Monday, November 7, 2011

Elizabeth Thompson and Nicholas Groesbeck arrive in the Salt Lake Valley October 3, 1856.

This picture of a caravan of covered wagons wending their way down Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley is from a Nicholas Groesbeck pamphlet written by his grandson Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, 1963. The John Banks 1856 emigration train may have appeared similar to these travelers.

This concluding post of the Elizabeth Thompson and Nicholas Groesbeck family’s trip to the Salt Lake Valley in the John Banks 1856 company is continued from here.

The following notes comes from a typed history of Nicholas Groesbeck I found among my mother’s [Helen Rex Frazier 1913-1982] papers. The sources and the author are unknown. The reference to Groesbecks and Humpherys diaries is most interesting.

[1856] Not much can be found in Church History per the trip up the River nor as they left “Outfitting” camp. Both the Groesbecks and the Humpherys diaries give the first of July activities. “We left Florence and covered 3 or 4 miles, finding a good camp, we stopped to celebrate our Nation[’]s founding. We sang songs, offered prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord, bore our testimonies, related experiences, upbuilding our faith. There were games played, duties, repairs made. The journey then continued.”

“September 4th, we camped for the first time on the banks of the Sweetwater River, a half mile west of Independence Rock. It was called ‘Register of the Desert,” because it was so flat the pioneers had carved their names on it and many famous people who had passed that way. It was a very hot day.

The last of September, we hurried to Echo Canyon, and wended our way downward, at Devil’s Slide, a big crevice in solid rock like someone chiseled it out, was passed. The trip was good from there on in, with little to mar our happiness in at last reaching our goal.

1 Oct 1856 the St. Louise Company halted. The Bunker group arrived 2 Oct. We prepared for descent into the Valley. President Young sent a military escort with a brass band of music at the foot of “Little Mountain” in Emmigration [sic Emigration] Canyon to great these companies and escort them into the city. The populist turned out en-mass to receive them. They pulled their wagons to Pioneer Camp, “at Union square, (where West High School now stands) and camped.”

Thus ended the long, tedious treck.

It took three and one-half months or more to come from St. Louis to Salt Lake, 1856 …

After camping at Pioneer Square for three weeks, Nicholas Groesbeck purchased a two story adobe home across the street on the Northeast corner, 2nd West [now 3rd West] and 1st North. He moved his family there and set up a store with the merchandise he’d freighted to the valley. The family lived there, and Nicholas operated his store from there until May 1858, when President Brigham Young evacuated the city from the path of the approaching Johnston’s Army[Utah War]. On October 13, 1857 daughter Josephine was born to Nicholas and Elizabeth in this home.

This picture of the Groesbeck's first home is from the Nicholas Groesbeck pamphlet mentioned earlier. The home was later occupied by the Union Academy, the University of Deseret, and the Deseret Hospital.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel records of the John Banks Company lists Mary Sudbury Humphreys (45) traveling with her seven children

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