CARLING, John Witt

Wagons for Fleeing Saints
John Carling and his son Isaac worked at making and mending wagons for the Saints who were being driven from Nauvoo. The mob violence became so intense that the Carling family decided to leave with the main body of saints. Brigham Young sent Heber C. Kimball to inform John that if he would stay until all of the Saints had been provided with good outfits, not a hair of their heads would be harmed. They remained as requested, though some wives complained that they would all be killed.

“The morning they were to leave, they were counseled to get to the ferry boats before the mobs were astir, and upon arriving at the ferry, the captain hurried them onto the boat and admonished them to be quick because they could see the mobs coming. Some were on horses, and others were running, but all with guns in their hands, and they were cursing. As the saints left the shore, they could hear the leader of the mob ordering his men to shoot. But as the men came to the shore, they stood still. It is told by some that two shots were fired but they missed the people in the boat.”

HIGGINS, Nelson: Through it All

Prior to leaving Nauvoo, Daniel Allen, Nelson Higgins, and Samuel Shepherd were called as a committee to sell properties belonging to the saints in the Bear Creek area. They were successful in collecting a good deal of money for the saints, but when they returned, the mobs had hit Nauvoo and the exodus had already begun (4). This is the first thread we find that ties the families of Nelson Higgins and Daniel Allen in their dedicated struggle for survival. Their relationship must have been a close one because Daniel’s daughter, Diantha, married Nelson’s son, Alfred. We know Daniel was one of the last three families to leave Nauvoo, so there is a good possibility that the other two wagons were those of Nelson & Samuel. Also, Daniel went to Manti to set up a tannery in 1854, and the two children were married in 1858, so their friendship must have lasted a lifetime.


Because of his prominence, much has been written about Peter Maughan, the great pioneer colonizer of Cache Valley. This account will serve only as a vignette, summarizing his life. John was the progenitor of the Mormon Maughans, and was my own great great-grandfather on my mother’s side of the family. Born in the little village […]

TEMPEST, John Henry

A Dog to Pull their handcart John Henry Tempest and his two sons, James and John, crossed the ocean on the Empire ship. What an exciting experience it was to travel to America, a new land! On June 6, 1860, Henry and his two sons left Florence, Nebraska, with a company of over two hundred […]

JAMESON, Charles: Haun’s Mill Survivor

Charles Jameson was one of the Haun’s Mill victims that survived. “Oh, what a time that was! [Charles Jameson] was shot several [4] times. He crawled into the brush. The men followed him. One said, ‘Shoot him.’ Another said, ‘No, let him suffer. He’s dying anyway.’ But he did not die; he lived to go to Utah and lived to a good old age (6).” They were able to extract one bullet, but Charles carried the other three slugs with him for the rest of his life.

ALLEN Jr., Daniel: A Life of Consecration

Having completed their assignment, Daniel and his committee returned to Nauvoo, only to find buildings burning, mobs raging, and the saints gone. Daniel hurried to his home to find that his family was still alive, but his wife Mary Ann had just had a new baby and was very ill. He pled with the mob to let him stay a few days so his wife could recover, but they said they would kill them all if they weren’t gone by the next day. They hurriedly loaded what they could in the wagon and made a bed for Mary Ann and the baby. The Allen wagon was one of the last three to leave Nauvoo. They traveled together for a short distance, but couldn’t keep up because of Mary Ann’s grave condition. Being left alone with only one other wagon, they trudged through the mud and snow as best they could until they reached the head of Soap Creek (it looks like this might be less than 100 miles from Nauvoo). Mary Ann had struggled so valiantly, but could endure no more, so she whispered her last words to her loving husband…”We’ll meet again dear love in a better world and I shall wait your coming”. She died on the trail in May, 1846, along Soap Creek, Davis County, Iowa with no one but her family and the angels in heaven to mourn her passing.

LEWIS, William Crawford

Submitted by John E. Elggren, Great Grandson William Crawford Lewis, pioneer of 1847, was born at Franklin, Simpson County, kentucky, November 24, 1830.  He was the son of Benjamin Lewis, of Pendleton District, South Carolina, and Joannah Ryons of Clark County, Kentucky. William was named for William Crawford, a dear friend of his mother’s family, […]

YOUNG, John Ray: Experiences

John R's mother was ill and stayed in Winter Quarters, but John R and his brother Franklin W ( 8 ) left soon after the advanced party, in the Jedediah M Grant Company. In his book John R. states that they were no ones responsibility, but everyones chore boys. It is heart renching to me to picture a sick mother sending a 10 year old son on a 1000 mile treck through wild country with an 8 year old in tow. One morning when they were camped on Hams Fork near Ft Bridger, in what is now Wyoming, a cow was sick and would not get up. John was left behind to try to get her up and bring her to the next camp site. It is terrible to think of the fear he felt as the last dust settled from the wagons as they faded from view. While tending the cow he saw an Indian across the river, and he decided to leave the cow and head for camp. The next morning several men returned to the previous camp site, and found that the cow had been butchered by Soux Indians 'on the war path after Shoshones', This band raided Ft Bridger, but left the Mormon train alone except for one sick cow.


This article originally appeared in Vol.60 No.2 of pioneer Magazine By Ronald W Andersen john reading joined the Church on July 3, 1853, and married Mary Ann Brown on May 29, 1856. She was nine years his senior and had been a member of the Church for almost 10 years. The year they married, they […]

JOHN, Thomas & Margaret Thomas

The first three nights on the trail were spent on the banks of the Elkhorn River, which was not far out of Winter Quarters. The river had many fish in it and some of the company fished a good deal while camped at that location. Others spent time harvesting grapes which were in abundance along the banks of the river. The company saw many buffalo herds and abundant antelope, deer, and elk along the trail. They only harvested one buffalo, but had many deer and antelope along the way. This journey was made before the white man exterminated the buffalo by shooting thousands and then leaving the carcasses to waste.
This was not the end of the influence of the white man. Henry John documented the following: “The horse and the cow were soon to take the place of the buffalo; sheep were to replace the elk, deer and antelope. Domestic fowl claimed the place of the wild turkey; grouse and little prairie dogs were given wheat saturated with poison in order to move them out of the way so fields of grain could be raised. Wild plums and bending branches of wild fruit were to be rooted up and the more luscious fruits- peaches, pears, apples and others- were to take their place. The Indian wigwams were to be moved; white man’s cottages and beautiful residences were to take their places (2).”
Henry Miller had a very stern reputation and lived up to that reputation on this journey as well. When the company came to the Green River, Captain Miller told them all to get out of the wagons and ford the stream on foot. The river was ice cold and one old man that had been very sick and worn out climbed on a mess box that was bolted on the back of a wagon. When Captain Miller saw this, he jumped into the river and pulled the old man off and threw him into the cold river. Twenty eight people died on the trip and many thought a good portion of those fatalities were attributable to Captain Miller’s harsh, unforgiving supervision

CROSS, Benjamin

Benjamin Cross, was chosen to be the first bishop of Peteetneet Creek ….
October 26th, 1854 there was an article in the Deseret News of Israel Calkins having raised produce on nearly an acre belonging to Bishop Cross: 150 bushel of beets, 150 bushel of potatoes, 3 bushel of onions, 130 good cabbage heads and an additional 300 heads damaged by the grasshoppers, 3 barrels of pickle cucumbers, and quite a quantity of melons, squash, and peppers.
Benjamin was assisting Charles B. Hancock financially to get a grist mill built in Payson. On November 15th George A. Smith came to Payson from Provo to speak in a meeting and stayed the night with Bishop Cross.

ORR, Robert Ustain: A Short Biography

Robert Orr was quite the character on the stage, taking mostly comedy roles. Adept at showing the humorous side of life, he was a good pantomime and had plenty of chances to use his talent. When they were able to have a stage curtain made, he was in charge of running the curtain up and down and kept the coal-oil lamps all clean and filled. The first play they put on was called "Ten Nights in a Bar Room", which Robert had a part. This play was a favorite for many years and they played it at the opening of each season. They also took their plays over to Camp Floyd, Eureka and Tooele.

STAINES, William Carter

The following article first appeared in Vol. 60 No.2 of pioneer Magazine by Ronald W. Andersen During the first years of his residence here, William Carter Staines engaged in various avocations. As an expert gardener, Staines not only cultivated fruits and flowers upon his own premises, but superintended at one time the gardens and orchards […]

RIGBY, William Frederick Littlewood: A Great Pioneer Colonizer

Strangely, it was the arrival of Johnson’s Army and the establishment of Camp Floyd that enabled William and other pioneers to begin a move to prosperity. The building of the camp with Government money gave support to scores of laborers and mechanics. The soldiers with their paychecks were also liberal in their spending. William was able to buy oxen, a wagon, and new clothing with his higher earnings.

BELLISTON, Thomas & Sophia

A harrowing experience occurred between Christmas and New Years, just as he turned fifteen. Thomas and his brother, Jim, had gone with the reluctant consent of their father to haulwood on a very cold winter day. They found themselves returning home after dark when the temperature had dropped to bitter freezing. Both nearly lost their lives.

BURT, William

A Master plasterer and his son John Burt Submitted by Alan Turner Many are the inspiring and interesting stories that come through our pioneer ancestors trials  and experiences. William Burt was  my 4th great grandfather who did much of the decorative plastering on the manti temple.  But the interesting story about him is that in […]

FENTON, Thomas

This article originally appeared in Vol.60 No. 2 of pioneer Magazine by Ronald W. Andersen The Fentons rented part of a house in the Fifteenth Ward, but in 1852 they purchased a house and lot in the Sixth Ward. In 1856 they moved to Ogden, intending to settle there, but after buying a house and […]


After travelling over the mountains one day we met with some of our brethren from the Valley. This was a time of rejoicing. Captain Brown who left us at Santa Fe with the sick which went by the way of Fort Kearney and a few brethren with him from the Valley, brought news that we were not to go to the Valley, and told us we had better stay another year in California. So the company divided right where we met each other; some went on to Winter Quarters; some to the Valley, and some turned back. Daniel Browett, Slater, Cox, Levi Roberts and myself turned back to Sacramento and went to work for Mr. Sutter who treated us very kindly. I sent a mule to my wife with Brother Harris, which she got….

We all went to work at the same place for Captain Sutter. We took the work of cutting a millrace. Brother Browett went [p.379] to work with the millwright, this was in September and later on in the fall, I and two others took sick with the bilious fever. We were so sick we couldn't help each other to a drink of water. We lay under some ties and had to crawl around with the sun to keep from making us chill…. Our appetites were very poor, and our food was flour, water and squash. Had it not been for the thoughts of my wife and family I could have died, but we all three recovered after awhile and went to work on the millrace again and worked all winter. Sometime in the winter two of the brethren who were working for Mr. Sutter in the mountains found gold in a tailrace they were making. Mr. Sutter let me see the first gold they found before sending it to San Francisco to get it tested. In May 1848 some of the brethren and myself made a trip in the mountains to try and find a road over (instead of going down Truckee River, as we had to cross it about 20 times) but when we got in the mountains we found so much snow we had to return, and on our way back I stopped at what we called the Mormon Island, where there was some of the brethren at work getting gold, Brother Sidney Willis and his brother; also Brother Hudson. I stayed here for a short time and got some gold.


Date of Birth 24/Dec/1799 Place of Birth Sunderland, Durham, England UK Date of Death 21/Sep/1878 Place of Death Pleasant Grove, Utah, Utah USA john richan, a pioneer tinsmith John Richan was born on 24 December 1799 in Sunderland, Durham, England. At the age of twelve he was indentured as an apprentice to learn the art […]

ALLEN, Albern

A court-martial was held by the officers and priests, and without being heard in their own defense, the brethren were sentenced to be shot on Friday morning on the public square in Far West, in the presence of their wives and families. At this unprecedented action General Doniphan objected, saying he would have nothing to do with such cold-blooded actions, and he would draw off his brigade from the army. This probably saved the lives of the prisoners, as the sentence was changed and the prisoners were taken to Independence, Jackson County (3).”

YEARSLEY Sr., David Dutton: Giving His All

The Yearsleys made their way through the bitter cold winter weather to Winter Quarters. The hardships were so extreme that some entire families were buried along the way. “Thus, from day to day, slowly and wearily traveling, went the exiled Saints across the undulating surface of snow-covered Iowa. The Roads were very bad, the weather cold and stormy, and the streams, now frozen, now swollen by spring freshets, almost and at times quite impassable. Again and again they were obliged to double teams on the heavily loaded wagons, to drag them through deep streams and miry marshes on their line of travel. Some days three or four miles would be the extent of their journey. Many a halt was made, at times for weeks (5).”

REES, Thomas: Poor Welch Immigrant

Thomas and his family wanted to go to Utah with the saints, but he didn’t have the money to do so. Thus, their pioneer pilgrimage began on their destitute little farm in Wales with an effort to save money for the journey. It took until 1868 for them to save enough to send Brigham and one of his older sisters to Utah. They sent them off with instructions to save money and help the rest of the family to come. Brigham sailed to the states on the steamship Colorado. If his sister traveled on the same ship with him, it was Elizabeth because she is the only one to closely match name and age (5). The ship carried 600 saints bound for Utah, and was the last of the year. It departed Liverpool on 14 July, 1868 (6), and arrived at the Castle Garden Immigration center of New York on 7 August, 1868 (7) They traveled by train to Florence, Nebraska (another account says the train took him to Wyoming), then walked the last 800 miles from there to Utah because the rail hadn’t been completed to Ogden yet. Records record him arriving in Utah in 1869, so he must have been delayed en-route. Brigham would have been one of the last of the pioneers to walk to Utah before the Golden Spike was driven in Ogden.

MAUGHAN, Harrison Davenport & Mary Freestone

Education had already become a high priority in the mind of this teenager. After twelve or fifteen months of employment she had saved enough money to enroll in the new Brigham Young Academy in Logan. Where had she learned what she needed to know to get admitted? How was she able to make her way in the environment of an academy? She may have attended school briefly as a small girl and perhaps for one year just after returning from Franklin Meadows.

Mary left one little school workbook, labled “Alpine City, Utah.” It is filled with evidence of studies in math, geology, grammar (including diagraming sentences) and a lot of theology from the Bible. She also left another workbook in penmanship and a series of well-written essays on a variety of subjects. These showed good spelling and extraordinary penmanship, a beautiful script worthy of a highly educated person.

Mary attended Brigham Young Academy for perhaps only three months, or maybe as
much as two semesters. At the end of the spring term in 1882, the students exchanged messages in little autograph books, with one greeting per page in the form of a poetic sentiment. Each page is written in beautiful script – a very impressive exhibit, when compared to twenty-first century handwriting, which is often illegible at the college level!

MELLOR Jr., James: Inspirational Story

Mary, however, was so hungry and faint that she finally told Louisa to go on without her. Louisa would have none of that. She instead walked ahead a short distance, kneeled down, and poured out her heart to the Lord to help them. She arose and headed back toward her mother on the same path she had just taken. She walked a short distance when she suddenly saw something in the prarie grass. It was a freshly baked pie! It was laying right side up, and the crust wasn't even broken. They both thanked the Lord for the immediate answer to her prayer, ate the pie, and resumed their tip toward the company. In the meantime, since they had not caught up with the company in the time expected, James Sr. had taken his handcart to go look for them. He found them and took them in the handcart back to camp.


Other than for Julia's health, Isaac was well equipped to travel. In the heat of the late spring, Julia gained some weight and felt pretty well. Deciding that they could safely make the trip, Isaac loaded the wagon, making a special bed for his wife. At first she did very well, cheerful that at last they could go west and be with their relatives. But as the trip continued, the strain began to tell. Some mornings she was unable to get up. When they crossed Loup's Fork they again pulled out of the line, getting one of the Elders who lived at the Fork, Isaac and he administered to her. She seemed to relax and feel better, but during the night she lapsed into her last long sleep.
After they buried her, Isaac was so grief stricken that he sat for days, staring in front of him, felled by his tragedy. One evening James Walsh came to his fire and said, "I have seen many tragedies along the trail, and I respect you for your grief, but life must go on. Now you owe your little ones an even greater responsibility than before. Now you must be both father and mother to them. Crying tears of anguish over your lost wife is right and proper, but you must never allow your grief to immobilize you. What would Julia want you to do? You have begun a great quest, which, unfortunately, she was too weak to finish. Now you must finish it for her."
Out in the night Isaac walked for hours, asking why? Why? But with the coming of midnight, a peace enveloped him like a cloud. His beliefs taught him that although her body was dead, she, herself was still alive and would wait for him. He must not fail her. The next morning, 10 July 1852, he gathered a bunch of wild flowers and placed

SMITH, Joseph Johnson

How happy they must have been to be in “Joseph’s City”. But the happiness didn’t last long. Within three months after arriving in Nauvoo, little Mercy became ill and died. Joseph’s wife, Mary, grieved with Joseph, but within two months, she and Joseph became excited again because she was going to have another baby. But again, the excitement was blunted by death as Mary died a week after her baby son, Joseph, was born and baby Joseph died twelve days later. Joseph now was left with just three year-old Caroline. His parents and two sisters and three brothers were still with him in Nauvoo, but how hard it must have been to have sacrificed so much in such a short time.