Sarah De Arman Rich (Pea) (1814 - 1893)

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Birthplace: Looking-Glass Prairie, St. Clair, Illinois, USA
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About Sarah De Arman Rich (Pea)

From the following websites: http://www.archive.org/stream/latterdaysaintbi03jensrich/latterdaysaintbi03jensrich_djvu.txt : .findagrave...

Sarah De Arman Pea Rich, wife of Apostle Chas. C. Rich, and a Utah LDS pioneer of 1847, was born Sept. 23, 1814, in what was called the Looking Glass Prairie, St. Clair county, Illinois, the daughter of John Pea (of South Carolina) and Elizabeth Knighton (of Old Virginia). Her father served as a soldier in the war of 1812, and her mother was a daughter of Thomas Knighton, who was a soldier of the American Revolution.

Her father was a well-to-do farmer and blacksmith, and Sarah D., who was taught to be thrifty, could take the flax and cotton from the field and spin and weave it into cloth. For many years she was the weaver for the family, as the main part of their clothing, as well as their food, were the products of the farm. She was of a very religious nature, a great reader of the Bible, the family belonging to the so-called Reformed Methodists, and her eldest brother was a Methodist minister. In the summer of 1835 Harvey Green and Wm. O. Clark, two "Mormon" missionaries, were invited into her father's house, where they held a meeting and told about Joseph Smith and the angel appearing to him. Sarah D. was deeply impressed and the Elders left the Book of Mormon with her to read; she became a convert to "Mormonism," and when the Elders returned she was baptized Dec. 15, 1835, she being the first of her father's family to receive the fulness of the gospel. Her father, mother and sister followed her example. After joining the Church, her father began making arrangements for migrating to Missouri. The Elders frequently visited the family and left Church publications in the house to be read by members of the household. In one of these she saw the name of Chas. C. Rich and laughingly said: "This is a very rich name, I think I will marry him." On one of his visits Bro. Greene said: "Sister Sarah I have recommended you to a very worthy young Elder as a companion (Chas. C. Rich). After this another Elder told her the same thing. Soon afterwards she received a letter from BEO. Rich himself in which he asked for her hand in marriage. They had never seen each other and before giving her answer to Bro. Rich she looked into her Bible, when her eyes suddenly fell upon the words of Ruth to Boaz, upon which she answered his letter. The correspondence continued until the family moved to Missouri in the fall of 1837, and Sarah D. was married to Chas. C. Rich Feb. 11, 1838, Geo. M. Hinkle performing the ceremony at Far West.

Here Sister Sarah D. became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, and from this time on her life with that of her husband became closely associated with the history of the Latter-day Saints. About this time the persecutions of the Saints began in Missouri, and owing to the prominent part her husband had taken in the Crooked River battle, he was forced to flee into the wilderness for his life. He and Hosea Stout parted with their wives at midnight on the public square at Far West and covenanted to the effect that the men would remain together and the women also. Sisters Rich and Stout went to the house of Jane Greene. In the morning she was obliged to get a pass from the commander of the mob before she could go home. When the people of the farming districts were driven from their homes into Far West Sister Rich took seven families into her house, among them being John E. Page and wife. Sister Page was ill and died in a few days and while her body was being prepared for burial, some of the mobbers came into the house to search for arms. One of the mobocrats pointed a gun at Sister Rich, threatening to shoot her if she did not tell where her husband was. She replied, "You will have to shoot, for I do not know." She heard nothing from her husband for three months, until one day an Indian came to her house and gave her a small silver broach, telling her that a man sent it to her from his camp; he then described Bro. Rich. After leaving the Indian camp Bro. Rich traveled to Quincy, Illinois, where he met his father-in-law and heard of the mobbing at Far West. Bro. Rich requested him to go and bring Sisters Rich and Stout to Quincy, the father arrived at Far West in January, 1839. In a remarkable short time they got ready and traveled to the Mississippi river, to a point opposite Quincy, where they were seen by Bros. Rich and Stout, who came over to assist their wives across. In the midst of great dangers they crossed the river in a canoe, paddling through the ice, the women holding onto the side while the floating ice cut their fingers. A few days after their arrival at Quincy Sister Rich gave birth to a daughter (her first child) March 4, 1839; they named the child Sarah Jane and she was blessed by Patriarch Joseph Smith, sen., who also blessed Sister Rich, promising that she should live to a good old age. In November, 1839, the family moved to Nauvoo, where they lived a happy life. Here Sister Rich formed a lasting friendship with Sister Vilate Kimball. When the Prophet Joseph organized the Female Relief Society in 1842, Sister Rich became a member of that organization; she became intimately acquainted with Emma Smith, the Prophet's wife, and Lucy Smith, the Prophet's mother, and frequently visited these ladies in their homes. Soon persecution again commenced against the Saints and Bro. Rich was frequently called away from home, leaving Sister Rich alone with the family; a son and a daughter were born to her after settling at Nauvoo. About this time one of the greatest trials that ever befell Sister Rich came to her from the fact that celestial marriage was revealed, but after engaging in earnest prayer she made up her mind to trust in the word of the Prophet, and in May, 1844, Patriarch Hyrum Smith came to the Fullmer House, where the family lived, and there she was sealed to her husband by Hyrum Smith for time and eternity. Bro. Rich was away on a mission when the martyrdom of the Prophet occurred. Sister Rich set out in a rainstorm to listen to the last address given by the Prophet Joseph before he went to Carthage, and she was with the funeral procession which went out to meet the bodies of the martyrs June 28, 1844.

Soon afterwards Bro. Rich, being released from his mission, returned to Nauvoo and moved into his own home near the Temple. Here on Sept. 2, 1844, Sister Rich gave birth to a son, Chas. C. Rich Jr., her fourth child. When the revelation on plural marriage was revealed to her, she decided to accept this order and gave her consent for her husband to enter into this covenant. After the Temple was finished, she, together with her husband, was called to do ordinance work in the same. This necessitated her leaving home a great deal; hence two of her husband's plural wives came to live in her house and take care of the children and home. The Temple work was continued until the exodus took place, and Sister Rich left home with her household goods unsold, Feb. 13,1846, taking only the most necessary supplies with her. With her husband she commenced the long journey to find a new home in the unknown land beyond the Rocky Mountains. After crossing the Mississippi river into Iowa, the family traveled through sleet and snow, the children being sick from sleeping on the damp ground. After leaving Sugar creek the journey was continued to Garden Grove, Mt. Pisgah and the Missouri river. Bro. Rich was appointed to preside at Mt. Pisgah, at which place Sister Rich passed through many trying experiences, owing to the many hardships the people had endured; their health was broken, chills and fever became prevalent and there were only a few to care for the sick or bury the dead. Bro. Rich himself through overwork became a victim to the disease and Sister Rich watched over him many weeks while he lingered between life and death; he slowly recovered. During this time food was very scarce and many of the Saints were on the verge of starvation. Sister Rich had only twenty pounds of flour in the house when her husband was still sick. Bro. Wm. Huntington's death left Bro. Rich in charge at Mt. Pisgah. A poor woman, whose husband had gone with the Mormon Battalion, came to the house weeping and stated that her little children were starving. Bro. Rich said "Sarah give this woman some flour." She replied, "We have only twenty pounds and one loaf of bread in the house," but the flour was given and towards evening a Bro. Sidwell drove up and asked if he could stay over night. Upon being answered in the affirmative, Bro. Sidwell, who had been a Quaker, turned to Bro. Rich and said: "The spirit tells me that thou art out of money and tells me to help thee." He then gave him $50.00. Bro. Rich gave the money to his wife, saying: "Now you see the Lord has opened the way for us to get flour." She had just bread enough for supper, but the flour arrived that night. Bro. Rich bought a supply of flour for his family and some for the poor. Early in 1847 Bro. Rich was sent to Nauvoo. Before going he moved his family to Winter Quarters, leaving Sister Rich to provide for the family.

After returning from a successful trip to Nauvoo, two orphan children named Judson (whose parents had died at Mt. Pisgah) were added to the Rich family circle. Charles C. Rich and family left Winter Quarters June 14, 1847, for the west, Bro. Rich taking charge of a company crossing the plains. There being more women and children in this company than men the task of teamsters and the driving of stock fell greatly to the lot of the women and older children. After many hard- ships the company came in sight of Salt Lake Valley Oct. 3, 1847.

On the 5th of October, Nancy Rich, the mother of Chas. C. Rich, died; she was the first adult of the Saints who died in the Valley. The family soon commenced to get logs from the canyons to build houses, and while this was being done they lived in their tents and wagons. Sister Rich of course passed through all the trials incident to pioneer life. In February, 1849, the Rich family moved out of the fort onto their city lots.

Being called on a mission to California, Bro. Rich (who had been ordained an Apostle Feb. 12, 1849), left Oct. 9, 1849, leaving Sister Rich with a daughter three days old; he returned to his home in November, 1850, and was soon afterwards called to assist an establishing a "Mormon" settlement in Southern California. Sister Rich preferred to remain in the Valley and her husband purchased her a home in the Seventeenth Ward. Here she lived for forty years and owned one of the first fruit orchards in Utah Territory; she also owned one of the first cultivated roses which bloomed in Utah, for which she received a diploma at a fair. Sister Rich participated at the renowned celebration July 4, 1851, at Black Rock; and she also attended the memorable celebration in Cottonwood Canyon in July, 1857.

In the "general move" south in 1858 she located at Provo, but soon returned to her Salt Lake City home. In 1860 her husband and their son Joseph C. left on a mission to England, from which they returned in 1862, Bro. Rich being called to colonize Bear Lake Valley, Sister Rich moved there in November, 1864, and resided there three years. The climate being too severe for her constitution, she came back to her Seventeenth Ward home. When her husband was stricken with paralysis in 1880 she with others of her family went to Bear Lake Valley to be with him and nurse him. Sister Rich was a teacher in the Relief Society in the Seventeenth Ward from the time of its first organization until her death which occurred Sept. 12, 1893, while visiting her son Fred C. Rich in Salt Lake City. She survived her husband ten years, was the mother of nine children, six sons and three daughters. The last two years of her life she lived with her son Ben. E. Rich and wife at Ogden.

Following are the names of the children of Chas. C. and Sarah D. Rich:

Sarah Jane, born March 4, 1839 at Quincy, Illinois

Joseph Conlson, born Jan. 16, 1841, at Nauvoo

Artemesia, born Jan. 15, 1843, and died when nine months old;

Chas. C. Jr., born Sept. 2, 1844, at Nauvoo; John T., born Dec. 15, 1846, at Mt. Pisgah, Iowa;

Elizabeth, born Oct. 6, 1849, in Salt Lake City;

David Patten, born April 8, 1853, in Salt Lake City;

Benjamin E., born Nov. 7, 1855, in Salt Lake City,

Frederick Carmel, born July 19, 1859, in Salt Lake City.

Sketch written by Sarah Rich Miller, eldest child of Charles C. Rich and Sarah DeArman Pea.

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Sarah Rich's Timeline

1814
September 23, 1814
Looking-Glass Prairie, St. Clair, Illinois, USA
1839
March 4, 1839
Age 24
Burton, IL, USA
1841
January 16, 1841
Age 26
Nauvoo, IL, USA
1843
January 15, 1843
Age 28
Nauvoo, IL, USA
1844
September 8, 1844
Age 29
Navuoo, Hancock, Illinois, USA
1846
December 15, 1846
Age 32
Mt. Pisgah, Ia
1849
October 6, 1849
Age 35
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
1853
April 8, 1853
Age 38
1855
November 7, 1855
Age 41
1859
July 19, 1859
Age 44