Mendon Helps Out With Ox Teams

An accounting of the ox teams that were sent to Florence, Nebraska for the P.E.F. (Perpetual Emigrating Fund) from Mendon, Territory of Utah, to bring back the new Latter-Day Saint Emigrants to G. S. L. C. (Great Salt Lake City).

The churches main outfitting post moved west from Iowa City, Iowa to Florence, Nebraska in 1857 where it was to remain until 1864. Florence and Omaha are located in the same physical area across the river from Council Bluffs. In subsequent years the church trains received their loads of immigrants and freight at the ever advancing western terminus of the railroad. After the joining of the rails on May 10, 1869, at Promontory, Territory of Utah, this service was no longer needed and all of the P.F.E. people came to Utah by train after that time. (The Florence links above are both different and perhaps worth your time to explore.)

Mendon Utah Logo

Ox Teams Sent to Florence, NebraskaMap of Omaha Area

We are rich in cattle but do not abound in money either at home or abroad, and we desire to so operate as to use our small amount of money and large number of cattle in the best possible manner for accomplishing the most good. It is desirable that both the oxen sent in teams and those driven for sale should be between the ages of 3 and 8 years inclusive, and be well broke. The wagons should be the best Chicago make, two inch iron axle tree and be in such condition as not to require repair, accidents excepted, during the trip, and be provided with bows and good covers at Florence…

Each team should be provided with some eight light thin ox shoes, with the requisite number of nails, that oxen may be shod on the road when necessary, otherwise they would do better without shoes.

The teams wagons, loose oxen, teamsters and their outfit will be inspected by a competent person in G.S.L. City and must pass that inspection previous to being permitted to start the trip.

It is designed to organize the teams in companies of fifty each, each company to be under the charge of a responsible person, as captain, and all companies to be under the charge of one superintendent or agent. Each company will be furnished with four mounted men, whose duty it will be to take charge of the animals when out of the yoke and see that they have the best grass and water the circumstances will permit. The guard must be assisted in their duties, when necessary, or when they require it, by the company to which they belong. When a man fits out a team to send for the poor and Church freight and then wishes to send one or more teams to freight for himself, he is at liberty to do so by paying his proportion of the expense for wagon master and mounted guard. Persons sending loose cattle for sale will also be required to pay a proportionate share of the expenses incurred in driving, guarding, and selling said cattle. Teams taking flour or other loading for the Church from here to Florence, will be allowed ten dollars a hundred, on labor tithing; and in like proportion for any distance on the route said loading is deposited, as we wish to deposit flour at different points. And for return loading they will be allowed $15. a hundred from Florence to this place, also on labor tithing.

Where there is tithing wheat, the teams from G.S.L. County are expected to haul reasonable loads of tithing wheat to G.S.L. City to be ground into flour to take toward Florence.

In addition to transporting Church freight and the poor brethren and their effects this plan furnishes an excellent opportunity for individuals to send money, teams, loose oxen, or each or all for the purchase and transportation of wagons, groceries, machinery, and other staple articles for their own use, thus supplying themselves with imported merchandise at the cheapest rate and in a way within their reach. It is expected that the train and loose oxen will start from S.L.C. as early in the spring as the snow in the mountains will permit…Ox Team & Wagon

“To each each wagon, 1 tar can or keg and at least one gallon of wagon grease, 2 good whip lashes, with buckskin to splice and for crackers. For each teamster, 250 lbs. of flour, 40 lbs. of dried beef (if to be had) as much butter as each chooses and can take safely. Ten lbs. sugar, 4 lbs. coffee, 1 lbs. tea, 4 quarts beans, 1 bar soap, 4 pounds yeast cake (or its equivalent in acid or yeast powder) salt enough for teamster and team 1 good buffalo robe and 2 good blankets, one gallon of vinegar which should be carried in a stone jug, and some pickles if to be had. 2 good pair of boots or shoes, with grease enough to keep them well greased, and coats enough for comfort with needles and thread for mending. 1 good gun (double barreled shotgun preferable) with plenty of powder balls and shot, one 2 gallon water can or keg.”

“It is recommended that six form a mess and that each six get together in their different neighborhoods and agree about furnishing the necessary cooking utensils for their mess also the necessary medicinal articles such as No. 6 cayenne pepper, purgative pills, or castor oil, pain killer composition, linament, etc.…”

Brigham Young

Ox Teams Sent From Mendon

A listing of ox teams sent from Mendon, Utah to aid in the P. E. F. effort.

1861 - In 1861 one team went. Amenzo W. Baker teamster 4 yoke of oxen, all returned.

1862 - Two teams 8 yokes of oxen, all returned Peter Larsen and Isaac Sorensen teamsters.

1863 - Ralph Forster and Jasper Lemmon teamsters 8 yokes of oxen 2 wagons Albert M. Baker went as night guard.

1864 - One team was sent to Frontiers this year Joseph H. Richard teamster 4 yoke oxen. Albert M. Baker went as night guard.

1865 - There was no teams sent.

1866 - Three teams was sent from Mendon after the poor saints as we said them days. Charles Bird, Jacob Sorensen and Joseph Hancock and teams.

1867 - No teams were sent this year.

1868 - Two teamsters and teams went for the poor but only half way as the railroad had been completed that far, Trangott Stumpf and Lars Larsen were teamsters. Bradford Bird went as night guard.

Isaac Sorensen