This Week in 1856 – Chimney Rock – Mary Taylor

From Jessie Haven (with the Hodgetts Wagon Company):

2 October 1856:

Weather warm. Very warm for the season, and dry.

3 October 1856:

Hot today. Thermometer stood at noon in the sun at 119 degrees. United States troops passed us on their way to Laramie, Passed Chimney Rock today.

From John Jacques:

On the 3rd of October, near Chimney Rock, a company of United States Dragoons, under Major Hunter, with ten or twelve mule teams from Fort Kearny for Fort Laramie, passed the company and a boy named Aaron Giles, left the handcart company and went with the soldiers.

[There are some indications that Mary’s husband William Upton began to drive a wagon for the Hodgetts company at this time because some of their drivers left the company and went with the U.S. troops.]

On the 4th of October, the company passed Scott’s Bluffs. Parley P. Pratt‘s company of missionaries, going east from Salt Lake, passed the Bluffs about the same time, but the two companies did not see each other.

From Samuel Openshaw:

4 October 1845:

Passed Chimney Rock, which rises in the form of a monument or chimney, and can be seen at a distance.


4 October 1856: (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Franklin D. Richards arrived and notified Brigham Young of the plight of the handcart companies on the plains.

5 October 1856: (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Brigham Young announced at General Conference the need for wagons, supplies and men to go rescue the handcart companies.


3 thoughts on “This Week in 1856 – Chimney Rock – Mary Taylor

  1. I often used a computer game “The Oregon Trail” to help teach my classes the hard life of those who chose to be pioneers and journey west. Many of the places you name here are on that computer game-even some of the events you speak of are also addressed in the computer game. I will have to find the 2nd copy and send it to you… how weird but interesting huh?

    • That sounds like an awesome game. I’d love to see it. I hope you can find your extra copy. I don’t know how my great-great-grandmother managed being a pioneer but I’m trying to use her as inspiration to handle the hard things that come up in my life.

  2. Pioneer women had to have a different mindset than we have today. They had to be wonderfully resourceful and wise. I often wonder if I could have made it back then…then I remember I hate living out of a suitcase and that is about all they owned back then – a suitcase’s worth of material goods. They were, or became proficent at making things from nothing but raw materials and they had to have a “get it done anyway I can” attitude just to survive the famine, pestalince and weather that was thrown at them as they left the fertile low lands for the “unknown” that laid ahead of them. No wonder in the photos that we have of that group of people, they look harsh and rugged- they were. Today’s pioneers go into space – our “unknown”. I will send the computer game to you when or if I find it.

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