Holt, Emma Billings, History of Emma Billings Holt.
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Elder Robert Neslen was one of the returning missionaries. He was a good friend of ours. He secured a man that wanted to work his passage through the states and plains. So he took care of us on the cars. We had to travel in cattle trucks and the guerrillas burnt the bridge. We had to camp in a hollow till they could get another train, and bring it to the other side. When we arrived at Wyoming, Nebraska, we had to camp there to get our wagon and oxen and supplies to cross the plains with. We had our own wagon and oxen. Grandma was taken very sick and Brother Rich and Neslen had to get things and make the necessary arrangements. Brother Neslen and Parley P. Pratt administered to Grandma and through the blessings of the Lord she was able to start on her journey still in bed. The sick and the needy knew where to come to, for we were well supplied with medicine and nursing things. She never turned any away empty handed. Brother Neslen and Rich, our teamsters, slept on a feather bed under the wagon. They used to pin blankets on the wheels so they had it cozy. Wecrossed the plains as part of an independent train which followed close to Captain Hyde's train for protection. Sometimes we had to travel 25 miles a day when in the Indian Country and the two trains used to camp about a mileapart. One night we were traveling late. We could hardly see the wagons ahead. The bolt that held the wagon tongue on, came out and left us in the dark. Brother Neslen was riding with us and he and Brother Rich tied the oxen to the wheel and took the bolt–it was bent–and followed the train and got the bolt straightened and got the heal of a boot for a nut. We had to stay in the dark all night. Brother Neslen said we might be scalped if we had a light. It was morning when they got back so we had to drive right on to catch the train. Captain Hyde said if we carried our wood and water he would not help us if we got in trouble. There was 10 independent wagons in the train. When we got to Bitter Creek, our wheel ox got lame. So did one of theothers. So we all stayed and rested two days and Captain Hyde's train left us. So we had to part with Brother Neslen. We bathed the ox's foot with wild sage. On the second day we found an ox and a cow in the bushes, so we yoked up the cow and the Stickleys took the ox. So we traveled on till we got to Green River when a man claimed them–they was government property. But by that time our ox was able to travel. So the Lord surely helped us out of that trouble. We got in the Valley 2 days behind the train. It was late on the 29th day of October 1864. We camped where the City and County Building now stands. That night it snowed about 5 inches. We were alone. The rest had gone to their friends. We didn't have any one only Brother Neslen and he didn't know we were so close behind him.