Sarah Jane Dickinson

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Sarah Jane Dickinson (Snyder)

Birthplace: Stone Mills, ON, Canada
Death: Died in Panguitch, Garfield, UT, USA
Place of Burial: Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Samuel Comstock Snyder and Henrietta Mariah Snyder
Wife of James F. Dickinson
Mother of Maria Delight Dickinson and Joseph Leland Dickinson
Sister of Permelia S. Snyder Hatch; Betsy Ann Black; Ephraim Stockwell Snyder; Amy Brown; Laura Altha Richards and 9 others
Half sister of John Peter Snyder; child Snyder; Ellen Arrelia Snyder; Joseph Smith Snyder and Susan Amelia Carroll

Managed by: Joyce Bryson
Last Updated:

About Sarah Jane Dickinson


     Written by daughters, Maria Delight Shakespear and Orilla Wilkinson and her granddaughter, Sarah Ipson
  Sarah Jane Snyder was born June 14, 1838 in Camden East, Ontario, Canada. Her parents were living in Camden East Upper Canada when they heard the gospel and were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They shortly moved to Illinois and settled in the outskirts of Nauvoo at a place called Jobs Creek. Her father soon became a great friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith. The Prophet visited with the family many times. On one occasion her father took his family to visit the Temple of Nauvoo. They went by ox team and so they took corn with them to feed the oxen. One of the children, a younger sister, Mary Ann,seeing the oxen which held the baptismal font rushed out and got an ear of corn to feed them. The Prophet noticing the incident was moved with the simplicity of the child and talked with her about it. Sarah Jane sat on the Prophet Joseph's lap many times and he told her many things. As a child she went through the persecutions and gloomy trials of Nauvoo. 
  She will always remember while they were seated at the breakfast table the morning after the martyrdom of the Prophet and his brother Hyrum. Her mother was in the act of serving the children, when a man rushed into the home without knocking, telling them that the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum, had been killed by a mob at the Carthage jail.
   The years that followed were very trying times. They were harassed by the mobs on all sides. One afternoon the mob rode up to her father's home demanding that they leave before sundown or they would be under the penalty of death and that they burn their house to the ground. They hurried and got together what few household items that they could move, such as bedding, clothes and food and they left, leaving a good comfortable home and surroundings. The cows were left in the corral, the pigs in the pen and the chickens on the roost and the other farm animals were left to the ruthless mob.
   The following winter was spent at Winter Quarters, where many saints died and were buried on the side of the hill overlooking the camp. The scurvy was very bad among the members of the camp. Many who had it and did not die were left invalids. Her sister, Laura, was left an invalid and never full recovered. That winter Sarah Jane was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church by Elder Daniel Russell. The following spring her parents moved to St.Joseph, Missouri seeking employment. Here, Samuel Snyder prospered financially and soon had some good teams and wagons. During the years of 1847 and 1848 he freighted to Fort Laramie. While preparing to leave for Utah, two of her brothers-in-law were called to go with the Mormon Battalion and their wives were left with her father's family.
   In the year 1849, they came to Salt Lake City, Utah. Samuel had five wagons and a number of yoke of oxen. He furnished a yoke of oxen and a wagon to Apostle Parley P. Pratt. One outfit was loaded with merchandise for Reeces store in Salt Lake City. They were in the Allen Taylor Company. Many things of interest happened while they were crossing the plains. Jane, as she was called, Rode a horse part of the time driving the cattle and walking part of the distance. She helped her brother milk the cows at night  and the cream was skimmed off in the morning and put in a churn which was then tied onto the wagon. The shaking of the wagon churned the cream into butter. It was taken out at the next camping place, and thus they were provided with butter on the trip. At night the wagons were drawn up in a circle which formed a corral for their cattle. This kept the cattle from straying or being driven off by Indians or taking stampedes from the buffaloes. 
   The company would pass the evening in a merry dance. One night after they had retired a large herd of buffaloes came past and the men tried to keep the cattle from stampeding, but they ran about and striking one poor weak wagon, owned by a brother named Perkins. They broke through and Brother Perkins was asleep in the wagon when the entire herd passed over him, leaving him with a broken back from which he soon died. The cattle were found the next morning scattered about three miles from camp.
   They arrived in Salt Lake City in October 1949, just in time for conference.
   In 1850 Sarah's father built a sawmill in a small place outside of Park City, which is now called Snyderville. Sarah Jane and her sister, Betsy, were the first white women in Snyderville. They made butter and cheese to help feed the men that worked on the Salt Lake temple as well as many of the poor immigrants that continued to come to Salt Lake City. Sarah said they didn't have any rennet or any way to make the curd, so they would let a young calf suck the cow at night in the morning they would kill the calf and take the curd from it's stomach to set the milk for cheese.
   During the famine that followed the grasshopper war, Sarah Jane was assigned by her father the duty of feed the poor that came to his house for assistance, she was very capable and faithful in this work. She testified to the words of Heber C. Kimball, where he said that if those who had would share with those who had not, they would have abundance added to their subsistence. Sarah testified that as the barrel of flour would get low, the flour would be multiplied as well as other provisions that they gave to the poor and needy. Grandfather's second wife, Caroline Louise Snyder, testify to the same things.
   Sarah met James at the saw mill. as he was working for her father. Their courtship and romance soon developed and  on March 27, 1857 Sarah Jane married James Dickinson.
   James ran a grist mill for Brother Heber C. Kimball and they lived in his house until they were called to help settle Utah's Dixie.
   On April 6, 1858 their first child was born while conference was being held in Salt Lake City. The baby was a girl and they named her Alice Jane. Then on December 28, 1859 another baby girl was born which they named Ellen Amelia, but they called her Nellie. December 24, 1861 a third baby girl was born to this family and they named her Maria Delight.
   In 1862 they were called on a mission by Brigham Young to help settle Utah's Dixie. They move there and made a home at Santa Clara. Before we had our home built out of adobes, a shelter was made for us by making a cover over the wagon box. Then my father went to Pine Valley and made lumber for our house and some of the other homes. Alice Jane and Ellen were the two older girls and Maria Delight was the third child. Alice was always very delicate and Ellen had sore eyes, so Maria Delight went with her father into the field to work as soon as she was big enough plant corn and cotton. We helped pick the cotton and reap some wheat. The wheat we cut with a reap-hook-cycle as some called it. James was three years younger than Maris. When he was old enough, He worked with father until we came to Panguitch. James helped settle that area. They had untold hardships in helping to settle this country. James ran a grist mill at Washington. He also made coffins (caskets) for many who died. He made these caskets at no charge
   Sarah Jane worked very hard raising her children and helping her husband. On March 20, 1864 James Franklin was born under many trying circumstances. The next child was born March 9, 1867 in Salt Lake City as they had gone there to visit Sarah Jane's parents. Just before the birth of this child, Sarah Jane met with an accident and had three ribs broken and was hurt badly and the baby was born a month premature. The baby seemed to do well, but April 9th he died. His name was Samuel Gideon.
   March 26, 1868 Sarah Jane had another baby girl born in Santa Clara. They named her Luna Elizabeth. Then September 30, 1870 Sarah Jane was about to give birth to new baby so James went to Washington to get a midwife to help her. The baby was born before they got back, she had to wait for them to come and cut the cord. She went through untold pain. The baby was a boy and they named him Robert Ephraim. Then their baby boy was born May 26, 1873 and they named him Isaac Hyrum. Sarah Jane had her family under great hardships and though she had poor health and a family of small children in these trying times, she spent untold hours helping the sick and those in less fortunate condition.
   Thirteen years later, in June of 1875, they were called to Panguitch to help settle that part of the state. 
   Just three weeks after arriving in Panguitch a baby girl named Permelia Rhoana was born on June 24, 1875. On November 26, 1877 a baby boy was born and they named him Otis Alonzo. On January 16, 1879 James and Sarah Jane Dickinson were sealed in the Saint George temple. The next day January 17, 1879 all of their children were sealed in the Saint George temple. Their children born after that were born in the covenant  Permelia Rhonana died June 28, 1879 with diphtheria. There were many deaths at that time in the valley.
   March 8, 1880 another baby boy was born to them, mother had a stroke a short time before this baby was born. He was named Joseph Leland.
   They made their home in Panguitch, and shortly after arriving the first High Council was organized and James was chosen as one of the first to hold this position. He was a member of this group for twenty years, until his death. Also shortly after arriving at Panguitch, Sarah Jane was chosen a councilor in the Relief Society to Rhoana Henrie and had done many things not mentioned in this history. Father first worked in a saw mill for the first year. Then he built a grist mill on the east end of Panguitch, and on the north side of the street as you are going out of Panguitch. He built a home on the hill on the south west of the town. The porch faced south east. Everyone came to get flour, he would give it to the poor if they didn't have any money. He also gave flour and other provisions to the Indians that would come for flour.
   January 15, 1882 Sarah Jane had a baby girl and they named her Sarah Orilla. And then on June 15, 1884 another baby girl was born and they named her Mary Estelle. At the time this baby was born, the four oldest girls were married. At the age of fifty years old, my mother had her last baby, a nice baby boy born November 28, 1888 and they named him Ezra Hampson. He died March 19, 1889.
   They lived in Panguitch the rest of her husband's life. He died October 28, 1894 at the age of 66. James and Sarah Jane were the parents of 14 children.
   Sarah Jane tells of the time the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society. She well remembers the spirit of the occasion. Everyone was talking about it and trying to do the work that it called for. Women would make up bundles of clothing and provisions and what ever they thought would be a blessing to the ones to whom it was given, which was the poor and needy.
   Jane, as mother was called, reared 11 children that all grew and married and reared families. Besides rearing her own family, she helped to rear four of her sisters family. When her daughter, Luna, died, January, 29 1900, Mother took part of her children and kept them and was very good to them for several years. Her son James Franklin lost his wife on June 6, 1906 and Mother also helped all she could with his children. Her son, Otis Alonzo, lost his wife in child bearing May 7, 1912, and she went to Richfield to help him with the children until he had a woman come and live in the home to help care for the children.
   She was a woman of great faith and was a widow for 30 years. Father, James, died when their last children were small and she reared them and the others mentioned without his help. She lost her eyesight with cataracts coming over her eyes. At the age of 66 she had one removed, but could see but very little and suffered with pain in her head a great deal of the time.
   She rejoiced in her testimony of the Gospel and that she was grateful that her lot had been cast among the people of the Lord. She delighted in telling the young events of her life which were indeed faith promoting.
   Sarah Jane died at the home of her son, Otis, in Richfield, Utah on October 10, 1924 at the age of 86.
   When the names of the noble ones who have helped to make the record of this state and church have been completed, Sister Sarah Jane Dickinson will be classified among those noble Pioneers and Empire Builders.

------------------------------------------------------------ Hope (a daughter of Otis) remembers Grandma Sarah Jane.

   Grandma lived with us for several years. She was going blind and so Dad moved her to our home where his family could help take care of her. Grandma was a small built woman. She had a very sweet disposition, and was kind to everyone around her. Her hair was black and long enough to sit on. She kept it braided and wrapped around her head. Hope tells of how she loved to comb Grandma's hair, it was so silky and shiny, then she would braid it for Grandma. At age 86, she never had a gray hair. She loved to go walking and Hope loved to take Grandma walking. In the spring as the peas were ready to eat, Grandma would sit at the top of the garden, and Hope would pick peas for Grandma to eat raw, this was a great treat for her.
   Each summer the girls would go to Panguitch and stay with Grandma. Grandma would always make cookies for them. She had a banister on her stairway, which she would allow the children to slide down. Grandma told them many stories of her life. (which Hope can't remember because she was quite young.)
   The night Grandma died, Hope was sleeping with her. Hope woke up in the morning, and thought Grandma was asleep, and she got dressed and went in the kitchen. A little while later, when it was time for Grandma to get up, Hope went in to see if Grandma needed her help, and she looked like she was still asleep, so Hope called her mother to come and see Grandma, and she was dead.
   Dad was on the Fish Lake mountain when she died, and so Uncle Ammon volunteered to take his Model T Ford car and go get Dad. As they were coming down from Fish Lake, Uncle Ammon's car lights went out. This road was a narrow dugway, and even with lights, was hard to drive. So in order to drive home, they each hung their heads out of the windows, to watch that they didn't get too close to the edge. It was the middle of the night when they arrived home safe.
   Grandma Sarah Jane died 10 October 1924 at Richfield, Utah at the age of 86, She is buried in Panguitch, Utah at the side of her beloved companion, James.
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Sarah Jane Dickinson's Timeline

June 14, 1838
Stone Mills, ON, Canada
Age 7
March 27, 1857
Age 18
Salt Lake City, Utah
December 24, 1861
Age 23
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
January 1879
Age 40
March 8, 1880
Age 41
Panguitch, Garfield, Utah, United States
November 7, 1884
Age 46
October 10, 1924
Age 86
Panguitch, Garfield, UT, USA
Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah, United States