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 Date Summary

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04/29/1847 - Crockett

Description: 4th Grader Jennifer's picture to accompany her report on pioneer Joseph F. Smith.
Image courtesy of: Heritage Gateway Project Images, These images have been gathered to support the Sesquicentennial celebration of the immigration to Utah.

Location: Wood River, Nebraska - Location: 40:49:14N 98:35:59W

Date: April 29, 1847

Between Loup Fork and the Platte River, Nebraska:
The pioneer company started their journey at 5 a.m. in search of better feed for the animals. After three miles they stopped and had breakfast at 6:30 a.m. They saw bunches of prickly pear cactus. The temperature was Sixty-one degrees. The hunters went over to Grand Island. They save about 30 antelope and 8 deer. Four geese were shot.

After a couple more miles, they crossed Wood Creek and continued their journey west along the Platte, next to Grand Island. [They crossed Wood Creek about five miles west of present-day Grand Island, Nebraska.] Thomas Bullock wrote, "We saw fruit trees in bloom & Cotton Wood & other trees in leaf."

After about five more miles, they rested the animals near a lake for the noon break. Ten more miles were traveled in the afternoon and they camped near the river. As they traveled, some of the men would start prairie fires to burn the dry grass so that new green grass would grow for those who followed. Levi Jackman recorded, "The day was very warm and the dust arose in a dense column along the whole line. It had been so for a number of days which made it very disagreeable." William Clayton added, "One of Orson Pratt's horses is very sick, supposed to be the bots. He has lain down several times in the harness within the last three hours. I am not astonished, as the wagons and everything else is shrinking up, for the wind is perfectly dry and parching; there is no moisture in it. Even my writing desk is splitting with the drought. . . . The clouds of dust were almost sufficient to suffocate everyone."

Erastus Snow commented: "It (Grand Island) is mostly covered with rushes and the timber usually found on the islands and bottoms of all these western streams." Wilford Woodruff added, "We find places on the main land bordering upon Grand Island covered with white substance resembling salt & taste quite saltish."

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
A meeting was held at the stand to sell prized lots of land near the south end of the city. The lots would go to the highest bidders who in turn would make fences. Mary Richards went to John Taylor's home to pick up some writing paper that her missionary husband had sent back with Elder Taylor from England. Sister Richards thought that Elder Taylor would visit her as he had promised to do for all the wives of the missionaries. He explained that he was afraid to visit the sisters because they kept falling in love with him. Sister Richards replied, "I expect it is some what dangerous, but I should be happy to have you bring Sister Taylor with you when you come to see me, and if I should happen to fall in love with you, I will try to keep it to my self." Sister Taylor said the problem was that many of the Sister were inviting him over without inviting her.

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Robert S. Bliss wrote: "This morning arose Early & saw a ship standing in for the Harbour she soon cast anker as the Wind was unfavorable. We expect our paymaster is on board & we shall be payd some money for our Services for the first time since leaving Santafee."


  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 14:821
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:162
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 136
  • Howard Egan Diary, Pioneering the West, 31
  • Levi Jackman Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p.29
  • William Clayton's Journal, p.112
  • The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, The Utah Historical Quarterly, 4;29
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 121
  • Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:253

Source: 150 Years Ago Today ©These materials have been created by David R. Crockett. Copies of these materials may be reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit must be given to David R. Crockett. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of Mr. Crockett, Tucson Az, crockett@goodnet.com.