Happy Pioneer Day!
I found this account of my 3rd Great-grandparents, a Life sketch of Martin and Elizabeth Bushman by Martin Benjamin Bushmanin, in a copy of John Bushman’s edited diary, which was copied by himself from his original diaries into a large journal during the later years of his life.*
The Life and Labors of John Bushman Son of Martin and Elizabeth Degen.
They stopped at a small place called Highland Grove near Council Bluffs. Here again the Husband tried to make wife and children comfortable, he built them a house of logs and covered it as best he could with sticks and dirt, He then went into the state of Missouri and labored to procure them something to eat, after working for some time he recieved for his pay some corn meal and pork and a few other little things, he then returned to his Family with a Joyful heart that he had procured something to eat for them. He then took up some land and raised some crops, he stayed there four years and was prospered so he had sufficient to bring him to Utah, in May 1851 he started on that journey, They had one wagon with two Yoke of oxen and two Yoke of cows hitched to it and sufficient provisions to last the family five months. After traveling five months with tired limbs and glad hearts they arrived in Salt Lake City, they only stopped there one week and then went south 30 miles to Lehi there again they procured land and built them a home.
I love his words, describing how they pressed forward, with “tired limbs and glad hearts” until they reached Zion. Sometimes I am tired too. It helps to think about those who came before me, doing hard things. Because they kept going, my life is different than it might have been. I will press forward, so that those who follow me might one day read my words and gain a little piece of strength.
*The book from which this typewritten copy was made is of the ledger type about 8 x 11 inches in size. The writing was entirely in ink. The latter part of the journal which records the death, etc. was in other handwritings. The original from which this copy was made is now in the hands of members of the John Bushman Association, of which Fred Bushman of Salt Lake City, Utah was the Chairman. [Now in Church Historian’s Office.]
Copied by the Brigham Young University Library 1935?
[This bound manuscript is kept in the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections. This Life Sketch was found at the end of John Bushman’s journal entries and was retyped here by Ann Laemmlen Lewis, September 2005. Spelling and punctuation from the original has been retained.]
[The original handwritten copy of this is found in Jacob Bushman’s Temple Record Book, pp. 1-10. There are slight variations.]
Artwork of Jeremy Winborg and Julie Rogers