Almira Mehitable Whiting (Meacham)
|Birthplace:||Hopkinton, Saint Lawrence, New York, USA|
|Death:||Died in San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California, USA|
Daughter of Stephen Peabody Meacham and Dorothy Maria Meacham
|Managed by:||Private User|
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About Almira Mehitable Whiting
Biographical Summary #1:
"...Almira Mehitable Meacham Whiting (1824-1898) was born the 13th day of May, 1824 at Hopkinton, St. Lawrence, New York. She was the 4th of 11 children born to Stephen Peabody Meacham and Dorothy Maria Ransom of Rochester and Franklin, Vermont.
When the Saints were forced to leave their comfortable homes in Kirtland, Ohio, they took only bedding, clothing and their valuables with them, and went to Far West, Missouri. They were only there a short time when mobs of angry men came and drove them out and burned their homes. They were compelled to flee, and they went on to Lima to join the Saints there. A Mr. Morley was president of the branch. Here they could worship without so much persecution. On January 3rd, 1845, Almira Meacham married Edwin Whiting, entering into the law of plural marriage as his second wife. Elizabeth Tillotson was the first wife. Almira respected her as the head of the household. Almira’s first husband was Andrew Palmer, by whom she had one son. Edwin and Almira had seven children born to them, 3 girls and 4 boys. At Lima, they were happy for several years in building up the town of Nauvoo, and the Nauvoo Temple. In the year 1846, Edwin went on a mission to Pennsylvania and upon his return, he took up arms with his brethren to protect his property and the lives of his family. When they were compelled to move west, they went as far as Mt. Pisgah, Iowa. They stayed here long enough to prepare for the journey across the plains. While at this place, the cholera spread through the community taking Edwin’s father, mother, and daughter, Emily Jane. A great many were ill at the same time. A monument has been erected in memory of those who died at this place. In April 1849, they started westward in Ezra F. Benson’s Company. The journey was long and tiring. They suffered from lack of proper food and clothing. Their cattle were stampeded and stolen by the Indians. After reaching the Black Hills, a heavy snow storm came and for three days they could not go on. Many of their cattle died. President Brigham Young sent men and teams with provisions to relieve their suffering. The company of Pioneers arrived in Salt Lake City late in the fall of 1849. They stayed here a short time until they were called with a few other families to go on and settle on the Sanpitch River, now known as Manti, Sanpete County, Utah. They honored the call of President Young and started on the journey south. They had to build the roads as they went and after three weeks of traveling and hardships, they arrived in the valley on the first day of December, 1849. They had very little food or clothing with no feed for their cattle and no shelter. The weather was cold with four feet of snow on the ground. They made dugouts to live in on the south side of the stone quarry, beneath where the Manti Temple now stands. As the winter was long and hard, most of the cows and oxen died from cold and hunger. The Indians came and begged continually from their scanty supply of food. They had to divide in order to keep peace with them. Brigham Young had promised to send supplies but none came. In February, Edwin and Orvil Cox started to Salt Lake on snowshoes, with a little parched corn for food, to report the condition of the people. Aid was immediately sent from Salt Lake to relieve the starving people. In the month of May of 1850, rattle snakes came out of the rocks in great numbers, invading the humble dugouts, coiled in the beds, cupboards and by the fire-place, yet no one was harmed. For several years, very little was raised and they lived through hardship and poverty. Many times they had to dig sego lilies or gather wild greens for food. The Indians became so hostile that it was necessary to build a stone fort for the protection of the settlers. All of the LDS families lived inside of this wall in small log houses. The large gate was kept locked. Outside the Indians were howling night and day over their dead as many were dying of starvation. When the men went to the fields to work or to the canyon for wood, they carried their muzzle loading rifles with them. Among their experiences was the grasshopper war, all having to join in the fight in order to exterminate the pests. Nothing was wasted in those days. Children went barefooted until cold weather came, and even the wood ashes were emptied into a large hopper and water poured on top of them to trickle through a small opening in the bottom of the hopper to be used as weak lye for the making of soft soap, and to soften the wash water. They raised broom corn and manufactured their own brooms. Sugar cane was grown to supply them with molasses (sorghum). The tops were used for chicken feed and seed. They raised flax which was treated and woven into cloth. Field corn was made into coarse corn meal, the whole kernel being used. The grain was cut by hand with a cradle, bound into bundles by hand and threshed by placing the bundles on a space of ground which had been smoothed off, then they would drive some of the oxen around and around over the bundles until the kernels of grain were shelled out. It was next winnowed out by hand with the assistance of the wind. The heads of wheat left in the fields by the reapers were gleaned and tied into small bundles by the children. The wool from their sheep was carded and spun by hand into yarn for stockings and mittens, and finer yarn for weaving into linsey sheets and clothing. The girls were all taught to card, spin, knit and weave. All the old clothing was woven into rugs and carpets. On Christmas night, Grandmother (Almira Meacham Whiting) would make some dough sweetened with molasses. She would roll and cut this into dolls and animal shapes and fry them to a crispy brown. These with some parched corn and sticky molasses candy were used to fill the Christmas stockings hanging in a row on the crude stone mantle. Almira was a splendid cook and seamstress. She made most of their clothing. When the men’s pants wore out on the seat and knees, she would “fox” them. This was done by cutting into an artistic shape a piece of buckskin or heavy cloth which she sewed onto the right side of the knees and seat of the pants. The pants were sometimes made of buckskin with fringe on the outside seam. If they were unfortunate enough to be out in a rain storm with these pants on, they would shrink up and would have to be stretched to the proper length. The women wore home-spun dresses, shawls and hoods. Hats were made by making a braid out of oat straw and sewing and shaping it to fit the head. At that time it seemed unwise to go outside in the winter time without a hood or a small shawl over one’s head. Almira M. Whiting was a midwife and a practical nurse. She was a good neighbor and spent many hours giving loving care to the sick. She was a beautiful woman with a kind and pleasant disposition. She was refined and very ambitious. Her husband, Edwin, was a nursery-man but the climate in Manti was too cold for raising fruit and flowers, so with the permission of Brigham Young, he moved his large family to Springville where he continued his business and then they moved onto the bench which is now Mapleton, Utah. Edwin Whiting died in Mapleton on the 8th of December, 1890 age 81 and Almira M. Meacham Whiting later went to San Bernardino, California where she died 1 October, 1898, age 74.
SOURCE: Rewritten in April 1955 by: Mrs. Ruth M. Killpack, 939 West 5th North, Provo, Utah. A Great-Great Granddaughter-in-law of Almira M. Meacham Whiting.
Biographical Summary #2:
"...Almira Mehitable Mecham Whiting was born May 13, 1824 in New York. She was the second wife of Edwin Whiting and was the mother of seven children. She did not live in the big house of Edwin, but he built her a home near by where she lived and raised her children.
Edwin, her eldest son, was dependable and aided in the support of the family. She was a good nurse and gave service to neighbors when needed. Many babies saw the light of day for the first time in her faithful care. She was kind and gentle, even tempered and gracious to everyone.
She respected Elizabeth, Edwin's first wife, as the head of the house hold along with Edwin and was congenial with the other wives who taught correct principles to her children who loved, honored and respected her. Leaving friends and relatives, as a young girl, she came to Utah as a pioneer and when she suffered poverty and many other hardship common to the early days. May these faithful souls be rewarded in the great beyond...."
SOURCE: Written by Gertrude P. Killpack. Retrieved from:
Almira Mehitable Meacham was the fourth child of eleven, born on 13 May 1824 at Hopkinton, St. Lawrence, New York, to Stephen Peabody Meacham and Dorothy Maria “Dolly” Ransom. Father Stephen was born 12 March 1797, at Fletcher, Franklin, Vermont, being 8 years older than the Prophet Joseph Smith. Mother Dolly was born 26 August 1801 at Rochester, Rutland, Vermont.
During the birth of their children, until 1837 they lived at Hopkinton, St. Lawrence, New York. About 1837 or 1838 they were on their way toward Nauvoo, living for a period of time at Springfield, Hancock, Illinois.
1824 - Almira born at Hopkinton, St. Lawrence, New York 1839 - Almira Marries Andrew Warren Palmer 1843 - Andrew Palmer Dies 1845 - Almira Marries Edwin Whiting 1846 - Almira and Edwin Sealed, son Edward Lucian Born 1861 - Almira and Edwin Separate 1863 - Almira Marries Henry Packard 1898 - Almira dies and is buried in California
At the age of 15, Almira married Andrew Warren Palmer, who had also been born at Hopkinton, St. Lawrence, New York. They were married at Springfield, Illinois about 1839. They gave birth to two children, Almond Babbit Palmer on 22 Feb 1841 at Springfield and Warren Palmer about 1842. This second child died the following year. Almon Babbit Palmer lived and died at Nephi, Utah in 1915. Almira’s husband Warren also died the same year as their child, in 1843.
From page 125 of ”Before and After Mt. Pisgah”, ... “The Meacham family were converts to the Mormon Church. In their westward migration, they stopped for a time at Springfield, Illinois, where at the age of 15 years, Almira married Andrew Warren Palmer. To that marriage were born two sons, Almon Babbitt Palmer and second, Warren Palmer, who died in infancy. Soon after the baby’s death, Andrew Palmer died. Two years after that, Almira, the 20 year old widow with a four year old son, married Edwin Whiting. (Edwin was in his 36th year).”
In 1839, driven from Caldwell County, Missouri to Hancock County, Illinois, the three families, sixteen in number, Cox, Whiting and Morley, pitched their tents in the backwoods where they lived until log cabins could be built.
On April 15th 1839, Joseph and Hyrum Smith and their three companions had been set free from prison. The governor of Missouri could no longer continue to hold his captives illegally. He had the Smiths set free and tried to make it appear that the Smiths had escaped. With the two horses supplied the Smiths, the five men changing rides, made their way unmolested to Quincy, Illinois in nine days, Joseph and Hyrum there found their families. They were in poverty. The exiled saints, scattered everywhere, were waiting the direction of their leader.
Two days later after the prophet’s arrival in Illinois, the members of the Twelve who had been commanded by revelation to take their leave from the temple lot at Far West, Missouri on April 26th, met as they had been commanded. The enemies of the Latter-day Saints had said that they would not allow the revelation to come to pass, but on the appointed day, the cornerstone of the temple at Far West was laid....
This is how Clare B. Christensen, in 1979 described conditions in the Church from the view-point of those family members at the Morley Settlement in his Chapter 6 of “Before and After Mt. Pisgah”.
Continuing from his page 106, “Because Morley Settlement was a half way place between Nauvoo and Quincy, the people of the settlement often had distinguished guests.
The Prophet Joseph was very busy writing at this time. Besides translating the Book of Abraham, he was keeping voluminous history of happening events. He employed three scribes full time....
....(p.107) The year of 1844 was an eventful one. It was an election year in the United States. The question of slavery was a political issue as was the annexation of Texas. Joseph Smith announced his candidacy.... On April 21st, Apostles Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff arrived in Lima Stake and spent the night at the home of Isaac Morley. On Sunday both Apostles spoke to the saints in conference. After the meeting, 26 elders volunteered themselves for service in the east to preach the gospel and speak for the election of Joseph Smith as president of the United States. Edwin Whiting was called to go to Pennsylvania....
....(p.113) Plural marriage was introduced by the prophet Joseph Smith
and had been discussed in public and private in the Morley Settlement prior to 1844. Cordelia Morley stated that in the year 1844, Joseph Smith had asked for her hand in marriage....
At this time Heber C. Kimball made several visits to the Settlement to see Thersa. The first plural marriage within that Settlement took place on 3 January 1845 between Edwin Whiting and Almira Mehitable Meacham. They were married in Nauvoo....
In February, the persecutions from the mob became worse. On the 14th, Isaac Morley hurried to Nauvoo with word to Brigham Young that five brethren at the Settlement had been arrested on false charges.
....(p.112) The story of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith was recorded in great detail...”
As was stated above, “The first plural marriage from within that Settlement took place on 3 January 1845 between Edwin Whiting and Almira Mehitable Meacham. They were married in Nauvoo.”
The next day after her attendance at the temple, to be sealed to Edwin Whiting (27 January 1846), Almira Mehitable Meacham Whiting bore him a son. They named the baby Edward Lucian Whiting.”
Edwin and Almira had seven children:
Edward Lucian Whiting born 28 January 1846 at Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois who later married Martha Elizabeth Alleman and died at LaGrande, Union, Oregon 31 December 1926;
Ellen Emeret Whiting born 1 September 1847 at Nauvoo and married Ed Deal;
Catherine Emeline Whiting born 1 May 1849 at Mt. Pisgah, Union, Iowa and married James Cornelius Braslin;
Cornelia Dolly Whiting born 11 June 1851 at Manti, Sanpete, Utah and married Lewis Rosalvo Perry and died at LaGrande, Union, Oregon 15 October 1933;
Elisha Franklin Whiting born 27 December 1853 at Manti and died 15 February 1914;
Edwin Lafayette Henry Whiting born 30 July 1857 at Manti and married Mary Armstrong. She died at Los Angeles, California 29 May 1943;
Sylvia Almira Whiting born 4 December 1860 at Manti, Utah, married Nathan Henry Barton. She died 20 October 1927 at Healdsburg, Sonoma, California.
Copy of a letter to Edwin Whiting at Pisgah from Stephen P. Mecham (Almira's Father)
“September 14, 1848
Dear brother in the bonds of the everlasting covenant I take this opportunity to wright a few lines to you and yours to let you know how I am in body and mind in a small degree I am as well as can be expected considering what I have had to pass through for a little over a year ago(.) I went at b(B)urlington and found my wife there and 3 of the children Sylvia Henry and Roswell all well and in comfortable circumstances but perhaps brother Palmer has told you the news that my brother Joseph is dead. He was killed with a ..?.. log loading it on a wagon Maryann came to Burlington with her family and has gone back. I am now in Pli(y)mmouth after some of my things and expect to return on the morrow if nothing prevents me.
I do not know when I shall go to the mane (main) body of the church. I long to be with the main body where I can have the teachings from those men that God has placed at the head to lead his people in these last days which gives us all joy and satisfaction to hear them more than any other men on earth. I have not time now to write what I want to write (,) my eyes will not admit they are very week indeed (,) so
I must draw to a close by ascribing myself now sincere friend and brother in the Lord so farewell dear brother and friends at Pisgah (.) If I never see you again in this life God knows I love you give my love to all of the brothers and sisters at Pisgah and round about (.) Tell them I want to see them very much (.) I want the prayers of all the saints on earth whatever name or denomination they may be of(,) for they that love God and work rightesness (righteousness) are excepted (accepted) of him whether of and organized band or free.”
(signed) Stephen P. Meacham to
Edwin Whiting, President of the branch of Latter-day Saints at Pisgah
Copy of a letter to Almira Meacham Whiting by her mother, Dolly Meacham
“Burlington, March the ---- 1848
Dear Child, with pleasure I take this opportunity to inform you that I am well and in good spirits hoping these few lines will find you the same. I am in hopes one day we shall be able to converse without writing (.) I have received to (two) letters from you and have written you to (two) one a few weeks ago and for fear you will not get it I now write a few lines and send it in the care of Bradford Eloit (Elliot?). Sylvia is well at present and out to work (.) her health has been very poor for six months back and not able to work much of the time. Erastus is well and hearty Henry and Roswell the same.
Lafayette is in Springfield in Mr. Hill's office (.) He writes often and says his determination is to go west as soon as he can see me fitted out and not before. I think we shall not be able to go west before another spring unless something turns up more than I know of now. I have heard from Darwin this winter I wish he would come back with a team to the Bluf(f)s and meet us there to help us over the mount(a)ins in the valley. George has gone on to the Bluf(f)s perhaps you have seen him(.) Write us as soon as you get this and send it by male tell me all about the folks and how your father gets along with his young wife. I have not heard a word from Alonzo since I came to Burlington(,) your mother(.)”
(signed) Dolly (Ransom) Meacham
After their seventh child was born in 1860, times became very difficult for Almira. Consideration must be given to the extreme pressure from the Federal Government against polygamy with the imprisonment in many cases and the enforced abandonment of families, left to fend for themselves in providing for an existence.
Some went northward to Canada and some into Mexico, in order to keep from abandoning their families. By this time Edwin Whiting was in his fifties. Almira’s oldest child was but 14 years old by that time and her others were mostly daughters. She must have had a very difficult time. Mary Elizabeth Cox left with her older sons for Arizona, with deepest sadness in parting... with Edwin's sad permission. Her sons were able to care for her there in Northern Arizona. Mary Elizabeth’s son Charles went into Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico in order to keep his families.
Quoting from Clare B. Christensen again beginning in chapter 24: “The Whiting family had had a continuous struggle at Manti, Utah. There had been the pioneering, the problems with the Indians, and crops destroyed by the grasshoppers. Edwin had been away for two years on a mission, and after he returned, he had taken two more wives to support.
Elizabeth’s children were old and of greater help. Three of them were married and she left them behind when she moved to Springville. Of the children, only Oscar Newell, 13, Louisa Melitia, 11 and Caroline, 7 moved to Springville. Almira must have had a harder time. She had more children to feed and care for. It may have been at the time that Almira moved to Springville that Almon Palmer, her son by the first marriage, moved to Nephi, Utah in 1861. Almira’s children by Edwin were then Edward Lucian, 15, Ellen Emerett, 14, Catherine Emeline, 12, Cornelia Dolly, 11, Elisha Franklin, 7, Edwin Lafayette, 4 and Sylvia Almira only months old. F. Walter Cox had given help to his sister Mary in Manti. No doubt Orville had helped her also. She had five children when they moved to Springville.
The hardships had made Almira’s marriage to Edwin an unhappy one and soon after the move to Springville they were civilly divorced. July 14, 1863, Almira married Henry Packard and later she had a daughter, Sophia Olive Packard.
Edwin Lucian Whiting, Almira’s oldest child by Edwin, during the early 1860's, worked on the farms and in the canyons and wherever he could find work. His half brothers, Albert and Oscar spent much of their time herding cattle east of town. Often the Indians would steal the boy’s lunches and the boys would have to go hungry.”
Almira Marries Henry Packard
Almira dies and is buried in California
SOURCE: Compiled by Lovell Killpack 1999.
HISTORY OF HENRY PACKARD (Almira's Third Husband)
By Dennis Kroll (2008)
"Almira Mehitable Meacham... "went through all kinds of hardships endured by the early day converts of the Mormon Church. The family in their westward migration had made a temporary stop at Springfield, Illinois, where Almirira, at the early age of fifteen, was married to Andrew Palmer. To this marriage were born two sons, Almon Babbitt, who came to Utah and settled at Nephi, and Warren, who died in infancy. Soon after the death of this son the father died. Two years later Almira was married in the Nauvoo temple to Edwin Whiting as a plural wife. To this marriage were born the following names children, most of them in Sanpete and Utah Counties, Utah: Edward Lucian, Cornelia, Ellen Emerett, Katherine Emeline, Edwin, Frank, and Sylvia Almira.
The Whitings had come to Utah with Captain Morley's company in 1849 and settled in Manti where Mr. Whiting became quite prominent. In "Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah" he is listed as the first mayor of Manti and as having held other important positions of public responsibility.
In 1861 the family moved to Springville where they lived during during the early Indian troubles known as the Black Hawk and Walker Indian Wars.
Almira became one of Utah County's early nurses and midwife and did much in that way to provide a living for her family.
Plural marriage did not bring happiness and in 1861 Almira and Whiting separated. July 24, 1863, Almira married Henry Packard and to this her third marriage was born a daughter, Sophia Olive Packard. Later the Packard moved to Healdsberg, California, where they lived until 1896 when Mr. Packard died.
After his death of her husband Almira moved to San Bernardino where she lived in a home given her by her son-in-law, Nathan Henry Barton, and her daughter Sylvia. She passed awaqy in 1898 and is laid to rest in the Pioneer Cemetery in San Bernardino, California."
Birth: May 6, 1825 Parkman Geauga County Ohio, USA
Death: Nov. 17, 1896 Healdsburg Sonoma County California, USA
Son of Noah Packard & Sophia Bundy
Living his youth in a place called Nauvoo, Illinois, the saints had built a city which at the time was bigger than the city of Chicago. They had also built a temple which was the largest and most expensive building west of Philadelphia. From here they were driven by their enemies to a resting place called Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here, Henry enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, an army of 500 men called to fight in the war with Mexico and help secure California for the U.S. as part of Manifest Destiny. It was and still is, the longest infantry march in U.S. Military history. There is hardly an event that occurred in the American west between 1846 to 1848 that some of the members of this group did not take part in. Henry was probably the second Packard in California.
Henry Packard was born May 6, 1825, in Parkman, Geauga, Ohio, the third child of Noah Packard and Sophia Bundy. His parents were some of the early settlers in that town, and when he was seven his family were converts to the Mormon Church.
In 1840 the family moved to Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, which one year before was nothing more that a marshy bend in the Mississippi River called Commerce, which contained a few log cabins. Their new home being located across the street from the city's founder, mayor and spiritual leader, Joseph Smith. Passers-by were amazed at what the saints had built in such a short time, which shocked their enemies as well. A year and a half after the murder of Joseph Smith, they were driven from the state as both the federal and state governments stood idly by and watched it happen.
Henry's father was too ill and too poor to leave Nauvoo that February of 1846 and cross the frozen Mississippi River with Brigham Young, but he at least sent his three oldest sons to help the saints move to their new home in the West. They traveled as far west as Winter Quarters, Nebraska.
At Mt. Pisgah (Grand River), Iowa, the saints were met by Captain James Allen, under the command of Colonel Stephen W. Kearny, commander of the U.S. Army of the West stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He brought orders authorizing him to enlist 500 volunteers for a year, in a campaign to secure California in the war with Mexico. On July 20, 1846, the battalion started their march from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Fort Leavenworth. At this time Captain Allen was promoted to Colonel and Kearny was promoted to General.
When the battalion reached Fort Leavenworth August 1st, there were 22 officers and 474 enlisted men for a total of 496. There were also 34 women and a number of children. 20 of the women were assigned as laundresses, four to each company. All of the clothing pay allowance was sent back to the church and the families of the men in Council Bluffs to help them cross the plains to the valley of the Salt Lake. The men were each issued a musket, bayonet, scabbard, cartridge box and leather belt. A white belt was the only clothing which they all had in common. They were also each issued a blanket, canteen & knapsack, and each mess group of six was issued cooking pots and a tent. Each of the five companies was allowed to buy a wagon with a four mule team, in which they could carry their gear.
On August 13th they started with orders to go to Bent's Fort, Colorado. Colonel Allen was too sick to lead the men and stayed at the fort. Capt. Hunt would be in command until Col. Allen could rejoin the group. On August 26th at Bluff Creek, Kansas, word reached the battalion of Col. Allens death. On the 29th, Lieutenant Andrew Smith and Dr. George Sanderson arrived from the fort to take command of the battalion, with orders to go directly to Santa Fe now that it had been captured by Kearny's advance party. Most of the men wanted Capt. Hunt to continue the command since he out ranked Lt. Smith, but the officers voted to give the command to Lt. Smith since he was a career soilder and West Point graduate. However, Lt. Smith did not like volunteers, let alone Mormon volunteers. Also, because the battalion's re-supplies had been sent ahead to Bent's Fort and they were now ordered to go to Santa Fe, the men were put on half rations.
Just after they left the Arkansas River a sick detachment was sent to Pueblo, Colorado, via Bent's Fort. Many of the men were sick from exposure to the elements and Dr. Sanderson (Dr. Death) prescribed a dose of calomel powder and arsenic, no matter what was wrong with them. The men marched sick, under fed and under clothed, from water hole to water hole all the way to Santa Fe, arriving October 12, 1846.
At Santa Fe they were given a new commander, Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, who had been with Kearny's advance party, but was sent back to take command after Kearny learned of Allens death. Col. Cooke told the men that they had orders to make a new wagon road to the Pacific along a southern route, something that had never been done. From here another sick detachment left for Pueblo with all of the remaining women except five and all of the remaining children except one boy.
On October 18th, they left Santa Fe with 25 government wagons and 60 days rations, 5 company wagons and 12 private family wagons. Upon learning that Gen. Kearny had abandoned his wagons, Col. Cooke also brought along pack saddles for the mules. He also ordered that the men be organized into messes of ten men each. On the 24th they arrived at Albuquerque and exchanged some mules. From here they traveled south down the western side of the Rio Grande River. Just before they left the river they sent another sick detachment back to Pueblo, leaving 335 men in the battalion. On Nov. 13th they left the Rio Grande and began blazing a new wagon trail. Rations to the men were again reduced.
From here the men blazed a new road through the southwestern part of New Mexico into Mexico and up into Arizona along the San Pedro River Valley. On December 11th as they were watering the animals, some wild bulls got in with the cattle and were killed by the sheep drovers. Later that day another group of wild bulls charged the men and a short but wild melee ensued. The rampaging bulls charged on and on as they attacked men, mules and wagons. Three men were wounded, three mules were gored to death and several wagons were tipped over. Corporal Frost was charged by a bull from one hundred yards, took aim and fired when it was ten paces from him and it dropped at his feet. Col. Cooke later said of the man, "One of the bravest men he ever saw." It is not known how many bulls were killed in all, but one person reported nine dead in one spot. Many reported over 20 dead in all and maybe three times that many wounded.
Just before they arrived at Tucson, the garrison of Mexican soldiers stationed there had fled to the south on hearing of their coming. After a short stay they marched north to the Gila River and the Pima Indian villages. From here they basically followed the southern edge of the Gila River to the Yuma crossing of the Colorado. From there to Mexicali, then north to Palm Springs, following the San Luis River through the Temecula Valley arriving at San Luis Rey January 27, 1847. Much of this route later became known as the Spanish Trail, San Antonio-San Diego Route and the Butterfield Stage Line.
On July 31, 1846, a large group of Mormons arrived at El Paraje de Yerba Buena (The Place of the Good Herb), later called San Francisco, aboard the ship Brooklyn, under the leadership of Samuel Brannan. This was a month after the Bear Revolt had taken place and soon after Commander Montgomery aboard the USS Portsmouth had taken control of the area for the US without a shot being fired. The local Mexican General at the Presidio and many of the local residents of the bay area having fled to the south.
Upon reaching California the battalion learned that it had already been secured from Mexico by Fremont and Kearny, but all was not peaceful. John C. Fremont had been installed Governor of the state by Commodore Stockton. Lt. Col. Fremont along with Commodore Stockton were refusing to take orders from Gen. Kearny, who had been given orders by President Polk to be the Governor of California after it was secured. With the arrival of the battalion loyal to Kearny, he then had more than enough men to enforce his authority. From here the battalion was split with one company going to San Diego and four companies, along with Henry, going to Pueblo de Los Angeles, where they built Fort Moore. At some point during the trip Henry was promoted from Private to Corporal.
On May 31, 1847, 15 members of the battalion along with Gen. Kearny and other officers left Monterey with Lt. Col. John C. Fremont, taking him back to Fort Leavenworth for court-martial. This group was the first to discover the remains of the Donner Party at Truckee Lake, other than the original rescue parties. It was a gruesome sight of dismembered bones and body parts!
When the battalion was discharged July 16, 1847, at Fort Moore, the government tried to get as many men as possible to re-enlist for another six months. Henry was one of 79 who did, and they spent their time stationed at San Diego. There he was promoted to Sergeant. About 118 of the men headed east to Lake Arrowhead and then later northeast to the valley of the Salt Lake. About 105 other men traveled north to the Coloma area and worked for Captain John A. Sutter at his fort and mill, where gold was discovered January 24, 1848. Six of these men became The California Star Express riders, carrying printed word of the gold discovery back to the east, starting the California gold rush.
After the volunteers were released in San Diego on March 14, 1848, half went northeast to Utah and the other half, as well as Henry, traveled north to Yerba Buena and the gold fields.
Many of these men left in 1848 and headed back east to Utah. It is not known exactly when Henry left, but we know that he was in Salt Lake City when his parents arrived there September 17, 1850.
About 26 members of the battalion died during the the trip and never made it back to their families, though not a single shot was fired in battle, except during the battle with the bulls. The battalion proved the worth of this area which was later to become the Gadsden Purchase. They pioneered the southern emigration route, as well as the Carson Pass route through the Sierra Nevada's.
While living for a short time in Salt Lake City and building a mill race for Archibald Gardner with his father and brothers, Henry met and married Mary Mariah Chase January 16, 1851. She was the younger sister of one of his fellow battalion soldiers.
Henry and his new bride then moved to Hobble Creek with the rest of his family. I do not know what happened to this marriage, or if there were any children from it.
On July 24, 1863, Henry married Almira Mehitabel Meacham, who had eight children from two previous marriages. At some time, probably during the late 1860's, he moved back to northern California with his family and lived in Healdsburg, Sonoma, California, where he died November 17, 1896, leaving no known children that I know of, other than his second wife's.”
Sources: Burial:: Oak Mound Cemetery http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr GRid=29262587&CRid=8216&
Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California, USA
Created by: Todd Schott <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=mr&GRid=29262587&MRid=46932087&>
Record added: Aug 23 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29262587
Almira Mehitable Whiting's Timeline
May 13, 1824
Hopkinton, Saint Lawrence, New York, USA
January 3, 1845
Nauvoo, Illinois, United States
January 7, 1846
January 28, 1846
Nauvoo, Hancock, IL, USA
September 17, 1847
May 1, 1849
December 27, 1853
July 30, 1857
December 4, 1861