A copy of a letter written from “Casas grandus, Mexico,” on Febuary 20, 1887, by Isaac Turley to “William, Greenwood and Ann or Father and Mother Greenwood” was published in the May 1999 Theodore Turley Family Newsletter on page 5. A partial transcription was made of it with several omissions because of the illegibility of the handwritten letter. Ella Mae Judd has looked the letter over and has filled in a lot of the blanks that were published as the transcription. Here is Ella Mae’s version of the letter:
Feb. 20th 1887 Casas grandus, Mexico
William, Greenwood and Ann or Father and Mother Greenwood,
I have written and I Suppose you did not get it as the Mail is so uncertain. Sarah your Daughter and my Wife departed this Life on the 13 of January. I and Alma and Edward went back to Snowflake to get the Rest of our Property and I started in 10 of [November or December and] I returned as Soon as I could and I got back on the 14 of January the day after her death. That Tumor burst and it caused her death. She Suffered. She took Sick at 8 o’clock one Evening. She died at 3 the next day. She Suffered a great deal. Still at the last She passed off Easy and without a Struggle.
Sarah was a True Wife to me and has left Some good children. There is 7 here: William, Alma, Joseph, Hyrum, George, Charles and John is 2 years in next April 12th. He the Baby is as large as any child Sarah Ever had. It Seems that the children Sensed all about their Mother’s death. Johnny So young Still he has never cried for his Mother. He is So attached to Hyrum as nurse and Sleeps with him. This is a hard Country for to get clothing.
We all Send our love to you. All the Boys send their love to you all, from
Here is some more family history about Sarah Greenwood, who married Isaac Turley in 1861:
Ann Hartley Greenwood was baptized into the LDS Church in September, 1840 and her husband, William Greenwood, was baptized June, 1841. William and Ann arrived at New Orleans November 24, 1841 after a seven to nine week trip in the ship Tyrene. They settled in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois. Before they could adjust to the new climate, they all came down with the “ague” and were very, very sick for a long time. Ann decided she wanted to go back to England; her parents had promised to send her the necessary money if she ever wanted to go back. William didn’t want to return to England but finally consented to go with her and their small daughter, Martha.
Their daughter Sarah was born at Burnley, Lancashire, England 14 November, 1844 after their return to England. William Greenwood returned to the U.S.A. in 1846 or 1847 and Ann, his wife, finally returned in 1848, bringing Sarah with her. [Little Martha, referred to above, died in England in 1844.] The family crossed the plains in 1852, arriving in Utah 5 November, 1852. They resided in Salt Lake City about three weeks, then were called to go to Cedar City, Utah. Conditions here were very discouraging, so the family left and settled in Beaver City, Utah. It was here that Sarah spent most of her early life.
Sarah married Isaac Turley 11 March, 1861. She had black hair, blue eyes, and a swarthy skin. She was very industrious. She knitted a carpet of rags for their home, with much help as her mother could spare from her own household labors.
Isaac and Sarah had two sons born in Minersville, Beaver County, Utah, then six sons born in Beaver City. In early 1877 the family was called to settle in the Salt River Valley of Arizona in the company of Daniel Jones which founded Lehi, near Mesa. They arrived at Hayden Ferry in July of 1877. Sarah was a large woman, weighing 240 pounds, and the Arizona heat, living in a covered wagon without trees to shade it, was more than she could take. The story is that neighbor women wet sheets to put over Sarah to try to alleviate her suffering. Isaac returned to Beaver, Utah in September, 1877 and made a trip to Salt Lake City to confer with President John Taylor. He [Isaac] was released from the Jones Camp and allowed to go to St. Joseph (now Joseph City) on the Little Colorado in northern Arizona. The family stayed here until 7 May, 1881, when they moved to Snowflake. One son, George Albert, was born in St. Joseph.
Three more children were born in Snowflake, the second one being a little girl. Pearl Turley Frost said that a blind midwife assisted at the birth of this only daughter and Sarah felt that this woman tried to assist in the birth more than she should have done which resulted in the death of the baby. Sarah grieved very much that her only daughter did not live.
Because of the persecution of those living in polygamy, Isaac Turley took his wife, Sarah, and her family to Mexico in the spring of 1885. The next spring he returned to Snowflake to get his second wife, Clara Ann, and family. [See Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Temple.
Isaac Turley with his sons Alma and Edward left for Snowflake 10 November, 1886 to get the rest of their property. They returned to Mexico as soon as they could, and arrived there on the 14th of January, 1887. Sarah had died the day before. She had a tumor which burst, causing her death. Death came to her 13 January, 1887 at Casa Grande, Mexico, at the early age of forty-three. [All emphasis contained in original.]