John Smith

31 Mar 1820 - 25 May 1871

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John Smith

31 Mar 1820 - 25 May 1871
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John Smith By Clarence E. Smith When they reached Spanish Fork they found many moving from Palmyra, a short distance northwest of Spanish Fork, so that they were really pioneers of the town. In Spanish fork their lives were spent similar to that of all other settlers. The same trials and tribulation
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Life Information

John Smith

Born:
Died:

Spanish Fork City Cemetery

Cemetery Roads
Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah
United States

Epitaph

Though called to mourn thy party death Tis happiness and joy To know that we shall meet again? death cannot destroy.

Headstone Description

Aged 51 years 1 month, 25 days
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SouthPawPhilly

July 17, 2011
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GraveScavenger

July 17, 2011

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John Smith by Clarence E Smith

Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

John Smith By Clarence E. Smith When they reached Spanish Fork they found many moving from Palmyra, a short distance northwest of Spanish Fork, so that they were really pioneers of the town. In Spanish fork their lives were spent similar to that of all other settlers. The same trials and tribulations befell them that beset the others. Loss of most of the crops by the crickets and grasshoppers, along with Indian troubles, were their lot. Owing to physical disability, grandfather was not requested to go out and fight the Indians, but was called upon to serve as a home guard. This duty he performed faithfully during all the time of the Indian troubles. Ev3en being a home guard was very hazardous at times. He also belonged to the Territorial Militia. He was always faithful in any calling, church or civil, attending with zeal and fidelity. After grandfather’s baptism, he became active in all church activities. When he was ordained a priest, he was set apart to do whatever missionary work possible, and after being ordained an Elder he was made Branch President. There isn’t much written about him until after they arrived in Utah. As has been stated, one of their oxen was drowned on the way from Salt Lake to Spanish Fork. Another died shortly after their arrival. A little later the other two strayed away and were not found until spring. Their first winter in Spanish Fork was one of hardship. About all they had to eat was some cull corn and potatoes, with which they sustained themselves until spring, when they could obtain some pig weeds and other vegetationMQKN-5FJhe spring of 1857 grandfather bought ten acres of land northwest of town. It was a good piece of ground, but grandfather must have had quite a time working it with one yoke of oxen and a makeshift plow. There isn’t any record of what they raised that year, but they must have raised enough food stuff and feed for their animals. The winter of 1856-57 was very wet, and their dugout filled with water so that they had to live in the stable. During 1857 their first house was built. It was 12 by 14 feet, 6 feet to the square with one foot below ground level. Walls were built of mud, and the roof was supported by ribs or stringers, of green cottonwood, covered with willows and then dirt. The weight of the dirt made the roof sag, so that when it stormed the water would run into the house. It was in this house that Beatrice was born February 22, 1858. It was very stormy and the water came into the house in torrents. Grandfather bailed the water out, and my father, just 3 ½ years of age, kept a fire going with sagebrush. Oil cloth was placed over grandmother to keep her dry. Mother and child came through without any mishap. Barely enough crops were harvested to feed the family and animals in 1858. In 1859, grandfather purchased some more land north of Spanish Fork. Grandmother did all she could to help with the farm work. An ox and two calves died that year. Not much is said about crops, but it is a matter of history that grasshoppers took most of the crops for several years. Another house was built this year. It was built of adobes and was 12 by 22 feet, with two rooms. It had a gable roof of lumber. It had no foundation, but a rock foundation was put under it later. Mary Sophia and the rest of the family were born in this house. Grandfather died there. John and Sophia Smith were the parents of eight children as follows: Isabella born Sept 6, 1852, died Dec 24, 1854; Nicholas born Aug 3, 1854, died July 28, 1936; Beatrice born Feb 22, 1858, died Jan 24, 1926; Mary Sophia born Oct 13, 1860, died May 2 1905; Elizabeth born Feb 4, 1863, died June 16, 1884; John George born Oct 15, 1865, died Dec 5, 1931; Richard Fortune born March 22, 1868, died Aug 18, 1919; Brigham Young born Jan 15, 1871, died Sept 3, 1891. There isn’t much written about what happened in the years from 1860 to 1865 except that the grasshoppers were taking most of the crops. Sometimes they would have to buy flour and other food, which was their biggest problem. They had some cows and sheep, and that may have been the only source of income for them. Each summer grandfather would go up Spanish Fork Canyon for firewood for fuel. About 1865 he got some more land on the New Survey (now Leland) also about this time the Blackhawk Indians were on the rampage, and it was necessary to have guards out day and night. Grandfather did a lot of guard duty during this time. One very important event happened December 6, 1862. Grandfather and Grandmother received their endowments and were sealed to each other in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, and from that time on they did everything possible to have the work done for their dead ancestors. In the spring of 1871 he had a new home planned, and on the last day that he worked he and my father made adobes for the new home. He died May 25, 1871. The new home was built in 1872 of adobes, and faced east. Grandmother and my father did most of the work. Many of their neighbors volunteered their help, which was gladly accepted. The last home, which was built of brick, faced south and joined the adobe house. The masonry was done by Hales brothers and the carpentry work done by my father. It had two large rooms, and the old house was used for a bedroom and storage. Up to the time of grandfather’s death the struggle for sustenance was almost unbearable. The land they owned was choice and would have produced good crops except for grasshoppers and other pests. The year 1871 was a good year for crops, and they never were in want after that time except when my father was on his mission. He was released after one year because of conditions at home. Father remained with the family until 1880, when he married. He still continued to help as much as possible as long as necessary. At the time father married the girls were 17 to 22 years of age and the boys from 9 to 15 years. Grandmother lived until she was 84 years of age and had good health all her life. I knew her well from the time I was 4 or 5 years old. Our grandparents were honorable and God-fearing, upright people, whose goal was to serve the Lord and their fellowmen. They were a record-keeping people, and because of the records they had of their immediate ancestors and the work that was done for them, it gave us, their descendants, a good genealogical background to work on. Their sons and daughters married into good families: the Hoods, Jones, Bownes, Hansons and Boyacks; all are people we can well be proud of. We can do nothing better in life than to be worthy of the name Smith. It would be hard to enumerate all the activities of John Smith. He acted as Deacon, with many more responsibilities than those of the Deacon today, also a ward teacher and Sunday School officer and choir member. These, with the duties of a Seventy kept him busy. The following records may be of interest. Born Newton, Edinburgh County, Scotland, March 31, 1820; baptized October 12, 1845 by James Mowbry; confirmed October 12, 1845 by James Mowbry; ordained a Priest April 2, 1848 by William Gibson; ordained an Elder April 17, 1851 by James Mardson; married to Sophia Fortune November 21, 1851; ordained a Seventy August 2, 1857 by Joseph Young; endowed and sealed to Sophia Fortune December 6, 1862; died May 24, 1871 at Spanish Fork, Utah. Grandfather took sick May 19 while making adobes with his son. ON May 20 he felt better and with the help of father, took some sheep to the home of William Jex to put in the co-op herd. As soon as the business was attended to he was invited to have breakfast with Brother Jex. That was his last meal. From there he went to Payson to attend the School of the Prophets, an organization of those days. He returned home very sick and went to bed for the last time. He knew that he was going to die and told grandmother he wanted to talk to my father. He advised grandmother and father that he had a bigger mission ahead of him and that if they were humble they would be blessed in their efforts. Among other things he asked father to take his place as father and to see that grandmother had the necessities of life and to guide the other members of the family in their daily duties. He plead with grandmother not to mourn to excess, finishing his instructions he passed away quietly at 6:30 o’clock on the morning of May 25. Funeral services were held at 4 p.m. on May 26. A very large crowd attended the splendid service and followed to the cemetery. We as descendants of John and Sophia Smith have a heritage that we may well be proud of. We can show our appreciation by seeing that everything possible be done for the salvation and exaltation of our ancestors. I am thankful for the opportunity of compiling this history.

John Smith migration to Zion, author unknown

Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

John Smith kept a journal of his activities. His son, Nicholas, had access to it and quoted from it in his own journal. But it is not available today and no one seems to know what happened to it. The few quotations from that journal by Nicholas Smith are very brief and do not tell very much about the voyage of John and his family across the ocean, or their residence in Illinois, or their journey to Utah. John and Sophia Fortune Smith, with children Isabel and Nicholas, sailed from Edinburg, Scotland, on November 17, 1854, to Liverpool, England. After several delays, they sailed from Liverpool December 7, 1854, aboard the ship "Clara Wheeler" bound for New Orleans. The ship carried a company of converts to the Church consisting of about 101 adults and 170 children, under the leadership of Henry E Phelps. Nicholas quotes from John's journal describing the shipa nd the arrangements: "The beds are placed on each side, one above another' the height of the first from the floor one foot and a half. The height of beds, 2 feet 9 inches; length 7 ft; width, 3 ft to three and a half. From where our beds stand to our luggage, six feet of a passage must be kept clear. It is not a passenger ship; and there is no fire below to warm us." The company was organized into four Wards. John was called to "preside over 2nd Ward, Mess No. 1, to look after water and meat, and see that they attend all duries." Isabel died during the voyage on December 24, 1854, and was buried at sea. They landed in New Orleans, January 11, 1855. The next day they started up the Mississippi River and landed at St. Louis on January 22nd. The family resided in Grovois, Illinois, and John worked in a coal mine probably somewhere in the vicinity. However, the mine was not identified. Nicholas states in his journal: "After reaching Gravois,East ST. Louis, my father stayed there about 15 months in order to get an outfit to continue to Utah". Then he quotes from John's journal: February 1st, 1855: wrote to my brothers, Nicolas, and William from Gravois." Nicholas also recorded the following incident: "One day while living in Gravois, while my mother was in a store purchasing some goods, I a little shaver, just beginning to walk strayed away from her, got into a stable among some horses, right up to their hind feet; luckily they did not kick. It is needless to state my mother was in a great stew until she found me." Nicholas describes the outfit John purchased as "...a new wagon, two yoke of oxen, a cow, a large quantity of clothing etc. making a very good outfit". Finally, Nicholas records: "Having made all necessary preparations, he left Gravois on the 7th of May, 1856 and reached Florence June 21. We crossed the first ferry, 20 miles from Florence July 12; after many ups and downs, we reached Salt Lake City Sept 24, 1856". The foregoing is probably the ultimate in brevity, covering as it does, a period of about 21 months and probably in excess of 2000 miles of travel. The "yoke of oxen" is described elsewhere by Nicholas as "wild steers". Clarence Smith reported that he had been told by his father that John has a real difficult time "breaking in" the steers. In fact, he said, Sophia Fortune had to step in and help John in that, to the great amusement of the bystanders. While Florence (also known as Winter Quarters) was a key point on the Mormon Trail to the west it seems unusual that John Smith would have gone that route from St. Louis. Florence is in the immediate vicinity of Omaha, Nebraska. The famous Oregon Trail started at Independence, Missourt and would be a substantially shorter route west. John probably passed through Independence after leaving St. Louis. Also, at that time the Mormons had established an outfitting station at Mormon Grove, just 4 miles west of Atchison, Kansas. It was used mainly by Scottish, Danish and Welsh converts. The trail from Mormon Grove was a feeder point on the Oregon Trail and the two trails merged at Marysville, Kansas. Over 2400 Mormon emigrants left from Mormon Grove in 1855 and 1856. Yet, for reasons we do not know, John went northward to Florence.

Biographical Sketch of the Life of John Smith

Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF JOHN SMITH By Clarence E. Smith, Grandson The information contained in this story is taken from the Journal of Nicholas Smith, part of which was taken from the records of John Smith. All the dates and places have been checked with all available records for accuracy. I am using copies of two sketches that father wrote for the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. The original copies are in their Archives. A detailed record has been kept of all important happenings. --- C.E.S. Copy of the Sketch Sent to Daughters of Utah Pioneers John Smith was born March 31, 1820, at Newton, Edinburgh County, Scotland. He was the son of Nicol Smith and Beatrice Innis. Nicol Smith was the son of Mathew Smith and Elizabeth Wilson. Beatrice Innis was the daughter of James Innis and Euphemia Taylor. His parents were poor and had a large family, so it was necessary that John go to work at a very young age, going to work at the age of eight in the coalmines. The conditions in the mines were very bad. The meaning of the word sanitation was unknown, and the wages were low, and at times he had to work eighteen hours a day on almost an empty stomach, in a crouching position, due to the lowness of the mine roof. Food was scant and often consisted of nothing but an oatmeal cake. The black coal dampness soon filled his lungs to such an extent that he contracted asthma, which remained with him all of the days of his life. He continued to dig coal until 1854, when he emigrated to Utah. In the year 1845, he heard the Gospel as taught by the Latter-Day Saints, for the first time. To him it seemed something he had always known, but had not fully understood, so that the first introduction to the truth was all that was necessary to make him apply for baptism. He was baptized October 12, 1845, by Elder James Mowbry and confirmed the same day by Elder Mowdry. He became an earnest advocate of the truth at once, and was ordained a Priest April 2, 1848, and called to preach the Gospel whenever opportunity presented itself. On April 17, 1851, he was ordained an Elder and appointed President of the Branch. Owing to the impoverished condition of his parents, his education was neglected, and what little learning he had was self-taught. He was a strong believer in temperance, so that when he first heard of the word of wisdom it appealed to him at once. He was a member of the Teetotalers Society. He was honest in all his dealings and regarded his word of more value than his life. His nature was jocular, and he was always the life of his associates. His benevolence often caused himself and family suffering for the necessities of life, as he could not stand to see anyone in want when he had something to give. He was a rather poor financier and lacked the knack of accumulating wealth, and often said that if wealth caused him to forsake Mormonism, then he hoped that he would always be poor. He was very strict with his children, believing in Solomon’s maxim (spare the rod and spoil the child). He was a strong believer in the law of tithing and that it had to be paid first. He was a natural born poet, and his poems were full of beautiful sentiments, but owing to his lack of education, his grammar was somewhat crude. Being a fairly good singer, and good company, he was always called to sing at social gatherings. His songs were often of his own makeup and suited for the occasion. On November 21, 1851, he married Sophia Fortune, the daughter of George Fortune and Isabella Donnet. She was born March 22, 1830, in Inveresk, Edinburgh County, Scotland. Her father was a blacksmith by trade and in better circumstances than the Smiths. They were very much opposed to her marriage to father, owing to his affiliation with the Mormon Church. From that time on her experiences were numerous. In time, her parents became reconciled to the marriage, but never to the Church. During her girlhood days, she worked in farmhouses and assisted on the farms, and thus acquired an insight into farming that helped her in later life when father took up farming in Utah. She was baptized on the 18th of November, 1851, by Elder William Smith, a brother of her future husband, three days before her marriage. From that time, her experiences were about the same as her husband’s. As soon as father joined the church, he had the spirit of gathering and lent every effort in that direction. It took him nine long years to accomplish that purpose, and who can say that his wife had not a hand in the final accomplishment of that purpose. Not until November 17, 1854, were they able to start on their long journey. In passing through the Irish Channel, they had some thrilling experiences. A violent storm arose which nearly sank the ship, and they were compelled to return to their starting point and wait three weeks until the ship could be prepared. On their second start, they were more fortunate, for this time they safely reached Liverpool, the point at which they took a ship for America. They sailed on the ship Clara Wheeler and reached New Orleans January 11, 1855. They reached St. Louis January 22, stayed there until May 7, 1856, when they left for Utah and arrived in Salt Lake City September 27, stayed a few days, then went to Spanish For, arriving October 6. In order to avoid duplications, also to see that everything important is mentioned, I will rewrite the balance of the history. Commencing with the journey from Edinburgh to Spanish Fork. --- Clarence E. Smith, grandson. The family, consisting of grandfather, grandmother, Isabella, two years old, and Nicholas, who was three and one-half months old, left Edinburgh and landed in Glasgow the same day. They left Glasgow that night, ran aground opposite Dunbarton Castle, started again, reached Greenwich at 10 p.m., and then landed in Liverpool November 20. They lodged one night and then went on board the Clara Wheeler on November 21 and lay out of the harbor until November 27. They were driven back by winds on November 29. The company consisted of 101 adults and 170 children and was presided over by Brother Phelps. Grandfather presided over Ward 2, Mess 1. The ship was not a passenger ship, so everything was makeshift. There was no heat. The beds were bunk type, double and triple deck, size 33 inches wide and 6 feet long. The ship was loaded to capacity. The only rooms were in the passageways, which were 6 feet wide. Because of bad weather, the ship did not leave Liverpool until December 7. On the twelfth, the ship ran into another one, tearing the main sail and causing further delay. On December 24, Isabella died of what was supposed to be black measles. She had to be buried at sea at a point halfway between Liverpool and New Orleans, which would be about 100 miles east of New York City. An incident occurred while the body was being lowered into the sea, which is of interest to the family of Nicholas Smith. A young lady, Dorothy Chisolm, was holding my father in her arms. Probably because of the excitement, as she was watching the burial, she dropped father, but by her presence of mind and her alertness, she grabbed for the baby and caught him by the big toe. This definitely was an act of Providence. Later in life, she was father’s schoolteacher. She married Charles Leah, a noted early-day singer. She later met her death by being gored by a bull. They landed in New Orleans January 11, 1855. The trip from Liverpool was made in 35 days. They averaged 143 miles per day for the 5,000 miles. They left New Orleans on the 12th, up the Mississippi to St. Louis, landing there on January 22. They stayed in St. Louis 15 months, where grandfather worked in the coalmines and earned enough money to purchase a good outfit for their trip to Utah. He bought a new wagon, two yolk of oxen, a cow, also a lot of clothing which they hoped would sell in Utah for a good price, so they would have money to buy food when they got to Utah. They found that there was no sale for clothing, and what little food there was for sale was sold at a fabulous price. The oxen were unbroken and grandfather, being a small and frail man, had a terrible time breaking them, mostly because of his inexperience; but with the help of grandmother, they finally got them pretty well broken. They left St. Louis May 7, 1856, arriving at Council Bluffs June 21, and at Salt Lake City September 27, 1856. The trip from Council Bluffs to Salt Lake City was very slow, because of the large company and the inferior outfits that some had. Grandfather and some others who had good outfits got permission to go ahead of the main company. They arrived in Salt Lake three weeks ahead of the regular company. On arrival at Salt Lake City, they were directed by President Young to go to Spanish Fork, 60 miles south. At about 20 miles south of Salt Lake, they camped at some springs, and one of their oxen got drowned. These springs are just west of the present site of the Utah State prison. The cow was pressed into service, and they arrived at Spanish Fork October 6. A lot on 3rd East and 7th North, 12 rods by 12 rods was assigned to them. This became their permanent home. Their first shelter was a dugout with a dirt roof. Their future houses are described later in this history. The travel distances were: Edinburgh to Liverpool 300 miles, Liverpool to New Orleans 5,000 miles, New Orleans to St. Louis 1,193 miles, St. Louis to Council Bluffs 632 miles, Council Bluffs to Spanish Fork 1,090 miles. A total mileage of 8,200 miles. A map showing the route from St. Louis to Spanish Fork is in the Smith Family Record Book No. 1. Just what part grandmother took in the arduous journey history doesn’t say, but as she was physically much better qualified to do the work than grandfather, it is presumed that she had as much to do with the breaking of the oxen and the handling of them on the way as grandfather did. When we consider the dangers from hostile Indians on the plains, and grandfather’s leaving the company as her did, it seems foolhardy, but it plainly shows his nature. He was impatient with the slowness of the company’s progress and started out with a few venturesome souls like himself, and as luck would have it, they reached Salt Lake City in safety, although at times they met unfriendly Indians who looted other camps on the way. Although a small man, he was afraid of nothing and seemed to have the knack of getting the good will of the Indians on every occasion. This same power saved his life many times after he settled in Utah. When they reached Spanish Fork, they found many moving from Palmyra, a short distance northwest of Spanish Fork, so that they were really pioneers of the town. In Spanish Fork, their lives were spent similar to that of all other settlers. The same trials and tribulations befell them that beset the others. Loss of most of the crops by the crickets and grasshoppers, along with Indian troubles, were their lot. Owing to physical disability, grandfather was not requested to go out and fight the Indians, but was called upon to serve as a home guard. This duty he performed faithfully during all the time of the Indian troubles. Even being a home guard was very hazardous at times. He also belonged to the Territorial Militia. He was always faithful in any calling, Church or civil, attending with zeal and fidelity. After grandfather’s baptism, he became active in all Church activities. When he was ordained a priest, he was set apart to do whatever missionary work possible, and after being ordained an Elder, he was made Branch President. There isn’t much written about him until after they arrived in Utah. As has been stated, one of their oxen was drowned on the way from Salt Lake to Spanish Fork. Another died shortly after their arrival. A little later, the other two strayed away and were not found until spring. Their first winter in Spanish Fork was one of hardship. About all they had to eat was some cull corn and potatoes, with which they sustained themselves until spring, when they could obtain some pigweeds and other vegetation. In the spring of 1857 grandfather bought ten acres of land northwest of town. It was a good piece of ground, but grandfather must have had quite a time working it with one yoke of oxen and a makeshift plow. There isn’t any record of what they raised that year, but they must have raised enough food stuff and feed for their animals. The winter of 1856-57 was very wet, and their dugout filled with water so that they had to live in the stable. During 1857, their first house was built. It was 12 by 14 feet, 6 feet to the square with one foot below ground level. Walls were built of mud, and the roof was supported by ribs or stringers, of green cottonwood, covered with willows and then dirt. The weight of the dirt made the roof sag, so that when it stormed the water would run into the house. It was in this house that Beatrice was born February 22, 1858. It was very stormy and the water came into the house in torrents. Grandfather bailed the water out, and my father, just 3-1/2 years of age, kept a fire going with sagebrush. Oilcloth was placed over grandmother to keep her dry. Mother and child came through without any mishap. Barely enough crops were harvested to feed the family and animals in 1858. In 1859 grandfather purchased some more land north of Spanish Fork. Grandmother did all she could to help with the farm work. An ox and two calves died that year. Not much is said about crops, but it is a matter of history that grasshoppers took most of the crops for several years. Another house was built this year. It was built of adobes and was 12 by 22 feet, with two rooms. It had a gable roof of lumber. It had no foundation, but a rock foundation was put under it later. Mary Sophia and the rest of the family were born in this house. Grandfather died there. John and Sophia Smith were the parents of eight children as follows: Isabella born September 6, 1852, died December 24, 1854; Nicholas born August 3, 1854, died July 28, 1936; Beatrice born February 22, 1858, died January 24, 1926; Mary Sophia born October 13, 1860, died May 2, 1905; Elizabeth born February 4, 1863, died June 16, 1884; John George born October 15, 1865, died December 5, 1931; Richard Fortune born March 22, 1868, died August 18, 1919; Brigham Young born January 15, 1871, died September 3, 1891. There isn’t much written about what happened in the years from 1860 to 1865 except that the grasshoppers were taking most of the crops. Sometimes they would have to buy flour and other food, which was their biggest problem. They had some cows and sheep, and that may have been the only source of income for them. Each summer grandfather would go up Spanish Fork Canyon for firewood for fuel. About 1865 he got some more land on the New Survey (now Leland) also about this time the Blackhawk Indians were on the rampage, and it was necessary to have guards out day and night. Grandfather did a lot of guard duty during this time. One very important event happened December 6, 1862. Grandfather and Grandmother received their endowments and were sealed to each other in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, and from that time on, they did everything possible to have the work done for their dead ancestors. In the spring of 1871 he had a new home planned, and on the last day that he worked he and my father made adobes for the new home. He died May 25, 1871. The new home was built in 1872 of adobes, and faced east. Grandmother and my father did most of the work. Many of their neighbors volunteered their help, which was gladly accepted. The last home, which was built of brick, faced south and joined the adobe house. The masonry was done by Hales brothers and the carpentry work done by my father. It had two large rooms, and the old house was used for a bedroom and storage. Up to the time of grandfather’s death, the struggle for sustenance was almost unbearable. The land they owned was choice and would have produced good crops except for grasshoppers and other pests. The year 1871 was a good year for crops, and they never were in want after that time except when my father was on his mission. He was released after one year because of conditions at home. Father remained with the family until 1880, when he married. He still continued to help as much as possible as long as necessary. At the time father married, the girls were 17 to 22 years of age and the boys from 9 to 5 years. Grandmother lived until she was 84 years of age and had good health all her life. I knew her well from the time I was 4 or 5 years old. Our grandparents were honorable and God-fearing, upright people, whose goal was to serve the Lord and their fellowmen. They were a record-keeping people, and because of the records they had of their immediate ancestors and the work that was done for them, it gave us, their descendants, a good genealogical background to work on. Their sons and daughters married into good families: the Hoods, Jones, Bowes, Hansons, and Boyacks; all are people we can well be proud of. We can do nothing better in life than to be worthy of the name Smith. It would be hard to enumerate all the activities of John Smith. He acted as Deacon, with many more responsibilities than those of the Deacon today, also a ward teacher and Sunday School officer and choir member. These, with the duties of a Seventy, kept him busy. The following records may be of interest. Born Newton, Edinburgh County, Scotland, March 31, 1820; baptized October 12, 1845 by James Mowbry; confirmed October 12, 1845 by James Mowbry; ordained a Priest April 2, 1848 by William Gibson; ordained an Elder April 17, 1851 by James Mardson; married to Sophia Fortune November 21, 1851; ordained a Seventy August 2, 1857 by Joseph Young; endowed and sealed to Sophia Fortune December 6, 1862; died May 25, 1871 at Spanish Fork, Utah. Grandfather’s Final Illness and Death Grandfather took sick May 19, 1871 while making adobes with his son. On May 20 he felt better and with the help of father took some sheep to the home of William Jex to put in the co-op herd. As soon as the business was attended to, he was invited to have breakfast with Brother Jex. That was his last meal. From there he went to Payson to attend the School of the Prophets, an organization of those days. He returned home very sick and went to bed for the last time. He knew that he was going to die and told grandmother he wanted to talk to my father. He advised grandmother and father that he had a bigger mission ahead of him and that if they were humble they would be blessed in their efforts. Among other things, he asked father to take his place as father and to see that grandmother had the necessities of life and to guide the other members of the family in their daily duties. He plead with grandmother not to morn to excess, finishing his instructions he passed away quietly at 6:30 o’clock on the morning of May 25, 1871. Funeral services were held at 4 p.m. on May 26. A very large crowd attended the splendid service and followed to the cemetery. We as descendants of John and Sophia Smith have a heritage that we may well be proud of. We can show our appreciation by seeing that everything possible be done for the salvation and exaltation of our ancestors. I am thankful for the opportunity of compiling this history. Clarence E. Smith

History of John Smith and Sophia Fortune

Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

HISTORY OF JOHN SMITH AND SOPHIA FORTUNE By: Angeline E. S. Brockbank January 10, 1932 My grandfather, John Smith, was the son of Beatrice Innes and Nicol Smith. He was born in Newton, Edinburghshire, Scotland, March 31, 1820. His parents were very poor, so he was put to work in the coalmines when he was barely eight years of age. His pay was small and his food was scant, consisting mostly of oatmeal cake. He was brought up in the Free Church of Scotland, of which he was a member until he was twenty-five years of age. Many of the traditions of this church remained with him throughout his entire life. When he was twenty-five, he heard the Latter-day Saint missionaries for the first time. He was immediately convinced that they had the truth. He had always been a Bible student of note; sometimes he was called a “walking Bible;” and when he was converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was surprised and astonished that he had not seen the truth before. He was baptized October 12, 1845. His aim ever after was to live the gospel to the best of his understanding. His mother and one brother joined the church, but later, the brother left it. Soon after his baptism, he was ordained a Priest, and he never lost an opportunity to preach the gospel. A little later, he was ordained an Elder. He then spent his spare time traveling and preaching. At one time, he was President of a Branch. The spirit of emigration possessed him as soon as he was baptized, and he began at once to save all he could from his earnings for that purpose. Wages were so small; it took a long time to accomplish his desires. His education was limited as to schooling, but he was a studious man. He loved the finer things of life, good literature, music, art, etc. He was a good singer and a poet of some ability, composing several songs and poems. In his young manhood, before his conversion, he traveled through the Highlands of Scotland, and learned considerable of the Gaelic language. He contracted asthma in the mines, when quite young. This disqualified him from hard manual labor and shortened his life. He was industrious and economic. His habits were temperate, using neither tobacco nor liquor. He had joined the “Teetotalers Association” in his youth, which in this day would be the Temperance Society. When he heard the Word of Wisdom, as taught by the Latter-day Saints, he kept it to the best of his ability and understanding. He married Sophia Fortune in Scotland, November 21, 1851, when he was thirty-two years old. By November 17, 1854, he had acquired enough means to begin the journey to Zion. He boarded the ship “Clara Wheeler” with his wife and two small children, Isabella and Nicholas. On the 29th of the month, the ship was driven back by the terrific storm. It took three weeks to repair it, and then they set sail again. There were 101 adults and 170 children aboard this ship. The saints aboard were divided into four wards and grandfather was chosen to preside over the Second Ward. They landed in New Orleans, January 11, 1855. They reached St. Louis, January 22 of the same year, where they remained until May 7, 1856, in order to get an outfit to continue the journey. During their fifteen months stay in St. Louis, grandfather worked in the coalmines. Wages were good, as the times were good. He was successful in obtaining a fairly good outfit; which consisted of a good wagon, two yoke of oxen, a plentiful supply of food and clothing, and a cow, which furnished milk all along the wearisome trail. They left St. Louis May 7, 1856 to cross the plains. Somewhere along the trail, grandfather’s and five other families left the company because they thought they were traveling too slowly. They reached Salt Lake City or the “Valley” three weeks ahead of the rest of the company, September 27, 1856. This, of course, was very unwise on their part, because of Indians and wild animals. Grandfather, being witty, always managed to joke with and get the Indians to laughing, and give them something they desired. Thus, he always came out victorious from his encounters with the Indians, while they would probably kill the next ones they met. When called upon to preach, grandfather kept his audiences in an uproar of laughter with his good-natured witticism. On the trip from Salt Lake City to Spanish Fork, they camped overnight at Crystal Hot Lakes, near the point of the mountain. Here one of the oxen was drowned, so they hitched up the cow to make the rest of the journey. They arrived at Spanish Fork, October 6, 1856 and here they made their permanent home. Their experiences at pioneering were many and varied, some sad indeed. Their first home was a dugout, the next, a semi-dugout. Grandfather, being progressive, built a better one as soon as he could get means enough. Accordingly, his next one was of adobes, built without a foundation. When the storms came, the adobes began to wash away at the ground. Now he could see he was facing a problem, but he was equal to it. He cleared the adobes away, a foot or two at a time, replacing them with rocks. Then another foot or two of adobes were taken away, again being replaced by rocks; and so on all around the house, until a rock foundation was completed. When they first arrived at Spanish Fork, they found the people very poor, because of the loss of their crops by grasshoppers the year before. They were forced to exchange their clothing at a great sacrifice for food. Grandfather bought land and began farming, a vocation at which he was never quite successful. In time, he did learn to eke out an existence. His experience had been in mining, so he knew very little about farming. That together with the loss of crops by grasshoppers, kept his finances very low. Withal, he was a man of great faith, energetic in church work, and a strict tithe payer. He was sealed to his wife in 1862 and he did baptisms for dead friends and relatives. When the 50th Quorum of Seventy was organized in Spanish Fork, he was ordained a member and remained one until his death. He was also a Ward Teacher and a class teacher in Sunday School at the time of his death. He was a staunch supporter of all public improvements, school building, churches, etc., and always did his share, by work if he didn’t have the money. He was a member of the militia, being a sergeant in the company known as “Silver Greys.” He took his turn as home guard during the Black Hawk War. At the time of his death, he was a member of the School of the Prophets, a privilege very few were considered worthy of. He attended a session of this organization just five days prior to his death. He passed away May 25, 1861. While he was not wealthy in this world’s goods, he surely had treasures laid up in heaven. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. His wife, my paternal grandmother, Sophia Fortune, was the eldest child of Isabella Donnet and George Fortune. She was born in the parish of Inveresk, Edinburghshire, Scotland, March 22, 1830. Her father was a blacksmith, so was better fixed financially than the coal miners. As a girl, she worked among farmers, both in the field and in the homes. She learned a great deal about farming, which was a great benefit to her later in Utah. She was converted to the Latter-day Saint faith by her intended husband; and was baptized November 18, 1851, just three days before her marriage. Her marriage grieved her parents very much, for they considered that she had married beneath her station. Not only to a coal miner, but to a despised “Mormon.” However, they never disowned her, but always treated her well. While crossing the ocean, her oldest child, Isabella, died of Back Measles and was buried at sea, December 4, 1854. This was a severe trial to grandmother; but she bore up bravely, putting her trust in the Lord. During her stay in Illinois and the journey across the plains, she shared the trials and tribulations of her husband. After arriving in Spanish Fork, she helped him in every way possible, mixing mud while he molded adobes, tending mason while he built, etc. She was very strong in body and able to do harder work than he. She also helped with the farm work, fought grasshoppers, sheared the sheep, corded and spun the wool, and after having a friend weave it, she made the family clothing and did the knitting. She was the mother of eight children, four of whom preceded her in death. With all the care of her family and other work, she was a most thrifty, industrious and practical woman. She worked as a Relief Society Teacher until too feeble to attend to that duty. She was a regular attendant at Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School, and did a great deal of Temple work. During the winter of 1869-70, the women throughout Utah were holding indignation meetings in their respective communities, protesting against the Cullom Bill, which was for the suppression of Polygamy. She took an active part in these meetings in her community. She was a signer of a petition to congress protesting against the passage of the Cullom Bill. She used her influence for polygamous men by supporting and acknowledging their wives, instead of throwing them helpless on the world, as was done by wicked men. She was very sincere in her belief of polygamy, so much so that after her husband’s death, she had other wives sealed to him. She never fully recovered from the shock of her husband’s death, but she proved to be a more successful manager than he. She got some bees, which she cared for, extracted the honey and sold the surplus. She also cut and dried fruit and sold it. At her death, which occurred October 25, 1914, she was considered rather “well off” financially. I am sure she was wealthy spiritually, for she remained true and faithful to the last.

Life timeline of John Smith

1820
John Smith was born on 31 Mar 1820
John Smith was 12 years old when Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution. Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
1831
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John Smith was 20 years old when Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph. Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an American painter and inventor. After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.
1840
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John Smith was 39 years old when Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well. Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.
1859
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John Smith was 41 years old when American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces. The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. As a result of the long-standing controversy over slavery, war broke out in April 1861, when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, shortly after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. The nationalists of the Union proclaimed loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States, who advocated for states' rights to expand slavery.
1861
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John Smith died on 25 May 1871 at the age of 51
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for John Smith (31 Mar 1820 - 25 May 1871), BillionGraves Record 55149 Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah, United States

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