Tuesday, December 24, 2013

PIONEER STORY OF MARY YOUNG WILCOX ~ taken from History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf.

 Mary <i>Young</i> Willcox

By Annie Carlson Bills
       Mary Young Wilcox was born June 6, 1831, in Upper Canadadaughter of James and Elizabeth Seely Young.

       In the spring of 1846 they started from Kainsville, Iowa, on their westward journey across the plains to Utah.

After traveling about three hundred miles, the call carne from the government for five hundred of their young men to go to Mexico. This was the choosing of the "Mormon Battalion."

       The Battalion was packed with their packs, which weighed about thirty-five pounds.

The scene which followed, Mrs. Wilcox says, she can never forget. Widowed mothers parting with, sometimes, their only son, sweethearts, husbands and wives, a scene which only the ones who witnessed can realize the sadness of.

After the Battalion marched away, they resumed their journey, traveling as far as Winter Quarters, where they camped for the winter.

They built log cabins, with no windows, and taking their wagon boxes off the wagons, placed them inside of the houses, replacing the bows and covers. These they slept in. They had no stoves so a hole was dug in the center of the house and a fire was made in it. A hole in the center of the roof served as a place for the smoke to escape and light to enter. Thus they lived during the winter, suffering with cold and hunger. Many died from disease, through being so poorly nourished and clothed. Wher­ever a grove of timber and trees could be found, as many as could made cabins and stayed there through the winter.

Mary left Winter Quarters in May 1847. Traveling on the plains from Winter Quarters to Salt Lake Valley, she yoked and unyoked her oxen and drove them every step of the way, and was only sixteen years old. Suffering with the rest on the journey, she reached the valley on September 29, 1847. After resting a couple of weeks, they began making preparations for winter. She went with her father to get logs for their cabin. She also made the adobes that made the chimney for their cabin. She says, "No kings could be happier than we, when we reached the valley and had built our first log cabin."

The houses were so built as to form a fort, it being two blocks long and one block wide when completed. Two gates, one at the north and one at the south, were made. It being located about where the Seventh ward is.  About Christmas of 1847, their cabins were ready to move into.

On March 14, 1848, she was married to John Henry Wilcox. Spring came and they began to survey the land and let each couple have a chance to draw for the land. They drew the land where the Sugarhouse Ward is.

They made a brush "shanty" and began to work on their land. Her husband grubbed the brush and she piled and burned it, and prepared the land for plowing. They sowed a nice piece of the land and had a nice garden planted, having brought the seed across the plains with them. The seeds took root and grew and looked very prosperous. But by this time the crickets had hatched out and they soon consumed the whole crop. Then came the blessed "Sea Gulls." They came in great Hocks and devoured the crickets. They would stay a few hours at a time, then fly away
 with a squawk, and after a while return for more crickets. It was not too late to replant, but no more seed could be had.

After the crickets had destroyed their crops, the people went back to the fort for the rest of the summer.

After the people of the northern sections had harvested their crops, they allowed them to go and glean. Her husband grubbed oak brush for a peck of corn a day and boarded himself out of what little they had. In this way they saved a little for winter. Later her husband went to the canyon and got a big load of poles. A man offered him forty pounds of wheat and he sold the poles to him for the wheat. He sowed one and one-fourth acres of ground where the crickets had eaten his crop the spring before. The next summer they threshed seventy bushels of wheat from the forty pounds of seed.

The first potatoes were brought from California on pack animals and sold to the people for twenty five cents a piece and only four being allowed to each man.

       In the spring of 1849 they planted a peck of potatoes; when they dug them they got thirty bushels.

       In the fall of 1850 they were called to settle Manti. They stayed there three years. Built homes and raised a crop.

In the spring of 1853 her husband went to Hambleton. The Indians killed all his cattle and oxen and burned the wagons, saw. mill. and all the lumber, and they were left once more without anything. They moved to the fort at Manti.

In 1853 they gave all they had for one yoke of oxen and wagon, and moved to Pleasant Grove. In 1860 they moved to Mt. Pleasant. They lived in Mt. Pleasant ever after. 

There are five living generations. Her mother also lived to see five generations. Mrs. Wilcox died May 16, 1929.

The following additional information comes from:

Birth: Jun. 6, 1832
Ontario, Canada

Death: May 16, 1929
Mount Pleasant
Sanpete County
Utah, USA
Parents: James Young and Elizabeth Seely
Married John Henry Wilcox
COD: Myocarditis, chronic

Death certificate State of Utah

Records may also be found under Wilcox

Family links:
  James Young (1804 - 1894)
  Elizabeth Seely Young (1807 - 1900)

  John Henry Owen Willcox (1824 - 1909)

  Hazzard Wilcox (1849 - 1925)*
  Sarah Wilcox Bills (1853 - 1936)*
  James Henery Wilcox (1855 - 1939)*
  John Carlos Wilcox (1858 - 1938)*
  Mary H Wilcox Day (1860 - 1946)*
  Clarissa Jane Wilcox Meiling (1863 - 1951)*
  Sabra Ellen Willcox Oliver (1865 - 1914)*
  Hannah Wilcox Carlston (1868 - 1943)*
  Martha Anna Wilcox Westwood Foy (1871 - 1962)*
  Justus Azel Wilcox (1874 - 1945)*

*Calculated relationship
Mount Pleasant City Cemetery
Mount Pleasant
Sanpete County
Utah, USA
Plot: A_128_2_7
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Maintained by: Penne Magnusson Cartrigh...
Originally Created by: Utah State Historical So...
Record added: Feb 02, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 139581

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