Thursday, September 23, 2010

Katherine Hulet (Winget)

I am the daughter of Charles and Margaret Noah Hulet, born March 12, 1820, at Nelson, Portage, Ohio. In 1830 the Prophet Joseph Smith and Parley P. Pratt came to my father's house and desired to hold meetings there. Father gave them the privilege. The Prophet bore testimony to finding the plates containing the Book of Mormon. Although being but ten years old at the time, I well remember it. A short time after this, the Prophet moved to a place called Hiram, about seven miles from our home. I used to attend meetings there and enjoyed hearing him talk on the principles of the gospel very much. I heard him preach the following Sunday after the mob had tarred and feathered and beaten him and Sidney Rigdon so badly.
In February 1831 my parents embraced the gospel, and a few months later I was baptized into the Latter-day Saints Church. In 1832 my parents and I moved to Jackson County, Missouri. Father had sent money ahead with which to purchase a farm. We were, however, not permitted to stay there but a short time, as the enemies of our Church were so hostile and finally succeeded in driving us from our home. One day Brother Lyman Wight, our neighbor, was working in his cornfield and a number of the mob saw him and rode across the field after him. He concealed himself in a small shock of corn at the bottom of the field. They searched for him in vain. They swore he couldn't possibly be in that small shock. I remember, too, my father hiding in a shock of corn to keep away from the mob. We carried food to him while he was there. In the fall of 1833 we were driven from our house and were not able to take many provisions, as four and five families went in one wagon.
One beautiful night while we were camped out, we witnessed a beautiful sight. Stars filled the whole heaven. It seemed to be alive with them shooting to and fro across the sky. This was just after the battle that was fought in Jackson County between the Saints and the mob, the same battle in which Filo (Philo) Dibble was badly injured, and others of our brethren were killed and wounded. We went about sixty miles and camped in a grove, and remained there until February when we were obliged to go back to Jackson County for provisions, since the people had been driven from their homes and had to leave everything.
One day, a mob on horseback came riding up to our house. My brother and I were alone. I was fourteen years old and he was eighteen. We of course were frightened and crawled under the bed, the only place of concealment. Mother was some distance from the house, and came walking up to where the mob was and seemed to be unconcerned, as if no disturbing element existed. This seemed to quiet the peace-breakers and they rode off without doing any harm. After staying there about six weeks, we crossed the Missouri River and went over into Clay County. Soon after our arrival, Brother Joseph and Hyrum Smith came up with what was called Zion's Camp, thinking they would be able to get the people back to their homes.
At this time, many of the Saints suffered from a dreadful disease called cholera. We remained here about three years, but it was a very unhealthy place and many of my relatives and friends passed to the Great Beyond during this time. The people of Clay County became so hostile, we accordingly took with us a few belongings and provisions and made our abode in Far West, Caldwell County. But it seemed we were never to have peace. As many of the Saints as could had to gather in the houses. Two or three families were in my father's house. This was in 1838. While we were here, the mob took the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum and intended to shoot them at eight o'clock in the morning, but instead they put them in Liberty Jail with several others of the brethren. The Saints agreed to give up their arms and leave Missouri the next spring. This they were compelled to do. Our enemies were so hostile, the people made an embankment to protect themselves. It was right by our house. We did not dare to go to the mill so were compelled to pound corn for food by hand.
My mother owned a quarter section of land in that vicinity, but we were not privileged to stay there. We were obliged to leave. Previous to this time, Christian and Peter Whitmer, two witnesses to the Book of Mormon, died. They were still in the Church. There was quite an apostasy at this time; all the Whitmers, excepting Christian and Peter, Thomas B. Marsh, Hyrum Page and some others. It was at this time that I first saw Brigham Young. Sidney Rigdon was our neighbor. He delivered quite an oration on the Fourth of July, and we had a good time.
The following spring, we moved to Nauvoo. In the fall of 1840 I became acquainted with a young man by the name of Cyrus Winget, and in the spring of 1841 we were married by Nathan West. We moved to Burton, a place about sixty miles from Nauvoo. In the year of 1843 we were obliged to seek another home and accordingly went to a small place about seven miles from Nauvoo called Golden Point. In 1844, while we were living there, the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum were murdered in Carthage Jail. I well remember the morning I was told. Oh, what a sorrowful time it was.
I was then at home with three small children and my sister and her two little ones, as my husband was standing guard at Nauvoo. That same year, we again moved to Nauvoo. While there, my husband worked on the Temple and also paid donations to it. In 1846 we had to leave our home once more, going to Iowa. We lived there one year, camping out all summer. It was during this time that a battle was fought in Nauvoo; we could hear the cannons from our camp. We stayed on the DesMoines River for one year and my husband worked at his trade (coopering) in order to get means to purchase an outfit to go farther west.
In 1847 we went to a camp called Pisgah, where some of the Saints were staying. When we got there, a party was just getting ready to start to the valleys of the mountains, and they were desirous that we should come with them. With their assistance, we were fitted out. We started with our one yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows. While on the road, one of our oxen died, but by the assistance of our Heavenly Father, we completed our journey and arrived in the Valley of Salt Lake as pioneers of 1847. We arrived about the first of October with our three children. Soon, another came to bless our home. She, being born in the same year, was one of the first to be born in Utah.
We suffered much from hunger, and it seemed impossible to obtain food. We had a few provisions at first, but they gave out, so we gathered thistles, roots and tops for food. We also killed our last oxen, although it was very, very poor. My husband had only one bushel of grain to sow the spring after we came. The big black crickets were so bad that year that we raised only seven bushels of grain. My husband worked at his trade, and we got a little corn here and there, as well as other necessary things, so we got along until the next year, when we were blessed with a crop. We remained in Salt Lake about three years, when we moved to Springville, Utah.
While there, the Indians were very unfriendly and my husband had to stand guard. We then owned a good home and farm, but we were called to go to Cedar City, Iron County, to help strengthen it against the Indians. We started in the afternoon and had to travel at night through mud and water. My husband took cold, from which he never recovered. He lived two months after our arrival and passed away January 11, 1854. I was then left alone with a family of small children, six in number, the oldest being eleven. I had a daughter born seven months after her father's death. She is now the wife of Yergen Yergensen.
After my husband's death, the people of Cedar City were very good to us. This I appreciated very much. Then my brother-in-law in Springville wrote asking us to return to our former home. He also said that the Church authorities would not censure me if I came back. After due consideration, I decided to return. In the spring of 1854 we went back. It being very early, the weather was yet very cold, so the children and I suffered a great deal. The first year we got along fairly well, but the second year the grasshoppers again destroyed our crops. Cyrus Hillman, my brother-in-law then living in Spanish Fork, wanted my oldest boy, Zenos, to come over and help harvest his crop, so Zenos took the yoke of cattle and went over and the two of them put up thirty acres of grain.
On February 20, 1856, I married a man by the name of Nathan Stewart. I realized the need of a helpmate, and I thought he would be a father to my children. One child was born to me after my second marriage. I was then Stewart's second wife, and as he could not assist me much in a financial way, and we did not agree as well as we ought, I thought it best that we should not live together.
Some years later, feeling that I would do better elsewhere, I moved to Manti, Utah. My children were now a little older, and with their assistance in spinning, hat making, etc., we got along fairly well, although we had to work very hard. Here, I joined the Relief Society. The sisters had great times together making hats, spinning, quilting, etc. Sister Washburn was our first president. In 1871 I moved to Monroe, Utah. Here, I became treasurer of the Relief Society, but I didn't hold the position long, as I was stricken with a fever and made the request to be released. I was still a good worker in the Relief Society and did the best I could.
I always endeavor to pay my tithing and to live up to the principles of the gospel as nearly as possible, for I firmly believe it to be true. I am 85 years of age and cannot see to read or write, so sometimes I am a little lonesome. I am the mother of eight children.
I will now conclude my history by praying for the peace and blessings of Heaven to abide with my posterity forever, and trusting that they may prove faithful to the truth and hold fast to the gospel for which their parents suffered so much; and at that great day when we all stand before the Bar of God, may they all stand, be weighed and not found wanting, but receive the blessings prepared for the faithful.
Note: Katherine lived to be 98 years and 7 months old.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalms 23:4