This Week in 1856 – Nebraska – Mary Taylor

From John Jacques

The company moved on the day named, from Florence to Cutler’s Park, two and a half miles, and camped stayed there the nest day and night, and left the next morning. While there, Almon W. Babbit, dressed in corduroy pants, woolen over-shirt and felt hat, called as he was passing west. He seemed in high glee, his spirits being very elastic, almost mercurial. He had started with one carriage for Salt Lake, with the mail and a considerable amount of money. He was very confident that he should be in Salt Lake within 15 days. He intended to push things through vigorously, and sleep on the wind.

On leaving Florence, the loads on the handcarts were greater than ever before, most carts having 100 pounds of four, besides ordinary baggage. The tents were also carried on the carts. The company was provisioned sixty days, a daily ration of one pound of flour per head, with about half a pound fro children.

From Samuel Openshaw’s Diary

28 August 1856:

We started at 8 o’clock. Stopped at the Big Papeon, for dinner, a distance of three miles; started again at one o’clock. Traveled today 15 miles. Six o’clock, we camped at the Elk Horn.

29 August 1856:

Began to ferry at 8 o’clock, across the Elk Horn, and had all ferried across about 12 o’clock; 132 handcarts, 180 head of cattle, 8 wagons. We had our dinner and started about two o’clock; traveled three miles, mostly through a sandy road and arrived at the Raw Hide Creek where we camped for the night.

30 August 1856:

Started about 8 o’clock and traveled until about 1 o’clock, when we camped for the day upon the banks of the Platte River.

31 August 1856:

Sunday. We started today about 7 o’clock and left the river a little on our left, but being high to the banks of the river, the road was very sandy, which made it hard pulling. We camped again about two o’clock upon the banks of the Platte River.

1 September 1856:

Started about 7 o’clock. The road was not so sandy as yesterday. Started again and at 1 o’clock we stopped for dinner at Shell Creek. Started again at 2 o’clock, and therefore, we were obliged to stop on the prairies before we got to the river. There is no wood upon the prairies, only at rivers and creeks, and having nothing cooked, we were obliged to line down without supper. Traveled about 20 miles. We were a little tired.

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