Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Faceby Mormons settle in Utah

Most of the Faceby villagers settled in Weber County, which lies between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake.  It had been the home of the Ute and the Shoshone, and was well-watered, said to have rich soil, winters not too severe for the area, and plenty of game.  The main settlement was Ogden, where many of the Faceby pioneers are buried. 

They lived through eventful times. 

They experienced the difficult days called the Reformation and the war with the federal government.  They saw the population grow as the Mormon mastery of irrigation brought more land into use.  The transcontinental railroad arrived in Ogden in 1869, and changed it from a frontier town to a major rail terminus – they had their first non-Mormon mayor in 1889. 

In 1860 Ogden City had a population of 1,463.  By 1870 its population had increased to more than 3,000, and twenty years later it had grown to nearly 13,000.  Prostitutes, gamblers, robbers, and Butch Cassidy came to town, and newspaper editors were tarred and feathered.  Ogden turned into a big modern city and by 1900 had electricity, gas and telephone.

John & Elizabeth Etherington & family

Elizabeth Pugh, the married daughter of John and Elizabeth Etherington, had died of Mountain Fever as they arrived in Utah.  Her widower John Pugh and their baby daughter then seem to disappear from sight – their little girl, Ann, was brought up by her grandparents.  They lived at Slaterville in Weber County, a tiny settlement which on their arrival had just been reoccupied, having been abandoned for a short while because of a small war with the Indians.  John became a Ward teacher and high priest; he and Elizabeth died in the late 1860s.
Thomas Etherington was 19 when he left Faceby.  In 1858 he married a 17 year old girl who had come over from Cambridgeshire, Sarah Ann Wheeler.  She fell pregnant almost immediately with the first of her 14 children.  They lived in Slaterville until their farm was flooded by the spring floods of the Weber river, and then they moved to higher ground on the other side of the river and settled in West Weber. 

In 1867 Thomas took a second wife, Margaret Newby from Houghton le Spring.  The two families, as was usual, lived separately. 

Sarah Wheeler Etherington had a large household, a large number of children and several hired men to feed, and was remembered as an unusually fine cook.  She served for 28 years in the presidency of the West Weber Ward Relief Society from 1871 to her death in 1899. 

The Relief Society had originally been established by Joseph Smith's first wife Emma Hale and was formally reinstated in December 1866 under Eliza Snow, one of Brigham Young's wives.  Snow led the society's expansion into purchasing properties and building halls, establishing co-operative and commission stores, setting up a grain-storage programme, building granaries, providing scholarships for women to attend medical schools, operating schools for nurses and midwives in the Intermountain area, operating a hospital, founding a newspaper, staging mass meetings to express their views on political issues, and promoting women's suffrage.  It was of enormous importance in the lives of Faceby women, and gave them opportunities and status which they would never have experienced in Yorkshire.  On Sarah's death at the age of 59, her obituary recorded that  "a more even-tempered, kind-hearted woman would be hard to find".  Margaret Newby Etherington had three children. 

Thomas rose in the hierarchy and was sent back to England as a missionary between 1886 and 1888, working for the first year in Sunderland.  He became President of Slaterville Consolidated Creameries and was a trustee of West Weber public schools.  He died in 1907.

Ann Etherington arrived in Utah with a little boy, a baby and no husband in 1855.  The following year she married John Newey, a fifty year old man with two grown daughters, who had also travelled over on the Siddons.  Ann had eight children and died in 1922.  At the sesquicentennial celebrations in Ogden she was played by one of her descendants in a Living History Cemetery Tour as "a young mother cared for by the Church of the Latter-day Saints."

The Stanger family in Utah

George and Mary Stanger settled in Slaterville, and there they raised their twelve children. 

George worked as an apprentice at 'Merrygold Farms', and he in turn taught his children to make their land beautiful with vegetable gardens, lawns, flowers, trees and shrubs – they always had an orchard with fruit trees and a spot for raspberry, gooseberry and red- and black-currant bushes. 

Mary was a midwife who delivered hundreds of babies, including most of her own grandchildren.  Both boys and girls were taught to knit their own black stockings – as soon as a child could handle four small knitting needles, he or she would knit the stocking legs and their grandmother or one of the older children would do the heels and toes.  Whenever anyone sat down in a chair in their front room they would find a half-knitted black stocking and they would pick it up and start where the last person left off. 

Mary was famous for her baking, her home-made butter and her Yorkshire puddings.  She dried many fruits and corn, and the live yeast starter which she brought to Utah was still sweet and good when she died.  She was a member of the Relief Society, which she felt was a divinely inspired organisation.  George rose in the hierarchy and became a bishop’s counsellor. 

In the 1880s the family moved to Idaho, probably following a call to colonise – it had the biggest Mormon population outside Utah – as did their eldest son George with his two wives and numerous children. 

Thomas Stanger (1830-1918) and Jane Wilson Stanger (1832-1924) had eleven children.  After many moves, they eventually set up home in Marriott's Settlement, near Ogden.  They had many hardships in the early years, but they built up a good farm and fruit orchard.  Jane was a hardworking wife and mother, who helped the sick, made burial clothes and laid out the dead.  She was active in the Relief Society and was a visiting teacher.  She worked in the family orchard and was particularly remembered as going out gleaning after harvest, putting the grain in the church granaries for the needy.  When she died she left 10 living children, 63 grandchildren, 101 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren.

The Simpson and Wake families

George Simpson's widow and daughter seem to have left Mormon Grove for St Louis after his death, and there the 1880 census finds his daughter Selina married to a printer called Harry Krueger, a Mormon born in Germany.  They had seven children, and Selina's mother formed part of the household.

According to information on the IGI, the Wake family had travelled as far as Illinois when Elizabeth Thompson Wake died, leaving three children under the age of 9.  Charles remarried and completed the journey to Utah, where he is said to have married his second wife's younger sister.  They then seem to have moved back to Nebraska.  His two Faceby-born sons, James and Robert, however, settled in Utah and the 1880 census finds them living with their families next door to each other in Box Elder County.

Charles and Ann Hogg

Charles and Ann Hogg had a hard and eventful life. 

In common with the others, they suffered hardships in the early years.  Food was scarce and Charles was called away on militia duties because of the Mormon war, while Ann had to manage alone in a log house with a dirt floor and dirt roof. 

They moved several times before settling in Centerville, Davis County and were preparing to buy a farm when they were called as a family to go south to settle the Muddy Mission.  This was part of Brigham Young's drive to make the Mormons self-sufficient in cotton, by developing an area 300 miles south of Salt Lake City.  They had six sons and three daughters, but they sold up what they could not carry and willingly set off on 30 November 1868. 

The journey was difficult.   Their baby daughter fell terribly ill on the way south, and Navajo from over the Colorado stole all their teams when they camped on the Virgin River – they recovered all but two horses. 

On arriving at the Muddy Mission they were advised to settle at St Joseph, known as Sandtown.  There was nothing there but mounds of drift sand which choked up the water ditches, and the heat was terrible.  After a year they were moved on to old St Joseph, where the settlers built houses, and planted crops.  They shared what little food they had with the local Indians.  Ann did her washing on rocks in the river using white sand for soap and gathered wild sego bulbs from the mountains for vegetables. 

Charles was sure the settlement would be a success, but Brigham Young thought otherwise – especially as it turned out that many of the farms were in Nevada, and Nevada wanted back taxes on the produce.  The taxes, the malaria and the poverty decided Brigham Young to call them home. 
"In Feb 1871 we left our home again; our farm and crops of fine looking grain, houses, furniture, in fact all that we could not haul with our poor teams, we had left."
They were caught in a snow storm in the mountains in thin clothing  – two feet of snow fell in one night, causing great suffering.  It took them 14 weeks to reach West Weber, where their old neighbour Thomas Etherington lived.  They now had no clothing, food or tools, and were so poor that Ann had to make clothes for the boys from the waggon cover.  They stayed in the area, so presumably Ann would have been within reach of her parents (who arrived in Utah in 1869) in their last years. 

Charles built a comfortable red-brick house and planted an orchard.  Ann learned to dry the fruit on rocks and sold it to Ogden merchants.  Charles was made one of the Trustees of West Weber Irrigation Co, and in Jubilee Year 1880 he was able to pay for one person's emigration from England to Utah. 

In the same year, Charles "went into the celestial order of marriage by taking Miss Annie Todd, late from Durham County, England, to be our second wife".  She was 19 years old, much of an age with his children who ranged from 10 and 27 years of age.  Ann Stanger Hogg, in her descendants' words, "accepted this second marriage dutifully and in good faith, and accompanied them to Endowment House for their marriage." 

For ten years he supported both of his families, having at least one child with his second Ann.  Eventually however, the federal government insisted on suppressing polygamy, and he was forced to give up one of his families.  He chose to remain with his second wife and her young family, a decision which Ann accepted “with dignity and courage". 

Charles' autobiographical sketch shows that had worked enormously hard all his life and he was proud of what he had achieved, the status he had gained, the labour, money and time he had devoted to the church, and his work to maintain his two families.  He may have been convicted of polygamy, possibly paying a fine or serving a term in gaol, and consequently been disenfranchised – he ends his account with the words, written ten years before his death,
"Dec 1891 I am still a disenfranchised citizen of the United States but still trying hard to be a Latter Day Saint."
Ann Stanger Hogg worked as a counsellor in the Relief Society and as a Visiting Teacher for 18 years.  For the last years of her life – she died in West Weber in 1899 – she had "a cancer on her head".  During this time she frequently stayed with her daughters in Idaho and her children gave her "a comfortable swing rocker for her birthday". 

One of her granddaughters recalled that,
"It was a real treat to go visit Grandma Hogg.  I slept in her high bed on a straw 'tick'.  She would sing to me and tell me stories.  Once when I had typhoid fever she took charge of the treatment, wrapped me in sheets, placed hot cobs of corn around my feverish body to 'break the fever'.  When I was well enough to sit up, Grandma took me to her home to give Mother a rest.  I nestled on her lap in shawls and blankets as she tenderly cared for me.  Always I looked forward to a big slice of bread and butter which she covered with her choice black raspberry jam. 
In later years she took turns staying with her married children, and we were always delighted when it was our turn to have Grandma.  She always sat in a big rocking-chair, would mend and help Mother sew, and rock the babies to sleep.  She made such good pies, doughnuts, and bread, and took pride in making them look attractive.  When our baby sister, Martha, was only six weeks old she became ill with pneumonia, and Grandma held her all the time to keep her warm.  Soon the precious baby died, but Grandma held her to the last.  We all wept our hearts out when our pretty little sister was taken from us, but Grandma stood by to give us comfort and strength.  She stood for all that was good and spiritual and clean.  How I loved her." 

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