1.) When I was about 6 years old, I distinctly remember crossing the Illinois River on a ferryboat moved by a large white horse on a large tread wheel. We were on our way from my birthplace to Nauvoo Illinois and stopped in a grove of timber on Rock Creek about 20 miles rather East of Nauvoo in the spring of 1844 as I remember. Before we left there the sad news of the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum the patriarch of the church, came to us when I was just 6 years and 9 months of age June 27 1844. I remember they all had cried but me. I heard them say they were murdered in Carthage Jail Illinois. I think I could have remembered seeing the prophet if I had had the chance before his death.
2.) Early next spring 1864, my father said we must make a start for Salt Lake City on account of the persecution of our neighbors which grew more and more unbearable day by day. With all the haste we could command under the circumstances we got ready the best we could and father fitted up his span of ponies and light wagon and one morning about 3 or 4 oclock a.m. early in April 1864, he took us by surprise by driving the team into the door post, closed the door and quietly said in a low voice, make haste and load up, no time to lose, and in less time than it takes to write it, Aunt Rebecca and her 6 children, my sister Sarah Alice, and myself with our scanty bedding clothing, a few dishes and small provisions we were packed into the little wagon all ready to start! Father said now- "Stephen is the teamster" and he held the lines while the "teamster" got firmly seated for the ponies were restless and seemed to catch the spirit of it and were impatient to start for Utah!! It was about 4 a.m. and about the 5th of April 1864 when father handed the lines up to me saying "peace and good luck be with you"
I am so excited for our great Trek experience. Thanks to all of the great hands that have helped to lift this event into place!