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Hyde Park Cemetery
Grave Site of Robert
Robert Reeder is buried in the Hyde Park Cemetery at the location displayed on the map below. This GPS information is ONLY available at BillionGraves. Our technology can help you find the gravesite and other family members buried nearby.
Robert Reeder-Written By Anna Young for Centerville 20th Ward
From Robert’s own writings we learn much about this trek:
“On the 5th of May we sailed out from Liverpool, England, on the great ocean, which took us a little over six weeks to cross. I was very sick on the way and could not eat such food as they had on ‘seafare,’ which consisted of what they called sea biscuits and salt pork and salt beef, also brown sugar and vinegar and very little other food. I got very feeble living principally on sugar and vinegar for three weeks.
“I was glad when we arrived at Castle Garden, New York, where we could get a piece of bread once more. We rested here a few days, then pursued our journey by railroad and steamboats, changing from one to the other until we arrived at the Iowa camping ground, where we had to lay over two or three weeks waiting for our outfits.
“While laying over there, we had to herd those cattle night and day. There were lots of us to change off if all would have taken a part, but it was a very rainy country, and some would not take their turn, especially in the nighttime. I can well remember those who had charge used to come to us and say, ‘Will you go and herd again tonight as we cannot get anyone else to go.’ Me and my father and my brother-in-law, James Hurren, have gone three and four nights out of a week in the pouring rain, wet through from head to foot and in the water part of the time up to our knees - anything to help get fitted out and started on the road.
“When our handcart company got out about three hundred miles on the road, our cattle stampeded, most all of our best oxen leaving, which left us in a bad state to move any farther. We stayed there for several days, hunting as far as we dared to go to find some of our cattle but could not find any, believing the Indians must have driven them away. Then some of the flour was taken out of the wagons and put on the handcarts according to the strength of the party drawing them. Some had one, others two or three, and, if my memory serves me right, Brother Hurren, [Robert’s brother-in-law] being considered the strongest man in the company, had five sacks put on his cart besides two small girls that were not able to walk and all his baggage and cooking utensils. His wife [Robert’s sister Eliza] helped in pulling the cart and walked the entire trail.
“My father, David Reeder, would start out in the morning and pull his cart until he would drop on the road. He did this day after day until he did not arise early on October  1856. He was found dead in his bed, and his fellow bedmate had not heard a thing during the night. Sister Eliza wrapped a cherished sheet around him, and we placed him in a shallow grave, hoping the wolves would not disturb. We must go on our way in silent mourning and in a weakened condition.
“Our rations were growing shorter, and we reduced them by common consent from day to day. Nights were getting colder, and some would sit down by the roadside and die. My younger sister, Caroline, seventeen years old, after traveling all day and seeing the camp being made for the night, took off her apron to tie some sagebrush in to bring into the camp. She sat down to rest, leaning on her bundle, exhausted. They found her chilled and dying and carried her to camp. She died without gaining consciousness. She, too, was placed in an unmarked grave near Three Crossings - Sweetwater River. She died the evening of October 15, 1856. Her death was another real loss to us, but we must hurry on in threatening weather and colder nights on the Wind River Pass. So it was with others, as many as thirteen being buried in one grave at one time. I think fully one hundred died on this trip.
“On October 17*, we awoke covered with eight inches of snow and rations about gone. We pulled our carts sixteen miles in a blinding snowstorm and arrived at Rock Creek, where we sheltered against the hill as best we could to avoid the north wind and blowing snow. Weakened to such an extent and without food, thirteen died that night. All the able-bodied men dug one large grave, but not too deep. My brother-in-law, James Hurren, held out his eight-year-old girl, Mary, to see her little playmate lying among the dead. They were laid away in the clothes they wore, in a circle with feet to center and heads out. We covered them with willows and then earth and slid rocks down the hill to keep the wolves from disturbing them. Two of the men who helped dig the grave died and were buried in another nearby. We could go no further. The weather was severe.
Through snow and wind we mostly walked behind the relief wagons about three hundred miles to Salt Lake City and arrived on Public Square [where the Joseph Smith Memorial Building now stands] November 9, 1856. We stopped for about two hours, and many of the Church authorities came and talked to us. Then we were given over to the bishops of the different wards. Each bishop took a few, whom they saw got some kind of work to pay for their keep during the winter.”
Robert Reeder made two trips back to the Missouri River to help other emigrants on their way to Utah. While on the first trip he found the grave of his father, David Reeder. Robert married and was among the earliest settlers in Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah. He became the father of fourteen children. He was a cattle man, butcher, deputy sheriff and hay merchant.
* On October 17 or 18, the Willie Company reached their last camp that had available water. The next water (the sixth crossing of the Sweetwater) was 16 miles away and so the Company was forced to get through in one day in order to survive. It was at this last camp that the rations were completely depleted and the snowstorm of October 19 further stranded the Company. It was here that James Willie (see his biography) left to find the rescuers. When he returned with a few of them, the Company then pushed on, the second day crossing Rocky Ridge and on to Rock Creek, in a ‘blinding snowstorm.’