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

Previous | Next

06/08/1847 - Crockett

Date: June 8, 1847

On the Oregon Trail, Wyoming:
After breakfast, the hunters left. Wilford Woodruff looked upon their departure with disappointment. "Br John Higby went forward hunting & I saw them when they started out, & they had such strife one with another in trying to start first they did not stop to milk their cows, & in clearing up their breakfast, they strewed their meal, salt, bacon, short cake, jonney cake, beans & other things upon the ground through their encampment & when we came up 3 wolves were feeding upon the fragments. I picked up a pocket knife & spoon left upon the ground."

On this cool morning, the rest of the pioneers started their journey at 7:30 a.m. by crossing Horseshoe Creek. For two and a half miles they wound their way through high bluffs and then began to ascend them. This was the worst hill of the journey so far. They had to climb three very steep pitches which required doubling teams. Wilford Woodruff recorded: "We formed a company of men & went forward of the teams & cleaned the road of stone. We used pick axes, bars, and spades. It was a great help to our weak waggons." From the top of the hill they saw their first buffalo since May 21. They continued on and then had to climb another bluff. Thomas Bullock left behind a buffalo skull message that read: "Pioneers -- Double Teams -- 8 June, 1847, Camp all well. Hail Storm last night fine morning. T Bullock. No accident."

An accident did occur a little later, which was recorded by Thomas Bullock: "Sister Harriet Crow got on the Wagon tongue to get a drink of Water. As she was jumping down, her coat caught by the Wagon Hammer & she fell to the ground; her husband seized her, pulled her body from under the Wheel, but her coat being still entangled on the Wagon Hammer could not clearly extricate her, before the front Wheel passed over her left thigh & ancle. Fortunately no bones were broken. She was much bruised, had great pain, but before night was considerably easier." At 11:45, the company halted for the noon rest by a small creek with only a little water.

At 1:40 p.m., the journey continued. They crossed another creek and ascended another bluff. After five miles, they finally began to descend and crossed Labonte Creek. Elder Woodruff recorded, "When we came over the high hills to day it was so cold it pierced us like winter." They soon stopped, circled the wagons, established the camp, and built roaring fires.

Three traders came to visit who were part of a company who had lost their cattle in a snowstorm on the Sweetwater River ahead. They had three wagon loads of pottery and firs from Fort Bridger. Some of the brethren went to visit their camp and the traders told them that mountaineers could ride to Salt Lake from Fort Bridger in two days and the the Utah country was beautiful. Letters were sent back with them to Fort Laramie. Porter Rockwell reported that he had been to the North Platte River which was about four miles away.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
A very heavy rain fell at 6 p.m. The extra water caused the mill dam to break during the night.


  • Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 68
  • Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 30
  • Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 557
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:198-99
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 185
  • Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 175
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.