Saturday, December 21, 2013

John Elliott, 1825-1885, headstone then and now

Grave of John Elliott - photo taken approx 1895-1900

Grave of John Elliott as it appears currently

This headstone is in the St Peter's church cemetery, in Tankersley, Yorkshire, England.  Originally the stone stood upright, but it has either fallen or was moved to lie flat on the ground.  I'm guessing that mowing the grass is much easier with the headstone laying flat.  See my post from November 6, 2012, to see photos of John Elliott.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Heber James Wilson

Heber James Wilson

Many, many thanks to a distant cousin that I connected with on  She had a photo of Heber James Wilson that I have been looking for for a long, long time.  The image quality isn't very sharp, but it's as good as Lori had, and I'm so grateful that she shared what she had with me.  It's so nice to at least have an idea of his appearance.  Lori's husband is a descendant of Heber James Wilson's 2nd family.  Lori also share a photo of Heber's girls by his 2nd wife.

I'm so grateful that after a lifelong search a photo has surfaced!!!!

Follow Me to Zion

I was so excited when I saw that this book is now published and ready for me to purchase.  I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet, but I will at the next possible opportunity.  Andrew Olsen and Jolene Allphin were in contact with me when they were working on the photos and text.  There is a section in the book dealing with our Mae McEwan Bain Smith family and I provided some histories and  facilitated getting the photo to the authors.  I can't wait to see what they've written!!  They always do a lovely, factual story and the paintings by Julie Rogers add so much.  If you are a Mae McEwan Bain Smith descendant, you will be interested in the book.  Here's a link to the website:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mable Virginia Speirs Hoskins and Mary Ann Hilton Speirs

Mable Virginia Speirs Hoskins and Mary Ann Hilton Speirs

The best birthday gift ever!!!  My mother sent me this picture (which I've never seen before and I wonder where it came from) along with cute quilts that she made for my upcoming birthday.  The two lovely ladies pictured here are my grandmother, Mable Virginia Speirs Hoskins and her mother, my great grandmother, Mary Ann Hilton Speirs.  Such a cool photo and I love the boots the very most!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

John Lyon

John Lyon
If you have 25 minutes to spare, you need to listen to this great audio tribute to John Lyon (my 4th great grandfather).  I especially love to hear the person whose voice narrates John's words - he has a wonderful Scottish brogue which would be accurate for the voice of John Lyon:

John Lyon

John Lyon
Writer, weaver, poet and ardent church worker, John Lyon was born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland on March 4, 1803.  He was the third of four children born to Thomas Lyon and Janet McArthur Lyon.

John’s father, Thomas Lyon, was a Doctor and was Inspector of Hospitals in Britain.  He died in 1812 when John was only nine years old.  John went to live with an Uncle.  His mother died in 1831 in Glasgow.

John had a good education and an intellectual mind which was manifest when he was very young.  He devoted all of his energies to the acquirement of knowledge.  His efforts in the direction of education were so successful that very early in life he had achieved quite a literary reputation through the publication of poems and articles in the local press.
The real commencement of his literary career began, however, when he was engaged as a reporter for a local newspaper.  In 1822 a great stagnation took place in the commercial world, especially was this so in Scotland, where thousands of people were out of work.  The destitution was so widespread that a committee of twelve was appointed to investigate and report upon the worse cases.  John Lyon was appointed to one of these committees, and was requested to draw up a paper on the unparalled destitution prevailing at that time, creating a decided sensation.  From this time on the young reporter had no difficulty in securing employment at his chosen calling.
When a young man of twenty two, John met Janet Thomson, a pretty girl of sixteen.  She was the daughter of Robert Thomson and Janet Lamont and was born on March 15, 1809 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.  The young couple was married February 23, 1826 in Kilmarnock.
John and Janet became the parents of twelve children, six boys and six girls.  John’s earnings as a writer and reporter was not sufficient to keep his large family.  To supplement their income two looms were installed in their home for weaving.  Janet supervised the looms while John gathered material for his writing and for the weaving.  The two oldest children, Thomas and Janet, were trained to work the looms.  Young Janet would much rather weave than help tend the younger children.  She enjoyed talking with her father who always had such interesting things to tell.  Thomas became a proficient weaver.  They made woolen plaids, paisley and tartan.  Their material was in demand as John insisted on perfection in their work.  Paisley seemed to be their specialty and they were reported to be especially beautiful.  Four more looms were added so more help was needed.  George Speirs was hired and he became an expert weaver.  He lived with the family and fell in love with young Janet.  They were married November 15, 1848.
In 1844 John heard elder William Gibson preach the doctrines of “Mormonism” and immediately became convinced of its truth.  He was baptized into the Church March 30, 1844.  In April of 1844 he was ordained an Elder and appointed to preside over the local branch.  Later he was called as a traveling Elder and labored for some time in that capacity, after which he was appointed president of the Worchestershire (England) conference, where he labored for three years.  In 1852 he was called to preside over the Glasgow Conference where he continued one year and was then released to gather to Utah.
During his missionary labors, John Lyon wrote many poems, some of which were published in the Millennial Star.  So favorable were they received that in 1853 just before embarking for America, he published the first volume of poems ever issued by a member of the Mormon Church, under the title of The Harp of Zion.  The book was donated to the Perpetual Emigration Fund and thousands of copies were printed and sold.  Several of the selections in the collection were set to music and included in the early Latter Day Saint’s hymn book and often sung.
John and Janet with children, Ann, John Jr., Lillias, Matthew and Mary, began the final preparations for their journey to America.
On February 21, 1853, they put their first luggage on board the ship International  The ship did not sail until February 28, 1853 because of unfavorable weather.  They were “tugged” out by a steamer for twenty miles and were on their way to a new country and a new way of life.  They encountered the usual early spring storms and at times conditions were very difficult with many being ill.  They sailed from Liverpool to New Orleans.
John wrote in his journal: “We stopped in New Orleans for four days, then started in two companies to St. Louis…..where we arrived eight days thereafter, and the same evening embarked on the Jeannie Dene, and in 24 hours landed in Keokuk all in good health and spirits, and joined the Camp of Israel.”
John and his family immediately began preparations for crossing the plains.  They arrived in Salt Lake City on Friday, September 26, 1853, with the Jacob Gates Company.

They made their home in the 20th Ward where they purchased a full block between First and Second Avenue and F & G Streets.  They had two homes on the block with a large stable.
After his arrival in the Valley, John wrote articles and poems for the Deseret News, Tullidges Utah Magazine, The Mountaineer and other publications.  He also acted as critic of the Salt Lake Theater for several years.  He served for a time as Territorial Librarian under William Carter Staines.  He was ordained a Seventy (37th Quorum) on January 12, 1854.
Three years after coming to the Salt Lake Valley, John married sixteen year old Caroline Holland.  They were the parents of seven children.  For more than thirty years John was Superintendent of the Endowment House in Salt Lake City in which capacity he enjoyed the confidence of all who knew him.  He would wend his way daily, except when detained by illness, to his post in the Endowment House, then located in the northwest corner of the Temple Block.
John Lyon was ordained a Patriarch by President Wilford Woodruff on May 7, 1872.
 He died at the age of eighty six on November 24, 1889, and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery on November 28, 1889.  His tombstone is engraved with the following lines:
                        We’ll meet together yet
                        Where the sun shall never set
                        With a welcome of the hand
                        And a love without regret.

Jane Wilson Madsen

Jane Wilson Madsen
Grandma Anderson (aka Mary Wilson Anderson) had one sister, Jane, whom she called "Jennie".  Jennie was just 18 months older than Mary and the two sisters bore a strong resemblance to each other.  One difference was that Jennie liked nice things and was very proud of her appearance where Mary was more practical. 
Jennie married Orson Perry Madsen and they had one son, Don, born about 1912 and they adopted a daughter, Dorothy, born about 1917. 

Comber Amateur Flute Band

The photo above shows the Comber Amateur Flute Band posed in front of a grand building.  Our Irish cousin, Sam, sent us the photo that I attached  lower in this post and identified the building as the Andrews Memorial Hall, named in honor of Thomas Andrews, the lead designer on the Titanic.  (Thomas Andrews was aboard the Titanic when it hit the iceberg and did perish in the disaster.)  The hall was built in 1914 and according to Sam is still in use today.  Sam also sent the photo of the band to the Comber Historical Society and received this reply back:
Dear Sam

Very many thanks for these pictures. We are always on the lookout for any old images of Comber as they are a priceless record of our past. I know that at least one of the photos is from 1921. The following extract from the Newtownards Chronicle of 10 December 1921 refers to it:

"At the championship contests, under the North of Ireland Bands' Association, in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, the Amateur Flute Band from the "Whiskey Town" won second prize, a bass flute, in the competition open to Intermediate Part Flute Bands (not exceeding 35 players). The band (conductor Mr James Paxton) is to be heartily congratulated on its success, and we hope it will go one better next time"
The "Whiskey Town" was a nickname for the town. At one time it had a very famous Distillery and bottles of "Old Comber Whiskey" were distributed world wide. Any one who has a bottle nowadays would certainly not sell it, as it would be worth quite a lot of money.

William Wallace Stephens-Rexburg postmaster

William Wallace Stephens
(in white shirt at center of photo)
This is the Rexburg post office where William Wallace Stephens was the postmaster for a time.  In the era of this photo, the postmaster's job was a political appointment.  A newly elected official appointed someone else - and thus began the farming career of William Wallace Stephens.  See my post of December 2, 2012, for another (lobby) view of the Rexburg post office.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Comber Amateur Flute Band

Comber Amateur Flute Band
This super photo shows a great band that marched in Comber, Ireland.  Kim's grandfather, John Todd, is the drum major pictured at the far left.  The bass drum player, William Barry, pictured third from left on the front row, is the grandfather of our Irish cousin, Sam.  Kim and Sam share a great-uncle, Robert Barry, who is pictured on the far right of the back row.  Both William and Robert were John's brother-in-laws as he married their sister, Christina.

I so wish I could hear them play!!!!

Anders and Ingrid Anderson

This is one of the few photos of Anders and Ingrid Anderson.  Anders was fairly tall for the time and Ingrid was a very petite woman.  I love the typical Swedish head scarf and the apron on Ingrid, but I wish we could see Anders' face more clearly.

Mae Hoskins Ott

Mae Hoskins Ott
Mae was the youngest sister of my great-grandfather, William Hoskins.    There were 10 children in the family and Mae's mother, Samantha Wilson Hoskins, passed away when Mae was 2 years old.  The father, Thomas Hoskins, couldn't care for all of the children and earn a living too, so the familly was broken apart and many of the younger kids went to live with other families.  Mae went to live with her mother's sister, Margaret Wilson Klopp.  She was raised in Hardin County, Iowa,  and was often far away from her father (he moved to Nebraska), but there were lots of extended family members who still lived in the little town of Robertson, Iowa.  She married Daniel Ott and was living in Spirit Lake, Idaho, in 1910.  Daniel and Mae eventually moved to Spokane where they spent the rest of their lives.  They were the parents of two sons, Daniel Gordon Ott and George William Ott.  Neither of the sons had any children - so there are no living descendants now. Mae passed away in 1930 and her husband, Daniel, lived until 1952. To see another photo of Mae, see the post from December 14, 2012. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chad Stephens

Kim did a facebook post today to honor his father:
Today is my Father's birthday. He would have been 89 years old today. He passed away in 1988 after surgery. He was a pilot, a P.O.W., he was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a father-in-law and an uncle. He was the strongest man I knew, who never complained when he was hurting, which was most of the time. He was also the gentlest man I knew. He was a businessman, a warrior and a Man of God, he treated everyone with respect and dignity. I miss him everyday, especially since I could always talk to him. "My father never told me how to live, he lived and let me watch".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Anderson boys

This photo captures a sweet moment with Grandpa Anderson (Neils Anderson) and his three youngest sons.  They are sitting in the backyard of the family home, probably just taking a little break from the ever-present farm work of summertime.  Grandma's wash is hanging on the line and overalls are the fashion statement of the day.  From left: Russell, Homer's back, Neils, and Ross in the pith helmet (?).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

Another great postcard from my great-grandmother's album.  Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Henry Todd census 1911

1911 Census - Henry Todd family
Kim's grandfather, John Todd, appears on this census as a 17 year old mechanic. His father, Henry Todd, is a carpenter as is David Henry Todd age 19.  (Click on the image to biggie-size).

Alexander Nephi & Amina Raymond Stephens' children

The photo above is of Amina Raymond Stephens with the first three children that she and Alexander Nephi Stephens had.  The children are Almeda Almira Stephens (Meda), William Wallace Stephens (Will - Kim's great grandfather), and Sarah Amina (Sadie).
These are AN and Amina's next three children; Etta Imogene, Alexander Vaness (Alex) and Rebecca.
The couple had two more children:  Umatilla, who passed away as an infant and another daughter, Edna.  You can definitely see a family resemblance between the first three children and the second three. 

William Asa Speirs WWI draft registration

This is the World War I draft registration of my great-grandfather, William Asa Speirs.  He was 2 months shy of his 41st birthday at the time that he registered.  This registration shows his height as medium, build as medium with brown eyes and dark brown hair.  His signature is at the bottom left.  Kinda fun!

 William Asa Speirs also was required to register during World War II.  He was 64 years old at that time - probably not the best soldier material - but a possible candidate if things got too bad.  It looks like the cursive writing is in his own hand.  I'm so glad that things did not get bad enough for Papa Speirs to be drafted!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

George W Hoskins

George W Hoskins
This photo of my grandfather - most likely taken before his father died in 1908 - is so cute.  I love the short pants and knee length stockings.  The suit is pretty spiffy for a little Idaho town in that day and age - it is tailored nicely enough to probably have been store bought and not home made.  What a great photo! 

John Todd naturalization

Kim's grandpa Todd was naturalized in 1941.  Here's a great copy of his certificate.   This certificate mentions a scar on his back.  We are speculating that maybe this would be one of the wounds that he received in the first world war.

Alexander Nephi Stephens

Alexander Nephi Stephens



Alexander Nephi Stephens was born 11 December 1840 in Brown County, Illinois.  He was the 5th child in a family of 12 (9 boys and 3 girls).  His father was John Stephens and his mother Elizabeth Briggs.


John and Elizabeth were converted to the Mormon Church and John was baptized by the prophet Joseph Smith.  He and his wife were endowed in the Nauvoo Temple 6 Feb 1846.


Because of the bitter persecution in July 1846 the Stephens family left Nauvoo and started across the plains to Salt Lake.  Alexander was just 9 years old at this time and much of the journey he walked, as there were several children younger than he was and there was so little room to ride in the two wagons filled with the family possessions.


The Stephens family reached the Salt Lake Valley in October 1849 and after a few days lay over in Salt Lake went on to Ogden where they purchased two city lots on 24th Street near the Weber river, below where Wall avenue is now.  A one-room house was on the one lot and they built another room onto it and so were fairly comfortable for the winter.  In the spring they homesteaded a farm in the Birch Creek area.


In the spring of 1857 President Brigham Young called out the State Militia to prevent Johnson’s Army from entering the Salt Lake Valley.  The federal government was afraid the Mormons in Utah were becoming too well established and successful, so on the pretence they feared a rebellion the sent an army to subdue them.


The father and oldest son Otha were stationed at Echo Canyon to stop the army from entering the valley that way.  Later Alexander Nephi was sent with a group to Lost Creek to prevent entrance from that direction.


Brigham Young felt the Mormons had been persecuted, murdered and robbed in Missouri and Illinois both by mobs and government authorities and now the United States was about to adopt the same course and he and the Mormon people resolved the army could not enter the Salt Lake Valley. They would resist to the death the troops entering the valley.


In 1860 Alexander Nephi married Sarah Ellen Gheen who at that time was only 16 years old.  Her parents had been Quakers but had joined the Latter Day Saint Church.  Alexander Nephi and his young bride rented a small place on 24th Street and Grant Avenue in Ogden where he made a living working in a general merchandise store.  Here three of their children were born -  a boy and two girls.  Eight years after his marriage Alexander’s father gave him a piece of land on the farm and he built a two-room log house with a lean to and a dirt roof.  It was built on a small hill facing the east mountains and just below the hill was a spring of cold water and a little creek.


In this home on January 4th, 1869, a second son, John Andrew, was born and nine days later the mother, Sarah Ellen, passed away.  The mother’s sisters (two of whom had married Heber C. Kimball) took care of the baby and the youngest girl.  Later another sister, a Mrs. Elmer, took them.  The two older children lived with their father’s brother Daniel and his wife.  In August of the same year Alexander Nephi married Amina Raymond and the children were united again.  The children learned to love their new mother and she was very good to them.  She later had two sons and five daughters of her own.


On April 10th 1873, Alexander Nephi married Mary Eames as his third wife.  She was an English girl who with her family had joined the LDS Church and immigrated to America where the settled at Plain City.  Her father contracted diptheria and died about a year after coming here. In order to help provide for the family, Mary did house work for any one who needed her.  She was working in the Stephens home and was just 17 when she met Mr. Stephens and married him.  Later she became the mother of eight children (4 sons and 4 daughters). Four of her children died in infancy.


In March 1879 Lester Herrick and Charles Middleton of the Weber Stake presidency organized a company of saints to settle in Idaho on the Snake River with John K. Poole as president.  Mr. Poole had visited the Snake River Valley with a trapper the year previous and was very desirous to promote settlement there.  He interested the Stephens and Raymond families along with a few others to go to Idaho with him.


When Mr. Stephens and Mr. Raymond arrived at Poole Island, later known as Menan, it was late in March and they each staked a claim on a quarter section.  Then they returned to Ogden to move their families.


Before the family left for the Snake River country Alexander Nephi had the Browning Brothers make him a special gun which he named Sally Ann.  It could shoot either large or small bullets and could fell a deer a half mile away.  This gun was a prized possession and he became an excellent shot with it.  The Stephens family loaded all their possessions in wagons and set out over the trail- like road for their new home.  It was a road easy to trace by the clouds of dust, which hung over it.


As Mary was expecting her fourth baby she was left behind in Ogden until the others could get settled in Idaho.  Her two oldest children (a girl and a boy) had both died before they were three years old.  Her fourth child, a boy, was born in August 1879 and Mary and her two children joined the others in Idaho in November. This boy died in August the following year.


They arrived on their claims on July 2, 1879, after a long, tiresome journey.  Mid-summer was a wonderful time of the year for these settlers to arrive.  Their quarter section of land was well covered with heavy river grass and sage brush higher than a horses head.  In true pioneer spirit they started to fell the cottonwood trees and peel them into logs.  A two-room house was raised in no time and they set about clearing their land.


The early settlers had to do things the hard way.  They had only the most primitive tools to work with.  The land was covered with sagebrush and this had to be cleared off, the ground plowed with a hand plow and leveled before it could be planted.  The crop was planted by hand, a man broadcasting the see.  After the crops were grown they had to be harvested by hand.  The grain was cut with a cradle and tied into bundles by hand.  Later the bundles were threshed by hand using a homemade flail.


Since Alexander Nephi had two families, so was living in polygamy, the government agents were constantly after him.  He hid out whenever he knew any deputies were around and he had to constantly be alert and on the move.  He had a hiding place fixed in one of his homes and all his children were always on the watch for the government agents.  Finally Alexander Nephi and some of his polygamist friends decided to leave the country for a time.  They disguised themselves as trappers and trapped through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  After several months of living this way he returned home and gave himself up.  He was tried and sent to the Idaho penitentiary where he served for six months then was paroled because of good behavior.


Some time later the government decided to allow the Mormons who had more than one wife to continue to live with their first wife without being molested.  They were to provide for their children, and future plural marriage was forbidden. Eventually the persecution quieted down and they were able to work out their own problems.  For many years Alexander Nephi lived quietly enjoying his families and helping build the town of Menan and the church in that area. 


He loved to hunt and fish with his sons.


On November 21st, 1915, Amina passed away in Ogden, Utah, and was buried in the Ogden Cemetery near Sarah Ellen.  January 17, 1916, Alexander Nephi died in Menan and was brought to Ogden and was buried in the Ogden cemetery with his two wives.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

William Asa Speirs

This is a fun photo of my great grandfather, William Asa Speirs, with his dogs.  (The Groucho Marx mustache is the best!!)

Christina Todd Stephens

A lovely photo of my mother-in-law Chrissie.  She must have been engaged to Chad at the time this photo was taken - note the "wings" pin that she is wearing.


This is how the grain was threshed in Thomas, Idaho, in the early part of the last century.  I don't believe that this is my grandfather's threshing outfit, but Neils Anderson owned a threshing machine and went from farm to farm to thresh for the neighbors. The neighbors who couldn't afford to pay for the threshing in cash would give grandpa a share of the crop and so he never lost any money running his threshing business.

Grandpa Anderson once accepted a threshing job in Mackay, Idaho, (which was approximately 78 miles away).  The tractor could only pull the thresher at 11 miles per hour, so it would have taken at least 14 hours to go there and back.

At noon, the woman of the house would provide a wonderful feast for the crew.  It took a long time to prepare only the best food for a hard-working crew of hungry men. 

The story is told of my grandfather (who was a notoriously picky eater) once was threshing for a family who was really, really poor.  At noon, the crew was served a carp and a sucker fish (which are considered to be trash fish that would have been caught locally in the Snake River).  I'm sure that was the best that the family could provide!  Suddenly Grandfather remembered that he needed some oil for the thresher that he must have forgotten to bring from home.  So he escaped having to eat the meal.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

David Hilton and Mary Ann Affleck Hilton

My 3rd great grandparents, David and Mary Ann Affleck Hilton are pictured above.
This photo was taken when they were older, but below are the photos of them at a younger age.  Also see my post of October 29, 2012, for additional information.  The history below was written by an unknown person, but it's especially touching to me to read the part about the family starving during the hard days of food shortage in 1856 in Utah.
Mary Ann Affleck & David Hilton

Mary Ann Affleck Hilton
Mary Ann Affleck Hilton was born October 23, 1830, in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, the daughter of William Preston and Grace Clarke Affleck.
Her parents were righteous, humble, intelligent people.  It was necessary, and not uncommon that Mary at a very young age went to work in the woolen mills factory.  A very severe examination was given to those who went to work so young.  Mary was a short, stocky little girl.  Fearing that she was not tall enough, she took a little box along and without anyone noticing it, she stood on the box and got by with it.  She wound bobbins of wool yarn.
Mary Ann’s parents were converted to the principals of the Latter Day Saints gospel by the early missionaries to England.  Her father, a Scotchman, was the thirteenth male baptized into the church in England.  Mary Ann was baptized in 1845.  Mary Ann’s husband, David Hilton, was born of English parents, David Hilton and Mary Heddark Hilton in Befford, Lancashire, England.  David’s mother       died when he was a small boy.  His father was a dairyman, and was renowned for having the cleanest cow stables in the community.  David went to work in the coal mines when he was a very young boy, and worked at mining until he came to America.  David’s family had been visited by the Mormon missionaries.  They accepted the message they brought.  David was baptized a member of the church on March 18, 1850, by Samuel Broadbent.
David Hilton
These two sweethearts met and on October 23, 1851 (which was Mary Ann’s twenty first birthday), they were married in Findley Bond, Yorkshire, England.  They were sweethearts all their lives.  At the time of their marriage they began immediately making preparations for the long trip to Zion in the valley of the mountains.
In England they had acquired a substantial financial status.  They sold all their earthly belongings except that which they could possibly bring with them and pooled all their finances with the Perpetual Emigration fund, by which all expenses were paid and money refunded to them as was needed when arriving at their destination.
In the spring of 1855 they started the long trek.  They knew nothing of what hardships were to be encountered, but such courage is really inconceivable.  They forded rivers, climbed mountains, walked over the desert wastes, down and up canyons, slept with sky as a roof and mother earth for their beds and never flinched or thought of turning back.  They had committed themselves to the Lord and were thankful to be  able to be going to America, where people could worship God the way they chose.
They went to Liverpool where on March 31st, 1855, they went on board the sailing vessel Juventa prepared and ready to sail the Atlantic Ocean from Liverpool Harbor.  David was registered as a coal miner age 23 year.  Mary Ann 24 years, a daughter, Mary, age 2 and a son, William, one year old.  Erastus Snow had charge of the companies leaving England that year.  Elder William Glover was appointed president of the company, which consisted of 413 adults, 130 children and 25 infants.  There were Saints from Italy, Switzerland and India.  The Juventa was bound for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The voyage was most prosperous.  There was no sickness among the adults, a few measles among the children, but no one died and one child was born.
On the 4th day of May, 1855, the ship cast anchor off Cape May at the entrance to Delaware Bay.  On the 5th of May the boat was tugged up the Delaware River to Philadelphia.  On Tuesday, May 6th, 1855, the emigrants continued by railroad to Pittsburgh, PA, from where 200 proceeded on the steamboat Equinox and 150 went aboard the boat Washington City. The Equinox docked at St. Louis, Missouri, on May 17, 1855, 46 days from Liverpool, England, then proceeded up the Missouri river to Atchison, Kansas.  Here the Saints landed on the wharf May 28th.
A great sickness came upon them in their trip up the Missouri river.  Many of the Saints died.  Among these was David and Mary Ann’s little boy, William.  The boat was stopped ashore and Mary Ann and David said a last farewell and interred the little body on the banks of the great river. 
There were teams and wagons prepared for their arrival in Kansas and they immediately set out upon the prairies to “Mormon Grove”, the chief outfitting place, three miles west of Atchison, Kansas.  Several of the saints were still suffering from the malarial disease that fell upon them, but there was great rejoicing upon the safe arrival of so many of the company.  Days of great preparations took place before leaving Mormon Grove.  David secured a camp wagon and purchased a yoke of oxen.  He also bought a cow which supplied milk for them as they traveled on. Eight companies crossed the plains from there, among them the Richard Ballantyne Co. in which David and Mary Ann and their daughter came.  Provisions were not plentiful but everyone considered the welfare of others and all shared alike.  Flour was rationed one cupful a day for each person.  Mary Ann told of a day that she was indisposed and a good sister granted that she would make some bread dough for her.  She mixed the flour with water in which someone had washed their hands.  It couldn’t be helped, the flour could not be wasted so the bread had to be eaten. 
As the journey proceeded, food became less and less, and it was necessary for the men to hunt wild game to augment the supply.  Grandfather Hilton and Brother Kidgell left the camp at one time on a hunting trip.  They became lost in the wilderness and for two days and a night much anxiety was endured by their families.  The families feared that the men had been captured by Indians or killed by wild animals.  The men in the camp kept fires burning all night and shot guns off at intervals during the day.  Much joy was experienced when they came into camp at the close of the third day.
The company arrived at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, much broken down in spirits, supplies and traveling equipment.  Here it was necessary to remain for several weeks to prepare for the final leg of the great crossing.  All clothing was washed, bedding and traveling equipment repaired ready for the move.
David Hilton walked all the way from Fort Bridger to Salt Lake. Mary Ann fell ill when leaving Fort Bridger and was forced to lie quietly in the wagon until reaching the valley.
They came down Echo Canyon, through the mountains to Emigration Canyon, thence down the canyon to the valley.  After struggles, toils, hardships, sorrow, tests of spiritual endurance they came into the Valley on September 25, 1855, six months and 25 days after they had left Liverpool, England. This band of Saints was met at Willow Springs in Emigration Canyon by the Nauvoo Brass Band, which played sweet strains of music as the tired, weary emigrants pressed onward to Union Square.  All were joyful and thankful to be at the journey’s end.  The Nauvoo Band, all of whom were on horseback, with the United States Flag flying, played “Home Sweet Home”.  One can scarcely imagine what joy, what gratitude must have almost swept them off their feet, as they thanked God for His great love and guidance, as that lovely melody floated over the quietude of their new home.
While the company was corralling, President Brigham Young and his councilors drove on to the Square.  They were highly gratified that so many Saints had successfully endured the great hardships and arrive safely.  There were forty-five wagons, two hundred and twenty oxen, forty-eight cows, three horses and 402 persons in the company.
Six months of tedious struggling journey had greatly depleted the Hilton’s finances by the time they reached this dream home.  Provisions were extremely low that fall of their arrival.  The winter was an extremely hard one.  Lack of food was found among the most fortunate.
When the company in which the Hiltons arrived had been made welcome and necessary arrangements made, Grandfather and his family were taken to Pioneer Square (now known as Pioneer Park).  Here they lived for six weeks in a camp wagon.  A very good friend, Brother Kidgell, his family and David’s family then moved to a cabin.  Here they all lived together until the men brought enough logs from the canyons to build each a cabin.  David built his on the northeast corner of Sixth East and Ninth South Streets.  It was one room with a dirt roof.  Later a cobble rock lean-to was built on the cabin.
Those years were poor and lean for the Hiltons.  Hunger and need of clothing were common experiences.  Homemade tallow candles, button lights (a piece of cloth tied around a button and placed in a saucer of tallow) were used to light the home.  Water had to be carried a great distance or dipped from the stream running down the streets.  Hardships were suffered during the extreme cold winter there, because of lack of food and fuel.
On the 20th of the following April, 1856, Mary Ann gave birth to a baby boy.  He was named David Allen.  For six long weeks before that April morning the Hiltons had had no bread.  Mary Ann longed for bread.  She knew it would give her strength.  A good sister and neighbor was able to bring her one piece of bread each day for a few weeks; in doing so she robbed herself.  David gathered the nettle plants that grew in the valley.  They cooked them and were glad to eat them.
The morning after David Allen was born, Grandfather went seeking nettles.  While digging there, President Brigham Young rode up on his horse, stopped and asked David concerning the welfare of his family.  Grandfather replied that he was the father of a new baby born the day before and that he was gathering nettles for food for the mother.  President Young said, “Come with me.”  They went to the grist mill in what is now Liberty Park (March 1953), and President Young gave him twenty five pounds of wheat.
Hurrying home delighted with his prize, he soon busied himself with an old coffee mill, grinding the wheat to make cakes for Mary Ann.  Oh!  How sweet to the taste of Mary Ann were those little brown cakes, how good to a mouth that had scarcely tasted bread for six long weeks.  Grandfather feared she would founder she ate so many.  Grandmother said, “Oh, David, if I ever get all the bread I want I’ll never ask for butter”.  In later years when more prosperity was theirs, and Mary Ann remarked a desire for the finer things of life, David never failed, in his humorous way, to remind her that she should never ask for “butter”.  She was a very conscientious English lady, with a very happy disposition and very adjustable to circumstances, and very moderate in demands.  She was always the same dear sweetheart for whom he had dug nettles, and when her desire was sincere, she got the “butter”.
Grandfather was employed by Brigham Ellerbeck as a gardener at his palatial home on Brigham Street (now East South Temple).  Later he was employed by John T. Caine, a well-to-do man and general in the United States Army.  During his employment for general Caine, a little boy was born to him and Mary Ann.  Because of their great love for the general they named the new baby John T. Hilton.  David was well paid by Mr. Ellerbeck and General Caine and his family was able to have a few of the pioneer luxuries of those days.  Grandfather then was employed in the church tithing office and remained there until ill health forced him to retire.
On June 20, 1862, the Hiltons went into the Endowment House and received their holy endowments and were sealed for time and eternity in the holy bonds of matrimony.