This Week in 1856 – Nebraska – Mary Taylor

From Samuel Openshaw’s Diary

2 September 1856:

We started about half past 5 o’clock this morning; traveled about four miles when we arrived again at the Platte River. We stopped to breakfast about two hours, started again at 10 o’clock for the Loup Fork Ferry, where we arrived about one thirty, in one part; ferried across the Platte today.

3 September 1856:

We commenced to ferry this morning about 7 o’clock, and finished about sunset.

4 September 1856:

We started about 8 o’clock, and traveled about 9 miles; stopped for dinner again, and traveled 14 miles today. Camped at 4 o’clock, killed a cow and it was divided.

5 September 1856:

We were notified to start at 7 o’clock this morning, but a thunderstorm came with delayed us until half past two o’clock. In the meantime, another cow was killed and divided among us, 1/2 pound each. We started and traveled until 5 o’clock; camped again at the Platte River. We put our tents up and then a rain storm came upon us.

6 September 1856:

Started about 8 o’clock this morning. We met a large party of Indians, men, women and children, with their horses and mules, all loaded with skins, going to Missouri to trade with the Whites. They are the first Indians that we have seen. Camped about 12 o’clock for dinner. Then, we went to the top of the hill and camped for the day.

7 September 1856:

Sunday. Started about half past 8 o’clock. Eleanor has the ague and diarrhea, and si so badly that we had to pull her in the handcart. Eliza, also, is yet so weak, that we had to pull her also, in the handcart, which made it just as much as we could pull. We camped again near the Platte. About 5 o’clock, Franklin D. Richards, D. Spencer, C. Wheelock and others camp up in their carriages. We found a good spring here.

From John Jacques:

On the 7th of September, west of Loup Fork, the company was over taken by Franklin d. Richards, Cyrus H. Wheelock, John Van Cott, George D. Grant, William H. Kimball, Joseph A. Young. C. G. Webb, William C. Dunbar, James McGaw, Dan Jones, John McAllister, Nathaniel H. Felt, and James Ferguson, who left Florence September 3rd, passed Hunt’s Wagon company on the 6th, east of the Loup Fork, and Hodgett’s wagon company on the 7th, ten miles west of Martin’s company.

From Samuel Openshaw’s Diary

8 September 1856:

We started about 8 o’clock this morning, traveled until 1 o’clock and stopped for dinner one hour. Started again and traveled until 10 o’clock at night, on account of not being able to find any water or wood. Traveled about 24 miles and found some water in holes that had been dug in the sand. We pulled Eliza on the handcart all day.


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