You would think that a wife of Orson Hyde would be buried in Spring City next to him. You would think that she would have a very distinctive, monolithic marker of granite and stand very tall. Not so for Charlotte Staunton Quindlan Johnson Hyde. Of those many names by which she was called, we can only verify that her name was Charlotte Quindlan Hyde. She lived in Mt. Pleasant, taught school in Mt. Pleasant and died in Mt. Pleasant. Her grave marker is about 18 inches tall made of marble. You literally have to kneel down to read her epitaph there.
Charlotte Quindlen was born 22 of August 1802 at Lower Pensnock, Salem, New Jersey. Charlotte Quindlan was the name used at the Endowment House in Salt Lake City when she was sealed to Orson Hyde in 1852. The marble marker lists her as Charlotte Staunton Hyde as does the Mt. Pleasant History Book. Perhaps the name Staunton came from another marriage. From the dates we find that she was fifty years old when she married Orson Hyde.
The following is taken from the book “Orson Hyde Olive Branch of Israel”
“Orson Hyde was chosen as an original member of the Council of the Twelve in 1835, when the Mormon Church first organized this governing body. Orson's most well-known accomplishment was as a Mormon missionary to Jerusalem (1840-1842) to dedicate the land for the return of the Jews. Because his words have proven prophetic in the many decades since his entreaty, a peaceful garden on the Mount now honors him and his supplication. In 1979 civil authorities in Jerusalem invited the development of a five-acre hillside garden in honor of Orson Hyde.
“Orson Hyde was a remarkable individual. He received esteem in many roles, among them apostle, teacher, missionary, orator, scriptorian, journalist, editor, lawyer, judge, statesman, colonizer, and administrator; also as the husband of eight wives, the father of thirty-three children, a friend of mankind, and a servant of God.” MYRTLE STEVENS HYDE,
During the years 1850-1852 Charlotte Quindlin Johnson lived in Kanesville, Iowa at the home of Orson Hyde as a domestic assistant to his first wife Marinda. She was already a member of the L.D.S. Faith. She had been divorced from a man named Johnson. She was described as a seamstress who also liked children. She helped Marinda with her children Alonzo, Frank and baby Delila. She was with the Hyde Family at Winter Quarters and as they traveled across the plains to Salt Lake, arriving in 1852. Marinda and Charlotte got along very well.
Orson and Marinda discussed the possibility of inviting Charlotte to become a wife rather than a domestic. Orson had also married Mary Ann Price who for a time was a domestic in his household. Orson and Mary Ann were married in Nauvoo in 1843. Orson talked with Brigham Young about taking Charlotte as another wife and Brigham Young approved. Orson proposed to Charlotte, she accepted and they were sealed as husband and wife in the Endowment House 22nd of November, 1852. She was the fourth wife of Orson. Besides Marinda and Mary Ann, Orson had married Martha Rebecca Browett, who he later divorced in 1850. Martha went on to become the wife of Thomas McKenzie who also divorced her.
In the spring of 1853 we find Marinda, Mary Ann and Charlotte all living together under one roof in Salt Lake. Charlotte, however, was having a hard time adjusting to being a plural wife and departed the family, a mutual decision between she and Orson. They were separated, but never divorced. Brigham Young granted official separation for Charlotte and Orson Hyde in 1859.
Charlotte came to the Sanpete Valley long before Orson shows his influence here. It was during the “big move” with the earliest Saints first to Fort Ephraim, then north to resettle Mt. Pleasant. The first pioneers had been driven out of Camp Hambleton, located one mile west of the current city of Mt. Pleasant. She first made her living as a seamstress then as a school teacher while the settlers still lived inside the fort. A schoolhouse was then built outside the fort. She was fondly called "Aunty Hyde" by her students. She inspired many of her students to become teachers themselves.
In Mt. Pleasant History by Hilda Longsdorf the following description of Aunty Hyde school: “In a little log house about 12x15 feet, on the south side of the street on First North, about midway between State and First West, (in the area where Mary Ursenbach now lives-2008) Charlotte Staunton Hyde taught school. The building was also known and later used for Lesser Priesthood meetings and similar Church gatherings. Mrs. Hyde was a woman who no doubt had earlier in life received quite a liberal education, and although described as “a little old woman who smoked a pipe and was quite deaf,” she was affectionately called "Aunty Hyde". Many amusing stories were told of her school, but with all her students there remained pleasant memories. There being no hand bell, as in later years, the children were always called from their play to the schoolroom with her familiar call, “To Books. To Books. To Books.””
“Mrs. Hyde lived in a little log house west of the school. She often brought her bread to the schoolhouse to bake. She had a skillet with a tight fitting lid and in this, by heaping on it coals from the fireplace, which was in one end of the building, she baked the bread during school hours. She was paid for her services as a teacher with any produce or garden stuff available.
Mrs. Hyde taught for sometime in the log meeting house in the fort. Many attended school. A number of the pioneers were polygamist families and usually were large families. In some cases the entire family had attended her school as was the case in Abraham Day’s family, Joseph, Abraham Jr. , Eli A., Ezra, and Ephraim, children of the second wife, all attended; among others who also in later days became prominent citizens were her students Emaline Seely Barton, Oscar Anderson, William Morrison Jr., Sylvester Barton, Joseph Nephi Seeley, Annie Porter Nelson, Melvina Clemensen Crane, Peter Johansen, Chastie Neilsen, Benta Neilsen, Peter Jensen, Allen Rowe, Henry Ericksen, Miranda Seeley Oman, Wilhemina Morrison Ericksen, Hans Neilsen, William D. Candland, Charlotte Reynolds Seeley, Sarah Wilcox Bills, Celestial McArthur Barton, William A. Averett, Amasa Aldrich, James B. Staker, Maria Tidwell Larsen, Libby Barton Averett, Morgan A. Winters, Eli A. Day, W.W. Brandon, Sarah Davidsen Wilcox, Maggie Peel Seely, Samuel H. Allen, Harry Candland, Albert Candland, Charles Averett, Hazard Wilcox and Hans Neilsen.
Although records show that Mrs. Hyde was not the first teacher in the community, in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on the south side of the center driveway, is a little marble slab now yellowing with age, upon which is engraved: “Charlotte Staunton Hyde, wife of Apostle Orson Hyde, born in Penn., Died in Mount Pleasant, December 3, 1881, age 78. At rest now---Through the kindness of pupils of early days, this stone is erected to her memory, she being the first school teacher in Mt. Pleasant.” M.M.F.C.M.”
Many, many children benefited from her talents, from her love and from her example.