Isaac Wardle turned 20 on the ship Horizon, the year he crossed the plains. He had been working since the age of seven, and was muscular from working in the coal mines. He was with the Martin Handcart Company. Being a young man, he was often called upon to perform extra duties. Initially this included guarding, and staking the tent. Langley Bailey, who was part of his handcart team, became ill and Isaac and Langley’s brother pulled him on the cart most of the way.
Isaac did not have shoes. I don’t know if he was too poor to purchase shoes, or if his shoes wore out from the walking I don’t know. However, he left bloody footprints on the trial. He found a pair of shoes left by the trail. Even though they were a bit small, these shoes protected his feet the remainder of the journey.
As the journey progressed, unfortunately Isaac’s duties included grave digging. The gravediggers saw so much death they became hardened to it.
At one time he himself gave out and would not have had someone not helped him get back on his feet. When the company reached martin’s cove, he was asked to chop down three trees for the fire. He refused at first, saying he was given out and was just going to die. However, the Valley Boys eventually prevailed on him, and he gathered the fire wood, warming himself in the attempt.
Isaac was one of the those who continued to pull the handcart after they left Martin’s Cove. It wasn’t until after South Pass that he was able to abandon the cart and ride in a wagon. He indicates that upon arriving in Salt Lake they were taken in by others “Where they could rest their weary bones.”