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Elizabeth Young Bailey

Elizabeth Young Bailey

            A paper prepared by E.M. Humphrey, to be read at a meeting of the “Daughters of Utah Pioneers”, held at the home of President  Malissa Crane, on February 6, 1925 (Salina, Utah)  Revised in 1936 by Alice B. Stay.

            In “Merrie England,” nearly a hundred years ago, a baby girl was born to Isaac and Anna Davis Young. She was their first born and they named her, for “Good Queen Bess,” Elizabeth.  Little did they think that day April 30, 1833 that their tiny daughter born in Bristol, would cross the mighty Atlantic, and help found an empire in the mountains of the United States.

            As she was the eldest of six children, Elizabeth; Ann; Ellen; Caroline; Isaac; and Aaron, she learned to work early.  From the time she was two years old her father, a tanner by trade, would take her to the home of two maiden ladies each morning.  Here she ran errands, threaded needles, dusted chairs, and wiped the “tea things”; until they were scrupulously clean.  One day, she had just dried the tea things, when one of the sisters came into the room.  Observing the child closely, she said: “Elizabeth, did you dry the dishes with that soiled pinafore on?”  “Yes, Ma’am I did,” was the reply.  “Then child, you must don a clean one, and wash them over.”

            They took an interest in her education, helping her in many ways.  Schooling was high and she received little excepting that taught her in Sabbath School and the aid she received from these ladies.

            One evening when she was about 15 years old, her mother and Grandmother Davis persuaded her to go to hear some “Mormon” elders preach; she became interested in the doctrine on the 15th February 1849, she was baptized into the Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints, by Edward Brain and was confirmed by John Rolls.  On the way to be baptized she and Elder Brain saw her father coming towards them.  Elder Brain lowered the umbrella before their faces and walked by without notice.  Elizabeth’s father, Isaac Young joined the Church later.  As he was an expert tradesman, he was advised to immigrate to Utah as early as possible.  He went to Liverpool to sail for America.  All of his luggage was on board the ship “SALUDA” ready to sail, when he was prompted to remove it and wait for the next boat, the “ELLEN MARIA”.  The first boat was on her way to America, it sank before it reached there, with all on board.  In 1852, he sailed from England with the first Company that came with the Perpetual Immigration Fund.  From the Mississippi, he drove an ox team, hitched to a Santa Fe wagon.  In the wagon was the body of an Elder they were bringing home to bury.  Abraham O. Smooth had charge of the Company.  He arrived in Salt Lake, September 3, 1852 and secured work in the tannery of Ira Ames.

            As soon as the father was in America, the rest of the family desired more than ever to go to Zion.  The woman took in washing to get the nessary money.  But they did not forget to attend their local meeting, and here Elizabeth met George Brown Bailey, a likely young man from Bath.  He was a graduate of the College of Bath who had apprenticed himself as a cabinet maker.  He was also a member of the “Mormon Church”.  He was born in Bath on February 15, 1833.  When Elizabeth first saw him at church she always spoke of him as that great long Deacon.  The young people learned to love each other and were quietly married on February 10, 1853 by Elder John Alexander.  The man left his work and came with Elder Alexander to the house; the girl dried her hands of soap suds, and going into the sitting room, they were made man and wife.  Afterwards, each went back to his work.  None of their friends knew that they were married until they were on their way to Zion.

            They left Bristol ten days after they were married and went to Liverpool to wait for a boat to sail.  They waited in Liverpool a month and then sailed for New Orleans.  After six weeks they landed and it was three more weeks going up the Mississippi to Keokux, Iowa.  Thirteen more weeks crossing the plains with the Appleton Harmon Company.  The latter was especially hard on the bride.  She walked much of the way, tried to bake bread with buffalo chiops, feared the Indians, and was terrified each time a stream of water had to be crossed.  She never overcame this aversion to water.  Grandfather Young came out to meet the.  He thought they would be hungry for some fresh vegetables, so he brought some ripe tomatoes with him.  They were the first tomatoes Elizabeth had eaten.  She thought they were the nastiest things she had ever eaten.  Grandfather told her they were Utah Plums.  They reached Salt Lake in October 1853.

            In the summer of 1854, after the Council House was built, many went and were sealed for time and eternity.  Among these were Isaac and Anna Davis Young; and George B. and Elizabeth Young Bailey.  As the last couple named were the youngest present, Brother Heber C. Kimball called them to come first.  So they were sealed for eternity before her parents were.  In September of that year, their first child, whom they named Joseph Hyrum was born.  Shortly after this, Grandfather Young cut his thumb while skinning a poisoned cow; blood poisoning set in, and he died September 26, 1854.

            Grandfather Young with the rest of the men drew a city lot and built a home on it.  Bishop Raliegh came and asked Grandmother to deed the property over to him in exchange for another section of land in another part of the city.  This was after Grandfather’s death.  Grandmother Young turned the deeds over to him but Bishop Raliegh refused to deed any land back to them.  He said, “This property was in payment for the Perpetual Immigration Fund that Isaac Young had used.  Father (George B. Bailey) objected to giving this land up.  So the matter was taken to President Young, who said; - “Let him have it, Brother Bailey, and the Lord will bless you ten fold.”  After seeking this advice father let the man have the lot.  A few days later, as he was going home from work, a man by the name of John Ebbe, asked him if he would like to get a ten acre farm out at Mill Creek, ten miles from the city.  Father answered in the affirmative.  He had to work out a seventy dollar assessment, and had three years to do it in.  They thought that this was a fulfillment of President Young’s words of promise.

            My parents moved out on the land that was covered with sage brush, oak brush, and willows.  In fact, the country was so wild that a deer ran close by the wagon as they were driving along.  In this wagon were all their worldly possessions.  It was also their home, for in it the oldest child learned to walk.  Father made some chairs for a Mister Boket and secured some adobe for a house.  Together they laid up the walls.  Father hauled three large logs to go across the top of them, secured sheeting lumber which he nailed to the logs with square nails or wooden pegs.  The cracks were covered with slabs; and this window-less, floor-less hut was their home.  This was a wonderful improvement over the wagon-box.  There were four holes covered with slabs or sheets that served as windows.  It was a two roomed house with two fire-places and a door that Father made and hung on leather hinges.

            They built the house in 1856.  During the Autumn father’s mother ANN SMITH BAILEY, a sister ELIZABETH, his brother RUEBEN; and a Nephew, WILLIAM LANBORNE, came to the Valley and lived with them.  These extra mouths caused a food shortage in the Bailey home.  In the Spring, the ten acres were planted to wheat, and Father went into Salt Lake to work.  He was no farmer and never learned to be one.  One Sunday, they saw their wheat green and promising; the next Sunday, the ground was absolutely barren.  The grasshoppers had eaten it.  They replanted with corn and squash and both crops matured.  This was very hard year for Mother.  She and her youngest sister gleaned where they could, thrashed and cleaned the grain by hand and ground it in a coffee mill and made it into bread or mush.

            One day a strange woman came to mother and asked if she would trade her squash for a table big enough for four.  Mother needed more tableroom as she had six children.  Mother agreed, and the next day she carried ten squash, one at a time, the length of a ten acre field, and waited for the woman to bring the table.  When she arrived, the table was eighteen inches square and of rough lumber.  Mother let her have the squash and then sat down and cried.  She kept the table however.  At the time of the Reformation President Young told the people that they must repent of all the sins and cleanse themselves of all iniquity, or God would punish them further.  They had already been punished by a shortage of food.  This woman came to Mother and told her that she had mis-represented the table because her children needed the food and she was afraid that Mother would not let her have the squash.

            About this time, Grandmother Young, who lived in the Nineteenth Ward gleaned enough wheat to earn a bushel.  She and her two children walked ten miles to Bishop John Neff’s mill in the mouth of Mill Creek Canyon and had it ground into flour.  Then they carried it down to our house and made cake with saleratus and buttermilk, drank a cup of tea and felt that they had enjoyed a treat.  Mother and Aunt walked part of the way back to town with Grandmother, who had walked about 25 miles that day.

Owner/SourceE. M. Humphrey
Date6 Feb 1925
Linked toElizabeth Young

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