Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pioneer Day 2014

So, I got an email message from Family Search listing all my Mormon Pioneer ancestors. There was one name there I'd never known. And I couldn't match her up with anyone in my line. The system may not yet be foolproof. There's no internet infallibility in our church (or any other IT system I've ever heard of).

Yet I was surprised because I really thought my Mom had told me that our Wright Family of Coalville, Utah, were not Pioneers, but had come on the train. But there was Thomas Wright (1830-1909) on the list! His wife Annie Dale Wright (1842-1911) appears in the same Daniel D. McArthur Company, 1868.

Whatever my Mom told me it was at least half right because 1868 was the year before the transcontinental railroad was completed. In 1868, the Mormons heading for Zion rode the train to the then end of the line at Benton, Wyoming, eleven miles east of Rawlins. They didn't have to walk so far but it was still far enough across the most challenging parts of Southwestern Wyoming. Here's the report of their trip from the Pioneer Overland Travel Database:

Daniel D. McArthur, from St. George, led a group of out-and-back teamsters to Benton, Wyoming. They left Salt Lake in mid-June, traveling east by way of Parley's Canyon, where they encountered a blinding spring blizzard. It also took them a full day to swim their herd of oxen across the Green River, which was swollen from the spring runoff. They reached the end-of-track terminus of Benton in July and waited about six weeks for the emigrants, most of whom had crossed the Atlantic on the steamship Colorado. It took the emigrants about a week to travel from New York to the outfitting place on the train. The emigrants arrived in Benton, where they met their teamsters on August 7 and left a week later. The company included 411 passengers and 61 wagons. Twenty-five of the wagons were loaded with goods destined for stores in Salt Lake, including the new Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution. They traveled in a northwesterly direction from Benton through Whiskey Gap and northward from there until they reached the Sweetwater River and joined the old emigrant road. They arrived in Salt Lake on September 2. Seven people, mostly young children, died en route.
Thomas and Annie Might have met James Brigham Staples (1853-1910) in Benton whose daughter married their son becoming my Great-Grandparents. Unfortunately, the Wright's missed General U.S. Grant who visited Benton on July 27 in that presidential campaign year.
The Thomas and Annie Dale Wright Family about 1885
John (1882-1962), the little boy front center, is my Great Grandfather whom I remember meeting.

My Great Grandfather, John Alfred Wright (1882-1962), Yellow Creek Ranch on the Pioneer Trail
Grandpa Wright is holding on to my younger brother with me sitting on the ax sharpener


1 comment:

  1. I simply want to thank you for posting this. I also am a descendant of the Wright's, through their daughter Annie Lydia Wright.


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