The 1883 Emigrant Train
From the journals of P.G. & Leanore Hindorff
Their journey from Council Bluffs, Iowa... to...Temecula, California
These are transcriptions of the
journals made by my Great-Grandparents,
PER GUSTAV & NANCY LEANORE (VAUGHN) HINDORFF.
Gus recorded his diary of the trip in a small pocket-size notebook, and Leanore recording hers on two pages of stationary from their business in Lewis, Iowa. I have attempted here to reproduce their journals entries, including original spellings, so that it reads much as they wrote it in October, 1883.
"Gus" immigrated from Stockholm, Sweden in 1868. He had attended school in Sweden and then later in Chicago, Illinois & Iowa of the USA. He had become a Naturalized citizen by virtue of his father obtaining his American Citizenship in 1875 in Illinois. He would have been considered an "educated man" in his day.
Leanore attended school and was a school teacher in Iowa.
-words in parenthesis were added for clarity
The History of Cass County
Cass County lies in the southwestern part of the State of Iowa. The early arrival of settlers was slow but constant. Soon cabins dotted the prairies in all directions. Many of the first settlers brought their goods by oxen from Rockport, Missouri about 125 miles away. The journey took about three weeks. Cass County was organized on the first Monday in March, 1853. It was named after Lewis Cass. The county commissioners were given their first task of selecting a location for the county seat. They chose a site which was one mile from Indiantown and laid out the town of Lewis as the new seat of government. (read about the Jeremiah BRADSHAW & Amos F. VAUGHN of Cass County, Iowa).
Most of the businesses and settlers moved from Iranistan and Indiantown shortly after the Lewis town plat was laid out. A frame courthouse was built in 1856, with a small stone building erected in 1864 to house the treasurer's office.
In May of 1855, the Western Stage started running four-horse coaches from Des Moines to Council Bluffs. The coaches crossed the Nishnabotna River going through Indiantown and Iranistan before continuing on to Council Bluffs. New settlers continued to arrive and by the first census of Cass County, taken in 1856, there were 815 persons in the county (448 males, 367 females). In 1857, the railroad lines were laid through Cass County, Iowa. The Rock Island railroad came to Cass County in 1868, with Atlantic, Cass County, Iowa being the stopping place in Cass County. With the arrival of the railroad, Atlantic became a fast growing town. The county seat was removed from Lewis to Atlantic on October 20, 1869. The first courthouse built in Atlantic was completed in 1872, being replaced by a new courthouse in 1882.
A year later, on October
10th, 1883, the family of Per Gustav Hindorff emigrated to
California from Lewis, Cass County, Iowa. They traveled by train on the
Transcontinental Railroad, "striking" from Council
Bluffs, Iowa along the Missouri River:
Gus (age 27), Leanore (age 27) & their two small children - Leora (age 2) and Eric (just 9 weeks old)
THE FAMILY OF PER GUSTAV & LEANORE HINDORFF
"ALL Aboard!" A train bell like this one was mounted on top of the train engine. When about to depart, the engineer would signal by ringing the bell, letting the conductor and passengers know it was time to board and take your seat, or those on the platform to stand away from the departing train. It could be heard from a great distance away. Sitting about 5 feet up off the ground, the panoramic views through the passenger seat windows would have been really something to behold, and at the racy speed of 40-60 MPH, you were nigh onto FLYING!
On two pages of
stationary from their business in Lewis, Iowa,
Leanore (Vaughn) Hindorff wrote the following:
CLICK on Speaker to hear the recording of the old Ocean Pacific Express
You can almost feel what it was like to be flying & bumping along the tracks inside one of these old beauties. "Clickety click, clickety clack, bumping along the railroad track."
1883 - Pacific Rail Road
The Journal Written by Per Gustav Hindorff - the Immigrant Swede
Started from C. Bluffs...7:35
first station noted was
|One man in running to get on
slipped on account of the snow & came
very near sliding under the car got
The scenery this Day has
|under cutovatn (cultivation)
Cattle & sheep
no timber of any kind in sight.
Just arrived at Chyan (Cheyenne, Wyoming) this 7:40 C
aperrence of being a very lively place
|Traveled all this day in
commenced to freeze about the middle of
layed (over) nearly all
night at Laremy
|Just passed one reck (wreck)
Engin a total reck & some front cars.
- the enginear not ecspected (to) live
We are about 10 Hrs behind time (schedule)
Got started from R. Creek at 9:30 C (central time)
('came upon') another bad reck between Medicine Bow &
|Passed thru springs aft the
at 2:50 c.
Snowed all from noon & was quit
Colo. betther weather this afternoon
-snow all gone ecsept on top of mountain.
forst interesting sceanry was at Green R.-
Hand some farm
|grassy at distances -
11 PM C (central time)
are on the point of entering Echo=
= Canion. it is clear cool & Bright
scenery through Echo C. by moon light
Rocky' s are verry bare of timber
|Tramped around Ogden to day
till I was all wore out -
saw nothing of Interest
so far as the town was concearned ---
Did not Experince any trubble in
Crossing ths mountins
14 Sunday noon
|Have Passed through nothing but
Plains, with Mountain Peaks in all
directions. Some snow caps - it is nice & warm
Have verry (poor?) view of Salt Lake as we
passed it by night although it was in moonlght.
Still no (----)
at this station of any Consequence &
Arrived at Wells, Nev. this eve.
|Stopped about 2 hrs have some
(------) with an Old Indian
1 English family
was Coxed (coaxed)
|it opened out wth a verry nice
day. we are
supposed to be in a good stock community. but very
little prospect f(or) any thing to live as (--at) -
Galconda. the pincipal attrac
|Passed through Humbolt this eve.
which place is of considerable attraction for
a country like this. gathered some spesimens
of Sulpher which came from the springs at this place.
[Have sum ( seen?) Hot Springs (-----) day till the(y) have
seized to be a Outting.]???
Haid a view of
Humbolt Lake by moonlight - also of
|on the American Dessart.
- the scheenery is much the nisest as a hole that it has bean on the road -
|we werre hucked (hooked) on to a
at Ogden & a great deal of the time arre pulled
by 2 engines.
Struck Truckee at noon - found
have some of conciderubble Impor=
(stayed) about a hour for dines (dinner).
|We then traveled through some A.
Country in the whole land & No seanery was evin (----)
What glimsus we got of it as we in snowsheds most of is
took supper att Blue Canion & a blue loocking place it is.
Passed around Cape Horn in the night - wass
to sick from Cape smoke to pay much
arrivd in Sacramato about 11:30 in the night. Put in at
the Western (??) -
& haid a good rest - (17 is crossed out here) took =
17 = the (---------) up in the (Capitol) =
=House & left Docking (----er) for Lathropp.
at 5 am.
got to Lathropp in the night. it was cold & desagreeable &
we werre all tired out - got aboard the S.P. Train (Southern Pacific)
at 4:20 ("After" crossed out) Morning.
Read Leanore's Train Journal of this same trip
NEXT- The Harness Maker
RAINBOW RANCH - a Homestead for Gus & Leanore Hindorff
FALLBROOK HINDORFFS (to be added)
Special Thanks to Ken Houghton Rail Images
Ken Houghten - http://www.rrhistoric.com
And also to Jack PeHee & Roger Hensley
Merrily Danced the Quaker's Wife
A lively Irish Folk Tune, played at many a dance back in the day.
Sequenced by Barry Taylor 1998/2002
This Web Site was created & prepared by Teddie Anne Driggs © 2000
All Hindorff Family Graphic Designs & icons by Teddie © 1999/2000/2001/2002/2003/2004
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