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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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1846-7, Crow, Robert (Mississippi Saints)

Pueblo (1846); Utah (1847)
Robert Crow was born in Greenville, Tennessee, June 22, 1794, the son of Benjamin and Ann Crow. His wife was Betsy Elisabeth Brown, cousin of John Brown. Her father was Captain Benjamin Brown who served through the American Revolution. They were the parents of nine children, all born before they joined the Mississippi Saints at Independence, Missouri. Prior to this time the Crow family had made their home in Perry county, Illinois having joined the Mormon Church in June, 1838. After wintering in Pueblo they joined the main pioneer company under the direction of Brigham Young at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. The children who accompanied them were:

Benjamin, the eldest son, was born April 5, 1824. He married Harriet Blunt who came to the valley with him. Later he married Lucinda Adair. They resided for a time in Santa Clara, Utah. He died May 13, 1897 in Bingham county, Idaho leaving a large family.

Walter Hamilton, the second son, was born June 8, 1826. He married Mary Jane Stewart after coming to the valley. They lived in Washington county, Utah. He was baptized into the church in early boyhood and was active in church work until the time of his death at the age of eighty years. He was the father of nine children, his wife and four children having preceded him in death. He died May 15, 1906 at Woodville, Bingham county, Idaho.

John McHenry, according to our records, died in Clover Valley, Nevada in 1894. He never married.

William Parker, born about 1830, made his home in Placer county, California. His wife's name was Charlotte. He was a successful rancher, and it is supposed he died and was buried in Placer Valley.

Matilda Jane married George Therlkill. It was to this family that the first tragedy in the valley came when Milton Howard, their three year old son, was drowned in City Creek; while the second birth in the valley was a daughter born to them whom they named Harriet Ann. The child later became Mrs. Scott and made her home in Auburn, California.

Isa Vinda Exene and her twin sister Ira Minda Almarene accompanied their father to Utah. Isa became the wife of James Charles Humphries. She died in Oregon August 15, 1851, leaving a daughter born March 1, 1851 in Vancouver, Canada. The child's name was Fidela Elizabeth. Ira Minda married Francis M. Hamblin in Santa Clara, April 16, 1859. She died in childbirth January 1, 1860 and was buried in Santa Clara.

Elizabeth Jane, the youngest daughter, made her home in Auburn, California.

The report of the Crow family joining the pioneer company follows:

"On Tuesday, June 1st, the pioneers under President Brigham Young first sighted Fort Laramie. President Young accompanied by Brothers Kimball, Woodruff and Clayton arrived on the east bank of the North Platte River. They saw some men approaching from the west on the opposite bank of the stream. In the meantime Luke S. Johnson arrived at the camping place with his boat-wagon accompanied by others who had traveled ahead of the main company. The boat was launched and Luke S. Johnson, John Brown, Joseph Matthews and Porter Rockwell crossed the river to greet the party waiting for them on the opposite bank. They soon learned that they were a part of the Mississippi Saints who had wintered at Pueblo and had traveled from that place to Fort Laramie, hoping to meet the pioneers. Robert Crow and his son-in-law, George W. Therlkill, accompanied the brethren to meet President Young and his party. They reported that they had been in Fort Laramie two weeks. Great joy reigned in the camp when Brother Crow and Therlkill brought definite news from the Mormon Battalion detachment and of the other members of their own party.

"After visiting with the Mississippi Saints who were in the camp close to the fort, President Young and some of the brethren went inside Fort Laramie and met James Bordeaux, the principal man in the fort. He was a Frenchman and willingly answered the questions put to him by President Young. During the two weeks the Crow family lived at the fort they learned that it was approximately 168 x 116 feet with eighteen rooms, six on the east, six on the west, three on the north and three on the south. These rooms were occupied as stores, blacksmith shop and dwellings. They learned that a pair of moccasins sold for $1.00; shirting and calico sold for $1.00 per yard and flour sold for 25 cents per pound. Cows cost from $15.00 to $20.00; horses and ponies $40.00 each on an average, and buffalo robes sold from $3.00 to $5.00 each. There was no sugar, coffee or spices in the store as the spring supplies had not as yet arrived at the fort. The fort blacksmith shop was on the south side of the west entrance. There were several dwellings inside the fort besides those of Mr. Bordeaux. The south end was divided off and occupied by stables, etc. There were quite a number of people at the fort mostly French, half breeds and a few Sioux Indians. Mr. Crow was informed that the distance from Fort Laramie to Fort Bridger was three hundred and fifty miles.

It was decided that Amasa Lyman should accompany Thomas Woolsey, John H. Tippetts and Roswell Stevens to meet the remainder of the Mississippi Saints, and the detachment of the Mormon Battalion and hurry them to Laramie that they might follow the tracks of the pioneer company. Letters of authority were dispatched to Captain James Brown of the Mormon Battalion and to Thomas Dowdle the presiding Elder at Pueblo.

Again we read: "June 1st. En route to Utah: We were joined today by the Robert Crow company of Mississippi and Illinois Saints, who had wintered at Pueblo. They joined the second division. The Crow company is made up of seventeen persons, as follows: Robert Crow, Elizabeth Crow, Benjamin B. Crow, Harriet Crow, Elizabeth Jane Crow, John McHenry Crow, William H. Crow, William Parker Crow, Isa Vinda Exene Crow, Ira Minda Almarene Crow, George W. Therlkill, Matilda Jane Therlkill, Milton Howard Therlkill, James William Therlkill, Archibald Little, James Chesney and Lewis B. Myers.

"The little company had five wagons, one cart, 11 horses, 24 oxen, 22 cows, three bulls and seven calves. With this addition of seventeen persons less the four men who started yesterday with letters for Pueblo, our band now contains 161 souls.

"With the addition of the Crow company animals and the changes in our animal count, we left Fort Laramie with 95 horses, 51 mules, 100 head of oxen, 41 cows, three bulls, seven calves, some dogs and chickens, 77 wagons and one cart.

Circleville, Piute Co.
April 2, 1897
Mr. Spencer Clawson:
President of the Pioneer Jubilee

Dear Sir:
We have a pioneer in this place, Mr. Waiter H. Crow. Mr. Crow drove the 5th wagon into Salt Lake Valley July 21st, 1847. It was his sister, Mrs. Therlkill's child who was drowned in City Creek the first death in the valley.

Mr. Crow is now seventy years old and quite feeble.

(Signed) H. A. Chaffin
Original DUP Files.

Some doubt as to his being a "47 Pioneer existed in the minds of the semi-centennial celebration committee as the following second letter shows.

Circleville, Utah,
June 15, 1897
Mr. Spencer Clawson:

Dear Sir:
I drop you a line in behalf of Walter H. Crow one of the pioneers. Mr. Crow was one of the company that wintered at Pueblo in the winter of 1846 and joined the pioneer company near Fort Laramie. Mr. Crow is now seventy-one years of age. He came into the valley in company with his father, Robert Crow, his brother, B. B. Crow, John M. Crow, William P. Crow and his brother-in-law, George Therlkill. It was Mr. Crow's grandson, son of George Therlkill, who was drowned in City Creek a short time after their arrival

Mr. Crow was with the number sent ahead with Orson Pratt and was with the first to enter the valley on the morning of the the 22nd of July, 1847 and from what his brother and father have told me he drove the fifth wagon. Mr. Crow got the impression that he came in on the 17th. I do not know but in talking with him I find that he remembers that Joseph Egbert drove it, the first wagon, Mr. Pratt's carriage as he calls it. I asked him who drove that first wagon. It was Orson Pratt's and Joseph Egbert drove it.

I have known Mr. Crow for over thirty years and I know he was one of the pioneers not only from his family but from others. The late Bishop Weiler has often talked to me about him, also W. A. Smoot at Sugar House Ward,. among others of the early pioneers. Mr. Crow was always known as Ham or Hammy Crow, his name being Walter Hamilton Crow. In conclusion will say there is no doubt of his being one of the pioneers and I think it would be a great wrong to deprive him of the privileges given the other pioneers as his rights are in every way equal to any. If additional evidence is necessary I can produce plenty of it.

Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience.

Most respectfully yours,
(Signed) Henry A. Chaffin
Original DUP files.

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.