Last month we celebrated Pioneer Day, a day that commemorates the arrival of the pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. Many of us in North Ogden have ancestors who were pioneers during that period of time. There are many stories of the hardships suffered during this westward movement. Conditions were brutal because of weather, disease, and the various forms of transportation that were available. Many lives of all ages were lost and buried along the trail.
I am privileged to have an ancestor who crossed the plains in a covered wagon at the age of 12. He, his mother and one brother left Denmark and sailed to America. They were on the ocean for two months and two days. He witnessed 16 immigrants being buried at sea. They arrived in New York and went by ferry and rail to Omaha Nebraska. They purchased a wagon and three head of oxen and began their journey to Utah. Two or three families rode in each wagon and when the oxen became tired they would take turns walking to lighten the load. They would travel 15 to 20 miles per day depending on the terrain. While walking, my grandfather would wear his shoes when the conditions were rocky and take them off when the soil was soft to make them last longer.
Upon arriving in Salt Lake City they stayed one day and then traveled to Brigham City the next day. A year later they moved to Hyrum, Utah and that is where my grandfather married and raised his family. The two room log home still stands today as a reminder of my pioneer heritage, of which I am proud and grateful for.
Let us never erase from our memory those who sacrificed so much that we may have a better life. We should be especially grateful for those who settled and established our great city of North Ogden.
-Brent Chugg, Mayor