Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sarah Gordon 1791 - 1872

Sarah was the oldest of John Gordon and Barsilla Martin’s children.  She was born 20 November 1789  in Surry County, North Carolina.  Being the oldest of twelve children Sarah had many responsibilities; helping her mother with the children, making beds and helping her mother in the tavern.  She had a busy life and never knew an idle moment.

Sarah married Thomas Guymon in Stokes County, North Carolina the 23 day of February, 1809.  He was the son of Isaiah Guymon and Elizabeth Flynn.  He was an ambitious young man who farmed in the summer months and taught school in the winter.  They lived in Stokes County North Carolina for six years.  During that time three sons-Isaiah, john and William were born to them.  They moved to Jackson County, Tennessee in 1815.   Here they had three more sons – James, Noah Thomas and Martin and one daughter Barzilla.  Ten years later they moved again, this time to Edgar County, Illinois in 1825.  While living here they had four daughters – Elizabeth, Polly Ann, Sarah Jane and Melissa Jane.

Sarah and her husband were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day saints in 1836, and soon joined with the saints and were with them in all their persecutions.  Their son James came to Utah in 1849 and a year later in the spring of 1850 Thomas and Sarah Guymon with their daughter Melissa Jane, their son Noah Thomas and his wife and children, their daughter Polly Ann and her husband Robert Johnson and their children, all came to Utah with the Aaron Johnson company.  Their three eldest sons however did not come to Utah.  The family with others made many preparations for the journey to Utah.  Among other things, they had to train or break cows to lead on a wagon of three yoke of oxen.

The most pleasant part of their journey was spent traveling along the banks of the Missouri River.  The company crossed the river to flat boats, and the cattle swam the river.  They gathered buffalo chips to make fires in the prairie lands.  The company traveled long hard hours, but they always took time out at night to sing songs of praise and enjoy on another’s company before retiring.

Three days before the end of this journey their son James came to meet them.  The children were driving the cattle ahead of the wagons, and when they saw their Uncle James coming they shouted for joy.  The shouts of joy soon rang out through the entire company.  Thomas and Sarah were indeed happy to see their son, and the company were glad to see someone they knew, for now they were sure that their long journey would soon be at an end.  Finally they arrived at the little town of Salt Lake City.  One of the signs that impressed the children was a red flag on a stick nailed up on a on a log room to show that merchandise was sold there, and another log room with a tin cup outside to show that tin was sold there. 
They spent the first week with James, who lived on the little Cottonwood River.  He had a lovely garden which furnished good eating for the new arrivals to the valley.  The married children moved down into Utah County, all except James, who moved down some time later.  Thomas and Sarah spent their first winter in Salt lake Valley.
Sarah had a very quick temper and was very determined about getting her own way when she felt she was right.  The people in Salt lake Valley were told to take their dry cows in the herd, and let the herder take them to Antelope Island, which is an island in the Great Salt Lake.  Sarah felt it was wrong to let her cows be sent over there for the winter.  The herder came and put her cows in wit the rest of the herd. She was very determined that her cows were not going so she came out with her cane for a switch and turned her cows out of the herd and took them home.  The cows had to be herded all the time.  She must have known what she was doing, for the other cows froze to death and her cows furnished milk for her family and many more settlers.

Sarah not only loved her children very much, but she was very fond of her brothers and sisters.  We have found many instances where she was close to the son of her sister, his name was Calvin Gordon Stone, who lived in Utah  Among the letters written to her youngest brother Martin was found a document giving Martin the power of Attorney and a letter with it asking him to sell her land which was left to her by her father.  Her father was a wealthy man at the time of his death.  Her oldest brother James was the Administrator of the estate.  This letter to martin was writing Feb 28, 1870.  In this same letter she stated that her health was very poor and that she was living with her son Noah Thomas and that he was taking care of all her business affairs.

After Noah Thomas moved to Springville, Thomas and Sarah moved to Springville.  Here Thomas died October 20, 1855.  After the death of her husband, Sarah moved to Fountain Green to be hear her children there.  She lived in a home of her own, and had a girl named Martha Jane Park live with her for company.  She lived the last few years with her son Noah Thomas.  Here she died on December 7, 1872, at the age of 91 years.  She was taken to Springville for burial beside her husband.

Utah Territory census (Springville):