In the spring of 1848 the Saints on the Missouri river were busy getting ready for the move to the mountains. They started about the beginning of June, organized into three large companies, all led by President Young. Altogether there were 2,417 people, 793 wagons, herds of horses and cattle, a great many sheep, pigs, chickens, etc. Here was surely, if not a nation, a whole city moving. They followed in the trail of the first companies and arrived in Great Salt Lake valley in September and October.
Topics.—1. The march of the pioneers. 2. Arrival in Salt Lake valley. 3. The reorganization of the First Presidency. 4. The main companies.
Questions and Review.—1. How many persons were in the first or pioneer company? 2. What was the object of the company? 3. How long were they on the journey? 4. Describe their route. (See map). 5. What did trappers and hunters say of Salt Lake valley? 6. When did the main body reach Salt Lake valley? 7. When did President Young arrive? 8. What did he say about the place? 9. Why did the pioneers know very little about irrigation? 10. Who returned to Winter Quarters? 11. Whom did they meet? 12. What took place December 5, 1847? 13. Where was Kanesville? 14. What took place during the summer of 1848?
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY.
The 25th of July, 1847, came on a Sunday, therefore the pioneers rested and held meetings.
Monday morning work began in earnest. Plowing and planting had to be hurried. Exploring parties were also sent out in different directions to become acquainted with the country.
On the evening of July 28th President Young, accompanied by the Apostles, went some distance from the camp to select a spot from which to begin building the city. Arriving at a good location, President Young stopped, and, striking his cane in the earth, he said: “Here will be the temple of our God”—and on that spot the temple stands today. It was then decided to lay out the city north, east, south, and west from the temple site, in ten acre blocks, the streets to be eight rods wide and the sidewalks twenty feet. Some time after this it was named Great Salt Lake City.
You will call to mind that some of the Mormon Battalion, owing to sickness, did not march through to California. This company, together with some Saints from the state of Mississippi, arrived at the pioneer camp on July 29th, thus making quite an addition to the company. The first building of any kind erected in the valley by the Saints was a bowery built on the temple block by the Battalion men. This was used for some time in which to hold meetings.
It was decided not to settle on the city lots at first, but build a fort with houses in as a protection from the Indians. The houses were built of logs, and stood in a row, close together, which formed one side of the fort. The other three sides were built of adobe walls. The roofs of the houses were made of soil. The windows and doors faced the inside. Though better than living all the winter in tents and wagons, you may imagine these houses were not very comfortable, especially when the rain came through the roofs onto beds, tables, stoves, etc.