Taken from Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, compiled by Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Vol. III, p. 1940, 1999.
Martha Ann Smuin McFarlane was born in England. She was the second child of thirteen children. Only four grew to maturity. Martha Ann was the first of the family to leave for Utah. She was eighteen years old. Her parents went with her to Liverpool, England to see her board the ship. Two of her girlfriends were going with her. They traveled in the care of Brother and Sister Andrews who were close friends of Martha Ann’s parents. It was in the early spring of 1866 that their great journey started. The ship was six weeks in crossing the Atlantic Ocean. They were met at Florence, Nebraska by teamsters and covered wagons with provisions and food for the trip.
It was during the journey that her life’s romance began. Because her shoes were worn and thin, James McFarlene noticed her predicament. He was driving a yoke of oxen, having been called on a mission to go to Florence, Nebraska and bring a load of frieght to Utah. He invited Martha Ann to ride in his wagon. A few years later they were married. Martha Ann often related an experience she had on the last night before entering the Salt Lake valley. Her shoes had worn out and her feet were raw and bleeding. When the people of the camp were asleep, and as soon as it was light enough to see, she set out for the City. As soon as the stores were opened she purchased a new pair of shoes and went back to meet the caravan as it moved toward the City.
Martha Ann and James had eleven children; a son died when he was but three years old. They made their home in Odgen where Martha Ann was a member of the Ogden Tabernacle Choir. When her husband was transferred to Salt Lake City in 1896 they made their home there. In 1896, as Utah entered statehood, the Salt Lake Women’s Democratic Club was organized. Martha Ann was one of the original members of this club. Martha Ann was five feet two inches tall. She weighed about 105 pounds. She had dark brown hair, blue eyes, thin lips and a pleasant personality. She served in the Relief Society for more than forty years. She also did a great amount of Temple work. Martha Ann died 13 November 1913.