Agnes Smith (McDowell) (1819 - 1878)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Ballyhenry, Comber, County Down, Ireland
Death: Died in Randolph, Rich, Utah, USA
Managed by: Della Dale Smith
Last Updated:

About Agnes Smith (McDowell)

Birth: Mar. 17, 1819, Down, Ireland

Death: Mar. 31, 1878, Randolph, Rich County, Utah, USA

Burial: Randolph City Cemetery, Randolph, Rich County, Utah, USA


Agnes McDowell Smith was born March 17, 1819 at Ballyhenry, Comber, County Down, Ireland. Her parents were Elizabeth and Thomas McDowell. She was married to Hugh Smith, son of Jane and Hugh Smith on March 12, 1841 (from the diary of the Methodist Minister who married them). Their first son, William John was born at Ballymalady, County Down, Ireland on September 28, 1842.

They later moved to England and in the following 20 years 10 other children were born. They were Joseph, Hugh, Thomas, Hyrum, Mary Elizabeth, James, Isaac, Agnes, Harry and Elinore.

Spouse:

 

Hugh Smith 1818 - 1900

Children:

 

William John Smith 1842 - 1908

 

Thomas Smith 1847 - 1909


James Smith 1854 - 1929

 

Isaac Smith 1856 - 1931

 

Harry Smith 1860 - 1943


Maintained by: Terry C. Smith

Originally Created by: Gary Thornton

Record added: Nov 09, 2009

Find A Grave Memorial# 44122245

_____________________________

by Phebe Norris Smith

Agnes McDowell Smith was born March 17, 1819 at Ballyhenry, Comber, County Down, Ireland. Her parents were Elizabeth and Thomas McDowell. She was married to Hugh Smith, son of Jane and Hugh Smith on March 12, 1840. Their first son, William John was born at Ballymalady, County Down, Ireland on September 28, 1842.

They later moved to England and in the following 20 years 10 other children were born. They were Joseph, Hugh, Thomas, Hyrum, Mary Elizabeth, James, Isaac, Agnes, Harry and Elinore.

When Orson Pratt and Edward Saunders were preaching in England the Smith family went to some of their meetings and were soon converted to the truth of the latter-day gospel. In April, 1850 Agnes was baptized by Edward Saunders and confirmed the same day by Milo Andrews. Her husband was baptized by Orson Pratt and on January 31, 1851 was ordained an Elder by Orson Pratt. William John was baptized that same year.

The family got along very well in the next 16 years. Agnes was a good manager and homemaker and Hugh was a first class carpenter; he had a little shop near the home. The children played in the shop while the father worked and most of them became handy with carpenter tools. They attended meetings and learned more about the gospel. In the year 1862 Joseph came to Utah and settled in Salt Lake City. Agnes was very anxious to join him but her husband was contented and happy in England and was not interested in moving. William John wanted to go and he and his mother were always making plans. This made Hugh very angry and he had John put in jail for breaking up his home and family. Agnes told him if he put the whole family in jail they would get out and go to Utah. When he found she was so determined he had John released.

Agnes tried every means in her power to persuade her husband to go to Zion but to no avail. She carefully saved every penny she could and borrowed money from the immigration fund and prepared to go. On the morning of April 30, 1866, after her husband had gone to work, she gathered up her belongings and family and embarked on the sailing vessel "John Bright". Hyrum, a lad of 16, slipped away as they were boarding the vessel and went back home to his father. Years afterwards, Edward Sutton, who married a granddaughter, visited them when he was doing missionary work in England. They made him welcome and told him he was welcome to stay as long as he did not mention his religion. Agnes never saw her husband or her son Hyrum again.

Those who made the voyage were William John and his bride, Jane Lorimer, and her daughter Annie (who was the late Annie Simpson Kennedy); Thomas, Mary Elizabeth, James, Isaac, Agnes, Harry, and Elinore, ranging in age from 19 to 3. They were on the waters six weeks and suffered many privations. After landing in New York they made plans for the long and tedious journey by ox team across the plains. John drove a team and no doubt the other boys who were old enough did also.

When they reached Salt Lake City in August of 1866, Joseph had a small log house ready for them to move into. It was on State and Broadway where the Center Theater now stands. He had also bought and stored enough food for the winter but had loaned it to a neighbor who promised to pay it back when the folks arrived. He never did. Joe had always trusted this man as he claimed to be a good Latter-day Saint, and it made him lose faith in the Church. He had planned to take such good care of the family when they arrived but was not able to do so. He didn’t stay in Salt Lake City very long but went to California where he was successful in the mining business. The other boys built a carpenter shop near the home and did repair work or any work they could get to do in order to make a living. Agnes took in sewing as she was an expert seamstress and tailoress.

In 1870 Brigham Young called Agnes and her family to go to Randolph. They came with the second company. The first settlers arrived March 14, 1870. In the first company were Randolph H. Stewart, William West, Wright A. Moore, Robert Pope, John and Joshua Stewart, Wallace Young, William Wilkes, Frank and Henry Robbins, Edwin T. Pope, William A. Pierce, Charles Pope and others with their families. The second company came later in May. They were: Samuel H. Henderson, William Kinnesen, John Cameron, Neils P. Christensen, William Howard, Harvey Harper, Alfred G. Rex, George A. Peart, and others with their families. Agnes came with her children Thomas, Mary Elizabeth, James, Isaac, Agnes, and Harry. William John came up later in the season and brought Annie to stay with her grandmother but he went back and worked at the carpenter trade in Salt Lake City. The family lived in a covered wagon that summer while the boys were getting out logs to build a house. The boys slept under the wagon on the ground.

Picture this little mother and her daughters washing, cooking and ironing for a family of eight in a covered wagon; they rubbed the clothes on a board and used heavy wash tubs made out of barrels sawed in two. I have heard pioneers say they were so heavy it took two women to empty them. The ironing was done with heavy flat irons heated on the cook stove.

Feeding this large family was some problem. The boys fished and hunted for wild game and they ate pig weeds for greens. They surely suffered many privations that first year in Randolph. Agnes' daughter, Mary Elizabeth and Alfred Rex were the first couple married in Randolph according to the ward records.

The boys built their mother the first shingled house in Randolph. They went to the canyon, got out dry logs, sawed them with a cross cut saw, and split them into shingles with a broad ax. The first meeting house was of logs and measured 18 by 24 feet. The pioneers also held school and had dances in this building. In 1877, ten men were called to go to make a road in the south fork of Logan Canyon. Ike and Thom Smith were two of them. They received two dollars a day for their work which was paid by the people of the town. Part of it was in store pay which their mother received. They did the work with ox teams. Later they were called to get out rock for the Logan Temple. James, Thom and Ike took up land under the squatters right; it is now part of the B. Q. Ranch. Jim sold it and moved to Rexburg, Idaho where he married and went into business.

When Eliza R. Snow, General President of the Relief Society, and her First Counselor, Elizabeth Howard, came to Randolph to organize the Relief Society on September 27, 1874, Sarah Tyson was chosen as president and Agnes was set apart as a teacher. Sarah and Agnes came over on the same ship and were fast friends. The Society made quilts for the men working to get out rock for the temple and donated food for the Indians.

After living in Randolph a number of years the family was in quite good circumstances and Agnes wrote to her husband and told him if he would consent to come to Utah that they would send his fare and he would be provided for as long as he lived. He wrote on the back of her letter,"We will meet on that beautiful shore, but never on this earth". That was the only word she ever received from him. Hyrum told Edward Sutton that when his father came home the night the family left for America, he broke down and cried like a baby. He said, “Who will play with the bricks and mortar now my children are gone?" Agnes never ceased to love her husband but she felt she was doing what was right in bringing her family to Zion.

Agnes' life was one of sacrifice and privations. Some of her children left the church and others were very devoted members. Many grandsons and great-grandsons have filled missions and held responsible positions in the Church. Most of her boys succeeded in a business way and were honest in their dealings. Ike kept a store in Randolph for many years and I have heard him say, "If I owe you a penny I want you to have it; and if you owe me one I want you to pay it." He had the first telephone office in Randolph and the first picture show. He also helped bring electricity to the town. William John was a very good carpenter. He worked on the winding stairs of the Salt Lake Temple and on many large buildings in Salt Lake City and Ogden. He also helped to build up Woodruff and Randolph and Paris, Idaho.

Agnes lived only eight years after coming to Randolph so she did not enjoy the conveniences that we have today. She suffered for more than a year with a rose cancer on her knee. Agnes (her daughter, who later married John M. Baxter, President of the Woodruff Stake for many years) was home with her. She and her brothers tenderly cared for their mother, who died March 1, 1878.* I feel that we owe a debt of gratitude to this dear little woman who gave up her husband and home that her children might be brought up in the church and enjoy advantages in education they never could have received in England.

Agnes was buried in the Randolph Cemetery, Rich County, Utah on the East side, near the front gate. ________________________________________________________________________________

by Ruth Smith Jackson, in "Randolph--A Look Back", 1981

     Agnes McDowell was born March 17, 1819, at Ballyhenry, Comber, County Down, Ireland, to James and Elizabeth McDowell. She married Hugh Smith in 1840 and their oldest child, William John Smith, was born September 28, 1842. After that the family moved to England, where ten more children were born: Joseph, Hugh, Thomas, Hyrum, Mary Elizabeth, James, Isaac, Agnes, Harry, and Elinore . Father Hugh and son John were ship builders.
     Elders Orson Pratt and Edward Launders converted the Smiths to the Gospel in 1849/50. In 1862, son Joseph emigrated to Utah, and Agnes felt a great desire to join him, as did his brother, William John. They planned for four years before breaking away, reluctantly leaving her husband behind, as he refused to leave England.   The family sailed to America aboard the "John Bright".
    Sixteen-year-old Hyrum remained in England with his father.   All the others accompanied Agnes McDowell Smith.   Brigham Henry ("B.H.") Roberts, who came on the same ship, wrote, "All the days were not stormy nor all the scenes stamped with sadness. Many of the May days were cloudless and the air balmy. There were frolics on deck, games and group singing, dancing and games for the children.   There were marble games for the boys when the sea was calm. And, of course, there were childish quarrels and children's fist-fights, too. There were 747 souls on board the ship, which landed at Castle Gardens in New York, after having been driven off her course by a severe storm." [1]   After spending five weeks and three days on the rolling decks of a ship on the Atlantic, the group set foot on solid ground June 6, 1866.  
    One account of the Smith story related, "After landing in New York, they made plans for the long and tedious journey by ox team across the plains." [2]   Another account stated: "It was an extremely zigzag and indirect course which this company followed, and it is hard to under-stand how it was that the journey from New York was made up Long Island Sound to New Haven [Conn.], thence to Montreal, Canada, thence up the St. Lawrence River, and thence to Niagara by train.   On this train they were loaded onto cars of the cattle-shipment type. The train stopped on the Niagara Falls bridge and the passengers were allowed to view the falls.
    "The journey was continued to Detroit, through Chicago, then to Quincy, Illinois, on to St. Joseph, Missouri, then up the Missouri to a place called Wyoming, Nebraska, a little to the south of Council Bluffs, where they arrived on June 19, 1866.   Here they met with oxen and mule trains that had been sent from Utah and financed chiefly by the Perpetual Immigration Fund. There were 10 church trains with 10 captains, 456 teamsters, 49 mounted guards, 89 horses, 134 mules, 3,042 oxen, and 397 wagons; and 62 wagons, 30 oxen, and 61 mules were added by purchase.   A month was spent at Wyoming, Nebraska, fitting out the trains.
     "Agnes Smith Baxter, a sister of Isaac Smith, said, 'We left Wyoming, Nebraska, July 13, 1866, in Captain Thomas Ricks' company. Our teamster was Nephi Cowley.   After three months of wagon travel we reached Salt Lake City sometime in October,1866.'   His brother, Joseph Smith, who three or four years previously had migrated to Salt Lake City, met them when they arrived in the old tithing yard.   He took them to a home he had prepared for them and soon they were all seated at a table spread with good food. They were delighted to be  eating at a table, after eating around a campfire for three months." [3]
     In Salt Lake City, the boys built a carpenter shop and Agnes took in sewing; thus they provided for themselves until May, 1870, when President Brigham Young called the family to help settle the fledgling community of Randolph.    William John and Joseph stayed in Salt Lake City.
     Phebe N. Smith wrote: "The family lived in a covered wagon that summer while the boys were getting out logs to build a house.   The boys slept under the wagon on the ground.
     "Picture this little mother and her daughters washing, cooking, and ironing for a family of of eight in a covered wagon; they rubbed the clothes on a board and used heavy tubs made out of barrels sawed in two.   I have heard pioneers say they were so heavy it took two women to empty them.   The ironing was done with heavy flat irons heated on the cookstove.
     "Feeding this large family was some problem. The boys fished and hunted for wild game and they ate pig-weeds for greens. They surely suffered many privations that first year in Randolph. Agnes' daughter, Mary Elizabeth Smith, and Alfred Rex were the first couple married in Randolph, according to the ward records.
    "The boys built their mother the first shingled house in Randolph. They went to the canyon, got out dry logs, sawed them with a cross-cut saw, and split them into shingles with a broad ax...."
    When Eliza R. Snow organized Randolph's Relief Society in 1874, Sarah Tyson was set apart as the president and Agnes Smith became a Relief Society teacher.   Sarah and Agnes had crossed the ocean from England together and were good friends. [4]
    Phebe Smith continued: "After living in Randolph a number of years, the family were in quite good circumstances and Agnes wrote to her husband and told him if he would consent to come to Utah, they would send his fare and he would be provided for as long as he lived. He wrote on the back of her letter, 'We will meet on that beautiful shore, but never on this earth.' That was the only word she ever received from him.   Hyrum Smith [their son] told Edward Sutton [a missionary grandson-in-law] that when his father came home the night the family left for America, he broke down and cried like a baby. He said, 'Who will play with the bricks and mortar now my children are gone?'    Agnes never ceased to love her husband, but she felt she was doing what was right in bringing her family to Zion."
    In 1877, "Ike" and Tom Smith, sons of Agnes, were among those called to help build a road in the South Fork of Logan Canyon.   Paid by members of the ward, they received $2 per day, half of it in "store pay," which they gave to their mother.
   Agnes McDowell Smith died of a "rose cancer on her knee," March 31, 1878.
   A few months after his mother's death, Isaac nearly lost his life.   As told by John M. Baxter: "While I was working [at Nathaniel Hodges' saw and shingle mill west of Meadow- ville], ' lke' Smith, my wife's brother, was dragging logs into the mill with a yoke of oxen.   He was caught between a drag and a tree, whereby his leg was broken in two places, and very badly crushed.
    "After the accident I started on foot to go to Laketown for a doctor, a distance of about twelve miles. When I was about three or four miles from the mill, and while going down a hill through thick quaking asp[en], I suddenly came onto four bears gathered around the carcass of a dead horse; there were two old bears and two young ones .... l ran down that hill like the wind and did not slack my pace until I knew I was out of danger.   Stopping at Meadowville, I borrowed a little saddle pony from Brother Goron, and then went on to Laketown. There I found Dr. Frank Bevans, and told him my errand.   He said he would go right up to the mill. ....When I arrived at Randolph, I made arrangements to take my wife to the mill to nurse her brother. With a wagon and a very old and slow yoke of oxen, I started out the next morning for the mill with all our belongings .... Upon arriving, we learned that the doctor started out for the mill on the evening I called on him; but when he got to where I saw the bears, [they] were still there and would not let him pass.   He went back to Laketown and waited until morning, when he made a new start, taking another man with him. The bears had then left.   ' lke' Smith     had laid and suffered all that time before he got his leg set, and was in very bad condition  when the doctor arrived.
    "We remained at the Hodges' Mill until October.   Ike was sent to Paris, Idaho, to the home of his brother, John Smith, as soon as he could be moved...." [5]
     Taken from Ike Smith's history: "Isaac married Sarah Jane Pendry, of Paris, Idaho, who was also a native of England.
      "lke was a very good businessman. He and his brothers-in-law, John Baxter and Alfred Rex, went into the cattle business. They owned the Pixley Ranch just north of the B. Q. Ranch. In 1887, John Baxter was called on a mission, so they sold the ranch and lke moved to Fossil, Wyoming, where he and his wife ran a hotel and store. He did much to promote the fossil business. From there they moved to Randolph and operated a successful store business for 20 years on Main and Canyon Streets. He freighted all his goods by team from Evanston. He kept a dog for many years--this well-loved dog would always bring in the newspaper for him.
     "He organized the Swan Creek Electric Company and was president of it for many years. He had the first telephone in Randolph, and was promoter and leading owner in building Rich County's first telephone system. He was owner and manager of Randolph's first opera house, and he built the first creamery in Randolph. He owned and operated the first movie theater in the building he had used for a store. He was agent for Buick auto sales and owned the first one in Randolph, using it until his death.
     "lke Smith was mayor of the town of Randolph for one term. He helped promote the building of the Monte Cristo road from Woodruff to Ogden. His first wife, Sarah Jane, died the 29th of October, 1922, and was buried in Paris, Idaho. He married Mary Ann Batty Smith on January 31, 1925.
      "He was honest in all his dealings. If he owed a nickel he wanted to pay it, and if he had one coming to him, he wanted it paid. His policy was to treat everybody right. He died October 10, 1931, in Randolph, at the age of 75." [6]

[1] "Short History of Isaac Smith", submitted by June Smith Beeton.

[2] "Agnes McDowell Smith", by Phebe Norris Smith.

[3] ibid. "Short History of Isaac Smith"

[4] "Agnes McDowell Smith"

[5] John M. Baxter, Life of John M. Baxter (Salt Lake City, Utah; Deseret News Press, 1932), p.25.

[6] ibid. "Short History of Isaac Smith"

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Agnes Smith's Timeline

1819
March 17, 1819
Ballyhenry, Comber, County Down, Ireland
1842
1842
Age 22
1847
September 24, 1847
Age 28
Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
1850
1850
Age 30
1854
1854
Age 34
1856
1856
Age 36
1860
1860
Age 40
1878
March 1, 1878
Age 58
Randolph, Rich, Utah, USA
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