April 22, 1847
Summary: Crossed more creeks, saw Indian burial mounds, looked over a burned out government station, and revisted the idea of an odometer.
Journal entry: THURSDAY. Arose soon after 5:00 a.m., my face very painful again caused by the cold. There has been no trouble from the Indians and all is peace and safe. The cannon was prepared for action, and stood all night just outside the wagons. There was considerable joking this morning on account of two of the picket guard having their guns stolen and Colonel Markham having his hat stolen. The owners were found asleep while on guard and those who found them so, took their guns to be a warning to them. but it is difficult for men to keep awake night after night after traveling 20 miles in the dav, taking care of teams, cooking, etc.
At 7:30 the camp proceeded again. I went ahead on foot. About one quarter of a mile from where we camped is one of the prettiest beds of nettle I have seen for some time. Our road this morning lay beside pretty heavy timber, and about a westerly course. After traveling two miles, crossed Looking Glass creek, a small stream about a rod wide, but easily forded.
I still went ahead on foot and at 9:45 sat down on an Indian grave, on top of a mound from whence is a splendid view of the surrounding country for many miles. From southeast to southwest you can see the course of the Loop Fork for a number-of miles. Northwest a level prairie about four miles and then a range of timber. The bluffs on the north about seven miles distant, and on the east a level prairie for about twenty miles. At this place there is a range of what appears to be mounds about a quarter of a mile long, running from northeast to southwest.
At 12:15 we arrived on the east bank of Beaver River, having traveled about ten miles. This stream is about twenty to twenty-five feet wide; swift clear water and pleasant tasting. The banks are tolerably well lined with timber. Here we stopped to feed. Some of the brethren went to fix the fording place d little, the banks are steep on each side and the water a little over two feet deep.
At 2:00 p.m. started again, the ox teams first. When passing the river a number of the brethrn stood on the west bank with a long, rope which was hooked to the wagon tongue and they assisted the teams tip the bank. The wagon I rode in crossed at two minutes after 2:00, and in a little while all were safely over.
We proceeded on till half past five, when we arrived at the Pawnee Missionary station which is about seven miles from Beaver River. The country this afternoon was more uneven, there being many steep pitches and rises. The grass appears longer and there is much rosing weed. The soil looks black and no doubt would yield a good crop of corn. This missionary station was deserted last fall, and Brother Miller's company being camped here, they carried the missionaries and their effects to Bellview on the Missouri river.
This is a very beautiful place for a location. On the north and west it is surrounded by bluffs, on the south by the Loop Fork at about there quarters of a mile distance. On the east by descending prairie. The Plumb Creek runs through it, and but a few rods from the missionaries'house. Its banks are lined with a little timber. There is also a steep bank on each side, and between these banks in the valley which is a few rods wide, the Sioux have practices coming down when they have made their attacks on the Pawnees. The ravine is certainly well calculated to shelter an enemy from oservation when designing to make a sudden attack.
There are a number of good log houses here, considerable land under improvement, closed by rail fences, and a good quantity of hay and fodder, large lots of iron, old and new, several plows and a drag. All apparently left to rot. There are also two stoves, etc. The government station is a quarter of a mile below, or south where father Case lived as government farmer and received $300.00 a year for it, but where Major Harvey learned at the last payday, which was last November, that father Case had joined the "Mormons" he very politely dismissed him from the government service.
The Sioux came down sometime ago and burned up the government station houses, blackmith shop and everything, but the missionary station they did not touch. This place according to my account is 134 miles from Winter Quarters, and a lovely place to live.
Before dark the President called the camp together, and told them they might use the fodder and hay for their teams, but forbade any man carrying anything away, even to the value of one cent.
He said he had no fears of the Pawnees troubling us here, but we had better be prepared lest the Sioux should come down and try to steal horses. A guard was selected and a picket guard to watch the ravine to the north. The cannon was also prepared and Brother Tanner drilled his men to use it till dark. At 9:00 p.m. I retired to rest and slept well through the night. The variation of the compass is about 12 degrees at this place.
I again introduced the subject of fixing machinery to a wagon wheel to tell the distance we travel. describing the machinery and time it would take to make it, etc., several caught the idea and feel confident of its success.
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.