Life Sketch of Ruth Wagstaff
Contributor: Tombstone Treasures Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Life sketch of Ruth Wagstaff Jacklin
Ruth Wagstaff Jacklin, daughter of Samuel Wagstaff and Lucy Maria Webb, was born in Caldecot, Bedfordshire, England, December 2, 1847, the third of a family of nine children.
Her father, Samuel Wagstaff, was a farmer and at a somewhat early age was thrown upon his own resources. He knew hard work but through industry and thrift he was able to provide for his family. He was of a religious turn of mind, and sought to find the true religion of the Master, and when the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came to his neighborhood and preached the plan of salvation as restored to the earth again through the Prophet Joseph Smith, his soul rejoiced and he gladly accepted their message and on July 1, 1849, was baptized. The family remained in England for some 13 years before coming to Zion, during which time Brother Wagstaff was active in the church, and for a number of years when other buildings were denied the elders, they held their meetings in his humble home.
Necessity required that all members of the family do their part in earning a livelihood, and Ruth was no exception. She learned to work and had the advantages of very little schooling. What schooling she received was at a school where the girls were taught to braid straw and a chapter in the Bible was read each day. In this way she learned to read print but never learn to write. She met her own stockings as well as stockings for the entire family she also braided straw for the making of hats.
On 25 March, 1858, she was baptized by Thomas Crowley, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
When Ruth was 14 years of age, on April 19, 1862, along with her parents and the following brothers and sisters, David, Amos, Ellen Maria, Isaac, Mary Jane, and Heber J, she left England to gather with the body of the Saints in Utah. They sailed from Liverpool on the sailing vessel “John J. Boiad” and were on the briny deep nine weeks. They landed in New York and proceeded by route railroad to Omaha, via Niagara Falls. At Omaha they took a steamboat up the Missouri River to Florence Nebraska, where they remained a few days waiting for teams to arrive from Utah that they might continue their journey. The church had he wrecked in some small shanties in Florence for the use of the saints who were detained there. Located in one of the shanties a terrific rainstorm came on. The rain ran through the roof as if it were a sieve, and the family always remembered the drenching they got. At last they were ready for the trip. There are things were loaded Elisha Davis’s wagon, with Brother Davis as their teamster. They were assigned to captain Omar Duncan’s company. John, David and Amos many times relieve the Teamsters in the company. Father, mother and the girls walked the entire distance across the plains.
They ended their journey at the old tithing yards, where the City and County building now stands, September 24, 1862, we're Samuel Wagstaff's brother, William, met them, taking them to his home, where the family stayed for 30 days. It was during this time that the Salt Lake Theater was open, and the entire family went to see the opening performance. They also saw Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and others dance the first quadrille on the stage.
The family moved down to American fork to take the Bishop Edward Hunter farm with the exception of Ruth who was employed in the home of her uncle William Wagstaff, for one year, at the end of which time she join the family in American Fork.On 17 April 1865, at the age of 17, Ruth married George Jacklin whom she had first met at Council Bluffs.
George Jacklin, her husband, was born at Whadden, Cambridgeshire, England, on 19 May 1842, the son of John Jacklin and Sarah Goates. His mother died when he was six years of age and some months later his father married Emma Noble.
John Jacklin was an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, having been baptized on July 14, 1848, and when his son George was 14 years of age, he to became a member of the church. The Mormon elders were always welcome in the Jacklin home. Time went on and the desire to immigrate to the land of Zion entered into the hearts and minds of the Jacklin family, but the finances of the family would not permit all to go together, so it was decided that George, who was then a lad of twenty, should go ahead of the others. Accordingly, in the spring of 1862 he embarks on a sailing vessel bound for America, and after a long ocean voyage, he arrived at Council Bluffs where he came in contact with the Wagstaff family and met their daughter Ruth, then a girl of 14, who afterward became his wife.
George drove an ox-team across the plains to pay his way, and arrived in Salt Lake City in October, 1862. The following spring he came to American Fork where he secured employment and again met Ruth Wagstaff whose father was caring for an adjacent farm. An attachment was formed which ripened into love, and on April 17, 1865, George and Ruth were united in marriage and later in March 1868 were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.
The young couple were well fitted for pioneer life. While they had little in the way of worldly goods, they had each been schooled in the college of hard work and economy, and little by little they overcame the obstacles that came their way.
For a short time after their marriage, they lived in a small house in the south part of American Fork. They built their first home, which was a one-room log structure with dirt roof and floor, on Third North between Center and First West Streets where the Shumway home now stands. It was here that four of their children were born Sarah Lucy, Ruth, George (who died in 1882) and John. A little later they build a brick house on the same lot further west, which is still standing and is now owned by Thomas Adamson. In this brick house two more children were born —Ellen Jane and Amos — the latter dying soon after birth.
In 1867, George Jacklin, along with others, homesteaded land north-west of American Fork, and in 1879 moved his wife, Ruth, and the family to this farm where he had constructed a one-room log house. The first winter on the farm was not without its hardships. It was long and cold and the snow piled up deep and froze hard. The family fuel consisted of sagebrush which was piled up west of the house and was covered so deep with the icy snow that it was difficult to get out. With this with sage brush for fuel, it was impossible to make the house comfortable. It was during this time that a new baby girl came to the home. She was named Francis. On account of the unfavorable conditions, the child contracted pneumonia and died the same month of her birth. Four other children were born during their sojourn on the farm— Mary Annie, Hannah, Jemima Fern and Moroni. In the fall of 1897, the family purchased the Isaac Wagstaff home now owned by Charles Chamberlain. This property was afterwards sold and the Jacklin home purchased on Third West Street the present home of John Jacklin.
Ruth Jacklin was a real mother to her children, and a true help-mate to her husband. She was ever on hand to provide for her family. She dried thousands of pounds of fruit and gathered many ground cherries to dry and preserve for winter. She may quantities of butter with which she supplied many families in the community at a price of $.25 per pound, and dressed many hens which she delivered to people at $.25 each to help out the family finances.
During the rearing of her family, sugar was very scarce article, and molasses was the substitute for practically all sweetening purposes, including the making of fruit jam. Ruth not only helped her husband in daily toil, but brought many precious souls into the world, being the mother of 11 children— four boys and seven girls. She was also mother to the children of her husbands second wife, Elizabeth Webb Jacklin, who died leaving three small children — William J, Ernest E., and Martha T, the youngest but three weeks old. These children were treated and cared for as if they were her own children.
Ruth Jacklin endured many hardships, but she made the best of conditions and was never heard to complain at her lot. She is justly entitled to a place among the sturdy pioneer women of Utah.
Her husband died August 13, 1906 and the following year her daughter, Ellen Jane passed to the other side, leaving motherless three children — Vida,Rintha, and James N. Hudson. These children were taken into her home where they remained for some time, James remaining with his grandmother until her death, which occurred at her home in American Fork February 25, 1915.