Thomas Edwards Journey Continues 1854 – 1861

After spending 8 weeks on a sailing ship for America and losing one of their children to the measles onboard, they then took a steamship paddle boat from New Orleans to St. Louis.

On January 13, 1855, the day after their arrival in New Orleans, the Edwards family boarded the steamer Oceana (a side wheel paddle boat) heading up the Mississippi to St. Louis, Missouri, which was a distance of 1200 miles.   The fare was $3.50 for each adult and children were half fare. 

St. Louis on the Mississippi River

Thomas found work. It took him 6 years to save enough money for the trip west. When they made their way to Florence, Nebraska to join a wagon train, Thomas was 68 years old.

They joined an independent company leaving Florence, Nebraska on June 7, 1861. Among the names given from memory by Job Pingree in 1916 of this company were Thomas Edwards and family. Our company was a St. Louis Company of Saints mostly.  There were 33 wagons and 3 carriages.  No deaths occurred in our company while crossing the plains, but there was one birth and taking it all together, our trip was very pleasant.  No accident to speak of occurred and there was but little loss of cattle.  It was an ox tram although three of our rigs were drawn by horses. 
  They arrived in Salt Lake City on August 24, 1861 (it took almost 3 months walking and traveling by ox train to arrive at their destination.) 

From the Deseret News,  George D. Keaton<!–[if supportFields]> XE "Keaton, George D." <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>, wrote the following  in April 4, 1868: 
Thomas Edwards of Ogden City was born in Wales in the month of January 1793, and is therefore in his 76th year.  He has lately had a new set of double teeth growing in his head, not having lost the front ones.  He cut the new teeth about the same as children generally cut theirs, his gums swelling and being very painful during the period of dentation.  His hair still retains its natural color of jet black.  Brother Edwards came to America about 14 years ago and has been in Utah nearly seven years.  He is a man of regular habits of life.  He works regularly in his farm, has general good health and is the father of 10 children.  He walked from Ogden to this city last fall, a distance of 40 miles to attend General Conference.  He is a praying man, and tries to live the life of a saint.

Thomas lived to celebrate his 100th birthday while living at Liberty, Idaho with his daughter, Mary Edwards Hymas. He died on April 7, 1893 and is buried there while his wife who died in 1879 is buried in Ogden.
Can you believe it, I have centurions on both sides of my maternal grandparents.


4 thoughts on “Thomas Edwards Journey Continues 1854 – 1861

  1. Anne

    Amazing story about your ancestors as ever Ruth. Their story is so well documented and I guess that is a tribute to the LDS documentation.I love getting in touch with long lost relatives and am in touch by email with several who I have recently discovered thanks to the joy of Ancestry.


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