In Lexington, Greene County, New York, James Gardner and Ruth Arnold Miller had sons Henry William, born May 1, 1807, Daniel Arnold, born August 11, 1809, and James David, born September 17, 1812. Daniel's mother passed away on September 5, 1816. Daniel was preceded in birth by five older siblings: Susannah, Freelove, Abigail, Sally, Henry, and a younger brother, James David. Daniel and Henry learned the carpentry trade while living in Lexington, New York.
In the early 1830s, two sons of James Gardner, Henry William, and Daniel Arnold, at 20 years old, started out West. At Chicago, then only a trading post, they took employment in carpentry which paid them well. They earned enough money to buy property downstate near Quincy. The Miller family consisting of Daniel, Henry, Sally, James David and their father immigrated to Illinois settling on the banks of Bear Creek near Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. The family purchased some government land and erected a stone grist and saw mill. While there, they formed an acquaintance with the Thaddeus Pond family.
Henry married Elmira Pond on November 19, 1831, and it was at the time that Elmira was about to deliver her first child that Clarissa, her sister, came to assist her in the care of the newborn child. Shortly after Clarissa arrived, she was introduced to Henry's brother, Daniel Arnold Miller. Daniel and Clarissa were soon married on December 29, 1833. With the brothers marrying sisters, the close relationship that existed between these couples was further strengthened. Daniel and Clarissa had several children: Lovisa born October 1, 1834; Jacob born December 9, 1835; James born December 19, 1839; Susan Hulda born September 1, 1839; Clarissa Jane born August 4, 1841; Daniel Arnold born October 8, 1843 (stillborn).
In the early 1830s, the Black Hawk Indian war broke out and Henry enlisted in the Illinois Militia to quell the Indian uprising of Chief Black Hawk and his Sac and Fox warriors. The war ended in 1832 with the Indians being driven from Illinois. It was at Quincy where another young frontiersman by the name of Abraham Lincoln helped organize a company of militia. Henry had joined that group and the two men became friends. They were about the same weight, but Lincoln was 3 inches taller. They both loved to wrestle and often pitted their strengths against each other and were pretty evenly matched.
In the late 1830s, the Latter-Day Saints had become involved in a conflict with many of the settlers in Missouri that intensified into an all out war known as the Missouri Mormon War. Ultimately, Governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Missouri Executive Order Number 44 otherwise known as "The Mormon Extermination Order" which was to expel all Mormons out of Missouri. As a result of this order in February 1839, many Latter-Day Saints were driven from Missouri then moved into the Quincy, Illinois area. Spearheaded by the Illinois Governor Carlin, the local citizens were encouraged to meet and adopt measures for their relief in which Millers volunteered to help. Henry and Daniel welcomed many of the Mormons to their home one of which was Abel Lamb. Around this time, tragedy struck the family when James David died on August 30, 1839, apparently of overexertion from cradling grain, leaving his wife and three children. His wife and children were cared for by the Miller families.
Elmira and Clarissa had been searching for a church which would satisfy their religious yearnings and questions. During his stay, Abel Lamb explained this new "Mormon" religion to them. The sisters were pleased with what they learned and desired to become members of the church, but Elder Lamb counseled them to wait until their husbands would also desire baptism. According to Elmira, Elder Lamb had asked her to wait until the next meeting when Henry would be present to hear the lessons. This she did and after the second lesson, she and Henry were baptized in September 1839 along with Daniel and Clarissa. Within a year of joining the church, Daniel was made Bishop of one of the branches of the Mount Hope Stake in Columbus, Adams County, Illinois.
From the time of their conversion to the church, their whole lives and activities would be centered in the Church and its program. In 1840, the area around Nauvoo had become the center for the Saints. A desire to live closer to the other Saints prompted the brothers to move closer to Nauvoo. Subsequently, the Miller brothers, who had operated a large mill near Quincy, exchanged their holdings and moved upstate settling in two places: Henry purchased property in Nauvoo where he built a two-story home with the store attached and Daniel exchanged property with a Mr. Lotton in Hancock County about 3 miles south of Carthage and about 18 miles from Nauvoo. This new property in Hancock County had one fourth under cultivation and another fourth of timber comprising mostly of hickory and walnut trees. Soon they had most of their land under cultivation raising largely corn, some other grains, hay, and small fruit trees growing on the place. Daniel and Clarissa ran a small mercantile store there. Daniel's father, James Gardner Miller, spent most of his time in Nauvoo with Henry helping to build many of the homes and buildings that were in existence at that time. On April 6, 1840, Daniel and Henry were ordained High Priests by the Prophet Joseph Smith. In General Conference on April 8, 1841, Henry was appointed to a committee to help raise funds for the building of the Nauvoo Temple. The Miller brothers gave $4000 to the church to help construct the Temple. Tragedy again struck the family when Sally, Daniel and Henry’s sister, died October 21, 1841. She was unmarried.
Soon after it was chartered on May 7, 1842, Daniel and Henry enrolled in The Nauvoo Legion. Henry was commissioned as Adjutant to the Brigadier General of the Militia. As for Daniel there is no mention of his particular position. Daniel and Henry also aided in the building of the Nauvoo Temple and the Nauvoo House. Daniel was also accepted into the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge. Henry with his family went up the Mississippi River to the pine country and built a sawmill. The lumber was floated down the river in rafts supplying the lumber for the construction effort for many buildings including the Nauvoo Temple and Nauvoo House. Henry also served as one of the Prophet’s guards.
Mormons began to have challenges with the local settlers and they were subject to mobbing and burning of houses on a frequent basis. Though his home and farm were threatened repeatedly by the mob, it was never harmed. As a result, many families were left homeless and were cared for at the Daniel Miller home. In one account, they recall seeing the smoke from many farms that had been burned to the ground.
In 1843, Daniel was called to serve a mission to Indiana returning in the spring of 1844 to his family. The Millers were able to witness a tremendous progress and growth in the church. Nauvoo became a beautiful city. They witnessed the new Scripture that was published from the Book of Abraham, the Articles of Faith, the formation of the Relief Society, the success of the missionary work worldwide, the building of the Nauvoo Temple, and fulfillment of modern-day revelation in the church.
On June 27, 1844, shock went throughout the entire Miller family when they learned of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum just 3 miles away from their home. Henry went to Nauvoo to learn what should be done in response to the death of their prophet while Daniel remained at home to take care of his sick wife, Clarissa. It is recorded that Clarissa wept bitterly and called on God to avenge their deaths. The Millers recalled seeing the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum as they returned to Nauvoo where thousands mourned their death. Clarissa’s health was starting to rapidly fail around the time and continue to worsen until she died on September 16, 1844, of tuberculosis, known in the day as consumption.
In 1845, the Nauvoo Temple was constructed and dedicated and soon after Henry and Elmira received their Temple endowments and sealings along with the many others. Since Clarissa had passed away in 1844, Daniel had to wait to be sealed to her.
Hannah Bigler, born June 24, 1820, was the 20-year-old daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Bigler of Hancock County and had helped as a neighbor to care for Clarissa before her death. She was so good with Daniel’s children and had such a cheerful and positive disposition that the young widower with five children and the farm to run looked upon Hannah as a godsend. He married her December 29, 1844. Daniel and Hannah had the following children: Isabelle Clarinda born January 21, 1846; Joseph Smith born August 12, 1847; Emeline Elizabeth born May 24, 1849; Sarah Lovina born July 24, 1850; Ruth Abigail born July 27, 1852; Hannah Malinda born June 23, 1854; Bathsheba born June 12, 1855; David Edgar born October 28, 1857; Daniel Gardner born May 29, 1859; Henry William born October 5, 1860. James Gardner Miller spent his declining years in the homes of his sons helping with light work in the garden and on the farm. He was ordained a High Priest by Henry a few days before his death which occurred on August 27, 1845.
During this same time, persecutions of the Saints increased. Brigham Young sensed the danger to life and property of the Saints should they stay in Illinois. The Millers began to make preparations to depart the area and move westward. But in the early spring of 1846, Daniel and Henry with their families crossed the Mississippi River and joined with the advance companies in the general move of the persecuted and driven Saints to the West. The camp of the Saints began at Sugar Creek about 9 miles from Nauvoo on March 1. The advanced portion of Saints spent 55 days making roads, building bridges, crossing marshy areas, and doubling teams over the almost impassable roads amid very windy and stormy weather for 136 miles.
On 24 April 1846, the advance companies reached a place on the east bank of the Grand River crossing Iowa and about 145 miles from Nauvoo which was named Garden Grove. The Millers unloaded the wagons in tents and went back with their teams to move forward the less fortunate and under resourced Saints.
On May 11, the first group of Saints started on with part of the companies and on May 18 arrived at Middle Fork of the Grand River about 27 miles further than was previously established and called the settlement Mount Pisgah.
Delayed by a few days, Daniel and Henry went on to the Missouri River arriving about the middle of June. Here, the Millers purchased a home from a Frenchman named Hildreth near Mosquito Creek located about 9 miles east of the Missouri River. The Millers purchased additional property which was known as “Miller’s Hollow” from an Indian chief” . The name, Miller’s Hollow, lasted for two years when it was changed to Kanesville to honor Col. Thomas Kane who had been a great friend of the Saints. Miller’s Hollow was known for several things, namely, the start of the Mormon Trail, the temporary headquarters for enrolling the 500 men of the Mormon Battalion, and a central area for gathering resources for the journey across the plains. During the time of enrollment for the Mormon Battalion, four companies were enrolled on the 13th and 14th of July and a fifth company a few days later. Col. Thomas L. Kane and Captain Allen with Pres. Brigham Young and others were present.
A liberty pole floating the American flag marked the rallying place. Many married men enrolled leaving their families camped in wagons to be cared for by others. At first, the Miller brothers volunteered to be part of the Mormon Battalion. Brigham Young counseled them not to join as they were needed to help build the settlement and provide support for the families of volunteers. Among the first log cabins erected were those for the families of the volunteers. Daniel was appointed manager and Bishop of the Blockhouse Ward for two years for these families.
Most of the moving west was done with ox teams and the following winter, while the snow was deep, most of the stock was taken up the river some distance where, for want of hay, softwood trees were felled for them to browse on the limbs and leaves.
In the fall of 1846 after the people were settled in their log cabins, Brigham Young requested Henry Miller to build the Log Tabernacle in Miller’s Hollow . In this tabernacle, which he named Juibilo, he held meetings, dances, and other events to cheer the despondent. When he was asked why he named the tabernacle Juibilo, he said it was halfway between a Jubilee and a Jubalium and with merrymaking and dancing the Saints might be called a happy company of exiles.
In 1847, Pioneer Year, the Miller's uncultivated portion of their land purchase was broken up and planted mostly to corn. The corn would be stored and used to help the Saints across the plains.
The Millers proved to be very resourceful in helping the Saints at that time. One act of kindness by Daniel was called out by Elder George A. Smith in the General Conference on April 6, 1848. Elder Smith said, "It is known to the conference that I have taken an interest in Brother Yokum who was shot to pieces at Haun's Mill. I want to say that Bishop Daniel Miller has bought him a place, thinking the brethren would put their mites together and buy it. It cost about $2. The thing had been carried thus far and Brother Miller was saddled with the responsibility of it. It's the greatest miracle in the world that he is alive (Brother Yokum). The wound he got on his head was enough to kill a dog, but he has lived through it. It is such acts that make the potatoes grow."
In the spring of 1848, Daniel and Henry received their callings: Daniel would move on west to the place selected by the pioneers of 1847 known as the Great Salt Lake and Henry would remain on the new location to help take care of the settlement in Kanesville and grow corn for advancing Saints. This was the first time that Daniel and Henry had separated for a long period of time. Both of them lived as if everything was in common sharing the same dinner table, the property, and animals. There was no question about what item belonged to the other.
Daniel’s outfit for the move west consisted of four ox teams, with two yoke of oxen each and one horse team of one span driven by Daniel's wife, Hannah, loose stock and seven cows, approximately 17 sheep, four pigs, and five chickens. This was mostly the same outfit, sheep included, that came out of Illinois in 1846. Two young men, William Bird and Matthew Field, were added to the family as teamsters. Jacob Miller, 12 years old, was to drive two yoke teams, but riding in a covered wagon produced such nausea that the team was driven by James, 10 years old. Jacob aided in driving the loose stock. The Missouri River was crossed in a ferryboat pulled across with oars. They later arrived at Elk Horn which was a stream some 27 miles from Winter Quarters. The crossing was done on a raft or float taking one wagon at a time. The raft was attached to the west shore by several chains and was floated by a swift current carrying the raft over to the other side. Once the wagon was driven off the raft, a team of horses on the east side of the river would pull the raft back for the next wagon crossing.
For organization sake, the Saints were organized into crossing companies and Daniel Miller was appointed Captain of 10 consisting of 18 wagons in the Fourth Company of the First Division of President Young's Company starting in the beginning of June. After making slow progress over several days, Daniel was approached by members of his company and requested that they separate from the main company. Daniel understood that the overloaded, weak teams were giving out due to the long hours they had to wait for others to advance. One day, Daniel and his company loaded their wagons and teams and prepared to advance the wagons to the next camp. Like many other days, they waited for the others ahead of them to advance. After many hours at the ready, they were told to set up camp at the same place where they had camped the day before. For Daniel, he decided that enough was enough and that his company was going to break from the main company. Daniel said, "Boys, you may separate the loose stock." A cheer went up among the 18 companies and they separated from the main group. Another family of two wagons asked to join making a company of 50 persons and 20 wagons which moved on several miles further and went into camp.
From then on to the Valley, the 20 wagons kept by themselves occasionally camping near and passing larger companies. Guarding the group by night was a heavy burden with so few men and Capt. Daniel Miller passed many sleepless nights. In the latter part of the journey, they came to "salaratus ground" where seven head of oxen and cows died and cows were yoked up from the loose herd.
On September 4, 1848, Capt. Daniel Miller’s group arrived in the Valley sixteen days before the advance portion of Pres. Young's Company and after a few days rest some of the teams in Capt. Daniel Miller’s were sent back to aid others over the big mountains. The entire journey took about three months time including the stops en route. The longest stop was to kill buffalo and dry meat to add to the provisions as it was important to have food to hold out until the harvest of 1849, one growing season later.
The Great Salt Lake City fort contained 423 houses, 1671 souls. Farming consisted of 5123 acres of which 875 acres were sown with winter wheat. Earlier in the year (June 1848), the pioneers told the group of the big crickets that came down from the mountain and began to devour the crops, but the timely arrival from the lake of immense flocks of seagulls which devoured the crickets and saved most of the crop. The buffalo meat came in handy the year that they arrived.
Work was plentiful for those early Saints that arrived. The Salt Lake City farming lots had to be surveyed. Logs were brought from the nearby canyons and were hauled to Chase’s Mill for lumber for building. At the October conference, liberty was given to those who wished to locate for the winter on different streams and springs for good feed could be found for their stocks for there was no feed for the cattle.
Daniel and Hannah settled on a small creek south of the mouth of North Cottonwood Creek, 16 miles north of Salt Lake City. He had a few neighbors, namely: William Smith and his family, father of Lot Smith; Allen Burke, his son-in-law and family. The Smith family lived about 1/4 mile northwest of Cottonwood Creek and the Burke family about 1/2 mile further northwest by a large spring. Along with other pioneers, there was a small band of Utah Indians located at the mouth of North Cottonwood Canyon about 1 mile northeast. This small band experienced many deaths due to a sickness in the camp. They knew when some of the band had died because they could hear their noisy lamentations repeating for several moons after their death. The young members of the Miller family also remember the impressive howling of the local coyotes.
The first night they settled in, they had a heavy wind for which Farmington was noted. In a few days, they had a double log cabin of Cottonwood logs erected with lumber floor and roof, doors and windows. They then plowed and sowed a few acres of winter wheat. Since they had decided to permanently locate there, the winter was spent in caring for the stock, cutting wood for the summer, preparing tools, fencing, etc.
The first winter was very difficult. Heavy snow came with a quick thaw sufficient to melt the top layer of the snow followed by a heavy frost which formed the crust that they could walk on, lasting for many weeks. This made it very difficult for the stock to get the food under the crust.
In the spring of 1849, several more families located in our vicinity to open farms and share in the water. A Ward was organized called the North Cottonwood Ward with Joseph S. Robinson as Bishop. The lands were surveyed and divided for fields and gardens for the new community.
Daniel Miller located 40 acres as a main field and a few acres for gardening west of the creek. A few more acres were to be watered by a small stream by which the house was located. In all, they had about 60 acres.
Once surveyed, the Millers took to their usual labors of breaking new soil, sowing with grain and vegetable seeds, building the dams, making water ditches, irrigating the soil, and in time harvesting and gathering the mature grass for hay. As they had no machinery, grain was cut with the cradle which meant that hay was cut with the scythe and the thrashing done by flail or by layering in a circle and having horses or oxen trample over it. The wind was used to blow away the chaff. This effort was followed by the farming mill turned by hand and few years later, a chaff piler was brought into the country thrashing and piling up the grain and chaff. After gathering crops in 1849, a log schoolhouse was built where Harvey Green taught school.
On October 27, 1850, Daniel Miller was called to the Iron County Mission to help locate a settlement in the Little Salt Lake Valley. The company included 118 men, 101 wagons, and 600 head of stock under the direction of Apostle George Albert Smith. Daniel Miller left his family at home leaving the farm to be cultivated by his sons: Jacob, 15 years old, and James, 13 years old. The trek began in Salt Lake City on December 7, 1852, and finished in Little Salt Lake Valley, Center Creek, Heaps Spring (present day Parowan, Utah) on January 13, 1851. On February 9, 1851, Daniel Miller was called to be Bishop of the Third Ward. After fulfilling his mission, Daniel returned to Salt Lake with the Brethren on May 17, 1851. He returned from locating the settlement in time to help gather in the crops for the next year.
In the same year, 1850, Henry carried a petition to the Iowa legislature asking for a post office at Kanesville, and the creation of the County to be called Pottawattamie County. In this, he was successful and was elected first representative for the County in 1851. Being well-established, Henry built a store and called it Henry W. Miller and Company. Henry sold his and Daniel’s holdings to a Samuel Boyliss, who organized the property into city lots of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Henry crossed the plains with his family in the summer of 1852 being in charge of the train of Saints. Daniel’s son, Jacob, was sent with an ox team which met the wagon train that Henry was in charge of. James D. Wilcox, a nephew of 22 years came with Henry and his family. Henry and his family arrived in the Valley in September of 1852 and "without any idea of an accounting between the two brothers" moved in with Hannah.
On September 14, 1852, Daniel received a mission call to go to Iowa from Brigham Young, as follows:
Brother Daniel A. Miller,
I hereby authorize you to take charge of the wagon and harness attached to the US government mules (for which I have your receipt) which will be driven to the frontier by William Burgesse, Jr. on arrival at the Missouri River and you will please deliver the same to me in great Salt Lake City in the fall of 1853.
Governor of Utah Territory
Daniel was very successful in completing his mission leaving Winter Quarters on June 9, 1853, and arriving in Salt Lake City on September 9, 1853, with the last Saints from Pottawattamie County, Iowa, consisting of 282 souls, 70 wagons, 27 horses, 470 head of cattle, and 152 sheep. Daniel's mission to Iowa was the following: one, to get ammunition, books, etc.; two, to spend the winter encouraging and preparing the Saints to go to Utah in the spring; and three, to take charge of the company and bring them to Utah. The following is a detailed account of the Daniel A. Miller Company journey across the plains recorded by Elder Linforth:
"It was decided by Elders Miller and Cooley that we should start on Thursday, June 9. Operations were commenced early in the morning, and then began the yoking of refractory cattle, and the initiation of "greenhorns" into the art and mystery of teaming. The whole of the cattle were driven into the "corral," and then, with yokes and bows in hand, it was the business of the teamsters to catch and yoke their teams, but, unfortunately, they did not know their business. Many of them had never touched an ox before, so that the wide-spreading horns of the untrained steers seemed to produce a most uncomfortable nervousness. The consequence was that Elders Miller and Cooley had to do nearly all the work, which nearly brought noon before we could start. At length, we started upon the plains, and traveled to Six Mile Grove, where we camped. The road was rather rough, and so were the cattle, and, in the hands of raw teamsters, nearly unmanageable. Elder Miller was here and there and everywhere, giving untrained teams and teamsters in training, many practical illustrations of the art. "Geeing" and "hawing" were most forcibly taught and of course learned in proportion to the ability of the pupil. The teamster should drive with the team to the right. When he cries "Gee," the team should go from him, and when "Haw," it is usual, with a lazy team, to let them feel the whip over their necks, and when "Gee", over their backs. The consequence is, that whenever a piece of rough or difficult road is encountered, the shouts and cries of "geeing" and "hawing" and the cracking of the whips, are most terrific. In a large company, voices of all kinds and modulations mix up in the most curious manner. When a slight movement to the right or left is required, the command to "Gee" and "Haw" is given in a very mild tone, but when there is danger of running against a rock, or getting a wheel locked in a tree, the command is sure to be given with full volume of the teamster's voice. During the first few days, the teams and teamsters were constantly at variance. Nearly every man had the worst team in the company. Some steers would not "Gee", others would do nothing, then would come the appeal to Elder Miller, "Oh Brother Miller, come and try to make my lead steer “Haw," for the stupid brute does nothing but run away from me." Brother Miller would say, "Very well, but let me see you drive a little first." Directly this request was made, the raw teamster knew he was going to make an exhibition of his ignorance and sure enough he did so, for instead of keeping behind his leading oxen he went rather before them, which was sure to frighten them and cause them to scamper to the right again. Elder Miller would bring the oxen back with his good humor, smile and say, "Now, you are a pretty teamster, ain't you, to go and place your ugly body and long dangling whip right before their eyes, instead of keeping back as you ought." The way he would go, shouting and hallooing to a man, who, in defiance of the sacred laws of teaming, would be driving on the right-hand side of this team instead of the left. Before Elder Miller could get to him, or make him comprehend his blunder, the oxen would get frightened at the strange sight of a man on the "off" side, and consequently violently swerve to the right, and cramp the wagon and perhaps narrowly escape turning it over. Thus wisdom was gained by experience, and, however singular it may appear, a blowing up from Elder Miller only proved the kindness of his heart.
Friday, the 10th – We left Six Mile Grove about eight o'clock in the morning and drove to Pappea Creek, 12 miles, without halting. After hearing so much about the plains, of course everything was expected to look new and strange, but as yet there was nothing new or strange except mosquitoes. Their stings are most painful and irritating. Nothing but buckskin is proof against their long probing stings. Cloth was no protection, they penetrate it easily. When I was called to take my turn at regarding, I found the mosquitoes up and rather more ravenous than was agreeable. The cattle were regarded close to the creek. While pacing round them with a rifle on my shoulder, and keeping them within bounds, the dark and the stillness were quite unbroken, except by the rustling sound of my walking in the grass. As I thought of the caution I had received about Indians, I grasped my rifle with greater energy and looked about with increased vigilance, but the night passed without any chance of testing my valor; yet, I have confidence in it still. Early in the morning, someone's sharp eyes discovered a good feeding ground to the left of the creek, to which the cattle were driven and there herded.
Saturday, the 11th-Crossed the very primitive and unsafe bridge at Pappea Creek, and traveled 9 miles over a road equally primitive, to Elk Horn River. The first occurrence that day was the breaking of a wagon wheel. It was caused by the tire coming off, which, singularly enough, was not noticed by the man who was driving. He drove for a considerable distance, with the wheel in that condition before he was overtaken by Elder Miller, who started off in pursuit, rolling the tire as a boy would a hoop. It was, however, too late to wedge it on as everything was strained, and one or two of the felloes were broken. The wheel was therefore taken off and a stout piece of timber, being obtained, it was securely lashed over one axle tree and under the other so as to allow one end to touch the ground. This answered instead of the broken wheel and supported the wagon until the evening tolerably well. About the middle of the day, I saw two or three wagons turn off the road and stay behind, and in the evening I heard that a fine boy had been added to our number.
The approach to Elk Horn is over a sliding road, and the descent into the low land which borders the river is rather difficult. Another wagon was broken, and as I passed with Elder Miller's wagon and mules, which I had undertaken to drive, I saw the owner looking disconsolate, and some of the "boys" rigging up the same kind of support as before mentioned.
During the process of unyoking the cattle, a slight mistake committed by one of the teamsters was the cause of a curious exhibition of fright and rage by an unbroken ox. Before taking the yoke off, the man unhooked the chain which connected the yoke with the wagon pole, and then having taken the yoke from the "near" ox – he was proceeding to do the same with the "off" ox, but the wild brute, feeling an unusual weight on his neck – broke away and madly rushed about with the yoke still fastened to his neck. He bellowed, and capered and danced about in a most singular manner and then dashed away at a headlong gallop, followed at the same pace by all the unyoked oxen in the camp. It very much astonished me, and I did not at all envy Elder Cooley when I saw him mounted on a horse, hastening away to catch and unyoke the mad animal, and bring the whole herd back. In about an hour, he returned triumphant.
Arriving at Elk Horn, we camped on the east side of it until Monday about noon, resting and repairing wagons. As there were two or three wheelwrights in the camp this was done most readily. A fine fat buck was shot by one of the "Boys" and brought into camp and eaten of course.
Monday, the 13th – Having repaired damages, we crossed the Elk Horn, which is about 9 rods wide and 3 feet deep. This labor to the ferrymen is not so great here as at the Missouri River. On account of the narrowness of the stream, they are able to stretch a rope across the river, which, being held by one or two of the ferrymen in the boat, by means of a smaller rope with a noose attached, enables them to guide the boat which is partly carried by the current and partly dragged by them to the desired point on the opposite bank. The cattle we compelled to swim across. They were collected together on the bank and surrounded by men and boys, who, with shouting and blows, tried to force them in, but they were most unwilling to commence the trip. Those in front were being pressed by those behind backed and retreated from the brink until the pressure becoming overpowering there would be a flounce and a splash, an ineffectual struggle to return and then the commencement of the voyage in earnest. Traveled for miles and camped on the west side of the Elk Horn.
Tuesday, the 14th – It was determined at a meeting of the camp to separate into two companies. Elder Jacob Bigler was chosen captain of the company to go in advance. We traveled 7 miles up the Elk Horn and camped on the bank. Here I saw that curious animal called a prairie dog. It is almost as much like a squirrel as a dog. It very much resembles a fat puppy of a light fawn color. It grows in the earth like a rabbit, and, it is said, usually shares its habitation with a rattlesnake and an owl. I have seen owls pop out of sight, into the dog holes, but I never saw them together.
Wednesday, the 15th – Traveled 12 miles. Detained three hours mending a broken wagon. Thursday, the 16th – Traveled 15 miles and camped on Shell Creek, which is 12 feet wide, and bridged. During the day, we crossed a half dried up creek, having mud in it of very great depth; consequently, the difficulty of crossing was great in proportion. Two or three teams were required to haul each wagon through. Considerable damage was done to chains and several wagons.
A serious accident occurred to Henry Radnell. He got under his wagon to secure the tar bucket, and very carelessly left his right leg projecting outside the wheel. The team, left to it, started on, and the wheel passed over his leg and broke it. Learning that something was the matter, I hastened to the spot and soon saw that if I did not do something for him his chance of getting his leg set was a very poor one. I therefore took the case into my own hands and turned surgeon, although I had never before seen a broken limb. In the first place, I screwed up my courage to the sticking place and bared both his legs. I then took particular notice of the exact position of the bones in the broken leg and the position of the foot and placed the right leg and foot in exactly the same position and kept them so by means of two boards which I nailed together. These, with the aid of thin sticks or splinters bound round the leg with abundance of rags, seemed to answer the purpose. The continual jolting of the wagon rather ******** his recovery, but I am happy to say he got on very well.
Friday, the 17th – Several Pawnee Indians came into camp this morning, and begged all the time they remained. I asked one of the young men to give me a specimen of his skill in shooting with a bow. He fixed a small cracker on a stick which he stuck in the ground and standing about 12 yards from it, aimed two or three times, but did not hit it. A still younger one, seeing his want of skill, impatiently took his place, and split the cracker with the first arrow. Their clothing consisted of a cloth around the waist and the blanket over the shoulders. Altogether, they were the most villainous looking. One of them stole a gaily colored piece of webbing, belonging to me, from the back of the wagon, and tied it around his waist. I took it from him, but after trying to make him understand that I disapproved of his thieving, I gave it back to him, with, however, very little hope that my lesson on morals had done him any good. The whole of the forenoon was spent in repairing wagons. Traveled 13 miles and camped near a pond. Firewood very scarce.
Saturday, the 18th – Commenced our day’s travel with the disagreeable knowledge that we should have to double team through a deep slough. It proved much worse than our fears, for with many of the wagons – a triple team was necessary. The men were over their knees in mud, and how the ladies got through, I don't know, and hardly dare conjecture. Elder Miller recommended me to keep in the wagon as he thought the mules could pull me through but when in the mudhole it was evident to me that if I remained in the wagon there we should stick, so into the mud and slush I jumped, and by applying the whip vigorously I got the team through. Once in the mud and thoroughly bedaubed, I thought I had better make the best of it, so I borrowed an ox whip, which, with putting my shoulder to the wheel, gave me healthful and useful employment until all the wagons were through. Traveled 11 miles to the Loup Fork, a tributary of the Platte, and camped on the east side, near the ferry.
Sunday, the 19th – We remained in camp. Elder Miller's mules always perverse and obstinate strayed away. I made diligent search for them, but could not find them. After the preaching meeting, Elder Miller started in search but returned without them, and, with his usual courage and inflexibility of purpose, supplied himself with provisions for two or three days, and, accompanied by a volunteer, set with the determination to find them, if possible. As we were to cross over to the west side of Loup Fork, at this point he promised to meet us on the road, when he had either found the mules or lost all traces of them. He bade us goodbye, and a few hours before sundown started in search of his animals up the east side of the stream.
Monday, the 20th – Elder Miller did not return, so Elder Cooley yoked up a couple of oxen to draw his wagon, and I commenced to struggle with the difficulties attendant upon the management of my horned cattle. My friends must not accuse me of vanity when I assure them that the abstruse mysteries of "Geeing" and "Hawing" were at last comprehended and successfully performed by me. Neither should they accuse me of over cautiousness when I informed them that, finding one of the oxen afflicted with the not over amiable desire to give me a "dig in the ribs," I very prudently managed to prevent the accomplishment of his wish. We ferried both wagons and cattle over the Fork, which is a much more easy method than fording. It is a broad and comparatively shallow stream with quicksand in many places. I made a sketch of Loup Fork ferry. Elder Cooley lost an ox in the evening through its straying into a mudhole and getting mired.
Tuesday, the 21st – Looked in vain for the return of Elder Miller. The yoke of cattle under my care improved upon acquaintance, although I must confess our 15 miles drive this day gave me enough of "Geeing" and "Hawing." We camped on the bank of Loup Fork.
Wednesday, the 22nd – We traveled 17 miles this day and camped near a slough, about a mile from Loup Fork. No timber and water… bad.
Thursday, the 23rd – Traveled 18 miles. Camped on a small creek, good water, but no wood. Elder Miller returned without his mules, downhearted, tired and sore footed. He had followed their tracks 70 miles up the east side of Loup Fork, traced them to several islands which they passed over in crossing the river, saw the spot where they had landed on the bank, was able to detect the prints of their hooves for some distance further where they turned off again on the grass and all traces of them was lost. He, however, bore all the troubles and vexation like a philosopher. Late in the evening, some of the "boys" discovered tracks of mules not far from the camp, which Elder Miller thought sufficient reason why he should continue the hunt.
Friday, the 24th – Early in the morning, Elder Miller started off in search of his mules. Our road was for 6 miles over sand hills, the teams had to work exceedingly hard to get through it all. Veils and goggles were in great demand, for the wind brought the sand into our faces with blinding and choking effect. The mules were found in the course of the day, right in the road. As if tired of a wandering life, they had decided once more to submit to servitude. When I arrived at the spot, I found them in the hands of two young Wilsons, evidently unmanageable, but when they found me at the end of the lariat, they submitted quietly enough. Elder Miller early taught me, that the only way to manage a mule was to administer a dose of strangulation; the consequence was they acknowledged my authority, and I harnessed them immediately. I found Elder Miller sitting on an old Indian grave, despairing of ever seeing his mules again. Traveled 15 miles and camped on a small creek.
Saturday, the 25th – Traveled for miles to Prairie Creek. As the descent to the narrow bridge was very steep, all the teamsters were instructed to allow no persons to remain in the wagons. I suppose these instructions were attended to in every case except one of the women who happened to be asleep unknown to the teamster, and, as misfortune would have it, the wagon fell clean over the bridge into the creek. Of course the effect of the fall, and the plunge into the cold water, was a loud scream from the woman, which all thought proceeded from some person underneath the wagon. The men at once jumped into the creek, with the intention of raising the wagon, but as a woman came to her senses, she very wisely caused a commotion inside the wagon, which speedily resulted in Elder Miller's ripping up the wagon cover with his knife and pulling her out. I urged the mules down the bank with many misgivings, for a swerve to the right or left of a few inches would have made the woman's fate mine also. We traveled for miles further, and with much difficulty crossed a small but very muddy creek. The "boys" close to the camp this evening shot a very fine antelope.
Sunday, the 26th – Traveled 7 miles to Wood River, and crossed over an immigrant’s very bad apology for a bridge, composed of branches of trees, and foliage thrown into the river, which is about two feet deep and three or four yards wide. Camped close to the river. Water good and an abundance of wood. I was told that during the night an Indian was seen lurking close to the camp, and that one of the guards fired at him.
Monday, the 27th – Traveled 20 miles over road generally very good. A good days traveling like this repays one for many hardships, and when again in the noise and smoke of cities will surely be remembered with long regret.
Tuesday, the 28th – Remained in camp preparing wagons until 2 PM after which we traveled till dark, about 16 miles, over an excellent road. Encamped about half a mile from the Platte River.
Wednesday, the 29th – Traveled about 16 miles to Elm Creek, over a rough road. Came to wood and water about 6 miles from last night’s camping place, and crossed two deep ravines.
Thursday, the 30th – Traveled about 15 miles today, which, considering that the road was very rough and difficult, was very good work. I saw buffalo this day, for the first time in my life. They are very singular in shape and run in the most grotesque manner, and apparently very rapidly. I had no chance of getting near them, but the enthusiasm of some of the hunters in the camp drew them out in chase. I wish them success, for I was tired of bacon. There was good camping at this place.
Friday, July 1 – Traveled 8 miles to a slough, watered, and continued our journey for about 7 miles, when the train was detained a short time by our coming within convenient shooting distance of a few buffalo. The "boys" raised the cry of "Buffalo, buffalo ahead!" and scampered, men and dogs in pursuit. "Ah!" said Elder Miller, "let them go, they'll get tired without killing one, I'll be bound". The buffalo, of which there were about six or eight, did not seem inclined to retreat until they got scent of the men and the dogs that were close at their heels. They then started off at a pace which surprised me and in a manner closely resembling the gallop of a hog. The chase did not continue very long before the "boys" found that for speed and wind they were no match for the buffalo, although so clumsy looking. They therefore separated themselves, and, urging on the dogs, succeeded at last in scattering the game. But they were green hunters, unacquainted with their rifles and bad judges of distance. A very redheaded Welshman was the first to fire, but instead of bringing down the brute, he only made him roll away the faster. The report of the gun excited Wilson's lame bulldog so much that he limped from under the wagon and warming with exertion, increased his speed so as to catch up to the nearest animal. I say that, unlike the other dogs, he, without the slightest hesitation, dashed at the buffalo’s nose, but failing to catch firm hold was, of course, violently thrown over, and then limped back to the wagon. As yet not a horse was out.
Elder Miller said it was of no use going after buffalo without one, so he remained at camp and laughed at the "greenhorns.” At last, Elder Cooley got his ambition up and taking his horse from the sheep driver and borrowing Elder Miller's large flintlock pistols, he joined the hunt. Although the buffalo had been chased some time, they had not succeeded in getting much further off than at first, as the river was on one side, the camp on the other, and the hunters at all points. Elder Cooley's horse carried him well, and I saw him overtake one animal, ride around him once or twice, and then extended his arm with the evident intention of firing, but there was no smoke and no report, consequently death did not result. He stopped his horse, examined his pistols and slowly turned towards the camp. Miller gave the word to move on, the whips cracked, the wheels begin to roll and again we had to endure the certainty of fried bacon. Elder Cooley in his hurry had either shaken the powder out of the pan or he had started without any, which was a pity, for he was a capital shot. In the evening, one of the "boys" came in, and reported that he had killed a Buffalo, but so far off that it was useless to think of going to it. I would have brought its tongue as evidence, had I shot one, which, however, I had no ambition to do.
While I was at Winter Quarters, a man named Furze requested me to call upon his friends in London and inform them that he was doing well and was going to California. Today, I passed his grave which had a board at its head, stating that he had been killed by Indians while on guard.
Saturday, the 2nd – Traveled 12 miles over a rough road, in some places very heavy from the previous night's rain. We camped early, on account of the sheep driver who was ahead, returning with the information that about a mile further on – the mosquitoes were so numerous, and had attacked him and his horse so furiously, that he was obliged to turn and gallop back as fast as possible. Our camping ground was near the Platte River, in a place admirably suited for the purpose.
Sunday, the 3rd – Traveled 7 miles through heavy sand hills, which extend about a half a mile and proceeded 7 miles further and encamped close to the Platte River. We had a visitor from the camp ahead and told us that one of their numbers, being about half a mile behind the camp, was attacked by Indians, who stripped him of his clothes and gave him a kick and told him to "puck-a-chee," which is the Indian word for be gone. It is evidently impossible to know when Indians are near. I've been told that they will follow up a camp for days, keeping on the opposite side of the hills, being unseen, yet seeing all, until a favorable opportunity presenting itself for robbing, they pounce on their prey like a tiger from its lair.
Monday, the 4th – Traveled about 6 miles to the crossing of Skunk Creek, which was not difficult to get over. Being very thirsty in the creek shallow, I lay down with my mouth in the water and was in the very act of taking a good draught, when a long brilliantly colored snake glided past close to my nose. Had a professor of gymnastics been present, it is my opinion he would have spoken favorably of the rapidity with which I sprang to my feet. Traveled 7 miles further on. Encamped near a spring, at the head of the Pawnee Swamps. No timber.
Tuesday, the 5th – Found no timber at the place described in the guides as "Last Timber." We traveled to Wide Creek, about 16 miles, and camped with the intention of remaining until all necessary repairs were attended to. Wood was obtained from the islands in the river for making charcoal, which was essential for blacksmithing purposes.
Wednesday, the 6th – We made charcoal today by piling up wood, and covering it over with turf so as to burn it with as little air as possible.
Thursday, the 7th – A forge was erected today and large bellows were set up. Ox shoes were made, wagon tires were shortened, and shaky wheels were made tight, so that we were once more in traveling trim.
Friday, the 8th – Having completed our repairs, we left Wide Creek and crossed Black Mud Creek, Grass Creek and two other creeks or sloughs not mentioned in guides, and North Bluff Creek, and camped near good grass and water. Distance from Wide Creek, about 13 miles. There were plenty of buffalo chips there. They are composed of grass, masticated and digested, and dried in the sun. It is a common joke on the plains that a steak cooked on these chips requires no pepper. It is marvelous the wonders time and circumstances work. Young ladies, who in the commencement of the journey with hardly look at a chip, were now seen coming into the camp with as many as they could carry. They burn fiercely and cook quite as well as wood.
Saturday, the 9th – Our road lay through the heaviest sand hills we had then passed over, and we found that it was preferable to make the cattle pass over rough places covered with grass, than to keep them in the sandy road. We caught two or three lizards today, which were beautiful little creatures and appeared to be quite harmless. Crossed Buffalo Creek and camped at Shepherds Creek, distance 11 miles. During the night, Elder Cooley's child died. The poor mother's grief was very affecting. What can be more distressing than to see a poor infant struggling with death, and to be utterly unable to render assistance?
Sunday, the 10th – We buried the child, and re-commenced our journey at 12 o'clock. Traveled, according to Horn's Guide, 9 miles to Petite Creek, having crossed three creeks running between Bluffs rather difficult of ascent and descent. We saw great variety of brilliantly colored grasshoppers, some being very large. They were very interesting to me and pleased me as much as they did the children, who hunted them with great glee.
Monday, the 11th – A wet morning prevented our starting as early as usual, for nothing is worse for the necks of oxen than dampness. It softens the hair and opens the pores of the skin, so that a slight amount of friction causes soreness. Traveled 16 miles over sandy and bad road, and through several creeks, none of which were difficult to cross. Camped on the bank of the Platte.
While in camp, I laid a silk handkerchief upon the grass, after washing it, expecting the sun would dry it in a few minutes, but fortune ordained otherwise. My attention was suddenly attracted to the spot where I left it by hearing a girl cry out, "Oh! Lookee there! If there isn't a critter eating something." Sure enough there was, for the moment I saw the bright red corners of my best silk handkerchief vanish down a cow’s throat. I learned that it was no uncommon thing for these animals to appreciate such delicate morsels.
Tuesday, the 12th – We passed over sandy bluffs which were decidedly the worst we have encountered, and had to double team all the wagons except the mule wagon. The mules were brave little fellows to pull. Traveled about 15 miles, crossing several creeks, and camped on Watch Creek.
Wednesday, the 13th – In the guides there is a notice of a "Lone Tree." All the journey the lone tree had been in my imagination until at last I have associated an interest, a sort of romantic idea, with it, which became quite exciting. I pictured to myself an old, weather beaten, timeworn tree, standing in mournful solitude on a wide spreading Prairie, having to encounter alone the attacks of the elements with no companion to share the storm, or help to break its fury. I could imagine it on a cold winter’s night with its arms bare of foliage, tossing them in sorrow in the wind, being desolate and alone. Even sunshine and refreshing showers must be melancholy pleasures to a lone tree, for do not they prolong its dreary isolation! I started off ahead of the company with the intention of making a complimentary and therefore careful sketch of this tree, but I could not find it. Some unpolitical and ruthless hand had cut it down, so my hopes were blighted and my occupation was gone. We passed Ash Hollow, which is on the south side of the Platte, where we could see an immense herd of buffalo, which good judges said could not number less than 10,000. Traveled about 18 miles and camped near Calm Creek.
Thursday, the 14th – Traveled along the Platte bottom, over a heavy road, then by the edge of bluffs to Crab Creek, a distance of 17 miles. Camped among Errol grass, (possibly, porcupine grass) bad for sheep and very disagreeable to everybody having sensation.
Friday, the 15th – Traveled over pretty good road to Ancient Bluff Ruins, as their name implies. They are fit abodes for Indian ghosts and goblins. Camped where the road joins the River, about 20 miles from Crab Creek.
Saturday, the 16th – Traveled 13 miles and camped on the Platte. Chimney Rock in sight all day, and Scott's Bluffs in the evening. Chimney Rock is on the south side of the Platte.
When traveling and there is a danger of an attack, the wagons are arranged into a corral. When danger is suddenly apprehended from Indians, the cattle are driven inside the corral but as the slightest noise from a dog, a wolf, and at times unaccountable circumstances, often causes a stampede, in which the cattle break down the wagons and rush madly from the camp endangering the lives of immigrants and frequently running until they are lost to their owners, or fall dead, the best way is to tie them up to the wagons outside the corral and picket them. In the latter method, the cattle are safely guarded, and should Indians approach to drive them off or cause a stampede, they would be within range of a rifle shot all round.
Sunday, the 17th – Traveled 6 miles, and camped on the bank of the Platte. Rain in the afternoon.
Monday, the 18th – In the morning, met 27 elders from Great Salt Lake Valley on missions. They informed us that they had had a quick and agreeable trip so far. We spent half an hour with them, and then separated, they to the rising and we to the setting of the sun. Scott's Bluffs were in view all day. They are certainly the most remarkable site I have seen since I left England. Viewed from the distance the shadows were of an intense blue, while the rock illuminated by the setting sun partook of its gold, making a beautiful harmony of color. They present a very singular appearance, resembling ruined palaces, castellated towers, temples and monuments.
Tuesday, the 19th – Stopped at noon at Scott's Bluffs, and traveled about 4 miles to Spring Creek, making about 46 miles during the last four days.
Wednesday, the 20th – Traveled over pretty good road somewhat sandy in places. About 5 miles beyond is what is named Blue Rock. It is slightly grainy, but by no means what may be called blue. Camped near the river.
Thursday, the 21st –Saw Laramie's Peak this morning, which by Elder Miller's account, was distant to the southwest of campground. We traveled over a sandy and difficult road. Visited a trading post kept by two Frenchmen, a few miles east of Rawhide Creek. Traveled yesterday and today about 37 miles.
Friday, the 22nd – Traveled about 9 miles over a good road to Laramie. Traveled about 6 miles further, over pretty good road, through rather hilly country, quite different in character to the east of Laramie. Camped on the summit of a high bluff on the west side of a dry creek. I sketched Laramie's peak – although its top was free from snow when I saw it, it is said to be generally covered with it, and that it "acts the part of a condenser upon the vapor of the atmosphere which comes within its vicinity, generating clouds, which are precipitated in showers upon the surrounding country."
Saturday, the 23rd – The road was good for three or four miles, after which it became the roughest we had had. We broke one wheel, one axle, and one tongue which Elder Miller fixed as usual. He is really a model of a captain, and deserves great credit for the masterly manner in which he surmounted every difficulty. We did not camp till after dark when, as there was no grass on the north side of the Platte, all the cattle were driven over to the south side. The night was very dark, and as it rained, all the men who would volunteer were sent over to guard the cattle, which are always more inclined to wander off in wet weather than in fine. The current of the river being very swift, none but the strong swimmers ventured over. A large fire was maintained on the north side during the whole of the night, by keeping a fine old tree burning, which served as a beacon to the guards opposite. Traveled about 9 miles.
Sunday, the 24th – We remained in camp all day. It had become apparent that our provisions would not hold out until our journey was completed, and today Elder Miller decided upon going ahead of the main company to bring out supplies of provisions from the Great Salt Lake Valley. I was much gratified with this arrangement, as I had begun to doubt whether I should be able to accomplish the object of my journey the present year. This concluded upon, the mules were shod, and everything got ready and put in order for separation from the company.
Monday, the 25th – This morning Elder Miller, Elder Bigler and wife and myself "rolled" out of camp to proceed in advance of the company to Great Salt Lake Valley. In passing the various wagons, the shower for good luck and quick and pleasant trip for the remainder of the journey greeted us. Traveled 15 miles, and camped with Elder Wilkin’s Company.
Tuesday, the 26th – Road good to River about 15 miles. Traveled about 33 miles, which the mules did bravely. Elder Miller's plan of travel was most excellent. As soon as morning dawned, we harnessed up and traveled till about eight o'clock when we breakfast, and the horses and mules grazed for about an hour or an hour and a half, when the journey would be resumed and continued until about one hour before sunset. A fire was then lighted and supper was taken, after which we went a little further till dark, and encamped without lighting a fire. The last part of the journey was to out maneuver any Indians who might have been watching us during the day, and to seeing the fire lighted, would naturally conclude that we had camped for the night and act accordingly.
Wednesday, the 27th – Rough days travel over about 34 miles of very bad road. This morning we overtook the sheep – drove to which the man who had been shot by an Indian was attached. The captain informed me that Furze was on guard at night, when suddenly the quiet of the camp was broken by his crying out, "Oh! Oh!" and "Come here," and then a sharp crack of rifle was heard, which caused the men to run out. They found him on hands and knees on the ground shot through the lungs. He died almost directly without being able to communicate anything. But from the fact that no immigrants or traders were near, that the wadding used was made of dried grass, and that the rope by which a very fine horse had been fastened was severed, the captain concluded that an Indian must have committed the murder. Furze was much regretted, as he was a great favorite with all.
Thursday, the 28th – Traveled about 30 miles, being 3 miles beyond the "Upper Ferry" where there is now a bridge over the Platte. Our journey up the north side of the Platte was much more difficult and unfavorable than it would have been (according to Elder Miller's account) over the Black Hills route to have taken which we should have had to cross at Laramie. Today we took the road described in Clayton's Guide, which leads by the mineral spring or late, considered poisonous, but continued along the Platte. Found the road very hilly and rocky, but I suppose the good water of the river instead of the poisonous water of the springs amply compensated.
Friday, the 29th – Traveled to Grease Wood Creek, 36 miles and camped. It was so dark when we had finished our supper, that we had great difficulty in finding the mules. Their wandering propensity kept me in a constant state of alarm, and every morning when I rose I fully expected to find that they had during the night become inpatient of delay and had started for the Valley without us, as they did at the Loup Fork.
Saturday, the 30th – Left Grease Wood Creek, and stopped about an hour at the Alkali Lakes to obtain saleratus. As we approached them, they had all the appearance of ponds of water frozen over, and having a slight covering of snow over the ice. We then proceeded to ford the Sweetwater about a mile beyond Rock Independence. Forded and then while the company were taking breakfast, I hurried back to the rock and made a sketch of it. It is a large rounded mass of granite, on which are inscribed the names of many passing immigrants. At Devil's Gate, about 4 miles further, I remained behind to make a sketch of this great curiosity, after which, as my boots were without toes, and admitted the gravel, which cut one's feet dreadfully, I had some difficulty in catching up with the wagons. Camped on the east side of High Gravelly Bluff. Days travel 38 miles.
Sunday, the 31st – Breakfasted about 2 miles west of High Gravelly Bluff. Traveled till 10 PM and camped on the east side of Ford No. 5, of Sweetwater, Wind River Mountains, which were capped with snow in sight today. Days travel about 34 miles.
Monday, August 1 – Traveled to last ford of Sweetwater, and crossed rocky ridges very rough and tedious to get over. Days travel about 30 miles.
Tuesday, the 2nd – Breakfasted on Pacific Creek, after crossing the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains, or summit inviting Ridge,(sic) the principal evidence of which was that, whereas all the streams we had crossed or passed until that time ran east, the Pacific Creek, which is just over the pass, runs west. The same is the case with all the streams on the west side of the pass. The altitude of the pass is 7085 feet. We killed five prairie hens today, which, after being admirably cooked, made our salt bacon seem wretched indeed. Road excellent to Little Sandy, where we camped and found good feed. Distance about 37 miles.
Wednesday, the 3rd – Traveled about 8 miles to Big Sandy and breakfasted. While camping, a large troop of horses crossed, being driven by two Indian women, who are dressed in the most gaudy manner, followed a short time after a Frenchman, whom I supposed to the owner of both squaws and horses.
Traveled about 9 miles further to Big Sandy again, dined, and then left for Green River, expecting to reach it about six or seven o'clock, but much to my disappointment six, seven, eight and nine o'clock came and no river, and it was not until 11 o'clock, tired and worn-out, that we came to the water. Distance 35 miles.
We had now left Nebraska, passed over the southeastern corner of Wyoming and entered the territory of Utah and although we were about 170 miles from the place of our destination, we were on our own ground, and all around assumed a closer interest as we approached Great Salt Lake City, where we were to meet anxious friends waiting to give us the hand of brotherhood and hail us welcome.
Thursday, the 4th – Rose before the sun, and then learned from some traders that we had taken the wrong road headed come to the California Ferry. Breakfasted and turned back to the right ferry, where Elder Bigler found a relative who presented him with a very good Indian pony. There was a trading post there, and crowds of traders, gamblers and Indians, who of course, all live off the immigrants.
Friday, the 5th – harnessed Elder Bigler's Indian pony, and hitched him to our wagon. As it had never been in harness before, it was rather amusing to see it make all its movements with a jump and dart forward. By adroit management on the part of Elder Miller, it was by the evening comparatively gentle and seemed to promise to do good service. Just before arriving at Black's Fork, where we camped, we passed a splendid range of clay bluff, Church Buttes, which, as we passed them, seemed covered with figures in almost all altitudes – nuns confessing to priests and warriors fighting and transforming and varying themselves as we changed our position. Days journey about 38 miles.
Saturday, the 6th – Traveled about 17 miles over an excellent road to Fort Bridger, on Black's Fork, a short distance east of a bluff, very prettily dotted over with Cedar. It is merely a trading post, and then belonged to Major James Bridger, one of the oldest mountaineers in this region. The fort is built in the usual form of pickets, with lodging apartments opening into a hollow square. A high picket fence encloses the yard into which the animals of the establishment are driven for protection, both from wild beasts and Indians. The grass in the neighborhood was abundant, but about a mile and a half from the fort, Mr. Bridger had erected a board, on which was written a request for immigrants to keep a mile away from his place.
The road from Fort Bridger, described in Clayton's Guide, leads to the left of the bluff west of the fort but then, the one altogether traveled now, leads to the right. East of the Muddy Fork, we descended to the steepest and roughest hill on the road. Camped at Soda Springs, about 17 miles beyond Fort Bridger, tired enough. The wolves howled at night most dismally, causing an almost indescribable sensation. They seemed to wail and gnash their teeth for the fun of the thing. It was, however, no joke to me to be hushed to sleep with such music.
Sunday, the 7th – Power road today was most tedious, with nothing but anticipation of a quiet rest in the Valley, in two or three days, to comfort us. We passed through some droves of cattle and sheep and fortunately got through without suffocation from the clouds of dust raised by them. I could not stop to see Cache Cave, a cave in the Bluffs, which is considered a curiosity, as our teams were weary and we wanted to hurry on to Echo Canyon, where we camped, near the creek, for the night. Distance about 37 miles.
Monday, the 8th – arose early this morning, and hastened on our journey. We crossed Echo Creek from 15 to 20 times, and most of the crossings were difficult. We passed many remarkable rocks today, but none, I think, so much so as Witches Bluffs on the east bank of Weber River. They are more like gigantic and somewhat rude pieces to their resemblance to the ladies. I made a sketch of them. Weber River was the most important stream that we crossed after leaving the Platt. Had it been a few inches deeper our little mules must have swum for the opposite bank. Camped on Canyon Creek. Days journey 31 miles.
Tuesday, the 9th – Commenced our journey this morning by getting our mules "mired" in one of the bad crossings of Canyon Creek, and after many attempts to get them out, we at last succeeded by hitching Elder Bigler's horses to the wagon poles. The rest of the journey to the mouth of Emigration Canyon which opens into the Valley was desperate work, we knew there were warm friends ahead and a hearty welcome for the travel worn, so we scrambled up the mountains and thumped and bumped over the rocks and splashed through the streams, till we surmounted all difficulties. Signs of civilization met the eye as we proceeded along. From way up the mountain sides we could hear the sound of the axe, and in the road, chewing the cud of patience, we saw the sturdy teams waiting to transfer to the busy haunts of men the foliage crowned monarchs of the solitude, perhaps then for the first time invaded. And now our journey, so full of interest and novelty to me, was nearly completed and we are about to enhance the rude, but bracing and healthful, prairie life for the comforts and refinements of the city. Just before we turned the corner into the Valley, we stopped at the Creek and having babies and changed her clothing we had last entered as the sun was setting beyond the Great Salt Lake, and another 5 miles brought us to the city. Day’s journey about 30 miles, making a total, according to the best accounts I could keep of 1035 miles from Winter Quarters to Great Salt Lake City.
In those days of polygamy, Daniel was asked by the church leaders to take another wife. With permission from Hannah, he complied marrying Eleanor Williamson on February 15, 1857. Eleanor was born September 28, 1827 in England, where she joined the church, immigrating to Utah in 1856. Daniel and Eleanor had the following children: Ruben born January 21, 1858 (stillborn); Clarissa Ruth born May 28, 1859; Charles Arnold born May 22, 1861; Frederick born February 10, 1864. Ellen Williamson died soon after the birth of Frederick. Hannah raised Eleanor's two surviving children to maturity along with the five that Clarissa left and Hannah's own 10 children.
In February 1858, Daniel's beloved son, James Thaddeus Miller, was killed by the Indians while he was on the Salmon River Mission. As recorded in the church history, James was with five other brethren who were hauling logs and a good number of Indians attacked them and shot James through the heart. The Indians took their teams and their wagons and stripped James perfectly naked.
In 1859, Daniel and Henry had an innovative idea to raise sheep and cattle on Fremont Island, an island in the Great Salt Lake. They figured that the sheep and cattle would be safe from any natural predators on this island. They built a large barge to haul their stock from Farmington Bay to the island. They did not have to visit the island often only to clear out the natural springs and waterholes for good watering.
During the next quarter century, the Miller brothers and their sons and grandsons pastured sheep on Fremont Island and operated a salt works there. They hauled cedar timbers, minerals, and livestock on a fleet of boats which they constructed and sailed on the lake. During the 1860s and 1870s, Fremont Island was known in Utah as Millers Island, and was so designated on the map shown above.
When the Millers began their sheep operations in 1859, Fremont Island was part of the public domain. The Millers never attempted to homestead the island but were satisfied to use the island as squatters, a common practice not at all uncommon among Western Stockman. The plan to raise sheep in this manner was not without its difficulties. Storms on the lake were a constant hazard, and boats were frequently blown off course and grounded on shoals. On June 9, 1862, Daniel's flatboat sprang a leak, forcing him to throw 48 sheep overboard. Along with the sheep operation, Daniel and his sons built large vats with sheet metal bottoms and plain sides for boiling the salt water, hauled them to the island and set up the pump to bring in the salt water for salt production. While maintaining operations on this island, the Miller family prospered greatly.
The two families continued their cooperative living and business endeavors until Henry was called to go to Arizona and then southern Utah to help colonize and their interests were then necessarily divided.
Also in 1869, a farmers and merchants co-op was formed in Farmington, as their little settlement had come to be known. Daniel invested in it and was a director of it until his death. He also became a member of the Davis County stock company.
n 1870, Daniel went East, via the new railroad, to visit his oldest sister, Susannah Wilcox, and other relatives and to gather genealogical data of his ancestors for Temple work. Soon after the St. George Temple was completed, Daniel went down there with his wife Hannah and did Temple work for his ancestors. He was sealed to his first wife, Clarissa.
In 1874, the Farmington saints were asked by the church leaders to live the United Order, a cooperative living system in which the participants had all property in common. Daniel was asked to be one of its directors, but the effort failed and the organization became the Farmington co-op and later the Davis County co-op with Daniel as its director and later its president, a position which he held until 1881.
In 1881, Daniel's health was poor and it was proposed for him to take a trip to Cache Valley and visit his two daughters and other relatives who lived there. He also visited the Temple there. He was taken sick and died at his daughter Lovisa’s home, on December 4, 1881. He was a noble man, true and faithful to the church, to his brethren and to his God. Praised be his memory.