Two steam ferries, known as the Bellemont Ferry and the Ellwood Ferry, transported travellers, including Pony Express riders, across the Missouri River from Missouri to Kansas. Reportedly, the boat docked at either Jules or Francis Streets in St. Joseph. A monument, located along the shoreline of the Missouri River in Hustan Wyeth Park, represents the original site of the ferry crossing.
By and by we passed through Marysville, and over the Big Blue and [Little Sandy; thence about a mile, and entered Nebraska. About a mile further on, we came to the Big Sandy]—one hundred and eighty miles from St. Joseph.
We left Kearney at 9 30 AM, following the road which runs forty miles up the valley of the Platte. It is a broad prairie, plentifully supplied with water in wells two to four feet deep; the fluid is cool and clear. but it is said not to be wholesome. Where the soil is clayey, pools abound; the sandy portions are of course dry. Along the southern bank near Kearney are few elevations; on the opposite or northern side appear high and wooded bluffs.
July 29.—Saw the first Indians, 75 miles from Kearney, with Buffalo skin wigwams, the hide dressed on both sides, and put up on poles, sugar loaf shape. Here we found Buffalo robes at three to six dollars, beautifully dressed, and some of them wonderfully large. This is the Buffalo region, and robes are higher as you go further, either east or west. Saw an Indian child’s grave on a scaffold about eight feet from the ground, supported by four stakes. Sand Hills and Platte river still in sight. [Orion Clemens]
Tuesday, July 30. Arrived at the “Crossing” of the South Platte, alias “Overland City,” alias “Julesburg,” at 11 A. M., 470 miles from St. Joseph. Saw to-day first Cactus. 1:20 P. M. across the South Platte.