"Our Pioneer Heritage". Kate B. Carter. Volume 13. Adam Sharp Fife. page 395-397. C. 1970 Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL book 979.2 H2c Vol. 13 or fiche 6049787
Contributor: Gina369 Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
I was born the 24th of July 1838 in the town of Clackmannan, Scotland, to Ellen (Helen) Sharp and Adam Fife, their seventh child. My oldest sister Mary and her husband Alex Patterson were the first to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sailing for America in 1847. Two years later my parents with the remainder of their family boarded a sailing boat for America. One of my sisters died with cholera and was buried at sea. We landed in New Orleans and traveled up to St. Louis where we were met by Mary and Alex. We lived in St. Louis two years, making preparations to continue on to Great Salt Lake.
During that time, Jane, the 13th child of my parents, was born. In 1851 the family started with the David Wilkie Company for the Valley. Jane was born in Salt Lake City and Sarah Lewis the 15th, was born in Cedar City, where my parents had been called to help settle in 1853. I was fifteen years of age and my job was to drive the cows. The wagons were ahead, I lagging behind. I looked down a ravine and was startled to see a big Indian looking at me. I took hold of a cow's tail and away we went to catch the wagons.
When we returned to Salt Lake City, my brother and I went to work with the Sharps, quarrying rock from Red Butte Canyon, We used large sled pulled by oxen to drag the large rocks down the canyons. I worked there almost continuously until 1868 although I did some freighting and was was sent on several trips to meet the Saints. I helped to lay the east cornerstone of the temple; the smaller rocks were used to build the rock wall around the square. This wall was completed Tuesday, July 15, 1854.
I met and fell in love with a pretty little girl from England, Comfort Jolly. We were married the 27th day of June 1863. Our first baby, Comfort Jolly, was born May 22nd, 1864, and died the day of her birth. We went to the Endowment House February 16th, 1865. Our second baby was born January 26th, 1868. We named her Mary Ellen, We moved to Hooper, Weber County where two sons were born, Adam Jolly, May 8th, 1872, and William Jolly, October 22nd, 1874. While living there I farmed. Our last four children were born in Clarkston, Cache, Utah, Cecilia Margaret, John Jolly, Joseph Franklin and James Leroy. Comfort's mother Comfort Haliborne Jolly, lived with us. She was quite feeble and we felt we could not take her out to the dry farm; I spent as much time as I could out there but it wasn't enough. Lew Spencer jumped my claim.
I began to quarry rock to build the Clarkston meeting house, finishing in 1877. I always tried to go to meeting when I was home. The meeting house faced east and I usually sat on the south side just under the middle window.
I had been baptized and confirmed by John Sharp July 9th 1846. I was re-baptized July 9, 1878, by O.A. Jensen and confirmed by John Jardine at Clarkston. I worked grading for the railroad, one contract after another, in northern Utah through Montana, Glenn's Ferry, Storrs Ferry, up and down the Snake River. One time, the train going through Swan Lake with my equipment and horse, tipped over; my men really had to work fast to break open the boxcar doors to get the horses out before they were seriously injured. Due to my early exposures and successive bouts with the weather, I developed rheumatism; for a number of years I managed to get around with a cane, but finally the pain became so server I was forced to complete invalidism.
Note: Comfort, wife, described him thus: "Adam Fife was tall, dark complexioned, with big brown eyes, a straight bridged nose and large ears which fastened to the jaw without a lobe. He was very distinguished looking with a straight carriage and walk. He was a lovable, kind man, but retiring. He loved children, holding them, singing to them and telling them stories. He was firm and very quick in giving directions."
Adam Sharp Fife passed away November 17, 1922, at Brigham City and is buried in the city cemetery beside Comfort, his wife and his son, Adam Jolly and wife, Agnes Louisa Fife
Contributed to Daughters of Utah Pioneers, by Vera S. Fife
“CROSSING THE PLAINS ALONE,” As told by Maria Louisa Bingham Campbell
Contributor: Gina369 Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
12-year-old Adam Sharp Fife's younger sister Agnes (Ann) Fife remembered how her big brother had left St. Louis ahead of the rest of the family to cross the Plains. Agnes later told this story to her own children. Likewise Agnes' youngest daughter Maria told it to her grandchildren as follows:
“I might tell you that they (the Adam and Helen Fife family) left Scotland in the spring of 1849..... and two years later they were prepared with oxen and their wagons and supplies, about ready to leave St. Louis for the Salt Lake Valley.
"There was one company that was leaving ahead of the company that Grandfather Fife was planning to go in. The captain of that company came to Grandfather one morning and said, “Brother Fife, you’ve got a large family,” and he said, “I need some help. And I was wondering if you wouldn’t let me take one of your boys with me. That would make one less for you to provide food for, and I need help; I need someone to drive my loose cattle across the plains.”
“Well, Grandfather and Grandmother considered this, and prayed about it. And the next morning they told the captain that they would let their son, Adam, who was twelve years old, go with them.
"Grandmother Fife had two brothers in Salt Lake. They had come the year before. Their names were John and Adam Sharp. And she said, “Now when you get to Salt Lake, you find Uncle John and Uncle Adam, and you stay with them until we get there.”
“So, that was all planned, and Adam Fife, who was my mother’s older brother, was to go with this company and was to help this captain to herd his loose cattle so he could earn his food that way, crossing the plains.
“Well, as they traveled across the plains..... there were many delays and break downs and what have you, as the pioneers all suffered in those early days.
"Finally one morning the captain came to Uncle Adam and he said, “Well Adam, you’ll have to bundle up your things and find some other way to finish your trip across, to Utah. Because my provisions are running low, I don’t think I’ll have enough to take us all to Utah. You’ll have to find another way.”
“Well that poor boy. What would he do? He was only twelve years old, and he never had a relative in the company. He didn’t know what to do. He bundled up his few items of clothing and walked away from the wagon. Finally he and sat down on a wagon tongue, and was crying.
“As he sat there, a woman came along with a shawl around her shoulders, and she said “Well, my little lad, what are you feeling so blue about this morning?”
“And he told her, that the captain had told him that he couldn’t take him any farther..... and that his people were all back in St. Louis; he had no one in the company to go to.
“And she said, ‘Well, my boy, don’t you cry.’ She said, ‘You dry your tears and come with me. I’m a widow lady, but as long as my provisions hold out, we’ll share with you to the last crust. You come along and go with me.’
“So Uncle Adam came with that woman into the Salt Lake Valley. And after he got here he found Uncle Adam and Uncle John Sharp. However, the first day out, she bundled him a little piece of bread, whatever she had of provisions, so he’d have a noon lunch, and she said, ‘Now you go and look for your Uncles. And if you can’t find them, you come back to me.’
“And so that first day out, Uncle Adam hunted, but he couldn’t find them. So he came back to her that night. Then the next morning she repeated the same. As he went searching the second day, he found them. And so he didn’t go back to her for awhile. And when he did go back to look for her, she had moved on farther south, and he never did see her again.
“Well, when the company that Grandpa Fife and his family was coming in was out east of the mountains there somewhere, one of Grandfather’s oxen got real sick. They were so near to Salt Lake, Grandfather said to the captain of the company, ‘You go on with the company. Don’t wait for me. My family and I will stay here tonight and then we’ll come on tomorrow as soon as the ox is able to travel.’
“And so, the company came on into Salt Lake without Grandpa Fife's family, and of course Uncle Adam was anxiously waiting for them. He greeted the captain, who told him that his family wouldn’t be in till the next day.
"So, the next day, the old ox was well enough that they could come along, but it wasn’t very good. And as they came down through Immigration Canyon and out, I imagine in my mind, about the spot where the THIS IS THE PLACE monument is.... any of you children that’ve been down there, you know where it is.
“Mother said they came out on a flat place where they could look all over the Salt Lake Valley, and see the beautiful blue lake shimmering in the sunshine in the west.... sagebrush everywhere they looked, but they couldn’t see any houses.
"By this time the Saints had log cabins, which didn’t show up very much in the tall sagebrush scattered here and there in the valley. And Grandmother said, ‘It looks like there are some dug outs along the foothills way to the south. Maybe we’ll have to go there.’
“Grandfather Fife said, ‘This ox could never go that far. It’s too near done out.’ He said, ‘We’ll just have to stay here, if that’s the case.’
“And just then my mother, the little five year old girl, said 'Oh, mother! I can see somebody coming!' and they looked to the north.
"And here was a boy coming, as hard as he could run, dodging around the big sagebrush, jumping over the small ones. And grandmother said, 'Oh, it’s my boy.... it’s Adam.' And mother said, always, to her dying day, I can remember, she said 'I will never forget that greeting.... as my mother met her boy.... and the boy met the rest of us.' She said it was a wonderful reunion. Well, they went on and settled in the valley, Salt Lake Valley.”
[Agnes told this story many times to her children. Her youngest daughter, Maria L. B. Campbell, told it to her own grandchildren in about 1966 and it was recorded. It is copied here from the audio recording. Agnes’ parents were Adam and Ellen (Helen) Sharp Fife of Clackmannanshire, Scotland.]