BIOGRAPHY OF SARAH ANN FAIRBANKS
Contributor: SunnyATB Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Sarah Ann Fairbanks was born 22 April 1853 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake,Utah Territory to John Boylston and Sarah Van Wagoner Fairbanks. Her father was born 28 April 1817 in Sand Hill, Montgomery, New York. Her mother was born 11 July 1822 in Pompton Plains, Bergen, New Jersey. When John was nine years old he moved with his parents to New Jersey. When he was 15 years old, he went to work as a clerk in a store. The LDS missionaries visited Fort Mead where he worked. He heard the gospel message and was baptized by John Leach into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 16 March 1843 at the age of 25. Her mother was baptized as a child but was later rebaptized because of lack of dates.
Her parents were married on 31 August 1844 in Pompton Plains, Bergen, New Jersey. Shortly after his marriage he and his wife and a group of relatives left to join the Saints in Nauvoo. Their first child John Joseph was born and died 27 June 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock,Illinois.
While they were in Nauvoo, he helped in building the Nauvoo Temple.
Her family traveled with the Saints to the Salt Lake valley with the Jedediah M. Grant/Willard Snow Company departing on 19 June with 160 individuals in the company. The family consisted of her father John Boylston, age 20, her mother Sarah VanWagoner age 25, Susan Jane, baby, her sister Mary Jane age six, his brother William Henry age seven, his grandmother Polly Brooks Fairbanks, age 67, his father’s brother David age 37 and his wife, Susanna Fairbanks, age 27. John’s daughter Harriet was just an infant. She was born 27 November 1846 at Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska.
John Boylston Fairbanks was a captain of ten and left a journal of their experiences as they came across the plains. They were not the only company traveling west at that time. There were probably 7-8 companies and lots of confusion and trials were experienced because of such a mass exodus.
From his journal, “Tuesday 22 June 1847 they rolled westward up the Platte River to where the road touches the River again. Parley P. Pratts Company started in front going double file. There was artillery on the right of Parley’s Company. Elder Taylor’s Company was next in double file on the right of artillery. Captain Grant’s Company was in the rear of Parleys in double file. Captain Smoot’s Company was in the rear of Tailors in double file, the first 50 occupying the left and the second on the right hand of road.
On 26 June their company was in the back of the companies, and it was very dusty. About 11:00 the wind shifted and it helped a great deal. On the 28 they were near a Pawnee Village which had been burned in the fall by the Indians. It was now a missionary station.
On 11 July they were able to kill two or three buffalo calves from a herd of about 5,000. The buffalo stampeded upsetting several wagons and scattering the cattle. After hunting for the animals, unable to find them; their loses amounted to 51 head, 40 work cattle and nine cows. By the 23 July they met a group of Sioux Indians, who were armed and made up in regular battle order with a flag for war or peace. When they found the pioneers were friendly,they visited with the men, women, and children, trying to trade a few muskets.
They reached Fort Laramie by 7 August, watered the animals and rested. By the 9 August they were in a heavy rainstorm. They had a little snow storm on the 17 August. The feed for the animals was very poor and very little water. They reached the Saleratus Lakes by 27 August and took in what they wanted before rolling on six miles to the Sweetwater River. It was a beautiful stream. Several of the oxen died in this area,probably from the Saleratus Lakes. They were at Independence Rock on the 29 August.
Captain Grant had the company equalize their load so they could move forward as they reached the mountains. From there they could see the Wind River Mountains were covered with snow. President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball met and spoke with the companies as they stopped on their way back to Winter Quarters.
They crossed the Big Sandy and the Little Sandy on the 12 and 13 of September. The feed was excellent. By the 20 September they were on Ham’s Fork. It was very hot and dusty. Two days later they were at Fort Bridger. Sunday 3 October they repaired and rolled on down the canyon, turn to right after the last mountain, camped at the foot of the mountain and picked some service berries. They made it to the Great Salt Lake valley on 4 October 1847.”
Her father built a home in Salt Lake City and he served as a clerk of the First Ward. Early in 1851 he moved his family to Payson,Utah, Utah Territory where he remained for the rest of his life.
John and Sarah had eleven children. John Joseph was born and died on 27 June 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. Harriet was born 27 November 1846 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska. Henry was the first of their family to be born in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory. The family then moved to Payson, Payson, Utah Territory. Nathaniel was born 2 August 1851 in Payson, Utah, Utah Territory and died 6 August 1859 in Payson. He had just turned eight. Sarah Ann was born 10 August 1857 and she died 10 August 1857 in Payson, Utah,Utah Territory. She was just four years old. She would not get to know her brothers and sisters in this life. Mary was born 18 February 1858; Alicia was born 6 April 1860; Lillie Maria was born 22 August 1862; Franklin was born 2 June 1865; and George A. was born 26 January 1869.
Her father died 14 May 1875 at the age of 58 in Payson and was buried 16 May 1875 in Payson, Utah, Utah Territory. Her mother died 8 February 1898 at the age of 75 in Payson and was buried 10 February 1898 in Payson, Utah, Utah Territory.