Mormon Ferry on the North Platte

“In 1847 the well organized Mormon migration faced the river. They built light pine-pole rafts capable of carrying an empty wagon, and went, hammer and tongs, at the task of getting across. By afternoon of the fourth day, when they were all on the north bank, it was brought to their attention that two wagon trains from Missouri had arrived at the crossing. A bargain was struck by which the Mormons ferried the Missourians for $1.50 per load and the privilege of buying provisions at Missouri prices. The workability of this infant enterprise was not lost on the Mormon leaders.Several of the brethren were left at the spot to ‘keep a fey until the next company of Saints came up, by which means they hoped to make enough to supply a large company with provisions.’ By these simple beginnings the businesslike Mormons established a system of ferries, profitable to both them and to the coast-bound emigrants.”