Harriet Vernisha Hunsaker (Beckstead) (1831 - 1905)

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Birthplace: Williamsburg, Dundas, Ontario, Canada
Death: Died in Honeyville, Box Elder, Utah, USA
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:

About Harriet Vernisha Hunsaker (Beckstead)

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868 Allen Taylor Company (1849) Age 18


Departure: 5-6 July 1849 Arrival: 10-20 October 1849

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Birth: Jan. 17, 1831 Ontario, Canada

Death: Jan. 6, 1905 Honeyville Box Elder County Utah, USA

Born at Williamsburg, Dundas, Ontario, Canada

Daughter of Alexander Beckstead and Catherine Eleanor Lince

Married - Abraham Hunsaker, 15 Nov 1850, Salt Lake City, Utah

Children - Lemuel Hunsaker, Alexander Beckstead Hunsaker, Catherine Hunsaker, Hyrum Hunsaker, Joseph Hunsaker, Polly Hunsaker, Elnora Hunsaker, Enoch Hunsaker, Cyrus Hunsaker, John Luce Hunsaker, Gordon Walter Hunsaker, Elzarus Hunsaker, Raphael Hunsaker, Harriet Hunsaker, Daniel William Hunsaker, Walter Royal Hunsaker

History - Harriet left Canada with her parents and family about July 1838, arriving at DeWitt, Missouri, in the last week of September 1838. Because of the persecutions of the Saints in Missouri, at that time, it was necessary for them to move to the area near that time, it was necessary for them to move to the area near Nauvoo, Illinois in the spring of 1839. It became necessary for the family to move again, after the Saints' homes were burned, and persecutions continued, and finally they arrive at Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The following data is taken from the Abraham Hunsaker Family book:

"At the age of 18, Harriet went to Utah with her family. They traveled in the Reddin Allred Company of Pioneers and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September of 1849. The family settled in West Jordan, Utah, in 1850. In order to help the family Harriet hired out as a helper in homes.

"During the fall of 1850 she was working for Abraham Hunsaker, whose wife, Eliza Collins, was confined to her bed. Romance seemed to have very little part in the early days of Pioneer life, and one day, when Harriet was hanging the family wash on the line, Abraham asked her to become his second wife. Without any courtship or preparation for a wedding she married him on November 22, 1850. She then moved into his home to continue taking care of Eliza and her family.

"Abraham appreciated Harriet's sturdy qualities and her endurance and capabilities, as she was able to any task from manual labor on the farm to the finest art in the home. Harriet helped shear the sheep, wash the wool, weave it into cloth, and then finally make it into clothing for her children to wear.

"Four children were born to Harriet at West Jordan. In April 1856 she went to Carson Valley with Abraham. Her youngest son was only seven days old.

"Harriet returned to Utah with her husband in 1857. All the rest of her children, except one, were born in Brigham City, Utah. In addition to having 15 children herself, Harriet raised Robert, the baby of Margaret Hunsaker, as her own; also, an Indian boy, Lemuel, lived as a member of her family for several years.

"Harriet took the brunt of the hardships, spending summers at Little Mountain herding sheep and other stock, and living in a cave with one or two of her children.

"Harriet served as the first Relief Society President of the Honeyville Ward, and remained in that position for many years. She was independent, uncomplaining, and afraid of nothing. Her daughter, Harriet, lived in Albion, Idaho, and Harriet made many trips there in a single horse, black-topped buggy. It took several days to make the trip, and she stopped wherever night overtook her, sleeping on the ground between the wheels of the buggy, and preparing her food over a campfire. At that time there were few ranches along the way. Harriet was a real pioneer, taking life as it came and making the best of it.

"When Harriet married she could not read nor write, and although Abraham taught her the rudiments, it was so difficult she had to have her children and grandchildren read and write for her.

Harriet lived a good, wholesome and unpretentious life. She was always a friend to both red and white man, and spent her time looking after the wants of the needy. She suffered a great deal of rheumatism, off and on, during her later life. She was stricken with blood poisoning, caused by a blister on her little toe which she got while rocking a cradle. She died on 6 January 1905, at Honeyville, Utah, and was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery."

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, Chester Loveland Company (1857)


Family links:

Parents:
  • Alexander Beckstead (1802 - 1870)
  • Catherine Elinore Lince Beckstead (1807 - 1889)
Spouse:
  • Abraham Hunsaker (1812 - 1889)
Children:
  • Lemuel Hunsaker (1847 - 1859)*
  • Alexander Hunsaker (1852 - 1910)*
  • Catharine Hunsaker Winward (1853 - 1931)*
  • Hyrum Hunsaker (1855 - 1933)*
  • Joseph Hunsaker (1856 - 1937)*
  • Polly Hunsaker (1857 - 1866)*
  • Elnore Hunsaker (1859 - 1859)*
  • Enoch Hartman Hunsaker (1860 - 1930)*
  • Cyrus Hunsaker (1862 - 1927)*
  • John Luce Hunsaker (1864 - 1941)*
  • Gordon Walter Hunsaker (1866 - 1921)*
  • Elzarus Hunsaker (1867 - 1940)*
  • Raphael Hunsaker (1869 - 1870)*
  • Harriet Hunsaker Lewis (1871 - 1944)*
  • Daniel William Hunsaker (1872 - 1944)*
  • Walter Royal Hunsaker (1876 - 1877)*


Burial: Brigham City Cemetery Brigham City Box Elder County Utah, USA Plot: B-16-47-9

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Harriet Vernisha Hunsaker's Timeline

1831
January 17, 1831
Williamsburg, Dundas, Ontario, Canada
1845
1845
Age 13
1850
November 15, 1850
Age 19
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
1905
January 6, 1905
Age 73
Honeyville, Box Elder, Utah, USA
????
Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah, USA