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

Margaret Clark Journals

April 20, 1997

Location: Winter Quarters - 1014 miles left, Nebraska - Location: 41:21:41N 95:56:45W Currently the site of Florence, Nebraska, Winter Quarters was settled in September, 1846 as a temporary resting place for the pioneers. It is located just west of the Missouri river in Nebraska.

Summary: Sunday church service; Getting ready to go

Journal entry: The camp was quiet, but not all was still. The TV station from Salt Lake City was getting all of their equipment together to do the 10:00 news. Duane Cardall smiled into the camera, the lights were bright in the dark. We have a huge truck with a giant satellite dish on top and two large power generators. And we got direct TV coverage through KSL Television. Now I can go to bed.

The rain was pretty hard. We stayed warm and dry snuggled down in our sleeping bags inside the tent. There are a lot of tents set up. I hope they are dry,too.

Today is Sunday. We stayed in camp. We went to church and heard music and talks. We had four youth speakers- Orrin Henrick, a fourth grader whose ancestor designed the roof of the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City-- Danny Whitaker whose middle name is George. He was named after his great great great great grandfather who drove Parley P Pratt's wagon-- Jennifer Dicken who is excited to be on the trek, and Nathan Anderson, who is from Canada and will be going on a mission next year.

The Florence Ward of the LDS Church prepared the program today. It wasa lovely program. Bishop Andersen gave a wonderful talk. Following him Brother Robert Omer described his pioneer ancestor, John Sutherland, who was converted to the church in Liverpool, England, while his fiance, Ellen Nicholson, joined the church in Scotland. Together they sailed for America and after a very trying crossing of the Atlantic, arrived in Florence, Nebraska, where they were married. Together they moved on to the Salt Lake Valley where John and Ellen farmed near Big Cottonwood Canyon. Their journey to the Valley is very inspiring.

This afternoon I met four girls who have come with their families to trek for two days. One of the girls was on the trek last year in Iowa. She said it was a long, hard walk. But she really wants to do it again. Their names are Elizabeth Hardin, 9 years old from Farmer City, Ill., Moneta and Sarah White from Hospers, Iowa. They are nine and a half and eight years old. Stephanie Whitlock is eight and a half and she lives in Dolton, So.Dakota. Welcome to the trek, girls. What they want to learn from this experience is to see the historic landmarks.

This evening my sister and I took a quiet walk through some of the rural hills surrounding Omaha. The sun peeped through grey branches on its way to its closure for the day. We hadn't seen the sun today because of clouds and rain, so it was a welcome sight. The air was cool and damp. Everything is damp. We gingerly side-stepped the puddles and tried to avoid the mud It was a difficult task. I thought of this place 150 years in the past. The season of the year is the same. Surely they had rain...and mud. And they had wagons with horses that create mud as they clomp through the hills and down the roads. It probably was hard to side-step the puddles and mud. And there was no RV to go to to get dry and warm.

What trying times for them as I compare our circumstances. My thoughts are pensive and reflective. More and more I honor their endeavor to leave comforts and security for the unknown. They surely are a monument to the spirit of what is righteous and noble. Honor to you, Blessed Pioneers.

HappyNetTrekking, Friends!