One thing that was clear to the Whites was that some Adventist families in the Dallas area, especially the McDearmons, should, for the sake of their very survival, move to a more healthful climate. To James White Colorado seemed to be just the place.
As plans were discussed, the interested families increased in number until between 20 and 30 church members were ready to join a minor exodus from northern Texas. James White would lead this expedition. The early-March trip from Dallas to Denison was a sort of trial run. Ellen White described the two-day trip:
We left Dallas last Wednesday morning [March 19] with two heavy wagons, loaded, two two-seated wagons called "hacks," and our phaeton, Brother McDearmon and family and goods. We were moving to Denison. We had our large family tent and pitched it and for two nights occupied it. Fifteen composed our caravan: Elder Kilgore and his brother Scott; Brother and Sister McDearmonótheir two children, Hattie and Josephótheir niece Nettie Cole, and grandson Homer Salisbury, Brother Moore and his son Willie, Brother and Sister Daniells, Sister [Marian] Davis, Brother and Sister White.
We found that Brother and Sister McDearmon and family endured the journey much better than they feared. They will go through with the company to Colorado. I believe that they will enjoy good health there. We arrived at home in Denison before the Sabbath and were well arranged before sundown (letter 45, 1879).
To provide transportation for some of the families that had been reduced to poverty, James White bought or traded teams of horses and mules, upgrading them step by step. He figured these could be used to travel to Colorado, and then when the caravan reached Walling's Mills, near Boulder, could be sold at a profit.