Woodson’s Mail Contract to Salt Lake City

“Samuel H. Woodson won the first federal postal contract to provide monthly mail service over South Pass to Great Salt Lake City for $19,500 per annum on July 1, 1850. . . .

Woodson contracted with Mormon mail carriers Ephraim Hanks and Feramorz Little, Brigham Young’s nephew, to handle the service between Fort Laramie and Salt Lake . . . Bad weather trapped Little and an Indian assistant with the November mail in 1852. ‘They were lost for several days about South Pass, and struggled though the snow for almost a month. The two men eventually abandoned their horses, cached the bulk mail, and dragged some of the letters over the mountains. The route proved unprofitable, and Woodson abandoned the business early in 1854.”