THOMAS SMUIN (1816-1888) PIONEER OF 1868
Thomas Smuin, the oldest son of Joseph and Esther Hannah (Pearce) Smuin was born in Radley, Berkshire, England on 6 December, 1816. On 9 August 1837 Thomas married Sarah Hook, who was born in Sutton, Berkshire, 5 September 1816.
Having joined the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas and Sarah left Abingdon, Berkshire, England to join their family members in the Land of Zion in the State of Utah in America. Thomas and Sarah left England on the steamship “Colorado”, sailing from Liverpool on Tuesday, 14 July 1868, with a Mormon Mission.
After arriving in New York City aboard the steamship Colorado, Thomas Smuin and Sarah Hook Smuin traveled by train from New York City to Benton, Wyoming. They then joined the Daniel D. McArthur Company (1868) for the rest of the journey into the Salt Lake Valley. The following is a narrative of this wagon company:
Narrative: Daniel D. McArthur, from St. George, led a group of out-and-back teamsters to Benton, Wyoming. They left Salt Lake in mid-June, traveling east by way of Parley’s Canyon, where they encountered a blinding spring blizzard. It also took them a full day to swim their herd of oxen across the Green River, which was swollen from the spring runoff. They reached the end-of-track terminus of Benton in July and waited about six weeks for the emigrants, most of whom had crossed the Atlantic on the steamship Colorado. It took the emigrants about a week to travel from New York to the outfitting place on the train. The emigrants arrived in Benton, where they met their teamsters on August 7 and left a week later. The company included 411 passengers and 61 wagons. Twenty-five of the wagons were loaded with goods destined for stores in Salt Lake, including the new Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution. They traveled in a northwesterly direction from Benton through Whiskey Gap and northward from there until they reached the Sweetwater River and joined the old emigrant road. They arrived in Salt Lake on September 2. Seven people, mostly young children, died en route.