Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1868 (age 9), Boshard, Marie (Switzerland)

Marie Boshard was born February 24, 1859, at Wildburg, Zurich, Switzerland, the ninth child in a family of ten children, whose parents were Casper and Elizabeth Traskler Boshard. Her father was a successful farmer and they owned land and a comfortable home near which were two large arbors where grew a variety of grapes. Nearby was a beautiful flower garden. The farm was located some distance from the city and Marie had to walk two miles daily to and from school in the city.

The children, who were all musicians, inherited the inclinations from their mother. Mrs. Boshard and her family became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the two oldest brothers never came to Utah. While the father never joined the Church, he did not oppose his wife and children in their religious affiliations. The Mormon missionaries were made to feel welcome when they visited the Boshard home, and were always treated with the utmost courtesy.

When Mr. Boshard's health began to fail, his wife promised him she would not leave for Utah as long as he lived. He died in 1864. Soon thereafter the mother began preparations and in 1868, when Marie was but nine years old, the farm and home were disposed of at great sacrifice, and with five of her living children, Elizabeth immigrated to Utah. The little family sailed on the packet ship Constitution, one of the last sailing vessels to carry any large company of Saints over the Atlantic Ocean.

The privations of sailing the ocean caused Marie to cry for a piece of bread. Her mother, who was an excellent cook, had baked bread and pastry for her large family in a brick oven built by Mr. Boshard in Switzerland, there being no stoves at that early date. The hardtack that was provided on the ship was too hard for a girl of Marie's tender age to eat, hence she was continually hungry during the crossing. She later remarked: "I just could not eat it."

The family was met at Benton [Wyoming] by Jacob, Marie's brother, who, with his sister, Barbara, had emigrated to Utah in 1866. Jacob brought to Benton a large basket of ripe peaches. They must have been very inviting to the hungry girl for she later said, "I never tasted anything so good. Since, I have had many delicious peaches, but none of them have ever tasted like the ones Jacob brought when he came to meet us at Benton." They traveled on to Provo, Utah, where Jacob and Barbara had made their home and here the mother lived until death took her in 1897. At the age of eleven, Marie contracted typhoid fever.

One of Brigham Young's wives, Eliza Burgess Young, was living in Provo then and she had but one child, a little boy. Marie Boshard was a very pretty girl with blue eyes, an abundance of blonde hair and a lovely complexion. Eliza Young had taken a fancy to her and asked Marie's mother to allow Marie to come and live with her. Elizabeth consented, and Marie went to live with Eliza Young, whose house was on the corner of First South and University Avenue. Later, Mrs. Young's family moved to Salt Lake City and Marie accompanied them and lived in the Lion House where she was treated as one of the Young family.

After the death of Brigham Young in 1877, Marie returned to Provo to make her home with her mother. She followed a nursing career for a short time and then engaged in making burial clothes for the dead, donating her time to those in distressed circumstances. Subsequently she obtained employment in the Provo Woolen Mills, but the noise and clatter of the machinery irritated her sensitive nerves, so she took employment as a clerk in the East Co-op Store and worked there until her brother, J. R. Boshard, opened his own grocery store on West Center Street in Provo, where she assisted him as a clerk until the store closed.

Marie became an American citizen through the naturalization process October 9, 1897, and in the same year was employed in the Provo Courthouse. Her ability as a business woman was soon recognized, and in 1898 she was appointed City Treasurer by Mayor Holbrock and was reappointed one year later by Mayor S. S. Jones, completing another two terms under him. Marie was the first woman in Provo City to act as its treasurer, serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations until in later years her vision became impaired.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.