Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jacob Gibson and Sarah Brower Beitler: Wilford Woodruff Company

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Wilford Woodruff Company (1850)


In early 1850, Church leaders advised emigrants that pioneer companies would travel on a new route on the south side of the Platte River. By taking this new route they avoided some river crossings on the north side that had proved dangerous because of high water in the previous year. They also expected to receive additional military protection on a new army supply road. This was a factor in their decision because they wanted to avoid conflict with the Plains Indians, who had been agitated during the 1849 California gold rush. The 200-mile long army road connected "Old Fort Kearny," located 50 miles below Kanesville on the Missouri River, to "New Fort Kearny" following the south side of the Platte River to the west.

Outfitted emigrants traveled 18 miles south from Kanesville on the east bank of the Missouri River to the Bethlehem Ferry (across the river from present-day Plattsmouth, Nebraska). In mid-June they began ferrying over and assembling on the west bank of the river. Wilford Woodruff called the camp together and organized the company on June 21. The next day 209 people and 44 wagons started out, following the Plattsmouth-Fort Kearny trail south. After crossing Weeping Water Creek they followed a new trail west where they connected with the northward-arching new military road, which became known as the Ox-Bow Trail.

The company was somewhat spread out with the 1st and 2nd Fifties led by Leonard Hardy and Edson Whipple. Elder Woodruff, traveling with the 1st Fifty, crossed Salt Creek on June 28. After leaving Salt Creek they turned west on a cutoff trail (near present-day Swedesburg, Nebraska). All of the companies except Andrus used this cutoff (which passed near present-day David City and Bellwood, Nebraska). This cutoff trail, which bypassed the Cottonwood/Wahoo Creek drainage, saved them 12 miles. On this shortcut route, they reached the Platte about 20 miles west of the regular route taken earlier by Andrus. During this early leg of the journey, a number of people died from cholera.

The two divisions reunited on July 7 on the Platte. They followed the south bank of the Platte River a hundred miles west past Grand Island, where they joined with the Oregon Trail coming north from Missouri. At this juncture they continued 15 more miles to "New Fort Kearny", which they reached on July 15, although army reserved grazing rights and companies weren't permitted to camp within a mile of the fort. On this day they were visited by a tremendous thunderstorm, and lightning killed three oxen and one member of the company. They continued up the south side and miraculously escaped any serious accident or wagon breakage during an exciting wagon stampede on July 30. The next day they reached the Upper Crossing of the South Platte (located about three miles west of present-day Brule, Nebraska). They finished crossing here on August 1 and followed a long dry ridge for 20 miles to Ash Hollow on the south bank of the North Platte.

From Ash Hollow they traveled up the Platte River, arriving at Fort Laramie on August 18. Leaving there, they skirted the Black Hills by taking the river road. They were delayed some days looking for lost cattle but reached the Upper Crossing (at present-day Casper, Wyoming) on September 3. Along much of the road west from Fort Laramie until they reached the Sweetwater, they found little grass, which caused their cattle to wander and slowed their pace. They reached Devil's Gate on September 8. On September 14 they bypassed the established road over the Rocky Ridges by veering to the north through a draw. This variant road, scouted out by J.A. Stratton and three other men who were sent out by Brigham Young to locate better routes and help guide the companies to the Salt Lake Valley, it reportedly had an abundance of feed and water. Unfortunately, Elder Woodruff found no feed or water and said that companies should not take that road.

They rejoined the established road just east of Rock Creek. One day west of South Pass they met with a war party of 500 Snake Indians, but were able to avoid conflict. They crossed the Green River on September 23 and reached Fort Bridger on September 27. Some in the 1st Fifty began murmuring, Elder Woodruff advised that division to move on ahead of them to the valley. Woodruff's Fifty found the road very rough between Big and Little Mountain but reached Salt Lake on October 14. Deaths in the company numbered at least 17, many from cholera.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Source of Trail Excerpt:
Gibson, Jacob, Book of the generations of Jacob Gibson 1849-1881, [43-45].

Read Trail Excerpt:
I got one yoke of cattle one yoke of cows[.] Hyerd [hired] a good yoke from Bishop Hunter[.] Starting with abt 20 Hundred or in the company of capt Morcon in the ten of capt [George Bryant] Gar[d]ner traveling till past ft Kerny [Kearney.] my team falling in consequence of my ten Leaving the company and traveling farther than we aught[.] I concluded if the ten continued to run ahead I would have to hold up[.] spoke abt it to no affect finely I held up the Ballance of the company with friend foster with them whome I had to help over the river as he had Lost his money and othe[r] thing[s] that I have not time to mention[.] So f[o]r me on the Planes to do the best I could or Perish he having a good team and to Spair if rightly managed I held up ontill Elder Woodruff company came along[.] I Join Elder [Edson] Whipples division[.] Br. W.[oodruff] requested me to travle with him or in his division[.] I aggreed to do so but had a hard time as thay traveled as much to Slow as the others to fast for me[.] he had a train of Goods green cattle and Green drivers[.] made slow work [- - - - -] so many Brake down[.] all on the road Behind cot [caught] up and past us and we ware abt 17 weeks When 13 was plenty[.] our provisions wore Just out[.] the Last morning our Breckfast being all we had[.] we got in to the vally on 14 of Octobr glad and thankfull to God


Friday, July 23, 2010

Amelia "Emily" Mitchell (Frank Croft's Mother)

Elder Frank Croft was a missionary in the state of Alabama. Because he persisted in his legal rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States in preaching righteousness unto the people, he was forcefully taken to a secluded spot of the backwoods for the purpose of receiving lashings across his bare back at the hands of armed and vicious men. Having arrived at the place where they had concluded to administer the torture, Elder Croft was commanded to remove his coat and shirt and bare his back. He was then tied to a tree to prevent his moving while he received his lashing until the blood would flow.

Having no alternative, he complied with the demands of the mob, but in so doing, a letter he had recently received from his mother fell from his coat. A short time before, he had written his parents a letter, condemning mob violence and mistreatment of the elders. In his mother’s letter she counseled: “My beloved son, you must remember the words of the Savior when He said, ‘Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name’s sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for you will have your reward in Heaven for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ Also remember the Savior upon the cross suffering for the sins of the world when He uttered these immortal words, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ Surely my boy, they who are mistreating you Elders know not what they do or they would not do it. Sometime, somewhere they will understand and then they will regret their action and they will honor you for the glorious work you are doing. So be patient, my son; love those who mistreat you and say all manner of evil against you and the Lord will bless you and magnify you in their eyes and your mission will be gloriously successful. Remember also, my son, that day and night, your mother is praying for you always.”

Elder Croft, tied to the tree, was so situated that he could see the leader of the mob, who had picked up the fallen letter and had decided to read it before giving word to his men to start the lashing. The elder observed the hardness of his features, the cruelty in his eyes.

He then realized that no sympathy could be expected from him. He closed his eyes while waiting the moment when the beating would begin. He thought of home and loved ones and in particular, of his beloved mother. Then he uttered a silent prayer in her behalf. Opening his eyes, a moment or two later, feeling that the leader had had time to finish reading the letter, he was amazed to see that the man had retired to a nearby tree stump and having seated himself, was apparently re-reading the letter; but what was more amazing to the elder was the change in the man’s countenance. He would read a line or two or a paragraph and then sit and ponder. Deep down in the elder’s conscience was the hope that the man’s heart had been touched by the loveliness and beauty of his mother’s letter.

To Elder Croft, it seemed an interminable time had elapsed when the mob leader arose and approaching the helpless elder said: “Feller, you must have a wonderful mother. You see, I once had one too.” Then, addressing the mob he said, “Men, after reading this Mormon’s mother’s letter, I just can’t go ahead with the job. Maybe we had better let him go.” Elder Croft was released and went his way. The loving influence of his mother seemed very near in his heart and mind. (See Arthur M. Richardson, The Life and Ministry of John Morgan [Nicholas G. Morgan Sr., 1965], pp. 268–68.)


William and Ann Greenwood Keetch

Information comes from Zelda K Wursten in the History of Bear Lake Pioneers

William Keetch was born September 3, 1811 in Kempston, England, the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Inkley). When he was twenty-four, he married Ann Greenwood, the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (White) on 30 Aug 1835. Ann was born 17 Dec 1811 in Newport, England and died 12 Sep 1856 in Florence Nebraska. Eleven children blessed their home in Kempston.

Children of William Keetch and Ann Greenwood
1. Charles Greenwood Keetch b-2 July 1837; m-Mercy Truth Barker; d-3 Sep 1896 in St Charles
2. Alfred Greenwood Keetch b-13 Jan 1840; d-27 July 1925 in Lindon Utah
3. Elizabeth Emma Keetch b-7 Apr 1842; m-Samuel Matthews 12 Oct 1864; d-11 Apr 1893 in Liberty
4. Emma Keetch b-11 June 1844; m-John Reed; d-18 May 1901 in Omaha Nebraska
5. Martha Mae Keetch b-1 Mar 1846; m-Elam Hollingsworth; d-19 Mar 1899 in Preston Idaho
6. Mary Keetch b-1 Mar 1846; d-25 June 1849
7. William Keetch b-6 Mar 1848; d-11 Oct 1856 in Florence Nebraska
8. Nephi Keetch b-10 Mar 1849; d-21 Oct 1849
9. Joseph Hyrum Keetch b-2 Dec 1850; d-30 May 1855
10. Alma Keetch b-14 Feb 1853; d-10 July 1854
11. Ann Maria Keetch b-25 Feb 1855; m-John Stevenson; d-16 Aug 1902 in Omaha Nebraska

The LDS missionaries found them in England and the parents and the four oldest children, Charles G, Alfred G, Elizabeth and Emma joined the church. William did missionary work for some time and was a branch president. On May 4 1856, William and his family immigrated to American, sailing on the ship Thornton from Liverpool England. They arrived at Iowa City June 26 and from there went to Florence Nebraska. The company had a lot of trouble and several were sick with chills and fever. William's wife and son William died there. They were in debt so much, it took them a long time to get out. After Charles sweetheart, Mercy Truth Barker, joined them from England, they left in 1861. William crossed the plains with his daughter and husband in 1875 and arrived in Bear Lake in March of 1875. He remained in Bear Lake the rest of his life living with his son in St Charles in winter and with his daughter, Elizabeth in Liberty in the summer. He died 30 July 1888 and was buried in the Liberty cemetery.


Alfred Greenwood Keetch

From "Portrait, Genealogical & Biographical Record of the State of Utah: Containing Biographies of Many Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present," published 1902, page 271-272.

Alfred G Keetch is a name that will go down to history as one of those who took a leading part for many years in colonization work in this new Territory and also actively participated in alt all of the Indian troubles, his bravery and undaunted courage making him a prominent figure among the early settlers, and being called upon whenever there was any danger to be faced, and be it said to his honor that he never refused to respond to such calls, nor stopped to count the cost, but unhesitatingly went where duty led.

Alfred G. Keetch was born in Bedfordshire, England,
January 3, 1840, and is the son of William K. and Ann Greenwood
Keetch, natives of England. The parents of our subjects were converted to the teachings of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were among the first to be baptized in Bedfordshire. The father became President of the Bedfordshire Branch of the Church and for many years previous to his departure for America preached there. With his wife and family he emigrated to America in 1856, settling at Florence, and remained there for some years. The mother died the same year they came to America and was buried in the Mormon grave yard at Florence; also one child, William. the father later moved to the Bear Lake country in Idaho, where he died in July 1889.

Our subject came to Utah in 1862, in the independent train of David Kimball, in which he drove four yoke of oxen and haled freight across the plains. he arrived in Utah on November 4th and settled in Grantsville, where he lived for a short time and was then sent on a colonization mission to Bear Lake, Idaho, remaining there twenty months, when he again returned to Grantsville, spending the winter of 1865 in that place. In the spring of 1866 he was sent to the Missouri river with four yoke of oxen, for the purpose of bringing emigrants to Utah.

Upon returning to Utah Mr. Keetch was married on November 10, 1866, to Miss Emily Harris, daughter of John and Ann (Stanley) Harris, natives of England, who came to America in 1866. As a result of this union, twelve children have now been born, eleven of whom are now living--Emily A., now Mrs. Aston of Lindon; Lizzie, now Mrs. Cullimore, of the same place, Martha J., now the wife of Meacham Timpanogas; Luella, now Mrs. Cullimore, of Lindon,; Mary E., now Mrs. Thorne, living in Lindon; Alfred Gl, also living in Lindon. He returned June 14, 1901, from a twenty-six month's mission to the Southern States; Ruthie M., now Mrs. Walker of Lindon; Effie L., living at home, and a member of the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association; William J., Hazel B. and Stanley B., all at home; Samuel C. died in infancy.

In 1867 Mr. And Mrs. Keetch went on a colonization mission to the Big Muddy country in Nevada, where they remained until 1871. The State of Nevada imposed and tried to collect an enormous tax from the people who colonized that section of the State, with the result that the Mormons retired from the colony and returned to Utah. Upon returning from the Big Muddy country our subject located at Pleasant Grove, which has since been his home; the section in which he settled having of late years been known as London Ward. During all these years much trouble had been experienced with the Indians and Mr. Keetch participated in many of the battles between the settlers and their savage foes. He bought twenty acres of sagebrush land, which he at once began to clear and cultivate and at this time owns fifty-six acres of land in the county, and has a splendid brick house and good improvements on his home place. In addition to a general farming he has also done considerable business in cattle and live stock, in which he has been prospered.

In politics he is a Democrat and has always been quite active in the work of that party. He served on the City Council for one term and was Mayor of Pleasant Grove for two terms before this Ward was set apart. He became a member of the Mormon Church in England, shortly before coming to the United States and has since been a faithful follower of its teachings. For many years he was very active in the Sunday Schools and Young Men's Association. In 1890 he was ordained a High Priest and set apart as first counselor to Bishop Coppley of Lindon Ward, which position he still holds. the ordination services were conducted by John W. Young. Mr. Keetch is one of the prominent and influential citizens of the part of Utah county and has by his upright and manly life won and retained the friendship and confidence of a large circle of people. His services in colonization work in the past has redounded not alone to the good of the Church, but of the State at large, and opened the way for many who were not members of the Mormon church to come into the State and make homes for themselves and their families, and too much cannot be said in praise of such men.


Jacob Gibson

Birth: Jan. 1, 1814
Delaware County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: May 1, 1882
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Jacob was born to Jacob & Jane Elizabeth (Brush) Gibson of PA
He had at least 15 children
(Obituary from a local newspaper 1882)

Death of Elder Jacob Gibson,- At 5 p.m. yesterday, May 1st, Elder Jacob Gibson died of consumption, at his residence, in Sugar House Ward. He had only been confined to his bed about ten days.

By way of finish we will state from a personal acquaintance with the deceased, that he was a straight-forward, honest man; true to his convictions. He was very strong and decided in his denunciation of what he conceived to be wrong, and as ready to sustain whatever accorded with his conceptions of right.

Family links:
Jacob Gibson (1776 - 1843)
Jane Elizabeth Brush Gibson (1781 - 1855)

Bianca Jane Gibson Johnston (1843 - 1916)
George Marion Gibson (1847 - 1847)
Mary Leota Gibson Young (1849 - 1926)
Hannah Francis Gibson Garn (1852 - 1910)
Sarah Gibson Riches (1854 - 1938)
Georganna Gibson (1856 - 1856)
Jacob Gibson (1865 - 1940)
Jane Elizabeth Gibson (1867 - 1928)
Abraham Gibson (1868 - 1877)
Stewart (Stuart) Gibson (1869 - 1877)
John Gibson (1871 - 1909)
Ellen Violet Gibson Anderson (1873 - 1902)
Margaretta Gibson Caldwell (1875 - 1956)
Andrew Jackson Gibson (1877 - 1938)
Roslen Gibson Larson (1882 - 1946)

Hannah Gleason Smith Gibson (1814 - 1841)
Sarah Brower Beitler Gibson (1823 - 1908)
Margaret Robison Gibson Lilya (1852 - 1920)
Mary Jane (Jones) Point Gibson (1814 - 1847)

Salt Lake City Cemetery
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Plot: B_10_3NROD_1E


Sarah Brower Beitler

Birth: Aug. 3, 1823

Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA

Death: Jun. 12, 1908
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Sarah was born to Abraham & Mary (Brower) Beitler. She married Jacob in Philadelphia, PA 4/20/1848 Together they had 7 children Hannah Francis, Sarah, Jacob, Mary Leota, Abraham, Jane Elizabeth & Georganna Gibson. Sarah is Buried with 14 other family members in the Jacob Gibson family plot George Washington Young, Clarissa Kirkwood, Alice Webster, Hannah F Garn, Infant Riche, Abraham B Gibson, Jane Elizabeth Gibson, Margaret Lilya, Infant Ricker, Thomas Herrington, Zetta Garn, Stella Garn and Jacob Gibson


Funeral Of Mrs. Gibson
Services Held at the Sugar House Ward Meetinghouse.

The funeral services over the remains of Mrs. Sarah B. Gibson, were held at the Sugar House ward meetinghouse Sunday, June 14, 1908. The assembly room was crowded with relatives and sympathizing friends and the casket was profusely covered with floral offerings. "Who Are These Arrayed in White" was sung by a mixed chorus. Prayer by Bishop James Jensen of Forest Dale

James McGhie, Jos. E. Taylor, President Frank Y. Taylor, Bishop M. M. Atwood of Emerson ward, A. G. Driggs, and Bishop John M. Whitaker, all well acquainted with the deceased, spoke of her long life of usefullness, her kind and loving disposition, her friendship to the friendless and of her untiring efforts as president of the Relief society, which position she occupied for 33 years, having been released some time since on account of her advanced age.

During the service Edw. H. Anderson sang the solo, "I know That My Redeemer Lives." and the chorus rendered "Abide With Me." The closing hymn "Rest" was sung by chorus and Elder A. Milton Musser pronounced the benediction. The grave was dedicated by Elder Peter Hansen.

Source-Deseret News 6-16-1908 Death Notices

Family links:
Mary Leota Gibson Young (1849 - 1926)
Hannah Francis Gibson Garn (1852 - 1910)
Sarah Gibson Riches (1854 - 1938)
Georganna Gibson (1856 - 1856)
Jacob Gibson (1865 - 1940)
Jane Elizabeth Gibson (1867 - 1928)
Abraham Gibson (1868 - 1877)

Jacob Gibson (1814 - 1882)

Salt Lake City Cemetery
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Plot: B-10-3-2-ENR

Charles Addison North

Age 23

Age 50

Wedding Picture


Arriminta Howard

Arriminta was born 25 February, 1819 in Troy, Madison County, Illinois, the daughter of John Howard and Jane Van Hooser. Her fathers parentage were of English-Scottish extraction coming to the Virginia Colony sometime before 1760. The Van Hooser family were German arriving in New York state in 1610-20. Her American ancestors helped settle and tame the American Frontier and had homes in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and the Indian Territory of Iowa. Her fathers fought in the Revolutionary War and many of the Indian wars associated with the westward movement in America. They were neighbors of the Daniel Boone family in that generation.

Arriminta was from a strongly knit family who lived, worked, and moved together in a multi-family group. Her parents had nine children, Arriminta being the fifth. She was only eight years old when her father died suddenly, leaving her mother with her children ranging from 17 to just a few months old. This family group became her safety net and salvation. Arriminta’s Aunt (her mother’s sister) was also a single mother and those two women combined their family to make their lives easier. So close was these two families that four of them married each other and most of them stayed close their entire lives, moving several times as a group having joined the LDS church in southern Illinois in the mid 1830s.

Arriminta was baptized a member in her early teens, along with several of her extended family and while living in the area east of St. Louis. Soon after they moved to Effingham, Illinois. Her uncle, then several others bought property there as though they had in mind a permanent settling. It was about the same time, whether planned or not, we cannot say, that Sidney North moved his family to the Effingham region. It was there that Arriminta met and married Levi. Levi had joined the LDS church in 1832 and we can suppose it was the Mormon group that brought the two together. They married in November, 1837. One year later Arriminta delivered their first child, a boy they named Charles Addison.

The time spent in Effingham for Arriminta and her extended family was short lived however. For in 1840 Levi moved his family to Sugar Creek, Iowa (Indian Territory) just a few miles west, across the river from Nauvoo, where the leaders of the Mormon church was gathering the Saints from all over the world. Levi, along with Arriminta’s several family had chosen Sugar Creek to live. It was in Sugar Creek that their second son, Hyrum Bennett was born. But that was not to be long either, Levi needed to be closer to the temple construction site in Nauvoo. In November of 1843 Arriminta delivered a little baby girl named Almira.

But trouble with a few church dissidents and many other malcontents forced a move from Illinois to the Rocky Mountains. The Norths joined the exodus into Iowa taking them to three temporary settlements in the Indian Territory. The first stop was in Garden Grove where they stayed just long enough to help build small cabins, clear some land, erect fences and plant vegetables. All this in preparation for the larger exodus that would follow. Levi then moved west to Mt. Pisgah, where he built themselves another small cabin. This is where the family spent the winter of 1846 and where Arriminta gave birth to their fourth child, named Levi Howard. How long they spent in Mt. Pisgah is hard to determine but the best guess is just a few months, maybe a year.

They then moved further west, to the Missouri River, but continued on, up the river, past Kanesville and to Harris Grove a little north-east. Here the land was more rolling hills, covered with trees. Here they could build larger cabins and had timber to cut for wagons, which is what Levi would be doing for about six years. It was in Harris Grove that two other children would join the growing family. Arriminta was born in October, 1849 and Merari was born in June, 1852.

Merari was literally just days old when, according to plans that had been formulated several months earlier, Arriminta and her husband gathered the children and all their belongings; packed them into three wagons and moved to the Salt Lake Valley arriving in September, 1852. It generally took over two months to make that 1100 mile journey. Merari would have made that trip as a baby. Arriminta made it while recovering from childbirth. What a lady!

But by the time she delivered her next baby, Mary Jane, in May, 1854 her home was finished in Millcreek Almost three years later, in March, 1857, she delivered another baby girl they named Melinda Howard (named after Arriminta’s sister who had been so very close to her through the hard times-and had died shortly after arriving in Utah). There would be one more daughter born to this couple, a girl they named Margery Ann “Annie” in 1849. That was Arriminta’s last child, she was 40 years old.

This must have been the beginning of a good life for her and Levi. These were prosperous times. Work was plentiful and rewarding. Everything was finally looking permanent. Arriminta was undoubtedly one who wanted the very best for her family and was willing to work hard for it, to sacrifice and to share the good things. And her church advocated plural marriage for the faithful Mormon couples. There were many women in the valley that did not have husbands and homes. She apparently did not have a problem with this principle and so on the second of March, 1865 Levi married Maren Kirstene Pedersen, a convert from Denmark. Levi built her a home on the west side of the Country Road, across the street from Arriminta’s home. Maren would eventually bear 9 children for Levi. They were accepted into Arriminta’s as though they were her own. She was, to them, “Aunt” Arriminta.

We are told that the good life for this large family continued with some notable exceptions. Three of Maren’s children died in early childhood. Levi spent six months in the territorial prison for the crime of polygamy. But otherwise, Arriminta’s life was very good and comfortable for the place and time in which she lived. She buried her husband in 1894 after a short illness. She lived another nine years with her children and grandchildren caring and providing for her every need. She died on 12 March, 1903 having lived true to her faith, active in her church and family affairs. Arriminta was a grand Lady.


Albertine Josephine Johnson

Albertine Josephine Johnson, Age 24

With husband Charles Addison North at age 23.  It's their wedding picture.


Isaac John Wardle

Isaac John Wardle - History of Idaho Vol. III 1920 (page 507, Joseph S. Wardle)

Joseph S. Wardle, a ranchman who resides on the Boise bench two miles southwest of Boise...His father was Isaac John Wardle, of St. Anthony, Idaho, who passed away in October, 1917, at the age of eighty-two years. He was born in Lincolnchire, (Leicestershire) England, June 13, (14th) 1835, and came to the United States in 1852 (1856) as a convert to the Mormon church. He at once proceeded across the plains to Utah, making the trip on foot with a handcard company, being then a lad of eighteen (twenty) years. He came to the new world unaccompanied by relatives, but after he had been in Utah a few years he sent to England for his parents, who joined him in Utah, he paying their passage to the United States. Twenty-two years ago (1898) Isaac John Wardle removed from Utah to Idaho and resided at St. Anthony throughout his remaining days. He was a sheep raiser and the excellent opportunities for carrying on the industry in Idaho caused him to locate in this state. He was very active in the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving as superintendent of a Sunday school in Salt Lake City for eighteen years. He was married three times and by his first wife, Martha Ann Egbert, had ten children...The mother died December 9, 1916. By his second wife Isaac J. Wardle had one child, a son, William H. Wardle, now living in Teton county, Idaho. By his third marriage he had four children, of whom three are living. His family numbered fifteen children together, of whom ten yet survive (1920).
Online Source:

Isaac John Wardle - From the book "Church Chronology" (published 1898)

"Sun. 20. (March 1887) - At a meeting held at South Jordan, the Seventies residing in Riverton, Bluff Dale and Herriman were separated from the 33rd quorum of Seventy...On the same occasion the 95th quorum was organized with Edwin D. Holt, James Oliver, Issac J. Wardle, Albert Holt, Andrew Amundsen, Henry B. Beckstead and Alexander Bills as presidents. The members of this quorum resided in South Jordan Ward."

"April. Fri. 1. (1887). - Herriman, Salt Lake Co., was raided by U.S. deputy marshals; nearly every house in the village was searched, but no arrests were made. Sat. 2. (April 1887) - South Jordan, Salt Lake Co., was raided by U.S. deputy marshals, who arrested Alexander Bills and Henry Beckstead for u.c. (unlawful cohabitation). Mon. 4. (April 1887) Ole Hansen, of Logan, was arrested for u.c. and placed under $1,500 bonds. Tues. 5. (April 1887) - Karl G. Maeser, of Provo, was arrest on a charge of u.c. Lars Nielsen and John Felt, of Huntsville, Weber Co., were arrested on the same charge, taken to Ogden and placed under bonds."

"Mon. 26. (Sep. 1887) In the Third District Court Henry Beckstead, of South Jordan was sentenced to six months' imprisonment and $100 fine; and Joseph H. Ridges, of Salt Lake City, to six months' imprisonment and $25 fine. for u.c."

"Wed. 4. (June 1890) - Isaac J. Wardle, of South Jordan, Salt Lake Co., was arrested for u.c. (unlawful cohabitation)"
Online Source:

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Source of Trail Excerpt:
Wardle, Isaac John, Autobiographical sketch [n.d.], [2].

We arrived safe in Boston Saturday at 10 A.M. after five (5) weeks sea voyage. After 2 days proceeded by train to Iowa City, arriving there July 8, 1856 and went on to Council Bluffs. I left Council Bluffs in "Captain Martin's" handcart company. Being a stron[g] man and having no relatives in the company I took a sick young man (eighteen years old) in my cart. His name was "Langl[e]y A. Bailey", besides the sick boy I had 100 lbs. flour, a tent, and camp equipment for seven persons which I pulled for 1130 miles to Pacific Springs, Wyoming. John Bailey helped me pull some of the way. We crossed the Missouri River at Florence. when we left Florence there were about 740 souls in our company. With Edward Martin as our Captain we did not have much difficuilty on the road except a few visits from the Indians until we encountered a sever[e] snow storm at Platt[e] Bridge this was early in October. Then our old men and women and some of the younger children began to give out and to get sick and many of them died which I helped bury, but we kept moving on a little every day in spite of the cold and hardships. At one time I became so weary and over come with cold that I fell down and was forced to lay there for some time. About this time one day while we were stopped for noon two men rode into our camp, they were "Joseph Young" and Ephraim Hanks who had come to tell us that men where coming to meet us with teams and wagons from Salt Lake City. We met the first team at Pacific Springs, Wyoming who had provisions for us with them. By this time our company was much smaller than when we left Council Bluffs, as so many had died some had stopped at different places along the way. We proceeded on to Salt Lake City with the teams leaving our handcarts behind. We arrived there Nov. 30, 1856 having taken us Six (6) months and five (5) days to come from Liverpool England to Salt Lake City U.S.A.

President Brigham Young along with many of the other Brethern and Women came to welcome us and took us into their homes, fed and warmed us and gave us warm clean beds to rest our weary bodies.,18016,4976-10402,00.html

Ashton family

William and Sarah Ann Barlow Ashton (parents), Mary Ann Ashton (daughter) and her siblings

(Artist representation of Mary Ann and Sarah Ellen Ashton by Julie Rogers, titled "Orphans.")

William and Sarah Ann Barlow Ashton brought their four daughters, Betsy (11), Sarah Ellen (7), Mary (4) and Elizabeth Ann (2), from England in 1856 with the Martin Handcart Company, leaving behind the grave site of another little daughter, Esther, who had died in infancy. As the ship Horizon docked at Boston Harbor on July 2, Elizabeth Ann died and the bereaved family left behind another never to be visited grave.

The Ashton family bore their grief in the summer heat and crowded train as they traveled from Boston to Iowa City where they waited and worked for three weeks, preparing handcarts and tents to continue their journey. On the next leg of their journey through Iowa, the Ashtons successfully walked and drew their handcart 300 miles to Florence, Nebraska. Sarah Ann bore the extra burden of an advanced pregnancy.

For three days at Florence, the Martin Company regrouped, repaired their carts, and prepared for their 1,000-mile march through the wilderness of the Nebraska plains and Rocky Mountains to reach their Zion. On August 26, one day after leaving Florence, Sarah Ann died in childbirth. William named their precious baby girl Sarah Ann, then took up his march again, caring for his daughters as best he could through the searingly hot days and increasingly frosty nights. He would dig one more grave on September 11 for his new baby girl, less than three weeks old.

Upon reaching Ft. Laramie on October 9, William left the care of his three little girls with the Martin Company as he enlisted in the U.S. Army. It was not uncommon in those times for a widowed father to turn the care of his young children over to others, in order to secure employment for their support. On an unknown date, William returned from Ft. Laramie to England and lost touch with his children. On another unknown date, the Martin Company would attend to the burial of Betsy Ashton. Sarah Ellen lost sight in one of her eyes as the cold weather arrived in October, but she and Mary survived the rest of the journey and arrived in their Promised Valley on November 30, 1856, completely dependent on others for their care.

Sarah Ellen married Thomas W. Beckstead at the age of 15 and gave birth to 10 children, 6 of whom lived to adulthood. Mary married Isaac Wardle, a man who had also been in the Martin Handcart Company. Mary died after giving birth to her first child, William Ashton Wardle, in 1869.

Bereft of family once more, Sarah Ellen put her energies into hard work, serving others and raising her children. She pioneered in Whitney, Idaho, where she lived to be 92 years old. She also worked as a midwife and insisted that her posterity receive a good education. Her descendants fondly remember her for many good things, but perhaps one secret to her success in overcoming her trials and handicap was her love of beauty. "Her flower garden on the old place was so lovely . . . the Sweet Williams, pansies and old-fashioned flowers she had growing there. . . . She was so clean, neat and orderly - always had her windows filled with blooming plants, even in the winter time, and carefully covered them with paper each night so they would not freeze." She made "exquisite samplers" as a girl, and even "her aprons always had handwork across the bottoms."

One day a copy of the Church publication Millennial Star was brought to Sarah Ellen's home. It contained an inquiry concerning anyone who might know of relatives of William Ashton, pauper, in England, who had emigrated to America previously and left his children on the plains. Sarah Ellen sent passage money to England for her father to come to Idaho and join her family. Thomas and Sarah Ellen cared for William until his death. He is buried in the Whitney cemetery a short distance from the grave sites of Thomas and Sarah Ellen Beckstead.

Ashton, William Albert (33 or 34) father, b. England, turned back and left surviving daughters

Ashton, Sarah Ann Barlow (33), mother, b. England, d. Aug. 26 in childbirth at Cutler’s Park, Nebraska
Ashton, Betsy (11), b. England, died on plains
Ashton, Sarah (10), b. England
Ashton, Mary (4), b. England
Ashton, Elizabeth Ann (1 or 2), b.England, d. July 2, 1856, on ship docked in Boston
Ashton, Sarah Ann, daughter, born on Aug. 26, 1856, Cutler’s Park, Nebraska, d. Sept. 11, 1856

Sarah Ellen Ashton

Born: July 8, 1846 in England
Age: 10
Martin Handcart Company

Sarah Ellen's family was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and they made plans to sail for American. Sarah's parents, William (33 or 34) and Betsy Barlow Ashton (33), their children Betsy (11), Sarah Ellen (10), Mary (4), and Elizabeth Ann (1 or 2), left Liverpool, England in may 1856 on the ship "Horizon".

While at sea (or in Boston), Sarah's sister, Elizabeth, died. The family arrived in America and traveled to Iowa City, Iowa. They had to wait there nearly a month for their handcarts to be finished. they then joined with the Martin Company.

They traveled several weeks and on August 4, 1856, a baby girl, Sarah Ann, was born on the plains in Nebraska. A short time later on August 26, 1856, Sarah Ellen's mother, Betsy, died. Two weeks later on September 11, 1856, the new baby, Sarah Ann, also died.

After this sad tragedy, Sarah's father became discouraged, left his three little girls with the company, returned to New York, and later went back to England. The Saints cared for the little girls as well as they could. They all suffered greatly from food shortages and the lack of warm clothing. Sarah Ellen's oldest sister, Betsy, froze to death. This left Sarah and her sister, Mary, to continue walking on to the Salt Lake Valley. They arrived on November 30, 1856.

They were met by a group of Saints who took them in and cared for them. Later, they found a home with the Hatfield family in Farmington, Utah. They remained there until Sarah married Thomas W. Beckstead when she was 15. Sarah and Thomas had 10 children, four of whom died as infants.

Sarah devoted her life to her children, her husband, and her church. In 1887, the Beckstead family moved to Idaho. Sarah read in the paper where her father was advertising for his family. Sarah Ellen sent to England for him to come and join her family. Sarah's father accepted her invitation and Sarah cared for her father until his death.

Sarah Ellen lived a good life helping the sick and needy. Surely, she learned to trust in God and be forgiving. She lived to be 92.

MARY ANN ASHTON (2nd Wife of Isaac John Wardle and mother of William Hasten Wardle)

Mary Ann Ashton Remembered

Mary Ann Ashton, age 4, of England. Martin Company. [Out of their family of two parents and four daughters, Mary Ann and one sister are the only ones who made it safely to the Valley. Her sister Sarah Ellen lost the sight in one eye because of experiences of the handcart trek.
Online Source: (


My Handcart Memories, (
 I had an experience this summer that I can’t explain. I was with a handcart company for several months. Like I said, I can’t explain it, but it was real and it was powerful. My biggest fear now is that I’ll forget those I met and came to love. I also worry that I’ll forget what they taught me. In this notebook I plan to write all I can remember and learn about them. I don’t know if it will ever matter to anyone else. But to me, they matter. I won’t forget them. -Jake

Betsy, Sarah Ellen, and Mary Ashton
What I Remember:
The three little girls that joined my tent at Ft.Laramie. Their father left the company and joined the army.
 What Happened to Dad? Sarah Ellen’s Granddaughter wrote:
A man by the name of Clark came to grandmother’s door with a copy of the Millenial Star which contained an inquiry concerning anyone who might know of relatives of William Ashton, pauper, in England, who had emigrated to America previously and left his children on the plains. Grandmother recognized this man as her father who had left when she was seven…Now she was the only one of the children living. She…got in touch with the authorities where her father lived, sending passage money for him. He arrived withsome missionaries from England and spent the rest of his years with [his daughter Sarah Ellen].
 What I’ve Learned:
- Daughters of William and Sarah Ann Ashton
- Their sister, one year old Elizabeth, died while the Company was in Boston
- Their mother, Sarah Ann died while giving birth to another daughter one day out of Florence. “She was buried in an old wagon box, wearing a dark red cashmere dress and wrapped in a white bedspread.”
- The new baby died two weeks later.
- Father was so sad he left the Company in Ft. Laramie and enlisted in the army. He later returned to England.
- The girls were taken in by other members of the Company. Betsy, the oldest at 11, died someplace in Wyoming.
- Sarah married Thomas Beckstead in 1864 they had 10 children, 4 died as babies.
- Mary married Isaac Wardle in 1867. She died two years later while giving birth to her only child.
- Sarah lived to the age of 62.
Online Source: Olsen, The Price we Paid, pg 301, 434,15773,3966-1,00.html
Online Source: (