Mississippi River Cruise Guide Notes

Parley Street
This long, straight street runs through old Nauvoo and directly into the Mississippi River where a ferry used to operate. It is easy to imagine the Saints lining up, waiting for their turn to cross the river heading west.

From Parley Street, the river is more than a mile across.

Nauvoo became larger than any other city in the state at the time, even more populated than Chicago.

George Moore, a Quincy Minister wrote in his diary that Mormons had a marriage custom that saved them the cost of a marriage certificate from Hancock County Court–a Mormon elder would marry the couple on the snow-covered ice halfway across the river on the Iowa-Illinois borderline.

From Simon Baker History (one of Nephi Bushman’s other relatives):
Simon Baker had a farm across the river from Nauvoo.
4 April 1845 Simon’s wife died, leaving him with a young family.
5 April Simon found it necessary to get someone to help him care for his children. He was going to Nauvoo to attend Conference and promised his children he would bring them a new mother. While on the way over, he asked a friend if he knew of a woman who would make a good mother for his children. This friend referred him to Charlotte Leavitt, a daughter of a widow residing in Nauvoo. After the morning services of the conference were over he went to meet Charlotte and made known his intentions, then left it up to Charlotte. She consented to go home with him and take care of his children, and if she liked him she would marry him, if not, he should pay her for her work.
8 April the started for his home with this understanding. While crossing the Mississippi River on the ferry boat, they decided that they would marry at once–so, securing the services of Elder William Snow, the ceremony was performed between the two states, Illinois and Iowa, thus saving a trip tot he county seat for a license, as the state had no jurisdiction over marriages performed on the water.
The children were on the lookout for them as they had been promised a new mother. Some of them were on top of the house, some on the fence, others on the woodpile, and by the door. As the couple came in sight, the smaller children ran toward them shouting at the top of their voices, ‘Mother, Mother!”

The Exodus from Nauvoo began here.

End of Parley Street; portrays ferry crossing of wagons. Courtesy Glen S. Hopkinson

Here is an excellent article about the Nauvoo Exodus:

William G. Hartley. “The Nauvoo Exodus and Crossing the Ice Myths.”
Journal of Mormon History, vol. 43, no. 1, 2017, pp. 30–58. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.5406/jmormhist.43.1.0030. Accessed 23 May 2022.

From this article we learn that there are several myths surrounding the departure of the Saints from Nauvoo:

–The notion  that almost all of the Nauvoo-area Saints exited for the West in Feb 1846 with the Brigham Young Company, while a minority stayed behind to help finish the temple.

–The notion that most, if not all, of those Saints who departed in Feb 1846 crossed on a frozen Mississippi River.

–The notion that God provided the ice bridge to help the people escape life-threatening mobbing.

–The myth that 9 babies were born the first night of the winter exodus. 

The evacuation plan was made in 1845.
The Saints would leave Nauvoo the next spring when “grasses grow and water runs.”
There would be 25 companies with 100 wagons each.
Winter events upset that plan, producing a small exodus in winter, a huge exodus in spring and a tiny exodus in fall (compare to a horse: head, body and tail)

Late January 1846, because of threats of arrest, Brigham Young decided to move the leaders out early.
Between 4 Feb and 1 March about 2000 Saints in 400 wagons crossed the Mississippi into the Sugar Creek encampment on the other side. They called it the Camp of Israel.

It was not uncommon for the Mississippi River to freeze solidly between Montrose and Nauvoo.

The river froze solid on 24 Feb. At 7pm it was 12 below zero.
All of the crossings before that day had been made mostly by ferry boat, with a few by boat or skiff.

After the freezing, the Saints walked back and forth for supplies, errands and visits.
One lad, son of Hyrum and Jerusha Smith, had crossed by boat on 16 Feb and camped at Sugar Creek. He got homesick and went back to see his folks in Nauvoo for a few days. During that time the river froze and he crossed back on skates.

Brigham Young was eager to move on. The ice sheet made it too easy for the campers to go back and forth to visit friends or family members. Some brought additional supplies or livestock back across the ice.

Only about 200-300 Saints actually crossed on the ice, including Cornelius Lott and his family.

Spring Exodus
During April, May and June, about 12,000 Saints departed and crossed, somewhat disorganized because the Feb exodus fragmented the 25 companies organized earlier. They caught up with the Camp of Israel who had departed 3 months earlier. They’d been on the road only 3 weeks.

Fall Exodus
By September a few hundred Saints still lingered in Nauvoo and nearby areas. Anti-Mormons forced them out. This was the final exodus group.
The Bushman family was most likely in this last group.

John Bushman said that after the martyrdom, the Saints were “were all in mourning and like sheep without a shepherd.” The Bushman family felt deep sadness as they left their home and the temple.

Martin Benjamin remembered seeing “his parents driven from their home and had to leave there crops in the field and take a few things in their wagon and bid goodby to the city they loved.”

Newbern Butt’s book about the Bushmans states that “Martin Bushman, along with a few others, were asked to remain in Nauvoo to plant crops and harvest them to provide food for the many new members coming from the East and elsewhere to gather with the saints. Bounteous crops were raised, but just as they were ready to harvest, the mobbers moved in and drove the rest of the faithful saints from Nauvoo.”

This story puts the Bushmans into the group of the fall exodus, or those who were forced out at gunpoint in September. However, we have found no other records stating that the Bushmans were asked to remain in Nauvoo to plant crops.

The Bushmans may have been asked to remain to work on the farm because Edward Hunter was advised by the Church leaders not to leave with the first group of Saints. He relates that “I was counseled to remain. Left in the spring or summer.” He also says that when he left his properties he had a “loss of more than 30,000 dollars.” The Bushmans were living on Edward Hunter’s farm during most of their time in the Nauvoo area.

Edward Hunter’s farm property was sold on 2 May 1846. We do not know if the Bushmans were forced to leave their home in May at the time of the sale of the farm or if they stayed in the home for a few more months. The histories from Jacob, Martin, and John share very different tales about when they left Nauvoo, which lead us to wonder what the real story is.

Jacob wrote:
We lived on Bishop Hunter’s farm until the Spring of 1846. And in the Winter of 1846, when the Church crossed the river, we sent a pair of horses and a wagon, all the team we had to help the main party of the Church, not knowing how soon the mob would drive us off. And we had to stand guard night and day in the Spring of 1846. The team came back and some time in June we crossed the river into Iowa and went to a farm of a Mr. Bunells. He had in 500 acres of grain and we helped him to harvest it. There was several Mormon families there to work. And just about the time we got done, the mob drove the last of the Saints out of Nauvoo. We traded off one of our horses for a yoke of oxen and started for Council Bluff with six sick children, all in one wagon.

Martin Benjamin’s accounts were written much later in his life when he was in his sixties and eighties. Recollections of early childhood can be somewhat tainted by the many years that passed by, but his story across his various writings is fairly consistent. His memory is that they did not leave Nauvoo until the fall, with more than one version providing the date as September 1846.

For example, in the biography of his parents he writes, “in September 1846 they ware driven from their homes leaving their crops standing in the fields and everything else. They had only a few things they could put into a wagon.” Another version of his story states, “The worst thing I remember was to see my parents driven from their home and had to leave their crops in the field and take a few things in their wagon and bid good-bye to the city they loved.

John’s version of the story concurs with Martin Benjamin’s statement that the family left Nauvoo in September 1846. He writes: “In Sept. 1846, after assisting the body of saints across the Mississippi River with their only team, the Bushman family of six children were compelled to leave their grain and all they possessed, except what they could take in one wagon.

Bushman Children Visit the Nauvoo Temple

The younger boys remembered that they went inside the Nauvoo Temple with their parents before they left.

Martin Benjamin states that their mother took all the children inside the temple in September 1846, “just before the saints was driven from Nauvoo she thought he might remember some things that he saw wich he did for when he went into other Temples when he was older he see thing there just as he had them in his mind that was in that Temple.”

John remembered the trip to the temple, but he relates that it was Martin who took the children and “showed them the beautiful building which they have never forgotten especially the font resting on the back of twelve bronze Oxen. [they were made of wood]

The experiences the Bushman family had at this place, saying farewell to their home in Nauvoo, and crossing this mighty river, were remembered for the rest of their lives. They made great sacrifices to stay with the body of Saints. More sacrifices were yet to come.

Crossing the Mississippi on Ice by C. C. A. Christensen

Here is another good article with touching artwork depicting the Nauvoo Exodus:


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Bushman Reunion 2022 Iowa Field Trip Bus Notes

Farmland in Franklin County, Iowa

Visiting Montrose, Iowa, and the Bonnell Farm

After the Bushman family left Nauvoo, they traveled to Iowa. Jacob Bushman wrote a short autobiography of his life with details about the family’s departure from Nauvoo and how they prepared to go west. This letter is in the BYU Library archives.

Here is what he wrote:

1 April 1843
Jacob Bushman, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 1

Father put in quite a crop that year, and every 10th day we would go and haul rock for the Temple. We raised a very good crop but it was very hard to get milling done. Had to go some of the time 35 miles to mill and we had a good deal of sickness the first two years. Still we got along very well having to stand guard very often. And before the Prophet Joseph and the Patriarch was martyred, Hyrum Smith gave father and mother their Patriarchal Blessing and ordained father a High Priest.

We lived on Bishop Hunter’s farm until the Spring of 1846. And in the Winter of 1846, when the Church crossed the river, we sent a pair of horses and a wagon, all the team we had to help the main party of the Church, not knowing how soon the mob would drive us off. And we had to stand guard night and day in the Spring of 1846. The team came back and some time in June we crossed the river into Iowa and went to a farm of a Mr. Bunells. He had in 500 acres of grain and we helped him to harvest it. There was several Mormon families there to work. And just about the time we got done, the mob drove the last of the Saints out of Nauvoo.

We traded off one of our horses for a yoke of oxen and started for Council Bluff with six sick children, all in one wagon, all down with the chills and fever. And when I had the chills, I had to walk and when the fever came on I could sit up in the front end of the wagon,. And on the 12th of Oct. 1846, Elizabeth died, just before going into camp. Had to be up all night getting her ready to bury her. We done the best we could and left the next day about 10 o’clock. Traveled on until Oct. 19th 1846, when the baby died about 11 months old. She had to be left about the same as the other one was by the road side. We then traveled on until we got to Keg Creek, Pottiwatimie County, Iowa, near Council Bluff. By that time we all had got about well, thank the Lord.

We went to work and built a log cabin and prepared for the winter. Then father had to go down over a 100 miles to Missouri and split rails to get some corn and when he got a load of corn and some meat he sent for me to fetch the yoke of cattle and fetch it home. I went and got it and he came home with me, and being thinly clothed, I nearly froze getting home.

Feb 1847
Jacob Bushman, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 2

We had to make another trip to Missouri to get some bread stuff and seed grain. In the Spring we broke up some land and put in a crop and got along the best we could. Along in the summer father tended the crop and I went down to Oregon, Missouri, and went to work for 4 dollars for a half a month and then helped to harvest in that place and worked till late in the fall. Then I went home and stayed the Winter and father went down to Missouri and worked again. And towards Spring I went and fetched him home. We put in another crop in the Spring of 1848 and then I went down to Missouri to St. Joseph, and father and the little boys tended the place.

And in Dec. 6th, 1849, mother gave birth to her last child a boy. Father still kept on working on his little place on Keg Creek, and I was to work in Missouri, at St. Joseph, going home the Winter of 1849, went back in the Spring of 1850 and was there until the Spring of 1851 when father had concluded to go to Salt Lake and came down for me to go too. And I went home to Keg Creek.

Spring of 1851
Jacob Bushman, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 3

In April 1851, I was baptized by E. H. Davis and confirmed by the same. We then started for Utah. Father had one yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows and one wagon. I drove 3 yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows for Henry Kerns. We crossed the Missouri River at Winter Quarters and went out to a grove a few miles to organize in Mr. Kelsey’s Hundred and Alma Allred’s Fifty. Laid there about two weeks on the account of high water. Then started out to head the Horn and made a complete elbo to get back to the Platt. Got along without much loss. Had two or three stampede, but very little sickness in the camp.

Traveled up the Platt and crossed over the Divide to the Sweet Water. Crossed Green River and over the Mountain and down Emigration to Salt Lake City and from there we went south about 30 miles to Lehi, where they settled down, father and mother and the rest of the family. I went back to Salt Lake City. Now Brother John you know more what was done for the next 6 years than I do.

Your Brother in the Flesh,
Jacob Bushman

The Bonnell Farm
Jacob wrote that they helped harvest grain at Mr Bunnel’s farm, then left in September. The Bonnell farm was about 15 to 20 miles from Nauvoo as a crow flies, or about 30 miles on today’s roads.

A few years later, in the Agricultural Census for the year ending on June 1, 1850, the farm owned by Bonnel & Brothers listed 640 acres of improved land and 340 unimproved. The cash value was $13,000, with farm equipment valued at $1,100. The farm had 9 horses, 7 milk cows, 8 working oxen, 30 cattle, livestock valued at $1,650. Crops harvested that were listed in the census included 100 bushels of wheat, 8,750 bushels of Indian corn and 2,000 bushels of oats.

Who is Mr Bonnell
Although we are not sure about whether the whole Bushman family went to live and work at “Mr. Bunell’s” farm in Iowa, we’ve were able to learn more about the Bunnell or Bonnell family that provides another interesting aspect to the Bushman story. According to Jacob’s account, in June 1846 they went to a farm of a Mr. Bunell where they helped to harvest 500 acres of grain. Jacob also says there were several other families of Latter-day Saints there with them, and that they finished the harvest at about the same time the “mob drove the last of the Saints out of Nauvoo,” or what we assume was September 1846.

Moving to and working on the Bonnell farm was a blessing for Martin and Jacob Bushman, because they probably earned enough money to purchase the necessary things to proceed on their journey to Highland Grove in Western Iowa.

The Bonnell farm in Iowa was started by the five Bonnell brothers: Calvin D., James N., John W., Sylvanus and William. They were the sons of Sylvanus and Nancy Bonnell who were married cousins. Each of the sons was born in Springfield, Essex County (now Union County) New Jersey. In the fall of 1843, the three oldest Bonnell brothers with their families left their homes in New Jersey to begin a new life in the Iowa. The two younger brothers, William and Sylvanus, joined them the next spring. The brothers all tried the mercantile business first, but it did poorly and so they turned to farming.

Franklin County, Iowa

Lee Township (lower left) in Franklin County

In 1845, the Bonnell brothers purchased around 980 acres of land along Highway 218 in Franklin Township, Lee County, Iowa which they farmed as a group. Other family sources report they had 2,000 acres. Their farm was five miles north of the town of Donnellson, Iowa. In 1846, they planted 535 acres in wheat.

On the part of the farm that Calvin Day Bonnell owned, a large barn was built partly framed, but mostly of native stone. In later years, one of Calvin’s sons related to a cousin that, “the barn was built by the brothers in 1844-45. He went on to say, ‘many Mormons that left Nauvoo worked on this barn. Many others cut wheat with cradles and sickle hooks.’ His recollection of the building date of the barn may be off by a couple of years because the evacuation of Nauvoo took place between February and September 1846, and any members of the Church having left Nauvoo would have been working on the barn in that year.

We found another member of the Church who had fled Nauvoo and went to work on the Bonnell farm. David Edwin Bunnell was also born in Springfield, New Jersey, and was a fourth cousin to the Bonnell Brothers. They most likely knew each other and it was natural that David would seek a relative for help. David Edwin Bunnell and his future wife were present when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830 in Fayette, New York. David married Sarah (Sallie) Conrad just nine days later, on 15 April 1830. David and Sallie were baptized into the Church on September 21, 1831.

David was a fifth cousin of Emma Smith, wife of the prophet Joseph Smith. David Bunnell’s son, George Henry, tells the story of going to the Bonnell farm after leaving Nauvoo:
During the very bitter persecutions, we were expelled by the mobs into the state of Iowa to a place called West Point, Lee County, and remained there nearly a year. Then we moved to the Bunnell farm owned by five brothers and remained there one year and a half. My father, David Edwin, worked for them and earned sufficient funds to get a yoke of cattle and wagon. We then moved to Pottawattomie Co., remained there four years, then started westward with a company of the Saints and arrived in Salt Lake Oct. 6, 1852.

Although the David Bunnell family did not travel with the Bushman family across Nauvoo, they may have known them both at the Bonnell farm in Iowa, and again in Pottawattomie County because both families stayed some time in western Iowa before they made the trek to Utah.

There is an old family cemetery near/on the Bonnell farm where John Bonnell’s wife and young child are buried there.

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Bushman Reunion 2022 Carthage Field Trip Bus Notes

The Bushman family lived near the Old Carthage Road

When the Bushmans were here, there was a road that went directly from Nauvoo to Carthage.  That’s the road Joseph and Hyrum took to Carthage Jail.  That road no longer exists.  It went diagonally, NW, from Carthage, and it cut right through people’s farms.  Eventually, after the saints left Nauvoo, you had to take N/S, E/W paths that went around people’s farms; the roads followed a grid instead of running diagonally through the farmland.  So our route is a little longer than the one Joseph and Hyrum took.

Joseph Smith Papers:  
Joseph Smith purchased one hundred fifty-three acres for farm, 16 Sept. 1841, to be paid off over time. Located about three miles east of Nauvoo on south side of Old Road to Carthage. Farm managed by Cornelius P. Lott and his wife, Permelia. Joseph frequently labored this farm. He rode past farm on his way to Carthage on 24 June 1844.

Henry Kearns letter to Leonard Pickel, Dec 1842
“We bought in the prairies about 3 1/2 miles from the town or the temple on the Carthage Road. If you come that road you will find us at the first ditch fenses at the crossroad. . . .  Martin Bushman he lives about 1 mile from us.” 

Map Hancock County, circa 1843
Carthage road went past the Jenkins property and we believe it went right between Joseph Smith’s Farm and Henry Kearn’s Farm.  This means that when bringing Joseph and Hyrum’s bodies home, the procession likely would have passed right by the Kearns and Jenkins land. We have no record of Bushmans being present that day, but they may have been.

The Bushmans knew Joseph and Hyrum Smith, at least somewhat

Hyrum Smith had given Martin and Elizabeth their patriarchal blessings, and he ordained Martin a high priest.  

Martin, in his letter to Leonard Pickel, wrote, “I have seen Brother Joseph and talked with him and I have herd him preach and I Believe him to be a prophet for his enemies has pursued him very much he has walked through the midst of them the could not hurt him for God is his stay and gide.”

Martin Benjamin wrote to Annie Lois Bushman Miller (1925, age 84):

“At Nauvoo my parents labored hard to make their children comfortable.  It was there that I saw the Prophet Joseph Smith and sat upon his lap and saw [my] parents mourn because of his death and, though young, seemed to realize the awful deed.”  Martin Benjamin was 3 years old when Joseph and Hyrum were killed.

Their deaths affected Martin, Elizabeth, and their children, not just because they were their church leaders, but because they had spent some time with them.

Bushman family about the martyrdom

John Bushman was just a baby when this was happening, but he wrote a family history later in his life and included a history of their time in Nauvoo.  He wrote about when Hyrum and Joseph were killed, and said the Saints were “were all in mourning and like sheep without a shepherd.” (John Bushman, Life and Labors, p. 8)

In 1902, brothers Martin Benjamin, John and Elias Albert went together on a trip East, and they stopped by Nauvoo on their way to Pennsylvania.  This is what John recorded in his journal:  “Went to jail at Carthage, paid 10c, saw bullet hole, sad thoughts passed their brain.”   (John Diaries, 1902 Nauvoo visit with brothers, from Typescript Vol 2 1890-1923)

On Carthage
Carthage is the County Seat – Head of their county government. The county courthouse, jail, tax records were kept there.

Abraham Lincoln came to Carthage while the Mormons were in Nauvoo, sometimes for government business and sometimes as a lawyer.  Lincoln was a lawyer and member of the state legislature 1834-1842.  

“The . . . courthouse was a two story brick structure – 50 by 50 feet in size and costing $3,700, was accepted by the board of supervisors on June 7, 1839. [This is the year the saints started to gather in Nauvoo.]  The first case to be tried in the new courthouse was on April 25 of that year. William Fraim was charged with murder as a result of a drunken brawl. His attorney, a tall, lanky; not very handsome man from Springfield, IL by the name of Abraham Lincoln, lost the case and Fraim has been the only person legally executed by hanging in Hancock County.” (Source: Hancock County website)

Lincoln passed through Carthage, campaigning there in the 1858.  It’s said he visited Hancock County often to visit his relatives in Fountain Green.


Supplementary Information:

Carthage Jail From Wikipedia:
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Location Walnut and N. Fayette Sts., Carthage, Illinois
Coordinates 40.41572°N 91.13884°WCoordinates: 40.41572°N 91.13884°W
Area 0.8 acres (0.32 ha)
Built 1839

Carthage Jail is a historic building in Carthage, Illinois, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It was built in 1839 and is best known as the location of the 1844 killing of Prophet Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother Hyrum, by a mob of approximately 150 men. It was added to the NRHP in 1973 and is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as a historic site with an adjacent visitors’ center.

The jail was built in 1839, constructed of red limestone quarried nearby. The building is rectangular and measures 29 feet (8.8 m) by 35 feet (11 m). It is a gable-front building has two stories and an attic. Like other county jails built during the same period, Carthage Jail was built to incarcerate petty thieves and debtors and as a temporary holding place for violent criminals. The first floor contained a debtor’s room in the northwest corner, and a dungeon, or “criminal cell”, was located on the north side of the second floor. The living area for the jailer’s family included a kitchen and dining room on the first floor and a bedroom on the second floor. A small “summer kitchen” was added later.[2][3]

In June 1844, Smith came to the jail to face charges relating to his ordering the destruction of facilities producing the Nauvoo Expositor, a newspaper whose only edition had been critical of the Smiths’ religious teachings. He was joined by his brother, Hyrum, and fellow Latter Day Saints John Taylor and Willard Richards. On June 27, a mob stormed the upper room of the prison and killed the Smiths. Taylor was badly wounded and Richards was scathed, but not seriously injured.[4][5] Hyrum Smith was 44 years old in February 1844 and Joseph Smith was 38 in December 1843.[6]

The building continued to be used as a jail until 1866 and was afterwards used as a private residence. It was acquired by the LDS Church in 1903 and a partial restoration was completed in 1935. It was added to the NRHP on March 30, 1973. The church fully restored the jail in 1989, returning the building to its 1844 appearance. The restoration also included an expansion of the visitors’ center and renovations to the entire block.[2][3] Ezra Taft Benson, president of the LDS church at the time, spoke in front of about 3,000 at a shrine dedication of the jail.[7]

Tours of Carthage Jail are available including the original door with a bullet hole, where the jailer and his family would have slept, and where the Smith brothers were held.[8]

On Nov. 5, 1903, the LDS Church purchased the jail for $4,000. The decision to do so was authorized by President Joseph F. Smith, the son of Hyrum Smith and then-president of the church.

On June 27, 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were shot and killed by a mob storming Carthage Jail. Joseph had devoted his life to Jesus Christ, organizing the Lord’s restored Church, receiving new scripture, building temples and uniting a people. But his success and the growth of the Church alienated other communities and led to numerous legal proceedings and frequent outbreaks of mob violence. Tensions in 1844 increased rapidly, culminating in Joseph’s and Hyrum’s deaths and the eventual expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo.


Description of the Jail and rooms

Carthage Jail was about five years old in 1844 and was similar in size and layout to other jails in the region. Joseph and his companions first reported to the nearby courthouse and were to be released on bail. However, they were quickly charged with treason, and that required them to be held in this jail until trial.

Summer Kitchen
Many 19th century homes featured a summer kitchen outside the main home to allow families to cook without overheating the interior of their homes. As was common at the time, a jailer and his family lived at the jail.

Dining Room
George W. Stigall and his wife and seven children took care of the jail and cooked meals for the prisoners, who paid the cost. While this and two other rooms were set aside as a personal residence, John Taylor reported that the Stigalls fed them in this room, remarking that they “manifested a disposition to make us as comfortable as they could….”

Main Living Area
The deep-set windows in this room reveal the thickness of the jail’s walls. Despite being sturdy, the jail was vulnerable if attacked. While Joseph and his companions were inside, a small group of “Carthage Greys” (local militia) were assigned to guard the jail from intruders.
After being decommissioned as a jail in 1866, the building was used as a private home. It was purchased in 1903 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and eventually restored to look as it did in the 1840s.

Debtor’s Cell
This cell was reserved for individuals charged with lesser crimes, but the jailer moved Joseph and the eight other men with him to this cell on June 25th because it provided more room for their friends to visit.

Entryway and Stairs
The hallway leads to the debtors’ cell, and the stairway leads to the upstairs criminal cell and jailer’s bedroom. Armed men crowded on the narrow stairway as they attempted to break into the bedroom where Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Willard Richards, and John Taylor were staying. The bedroom door latch was broken, but the men held the mob at bay. Only their gun muzzles came through the door gap, firing indiscriminately.

Criminal Cell
Joseph and the others did not spend much time in this cell, although they had planned to move to it after dinner on the 27th for protection from the growing mob. But the attack came before that could happen. Willard Richards hid a wounded John Taylor here after Joseph and Hyrum were killed. Though hit by four musket balls, Taylor survived and later became the Church’s third president.

Stigall’s Upstairs Bedroom
George Stigall provided his private upstairs bedroom to Joseph and others on June 26th. While Stigall was away on an errand on the 27th, a mob of up to 200 men stormed the jail. They succeeded in killing Hyrum first, then Joseph, who fell from the window as two musket balls struck his back and one fired from the ground pierced his chest.

Door to Stigall’s Bedroom
Many of the building’s fixtures (e.g., doors, stairs, window frames) are original to the structure, including this door shot through by a musket ball.

Jail Keys
Joseph expected his trip to Carthage would end in his death somehow, and he declared “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me–he was murdered in cold blood.” — Doctrine and Covenants 135:4

Upstairs Window
After Joseph fell from the bedroom window and the mob dispersed, local residents feared that Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo would attack Carthage. But no attack came or had ever been planned.

Joseph and Hyrum’s bodies were returned to Nauvoo, where thousands lined up to pay their last respects. Threats to steal the bodies after the funeral led them to be buried secretly in the basement of the unfinished Nauvoo House. The bodies were later relocated to the Smith family cemetery nearby.


Physical Evidence at Carthage Jail and What It Reveals about the Assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith

The Eyewitness Accounts
John Taylor and Willard Richards (figs. 3 and 4) both left written accounts of the events of the martyrdom. Although there are many similarities, each account differs slightly in the details (see table of similarities and differences at the end of this article).

Willard Richards. Written soon after the event, Willard Richards’s account was published in the Times and Seasons on August 1, 1844. “Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Mr. Taylor, and myself, who were in the front chamber, closed the door of our room against the entry at the head of the stairs, and placed ourselves against it, there being no lock on the door, and no catch that was usable.

“The door is a common panel, and as soon as we heard the feet at the stairs head, a ball was sent through the door, which passed between us, and showed that our enemies were desperadoes, and we must change our position.

“General Joseph Smith, Mr. Taylor and myself sprang back to the front part of the room, and General Hyrum Smith retreated two-thirds across the chamber directly in front of and facing the door [figs. 5 & 6].

“A ball was sent through the door which hit Hyrum on the side of his nose, when he fell backwards, extended at length, without moving his feet.

“From the holes in his vest (the day was warm, and no one had his coat on but myself), pantaloons, drawers, and shirt, it appears evident that a ball must have been thrown from without, through the window, which entered his back on the right side, and passing through, lodged against his watch, which was in his right vest pocket, completely pulverizing the crystal and face, tearing off the hands and mashing the whole body of the watch. At the same instant the ball from the door entered his nose.

“As he struck the floor he exclaimed emphatically, ‘I am a dead man.’ Joseph looked towards him and responded, ‘Oh, dear brother Hyrum!’ and opening the door two or three inches with his left hand, discharged one barrel of a six shooter (pistol) at random in the entry, from whence a ball grazed Hyrum’s breast, and entering his throat passed into his head, while other muskets were aimed at him and some balls hit him.

“Joseph continued snapping his revolver round the casing of the door into the space as before, three barrels of which missed fire, while Mr. Taylor with a walking stick stood by his side and knocked down the bayonets and muskets which were constantly discharging through the doorway, while I stood by him, ready to lend any assistance, with another stick, but could not come within striking distance without going directly before the muzzle of the guns.

“When the revolver failed, we had no more firearms, and expected an immediate rush of the mob, and the doorway full of muskets, half way in the room, and no hope but instant death from within.

“Mr. Taylor rushed into the window, which is some fifteen or twenty feet from the ground. When his body was nearly on a balance, a ball from the door within entered his leg, and a ball from without struck his watch, a patent lever, in his vest pocket near the left breast, and smashed it into ‘pie,’ leaving the hands standing at 5 o’clock, 16 minutes, and 26 seconds, the force of which ball threw him back on the floor, and he rolled under the bed which stood by his side, where he lay motionless, the mob from the door continuing to fire upon him, cutting away a piece of flesh from his left hip as large as a man’s hand, and were hindered only by my knocking down their muzzles with a stick; while they continued to reach their guns into the room, probably left handed, and aimed their discharge so far round as almost to reach us in the corner of the room to where we retreated and dodged, and then I recommenced the attack with my stick.

“Joseph attempted, as the last resort, to leap the same window from whence Mr. Taylor fell, when two balls pierced him from the door, and one entered his right breast from without, and he fell outward, exclaiming, ‘Oh Lord, my God!’ As his feet went out of the window my head went in, the balls whistling all around. He fell on his left side a dead man.

“At this instant the cry was raised, ‘He’s leaped the window!’ and the mob on the stairs and in the entry ran out.

“I withdrew from the window, thinking it of no use to leap out on a hundred bayonets, then around General Joseph Smith’s body.

“Not satisfied with this I again reached my head out of the window, and watched some seconds to see if there were any signs of life, regardless of my own, determined to see the end of him I loved. Being fully satisfied that he was dead, with a hundred men near the body and more coming round the corner of the jail, and expecting a return to our room, I rushed towards the prison door, at the head of the stairs, and through the entry from whence the firing had proceeded, to learn if the doors into the prison were open.

“When near the entry, Mr. Taylor called out, ‘Take me.’ I pressed my way until I found all doors unbarred, returning instantly, caught Mr. Taylor under my arm and rushed by the stairs into the dungeon, or inner prison, stretched him on the floor and covered him with a bed in such a manner as not likely to be perceived, expecting an immediate return of the mob.

“I said to Mr. Taylor, ‘This is a hard case to lay you on the floor, but if your wounds are not fatal, I want you to live to tell the story.’ I expected to be shot the next moment, and stood before the door awaiting the onset.” 7

John Taylor. John Taylor’s account was written in the late 1850s, over a decade after the martyrdom. He began, “I was sitting at one of the front windows of the jail, when I saw a number of men, with painted faces, coming around the corner of the jail, and aiming towards the stairs. The other brethren had seen the same, for, as I went to the door, I found Brother Hyrum Smith and Dr. [Willard] Richards already leaning against it. They both pressed against the door with their shoulders to prevent its being opened, as the lock and latch were comparatively useless. While in this position, the mob, who had come upstairs, and tried to open the door, probably thought it was locked, and fired a ball through the keyhole; at this Dr. Richards and Brother Hyrum leaped back from the door, with their faces towards it; almost instantly another ball passed through the panel of the door, and struck Brother Hyrum on the left side of the nose, entering his face and head. At the same instant, another ball from the outside entered his back, passing through his body and striking his watch. The ball came from the back, through the jail window, opposite the door, and must, from its range, have been fired from the Carthage Greys, who were placed there ostensibly for our protection, as the balls from the firearms, shot close by the jail, would have entered the ceiling, we being in the second story, and there never was a time after that when Hyrum could have received the latter wound. Immediately, when the ball struck him, he fell flat on his back, crying as he fell, ‘I am a dead man!’ He never moved afterwards.

“I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, ‘Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!’ [Joseph], however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother [Cyrus H.] Wheelock [fig. 7] from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died. I had in my hands a large, strong hickory stick, brought there by Brother [Stephen] Markham, and left by him, which I had seized as soon as I saw the mob approach; and while Brother Joseph was firing the pistol, I stood close behind him. As soon as he had discharged it he stepped back, and I immediately took his place next to the door, while he occupied the one I had done while he was shooting. Brother Richards, at this time, had a knotty walking-stick in his hands belonging to me, and stood next to Brother Joseph, a little farther from the door, in an oblique direction, apparently to avoid the rake of the fire from the door. The firing of Brother Joseph made our assailants pause for a moment; very soon after, however, they pushed the door some distance open, and protruded and discharged their guns into the room, when I parried them off with my stick, giving another direction to the balls. . . .

“Every moment the crowd at the door became more dense, as they were unquestionably pressed on by those in the rear ascending the stairs, until the whole entrance at the door was literally crowded with muskets and rifles. . . .

“After parrying the guns for some time, which now protruded thicker and farther into the room, and seeing no hope of escape or protection there, as we were now unarmed, it occurred to me that we might have some friends outside, and that there might be some chance of escape in that direction, but here there seemed to be none. As I expected them every moment to rush into the room—nothing but extreme cowardice having thus far kept them out—as the tumult and pressure increased, without any other hope, I made a spring for the window which was right in front of the jail door, where the mob was standing, and also exposed to the fire of the Carthage Greys, who were stationed some ten or twelve rods off. The weather was hot, we all of us had our coats off, and the window was raised to admit air. As I reached the window, and was on the point of leaping out, I was struck by a ball from the door about midway of my thigh, which struck the bone, and flattened out almost to the size of a quarter of a dollar, and then passed on through the fleshy part to within about half an inch of the outside. I think some prominent nerve must have been severed or injured for, as soon as the ball struck me, I fell like a bird when shot, or an ox when struck by a butcher, and lost entirely and instantaneously all power of action or locomotion. I fell upon the window-sill, and cried out, ‘I am shot!’ Not possessing any power to move, I felt myself falling outside of the window, but immediately I fell inside, from some, at that time, unknown cause. When I struck the floor my animation seemed restored, as I have seen it sometimes in squirrels and birds after being shot. As soon as I felt the power of motion I crawled under the bed, which was in a corner of the room, not far from the window where I received my wound. While on my way and under the bed I was wounded in three other places; one ball entered a little below the left knee, and never was extracted; another entered the forepart of my left arm, a little above the wrist, and, passing down by the joint, lodged in the fleshy part of my hand, about midway, a little above the upper joint of my little finger; another struck me on the fleshy part of my left hip, and tore away the flesh as large as my hand, dashing the mangled fragments of flesh and blood against the wall. . . .

“It would seem that immediately after my attempt to leap out of the window, Joseph also did the same thing, of which circumstance I have no knowledge only from information. The first thing that I noticed was a cry that he had leaped out the window. A cessation of firing followed, the mob rushed downstairs, and Dr. Richards went to the window. Immediately afterward I saw the doctor going towards the jail door, and as there was an iron door at the head of the stairs adjoining our door which led into the cells for criminals, it struck me that the doctor was going in there, and I said to him, ‘Stop, Doctor, and take me along.’ He proceeded to the door and opened it, and then returned and dragged me along to a small cell prepared for criminals. . . .

“Soon afterwards I was taken to the head of the stairs and laid there, where I had a full view of our beloved and now murdered brother, Hyrum. There he lay as I had left him; he had not moved a limb.”8

When the plaster was stripped from the walls during remodeling in the late 1930s or 1940s, no musket balls were found in the plaster and oak lath. Writing in 1885, James W. Woods, one of Joseph Smith’s attorneys, claims to have counted thirty-five bullet holes in the walls of the room.12

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Daily Life in Nauvoo Presentation by Ann Lewis

Jacob Bushman was my 2nd great-grandpa. He married Charlotte Turley, who was born in Nauvoo in 1840. For many years, I’ve been doing research for Rick Turley, former Church Historian. Years ago he asked me to read every Nauvoo-era journal I could get my hands on to find mention of our families. I spent 100s of hours in libraries, archives, special collections and reading accounts that have been digitized online. I love the Nauvoo Era and I have loved finding my ancestors there.

As I’ve read these personal journals, I’ve tried to keep in mind the words of 2 historians:

David McCullough, speaking once at BYU said:
Nobody ever lived in the past. Jefferson, Adams, George Washington—they didn’t walk around saying, “Isn’t this fascinating living in the past? Aren’t we picturesque in our funny clothes?” They were living in the present, just as we do. The great difference is that it was their present, not ours. And just as we don’t know how things are going to turn out, they didn’t either.

Erik Larsen (preface to In the Garden of the Beast, a book about Hitler’s world):
The trouble with nonfiction [is] One has to put aside what we all know–now –to be true, and try instead to accompany [our people] my two innocents through the world as they experienced it. These were complicated people moving through a complicated time,

I think that’s also the challenge of doing FH work–we must accompany our ancestors through the world as they experienced it in their present. They were complicated people moving through a complicated time. That’s what I discovered in Nauvoo.

These are things I learned about Nauvoo:
Small homes, hewn logs, some framed, some brick, with one, two or three rooms.
Hand dug wells, cisterns
Privies or outhouses
Little or no privacy
Most furnishings had been left behind
Fireplaces for warmth and cooking (no matches)
Limited bathing (cold water) or washing in the river
White-washed walls, dirt or plank floors
Candle light at night
Bed bugs, rats

Joseph Lee Robinson Journal:
“When we arrived in the city of Nauvoo [Aug 1841], I soon found my brother Ebenezer. He had a house for us to go to. It was a big log house near his printing office. Ebenezer was the printer for the church. He was writing the Church Organ, so had built a large two-story house. The top floor was used for his home and the bottom for the printing press. It was near the river, not far from the Prophet Joseph’s home. The worst enemy we found here was the long-tailed rat, that would bite the lips and nose of our little children while they slept.” (Page 6)

Straw or feather tick beds
Nights were cold, no insulation in the homes
Some had cast iron stoves
It was an animal-dominated society
Lots of flies
Women made soap, sewed clothing
Spinning wheels, looms
Cloth by the yard
Men’s trades: Farmers, Laborers, Carpenters, Lumbermen, Sawyers, Blacksmiths, Joiners, Tailors, Tanners, Coopers, Millwrights,
Fences enclosed gardens
100s of fruit trees were planted
Cow cribs
Men hunted, no game laws –prairie chickens, quail, rabbits,
No refrigeration for food
Root cellars, lowered food into cool wells
Spring houses near cool water
Salting or smoking meat
Drying or storing in root cellars
Pickling in brines or vinegar
Large families
7-10 per small home
Midwives (In Old Nauvoo, p. 123)

In Old Nauvoo by George W. Givens, p. 123
Little is recorded of midwifery in the Mormon city other than that there were several. In the vacated homes of two of them, after the exodus, were found pills, ointment, salves, cough and worm medicine, scalpels, needles, scissors, tweezers, and a few obstetrical instruments. Also found was a package of scorched cloths, the result of over-sterilizing.

Farm labor, animal care, planting & harvesting
Milking & butchering
Illness, limited medical care
Games, races, parties, balls, picnics
Strolling through town Childhood diseases, especially malaria
Make-do games and toys, rag dolls
One-room schools, many met in homes

Show the book:  In Old Nauvoo – Everyday Life in the City of Joseph by George W. Givens


A few years ago I spent a couple of days at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. I was on a quest to find records of my great great great grandfathers in the Nauvoo Tithing Books.

I was excited when they brought the actual books to me– Nauvoo Tithing Day Books B and C. Book B started 21 Dec 1842 and went until Aug 1844, 350+ pages. The books are about 9 inches tall, about 6 inches wide and about 1.5 inches thick. They are Leather bound, thick pages, beautiful entries in slightly faded ink, clear handwriting, daily entries. For the next 5+ hours I stepped back into Old Nauvoo.

In my journal that day, I wrote:
It was amazing. Sobering. I feel like I’ve looked into the lives and homes of those Saints in a way no book about Nauvoo could capture or express. I felt grit and desperation and sacrifice. And service and selflessness extordinaire. I was humbled and enthralled and the hours on the clock flew by. Every time I looked up, I had to go move the car so I wasn’t ticketed. I could hardly bare to leave that world and step out into downtown Salt Lake City to walk up the street to my luxury liner suburban. I felt embarrassed at the thought of how MUCH we have and how seldom we consider our abundance. I wanted to crawl into a cabin somewhere and strip it all away from me and be like they were.

As I read through the entries, day by day, page by page, I looked first for names. Turleys, Bushmans, and dozens of others who’s journals I’ve read. I felt like I was among friends, at least people I know (although they have no idea who I am). I recognized so many of them. It was like walking through streets of a place I’ve once been, but not. Here was Jane Manning, there was Wm. Huntington, Wm. Clayton, Isaac Haight, Nathan C. Tenney, Smith family members, John Murdock, John D. Lee, Heber C Kimball, Patty Sessions, Eli Kelsey, Lydia Partridge and so many more. I knew so many of them from my studies. As I read the lists, mostly very short, of what they had to give. I started taking some notes of the interesting things, the household items, the garden crops, the tools, the dry goods. It was amazing to see their belongings being so freely given. When they could they gave cash, when they had no cash, they gave services and labor.

I returned the next day and recorded this in my journal:

Yesterday I started jotting down interesting items that were donated, and I filled several pages with notes. Today I added prices to many of those items, filling columns and columns with things and services and items from their daily lives. I can’t think of anything I’ve read that has given me a better feel for what day-to-day life was like for my family members in Nauvoo. Today I found Theodore Turley in 4 more entries, Martin Bushman in 3 entries, James Holt in one entry, and the Barker family–Frederick, George, Ann, Mary Ann and James, each in an entry. All are my 3rd great grandparents. It was thrilling to see them all there. It’s hard to describe how it felt to read that one of Martin Bushman’s tithing offerings was 3 pecks of carrots, for which he was credited 25 cents. In other entries he gave 4 bushels of buckwheat for $1.25, 2 bushels of rye for 80 cents and 2 bushels of wheat for $1.00. I smiled when I read that on 26 Nov 1844 Theodore gave 2 Hogs with a value of $1.25 each, totaling $2.50.

I worked today until they asked me to go home at their 5:00 closing, I barely finished the 2nd book. Again, I felt odd as I walked out into my present day world, filled with high rise buildings and traffic and beautiful landscaping with a river running along a busy city street. It struck me that they probably had little time or means to beautify their lives–their efforts were directed towards the temple and sustaining life. It made me happy, however to occasionally read about small donations like a lace collar or even some extravagant ones like a silk shawl. I am going to type up all my notes and will include them here as soon as I do. I don’t want to forget what I’ve seen and felt here this week.

Here is another interesting look at Nauvoo:

The Empty Streets of Nauvoo
By Thomas L. Kane [1822–1883

A non-member discovers the “glittering city” deserted and the retreating Saints destitute.

Although he never became a member of the Church, Thomas Leiper Kane was a great friend of the Latter-day Saints in their struggles against religious persecution. Many times he helped find solutions to misunderstandings between the government and the Mormon pioneers. He served honorably in the United States Civil War and later directed the development of mines and the construction of a railroad in Pennsylvania, where he had been born in 1822. In a March 26, 1850 lecture to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, he described a 1846 visit to Nauvoo, Illinois—just after the mob had expelled the remnant of the Saints and captured the city. This article is extracted from that lecture.

Before reaching Nauvoo, Kane described the area of Iowa through which he traveled by boat and horse drawn carriage as being a sanctuary for “horse thieves, and other outlaws.” He said he grew tired of seeing “everywhere sordid, vagabond and idle settlers; and a country marred, without being improved, by their careless hands.”

I was descending the last hillside upon my journey, when a landscape in delightful contrast broke upon my view. Half encircled by a bend of the river, a beautiful city lay glittering in the fresh morning sun; its bright new dwellings, set in cool green gardens, ranging up around a stately dome-shaped hill, which was crowned by a noble marble edifice, whose tapering spire was radiant with white and gold. The city appeared to cover several miles; and beyond it, in the back ground, there [were well-tended fields]. The unmistakable marks of industry, enterprise and educated wealth, everywhere, made the scene one of singular and most striking beauty.

Kane obtained a small boat and rowed across the river to the city’s shore.

No one met me there. I looked, and saw no one. I could hear no one move; though the quiet everywhere was such that I heard the flies buzz, and the water ripples breaking against the shallow of the beach. I walked through the solitary streets. The town lay as in a dream, under some deadening spell of loneliness, from which I almost feared to wake it. For plainly it had not slept long. There was no grass growing up in the paved ways. Rains had not entirely washed away the prints of dusty footsteps.

Kane walked through workshops where materials of wood, leather, and iron were stacked ready for use, and equipment and tools lay where they had been left by the craftsmen. He then walked into well-cared-for gardens; examined fruits, vegetables and flowers; and helped himself to a drink from a well.

No one called out to me from any opened window, or any dog sprang forward to bark an alarm. I could have supposed the people hidden in the houses, but the doors were unfastened; and when I timidly entered them, I found [cold] ashes white upon the hearths, and had to tread tiptoe, … to avoid rousing irreverent echoes from the naked floors.

On the outskirts of the city was the graveyard. But there was no record of the Plague there, nor did it in anywise differ much from other Protestant American cemeteries. Some of the mounds were not long sodded; some of the stones were newly set, their dates recent, …

Kane said that beyond the houses fields upon fields of grain lay rotting on the ground with no one to harvest it. As he walked around the suburbs at the southern edge of the city, he made two important discoveries.

Houses looking out upon the country showed, by their splintered woodwork and walls battered to the foundation, that they had lately been the mark of a destructive cannonade. And in and around the splendid Temple, which had been the chief object of my admiration, armed men were barracked, surrounded by their stacks of musketry and pieces of heavy ordnance. These [men] challenged me to render an account of myself, and why I had the temerity to cross the water without written permission from a leader of their band.

Though these men were generally more or less under the influence of ardent spirits [alcohol]; after I had explained myself as a passing stranger, they seemed anxious to gain my good opinion. They told me the story of the Dead City: that it had been a notable manufacturing and commercial [center], with 20,000 population; that they had waged war with its inhabitants for several years, and had been finally successful only a few days before my visit, in an action fought in front of the ruined suburb; after which, they had driven them forth at the point of the sword. The defence, they said, had been obstinate, but gave way on the third day’s bombardment. They boasted greatly of their prowess, especially in this Battle, as they called it; but I discovered they [could not agree on the details]; one of which, as I remember, was that they had slain a father and his son, a boy of fifteen, not long residents of the fated city, whom they admitted to have borne a character without reproach.

Kane was then shown around the “massive sculptured walls of the curious Temple,” which the invaders had vandalized. He was shown various features of the building including the baptismal font, “a large and deep chiselled marble vase or basin, supported upon twelve (life-size) oxen, also of marble.”

They permitted me also to ascend into the steeple, to see where it had been lightning-struck on the Sabbath before; and to look out, East and South, on wasted farms like those I had seen near the City, extending till they were lost in the distance. Here, … close to the scar of the Divine wrath left by the thunderbolt, were fragments of food, cruses of liquor and broken drinking vessels, …

It was after nightfall, when I was ready to cross the river on my return. The wind had freshened since the sunset; and the water beating roughly into my little boat, I headed higher up the stream than the point I had left in the morning, and landed where a faint glimmering light invited me to steer.

Here, … sheltered only by the darkness, without roof between them and the sky, I came upon a crowd of several hundred human creatures, whom my movements roused from an uneasy slumber on the ground.

The “faint glimmering light” that had guided him came from a candle that provided poor illumination for a woman tending a man dying of fever. Two little girls, sobbing, sat in the darkness nearby. Kane was to discover that this was a typical scene.

Dreadful, indeed, was the suffering of these forsaken beings. Cowed and cramped by cold and sunburn, alternating as each weary day and night dragged on, they were, most of them, the crippled victims of disease. They were there because they had no homes, nor hospital nor poor-house nor friends to offer them any. They could not satisfy the feeble cravings of their sick; they had not bread to quiet … hunger cries of their children. Mothers and babes, daughters and grandparents, all of them alike, were [camped] in tatters, wanting even covering to comfort those whom the sick shiver of fever was searching to the marrow.

These were Mormons, famishing, in Lee county, Iowa, in the fourth week of the month of September, in the year of our Lord 1846. The city—it was Nauvoo, Illinois. The Mormons were the owners of that city, and the smiling country round. And those who had stopped their ploughs, who had silenced their hammers, their axes, their shuttles and their workshop wheels; those who had put out their fires, who had eaten their food, spoiled their orchards, and trampled under foot their thousands of acres of unharvested bread; were [now] the keepers of their dwellings, the carousers in their Temple, whose drunken riot insulted the ears of their dying.

The party encountered by me at the river shore were the last of the Mormons that left the city. They had all of them engaged the year before that they would vacate their homes, and seek some other place of refuge. It had been a condition of a truce between them and their assailants; and as an earnest of their good faith, the chief elders … , with their families, were to set out for the West in the Spring of 1846. It had been stipulated in return, that the rest of the Mormons might remain behind in their peaceful enjoyment of their Illinois abode, until their leaders, with their exploring party, could with all diligence select for them a new place of settlement beyond the Rocky Mountains, in California, or elsewhere, and until they had opportunity to dispose to the best advantage of the property which they were then to leave.

[But] the enemy had only waited till the emigrants were supposed to be gone on their road too far to return to interfere with them, and then renewed their aggressions [against the Saints remaining in Nauvoo].

Kane said that during the truce while the Saints were still allowed to remain in Nauvoo, they worked on the temple.

Strange to say, the chief part of their respite was devoted to completing the structure of their … beautiful Temple. Since the dispersion of Jewry, probably, history affords us no parallel to the attachment of the Mormons for this edifice. Its erection had been enjoined upon them as a most sacred duty: they were proud of the honor it conferred upon their city, when it grew up in its splendour to become the chief object of the admiration of strangers upon the Upper Mississippi. Beside, they had built it as a labor of love; they could count up to a half-million [dollars] the value of their tithings and free-will offerings laid upon it. Hardly a Mormon woman had not given up to it some trinket or [money saved]: the poorest Mormon man had at least served a tenth part of his year upon its walls; … Therefore, though their enemies drove on them ruthlessly, they succeeded in parrying the last sword-thrust, till they had completed even the gilding of the angel and trumpet on the summit of its lofty spire.

The completed temple was dedicated in May 1846. With the sacred rites of consecration ended, the Saints emptied the structure of anything of value, and anything that could be desecrated by the mobs.

[The work] went on through the night; and when the morning of the next day dawned, all the ornaments and furniture, everything that could provoke a sneer, had been carried off; and except some fixtures that would not bear removal, the building was dismantled to the bare walls.

It was this day that saw the departure of the last elders, and the largest band that moved in one company together. The people of Iowa have told me, that from morning to night they [the Saints] passed westward like an endless procession. They did not seem greatly out of heart, they said; but, at the top of every hill before they disappeared, were to be seen looking back on their abandoned homes, and the far-seen Temple and its glittering spire.

Prior to his visit to Nauvoo, Kane had observed the westward-bound Saints at work and at play in the Camps of Israel. He was impressed that they were honest and sincere in their testimonies of the gospel. He expressed amazement at the sacrifices many of them made and at the love that existed in the camps in spite of the hunger and hardships the Saints suffered. In later years, he made three visits to the Saints in Utah, where he was very welcome. His last visit, in 1877, was at the death of Brigham Young to whose “masterly guidance,” he said, the Saints were indebted for their prosperity. Hours before his own death in 1883 in Pennsylvania, he asked his wife to send “The sweetest message you can make up to my Mormon friends—to all, my dear Mormon friends.”

Posted in Ann Lewis Personal History, Bushman Family | 2 Comments

Bushman Nauvoo Reunion 2022 Farms Field Trip Bus Notes

Bus Guide Notes for Saturday Morning Farm Visits

The Bushman Family arrived in Nauvoo 16 July 1842 after a long and difficult journey of close to 1,000 miles. They crossed Pennsylvania, a part of what’s now West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. That’s a long way!

The family included Martin & Elizabeth, Jacob (11 yrs), Sarah Ann (9 yrs), Elizabeth (5
yrs), Martin Benjamin (1 yr)
(3 children died in Pennsylvania)
They had a strong desire to join with the Saints and they left their family behind.
They traveled with friends from Pennsylvania (Henry Kearns).
A blind horse was traded, and another horse died on the way to Nauvoo.
They had a heavy load (all they owned) and young 4 children.

Family tradition says the Bushman family lived in the home of Bishop Edward Hunter. This morning we learned more about Edward Hunter’s home in Nauvoo and his farm “out on the prairie,” where the Bushman family stayed.

On this Farm Field Trip we will visit 4 farms: the Jenkins Farm, where the Bushmans likely stayed for a few months when they first arrived, The Joseph Smith Farm, The Kearns Farm and The Edward Hunter Farm, where the Bushmans lived until they left Nauvoo.

The Jenkins Farm (100 acres)
Martin says that he stayed with “Brother Jinkins” when they first arrived in Nauvoo.
Jane Ferguson Jenkins was widowed and had five grown sons when she joined the Church. All five of her boys (Thomas, Samuel, David, William Johnson and Ralph) joined the Church, even though some of the older brothers lived in Philadelphia at the time. The family traveled to Nauvoo in 1840 or 1841, and according to David Jenkins’ letter to Leonard Pickel,the family members sought the counsel of “Brother Joseph” and were advised to combine their resources to purchase 100 acres of land. Thomas Jenkins, the oldest brother, was taxed on this 100 acres of land the year the Bushmans arrived, here in Section 5 of Sonora Township. We are guessing this is where the Bushmans stayed. We are about 2 miles away from the Temple, just outside Nauvoo right now.

Land records, tax assessments, and tithing records we’ve seen inicate that the brothers with their families were probably living and working together on the same farm.
The Bushmans stayed with Jenkins families for about 2.5 months when they first arrived.
(Maybe add a few of the crops that show up in the Jenkins’ tithing.)

The Joseph Smith Farm
One of the more well-known farms in Sonora Township was Joseph Smith’s farm, located in Section 8 of Sonora Township, or just to the west of Henry Kearns’ farm, and diagonally southeast across the road from the Jenkins farm. Joseph and Emma Smith lived in town, but he was known to go out to visit or work on the farm as often as he had time.

Cornelius P. Lott became the superintendent of the Joseph Smith farm in 1842, living in the house built on the farm.

According to his history, Joseph Smith visited the farm almost daily and interacted with the Lott family. On at least one occasion, he also visited his neighbor’s farm, as his journal records that he visited his own farm of and that of Henry Kearns on July 18, 1842. Henry had only bought the 80-acre farm two days prior to Joseph’s visit, on July 16, 1842.

From a history written by Rhea Lott Vance, a descendant of Cornelius Lott:
Three miles from the city of Nauvoo is located the historical Joseph Smith farm. One-half section of prairie land fenced, with an eight room dwelling, four rooms upstairs and four rooms downstairs, and a barn suitably equipped with the essentials to make the homestead an admiration of the Prophet and a special attraction to the extensive travelers passing through the largest city in the state. Much of the land was prairie land and had to be broken up by strong teams, consisting of four or five yoke of oxen. The Prophet’s visit at the farm provided almost daily contact with the Lott family. The children were happy to see him and most always met him on his approach. He was very kind and patient with them and they all loved him.

Between the Smith and Lott families a warm and neighborly feeling existed. The children
attended the same school. Melissa chaperoned the smaller and younger Smith children and at times made her home with the Prophet’s wife.

Permilia Lott settled in Lehi, UT (Cornelius died in 1850), so she was neighbors to the Kearns and the Bushmans again in Lehi.

Henry and Barbara Pickel Kearns lived in Bart Township, as did the Bushmans, and
joined the Church in Pennsylvania before moving to Nauvoo in 1842. The Kearns and
Bushman families remained connected throughout their lives. Jacob Bushman, Martin
and Elizabeth’s son, drove an ox team for the Kearns family from Iowa to Utah, and Henry Kearns’ son-in-law married Sarah Bushman as a second wife. Both families eventually settled in Lehi, UT.

Kearns children and Jenkins children allegedly grew up together in PA.

In the 1840 census in Bart, PA, the Bushmans are in the same township as Kearns and
Jenkins and Pickels. In the Pickel letters, these friends mention each other. Perhaps they planned ahead of time with Jenkins that they’d stay together here.

Other families mentioned were the Wrights, the Kinseys and the Brookes.

The Bushmans traveled with the Kearns from Pennsylvania to Illinois. Martin and Elizabeth were 40 when they traveled, and the Kearns were older. Henry Kearns was 64, and Barbara Kearns was 54.

While the Kearns family still lived in Pennsylvania, it appears Henry Kearns sent $900 with some missionaries who were asking for cash contributions or loans. That is worth about $30,000 today. He asked for some of it to go toward a farm in Nauvoo. Over a year later, he arrived in Nauvoo, and this is the farm for which he prepaid.

Joseph Smith’s Journal, mentions visiting Henry Kearns on his neighboring farm on 18 July 1842. The farms were next to each other, Kearns had just purchased the farm 2 days

Henry Kearns wrote that on the 16th of July he bought 80 acres of land that was fenced, plowed, and had a farmhouse, and that they moved into their new place on July 20th.

From the letters to Leonard Pickel, we learned that Henry Keanrs arrived July 14, the Bushmans arrived the 16th, and then the Kearns family and Bushmans stayed together in the Jenkins’ for a few days before the Kearns family moved out to their new farm.

The Jenkins family might only have had one home, with all three families staying together in one house. Because the Jane Ferguson Jenkins family consisted of several grown children with families of their own, they may have had more than one house on the farm. We don’t know. The family may have allowed the Kearns and the Bushmans to stay in one house together until the Kearns were able to move out a few days later.
The letter implies that the Bushmans stayed with Brother Jenkins until they moved in October.

Some Interesting Relationships
The Kearns farm was previously owned by Erie Rhodes, father of Alonzo’s Rhodes.
The Joseph Smith farm was also purchased from Erie Rhodes.

Barbara Kearns was a daughter of Henry Kearns and Barbara Pickel.
She married Alonzo Rhodes, who was the first in his family to join the church.
They had 10 children.

The Rhodes and Bushman families crossed the plains together in the Easton Kelsey
Company in 1851.

Alonzo Rhodes married Sarah Ann Bushman as a plural wife on May 25, 1852, Salt Lake City. She was 19 years old. They had 12 children.

The Edward Hunter Farm 325 acres
When Edward Hunter first visited Nauvoo in September 1841, he purchased several tracts of land, including some lots in town and some property outside of town. He chose a lot near the temple site on which to build his own home: Block 82, Lot 2. He hired several fellow saints from Pennsylvania who had already moved to Nauvoo to build a home for him there in readiness for his move to Nauvoo the next spring. He arrived in Nauvoo in June 1842.

Because this home was recently restored to its original state as a part of the Nauvoo Historic Sites tours, the Church History Department researched the original home. We were fortunate to receive the historical report produced by A. Ross Garner explaining details about Edward Hunter’s home in town. The report directed us to a 19 December 1842 letter that Edward Hunter wrote to his business associate, David McConkey, who lived in Pennsylvania. In the letter, Hunter says, “I have a dwelling hous erected which I live in & a hous on my farm about 4 miles out in the perara [prairie].”

In his initial visit to Nauvoo in 1841, Edward Hunter bought two contiguous parcels of land in Sonora Township, one for 165 acres and one for 160 acres, for a total of 325 acres.

Edward Hunter’s farm of 325 acres took up the southern half of Section 3 of Sonora Township (6N8W). The farm was about 3-4 miles east of Nauvoo, which corroborates Hunter’s letter saying that his other house was “about 4 miles out in the [prairie].”

In his autobiography, Edward Hunter mentions his farm saying that hired many people to “work at different work,” spending “thousands of dollars” making improvements on his farm, buildings, and other business interests. The farm must have been quite prosperous because he said one year the farm produced 7,000 bushels of grain.

From Martin Bushman’s letter, we learn that they moved out to the prairie to a new house owned by Edward Hunter in October 1842, a few months after their arrival in Nauvoo. The Bushmans did live in a home owned by Edward Hunter, but they did not live in his home in town.

Jacob wrote in a letter that they “lived on Bishop Hunter’s farm until the Spring of 1846.”

Martin Benjamin says that “they rented a farm [from] Edward Hunter near Nauvoo.”

In 1902, John, Martin Benjamin, and Elias Albert made a trip to the east from Utah. According to John’s life history, they visited Nauvoo on their way where they saw many of the sites there, but he did not mention going to Edward Hunter’s home in town. In fact, he recounted, “On the way [to Carthage] we stopped at Bp. [Bishop] Hunter’s farm where I was born. There was no one at home.” He and his brothers obviously knew the family had lived out on the farm, and when they revisited the place, there was still a home there.

Finally, perhaps the most striking evidence comes from Henry Kearns’ letter where he says that “Marten Bushman Heay lifes A Boud 1 miel from us [he lives about 1 mile from us].” Henry Kearns first describes directions to his own home so that Leonard Pickel could find it if he were to visit, saying that it was near the crossroads on Carthage Road. The road to Carthage has since been re-routed, but old maps show that Henry Kearns described his home correctly. In his letter, Kearns mentions where several other neighbors of interest to Leonard Pickel live, including the Jenkins family, whose farm was very nearby. From these records, we feel confident that the Bushmans probably spent their time in Illinois living in Sonora Township, the first few months with the Jenkins family and afterward, in a home on Edward Hunter’s farm.

Bushmans stayed on Hunter’s farm until they left Nauvoo in 1846

Martin Bushman, Tenant Farmer or Employee?
One question that we have not been able to answer with complete confidence is what was the relationship between Edward Hunter and Martin Bushman? Was Martin Bushman some type of employee or overseer for the work that took place on the 325-acre farm or was he a tenant farmer for some or all of the acreage out on the prairie?

Both Martin Benjamin and John state that their father “rented a home [from] Edward Hunter near Nauvoo,” or, as John states, they rented a farm “just east of the city from Edward Hunter, a wealthy man from Pennsylvania, Chester Co.” These statements lead us to believe that Martin was a tenant farmer or had some kind of rental agreement for the land.

Edward Hunter had been a wealthy farmer and landowner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was known for being a good businessman and having tenant farmers work the land in Pennsylvania. Because he had used that model in the past, and would again when he later settled in Utah, we could expect him to use his land in Nauvoo in a similar manner.

Tenant farming has been a method of working the land for many generations. The tenant farmer resided and farmed on land he did not own, often working the land in exchange for a percentage of the year’s profits either in cash or in their produce. The landowner thus benefits from the land being worked and receiving a profit from someone else’s labor, and the tenant benefits by having a way to make a living on a farm without having to provide the initial outlay of purchasing the land, which could be a sum far greater than the farmer could afford. Depending on the arrangements made by the tenant farmer and the landowner, the landowner may provide a home, perhaps some tools and livestock (particularly horses to help clear and plow the land), and maybe even the seeds to plant. If the landowner provides most of what is needed to farm, he may demand a greater share of the profits from the crops than if the tenant provides his own tools, animals, and seeds.

The Illinois Soil and Crops
Glaciers originally covered Illinois and flattened the land. These glaciers left behind rich
deposits of dark soil, full of organic matter. Farming here was excellent. The land Martin farmed was rich and fertile. We don’t know if the land needed to be cleared of prairie sod first. Early settlers had a hard time turning the soil. Cornelius Lott (who farmed the neighboring JS Farm) said the prairie land “had to be broken up by strong teams, consisting of four or five yoke of oxen.”

Martin Bushman paid his tithing with in-kind donations. These donations give us an idea of the crops grown here at that time, including barley, buckwheat, rye, winter wheat and vegetables like melons, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, corn, green beans.

Jacob Bushman, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 1
Father put in quite a crop that year, and every 10th day we would go and haul rock for the Temple. We raised a very good crop but it was very hard to get milling done. Had to go some of the time 35 miles to mill and we had a good deal of sickness the first two years. Still we got along very well.

Posted in Ann Lewis Personal History | 1 Comment

Aaron Sabey, “Lehi’s Man of Many Accidents”


Aaron Sabey was born on December 10, 1891. Throughout his life he had many jobs, working on a sheep ranch, mining, working at the clay beds, and at the Sugar Factory, and ended up working 21 years for Utah County at weed and insect control. During his early years, he was known as Lehi’s “Man of Many Accidents.” By the time he was 23, he had broken his legs five times, fractured his arms four times, broken a shoulder blade, and fractured several ribs. Unfortunately, his run of bad luck was not over. In 1914, he broke his leg again and broke a finger, then in October he cut his knee and tore his kneecap loose while working at the Sugar Factory.

In July 1915, he was riding a wild colt and it reared over backwards on him. The saddle horn caught him on the head causing a scalp wound that needed six stitches to fix. The next year he was running a car of clay out of the clay beds. Suddenly, the car dumped its load while it was still in motion catching Aaron’s foot and throwing him out and he landed on his back on the rail. At first, it was thought that his back was broken and he was rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, after spending a day in the hospital he was able to return home and was shortly back to work.

After that incident, it seemed that his run of bad luck was finally over, but on Sunday evening July 31, 1921, he was walking home around 10:30 in the evening. When he was about one-half mile from his house, he was struck by an automobile that had no lights. The auto hit him on his hip, knocking him down, and ran over his chest and shoulder. He heard one of the occupants of the car say, “Give her the gas, you ran over a man!” right before it sped off. Aaron was unable to walk and had to crawl the half block to his home where his wife took care of him. Thankfully, there were no broken bones and after two days in bed, he was able to get around again.

In 1925, Aaron was once again working at the Lehi Sugar Factory. On December 1st, he was working the night shift with Jesse Smith, Hagen Hansen, J.B. Gray and another man, running the lime filters. At 7:30 pm they heard a couple of automobiles pull up to the warehouse. They went to see what they wanted, and the men in a car and a truck sped away as soon as they saw them. At 9:30 pm, the men returned and again sped away when they saw that the men were still working. At 10:00 pm, the car and truck once again came and went. Aaron and the others walked around the plant but didn’t notice anything amiss, so they went back to work.

At 10:30, Aaron and Jesse Smith decided to walk around and check on things again, and noticed that the men were back. Jesse ran to the telephone to call J. M. Smith who was cashier of the plant, and Aaron went after the masked men. As he was proceeding between the building and some rail cars, he was pounced upon by three men. One of the men hit him on the back of his head and back with a four-foot length of pipe, knocking him unconscious. Apparently thinking they had killed him, the men jumped in their vehicles and fled. When Aaron came to, he crawled toward the lime kiln and called for help. His companions came to his assistance and carried him to the lime kiln where he was given first aid and then taken to the Lehi Hospital where he was treated by Dr. F. D. Worlton. Though Aaron received serious injuries to his back, he was able to recover. Unfortunately, the police “were unable to procure any substantial clue leading to the apprehension of the highwaymen.”

Aaron lived to the age of 76 and died on January 12, 1968.

This story was posted by Lee Anderson on the Lehi Historical Society And Archives Facebook Page on July 22, 2022.

Aaron Sabey’s parents were Charlotte Amanda Bushman and John Sabey. Charlotte was the daughter of Jacob Bushman and Charlotte Turley, and a sister to Grace Honor Bushman, my 2nd Great-grandma. That makes Aaron a cousin to Ruby, her daughter and my grandma.

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The Wild West by Lee Anderson

Here’s a fascinating story that includes an experience George Kirkham had in 1863. George’s wife, Mary Ann Astington is the sister of Eliza Astington who was married to James Blundell Smuin.

The 1913 History of Lehi, states, “In the spring of 1863, Lehi was witness to one of the most somber events of her whole history.  A number of soldiers from Fort Douglas, enjoying a vacation at Fort Crittenden, as Camp Floyd had later been named, wounded two Indians and frightened the squaws of a neighboring camp.  It was all done in a spirit of deviltry and without provocation, so the Indians swore revenge on ‘the men who wore the blue coats,’ and unfortunately confused these with the drivers of the mail coaches.”

Regardless of the reason, the spring of 1863 was not a good time to be a mail coach driver.  On March 13th, John Garr and William Empy were camped in Scull Valley, Tooele county, at Garr’s herd ground when a party of eight Indians started shooting at their tent.  Garr and Empy returned fire and were able to get to their horses and escape.  The Indians took what they could carry, killed a “fine cow and calf that were in the corral”, and burned the rest.  A posse of nine men soon were after them but they got away.

On Sunday March 25th, the mail stage was attacked by what was thought to be a “band of hostile Humbolt Indians” about ten miles west of Deep Creek (also in Tooele county).  The driver and a passenger were killed, but Judge Mott, the delegate to Congress from Nevada who was also on the stage,  was spared.  Soon after the stage was attacked, two men were attacked and killed at Eight Mile Station.  According to the Deseret News, “The two bodies were found on Monday, scalped and stripped.”  Eight horses were also stolen and the stable and hay had been burned.  Forty horses were also stolen from Deep Creek Ranch.  Willow Station was attacked but the attackers were driven off, Boyd’s Station was also attacked and three horses were stolen and some hay was burned.  The mail company immediately asked for assistance from the army.

On April 1, 1863, the Deseret News reported, “We are pleased to learn that the Overland Mail Company feels perfectly satisfied that the Indians, who threatened last week to interrupt the communication between this and Carson, are now unable to make any successful demonstration of hostility.  Since our issue we have seen several gentlemen from the west, who report ‘no Indians to be seen,’ and the public business over that route goes on uninterruptedly.

A detachment of fifty men, 2d Cavalry, C.V., have gone by the Humbolt to Ruby, and to Deep Creek, if required.  Another detachment of twenty-five men were sent over the mail route, and another third detachment of twenty-five men were sent by Scull Valley, in the hopes of coming up with the Indians somewhere.”

The soldiers involvement only seemed to make the problem worse.  In their attempt to catch the guilty party, they attacked several innocent tribes in the area.  This only caused the innocent tribes to seek retribution and go on the “war path”.  Regardless of the mail company’s reassurance, the attacks continued.  On the 19th of May, the stage carrying one or two passengers and four soldiers, left Deep Creek.  W. R. Simpson was driving and Major Egan was riding “shotgun” beside him.  When they were about 14 miles from the station, three shots were fired from some rocks by the roadside.  Simpson was killed instantly and Egan grabbed the reins to prevent the horses from running away.  Four more shots were fired and the soldiers returned fire.  As soon as the dead man was placed inside the stage, “thinking discretion the better part of valor, Major Egan, who had become the driver’s successor, left the scene of action as quickly as possible.”

According to the 1913 Lehi History, “On Tuesday evening, June 9, a number of the red skins told Mrs. William Ball, who then lived at the Jordan Bridge, and whose family was extremely friendly with the Indians, that on the next day they were going to kill the mail driver and ‘blue coats.’  Mrs. Ball warned the driver, who was then on his way to Fort Crittenden, but he could do nothing by way of preparation.

The next day, June 10, George Kirkham, then a boy of twelve, was herding cattle west of the Jordan, about one mile north-west of the Cold Springs.  Seeing the mail coach come flying in the distance, his curiosity was aroused, and he followed its course closely.  In a short time he could discern a number of horsemen following the vehicle and then he could see that they were Indians and were firing at it.  Ever faster they came, the driver making a great effort to reach the road to the ford across the river, which was about three miles below the bridge.  He had cut through the country in order to gain this haven, but finally the savages turned him south, drove him into high brush, and the speed of his horses was checked.  First his leaders fell and when a wheeler went down, too, he dismounted and stood behind the other, firing at his assailants as rapidly as possible.  Finally both he and his last horse were shot down, and the sole passenger in the coach was murdered with him.  The drivers name was Wood Reynolds, and because of his bravery the Indians cut his heart out and ate it, believing that some of his courage would in that way pass to them.  They then scalped both their victims and mutilated the bodies terribly.

In the meantime, Kirkham had run for the bridge, and after delivering his horrible tidings there, had gone on to Lehi and started a posse out for the scene of blood.  But it was too late.  The Indians had departed and nothing remained but to take the bodies of the men to Salt Lake City.”

Thankfully, cooler heads soon prevailed and peace between the government and the native tribes was sought.  A treaty was agreed upon and peace was restored.

– – – – – – –
This article was posted by Lee Anderson on the Lehi Historical Society and Archives Facebook page on 3 Feb 2021.

Photo: “Stagecoach Pursued by Mounted Indians” by Richard Lorenz.

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Martin Benjamin Bushman’s short speech on his 79th Birthday on 5 February 1920

bushman, martin benjamin portrait

A short speech made by Martin B. Bushman, Lehi City, Feb. 5, 1920 on his 79th Birthday.

I am pleased to meet you here tonight and bid you all welcome.  I am growing old and cannot always be with you I tell you few things I have done in in life end why I have done them.
I have tried to be truthful, for in my boyhood days I have told untruth to my parents and it has stayed with me as a warning all the days of my life. I cannot forget it.
Honesty in my early life I had a dream. I thought I had stolen something it was found out on me and all my friends new it and 0 how very bad I felt and when I woke up and found it was dream O how happy I was but it has stayed with me as warning in all my business transaction in life in my working on the thrashing machine for 25 years of my life in measuring up the grain and taken up the toll that dream was always before me as warning
Praying I have read in the Book of Mormon page 518 where Jesus when talking to the Nephites told them to pray always and that Fathers should always pray with their wives and children I have tried to carry out his words in my early boyhood days I often went to the Lord for help and among the most important was in choosing a companion I remember of forming and affection for a certain young lady that I thought I would like to marry but I asked the Lord in prayer that if it was his will that I should marry her that everything should work together to that end if it was not his will all my affection for her should leave me I had no sooner arose to my feet than all my love for her had left me but in pursuing the same course in regard to those that I did marry everything worked to my favor and blessing In my younger days I went into the mountains and canyons after wood and timbers and of times all alone but I always felt safe if I had said my prayers before going.
Tithing I have always thought the tithing of the Church done more good in more ways to mankind than any other financial enterprise in the world and for that reason I wanted to have a hand in the good work and have to pay one tenth of my income for the last 60 years 20 years ago the tithing office gave me a card that I could take when I went to settle my tithing so the clerk could put on it the amount paid each year that card shows that I have paid about 14 hundred dollars in the 20 years and now I feel no poorer for it.
Meetings the Lord said his people should meet often together and a Book of remembrance would be kept and when he came he would reward them he also said they would meet On his holy day to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the body and blood of his Son. I have learned in my journey of life that, it gives more joy and happiness to go to the house of worship and associate with the Servant of God and partake of the Sacrament in remembrance of his Son and receive of holy spirit which gives great joy and peace of body end mind Some one feels like living a better life and working for the welfare of mankind.
Sunday School when I was a child I never had the privilege of going to Sunday School for there was none then here in Lehi but after I was married the Sunday School started in Lehi and I was chosen as one of the teachers and I, took a great interest in the work for I learned something every time I went and was quite successful as a teacher and continued at the good work for 30 years and it had good effect on my children so that six of them became Sunday School teachers.
Missions I never had the privilege of filling a preaching mission, but I have done all I could to assist those that have gone I will relate a few instance on March 23 1889 there was standing by the courthouse, Provo City about one dozen Lehi men among them was a young man that had been called on a mission to Wales. I called him to one side and said to him that I was going into court to be sent to prison and while there I would not have any use for money for Uncle Sam would feed and clothe me so I gave him what money I had to help him on his mission. Another young man I furnished five hundred dollars to fill his mission to England another instance where a young lady of Lehi was called on a mission and her parents were not able to help her much so I gave her money to help her to go and sent her money while there. O how I appreciated her kind letters and thanks. I shall always keep them. I could relate many more incidences.
My Travels I thought it may be of interest to relate my travels.
At the age of one year from Pennsylvania-to Nauvoo one thousand miles.
At the age of five from Nauvoo to Council Bluff five hundred miles.
At the age of ten from council Bluffs to Utah one thousand miles.
At the age of twenty from Utah to Florance and back two thousand miles.
At the age of 22 from Utah out west 350 miles and bock 7 hundred miles.
At the age of 33 from Lehi to St George 6 hundred miles.
At the age of 61 from Utah to New York and return, 5 thousand miles.
At the age of 70 to Canada, 2000 total, 12,800 miles.
I have now lived in Lehi nearly 70 years and have helped developed the Country. I was among the first stockholders of ZCMI of Salt Lake City also Lehi ZCMI and of Provo Wooling factory and of the Utah Telegraph line. I was one of a Committee of three that erected the Pioneer monument of Lehi also compiled the History of Lehi.
I have held the office of City Councilman, Marshal police and road Supervisor and number of church offices. I feel that I have been blessed first with goodly parents next with good brothers and sisters, then with good wives and children and to have my wives Sealed to me, one by President Brigham Young, the other by Apostle Wilford Woodruff.
I have been Greatly blessed in body and mind and I owe all to the Lord and I wish to say to my children and those present that I know that this is the Church of God and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I thank you
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Louisa Mary Phillips Pace b. 19 January 1847, Cardiff, Wales

Phillips, Louisa Mary b. 1847

Louisa Mary Phillips Pace on the left.

Mrs. Louisa M. Philips Lewis Pace was born January 19, 1847 in Cardiff, Wales. She writes:

My father died when I was six months old.

The first I can remember was when I was crossing the ocean with my mother. I was being taken by her to this country, America. She had been converted by Elder John A. Lewis. She married him when I was four years old. I was carried to school and when I was four years old I could read parts of the Bible. I won a prize, which was a butter Lion weighting about 15 pounds. This prize was won by me for reading the Bible best. This was when I was six years old.

I have always loved to read and received a very great deal of my education through reading books, books of every kind. I did go to school some though. I went to night school because I spun and knit lace and stockings in the day time. We burned green willows for the light and once in awhile a candle. We had twelve books for forty scholars.

I crossed the plains with my mother when i was seven years old. i came in the Dr. Richards Co. in 1854. We stayed in a Kansas camping ground waiting journey.

When the teams arrived, my foster father bought, with my mother’s estate money, six yolk of cattle, having sold our house for 100 pounds.

They emigrated 30 families with part of the money and bought a farm in Manti, Utah. One hundred acres and everything on it. We arrived there only to find the Indians had burned all on it, so the land was sold for taxes. We really didn’t benefit by any of the money we received from our home excepting the oxen and horses that we used to come across the plains. We traveled with teams in the covered wagons.

Lewis, John A. and Priscilla

My foster father [John A. Lewis,] thought he would be able, after an illness he had had, to drive but he was so weak that he fell from the tung where he was riding and broke his leg. This held up the wagon train for a while, but Dr. Butchon set the leg and we moved on with the company.

When we had traveled twelve weeks, my half-brother Johnie S. Lewis was born, on the Platt River, in 185[4].

We saw many Indians and buffalo, on our way. We had heard so much about them but we were always told to act brave in their company. We arrived in Salt Lake City, October 30, 1854. We lived for that winter in Salt lake City.

My father worked on the Temple all winter and summer then in the fall Brigham Young sent him to Box Elder because he was a carpenter. There was much more work there than where he was. He worked on a new meeting house there and a home for ourselves and one for President Snow.

It was very cold that winter in Box Elder. The coldest winter I ever remember, so cold that the men were unable to get lumber out of the canyon to finish the house we were building for ourselves so

we put a wagon cover over the roof to keep out the storm, but it was terribly cold and we most froze in it. A kind neighbor seeing our trouble took us in with her. She had one room for eleven of us.

The snow was so deep that most of the cows and horses we had froze to death. We had one cow left. We killed her because she was so poor, but we wanted to use the meat before she died so it could be used.

Mother sold dresses and linen that she had brought from the East (Wales was written in) where she had kept and owned a large store. This winter compelled us to buy flour with some of our most treasured belongings.

I remember a sister paid us for a bolt of material with a loaf of bread and the bread was so hard it broke when it was cut, but it tasted better than anything I have ever eaten in all my life.

In the spring of 1858 we dug roots and cooked greens. This was the year the food came to us that was so much like the manna of old. It grew in the swamps and was a root-like substance and was very good tasting.

This year 1858 was hard, a very hard one throughout all the settlements. Then it was that the U.S Army came into Salt Lake Valley, the people feared that they would be mobbed as they had in the East, so Brigham Young ordered all of their possessions burned so that they would not be taken by the army.

I remember by mother piling all our belongings in the middle of the floor to burn, that is, all that we had left of the things we started with. I didn’t seem to care much about the other things, but I cried when the books were burned, because I loved them just as much as I would good friends.

We all moved out of Salt Lake Valley to Spanish Fork, where we lived from then on, the rest of my life thus far.

We had no animals left now so we had to have some of the brethren help us to move. The man who helped us was William F. Pace, who came with his team and moved us down.

I lived with his wife, Caroline and he for some time, working for my keep. Caroline was my cousin who had come from Wales also. The times were always hard, but we never did grumble or even realize they were hard.

(From here we have gathered items from grandmother’s life that seemed most interesting to us.)

While living with William F. Pace and Caroline she had much to do even though she was a child and they were very good to her. She gathered offerings from some of the sisters to give and distribute to some of the less fortunate ones. She was helping Aunt [cousin] Caroline and Jan Hillman with this work. They were the appointed ones to do it. She helped them gather soap made from pork fat waste and alkali, candles, flour or anything that could be used. They gave much of this to the new comers who came without a thing in 1865.

When she was eighteen years old she taught the Old Testament class in Sunday School. Sara McKee was in the class and she tells us that grandmother was a wonderful teacher, one of whom she remembered through the years as one of her very best teachers. Sara was 13 years old in this class.

Then the theatrical group was organized. Grandma Louisa M. Phillips was one of the group. The others were John Moore, Tom Smith, William Creer, [Mary Lewis Hawkes], Ann [Lewis] Clegg, and Sam Cornaby.

Mrs. Annie Creer Rowe tells of some of the plays they played, one being “Rob Roy McCreger”. She says there never was, to her knowledge, better players. Even though they all loved their own troupe best.

When Grandma was about this age she had a spinning wheel set up in her back kitchen. The floor was completely worn out from where she had walked to and from spinning. She could be seen working late into the night and early in the morning.

All the girls of the town would gather at times with their spinning wheels to the old stage, where the old Oren A. Lewis home now stands. They had spinning bees here and had great fun. Aunt Venus, a negro mammy who came to live with the Redds, would cook for them. She was very good and they all loved her.

In 1868 Grandma was married to William Franklin Pace. She was his second wife. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Endowment House.

In 1870 her first child was born. Mrs Ann Creer was the midwife or doctor attending the birth. The first born they named Caroline Louisa. (4 Aug 1870 – 7 Feb 1928)

In 1872 (August 1st) her second child, Priscilla Margaret was born. Shortly after this they moved to their farm in Spanish Fork Canyon in Lake Fork. On this farm grandmother lived in the summer and down to Spanish Fork in the winter.

In 1874 their third child, William Franklin, was born. In 1876 their fourth child, Tommy, was born, and in 1877 (September 10th) Mary Ann was born. At this time the Indians were very bad. One evening at dusk, an old Indian came to the door and asked for whiskey, or firewater as they called it. He had already been drinking. Grandma said she had none because her husband did not drink it. He then asked for a gun. She told him no. He took her little girl Percilla by the hair of her head and said he would scalp her if Grandma didn’t give him the gun. She was afraid he would do much harm with it. He finally found he could not scare her into giving it up, so he went mumbling away without harming them.

Grandfather was in town at this time, so Grandma took her children and her tiny baby across the river and slept in the bushes all night, for fear the Indians would return.

In 1879, Jane Elizabeth was born and one half hour after her birth, William Franklin died. He was six years old. Grandma felt terrible about the little boys death because he was her only son at the time.

In 1881, Maggie Davidson was born. The day before her birth, Grandmother had walked nine miles helping Grandfather drive sheep and was trying to reach her brother,
John S. Lewis’ ranch before the baby was born.

Grandfather and she came to the cabin of Maggie Davidson who, with her husband, was cattle herding at Nine Mile. The cabin seemed to be deserted until the hired man, William T. Monk came in. He went after Mrs. Davidson on the range, to be with and help Grandma. By the time he returned with her, the baby had been delivered by Grandfather. It was named for Mrs. Davidson because she took care of Grandma during her nine-day stay.

In 1883, Charles Philip was born. In 1886, Rebecca Amelia was born. In 1888 Morton Eli. It was at this time that the trials of polygamy were most terrible. Grandma had to leave her home in Spanish Fork to give birth to Morton Eli. She stayed in Fairview, Utah, until the baby was three months old. Then he died.

She always said it was those trials which caused the death of her last, a still born baby. So many nights hiding from the cruel “Deps” as they called them. They seemed to enjoy being ugly with the people who were living in polygamy. The poor souls seemed not to have a moments peace. They dreaded the “Deps” more than they did the Indians and many a terrible thing our grandparents told of their character.

Besides all these trials and also insects, they had other problems, too.

Pace, William Franklin and Louisa Mary.1

William Franklin Pace and Louisa Mary Phillips

Grandma & grandpa traveled around with the sheep a great deal, taking the children with them. In traveling they couldn’t depend upon being friends to others. When they were in the states, no one would be a friend to a Mormon if they could help it.

In 1894, while traveling in New Mexico with the sheep they became friendly with a family who had traveled along beside them for days. They pitched camp together each night. One night the mother and Grandma began to talk of the Mormons and she said she would like to see a Mormon, but she knew she would be afraid of them. Grandma said, “You are looking at one now.”

“Oh,” she said, “Don’t they have horns?”

“No, they are much the same as everyone else,” Grandma said. “The next morning their friends were gone. They had left in the middle of the night because they were afraid of the terrible Mormons. They never did see them again on the trip that lasted a year.

Grandma was always an honest, true, faithful wife and a loving mother and grandmother. We are all proud of her work and hope we will be able to carry on this work which she and grandfather started.

After a long, busy, noble life Grandma passed away September 18, 1934, in Spanish Fork. She is buried there.

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Eli Brazee Kelsey Ferguson b. 28 December 1848 in Scotland

Ferguson Eli Brazee Kelsey-Colorized


SON OF ANDREW FERGUSON AND CATHERINE DOUGLASS, Great-great grandparents of John Conley Lewis, my husband

Eli Brezee Kelsey Ferguson was born at Rutherglen, Scotland, December 28, 1848. He was baptized by Stephen R. Wells July 14, 1857. He came to Utah with his father and step-mother-in 1855 arriving in Salt Lake September 28, 1855. He grew to manhood in Spanish Fork and when very young enlisted in the infantry in Franklin P. Whitmore’s Company on the 14th of June 1866 and released July 28, 1866 at Springville, Utah. He also served in Thurber’s Company of home guards for about sixty days in the year 1866.

He freighted from Salt Lake to Pioche, Nevada, in the early seventies and worked in Nevada for two years. He married Christena O. Angus April 13, 1874 in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City. Twelve children were born to this unison, all living but two. In 1888 and 1890 he filled a mission to Scotland laboring in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and in the Orkney Islands in the North of Scotland.

Soon after his marriage they moved from Spanish Fork to Lake Shore where they had acquired 160 acres of land. They lived there and reared their family and helped to build up the community. In March 1883 was appointed President of the M. I. A. of the Spanish Fork West Branch which was later made Lake Shore Ward. He was also appointed Assistant Superintendent of Sunday School which offices he held many years. He was made Senior President of the 129th Quorum of Seventies October 27th, 1900 which office he hold until September 18, 1917 when he was ordained a High Priest.

He held many positions of public trust, School Trustee, Justice of the Peace, and Manager of the Lake Shore Co-op, later buying the store and carrying on the business for six years, during that time acting as Assistant Post Master. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Strawberry Reservoir Project and served from the time the first surveys were made until the project was finished. In company with Richard W. Money and John Roach they formed the Spanish Fork Construction Company and built several miles of the Strawberry High Line Canal.

In 1916 he sold his farm in Lake Shore and bought the J. M. Creer home at 138 South 1st West, Spanish Fork and moved there to live. For five years before his death he visited the Soldiers’ Home at Sawtelle, California and spent the winters there. He passed away December 10, 1928 at Sawtelle, California and was buried at Spanish Fork City Cemetery December 14, 1928.

— Betsey F Tippetts, daughter, and her family lived many years with “Grandpa Ferguson”.

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