could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                                 Huntsman’s Echo

Joseph E. Johnson - Published the Huntsman's Echo about a year in 1860-1861

     Mormon - two wives and numerous children on his arrival at Wood River Center in 1859.
        In 1860 another woman came from Iowa; later he married her in Utah

        Possibly the increasing prejudice against the Mormons and especially polygamy caused Mr. Johnson to abandon
            the ranche and move to Utah.

    1861 - Moved to Utah, with all of his goods.

    1882 – Died of pneumonia –Had 3 wives, 27 children and many grandchildren.

Local Topics covered by Johnson
1. Weather - Typical Nebraska weather

        June - Rain, Rain! After little rain during the past spring the area received a good soaking rain.

        June 14 - The Platte was high but teams occasionally were crossing.
        June 27 - The waters of the Platte had receded so crossings were being made easily.

        Late Sept - No frost yet and the vegetables were still growing

        Feb - 2-3 day storm, cold, drifts, several days of heavy clouds, no sunshine.

2. Buffalo & other wild life
Buffalo ---Johnson reported “our beautiful town site has been rudely trampled upon by those ugly-looking wild beasts known as buffalo”

Many buffalo in the area. Last week one broke down a fence and got into Boyd’s corn field. Boyd shot it. On Friday two more were killed when they got into the crops.

Buffalo were coming around and eating his vegetables. He sent “the boys” out to chase them away with the result of two buffalo being shot. “…and (Johnson reported) as dogs and wolves are scarce we have had to breakfast, dine and sup from their flesh…”

That fall Johnson killed another buffalo which had wondered onto the townsite and was outside his office.

Other Wild Life - High water in the Wood River had driven 4 beavers out of their homes and up on the bank in front of the Echo office.

Sept – Several antelope, a red fox, three large white wolves, buffalo have not been bothering in the last couple of weeks. There were still plenty of them cross the river

3. Crops
June - The crops were looking good …. Specific items mentioned: Apple and other fruit trees, wild plum & grapes, radishes, lettuces, onions, green peas, & beans in the garden, field potatoes

Sept - Corn crop in settlements along the Platte on ground broken last year will yield 20-35 bushels per acre. Corn on ground broken in the current year was not doing well. Potato yield was light.

James Boyd had given Johnson a large watermelon. His farm is 7 miles away with comfortable buildings, several hundred fenced in acres and about 200 acres in crops

4. On the Trail
June 14, 1860 - “For Utah Tuesday 12---The first Mormon train for Utah passed, consisting of 31 wagons, 53 yoke oxen, 35 cows 9 horses, with 169 souls, 97 males, and 72 females, all well, and stock in fine order…. The company are two weeks out from Florence---no accidents or sickness.”

June 26, 1860 - On Sunday the 22nd and last handcart train came through. 144 people – 20 Swiss, 53 English, and 71 Scandinavians. 21 carts, 9 wagons, 30 head of stock. 14 days out of Florence.

Sept 27, 1860 - Many “Peakers” who had gone through to the mines were returning as quickly as possible

5. Ft. Kearney
Early June - Improvements are again going on at Ft. Kearny.
        A theatrical group was playing to crowded houses at Ft. Kearny.
        A new military ford had been made at Wood River Centre.

July 26, 1860 - Ft. Kearney had posted an advertisement asking for 700 tons of hay, contract to be let Aug. 1 for delivery over the next two months.

Sept 13, 1860 - Troops from Ft. Kearney were being sent out to help protect the Pawnee from attacks by the Cheyenne

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