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
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
. 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, 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 Lancashire, England . 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 America March
18, 1850, by Samuel Broadbent.
These two sweethearts met and on
23, 1851 (which was Mary Ann’s twenty first birthday), they were
married in Findley Bond, . They were sweethearts all their lives. At the time of their marriage they began
immediately making preparations for the long trip to Yorkshire,
England in the valley of the mountains. Zion
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. England
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
, where people could worship
God the way they chose. America
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 . 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 Liverpool Harbor
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 England , Italy and
Switzerland . The Juventa
was bound for India . 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. Philadelphia,
On the 4th day of May, 1855, the ship cast anchor off
May at the entrance to Delaware Bay. On the 5th of May the boat was
tugged up the Delaware River to . On Philadelphia Tuesday, May 6th, 1855, the emigrants continued
by railroad to , from where 200 proceeded on the
steamboat Equinox and 150 went aboard
the boat Pittsburgh, PA . The Equinox docked at Washington City ,
on St. Louis, Missouri May 17, 1855,
46 days from , then proceeded up the Liverpool, England Missouri river to . Here the Saints landed on the wharf May 28th. Atchison,
A great sickness came upon them in their trip up the
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
and they immediately set out upon the
prairies to “Mormon Grove”, the chief outfitting place, three miles west of 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. Atchison, Kansas
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
, 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. Fort Bridger,
David Hilton walked all the way from
Mary Ann fell ill when leaving Salt Lake and was forced to
lie quietly in the wagon until reaching the valley. Fort
They came down
, through the mountains to Echo Canyon , thence down the canyon to the
valley. After struggles, toils,
hardships, sorrow, tests of spiritual endurance they came into the Valley on Emigration Canyon September 25, 1855, six
months and 25 days after they had left . This
band of Saints was met at Willow Springs in Liverpool,
by the Nauvoo Brass Band, which played sweet strains of music as the tired,
weary emigrants pressed onward to Emigration Canyon Union
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 ).
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. Pioneer Park
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
(March 1953), and
President Young gave him twenty five pounds of wheat. Liberty
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.
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.