Contributor: CarolynS Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Keturah Hand, daughter of James and Sarah Simpkins Hand, was born the 11th of Dec 1858, at Kiveton Park, Yorkshire, England. She was one of a family of ten children and went to work in a stocking factory at the age of eight years, working there until she came to Utah. Her father was a framework knitter. He parents were devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many time she told her children of her father who had the gift of tongues, speaking in meetings held in their home to small groups of saints over which he was the presiding Elder, giving them strength and encouragement in obeying the principles of the gospel.
When Keturah was thirteen years of age her parents contracted the dreaded disease of Typhus Fever and they passed away within a few weeks of each other.
Eleven years previous to the death of her parents, an elder brother George left his home for America or Zion as Utah was then know, for the purpose of raising funds to assist in the emigration of the family. Some time after George left England two brothers, Brigham, called “Brig” and Moroni, called “Jack” died of Tuberculosis. This disease was very prevalent throughout England due to the damp cold climate. A sister, Hagar had also died during his absence.
Not long after the death of his parents, George was able to send money enough for Keturah and a brother Joseph Heber, to emigrate, leaving Bridget, (Nellie) as she was called by her family, and a younger brother Hyrum to come later. Keturah was fourteen at this time and Joseph (Joe) was eleven.
They sailed from Liverpool England in the year 1869 on the steam ship Wyoming. Due to high winds and rain almost the entire crossing, Keturah suffered severely from seasickness and was confined to her berth during the entire voyage. During their voyage when in mid ocean the crew became drunk and during a violent storm the ship was blown off course and became stuck on a san bar near Sable Island. Terror and confusion reigned for more then Twenty-four hours; there was screaming and praying on deck. They crew worked all night unloading cargo to lighten the ship to get it off the sand bar. The captain acknowledged the hand of the Lord in their deliverance and told the Elders he was sure this was due to their faith and prayers. Keturah and Joe landed in New York on Sep 20th. They traveled by train and arrived in Salt Lake City on Sep 29th, 1873. John B Fairbanks was in charge of the company of saints. George met them and they traveled from Salt Lake City to Benjamin by ox team and lumber wagon.
After arriving in Benjamin; Keturah lived in several homes working for her board. The first of these was the home of Benjamin and Polly Stewart. The small town of Benjamin was named in this man’s honor, as he and his brother Andrew Jackson were the first to settle there. Franklin and Jackson were the brothers of Lavina Stewart Richardson. Keturah loved this man as a father because of his kindness and consideration of her welfare. He was her refuge in time of trouble, giving her solace and comfort many times.
Another home was that of Alexander Keel and his wife in Salem Utah. After leaving the Keel home she lived with Lewis White and his wife Artemisia Knight White in Payson. Her friendship with these two families lasted during the years until their death.
After leaving the White home she returned to Benjamin making her home again with Uncle Franklin and Aunt Polly. Here her romance began. She was quite a belle in the small town as she was a beautiful young woman with and abundance of dark brown curly hair, deep blue eyes and a lovely English complexion. She also had a keen sense of humor. As a result of her beauty and wit she naturally had a number of suitors having had several proposals of marriage before the age of sixteen. None of them interested her however. She had eyes for only one man, Shadrach Montgomery Richardson, who was ten years her senior. In her choice of husbands, she demonstrated her excellent judgment of character.
They were married May 30th 1875, by Benjamin Franklin Stewart, the presiding Elder of the Benjamin branch of the Church. Two weeks later, June 14, 1875, they were sealed in the Endowment house in Salt Lake City for time and eternity.
Keturah and Shadrach endured any hardships as other pioneers did. He was always there to comfort her when trouble came. They lost their first four children when they were babies, three boys first then on girl. The oldest boy died at birth and was the first person buried in the Benjamin cemetery. The other two boys died within ten days of each other. Georgie was four years old and James was two years old. Keturah and Shadrach had twelve children. Another little girl Lexie was the eighth child and died at six months. Seven of the children grew to be men and women, two boys and five girls.
Keturah loved to sing and had a exceptionally fine soprano voice, always singing at work and while nursing and rocking her babies to sleep. Singing in the ward choir and going to choir practice was one of her few pleasures.
She was very ambitious, many times working far beyond her strength and wisdom. She was an excellent housekeeper, cook and a fine seamstress, making clothing for her family and knitting stockings and gloves for them. She made her own soap and also starch from potatoes for her laundry. Neighbors and friends would get together to make quilts and sew rags for carpets. Often they visited each other, taking their own work such as sewing, mending crocheting or knitting.
For several years Shadrach was a United States Deputy Surveyor. This work took him from home. Sometimes for months. This left Keturah the responsibility of supervising the work on the farm, which consisted of taking care of the cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. They raised turkeys to sell, fifty or sixty a year. They also raised chickens and sold eggs. For meat they dressed pork and home-cured it. They dried apples, prunes and sweet corn to store for winter; fruit was bottled, jam and jellies were made and put in crock jars. They had a vegetable cellar for potatoes, carrots and apples, and also had a huge flour bin full of flour.
They always owned quite a number of cows, at times renting some. For years Keturah made forty pounds of butter a week. Her butter was sold on the market at a special price for favored customers. They had a few sheep with provided wool for her to make batting for quilts. The children would help her clean the wool and card it.
For a number of years Shadrach’s father (Shadrach Richardson Sr.) lived with them. It was in their home that he was stricken with paralysis and passed away in the year 1892 on June 18th. Her brother Hyrum also lived with her for some time after coming to America.
She was a very hospitable lady and loved to have her friends come to visit. On Christmas and Thanksgiving she would have relatives or some family that was not blessed to freely with this world’s goods come to dinner. There was always room for one more at her table and a traveler or transient was never turned away hungry. She said that she always thought of the Mormon Missionaries out in the world traveling without purse or script so no one ever left her door hungry. She shared such as she had. At one time she took an orphan boy into her home.
In the summertime she would make ice crean and invited friends to spend the evening eating ice cream and cake.
She was always a faithful worker in the church. She was Primary worker for many years, first as a teacher then counselor, and then President for quite a number of years. In Relief Society and other organizations she gave efficient service. They were honest tithe payers as their tithing was always the first obligation paid. They were very Sincere in their religion and exercised faith at times of sickness in their family. At one time Keturah had a growth start on the calf of her leg. It grew to be as large as a walnut and was beginning to be very painful. She rubbed consecrated oil on it a number of times a day, each time asking the Lord in prayer that it would be healed. One morning when she arose from her bed the flesh around the growth had parted away from the growth. She took hold of it with her fingers and pulled. It hurt badly but it came out whole with six prongs that had grown to about an inch long. The prongs and all came out clean. It healed and never bothered her again.
When in trouble, prayer was her greatest comfort and consolation. She taught by example as well as precept. However, she was far from being long faced and sanctimonious; she joined in games with her children very often. They had a happy and loving home. Time passed and the children all married and made homes of their own.
Shadrach was stricken with paralysis caused by a fall from a ladder while descending from a grain stack, which injured his spine. This was a heart-breaking situation from both Keturah and Shadrach. He was a large man and she small in stature but a giant in courage and very independent by nature. Everyone was amazed that she could take care of him with very little help. This she did for nearly twelve years.
After Shadrach became paralyzed, they sold their farm in Benjamin and built a home in Payson to be near some of their children.
Keturah passed away on the 26th of Oct 1926 at the age of sixty seven years. She is buried in the Benjamin City Cemetery.
Joseph's Hand Travel to America
Contributor: CarolynS Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Joseph's brother George had gone to America to earn money to send for the rest of the family. When George was able to send enough money, he found out that his Mother, Father, three brothers and a sister had died. The next year he sent money for the remaining five children, but again he was disappointed when the guardians of three of them wouldn't let them come. Only Joseph and his sister Keturah came 1877. They came from Liverpool to Castle Garden port in New York on the ship Wyoming.