In the spring of 1861, father and mother decided to come to Utah. We left Switzerland when the cherry trees were in bloom. We left our home and traveled on a train until we came to the ocean. Liverpool was a smoky, dirty looking [p.1] place, not much like our beautiful home in Switzerland.
We got on a ship, the Amersvile, the next [The Monarch of the Sea] the largest ship on the ocean at that time.
It took us several weeks to cross the water. Mother was sick in bed all the time, and our baby sister Sophia, who was just passed a year old, took sick and died, and was buried in the ocean. She was prepared for burial, wrapped in heavy canvas, a weight tied to the canvas, and then it was sunk in the water, Mother was very sad.
We were all very thankful when we reached New York City. Mother and the younger children stayed at a hotel, father and the older ones stayed at Castle Garden, (the wharf). We rested a few days then started for Florence, Nebraska. It was during the Civil War, and we could hear the boom of canons and firing of guns as we rode along. Shutters were up at the window and the people on the trains were asked to be very quiet.
When we passed through Missouri the people were very bitter against the Mormons and set a bridge on fire to retard our progress. When we got to Florence we stayed there a week. Father bought a wagon and church teams were sent from Utah and the wagons were paced ready for travel. There were six grown people and four children in our wagon, besides 2 stoves and the personal belongings and provisions.
We had many experiences while crossing the plains, there was heavy rains, with thunder and lightning. Indian warriors came to our wagons to trade and a big prairie fire swept over the land, so there was no feed for the oxen. One day we met the soldiers returning to Washington who had come to Utah to kill the Mormons.
On Sundays, meetings were held and, father, being a good musician and choir leader, would lead the songs. A great many of the people were Swiss and we had a Swiss choir. They were beautiful singers. My [p.2] father was also the bugler, and would play his bugle at night and in the morning.
After ten weeks of travel on the plains, we reached Salt Lake City the first part of Sept. 1861. The peaches and watermelons were ripe, the first we had seen. People brought them for the emigrants to eat. . . . [p.3]
BIB: Walker, Elizabeth Staheli. History of Barbara Sophia Haberli Staheli. (Ms. 8691, reel 3), pp. 1-3; Acc. # 35501.