. . . Soon after my parents joined the Church and made ready to go to Zion. We received very little for our belongings. Mother took with us a large trunk of clothes, some blankets, a feather bed and a bolt of linen. Father took only his tool chest. This was early in the year 1860.
Just before we left, my Grandmother Stittler tried to persuade us not to go. She was afraid we would be drowned and could see no reason for leaving a comfortable home and living to go where we did not even know the language.
We went by team to Bern. The next day we went by train down along the Rhine River until we crossed a beautiful bridge, then boarded a small steamboat which took us to Holland. On the shore of the North Sea we boarded a small ship and after a day and a night's travel we landed at Liverpool. We were joined by a large company of emigrants from many countries as we boarded the large ship. As we went aboard we were each vaccinated. Uncle John Stucki had to stay behind as he was sick with smallpox.
We were on the ocean for weeks and enjoyed the sermons of the elders and listened to the Mormon hymns which I loved even as a child.
When we landed in New York we boarded the train with a company from Switzerland, among them Samuel Whittwer and family.
When we reached Florence, Nebraska, we were forced to stop for a while because there were not teams enough to take us across the plains to Salt Lake City. The men made handcarts, my father, being a carpenter, helped make thirty-three of them.
When we came to load our belongings we had more than we could take. Mother was forced to leave her feather bed, the bolt of linen, two large trunks full of clothes and other valuable things we needed so badly later on. Father could take only his most necessary tools.
There were 662 carts and 2,969 persons crossed the plains from 1856 to 1860. Five companies crossed in 1856. Ours was the last to cross in handcarts. [p. 2]
Our company was organized with Oscar O. Stoddard as captain. It contained 126 persons with twenty-two handcarts and three provision wagons drawn by oxen. We left Florence July 6, 1860. There were six to our cart. . .
. . . When we reached the top of Emigration Canyon overlooking Salt Lake City, we all gave thanks to God for helping us safely over the plains.
We were welcomed in the City by the people carrying baskets of fruit and other good things to eat. We were invited home by a family for a few days until my parents were rested, then we were given a little house near the river Jordan. . . . [p. 3]
BIB: Hafen, Mary Ann Stucki, Autobiography. (Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum Library, Salt Lake City), pp. 2-3.