Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hepworth Families Cross the Plains

     This is Sarah Julia Hepworth the first child of Thomas and Mary Hepworth. She was named after Thomas's mother Sarah and Mary's mother Julia.  Sarah was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England and was fifteen months old when the Hepworth Families started their trek across the plains
     It took two months and nine days to cross the ocean from Liverpool to New Orleans.  From there they would go to Council Bluffs, (also referred as Council Point) Iowa to prepare to cross the plains. Thomas and John being city folk, I'm sure would need instruction on how to 'drive' the four oxen that would pull their wagon that the two families shared.  Two cows were purchased.  They would be at Council Bluffs for three and a half months leaving on 5 Jun 1852 with the John Tidwell Company. 
     The information I have comes from "Trail Excerpt" that others have written about this trek across the plains. Several journal entries mention the Hepworth family.  The one I will be quoting from is the George Kirkman Bowering journal.  It is one of the best journals of all 'trek's across the plains' I have read.  John Tidwell Company 1852 Trail Excerpt's  
     By now Mary and her sister Frances Amelia were at the advanced stages of their pregnancy's.  I can just imagine the discomfort and anxiety of these two women. Cholera is a big concern among the Saints and many of the Hepworth's traveling companions that crossed the sea safely only to have died of Cholera in the Council Bluffs camp.  Also, remember the tragedy of the steamboat Saluda explosion when again Saints they knew would be affected of this awful event.  (See post "Hepworth family lose sight of the shore".)  They  must have been grateful to have one another being so far away from home.  I'm sure all were grateful for their safety and health at this point. 
     The day before leaving Council Bluffs, Frances Amelia gives birth to a son who is named John Fletcher Hepworth. Picture below of John at about seventy years of age.     Thanks to Gina who lives in California.  She is the wife of my third cousin and  posted this picture on facebook.  I have cropped it and will post the full picture at a later date.  This is John and Frances Amelia's second son.  Their first son born Aug 1850  in Barnsley, England died seven months later of pneumonia.  He was named Samuel.  This follows the English pattern of naming children.  "The first son was named after the father's father."
  It is reported "Thomas Hepworth, 6 in family, one wagon, four oxen, two cows, two men fit for duty." On  5 Jun 1852 they set out on their long awaited journey    Below are the RULES of the camp. 
The wagons are divided into groups of fifty and the Hepworth's are in the group headed by Captain Thomas Robbins.   On 7 June the story goes ".......(while in Kanesville, just outside of Council Bluffs) some heavy showers of rain which continued more or less the afternoon, this caused the roads to be muddy, to mend the matter there were many old tree stumps, and sidling places to pass as Father Watton was passing round on of these places with our(Bro. Bowering is writing about this)  wagon it slipped part of the way down the bank of a kind of slew, that ran in the middle of the road, it had to be propped up until some of the luggage was took out.  In company with us was Thomas and John Hepworth with their wagon, they took their wagon past and came to render us assistance in taking our luggage and getting up the wagon, during this a heavy show of rain."  They went a few more miles through mud and water and had to climb a steep hill having to "double team."   They would camp near by the steep hill near timber and it was "very cold."  

     Almost one month later  to the day Mary has her baby, a boy they name Samuel.  On Sam's records throughout his life the birth place is recorded as Council Bluff, Pottawatomie, Iowa.  But in the journal of Mr. Bowering he writes; " July 3rd Saturday.  This morning went 11 3/4 miles arrived at Wood River 12 ft. wide, one foot deep, plenty of timber and a good place to camp.  Banks descending steep and some soft-but good going out.  The road now generally runs from one to two miles distant from the main Platte.  165 3/4 miles from W Qrs. 865 1/2 from GSL.  We had to stay sometime until the Seventh Company had crossed.  At this place the Wife of Thomas Hepworth gave birth to a fine Son.  In about two hours we all got safe over the river. ............."
This certainly supports in the "Life History of Thomas and Mary Hepworth"  by Leroy Brown 
"The wagon train stopped for three hours until the baby was born......." 

     On 2 Sep it is reported......."one cow belonging to Thomas Hepworth lost.  [We] traveled about sixteen miles camped near Black's Fork 6 rods wide 2 feet deep.  Good chance to camp, and a nice place though not much timber.  Had not been long in camp before Thomas Hepworth came in bringing his lost cow."   OH My, such persistence and determination whichs sound familiar in the Tomlinson family. 

     The following list of 'naming the wagons' is one of the most entertaining reading's of Pioneer Journals I have come across.   Just days away from reaching the Salt Lake Territory on 3  Sep 1852  the Capt. Rogers  group of wagons were again divided into two parts.  Hepworth's remaining with Captain T. Robbins.  It was decided to name the wagons.  Note number twelve. 

     When I read about "The Snapping Turtles"  these thoughts went through my mind.  Were they disagreeable just with each other or with everyone? After all they are brothers and sisters and had they just 'had it' with one another?   It was a few years ago when I read this and it awoke my interest so much about the John Hepworth family I spent one year doing research on this family.  After all, the descendants of the Thomas and John are double cousins. Never have I or my cousin Ardyth heard any mention of this family from our grandmother.   I have lots of old pictures of second great-grandfather and mother Hepworth, would the descendants of the John and Amelia Frances have pictures as well?  After my year of newspaper search  2010 I have found lots of information and  I did find and make contact with a descendant of the John side of the family who lives in Salt Lake but, unfortunately does not have information on her second great grand parents.   

     On 15 Sep 1852 the Hepworth's entered the Great Salt Lake Territory. Thomas and Mary may have settled at the Point of the Mountain to farm but, maybe for only a short time because in the 1856 State Census lists Thomas and family are in Tooele Co. in a small settlement named ET after Ezra Taft Benson who built a saw mill there.  Ezra was in the same wagon train as the Hepworth's.  This friendship may be why the Thomas Hepworth  were in Tooele Co. until 1860 when they moved into Salt Lake City according to the 1860 US Census.   Thomas started  butcher shop named "Thomas Hepworth and Sons."  John and Frances Amelia settled in  Salt Lake City, he also worked at a butcher shop just off Main street. 

Stay Tuned....... 


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