Mary Ann with James and George
The following is taken from a DUP history written by Mary Ann Kirkham and compiled by Betty Evans.
From the book, George (wm.) Kirkham, His Ancestors and Descendants” by E. Kay Kirkham we read more about this woman. He pays tribute to this woman of faith: “With the sagebrush fire in the dugout burning brightly the young mother turned her attention to the comfort of her four young sons. “Now George, you stop your fretting. Those snake eyes you see in the back of the room won’t hurt you none at all. We haven’t come all this way just to let a few snakes scare us. Now turn your face to the light of the fire and try to go to sleep. Everything will be all right.”
The mother, Mary Ann Astington Kirkham, age 36, her husband George (Wm.) Kirkham and their four sons, James (age 11), George (age 8), Hyrum and Joseph (twins, age 4) were in a one-room dugout near the old Jordan Bridge at Lehi, Utah County, Territory of Utah. The time was the summer of 1860 and they were called pioneers. She had just moved to Lehi from Sugarhouse and their food consisted of potatoes, bacon, little butter and milk and wheat bread and corn meal mush. The Indians gave them a great deal of trouble, grasshoppers destroyed the crops and other trouble arose in connection with pioneer life.
“This woman carried herself with the stateliness of a queen, a proud courageous woman of faith.” She is recalled as being a masterful woman; she expected her will to be done. She is the one who put ambition into the whole Kirkham family. From her life, we see that her great faith and determination carried her over heartaches, disappointments, sickness and trials almost beyond human endurance. She was a woman of talent in teaching others. She was active in church as much as women were in those days. She taught others how to weave straw hats inasmuch as they had to make their own in her day. She was always neat and clean in her dress and with her home and surroundings. She was devoted to her family and took good care of them”
From the diary of James Kirkham, “Thursday 27th October 1881: This morning my mother asked myself and brothers to put our hands on her head and pray for the Lord to take her. This was about two in the morning. We done so and at three o’clock she passed peacefully away after suffering untold agony. Her body was honey-combed with cancer which caused her death. She died at my home with her family at her side. During the night she sang the hymn, Come, Come, Ye Saints very beautifully.