Jefferson County
Illinois



Trip to Colorado
by Wagon (Diary) 
Submitted By: Mary Zinzilieta

This trip seems to follow the path of today's Interstate 70 and also 
mentions they are near a railroad. They seemed to travel from 15 to 35 miles per day. 

Diary Excerpts:
16 Apr 1871 – Bid adieu to friends and relatives & started to Colorado. 
Will meet wagons at Ashley. Stayed night at John Dood’s a No. 1 man.

18 Apr 1871 –  Left Mr. Dood’s for Ashley. Got there at 9 o’clock. Waggons 
came on at 4 in evening.

19 Apr 1871 –  Started from camp in morning at 8 o’clock & traveled on 
to creek near Nashville, then went to Lawyer’s Point. Within 12 miles of 
Oakaw. No trouble, only 4 waggons yet.

20 Apr 1871 – Went across the river in an old flat boar, paid 30 cents. 
Went across St. L. & S.E.R.R. 6 times. 4th day and within 3 miles of Mascoutah.

21 Apr 1871 – Went through Belleville & camped 8 miles from St. Louis. 
Reece’s wagons caught us today but seemed to not want to travel with us.

22 Apr 1871 – Went on all right through St. Louis & stopped 5 miles from 
St. Louis. 25 miles today.

25 Apr 1871 – Came to Warrenton at 4 p.m. Nothing of McGinnis yet.

26 Apr 1871 – 
Came to Jonesburg & camped a few miles west of Danville.

29 Apr 1871 – Camped on Cedar Creek 12 � miles west of Columbia.

02 May 1871 – Camped 3 miles SW of Boonville.

05 May 1871 – Camped 5 miles from Waverly.

11 May 1871 – Camped 2 miles from Indepenence.

14 May 1871 – Passed Udora.

16 May 1871 – Camped 3 miles from Topeka.

17 May 1871 
Crossed to the Patowattomie Reservation, seen plenty of Indians who were civil, 
intelligent, educated & well dressed. Passed Rossville.

21 May 1871 – Passed Ogden & Fort Riley a place of some 150 government buildings.

24 May 1871 – Traveled 18 miles today. Passed Detroit & came to Abilene a starvin 
garvin place of Texas Drovers & Co. About 1,000 inhabitants. Found out today that 
there was a train of 15 wagons behind going to Colorado.

27 May 1871 – Passed Salina today, a most beautiful little place, young, 4 year old.

28 May 1871 – Feet very sore, blistered all over, but had to walk all day, never 
asked to ride at all.

31 May 1871 – Camped with Englishman on plains this side of Ellsworth. Saw 7 
buffalo today.

03 June 1871 – 289 miles from Kansas City and 650 miles from home.

11 June 1871 - Passed Sheridan & camped on Smoky 2 miles west of Fort Wallace.

13 June 1871 – Found no water for dinner & none at night escept for some stinking 
stuff in old Cheyenne well. Traveled til 11 o’clock, then found good water & grass. 
Traveled 35 miles today.

14 June 1871 – Camped 5 miles form Carson.

18 Jun 1871 – Traveled 25 miles today. 
The Rio is majestic a beautiful rio large as Wabash.

23 Jun 1871 – Saw mountains at a distance of 80 miles. Looked like Colorado.

24 Jun 1871 – Came to Pueblo, a nice little place.

11 Jul 1871 – Sanders today took claim up in the mountains where it is 5,000 
ft high. Would keep father from coming if could, for considered it a poor place 
for a famly. A man could not make money.

27 Aug 1871 – Sunday - On train bound for Kansas City & arrived there on Monday.

19 Sep 1871 – Went over to Arrowrock after bidding Mo. friends goodby. Got on boat 
for St. Louis….$8.

24 Sep 1871 – Steamed out of Mo. River to St. Louis & went over to East St. Louis, 
waited til 6 p.m. for train to Mascoutah. Took train for Belleville. Stayed at 
the Republican House.

25 Sep 1871 – Got to Mt. Vernon at 7:40 & stayed at Mt. Vernon house.

26 Sep 1871 – At home again & glad to see folks all well.


 
 
 
 
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