Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Margaret Stewart Full History by Clarence Gardiner

Published May 30, 1957

MARGARET STEWART GARDINER, wife of Robert Gardiner, daughter of Robert Stewart and Elizabeth Stewart (maiden name0 was born July 27, 1849 in the small village of Kinclaven, Perthshire, Scotland.  She was the sixth child in a family of seven, and spent her early childhood in one of the most beautiful and romantic regions of Scotland.  Kinclaven is situated a few miles north of the city of Perth, at the head of the Firth of Tay and west of Dundee, being a parish of about 800 inhabitants in the county of Perth.  Near this town a castle said to have been built y Malcolm Canmore is located, which for many centuries was an occasional residence of the kings of Scotland, and from which many of their charters are dated.  The scene of Shakespeare’s great tragedy “Macbeth” was located in this vicinity.  The town is in the Presbytery of Dunkeld.

The STEWARTS are of Norman blood.  A gentleman by the name of Alan, a Norman, accompanied William the Conqueror into England and obtained by his gift large grants of land, and his descendants became prominent in the history of Scotland, one being Lord high Steward of that country.  The stewardship became hereditary in his family and was assumed by his descendants as a surname, with the single change of the final letter “D” to “T.”  Mary, Queen of Scots is responsible for the change of the original name.  She was educated in France and wrote her name in the French language, in an alphabet to which there is no “W.”  The Stuart Badge is the thistle, which has been accepted as the national emblem of Scotland.  Margaret was descended from two separate lines of Stewart ancestry.

The family of Margaret, finding employment in the city of Dundee, moved thither and she worked in the linen mills.  Having joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with other members of her family, she was active in the branch and there met the young man who was later to become her husband; Robert Gardiner, born October 24, 1845.  He was apprenticed in his youth to the trade of confectioner and baker.  Their friendship ripened into love, and in 1868 they decided to leave their native land and emigrate to Salt Lake city, he at the age of 22 and she being 18.  They engaged passage on the sailing vessel, the EMERALD ISLE.

June 29, 1868 was a memorable date in their lives, for as the vessel was about to sail from Liverpool Harbor on a long and harrowing journey, they were married on board by Elder Aurelius Miner.  Eight hundred sixty nine passengers were aboard this ship of only 1536 tons register.  A more detailed account of the sea voyage is recorded elsewhere.  Margaret has left this brief account of the entire journey from Liverpool to Salt Lake City;  “Had a very bad voyage on board the Emerald Isle, with 37 deaths.  Nearly eight weeks on the ocean.  Coming to Echo Canyon we stopped, where brother Gardiner worked on the railroad, in John W. Young’s camp, under William Snow.  Came into Salt lake in the later part of November 1868, on a load of coal, as far as the First Ward then walked from there up to the Salt Lake Theatre, where we found friends who took us in until we found a place to stay.”

While in New York Margaret had to dispose of many choice articles of linen and other cherished possessions which she had acquired in Dundee on account of the strict restrictions placed upon the emigrants to lighten the weight of the luggage hey were permitted to carry on the long journey over the planes and mountains.  Much has been written of the terrible hardships and harrowing experiences of the pioneers crossing the planes, “where bones of the dead men lay,” but Margaret never referred to any of these u=n pleasant things.  Of course, the railroad had been completed to Fort Benton, in Nebraska, and from that point ox teams were attached to the 54 wagons, which reaches Salt Lake City on September 15, 1868.  She often related how she and her young companions walked beside the teams plucking the wild flowers, which bloomed in rich profusion along the way.  They sang the songs that carried their memories back to their native land of “Brown heath and shaggy wood.”  Or the songs of Zion, which had awakened in their souls the anticipated beauties of their mountain home.

The first home of Robert and Margaret Gardiner in Salt Lake City was a dugout on the side of a hill.  Mr. Gardiner immediately began to set up in his trade of confectioner, and by thrift and ceaseless endeavor was soon able to build a fine two-story home in the 14th Ward where some of the older children of the family of ten were born.  After acquiring a substantial fortune for those times, the family moved to a farm about six miles west of the city where the other family members were born.  In June of 1894 the family again moved into the 14th Ward, and in the later part of 1902 they moved into the 11th Ward at 1243 Alameda Avenue which continued to be the family home until the children married and moved away.

Margaret has left the brief sketch of her life and activities, which she wrote in 1910:

Born Kinclaven, Scotland July 27, 1849
Baptized by James Ur, 25 January, 1865
Confirmed by Hensen Walker
Schooling commenced at four years of age
Married to Robert Gardiner, June 20, 1868
Endowed at Endowment House, 9 August 1869
Patriarchal Blessing by John Smith.
Vocation: Home and Art
Height 5 feet 4 inches.  Weight 156, chest 38 inches
Blue eyes.  Hair: brown and gray
General condition of health; very good
Interests: homemaking, Relief Society and Temple work
Am the mothers of five boys and five girls, only three boys and three girls living, one son died the father of three boys, the three others died in childhood.

Life on the farm while the children were young brought them into more intimate association with their mother.  The social and educational opportunities were extremely limited.  The school was one large room, accommodating all the classes up to about the fourth grade with only one teacher ton conduct them all.  Brighton Ward was the center of all religious activities and the children were early taught by precept and example to give reverent attention to their duties in the Church.  As Mr. Gardiner was absent from the home a great deal of the time on some of his business ventures, the mother created a splendid home environment for her large family, the members of which can never forget the deep morel and religious sentiments which were taught to them by their mother in her unwavering solicitude for their future welfare.  Her voice was beautiful and melodious and she seemed never to forget the words of the songs she had memorized; the folksongs of her native land, as well as those popular songs of the day.  Her Relief Society work was important, her hands were never idle, knitting and mending, yet finding time to affiliate with the Relief Society to visit the sick and needy.

Due to the great depression of 1893 in which the family fortune was lost, and moving into the city, life practically began anew for Margaret in an endeavor to bring order out of chaos.  She was aware that each loss has its compensations, and she was determined to take advantage of what opportunities for education and cultural refinements that were available in school and Church.  Her activities in the Relief Society continued and she early sought the companionship of some of the noble women of the Church such as Emmeline B. Wells, and the others of the :Reapers Club,” and other groups.  The children were placed in the Fremont School, where some of the most progressive methods of education were being taught.  As the older children were now able to supplement the rather meager income, and economic conditions began to improve, the family moved to the 11th Ward.

In this home Margaret spent the remainder of her life, seeing her children grow to maturity and go their several ways.  She was actively engaged in Relief Society, and while visiting  her district as a teacher she fell on the icy steps of a home and broker her foot.  She never fully recovered from this accident and it brought to a close her long and active labors in the Relief Society and her diligent Temple work, an activity she dearly loved.  About two years after her accident, on February 4, 1917, Margaret Gardiner passed away and was buried from the Eleventh Ward Chapel o the 7th.  She lies peacefully in the City Cemetery, besides the graves of her husband and some of the members of her family.  She was 67 years and 6 months old at the time of her death.  Her son, Clarence, who compiled the foregoing account, has written this description of her, and his tribute to her memory. 

I presume my earliest recollection of my mother was when I was about four years of age, when she would be 36.  I feel justified in saying she was a woman of exceptional beauty of form and feature, of natural dignity and quiet demeanor.  Her features were fair and clear, with natural beauty of color in her cheeks.  Her hair was dark brown, with a natural wave, crowning a high intellectual forehead.  Her eyes were dark blue, nose slightly aquiline.  Her intellectual attainments were, I believe, far above the ordinary  having commences school at the age of four years, she maintained scholarly pursuits during her entire life, being a profound student of religion and history.  She was a great lover of the scriptures and her knowledge of the Bible was exceptional in its scope and completeness, and with this knowledge, she had given deep and serious study to the doctrines of the Church, which gave her a wonderful knowledge of the principles of the Gospel.  As a child in her native land she won a prize in the school for reciting one of the Psalms, containing over 100 verses.  Her ability to retain in her memory what she studied was remarkable.  Mother was a constant companion of us, her children, and she joined with us in our games and studies, taking part in the “spelling bee: and enjoying the school songs in the evenings.  In our penmanship lessons she was a never too tired or disinterested to show her interest and often, as a gesture of encouragement to us, she would sit at the table and improve her own writing.

Memory cannot erase the impression of her beautiful voice, singing old songs of her native land, and others, which were so dear to the children of the last generation.  Many a night we fell asleep to the strains of such songs as “Wait for the Wagon.” “Old Black Joe,” “Johnnie Sands,” “Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon.” Etc

The special “Gift of the Spirit” to her seemed to be the “Gift of Discernment,” for her judgment was keen and accurate in appraising the character of others, bur always accompanied by charity and with no show of jealousy.  If she eve had any homesickness for her native land she never expressed it, for to her this was the land of Zion.  Her life entitles her to a mansion in the realms of bliss, where she will be associated with “an innumerable company of Saints.”
Clarence L. Gardiner May 30, 1957

Notes on Margaret Gardiner by Eva Winifred Gardiner Cushing her daughter

When they were about ready to come to Zion, father informed mother that he had enough money to bring a brother with them – which one?  Should they bring her brother or his?  She thought his would be best for father, so Alfred Gardiner came and worked and learned the trade of baker and candy making from his big brother.  He was 11 years old.

Mother was taught at an early age to sew a fine seam – neat mending.  It bothered her that wee did not tech these arts in our schools, and I remember that she and Mr. Hyde Young, Elizabeth Stevenson, Mrs. Wilcox, Mrs. Dougall and Ruth May Fox worked to get these arts taught in the schools.

Mother was called on a special mission to wash and anoint and bless expectant mothers who felt the need of aid from our Heavenly Father.  It was while on one occasion of this kind, along with Jane Sears, that she fell on an icy sidewalk and broke her ankle.  She was treated in the home she was going to, then taken to her own home.   She suffered from pneumonia and other complications while recovering but did recover to become active once more.  While caring for a friend she contracted erysipelas, which eventually took her life.

Notes added by Dawn G. James

1.    Margaret was born at Kirkton, in the parish of Kinclaven.
2.    The Lord High Steward was the most trusted of the King’s employees managing the affairs of his household and with a special duty of making sure the food served to the King was safe.  Robert Stewart, son of the Lord high Steward, married the King’s daughter Marjorie, their son became King Robert II.  When the Stewarts became kings, their stewards were the Erskins.
3.    Hans Jensen, of Hals, Denmark, a missionary, returning to his home in Manti, was appointed president of the group on the Emerald Isle and kept a daily record of the journey.  This is available on the “Mormon Immigration index,”  FH Resource File.
4.    “Jensen’s church Chronology” states “Tuesday Sep 15 Captain John Gillspie’s ox train of 54 wagons arrived in Salt Lake City.  There were 80 wagons at the beginning of the trek.  Hans Jensen with the Holman Company “Drove to the mouth of Parley’s Sep 24th.  One man reported arriving on the 22nd.  A Danish member said the English had mules instead of oxen.  This may explain a difference in date of arrival.