3rd tombstone, Ogden City Cemetery, Ogden, Weber, Utah.
Burial: Ogden City Cemetery, Ogden, Weber County, Utah, USA - Plot: A-4-28-2W
found on findagrave.com
BIOGRAPHY: POLLY BARBER CHILD
BIRTH DATE: 30 March 1799 Greenfield, Saratoga, New York
DEATH: 4 February 1883 Ogden, Weber, Utah
PARENTS: Ichabod Barber and Anna Drake/Deake Barber
PIONEER: 1 October 1852 Uriah Curtis Wagon Company
SPOUSE: Alfred Bosworth Child
MARRIED: 19 March 1817 Greenfield, Saratoga, New York
DEATH: 22 December 1852 Ogden, Weber, Utah
Mary 15/19 March 1819
Joseph 13/19 January 1820
Polly Ann 20 July 1821
Mark Alfred 19/29 October 1823
Myron Barber 24 November 1825
Hannah Paulina 24 January 1828
John Lonson 26 October 1830
Phebe W. 17 January 1833
Warren Gould 21 February 1835
Orville Renssalaer 11 October 1838
Asa Thomas 28 July 1841
Polly had the privilege of attending the Milton Academy in New York.
She married Alfred Bosworth Child in 1817. In 1822, they moved to Morristown, New York, where they first heard the gospel. They were baptized into the LDS Church in June 1838 by Elder Charles Blakesly.
In September 1842, Alfred was appointed Post Master of Spring Prairie, Iowa for six years. Since he was away from home a great deal, Polly frequently had charge of the office and a small store which they operated. They lived in Iowa for seven years.
Polly served as a midwife for many years. She set out to help and relieve the suffering and distress of others. She willingly went wherever and whenever she was needed. This was the profession she followed for forty-three years. She was quite an expert in horseback riding. No kind of weather would deter her from responding to an urgent call.
Polly Barber Child was born March 30, 1799, at Greenfield, New York, and, for a time before her marriage, she attended the Milton Academy in New York. She married Alfred B. Child March 18, 1817. In 1822, they moved to Morristown, New York, where they first heard the gospel. They were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints June 5, 1838, by Elder Charles Blakesly.
Warren continues: “Mother got the loan of a neighbor’s horse to work with our remaining one and started for Jackson County to, if possible, get such supplies as was necessary to feed and clothe the family which had been rendered, through invasions that had been made upon them, quite destitute.”
Polly states in her letter to her sister that she and son Mark went 12 miles into Far West to shop for flour, salt, toys for children, and other items. When Polly returned, Alfred and Mark were put on guard duty with the armed Mormons because the mob was burning houses in the area. The mob were on their march to Crooked River and Haun’s Mill. Polly states that they went 14 miles and pitched their tent and lived in it two weeks. The people thought that, after the battle at Crooked River and Haun’s Mill, the mob would be pacified and they could live in peace for a time so everyone went to work again building houses. Later they learned that the mobs were moving to Far West. The Mormons began a counter movement to defend themselves and all able-bodied men were called out and armed. Polly’s husband and son Mark were taken prisoners but were not harmed and were later released but their best horse was taken and also their farm.
During this trying time Polly’s unwavering faith and strong testimony carried her through when her nights were long, dark and cold. In a letter to her brothers and family in New York she writes: “Mother says that we have caused her great many sleepless nights…but mother, I am contented, not because I cannot come back, but because I like the country.” As she tells about the mob at Crooked River, she writes: “About 6 an express came in that the mob was a burning the houses of a few of the brothers 7 miles off. I think 15 men armed; not much damage done; got wind and fled; got back about 9; came in laid on the floor with their guns by their sides. Mark saw the army, until nine sentinels were all around town. Express came in the night; mob was at Crooked River. Army went out the next morning; two of sister Chases sons went, one wounded in the knee got well, the other put in prison. Went home and found Alfred waiting for us. It was thought advisable to go to Diamon [sic] for safety. I had even baked most of the night. Started the next morning; only 14 miles; spread our tent; lived in it two weeks and three days. The battle at Crooked River, Hauns mills and being drove at this place seemed to quell and it was generally thought that it would be peace again….We lived on the road; the parade ground was about a quarter of a mile from us as our men were chiefly there to the block house in tolerable readiness, not knowing what might take place as the mob endeavored to creep upon us in the slyest ways….The back of our tent was not more than 30 feet from the road yet we did not hear the express when they came in. Alfred just waked me before the horsement passes….Now mother, these were all fathers, husbands and brothers living peaceably, loving one another. It was the next week, Thursday, before we could learn any tidings from them.”
After they got to Quincy, Illinois (March 1839), Alfred rented a farm and Polly and her daughter took in washing to help maintain the large family. They remained in Quincy for about eight months to recuperate from their journey. From there they went to Lee County, Iowa, across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo in the fall of 1839 where they remained about seven years. Alfred and their sons started work on a little log house. There was just a body of the house and a few slabs hewn out of logs on top for a roof and no floor. They had a difficult time in an unfinished house until spring. There was no chimney for a fireplace so they built a fire on the dirt floor. Her husband and two sons had to stop work on the house to find work to get food to eat.
Alfred was able to put in a garden and by 1841 the house was finished and a good crop secured from the garden. Polly and her daughter spun cloth from the flax raised in 1841 and in 1842 which was made into clothing--pants and shirts for the boys and dresses for the girls. They also made sheets and pillow cases.
In September 1842 Alfred was appointed Post Master of Spring Prairie, Lee County, Iowa. He held that office about six years and, as he was away from home a great deal, Polly frequently had charge of the office and a small store which they operated. They lived here in Iowa for seven years. During this time, Polly’s oldest daughter Polly Ann was married and son Mark enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, Missouri. He was with General Kearney’s staff in Mexico. Polly was never to see this son again and it was not until three years later that she learned that he had been killed by Indians in Upper California where he had been engaged in the ranching business.
Polly’s son Warren recalls the day the news reached them of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. “Mother was engaged in making soft soap in the yard as was her custom to do, often making up a barrel at one time for a neighbor. Lye leached from the ashes of the fireplace was used instead of the concentrated lye of today. The party bringing the sad news rode up on horseback and asked if we had heard the news. Mother said after that a thrilling shock went through her whole frame before replying. She had not heard of anything new but, from the expression of the stranger, she could see that there was something more than usual to induce a stranger to ask such a question….Father went immediately to Nauvoo as further trouble might need his presence.”
When the exodus from Nauvoo began in February 1846, the main body crossed the river on the ice, making their first encampment on Big Sugar Creek near the Child farm. The snow on the ground was a foot deep and the weather cold. Warren Child states that they “had about 60 bushes of corn in the cribs which they (Saints) were permitted to take without price which served the camp for a short time. They remained here some three weeks before the weather had so modified that they could start out in safety.” The Child family closed up their home and business and followed on June 10, 1846, with two wagons drawn by one yoke of oxen each.
Warren writes further: “In descending Soap Creek hill, a very steep one, the chain lock to the wagon that I was driving gave way and the wagon pressed onto the oxen so they were unable to hold it. Mother, who was sitting in the front with her feet on the outside of the box, was thrown out, lighting on her feet between the cattle which, in their efforts to hold the wagon, were crowding her body back against the end board. Bracing herself back, she managed to keep her feet until the bottom of the hill was reached. Using the butt of my whip stalk, the team was stopped until she could extricate herself from a perilous position without any serious results. Her presence of mind only saved her from being thrown under the wheels and crushed to death.”
Polly and her family settled on Little Pigeon Creek in Pottawattami County, Iowa, while the main body of the Church settled on the west banks of the river in Winter Quarters. They remained here in what is now called Council Bluffs, Iowa, from 1846 until the summer of 1852. During this period, Polly’s husband returned to Nauvoo on numerous occasions to assist the lingering saints as well as those arriving from foreign countries. On July 1, 1852, the Child family left for the Salt Lake Valley with two wagons, and 2 yoke cattle and 1 yoke cows to each wagon. They arrived in Salt Lake October 2, 1852 and settled in Ogden where their son Myron had settled the year before. Two months after their arrival, Polly’s husband Alfred died and was one of the first to be buried in the Ogden cemetery.
Polly’s children speak lovingly of their mother with praise of her skills as a midwife and her expertise as a horseman. Son Warren writes of the sugar that was made from a sugar bush while living in Indian country. The sugar was also used “in preparing in a more palatable shape our little stock of medicine which was always laid in during the summer which consisted in the main of lobelia and boneset, wild turnip and jingshan and pills made of butnut bark which was manufactured by my mother. She was the physician of the family and was considered to be a very good one. As the country became settled up, she was usually sent for, sometimes to go distances ranging from one to ten miles distant to prescribe and wait on the sick. Her more special practice was that of midwife, a profession she followed for a period of 43 years. She was quite an expert in horseback riding, often riding a distance of twenty miles on strange horses, frequently in night time and dark and sometimes storming. No kind of weather would deter her from responding in an urgent call of this kind. She was usually very successful and considered one of the best of her day, seldom ever losing a case.”
Polly was to make one more trip across country when she returned to New York at the age of 70 in company with her son Warren G. Child to visit her brother and sister, the only survivors of her father’s family whom she parted with nearly 30 years previously. This time it was a pleasant journey of about six days by rail and a short distance by stage. They remained there for 19 days before making the long trip back to Ogden.
Polly Child lived to be almost 84 years old. Five years before she died, she suffered a stroke which left her partially paralyzed physically but not spiritually or mentally. She was attended by friends and relatives during this time and died peacefully on the 4th of February 1883. She is buried beside her dear Alfred in the Ogden Cemetery.
LIFE OF POLLY BARBER CHILD
Polly Barber Child was the daughter of Ichabod and Annie Drake Barber, was born on March 30th, 1799, at Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York, and for a time before her marriage she attended the Milton Academy in New York. She was married to Alfred B. Child, March 19th, 1817. In 1822, they moved to Morristown, New York, where they first heard the gospel preached, which was revealed from Heaven to Joseph Smith by an angel sent from God. After thorough investigation, being fully convinced of its truth, they were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, June 5, 1838, by Elder Charles Blakesly.
On the 11th day of August following, they left for the State of Missouri, stopping on the way for a few weeks at Kirtland, Ohio. They arrived in Caldwell County, Missouri, in September of the same year, having traveled the entire distance from the state of New York by a two-horse team and wagon. The family, at that time, were ten in number.
It has been said by researchers that in the early period of the church no group in the church ever sacrificed more than the early Kirtland saints, in the monumental task in the building of the Kirtland Temple.
They lived in poverty because they gave up all they had toward this labor of love for the Lord, and He was ever watchful of their welfare. During this period, many of the Saints received revelations and visitations from Heavenly beings, to increase their faith and strength to endure the trials and persecutions that law before them.
While traveling through Ohio, en route for Caldwell County, and passing through a heavily timbered country, a singular incident occurred. One morning, soon after leaving the camp, a very aged person, whose hair was long, and as white as wool, appeared suddenly in the track immediately in front of the team and cried “Whoa!” The horses stopped immediately. Then he came up to the wagon, commenced with the oldest of the family, shook hands, and talked with each one in turn, according to their age. He blessed them in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, after which he disappeared as suddenly as he appeared, and vanished from sight. Whither he went, the family never knew.
While in Caldwell County, the persecutions arose against the Latter-day Saints, in which Alfred and Polly Child were victims. Polly B. described this episode in a letter to Phoebe Wooster, her sister, in another chapter.
In March, 1939, they arrived at Quincy, Illinois. They, of course, were in destitute condition, and remained there about eight months to recuperate.
In the autobiography of Polly Ann, the 18-year-old daughter of Polly B. Child, she tells of some of the experiences her mother and the family endured when they moved into Davies County, at Adam-on-diaham. “They called it a city of tents and wagons. In February 1839, my father and brother, Mark, were taken prisoners by the mob but later were released. Orders came to leave the state of Missouri in 15 days. “All the Saints really had a hard struggle to get out of the state. A few had teams but some had to go on foot across the frozen prairie, destitute of food and clothing, with the sand burrs cutting their feet.”
“My father had let his wagon go towards a piece of land and the mob had stolen his best horse; consequently, we only had one horse left. My father had a little money and he hired a friend, a Mr. Allred, to move us out. (My father let one of the older brethren have our remaining horse to help him out.) There was much suffering among the women and children before we got to the Mississippi and into Illinois (at Quincy).
“When we got to the river, the ice was running and we could not cross; consequently, we had to camp there the next three weeks before we could cross into Illinois. It was now the middle of March. We made shantys of brush and blankets and wagons were our homes. We had very little food to eat. I cannot attempt to describe the suffering of the Saints with cold and hunger.”
“After we got into Illinois, my father rented a farm. Mother and I took in washing to help maintain the family. Father put up a little log house but before the house was finished, he and my two eldest brothers had to go and find work to get food to eat. Our house had just a body of the house and a few slabs hewn out of logs on top for a roof. We had no floor. We build a fire on the ground as we had no chimney. My mother took in washings, and I worked out for 75 cents a week.
We did all we could to live until spring, then my father managed to put in a little grain and a garden. I worked out all summer where I could find work. Then in the spring and summer of 1841, I taught school. My father finished our house and raised a pretty good crop and I earned quite a little teaching school to help maintain the family.
My father raised a good crop of flax the year of 1841, and in 1842, I stayed at home and helped my mother spin and make it into cloth to clothe the family and make father and the boys pants and shirts. We also made sheets and pillow cases and we girls had dresses made of the flax.”
" On the third of September, 1842, my father was appointed Post Master of Spring Prairie, Lee County, Iowa. He held this office almost 6 years. Father attended to the office but was away from home a good deal, then mother took charge of the office, for which she was fully qualified. Father with the help of my brothers made a nice farm. We got along fairly well. The year of 1843, I worked out a good deal, but mother not being very well, I also helped her at home.”
The family apparently enjoyed a year or two of peace here in Iowa. Their son, Mark, had enlisted in the army in 1844, and was stationed at Forth Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 1846, at the time of the exodus, they moved to Pottawatomie County, Iowa, where they resided about 6 years, to procure an outfit to cross the plains, having thrice sacrificed comfortable homes for the Gospel’s sake. While the family was at the last named place, Alfred Child and his son, Warren T., then 14 years of age, went out to work for provisions. While at work, Alfred was taken sick, and was compelled to return home. Soon after his arrival, his wife took the ox team and in company with the boy, traveled a distance of 75 miles to collect the pay her husband had earned. She was absent about two weeks.
Polly’s unwavering faith and strong testimony had carried her through when her nights were long, dark and cold; put strength in her heart when it seemed all would be lost; helped her to see and feel the power and promise of God’s love in the dawn of a new day. She had been blessed by a Heavenly Being that day in the wagon, to give her the spiritual strength she would need.
In her letters to her mother, sister, and brothers in New York, this strength is shown forcefully. The mobs in the near distance all around her tent, her husband and son out to try to protect themselves and their families; yet, she wrote that she “had no fear, all fluttering of the heart was gone from me. I was as calm as I ever was sitting in your home, Mother.”
“When the brethren came with the word that the mob was a few miles distant and all men were needed,” she fixed her husband and son’s supper and sent them off. She and the baby, (who was my grandfather, Orville) went to bed. She was tired because she had been washing. She slept peacefully because she said, “I had no remembrance of it in the morning.”
She wrote that her feelings sometimes were melancholy, because she didn’t know “how soon her loved ones would be lost in death.” (She had the right to be melancholy with the harassments and hardships she was enduring.)
In Polly’s correspondence with her two brothers and one sister, there is evidence of much love and devotion, in their relationship with each other. (Their letters were also written as their thoughts came, without regard or skill as to grammar or punctuation.)
According to the correspondence between the members of the family, Alfred and Polly were evidently thinking of going to California with the Mormons, if that was the destination chosen by Brigham Young. Her brother, Asa Barber, in his letter is heart broken and pleads with her not to go so far away.
After the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the expulsion of the Saints from that area of the country, the Child’s family later joined in the exodus to Utah, and settled in Ogden.
Shortly after their joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Polly and her family had left their home in Hammond, New York, where her family had lived for more than 10 years. They endured a perilous journey to Kirtland, Ohio, and Missouri, to be with the members of the church.
Soon, she was driven from homes in Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa. She lived in dug-outs, crude log cabins, a wagon, and tents. A tent was the home for Polly and her family many times during their years of hardships and persecutions, in their travels in a wagon from New York to Ogden, Utah.
Polly was a courageously strong woman, with all of the poverty privations, hunger, and sickness with Cholera, and sorrows that she experienced in coming to Utah, and until her death. She had to be strong.
At last, in Utah, even after she safely arrived here on October 1, 1852, her faith and testimony was further tested, in the death of her beloved husband, Alfred, just two months later, on 22 December 1852. She had her seven children and several grandchildren around her for comfort, in a strange and barren land, not much of a home, and prospects were dim for a livelihood for any of them. I’m thinking about how she felt that first Christmas Day.
She had buried her first three children as infants, two sons and a daughter, and a seven-year-old son, Asa Thomas Child died in Iowa, just before they were driven out. He son, Mark, who was in the U.S. Army, was killed in California by Indians. The Lord had taken her mother Annie Drake Barber, who died 23 December, 1851, her brother Lonson died 4 days after her husband 26 December 1852 and now her life’s companion. Had she not endured enough? Did she say, “Lord, how much more do you want me to suffer before I can have peace and rest?”
No, I don’t think so. She knew life must go on. She probably just prayed for strength to carry on and make the best of it. For she was a strong woman! (Her mission was not to be finished for 31 years more -- in fact, most of it had just begun.)
Most of her surviving children were now married, and her two unmarried sons, Warren and Orville would lend their support as much as possible. They were old enough, 18 and 15 years respectively, to help themselves. She knew the Lord would continue to bless and sustain them all, and He did! They were faithful children.
She not only was strong in character; physically, spiritually, and emotionally; but she was blessed with wisdom and intelligence and a kind and gentle disposition.
Thus, alone and undaunted by severe adversity thus far in her life, she set out to do all she could to help and relieve the suffering and distress of others in her community.
Polly B. had a God-given ability for relieving pain and suffering. She was always willing to help anyone, and rendered her service freely. As a nurse and mid-wife, she brought hundreds of babies into the world, and dressed over 2,000 infants, during her fifty years of practice. She delivered many of her own grandchildren. She made thousands of warm hearted friends and as was observed at her funeral, her name was a household word among the people of early days in Ogden.
In her Patriarchal Blessing, she was promised wisdom and knowledge, and this promise was fulfilled. She was blessed when she needed some remedy, and her faith-grounded initiation prompted her to use a certain herb, oil or plant for medicine. No drug stores for medicine then.
She had such tremendous faith, and relied upon the Lord constantly for help and guidance, in her ministrations to her patients.
She willingly went wherever and whenever needed, day or night. No wonder they spoke of her, at her funeral, “as a ministering angel, fulfilling her mission with love, intelligence, integrity, and an unwavering faith in God.”
After all the trials of her younger years, Polly’s faith and patience was further tested in her old age. She lived to be 84 years old. The summit of Polly’s suffering was reached when about five years before she died, she suffered a stroke which left her partially paralyzed, physically, but not spiritually or mentally.
After her stroke, Polly’s pathetic struggle during these last years of life was made more endurable by her many friends and relatives who visited her and attended her.
She died peacefully, relieved of all of her burdens, on the 4th of February 1883, in Ogden, Utah, and was buried by the side of her dear Alfred in the Ogden Cemetery.
She had suffered much for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but she was a strong woman! She had endured courageously and faithfully to the end!
NOTE: Polly had a grand-daughter and name-sake, Polly Erminnie Child Richardson, whom she probably brought into the world, and who followed in the footstep of her grandmother and took over her good works of nursing and as a mid-wife, later in Fairview, Wyoming.
Written by Fern Roberts Morgan in 1983, 1102 Birch Lane, Provo, Utah 84604
Submitted by Ruth Osmond Wilson, 508 West 40 North, Orem, Utah 84057
Excerpts from the TrailSource of Trail Excerpt:Huntington, Polly Berthena, [Interview], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 13:198-99, 205.
Read Trail Excerpt:
10. At what place did you join the company or wagon train with which you came to Utah?
10. I came to Utah in a covered wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows. I cannot recall the place we joined the wagon train with which we came to Utah.
11. When did it leave for Utah?
11. We left for Utah June or July 1852.
12. What was the place of your destination in Utah? Why did you come to Utah?
12. Our destination was Utah, the place to live was not decided on until we reached Utah and we just kept traveling until we reached Springville where my father decided to make his home.
13. When did you arrive there?
13. We arrived in Springville, about Sept. 1st, 1852.
14. Who was the leader of your company or train?
14. I do not recall who the leader of the company in which we traveled.
15. Method of travel (handcart, ox team, mule team, horseback, etc.)
15. Our method of travel was a covered wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows, the cows we milked using the milk for food. All surplus milk was stored in a wooden churn and the motion of the wagon churned our butter.
34. Tell about coming to your state in a covered wagon.
34. I think it interesting to relate some experiences of the early days; in making the journey from Iowa to Utah, the wagon was loaded with essential necessities to last our family until such time as we could raise a crop, also my father, mother, 3 boys and 4 girls a total of 9 persons. Our motive power was 2 yoke of cattle one yoke being cows which we milked, the surplus milk was stored in a wooden churn, the jolting of the wagon would churn the butter. My fathers sister died on this trip and she was buried at a place called Devils Gate.
Alfred Bosworth (55) and Polly (Barber)(53) CHILD – Received the restored gospel in New York State, and joined the Saints in Kirtland, then went to Missouri and Nauvoo. He was postmaster at a station along the trail in Iowa. Polly was a pioneer midwife. (1852, Uriah Curtis Company) Ancestry.com
A Mother in Israel Gone to Rest - Funeral Services and Biographical Sketch of Polly Barber Child.
The funeral services over the remains of the much respected and long to be remembered Mother In Israel, Polly B. Child, was held in the Ogden Second Ward Meetinghouse, on Wednesday, February 7th 1883, and was conducted by Bishop Robert McQuarrie. In addition to the Bishop and his Counsel, there were present Presidency of the Stake, Bishop G.W. Bramwell, Patriarch Joseph Taylor, Elders L.J. Herrick, Lorin Farr, and many others. The choir sang for the opening hymn, "Creation speaks with awful voice." The opening prayer was made by Elder F. A. Brown. The choir then sang "The morning flowers display their sweets, etc."
Elder Lorin Farr first addressed the meeting. He knew no person who more fully answered and had better title to the name of Sister, Mother, or Saint than she whose remains were then lying before them. While he sympathized with those who had been bereaved of her society, for a short time, still he had not come there to mourn and grieve on account of the condition of Mother Child. He sympathized with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who will feel the loss of her society; but he rejoiced to know that she had gone to a place of peace, joy and happiness; where she will be forever free from sickness, pain, and sorrow, where she will meet with her husband who had preceded her to the spirit world. She would also meet with many of her former friends with whom she had held sweet and holy converse on earth.
The speaker has known Mother Child as well as all the family for very many years. She had always been firm in the faith, and true to the Kingdom of God, under all the persecutions and trying circumstances in which she had been placed. She has now gone to rest, she sleeps the sleep of the righteous, her memory is blessed and will ever live in the recollections of the just.
Elder Lester J. Herrick next addressed the meeting. He said if there were any better women living than Mother Child has always been, he did not know where they are. In this community she has been as kind as a Ministering Angel among the people in their afflictions. She was a lady of intelligence and large experience. Her mission here was one of love and kindness and she fulfilled that mission most faithfully. He had known her many years; she had been a great sufferer for a long time, but she endured in patience. She has fought the good fight, she has kept the faith, she died in the Lord, she rests from her labors and her works follow her.
Polly B. Child was an elect lady. She had suffered much for the Gospel's sake; she has gone to rest. She sleeps the sleep of the righteous, and she will awake in the morning of the first resurrection to be again united with her husband and children, no more to be separated from them.
After a few remarks by Bishop McQuarrie, in which he endorsed all that has been advanced by the other speakers, the choir sang "Farewell all earthly honors."
The services closed by benediction from Patriarch Joseph Taylor. The large cortege then took up its march to the cemetery, and the remains were laid away to repose. Her funeral was attended by a very large crowd of relatives and friends. Her memory is blessed, and will live in the recollections of all who knew her.
They arrived in Caldwell County, Missouri in September of the same year, having traveled the entire distance from the State of New York, by a two horse team. The family at that time was ten in number.
wagons and commenced with the oldest of the family, shook hands and talked with each one in turn according to their age. He blessed them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, after which he disappeared as suddenly as he appeared and vanished from sight. Whither he went the family never knew.
While in Caldwell County the persecutions arose against the Latter-day Saints, in which Brother and Sister Child participated. He with his son Mark were taken prisoners by the mob. The best horse they had was appropriated by them and a large farm was also confiscated by the ruthless invaders. The remaining horse was traded for one yoke of cattle with which the family
In February, 1839, they arrived at Quincy, Illinois. They, of course, were in a destitute condition and remained there about eight months to recuperate. From there they went to Lee County, Iowa, where they remained about seven years.
In 1846, at the time of the exodus they removed to Pottawatomie County, where they resided about five years, to procure an outfit to cross the plains, having twice sacrificed their comfortable homes for the Gospel's sake. While the family was at the last named place, Mr. Child and his son Warren G. then 14 years of age, went into Missouri to work for provisions. While at work Mr. Child was taken sick, and was compelled to return home. Soon after his arrival, his wife took the ox team and in company with the boy traveled a distance of 75 miles to collect the pay her husband had earned. She was absent about two weeks.
Since that time Polly B. Child has resided chiefly in Ogden. She has spent her days in usefulness. As a midwife she has introduced hundreds of children into the world in this country. She has made thousands of warm hearted friends and as was observed at the funeral, her name is a household word among the people, especially with the early settlers here. She had practiced midwifery for a period of fifty years, during which time she dressed over 2,000 infants. Being of a kind and gentle disposition she was endeared to all with whom she became associated.
Available historical sources do not agree on Polly's birth and death dates. Those listed above are from Family Search, but Polly's tombstone gives her birth as 29 Mar. 1799, and death as 4 Feb. 1883. Utah Burials database lists two death dates for Polly B. Child: 2–5–1883 and 2–7–1883.
In some sources her given name is listed as "Sally."
found on Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel (1847-1868) - lds.org/churchhistory
Letter from Polly Barber Child to Her Brothers in New York
Quincy, Davis County
June 23rd, 1839
Should these lines reach you they will inform you that through the mercies of God that we are enjoying good health at this time and healthy around us. I think not to write much at this time for letters, then to, I feel thankful to say that I have had the privilege of writing health and in all I have endeavored to inform you of every particular and answered many questions which I thought you would ask. I know not the times you have wrote to us, but we never have received but one and that informed us of your health and the birth of your little daughter. I do not think that my friends have forgotten me that reason why I do not get more letters from them for perhaps they have never got all or any of my letters that I have sent for the distance is great and enemies many therefore I should feel worse to think that my friends thought I had forgot them than I should to know I was forsaken by them. I shall send this letter by Elder A. Adams and I sincerely hope it will find all my friends alive and well as when I left them. I know not the feelings of my friends toward this people at this time, but for the acknowledgement of the request I make of him in calling upon you that you will receive him kindly. I think you need not doubt anything that he may tell you from the acquaintance I have with him as he is near neighbor of ours that you may rely on what he may tell you about our troubles, or this country or the place where the Mormons is settled at this time. His preaching if you should hear him not take dislike to condemn him by the Bible. I can look to God in your behalf knowing that he is in prayer hearing and in prayer answering God. At time it does not seem to me that the time was far distant my Brothers when my pen must stop and not write the words which my tongue would utter were you present. There is no day neither night that passes but that my earnest desire is for you. The time seems long my friends since I parted with you, but the hour that I parted with Lonson is as fresh in my memory that it seems this morning. There is but few things that will ever wreck my frame worse. My whole soul was ready to burst. I sat, or rather fell back, into the chair which he had just set for me. It was sometime before I could recover my former feelings, but the busy clamor of the passengers and the sight of so many things attracted the child's attention and caused them to ask questions which seemed to dray my attention from melancholy thoughts, yet there has never been the smallest amount or thought fleet across my mind like wishing I never had embraced this Gospel and come here. No, my friends, there is peace and comfort to the true believer of the Gospel. I wrote as far as this some time ago, but on receiving yours last evening when Alfred and the boys came from town for they had been to Independence I concluded to point my subject and write a good many things. It is a great satisfaction to hear of the present health of my friends. We are all in good health here except the baby. I never was so fleshy this time of the year in my life as now, and it is good flesh as it is made of old corn and you know that I always was more healthy when I nursed, and I shall not wein him this summer if I should live. Murey and wife were well a few weeks ago; got a child 5 months old. They wondered greatly about Charles and Lorinda. Old Pages and wife were very feeble when the Mormons came into Far West she died the next day. Evening probably overcome with the black faces and horrid yells. Their two children died within six weeks after it at A. Judd. Old Page married A. Judd's oldest daughter, not Rachel. Old Father Judd and wife is well. Huldah come 5 miles afoot to see us about two weeks ago. Mark and Polly went home with her in the wagon, Mark would work on the railroad but two weeks; he did not want to work there hired by Mr. Thompson, a real old fashioned Baptist man from the State of Main for $8.00 a month, as a mile from home. Polly worked there two weeks and 3 days for $6.00. They would give her $2.00 a week all summer if I could have spared her, but the baby is so unwell with his ulcers and leg it takes one of us all the while to take care of him. Mother says that we have caused her a great many sleepless nights and no doubt of it for I am a child and a great ways off, but mother I am contented, not because I cannot come back, but because I like the country. If I had never heard of a Mormon I would rather live here than in New York for we can support our family ten fold easier. If it wasn't for all of you laughing at me because I could not stay away from Mamma one year I would come and see you this fall, but Mother, if you live and I live and my family is well next summer I will come and see you. Lecty, you must have the quilt ready, but mother if you will come into this country, I will give you old Browny as soon as you get here. She is a first rate cow. We have four. Butter has been two shillings a pound, but warm weather has fell it to 16 cents money. It rained this afternoon and we are both writing he has left out the fruit in his letters to John, wild plumbs grow in abundance, our peach trees are so full that Alfred propped them up three weeks ago and thinks that he will have to pull or shake off part of them to keep the trees from breaking down. Peach trees bear three years from the seed. Anna, Phebe and Warren is to school, they learn very fast. I have saved seed peas for you that was ripe two weeks ago. Now for a trip to the Missouri way up to Far West in mob time 200 miles from here. We got there Sunday morning just as people was gathering for meeting; we drove up alongside the house; Alfred went in we set in the wagon and heard the Sermon as the meeting was out there was a young man came up to the wagon, got into the conversation, he was from the state of Maine, invited us to a house of his father's 12 miles from their to go that night.
Monday morning started. We missed the right road and turned back, got into town just before night, stopped to inquire if we could stay that night. They were sick and told us to go to Brother Chases about 20 rods from there. While we stood there, she came to us asked where we were from invited us home with her, said we was welcome to stay as long as we wished. They was from York, so the next day was around in town, met with Brother Nickerson and he told us of a house. We started and went there found a comfortable house, lived there about 3 weeks and Alfred was called upon to go to Dimon. It was evening, some brethren came and said orders was that every man that was able to help what he could for the mob was gathering fast already five or six hundred at Grindstone a few miles distant. We told them we were strangers just come in, his family would be alone. I was getting supper and I stopped, was motionless until one of them asked me if I was willing he should go. All fear all fluttering of the heart was gone from me; I was as calm as I ever was when setting in your house, Mother, I hope you will not think that I say this merely to please or thinking to cover, but I know that flattery would be poor balm to the wounded heart. No, this is true I gave their suppers, fixed him off, went to bed and did not lie awake 25 minutes was tired for I had been washing. I turned over with the baby once, no remembrance of it in the morning. It was Monday he came home on Friday. Sunday night was called about 1 o'clock to go back again. I went to sleep, slept until morning, then Mark and I went to town to Far West 12 miles to get flower, salt, a pail and some toys for the children, went three miles farther to get some full cloth for the boys. Got belated, stayed to Brother Chases. About 6 an express came in that the mob was burning the houses of a few of the Brothers 7 miles off. I think 15 men armed; not much damage was done, got wind and fled, got back about 9 came in laid on the floor with their guns by their sides. Mark see the army, until nine sentinels were all around town. Express came in the night, mob was at Crooked River. Army went out the next morning; two of sister Chases sons went, one wounded in the knee got well, the other put in prison, went home and found Alfred waiting for us. It was thought advisable to go to Diamon for safety. I had even baked most of the night. Started the next morning, only 14 miles, spread out tent, lived in it two weeks and three days. The battle at Crooked River, Hauns mills, and being drove at this place seemed to quell and it was generally thought it would bring peace again. All went peaceably through; I do not know the number of houses that was built in one week, not finished, only the roof and part of the floors, some windows and doors. It was Wednesday when we went the next Monday night about 12 o'clock, two men road very hard by our tent. We lived on the road, the parade ground was about a quarter of a mile from us as our men were chiefly there to the block house, in tolerable readiness, not knowing what might take place as the mob endeavored to creep upon us in the slyest ways. It appeared still and quiet, the alarm was soon given, 70 horsemen, not less than one there was armed and on their way to Far West. Alfred had been standing sentinel, had just come and built up a fire, was sitting by it when they rode by. Brother Nicherson said, "Good morning, Brother Child, keep on a good lookout, and the Lord be with us." The back of our tent was not more than 30 feet from the road, yet we did not hear the express when they came in. Alfred just waked me before the horsement passes. Hearing Brother Nicherson and knowing his voice gave me some melancholy feelings. I thought how soon they might be lost in death. Why I speak more of him than others is because we first got acquainted with him. He seemed to fill the place of my Brothers as much as a stranger could for he had taken great interest in our being well and pleasantly settled. Their lives were all spared to come home, had they been taken prisoners, now Mother these were all fathers, husbands and brothers living peaceably, loving one another. it was the next week, Thursday, before we could learn any tidings from them. The express was that 1800 of the mob had surrendered Far West. Mothers could not hear from their sons, wives from their husbands, neither children from fathers, no one dared to venture out for fear of being killed or taken prisoner. When to our astonishment they were in sights of us they halted. A number of men and boys were picking corn by the road. Mark was not feeling so well so did not go out in the morning. About 10 took the horse and went out, had not been their long when first news they were all surrounded by the mob. Myron was just coming with a load, saw them take Mark and his friend told me he looked very pale and set down. I told him they would be back in a little while for I felt no alarm.
Polly Barber Child
NOTE: (Polly evidently didn't finish her letter. The family probably had to flee from the mob.) FRM
Letter from Phoebe to Polly and Alfred
Hammond, New York
May 10th, 1842
Dear Brother and Sister:
As Father Holmes is to start to Nauvoo in a few days, I thought I would embrace the opportunity of sending you a letter although it is has just been a short time since I write, and if you get tired of reading our letters you must send them back. I have not heard from you since last January. Phebe and Lonson have broth wrote sine--our family are generally well at present with the exception of mother she has been very much out of health for some months passied is troubled with weakness and rheumatism and a bad cough that breaks her of her rest--a man came after me yesterday to take care of his wife two or three weeks, but I would not leave her to go. Asa has had a severe fit of sickness this spring and finally everyone of the family has been sick more or less--but still we ought not to complain our country has been visited with a very singular disease this season and it is still raging in the lower part of this country--it commences sometimes in the head with a more violent distress causing blindness--sometimes in the throat and sometimes in the fingers or feet, and then spreads over the whole body generally proving fatal in a very short time. Jacob J. Chard died a few days since of consumption--our last letter contained information of the death of the Walter child--it has almost broken down his parents and particularly his mother--it also contained many other particulars which I would write if I thought you had not received it--old George Deake came about a year ago to live with his brother--this spring he got up one morning rather better than usual and had nearly finished dressing himself when he fell dead on the floor. His complaint was supposed to be dropsy--the Temperance cause is flourishing because of precedent--in our state this season--in Saratoga 2700 persons have signed the pledge--in Lispin in the County almost every man is a cold water man--and in Ogdensburg there hardly a drunkard to be found--most of the public consider that pledge and have entirely abandoned the use of anything stronger than tea or coffee and peace an prosperity have been restored to families in which they have long been strangers--even in our town is some of the benefits of this change--we have habitual drunkards that have been reclaimed among whom are A. Whitmoore, W. Smith and others of the same stamp--there has been the greatest reformation in our state this season that ever was known--although you will differ from this yet you will agree with me that to break off from evil is better than to continue in it--God knows the sincere in heart and to such if they are in error I believe the way will be revealed--although this part of my letter may be uninteresting yet I cannot forbear to write that several hundred persons in Saratoga County have professed religion within the past six months among others are Alva Deake and his wife, Mirinda Hazard, barber's daughter, Franklin Deake, Cabel Crandall, reclaimed, Harry Ambril, reclaimed and Mr. John Howard and his wife and others that I do not now recollect--10 or 12 and 14 were Baptist three Sabbath's following in Deaketown and had many more that we expected to follow them--between two and three hundred have been converted in the eastern part of this state--and about 100 more in Morristown last fall--and twice that number in Ogdensburg--a rather singular circumstance happened in Morristown last fall during the protracted meeting which commenced in October and went 5 weeks, the roses in the village just blossomed I cannot give you the reasons why the weather was just as cold and wet as usual for that season--several persons expected to unite with the church next Sabbath but none from this place--this subject has been one of deep and serious consideration to me and I sometimes hardly know what to think--I have had my mind so torn with conflicting opinions that I dare not trust myself to study too much about it, but when I look around and view the many sects and denominations abroad on the earth are contending for the pre-eminence and all differing as they do I would give a world were I possessed of one to know which truth and prove which of them is right for there can be but one right way--Mrs. Smith received a letter from Mr. Dana this spring in which we heard that you were well. They and a great many others of our neighbors to numerous to mention wish to be remembered to you--we have a Sabbath school here, I have charge of a class, but I think I shall resign it to someone else as one who does not understand the Scriptures ought not to attempt to teach them to others--I do not know as you can read this for I have wrote as fast as I could--a young man brought a fine broadcloth coat for me to make and I have got to finish it this week, so that I shall find no time to write daytime. It is now 11 and after--all the family are abed but me and I shall be under the necessity of wishing you all a good night.
May 30th. Since I wrote the above Mrs. Asa Wiley was taken very sick and only lived 5 days--her complaint appeared to be similar to that with which their country has been visited this season--she has left a family of 4 children the family has moved into the house with Mr. Hutchison--Elder Bogart who preaches to his church was called home last week to attend the funeral of his daughter and her child his son was not expected to live but he was better at the last account--our family is generally well at present except mother--she has been more out of health this season that I ever knew her before.
After the death of Alfred, in Ogden Utah on 22 December 1852, Polly B. Child, received this letter several months latter, from her sister, Phebe Wooster.
Hammond, New York
July 29, 1853
The time has come when I can--no longer add-- --the endearing title of brother for the short message that Anna set to Brother Asa informed us that--which must soon be said of us although our hearts were filled to the brim--ah yes and to overflowing at the same time (for brother Lonson died the 26th of December)--little did we think when we was bending over the bed of distress--that you were administering the last rites to him who was so healthy and now you are left as our dear mother was--none to look to but Christ--and our children--you know Sister that I am not capable to point you to that source from whence all our comforts are drawn--yet it is a consolation to me from whence all our comforts are drawn--yet it is a consolation to me to think his life was spared to reach the land where his remains can be undisturbed by wild people and where you can perhaps plant a flower--as I have done--I sometimes think that our friends are knowing of the tears that we drop on the green turf that covers them--oh that I could talk with you now--that I have no mother or sister--and my only daughter is too young to sympathize with me in such bereavements and indeed grief of that kind overcomes her so much I dare not afflict her with it she grieves more for her Uncle Franklin's death than either of his own family. Strangers thought that she was the daughter and sister--I wrote you a long letter soon after brother died informing you of his sickness and a bit of Franklin's and I promised to write again in six weeks--but alas in that short space--two of the children died also--little Anna Elizabeth she was two years and three months but never walked a step or talked and I think she never would have had she lived she had the whooping cough and strangled I was glad when she breathed her last for she had not the care that she ought to had she would set hours and look at something like on lost in thought. I hate to write the same thing twice, so I will not repeat what I wrote in March I think--but poor Franklin--my pen is incapable of giving you the least idea of his sufferings--in the first of February he was taken ill, had the doctor dayly for three weeks and they gave him up then I proposed our Tomsonian doctor what carried Abm., Syntha and myself through the Typhus fever last fall which if you have got my letter would be sufficient, and he came and said his side must be cut open--a council of would be M.D.'s were called and they opposed him to the last--but finally gave it up. They cut through between the first and second rib--inserted a large goose quill and a full stream of water ran until they got 5 pails then for fear he would faint they corked the quill and then drew as he could bear twice a day until they got two gallons--I stood by him through the whole operation and he bore it like a soldier--he got better very fast so he could walk over to Asa's and back and then the took a notion he must come down to see Aunt Pamela, but I told him not to think of such a thing--and finally told the hired man to go to ploughing with the horses and not let him have one on no account--his mother instead of reasoning with him comes and tells Pamela and she sends George to get one of our horses and fetched him down, it was a cold north wind--and she goes and boils up a pot of dinner and a pudding, and Maria comes down for some vinegar, and I told her to tell him not to eat too much. I said I am afraid you will kill him, this was on Wednesday and Friday he walked down to my house. I see as soon as he come in he was bloated, he was restless and uneasy but he could not own that he felt any worse, but I could see it. He was carried home on Saturday, and the most excruciating pains took him in his back while going. I never see anybody suffer so much as he did for two weeks, he was just like a horse with the botts and the apothecary was sent for again, he gave morphine and niter to ease the pain and that set him a back--he had no command of his nerves for six days and nights he was just like a poplar leaf in the wind--he died on Sunday night--(do did Lonson) Pamela thought it was not best to send for the doctor again, so they did not, it being 12 miles back of Brockville. He lived only two weeks. Sunday he called all the children to him and told them he was going to leave them they must be good children (he says) my son you must be good--and a great deal more than that, and said, I feel happy--Mother (said he) don't dry I aint afraid to die. He had his senses to the last breath--(his death was harder for me to bear than brothers was. He, Brother, says to me Phebe don't mourn. I must leave my children--but I shall soon see mother). He was called the smartest boy for business that his country could boast of. He had been to school but very little on the account of his stammering speach, but his Father had teached him so he could do good business--it seems to me that his father's life had been miraculously spared until he was capable of taking care of the rest--and I shall always thing that his death was hastened by--I don't know what--call it what you are a mind for the doctors opened him and they found no cause his lungs was sound and his side had healed good. They said only the day before he died that he would get well for they could not see nothing to hinder but his fact he was just as cold as a dead person all the while and the sweat would run and drop from his face all the time. I hardly know how they will get along, but time will tell. Anna says in mother's letter you will get the particulars of many things that we would like to hear. If you get this, let me know in your next letter, whether you have go the one I wrote in March, and you must excuse my long six weeks, for Mother Wooster was sick and Abm. wanted I should go with him to see her. I got home the 9th instant. Syntha kept house all alone and done better than the girl I had two years ago and I gave a dollar a week. We have four cows. She is almost as tall as I am but very slim--Lonson's Warren lives with me this summer and goes to school they have tried to hire him to come home and stay but he will cry until they let him come back he is a good little boy and we would like to keep him, but I don't know as they will let him stay--I suppose that my own health is as good as it ever will be--I do not suffer as much pain as I used to--but I am a poor weakly thing at best, but I get along with my work and washing with Syntha's help because there is no one that I can get short of 4 miles, so you must think that I am a great deal better than I used to be--the rest of my folks are as well as common. Asa is poorly but he tends to his acres most of the time. Sarah Ann's health is poor--I don't think she is a long lived person--I received a letter from Brother Charles last month he was well but did not know when he should come back--we had our likenesses taken about a year ago in order to send to you and if I get letters to you I will send them some time in the course of the year. I want this letter to answer for you all, as I can't write as I used to before I had to wear glasses, our old neighbors and friends are all well as common. Aunt Homes is well and can walk a mile to meeting. She sometimes rides back with us. The meeting house is not far from the Rowley School House. Samuel Young preaches every Sunday at Baptist and run themselves out--they commenced by turning the minister out and then one and another until there aint enough left to turn the rest out, so you see a house divided against itself can't stand. I am tired, let us all go into the garden and get some currants and berries I have a plenty of them this year and you may have as many as you all want to dry and I will tell you how to dry them. I don't like to fix them in brine so I take a milk pan and fill it with fruit of any kind I wish to dry (I like raspberries the best) put a pound of sugar in there with them over a fire and let it stand 10 or 15 minutes then pour them in pans or plates and set them in the hot sun, stir them up once of twice and they will be dry in three good days, then when you wish to use them put hot or cold water and let them boil 20 minutes and they are ready for any use with or without sugar just as you like a few currants for dried apple pies and raspberries for mince pies is a great improvement in the taste. I make no preserve now only in this way. You can made a few at any time you have the fresh. If it is cloudy weather you can set them around the fire, but they ain't quite so good as when direct in the sun--but I must come to a close I fear you will get tired before you finish this unintelligible tear blotted scroll, but it comes from the heart of your afflicted sister and aunt.
TO: Polly Child
Hannah, Polly Ann, Phebe, and all the rest.
P.S. I keep Syntha to school all the time this summer only while I was gone to Trenton. Phebe Ann Robinson keeps our school she is a good girl Olive is weakly right often. Why don't Polly Ann write? I think she has forgot us.
Letter written to Polly Barber from her cousin, Lewis Deake, a teacher.
April 3, 1818
I now take my wandering pen and endeavor to compose my more wandering mine to dedicate a few lines to you as tokens of my gratitude and respect for your steady and well-regulated course of behavior during the time of your studies last winter.
The thoughts of which even at this remote period are too strongly impressed on my mind to be forgotten--even the remembrance of that fatal day when I had to bid my young friends farewell fills my mind with sorrow and makes me sigh for the moments of youth--age will soon encrimson our brow--and our bodies be laid in the narrow confines of the tomb--so that it will soon be said of us that we were--but are no more--then as our days are passing swiftly on the wings of time, it is our care to make the best use of the moments we have in our power--and as youth is the most important of all our lives it particularly being the time for inculcating virtuous principals and habits--I sincerely hope that you never will eclipse your happiness from giving way to the foolish vanities of youth and flatteries of deceit--you now are entering upon the bark of life--fair and unspotted as the sparkling diamond from its native rubbish, you stand, endowed with every gift of nature to make you admired--loved--respected--happy--yours is this superior lot--and if you upon your first attempt in juvenile concerns shall make a proper distinction between honor and folly by choosing the former and reject the latter--happy will be the prospect of your future years--if this is your desire--above all things choose the best company for your first associates, for your first choice of rank must be your company through life--give careful adherence to the advice of your parents, be an ornament to society and appraise to those that do well--I have the honor to subscribe myself your humble friend,
Histories of child, Rawson, Coffin, and Holtzclaw Families
Compiled, written, and published by Fern Roberts Morgan
Printed by M.D. Printing, Inc., Provo, Utah
Ogden Daily Herald
Ogden City, Utah, Friday Evening, August 25, 1882
An Old Lady's Likeness.
We have repeatedly mentioned the excellent portraying work done by Mr. Amos Westwood, our portaiture artist. His skillful brush has proven equally successful in delineating the blossom of infancy and the ripeness of manhood and womanhood. Now we have from his easel a likeness of a venerable matron whose eyes, when they first opened to the light of day saw the eighteenth century. It is the mother of our esteemed townsmen Messrs. W. G. Child and John L. Child, Mrs. Polly Child, born on March 30th, 1799. The artist has presented her age-matured features with telling effect on the canvas, and the family can pride themselves on the possession of such piece of art.