Mormon Trail AssociationMormon Trail AssociationHandcart Persons - SLC

Handcart Immigration Participants Buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery
by Ron Andersen, March 2002

Numerous books, articles, journals, and diaries have been written about this unique immigration effort which will provide details of the organization, daily experiences, successes, and failures. From some of these sources I selected names of participants that were written about and compared the list with the Salt Lake cemetery list. The result was a smaller list. I then connected stories to the deceased as best I could. Some well-known stories are not included because those involved are buried elsewhere. I included biographical data on rescuers of 1856 to show what sort of persons were involved. About 3,000 persons immigrated by handcart and hundreds were involved in the rescue. Most went unnamed or were not written about. It is hoped the ones included below will be representative of all the rest. Since the priesthood of the church was responsible for the organization and rescue efforts, males dominate the list and stories.

The subject of the Saints walking over the prairies, with handcarts and wheelbarrows, was presented to the Conference, when ninety-three brethren volunteered to go with teams and provisions to meet them, and assist them on their journey, as a free donation to the Kingdom of God. (First Presidency's Seventh Epistle, April, 1852, Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p.456)

The concept was not put into practice until 1856. Immigrants would no longer sail to New Orleans and then steam up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, but sail directly to New York, then ride trains to Iowa City, Iowa (1856-1857) or to St. Joseph, Missouri, and steamboat to Florence, Nebraska, (1859-60). The church organized ten handcart companies. The year, number, and captain are as follows:

1856 - 1) Ellsworth; 2) McArthur; 3) Bunker; 4) Willie; 5) Martin;
1857 - 6) Evans; 7) Christiansen;
1859 - 8) Rowley;
1860 - 9) Robinson; 10) Stoddard

Maps: Upper Sections or Lower Sections


First Company (1856)

ARCHER WALTERS (29 Jul 1809 - 14 Oct 1856) [not on sexton records] (F-10-7)
HARRIET CROSS WALTERS (FOSTER) (21 Oct 1809 - 30 Sep 1883), F-10-7--

Archer Walters, with his wife, Harriet (both 47 years of age), and five children left England in March, 1856, and crossed the Plains with the Ellsworth Company, the first handcart company to make the journey. He had learned the joiner or carpenter trade, also the profession of undertaker. He helped to build many of the handcarts which made the long, arduous trip, made coffins for those who died and were buried along the trail and contributed greatly in aiding his own family and others to arrive safely.

In Iowa, Robert and Ann Parker's 6-year-old child, Archer, became lost, July 2-5, while Archer and several others headed out early - in the wrong direction and were rescued by William Butler, who came after them with a wagon and mules.

One day, daughter Sarah and her sisters were trudging along ahead of the rest of the company, when a severe lightning storm came on. They were enjoying themselves paddling through the rain puddles, when suddenly a man near them was struck dead with lightning.

Towards the end of the journey buffalo herds were met and plenty of buffalo meat secured. Many of the company, including Archer, ate too ravenously of the meat and suffered for it, never regaining his strength. He became morose, lost his buoyant spirit, would forget to answer his daughter Sarah's questions, and quit showing any interest in her.

The company reached the Valley in September, 1856, and two weeks after, through lack of proper care and medicine, Archer Walters died. He kept an excellent diary until illness ended his entries.

Most of Archer Walters' handcart, the only one still in existence from the ten handcart companies, is on display at the DUP museum in Salt Lake City.


Second Company (1856)
(Nothing available)

Third Company (1856)

SAMUEL BROOKS, (1789 - 5 Sep 1856 [Oct, not Sep]) , F-10-4--
Mary Brooks, age 17, George, age 11, & Frank Brooks, (crippled boy), age 6 (N/A)

Samuel Brooks was in charge of the lighthouse at Point-of-Ayr, North Wales. In the year 1856, Samuel Brooks (Age 65) and family emigrated to Utah from North Wales to Boston, on the sailing ship Curling with 707 saints, most of them from Wales, under the direction of Elder Dan Jones. They crossed the plains with handcarts in Edward Bunker's company. When they set out, the father and mother pulled the cart, while the two older children pushed behind and little Frank rode on top of the load. The mother was small and of a quick, nervous temperament, and the hard work and long hours proved too much for her. She sickened and died after a brief illness, and was buried in the cemetery at Florence, Nebraska.

Now the fourteen-year-old Mary must step into her place and pull the cart, and George must give all his strength to pushing, for little Frank must ride all the way. Their rations were short; the work grew more strenuous as they neared the mountains. Their father tried to comfort them with the promise that after they reached Zion there would be plenty of food and they would not be hungry any more.

The company arrived in Salt Lake City on October 2, 1856, with Samuel Brooks and his daughter Mary still pulling the cart. During the last several days he had found it hard to keep going, but had sustained himself with the thought that it would soon be over. The relief at the end of the journey was overshadowed by illness; he was taken away from the public tent, evidently so that he could be better cared for. The children did not know where he was taken or by whom, when he died, or where he was buried. They were told only that he was dead, as much a victim of the long trek as though he had died on the way.

The daughter Mary, large enough and mature enough to be helpful in a home, was taken by a family in Ogden, where she became the second wife of Lester James Herrick the following summer. Little Frank was likewise placed, but I can find no more information on him.

Eleven-year-old orphan, George stayed around the public tent in Union Square for days before a neighbor from Wales, Edward L. Parry, heard of his plight and came for him. The childless first wife, Elizabeth, took him to her heart and raised him as her own. He was treated in that home like a son and brother, remaining there until his marriage to Emily Cornelia Branch, 21 Sep 1874. He learned stone cutting from his foster father and made the capstones for the windows on the St. George Tabernacle.

HENRY WILLIAM ATTLEY (1833 - 31 May 1911), U-17-10-1-
[Wife, Christenia, 0/0/1827 - 4/13/1913, U-17-10-2-W came in 1866.]

Attley (age 23), a London-born emigrant, got a job driving a team for William Armstrong with the Ellsworth company which would lead the handcarts. At Wood River, it was necessary to ferry, but a small cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, rolled rapidly toward them, growing larger until it exploded over the wagon train in torrential rains. As he drew his handcart from the ferryboat, a man was killed by lightning. They came upon a large company of Indians drying buffalo meat. The stared in amazement at the handcarts. Immediately, they demanded a toll for passing through their land; a beef was given them. At Laramie River men were dispatched to cut wood in order to raise wagon beds above river level to save the flour. Before striking the Black Hills, they bought another yoke of oxen.

Armstrong bought a yoke at Deer Creek which he lost due to an unfortunate incident. A man named Thomas Margetts (counselor to president William Gibson on ship with 281 immigrants; across Iowa with Jean Rio Baker, 1851, his wife run over on this stretch but survived; preached at a Sunday meeting, Sep 14, just west of Green River, 1852 missionary to Italy), a married couple (Cowley or Cowdy) and a child wanted the Armstrong party to camp with them. Armstrong knew Margetts and wanted to do that because Margetts told him the Bunker company was behind them a fair distance. Attley told Armstrong that Margetts and company were apostate [another account has the Margetts going back to England] and afraid to stay alone and that Bunker could be seen close by if Armstrong would climb the hill for a better view. The upshot was that the next morning Margetts told Attley to loose the cattle and let them graze which Attley refused to do because the new cattle would head for Deer Creek as they were accustomed to that area. Armstrong went along with Margetts on the decision and the cattle were loosed, ran for Deer Creek and resulted in a week's delay on the plains.

While they were waiting for the cattle to be returned, a party of Indians, armed with guns and bows and arrows, swooped down upon Attley and his wagon. He offered a silent prayer on how to handle the situation and when the Indians settled down, it appeared they had a letter of recommendation from the Government vouching for their friendliness and requesting the emigrants to feed the Indians. Food was prepared for their armed guests. He and his wagon load were alone two weeks on the plains. One night he dreamt that he was on the road, looked back and saw a company of handcarts coming. At breakfast, he told his passengers that this would be their last day of travel alone. When they rolled to the place that he recognized in his dream, they stopped and the Bunker Handcart company rolled in. Bunker reported the two men and woman (Margetts and company) had been killed by the Indians. Attley arrived in the valley with the Edward Bunker Company (Oct. 5.)

[The following accounts of Mormon massacres, taken from Whitney's History of Utah, were included in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers' Treasures of Pioneer History, Vol.6, p.40-1.]

"In August, 1856, [Utah Territorial] Secretary Almon Babbitt's train, loaded with government property, headed for Utah, was attacked and plundered by Cheyenne Indians near Wood River, now in Nebraska. Of the four teamsters in charge, two were killed and one wounded. A Mrs. Wilson was wounded and carried away by the savages, who also killed her child. This was an act of retaliation for an attack made by the government troops upon a Cheyenne village some time before. [In 1854, the Grattan massacre near Ft. Laramie precipitated the retaliatory attack on the Cheyenne village in Sept., 1855 by federal troops under the command of General William S. Harney (for which he earned the sobriquet "Squaw Killer).] Ten warriors had been killed, and the survivors had sought revenge, upon the next white persons who fell into their power. Colonel Babbitt was not with his train at the time, but was killed by the Cheyennes east of Fort Laramie a few weeks later. For some time his fate was shrouded in mystery, but it finally transpired that after leaving the frontier for the west, he and his party were attacked and slain by some of the same tribe that had plundered his train and killed his teamsters.

"About the time of the attack on the Babbitt train A Franklin D. Richards, Elders Daniel Spencer, Cyrus H. Joseph A. Young, William H. Kimball, James Ferguson and just from Europe, were crossing the plains on their return to Arriving at Fort Kearney they learned from Captain Wharton, officer in command, full particulars of the killing of Colonel Babbitt's men by the Cheyennes. As they were about leaving the fort rejoin their camp on the north bank of the Platte, a discharged diet [person of rank or privilege] from Fort Laramie—one Henry Bauichter—arrived with news of another massacre by the Cheyennes; that of Thomas Margetts and party, about a hundred and twenty-five miles west of Fort The substance of the statement made by the ex-soldier to Millen wood and James G. Willie, the latter captain of one of the emigrant trains then moving westward, was as follows: Bauichter left Fort Laramie on the 29th of August, and having overtaken Margetts had traveled with him and his companions as far as scene of the massacre. The party consisted of Thomas Margetts wife [Susannah], James Cowdy, wife and child, who were returning to England. They had a covered wagon drawn by mules; also two riding horse which were used at intervals by Mr. and Mrs. Margetts. On the 6th of September, Bauichter and Margetts went on a buffalo hunt and between one and two o'clock in the afternoon succeeded in killing a bison about a mile and a half from camp. A bluff intervened between them and the wagon. Margetts took a portion of the buffalo to camp, and half an hour later his companion having secured more of the meat, followed. As he came in sight of the wagon he noticed that the cover was gone, and on approaching nearer beheld, to his horror, the bodies of Mr. Margetts, Mr. and Mrs. Cowdy and their child lying upon the ground. All save the child were dead and it was wounded and dying. Mrs. Margetts was missing. The mules and horses had been taken and the wagon plundered. None of the bodies were scalped. No shots had been heard but an arrow was sticking in Cowdy's thigh. In the distance, riding rapidly away, were a band of about a dozen Indians. Bauichter had lost a gold watch, three hundred dollars in money and some papers he had left in his wagon. Thomas Margetts was brother to Philip, Henry, and the late Richard B. Margetts, all well known and respected citizens of Utah."] His brother, Phillip Margetts was one of 72 missionary elders that used handcarts in the spring of 1857 on their journey east to the Missouri River.

ELIZABETH LANE HYDE (1825 - 11/22/1905), Q-11-12-1-EN2

After arriving at Florence with their handcarts, they left for the plains on 30 July. She shared space in the handcart with Thomas Evans and his wife. Evans had a wooden leg and he became greatly fatigued in the deep sands of Nebraska. Lane and Evans's wife pushed the cart to Fort Laramie. Lane became lame while traveling in the Black Hills. At that point she had to give up pulling the cart. [Elizabeth may have been the widow with 5 children in Thomas Evans' group. She married (wife # 3) Heman Hyde (age 68), 6 Dec 1856. He married Susannah Lane (wife # 5), 4 May 1867 and died 5 weeks later, 11 Jun 1867, just short of his 79th birthday.]

EMILY HILL WOODMANSEE (24 Mar 1836 - 23 Oct 1906), N-2-9-5-E

A single English woman, Emily Hill (age 20) left an unconverted family to cross the Atlantic with her convert sister. At Iowa City, the long trudge with the handcarts began; she remembers that people derided the concept, but she was determined (on the principle of 'descending below all things') to push the handcart before the world. Footsore and weary after only one week on the trail and watching her sister give up, she reassessed herself and determined to travel the full distance. Fear of Indian attack and seeing what Indians had done to others was a prime concern, but it seemed that as long as the weather held out, the people had good spirits. Then a bad storm pulled up tent stakes and drenched the people causing a loss of half of the cattle. The greatest obstacles were the cold, the lack of food, and the helplessness to stop death which was in everyone's mind. People trusted in God and found strength in prayer.

Fourth Company (1856)

MILLEN ATWOOD [Captain of first 100] (24 May 1817 - 4 Dec 1890), D-3-14--

A pioneer of 1847, a handcart veteran of 1856, and at the time of his death Bishop of the Thirteenth Ward, Salt Lake City, Millen Atwood was born in Connecticut, May 24, 1817. His father was in poor health and required his son's almost constant assistance upon the farm. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-one, and then went to learn the mason's trade of his brother, remaining with him until he was twenty-three.

He was baptized in the Mississippi river, August. 2nd, 1841. He was called on a preaching mission through the states of Illinois, New York and Connecticut. He arrived at his father's home July 18th, 1844. Soon after he went to New York, where he first heard of the martyrdom of the Prophet and the Patriarch. He continued preaching until March 17th, 1845.

He returned to Nauvoo, where he worked on the Temple and the Nauvoo House and helped make wagons. He left Nauvoo in the exodus, February 6, 1846.

In February, 1847, he made a trip from Winter Quarters to Mount Pisgah for Elder Charles C. Rich, which he describes as the hardest journey he ever undertook. In April, he headed west with Brigham Young's vanguard company, returning to Winter Quarters that fall.

In January, 1848, he went back to Nauvoo and gathered up a quantity of goods, returning with them in March to Winter Quarters. There he was introduced by President Young to the lady who became his wife, Miss Relief Cram, whom he married April 20th, of that year. In May, they came to the valley in Brigham Young's company, Millen driving one of the President's teams all the way. After he arrived in the Valley he built a small house, into which he moved his wife Dec. 23, 1848, the weather at that time being very cold. This house was built on the spot where the Bishop continued to reside till the time of his death, on the corner of First East and Second South streets.

February, 1850, found Millen Atwood in Utah county, fighting Indians. He was in the Provo battle, escaping without injury, and returned to Salt Lake City, bringing a wagon load of Indian prisoners. The next winter his father's household arrived from the East to make Utah their home.

1852 found him in Scotland on a mission. Released to return home he sailed from Liverpool May 4th, 1856, and reached the Iowa camping ground on the 27th of June. He crossed the plains with the Willie handcart company. His splendid courage, rare endurance and fatherly kindness to his fellow travelers during that terrible experience was remembered and eulogized by survivors of the same.

He took part in the "Echo Canyon war." Afterwards he was a member for many years of the Salt Lake City police.

December 25, 1881, he became Bishop of the Thirteenth Ward, succeeding the late Bishop Edwin Wooley (who had suceeded Bishop Hunter, when he became the presiding bishop of the Church), and continued in that office until his death was December 17, 1890. His residence was next door to the chapel.

Millen Atwood address in the Tabernacle, 16 Nov 1856 (one week following arrival)

... I did not go to England for gold or silver, but to preach the gospel and gather the poor. We started home with a goodly number on board the ship Thornton, and they were of the class that Br. Brigham wrote for when stating, "if they have not a sixpence in the world, they are the ones to bring here." The people that came from where I was laboring were perfectly destitute; we had to buy every thing for them, even to their tin cups and spoons. And let me tell you, the fare that they had on the plains was a feast to them.

They never regretted having to leave their homes, and they are not insensible of the liberality which has been extended to them by the people of these valleys. They have prayed and fasted day after day and night after night, that they might have the privilege of uniting with their brethren and sisters in these mountains. Many bore testimony to the gentiles that the day would come, although their heads were silvered o'er with age, when they should see Br. Brigham in the Valleys of the Mountains. They had borne that testimony so long that it had become like "sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal" to the wicked around them, who said that their way never would be opened. But the Lord opened the way in a manner they looked not for, and they were willing to draw a hand cart, or to take a bundle on their shoulders, or to come in any other way that might be counseled in order to enjoy the blessings you enjoy this day.

... when Br. Brigham offered his property so liberally and the word came that they should gather from England, it ran like fire in dry stubble and the hearts of the poor saints leapt with joy and gladness; they could hardly contain themselves.

Will they be willing to pull a hand cart? Yes. I felt it; and I felt that it was the right way, and that it would gather more people than any other that had been adopted...With all their wagons and animals they [not sure who] have scarcely brought one blind or lame man to these mountains, but we have gathered up the lame, the blind and those who had not walked a step for years, and brought them on litters or hand carts to this place.

I never enjoyed myself better than in crossing the plains In a hand cart company. The Spirit of the Lord did accompany us, and the brethren and sisters enlivened the journey by singing the songs of Zion. They would travel 16, 18, 20, 23, or 24 miles a day and come into camp rejoicing, build their fires, get their suppers, rest, and rise fresh and invigorated in the morning.

I have seen some so tired in England, after traveling only 5 or 6 miles to a conference, that they would have to go to bed and be nursed for a week. We stimulated the hand cart companies with the words of Br. Brigham, which went through me like lightning. He said, "If they would rise up in the name of the Lord, nothing doubting, no power should stop them in their progress to reach this place." It was in his words that they trusted to perform the journey, and they were determined to see his words fulfilled.

I have walked day by day by the side of the hand carts as they were rolling, and when the people would get weary I have seen them by dozens on their knees by the road side crying to the Lord for strength, and there are scores now in this city who walked from Iowa city to Fort Bridger, and some who were weak and feeble at the start grew stronger every day.

So long as you kept the bundle on the hand cart and stimulated them to lay hold of it, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and it seemed as though angels nerved them with strength; we could out- travel the cattle and might have camped 15 miles ahead oi them every night if we had had the provisions with us. I told Br. Brigham that I believed we could beat ox, horse, or mule teams.

The gentiles prophesied, as we came along, that we should never see the Valleys of the Mountains, and laughed us to scorn, and ridiculed the idea of men and women's traversing 1200 miles with hand carts, and they marveled to see the saints travel on so cheerfully...

The Saints found, however, a wide difference between singing about going to Zion, and actually going. You would almost have thought that they would take wings and fly like doves to their windows, but when they really got into the work, the tune was a little different; but the great majority stuck to it, and those who were good for nothing left us at Florence.

We have not suffered a thousandth part as much as you think we have. Since I have arrived I have heard such tales of woe, though I do not know who could have told them to you. I know that Br. Brigham and the honest in heart here have suffered more in their spirits than we have in our bodies. We did not suffer much; we had a little bit of snow, but that was nothing; and we had enough to eat as long as it lasted, and when that was gone you furnished us more; we fared first rate.

I was surprised when I saw the relief wagons loaded with garments, stockings, shoes, blankets and quilts that had been liberally contributed and sent out to minister to us. I never saw the like, and I marveled and wondered where it all came from...

...The poor want to come here... You ought to have been in England when they heard that they could come with nine pounds sterling...

I do not feel to find fault with the providences of the Lord; and as for the hand carts, I am in favor of them. But, while I think of it, I do not want everybody to think that the women can beat the men at pulling hand carts, for they cannot do it. While there was a man to each hand cart and a couple of women, the women could work their fingers on it like playing on a piano; and the smallest woman had as much to eat as I had... Amen.


Fifth Company (1856)

WILLIAM BENJAMIN HODGETT (29 Apr 1831 - 9 Aug 1860), D-8-16--

Captain, 33 wagons, 185 immigrants, followed behind the Martin handcart company. William Benjamin Hodgetts (called "William Ben" by family members) was born in Worcester, England in 1832 to Joseph and Ann Wallcroft Hodgetts. Joseph owned much land and was very wealthy. The children were educated in private boarding schools and William received some education at Cambridge University. Thomas Smith converted the mother and two sisters in 1849. In 1851 George B. Wallace converted the rest of the family, except the father, and talked the father into letting 19-year-old William immigrate with him to Utah.

When William had been in Utah two years, President Young told him to return to England and gather his family, if possible. He returned to England, preached the Gospel for one year in Worcester, then he was called to fill a mission in Cambridge where he labored for two more years. There he contracted pneumonia and was very ill for three months and lost the use of his left lung.

When he was able to travel, Ann thought it best for the family to flee from "Babylon." Joseph was away from the family for a few days. William was to stay at home to break the news to their father upon his return, for they loved him dearly and deeply regretted leaving him alone. The family went to Liverpool, expecting to sail on a steamer but the elders advised Ann to wait and go on a sailing vessel, delaying them three days.

They crossed the Mercy River and stayed at a wonderful hotel. From there they were taken at twelve o'clock at night in a lifeboat to the Enoch Train, March 18, 1856. There were six hundred and ninety Latter-day Saints aboard this vessel, among them were three girls whose transportation to Utah.

When Joseph received the news he hastened to Liverpool with officers. He caught up with them in the Irish Channel, paid the captain of the Enoch Train one hundred sovereigns to cast anchor for one hour. The family hid. His time was about expired when Ann finally gave herself up. He did not force her to go back but, through kind persuasion, telling her that he would sell out and come to Utah, she went home with him.

Fifteen-year-old Emily and Maria, her seventeen-year-old sister went on alone to Boston, the voyage lasting six weeks and three days. William Ben left England two weeks later and arrived in Boston two weeks ahead of his sisters and was there to meet them on their arrival. He brought a letter from Ann telling them what to do. The letter said, "Maria, come home and take care of your mother in the hour of trial, my days are short. Emmie, my loved one, go to Utah with your brother and keep faithful, work in the house of the Lord. William Ben, be a guide and protection to your sister, tenderly watch her footsteps." Maria stayed in Boston two weeks then returned to England. William and Emily continued on to Utah. Ann lived only a few months after Maria's return home.

William Ben was put in charge of the immigrants to Iowa camp grounds, where they camped for twenty-one weeks. Upset over the separation of her family and in poor health was poor, Emily was put in a boarding house for twelve weeks, during which time William was in Missouri for the Church. Miss Birchley, Squire Tennant and his mother bought two hundred heifers, which were afterwards used in helping to feed the handcart company.

While on the plains the Hodgett train came across John A. Hunt with eleven wagons. The Indians were very hostile and William told them it was not safe to travel alone and invited them to travel with his company, which they did. When they reached Devil's Gate, they were called upon to go and help the handcart company, which they gladly did, giving them five wagons and twenty yoke of oxen. The Hodgett train reached Salt Lake City December 15th, 1856. Ann had sent means to rent a home for William and Emily for two years in the Seventeenth Ward.

William Ben went back the next spring to bring his and Emily's things from the old fort, also to bring freight for the Church. He married the first Christmas he was in Utah to Betsy Baymon. It was the time of the reformation and my brother had charge of the Sixth and Seventh Wards. He would go to the one ward Sunday, the other Thursday then change about the days. He and his wife had born to them two boys and one girl. Two died when children. Little Ben lived to young manhood, when he was killed digging gravel. It caved in, burying all of him except his feet.

William Ben served as a Minute Man in the Nauvoo Legion during the Utah War. He died in August, 1860, in the home he and Emily rented when they first arrived. (Emily married John Lowder May 26, 1860, moved to Parowan, then Panguitch, and finally to Paragonah, where she died, January 26, 1943, at the age of 103 years.)

JOHN JAQUES (7 Jan 1827 - 3 Jun 1900), B-2-1-4-W2
JAQUES, ZELPHA LOIDER [LOADER] 0/0/1838 - 7/15/1919, B-2-1-5-W (married in 1853 in England)
JACQUES, FLORA LOADER (10 Sep 1854 - 23 Nov 1856) B-2-1-1/2-NO (died at Ft. Bridger, one week before arrival in the valley, Nov 30)

John Jaques was a newspaper editor, assistant Church historian, wrote "Cathechism for Children," which passed through a number of editions and was for many years used as a text book in Latter-day Saints schools. It was translated into several foreign languages.

John Jaques, thirty-year old English emigrant with a wife and two children, traveled with the Loader family (his in-laws) in the handcart company. His records are sparse for a time and begin in this source with Brigham Young attempting to go to the rescue himself, but having to turn back at Big Mountain (10/7).

The story of John Jaques (age 29), British emigrant, is a combination of his diary, his writings, and the writings of others in his family; as such, it is comprehensive. Some of his writings were accidentally destroyed by fire while on the trail. Wood, water and weather occupied much of his writings on the day by day trudge over the prairie. The graves of two men and a child were come upon and he reports that these are the graves of Babbitt's wagons and the people were killed (8/25) by the Cheyenne, but two teamsters escaped death and Mrs. Wilson was taken prisoner. Sometimes all the men were on guard to fend off possible Indian attack. He had help from Brothers Stone, Lawley and Whittaker in pushing the carts for awhile. They meet teams from the Greenriver settlement (9/19) who told them about Babbitt's death.

Pilfering became a problem: someone stole a cow's foot from Jaque's cart; treacle (molasses), spice and meat from Oldham's cart and a meat dumpling from soneone else's. He added that when times pinch people pilfer usually for bread or biscuits. On (9/23) they passed Babbitt's burned wagon. A day later (9/24) they passed the place where Thomas Margetts, wife and child were supposed to have been killed by Indians. He described it graphically with mention of strewn feathers, bloody shirt and a child's skull. That night there was a double guard on duty.

On Rattlesnake Creek, Whittaker cannot push the cart; Sister Oldham helps a little, but the pulling is heavy. The company saw five Cheyennes on ponies who scrutinize the company and went on. His father-in-law, James Loader, passed away and was buried at Ash Hollow. At Fort Laramie, he sold his watch for $13 and bought 20 pounds of biscuit, 12 of bacon and three of rice, etc. After this point persons were so busy surviving that there was no time for writing details of the march.

Appetites of the handcart people increased just as the supply of food decreases. He mentioned that on the plains a walker was ten times as hungry as a hunter and never satisfied. Through the Black Hills, the going was tough on handcarts--hard, rocky roads wrack the carts and he is left behind at one point because his handcart needed repair. Zilpah, his wife, helped pull the cart nearly all day (10/14) and (10/17) excess bedding and clothing was burned to lighten the loads. Two days later, the cold is bitter and intense as they crossed the Platte for the last time at Red Buttes: icy waters and strong current made it miserable. Some women were packed over and others hiked up their skirts and courageously waded the Platte.

Jaques said that although people were staring death in the face, it did not stop the songs of Zion or veil the overall good cheer. Reprieve came in the sudden appearance of Joseph Young, Dan Jones and Abel Garr, who galloped into camp amid cheers, tears and laughter and promise that assistance, provisions and additional clothing were coming.

The handcart company struck across country for the Sweetwater (10/29) and an insert written by Patience Loader said that Brother Blair, the guard of Queen Victoria, who gave every morsel of food to his wife and children, died a physical wreck although he had once been a stalwart.

Jaques was doing a zigzag route up Avenue Hill [between the North Platte River and Independence Rock]. Suddenly, he heard a shout and he stoped in the shafts to see his friend Cyrus Wheelock. There was an embrace between the two men that warmed all the souls who saw, and it was only a few minutes until John was in Wheelock's saddle and Wheelock was ensconsed between the shafts of Jaques' handcart.

George D. Grant recorded that they met Martin's Company on Greasewood Creek (10/31) and beheld their frozen limbs, bleeding feet, fainting bodies and were met, too, with the fact that not over one-third of the Martin Company were able to walk. His claimed that Brother Decker had made the trip 49 times and had never seen so much snow on the Sweetwater in any season.

Patience Loader was given a message of hope from a stranger whom she had not seen before and never saw again. She was informed that she must travel on and she would come to a good place where there would be plenty. Grateful for the brethren who had started big fires and had brought in water, thankful for a quilted hood and a pair of slippers, she made the most of this reprieve while knowing that only the sick would be able to ride the wagons.

They were, subsequently, stalled at Devil's Gate while the freight was stowed because teams could not carry it further. Men appointed to stay at Devil's Gate until the following spring (1857) were: Dan Jones, Thomas Alexander, Benjamin Hampton, John Cooper, George Walts, Elisha Manning, George Allen, George Austin, William Hansley, John H. Latey, William Latey, John Shorten, John Waltarker, Edwin Summers, John Hardcastle, Henry Iverkinan, Rosser Jenkins and Elijah Chapple. Dan Jones's own writings say that no amount of money on earth could have made him stay.

Leaving Martin's Cove, Jaques was so injured by the cutting ice in crossing as the last man with a handcart (and no help) that he carried those scars a lifetime. The handcart leave the campsite (11/10) although it is difficult to decide who will walk and who will ride. Jaques believed that the pathetic condition of the Saints was so bad that of all the mobbings and persecutions of the Mormons, he had never seen anything like it.

Ephraim Hanks rode into camp (11/11) leading two horses (both loaded with buffalo meat) because he had been told by an unknown voice that the handcart company was in trouble and was asked if he would help them out. His sharp hunting knife amputates limbs; he anoints the sick and blesses them and, in general, gives life-saving assistance to the Martin Company. Five days later they move over Rocky Ridge and South Pass.

At Pacific Springs, R.T. Burton takes over the care and management of the handcart company. Little Sandy is reached (11/19). Patience Loader mentioned that when the travel first began, there were Sundays, but then there were none and only remembered arriving in Salt Lake City on Sunday (11/30). She summarized that strong, healthy men became peevish and puerile [childish, silly] and were not accountable. Jaques watched so much of the heart-rending circumstances, that he said he would scarcely have cared the 'toss of a button' to avoid death himself.

Archer, Patience Loader(Rozsa)

Patience Loader, nearly 30 years old, was a spinster with a large family of nine daughters and four sons, when she undertook the tramp from Winter Quarters (8/18). She recalled that they camped in the woods near the Missouri River for nearly three weeks, that it was hot and they cooked over a campfire and washed in the river. A few days before their departure, her sister Zilpha and her husband and child (John Jacques) joined them, but her brother John and his wife waited for a later trip. Before they arrived at Cutter's Park, Franklin D. Richards gave a blessing that James Loader, her father, would get to Salt Lake and though he was weak and sick, he attempted to push the handcart anyway because of the promise. She and the father pulled/pushed the cart from inside the cart shafts; Maria and Jane (sisters) pulled with a rope tied to shafts and another sister, Sarah, pushed from behind. The father had two goals: to see his daughter Ann, already in the Valley, and to shake the hand of Brigham Young.

After the father collapsed as he tried to do his share, Zilpha [Jacques] delivered a baby and Tamar (another sister) was down with mountain fever. Captain Martin said he would take both sick sisters in a wagon, but Patience could not ride the wagon with them to take care of them. She determined that none of the Loaders would go until the two sisters were able to travel; the Martin Company rolled without them. They kept fires burning all night to protect themselves while they were on their own. Joseph A. Young saw them burning from Florence and rode out to see what the problem was. Patience told him the story, but that they would move as soon as they could so that they wouldn't fall too far behind the main camp. Brother [Harvey] Cluff rode out from Florence and gave them a pull with a rope tied to the saddle pommel, but after a few miles, he had to go back to Florence. He had no sooner left than five Indians, nude except for breech clout, emerged from a cave with tomahawks and other weapons, demanded their goods, and made sport of their handcart. After they saw the sick women and the new baby, they motioned them on for which they gave God the credit.

She recalled that she and the other sisters thought they could take a walk a little way from camp while the father and mother rested. While doing so, they came upon four or five newly made graves and picked up a woman's green sunbonnet which they recognized as belonging to Sister William's who had left camp with Babbitt. She remembered that Babbit had five or six loaded wagons with teams and drivers and had offered to take two persons to the Valley free of charge; Sister Williams (her husband already in Salt Lake) had gone with her baby.

She wrote about her father's last day on earth, the administration of the brethren and the burial including the death of a Brother Jones at the same time after ascending Sandy Bluffs.

A man that the Loaders had befriended gave the mother a ride on his mule across the Platte and had intended to pull the handcart across for the girls as well. The Loader girls, unaware of his intentions proceeded to attempt to ford the river, but were nearly carried away in the current.

One night, after the last crossing of the Platte River, Patience put their cedar fire in the bake oven, moved it to the tent and they sat around it. They had but nine days rations and they were over 400 miles from Salt Lake when Brother Joseph Young came and advised them to give out larger rations because help was on its way. Brother Blair fed his family his rations, pushed his four little children in a cart, and died enroute. A Brother Whittaker chewed on a girl's fingers and ate the flesh of his own fingers before he died of starvation.

A tip for survival from freezing temperatures was the trick of putting hot coals in bake kettles and taking them into the wagon.

The two-year old daughter of Zilpha [Flora Loader Jacques] died at Ft. Bridger and was taken to be buried in the Franklin Richards plot in Salt Lake.


JESSE HAVEN [Hodgett's Wagon Company] (28 Mar 1814 - 17 Dec 1905), E-10-13-2-W

When Jesse Haven (age 42) arrived in Iowa City, he went to the dentist and got a tooth put in, one filled and his teeth cleaned for $3.75. He had his own set of wagons and party ready to roll when they were combined with the Martin company at the request of Franklin D. Richards (8/22). However, Martin still had 'fitting-up' to do. Therefore, Haven was put with the Hodgett's company (8/25) and sent to Silver Creek where it encamped. Two days later, he walked six miles back to the handcart people where he felt they were glad to see him and regretted he was not going to be with them. In conjunction with being part of the wagon teams, he went to Florence (8/28) and found his own team which he took with him

He carried a thermometer and often recorded the temperature. On July 22 it was very hot weather, the temperature in the tent recorded 108 degrees. The wagon containing the tents that was to accompany this handcart company from Iowa City was left behind. A severe thunderstorm arose and many were without shelter that night causing all their items to get wet. The emigrants complained about him and their circumstances in general. That night a meeting was held and the Captain Martin promised the people that if they did not cease grumbling, much sickness would get in their midst and they "would die off like sheep. The captain established a rule that anyone who desired to leave the company must ask for council before leaving. Those that didn't would be disfellowshipped from the Church.

On July 26, Emma Batchelor was disfellowshipped because she left the company to go with the Gentiles. Robert Evans and Sarah White chose not to travel further because he had poor health, August 1, five people left camp during the night, a woman, her child, and three other children whose mother had died on the trail. Brothers Mose and Hunter and families also left the company.

They were also visited by many outsiders who created problems for them. The intruders came into the camp at night making noise and insulting the emigrants. The company began complaining that the provisions were not sufficient and that they had only travelled a short distance. Upon arriving at the town of Newton, the captain bought flour and tallow for the wheels of the carts. The flour rations had been 10 oz. per person per day until they reached the Skunk River. Here he determined that many had left the company and was able to increase each person's rations to 12 oz. of flour per day. The handcarts began to break early in the journey and they stopped to make necessary repairs. Nearly all the handcarts needed repairing early in the journey.

Upon reaching the Missouri River, they were ferried over for the following prices: each hand cart was charged 10 cents, 50 cents for each wagon, 15 cents for each horse, 5 cents for each cow, and ten cents for a yoke of oxen that was not attached to a wagon. Upon arriving in Florence, the Hodgett company was asked to remain there another day, waiting for Bro. Martin's Co. to arrive. The majority of the Hodgett company merged with Martin's handcart company while Haven was assigned to travel with and serve as president of the Hodgetts wagon company.

Haven caught up with Brother Tennant's group (9/2) and hired Sarah Taylor from the handcart company to cook for Tennant's wagon, for his own teamsters and for himself. [Thomas Tennant was a wealthy English immigrant who had done much for the English travelers. He died a month later (10/4) and his body was carried as far as Ft. Laramie where he was buried (10/7).] Samuel Bethel overturned Haven's wagon with Sarah in it (9/4), but neither was hurt nor was the wagon damaged.

His group met 400-500 Indians, passing a site where Indians had attacked a small train and killed some of the people. The company waited for handcart people (9/13) on account of Indian hostilities. For the rest of September the Hodgett company would either start before the handcarts, pass, be passed, or held up by the handcarts, or occasionally camp with the handcarts.

Bishop Daniel Tyler [Battalion veteran], a president of the handcart company, is upset (9/17) when the wagon company cattle mix with the handcart cattle. Tyler's irritation overflows into trouble between Hodgetts and himself and over a broken handcart that none stop to help (9/18). Rivalry of the road continued when a woman from the Martin party died and the handcarts got a head start moving out from the burial site. Hodgetts bypassed a hill on the main route to get around the carts, and re-crossed the river to get ahead.

U.S. troops camp on the same site (10/1, in Nebraska) and a large group of 78 Mormon apostates from Salt Lake Valley camped nearby on their way to the States. According to the thermometer readings, it was unseasonably warm (112 degrees) as they pass Chimney Rock (10/3).

Elizabeth Taylor, 53-year-old mother of Sarah, rode in his wagon awhile; he was glad he could accommodate her (10/15). At this juncture, the companies were averaging 16 miles per day. Even when it snowed (10/20), Haven indicated the weather was not cold, that a pleasant snow was falling, that the snow was melting and so on, but a number of people were dying in the handcart company.

At Devil's Gate which he called an old trading post, the wagon people took possession of the log cabins (11/2). The weather turned cold and there was 6-8 inches of snow on the ground (11/3); the Martin Company was there with them. The temperature fell to six degrees below zero (11/4).

Hunt's Company was now with the Hodgett's group near Devil's Gate (11/7) and it was 11 degrees below zero. However, Haven wrote that it was very pleasant (11/10). At this point, he took three wagons, leaving one with the handcart company and one at Devil's Gate. He and Tyler, with two wagons, move out of Hodgett's unit. At Three Crossings, it is snowing but pleasant (11/11-11/12). At Rocky Ridge (11/16) where they met more teams from the Valley. The cattle were scattered and the snow drifted so that it took double teaming to travel as far as Strawberry Creek.

It was three degrees below zero on Dry Sandy (11/21) and they had to leave a cow that refused to rise to her feet. Somehow Sister Sarah Taylor stopped along the road after Ham's Fork (11/30). They were not aware of it, but went back and found her nearly frozen. At Ft. Bridger (12/5) he bought a hundred pounds of flour for $13, sent a letter by Brother Harvey to Great Salt Lake City, unloaded three wagons and left one wagon, some luggage and his oxen and started for the Valley with seven yoke of oxen and eight persons. In Echo Canyon (12/11) the snow was deep, the moon full and the weather pleasant. It was snowing and blowing on Big Mountain and through Emigration Canyon (12/14). He arrived in the Great Salt Lake City (12/15) about noon on a pleasant day.

JOSIAH ROGERSON (27 Jan 1841 - 3/17/1926), L-29-15-1-E

Josiah Rogerson (age 15) made his trip to Iowa City beginning at Lancashire, England, docked at Boston, took the railroad to Iowa, and thence, by handcart to Florence (8/24). He states that the date of departure from Florence was Aug. 29. The Martin and [Daniel?] Tyler companies merged at that point and left by way of the Old Mormon Sawmill.

At Deer Creek, the privations and sufferings commenced. The Black Hills were snow-covered, the skies were loaded with threatening clouds, large cakes of ice came down the river and sleet and snow blew as they made their final Platte crossing. The following day was one of the coldest of the trip as 4 to 6 inches of snow fell. His guard duty fell at midnight and when he arose he tripped over a dead man's feet--one he had wheeled from the crossing to the Camp. The dead man's family slept on beside him unaware of his death. Snow fell for several days; it seemed to Rogerson that it dragged the life out of the people. Unable to navigate the deepening snows, they were compelled to stop at Red Butte (10/21) for seven days.

Wednesday of the second week at Red Butte, Joseph A. Young and Dan Jones arrived with news of relief to be found at Devil's Gate. By Saturday they were met at Greasewood Creek by G.D. Grant and ten wagons, but they were yet another day's travel to Devil's Gate.

At Red Butte's they buried 18 bodies one morning in two graves. They left (11/6) crossed the Sweetwater to Martin's Ravine where firewood was comparatively plentiful and were there three days. Appetites were keener, the weak were weaker and roasted rawhide was eaten enthusiastically.

The handcart company headed for South Pass (11/10) and were meeting relief teams daily. Rogerson felt there was not enough brandy or liquor to revive people and no medicine for the deathly diarrhea. Furthermore, he felt that the continual night guarding killed off the men as more males died enroute than did women.

Sixth Company (1857)
(Nothing available)

Seventh Company (1857)

JENSEN, JAMES (7 Jun 1841 - 27 Dec 1910), U-32-1-1-E

James Jensen was born June 7, 1841, in Haugerup, Soro Amt, Sjælland, Denmark. He emigrated in 1857 [age 16]. In 1862 James filled a six months' mission to the States. He was ordained a Seventy. From 1867-70 he filled a mission to Denmark. In 1891 he moved to Forest Dale, where he was ordained a Bishop over the Forest Dale Ward, Aug. 26, 1896.]

The Jensen family as it arrived in Philadelphia consisted of the father and mother, three sons, a daughter and a baby. Two of the children were named James and Karen, and the baby's name was Sophia. They travelled by railroad to Iowa City where they were taken to a camp three or four miles outside of the town. There was a lot of excitement in camp and very little money. They went from an inactive life on the ship and train to performing strenuous activities.

Their leader was a Scotsman who could not understand their language and who was "more or less unsympathetic in his demeanor toward them" O. N. Liljenquiest was appointed as assistant interpreter. The emigrants had brought with them the choicest of their household effects which they planned on taking to the Valley. To their dismay, they had to choose what to leave behind because the handcarts would not hold much. "We never heard any more about the things we left behind us."

Four mule teams were provided to carry provisions and the helpless and sick. At the outset, the saints became "disheartened because of their poorly planned organization because of the unfeeling manner in which they were treated". Many became sick and died. The emigrants made a collection of the little money they had and purchased an ox team from a passing farmer. It became their hospital and was in charge of C. C. A. Christensen. At times there were as many as twenty persons in the wagon.

While in Florence they were joined by emigrants from Iowa and St. Louis. Among them was a Danish missionary who had been in Utah. James A. Little appointed Christian Christiansen, the Danish missionary, to take charge of the handcart company.

Many who lost their strength had to lighten their loads and the stronger were required to share the burdens of the weak. Four strong, hearty and happy girls aided families with their load and handcarts.

Because of the suffering of the handcart companies a year earlier, those who were not suitably prepared for the journey were required to return to Florence and wait for later travel. The aged and ill health were turned back. One of these was a Swede named Hulberg who had a feeble wife and two small children. After the company left, he took his family and followed in its rear undetected until they were about fifty miles out where he again joined the company. He carried his children and wife upon the cart which he pulled alone.

He describes the dangers and difficulties crossing Elkhorn River and Loup Fork due to sandbars, quicksand and deep holes. Indians helped them cross the stream.

At Wood River, the wife of Niels Sorensen, after travelling all day, gave birth to a baby girl. She returned to the company in the morning with the baby in her apron ready to resume the journey.

Many were without shoes. James, the son, wore socks which his mother had sewn canvas soles. Prickley pear plants went right through them causing horrible pain.

An incident is also recorded of a man who lost his sense of smell and killed a skunk with his cane bringing it back to camp for food.

The handcart company travelled on the north side of the river and Johnston's Army travelling on the south side of the river. One of the members of the troop offered an ox that had had its foot crushed to the emigrating saints. Upon arriving at the Rocky Mountains, they met teams bring supplies of flour to them. At Ft. Bridger they again obtained more flour. When within about thirty miles of Salt Lake City they were met by teams that brought bread, cake, and fruit. "When we came to the last steep hills of the mountain sides, our mules were so weak that the emigrants were obliged to help them over by the aid of ropes." One out of every ten of the number died on the journey.


Eighth Company (1859)

EBENEZER BEESLEY (1841 - 25 Mar 1906), J-18-10-1-ES2

He was born December 14, 1840, at Bicester, Oxfordshire, England. As a very small child he exhibited unusual musical talent and often joined his parents in singing with the Wesleyan Methodist Choir when it practiced at his parents' home.

The Beesleys joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England, where Ebenezer was baptized September 22, 1849, by Elder Thomas Tanner. The family emigrated to the Salt Lake Valley in 1859 in the George Rowley handcart company. Ebenezer had married Sarah Hancock in 1859 before leaving England.

What a honeymoon! Ebenezer Beesley, trudging behind the crossbar of the clumsy handcart, pushed away at the front of the vehicle while his lovely bride, still wearing her wedding dress, helped by pushing at the rear of the cart. In the cart were piled all of their earthly possessions plus an elderly lady who was unable to walk the long distance across the plains and mountains. The Beesley couple were young, healthy and had no children so they were best able to take the invalid sister in their cart, reasoned the organizers of the pioneer handcart company. Sometimes when the pulling was easy and he had breath for it, Ebenezer would break into song in his rich bass voice. He loved to sing. In camp at night, he would entertain the company with his flute. He couldn't play his violin for them, someone had stepped on it aboard ship.

They spent the first eighteen months after their arrival in Tooele, where he conducted the ward choir. Moving to Salt Lake City, they settled in the Nineteenth Ward, where he led the choir and conducted the singing for Sunday School. As was the custom, the choir leader made copies of the music until the Church authorities "called" the Juvenile Instructor to print the music for choir conductors. Beesley organized and prepared the music for the printer.

This young musician extended his talents by studying the violin under Professor Charles J. Thomas. He later devoted his efforts to learning harmony and taking advanced violin training under Professor George Careless. He joined the Salt Lake Theater orchestra where he performed for many years. Mr. Beesley was instrumental in compiling his own hymns and anthems as well as those of contemporary composers. He supervised the compiling and publishing of the Deseret Sunday School Songbook and the Latter-day Saint Psalmody, aided by Professors George Careless, Joseph J. Daynes, Evan Stephens and Thomas C. Griggs.

Beesley became the Tabernacle Choir's 7th conductor in 1880, and held that position for 9 years.

After retiring from the Tabernacle choir, Brother Beesley, by invitation of Bishop Thomas Atkins, of Tooele city, moved again to that quiet little town for the purpose of training the choir and teaching music. He remained there four and a half years, then removed to Lehi, Utah county, where he followed the same line of work for two years. Both the Lehi and Tooele choirs performed in the Tabernacle in 1898 where they received first (Tooele) and second prizes at the Eisteddfod competition. He was presented with a gold medal on that occasion.

Beesley established the Beesley Music Company and was captain of the martial band of the second regiment of the Nauvoo Legion.

Ebenezer played the violin, viola, cello, and fife. Music written by Professor Beesley and published in the LDS hymnbooks includes "High on the Mountain Top," words by Joel H. Johnson; "School Thy Feelings, O My Brother," words by Charles W. Penrose; "Kind Words Are Sweet Tones of the Heart," and "Reverently and Meekly Now," words by James L. Townsend; "Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each Other," "Welcome, Welcome, Sabbath Morning," "Sing We Now at Parting," "Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love," "God of Our Fathers, We Come Unto Thee," and "Lord, We Ask Thee Ere We Part." Authors included Eliza R. Snow, Tullidge, W. W. Phelps, William Clayton, Charles W. Penrose and others At least one hundred songs were written to the beautiful music composed by this fine musician.

Professor Ebenezer Beesley died in Salt Lake City March 21, 1906. Many of his descendants have also become noted musicians.

SARA BEESLEY (1840 - 29 May 1921), J-18-10-3-ES2

Four persons were assigned to each handcart carrying 200 pounds of flour. Mr. Beesley carried his violin and the Saints gathered at night around the fire to sing and listen. Finally, they got so hungry there were no more good times].

They tried sleeping in the tents, but everyone was in each other's way. Instead, they slept on the ground within the encircling handcarts with someone guarding the night. It if rained, they slept under the handcarts. It was never cold enough to be a problem, but the summer was hot and they suffered from heat, wind and dust.

The handcarts were made with handle bars, front and back, and high wheels. The wheels were to be used later in the valley for wagons. Sand was often to the hubs, and in water, the carts often washed down-stream.

In order to cross the Platte the first time, ten or twelve locked arms and waded in formation like a cordon across the current. The flour was carried by the men on their shoulders. Along the way when an ox was worn out and killed, the people would sit up all night watching for a piece of meat they could have.

Sarah picked as many wild rose berries (shaped like a pear only smaller) as she could and ate them. They were soft and fluffy inside and had a sour taste, but they could be chewed for a long time.

They said that every man ate a peck of dirt before he died and she felt she ate hers all behind the handcarts. They were literally on the point of starvation before they reached Green River. At Green River they met some rough mountaineers who took pity on them and invited them to breakfast which all attended who could. The squaws cooked the breakfast and fed them whiskey and milk in gourds and bread or cake cooked in kettles over a fire. One Scots girl stayed with them because a mountaineer offered her a home; her legs were in such condition she could not travel. There was no real trouble with Indians and the Indians saved their lives with food at various times.

A company from Salt Lake met them at the Green River which saved their lives. When they reached Emigration Canyon, they were met by the band and escorted into the city. After entering the city, they went down to the High School Square where they dropped their luggage and the handcarts were wheeled away.

CARTWRIGHT, ANN (1837 - 2 Nov 1914), E-3-8-2-W (Husband, John. Son? John & Thomas Hyrum are buried close by.)

English emigrants, John and Ann Cartwright, left Florence (June 9) with their seventeen pounds of luggage and walked 15-20 miles a day. At first, there was flour, bacon, coffee and beans to supply the nutrition for the company. At one point, Ann Cartwright felt she had gone as far as she could and was about to surrender when she heard her name called. She responded to the call but found no one there and so believed it was the voice of the Lord. Enlivened by this experience she was able to continue, knowing the Lord watches over His children.

HOBBS, WILLIAM (16 Mar 1837 - 16 Oct 1922), B-6-8-1

Hobbs, an English emigrant, was employed by George Q. Cannon to drive a supply wagon to Utah. The emigrants had overloaded and their trunks were left under guard at the Florence campground. A string band under George Beesley with two violins, a base viola and a piccolo provided music for the travelers. The strongest men were put on guard at night.

Hobbs saw thousands of buffalo on the plains--almost continually. A dollar would buy a buffalo hide; buffalo skulls with messages inscribed on them were found along the way.

The first Indians they saw were the Pawnees--they swarmed through camp as the old Chieftain wanted a white woman and had brought ponies to exchange. They stayed all night and the next day they hooked onto the women's handcarts with a lariat tied to their saddle horn. Despite the assistance, they left without a white woman.

There was plenty of company as far as Ft. Laramie inasmuch as there was a great rush to the California Gulch and to Leadville, Colorado. They were supplied with milk at Genoa, but for the most part, Ft. Laramie was the place where they were to be replenished.

When the hills to be ascended were steep, the carts were unloaded, the provisions carried to the top and the handcart brought along empty. When the camp passed through alkali flats [between the North Platte and Sweetwater Rivers], two oxen that Hobbs drove died of alkali water and were cut up and eaten.

At Devil's Gate, two pounds of flour was rationed for each person. The Ben Holladay stage drove by every day and word was sent to Salt Lake City of their condition. The final two days before help arrived, they were hungry. Supplies came from Brigham Young through Elders Taylor and Richards. When they reached the Weber River, they took the old stage route over Big and Little Mountains, came through Emigration Canyon and stopped at the Tithing Office yard.

MCINTYRE, THOMAS (4 Nov 1834 - 12 Feb 1914), E-6-9-1-N2 W

Thomas McIntyre was selected clerk of the company. The first day out, they pitched their tents at Spring Creek and already had a broken axeltree on one of the wagons. However, they had a good time around the campfire at night. Staying in camp all day (June 10), signing receipts made out to the brethren by George Q. Cannon, Emigration Agent, for funds owed for outfitting handcarts; no wheels moved. Some had too much luggage when it was weighed (June 12). All were tormented by the mosquitoes and all were branded by them. They refreshed themselves at Fremont's Place bathing in the Platte River (June 13). Indians waited upon them at supper and wanted to pull handcarts for pay.

Up and down the ranks of handcarts, the hymns and favorite songs could be heard. They camped at North Bend where a herd of sheep were moving just ahead of them bound for California; from time to time, they got a mutton which was left behind. At North Bend, again the mosquitoes were troublesome.

Woodriver sloughs tested the old wagons; they came out missing two wheels. They stayed over at Woodriver to mend the wagons; while doing so, the men fished, hunted and bathed while the sisters washed. When they saw their first herd of buffalo at Nebraska Center (July 1), there was excitement in camp with the men in shirt sleeves, grabbing old guns and racing after the herd while the Danes grabbed their only tool--the axe. By this time, there was a large number of invalids riding in the wagons. In gloomy silence (July 2), they fought the rising dust.

The spirit of murmuring against the captain and the scarcity of food blighted the entire company (July 8). They decided to lay over until a better feeling pervaded the camp. After a four-hour meeting and addresses by all the captains, a better, more penitent spirit prevailed. A California train left two oxen that were lame and told the handcart Saints they could have them. When they went to get a lame cow left behind by the California emigrants, they scared off the Indians that had the same idea. Then it seemed, the cow was still alive; she rolled her eyes pitifully at the butchering crew and McIntyre could not bring himself or his pistol to shoot. Someone did, however, and they took the hide back to make shoes for the sore-footed oxen.

There were three unusual girls (Scotch, English and Welsh) in the handcart company. The Scots lass, Agnes Birrel, was a team by herself; the Welsh girl, Ann Lewis, was given to fainting here and there, and it was hard to have one hand on the handcart and catch her at the same time; the English girl, Sarah Tuffley, did not seem to care whether the cart went along or not.

They met six wagons of apostates from Salt Lake finding fault with everything and everybody.

Saints perspire like mules to pull over Sand Bluffs. It was hard work to walk without pulling, too (July 12). They saw along the way, all sorts of correspondence written in pencil on the bleached bones--some dated the passage of other trains, some were bitter commentary against Brigham Young.

There were ten wagons of returning emigrants with Sister Hardy in charge of the children saved from the Mountain Meadows Massacre (July 15). Some good water was found by digging 8-10 feet down in the sand.

Thirty-eight invalids rode in the wagons (July 18) from Sandy Bluff.

At Shoal Creek they met three wagons of malcontents from Salt Lake City. The malcontents felt that Salt Lake City Mormonism and English Mormonism were two different doctrines. They complained of authorities acting unrighteously. Enroute they met more Mormons from the valley going back to England.

The flock of sheep ahead lost another mutton. The young Thomas Jarvis left the company, July 21, to go to Pike's Peak.

Some of the young men wanted a good look at Ft. Laramie, sent their clothes over the river, and forded the Platte naked and holding hands. That worked well, but on the return, some thought they would take a raft and others strung out across the river as they had gone over. The raft was carried on the swift current without any guidance at all and the nude men were left to struggle and nearly drowned in the process. They finally took hold of a rope cordon and managed to get across.

The Captain followed a guide book [Clayton's Immigrant Guide, probably] to a camp where there was supposed to be wood and water (July 30), but they found themselves in the dark and no sign of a campground.

George Reed and Richard Mills were left behind (their choice) with a 100-pound sack of flour. When the people were called to prayers after camping at 9:00 p.m., they were too tired and refused to go. On (Aug 1) five men were sent back after the handcart that had been left behind. McIntyre, Ben, Hobbs and Squires were part of the group. Brothers Eldredge and Joseph Young came into camp and said Captain Neslen's train was about 100 miles behind, that Stevenson and his wagons were fine. Rowley was told by these brethren to increase the rations. The search party came back (Aug 1) and told the company that the two men (Reed and Mills) had gone with the apostates taking some clothing that belonged to Gilbert. Twenty men were sent looking for Elizabeth Watson (about 60) who hadn't been seen since July 31 (Aug 2).

While already underway (Aug 1), Rowley called for volunteers to go back and get two young men (Richard Mills and George Reid) who had been dissatisfied and fell behind. Brothers Thornton, Hibbert and McIntyre went for them with orders not to force them back into the company, but to return with the company handcart and supplies. Thornton gave up on the rescue and went back to camp. After ten hours walking, they came upon the two. Mills and Reid started back with the searchers, but met a couple of apostate wagons which they joined. The captain of the apostates made sure that his Colt revolver was visible, asked for some caps (which they gave happily to show they, too, were armed) then asked for the handcart and was refused. Hibbert and McIntyre traveled all day and all night and it was difficult to keep on the road in the dark. Wolves barked and the silence between the two men was a moody one. They passed a weird looking bluff with their pistols ready and, in the next moment, they had fallen over a precipice and landed on their faces--handcart on top. Finally, they huddled up with the handcart and waited for daylight to show them the way.

At Devil's Gate a tribe of Upshaw Indians passed with a dozen scalps and three Ute prisoners (Aug 13); nonetheless, there was dancing in the evening. On Sunday (Aug 14) a public meeting was held, the Saints complained about foodstuffs being stolen from handcart members; Scroggins reproved the Sisters for encouraging strangers to lounge around the camp; Hobbs talked about worldliness and the Saints bore their testimonies. Sarah Jones left the company to marry a friend of hers at the fort. Hannah Moore, wife of E. Moore, took a job at a trading post as she had never belonged to the Church; she took Moore's child, too. At the trading post (Aug 15) they found the lost Sister Elizabeth Watson, age 60, with a long tale of her survival which included being in solitude, running into bandits that hated Mormons, and being rescued finally by an Indian. Henry F. Strugnell, age 29, left his new bride, age 19, and his religion and went back to the "fleshpots." Another sister, Anne Hibbert, took a job as a servant to a family at the trading post rather than go on to Salt Lake.

A number of the sick trailed behind.. The oxen were tired; the people were fatigued and coming in at daybreak instead of at tent pitching time; many were without provisions and many were dissatisfied. It was a very disorderly march that begun (Aug 21).

At Ham's Fork (Aug 25) the provisions arrived and the Saints rejoiced--some with tears.

At Ft. Bridger (Aug 28) soldiers tried their wiles on the sisters to get them to stay, but to no avail.

When they arrived at Union Square, Sept. 4, the kindnesses extended to them caused them to forget their trials.


Ninth Company (1860)

ARMSTRONG, ISABELLA (1849 - 14 Dec 1930), H-8-10-2-E

Isabella's parents, Robert and Elizabeth, came to America to gather with the Saints in Utah. Due to sickness, they resided for five years in New York and Pennsylvania. Elizabeth died while they were living in Pennsylvania. Then Robert and his three young children started for Utah and joined Daniel Robinson's handcart company at Florence.

Their provisions ran out and their clothing and shoes wore out before the trip was completed. When they were near Laramie and were down to one-half pound of flour per day, Hannah Lapish was able to trade her jewelry for 700 pounds of flour which kept them eating until, at Green River, they were met by a relief train from Salt Lake. The 2,500 pounds of flour and 500 pounds of bacon which President Brigham Young sent lasted them until their trek was over. They were grateful that there had been only one death in their company, but were heartsick and disappointed with the barreness of their new surroundings in the Salt Lake Valley.

Hannah Settle Lapish, when she was 91 years old, wrote about the birth of a child after the handcart company was formed. She explained that separate sides of the camp were used for the private needs of the members. Men went to the right side and women to the left. Hannah was on the left side of the camp when she heard a groan and sent to see what the problem was. She found a young married woman in labor and went after the woman's husband. The husband and another man carried the young sister back to camp where a tent had been prepared for the delivery. Another woman in Camp performed midwifery services and the child and mother survived the primitive birth. The new parents were from Scotland, but Sister Lapish had never known her name. After the birth, the camp laid by a day and a half, then the woman was placed in a wagon and the company rolled on.

Tenth Company (1860)
(Nothing available)

The Rescue Effort of 1856

Word reached Salt Lake City, Oct. 4, 1856, that immigrants in Wyoming needed immediate rescue. Brigham Young instructed the rescuers to get everything they could ready and rendezvous between Big and Little Mountains. Rescue wagons began leaving Salt Lake City, Oct. 5th.

According to Dan Jones, as soon as all were together the company was organized and moved on. George D. Grant was selected captain, with Robert Burton and William Kimball as assistants; Cyrus Wheelock, chaplain; Charles Decker, guide. Dan Jones was given the important position of chief cook for the head mess. He was quite proud of his office, for it made him the most sought after and popular man in the camp.

The rest of the company was made up of the following persons: Joseph A. Young, Chauncey Webb. H. H. Cluff, D. P. Kimball, George W. Grant, Ed. Peck, Joel Parrish, Henry Goldsbrough, Thomas Alexander, Benjamin Hampton, Thomas Ricks, Abe Garr, Charles Grey, A. I. Huntington, "Handsome Cupid," Stephen Taylor, William K. Broomhead, Ira Nebeker, Redick Allred, Amos Fairbanks and Tom Bankhead, a colored man. These were all the names that Dan remembered.

The weather soon became cold and stormy. They traveled hard, never taking time to stop for dinner [lunch]. On getting into camp all were hungry and willing to help. No doubt many of the boys remember the hearty suppers eaten on this expedition. There was some expectation of meeting the first train, Brother Willie's, on or about Green River. We began to feel great anxiety about the emigrants as the weather was now cold and stormy, and we, strong men with good outfits, found the nights severe. What must be the condition of those we were to meet. Many old men and women, little children, mothers with nursing babes, crossing the plains pulling handcarts. Our hearts began to ache when we reached Green River and yet no word from them. An express was sent ahead with a light wagon to meet and cheer up the people. Cyrus Wheelock and Stephen Taylor went with this express.

George Davis Grant, agent at Iowa City, then Florence, was the captain of the first (16?) rescue wagons. He wrote to Brigham Young, 2 Nov, that they had no snow to contend with until they reached the Sweetwater River, where they encountered a severe snowstorm, Oct 19-20, and sheltered themselves on Willow Creek. They pushed ahead on Oct 21 and met the Willie Company buried under 6-10 inches of snow. Some assistance was rendered and William H. Kimball was assigned to stay them with them until they reached Salt Lake City.

Travelling through 8-12 inches of snow, the rest of Grant's company reached Devil's Gate in deteriorating condition. There was little feed for the horses, which were failing fast. Grant had the wagons halt, while Joseph A. Young and Dan W. Jones went on horseback in search of the other immigrants, who were found on the north side of the upper crossing of the Platte River (a few miles of Casper, Wyoming). Young got the immigrants moving and then left to inform Grant of the situation. Grant then hurried relief wagons eastward and met the Martin Handcart Company at Gresewood (now Horse) Creek, Oct. 31. The Hodgett Company was a few miles further east.

The rescue wagons could only provide the proverbial drop in the bucket of need, but some clothing and food was distributed. Grant estimated that not more than one-third of the Martin company was able to walk. Children, the sick, the infirm, and a lot of luggage was loaded into the wagons and by noon the next day they were headed west to Devil's Gate. "Imagine," said Grant, "500-600 men, women and children, worn down by drawing hand carts through snow and mud; fainting by the wayside; falling, chilled by the cold; children crying, their limbs stiffened by cold, their feet bleeding and some of them bare to snow and frost. The sight is almost too much for the stoutest of us; but we go on doing all we can, not doubting nor despairing."

DANIEL SPENCER [Emigration agent in charge at Iowa City; father of Aurelia Spencer Rogers, founder of the Primary organization] (20 Jul 1794 - 8 Dec 1868), E-8-2--

Daniel Spencer, a native of West Stockbridge, Berkshire county, Massachusetts. He was ninth of twelve children. His father, also Daniel Spencer, was a Revolutionary soldier, who enlisted in the Continental army at the age of sixteen, was in General Washington's body guard and witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Daniel, was successively Mayor of Nauvoo, a member of the Utah Legislature, one of the Presidency of the British Mission, and died President of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion.

He attended his district school during the winter months until he was about eleven. At twelve years of age he was freighting marble. At the age of fourteen I was placed in charge of my father's farm. His desire, however, was to become a merchant, and at the age of nineteen he promised his father that if he would let him begin life on his own account, he would present him with the first hundred dollars he could save. His father consented, and Daniel hired out to one Joseph Cone, who sent him with team and wagon loaded with merchandise to sell in North and South Carolina. After two years he began business for himself. Soon he had several of his brothers engaged with him, merchandising in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama. They spent the winters south and the summers in the New England States. A partnership with two Boynton brothers existed until Daniel embraced Mormonism.

On the 21st of January, 1823, Daniel Spencer married Sophronia E. Pomeroy, and had one son, Claudius Victor. She died October 5, 1833, and about two years later he married Sarah Lester Van Schoonoven, who bore him two sons that died early, and two daughters, Amanda and Mary Leone. This wife died at Nauvoo.

"In my early years," says Daniel Spencer, "I had entertained great reverence for God and had sought him often in secret prayer, but could not unite with any of the churches. Nevertheless, at one time there came to me the conviction that baptism by immersion was essential, and I journeyed about forty miles to my brother Orson's, who was a Close Communion Baptist minister, and he buried me in the water in the likeness of the burial and resurrection of Christ; but I refused to take membership in the Baptist church. My son Claudius was baptized by him at the same time.

"During the winter of 1838 I met a Mormon Elder on the street of our town, who said he had been trying through the day to get a place where he could preach. He was poorly clad, his extremities were frost-bitten, and altogether he was a peculiar looking minister. Being chairman of the school board, I told him he could have the school house to preach in, and I sent Edwin Morgan to light and warm the room. When Morgan reached the house he found parties inside who had locked him out and refused him admission. When he reported this I told him to take an ax, and if the parties did not open the door to chop it up and warm the room with it. I took pains to spread notice of the meeting, and sent my little son to invite the Presbyterian minister, Nathan Shaw, to go with me to hear the Elder. His answer was, 'Tell your father I would as soon go to hear the devil.' The meeting was largely attended by members of the different churches, but at the close, when the Elder stated that he was a stranger, thirteen hundred miles from home, without purse or scrip, and asked if any one would keep him over night for Christ's and the Gospel's sake, not an answer came from any church member. After a painful silence, I stepped into the open aisle and invited him home with me. I refused to discuss Mormonism with him, and next morning I took him to my store and clothed him comfortably.

"In about a month he came again. I obtained for him the Presbyterian meeting house and entertained him as before. On leaving he left some books; these I read and soon became interested, to the extent that I closed my store and gave my whole attention to comparing the claims of the Mormons with the Bible. One forenoon, while reading the Book of Mormon, the conviction came to me with great power that Mormonism was true, and involuntarily I exclaimed, 'My God, it is true, but it will cost me friends and kindred, and all that I have on earth.

"A few days after this I sent notice to the entire townspeople that at noon of a certain day I should be baptized by the Mormon Elder—Stephen Burnham. A vast concourse came to see the ice broken in the river and the ordinance performed. After I was confirmed, I spoke to the people in a new language, which, knowing me as they did, created a profound sensation. I was ordained an Elder, and did much preaching in Berkshire county. After my baptism, my good father and mother and my good Baptist brother Orson told me in an interview that they did not wish any further association with me until I gave up my awful delusion. However, in time I performed the same ordinance for my brother as a Mormon Elder that he once performed for me as a Baptist Elder, and I had the pleasure of gathering father and mother to Nauvoo."

At Nauvoo he entered government land, built a substantial, two story brick house in the city, and with his brother Hyrum fenced and improved a farm of one hundred and sixty acres six miles out of town. In 1842 he went upon a mission to Canada, and in 1843 upon a mission to the Indians. During the latter year he was elected a member of the city council of Nauvoo. In February, 1844, he was selected as one of an exploring expedition, organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith to seek a new home for his persecuted people beyond the Rocky Mountains. The departure of this expedition was prevented by the death of the Prophet. Soon after Daniel Spencer was chosen by vote of the city council Mayor of Nauvoo, which he held until the repeal of the Nauvoo charter.

Returning from a mission to Massachusetts, he joined the exodus of the Saints, crossed the Mississippi on the ice, and soon lost some of his dearest relatives and friends, among them his wife Mary, whom he had married at Nauvoo, and his beloved younger brother by four years, Hyrum, who was as brave in spirit as he was powerful in physique. Hyrum (sometimes spelled Hiram), died at age 47 of exhaustion and exposure a day before reaching Garden Grove the second time (1846) after helping others back and forth along the trail between Nauvoo and Garden Grove.

During the winter of 1846-7 Daniel acted as a bishop on the Missouri river, and fitted out three of the Pioneers, Francis Boggs, Elijah Newman and Levi Kendall, letting them have two yoke of oxen, with wagon, provisions, farming tools, seed grain, etc. "If their testimony be true," says he, "these oxen drew the plow that turned the first sod in Salt Lake valley."

After the Pioneers had departed, Daniel Spencer's company of one hundred wagons was re-organized, and in June, 1847, they left the Elk Horn for the Rocky Mountains. They followed the trail of the Pioneers, and were the first company to arrive after them in the valley (23 Sep).

Daniel Spencer settled at Salt Lake City, engaged in farming and various industries, and gathered around him considerable property. Referring to the cricket plague of 1848, and to certain cynical statements to the effect that the gulls came to the rescue of the settlers by instinct, and not by providential interposition, he says: "I ask how that instinct brought them in just the forty-eight hours to save the settlement, and I venture the assertion that an honest person cannot be found who witnessed that occurrence and has lived to the present, but will testify that there was a ratio of a thousand gulls then to one hundred seen here by our people before or since."

Daniel became a member of the High Council, October 3, 1847, the ecclesiastical and political ruling body of the Mormon emigrants in the Salt Lake Valley. That High Council appointed John Van Cott and Daniel Spencer to accompany Parley P. Pratt on a more extended reconnaissance of what became Pratt's Golden Pass route. The three men left the city on July 3, 1848, and returned home to report three days later. That same council appointed a committee consisting of Ira Eldridge, Daniel Spencer and Henry G. Sherwood to see if the means could be raised to buy out Miles Goodyear (in Ogden), which failed until Mormon Battalion members brought gold with them from California in 1848.

At the re-organization of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion, February 13, 1849, Daniel Spencer became its President, with David Fullmer and Willard Snow as his counselors. As president, a job he held for nineteen years, he was under the First Presidency and Twelve, made the spiritual head of the entire colony; and under his administration Salt Lake City grew up several years before its incorporation under the civic government.

At that time the president of the Stake occupied something like the position of the mayor of the inchoate city, and chief justice of the Church. Nearly all cases were tried under him, in the court of the High Council, he sitting with his counselors as presiding judge; and not only did this court adjudicate all the differences arising between members of the Church, but the Gentile emigrants to California, on their arrival in Salt Lake City, brought their difficulties before this court for equitable settlement. It is to be observed that, in 1849, there was no courts of any kind to which the "gold-finders" could bring their difficulties after they left the Missouri river until they reached Salt Lake City, where a court of justice of the "Mormon" Church existed, over which Daniel presided.

Strange as it may seem in history, many of the Gentile emigrants brought their cases for adjudication before this court, some of them involving tens of thousands of dollars; and with such equity did Daniel Spencer administer justice that the California emigrants very generally conceded that they obtained more equitable settlements than they would have done by litigation in the courts. In their "letters home," published in American and English papers, may be found often acknowledgments of this kind from the gold seekers of 1849-50.

He was a prominent member of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, transacting much of its business.

From 1852 to 1856 he was in Europe, serving from May 14, 1853, until March 15, 1856, as first counselor to the President of the British Mission.

On the last named date he sailed for America to act as general superintendent of emigration in the United States to forward the Mormon emigration to Utah, assisted by George D. Grant, William H. Kimball, James H. Hart, John Cooper, William Holmes Walker (returning missionary from South Africa via London, who began his odyssey, 27 Nov 1855, but remained in Missouri and escaped the tradegy), and others.

On the 12th of September the handcart companies were overtaken by a company of returning missionaries in three carriages and some wagons. The company included Elder Franklin D. Richards, Daniel Spencer, and Cyrus H. Wheelock, late presidency of the European Mission. This group arrived in Salt Lake City on the 4th day of October and reported on the dire conditions of the immigrants still on the trail.

The winter of 1857 found Daniel in the Legislature, a member of the House of Representatives. He had previously been a member of the House in Utah's first legislative assembly. In the sessions of 1861–2, 1862–3 and 1864–5 he was a member of the Council. His first public service in Salt Lake valley, in a secular way, was in 1848, when he was appointed Roadmaster. He was also one of the original members of the Board of Regents of the University of Deseret.

After the death of his wife Mary (1845, Nauvoo; two previous wives had also died) he married his brother Hyrum's widow, Emily Thompson Spencer (25 Jan 1847), by whom he had two sons, Jared and John D., and four daughters, Aurelia, Sophia, Emma and Josephine. He was 52 and she was 27.

He married four plural wives in Utah, which resulted in 13 more children. Daniel died at his home in Salt Lake City December 8, 1868.

JOHN VAN COTT [Traveled home with F. D. Richards] (7 Sep 1814 - 18 Feb 1883) B-14-5--

John Van Cott John descended from the first settlers of Long Island, N. Y., who came from Holland in 1640, and had for ten generations back belonged to the nobility of Holland. His parents were Losee Van Cott and Lavina Pratt (uncle and aunt to Parley P. and Orson Pratt). John Van Cott was the only boy in the family, and when only ten years old his father died after an illness of seven years, leaving his widow and children surrounded with peace and plenty.

Parley P. and Orson Pratt were frequent visitors of their Aunt Van Cote and were instrumental in converting their cousin John and family to Mormonism. John was baptized in Nauvoo in 1844 or 1845, twelve years after he first heard the gospel; his sister never joined the Church. In 1835 (Sept. 15th) he married Lucy Sachett, a young lady of a very fine family, who also joined the Church.

A number of members of the church who intended to join the general exodus westward, and who then were residing on the Atlantic coast, sent merchandise on the ship Brooklyn in the care of Sam Brannan, thinking to make the trip overland and meet the other saints on the shores of the Pacific. Among those shipping goods were John Van Cott, John Neff, and several others.

Together with his family and mother, he left New York, Feb. 3, 1846, starting for Nauvoo, Illinois. While residing temporarily at Nauvoo in the home of Parley P. Pratt, he contributed $400 in gold to the Temple and also donated to the Church a number of lots which he had purchased in Nauvoo; he received his blessings in the Nauvoo Temple.

In the fall of 1846 he left Nauvoo for Winter Quarters, where he spent the winter of 1846–47, having built a one-room log house. Here he became acquainted with Brigham Young, to whom he became greatly attached, their friendship terminating in the marriage of his daughter to the President.

In the summer of 1847 John (age 33), together with his mother (Lovinia, age 60), wife (age 32) and two children (Martha, age 9, and Mary, age 3) left Winter Quarters for the West in Capt. Daniel Spencer's company. John was a captain of ten. He fitted up an extra team and wagon which was driven by a hired man. In this wagon rode his daughters. The company arrived in the Valley Sept. 25, 1847, where in conference on October 3, 1847, John was elected marshal of the city.

The first home outside the fort was in the 14th Ward on the northeast corner of First South and West Temple. Later, he settled in what is now the Farmer's Ward (located in the Big Field), on the corner of Tenth South street and West Temple street (another account states that John built a home on his farm just below 13th South on West Temple). John and his mother both died in this home. Her death occured May 18, 1878 in her 91st year.

Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, John Van Cott, Erastus Snow, Wilford Woodruff, Daniel H. Wells, Robert T. Burton, Joseph W. Young, and Edward Gabbott were among the first who located farms and built homes in what later became Farmers Ward, an outgrowth of the Sugar House Ward, organized July 23, 1877.

Before leaving Caanan, New York, a neighbor made a wager with John about his mother going on the long journey. Forty dollars (another account says the amount was $30) a year was the sum agreed to pay if she lived through the dangerous journey. She did live to get there, and many years after. The neighbor never failed to send John the money every year until his mother died. On one occasion the neighbor asked another man who was coming westward by train to California, to stop off in Salt Lake City and find out if John's mother was really alive. When the man arrived and knocked upon the door (Lavina always made her home with her son), it was opened by the old lady herself. The man was convinced and reported back. This man‘s word was as good as his bond and he made good.

Parley P. Pratt wrote on Sept. 5, 1848: "We have now had ears to boil for nearly a month, and my large Missouri corn is now in roasting ear. Many of the ears are as high as I can reach. I had a good harvest of wheat and rye, without irrigation, though not a full crop; those who irrigated their wheat raised double the quantity on the same amount of land. Wheat harvest commenced early in July and continued until August. Winter and spring wheat have both done well; also all kinds of vegetables. We had lettuce on the 4th of May in abundance, and radishes by the middle of May. We have raised a great quantity of beets, onions, peas, beans, cucumbers, melons, squashes and almost all kinds of vegetables, as well as corn, oats, rye and wheat. I expect to sell this year some 200 bushels of Indian corn. My cousin John Van Cott has a fine crop of corn, say 25 acres. He also has prospered in wheat, oats, and crops of all kinds. There will probably be raised in the valley this season from 10,000 to 20,000 bushels of grain, over and above what will be consumed by the present inhabitants."

In 1849 John Van Cott sold a peck of potatoes for $5 in G.S.L. City, which was considered cheap.

In 1852 he was called on a mission to England, but in 1853 he was transferred to Denmark as president of the Scandinavian Mission.

In 1852, agreeable to call, he went on a mission to Europe, and after reaching England, he was sent to Scandinavia to succeed the late Willard Snow in the presidency of the Scandinavian mission. He presided in that capacity nearly four years, and returned to his mountain home in 1856, in company with F. D. Richards.

At Florence the question of continuing the journey through to Utah, or going into winter quarters on the Elkhorn, at wood river, or some other eligible location in Nebraska, was debated; but it was finally determined to continue the journey, the majority of the leaders in charge, among whom were George D. Grant, William. H. Kimball, advance agents of the emigration that season, and Elders James G. Willie, captain of the company of handcart emigrants, Millen Atwood, Levi Savage, William Woodward, and John Van Cott. All favored it, except Savage, and the views of the majority of these leaders were accepted by vote at a mass meeting of the immigrants, anxious to get to Zion, ignorant of the difficulties and dangers to be encountered, and willing to trust the judgment of these leaders.

His report from the Copenhagen conference in 1856 indicated that over two thousand Saints had immigrated from the Scandinavian mission and there still remained over twenty four hundred anxiously awaiting to immigrate.

In 1859 he was called on a second mission to Scandinavia and again presided over the mission, this time about two and a half years. He became very much endeared to the Scandinavian Saints, whose sterling qualities and integrity he learned to appreciate. He also acquired the Danish language to a considerable degree of perfection. Crossing the plains in 1862, Van Cott presided over both Liljenquist's and C. A. Madsen's Scandinavian companies, which traveled closely together.

After his return home, he was chosen as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, being first sustained in that capacity at the October conference, 1862. Soon afterwards he was called on a special mission to the Scandinavian Saints in Utah, and while laboring in that calling made his home temporarily in Sanpete county.

His five wives bore him 28 children. In addition to farming, he served as a member of the House of Representatives, a member of the Salt Lake city council, street supervisor and city marshal.

He continued his labors among the Seventies with zeal and fidelity until his death, which occurred at his home, Feb. 18, 1883, after a lingering illness of several months.

ROBERT TAYLOR BURTON [Rescuer] (25 Oct 1821 - 14 Nov 1907), C-12-1-1-E

Robert T. Burton was the son of Samuel and Hannah Shipley Burton, the tenth child in a family of fourteen, half of whom were born in England and the others in America. Robert himself was born in Amersburg, West Canada, October 25th, 1821.

After becoming a member of the LDS Church in Nauvoo, he enlisted in Captain Gleason's Cavalry Company of the Nauvoo Legion.

The Brass Band of the city of Joseph was first organized in January, 1842, under the guidance and teachings of Capt. William Pitt. Burton became a member of this group as a trumpet player.

He emigrated as part of Brigham Young's company in 1848. During the journey Bro. Burton acted as bugler for the camp. He and his family lived in the Old Fort until January, 1849, when they moved into the Fifteenth Ward. Elder Burton first lived with his brother-in-law, William Coray, but on the 15th of August removed to the corner of Second West and First South streets.

In the fall of that year the local militia was organized, under the reminiscent title of "Nauvoo Legion." In the first company of cavalry that was formed, commanded by Captain George D. Grant, Robert T. Burton was appointed bugler.

The Deseret Dramatic Association was organized in 1850 and consisted largely of members from the Nauvoo Brass Band. Some of the first participants were William Pitt, William Clayton, George D. Grant, Robert T. Burton, Edmond Ellsworth, Philip Margetts, and Edward Martin.

Burton's calvary unit was called into active service by governor Brigham Young, January, 1850, to defend the settlers in Utah County against hostile Indians. After a siege of three days the Indians were routed, in part because of a calvary charge led by Burton.

In September of the same year Elder Burton was one of a company ordered north against the Shoshone Indians, and in November he and his comrades again went to Utah county against a remnant of the tribe they had fought there the previous spring. While on this campaign he was elected lieutenant.

In June, 1851, he accompanied another expedition against the Indians on the western desert. In the spring of 1852 he took a small company of men to Green river to serve papers issued from the District court and protect the settlers in that section from Indians and renegade white men.

The following year he was elected captain of company "A," the original cavalry corps, and on March 1st, 1855, he received his commission as major. His commission as colonel came on June 12th, two years later.

He also served in territorial and county offices, having been named a deputy United States marshal in 1853 and sheriff of Salt Lake County in 1854. The latter office he held for twenty years.

In October, 1856, he went east with a company of picked men to rescue the handcart company who were in great distress some five or six hundred miles east of Salt Lake. George D. Grant was selected captain, with Robert Burton and William Kimball as assistants; Cyrus Wheelock, chaplain; Charles Decker, guide. After the immigrants were provided for as well as possible under the circumstances, Colonel Burton was placed in charge of the immigrant train, arriving November 30.

On the 15th of August, 1857, Colonel Burton was ordered to take a company of one hundred mounted men to assist the incoming immigrants and take observation of the movements of the approaching U. S. army. He participated in the delaying action that was used to thwart their entrance into the region, and when they finally marched through the city, remained to guard homes against any depredation that might be attempted.

In 1862 he was ordered by Acting Governor Fuller to take a company of picked, courageous men and proceed as far east as the Platte River to protect the United States mail and telegraph route from the depredation of Indians and lawless white men, mail stations having been burned and stock driven off, mail sacks cut open and contents scattered. Thus he became a Civil War commander, keeping open an important line of communication on the North for President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1862, excommunicated Joseph Morris gathered a group of believers into a commune known as Morris fort, where Morris preached of the imminent Second Coming of Christ and the group practiced a united order of sorts. Legal issues over property rights, among other things arose, and a writ of habeas corpus was issued. Morris refused to comply and held two former members hostage. Territorial Marshal Henry W. Lawrence expressed opposition to any armed confrontation with the Morrisites and left the territory rather than be a part of one. Responsibility for solving the problem then devolved to his deputies, Burton and Theodore McKean.

A posse of 500 men was formed, with deputy territorial marshal Burton as its head. The posse grew to about 1,000 men as it passed through Davis county on its way to confront the Morrisites along the Weber River, north of Hill Field (about where Riverdale is). Joseph Morris, his counselor, and at least two women were killed in the confrontation and the Morrisites were disbanded, many of them being escorted by Colonel Patrick Conner of Fort Douglas to a new settlement in Idaho. Burton was tried about 17 years later for the murder of Joseph Morris and others, but acquitted.

Burton received his commission as major-general from Governor Durkee in 1868. In all the military history of Utah up to the disbandment of the Nauvoo Legion in 1870, General Burton, under Lieutenant-General Wells, was one of the principal men in perfecting the organization and directing the operations of the Territorial militia.

In addition to his military offices, he has held civic positions as follows: Constable of Salt Lake City in 1852; U. S. Deputy marshal in 1853 and for many years thereafter; sheriff, assessor and collector of Salt Lake county from 1854 to 1874; deputy Territorial marshal from 1861 until several years later; collector of internal revenue for the District of Utah, by appointment of President Lincoln, from 1862 to 1869; assessor of Salt Lake county in 1880; a member of the Salt Lake City Council from 1856 to 1873; and a member of the Legislative Council from 1855 to 1887. While serving in the legislature, he was appointed in 1876 one of the committee of three to arrange, compile and publish all the laws of the Territory of Utah then in force, his associates in this important labor being Abraham O. Smoot and Silas S. Smith. From 1880 to 1884 he was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Deseret.

He was always active in the Church. He was selected as bishop of the Fifteenth Ward in 1867, when Bishop Edwin Woolley died; was called to serve as a missionary to the Eastern States in 1869; and in 1873, filled a second mission, this time to England. While still in England in 1875, he was notified that he had been appointed second counselor to Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishop of the Church. Upon the death of Edward Hunter in 1884, he was appointed first counselor to Bishop William B. Preston (John R. Winder was the other counselor). He was a member of the Presiding Bishopric for thirty-two years.

Bishop Burton was one of the first of our citizens to engage in home manufacturing. Associated with A. O. Smoot and John Sharp, he built the Wasatch Woollen Mills on Parley's Canyon creek, near the southeastern part of Salt Lake City. He had a fine farm on State street, below the southern suburbs and for many years engaged in farming and stockraising.

When Utah became the 45th state in 1896, the grand marshal of the day was Robert T. Burton, age 74.

He had three wives and a numerous family of children, mostly sons. In his seventy-ninth year, Bishop Burton was still active in his labors, and could be seen daily at his post of duty in the presiding Bishop's office. He would die in 1907 at age 86.

JOSEPH MARCELLUS SIMMONS [rescuer] (3 Sep 1824 - 14 Feb 1872), E-7-1--

Joseph M. Simmons, born in Cheshire, Massachusetts, started for California to dig gold in 1850, but the company he was associated with stopped in Salt Lake City to replenish their provisions. He became interested in Mormonism and remained. Joseph went to work in the harvest fields for Jefferson Wright, in whose back yard he pitched his tent. Wright's property on the west side of Third East between Second and Third South Streets (east side of block 55)was just south of Edwin Wooley. In September 1850 Joseph came to Mary Wooley and asked her to take him for a boarder for two or three weeks, or until Mrs. Wright (who was not well) was able to take him back. Mary took him on those terms, expecting he would go back when Mrs. Wright was able to take him again, but he did not show any disposition to go. He fell in love with 14-year-old Rachel Emma Woolley, born 7 August 1836, and determined to make her his wife. Rachel was not impressed with Joseph, but Mary took a liking to him from the first, which lasted until the day of her death. In the spring of 1851 Joseph went to work for Edwin Wooley and his sons, brothers John and Frank and a man by the name of Thomas Haygood, another emigrant that was staying at the Wooley house. They spent the entire summer and fall getting railroad ties for the railroad along South Temple Street that would bring sandstone rocks from Red Butte Canyon to Temple Square.

Joseph and Rachael were married by Brigham Young on the 18th of December 1851 in what was called the Warm Springs Bath House (also the 19th Ward chapel). Joseph was 27 and Rachael was 15. They lived with the Wooley's for the next 3 years. Just before his marriage, Joe went to work in President Young's office as a clerk, a job he held for many years. Soon after he was married, Joe joined the Deseret Dramatic Association, the first one of the kind in the Valley. Acting took him away a great deal at night for rehearsals and there was no pay for the work.

Joe always played the part of the lover, claimed his wife, Rachael, and there was no one that could equal him in that line -- it was the verdict of all the women. Many a time women would say to Rachael, "Are you not jealous of your husband? I would not have my husband making love so natural as that." Rachael claimed she had more confidence in her husband than to think he meant it and she liked to see him do his parts well, and besides the women that acted then were good and many of them were the wives of other men. No thought of evil ever entered their minds, except she believed there was one exception, Mary Wheelock, second wife of Brother Cyrus Wheelock, and a very good actress. Fortunately, as time passed she lost her influence over Joe and others. [She eventually left her husband Cyrus in favor of one of Colonel E. J. Steptoe's soldiers, who had come in Salt Lake City to punish the perpetrators of the Indian massacre of Lt. Gunnison and some of his fellow railroad surveyors.

Joe built his own house just north of the Social Hall (Clara Decker Young would occupy the house later) and his family moved in 12 Apr 1855.

In August, 1855, Joe married Emma Bloxom, a sister of Lucy Bloxom, who had married a mutual friend, Horace Whitney. The fact of Joe taking a second wife didn't upset Rachael as much as the attention Joe lavished on her. The marriage didn't last longer than a year. Afterwards, she married a man by the name of Quigley and moved to Carson City, Nevada.

During the winter of 1856, the Simmons children, Frank, Lucy, and Artap, a little Indian boy Joe had purchased a year earlier, contracted measles. Frank and Lucy, would survive but Artap would die. According to Rachael, a more affectionate child could not be found.

In October, 1856, Joseph Simmons, at age 32, accompanied William H. Kimball, Hosea Stout, and James Ferguson, among the first to leave from the Salt Lake Valley heading east to rescue Mormon handcart and wagon immigrants, starving and trapped in snow in Wyoming. Rachael was 8 months pregnant with their third child. Joe didn't see his newborn, Mary Ettie, until the end of November, when she was two weeks old.

After Emma left, Joe began courting Romania Bunnell Pratt, widow of Apostle Parley P. Pratt (killed by a jealous ex-husband of one of Parley's wives), who later became Utah's first female graduate of medical school (Ellis Reynolds Shipp was the second, and Martha Hughes Cannon was the third). Romania was 3 years younger than Rachael and 15 years younger than Joe. He courted her vigorously at the same time he courted Henrietta ("Nett") Wooley, Rachael's sister (18 years younger). Romania was not willing for him to have Henrietta at the same time, and he would not give her up so the match was broken off. Joe married Henrietta (Nett) August 21, 1857.

About 1860-61, Brigham Young urged Joe to leave the office work and visit the neighboring settlements to buy paper and rags as the Church was then just starting a paper factory, but the work was not congenial to him. Having a proud nature, he thought he was adapted to something better, so he left that.

Later, he was appointed to assist Brother J. C. Little in the revenue business as Assessor and Collector. His wages were very good at that time, ten dollars a day, but he had begun to drink more than was good for him, a problem that lasted until his death in 1872, at age 47. During this time, his family sunk deeper into poverty, frequently lacking food and clothing.

Joe was still playing on the stage during the time he was in the revenue business. Performers did not get paid, then, and would not for many years. It was demanding on the artists and their families, but those involved did not think it so unusual and were willing to do it.


EDWARD MILO WEBB, [rescuer] (15 Apr 1838 - 4 May 1927), C-5-10-1-S E4

Edward Milo Webb (age 18), a Utah man, was part of the congregation that Brigham Young addressed in the General Conference wherein he requested 25 teams (four teams of horses each) to go east and meet the belated handcart companies. Webb had been given charge of one outfit with a pair of oxen and had initially been at Green River for about ten days waiting for the Willie Company. When it arrived, he assisted with their Green River crossing.

The Martin Company was even further behind and the relief teams sent Webb ahead where he traveled about 30 miles per day in deep snow and camped at last on the Sandy. He was told he would find food and a camping place at Pacific Springs, but his oxen strayed during the night and with a noon start, he rode until midnight passing the station in the dark.

He crossed South Pass and camped at Black Ridge down river with both feet badly frozen; his only first aid was to plunge them in ice water. He ate the last of the flour in cakes and went to bed. The next morning, he cut a slit in a blanket and put his head through for a coat; found his oxen about noon again and left for the Green River. He saddled an oxen and rode it to Green River which took two more days. Here he was fed and cared for by a Shoshone woman, who peeled off his toe nails and the frozen skin and used freshly killed jackrabbit and bear's grease to doctor him. Finally, the Martin handcart company came along and his father was with them. Still at Green River, he was put in his father's light spring wagon and eight days later he arrived back in Salt Lake praising the wonderful Shoshone squaw who had saved his feet. His experience was a series of errors that led him to be of little assistance and was almost his demise.

Summary

First Company (Ellsworth):

ARCHER WALTERS (29 Jul 1809 - 14 Oct 1856) [not on sexton records] (F-10-7)
HARRIET CROSS WALTERS (FOSTER) (21 Oct 1809 - 30 Sep 1883), F-10-7--

Third Company (Bunker):

SAMUEL BROOKS, (1789 - 5 Sep 1856 [Oct, not Sep]) , F-10-4--
Mary Brooks, age 17, George, age 11, & Frank Brooks, (crippled boy), age 6 (N/A)

HENRY WILLIAM ATTLEY (1833 - 31 May 1911), U-17-10-1-
[Wife, Christenia, 0/0/1827 - 4/13/1913, U-17-10-2-W came in 1866.]

ELIZABETH LANE HYDE (1825 - 11/22/1905), Q-11-12-1-EN2

EMILY HILL WOODMANSEE (24 Mar 1836 - 23 Oct 1906), N-2-9-5-E

Fourth Company (Willie)

MILLEN ATWOOD [Captain of first 100] (24 May 1817 - 4 Dec 1890), D-3-14--

Fifth Company (Martin)

JOHN JAQUES (7 Jan 1827 - 3 Jun 1900), B-2-1-4-W2
JAQUES, ZELPHA LOIDER [LOADER] 1838 - 7/15/1919, B-2-1-5-W (md, 1853, England)
JACQUES, FLORA LOADER (10 Sep 1854 - 23 Nov 1856) B-2-1-1/2-NO
Archer, Patience Loader(Rozsa)

JOSIAH ROGERSON (27 Jan 1841 - 3/17/1926), L-29-15-1-E

JESSE HAVEN. [Hodgett's Wagon Company] (28 Mar 1814 - 17 Dec 1905), E-10-13-2-W

WILLIAM BENJAMIN HODGETT (29 Apr 1831 - 9 Aug 1860), D-8-16--

Seventh Company (Christiansen)

JENSEN, JAMES (7 Jun 1841 - 27 Dec 1910), U-32-1-1-E

Eighth Company (Rowley)

EBENEZER BEESLEY (1841 - 25 Mar 1906), J-18-10-1-ES2
SARA BEESLEY (1840 - 29 May 1921), J-18-10-3-ES2

CARTWRIGHT, ANN (1837 - 2 Nov 1914), E-3-8-2-W

HOBBS, WILLIAM (16 Mar 1837 - 16 Oct 1922), B-6-8-1

MCINTYRE, THOMAS (4 Nov 1834 - 12 Feb 1914), E-6-9-1-N2 W

Ninth Company (Robinson)

ARMSTRONG, ISABELLA (1849 - 14 Dec 1930), H-8-10-2-E

Others

DANIEL SPENCER [ Agent, Iowa City] (20 Jul 1794 - 8 Dec 1868), E-8-2--

JOHN VAN COTT [Traveled home with F. D. Richards] (7 Sep 1814 - 18 Feb 1883) B-14-5--

ROBERT TAYLOR BURTON [Rescuer] (25 Oct 1821 - 14 Nov 1907), C-12-1-1-E

JOSEPH MARCELLUS SIMMONS [rescuer] (3 Sep 1824 - 14 Feb 1872), E-7-1--

EDWARD MILO WEBB, [rescuer] (15 Apr 1838 - 4 May 1927), C-5-10-1-S E4




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