Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hannah Rachel Stones1846 - 1904

Hannah Rachel Stones, born on the 25 of January 1846, at Bulwell, a small town in the district of Basford, Nottingham, England, the daughter of James Stones and Mary Milnes. Bulwell is close to a coal mine, where her father was employed. Hannah, as she was called, was the eldest child in a family of four. Her parents soon returned to Eastwood, where her sister, Sarah Elizabeth, and her brothers, John Charles and James Erastus were born. When Hannah was only one year old, the Latter Day Saints Missionaries came to Nottingham, and her father and mother soon became converts and were baptized. Her father was put in as Branch President over the Nottingham Branch. Hannah could always remember the Mormon missionaries in her parents home, for both her father and mother welcomed the missionaries, helping them all they could. It was told at her father’s funeral, that he took his only coat, and gave it to a missionary, which he felt needed it more than he did.

As a small child she watched her grandparents, leave Eastwood, trying to join the gathering of the saints in the Great Salt Lake Valley. She heard her father telling the members, that word had came for the saints, as many as could, to leave for the United States of America. And now many of her relatives were preparing to leave for the Salt Lake valley, one by one they left Eastwood, while her parents stayed on. Her father being Branch President was required to stay in England until all those in his Branch, who desired to go, where financed and on their way.

At last Hannah and her family left their homeland, with many of the other saints. Bidding farewell to those loved ones and friends they were leaving behind. Tiny children could not fully comprehend nor understand the great faith that motivated their parents to leave behind family, friends, comfort, and security. Hannah only understood that they were going to where the Lord wanted them to go.

At last they arrived at Liverpool, where they were to set sail for their new country. On the 25th of May 1856, they entered the ship “Horizon” where 850 other passengers were also getting and the ship soon set sail. Among the list of passengers were ---

James Stones age 32, occupation coal miner place of birth England
Mary 35 “ occupation coal miner place of birth England
Hannah 9 “
Sarah E. 7 “
John C. 5 “
Erastus J. 3 “

There were 856 saints on board this ship leaving Europe behind, America ahead. Among the emigrants, 635 were on the Perpetual Emigration Fund. (A fund set up by the church for those who could not pay for their passage. It was a loan to be paid back after arrival in Utah.) Who can tell the fear that gripped their hearts during the perilous crossing? Prompted by the silent whisperings of the Spirit, sustained by a simple, yet abiding faith, they trusted in their God and set sail on their journey.

After 36 days they landed near Boston, Massachusetts on the 30 of June, where the steamer Hannah Rachel Stones - “Huron” towed the “Horizon” into the bay. Where they debarked and then took the railroad to Iowa City, arriving on the 8 of July 1856.

They journeyed with the Martin Handcart Company, leaving Iowa City on Monday, July 28. This was a very late start and they needed to hurry to get to Utah before winter came. The Martin Handcart Company consisted of 575 people with 146 handcarts, 7 wagons, 6 mules and horses, 30 oxen, and 50 beef cattle and cows. The company was made into “divisions” with 100 people per division. Each division was given 5 round tents, with 20 people to a tent: 24 handcarts and one wagon drawn by three yoke of oxen, to haul tents and provisions. James was made captain of his tent. Each emigrant was limited to 17 pounds of clothing and bedding, making about sixty pounds of baggage per handcart. In addition, each handcart carried about fifteen to twenty pounds of cooking gear, making a total of about ninety pounds on each cart.

Hannah remembered the long wait at Iowa City, but little did she understand the hardships that were to follow. Here they were with only a few possessions, waiting for handcarts to travel the plains with what possessions they could get into the cart. Travel by walking, her little baby brother Erastsus J. (James) only three, could ride when he was so tired he could not go on. Hannah tired hard to help. She watched and led her brother, and at times helped pull the cart. Tired children, wagon wheels creaked, some gave way and had to be repaired. Brave men toiled and coyotes howled. However, she remembered the faith-inspired people pressed on.

At last they reached Council Bluffs, and she wondered how much farther they must go, children’s feet tired, parents, trudging on. “Momma why did we leave home? Where are we going?” “Come along dear one; we’re going to Zion, the city of our Lord.” She was happy to see her father’s brother and his family, as they arrived at Winter Quarters (Florence, Nebraska) how good it was to meet someone they knew. She could see how glad her father was to see his brother. However the stay was but a little while, they wanted to get on the way before it was too late and winter set in. Some urged the company to wait until spring. But they felt that they had plenty of time and was anxious to get to their destination, so again Hannah and her family was on the trail, and how she remembered the long, long trek. She remembered the parting with her Uncle Joseph Stones and his wife and little children. He was her uncle who had left Eastwood, in 1851, and was married on board the ship “Ellen.” Now there was a little girl two years of age named Elizabeth and little Rebecca only a few days old.

After a stay of only four days in Florence to replenish supplies, they started on the 1000-mile trek to Salt Lake in late August. Fort Laramie was almost in the exact middle of the trail to Utah and it was planned that supplies would be purchased and left for the handcart companies by an advance party. The company had many problems on this first half of their journey. The handcarts broke down, some of the oxen and cattle were lost and dysentery was taking a toll. When they reached Fort Laramie they found that the advance party had not been able to purchase food nor cattle to support them the rest of the way to Salt Lake, as there was none to spare.

The Martin Company left Fort Laramie on the 10. Of October. They had 280 miles to travel before reaching South Pass where relief wagons from Salt Lake would be waiting. Rations were cut again and again. Flour rations, which started out at 1 pound per person was cut to 4 oz. As grass grew scarce and cattle got weak, they were killed for food. But eating meat with nothing else made the diarrhea worse and more died each day from illness and exhaustion.

Hannah’s father was so sick, at times he could not keep up with the rest. Hannah helped her mother with the children, and more than once, after they camped for the night, her dear mother would empty the cart and tell Hannah to watch over the other children while she would go back along the trail to look for their father. Her mother would help him into her cart and bring him into camp.

The first snowstorm hit as they were crossing the Platte River near what is now Casper, Wyoming, on October 18th. It was a bitterly cold blizzard and because many members of the company had gone to bed ill and wet, there were many deaths that night. Many times Hannah could remember crossing the rivers. How the ice would cut into their legs, as they would wade the icy waters. The cold winds would freeze their wet clothing stiff. How they went to bed nights with very little to eat, and hunger, it seemed they were always hungry. They were snowed in here and had traveled only 12 miles in 9 days. Hannah remembered the happy day they saw men on horses coming toward them, at first they were afraid, thinking it to be Indians, but as they came close, they knew it was someone coming to help them, and they did have a little food with them, they said the wagons would soon arrive. How they cried, men, women, and children, tears streaming down their faces as they knelt to thank the Lord. Fathers in emotion-choked tones, comforted grieving mothers, and they thanked their Lord for the help.

Express riders from the rescue party found them here, one wrote; “We found the Martin company in a deplorable condition, they having lost fifty-six of their number since crossing the North Platte, nine days before. Their provisions were nearly gone, and their clothing almost worn out. Most of their bedding had been left behind, as they were unable to haul it, on account of their weakened condition.” The express party had one packhorse with food, which was added to their own meager supplies, again they pushed on. They made it to Devil’s Gate on the 2 of November. Here they met the advance wagons of the rescue party, and the Hodgetts and Hunt Wagon trains, which had been behind them, caught up with them. That swelled their number to over 1000 people. The relief wagons of food and clothing were welcome but just not enough for this many people. Another blizzard hit and it was decided that the Martin Company would move into a small ravine to have more protection from the wind. (Now named Martin’s Cove.)

Hannah remembered the ravine Edward Martin took his company into, and each night, they would huddle around campfires. In the morning they would bury their dead where the fire had melted the snow and thawed the ground enough that the men could dig shallow graves for the dead.

Here Hannah also remembered the brethren and sisters, holding prayers, singing songs and bearing testimonies of the goodness of the Lord, “The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Such scenes were not uncommon for such were the price so many of this poor destitute, pioneers paid. “Their bodies were buried in peace, but their names live on forever.” Quotes one. She remembered helping them sing the “Handcart Song.” Ye Saints that dwell on Europe’s shore prepare yourselves with many more- to leave behind your native land for sure God’s judgments are at hand. Prepare to cross the stormy main before you do the Valley gain, and with the faithful make a start to cross the plains with your handcart. (And how they would all join in the chorus--) Some must push and some must pull as we go marching up the hill, as merrily on the way we go until we reach the Valley, oh. And she remembers tears streaming down cheeks as they sang. But their tired and weary bodies somehow found new strength.

They were snowed in at Martin’s Cove for eight more days. The wind blew so hard they Details of the Martin Handcart Company from “The Willie and Marin Handcart Disaster”, by Trent Stephens, Linda Udy and Geri Hobdy. could not keep the tents up, and was very short on food. Most of the remaining cattle died and froze where they fell. Some were salvaged but most were eaten by wolves. The people were eating anything they could find, the broth of boiled bones or rawhide stripes from the wheels of the handcarts, and willow bark. Finally they were able to push on. Eventually meeting the rescue wagons with more food and clothing, all were able to ride in wagons over the mountains into Salt Lake.

How the Great Salt Lake Valley looked as they entered into it. Somewhere along that trail, the company had buried 135 souls and they arrived into the valley on the 30 of November and a great turn out to greet them as they arrived. It is said that the Edward Martin’s Company encountered severe snow and fierce winds, hunger, dysentery and exhaustion, more than any other company known who crossed the plains. And our dear little nine year old Hannah, with her parents and her sister Sarah Elizabeth only 7, brother John Charles 5, and baby brother, Erastus James (Jimmy) only 3. How grateful she must of been, to have her family safely at Salt Lake, her father was ill from the effects for a long time. Her mother, after wading rivers, being wet and cold, her health was not to good either, but Hannah remembered how thankful they all were as they entered the Valley. Soon her parents left for Ogden, where they took a farm in Wilson Lane.

Hannah lived at Wilson Lane the rest of her days. Here she was married to her second cousin Samuel William Stones and to them were born eight children. Two babies died soon after birth, and her youngest daughter Sarah Sylvia when at a young age, had cancer on her hand. Her hand was amputated, but too late, for it then moved to her arm, and before the arm was cut off, the cancer had reached her heart and she died, at the age of only 15 years, 5 months, and 20 days. She died the 7 of October 1891. “We miss thee from our home dear, we miss thee from thy place, a shadow o’er our life is cast, we miss thee everywhere.” Hannah had this remembrance made for her dear daughter Sarah Sylvia, “Dolly,” as she was called.

Her oldest son Samuel James married Eva Hardman. Her daughter Hannah Rebecca, married Samuel George Wilson, and her youngest son George married Sarh Maria Hill. Her two sons Charles Robert, and John, never married.

Her home was always welcome to all the family. She had an organ, which she would play, while her boys played the accordion and harmonica. Many evenings were spent with the family playing and singing songs. My two sisters, Mary Stephens and Sylvia Herrick, have told me how they could remember Grandmother Stones family singing songs and playing music, how they enjoyed to be at her home.

My father Samuel James, often remarked how he loved his mother’s currant biscuits and often spoke of his mothers good cooking. She lived near her family in Wilson Lane all her life. Hannah was always a neat housekeeper, and loved to cook. She loved her family, and her many friends, she loved flowers. Her parents taught her love for flowers, which she in turn taught her children. She passed from this life the 24 of January 1904. At the age of only 58 dying just two days before her 59 birthday, cause of her death, heart. She is buried in the Ogden City Cemetery Lot #36 Block #4 Plat “A” where in this same plot her husband, two small babies and her son John, who died not married, the 18 of February 1928. Charles who was burned to death, the 9 of October 1923. Her son Samuel has small children buried in this same lot.

- by Ann Herrick

She was baptized the 30 of June 1855, came in the Martin handcart company and was not sealed to either husband in this life.
Birth: Jan. 25, 1846
Nottinghamshire, England
Death: Jan. 24, 1904
Weber County
Utah, USA

Daughter of James Stone and Mary Mills

Married Samuel William Stones, 1863

Children - Samuel Jones Stone, Charles Robert Stones, Mary Stones, Hannah Rebecca Stones, John Stones, James Stones, Sarah Sylvia Stones, George Stones

Utah Death Certificate

Family links:
  James Stone (1824 - 1887)
  Mary Mills Stone (1821 - 1895)

  Samuel William Stones (1840 - 1920)*

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