Difference Between Emigrants and Mormons on Trail Improvements

Few California or Oregon emigrants gave a thought to people coming after them, unless the company behind them might pass them and use up the grass. There are recorded instances of their destroying rafts and ferries to prevent their use by other groups. Not so the Mormons. The first thought of the pioneer company was to note good campgrounds, wood, water, grass, to measure distances and set up mileposts. They and succeeding companies bent their backs to build bridges and dig down the steep approaches of fords. They made rafts and ferry boats and left them for the use of later companies-and twice left men with them to make an honest dollar ferrying the Gentiles. They threw rocks off the road on the rough stretch between Fort Laramie and the Mormon Ferry at modern Casper, Wyoming; they cut and grubbed the abominable willows in the East Canyon bottoms. By the improvements they made in it, they earned the right to put their name on the trail they used.