Jens and Elsie Nielson worked alongside others in Iowa City in preparing tents and handcarts for their journey. The Willie company was organized into five groups with approximately 100 Saints in each group. It was further organized into 5 tent-groups with a leader or “captain of twenty” for each group. Jens wrote, “I was the captain of a tent with 5 men and the rest women and children.”
Occupying the tent with the Nielson family were Ole and Ane Madsen with their four children; Peter and Ane Larsen with their four children; Rasmus P. and Anna Hansen (no children); and Lars Wandelin.