Mary Windley (Foster) (1836 - 1916)

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Place of Burial: Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Death: Died in Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:

About Mary Windley (Foster)

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5182924

Birth: Nov. 15, 1836, England Death: Dec. 18, 1916 Saint Charles Bear Lake County Idaho, USA

BIOGRAPHY OF MARY FOSTER WINDLEY (My Great, Great Grandmother) BY HER DAUGHTER, MARY EMMA WINDLEY SIMS

My mother, Mary Foster Windley, was born in Birmingham, England Nov. 15, 1836. Grandfather Foster's family had been in the Church for a long time. The mission president wanted some them to go to Utah so mother and her sister Werk married April 15, 1861 and three weeks later started for Utah in a sailing vessel. They were six weeks crossing the ocean. They they traveled up the St. Lawrence River in an open boat to Florence where mother was taken very ill with chills and fever. Here they fixed up some wagons with ox teams to cross the plains. My father walked the entire way and mother rode in the top of the wagon loaded with stoves. She was delirious most of the way. One night she became very quiet; she said it seemed like her spirit was where there was flowers and music and everything to make one happy. The Captain of the Company, Milo Andrews, came and administered to her and promised her she would get well. She said he came and said, "Sister Windley, you must go back, your work is not done." This made mother feel very bad. After this she slowly began to regain consciousness. Then she began to suffer. Both hip bones came through the skin, this left big scars as the flesh never grew back; and the three small bones at the bottom of her spine decayed and were gone, this left another big scar. All her hair came out.

They came to Salt Lake in October, six months on the trip. It was Christmas before she could walk a step and then only by holding the back of a chair. She said this made her very happy; she was afraid she never would be able to walk again.

Father got a little work hauling timber for Henry Dinwoody to make furniture, then they went to housekeeping in one small room with a straw bed in one corner of the floor, a dry goods box for a table, an oilcloth bag they carried their clothes in to sit on. Here mother's first baby was born and died *(Anna Maria Windley, 1863).

Three years later they were called with some others to come and settle Bear Lake. This was a three week journey with ox team early in the spring. They settled in St. Charles. The 3rd of June 1864, my oldest brother (Charles John Windley). They only had a tent to protect them from the cold and storm. Mother got cold and both breasts gathered and broke, one broke twice. They kept the baby alive by tying a little flour in a cloth and boiling it, then letting it dry and grating a little in some milk. It was six weeks before mother could nurse him. He was the first baby born there.

They named him Charles after the settlement and it was named after Apostle Charles C. Rich who came with the pioneers. They had to clear the land, build bridges and make ditches to carry the water to irrigate the land. My father surveyed the ditches with a board, and two stakes; he made a small groove in the wood and filled it with water. These same canals still carry water to irrigate the land today. Their food consisted of a few small frozen potatoes, milk and a little frozen wheat ground in a coffee mill which they passed around from house to house.

Mother never did get strong, she could not eat this kind of food, so lived mostly on milk. Two years later when my second brother was born (Fredrick William Windley - my great grandfather), she had been three days without a thing to eat. About this time they had just finished the flour mill and father got a little short and a good lady name Annie Laher made a loaf of bread. Mother said it was the sweetest thing she had ever tasted; she never did forget it.

They stayed here for seven years. The grasshoppers took most of the scanty crops they were able to raise. Then father took his family and went back to Salt Lake City. He got work on the Walker Brothers Building. This was the first two story building in Salt Lake. He got many good ideas about building that was a great help in after years. They stayed there two years then came back to the farm. After this things began to improve. They built better houses and raised more grain and living conditions improved.

They always lived within their means and stood true to the gospel.

Mother was never strong enough to take much part in public. She had an alto voice and helped with the singing. She was a good careful wife; a kind and loving mother. She had nine children and lived to be 80 years old.

FROM THE "HISTORY OF THE UTAH PIONEERS"

The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Camp in St. Charles is called the "Mary Windley Camp." A marker on the front lawn of the church explains that she was the mother of the first white child born in St. Charles. The camp was organized March 28, 1946.

THIS ACCOUNT AS COPIED IS IN THE POSSESSION OF WESLEY R. WINDLEY, FOURTH CHILD OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED CHARLES WINDLEY. THE DATE IS JULY 15, 1965.

PIONEER WOMEN OF FAITH & FORTITUDE MARY FOSTER WINDLEY

Member of Milos Andrus Wagon Train

Becoming sick even before leaving Florence, Nebraska to cross the plains, Mary was confined to a bed in the wagon made on top of stoves. She was delirious most of the way as her hip bones tore through her skin and three small bones at the base of her spine decayed. Scarred for life, she persevered until she was able to walk again.

After their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, she cared for her family in a tiny room with a straw bed in one corner, a dry goods box for a table and a oilcloth bags stuffed with clothing to sit on. To help her family she made glue for Dinwoody Furniture by boiling hoofs and scrap hides.

Responding to a call to settle the Bear Lake Valley, Mary's family was one of the original settlers of St. Charles, Idaho. Her second child, Charles, was the first child born in the settlement. There, they endured extreme winters with primitive shelter and food. The first winter, she fed her family frozen potatoes and a little milk thickened with frosted smutty wheat ground in a coffee mill.

MONTPELIER EXAMINER 22 DECEMBER 1916 - PAGE 1

A ST. CHARLES PIONEER PASSES TO THE GREAT BEYOND

Mrs. John Windley died at her home in St. Charles last Monday afternoon. Mrs. Windley was born in England about 75 years ago. She came to the United States with her husband in the early 60's and in 1884 they located at St. Charles, being among the first settlers in that community, and have resided there ever since. The first child born to them was a son, who was the first child born at St. Charles.

Mrs. Windley had been in poor health for several years and having failed rapidly of late her death was not unexpected.

Besides her husband, she is survived by three sons and two daughters.

Her funeral services were held at the St. Charles meeting house yesterday morning at 11 o'clock.


Family links:

Parents:
 William Foster (1808 - 1899)
 Christina Ann Morris Foster (1808 - 1894)

Spouse:
 John William Windley (1838 - 1927)

Children:
 Ann Maria Windley (1863 - 1863)*
 Charles John Windley (1864 - 1944)*
 Fredrick William Windley (1866 - 1929)*
 Mary Emma Windley Sims (1868 - 1947)*
 Alma Edward Windley (1870 - 1871)*
 Arthur Henry Windley (1872 - 1875)*
 George Albert Windley (1879 - 1879)*
 Eleanor Eliza Windley Virgin (1881 - 1950)

Burial: Saint Charles Cemetery Saint Charles Bear Lake County Idaho, USA

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Mary Windley's Timeline

1836
November 15, 1836
Birmingham, England
1863
May 13, 1863
Age 26
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
1864
June 3, 1864
Age 27
Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1866
July 26, 1866
Age 29
Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1868
July 10, 1868
Age 31
Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1870
March 16, 1870
Age 33
Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1872
April 26, 1872
Age 35
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
1879
March 4, 1879
Age 42
Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1881
May 11, 1881
Age 44
Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1916
December 18, 1916
Age 80
Saint Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA