On the 25th of January, 1844 Lois Angeline Smith was born in Little Rock, Arkansas to Dr. John Smith and Maria Foscue Smith. For their day, her parents were well-educated and well-to-do. Dr. Smith had medical training and spiritually minded. Lois was their third child. In the year she was born, the Smiths joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1850, they headed west with the saints, stopping in Winter Quarters.
The Smith family was well-equipped for the journey, with proper provisions and all the household goods needed to start a new life in the west. They also brought a wonderful library with histories, biographies, scientific treatises and classic literature.
After arriving in Winter Quarters, Dr. Smith was appointed to be the captain of a company of Saints heading west. Cholera broke out in the camp and on the first day, 53 members of the company died. On 16 June 1850, the second day, Dr. Smith died. As he was dying, he told his wife that it was his wish that she continue with their 4 children and join the Saints in the Salt Lake Valley. Although her health was also poor, Maria and her children pushed on, arriving in the Valley in September 1850. Lois was 6 years old at the time.
Maria and her children first settled in Tooele west of Salt Lake City. She later remarried and moved to Lehi, where John Bushman and his family had settled in 1851. Lois had many talents and opportunities for education as she grew up. She could cook, sew and make her own clothing. She had a positive and cheerful outlook on life. She loved to sing and dance and loved to read. She had a wonderful memory and remembered much of what she read.
On May Day in 1864, Lois invited a young man named John Bushman to a community ball. They were both 20 years old. A courtship began filled with long walks and sleigh rides in the winter. Together they enjoyed local plays and dances. On 11 February 1865 they were married in the Salt Lake City Endowment House.
How I Love You
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 1, p.519-520
Lois Angeline Smith Bushman was left in Lehi, Utah, with her small children while her husband John Bushman with 200 other men, called by Pres. Young to settle the Little Colorado river country, in the Northern Territory of Arizona, were trying to locate a favorable location. In his letters to her he wondered how she felt about leaving her comfortable home and surroundings, and we find these two poems in her letter to him written March 18, 1877, Lehi, Ut.
“I suppose if I put my sentiments in rhyme you won’t care,” in her own handwriting on the same piece of paper.
You ask me how I love you
And pray that I would tell,
Know then, the love I own dear
Is deep as deepest well.
Is high as highest mountain
As wide as endless space,
And fresh as clearest fountain
As pure as purest grace.
You know I love you darling,
Why do you ever ask
You know ’tis all my pleasure,
My heart’s delightful task.
It comes as free as sunlight
That shines in summer bowers;
And falls as free as dewdrops
That gem the blessed flowers.
Now ask me if I love you
If I can tell you more
I’ll tell it dear with action,
And not my phrases poor.
I’ll tell you late and early
Of love that fills my heart,
That binds our love together,
No more, no more to part.
Lead me darling, I will follow,
Whatso’er the path you take,
Be it thru the darkened hollow,
Or among the tangled brake.
Where the spider hangs her curtain
And the wild bird builds her nest
I will follow, sure and certain
If my hand in yours is pressed.
Lead me darling, I will follow
Thru the desert bare and brown
Up the heights swift as a swallow
There to pluck leaves for my crown.
I will go thru dark recesses
Where the laurel branches twine
Feasting on thy sweet caresses
If you’ll clasp my hand in thine.
Clasp my hand then, close, my dearest
Lead me in life’s choicest way
So the sun of truth may lighten
All our glad oncoming days.
In my heart, Lo, I have throned you
There to reign, my king of men
And with truest love have crowned you
Purer than earth’s choicest gem. [p.521]