The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 516
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rke Diary of Morris . Scdakcr, 1855-1856
Edited by NORMAN B. FERRIS
MORRIS JACKSON SNEDAKER WAS BORN ON DECEMBER 16, 1818,
in Lansing, New York. His father was Derrick Snedaker
(1795-1838) and his mother was Lucinda Bowker
Snedaker (18o1-1876), whose grandfather was Silas Bowker
(1739-1789) of Massachusetts. Snedaker married Ann Earl in
1844 at Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Whether the young couple had joined the settlement at
Nauvoo, Illinois, before the Mormon evacuation of that place
in 1846 is not known. But they were among about 2,000 Saints
who, in the spring of 1847 at Winter Quarters on the Missouri
River, bade farewell to Brigham Young's party when it departed
for the West. At Elkhorn, Nebraska, the Snedakers joined a
company of 204 Mormons commanded by Daniel Spencer which
set out to follow Young west. On September 21, 1847, they arrived
in Salt Lake City, and before winter set in they had erected a
log cabin on what was then Fourth Street South. This was the
first log house in the ninth ward with an earthen roof. Snedaker
carried every log used for the building a block and a half on
In September, 1855, at the age of thirty-seven, Snedaker was
selected by his church to go on mission in Texas. Leaving his
wife in Salt Lake City, he set out in a horse-drawn wagon on
September 11, 1855. Here begins the diary. After traversing
the plains for forty-nine days in company with a handful of
fellow missionaries, Snedaker crossed the Missouri River at
Nebraska City. There he sold his wagon, horses, gun, and buffalo
robe, and set out on foot for St. Joseph, Missouri. He covered
about 150 miles in six days. He then went by steamboat to St.
Louis and thence to Louisville, Kentucky, where he caught a
train for Frankfort. After visiting relatives in Frankfort, during
1All biographical information here presented is derived from family papers in
the possession of the editor, a great-grandson of Morris J. Snedaker.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/m1/554/?rotate=270: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.