By 1864 Edward Lunt and family had been in Utah nearly seven years and permanently located in Nephi, then known as Salt Creek, and through hard work and perseverance, were beginning to reap some reward for their labors. A little home, a piece of land, a yoke of cattle, a cow or two, were the reward of untiring work and rigid economy.
Alfred (Alfred Lunt), the oldest son, was now 19 years old and had become accustomed to the western pioneer life, and like the father was industrious, courageous and honest.
Among the Latter-Day Saints, there are several ways of giving voluntary service. At this time, when so many immigrants were coming to Utah, it was customary to call for donations to help the converts out. Some were called to give their time, others oxen, others wagons, others provisions, etc. It so happened that in the spring of 1864, Alfred Lunt was called to go back to the Missouri River to help bring out the immigrants. Others going from Nephi at the same time were: James Wright, Thomas Ingram, Enoch Bowles, James Jenkins and Gideon Watson.
About 1 May 1864, Alfred Lunt, a lad of 19, equipped with 4 yolk of oxen on a wagon, started with a company for the Missouri River to bring out the immigrants. A splendid spirit of helpfulness existed toward the migrating saints and they were anxious to render all the assistance they could to the strangers who were coming to make their homes with them.
In due time the company arrived at Florence, Nebraska on the Missouri River, and then preparations were soon made for the return journey. On 19 July 1864, what is known as Captain William S. Warren’s Ox Team Company started westward across the plains. Youth has always been characterized by mirth and romance, and thus the impulses of nature now were more powerful than the arduous task that lay before them.
So now we bring together two of the principles in this little drama. It is here and now that Alfred Lunt, the young teamster from Utah, meets Priscilla Pitt, the young English girl from Willenhall, Alfred’s former home. Alfred claims to have remembered seeing her in England, but she has no remembrance of having seen him. Alfred, feeling sure that he knew the girl, made inquiry as to who the young lady was, and had his opinion confirmed by being informed that the young lady in question was Priscilla Pitt, daughter of John Pitt (John Martin Pitt) of Willenhall, England.
An affinity sprang up between them and no doubt this spark of true love helped very materially this young couple during the next arduous weeks of hardships and trials. While there were wagons provided to haul provisions and personal effects, it was the rule that all who were able, were to walk, and so Priscilla walked most of the way from the Missouri River to Salt Lake.
To Be Continued…