|Back row: David, Selina, George, Lucy, Jim, Annie|
Front row: Arthur, James, (Emma), Jane
[assuming picture taken after Emma died in 1907, also missing children Martha & John who died young]
The Smiths lived in Oakley, Bedford, England. It was here they first heard the gospel. James and his wife Emma were both baptized on September 23, 1863. After joining the church they made plans to go to Zion. James worked in a coal mine to earn money for the trip. On April 29 or 30, 1866, he, his wife, Emma, and three children - Arthur (4), Jane (3) and Martha (1) † - sailed for America on the ship "John Bright". After a hard journey of 6 weeks, they landed in New York and went by cattle car to Wyoming, Nebraska (a small village about 7 miles north of Nebraska City on the west bank of the Missouri River). On July 6, they left there and crossed the plains with the first mule train of the Captain Thomas E. Ricks Company arriving in Salt Lake on August 29, 1866. James became ill on the way with "mountain fever". He rode in the wagon part of the way but walked the greater part with the aid of two walking sticks. He let the two little ones, Jane and Martha, sometimes take turns riding on his shoulders. Upon their arrival in Utah, they camped in what was known as the Tithing Yard. On November 19, 1866, they moved to Kaysville and rented a farm from Mr. Booth. Later on they purchased a farm on the east of town and eventually built a brick home.
|Smith home - 13 Crestwood Road, Kaysville, Utah|
Emma walked a thousand miles. Since she was healthy, she was not permitted to ride. Every
morning, she carried her year and a half old baby. Arthur (my great-great grandfather) was five and Jane was three. (They had seven additional children after arriving in Utah.) Since they were in hostile Indian country much of the time, men had to guard at night. Emma often told her grandchildren how she crossed the Platte River, clinging to the end gate of the wagon and dragging her feet through the cold water. When they reached Echo Canyon, Captain Ricks told Emma to get up in the wagon, that she had walked all the way and now she should ride. They were standing near a rock and he said, “Sister, sit down on this rock while I give you a blessing. You deserve it, for you have been faithful.” She rode until they reached Salt Lake City.
|Emma Sutton Smith and son Arthur|
I hope you're enjoying these stories; I know that I am! And if someone asks you in Sunday School to share a personal pioneer story, I hope you'll remember one of these.