n early April 1847 the Mormon pioneers began the second stage of their trek west. Wagons began to trickle out of Winter Quarters in small groups. Near North Platte, Nebraska craftsmen devised a "roadometer" at the suggestion of William Clayton. Where it was first used is now known as the Odometer Start. Previously Clayton had kept track of distance by tying a red cloth to a wheel and counting the revolutions.
The roadometer was used by pioneers to measure the distance across the plains.