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Platte D. Lyman's Journal
Hole in the Rock Journey

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Platte D. Lyman's Journals 1879-1881
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Platte D. Lyman Journal
December 16, 1879 January 9 1881
Hole-in-the-Rock Journey

Monday Dec 16th 1878
     Returned to Leamington with Lucy and Fred. The latter intending to help me for a few days. Found my family as well as usual. The weather is still fine although cold and sometimes a little cloudy.

Thursday Dec 19th 1878
     Joseph got home today from Nevada having done pretty well with his apples.

Saturday Dec 21st 1878
     Went to Oak Creek in the evening, and on Sunday went to forenoon and evening meeting and listened to remarks from Elders C. Hansen. and [unreadable copy] Wade "Home Missionaries" from Fillmore.
     Today mother returned from Salt Lake City with Brigham Lovell. Monday I went to Leamington and found all well.

Tuesday Dec 24th 1878
     Joseph went to Oak Creek today to spend Christmas. Snow began to fall about 4 P M today.

Wednesday Dec 25th 1878.
     Christmas Snow is 3 inches deep this m[o]rning and still falling lightly.

Thursday Dec 26th 1878
     The weather has cleared up beautifully, and last night was I think the coldest we have ad this winter so far

Sunday Dec 29th 1878
     Staid at home and read most of the day.

Monday Dec 30th 1878
     Chopped wood all day, wea[h]ter ver[y] cold.

Wednesday Jan 1st 1879
     Joseph returned from Oak Creek yesterday and I went there today with my wife and children.

Thursday Jan 2nd 1879
     [A]ttended Fast meeting and in the afternoon got my horses shod, and in the evening went to a meeting of the Priesthood where I spoke a few minutes and assisted to ordain three Deacons, viz [unreadable copy] Hanson, August Nielson and Henry Huff

Sunday Jan 5th 1879
     In the past 2 days Edward and I have hauled 4 loads of wood for [m]other, and to day I went to meeting in the forenoon and in the evening and to Sunday [S]chool n the afternoon all of which were pretty well attended. The testimony meeting in the evening was interesting many of the young men getting up to speak voluntarily and a general improvement being manifest in the spirit of our meetings. [A]fter coming home I administered to my little daughter [L]ydia who is rather sick.

Monday Jan 6th 1879
     The baby is much better this morning. Drove to Leamington with my famil[y] and Fred. The weather has been very warm and pleasant for several days past with very good prospect for snow soon.

Tuesday Jan 7th 1879
     Snow fell last night about 3 inches and continued to fall lightly through the day.

[W]ednesday Jan 8th 1879
     Resumed cutting and hauling fencing.

Friday Jan 10th 1879
     [A]bout 1 inches of snow fell last night.

Sunday Jan 12th 1879
     Pleasant and warm although the past few days have been very cold with considerable wind.

Tuesday Jan 14th 1879
     Yesterday was very warm and pleasant , but today is cold and stormy

Wednesday Jan 15th 1879
     Since yesterday morning 4 inches of snow has fallen. [I]t is now rather pleasant

Thursday Jan 16th 1879
     Very cold but cle[a]r. Joseph st[a]rted for Fillmore today. [F]red and [E]ddy went as far as Oak Creek

Sunday Jan 19th 1879
     Staid at home and read in "Josephus" Last Friday was I think the coldest day we h[a]ve had this win[t]er. The weather seems settled and is quite pleasant now.

Saturday Jan 25th 1879
     The weather has been very w[a]rm and pleasant all the week. So that the snow is all gone out of the valley. I cut fencing all the week and went to Oak Creek this evening.

Sunday Jan 26th 1879
     Oak Creek (unreadable copy) Attended two very good meetings and a Sunday School today and had a good time. My sister Lucy is quite sick but still better than s[h]e has been for some days past.

Tuesday Jan 28th 1879
     Came to [L]eamington yesterday in the snow which has fallen almost constantly since yesterday morning with no signs at present of ab[a]ting very soon.

Sunday Feb 2nd 1879
     The past 4 days h[a]ve been cold and very cloudy and the weather is still very unsettled. Met with the Leamington Irrigation Company today and transacted a little business.

Monday Feb 3rd 1879
     [W]ent to Oak Creek and met with the [unreadable copy] in the evening and spoke to them for a few minutes. A good influence seems to pervade their meetings, and the young people are certainly improving in many respects through attending these meetings which are held under the direction of Edward L. Lyman

[W]ednesday Feb 5th 1879
     Snow fell night before last, and most of yesterday, but today the weather is clear. Returned to [L]eamington

Monday Feb 10th 1879
     [W]ent to Oak Creek on [S]aturday and staid over [S]unday and attended 2 meetings and Sunday School, and returned home today. A strong south wind has blown for several days which is taking the snow off very fast, and making the weather much warmer.

[S]unday Feb 16th 1879
     Hauled fencing all the week, and today attended meeting in Joseph Andersons house. The weather has [b]een quite warm and slightly showery during the week. but today is some what colder

[W]ednesday Feb 19th 1879
     Finished hauling 56 rods of fence for the south line of my farm.

Thursday Feb 20th 187[9]
     [W]e[n]t to [O]ak Creek on my way to Fillmore, to attend the quarterly conference of this stake.

[S]aturday Feb 22nd 1879
     C[a]me to Fillmore yesterday and today met with the Saints in conference and in the evening attended a priesthood meeting and had a good time. All the authorities of the stake are present, also [P]res Geo Teasdale of the Ju[unreadable copy]b Stake and [E]lder Elmer Taylor of Levan.

Sunday Feb 23rd 1879
     Attended a meeting and was called on to speak. Conference adjourned until May 24th. We have received much good instruction and a very good spirit has prevailed at all the meetings.

Monday Feb 24th 1879
     Attended the funeral of Milly Callister aged 28 who died last night of dropsy. She was Bishop Callisters daughter by his wife Carolins.

Wednesday Feb 26th 1879
     Leamington Came to Oak Creek yesterday where I found my wife and children who with the rest of my folks are about as well as usual. Drove to Leamington today.

Thursday Feb 27th 1879
     Commenced [p]lowing today and found the ground very dry and hard, as there has n[o]t been storms enough so far to soak the ground.
     The weather is still very dry and warm with little or no prospect for a storm soon

Saturday March 1st 1879
     Went to Oak Creek in the evening and spent Sunday and had a good time attending 2 meetings and Sunday School. Found some of our family under the weather with bad colds.
     My brother Frederic and Walter with George Dutson and Henry Huff have gone to Menti to work a month on the Temple.

Monday March 2nd 1879
     Returned to Leamington and resumed my plowing. The weather is still very dry and windy and a little colder.

Friday March 7th 1879
     Went to Oak Creek early this morning and found my sister Carlie very sick, staid with her all day, in the evening she was waited on by "mother" Carling for whom we had sent to Fillmore and gave birth to a fine boy

Sunday March 9th 1879
     Yesterday Pres I. [unreadable copy]. Hinkley, Councillor [unreadable] Partridge and Marly Colgrove came from Fillmore and to day have attended our meetings and Sunday [S]chool and gave as much good instruction. Many of the Saints have been to meeting an[d] it has been a good time.

Monday March 10th 1879
     Pres [H]inkley and company returned to Fillmore today, and I went to Leamington leaving my wife in Oak Creek to assist in taking care o[f] the sick folks who are doing all well as could be expected.

Friday March 14th 1879
     [Unreadable copy] sent for early this morning and went ot Oak Creek with Joseph to see Carlie who is taken much worse, we found her very low and much discouraged, we sent to Deseret for Bro Callister and from there a message was sent to him at Fillmore, he reached Oak Creek about 7:50 P M

Wednesday March 19th 1879
     Carlie has suffered dreadfully and prays for death to release her from her sufferings, sometimes s[h]e seems to be improving and at other times s[h]e seems to have no prospect of recovering. she has no hopes of living, she has given the baby to mother and has talked to all as a last farewell Bro Callister blessed, the baby and his name is Joseph Platte Callister

Thursday March 20th 1879
     Carlie died this morning at 12:20 she had been apparently unconscious for a few hours and when s[h]e died appeared to go comparatively easy. [W]e think dropsy caused her death for she had been subject to it more of less for years.
     [H]ere age was 27 years 7 months and 19 days. She has always been a faithful Latter Day Saint, and has suffered more mentally and physically than most women who live to a much greater age.
     She was buried at 4 P M by the side of my children in the Oak Creek graveyard. The funeral was attended by most of the people in the settlement.

Monday March 24th 1879
     My wife has weaned our baby in order to nurse Carlies. To days I went to Leamington with My family and mother and Lucy and the baby, found Joseph very poorly in health, he seemed to be su[f]fering from diabetes.

Friday March 28th 1879
     Went to Oak Creek and on the following day hunted horses, attended meeting on the Sunday and on Monday returned to Leamington found Joseph much better and the rest as well as usual.

Wednesday April 2nd 1879
     Started for Salt Lake to attend conference in company with Aunt Caroline and Ida, rain fell nearly all day camped above the mines in Tintio.

Thursday April 3rd 1879
     [W]eather some better. Drove to Camp Floyd.

Friday April 4th 1879
     Drove to Salt Lake, and put up at [A]unt [E]milys

Sunday April 6th 1879
     General conference convened in the large tabernacle and held over Monday and Tuesday during which time much good instruction was given and considerable information imparted concerning the numbers and good works of the Saints. Elder Moses Thatcher was chosen to fill the place of Elder Orson Hyde in the quorum of the twelve apostles. A large number of missionaries were called to various parts of the earth

Thursday April 10th 1879
     During the Conference I spoke to Bros. Jos. [unreadable copy] Smith and F. D. Richards about our circumstances at Oak Creek, the water being altogether insufficient for the number of people living there, and asked them if they would not be justified in releasing me with the privilege of seeking a better location in some parts of the country now being settled up. They said they thought it would be all right and promised to lay the matter before the council of the Apostles for their consid[e]ration. When it was left to the Presidency of this stake to decide, where upon [P]resident Hinkly intim[a]ted that they would appoint a man to succeed me as Bishop and release me.
     Today Bro. Er[a]stus [S]now asked me if I selected any location and when I told him I had not he said he would like me to take my folks and move to Grand River and help to settle up that country. I told him I was willing to go wherever the Authorities of the Church said, but wante[d] an honorable release and [t]o have the approval and fellowship of the brethren and unless I could have this I would rather stay where I am. This he said I had as far as the Twelve were concerned, and if the residency o[f] the [S]take were willing it would be all right for me to go.
     Yesterday I loaded my wagon with goods for Oak Creek and started home by way of Lovell where I staid over night with my brother F. [unreadable copy]. [L]yman

Sunday April 13th 1879
     Yesterday Marion went to Grantsville and held meeting in the evening at which we both spoke. Staid over night at bro John Cooleys at whose place I saw two [unreadable copy] small artesian wells of small capacity. Returned to Lovell today drove [a]round the town and visited Lakeview and in the after noon and evening attended meeting in Lovell at both of which I spoke

Monday April 14h 1879
     Drove about 25 miles and camped in Rushvalley rain fell on us more or less of today, weather very cold.

Tuesday April 15th 1879
     Weather is much better today drove about 27 miles and camped in Tintio

Wednesday April 16th 1879
     Drove to Leamington and found my folks all well and the next day went to Oak Creek and the following day returned to Leamington.

Monday April 21st 1879
     Went to Oak Creek on Saturday with Joseph, staid over Sunday and attended meeting and returned home in the evening. The weather is rather stormy today

Sunday April 27th 1879
     Came to Oak Creek yesterday with my folks, and attended meeting today and returned to Leamington in the evening

Monday April 28 1879
     Sold my place in Leamington to H. [unreadable]. Neilson for $400.00. Have lost about $200.00 by selling mostly in improvements on the place.

Wednesday [A]pril 30th 1879
     Started for Manti to get a load of flour for Fred and [E]ddy, drove to Warm Creek.

Thursday May 1st 1879
     Drove into Manti bough my wheat and took it to mill, and called on Johnson McDonald who gave me much information about the Grand River Country he having been out there several times.

Sunday May 4th 1879
     Drove into Oak Creek and left my load staid night and the next morning drove to Leamington and found all well.

Friday May 9th 1879
     Finished moving my family and effects into Oak Creek.

Saturday May 10th 1879
     Rode to Fillmore to attend meeting. T[h]e wind has blown very hard most of the time for the last 8 days.

Sunday [M]ay 11th 1879
     Attended 2 meetings and listened to much good instruction from Elders Brigham Young, John Von Cott & Geo. T[unreadable copy]sdale who organized a Board of Trade for this Stake of Zion, the object of which is to protect the people in the sale of their produce of any kind.

Monday May 12th 1879
     Returned to Oak Creek, the weather is beautiful

Sunday May 18th 1879
     Attended meeting in Oak Creek and spoke to the Saints. Have spent most of the week gathering horses. Strong winds have prevailed for several days, and we have had some frost.

Wednesday May 21st 1879
     [W]ent to Holden to a stock drive and returned in the [e]vening, the wind has been high all day.

Friday May 23rd 1879
     Went to Fillmore with Delia and Mother to attend conference.

Monday May 25th 1879
     Have had a very good time, returned home today in [a] terrible wind storm. Sister Robinson, Delias mother gave her $400.00 on the Co-op Stock herd today, as her share of her property in that institution.

Sunday June 1st 1879
     Attended meeting and spoke to the [S]aints, have been driving cattle nearly all the week.

Sunday June 8th 1879
     Staid home most of the week, and the wind has blown so that it is hardly possible to do anything. Attended meeting today, and bros Finlinson F. R. Lyman and Antone Christensen went to Leamington and held meeting.

Sunday June 15th 1879
     Spent three days of the past week attending a drive in Scipio, every one of which some rain fell,yesterday Pres. Hinkley bro Partridge and [unreadable copy] Kimball held meeting in this place, and today I went with them to Deseret where we attended meeting and all spoke to the Saints after which I returned home.

Tuesday June 17th 1879
     Yesterday we sold cattle to Orson Holbrock, and today Delia and the children went with bro. Finlinson on a visit to Fillmore.

Sunday June 22nd 1879
     Worked on the road in Oak Creek [C]anyon two days of the past week preparatory to hauling ties for the Rail Road. Rec'd a letter from bro Erastus Snow informing me of a list of volunteers who would start to Grand River about the 1st of Sep. and requesting me to attend the Sanpete Stake conference to be held Aug 16 & 17th at Ephraim.

Sunday June 29th 1879
     Hauled ties all the week. Fred & Eddie started t Salt Lake City last Friday to buy some tools for blacksmithing

Thursday July 3rd 1879
     Returned from Fillmore where I went day before yesterday to meet bro Snow who gave me some instructions relative to the settlement to be made on Grand River

Friday July 4th 1879
     No celebration was held here today, Attended the funeral of Joseph Lovells little foolish boy 9 years old.

Monday July 7th 1879
     This morning my wife and Lizzie Robinson came in from Fillmore with bro [unreadable copy]. A. Kimball.

Thursday July 10th 1879
     Moved my folks up the Kanyon today to where we were hauling ties from. The weather is very warm and dry and the water failing fast.

Saturday August 2nd 1879
     Moved my folks down from the Kanyon today. We have had a few slight rains in the mountains of late but not enough to do any good. Have been hauling ties since the latter part of June.

Tuesday Aug 5th 1879
     Today Delia went to Fillmore to stay until our Stake Conference.

Thursday Aug 7th 1879
     Have had heave rains in the mountains for a few days past. Attended fast meeting today and in the afternoon heard a charge of lying preferred against Simeon which was sustained by his own letters. The decision of myself and councellors was the [h]e confess his sins and ask the forgiveness of the ward in public meeting next Sunday. His conduct throughout the trial was been very insolent and he shows no penitence for his wickedness

Friday Aug 8th 1879
     Attended the funeral of the infant twin daughter of Peter Andersen.

Tuesday Aug 19th 1879
     Finished hauling ties, have hauled just 1000.

Wednesday Aug 20th 1879 [unreadable copy])
     Attended the funeral of Sin[unreadable copy] Overson wife of Chris Overson, she has been sick 2 years, she has 5 children.

Friday Aug 22nd 1879 br>      Went to Fillmore to attend the Stake Conference and found my little [L]ydia very sick

Friday [A]ug 29th 1879
     Returned to Oak today Lydia is a little better, but had been so bad that I have been unable to attend any of the meetings during conference
     Received a letter from Pres John Taylor informing me that the council of the [T]welve had decided to call me and set me apart to assist [E]lder Silas S. Smith who is appointed to preside over all the settlements made by our people on Grand River and Green River or their tributaries also at Monassa in Colorado and on the San Juan.

Sunday Aug 31st 1879
     Simeon Walker was today cut off from the Church by the Bishop and Council for failing to comply with the requirements of the decision in his case

Friday Sep 12th 1879
      Went to Fillmore to mill and returned the next day. My little girl is still very low and weak

Monday Sep 15th 1879
     Went to [L]eamington to see Bo Sharp about receiving our ties which we have now nearly all on the track. Rode in the pay car to the end of the track about 10 miles below Leamington and back.
     Stayed all night at Jos. Andersens and went home the next day.

Wednesday Sep 17th 1879
     Started for Salt Lake with my wife and baby and Lizzie Robison and child and my brothers Walter and Joseph the latter having his wife with him. Camped at Leamington

Saturday Sep 20th 1879
     Reached Salt Lake in the evening and put up with Aunt Emily where we were very well treated. Our baby is very low and weak.

Tuesday Sep 23rd 1879
     Went with Marion to the Penetentiary and visited out brother Charles (Aunt Paulinas son) who is serving a term of 2 years for stealing, he however protests his innocence and has hope of a pardon
     We also had an interview with bro Geo Reynolds who is serving 2 years for polygamy, he seemed to be in good spirits and felt willing to suffer for the gospels sake. We took breakfast with the Warden who seemed quite genial, and then returned to Salt Lake.

Friday Sep 26th 1879
     Started for home and drove to the point of the mountain.

Monday Sep 29th 1879
     Reached home and found all as well and usual our baby is better but still very low and weak.

Monday Oct 6th 1879
     Our dear little baby died at 1/2 past 4 this morning she had been growing worse ever since we got home and is now a mere skeleton. She has always been to all appearances a very rugged healthy child but canker and teething with very hot weather have worn [h]er out.

Sunday Oct 12th 1879
     [M]other and Delia went to Fillmore today with Eddy. It has been very windy.

Tuesday Oct 14th 1879
     Our folks came home from Fillmore today I have been gathering stock for several days past but make poor progress.

Wednesday Oct 15th 1879
     Rain and snow fell quite heavily last night and to day in the valley and the mountains are white down to the base.

Sunday Oct 19th 1879
     The weather has settled down quite clear and pleasant. I went to meeting today and spoke to the Saints.

Monday Oct 20th 1879
     Spent Most of the day in loading my wagons, and in the evening sold my house and lot to Geo Lovell for a span of mules and harness and $100.00 in money.

Tuesday Oct 21st 1879
     Started in the afternoon for San Juan drove 12 miles to Badgers Field and camped. stood guard over our stock all night. There is not a particle of feed, and but little water. Our company consists of myself my brothers Joseph, Edward & Walter, my sisters Ida and May, Josephs wife Nellie, Frank Rysert who is working for me. Ole Jensen his mother wife and 3 children, and F. R. Lyman and John Lovell who will help us out a few days with our stock.
     We have 6 wagons 39 horses and mules and 180 head of loose cattle

[W]ednesday Oct 22nd 1879

Drove 17 miles to Scipio saw mill. no feed. stood guard over our stock. It has been a hard day on our teams on account of hard hills and heavy sand The boys lost 10 head of cattle on 8 miles creek

Thursday Oct 23rd 1879

Drove 10 miles and camped on the east side of Round Valley Lake. Coralled our cattle Feed poor and scarce

Friday Oct 24th 1879
     Drove 20 miles and camped near I K Collys close by the Gravelly Ford on the Seveir. had good feed for our horses but none for our cattle

Saturday Oct 25th 1879
     Fred and John started back. We lost one of our Saddle horses last night. Drove 10 miles and camped at Prattvill. had good feed and our Stock stayed without being guarded. this looks like a good country. plenty of water hay & grain

Sunday Oct 26th 1879
     This morning Ole Jensen left us to stop at Richfield as he did not think he was prepared for the trip and his Mother was quite sick Drove 10 miles and camped near Monroe found pretty good feed in the stubble

Monday Oct 27th 1879
     Drove 16 miles to Marysvale and turned into a pasture for 1 ct per head. The road to day has been mostly heavy up hill. no feed or water the whole distance

Tuesday Oct 28th 1879
     This morning had to pay 1 dollar more for pasturage than we agreed to last night, because unconscionable Mrs Langly thought we were a little late in starting Drove 6 miles and camped at Bears on the river Stood guard over our cattle all night

Wednesday Oct 29th 1879
     Lost 1 cow and calf. drove 12 miles to Junction and camped at Riddles grist mill. left 1 calf on the road

Thursday Oct 30th 1879
     Drove 6 miles up the East Fork which we crossed 5 times got stuck in the mud and was delayed 2 hours. the road is very rocky and in places very sideling

Friday Oct 31st 1879
     Drove 8 miles and camped near John Kings place on Kiota Creek good road most of the way. we crossed the river 4 times and got stuck in it one. lost one cow and a colt to day.

Saturday Nov 1st 1879
     Drove 2 miles and layed out over on Poison creek shod some of our horses. no feed

Sunday Nov 2nd 1879
     Traded my mules for another span and sold 2 give out calves for 100 cwt of beef. and left one sore footed cow. drove 12 miles over rough road and heavy rolling hills. camped 2 miles below Riddles Ranch on the East Fork. no feed.

Monday Nov 3rd 1879
     Left a give out cow. drove 10 miles and camped in Sweetwater Kanyon. a little feed.

Tuesday Nov 4th 1879
     Lost 3 head of cattle and spent some time hunting for them which made us late in starting drove 3 miles to the summit which is the rime of the Basin, and as far as we can see east and south the country looks very rough and broken. drove 5 miles down the mountain the first part of the road being a muddy steep dugway. the balance of it a good smooth evergrade. found a good camp some time after dark with feed and water in abundance. There is a fine growth of white pine all over the hills here.

Thursday Nov 6th 1879
     Layed over yesterday and wrote letters, and to day rode 13 miles down the Kanyon to Escalante with Joseph Liston and staid over night at the house of his brother Perry. went to the Post Office but got no letters

Saturday Nov 8th 1879
     Returned to camp yesterday. the day was very cold Snow has fallen all day to day.

Monday Nov 10th 1879
     Snow fell all day yesterday and is still falling wrote more letters and sent them to the P.O.

Thursday Nov 13th 1879
     The past two days have been clear and cold. we have looked after our cattle as well as we could and have hunted deer some Walter killed one 3 inches of snow fell last night but to day is fine and warm. We moved 1/2 a mile down the kanyon and camped in an old house.

Friday Nov 14th 1879
     While in the hills gathering our stock this morning Walter shot 3 deer, but we could only get one of them. Moved 4 1/2 miles down the kanyon. we have had to leave 25 head of our cattle which we could not fine, and 1 horse that gave out.

Saturday Nov 15th 1879
     Drove 6 miles and camped in Escalante field. have had considerable muddy road to day. got stuck once and spent most of the afternoon in getting out.

Sunday Nov 16th 1879
     Eddy traded a yoke of oxen for a saddle horse. Bro Silas S Smith and a few wagons from Red Creek came down the kanyon this evening and camped opposite us. The day has been bitter cold

Thursday Nov 20th 1879
     Have layed over the past 3 days. bought some corn for 2 cts per lb and potatoes for 1. Started on in company with two sons of Walter Stevens and his uncle of Holden. Drove 7 miles beyond Escalante onto the desert and made a dry camp. found some snow and good feed have had good roads to day.

Friday Nov 21st 1879
     Drove 3 miles to the 10 mile spring but could get no water for our horses. Here we sent our stock off the road to the east about 7 miles to the Harris Ranch, because of scarcity of water on the road. Eddy and Alma Stevens will stay with them for the present. We then drove 10 miles over a soft sandy road crossing several deep gulches where we had to double teams, and camped at dark at the 20 mile spring, where there is plenty of good feed but very little water

Saturday Nov 22nd 1879
     Drove 15 miles and camped after dark at the Kiola Holes where we had to dig for water and got plenty of it. The road is much the same as yesterday and there is plenty of good feed.

Monday Nov 24th 1879
     We layed over yesterday and started late this morning and rove 6 miles over very heavy road and was till after dark getting to the Cottonwood Gulch where we found water in a hole 1/2 a mile above the road. and plenty of good feed.

Tuesday Nov 25th 1879
     Joshua Stevens and I walked 4 miles to the main camp at the 40 mile spring. spent most of the day there and walked back in the evening. found Eddy had come in from the herd.
     Bishop Schow & bro Reuben Collett of Escalante camped with us on their way down to assist in locating a road across the Rio Colorado

Wednesday Nov 26th 1879
     Bros Schow, Collett, Eddy and myself climbed a high point of the mountain close by and endeavored with the aid of field glasses to make out something of the country ahead of us but could not. Returned to camp and found that Joseph had undertaken to move some of was (sic) our wagons on and had them scattered all the way from one camp to the other.

Thursday Nov 27th 1879
     Snow fell all lat night and is 2 inches deep this morning. hitched up early and got our wagons all into camp at the 40 mile spring. attended meeting in the evening and was called on to speak as were also bros Schow and Collet. bro Smith also spoke a good spirit seems to prevail and the most of the people feel like pushing ahead if possible, although the prospect is rather discouraging as there is no road beyond here and the country is tottally (sic) unexplored with the exception of a few miles ahead of us which is the roughest white men ever undertook to pass over.

Friday Nov 28th 1879
     By direction of bro Smith I started with 12 others to look out a way for a road across the Colorado and beyond. we have a boat on one wagon and our luggage on another We drove 10 miles over the roughest country I ever saw a wagon go over and camped at the 50 mile spring. The company is as follow A.P. Schow, Reuben Collett, Wm Hutchings Kumen Jones, Saml Rowley, Cornelious Decker, Geo Hobbs, John Robinson, Jos Barton, Joseph Neilsen, Saml. Bryson, James Riley and myself.

Saturday Nov 29th 1879
     Drove 6 miles over rough sandstone hills and to the "Hole in the rock" a cleft in the solid rock wall of the Grand Kanyon of the Colorado, which runs about a mile below us. the walls of the Kanyon rise 2000 feet from the water and are in many places perpendicular. We took our wagons 2 miles farther up the river to here the banks are not so abrupt but are still solid sandstone, and took the front wheels from under the boat and lowered it down about 1 mile onto a sandy bench from where we dragged it 1 mile to the river and slid it 200 feet over a rock into the river about 1 mile above the mouth of "Hole in the rock". after supper and a little rest we loaded our luggage into the boat and about midnight rowed it down the mouth of the "Hole" where we tied up and camped The river is about 350 feet wide. the current sluggish and the water milky but of a good taste the willow on the bank are still leaved in green

Sunday Nov 30th 1879
     One of the boys caught a fine fish called white Salmon large eneough for our breakfast and dinner We loaded our luggage into the boat and 7 of us got in and started down to find the mouth of the San Juan, but after going 1 1/2 miles we ran aground in a rapid and were compelled to turn back to our starting point, from where 11 of us with our provisions and blankets on our backs started up over the bluffs to the east which were at first very rough and precipitous but soon we found a smooth open kanyon with water wood and grass in it which we followed up for 3 miles and then began to ascend the bluffs which are at first sandy and afterwards steep solid sandstone hills which continue as far as the summit 6 miles from the river. Went 1 mile farther and camped in the rocks where we found plenty of water in the rocks

Monday Dec 1st 1879
     Started out to the east and after going a mile or two found the country so rough and broken and so badly cut in two by deep gorges all in solid rock that we gave up all idea of a road being made there. we then went back nearly to our camp and struck a kanyon on a line with the one we followed yesterday which we followed doun 4 miles right to the San Juan river, which is about 250 ft wide, with a rapid current, its color is slightly milky but the water tastes very good. The banks are nearly as high as those of the Colorado but not so steep nor solid. The little Kanyon we have followed down is a curiosity in its way. For 2 miles more of less its width is from 15 to 30 while the walls of bare rock rise perpendicularly 200 or 300 feet and the bottom is much of the way smooth and level as a floor and is covered with a little stream of water seeping from the crevices in the rock which spreads over the surface so evenly that one can walk for rods at a time without wetting the uppers of their boots although in running water all the time. The grass and willows which grow in small bunches here are very rank and still very green. There are deep holes in places in the bed of the creek where we caught several mud turtles about as large as a mans hand. The country here is almost entirely solid sand rock, high hills and mountains cut all to pieces by deep gulches which are in many places altogether impassable. It is certainly I ever saw, some of our company are of the opinion that a road could be made if plenty of money was furnished but most of are satisfied that there is no use of this company undertaking to get to San Juan this way. We returned to our last nights camp after dark.

Tuesday Dec 2d 1879
     Walked back to the Colorado, crossed over and hauled our cart back to the top of the bank which was half a days hard work, and then camped.

Wednesday Dec 3d 1879
     Drove back to camp much of the way in the rain which wet me to the skin. IN the evening an informal meeting was held in bro Smiths tent when those who had been out reported the result of their explorations after which on motion of bro Jens Neilsen sen it was resolved unanimously to sustain bro Smith in whatever course he thought best for us to pursue Bro Smith then said he thought we ought to go ahead and all present expressed themselves willing to spend 3 or 4 months if necessary working on the road in order to get through, as it is almost impossible to go back the way we came because of the condition of the road and the scarcity of grass

Thursday Dec 4th 1879
     Bro Smith called a meeting of the whole camp to take an expression of their feelings in order that bros Sckow & Collet may know what to report to those behind, when it was unanimously resolved to go to work on the road

Wednesday Dec 10th 1879
     Drove to the 50 mile springs and camped have been four days beside this getting our wagons to this place. In the evening Alma Stevens & Edward L came in from the herd and brought a fat cow for beef and a little later 2 men from Red Creek came into camp and brought us papers and letters from which we learned that all was well in the settlements.

Thursday Dec 11th 1879
     Killed our beef in the morning and loaned most of it to the camp, and afterward rode down to the "Hole"in the Rock" with bro Smith where we found about 15 wagons of the company camped. returned to camp in the evening.

Sunday Dec 14th 1879 "Hole in the Rock"
     Have spent the past 2 days in moving our wagons to this place, and to day put our horses down over a trail which we have made to a bench next to the river where there is a little feed and water. There is neither wood water or grass near the camp. Bro Smith came from the 50 mile where his folks are camped and held a meeting in the afternoon at which the following travelling organization was effected.

          Capt of company     Silas. S. Smith
     Asst Capt "             Platte. D. Lyman
     Capt 1st Ten           Jens Neilsen.
     Capt 2d Ten            Geo W Sevy
         "   3d    "             Benj. Perkins
         "   4      "             Henry Holyoke
         "   5th   "             Z. B. Decker Jr
     Chaplain                  Jens Neilsen
     Clerk                       C. E. Walton.

     Saml Bryson was afterwards appointed Capt of the 6th Ten. Bro Smith returned to his camp, and tomorrow will start to Parowan expecting to be absent 3 weeks from camp, and if possible secure an appropriation from the Legislature to assist in putting the road through. Bp Geo. W Sevy of Panguitch came in today with several wagons from that place and Harmony Held meeting in the evening and had a good time

Tuesday Dec 16th 1879
     With a square and level, I determined the grade of the road down the "Hole" to be for the first 1/3 of the distance to be 8ft to the rod, and for the second 1/3 -5 1/2 ft to the rod and the last part much better than either of the others.

Wednesday Dec 17th 1879
     Realizing the necessity of having the country more thoroughly explored ahead of us, I have talked the matter over with bro Sevy and he has consented to undertake a trip through to the San Juan if it is possible to get through, and to day he made a start with Lemuel Redd, Geo Hobbs and Geo Morrell and 4 animals, expecting to be gone about 15 days There are about 47 men at work on the road and we are making good progress.

Sunday Dec 21st 1879
     The wind has blown strong and cold and last night some rain fell, which makes water more plentiful Today I took the girls down to the river and gave them a ride in the boat. The weather being better we held meeting in the evening and had a good time. We are making good progress on the road.

Thursday Dec 25th 1879. Christmas
     The weather has been so cold and windy with some snow that we have been unable to do much work so far this week. There is dancing in camp this evening.

Friday Dec 26th 1879
     The feed has give out on the bench so that we were compelled to move our horses them (sic.) up to day and in doing so, got some of them badly cut on the rocks.

Tuesday Dec 30th 1879
     Weather cold and foggy have had 6 inches of snow during the last few days. We are just getting at work again

Saturday Jan 3d 1880
     To day we finished the road from the river up to where the solid rock commences, being about 2/3ds of the whole distance. The weather is warm and pleasant during the day but rather frosty at night

Sunday Jan 4th 1880
     Warm and cloudy held meeting in the afternoon and evening and had a good time. During the week bro. Charles Hall of Escalante has brought down the material for a flatboat which he is building and will use as a ferry.

Tuesday Jan 6th 1880
     Sent our horses back 10 miles on the road in charge of 2 men, as they are falling away fast while staying here

Saturday Jan 10th 1880
     Bro Sevy and party returned last night all well but badly tired out. We held meeting in the forenoon and heard their report. They have had a hard trip and great credit is due them for the pluck and determination they have shown under the very adverse circumstances which surrounded them. They were lost 4 or 5 days in deep snow and blinding snow storms. were out out of provisions and talked seriously of eating a mule but finally reached the camp on San Juan having been 12 days on the road and having travelled 175 miles They found the settlers in a very destitute condition as regards provision. They stopped 1 day and then started back, and were 11 days on the road and travelled 136 miles but thought a road might be some shorter Reported that it was possible to put a road through the worst of it being this end where we are now at work.

Monday Jan 12th 1880
     Found one of my mules down in a ditch and so weak it could not stand so I killed it. We are making slow progress on the road for want of powder

Friday Jan 16th 1880
     Received a letter from bro S. S. Smith informing me that he had secured some powder and would forward it as soon as possible

Thursday Jan 22d 1880
     Today we received 25 lbs of giant powder by Azra Judd from whom we learned that bro Smith is sick at Red Creek Frank Rysert started for Kanosh on the 20th inst with James Dorrity. We have put in our time to the best advantage on this job and will now be able to move in a few days

Sunday Jan 25th 1880
     Walked back to the herd on friday. stayed there yesterday and returned to camp to day with our teams. Received a few lines from Delia dated Jan 12th saying she had given birth to a fine boy 2 days before, and was getting along very well. Also a letter from Susannah Robison

Monday Jan 26th 1880
     To day we worked all the wagons in this camp down the "Hole" and ferried 26 of them across the river The boat is worked by 1 pair of oars and does very well.

Wednesday Jan 28th 1880
     Snow fell most of yesterday and to day but cleared up towards evening.

Friday Jan 30th 1880
     Bros Walton and Bryson moved one of my wagons 4 miles up on the creek where we will have to camp for a week or so. We moved the rest of them 1 mile onto the creek and camped. The weather is as cold as we have seen it on the trip

Saturday Jan 31st 1880
     Moved up to the cottonwoods where the rest of the company are camped. Wagons from the 50 mile spring where half of the company have been during the winter began to come into camp to day. My brother Amasa M and 3 other men came in to camp, having been sent from Panguitch to work on the road. they reported that 1000lbs of blasting powder had been left at the 50 mile by a man sent from Panguitch to bring it to this company.

Sunday Feb 1st 1880
      Held no meeting during the day as it was rather too cold but held one in the evening and had a good time The weather has been quite cold but is getting warmer and we are making good progress on the road, as we have got the powder in camp and are using it as it is needed

Sunday Feb 8th 1880
     Have had a good force of men out during the past week and have made encouraging progress, as the weather is now very pleasant. Today we held 2 meetings 1 at each camp they being 1/2 a mile apart.

Monday Feb 9th 1880
     Went 2 miles beyond the summit with the Panguitch boys who are going to work, and then returned to camp the road is going over the same rough country we passed over on our exploring trip and considered impassable for a wagon road Several of the boys started back to Potato Valley to day for the cattle we have had to leave there. I sent letters to my family and also to bro Erastus Snow.

Friday Feb 13th 1880
     Have been busy during the past 3 days moving our wagons up the Cottonwood Hill where it took from 4 to 7 span of horses or the same number of oxen to move 1 wagon. The weather has been very cold and stormy a part of the time. We are now camped 2 miles from the summit at what we call the cheese camp. Two men from Panguitch came into camp a few days ago. they will stop and work on the road. They brought us 200 lbs of pork and 40 lbs of cheese from the Tithing Office to be divided among 70 men. The cheese was sold at auction hence the name of this camp

Sunday Feb 15th 1880
     Four men have started to San Juan on their own hook with pack animals. We held meeting in the evening and had a good time

Tuesday Feb 17th 1880
     While camped here we have been building road over and through solid rock, which we have now completed. Snow fell until noon to day when it cleared up and the company began to move. Joseph and I moved 2 of our wagons 2 miles when he camped, and I returned to the old camp

Wednesday Feb 18th 1880
     Joseph brought the teams back and we moved the other wagons up and took his on one mile father and camped in a gulch running through the bench over which our road now runs. We find plenty of grass here, the first for a long time, and the country is smoother and more open and looks much better The Henry Mountains lay directly north of us in full view and perhaps 25 miles distant our course is between north and northeast

Friday Feb 20th 1880
     Worked on the road yesterday, and to day drove 7 miles over a smooth bench close to the banks of the San Juan which runs 1 mile below us in a gorge so deep and with banks so precipitous as to be completely inaccessible. camped at the top of the smooth rock over which we will build a road. Here the bench terminated abruptly, and a rough broken valley full of sand and low reefs of Sandstone lays below us, and to reach it we will have to build a road 1/2 a mile down through the steep hills and little pockets in the rock which extends from the top to the very bottom

Saturday Feb 21st 1880
     Spent part of the day looking over the rocks for a place to put the road. The constable of Escalante and 2 other men came into camp looking for stolen stock went ahead to see some stock that had been taken a few days ago.

Sunday Feb 22d 1880
     The boys returned from Potato Valley to day. found the snow so deep and their horses so weak they could do nothing brought us letters from the settlements

Thursday Feb 26th 1880
     Amasa and the boys from Panguitch started for home yesterday. The constable and party returned to day having found 2 stolen horses in the herd of Jim Dunton & Amasa Barton

Saturday Feb 28th 1880
     Yesterday we finished the road, and to day we moved 1 mile and camped. The past week has been very cold and windy

Sunday Feb 29th 1880
     Drove 7 miles over a rough rocky and sandy road to the lake. a beautiful clear sheet of spring water 1/2 a mile long and nearly as wide, and apparently very deep. Cottonwood, willow, canes, flags, bulrushes and several kinds of grass grow luxuriantly, and it would make an excellent stock ranch. On a point of rock jutting into the lake is the remains of an old stone fortification, built probably several hundred years ago

Monday March 1st 1880
     Layed over. wrote letters and shod some of my horses Lewellyn Harris a missionary to Mexico came into camp from the west and brought us letters & papers

Tuesday March 2d 1880
     Drove 7 miles over sand and rock not so rough as coming to the lake. found plenty of grass, and snow water

Wednesday March 3d 1880
     Drove 5 miles over road much as it was yesterday, and camped in the Castle Wash where we found good grass and water our course is now more nearly east. The country looks much better

Thursday March 4th 1880
     High wind with some snow last night Drove 4 miles up the wash. The road has been very sandy, but even and tolerably good Joseph layed over to let his team rest.

Friday March 5th 1880
     Moved 5 miles and camped at the head of the wash on the Clay Hill where there is a very abrupt drop of 1000 feet down which we have got to work on the road, and 3 miles farther into the valley beyond

Wednesday March 10th 1880
     Returned this evening from a 5 days trip with bros Sevy and Bryson looking for a road across what we call the Cedar Ridge extending 30 miles each way and nearly everywhere covered with a dense growth of cedar and pinion pine. We found gulches with perpendicular banks 1000 feet high running from the extreme north 30 miles in to the San Juan on the south, but by going around the head of these we can make a passible road by following an old indian trail There is plenty of grass and some water most of the way. Found that the brethren had nearly completed the road down the hill

Friday March 12th 1880
     Killed a very poor beef yesterday, and to day my bro Edward and Joseph Lilleywhite and I rode 12 miles to the southwest where we struck the San Juan where the banks are low and there is a good ford found a small bottom of perhaps 200 acres of good land lying 6 ft above the water and covered with the heaviest growth of cottonwood I ever saw The river runs with a swift current most of the way.

Saturday March 13th 1880
     We made ourselves as comfortable as we could last night in a cave with a big fire as we had no bedding, and this morning rode back to camp some snow fell last night and this is one of the coldest mornings I ever saw. Most of the camp have moved down the hill.

Sunday March 14th 1880
     Moved down the hill and out 7 miles into the valley and camped. found good water on the rocks.

Monday March 15th 1880
     Last night was the coldest night I ever experienced it was impossible to be comfortable in bed or anywhere else. Drove 8 miles over fair road and camped found plenty of good feed and plenty of water on the rocks

Tuesday March 16th 1880
     Drove 4 miles and camped good feed and water

Thursday March 18th 1880
     Drove 3 miles yesterday, and 6 to day and made camp in a sage brush opening in the cedars which are now very thick all around us. There is a force of men ahead chopping all the time. There is a good deal of snow and mud making the wheeling very heavy. We left one of wagons and a load in it this morning as our teams are getting very weak.

Friday March 19th 1880
     Drove 4 miles mostly through sage flats, and camped at the head of the cedar ridge and close to the foot of a high mountain on the north covered with deep snow and pine timber (called by some Elk Mountain) Our course from the Clayhill has been northeast, but now we turn more to the east

Thursday March 25th 1880
     During the past 5 days we have worked on the road and moved our wagons along 13 miles over the worst muddy and snowy road we have had. the mud and snow being from 6 inches to 2 ft deep. We are still in the thick cedars and have lost a part of our horses through there being no feed nearby for them.

Friday March 26th 1880
     Found part of our horses and moved 2 of our wagons 4 miles to Snow Flat where there is some feed. the road much better and the cedars not so thick

Saturday March 27th 1880
     Moved our other wagon up to camp. the boys have hunted all day and found nothing. the main body of the camp has gone on.

Monday March 29th 1880
     By hand of Dan Harris We received letters from our folks. one from Marion to me contained a ten dollar bill for which I am very thankful I found part of our horses but there are still 4 gone.

Wednesday March 31st 1880
     Eddy found the last of our horses yesterday, and to day we drove 8 miles and camped just before we got into the Comb Wash. The road is dry but rough and rockiy and very sandy. The water is very bad and feed pretty good. Met Kumen Jones and Warren Taylor from the main camp with 6 animals to keep us in.

Thursday April 1st 1880
     Drove 10 miles down the wash through very bad sand to the San Juan river where the company is camped and at work on the road. We cannot follow up the river, so we have to do some work to get up over the bench.

Sunday April 4th 1880
     Pulled up over the rock 3 miles yesterday, and to day went 4 miles to the Butler Gulch most of the way on the rock. Good feed and water.

Monday April 5th 1880
     Drove 7 miles over heavy sandy road and camped in bottom of the San Juan 2 miles long where we propose to locate for the present. This is 15 miles below where bro Smiths camp was last summer. This land is rich covered with cottonwood and about 6 feet above the river which runs with a pretty good current, but looks as if it would be hard to handle. the climate appears to be mild. There are 3 families by the name of Harris who have been here all winter There are about 70 men in our camp, about 85 wagons and we have expended Forty eight hundred dollars on the road in labor counting our time one dollar and a half per day. Several men will go above here 15 miles and settle with their families and a few (principally non-mormons) will goin to the mining districts of Colorado 100 miles east of here

Tuesday April 6th 1880
     Looked over the land and selected a site for a town and in the evening held meeting when a committee of 3 weas chosen to manage the work on the ditch which we will have to make, and another 5 to lay off a field and a town. I being among the latter number.

Wednesday April 7th 1880
     We began laying off the lots and land and most of the brethren began work on the ditch

Saturday April 10th 1880
     As we have finished laying off the land and lots and finding the former much less than we expected it was motioned and carried in meeting this evening, that we draw lots to see who has the land here, and those who draw blanks can go farther up the river and make another location 22 blanks and 40 numbers were put in the hat and after the drawing was over bro Sevy and I had blanks with a number of others, and each of my brothers drew a number

Sunday April 11th 1880
     Held meeting in the afternoon and evening. James Pace who drew a number proposed to throw the whole thing out and all share alike. this however was not carried. There is some disappointment manifested by those who have drawn blanks, and also a very illiberal feeling by those who are elected to stay here.

Monday April 12th 1880
     Did not feel well and layed around camp most of the day and attended a very stormy unsatisfactory meeting in the evening, and tried to harmonize the discordant element that is aroused by some of those who drew blanks taking up land for themselves which it was understood was to be used by that part of the company that remained here. After a good deal of debate a motion for the holders of blanks to go farther up the river if a suitable place can be found was carried

Tuesday April 13th 1880
     Because of a proposal made by some of the brethren I called the camp together to see if some arrangement cannot be made so that all may continue to work here, as it is out of the questions for us to move any farther at present Spent most of the forenoon in adjusting our difficulties during which a good and conciliatory spirit was generally manifest. It was decided unanimously to throw out the former drawing altogether and all share alike with the understanding the brethren who hold large claims taken up last season throw them into the hands of the field committee for disposal in the interests of the camp 59 persons then drew 1 lot each an a general feeling of satisfaction seemed to prevail work which has been almost entirely suspended on the ditch, was resumed this afternoon Our town lots are 12 rods square being made thus small owing to the limited space suitable for building on. The field lots vary from 8 to 20 acres to the man according to location and quality. The course of the stream here is almost west and the land lays on both sides although we will only utilize that on the north side at present. The valley is from 1/2 to 1 mile wide between the sandstone bluffs which rise 300 feet perpendicular beyond these there are benches partly smooth and otherwise generally covered with grass and 40 miles to the north of us lay the blue mountains the nearest point at which we can reach saw timber We have learned that an appropriation of five thousand dollars has been made to Silas S Smith to be expended on this road and the people are looking anxiously for his coming expecting a little money for their labor during the winter. Last night in our camp a son was born to the wife of Alvin Decker. This is the first birth in this location

Thursday April 15th 1880
     Joseph started yesterday for the wagon we left behind I was quite poorly yesterday but feel better to day and am at work on the ditch. Visited father Roswell Stevens in the evening who is very sick and liable to die at any time At his request I made an inventory of his property and the disposition he wishes made of it which he signed and which was duly witnessed

Thursday April 22d 1880
     Most of the camp have moved down onto their lots We have moved onto our claim and put up a "wickiup" and dug a well getting good water at 16 ft. I have bought a loghouse 10 acres of land, a cook stove, table, 3 gals of coal oil, and some work on the ditch, and one town lot, from Geo Harris for 1 horse & 2 cows and calves We have had a great deal of high wind and a little snow and rain during the last few days.

Sunday April 25th 1880
     Have had more wind and rain and snow and the weather is still cold and boisterous. To day we held meeting and by unanimous consent named our town Bluff City.

Monday April 26th 1880
     San Juan county having been organized by the last legislature with Silas. S. Smith as Judge and P.D. Lyman, Jens Neilsen and Zechariah B Decker as selectmen, and C. E. Walton having been appointed County Clerk by Judge Smith the four latter met by appointment of the Judge and held the first term of court for this county and adjourned for 6 weeks after having appointed L. H. Redd Assessor and Collector. Several members of the camp have started back some of them for supplies and some intending to remain in the old settlements. I wanted to have started for Escalante but have not been able to find my horses. From a tree near here I learn that the altitude of this place is 4600, distance south of Salt Lake City 328 miles and east of Same 126 miles, according to Government Surveyor Ferdinand Deckert.

Thursday April 29th 1880
     Have not found all our horses, but made a start to day for Escalante with my brothers Edward, Walter and Joseph, the latter going back for the wagon we left. Drove 17 miles and camped at the Navajoe Springs

Saturday May 1st 1880
     Helped Joseph to fix up the wagon and he started for camp, and the rest of us went on to Harmony Flat 51 miles from Bluff City and camped. The road is dry and good and the grass is quite green.

Thursday May 6th 1880
     Camped at the Cottonwood last night and drove down to the Colorado this morning and was ferried over. found several wagons here that started 3 days before I did. The river is 7 feet higher than when we crossed in January Rested our team and then pulled our wagon to the top of the "Hole" which was a 1/2 days hard work for 5 horses after packing up all our loose things.

Saturday May 8th 1880
     Met bro S. S. Smith and a small company bound for San Juan. Received letters from my folks, also learned there was some flour and boots and shoes on the road for our camp. Was told by bro Smith that he did not think the appropriation would pay more than 40 pr cent of the expenses of the road. The grass is very poor on this side of the river, but water is in abundance. the weather is windy and dry and rather cool.

Monday May 10th 1880
     Met 3 wagons near the 20 mile spring loaded with flour for our camp. learned that some had been left in Escalante.

Wednesday May 12th 1880
     Left my wagon at the 10 mile spring and rode into Escalante on horseback. got a letter from Mother informing me that my Sister Annie had left Wm Dutson to whom in my opinion she never should have been married. She is very sick and has been for many weeks I returned to camp in the evening.

Thursday May 13th 1880
     Drove in to town and loaded in 1000 lbs of flour and Walter and I started for San Juan after parting with Edward who goes on to Oak Creek.

Tuesday May 18th 1880
     Camped at the 50 mile last night, and drove to the ferry to day and crossed my wagon over. The river is very high and still on the rise, which makes it hard work to cross, as we have to tow up stream some distance in order to reach the landing on the opposite side.

Wednesday May 19th 1880
     Crossed our horses and cows over, and moved up to the foot of the cottonwood hill and camped. We have left 2 cows and calves as they are too weak to travel through

Thursday May 20th 1880
     Started on this morning, and on the big hill my wagon got loose from the team (which was hitched to the end of the tongue) and ran back and off the dugway and tipped over, breaking the reach, box, bows flour sacks and some other things and scattered my load all over the side of the hill. Spent the balance of the day in mending up and getting things in shape to move on

Monday May 24th 1880
     Layed over yesterday and to day a the Lake, and Walter and I walked 8 miles down to the Colorado and 3 miles up the stream to where there is a good place for a road into the river on both sides. Here a stream comes in from the north, which I could trace for several miles by the green cottonwoods on its banks

Saturday May 29th 1880
     Met bro Sevy and 4 others between the Grand Gulch and the Canebrake, going to the ferry for flour.

Wednesday June 2d 1880
     Drove from the Butler Gulch home and found all as well as usual, the water is in the ditch and some seed has been sown which has come up and is looking well, but taken all together, I do not think the prosperity very encouraging.

Sunday June 6th 1880
     Bro Smith came down yesterday from his camp 15 miles above here, and held 2 meetings to day and organized a Sunday School with James Decker as Superintendent, and installed bro Jens Neilsen as presiding priest in this branch. The day has been fine and we have had a good time.

Monday June 7th 1880
     County court was in session all day, divided the county in 3 precincts, appointed Judges of election and some other officers to act until the August election.

Saturday June 12th 1880
     Have been busy during the week clearing land and planting corn and potatoes. This morning our last horses were brought in, fat and fine from 15 miles up the Recapture by Geo Lewis Warren Taylor and John Pace, Bro James Lewis of Kanab and myself went up to Montezuma and put up at bro Smiths.

Sunday June 13th 1880
     Attended 2 meetings and assisted to set Silas. S. Smith Jr apart as presiding priest in this branch, and John A Smith (both sons of Silas S. Smith) as superintendent of the Sunday School, also assisted to administer the Sacrament.

Monday June 14th 1880
     Bros Smith and Lewis and I started today for a trip into Colorado and New Mexico. We have 4 mules 1 saddle horse and 1 spring wagon. Drove 10 miles and camped on the [S]an Juan, the country is smoother and more open than below here, and the bottoms are still narrow, and so far the most des[i]rable locations are taken up. some by our people and some by outsiders

Tuesday June 15th 1880
     Left the river and turned into the hills on the northeast and after going a few miles took an east course over a dry rolling country with good road, and after driving 30 miles camped at Navajoe Spring.

Wednesday June 16th 1880
     My mare having got so lame she could scarcely travel I traded her and my saddle to Tom Box
     Drove 18 miles and nooned at Mitchells ranch in the Montezuma Valley, then 9 miles farther and made a dry camp in the edge of the cedars.

Thursday June 17th 1880
     Drove 9 miles over rolling hills covered with pine and cedar to the Mancos a clear mountain stream capable of supporting 80 families of Latter Day Saints, there are about half that number of gentiles owning claims scattered up and down for several miles. Crops of wheat, rye, lucern and potatoes are looking well, white pine grows close down to the upper end of the valley, and cedar and pinion pine are in abundance in every direction
     We posted letters here and I received one from Edward L. at Oak Creek. After nooning we drove 10 miles over the mountains through big pine timber and green grass and camped at a Steam Saw Mill on Cherry Creek.

Friday June 18th 1880
     Drove 3 miles up hill to Parrot a small mining town in the mouth of the La Plato Kanyon, here there are some places gold diggings said to be very good. After posting letters we drove 15 miles down the La Plato which is a swift running clear stream 20 feet wide and 2 ft deep, and camped in the river bottom We have got below the timber, and the benches which stretch out on either side of the stream are covered with sage brush and occasionally pinion pine and cedar but are utterly destitute of grass. We have passed 2 camps of Ute Indians who have a good number of horses of very fair quality.

Saturday June 19th 1880
     Drove 20 miles down the La Plata (La Plato) and passed off from the reservation and into New Mexico, after which we found settlers all along the creek whose crops look good.
     The road is excellent, but there is no feed with the exception of a very little on the river bottoms. The course of this stream is a little west of south, and it empties into the San Juan about 50 miles from Parrot

Sunday June 20th 1880
     Turned to the left into the hills and drove 15 miles to Farmington a small settlement at the Junction of the Animas and San Juan rivers, then 2 miles down the latter to the mouth of the La Plato (La Plata and camped, had a little rain this morning.

Monday June 21st 1880
     More rain last night. I waded the river after the mules, pulled 8 miles over the hills onto the San Juan to Navajoe where there are a few settlers, took dinner with the Stevens bros who came out with us last winter. Saw old Peter Shirts. Feed seems to be very scarce I do not like this place as well as Bluff City and vicinity and drove back to the La Plato (La Plata) and camped.

Tuesday June 22nd 1880
     Drove into the main road near where we left it on the 18th and turned to the east and after driving about 10 miles over a very pleasant looking mountainous country covered with grass and timber, and passing a toll gate where we paid [unreadable copy]0 cts we camped in a Kanyon on a clear stream called Cat Creek

Friday June 25th 1880
     Drove 3 miles to Animas City a neat thriving mining town on the Animas River which is 1/2 as large here as the San Juan is at our camp, it runs very swift, has a rough rocky channel, and is crossed by a good wooden bridge.
     After posting letters, and buying some supplies we drove 5 miles to the Florida a beautiful stream 40 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Then 12 miles farther and camped at a little spring with plenty of good grass.
     The country from the Mancos here is made up of rolling hills, long divided and smooth narrow Kanyons all covered with luxuriant grass and splended white pine timbers and having a great number of clear mount[a]in streams and the roads generally are remarkably good.

Saturday June 25th 1880
     Drove 3 miles to Los Pinos where there are a few houses a store and Post Office, corssed the Los Pinos a clear swift running stream about as large as the Seveir. Drove several miles ov[e]r the hills to Beaver creek which we followed for some distance and towards evening came to the [unreadable copy]dra a clear mountain stream not quite so large as the Los [P]inos and 20 miles from that stream. Camped 2 miles below the bridge We meet a great many w[a]gons loaded with freight or families, mostly for Rico a new mining town north west of Animas

Sunday June 27th 1880
     Should have layed over today, but were compelled to go on as our provisions were nearly out, drove 18 miles to the San Juan and crossed on a toll bridge, the river here is swift and rocky and much clearer than at Bluff City. Pagosa Springs 1 mile above here are warm and considered to have great medicinal properties. There is a military post there and quite a cluster of private houses. We paid 7 1/2 cts for flour and 20 cts for bacon, drove out 2 miles and camped. There are a few settlers onmost of the streams we have crossed and all are doing a little farming but the vallies are very narrow and the climate severe.

Monday June 28th 1880
     Drove 8 miles to the Blanco which we followed up for a few miles and crossed, then 11 miles to the Little Navajoe a small stream on which we camped. The country is becoming more rough and mountainous, and there is still a great abundance of good water and grass and timber

Tuesday June 29th 1880
     Drove 3 miles to the Big Navajoe which we followed up for 3 miles and paid 75 cts toll. 3 miles further to the summit which is the grand continental divide the water west of here flowing into the San Juan thence into the Colorado and so on into the Gulf of California, and on the east into the Rio Grande and thence to the Gulf of Mexico. From the summit we drove 5 miles to the Little Horn and nooned, then 6 miles and crossed Wolf Creek and 2 miles farther crossed the Charmer which we followed up for 1 mile and then camped. Our course for a few days has been more to the south and we are now in New Mexico

Wednesday June 30th 1880
     Today we drove 10 miles up a steep grade, paid $1.50 at a toll gate. Nooned on the head of Pine Creek near a large grading camp of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Drove 10 miles mostly down hill and close to big fires in the timber, paid $1.50 at another toll gate passed more grading camps after pulling up a 1 1/2 of steep hill camped near a small spring on the eastern slope.

Thursday July 1st 1880
     The altitude here is marked on the map at between 9 & 10000 feet, heavy snow banks are seen in many places near us, and last night, ice formed 3/8 of an inch thick in the wash basin Drove 10 miles down the mountain and camped near the Conejos River in the edge of the San Luis Valley. We are now out of the pine timber for the first time since leaving the Mancos. Here we see all the indications of railroad building as the grade is close to us on [the south].

Friday July 2nd 1880
     Followed down the Conejos 10 miles which we corssed after passing through the old Spanish town of Conejos, which has considerable life infused into it for the time being by the advent of the railroad which has its present terminus at San Antonio 1 mile south, and from where one branch of the road runs south into New Mexico and the other westward toward Animas.
     Drove 8 miles farther to Manassa in Conejos Co. Colorado a thriving town being built up by Latter Day Saints, mostly from the Southern States. We put up with Bp Bertelson formerly of Fountain Green San Pete Co Utah. There are several families here from Utah among them bros Russel Robers of Fillmore and Jos H Parry of Salt Lake.
     This is a beautiful valley, similar in appearance to Pauvan Valley, its width is 50 miles and its length 150 miles it lays very even and is well watered, the soil is generally black and rather gravelly, and appears to be productive, the climate is rather cold, and I am told there is considerable wind in the Spring of the year. The altitude is 7800 feet, crops are looking well but backward The rialroad runs 3 miles west of town

Sunday July 4th 1880
     Yesterday we rode out to the townsite of [E]phraim 2 miles northeast of the Manassa, and today attended a very good Sunday School under the direction of bro Parry, who also leads the choir which is a credit to the ward. In the afternoon we met with the Saints in their large log School house and bros Smith, Lewis, and I each spoke a short time.

Tuesday July 6th 1880
     Spent hesterday visiting the Saints who are located in the vicinity and attended a party in the evening, and today after parting with the brethren who have gone up the valley to look around. I went into the mountains 20 miles from town to cut ties with bors Perry and Behrman formerly of Utah but more recently from Brigham City on the Little Colorado in Arizona

Sunday July 11th 1880
     I came down to town Friday and bros Smith & Lewis have returned from Alamosa. While away bro Smith in company with bro Ellidge bought a grist mill with 40 acres of land and several buildings included for $3000.00 located at San Luis 30 miles north east of here
     Today there was a general turnout of the Saints at meeting and we had a good time. I assisted at the confirmation of 17 persons who had just been baptized.

Thursday July 15th 1880
     Went to the mountains again last monday to cut ties, and today returned to Manassa walking all the distance excepting 7 miles which I rode with a baptist preacher the Rev R M. Adams of Pagosa (Paejosa) Springs, with whom I had a very interesting time as he did not seem so bigoted as many religious persons do, and seemded pleased to learn of the faith practice and history of the Saints.

Saturday July 17th 1880
     Learned yesterday from some of the boys from Bluff City on their way to Alamosa for freight; that Joseph with some others who had started up this way had stopped to work at Parrott
     Bros Smith and Lewis started for San Juan today and I went with them as far as bro Sellers in the Kanyon where we staid over night 20 miles from Manassa

Sunday July 18th 1880
     The brethren went on their way, and I walked 4 miles to the camp of Bros Berry & Behrman, where I am going to cut ties.

Tuesday August 3rd 1880
     Today Joseph came in from Parrot with a team in company with several of the boys from camp. They reported the water out of the ditch and crops drying up at Bluff City and many of the settlers discouraged and some moving away

Thursday August 12th 1880
     Have been chopping ties for a few days, and today commenced hauling ties 9 miles for 18 cts each.

Friday Sep 3rd 1880
     Have done hauling ties, and ttoday made a start for Alamosa to get supplies preparatory to starting back to San Juan, drove down near Manassa and camped We have done very well during the time we have been working our teams, having made from 5 to 13 dollars a day, according to the amount of teams used.

Saturday Sep 4th 1880
     Received a letter from my bro Marion informing me that he is on the way to visit San Juan in company with Bros E Snow B Yound, Dame, Gillespie and others, and will be there about the first of this month

Sunday Sep 5th 1880
     Drove to Alamosa which is situated 22 miles north of Manassa on the Rio Grand River, as we could do no business we layed over and wrote letters

Tuesday Sep 7th 1880
     Snow fell on the mountains yesterday. Today we loaded in our supplies and some freight for Animas and made a start

Saturday Sep 11th 1880
     Coming down onto the Charmer today Joseph upset his wagon on a steep dugway, and done some damage to the wagon and load, and came very near getting hurt himself

Saturday Sep 18th 1880
     Drove into Animas and delivered our freight to M Kephart who paid us after deducting 75 cts for damage to the crackers

Sunday Sep 19th 1880
     Met bro S. S. Smith who is moving to Manassa, he told me of the visit of bro Snow and party to San Juan, they were well pleased with the country and with the prospects of our people. They held several meetings and appointed Silas S. Smith Prest of this mission and P. D. Lyman as first counsellor who was left in charge in the absence of bro Smith. Bro Jens Neilsen was appointed bishop of Bluff City ward, with Kumen Jones as 2nd counsellor. [unreadable copy] B. Decker Jr. was appointed presiding priest at Montezuma, where bro [unreadable copy] Hyde of S. L. City has established a store for the purpose of trading with the indians

Friday Sep 24th 1880
     Drove into Bluff City and found all well the folks are forting up by advice of bro [S]now.

Sunday Sep 26th 1880
     Yesterday I qualified as Prosecuting Attorney for this county having been elected to that office at the August election.
     Today I attended Sunday School and meeting and had a good time. There is a good spirit in this ward.

Monday Sep 27th 1880
     Started for Oak Creek with Walter and 2 wagons and 10 animals, in company with Tom Williams who is going to cedar, and [unreadable copy] [unreadable copy]tchings who with his family is moving back to Beaver, disgusted with this country
     Drove to Navajoe spring and camped.

Monday Oct 4th 1880
     Drove down to the Colorado and ferried our wagons over and camped in the "Hole in the Rock" where there is no feed.

Tuesday Oct 5th 1880
     Pulled our wagons up through the "Hole" and camped at the top.

Saturday Oct 9th 1880
     Passed through Escalante, cold wind and some rain.

Wednesday Oct 13th 1880
     We have had cold snow storms ever since leaving Escalante. Today is fair and pleasant. I broke the axleof my light wagon on the East Fork 1 1/2 miles above the Kingston Hill and spent 1/2 day fixing it up so I could travel. Met my brother Francis M. returning from Arizona and staid over night with him at Kingston in Circle Valley where the sons of bro Thos. R. King and a number of other families are living in the United Order, holding their property in common and eating a[t] one table, they seem to feel well satisfied

Thursday Oct 14th 1880
     Rode part of the day with Marion and by driving very late camped with him at Mr. Ross's at the mouth of Clear Creek.

Friday Oct 15th 1880
     Turned off on to the Clear Creek road for Fillmore, the mornings and evenings are bitter cold.

Saturday Oct 16th 1880
     Drove into Fillmore and met my wife and children who were well. Learned that at the late conference, Elder John Taylor was chosen President of the Church and Geo Q. Cannon and Joseph {unreadable copy]. Smith his 1st and 2nd counsellors and my bro Francis M. and John H. Smith had been chosen as Apostles to fill 2 of the vacancies this created.

Sunday Oct 17th 1880
     Attended meeting in Fillmore where bro Marion, bro Gillispie and I spoke each for a short time, principally on the country through which we have been traveling of late.
     I spent the evening with bro Callister who is in a very feeble condition. Was afterwards blessed and set apart by bro Marion to Labor in San Juan mission

Tuesday Oct 19th 1880
     Went to Oak Creek and found the folks as well as usual, although quite a number of them were away from home.

Wednesday Oct 20th 1880
     Most of our folks came home today. I visited bro Lovell who is very low and feeble having been failing in health for somtime

Friday Oct 22nd 1880
     Went to Deseret yesterday to visit Uncle Edward and returned to Oak Creek with him today. He is company with T. (L.) K. Lyman have just bought the Saw mill in Oak Creek Kanyon

Saturday Oct 23rd 1880
     Rode on horse back to Leamington and got onto the train at 9 am. reached Salt Lake at 6 pm and put up at bro Jonah Clarks

Tuesday Oct 26th 1880
     Took the train at 7 am for Leamington with my wife Annie M. Clarke, reached our destination in good time in the afternoon, and met mother, Lucy and Eddy at the station, and drove over to Oak Creek

Friday Oct 29th 1880
     Mother with Eddy and his wife went to Fillmore, and in the evening Uncle Edward came in from that place to spend a few days with us

Sunday Oct 31st 1880
     Attended meeting in Oak Creek and bro Partridge and I each spoke to the Saints. Visited Soren Christensen who was been vey sick all summer. Mother and Eddy returned from Fillmore in the evening

Monday Nov 1st 1880
     Uncle E. returned to Deseret, and in the evening Delia and the children. Mother, Lucy, Joseph P. Callister (Carlies baby) Aunt Caroline and her daughters Annie & Harriet and her Grandmother Effie Roper her Sons Frederic R and Walter C and Edward L Lyman with 5 wagons and 6 oxen, 23 horses and 1 mule, drove 8 miles and made a dry camp

Saturday Nov 6th 1880
     Aunt Caroline with her daughters and granddaughter turned back with 1 wagon thinking we were too heavily loaded we drove 3 miles and camped.

Wednesday Nov 10th 1880
     Camped at Willow Bend last night and after crossing the Seveir turned off on to the Grass Valley road and camped at Kings Meadow 7 miles from the river

Monday Nov 15th 1880
     Drove 8 miles and camped near John Kings on Kota Creek, the weather has been bitter cold but is a little warmer today.

Thursday Nov 18th 1880
     The weather is still excessively cold. Met bro Neilsen and Jos. A. Lyman Geo [unreadable copy]estwood and Joshua Stevens the former on his way to Cedar to winter, the latter 3 will return with us Camped on Sweetwater

Friday Nov 19th 1880
     Drove over the summit and down about 5 miles and camped in a house in Escalante Kanyon, the weather and road are still good.

Sunday Nov 21st 1880
     Layed over yesterday because we could not find our horses an today drove down within 1 mile of Escalante

Thursday Nov 25th 1880
     Layed over during the past 3 days,and today hitched up and drove 7 miles into the desert and camped, have found a few of our cattle. Snow fell 7 inches deep last night and the weather is now rather cold.

Friday Nov 26th 1880
     Drove 4 miles and camped very late, the unbroken road is very hard on our teams.

Tuesday Nov 30th 1880
     Layed over 3 days at our last camp and killed a beef bro Kumen Jones who has been to Cedar passed us on his way to Bluff City. The weather quite cold, drove [unreadable copy] miles

Wednesday Dec 1st 1880
     Drove 8 miles, passed the 20 mile spring and made a dry camp 1/2 way between there are the Kiota Holes

Thursday Dec 2nd 1880
     Some of the boys started to Harris Ranch to hunt stock, and the balance of us layed over.

Saturday Dev 4th 1880
     Very high wind and some snow last night, our tent was blown over, and thing generally scattered around today is moderately pleasant, with a little wind.

Tuesday Dec 7th 1880
     The weather has been cold and windy for several days but it is warm and pleasant now. The boys returned from Harris Ranch, we have found about 1/2 the stock we left here last fall.

Wednesday Dec 8th 1880
     Made a start and drove about 7 miles.

Monday Dec 13th 1880
     Camped last night within 2 miles of the "Hole" in the rock and today drove down to the river and ferried our wagons over

Tuesday Dec 14th 1880
     Forded our cattle and horses, and moved our wagons a little way up from the river.

Thursday Dec 16t 1880
     Rain fell most of yesterday and last night, but we got up the Cottonwood hill all right, and today in getting up the little hole in the rock one of my wagons came in two and we were detained 3 hours fixing things up, camped at the foot of the bench. Joshau Stevens started ahead this morning with his cattle.

Friday Dec 17th 1880
     Snow fell this morning and the weather is still quite cloudy we moved over the bench and down the slick rock which is in very good condition

Monday Dec 20th 1880
     Layed over between the Lake and Castle Wash because we could not find our horses.

Wednesday Dec 22nd 1880
     Drove up the Castle Wash and camped on the Clay Hill the weather is still cloudy and squally, though not very cold.

Thursday Dec 23rd 1880
     Drove down the hill which was very slippery, and had some snow during the day. Killed a calf in the evening to eat.

Saturday Dec 26th 1880
     Lost 1 ox at this camp drove 5 miles and camped

Tuesday Dec 28th 1880
     Camped 1 mile below Snow flat, here the ground begins to show bare again, picked up 8 head of cattle left by some one

Wednesday Dec 29th 1880
     Snow fell in the morning, but afterwards the day turned off pleasant, broke a wagon tongue ion the "Twist" camped in the Comb Wash, one of my horses gave out today, our teams are all getting very weak as our grain gave out several days ago.

Saturday Jan1st 1881
     Drove into Bluff City in the afternoon, and found the people enjoying themselves in celebrating the advent of the New Year, all were pretty well excepting my sister Ida who had sprained both her ankles badly by jumping out of a wagon.

Sunday Jan 2nd 1881
     Attended meeting and spoke to the Saints in the log school house which has been built since I went away. A good spirit prevails in camp, and prospects for the future are good, quite a number of houses have [b]een built and the people generally are well supplied with the necessaries of life. Mother is quite sick today

Tuesday Jan 4th 1881
     Mother is much better. I attended a party in the School house given in as a reception to our folks.

Sunday Jan 9th 1881
     Attended Sunday School and afternoon meeting at both of which I spoke, also attended a testimony meeting in the evening and had a good time. Have hauled wood, killed a beef, and fixed up around the house some during the week. About a dozen Navajos came here yesterday and left today, one of their leading chiefs by the name of Charley Young who speaks English was with them.

Transcribed in 2010, from an earlier transcription located in the Utah State Historical Library.

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