Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1847 Companies

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1847: Friday, April 16 - Company organized, and rule are reviewed

Date: April 16, 1847

After breakfast, Brigham Young called the Mormon pioneer company together once again to organize for the trek and to remind them of the rules adopted for safety and discipline.

Norton Jacob said the president issued a stern admonition to the assembled group, saying that if any do not like to obey the necessary rules, without murmuring, they should "turn back now."

Bishop Newell K. Whitney, who had accompanied the pioneers thus far, but was scheduled to return to Winter Quarters, also spoke and promised he would do all he could "to help the families of those who are going."

After some remarks by several other speakers, Brigham had the company count off and nominate their officers. The pioneers were formed into two divisions, with Stephen Markham and Albert P. Rockwood as leaders. Rockwood, 41, was a former general in the Nauvoo Legion. He later became the first warden of the territorial prison.

The pioneers were further organized into groups of 10, each with a captain. The groups, although they would change in some respects before the trip was over, were recorded as follows this day:

  • First 10: Wilford Woodruff, captain; Jacob D. Burnham, Joseph Egbert, Marcus B. Thorpe, George Wardle, John S. Fowler, Orson Pratt, John M. Freeman, George A. Smith.
  • Second 10: Ezra T. Benson, captain; Thomas Grover, Barnabas L. Adams, Roswell Stevens, Amasa M. Lyman, Sterling Driggs, Albert Carrington, Thomas Bullock, George Brown, Willard Richards, Jesse C. Little.
  • Third 10: Phineas H. Young, captain; John Y. Green, Thomas Tanner, Brigham Young, Addison Everett, Truman O. Angell, Lorenzo D. Young, Briant Stringham, Albert P. Rockwood, Joseph S. Schofield.
  • Fourth 10: Luke S. Johnson, captain; John Holman, Edmund Ellsworth, Sidney Alvarus Hanks, George R. Grant, Millen Atwood, Samuel Fox, Tunis Rappleye, Harvey Pierce, William Dykes, Jacob Weiler.
  • Fifth 10: Stephen H. Goddard, captain; Tarlton Lewis, Henry G. Sherwood, Zebeedee Coltrin, Sylvester H. Earl, John Dixon, Samuel H. Marble, George Scholes, William Henrie, William A. Empey.
  • Sixth 10: Charles Shumway, captain; Andrew Shumway, Thomas Woolsey, Chauncey Loveland, Erastus Snow, James Craig, William Wardsworth, William Vance, Simeon Howd, Seeley Owen.
  • Seventh 10: James Case, captain; Artemas Johnson, William C.A. Smoot, Franklin B. Dewey, William Carter, Franklin G. Losee, Burr Frost, Horace Datus Ensign, B. Franklin Stewart, Monroe Frink, Eric Glines, Ozro Eastman.
  • Eighth 10: Seth Taft, captain; Horace Thornton, Stephen Kelsey, John Eldgredge, Charles Barnum, Almon Williams, Rufus Allen, Robert T. Thomas, James W. Stewart, Elijah Newman, Levi Kendall, Francis Boggs, David Grant.
  • Ninth 10: Howard Egan, captain; Heber C. Kimball, William A. King, Thomas Cloward, Hosea Cushing, Robert Baird, George Billings, Edson Whipple, Philo Johnson, William Clayton.
  • Tenth 10: Appleton M. Harmon, captain; Carlos Murray, Horace K. Whitney, Orson K. Whitney, Orrin P. Rockwell, Nathaniel T. Brown, R. Jackson Redden, John Pack, Francis Pomeroy, Aaron Farr, Nathaniel Fairbanks.
  • Eleventh 10: John S. Higbee, captain; John Wheeler, Solomon Chamberlain, Conrad Kleinman, Joseph Rooker, Ferry Fitzgerald, John H. Tippets, James Davenport, Henson Walker, Benjamin Rolfe.
  • Twelfth 10: Norton Jacob, captain; Charles A. Harper, George Woodward, Stephen Markham, Lewis Barney, George Mills, Joseph Hancock, John W. Norton, Andrew Gibbons.
  • Thirteenth 10: John Brown, captain; Shadrach Roundy, Hans C. Hansen, Levi Jackman, Lyman Curtis, Matthew Ivory, David Fowell, Hark Lay, Oscar Crosby.
  • Fourteenth 10: Joseph Mathews, captain; Gilbroid Summe, John Gleason, Charles Burke, Alexander Chesley, Rodney Badger, Norman Taylor, Green Flake, Ellis Eames.

In addition, there were three women, the wives of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Lorenzo Young, and Lorenzo's two children, a grand total of 19 persons.

As can be seen, a company of 10 wasn't always made up of 10 persons. Sometimes there were nine in a group and sometimes as many as 12. No explanation was offered by the pioneers for these differences.

After getting organized and bidding goodbye to those returning to Winter Quarters, the company moved out at 3 p.m., traveling just three miles before halting for the night.

"The wind blew from the north, very cold," Egan wrote. William Clayton shared a single blanket with Philo Johnson that night, saying he "suffered much and took a very bad cold."

Source: 111 Days to Zion © Copyright 1997 Big Moon Traders and Hal Knight. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. This includes educational uses.