This is the transcript and link for docent talk about Isaac Wardle at Martin's Cove.
Visitor: Can you share about the guy that cut down the tree?
Docent: Well that was Isaac Wardle. Isaac Wardle was a young man; in his early 20s. And uh, he had pulled and pushed, him and another kid about the same age, had pulled and pushed other handcart people, and did everything, and by the time he got up in here in the cove he was just spent and he sat down; and one of the valley boys came over and he said "we need you to go and cut some firewood." Ane he says "no, I'm not going to. I'm going to just sit here and die." And the vakkey guy says to him, "no you're not. You're going to get up, and you're going to go down and you're going to go out and you're going to cut down three trees and bring them back for firewood. Here's the ax, and you go do it now." And he says, "no, I'm not going to." And uh, the valley boy insisted the next time, almost physically insisted. And he got him up; and he kept coming here and he cut down three trees somewhere. We think we have identified the stump according to President Hinckley. And there are stumps. And he cut down those three trees. And later in life in his journal he said it was that act that preserved his life. Otherwise he would have; and he thanked, in his journal, that valley boy, that insisted he get up and make that happen. And that saved his life.
The young man who pulled with Isaac was John Bailey, 15. Together they had hauled Langley, John's brother, most of the way across the plains. This day is most likely the day they would have forded the Sweetwater to get into the cove.
Young Isaac Wardle, was freezing and starving in Martin's Cove in November of 1856. He thought he was at his end. One of the rescuers asked him to go chop down a tree for firewood before he sat down. Isaac didn't want to and eventually had to be physically forced to go do it. Once done, he was sent back twice to chop down more trees. The process ended up invigorating him and saved his life. These are believed to be two of the three tree stumps that still remain.