When winter gales or summer hurricanes r
the ocean extracted a heavy toll [ … ]
To the emigrants, the Atlantic and Pac
apprehension. Emigrants, who had never been far from
home, soon found themselves at the mercy of varying
winds and uncompromising waves. At night, lying in
their berths, they could hear the creaking and strainin
noises of the ship, the flap of canvas, the wind whistlin
through the shrouds and rigging, and the shouting
Below deck, the emigrants’ little world
discordant symphony of children’s cryin
the retching and vomiting of the
the muttering and groaning of despairing
companions, and, above all, the waves
crashing against the hull and over the
deck. [ …] Many reported shredded sai
serious leaks, and dismantled masts an
rigging. Yet the safety record of these
vessels was remarkable. Masters and pas
Providence, and to the fact that the shi
these vessels were eventually lost at sea, but not while transporting Latter-day Saints.
It was not just storms that endang
water and food shortages. [ … ]
Health and Safety
LDS emigrants establis
living. Scrupulous sanitation was emphasized,
including frequent fumigation and sprinkling of
lime (used as a bleaching powder) in living
quarters. To promote health, leaders insisted tha
warm and calm weather, everyone sick and
services, prayer meetings, entertainment events,
ere helpful distractions.
Among the notable passages was that of the clipper ship Charles Buck. [Samuel Park J
of life at sea. He first organized the emigrants into four wards and selected their officers. He then gave detailed
instructions on sanitation and cleanliness, moral conduct, and group activities. He blessed the sick, but also
prescribed his remedies for dysentery, fevers, and other illnesses. On one occasion, he and Captain William W.
Smalley sutured and dressed an eight-inch gash in the leg of a young girl.
Brother Ballantyne recorded the tragic loss of a seven-year-old boy w
children were lost to disease and buried at sea. Brother Ballantyne’s most serious problem was a food
shortage caused by a failure to reload some supplies from another ship that had been previously
chartered but had proved to be unseaworthy.
Emigrants had to subsist for days on rations of
ho was playing near the rigging
hen a strong breeze sprang up and tightened the ropes.. To add to the sadness of the voyage, three other
oat-meal, rice, biscuits, and flour. Yet he kept the Saints
usy during the 56-day passage to New Orleans at such tasks as sewing tents and wagon covers for the
There was also an unexpected danger. Although piracy had
been largely swept from the seas, it still posed an occasional
nt ships varied widely.
ts of voyages ranged from horror stories to tales of
and 38 days to New York from Liverpool
panies reported one or more deaths. On three other voyages,
assenger manifests of the John J. Boyd, the Franklin, and the Monarch of the Sea (Emily Ellen Peacock
time, shipboard conditions improved. Yet some things
ever overcome: overcrowding and its indignities, disease, and tedium. With some emigrant
trek across the plains.
threat to shipping. One afternoon, Captain Smalley sighted a
strange craft stalking the Charles Buck. He grew suspicious a
immediately ordered all passengers on deck hundreds of them
This display of numerical strength apparently induced the
captain of the other vessel to turn away.
[ … ]
Over the years, conditions aboard emigra
passages that seemed almost like pleasure cruises. The length of
the crossings under canvas, averaging 54 days to New Orlea
[ … ] At least half of the LDS emigrant com
was aboard) listed unusually high death tolls as well: in each case, more than 40 emigrants. Likewise,
there were births well over a hundred recorded.
[ … ]
Travel under sail was always difficult; however, in
companies exceeding eight hundred people, the realities of squalid living often tested the stoutest hearts.
w age of travel by steamship provided increased comfort, speed, and
fety to those pioneers on the sea who were headed toward Zion.
After 1868, things changed. A ne
PORT OF ARRIVAL TO STAGING AREAS http://www.castlegarden.org/ <- Search
Castle Garden, New York opened August 3, 1855. The structure (a former military fort) became
merica's first immigrant receiving center, welcoming 8.5 million people before it was closed in 1890 and
succeeded by Ellis Island.
ttp://www.maggieblanck.com/Immigration.htmlh <- This is a good site, many images – Scroll down
on the following morning for the railway station in
ut it was far from
. Trains averaged 20 miles an hour and had no sleeping
r pick it
Iowa River and went to the staging area
of Iowa City, at a small settlement know
next day. When we left for the Suspension Bridge
here we were immediately transferred to other cars and were speedily wending our way to New
Autobiography of David M. Stuart – “Cynosure”: (Foster & Sarah France Gordon were aboard
e landed at Castle Garden, New York and left thereW
Thirty-second-Street, where we had to remain until 2 a.m. the following morning, on account of a
on the Hudson River line having been damaged by a squall of wind which arose earlier in the day.
MORMON EMIGRANTS: 1848-1868
Train travel was easier than travel by wagon, b
accommodations or dining cars. Smoke and soot were
everywhere, sanitation facilities were primitive, and schedules
were erratic. Travelers had to provide their own food o
up en route. Many spent nights sitting up or in warehouses or
barns. Some felt they were singled out for rude treatment by
railway officials. Passenger cars sometimes caught fire or
derailed. Some women gave birth en route. But on the emigra
came. During the Civil War, because of wartime demands,
travel became even more difficult and uncomfortable. Emigrants
often had to travel in cattle cars. Handcart emigrants crossed th
that had been located on the banks of Clear Creek, 3 miles west
n as Clark's Mills, now called Coralville.
Autobiography of David M. Stuart – “Cynosure:
We reached Albany and remained there until the
Windsor. We reached that place the following day and crossed the river in a ferry steamer to Detroi
and took cars for Chicago, where we arrived the following day and immediately left, without trans
the luggage - which we have had to do at every other point - for Quincy, where we arrived the following
day. We left after an hour or two for St. Joseph.
They arranged to go up the river to Albany, instead of through New York State. We went on light
freighters behind a steam tug, where we took the railroad from Albany to Chicago and on to Quincy. At
ordon & Sarah Frances Hogg were aboard)
igrant travel by rail was difficult, especially in Missouri,
here pro- and anti-Union forces in that state often clashed: timetables were erratic; routes were
Mormon emigrants made little use of railroads
ntil the Chicago and Rock Island RR reached
ormons became common. When the railroad
Another big rise in the use of rail travel was when the Hannibal and St. Joseph RR reached St. Joseph,
issouri, on the Missouri River in 1859, whence emigrants generally took riverboats to the Council
e Civil War, the Union Pacific RR began moving west from Omaha, Nebraska, on July 10, 1865.
he following year, the Mormons abandoned the rail terminal at St. Joseph and the connecting Nebraska
d Utah in 1869, emigrants took rails all the way from the east coast.
Chicago, they put us on cattle trucks, as the passenger cars had all been burned, and we had "Hopk
choice," for everything was under military rule, and that was to rule or ruin.
Account from “Cynosure” passenger (Foster
Leaving by rail, they traveled to Rock Island,
Illinois. The train being 15 minutes late saved
all of them from plunging into the Mississippi
River as the bridge has broken with the train
ahead of them. They stayed at Rock Island
until Monday morning crossing the
Mississippi River by boat. Here they travele
in box cars to Iowa City. From here
walked 4 miles to the Iowa camp grounds.
During the Civil War years of 1861-1865, em
interrupted, impeded, and changed. Trail travel was dangerous. Bridges were blown up or burned by
military units. Rail travel, at least the accommodations most Mormon emigrants could afford, had
improved much over the conditions of the 1850s. Passenger cars often had no springs, benches had no
backs, and sometimes emigrants rode in cattle cars full of lice and dirt. Food and water had to be carr
or purchased in route.
RAIL AND TRAIL PIONEERS: 1856-1868
the Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois, in
1854, whence it was possible to continue west by
riverboats to various jumping-off sites, such as
Fort Leavenworth, on the Missouri River
It was not until 1856 that the use of railroa
went from Rock Island, Illinois, to Iowa City,
Iowa, in 1856, many Mormon emigrants,
especially the handcart pioneers, "took cars" t
Bluffs-Florence area and proceeded west. (The handcart company of 1859 did this, the first Mormons to
City Cutoff and, sequentially, took trains to four Union Pacific railheads: North Platte, Nebraska, and
Julesburg, Colorado, in 1867, and Laramie and Benton, Wyoming, in 1868. Here the emigrants were met
by church trains from Salt Lake.
After the Union Pacific RR reache
After the Mormons began departing the Far West
perienced not only
enchantingly beautiful scenery," kind "colored
"anti-Mormon" sentiments. A few emigrants could afford cabin class passage, but most, unfortunately,
traveled in steerage—on the crowded lower decks with
o Hadley” ABOARD CYNOSURE – New York to Western Missouri
…] This boat was run by steam and
ck us up. So daddy took my older brother and myself and we
ber for about a mile. It was about nine or ten that night when we
this boat was when one of the crew lifted a trap door in the bottom of the boat and
hen took a bucket to draw water up from the river. He forgot to replace the door and Thomas
n TO FLORENCE
s as there was a heavy
Then we would have to stop and repair and altogether m
Thousands of Mormons traveled on riverboats.
from various Missouri River locations, most
emigrants reached Missouri via Ohio, Mississippi,
and Missouri riverboats until the railroad rea
the Missouri in 1859.
Mormon emigrants ex
waiters," and their own preaching, but als
cholera, accidents, death (most riverboats carried
extra coffins for those who died aboard),
miscarriages, explosions, and what they took to be
the animals and baggage (including an occasional
occupied coffin), and few amenities. Sometimes passengers, including at least some Mormon children, fel
overboard and were lost.
“Autobiography of Lorenz
they burned wood for fuel and the boat
crew would have to pull up to the bank
for wood and one time when they did
this the boat stuck in the sand. The
captain ordered all able bodied men
and women to walk up the bank abou
mile and that when they got the boat
out they would blow a whistle and then pi
walked up a roadway through the tim
got back on the boat.
Another experience on
Cunningham's smaller brother had become frightened when some mules in a stall nearby started kicking
and making a lot of noise. He became excited and fell through the trap door. They stopped the b
searched but never found a trace of his body. They thought he might have been struck by one of the
large wheels on either side of the boat.
SOME ARRIVED AT NEW ORLEA
“Charles Buck” (Samuel Park Jr. & family)
DEPART NEW ORLEANS to ST. LOUIS and
Depart New Orleans and it took us about 12
days to get to St. Loui
current. River was rising ice breaking up lar
trees coming down the river the Mississippi &
Ohio and Missouri Rivers all rising made a
large steam and a heavy current and the trees
would get into the wheels and smash them.
ade us about 3 days longer than we should have
The captain of the Michigan behaved very badly toward the Saints. As the boat left the wharf in New
Orleans, John Eccleson fell overboard and was drowned. Four children died on the way to St. Louis. A
o, John, along with the rest of the men, made their handcarts on which they could haul the few things
cross the plains, one thousand miles to Utah.
Danish brother by the name of Nordberg fell overboard the morning before arriving at St. Louis and
necessary to make the journey a
The following has been edited from information at the site above.
y Jane Park Draney & family,
argaret Jessie Jackson Meikle, James Joseph Meikle and his ½ brother William and sister Isabella.
major change in the pattern of Mormon immigration took place in 1856 in Iowa City, Iowa, with the
ry of the west—the handcart experience. In
nly the first to transport
migrant companies with them.
The Mormon open carts varied in size and were
odeled after carts used by street sweepers; they were
This famous experiment involved 2,962 people in 10 companies from 1856 through 1860, but only the
first 7 companies, or 2,071 Saints trod Iowa soil (Including our Park & Meikle ancestors with 2nd
Handcart Ancestors Include: Isabella Gray Park, her daughter, Mar
THE HANDCART EMIGRANTS 1856-1860
development of a remarkable travel experiment in the histo
1854 the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (C&RI) reached the Mississippi River at Rock Island,
Illinois; two years later the railroad bridged (or should one say trestled?) the Mississippi and connected
with the Missouri and Mississippi Railroad that ran to Iowa City, Iowa.
While the Mormons were not the first to use some kind of carts …, certai
made almost entirely out of wood. They were
generally six or seven feet long, the width of a wide
track wagon, and carried about 500 pounds of
bedding, extra clothing, cooking utensils, and a tent.
The carts could be pushed or pulled by hand. Most
companies also had a few ox-drawn wagons to carry
extra supplies. These Mormons, mainly from
England, Wales, and Scandinavia, landed in New
York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and traveled
via Chicago to Iowa City, Iowa.
Handcart Co.). The handcart company of 1859 entrained at New York City and reached St. Joseph,
Missouri, on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, where they took a Missouri River riverboat to
Florence, Nebraska. The C&RI reached Council Bluffs in 1860 and handcart companies of that year
last year of the handcart experiment) were able to ride the C&RI all the way to Council Bluffs. Wit
exception of the fourth and fifth companies of 1856, the famous Martin and Willie companies (Included
Alfred Peacock), which started too late in the year and were trapped in Wyoming snows, the system was
The first 7 companies made the 275-mile trip across Iow ce, Nebraska,
of all songs was
a from Iowa City, Iowa, to Floren
the famous "Handcart Song":
in from 21 to 39 days, averaging 25 days and 11 miles a day. The first company of 226 persons started ou
on June 9, 1856, led by the Birmingham Brass Band from England, and arrived in Utah September 26th
1856. (Included our Park & Meikle ancestors) March music and singing kept the people together and
helped ward off tedium and fatigue.
The most popular
Some must push and some must pull - As we go marching up the hill,
As merrily on the way we go - Until we reach the valley, oh!
The Handcart Song – YOU TUBE
ican Revolution have erected a bronzed tablet
The joy of the success of this new, faster, and cheaper th the
In Coralville, Iowa, the Daughters of the Amer
commemorating the handcart companies.
way of immigrating soon turned to sorrow wi
nd 1860, in
tragic experience of the Willie and Martin companies, the 4th and 5th companies of 1856. When they
arrived on the Missouri River, they found their carts were not yet prepared. Some wisely thought they
should postpone the crossing of the plains that year, but such wisdom was decried by others as evidence
of a weak faith. So, after a delay and with some carts made of green wood, the two companies headed
west. The handcart experiment continued in 1857, and worked well until it ended in 1860.
In summary, about 3,000 emigrants in 10 companies were transported west between 1856 a
653 carts and 50 supply wagons. Generally, they traveled successfully, and cheaper and faster than
wagon trains. The handcart era ended after 1860, when the Mormons switched to large church ox-te
trains sent out from Salt Lake City to haul emigrants and freight west from the Missouri and other
PIONEER WAGON TRAIN
In 1860 Mormon leaders abandoned the handcart experiment in favor of the church ox-team method.
This was done for two reasons: the discovery that loaded ox teams could be sent from Utah to the
Missouri, pick up emigrants (and merchandise), and return to Utah in one season, and for better use of
the church's own resources, that is to save money
By means of these "down and back" trips, [Utah to
their own flour, beans, and bacon to supply the emigra
needed supplies not available in Utah. Furthermore em
obtaining their own wagons or carts and draft animals to
Nebraska back to Utah] the Mormons could export
nts, and use the cash saved to buy and freight back
igrants could be saved the expense and trouble of
take them west.
The 2,200-mile round trip could be made in approximately six months. Church leaders arranged for the
men, equipment, and supplies, and organized the trains into groups of about fifty each. The captain of
ach company was given complete authority to get the job done.
All the men involved were regarded as "missionaries," and were given credit on the tithing books for the
value of service rendered—they were in
effect paying their 10 percent church tithing
"in kind." There was one other fringe
benefit—bachelors often found brides
among the emigrants (See: Martha Peacock &
artin Luas) —had first pick, so to speak.
pplies. The teams were expected to reach
the Missouri River at Florence (old Winter
Happily, romance flourished throughout the
entire Mormon immigration period.
Each wagon was pulled by four yoke of oxen
r mules and carried about 1,000 pounds ofo
Quarters or modern North Omaha), in July and return with ten to twenty emigrants per wagon and all
the freight they could load. This system la
2,500 teamsters, 17,550 oxen and brought app
the jumping-off place was Florence, Ne
community of Wyoming, Nebraska, wh
sted for the period 1860-1868, and required about 2,000 wagons
roximately 20,500 emigrants to Utah. The first three years,
braska Territory. In 1864, however, the Mormons switched to the
ere they followed the (little known today) Nebraska City Cutoff
The principal reasons for
the Mormons' switch from
Florence to Wyoming seems
to have been because
emigrants from the east
could take trains directly to
St. Joseph, Missouri, then
shortened the distance from
the Missouri River to the
Mormons could either continue on the Oregon Trail or cross the Platte River
Our pioneer ancestors did not keep journals in which they recorded their im
However, in most cases, some of their traveling companions did keep journal
available today. I have used excerpts from these public journals. The sections I used are descriptions of
items that would be common for everyone traveling with them. These excerp tter
appreciation of what our ancestors experienced during their immigration.
SOME YOU TUBE SITES - PIONEERS.
take an approximately 94-
mile riverboat ride to the
community of Wyomin
and then the cutoff trail
area of Fort Kearny, by
about 50 miles. The cutoff
ran 169 miles directly west
to Fort Kearny on the
Oregon Trail, where the
and pick up the MPNHT
s which are publically
ts help me have a little be
Mormon History: LDS Pioneers
Reference is made to Ship ‘Amazon & Charles Dickens
Read the account with ancestor Harriet Louisa Peacock History
SEVERAL OTHER PIONEER VIDEOS ON YOU TUBE