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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1866 (age 14), Crane, Henry

I, Henry Crane, was born on the 12th of April, 1852, at Pulham North Green, County of Norfolk, England, son of John and Sarah Stannard Crane. My early life was spent in that quiet part of the county. In 1855, my parents moved to Coldgate and there I first attended Sunday School in the little Methodist Chapel. Being born of good parents, I was early taught to be honest and truthful, and also to believe that there was a God, and that it was my duty to love and fear Him. I afterwards attended the National School and Sunday School at the church in Pulham Market.

Soon after I was 7 years old I went to work on a farm and followed that kind of work till I was 11 years old. I then worked one summer at brick making with a man by the name of Phillip Woodard, but I did not like that work. I worked at it all summer and became quite an expert at setting them off, with the two small boards. I next went to work for a man by the name of William Reeve, a bricklayer. I liked that much better, and as he was a good man to work for, was very pleased with the change....

In the year 1860, my parents moved to Pulham Market Street and soon afterwards became acquainted with John Bullock, who was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He taught the gospel to them and in December, 1861, my parents were baptized into and became members of the Church, and on June 18, 1862, I was baptized with two brothers and one sister, all of the family that were then old enough. I was just ten years old. Some others also joined the church, and we had a nice branch in Pulham Market. But my parents soon got the spirit of gathering and early in May 1866, they sold out all their earthly possessions and started for North America, to find a home among that much despised people called Latter-day Saints.

To America (No Deaths)
We left Pulham Market on the morning of the 21st of May, 1866, and arrived in London at noon. We were met at the station by Elder C. W. Penrose, who was then President of the London Conference. We stayed in London three days, and on the 24th of May we left the docks in the good ship American Congress, and sailed away across the great Atlantic. We were on board just seven weeks. We had some rough weather, and lots of contrary wind to contend with. There was but very little sickness, and no deaths occurred on the journey, which was quite remarkable among so many; there being three or four hundred people on board. After a long and tiresome voyage, we arrived in New York harbour on the morning of July 4th, as that was a holiday we had to remain on board until the next day. We had a splendid view of the fireworks that night from the ship as we lay in the harbour.

To Wyoming, Nebraska
The next day towards evening we went ashore and then went aboard one of the large river steamers which took us up the Hudson River to New Haven, where we arrived early in the morning, then took the train to St. Joseph on the Missouri River, where we arrived after about five days and nights on the train and laying around in cattle cars and in railroad sheds. We then went on board a steamboat and steamed up the river to a small place called Wyoming, the outfitting place then of the Church teams. We landed and had our first taste of camp life, also our first taste of real freedom and you may be sure we boys enjoyed it, and were glad to have the chance to run around again, after having been on the ship and train for eight weeks.

Guiding a Cow across the Plains
We remained on the banks of the Missouri for about two weeks, and while there my father bought a cow, appointed me to take charge and drive her across the plains, a task that I succeeded in doing, taking her into Salt Lake City in good condition after traveling over one thousand miles and being milked every day. We left the Missouri River on July 24th to cross the plains. It was quite sport at first, for a few days at least, to go on ahead of the train of wagons in the morning, but it soon lost its novelty after we had been at it for a week or two. There were in the train between eighty and ninety wagons, with from three to four yoke of oxen to a wagon, and when we were traveling reached about a mile in length and so we wended our way, day after day towards the setting sun....

70-Day Trip; Brother Died
My parents had the misfortune to lose one of their children. The youngest boy of the family. He was sickened soon after we left home and slowly pined away until we neared Fort Bridger. When we stopped for dinner one day, he passed away. We carried him until night and then buried him by the roadside and next morning left him there alone. After many ups and downs, and many trials and privations, we arrived in Great Salt Lake City on Sept. 28, 1866, in fair condition, having been traveling just seventy days. All were enjoying pretty good health except Mother, who with the care of the family and fatigue of the journey was nearly worn out.

Adapting to a New Home
We were strangers in a strange land, and a hard winter coming on, but through the blessings of the Lord and the kindness of the Saints we did not suffer for the real necessities of life, but the comforts were few. Soon after our arrival in the city, I went to work for Job Smith, a basket maker, but I did not like that kind of work, it was too much like being in prison for me. I had always been used to being in the open air and could not stand to be shut up in a little shop all day, so I went to live with my parents and my brother, Arthur. We cut the wood for a large family to pay the rent for the house we lived in. In the spring of 1867 I hired out to a man by the name of Moon, to work on a farm. He was to board and clothe me, and send me to school in the wintertime, but it was very little schooling that I got; he gave a few lessons at home, that was all the schooling I had. I worked for him about fourteen months, and all I got in the shape of clothing was one pair of shoes. In June 1868, the Great Union Pacific Railroad was commenced in Echo Canyon, and I left Mr. Moon to join a company from Sugar House Ward who were going to Echo to work on the railroad. This company was lead by James Crane. He was quite a friend of the family being of the same name, and was one of the first that we became acquainted with in the City after our arrival.

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.