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Bowen, David D. - Journal

Dec. 25, 1845

It being Christmas Day, I got married to Mary Davis the daughter of Morgan & Elizabeth Davis of Velinvoel near Llanelly, by Mr. Morris the parson of the church at Llanelly. We invited many of our friend to the wedding. Our guest enjoyed themself on our entertainment. Mary my wife was born in Caerlemss two miles out of the town of Llanelly on the 28th day of January 1825 and moved to Velinvoel with her parents when a child. We lived neighbors for years before we where married, and played together when children, and had been courting for years. Her mothers name before married was Bowen the daughter of old William Bowen the Blacksmith, a very good old man. I knew him when I was a boy. Her father, Morgan Davis was the son of old Thomas (or Twm) Dafyd Collier lived all his days in Llanelly. Old Thomas Davids family consisted of four sons and two daughters (to wit) Morgan the oldest, John, Williams, Henry, Nancy and Margret. Morgan Davis, now my father, family consisted of six girls (to wit) Mary the eldest, Elizabeth, Ann, Hannah, Ema and Rachel. This is a little of my wifes genealogy. Now, after married the cares of life commence then we could not live like the beasts of the field, but had to live like mankind. I rented a house in Velinvoel and furnished it with furniture. I bought thirty pounds worth furniture, to ornament my new and first house, which money I earned on my long sea voyage. I tarried at home with my wife for a few days, but I could not stay very long, no income but out going, preparing for sea again.

Jan the first

I had been home now little over one month. I shipped once more on board my old vessel the William Henry, Captain Ball, bound for Ross, Ireland. Started for Ireland had a very bad weather was away from home a month. I made a few more trips in her from Llanelly to Ireland and back, untill the middle of April, when I was coaxed by my wife and my brother John to leave off the sea intirely and become a landsman once more. I concluded to tray it again, and on the morning of 20th of April, I started for the Llwyni in Glanmorganshire the place where my brother John worked and lived with his family. I arrived at my brother house that eving, where I work with my borther in the mining business for a long time very comfortable and thought of making the Llwyni my future home. My wife came up to Llwyni for a visit to see me and stayed there most part of the summer. Shee went back again to Velin Voel and in few weeks I went myself. My wife was the big in the family way. Seen her in that state I thought that I would stay at home untill shee would be confine to her bed and see her well again. I got work with Mr. Gibson, Manager of the Box Gallery, near Llanelly. Work there but a short time before my wife gave birth to fine boy. When on Suptember 2nd 1846, at seven o clock in the morning the child was born and it was a boy, my first born son and the first child, and named him Morgan David Bowen after his grand father, his mothers father Morgan David.

Now I will here give a full genealogy of my progenitors as far as I know commencing with my son, therefore, Morgan D. was the son of David D. who was the son of John, who was the son of William, who was the son of Thomas, who was the son of William Bowen, who came from the Skitty near Swansea Glanmorgan shire, as a servant to a farm house by the name of Glyngwernen near Velinvoel in the parish of Llanelly and about two miles from the town of Llanelly due East. When he was a young or single man, and in a course of time he got married and begot Thomas and a big family of sons & daughters, whom is now spread all over that part of the country. Thomas got married and begot William and other sons & daughters, whom is also spread through the country. William married Fances Evans (Shee was born at Llwynheandy) and begot five sons & two daughters (to wit) John the oldest born in may in the year A.D. 1793, Thomas, Ann, Sarah, William, Daniel and David. Thes William, My grandfather, my fathers father, was killed by falling into a coal pit about the year A.D.1825. My father John Bowen married Ann Davis my mother. Shee was about the same age as my father. Shee was born near Llanon, and was the daughter of William & Catheraine Davis, Cathrines Maiden name was Hughes. My mother had two brother and one sister (viz) Esthr, John, and William, all married and have rise a large family. The brother where both buchers. William died thes many years when I was but a child. Thomas married to Margret Clement and begot large family of sons & daughters, Ann, married to Thomas Jones lived in Llangenych and had a large family of sons & daughters. Sara married to Griffydd Lo'mis lived at Velinvoel, begot a family. William married to Elizabeth Grippydd and begot sons & daughters. Daniel married Margret Richard begot two daughters and shee died, and he married the second time to Elizabeth Brippydd had one son. Daivd married to Sarah Morris and begot sons & daughters. My fathers family consisted of four sons & three daughters (to wit) William the oldest, John, David D., Mary, Sarah, Daniel and Ann. William was born Suptember 4 1814 married Christine Phillip in the year A.D. 1884 and begot three sons and one daughter, Daniel the oldest oldest, John, william and Christine. He went out with a company of Colliers in 1841 to Lagewra in the West Indies and in 1842 he with the company was returning home, he died at sea when about one week out from the port of Black Fever. John D. was born April 9th 1819 and married Elizabeth Williams in the year A.D. 1840 and begot four sons and two daughters, Elizabeth the oldest born A.D. 1841 March 7th William born Jan. 3 1843, David born December 31 1844 and died when 18 years old, Sarah was born July 24th 1849, Daniel born October 17, 1852, Franklin John born November 26 1854.

David D. was born June 6th 1822 at Velinvoel, married Mary Davis December 25th 1845 and begot one sons and one daughter (viz) Morgan and Ann. Morgan was born Suptember 2nd 1846 at Velinvoel near Llanelly. Ann was born October 18, 1848.

Mary was born August 4th 1824 married to David Phillip in the fall of 1845 and begot two daughters & one son, Margret, Ann and William. Shee still lived at Velinvoel. Sarah was born 1828 and died in the spring of 1845, age 17 years. Daniel died when 3 years old. Ann was born in January 1834; and she is still single with mother.

Sept. 1846

I continue to work in Llanelly the remainder of this month. When the fall came the work got slack and I started again to the Llwyani to work and I work with my brother John until the middle of December, when I concluded to move my wife and furniture to the Llwyani and started down to Velinvoel after them. I engage a farmer by the name of John Rees to move us for two pounds from Velinvoel to Llwyani which was thirty miles. We started early in the morning and the snow very deep on the ground and got as far as half way between Pont-ryd-y-fen and the Bryn where the snow was so deep that the horses could not draugh the wagon any farther. We had to leave the wagon in the snow all night and my wife and babe had to walk through the snow for many miles to my uncle Thomas Bowen on the Bryn, where we stayed all night. The next morning the teammaster and myself started back for the wagon and furniture and arrieved home to Llwyni before night. This ended the eventful year 1846 with me. Good many changes in life.

Jan 1847

At this time my brother John and I in company with the thirteen more men was suncking a big coal pit for the Llwyni company. I was getting three shillings per day or one pound one shilling per week for we where paid for Sundays. My borhter John was getting thirty shillings per week. I was very happy in my mind thes times and lived very comfortable, making money and saving about one half my wages. Comfortable work and comfortable home. Nothing of importance transpired for several months untill I became some what anxious for being religious, and in loss to know where to go and which sect to join. This was a great trouble to my mind, and I could not join any with clear conscience but the Baptist Church, for I was rised with the Baptsit and was baptise by them when I was very young but left them because I could not see their doctrine correspond with the doctrine of the Bible and yet I could not see them right. Therefore, I stood aloof from the Baptist and all others until I heard of new sect of Religious people that was in the Country called the Latter Days Saints. I could not see any of them, but I heard plenty about them of all kins of stories. However in the beginning of June a man by the name of David William an old acquiaintance of mine came to the neighborhood where I lived (spilter work) to work and to preach. He came to my house to seek for lodging, him and me being acquainted, boys together in Llanely and work together but have not seen one another for many years. I took him into my home to lodge and we soon commence conversations concerning the new religion. In a short time I found that they teach and preach like the Apostles of old and like the New Testament which I belived. With his strong reasoning and arguments out of the Bible, I was convince that they where nearer the truth then any other sects that I knew of, and I concluded to join them let the consequence be what it will. I told him that I would, and June 19th 1847. I was baptise unto the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by the hands of David William in the Llwyni river about 10 o clock. A.M. and in one week after wards the 26th my wife was baptise by the same man and in the same place. The next day the 27th in being Sunday, we were both confirmed unto the Church by the laying on of hands under the hands of Elder William Morgans from Bridge-end, whom came there to preach that Sunday. There was not an elder living in this place in consequence of a breaking up of a branch here about two years before, the presiding Elder by the name of Joan Pugh and all his members except two men and one woman had apostetise and left the Church and I was the first that was baptised in the place since the break up of the other branch. The people was very bitter to the Saints in consequence of the wicket Pugh and Elder Samuel Davis was send from Merthir Tidvel, the Headquarters of the Saints, to reorganize a branch at this place. I commence talking to my brother John about the doctrine of the Saints. He also believed and was baptised by Daniel Edwards and was confirmed by Elder Abel Evans. His wife come out very bitterly against him through the influence of her friends, but in a short time shee was baptise herself. In the month of Augest I was ordain a teacher and my brother John a Deacon under the hands of Elder Samuel Davis. About the month of Suptember my borhter John and I was stopped in the work, because wer were Latter Day Saints. About the half the people was stopped. Something was the matter on the Company. At this time us both were conseled to go down to the Peyl or Cyfngribwr to work and to preach. John was this time a preacher. We started to the place and commence working in a very bad place, wet and desagreeable. I thought I would not stay in such a place as that. I work a few days and concluded to start back to Llwyni where my family. I with my family moved back to Llanelly, where I stayed and work until the end of the year A.D. 1847.

Jan 1st 1848

It was Sunday and a New Years day. A few days previous I was ordained a priest under the hands of William Hughes, and was for the first time in my life called on to preach to a large congregation in the Latter Day Saints Chapel, which was William Davis House in the town of Llanelly. I continued to work and to preach in and about Llanelly until the beginning of May, when I concluded to abandon the coal pits for ever and tray the sea again, In consequence of so much hard work and so little pay, and the oppression and tyranny of the masters of the works. On the six day of May I started from home against my wifes will to the docks which was about two miles from my house to see if I could get a berth aboard of some ship. I went in a strait way to the new dock and aboard of a big brigg by the name of Jane of Portsmouth, and as soon as I was on board the mate asked me if I wanted a berth. Yes, was my answer. Turn too then said he. Upon his word my jacket was down and commence working, which was unloading the balast. I work a board of her every day and walk home every night until shee was reddy to go to sea, and on the 12th of May we set sail and for Portsmouth, and arrived there in two weeks. The captain (his name was William Stone) thought that he was going back to Llanelly again, but when we arrived at Portsmouth the owners had chartered her Archangel in Russia, in the White Sea, and on the 3rd of June we set sail for Archangel, with fair wind through the straits of Dover and the Downs. When we where opposite Yarmouth, the wind shifted and blew very hard from the North and we where oblige to put in to North Yarmouth Roads windbound. Layed there two days. The wind shifted to North west and we sat sail again for the North Sea, the wind most of the time from the North west and our course was North North East. Then we had to sail close to the wind, that we may sail along the coast of Scotland. We did so until we arrived opposite Shetland Island, then we sailed across the North Sea to the coast of Norway. We sailed along that coast until we arrived at the North of Lapland. When at the cape the wind shifted from the South East which was our course up the White Sea. We steered Northward with good stiff breeze until we got in sight of Greenland, which is about 80 degrees north Lat. Then the wind shifted from the North, which was fair for us now. We again made the Cape, which lies 71 [degrees] 30' North Lat. We sailed along up the White Sea with a fine breeze and a delight some weather, all the time in sight of land, until we arrived at the mouth of Archangel River, and there we took a Russian on board as a pailot to take us up the river, which was forty miles to the City. And after a long and tidious passage of forty-two days we landed safe along side of the warff at Archangel which lies lat. 64[degrees] 34' North. While we were north of the Arctic circle which lies 66 [degrees] North the sun was visable night and day. We saw the sun above the harizon for two weeks. It did not set on us for two weeks. The weather was very hot in Archangel during our stay there all though Archangel is very far north. During my stay at Archangel the Cholera was renging very bad. Hundred where dying daily. All the people was in great fear and dred. The Priest of the Greek Church, which is the established form of Christianity in Russia, gathered the people together and held a great meeting on the banks of the river to pray to the Lord to turn the cholera from the people. Myself with thousands more attended the meeting. Such a religious meeting I never saw before. They had a big stage erected for the occassion on the bank of the river. There was eight Priest on the stage. Seven of them dressed in white robe or garment, the other one dressed in black robe. He seemed to be the leading character in the meeting. The congregation was very enthusiastic in their feelings. All bowing and making all kinds of motions. Every few minute when the Priest was preaching, their heads and their hands was in a continual motion. Every man in the congregation had their hats off, and because I did not take my cap off, and doo as they did, they did not like it. I thought I would leve the meeting and go on board the vessel. In three weeks from the time we arrived in Archangel we wehre reddy to start for home. Our cargo was pich, tar, hemp and cadela and some lumber. We where taking down the river by the steam boat to the mouth. We set sail with the wind from the east and our course was North West. We sailed for many days with fair wind until we came within sight of the North Cape, and at the Cape we had some terribly rough weather for some time. There is what is called white sqwals about the north cape which is very dangerous to vessels when their struck by them. They come very sudden in an instant and blow away some ships yards and often the masts overboard. Lapland is a hard looking country. All the people are dressed in skins the climate is very cold, its day there for six month, dark for six month. After this we had a good weather all the passage until we arrived at Dovers Roads in the Straints of Dover.

Sept. 26th

This night we anchored inside the Isles of White in the mouth of Southamton River.


This morning we sailed up the river and morred along side the warff of Southamton south of England. I stayed on Board the Jane at Southamton three weeks while we where unloading the cargo, thinking of going in her another voyage to Italy, Where shee was bound next time, but I meet with an accedent. I strained my ancle that I was oblige to go home. I left the Jane and went as passinger on board the Gipsy, Captain Hughes, bound for Llanelly. We had a very disagreeable passage, the wind against us all the time. However we arrived safe in Llanelly the latter part of October. Thes I have been from home near six months. When i arrived at home I found that my wife had given birth to a fine daughter a few days before my arrival and was yet in bed.

Oct. 18, 1848

Our fist daughter and our second child was born. We named her Ann after my mother. I stayed at home a few days until my wife was well and harty again. I now shipped on board the schooner Ann of Newport, Captain Anthony Treegething of Llanelly, bound for Waterford Ireland. I made one voyage in her from Llanelly to Waterford and back to Bristol. I acted as mate on board of the Ann. I left the Ann in Bristol in consequence of her going for a long voyage, and that shee would not be back in time for me to emigrate with the Saints to the land of America, which was my intentions in the spring. As soon as I left the Ann, I shipped on board the Emely of Llanelly, Captain Thomas, a regular Bristol trader from Llanelly to Bristol, carrying goods and merchandise of all kind from Bristol to Llanelly. Stayed in her until the year 1848 was out.

Jan 1849

The first day of this year we set sail from Llanely to Bristol and arrived at Bristol River the next day. We made several voyages back and fore from Bristol to Llanelly and back. During winter at this time I fully made up my mind to go to the land of America. I was preparing all I could for the journey. Saving all my money, for I had four in my family at this time. I continued in the Emely until the middle of February, When I left her to get my self and family ready for the journey.

February 18th

This morning after being up all night getting everything ready for starting. I with my wife and two childrenin company with my father in law Morgan Davis and good many more of the Saints left Velinvoel and Llanelly for Swansea, where we arrived that evening. The following is the names of the families that left Llanelly with us: Samuel Leick and his family, Daniel Leich and his family, Morgan Davis and his family and David D. Bowen and his family. We all lodge in Swansea that night in the same public house. And at about 9 A.M. we went on board the Steamer and was reddy to start in a very short time. In one half hour about five hunderd Saints left Swansea under the Presedency of Elder Dan Jones on board the Steamer Trubedore for Liverpool, and on the evening of the 20th we arrived in the dock at Liverpool. All the passengers with few exceptions was very sick on the passage, by the piching and rocking of the steemer, and no one on board exept Dan Jones and myself could doo any help to the sick. Everybody had plenty to take care of them selfs. Dan Jones and myself had been sailors. However we landed in Liverpool safe and healthy after the sea sickness was over. Then we where counseled by Elder Orson Pratt one of the Twelve Apostles, whom was standing on the dock watching our arrival, for all the saints to move up town to the music hall to stay while we were in liverpool. All the passingers where marching along the streets of Liverpool in one body like a regiment of solders. I thought it was the biggest sight that the Liverpool people ever seen by the way they where looking at us. We all lodge in the music hall that night, but nexed morning I with my family with few more familys moved back to the dock and went on board the Ship Buena Vista, the one we intended to cross the sea in, but through some means or other, we was told by Dan Jones that we could not go in the Buena Vesta but had to move to another ship by the name of Hartley.

Febr. 26th

The ship Buena Vesta sailed from Liverpool with four hundred Whelch Saints on board under the precedency of Elder Dan Jones. All our friends and acquaintances left in the Buna Vesta with Dan Jones, and we were left among strangers, to sail in another ship, and our ship was not reddy to sail for good many day yet, Morgan David and I together.

March 9th

Our ship the Hartley was hauled out of the dock onto the river, and that afternoon the Saint was organize by appointing Elder William Hume from Manchester to be the Presendent over the whole Saints, and John Shields and Joseph Stringer for his counselers, and John Mcclough Clark and Elder John Hughes to preside after the Welch Saint and myuself was appointed cook for all the emigrance of passengers, because I was a sailor. All the passengers doing their last business in Liverpool.


We where towed out this morning by a steem boat to the open sea and set sail a little after dinner with the wind from the east and fair for us. Very few of the passengers cared anything about their dinners today, for they all with very few exceptions commence to get a little sea sick, and by supper time, for indeed it was nothing but the time, everyone seem to be satisfied since their last supper. Instead of making their suppers they all went to their beds. Our ship was running all right with a stuff breese of fair wind and rocking very much as all vessels are when running before the wind with a strong breese. All the passengers was very sick all night. No one could take care of themself. I had to be up all night attending and taking care of the sick. We where running down the St. George or Irish channel and sailed along for many days with fair winds, passing by the Cape Clear the southern extrimity of Ireland and the silly isle, with our faces towards the Atlantic ocean. In a few days most of the Saints was getting over their sea sickness and begin to call for something to eat. The weather was clear and pleasant. The ladies commence washing and cleaning themself and walking about the decks. My calling now become brisk and lively for everybody was callilng for their breakfast, dinners and suppers. I soon found that I had a very disagreeable situation. We sailed along, sometime the wind was fair and sometime foul, and on the 29th of April we landed in New Orleans after a passage of seven weeks and three days. We had one death and two births at sea, no accident. When we arrived at New Orleans I was expecting my pay for my hard labor which was promise to me when Orson Pratt appointed me as a cook for the Saints. I was promise one shilling from every passinger, but seffice it to say, that I never had a single shilling with no one, but seventy five cents with Cidwalinder Owens and twenty five cents with D d. Peters. that was all the remuneration I had for my hard lebour across the sea, when I could when I was in Liverpool ship on board a vessel and getting two pound ten shilling per month and a good del better situation, but lissen to the councel of Orson Pratt and Dan Jones I had to work hard for nothing, for Dan Jones told Pratt about me before he left. William Hume the President of the Saints was put in jail in New Orleans for traying to smuggle some goos belonging to T. D. Brown, which he had charge of, and John Hughes President of the Welsh on board was drunk while we stayed in New Orleans. In this way the Saints was left to themself, and my pay neglected. I never seen Hume no more. Our passengers English, Scotch and seventy one Welsh and few Irish. We had some of the meanest people I ever seen. We tarryed at New Orleans two days, and on the first of may, we went on board the Steemer Mameluck under the Presidnecy of Elder L. N. Scovil for St. Louis, and started for St. Louis May 2nd. While on the river, the cholera brock out on board the steem boat and made a tremendous havoc among the passengers. For every day there was from three to six beried every day, and before we got to Saint Louis we had beried about sixty of the passengers.

May 12th

We landed in St. Louis with many sick on board. My wife was very sick two or three days before we landed in St. Louis, and was very sick at the time. On the same morning as we landed in St. Louis my mother-in-law was attacked with the cholera very severely, that we where oblige to send her to the hospital. I took her and my wife to the hospital. They would not take my wife into the same hospital as her mother for shee had not got the cholera. I left my mother-in-law in the Charity Hospital with her youngest daughter (Rachel). My mother-in-law was unconscious when shee was put in. After leaving her there, I took my wife to the City Hospital about three miles farther. I left her there with lot of strengers that shee never seen before and went back to the boat where my children was and my father-in-law and his family was. There I had to nurse my little babe eight months old all night without her mother. We had a very miserable night of it. The nexed morning the 13th and also Sunday I started for the Charity Hospital to see how my mother-in-law was getting along. When i arrived there to my astonishment she was dead and beried before I got there. I did not see her atall and little girl Rachel was there like a little stranger. I then went to the other hospital where my wife was. There I found her very weak and feble. She said that she had nothing to take while shee was in there but water and shee begged on me to take her out from such a miserable place. I compleyed with her desire. I too her out. I had to carry her on my back most of the way from the hospital to the boat through the city of St. Louis, for we had not yet move from the boat. It was on Sunday. By the time I and my wife reach the boat it was very near dark and there was two of my sisters-in-law attacked by the cholera. Ann & Rachel was very bad, I spend another miserable night with the sick and with my own little children, but Munday morning came.

May 14th

Monday morning came and my father-in-law went out to the country to seek for a place to live at. He got to a place called Dry Hill six miles from St. Louis where there was some coal mines and a branch of the church of Latter Day Saints. Among whom was John Gibbs the presiding Elder, also brothers Thomas Green and William Stone, and good many others. They treated him friendly. Green and Stone bought a team with them to move us out to Dry Hill. We got out to the place before dark and went in to Green's house that night. We where nine in number and three of them very sick. The owner of the land by the name of a Mr. Garsaide give orders to Mr. Green to drive us away from the premess because that he was afraid that we would bring the cholera to the diggins. However Green did not obey his orders and there we stayed. Nexed day we bought a little cabin for fifteen dollar to live in, and all the family got well exept my wife. Shee was getting weaker and weaker evry day. Father-in-law and I commence working in the coal pits. On the 18th a great fire brock out in one of the boats at St. Louis and burnt 36 of the boats and one third of the city to ashes. I went to St. Louis nexed morning and such a sight I never before saw. The hansomest part of the city all to ashes. The streets full of the ruins, a man could only walk through. My wife was getting worst and worst until the night of the 22nd when shee seemed to be a little better.


With day light this morning shee was very bad and about 4 o clock shee set on the box and leaned her head back on the wall, shee died in an instant without uttering a word. Thes she departed this life on the twenty third day of May, 1849 at 4 o clock in the norning or with the break of day. Shee was 24 years, 3 months and 23 days old when shee died on the Dry Hill. She was buried in the county greve yard near Blue Rige in the State of Missouri, about six miles west of the city of St. Louis. Shee left behind her two small children a boy and a girl. In a few days I left the Dry Hill and went to work in a brick yard in St. Louis with one Mr. Williams for 20 dollars per month and find myself, however, I did not stay there only two weeks. Went to work to Blue Rige to another Mr. William Williams, a Welchman. As soon as my wife died my little daughter was taken sick. Shee got worst and worst until the 20 of June when shee died in the same house as her mother and was buried in the same greave. I stayed on the Blue Rige with Mr. Williams until fall when I moved to Gravois to the coal diggings. I left my son Morgan with his grand-father at Dry Hill, but after a while he moved to the Gravois. About October there was several of my old friends come to the Gravois from Councel Bluffs. They went up to Councel Bluff in the spring with Capt. Dan Jones. They could not get any work at the Bluffs. They had to come down to St. Louis to get work. Among the crowd was John Hughes, our President on the ship. Also Rees Price, Morgan Hughes, Noak Jones and William Lewis and few others. I was boarding with one Miss Williams, a widow. Her husband died in the summer in the colera and Noak Jones came to board there too. The other men boarding in other places. I continued to work at the Gravois all winter, making good wages. Sometime in the winter I took Morgan Davis to work with me for I had a good work & moved to his house to board because my son was with him. I was paying nine dollars per month for our board. I worked very hard all winter until the work get very slack. After Christmas I did not work so hard. I spent a very agreeable winter in company with my old friends, enjoying the comforts of life. After passing through many a hard day. After passing through many sorrows and hardships a person can with reality enjoy and appreciate the blessings. During this winter while at the Gravois and St. Louis we very often meet together to enjoy one anothers company. Many times while we were in our enjoyment old friend Rees Price was telling me of a young woman by the name of Phebe Evans that was at Councel Bluffs. He said that shee would make me an excellent wife. That I had better go and marry her, and this ended the eventfull year A.D. 1849.

Jan 1850

I am still residing at the Gravois and boarding at my father-in-laws house, enjoying health and strength of body and pace of mind, and the society of my friends. About this month the coal business got very slack. I spend a good deal of my time in the city of St. Louis until I took a notion to go up to Councel Bluffs, I took a boat the (Salvida) and went as far as St. Joseph in her, could not go any farther at that time in consequence of low water. We where nine days from St. Louis to St. Joseph. There was John Hughes and his wife, William Lowis and Noak Jones in company with me. We stayed at St. Joseph three weeks, when I took another boat for the Bluffs. It was the first boat that went up the Bluffs that season. There was on board of her several of my old friends. Brother Daniel Edwards whom baptise my brother John at the Llwyni and his wife, also a Mr. Phillips from near the town of Carmarthen South Weles. After a passage of eight days we arrived at Councel Bluffs safe. On our landing at the bluffs there was good many of my Welch friends come on board the boat to see us. Among the crowd was Phebe Evans and the Treharns girls and host of others too numerous to mention. We landed at the Bluffs about the 20 of April. I carried my things to Rees Prices house thinking of making my home there for a while. Rees price had left St. Louis in the dead of winter and traveled all the way overland from St. Louis to Councel Bluffs in company with William David and his son Thomas. They had a very hard journey of it being winter time. I was not long at the Bluffs before I got acquainted with all the Welsh there. However I was not long before I commence paying my addresses to Miss Phebe Evans. We begin courting ernestly until May the 18th, when by mutual consent, we where united in the bonds of matrimony by Elder William Morgans, in the house of her sister Margret Hughes. Morgan Hughes being still at St. Louis. We made an excellent supper and invited many of our friends to the wedding. Among our guest was William Morgans, Bishop William Davis, Rees Jones, Rees Price and wife, Samuel Leigh, Thomas Jones, William Treharn and daughter Jane, and old father King and wife and many others. The Bluffs at that time was a very poor country or rather the people in it was very poor, it being a new settle country. This I spent my time in the Bluffs until fall living on what I earned in St. Louis. Here I will give a brief genealogy of Phebe Evans before we were married, until the time we were married in Councel Bluffs. Therefore Phebe Evans was born December 26th in the A.D. 1831 at Merthyr Titvil Glanmorganshire South Weles Great Brittain. She is the third daughter of David and Phebe Evans. Her parents move from Merthyr to Pont-y-yeats (her fathers native place) when shee was a child, where shee lived until shee moved to America in 1849. She was baptist into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the fall of 1847, and emigrate to the land of America in the spring of 1849. Shee came as servant maid to Mrs. Lowis from Kidwelly as far as Councel Bluffs. They arrived at the Bluffs about the tenth of May, but through some very hard usage she left Mrs. Lowis and went to live with her sister Margret. Then Dan Jones whom administrated for Mrs. Lowis took Phebes cloths and sold them all by action at Councel Bluffs city. This leaving her destitute of all her cloths and left her at the charity of her sister Margret and others. In a short time after shee was taking very sick in the fever and agne. This laid her down all that summer and most of the fall and winter, until a little before I came up to Councel Bluffs, and on the 18th day of May 1850 she married David D. Bowen, thes shee was 18 years 4 months and 17 days when shee was married. I bought some land at the Bluffs from old father Draper thinking of making my home there, but finding that I had not means enough to start farming I sold my land again. The Councel was at the Bluffs to rebaptise all the new comers, so I was rebaptised by Elder Rees Price and my wife by Elder William Treharn.

June 16th

I received my patriarchal blessing under the hands of father Draper.

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Sometime this month I made up my mind to return to St. Louis, the Bluffs being at that time so poor, no work except by farmers and that I was not use to and the wages very small. I took a boat and both me and my wife started for St. Louis. Paid ten dollars for our passage from the Bluffs to St. Louis where we arrived in five days. It was very sickly these times about St. Louis. We then started for the Gravois my old place of residence. We stayed a few days at William Vaugan, and then took a house close by and became a little comfortable. I was working and doing well the same as before, but I had good many enemies in consequence of my marrying Phebe. Morgan Hughes was my bitterest enemy because I married his sister-in-law without his consent. So was Morgan David girls very bitter against Phebe. Sometime in the fall I was attected very severly in the bloody flax layed me up for several weeks. I got to weak to stand on my feet it was very near taking my life. While I was sick in bed Margret my sister-in-law come down from the bluffs to her husband Morgan Hughes whom had been in St. Louis for a whole year from her and had not send her one cent of money during that time. About the middle of November I was getting well again and commence to work in Rusells pits. About this time there came a great many of the Welch Saints to St. Louis under the Presidency of Elder John Morris Pemprockshire. Among the numbers was Howell Williams and family, Walter Roach, William Evans Tredeger and host of others too numerous to menetion. I commence working and made some money again. We moved to a better house and keeped two boarders, Thomas Howells and George Jones. We took Walter Roach and family into our house and Walter Roach and myself bought a coal pit on shares and work in it until the end of the year 1850.

January 1851 During this month both Walter Roach and myself was doing well. We had good many men working for us and we where working hard ourselfs. I was now as strong as ever I was. We did very well during January, February and March and in April the wet weather came in so wet that the water brock in to our pit, and with all our strength and all the help we had, we could not clear the water and at last we concluded to abandon the pit and loose all our means in it. I rented a farm near the Gravois thinking of farming this summer, but to poor to get a start at farming. I abandoned the idea and both Walter Roach and myself and our families moved over to New Pittsberght in Illinois, eight miles from St. Louis and oppeside it, where we arrived about the first of May, where I work in the coal mines until the last of June, when a big flood came in the Mississippi and covered all the bottoms between the coal mines and St. Louis, or the Mississippi bottoms, and carried away most of the railroad. It was nothing but a sea of water all over the Mississippi bottoms and the only conviance was to St. Louis was only boats. All the work had to stop in consequence of the flood. About this time there was a new coal mine open in Jackson county Illinois eighty miles south of St. Louis and wanted men. So I made a boat or rather a canoo out of a butt of a tree and John Hughes and wife and myself started for St. Louis with the intention of going to the new coal mines. After much difficulty we reach St. Louis, John Hughes left his wife in St. Louis and him and me took a steam boat Dorthe big muddy where the new coal mines was. We arrived there safe and work two days when we concluded to go back and move our families down there to live. It was a good country place and things cheap. I did not feel very well while we was there, however, we started back from home. We had forty miles to travel overland and the weather was extremly hot. I was attacked so violently with the billious fever that I give out and could not scarcely traveled at all. I was so sick that I just as soon die as live. I had to rest every few minutes all the way and by the second night we arrived at chester on the Mississippi River. We had to stay there a day and night waiting for a boat to go up to St. Louis. I did not get any sleep nor rest while I stayed at chester for I was very sick indeed and no one to take care of me. John Hughes did not give me any assitance whatever. Sometime in the afternoon a boat came up from New Orleans bound for St. Louis and arrived there the next morning. Just as I went on board the boat my disease left me and I was just as well as ever. About the same time John Hughes was seized with the same disease very severe, which deprived him of all his sences the whole night. In the morning we arrived at the arsnal, and it was just as much as I could do to keep the doctors from taking John to the hospital at St. Louis. I begged on them to let him with me, for they thought that he had the cholera. At last I prevailed and they let him go. I hired a boat to take us over the river and as far as French village and took an homnibush from there to within 3 miles to our houses, where I left John in consequence of him being too sick to travel home on foot. I traveled this three miles along through a very thick lonesome woods, a road I never traveled before arrived at home by sundown. I soon spread the news through the neighbors that I had to leave John Hughes three miles back on the road and in few minutes about half a dozen of the neighbors started back after him with a team and got home about midnight. As I entered my house, I soon found that my wife and son was both sick in the fever and agne and also John Hughes wife. Very near all the people in this place was down sick with the fever and agne. I had so much sickness and troubles while we was away that we abandoned all ideas of ever returning back to Bigg Muddy again as we anticipated in consequence of so much sickness. We stayed here but a few days when we took the notion to remove back to the Gravois our old home. I hired a wagon and went back to Gravois. Both me my wife and child was very sick. We had not strenth enough to walk. We had to ride in the wagon, where we arrived before dark at the Gravois. John Hughes had started for the Gravois one day before us and his wife and his things with us. I could not rent a house on the Gravois no where and trayed to get in to John Phillips house the first night, but he reffust to leet us in. Then I went to a little room that John Hughes had rented for himself the day before and slept on the floor all night with my wife and child. The agne commence to get worst on me. I shook every day and continued to shake for several weeks until I was nothing but skin and bone. I was not able to work any until fall. We became very poor and had no money to help ourself, but my credit was good at Alexander Easton Store and that was the way we got along until the beginning of winter, when I commence to work again. I was working and mending a little every day until I got quite strong again. I got work with a Mr. Baker on the Gravois and I keep all his accounts until spring. I worked hard all winter in company with a man by the name of Richard Whilds, a very good man and a fellow workman. Sometimes we used to make 25 dollars per week. I was sheken very often in agne during the winter.

However, I made about two hundred dollars clear of expenses in the winter. Sometime in the winter we got acquainted with Thomas Vargo an English man. We where very happy and in good circumstance about this time. Sometime this winter my son Morgan was taken very sick. I thought that he would have died, but he recovered again this ended the year 1851.

January 1852

The beginning of this year we was making intimate acquaintance with Thomas Vargo and commence making arrangement to emigrate to Salt Lake Valley in the spring. I was working at the Gravois every day and making money very well. In the month of February we bought a team of two yoke of oxen and a wagon on shares for the purpose of going to Salt Lake Valley. I commence hauling coal from the Gravois to St. Louis and continued until the first of April when I quit for the purpose of making ready for starting towards the great plains of the west. Got our fit out ready and on the way.

April 6, 1852

We started from the Gravois to St. Louis stayed there most of the day and went out few miles out of town and camped for the night. Here we meet together all the wagons that wanted to travel together. We where nine wagons in company from Gravois. All acquaintance. We where five in number in our wagon, Thomas Vargo and wife myself wife and child.

And on the seventh we traveled all day through a very bad road and raining all day and camp in a big bottom about one mile from St. Charles on the banks of the Missouri and 25 miles from St. Louis.

April 8th

We crossed the Missouri today and took most part of the day to cross in consequence of so many wagons and the wind blowing so hard. Camp a little off St. Charles. The company traveled together through Missouri over a very hard bad road through rivers and woods until we arrived at Arrow Rock where we cross the Missouri to the west side. From there we journeyed through a beautiful country and hansome farms along the road until we arrived at Lexington where we heard of the sad news of the unfortunate steam boat Salvida. Her boilers had exploded a few days before and killed 22 of the Saints, which was on board on they way to the Great Salt Lake valley. Among the victims was our old friend William Rowland and family from Nirwain. Him and one of his children was blowed over board and never was seen any more. His wife Rachel Rowland was in bed with two more of the children when a piece of the deck fell on them and killed the both children at once and brock Rachels leg in two places. She had a very narrow escapt. Good many gentails was also killed at the same time. Here we crossed the Missouri again to the east side, and here the company divided. One went one way and the other the other way and Vargo and myself traveled alone until we arrived at St. Joseph. Vargo and myself had a slite misunderstanding on the road a few days before and the best of feeling did not exist between us, therefore here in St. Joseph we parted by a mutual consent and divided the team one yoke of oxen and cow and half the wagon to each. I sold my half of the wagon to Vargo then I had left two oxen and one cow. We stayed at St. Joseph but a few days, when a boat came up from St. Louis bound for the Bluffs. I send my wife and child in her to the Bluffs and I traveled all the way from St. Joseph to Councel Bluffs on foot and drove my oxen and cow all the way before me, where I arrived about the middle of May and found my wife and child well and harty and doing first reat. I was five days traveling from St. Joseph to Councel Bluffs the distance of 150 miles. I had a very good pleasant journey through a rich bouteful country. My wife and son was staying at old sister Friences. I stayed there also. Soon after I arrived at the Bluffs I agreed with an old man by the name of Daniel Sherar an old yankee to haul him and five hundred weight to the valley of the Salt Lake for a wagon that had. I was to have his wagon for hauling him and his luggage to Salt Lake City. I commence working at the Bluffs, sometimes unloading the Steam boats and other times hauling good to Francesville with my team. I made good many dollars which was of great help to us to get the things that we needed for to cross the plains.

June 20th

We started from Councel point to meet the company at or near the Missouri River, with two yoke of cattle, 2 cows and old Sherar wagon. Passing through Francesville we arrived at the camping ground where the Welch Saints was camping a little before dark. We uncamped with our old friends all night.

June 21st

A little after breakfast Apostle Esra T. Benson one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints come to our camp to organize the company. It resulted as follows, William Morgans Captain of fifty Bishop W. R. Davis and Rees Jones Williams his counselers. Abel Evans Captain of the guard, William Reddo Clark of Camping. David Evans, John Rees and Goward was Captains of tens. In the evening we moved to the big hallow near the big springs and camp there for three days.


Today our company cross the Missouri River to the Mormon old winter quarters and camped about a half mile from the river until the 28th. Gards and wagons fixed all their places.


This morning the hue and cray was, everybody to be ready for starting to our long journey. After breakfast all the men was yoking their cattle and the women preparing their cooking utensils in their respective wagons, which made our camp all alive and in two hours every body was ready for a start. The train started with the Captain on the lead. And Captain David Evans Captain of the first ten was the first train. Every wagon in their respective places and I was the ninth wagon in the first ten. I had a deal of trouble with my cattle for they was not broken, but very whiled and young. The day we started from winter quarters was very hot. I leboured so hard with the cattle and sweat so much that I had the headache that bad I was all most blind all day. Sometime in the afternoon Blishop Davies run against another wagon and brock his axel tree, the camp had to stay that day and part of the next. Just as we camped a wagon come to our camp from the west. There was inscribe on the cover of their wagon Thes Salt Lake Boys. They where missionaries from Salt Lake City for England. They were six in number and Thomas Margets their Captain. They camped with us that afternoon, and went their way a little before dark. Weather was very hot and disagreeable.


Bishop Davis wagon was fixed again and the train traveled as far as the Pa Pa river and camped for the night. Marching along steadily evry day. We crossed the Elk Horn and the Loup Fork and many other streams until we came to Wood River where William David died of the Cholera and was buried there. In few days afterwards his son Thomas was attacted by the Cholera and died. We traveled along until we reach Fort Larime and crossed the Platt from the north side to the south. The river was very high. We had a hard times to cross the platt. We lost good many things by crossing. We left Fort Larimie to our left side and traveled on the south side the Platt and over the Black hills, arrived at Deer Creek where we stayed for good many days. Here I had a quarrell with old Sherar in consequence of his wagon which he promise me for hauling him and his luggage to Salt Lake City. He said that he did not calculate to give me the wagon. We had to get other men to settle between us. We promise again to give me the wagon or I was going to leave him and his wagon there. I listen to his fair promises and haul him along again. The train was ready and started once more, traveled every day. We crossed the last crossing of the Platt. We left the Platt entirely and traveled until we struck the independent rock and the sweetwaters and the Devils gate where good many cattle died. John E. Rees lost two big fine oxen, I lost one and good many more died belonging to others. About here the company divided into several parties. Our ten traveled alone and did not join another until we arrived at Salt Lake City. Morgan Huges and Thomas Jones meet us at the big mountain. We got to the mouth of emigration canyon 23rd Suptember. Camp there that night and the next day. Bishop Loranso D. Young, Brigham Youngs brother and another Bishop came to us and preach to us. They pressed on our minds particulary to mind Nomber one. That was first principles in the valley.

Sept. 25th

Captain David Evans thought that it was better for us to go to the city. We gathered up all our cattle and started. Arrived in the Great Salt Lake City a little after noon this day. After a long hard tedious journey of neaerly three months. Distance of ten hundred and eleven miles. We meet Margret my sister in law in the entrance of the City. We stayed that night by William Snow house, he is a son-in-law to old Sherar. Here again I am in difficulty with old Sherar. He swore that he would not give me the wagon. I went to old Bishop Hunter the head Bishop of the Church. I did not receive any satisfaction from his. Told me to go to another man Bishop Nobles to get the matter settle. I did so, and his decisioon was that I was to get one half of the wagon. Then after the decision was given old Sherar would not sell his share to me neither would he buy my share. There I was not a bit better of the Bishops decision. At last I sold my share to a man from San Pete County, by the name of Evrett for twenty dollars in lumber, and get it in San Pete. Our stay in the city was three days and moved down to Spanish Fork with Morgan and Margret Hughes. Arrived there October the first. We went to live with Morgan Hughes doing some things for him and in three weeks I started with my team to San Pete after the lumber that I bought for my share of old Sherars wagon. I was three days on my journey arrived at Hambletons Saw Mill in the north end of San Pete valley, where I was to get the lumber. I got six hundred and sixty six feet of lumber for my twenty dollars at three dollars per hundred. Stayed at Hambleton House that night and return home in the morning. Arrived home in Spanish Fork in three days. About this time good many of the new comers was rebaptise and Phebe and I was rebaptise by Bishop William Pace. I commence working in Payson Kanyon digging a mill race for Frank Stwart & Co. for two dollars per day and board. I work there until the snow fell to deep that we could not work anymore & quit. We stayed at Morgan Hughes until Margret begin to be dissatisfied and about the middle of December shee left him and went to live to Bishop Paces House where shee was drawed by seduction for the purpose of getting her a second wife. Then the friendly feelings that existed between us and Morgan Hughes was rend forever and did not enjoy much peace in his house afterwards. I concluded that I would make a place of my own. I made a dug out in Palmira. This ended the year 1852.

January 1853

In the beginning of this year I found myself & family living in a dug out in the anticipated city of Palmira on the plains of Spanish Fork. We was in close circumstances and poor situation. We had to sell a good deal of our cloths to get food during the winter, for I could not get any work any where.


I sold my lumber which I hauled from San Pete to a Mr. Jordan for a wagon which was a good trade for me. The snow was very deep in Utah valley for about three months.


The weather getting finer. The snow disappear very fast. William Thomas and myself went to Springville to look for work. We hired ourselfs to Mr. William D. Huntington to make ditches and fences. We work with him all this month on dray bread.


The third we finish our job and received for our labor an order of fifty seven dollars on Hambletons Saw mill in San Pete and sixteen dollars in cash. Went home to Palmira stayed one night.

April 4th

This morning I started to Salt Lake City in company with Morgan Hughes and Thomas Howells. Arrived in the city the sixth.


I attended the conference and witness the laying of the foundation of the great temple in Great Salt Lake City at 35 minutes past ten in the morning. Some of the 12 Apostles preach in the meetings. The conference lasted four days.


Today there was good many ordained to be seventies and I among the many was ordained under the hands of Elder Levi W. Harmon a President of one of the Quorums of the Seventies, and I was organize unto the 39 Quorum of which Daniel Meingtesh was Senior President.

April 11th

Started for home. Arrived in Palmira in three days. Found everything all right. There was two of my old friends Job Rowland and James James come up from Cedar City Iron County and bragg very much on the place I with few more made up our minds to move to that county and on the sixteenth I settle my tithing.

April the 16th

This may cirtify that David D. Bowen has paid nine dollars the full amount of his property tithing according to vote of conference of 1851

William Pace Bishop


We started pack and packaged for Iron county, nine wagons in all. Bishop William R. Davies and his family, Thomas Jones, William Thomas, William Evans, Rachel Rowlands and few others was in the company, passing through Payson, Summit Creek, Nephi City, Fillmore City, the capitol of Utah and Parawan City. We arrived safely in Cedar City the place of our destination the first day of May after a journey of fifteen days. We enjoyed our self this evening with some of our old friends.

May 2nd

A very hard snow storm came over this valley and drove our cattle back from whence they came. Their owners hunted many days, everyone found their cattle except William Thomas. His oxen went all the way back to Spanish Fork. I had a good chance to have a good view of the country and the conclusion I came to that it was a god forsaken country poor land no feed for cattle no good about it except that fire wood was planty. I was very near returning back to Utah county again, but my friends persuaded me to stay. So I did and bought a city lot from a man by the name of Varlo an Englishman for twenlve dollars. According to an act of the Legislature last winter the road up to Coal Creek Kanyon was to be made to the coal mines for which there was twenty five hundred dollars appropriated by the Legislature of Utah. The road was under the Supervision of Bishop Phillip K. Smith and James A. Little. They where given the road out by contract to suit diffrence parties. William, Evans, William Thomas, Edward Prethro & son and myself took a piece of the road together worth about six hundred dollars to make. We moved our families to the Kanyons. We work there until the road was finished.

July 20th

We all moved down to the city again. I camped on our lot. I commence building a house on my lot, had the foundation layed down.


Bowen, John David

David, Hannah

David, Emma

Bowen, David D.


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