Our Family Legacy
About 1851 the family joined the White Chapel Branch of the L.D.S. church in London and two years later on 4 Feb. 1853, he with his wife, two daughters and two sons, set sail on the boat International and came to America. Mary Ann and Sarah Elizabeth were the daughters.
During the trip across the ocean the weather was rough and terrific storms were encountered. For ten weeks they drifted and tossed upon the waves. At one time the captain lost control of the vessel and all passengers were ordered down into the hull of the ship and locked there. The main mast was blown away and lay out in the ocean. The passengers were very frightened but the captain of the little band of saints buoyed up their spirits and counseled them to be calm, saying that the Lord was with them and would hear and answer their prayers. Soon the storm began to subside and the ship ceased to groan and their journey continued on toward the United States.
In mid ocean the baby Elizabeth was taken very ill and in a few days passed away. She was prepared for burial by the women of the company and with a sack of coal tied to her feet, was lowered into the shark infested waters. At the first sign of illness aboard ship, sharks always followed close by. This sad experience was one grandmother and grandfather could never forget. Two weeks later a baby girl was born to them, somewhat easing their grief. This little girl was named Jane.
The ship sailed around Florida into the Gulf of Mexico and on into New Orleans they changed from the sail boat to a steamship and sailed up the Mississippi River to Kelckek, later know as Council Bluffs. Here they left the water and were assigned to Captain Jacob Gates' Company of Saints. They walked across the plains arriving in Salt Lake 6 Oct. 1853.
There was nothing in Salt Lake at that time that Grandfather could work at to make a living for his family, so they came to Bountiful and settled on the land known as the Walton Farm near the Baskin Ranch - Woods Cross. They lived in a log house having only one room with no windows or door. During this time a Mr. Jackson built a two room house of hand made adobe. Grandfather Day and his family lived in one room and the Jackson family in the other. Two years later Grandfather moved to a home of his own located on the south west corner of the block just west of the Bountiful Tabernacle, still owned by the family.
The early pioneers had a hard time keeping the fires burning, not having matches, they were compelled to rekindle the fires many times a day. One morning when the fire was out it was necessary to go to the nearest neighbor from whose chimney they could see smoke, to obtain a brand of fire. Grandmother Day was called away to help care for a sick neighbor leaving James the oldest son to care for his little sister. He was told to watch the fire and not let it go out. But playing with the children, he did forget and when he saw grandmother returning, James tried to stir up the flames but could not. There was an old powder horn hanging behind the stove and James threw it into the stove. There was a terrific explosion and James being very close was burned about the face and the sight of his left eye was destroyed.
They were very poor as were most all the saints who had given up all they possessed to come to Zion. Milk was indeed a luxury and many times the children walked to Centerville to get it. In the winter with deep snow and ice and the children having no shoes, their footprints were often stained with blood.
In 1858 Johnson's Army into Utah and being counseled by their leaders, the saints were all ready to set fire to their homes should trouble arise. At this time the saints had already started to build the tabernacle and it was to be used by three Bountiful Wards, East, West and South Bountiful. Grandfather helped by hauling adobe by ox team from the yard where they were made by the masons. In 1862 the tabernacle was completed and dedicated by Brigham Young. Grandfather also helped to build the Salt Lake Temple, using his oxen to haul granite from Cottonwood Canyon.
Grandfather married a second wife, Mary Ann. Their home was built and is still standing on the old Wallace Willey farm. It is a small frame house and the land surrounding it was later owned and farmed by a grandson, Brigham Day. He died there just a few years ago.
Grandfather was a strong character with a lovable disposition. He was an able farmer and derived great pleasure from his garden. He excelled in growing unusual herbs and these he prepared, grinding them with mortar and pestle and from them he made a very good ointment or salve which he used in a medicinal way.
He was also a musician of considerable talent, playing the violin which he loved greatly. He was quite a singer and many times in the evening he entertained his children and grandchildren with his music and song.
He was a lover of animals, especially dogs and horses. These he cared for with expert hands. His good horse Sam was his pride and joy and when hitched into the surrey with the fringe on top, he was really proud.
In 1864 a son, Thomas Day was taken ill with what was then called inflammation of the bowels and after a few days he passed away. He was laid to rest in the little cemetery in South Bountiful which has recently been dedicated and a marker put up and is cared for by the D. of P. of that area.
Grandmother Day passed away 21 Nov. 1894 after a severe illness. Grandfather's wife, Mary Ann, then came to live in Grandmother's home but she lived only six weeks and Grandfather was left all alone, but in his energetic way he made a good life for himself for seven years. After an illness he passed away 10 Jul. 1901.
The old home was left standing for several years shaded by three large locust trees which grandfather had planted from seeds. One tree still stands and is truly a magnificent specimen.
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