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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1859 (age 14), Maudsley, Mary S. (Prussia)

To America
I was born Feb. 1, 1845 in Dardeshome, Prussia. My father was Frederick Fuhrmeister (changed to Foremaster) and my mother, Sophia Lindau. I was a twin the other girl died when 3 months old; when I was 1 1/2 years old my parents had a son born to them, then they moved to America, as Father was to be called to his regiment again, rumor of War was in the air and he had served three years before. His uncle gave him the required furlough to Liverpool. I, being sick with measles, the officers placed us in a room to ourselves, where my little brother died and was buried in the sea. When the ship sailed again, the officers did not call for Father's passport, but took us on to America, which was my father's desire. It was a trial to Mother to part with her parents, brother and sisters, ...They were Lutherans in faith, and were honest and humble, God-fearing people...

They landed in Virginia. Father was laid up with a bad hand, which lasted for nearly a year, Mother having to go out to work and take me along to get provisions. But the kind people soon saw into the condition of things and brought many comforts. They never lacked for the necessaries, especially when Father's hand got well and the people found that he was a good mason by trade and always grateful for what he received and willing to return favors.

To Wisconsin
In a few years, four I think, we moved to Milwaukee. There Father got us a small home with a garden attached. In going to Beloit to work to pay for our home, he came across a cousin of his. After paying for our home and being gone a year and a half, and having bargained for another in Beloit, Wisconsin, he came home and sold out and moved again. On the day he came home, Mother was washing. She was hanging up the clothes and I was standing by her, and Father had just sat down on the doorstep when a gun was fired. The bullet struck between me and Mother and the fence. Father was surprised, but Mother explained it to him. The day before a flock of geese had been herded in our garden. Mother coming home got a little switch and switched around the geese, she happened to hit one on the head and killed it, the little girls ran home crying; soon their father came telling Mother that it would prove a dear goose. Not knowing of Father's return, he fired this shot, which of us he intended to hit we never knew. Seeing the direction of the shot, Father went over, but the man had seen him coming and had hidden himself. We were advised to prosecute him, but Father said no, that he should leave that place and would not meddle with the law. So we were preserved again.

We traveled by team, and soon were comfortably situated, with Father working at his trade building culverts for railroads. Here another son was born, Franz Fredrick, who lived seven months, then died. I must not forget to mention that Mother was afflicted with a cramp of the stomach after the birth of this child, and it afflicted her the rest of her days. The cause we never knew. During the time of our stay in this city, a company of men, 12 in member, arrived from Maldenburg bound for California to the new gold fields which they had heard of in their country. Father being a German, they came to board a few days. Being 6 years of age, my curiosity was great to see these men perform many tricks in front of our house. One of them had yellow hair hanging in ringlets on his shoulders, a mustache and whiskers, very tall and a pleasant face. When they were ready to start, he handed a violin and case, and a bundle of clothing to Father, asking if he would take care of them until he returned as he might be glad of them. Father agreed to do so, never thinking he would move nearer west, the way the Saints were traveling, and this same man would lead him to the waters of baptism.

To Iowa
...We moved to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1856. The 4th of July another son, William, was born, but lived two weeks. Here Father settled on a farm, wishing to quit his trade and do farming, but when he became known he could not hide his light, for his work would shine. The Methodists engaged him to build their new church, which was a fine one, Father hiring other masons. Iowa, or the place we were in, was a new place. Father put a small piece of land in grain, corn and garden, which me and Mother tended, and a small patch of potatoes. Our house was a story and a half built of logs, which Father built. It being the custom of the country to get up a bee in raising the logs, and for the carpenter work, Father did mason work.

During this time Father, Mother and I had joined the Methodist faith. The church was five miles away. I went to Sunday School every Sunday, winter and summer. Here I learned to read German. I had always attended the district schools, and it was in the English language, but our parents always spoke their language, till in later years they ceased it in our family altogether. In the winter of 1857 my sister, Martha, was born March 25. The February before, one fine morning Father was making a wood rack when I saw a man coming down the road about 1/2 mile away. It was no uncommon affair as we lived on the public road, that forked at our place, one crossing the Mississippi river the other leading into the country. I told Father this man was the one who had left his things with us. "Oh, no," Father said. I insisted it was him. I said, "Can't you see his curley hair?.... Oh, it is too far off. You can't see." Mother went upstairs by this time, and looked out of the window. "Yes, Fred," she said, "Mary is right, it is him." I must say I believe we were aided in our vision of sight. He came in at the gate, and Father began to believe it was him. He made himself known and Father explained how I had known him so far off. He said I was six years old when he was at our home, now I was twelve. Father inquired how he had made it in California. The young man said he had not been there, that he stopped on the way in Utah, and was sent out as a missionary to preach the gospel,... Father and I believed, and were baptized in Feb. 1857. Mother not being prepared, as Martha was born Mar. 25 following. Father sent Albrand [the missionary] twenty dollars to come with. He went on his way again, while we stayed to sell out to come to Utah. In the meantime, ...Our friends were leaving us, obstacles were placed in our way, yet Father prospered. In making a sale, he got $1250.00, yet he had been offered $1500 before we had joined the Mormons.

To Genoa
So Father made preparation to come to Utah the next spring. He purchased two wagons, two yoke of cattle, 1 span of mules. Wm. Albrand drove one team, he being recalled on account of Johnston's Army coming to Utah, and we started in April 1858, when spring was coming and no bottoms to the roads. Threats were made to tar and feather our Missionary. After a little Father did not tell who we were, if asked where we were bound for said "to California," for the gold excitement was high at that time. It took us from April to June 1858 to travel through Iowa as the roads were bad. As we neared Iowa City we heard of Fuhrmiesters living in that part. We stayed a few days, and here Father traded one mule who had very small feet and always got stuck in a mudhole first, and got a big gray mule. We came across four relatives with their families.

We landed at last at the Missouri River, crossed over to Florence, then on to Genoa, Nebraska. Here Father bought a city lot, 10 acres of land, for which he paid 2 seamless sacks of crackers, for we were provisioned for one year. We had dry beef, rice, bacon, tea, coffee, flour, dry fruit, tallow, lard, Father had killed an ox that weighed 1000 lbs., and pigs. We were comfortably fixed. Father built a two-story frame house, fenced the lot, and put all his land in the next summer and raised a nice crop of corn and buckwheat. The following winter our sister, Isabelle, was born. Mother's health was poor and I was the oldest of our family by 12 years so the work fell mostly to me, and this winter we were preparing again to continue our journey to Utah. Genoa had no flour mill, we had to grind all we ate in a coffee mill until spring, then they got a large corn mill which was run by horsepower. I had to sift every bit for our journey, and I was glad I did not have it to grind on the coffee mill as I had to before.

To Utah
We made another start in May, our first day's travel was crossing the Platte River. Our missionary left us and went with a company from Utah going back as Elders. Here I had to learn to drive 2 yoke of oxen, which I learned so well I could get off and on the wagon when going, and I would jump off, run our two cows ahead a little, then get on again, of course it was level plains. Albert had to drive the cows, he would get tired so we changed off. He was 6 years old then. When there was a bad place Father would come and drive over them, get the mule team over as Mother and baby and Martha were in the wagon. We had another woman passenger along from Genoa, a Mrs. Miller and a girl 10 years old, but she proved a burden to us and was not what she appeared at first. She would take our meal, trade it off at those Trading Posts along the plains, Father at one time set her off at a camping place but our Captain Beckworth persuaded him to take her through, then gave her a lecture. At the Big Mountain, she would not walk as all the women had to get out to get up the mountain, Father took the whip from me and drove, and in lashing the oxen the end struck her across the mouth, her being right back of him calling him all kinds of names, she screamed, and her divorced husband who had come from Salt Lake City to meet her and which had made her bold and mean that morning, came running up with a pistol to settle with Father, but he paid no notice driving along. The Captain soon got there to inquire as to the trouble. The train stopped to rest, and after all was understood it was decided she was in the wrong, and to blame and had just got what she deserved, though Father never intended to strike her. Even Mr. Miller was satisfied.

We got up the Big Mountain, but now the going down; all four wheels were locked with drags behind. None of the womenfolk wanted to ride down, we were all glad to walk down, down. We camped one more night, washed, put on clean clothes to be as presentable as possible next day. Oh, how glad we were when we came off the bench and could see the city, August 3, 1859. We drove to the Union Square and camped till Father could look around. His intentions were to go on a farm. Next day Father hitched up his team, drove in front of the President's office to tithe himself, told Brigham there were two yoke of cattle and he could pick either yoke. Brigham looked them over and said that team has crossed the plains without an oath taken to them. Of course, Father never used oaths, and neither did I, it was "Gee, Haw, Bolley, Buck and Bright." The President asked Father's intentions, but he had got the word somehow of Father being a mason beforehand, and Brigham appointed, or rather counseled him, to work on the Salt Lake Temple, which had been covered. They were then uncovering it again after peace was declared with Uncle Sam's Army, which had gone to Camp Floyd, and some returned to the States. Some met us in Sweet-water as we all had got into the stream. They found we were Mormons, and the oaths they gave vent to did make me shiver, for they felt so sore over their Winters Camp in Echo Canyon they said they felt to finish us right there. But we passed on, our Captain said to travel late to get past their trains before camping, but when we stopped after dark, we found ourselves almost in one of their camps. Our Captain put out guards for teams and camp, and ordered oxen to be brought to camp at 2 o'clock in the morning. Everything was made ready at night, and women did not get up. When daylight came, we had got in the midst of another soldiers" camp. They were very hostile, used very vile words. When we got to their Winter camp, oh, the dead cattle, it surely could be called a boneyard, ox chains, yokes, wagons, acres fenced in made of wagons, or Prairie Schooners as they were called, and stoves. It was rightly called the Flower of Johnston's Army, for they were well provided for. It proved a blessing in disguise for the Saints, all the irons came in useful in early times.

Father bought a home with his remaining teams and wagons, keeping the mule team. In the 12th Ward our bishop was Leonard Hardy and counselor Atwood, the others I forget. We had a nice little orchard. Father then worked on the Salt Lake Temple. Now I left our camping place on the Square, as it was the custom for the people to visit the emigrants and find places for all. I had desired to work out, and was glad Father was not going to farm. Brother David Calder, President Young's head clerk, had engaged me, so I left the camp and it was some little time before I found out where my parents were. I lived in the 20th Ward, and they were in the 12th Ward, which was right opposite of us across the road. Brother Calder, having two wives, I learned something about polygamy. Each had their own rooms, but the dining and parlor were in common. They washed together, and when clothing or cloth came in the house it was divided evenly, if one got shoes the other did. I could not detect any partiality. He always went with both to parties, I of course, taking care of the children. I mention this because of the impression it has as regards polygamy. It seemed so noble, but it was a noble man in this case. One day one of his wives had me go with her to visit her mother, to help carry her child. Sister Hammer lived in the lower part of town. While there, a young man, Henry Maudsley, came in. His mother and Mrs. Hammer had been playmates in England and later neighbors in Nauvoo. He had come in the same year 1859, 21st of July, as we came August 3rd. He remembered me but I had forgotten him. We had both lived in Genoa, Nebraska, he was one of the men who were called to furnish the people with buffalo meat. He found out where Father lived so called on him, and finally drove Father's team on shares, hauling wood from Cottonwood Canyon to Salt Lake City. They furnished Brother Cottam with timber for his furniture shop. He was a friend of Henry's folks in England, and had crossed the Sea with his family for Nauvoo. Our acquaintance ripened into friendship, and in 1860, July 21st, we were married by Bishop Kesler of the 16th Ward.

We moved closer to my parents until the fall of 1861 when Henry took a farm on shares in East Weber. Here my oldest child, a girl, was born the 3rd of August, 1861. We moved the last of December to our farm, and in the Spring of 1862, Henry went to Salt Lake to see the President in regards to the contract he had made. In taking the farm the parties had not filled their agreements, and the President had made out the papers. Brigham Young said for Henry to leave the farm and go south, as there would be a call made at October Conference to settle Dixie. We moved in and lived with Father and Mother. I felt I could not go so far from my parents, I always got so homesick, but Father said "Go Mary. If ever I move I shall come south. You will soon see me with you." So in Nov. of 1862 we moved to St. George. Henry got a lot, paying 40 dollars, and the gun he thought he could never part with which had killed many buffalo and deer. In the Spring of 1863 Henry built a willow shed over our tent and a fireplace in one end, and a place for the wagon box for a bedroom, and got 8 acres of farming land. On the 18th of June, my little Agnes died, not quite two years old. I felt very bad. Hertry got me a chance to go with Brother Parks, Pymm's son-in-law, he was a Mormon Battalion man going up to the Salt Lake City reunion the 17th of July. Here my brother, David, was born the 11th of March of the same year. I helped Mother dry peaches and spun for cloth. Father got roles from the tithing office in November when Emigration came in, and the teams that Dixie had sent across the plains. I went home with them, and Brother Daniel McArthur of St. George was Captain.

That same fall, Father married Mary, and he and Albert came to St. George having bargained off his home but not having received his pay till Spring. Father soon got lots and also a house for the family. Henry and Albert went up in March to Salt Lake for Mother and family, 1864.

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.