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Robert and Jane Gillies stepped off the train in Iowa City with their four children.  Nine year old Annie Gillies obediently followed her parents to the Mormon camp. Nothing has been documented as to how or why they ended up with their own covered wagon.  They would not have to pull a handcart but the wagon would be full of supplies so they would still have to walk the 1300 miles to the Salt Lake Valley.  Their assigned task was to follow behind the last handcart company and provide support when necessary.  Although the handcarts could move faster than covered wagons, when a family member became ill or injured, they would need help.  The Gillies family was assigned to the Hodgett Wagon Train and the Martin Handcart Company was nowhere near ready to go.  They had a long wait until the Hodgett Company would leave Iowa City behind the Martin Handcart Company on July 31st.

Annie Gillies was destined to eventually become the mother of Robert LeRoy Parker, better known to us as Butch Cassidy.  Her future husband was in another handcart company that left a month before her family arrived in Iowa City.  He would not experience the deadly weather conditions that would take so many lives witnessed by Annie and her family.  This story follows the handcarts from Iowa City to Salt Lake City.

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