Matilda Smuin Slaugh b. 1841, d. 1895


From a life sketch by daughter Florence Matilda Slaugh Willes.

My mother, Matilda Smuin Slaugh, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Hook) Smuin was born in Abingdon, Berkshire, England, Sept. 6, 1842. [Radley Parish records list her birth on 8 September 1841 (FHL#1040565 p. 57).]

Her parents were poor and at the age of 11, Matilda was sent to a factory to work long hours for a few cents a day. When 18, she met some Mormon Elders and soon after, she joined the church. While at this place she received about $1.50 a week and by 1863 had saved enough to emigrate to Utah. Upon arriving in Salt Lake City Mother was taken to Brigham Young’s home where she lived for some time. It was while she worked there she met my father John Jacob Slaugh and they were married 2 January 1864.

An old couple had given Father a home where the couple lived until their first son was born 17 November 1864.  Shortly after the Saints were called to Pleasant Grove to settle that part of Utah and Father led the band from Salt Lake.

The Indians were still troublesome at this time and Mother’s home was built as a fortification so everyone could come there at night to sleep.  It was a hard life for Mother, but we had a beautiful home and had a lovely orchard.

When Pleasant Valley became too small for the boys to make a living Mother gave up her lovely home and orchard to pioneer a new place in Ashley Valley in 1886, a two room log house.

As the years passed and with failing health, Mother was an invalid for four years before she passed away 4 November 1895 and was buried in the Vernal Cemetery, Vernal, Utah, 7 November 1895.

No mention of other wives is made in this article, however, a genealogical record indicates Matilda was the second wife of John Jacob Slaugh. His first wife was Rachel Ivory.

Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 6, p.484
Matilda Smuin Slaugh was born in Obongton, Berkshire, England, September 6, 1842 [1841]. She spent her childhood in England, and when she was eighteen was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By 1863 she had saved enough money to emigrate to Utah, and upon her arrival was taken to Brigham Young’s home where she lived for a time. She married John Slaugh January 2, 1864. With her husband she settled in Pleasant Grove where they adjusted themselves to pioneer living. Their property in Pleasant Grove became too small for their son’s to make a living and it became necessary for them to move. In 1886 they acquired land in Ashley Valley and began again to pioneer. They moved into a two-room log house surrounded by weeds and brush. For two years all the water they used was hauled a half-mile in barrels. Mrs. Slaugh’s daughter, Florence, wrote “Mother was very handy with the sick, going from home to home caring for those who needed her help in all kinds of conveyances\’97hay racks, running gears, wagon boxes or sleighs. She was lovingly called “Aunt Matilda” by her hosts of friends. Mother brought into the world between four and five hundred babies before her death. Her health began to fail, but she would not give up her service to others. It became necessary for her to be carried to the beds of the sick and finally she was forced to remain in her bed. She was an invalid for four years and passed away on November 4, 1895. She was buried in the Vernal, Utah, cemetery, November 7, 1895.”slaugh-john-jacob-matilda-smuin-fgs



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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