This letter was copied from a typewritten copy of the original. The typewritten copy was received from Sara Leota Mutz, a granddaughter of Arthur Tyrrell.


Letter written to:
Jonas R. Partrige
Wards Grove
Jo Davis Co (sic)
Illinois

Page One

Head Quarters of the Enterprise Company 1849

     Dear but distant friends I have again taken my pen to inform you that my health continues good and the Company is mostly well some Ague and bowel complaint in camp we are now on the bank of a small stream 170 miles west of the Missiouri River and fixing to cross

     Now for particulars of the Journey Left Mr Rice old place on tuesday May 15th arrived at Mr Eads 17th Went into Galena done some trading and sold our flour at 250 per hundred left Eads 19th Went to Smiths fery crossed 20th paid $1 dollar apeace for wagons 25 a pare for oxen 12 cts apeace for loose cattle had good luck a crosing

     Good bye to Illinois for a time We went down the Mississippi as far as Belview I saw the house where the fight was a few years ago between the sitizens and the mob it is a pretty place for a town one man had died with cholera there it is a small place yet We now start west to Andrew over a sandy country and rough road I think that will in time make a large place for inland town continueing on to forks of Maquokate did not like the country very well the stream was bridged but high Water had cut a new chanel had to fill it up with logs to git along. Saw mill on the north fork where we crossed plenty of timber and mud the south fork there is a flouring and saw mill both and good bridge half mile more Very bad road Came to prarie sandy but ritch and some rolling now go over ridges through hollows and mud to Hapsapenica had to ferry river it was very high mean country and poor water swamps sloughs and good prarie not much timber it is as pretty a stream as I ever saw had to ferry it. The next stream of any size is the Iowa there is some good land there. Iowa City is a handsome place it contains a number of stores and taverns Oats was worth 15 cts per bushel corn 25 wheat 50 flour was scarce on account of high Water all the spring the mills could not grind and there had ben but one steamboat up this spring We crossed the Iowa River 30th of May. It is a nasty looking stream Traveled over rather a poor country 2 or 3 days then came to as good a country as I ever saw there is some large farms there & mud a plenty We crossed a number of small streams by building bridges and wadeing water the next stream is the Skunk River.

Page Two

     a small stream out rightly named it was at this stream that we broke down the wagon wheel crosing it. it was a hind wheel We cut a pole and put under and went on to Newton about 10 miles distance. Mr Heacoks (a man in our company) filed the wheel and we went on after crosing a number more small streams We arrived at Big Skunk River, We ferry the stream but could not ferry the mud for 2 or 3 miles We only went a few rods at a time Without stoping the teams to rest them It was the capshief of the whole road that I ever saw The man that owned the ferry had a tame Buffalow 3 years old the first I ever saw and had some half breed calves Buffalow and cattle will mix I should as quick think deer and sheep to mix as them from the looks The road to Fort Demoin is better getting dry

     Small streams not so high from Fort Demoin to the Missouri River distance 130 miles a very good road most of the way untill within 8 or 10 miles then it was hilly among the bluffs 3 miles of bottom land Very bad more then a mile of it I had to wade in Water 1 to 3 feet deep and drive the team to get to the ferry, the river was higher than ever known before had good luck crossing it Cost the same ferry it as it did the Mississippi The road from Council Bluffs on has bin measured to Salt Lake by the Mormens We have one of their guides a very useful book it gives the distance from one stream to annother all the way. The first stream of any size west of the Missouri is Elkhorn distance 27 miles it was very high and bad to cross it is 9 rods wide we crossed it on a raft made of logs after crosing it is good road. Next Loup Fork the worst stream to cross on the whole rout it is quicksand bottom and 80 rods wide water about 3 feet deep. The wagons cut into the sand and Wet our loads some, distance 133 miles Wood River, where I now am 170 miles fixing to cross.


Our thanks to Ray W. Justus for contributing this letter to the Jo Daviess Co., IL USGenWeb site.