Talitha Cumi Cheney (Garlick) (1824 - 1902)

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Birthplace: Providence, Bedford, PA, USA
Death: Died in USA
Managed by: Sara Feil
Last Updated:

About Talitha Cumi Cheney (Garlick)

Autobiographical Summary:

"...Talitha Cumi Garlick (1824-1902) I was born September 22, 1824, in Providence, Bedford Co., Pennsylvania. Father and Mother belonged to the Christian Church and were very religious and firm in their belief. The Christian Church believed in baptism by immersion, and that was all that was required, they thought. Then, they believed, they belonged to the True Church of Christ. But in 1837, there were two Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who came to our neighborhood and preached the true Gospel and Mother and three of my sisters joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They were baptized in October, 1837.

I was thirteen years old then. Previous to these Elders coming, my Mother dreamed she saw two strange preachers and heard a voice say, "These are the true messengers of God, hear and obey." I heard my Mother tell my Father of this in the morning after she dreamed this.

The next week, William Baisley and John Wakefield, two Mormon Elders, as they were called, came in that neighborhood and preached. As soon as Mother saw them she said, "They were the men she saw in her dream and she knew they had the true Gospel." She and my three sisters joined the Church. In two weeks after hearing them preach there were twenty baptized in that place. Then the mob spirit arose and all was confusion. Our friends and relatives all turned against us.

We stayed there for two years after that. Mobs and persecutions prevailed. Father said he was going to leave if he had to go without selling. No one would buy. He sold his large farm for $500, and it was worth $5,000, he often said.

We took the family and headed for Missouri. This was October in 1839. When we got to Illinois we heard the Saints were all driven out of Missouri, so we went to Commerce, which was afterwards called Nauvoo. When we got there it was November 30, too late to build a house. There was none we could get, every house was full.

There was a blacksmith shop that two families had just moved out of, so Father got that. It was the best we could do. It had no floor, no door or chimney. Father made a sod chimney, because there was no rock. He made a clapboard door and we lived in that all winter. Father hauled house logs across the Mississippi River on the ice and built a house with two rooms with hewn logs, and moved in it in March.

Brother Joseph Smith, the Prophet, had gone to the city of Washington to lay the grievances of the Gospel before the President of the United States. We did not see him or hear him preach until he got back. I had said, "I would not get baptized until I saw the Prophet and heard him preach." I kept my word. I was baptized April 7, 1840, in the Mississippi River by Joseph Smith the Prophet.

In 1842, the Prophet organized the first Relief Society in this dispensation. There was no society [organization] for the young people at that time, so I, as did all the other girls who wished to and were worthy, joined the Relief Society. Joseph Smith came often to our meetings and would talk to us and give us such good counsel.

I heard him preach the last time he ever preached, just before he and his brother, Hyrum, went to Carthage. I saw them after they were killed and brought back to Nauvoo. It was the most sorrowful sight I have ever seen - to see such good and great men, and one of them the greatest Prophet, or as great as ever lived on this earth, killed in cold blood by a mob. Those were times long to be remembered.

In 1845, my mother and her family moved across the Mississippi River to Iowa. My Father died in 1843. An old friend of ours said we could "better" by moving across the Mississippi because my brother was old enough to farm.

I was in Nauvoo when Sidney Rigdon came from the East after Brothers Joseph and Hyrum were killed, to take the lead of the Church. There were none of the Twelve Apostles at home, but Brothers Taylor and Richards. Brother Taylor was badly wounded. Sidney Rigdon thought he would have everything his own way, but he found that he was mistaken. He called a meeting. He said the Church was old enough to choose a guardian, it being 14 years since it was organized.

Brother Brigham Young and the other apostles arrived in Nauvoo in time to be present at the meeting. Brother Brigham Young said, "The keys of the Kingdom are with the Twelve Apostles. They are the ones to lead the people." He looked just like Brother Joseph and spoke like him. Surely the mantle of Brother Joseph has fallen on him. I never had a doubt. I knew Brother Brigham was the man to fill the place of our beloved Prophet. I knew that Brother Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God and was the mouthpiece of God to the people, and that Brigham Young was his lawful successor. He was a man of God.

After my mother moved to Iowa in the fall of 1844, in the following year, March 2, 1845, I was married to a good young man by the name of William Howard Avery. [They were both 21 at the time.]. He owned a nice farm four miles north of Mount Rose, a beautiful place, but in 1846 the Saints had to leave Nauvoo and go to the mountains. We sold our place for a song, you might say, and got ready to go with the first company of Saints on the 4th of March, 1846.

My first child was born at Sugar Creek. My husband got a small cabin for us to stay in for A month. On April 6, we started and caught up with the first company at Mt. Pisgah. We traveled with the first company to the Bluffs and camped on Misquito Creek. Here the Battalion was chosen and sent to Mexico on the 15th of July, 1846.

We then crossed the Missouri River and camped on the west side [Winter Quarters] as it was too late to go any further. The camp stopped and made preparations for winter. We stayed there all winter. In the spring of 1847, Brigham Young with a band of pioneers started West to find a home for the Latter-day Saints west of the Rocky Mountains. After Brother Brigham Young started, we crossed back to the east side of the Missouri River and my husband and his brothers went to find work. We had been living one year on what we brought with us, so we had to stay to get a fresh supply before we could go on to the mountains. My husband sent for me. Charles Avery was hauling flour to Winter Quarters from where my husband got work and he got Charles to take me down to where he was. This was July, 1847.

On September 3 my husband took very sick. We were where we could get no Elders to administer to him. We did not believe in doctors, but he got so bad we gave consent for a doctor, but we could not save him. He had cholera. He died on September 13, 1847, in Missouri, Atcheson County, 12 miles south of Linden. My son William was then 18 months old. I was left among strangers, not one of my folks within 500 miles. My husband's youngest brother was with us or I don't know what I would have done. My little boy was sick too. He took sick the same day his father died. I would not give him any of the doctor's medicine. He was sick for two months, but the Lord spared his life for a comfort to me. On the 15th day of September, my brother-in-law took me to the Bluffs, Kainsville, to Charles Avery, my husband's oldest brother. On the 15th of October, my mother and three sisters came so I went and stayed with my mother until she started for the valley in 1852. I stayed another year with my brother-in-law, John F. Wakefield. He wanted me to stay with my sister, Susan, for she felt so bad to have us all go and she had to stay. John thought we could get ready by another year, but he was disappointed, for another year he was no nearer ready than he was the year before. So in 1853, I started to the Valley with Brother Jacob Bigler's folks. We started the 10th of June, in Daniel Miller's Company and got to Salt Lake Valley the 10th of September, 1853. The grasshoppers destroyed all the crops. When I went to the valley, I went as far south as Springfield. My mother and brother and three of my sisters were there. The people had moved into a fort. The Indians were troublesome. I lived with my brother. February 13, 1854, I was married to Elam Cheney at Springfield, Utah. [Elam Cheney had five wives. Talitha was his third wife. They were the parents of four children, three sons and one daughter.]

On January 18, 1855, Olive Mehitable Cheney was born. The same year the grasshoppers took all of our crops, again making bread scarce. After the grasshoppers took Mr. Cheney's wheat, he planted corn on the same ground and raised enough for our bread. We did not do without. We were very saving of our bread. We divided with those that had none and the Lord blessed us and we did not suffer.

March 8, 1857, David Cheney was born. June 16, 1859, Selar Cheney was born. In March, 1860, I moved to a ranch eight miles south of Santaquin. Mr. Cheney had bought a ranch and wished me and my family to go there. My oldest son, William Avery, was 14 years old and old enough to take care of the stock and the sheep. In March 15, 1862, Thomas Edward Cheney was born. In March, 1863, I with my family moved to Sanpete County. Mr. Cheney thought it would be best for some of his family to live on a farm, so we did.

In 1864, Sunday School was organized in Fairview, Sanpete County. I was called by our Bishop to teach, which place I filled. I taught the Theological class. In 1866, the Indians got mad and went on the war path and went to killing men and driving off stock. My oldest son, William Avery, was on picket guard with two others and on the 16th of April was wounded. Thomas Jones was killed the same time. Three weeks after that we had to vacate Fairview and go to Mt. Pleasant and stay until fall.

In 1867, there was a Relief Society organized in Fairview and I was chosen as a teacher, and in 1868, was chosen secretary of the Grain Committee. In 1878, I was chosen for President of the Primary, which place I filled until my boys were called to settle in Castle Valley. In 1879, I resigned from all offices and went with my children to Castle Valley. In 1881, there was a Sunday School organized in Huntington in Castle Valley and I was chosen as teacher in the Theological class. In 1882, I was blessed and set apart for President of the Relief Society. We lived in Huntington, Emery County, from 1879 until 1893, when we sold our place and came north.

I was President of the Relief Society for eleven years, then we left Huntington and I was honorably released from all offices and came north with my children. My son, Selar Cheney, had come north with his father-in-law, Sylvester Wilson, and they had crossed the Big Mountain [Teton Pass] and Snake River in 1889 or 1890 and settled in a place called Jackson's Hole in Wyoming. They homesteaded about seven miles south of Jackson. In 1892, David Cheney and Albert Smith [son and grandson] came to see the country. They liked Idaho best.

In 1893, my son-in-law, Anthony Humble, and his son-in-law, Albert Smith, sold their places and started for the north country the 15th of May. David and Thomas were not ready so I came north with my son-in-law. His wife was the only daughter I ever had and I wanted to come when she came. I rode all the way in my buggy. I did not get tired. We were all thinking of going over the mountains where Selar lived. When we got to the mountains, we had to camp three weeks waiting for the snow to melt before we could cross the mountains. I was 69 years old and I walked over the Big Mountain, for it was too steep, no one could ride over it. Selar met us the next day and took us across the River in a scift. The water was so high we could not cross the wagons for three weeks more. It was July 4 1893, when we got to Jackson. [They all lived with Grandfather for a while.] Humbles moved into their new house two days before Scott Humble was born, December, 1893. In the meantime, other members of the family settled in Idaho.

David and Thomas Cheney built a one room cabin for their mother at Victor, Idaho, near the town of Thomas Cheney; The Humble family lived in Victor, Idaho..."

SOURCE: Lindsay, Mary Lyon Miles compiler; "Lindsay/Petersen & Cheney/Nethercott Family Histories". Privately published;Salt Lake City, Utah, April 1999. Retrieved from http://www.jefflindsay.com/talitha-cheney.shtml

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Talitha Cheney's Timeline

1824
September 22, 1824
USA
1839
April 7, 1839
Age 14
1840
April 7, 1840
Age 15
1845
March 7, 1845
Age 20
March 12, 1845
Age 20
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
1846
March 4, 1846
Age 21
Sugar Creek, Lee, IA
1854
February 13, 1854
Age 29
Springville, Utah, Ut
February 22, 1854
Age 29
1855
January 18, 1855
Age 30
Springville, Utah, UT
1856
May 30, 1856
Age 31