22 March 2009

William Lobark Skidmore wagon driver

This rememberance is excerpted from of William Lobark Skidmore Journals, page 222; September 10 1913. This is on the third reel of microfilmed journals available at the Church Historians Office. I love it for it's honest recollection of hardship, service and youthful judgement.

"Wed 10 Unloading fruit, Feeling very much under the weather. Not much doing. Morgan Knapp and wife called. 50 years ago today I returned to Richmond from a 5 months trip across the plains and mountains to Florence Nebraska and return. I drove a team of 4 yoke of Oxen. Was called by the Bishop Merrill. There were (p. 223) nine of us. 8 teamsters and 1 night guard. We joined a company of 60 wagons. W. B. Preston was our captain. Our mission was to bring Mormon emigrants to Utah. The emigrants came by steamboat, and landed at Florence where we received them. I had a man and wife and her mother. We were a jolly lot of young men. I was only 18 1/2 years of age and about the youngest and smallest one of the number. Our food was furnished by the people of the ward. About 3 weeks we had eggs molasses and salt pork. We were furnished with 5 gallons of whisky, to be used for sickness and special purposes. It was not needed for sickness, so we used it for special purpose which lasted about 2 weeks, and then the whisky was all gone. But my! there were some hilarous times while it lasted. Then our provisions simmered down to straight flour and pork. I was assistant cook. Eli Harris was the cook and I fried the pork, and Eli cooked the bread in the grease. When I had fried 8 frying pans full of bacon, and Eli had cooked 3 dozen flap jacks in the grease from the bacon our meal was ready. And that was our only & unchangeable fare morning noon and night for four months."

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