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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1852 (age 17), Utley (Carter), Harriet Temperance

Winter Quarters
Harriet Temperance Utley Carter tells her story: I was born July 11, 1835 in Perry, Alabama. My father was Samuel Utley and my mother Maria Berry Utley. We all belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the spring of 1847 we left our home, took a boat on the Mississippi River and went to Council Bluffs and, with other Saints, went to Winter Quarters on the west bank of the Missouri River. This was a beautiful place. Seven hundred log cabins and one hundred and fifty dugouts were built that Fall and Winter, and some of the people had to live in their wagons. President Young had a flour mill built on the banks of the river.

There was lots of snow and a very cold winter. There was an epidemic of black measles. We lived in a log cabin and father taught school. My little brother, Henry, contracted the measles. He was seven years old, I was twelve and I helped mother and daddy take care of him. He was very sick for three weeks. He died just before Christmas, then my older brother, James fourteen years old took sick. He was sick only a short time when he died, I felt so bad and cried so much I could hardly help mother. My sister Sarah, sixteen years old was very sick all the time James was and she died a few days after he was buried. How terrible it was, so cold and damp. Then my younger brother Jacob, nine years old, was sick only a few days and died. Mother was sick before my sister died but she kept up and helped take care of the children. It seemed like every family around us was having the same kind of trouble. We couldn't get help and there were very few doctors. They seemed helpless with such a terrible epidemic.

My dear mother died just six weeks after my first little brother died. I wanted to go with my mother. I didn't know how I could live without her, but I suppose I had to stay to take care of my baby brother Gabriel, three years old, and help my daddy. He was so sad and discouraged. He taught school there until 1852, when he decided to start west for Utah.

We traveled about two weeks and camped on the banks of the Platte River in Nebraska. There were many people camped there and many were sick with cholera.

Father contracted the disease and when he was very bad, I got in bed with him and said if he had to die I wanted to die, too. He died and was buried there. The people burned all our clothes and bedding. We came from Nebraska with one of the companies.

When we arrived in Salt Lake valley Brother Samuel Turnbow took us to his place and gave us a good home. We lived with them until I was eighteen years old and was married to William Carter November 29, 1853. My husband was the William Carter who came with the first company of Brigham Young into the valley. He drove one of Brigham Young's teams and after entering the valley plowed the first half acre of ground. I had eight children.

[Note: Mrs. McEwan had the privilege of going to Winter Quarters, now Florence. Nebraska with President Grant and about two hundred Church members from Salt Lake to attend the dedication services for the monument erected in the cemetery at that place honoring the thousands who were buried there and on the plains. Mrs. McEwan was given the privilege, with a few others, of unveiling the monument to the valiant band of immigrants who died en route to the valley of the Great Salt Lake.]

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.