This letter was copied from a typewritten copy of the original. The typewritten copy was received from Sara Leota Mutz, a granddaughter ofArthur Tyrrell.
Letter written to:
Jonas R. Partrige
Jo Davis Co (sic)
Head Quarters of the Enterprise Company 1849
Dear but distant friends I have again taken my pen to inform you that myhealth continues good and the Company is mostly well some Ague and bowelcomplaint in camp we are now on the bank of a small stream 170 miles westof the Missiouri River and fixing to cross
Now for particulars of the Journey Left Mr Rice old place on tuesday May15th arrived at Mr Eads 17th Went into Galena done some trading andsold our flour at 250 per hundred left Eads 19th Went to Smiths ferycrossed 20th paid $1 dollar apeace for wagons 25¢ a pare for oxen 12½ ctsapeace for loose cattle had good luck a crosing
Good bye to Illinois for a timeWe went down the Mississippi as far as Belview I saw the house where thefight was a few years ago between the sitizens and the mob it is a prettyplace for a town one man had died with cholera there it is a small placeyet We now start west to Andrew over a sandy country and rough road Ithink that will in time make a large place for inland town continueing onto forks of Maquokate did not like the country very well the stream wasbridged but high Water had cut a new chanel had to fill it up with logs togit along. Saw mill on the north fork where we crossed plenty of timberand mud the south fork there is a flouring and saw mill both and goodbridge half mile more Very bad road Came to prarie sandy but ritch andsome rolling now go over ridges through hollows and mud to Hapsapenicahad to ferry river it was very high mean country and poor water swampssloughs and good prarie not much timber it is as pretty a stream as I eversaw had to ferry it. The next stream of any size is the Iowa there issome good land there. Iowa City is a handsome place it contains a numberof stores and taverns Oats was worth 15 cts per bushel corn 25 wheat 50flour was scarce on account of high Water all the spring the mills couldnot grind and there had ben but one steamboat up this spring We crossed theIowa River 30th of May. It is a nasty looking stream Traveled over rathera poor country 2 or 3 days then came to as good a country as I ever sawthere is some large farms there & mud a plenty We crossed a number of smallstreams by building bridges and wadeing water the next stream is the SkunkRiver.
a small stream out rightly named it was at this stream that we broke downthe wagon wheel crosing it. it was a hind wheel We cut a pole and putunder and went on to Newton about 10 miles distance. Mr Heacoks (a man inour company) filed the wheel and we went on after crosing a number moresmall streams We arrived at Big Skunk River, We ferry the stream but couldnot ferry the mud for 2 or 3 miles We only went a few rods at a timeWithout stoping the teams to rest them It was the capshief of the wholeroad that I ever saw The man that owned the ferry had a tame Buffalow 3years old the first I ever saw and had some half breed calves Buffalow andcattle will mix I should as quick think deer and sheep to mix as them fromthe looks The road to Fort Demoin is better getting dry
Small streams not so high from Fort Demoin to the Missouri River distance130 miles a very good road most of the way untill within 8 or 10 miles thenit was hilly among the bluffs 3 miles of bottom land Very bad more then amile of it I had to wade in Water 1 to 3 feet deep and drive the team to getto the ferry, the river was higher than ever known before had good luckcrossing it Cost the same ferry it as it did the Mississippi The roadfrom Council Bluffs on has bin measured to Salt Lake by the Mormens Wehave one of their guides a very useful book it gives the distance from onestream to annother all the way. The first stream of any size west of theMissouri is Elkhorn distance 27 miles it was very high and bad to crossit is 9 rods wide we crossed it on a raft made of logs after crosing it isgood road. Next Loup Fork the worst stream to cross on the whole rout itis quicksand bottom and 80 rods wide water about 3 feet deep. The wagonscut 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 Justus for donating this letter to the Jo Daviess Co., IL USGenWeb site.