April 20, 1847
Summary: Fishing, tooth extraction, blacksmith work, and an unsuccessful hunt.
Journal entry:TUESDAY. Arose at 5:30, my head and face very bad indeed. I ate but little breakfast, although we had a couple of ducks and a snipe. We started out at 7:30, the morning pleasant except a strong west wind.
At 9:15 arrived at Shell creek, which is about six or eight feet wide, and a poor bridge over it, but all the wagons got well over. This is about five miles from where we camped last night. We then passed through a small grove of timber, and entered again upon the wide, open prairie bottom.
At 11:30 we stopped beside a small slough or lake to feed and eat, etc., being five miles from Shell creek. While stopping here, three deer passed about half a mile west of the wagons. 0. P. Rockwell and Thomas Brown chased them on horses four or five miles, but did not succeed in taking any of them. The wind has fallen considerably and it is very warm and dusty.
At 1:00 p.m. started again, the horse teams taking the lead, traveled about ten miles farther and camped near a cottonwood grove on the banks of the river. The encampment was formed about half past five. Tanner's bellows and anvil were set up and a number of tires set before dark.
John S. Higbee, Luke Johnson, S. Markham, and some others, started ahead of the camp about noon, and went about two miles farther than this place to a lake with the boat and seine. They took over 200 very nice fish, and arrived with them about the time the camp was formed. The fish were distributed around the camp according to the number of persons in each wagon, generally two to a wagon, and the brethren enjoyed a good supper on fish.
I went to the river and washed my feet which were very dusty and sore. I also washed my socks as well as I could in cold water without soap. After Brother Luke Johnson had got through distributing fish, I went and asked him to draw my tooth. He willingly agreed and getting his instruments, I sat down in a chair, he lanced the gum, then took his nippers and jerked it out. The whole operation did not take more than one minute. He only got half the original tooth, the balance being left in the jaw. After this my head and face pained me much more than before. I ate but little supper and then lay down, but could not sleep for pain till near morning. The evening was very calm and pleasant.
Source: William Clayton's Journal
Published by the Clayton Family Association, and edited by Lawrence Clayton. To the best of our research, this contents of this book are no longer under copyright.