Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer Date Summary

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04/10/1847 - Crockett

Location: Elkhorn River Crossing - 986 miles left, Nebraska - (nine rods wide, three feet deep) - 27 miles from Winter Quarters. Seven miles south and further west, over the Elkhorn River, members of the first company camped here April 11, 1847.

Date: April 10, 1847

Traveling to the Elkhorn River:
The weather was still very nice. The pioneers broke camp early in the morning and traveled toward the Elk Horn River. Wilford Woodruff arrived and crossed over his teams on rafts before dusk. The river was about 180 feet across. Other companies, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball's did not quite make it to the river crossing. They stopped about six miles short and camped on the prairie, near a ravine with water. Bishop Newel K. Whitney was still traveling with the company.

With no wood to cook with in the morning, Erastus Snow crossed Big Papillion Creek, found some scattered cottonwood trees, and a portion of the company stopped to cook breakfast. The rest continued on toward the southwest and arrived at the Elk Horn at noon. Brother Snow crossed his teams over during the evening. A guard of eight men were posted because some Indians had been seen "prowling around."

Norton Jacob also arrived at the Elkhorn. He wrote: "We [dr]ove into sight of the Elk Horn River, and the valley of the great Platte, affording a full view of the river as it stretched away from many miles to the west, like a line of silver glistening in the setting sun, through the scattered timber upon its banks." [The Elkhorn River crossing was just north of the US 6 bridge, near Waterloo.]

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
A meeting of the police guard was held at Hosea Stout's home. Concerns were expressed because the police had only received about half of their pay and it didn't appear that there was further tax money to continue to pay the police. They were concerned about their families and wondered with they should start spending time planting crops for the summer. It was agreed that this matter should be brought before the High Council on the following day.

Mary Richards was very busy. She wrote that she "gave out tent a regular cleaning out."

Summer Quarters, Nebraska:
At 6 a.m., John D. Lee, Brother Jacob F.Secrist, Alfred D. Young, George Laub, and D. Young started to clear off a garden spot. At 10 a.m., Brother Lee sent a team to gather bricks at the fort ruins, at Old Council Bluff. Rodney Swazey left Summer Quarters to return to his parents. Families continued to arrive, including Allen Weeks, Charles Kennedy and N. Night. At 2 p.m., Jacob F. Secrist left for Winter Quarters in search of a team to go to Missouri for seed potatoes.

Pueblo, Colorado:
Private Mervin S. Blanchard, of the Mormon Battalion, died at Pueblo. He had been sick for a long time.

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
Lt. Sylvester Hulet submitted his resignation of his commission so he could return to his family. [It appears that the resignation was not accepted because Hulet would later be chosen to help escort General Kearny to take John C. Fremont back to Fort Leavenworth for court martial.] Nevertheless, Henry Standage commented, "Our Commanders are softening their hearts very fast, more willing to listen to our petition [to be discharged.]

Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Henry Bigler went with several men six miles out to cut wood for burning bricks.


  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:147
  • Pioneering the West, 21
  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 14:634
  • "Excerpts from the hitherto unpublished Journal of Horace K. Whitney," Improvement Era, 50:203
  • Jenson, Day By Day With the Utah Pioneers, 5
  • Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers Along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trails, 54
  • Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:246
  • Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 118
  • Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 356-57
  • Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler, Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:61
  • Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 217
  • Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848, 148
  • Jenson, Church Chronology, April 10, 1847
  • Our Pioneer Heritage, 1:505
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 147-48
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.