Frederick Barker settles in Ogden in 1853

Frederick Barker was my 3rd Great-grandpa.  He and his wife, Ann Blygh  were born in England in 1800 and 1802.  They came to America in 1830.  They had 13 children.  Here is an interesting account of what pioneer life was like for them in the early days of Ogden, Utah.

defaultAn Enduring Legacy, Volume Nine, p.284
In March 1853, James Barker and family moved into the ward from Mound Fort. Frederick Barker settled on the hill east of the church house. In 1853, Newman G. Blodgett and James Barker [Frederick’s son] built a gristmill on upper Cold Water Creek, a mill that was run by Benjamin Gardiner. Later, Lorin Farr built a two-story adobe flour mill, with all the latest improvements, on the south side of Ogden River.

Seeds were brought by the settlers from their old homes. Wild plums and currant bushes were plentiful on the creek; blackberries, raspberries, chokecherries were in the mountains; strawberries grew in the low places. Serviceberries and thimbleberries were there just for the picking. These plants could be transplanted into home gardens. To store these berries, the women had to dry them because they did not have glass bottles for canning. The root crops were stored in pits. Squash, pumpkins, and melons were peeled, then cut into rings, strung on flax thread or willows and dried. Hominy was made from the corn by soaking it in lye to remove the hull, soaking it again to remove the lye, then boiling it until it was soft. Flour was converted from wheat by grinding the grain in a coffee mill or crushing it in a hollow stone with the mortar and pestle method. Grated combread was a great delicacy. Wheat, corn, potatoes and sorghum cane were made into molasses and became a very valuable medium of exchange.

There were no matches, so fire had to be carefully conserved. Flint and steel were very valuable for all settlers. Upon going to bed at night or whenever they left home, fire was covered with ashes to keep it from going out. (This was called banking the fire.) Sometimes even with care the fire went out and then a start had to be borrowed from a neighbor.

Clothing was most difficult to come by, so canvas wagon covers and tents were made into trousers and dresses, skins of animals were made into trousers especially deerskins. Collars were made from paper. Such clothing items as buckskin shirts and elkskin trousers, were made of materials that chafed the skin and made it sore. As soon as possible the people obtained sheep from which wool was carded and spun into cloth.

Lumber was also hard to come by, as was fencing. Since there was no wire available, fences had to be made of rocks, poles or brush. Furniture was also very scarce. Stools were made by boring holes in a board and putting pegs into the holes to form legs for the stool. Cupboards were made by putting long pegs into walls and then boards were placed on the pegs. Bedsteads were made by boring holes in a round pole and connecting this pole with two corner walls of the house. Trundle beds were four posted logs built low so they could be pushed under a large bed in the daytime. Mattresses were filled with grass, leaves, corn husks or straw; sometimes pine boughs with skins of animals laid over them served as mattresses

About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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