Life Story of Mary Pugh
Contributor: jeanniebug Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
Life Story of Mary Pugh
"A Patriot and Saint in Petticoats"
Mary Pugh, the daughter of Mary Bailey, born at Earldisland, England, and Edward Pugh, born at Bireley, England, was born 10 November 1821 at Dilwyn Commons, Hereford, England. I was a twin, but my sister, Elizabeth, only lived a day or two. A brother, Edward Pugh, was born 28 May 1824 at Bireley, Hers., England. Grandfather David Pugh was born at Bireley, England and Grandmother Ann Compton was born at Dilwyn Commons, Essex, England. My father was a mason by trade, but also spent part of his time as a farmer.
We had a lovely home surrounded by beautiful flowers, lawns, shrubs and trees. Being an only daughter, I was loved dearly. I first went to school at Dilwyn Commons and later attended Earldisland School. I also went to a private school at Haven Dilwyn. I was taught dressmaking and tailoring by a private governess, and became very expert at sewing. I was fortunate to have such a good education and training. My life was such a happy one of ease and comfort in my nice home.
Then one night I chanced to go to a meeting. There I heard a new message preached by two missionaries from America. They said they represented "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," also called Mormons. And when I heard their words, I knew then that it was the truth. My parents were very upset about me attending these meetings, but as I enjoyed hearing all about this new religion so sincerely, they let me go. The more I heard, the more I felt that this was the truth.
Then an overpowering desire to join this church became so strong that, at the risk of losing all my earthly comforts and leaving my kind parents and home, I knew that I must do this. So I was baptized at Stretford and began secretly making plans to leave with the other Saints for America and the land of Zion. Letting my parents believe that I was going to visit my two aunts in a distant town, I packed my bags; kissed Mother and Father for the last time on this earth, and said a sad goodbye.
I was just twenty-one years old when I left for America and when I arrived at Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1842. I was without relatives or any acquaintances and I did not have a cent of money to my name. "But I knew that these people were my people and their God my God." I felt perfectly at home with the Saints and whenever I was sick, I was always cared for and comforted. Here in Nauvoo I had the privilege of hearing the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, preach the truth with others.
So I embraced the divine command, and some time later of my own free will and choice I entered into plural marriage. The man that I would later meet was John Scott. He was born in Armagh, Ireland, on the 6 May 1811. He and his parents, the Jacob Scott family, immigrated to Canada in 1819. They lived at Ontario at first, later moving to Trafalgar, Canada. Here the Mormon elders found them and gave them the message and the parents and all eight children, some married, were converted and baptized.
John Scott had married Elizabeth Menery and they had one son.
Then the entire Scott family became anxious to join the main body of Saints. They moved to Far West, Missouri, in September 1838, just in time to get in all the terrible persecutions of that time. Then in 1839 John was called with some of the Twelve Apostles to go to England on a mission. He left wife Elizabeth and a son of two years and a year old baby. The Scott family in 1839 left Far West and settled about five miles above Nauvoo, living near the Mississippi River. Jacob Scott was also called to go on a mission in a revelation given to Joseph Smith at Kirtland.
It is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 52, verse 28. But the fondest wish of the Jacob Scott's was not granted - that they might reach Zion. Sarah Warnock Scott died at the age of 62, the 9th of August, 1840, and Jacob died at age 63, January, 1845, and both are buried at Nauvoo. And of the entire Scott family who left Canada for the gospel, only Elizabeth, John Scott and his wives, Mary and Sarah, and children, made the trip across the plains to reach Zion.
When John Scott returned from his mission he heard and accepted the "Doctrine and Revelation on Plural Marriage." I was twenty-four years old when I met him; he later asked me to be his second wife. We were endowed 18 December 1845 and sealed 23 January 1846. Later John married twenty-one year old Sarah Ann Willis as his third wife. John was very industrious and working hard to prepare for the trip across the plains. He also made shoes and mended them for his family.
While waiting to leave for Zion, I washed and ironed the temple clothes in the basement of the Nauvoo Temple. John Scott was a very prominent man in military affairs in the early days. He held the rank of colonel and was in the First Regiment of the Nauvoo Legion. He was also a body guard of the Prophet Joseph Smith and he was one of his best loyal and true friends. He was so dependable, and when the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum were martyred, John went with others to bring their bodies back to Nauvoo.
The mob thought that now they had put an end to the Mormons by killing their leader, but little did they know that there was in reserve another man of God to continue the work and build up the kingdom that will endure forever. At the public burial, only sand was in the caskets as they were deposited in the grave. Later John helped when they were laid to rest at the rear of the home where Joseph Smith had lived. I, Mary Scott, heard and saw the sham trial of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. I saw some of the guilty men pointed out.
Some of them were trying to whittle sticks, but their hands trembled so much that they made little progress. The reason that I was there - I accompanied the young woman who gave her testimony against the murderers. She lived in Warsaw at the time at the hotel, and saw the mob that had tried to wash the black off their faces there, and then ate their supper at the hotel. So she got a good look at them and was able to point them out. But the guilty were not brought to justice. Their crimes were just winked at.
They were allowed to rob us of our homes, and widows and children were turned out of their homes sick and shaking with the ague. They were driven to the banks of the river to starve and die. They had no mercy on young or old. After the Prophet Joseph's death, there was great worry and confusion about who should be the president of the Church. John, Elizabeth, Sarah and I went to the meeting. It was held in the bowery to decide this. We all bore testimonies of the transfiguration of Brigham Young.
While he was speaking, he seemed to have the voice of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We also saw the form of Joseph Smith before us. So there was no doubt in our hearts and minds from then on as to who should be our leader. The Scott family knew unitedly that Brigham Young was the right man in the right place. In 1846 the companies were being organized to start for the Rocky Mountains. March the first were told to be ready to start at noon. We reached the Missouri River about the middle of June.
Then they called for six hundred men to go to Mexico to fight. They thought that by taking all those men the Mormons would be wiped out of existence. Men were selected and, by the middle of July, the Mormon Battalion march began. All plans were now abandoned to leave this year.
We went to Winter Quarters, now called Florence. John was called on a special mission to stay one more year and help prepare all for the trip. Finally on May 30, 1848, John Scott and family started in Heber Kimball's company. John was captain over ten wagons. His company included 662 people, 226 wagons, 150 loose cattle, 25 mules, 737 oxen, 57 horses, 299 chickens, 96 pigs, 52 dogs, 17 cats, 3 hives of bees, 3 doves and 1 squirrel.
Rules of a camp: each had a captain, a captain of the guard, a chaplain and a clerk. All names were enrolled.
1. Noise and confusion will not be allowed after 8:00 p.m.
2. Camp will be called by trumpet for prayer meeting morning and night.
3. Arise at 4:30 a.m.; assemble for prayer at 5:30 a.m.
4. Card playing will not be allowed.
5. Dogs must be tied up at night.
6. Profane language will not be tolerated.
7. Each man will help drive the cattle.
8. Rate of travel for oxen, 3 miles an hour.
(The corral made by wagons will not be broken until all the cattle have been yoked).
John's responsibility for ten wagons made it difficult at times to help his own families. Elizabeth in one wagon had sons 4 and 6 and 11, daughters 8 and 10, and a new baby too. Mary had a son 22 months old and Sarah, 23 years old, had a son 11 months in her arms. Yet here we two women who had been raised in luxury are bravely trying to drive a mule team across the plains holding our babies. We take turns driving. You can just imagine us three women climbing in and out over wagon wheels to cook on the campfire and wash clothes.
We sleep in our camp wagons or on the ground along the swampy river bottoms. John helped a lot before leaving, going among non-Mormons and asking for clothes, bedding and money for those who had everything in the world taken from them. He also converted three people to our gospel. I am now 27 years old and trying hard to be a good wife. We cook in a camp kettle; it is an iron pot with three legs.
It had a heavy lid and could be set right on the beds of coals and biscuits, cornbread or cake could be put in, and then a shovel full of coals was put on top to bake them. Some who had no kettles cooked on hot rocks to do their baking. Some of our meals were just broiled meat and bread. Other times all we had to eat was water gruel (a very thin mush). One wedding dinner on the plains consisted of fresh bread baked in a skillet, fresh butter and a piece of meat.
Milk and cream could be placed in a churn in the morning, and by night you could have a pat of butter by the jolting wagon over rough trails. An English immigrant whose sense of smell had left him due to age, was one day hungrily out looking for food, found a strange animal and killed it. (It was furry and black and white). He skinned it and proudly brought it to camp - a skunk - and to his amazement everyone fled as he approached and for some days he was an outcast.
Our daily exertions made hunger a constant companion. The quantity of food was limited and meals were usually scant. At other times fish was caught in streams and ducks, geese, turkeys, and prairie chickens were shot. The men hunted for buffalo, elk and deer, and these added to our daily diet. Pig weeds, thistles, and other greens were gathered at times and cooked to add variety, and sometimes if several buffalos were shot, the Saints would stop over for a day or two and we cut the meat in strips. This we dried for future meals. In some places an abundance of wild red and black currants and sometimes gooseberries were gratefully gleaned. Some of the children, while walking wore a bag and picked up buffalo chips and sticks to make fires for the evening meals. As soon as we camped, everyone tried to share in the labors. Some carried water and gathered wood for fires. Big high sagebrush was used, and in timber country we burned wood. But all was not desolation on the long journey.
We enjoyed the smell of the pretty wild roses. At some places beautiful wild flowers of all hues could be seen, and we enjoyed the singing of the birds. Young girls tended weary babies until they could be fed and put to sleep. After prayers the camp retired for the night with campfires burning and the lights of lanterns in the wagons, the lowing of the cattle, bleating of the sheep, mingled with the neighing of the horses in the corrals made by the wagons. The howling of coyote and wolves on distant hills and prairies mingled with the half hour cry of the faithful guards, "All is well, all is well,"[could be heard]. Right.
There was always the dread of crossing dangerous streams and rivers, yet many plucky women gathered up their skirts and waded right through them. Sometimes large herds of buffalo crossed our path so many times that at times we had to wait one hour or two while they clumsily lumbered by. And there was always the danger of meeting Indians, some friendly and others hostile and dangerous, and they almost always demanded some of our scant food supply. One day we nearly lost our lives.
"The Scott Family Wagons Surrounded by Savage Indians"
One day due to a delay, our family wagons got separated from the main body of Saints. Suddenly we were completely surrounded by a big band of wild Indians (who enjoyed scalping people just for the fun of it). We sat terrified and motionless with fear, praying silently that we would some way be spared a tragic end. Yelling and shouting wildly, they rode around us. We shook with fear, not daring to move or speak. They came closer and closer. Then they gathered in a big group.
They held a big "Pow Wow;" minutes seemed like hours as we tried to keep our children quiet. They gestured and yelled louder and we grew more frightened as our fate seemed so hopeless. Again I breathed a prayer, "Father, I am so young, will I have to die here on the plains with my family, now that we are so near the end of our journey? Will I never see Zion after I have given my all for my religion? Then some of the Indians slid off their ponies, and as they came nearer we saw a young white man.
He had been captured by them and forced to live with them, but he had recognized John Scott; as a boy he had gone to school with in Canada. He begged and pleaded with the Indians to spare our lives and he finally persuaded them to go away. It was a miracle from God, we always thought after, and today we owe all of our lives to that brave young man's pleading and to our kind Heavenly Father. Once, during our journey, the authorities gave John ten gallons of whiskey to pacify the Indians.
They were on the war path at the time. At last we near the end of the long, long journey as we enter the valley of the mountains and look out over the vast land of Zion. I am dismayed by the very immensity of the view, the boundless silence and to see miles of sagebrush everywhere. Behind us now are the heartaches and many thousands of silent tears that fell on the long unknown trail. I remember my dear home in England, of the flowers and trees and beautiful surroundings at that safe home.
And I am homesick for my dear Mother and Father. But, just as I have covered endless hundreds of miles, so now I will begin work with a renewed faith, begin the task of building a good home in this new wilderness.
AT THE END OF THAT LONG, LONG TRAIL
She sat on the wagon tongue remembering
Her English birthplace far across the sea
Where all the comforts of family living
Had been hers for the asking
Such a loved daughter was she.
In her hands she held a wilted-potted geranium flower.
With luck and tender care the plant had survived
On the ship's long voyage across the ocean
Here at journeys end would she be denied
Of seeing the scarlet geranium bloom some day?
This last link with family and memories so far away.
She had left her all, home and parents, in England
To come to Zion and to live the perfect plan.
Now here she was the long, long trek nearly completed.
Her expressive brown eyes filled with tears remembering that land.
Then she looked down - a miracle was happening
As she held the flower that meant so much to her.
She watched the scarlet flower bud unfold
What had just happened was worth its weight in gold.
Now her faith was strengthened, her hopes rose anew,
A prayer of thanks to heaven was sent
She had new courage to live her life.
Thank you, God, that I was converted and am a Mormon
And am worthy to be John Scott's wife.
By LaRee Barson McCauley
This poem is true. This scarlet geranium was still blooming eighty years later in Clarkston, Utah, in 1928, that treasured slip that Mary Pugh brought in 1848. Slips from it were freely given to many relatives and friends.
Our Scott family of twelve, from John, age 37 years, down to Elizabeth, the baby of 16 months, have arrived today, 24 September 1848, and have settled on the banks of City Creek. Our covered wagons will be our homes until John has time to build us a home. Yes, it is tiresome to climb in and out over the wagon wheels so many times a day.
We are pioneers and in a new country. What happiness and joy it is to meet in Church with all the Saints. It has been pouring rain for hours. Our wagon cover is soggy and leaking, and we have all our brass buckets and pans set around so our bedding and possessions won't get wet. And I have a precious secret - I am expecting my second child. Will it be a boy or girl, or even a twin like me? But! Oh! Is that the stork flying over our wagon? Yes it is, I must tell Sarah and Elizabeth.
All was commotion as the kind wives tried to relocate brass buckets and pans to try to keep the young mother dry. And on rainy 22 May 1849, my dear little daughter was born at 11 a.m. They carefully wrapped her in my nicest petticoat, then wrapped her in my black and red shawl. That shawl is my most treasured possession, as it was my mother's gift to me on my 18th birthday. I carried it carefully across the ocean and then across the plains.
Then as the little new mother looked at baby's tiny wrinkled face, her happiness dimmed. Tears ran down her face as she thought of her dear parents so far away in England. They would never see her precious children. But then a happy thought crossed her mind - she would name her Mary after her mother, yes, she would be named Mary Ellen. How she wished that her mother could know that. She and John Scott were carrying out the tradition of naming the first daughter in the family Mary.
[And her precious little Mary was the fourth Mary on her mother's line. Later this baby would name her baby Mary Eliza and that Mary would name her daughter Mary Eliza. And this brave little pioneer didn't have any idea this rainy day that in 1899 the four Mary's would have their pictures taken in Logan, Utah, and that picture would treasured in our home today as the only one we have for our records and genealogy books. (Comments by LaRee B. McCauley.)]
It finally quit raining on May 22, 1849, and "all was right with the world." My Mary is three months old today and we are moving into our new home at 33 South 7th East. It is a large two story home, spacious enough, for we had three wives and children. John is so proud of it and we are all so happy to be here after so many long months in a wagon.
John Scott is now busy trying to build a school. With his influence and the help of neighbors and many others, they built a good two-room log cabin school. It was about four blocks west of the Scott home and was to be used for school, church and all community affairs. It was named the "Scott School," and John Scott was very proud of their efforts. Mary Pugh Scott was asked to be the first teacher. Her daughter, Mary, was kept home to tend the Scott babies; the older ones went to school.
[Mary was paid with food, grain, wool or anything the pioneers could spare. The school served well for 41 years, then the thriving community needed a larger school, and in 1890, a newer up-to-date brick building was built. It has been remodeled four times. In 1917 an addition was added. It is still called the Scott School and is now used as an exhibit hall for crafts and an arts reference library. The Scott School stands today as a monument, not to an individual, not to a school, but to a way of life of the thrifty pioneer's progress.]
One day at the Scott School, one of Mary Ellen's brothers sneaked a hornet nest into the school. He asked his sister to hold the cone shaped trouble-making thing while he covered it with his hat so the teacher would not punish him. As soon as Mary Ellen took it he hit it with his hat and gave a loud shout, and pandemonium broke loose.
The children were severely stung; poor Mary Ellen was stung the worst of any of them. The boy got several lashings with a willow. Times were so hard, grasshoppers had destroyed nearly everything growing and money was so scarce. Then John Scott was called to go on his second mission to Great Britain the 6th of April, 1855. He was 44 years old. Obeying the call, John left Salt Lake May 7. There were nine sons, the oldest 18 years old, and eight daughters in the home.
There was a pair of twins 10 months old, and I had my third daughter, Lucy, just one month old. We dug roots and sego bulbs and anything to help out with food. Mary Ellen, six years old, and her sister went out each day pulling flax. I wrapped their little hands in rags so the flax would not cut their hands. Mary Ellen earned three dollars and was so happy because there was enough money to buy her her first new dress. All her life she had to wear hand-me-down, cut smaller to fit Mary Ellen, calico dresses.
But I called Mary Ellen in and told her we had three babies in the home and not food to feed them and asked her if I could take her money and walk into Salt Lake, 33 long blocks, and buy flour. Kind-hearted Mary Ellen loved babies so much and could not see them suffer, so thoughtful Mary Ellen told me to use her money. Sarah Ann did fine sewing on men's shirt collars and bosoms for wealthy people and received a few pounds of flour a day.
While on his mission, John went to my parent's home in Stretford to meet Father and to tell him about our three children and that I was well and happy. Mother died in 1853 of a broken heart because I came to America to be one of those terrible Mormons. Father lived seventeen years after Mother went, and died at the age of eighty, June 1, 1870. Father was happy to meet John and he stayed there several times. Father took him through our home and to see my room just as I left it, pictures on the walls, the same.
They walked to Stretford churchyard where Mother and my twin were buried. He divided Mother's things, half for me and half for my brother, Edward's wife. He also sent me 10 pounds. But at home we had a new challenge to meet. Johnston's army was coming to Utah to subdue the Mormons. They took the two older boys to stand guard duty, so we wives and the younger children had to pack our belongings in the wagons again, and we started south with other Saints. It was so hard to leave our good home.
One day they paused to let the tired oxen rest, and six year old Mary Ellen wandered away picking flowers alone, a dangerous thing to do on account of the Indians. A group went to find her and Brigham Young's young Negro servant found her and said, "Don't you cry honey, I'll take you to your mama." Mary Ellen said, "Don't you put your dirty hands on me." She was spanked good for her outburst. Brigham Young sent word to John to come home as quickly as he could to help defend us. He arrived January 19, 1858.
Orson Pratt, Ezra T. Benson, John McKay, John C. Ray and others who had had been in the mission field came with him. Away from home we were destitute for food and clothing, but after the Johnston army scare, we returned home, and with John home things settled down and people began farming again and some raised flax or did anything to earn a living. John knew how to handle Indians, so he was sent often to Southern Utah to quell uprisings. He believed in kindness and feeding them.
The thought treating them kindly was lots better than fighting them. Each Sunday evening one of the Scott wives would care for all of the children and John and the other two wives would walk from 33rd South into Salt Lake to the Tabernacle for meeting. It was my turn to stay home, and after they left a hard rainstorm came up. Mary heard loud knocking at the door. There stood eight very big Indians dripping wet. They asked if they could stay all night on account of the storm.
I wasn't afraid of them and let them come in and spread their blankets all over the kitchen floor. They were weary and soon fast asleep and when John came home he was so amazed and he yelled, "Mary, what in heaven's name have you done?" I quietly pushed him out of the room so he would not wake them. But always after, the Scott's would find a large piece of meat or venison there, and many times beads and trinkets.
Then in 1860 John was 59 years old when he married a 17 year old Esther Yeates and he also moved her family to Millville, Cache County, and she became the mother of seven children. And last he married Angeline Keller, age 16, and she had three children. John had moved back to Mill Creek because Elizabeth, his first wife's, health was so bad. She was a wonderful woman, so kind and gentle to all of the wives and children, always sacrificing for all of them and sharing her love.
The same could be said of all the wives. In 1876 John returned to Millville to settle up his affairs. He caught a cold that resulted in pneumonia and died 16 September 1876 at the age of 65. Funeral services were held in Mill Creek Ward and President John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, and Joseph F. Smith were the speakers. They all spoke of his noble character and told of the good he had done in his life, both in his church activities, two missions to Great Britain, one in 1839 and one in 1855.
They also praised his community accomplishments. He was loved by all that knew him. He has such great faith that he was sent for from far and near to administer to the sick and needy. He left a fine family that will always be an honor to his name.
John Scott's family included his five wives and 36 children, 42 grandchildren.
Elizabeth Menery: 12 children, died age 71 at Mill Creek, widow 10 years
Mary Pugh: 5 children, died age 84 at Salt Lake, widow 29 years
Sarah Willis: 9 children, died age 64 at Mill Creek, widow 14 years
Esther Yeates: 7 children, died age 77 at Millville, widow 46 years
Angeline Keller: 3 children, died age 73 Pineville, Oregon, widow 48 years
All of my daughters named a daughter after me, Mary, but one. So five good women were named after me. When John died leaving me a widow at age 55, my two oldest girls were married. Mary Ellen married Peter S. Barson, 20 October 1869. Six years later Mary Ellen gave her consent and her younger sister, Eliza Ann, age 23, married Peter S. Barson as his second wife. They both moved to Clarkston, Cache County, in 1876. Lucy married David Park in 1877 and they went to Lorenzo, Idaho, to live. Then my only son married Amelia Morgan in 1878. So Vilate, my 17 year old daughter and I were left alone to build a new life. She later married Fred Fowler, who was shortly thereafter killed in an accident, and she was left a very young widow. She married Charles Hilton in 1893 and they lived in Salt Lake City. I enjoyed going to Clarkston to visit Mary Ellen and Eliza and their families. In 1899 we had a four generation picture taken there. I spent my last years at Vilate and Charles Hilton's home. I was cared for with love and devotion.
Mary Pugh Scott was a gentle voiced woman and barely four feet tall. She carried herself with regal air. She was always neat and trim and looked nice in her clothes. She wore her hair parted in the middle, with a neat bob at the back of her head. She passed away 5 November 1905 at the age of 84. Her services were held in the Seventh Ward. All who spoke said what a true Latter-day Saint she had always been. They said what a perfect lady she always was. She gave her all for her religion and church, well with her services in the community. She was laid to rest at the side of her beloved John Scott in the Salt Lake City Cemetery after living in Zion for 63 years.
We love and appreciate our grandmother. I have a record of 500 descendants and there are more. The missionary record in the family is outstanding. Since 1921, 72 have filled missions, seven of the fifth generation. Two are now serving in France and Mexico. They have labored in Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Uruguay and the United States.
This history was compiled by LaRee Barson McCauley, great granddaughter, at the age of 75, from the following documentation:
Letters written by Mary Pugh Scott in Salt Lake in 1877
Stories told to me by my grandmother, Mary Ellen Scott Barson
Life history of Mary Ellen Scott Barson
Life history of John Scott
Dates on Pugh Family, Stretford, England, from John Scott's missionary journal
Notes on Scott School printed in the Deseret News, October 27, 1966