James McFarlane b. 22 September 1847


James was the husband of my Great-grandaunt, Martha Ann Smuin.

James McFarlane was born 22 Sept. 1847, the son of Peter and Mary Clark McFarlane. The family including 4 brothers, John Clark, Arthur, Archibald and James, who was 14 years of age, left Liverpool, May 6, 1862, on the sailing vessel “Manchester”. When the family arrived in Utah, they camped in the old tithing office yard, then went to Ogden where Peter McFarlane purchased an acre of Land on Franklin St. and built a small home. Later, James, along with other young men were called to act as teamster to bring to Utah some of the Saints who were camped on the banks of the Missouri River.

On one of these trips, James offered two young girls who walked along side his wagon day after day a ride in his wagon. One of them, Martha Ann Smuin, became his wife Oct. 5, 1867, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. They made their home in Ogden and became the parents of 11 children whom they reared to maturity.

James worked for the Union Pacific Railroad in Ogden for 30 years, then was transferred to Salt Lake City. In 1904 James was called to perform a mission in England and after his return continued to make his home in Salt Lake City. Martha Ann died 13 Nov. 1913 and James later married Mary Crowton.

This information found in the SMUIN BOOK, p. 53.

James McFarlane Autobiography
I, James McFarlane, was born in Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, 22 September 1847, son of Peter McFarlane, who was born in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, 28 August 1819–he being the son of James McFarlane and Agnes Bryson McFarlane. My mother was Mary Clark, daughter of John Clark and Jean McIntyre. Mother was born 20 May 1820 in Johnstone, Scotland.

My father and mother were converted to the Gospel as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in, or about the year 1840. I think it was in the town of Greenock, Renfrewshire, the town in which I was born.

We sailed from Liverpool, England on 6 May 1862. There were 376 Saints on board the sailing ship Manchester. We started west, arriving in Florence, Nebraska on 7 July 1862.

During the time we were encamped at Florence waiting for other companies coming from the East, and teams from Utah, to take the Saints to Utah, a terrible thunder, lightening and rainstorm hit the camp. There were two of the brethren killed, and Joseph W. Young was severely hurt while he was crossing a bridge. The lightning struck his carriage and, if I remember rightly, both the horses were killed. The storm broke on the camp with such fury that I marveled that any were left alive.

Father and Mother had seven sons and one daughter. Two sons and the daughter died at an early age while yet in Scotland. James, Peter, John, Arthur, and Archibald came with their parents. Archibald died as a small boy.

As I have before said, we were met at Florence, Nebraska by teamsters and covered wagons drawn by oxen, with provisions of food for the trip. Only the aged and little children could find places to ride, while all the men and young people had to walk all the way. Their shoes were worn out long before the journey was over. They had to wrap their feet in any kind of heavy cloth they could find. At night their feet would be sore and bleeding from the thistles, rocks, and hot sand they had to travel over in the long hours of the day.

Camp was made by the wagons forming a circle. After the evening meal the Saints would gather for prayers and they would sing the songs of Zion. “Come, Come Ye Saints” was a favorite

They had a great deal of trouble with the Indians. Often the teamsters would arise in the morning to find part of their cattle had been driven off by the Indians, although the guards were watching the animals all night. It required a great deal of judgment to get their cattle back without a fight. Sometimes it was hard to find water for the people and the cattle. We arrived in Salt Lake City, October 1 and made camp in the Tithing Yard where Hotel Utah now stands.

This was the place where all emigrant trains made their unloading stop. If the Saints had relatives, or friends, in Utah, they were met by them and taken to their homes until places and work could be arranged for them. Those who had no one to meet them were placed in the care of the Church Committee who helped them to get located. Sometimes it would take a week to get them located. The covered wagons still provided shelter for them.

The McFarlane family went on to Ogden. Father bought an acre of land on Franklin Street, now named Lincoln Avenue, between 20th and 21st Street, where he and his sons built a small house. He soon found work, as he was a first class shoemaker. He also understood the tanning of leather. They took the hides from the animals and prepared them for making the shoes. My parents lived in Ogden until their deaths.

I, James McFarlane, was called by President Brigham Young with many other young men as teamsters to drive oxen and covered wagons, loaded with supplies of food for the Saints coming to Utah. I made four trips over the plains. After the Saints were taken care of, the rest of the wagons were loaded with telegraph wire.

The last trip I made was in 1866. My wagon was loaded with wire. Taking pity on two young ladies, who walked along side of my wagon day after day, I offered to give them a ride, which was graciously accepted. Little did I know one of them would become my wife two years later.

At that time [1867], I found six young people, one of them was me, drawn by two horses and in the spring of the year. We would travel as far as Kaysville, put up for the night, then travel on to Salt Lake; if they got an early start they would make it by dark. The following day they were married after having their endowments. The party consisted of George Odell, bride Florence Grant, James McFarlane, and Martha Smuin. These young people had their endowments and were married 5 October 1867. Gilbert Wright and Annie Odell, the other couple, were married in Ogden sometime before, but had their endowments and sealed the same day as the others. They all returned to Ogden to make their home. My father gave me a piece of property where we built our home, next door to my father and mother, and where we raised to man and womanhood, our eleven children.

I started to work for the Union Pacific Railroad in April 1870, as Station Baggage Master and retained that same position until called on a mission to England. I labored in the Newcastle Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the direction of the president of that conference. I received my call and left home on 6 August 1904.

About two, or three years before my mission, my work was transferred to Salt Lake City. We sold our home in Ogden and moved to Salt Lake City. We lived in Farmers Ward where we bought a new home. My first work after returning from my mission was with the Daynes Beebe Music Store on Main Street in Salt Lake City. Later, I held the position of guide in the state capitol, under Governor Bamburger.

James McFarlane left his work at the state capitol, 12 March 1921, went home feeling in his usual good health. Sunday morning, 13 March, he arose at the usual time prepared for going to his high priest’s meeting. At that time he was a member of Wells Ward and President of the High Priest’s. As he entered the chapel, he found the secretary was absent, so he stepped into the next room, the bishop’s office, to get paper so one of the group could then take the minutes of the meeting. A noise was heard, like he had fallen. By the time one of the brethren could reach his side, he had passed away. So he died as he had lived, a faithful Latter-day Saint.

From Lenore McFarlane Reusch –
Grandpa Mac loved music. He played coronet in the Ogden City band. He also belonged to an orchestra that furnished music for the dances and entertainment in the wards. He and his wife were members of the Ogden Tabernacle Choir and the Third Ward Choir for many years. They and their children were active members of the Ogden Third Ward when Winslow Farr, Bernard White, and James Wotherspoon were bishops.

Grandpa was referred to at his funeral, and by his many acquaintances, as a “Scottish gentleman.” I remember him as always immaculately dressed in somewhat formal fashion, always with a stiffly starched white shirt and a black tie and dark suit. His smooth, ruddy skin and pure white hair and mustache gave him a very clean, neat, and very distinguished look. He made a very believable Santa Claus each Christmas for his many children and grandchildren. Beside a candle-lighted tree, he opened his pack and passed out presents. Bells in the distance signaled his arrival beforehand as he appeared wearing a real Santa Claus suit.

He was usually cheerful and happy, but I did see tears in his eyes on occasion. He loved his children and grandchildren and would do anything to please them. He always brought us candy and often other gifts. One time he gave us all carefully inscribe books–special children’s books that we loved. (He wrote beautifully.) Another time he gave each of his granddaughters a dainty gold ring set with a ruby. Mine was a treasured possession of my childhood. When two of his little grandchildren died, he engraved marble headstones for them, and these still stand in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

His wife, Martha, died 13 November 1913, after a long illness. He was married late in life to Mary Crowton, and she, along with eight of his children, survived him at his death when he was 73 years old.mcfarlane-james-b-1847-obit-1mcfarlane-james-b-1847-obit

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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