Excerpt from History of the Life of William Goforth Nelson
by William Goforth Nelson and Tayler Nelson
1906, FHL film 02378080 item 10

From Chapter XIV


On April 10 1873 I started on a mission to Arizona in company with Samuel R. Parkinson of Ranklin, whither we had been called by President Young.

Our mission was to explore the country in company with some of the Saints already there, and locate if we could homes for ourselves and others. We took one wagon and two span of horses. We traveled pretty much alone until we reached the Big Colorado River at Lee's ferry. Our route from home to the end of our trip is as follows. On leaving Salt Lake Valley we went nine miles south of Beaver, then crossed the mountain east and came to Sevier River, we went south up the river until we reached the head waters of the Rio Virgin in Long Valley. Then East till we reached the headwaters of Kanab Creek. There we found some settlements of the Saints. From there we traveled southeast down the canyon which took us a day, at the mouth of this canyon we found a lone man who was keeping a herd of sheep. The next water we came to was the Naviho Wells, which are located on the west side of the Buck Skin Mountains from there it was twenty seven miles over the mountains to the Willow Springs from these springs it was two days travel to Lee's ferry, and about two creeks or watering places between, one of which was called Soap Creek, where we were compelled to camp but we could hardly use the water. The other was a boggy place where there was a little water here was two of John D. Lee's families living. After crossing the fairy we traveled in a South easternly direction and over a very rough country. The first water was called Bitter Springs, they were eight miles from the ferry. Willow Creek was four miles farther. The next was called Jacobs Pool was in a cave under a mountain, and had the appearance of having been made out of mud and then petrified. The Mencopoy Springs were our next watering place. They were about ten miles from Jacobs Pool. There we found Jacob Hamilton an Indian Interpreter who was looking after a colony of Indians (of the Naviho and Arab [?] tribes) teaching them to farm.

At that place we also found others who were on a like mission. We organized a company choosing _____ D ____ Orton Hate [Horton D. Haight] for captain. We remained there nearly a month during which time the captain sent some exploring companies out in different direcitons.

Brother Parkinson and I went down part way to the little Colorado where we met the express telling us to go back to the Moencopy. We were then released to return home, not having found any place fit for a settlement, between the two Colorados to which country we were sent.

On reaching the Big Colorado on our way home we found that Lee's fairy boat had been lost, so we were compelled to take our wagons to pieces and cross them on a skiff as well as all our other stuff, excepting our wagon boxes, them we took out the end gate and pulled the boxes behind the boat. It took us about four days to cross the sixty three wagons.

We swam all the horses and had good luck not loosing anything.

We started back from the Moencopy on July 4 and reached Salt Lake City on July 24 and reached home on July 28.

-End of Excerpt-