Philemon’s mother hearing that we were coming started out to meet us but got on the wrong road, missed us, and had to walk back a long distance — we were about two weeks making the trip and the worry of it all must have told on me for when my sister-in-law first met me she said “is this you, Cyrena, or your ghost?”
About a week after I got back, my two children were taken sick with chills, then I was sick; then baby took croup and only lived about 12 hours, dying on the sixth of September.
I let father and mother Merrill take my fitout (of wagon, oxen etc,) and they went on with the first company that went to Salt Lake in 1847, but I stayed here at Kanesville until my husband’s return on December 11, 1847 from Battalion.
He spent his time in getting land warrants for the Battalion Boys and assisting Brother Young to get emigrants across the plains.
Here on September 10, 1848, our third daughter, Melissa Jane, was born.
In the spring of 1849 Brother Young having sent our teams back Salt Lake we fitted up and crossed the plains. Now we were really going to Zion and as our hearts were filled with gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His love and protecting care, we were enabled to endure all our trials with cheerful fortitude. Our faith was strong — we loved each other and lived in unity and we were blessed abundantly, and our souls often rang out on the prairies.
While passing through the Rockies we encountered severe snowstorms in many of our cattle perished, but again the Lord helped us, for father Merrill sent a team with a nephew to assist us into the city of Salt Lake.
Our first stopping place was in Salt Lake City where we built a log cabin in the Southwest or 19th Ward stayed here until 1857.
On the Big Cottonwood 7 miles from Salt Lake City, our first Utah baby, our second boy, Morgan Henry was born on February 17, 1850. And when he was three weeks old we moved into the 19th Ward of the city and my husband again left me alone with my little ones.
Houses then were scattered and the measles broke out among the Indians and they would rush past our cabin howling and screaming — run and jump into the warm springs and then take cold and die — then others would bewail and screech — and at all times of the day or night their howls or mournings rent the air and my hairs would stand on and from fright; the only times I ever slept that night was one of my brothers-in-law would come up from Cottonwood to stay a while.
Philemon had gone back to the Platte River to keep the ferryboat.— continued —