Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Iva Beckstead contribution

Thanks for your new blog entry.  Do you know if this journal entry was written in his own handwriting?  If so, Do you happen to have a copy of it?  I have a typed copy that was given to me years ago (can't remember by whom) but it isn't quite the same as your blog entry.  Yours has more detail.  Do you know if a complete journal exists for Isaac John Wardle?
I have attached some research that I have done.
Iva Beckstead

According to The Journal of Langley Allgood Bailey, edited by Allen C. Christensen, “I was taken down with a hemerage (hemorrhage) of the bowles (bowels).  I was unable to walk.  Had to be hauled on Bro. Isaac J. Wardle and my brother, John’s cart.  After reaching Florence (Nebraska), a Doctor was consulted.  (The Doctor) said I must not go another step or I would die and be buried on the road side.  A captain named Tune would not administer to me—said he did not have faith enough to rais(e) the dead.  Mother, on hearing that Apostle F. D. Richards and C. H. Wheelock had arrived in camp, got them to administer to me.  They promised me I would live to reach the vallies (valleys).  All this time I was uncounsis (unconscious) of what was going on.”


One account written by a granddaughter of Isaac, Ollie Palmer Parkinson, states: “I remember grandfather telling us how he left bloody tracks in the snow as they came across the plains, and how he prayed for a pair of shoes and he came on to a pair by the side of the road.  They were small for him and hurt his feet, but how good they felt to him, and he knelt and thanked his Heavenly father for them.”

Another time Ollie states that her grandfather said, “They almost starved to death and more than once they singed the hair off the hides and chewed that.  The longer they chewed, the larger it got.  They would take it out of their mouths and cutoff another piece and chew again.”


They had to cross streams and rivers that were filled with ice chunks.  On page 5 of the book Of Dugouts and Spires by Ronald R. Bateman, 1998 published by the South Jordan City Corporation it states, “Isaac J. Wardle helped bury twenty people in a single grave in that desolate white wilderness.”

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Isaac Wardle's History in His Words

Isaac wrote a short description of his life. 

Copied as written by Isaac J. Wardle
Born June 14, 1835 in the Theune of Raven Stone, Lester Shire, England.  Son of John and Mary Wardle.  I had four brothers and one sister.  I did not have the privilege to go to school much as I was put to work at the age of 7 years old.  At 9 years old I was to work in the lead mines.  I was after put to work to learn the rope making business.  I only stayed at that work a short time as the family moved to the town of Loalcvill [Coalville.]  I was put to work in coal mine again.  I continued to work at the same place till I was 18 years old.  In September 23, 1853 I was Baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, by Elder Fredrick Smith.  I was confirmed next day by Elder Smith.  In a short time I moved to the town of Worcel, Staford Shire.  I stay-ed there till I had saved money enough to emigrate to America.  Then I went to father and mother, brothers and sister again till the spring of 1856.  On the 19th day of May I bid them all goodby and sailed for Liverpool.  Saturday, May 26, 1853 went on board the ship Orizen [Horizon] with 840 passengers on board.  John Read was Captain.  Edward Martin, President of the company, Josef Haven, councilor.  We was on the sea 5 weeks.  Arrived in Boston Saturday 10 a.m. , stayed there two days, then took train for Iowa City, state of Iowa.  We stayed there a short time and then started for Council Bluffs with Hand Carts.  Distance was 300 miles.  We did not have difficulty on the road.  WE crossed the Missouri River at Florence.  Stayed there a short time to fill out for the plains.  Edward Martin continued to be our President and Captain.  When we left Florence there was some where about 740 soles in the company.  Some had stayed at different towns along the road.  When we left Florence I had on my handcart a young man 18 years old by the name of Langley Baley, (now living in Nephi City, Utah.) and 100 lbs flour and tent and camp equipment for 7 persons, with John Baley to help me pull it.  (Now living in Monrchie, [Moroni] Sanpete County, Utah).  Every thing went along fairly well with us for about 630 miles, except the Indians came to see us once in a while till we got to Platt bridge, there we encountered a severe snow storm.  This was in the early part of October.  Then our old men and women commenced to give way with some young people too.  We kept moving on a little every day.  By this time some of our brethren and sisters and children commenced to die and give out by the wayside.  I myself fell to the ground and lay for some time.  About this time Joseph A. Young and Ephram Hanks came to our camp at noon one day and told us that horse teams was coming to meet us from Salt Lake City, with provisions.  In 2 days we met 10 teams.  More team continued to meet every day on, so we left our hand carts at Picfick Springs.  By this time quite a number had died, which I helped to burry.  It continued to be very cold and stormy and some of them dying most every day.  We got to Salt Lake City, Utah about 11: O’Clock A.M. Sunday Morning 30th day of November 1856.  President Brigham Young with many other brethren and sister bid us welcome and took us to their homes.  By night we all had places to lay our heads down, rest in comfort, to rest our weary body.

I like the way he ends this, "to rest our weary body."  After a trip of thousands of miles, and a trek of 1300 miles, I am sure Isaac's body was very weary.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Mormon Country by Wallace Stegner

Mormon Country
Wallace Stegner includes a couple chapters about the handcarts in this book.  He starts giving a description of the handcart pioneers, and includes Isaac at the beginning of his description.  “They were British converts from the black-belt collieries…  He concludes this chapter with this description of the Martin and Willie Companies’ handcart experience.  “The story of these two caravans of Saints is a story of tragedy second in western history only to the tragedy of the Donnor Party.  The only thing the Donnor Party did that the handcart companies did not was to eat their dead companions.  The Mormons, apparently, were better prepared to die.  Their hope was fixed on heaven, not on the golden shore.  He described how the rations were reduced as the trial became harder in an effort to make them last until help would arrive.  “There was a law of diminishing returns against them.  The harder the way became, the less strength they had to get over it.  The more their bodies clamored for food and warmth, the less food and warmth there were.  The greater their need for haste, the slower their pace became.”
Statements such as these, help me to understand a bit better what the handcart trek must have been like.