Martha Ann Riste
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
Martha Ann Riste
John Richards and Mary Goodacre lived in England about 1700. They had two children, Hyrum and Mary. John was a very rich man as was his son Hyrum, also. The other child, Mary, was born September 20 1799 in England, married Feb 5 1822, in England, and died Oct 11 1885 in Santaquin, Utah.
At the age of 23 Mary married James Thomas Riste. He was a bricklayer. Mary's father (John Richards) was very much opposed to her marriage to James because of his financial setting. This union was blessed with five children, as follows: James, who died at the age of 21, Myrah, Hyrum, Lavina and Martha Ann.
Martha was born in Derby, Derbyshire England on 23 Sept 1840. When the Mormon missionaries went to England they met and converted James and Mary and two of the girls, Lavina and Martha Ann, and they were baptized. Martha Ann was baptized February 13, 1852. Later the brother, Hyrum joined the church but never did come to America. The older sister Myrah, never did join the church, due to the opposition of her husband who was very bitter and opposed to the Mormons. He did not even allow her to go to her mothers home and threatened her life if she ever made contact with her family or the missionaries.
At some time in her life, Martha sang for Queen Victoria in England, when she did so she was required to go in on her knees. Later, she also sang with others, went on several occasions with the Mormon Elders to sing at their meetings. Sarah Ann Wilson Norton remembers that she had a very beautiful voice and loved to sing.
Mary's father, John Richards, and her brother tried to get Mary and James Thomas Riste to forsake their religion and stay in their native land, but James Thomas came to America and worked to send money to bring his family. During the year before they could join their husband and father, Mary's father, John Richards died. The day the will was read, Mary went to her fathers house with Martha and Lavinah. In the study where the will was to be read, all the family and close friends were seated on straight backed chairs. At the large desk sat a lawyers in his frills and cuffs and square lensed glasses. As the will was read all eyes were turned to Mary and her daughters. The will stated “if Mary would give up her religion and stay in England that she would have half the estate”. Her brother replied, “Mary, if you will stay you can have it all, as Ann and I have all we will ever need.”As the lawyer finished every one waited in silence for Mary's answer. Finally Mary jumped to her feet and cried, “Let my father keep his money. I'm going to America”.
Mary and her daughters had to work to help earn their money for their trip to go to America, so the did washing and baking to raise money.
Mary and her two youngest daughters, Lavina and Martha Ann, sailed for American on the Ship Juventa and arrived in New York harbor some time in 1855, after a long tiresome and stormy six weeks on the ocean. The captain who had spent his life on the ocean, said it was the worst storm he had ever seen and also that if it had not been for the Mormons and their prayers, the ship would surely have gone down.
During the trip, Martha Ann fell, striking her back on a large pole. She spent the rest of her voyage in bed. She never did fully recover from this incident. Being on the ocean longer than they expected they were short of food, so the captain had it rationed.
They arrived in New York and headed west. They were in the Milo Andrus Company that left Aug 4 1855 from the outfitting area of Mormon Grove, Kansas and arrived in SLC on October 24 1855. The captain was very hateful and strict with the saints. Mary was getting older and failing in health, so the trip was rather hard for her as she had to walk most of the way. Martha told later how Mary had to tie a rope around her waist and then to the back of the wagon when they crossed the Mississippi and other large rivers to keep them from being washed away and drown. The girls, Lavina and Martha Ann walked all the way across the plains to Utah. AS many of the pioneer women did, this mother and daughters would walk each day and pick up buffalo chips and carry in their big aprons to burn on the fire at night. In the evenings when they would often sing, Martha often was asked by the group to sing her inspiring songs.
They came with the assistance of "The Perpetual Emigration Fund".
James had left England earlier in 1853 on the ship Falcon, to come to Utah and prepare for his family to join them. He had settled in Santaquin, so Mary and her daughters went to him. Here the girls met two lonely bachelors, Eli Openshaw and George Deliverance Wilson. Lavina married Eli Openshaw and Martha Ann fell in love with and married George D Wilson on September 21, 1856, when she was 16 and he was 49.
This union was blessed with eleven children: Mary, 1857; George, 1858; Martha, 1860; James William, 1862; Deliverance3, 1864; Jessie, 1867; Levinah, 1870; David, 1872; John, 1876; Sarah Ann 1878; and Almera (Ella), 1880.
Martha Ann was a hard worker and a good manager. But she had a hard life. Besides raising a large family, they were called on by the church authorities to move from one settlement to another to help get it started, then they were on the move again. Her first two children were born in Santaquin, the next two in Mt Pleasant, one in Monroe, one in Scipio, one in St. Joseph, Nevada, later called Overton (and they also lived in West Point Nevada); one in Panguitch, and the last 3 in Hillsdale. So it is plain to see that she had a hard life.
At one time Martha had become so weary of the pattern of their lives she felt that she could not continue any longer, and when her husband started talking of moving again, she rebelled and in her quaint English dialect, she stormed, “George, if you go, you'll go alone, fo' I shan't go with you. I'm not a goin' to pick up an' leave our 'ome and drag our children off in the back woods again.”
Then as he made no comment and gave no argument, she repeated “I shan't go with you. If you go, you'll go alone George”. He still said nothing, but went about getting ready to leave and after teams and wagons were all ready, he came into the house and started gathering up his clothes and personal belonging. She watched him sadly and when convinced that he was really going, penitently said, “George 'ave you got a good place fixed for my box?” And they were off once more.
Of her faith, courage, patience, resourcefulness, frugality and above all, her humorous happy disposition, no one can give an account. As she traveled from place to place with her small children, at times short of food and clothing and herself very uncomfortable (to say the least) leaving one home to go to start from scratch again every couple of years, dragging her children with her struggling to protect them from the elements until another shelter could be built to stay in while George built yet another sawmill. He was dedicated to fulfill his mission to build Zion by building sawmills to help the saints to be able to found and build new settlements. He was determined to follow the prophet and fulfill that assignment, in spite of the tremendous adversity that created for his family. How grateful this writer is for their example of “Faith in every Footstep”.
When George D Wilson was 80 years old, he passed away early in the morning on October 18, 1887, after calling some of his children to get the work started, he sat down in his char to read scriptures and slipped away, leaving Martha a widow at 47 with 9 children still in the home to finish raising alone. Those children all grew to maturity. Her daughter, Martha, never married and remained with her mother and took care of her until she passed away on Oct 8 1915 at the old home in Hillsdale, Garfield County, Utah. She had lived twenty eight years after husband had gone, and was now laid to rest at his side, in the Hillsdale Cemetery.
History of Mary Richards Riste - by Levinah Elizabeth Allen Brooks 1965
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
History of Mary Richards Riste
Pioneer of the year 1855
Company arrived with 8th Company of Captain Miles Andrus Date 24 Oct. 1855
Born 26 September 1799 East Leek, Nottingham, England
Died 11 October 1884 Santaquin, Utah
Married James Riste Date 5 February 1822
History written by Levinah Elizabeth Allen Brooks Date 5 October 1965
Submitted by Levinah Elizabeth Allen Brooks Date October 1965
Camp Historian Chloe M. McLoid
Name of Camp Mt. View
Country Historian Minnie B. Blazer
Name of County No. Davis
This copy is made available through the courtesy of the International Society
DAUGHTERS OF UTAH PIONEERS
may not be reproduced for monetary gain
Pioneer: Mary Richards Riste
Arrival: 24 October 1855
Mary Richards was born 20 Sept. 1799, in East Leek, Nottingham, England. Her parents were wealthy. The children of the family had good educations and were musically inclined.
Mary fell in love and married James Riste, a mason, son of Thomas and Mary Pass Riste. They were married on 5 Feb. 1822. Mary’s parents felt as if she had married beneath her station, but they tolerated it.
When the gospel was taken to England, Mary and James embraced the gospel. Mary’s parents disowned her, she was told that she would get no part of the inheritance. As the Riste family were not financially able to come to America all at one time, James took what money they had and sailed on the “Falcon”, in 1853.
When he got to Utah, he was sent to Santaquin as a mason. Mary and her two daughters sought work although they had every comfort previous to 1852. Before they sailed to America, her brother Hyrum Richards came to her and told her if she would forsake the gospel she would have all her father’s inheritance, as he needed none of it, as he was a wealthy man at that time. Of course she turned down his offer.
Mary and her daughters sailed from England in 1855, sailed on the ship, “Junita”. While on the ocean, they encountered many hardships, storms, and were followed by sharks. During one of the storms, Mary was thrown from her bunk and hurt her back, she was bed fast for the rest of the ocean trip. The old captain had crossed the ocean for 20 years and said, “This ship would have done down if it hadn’t been for so many Mormons aboard and their faith and prayers.”
When Mary and her daughters crossed the plains, they had many hardships. She would not walk as long as many of the other women did. They crossed the plains in the 8th company of Captain Milo Andrus, arriving in the valley on the 24th of October, 1855. Mary went on to Santaquin and met her husband. Here she helped with learning and music. Her two daughters married in due time. Levinah married Owen Openshaw, they settled in Santaquin. Martha Ann, my grandmother, married George Deliverance Wilson. They were called many places to help settle the area. My mother was born while they were on a mission to the Muddy Valley (St. Joseph, Nevada).
Mary Richards Riste died on the 11th of October, 1884, in Santaquin, Utah. Before her death, her brother Hyrum wrote her asking her to forsake the gospel and come back and get her inheritance.
Written by: Levinah Elizabeth Allen Brooks