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Ellen Jane Bailey Lamborn: Life Story

Sister to George Brown Bailey

Life Story of Ellen Jane Bailey Lamborn




Sister to George Brown Bailey


Compiled in 1963/64 by Elizabeth P. Astle & Mary P. Stucki

(Information for this writing has been obtained from many sources. A few are mentioned: Church Chronology, Church History, Church Emigration records, Family Histories and Life Stories, the Gerber Journal (a day by day record of the journey on the plains), memories of family members and friends who were personally acquainted with the subject of this sketch. The writers wish to thank all who have contributed in any way to this manuscript.)

What a host of memories come trooping into my mind at the mention of that name, Ellen Jane Bailey Lamborn, - - my mother’s aunt, her own mother’s sister. I see the log cabin home with all its appointments, both inside and out, which I knew so well and the friendly lady standing straight and tall just inside the open doorway, her hand still on the knob, her eyes alight as she graciously welcomed her guests.

But for history’s sake I must go back many years to family and church records for statistics and the beginning of the story which occurred January 7, 1826, where Ellen first saw the light of day in Enniskillen, (sometimes spelled with an I, Inniskillen), Fermanagh County, Ireland, the land of romance and leprechauns. She was the fourth daughter in a family of nine children. Her father, Joseph Brown Bailey, was born in 1790 in Avery, Wiltshire, England. Her mother, Ann Smith Bailey, was born October 30, 1800, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, the only girl in a family of nine children. They were married about 1817. Her father learned the tailor’s trade in his youth but being conscripted into the Royal Army he was a grenadier. He fought in the Battle of Waterloo when Napoleon surrendered to the British in 1815. He followed the soldier’s career for many years (until his retirement) and was transferred with his regiment to different points in Great Britain and Canada, wherever needed. The family followed whenever it was possible for them to live near where the soldiers were quartered. This accounts for the fact that some of the children were born in Canada, some in England, and Ellen was born in Ireland, as stated above, on Lough (Lower Lake) Erne, an arm of Donegal Bay - - a beautiful location. Thus, some members of the family crossed the ocean several times in slow sailing vessels which usually required six weeks time or more. These voyages must have been irksome and very undesirable.

The family must not have remained long in Ireland, as all of the younger children were born at different points in England. After 1850 the family seems to have taken up a permanent residence at Bath, Somersetshire, England, where they lived in the Claremount Building for many years. (This was probably a large tenement house.) The city of Bath, as the name implies, was the site of a famous health resort and the Minicipal Roman Baths located on the banks of the beautiful Avon River; as well as many other picturesque buildings and bridges.

Four of the children of this family died in early childhood - - Sarah, Caroline, Robert and William, which must have been a great sorrow to all. (see family group sheet) This left only the three older sisters who had grown up together, and two much younger brothers, George Brown and Reuben Josiah. As the laws of the country required the children to work at an early age, Ellen and her sisters worked part time and attended school part time. When they were older they were privileged to attend night school. After the fathers retirement, the mother found it necessary to get work outside the home to help with the family finance. Elizabeth also clerked in a store. The girls found ample opportunity to care for the home andtheir brothers, sharing many labors and pleasures while learning to be excellent housekeepers. The father taught his wife to sew; and after becoming skilled in several branches of sewing, she taught this useful art to her daughters. They learned to make their own clothing and to sew for others; also to do exquisite embroidery work, knitting, crocheting, quilting, etc.

Then came a day of consternation when it was discovered that the oldest sister, Mary Ann, ahd eloped with a young man of her acquaintance, John Stevens. How Ellen and Elizabeth must have missed and longed for the dear sister, wondering where she could be, they could not find her, nothing was heard from the young couple for several years. Then Mary Ann wrote to her mother saying she had been in an accident and was badly burned. The mother wrote at once asking here to come home. She came, but died soon afterward as the result of the burns. This was a misfortune. They had found their loved one only to lose her again. This incident caused the family much anguish and sorrow.

In 1846 Ellen was happily married to an estimable young man, John Lamborn, a mason by trade, and the young couple also took up residence in the Claremount Building at Bath, England, so were not far away from her family. Through the years they became the parents of four children; William John Lamborn, born 14 May 1847; George Edwin Lamborn, 10 December 1849; Joseph Thomas Lamborn, born 20 February 1855; Ann Eliza Lamborn, born 16 April 1858.

After his retirement from the army, Ellen’s father Joseph Brown Bailey found life very dull. He missed the exciting round of daily activity and the association of his buddies. His children were almost grown up, he no longer had a baby upon his knee. His own health was somewhat impaired and death had thinned the ranks of his dearly loved family. He began to spend much time at the public inn. He died very suddenly in 1850. Because of this there was much publicity, a post-mortem examination, etc., which, added to their great sorrow, was hard to bear.

Soon after this the Mormon Missionaries brought the Gospel of Salvation to their homes and the two families joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although some of their friends turned against them because of their affiliation with this unpopular religion, the new faith brought joy to their hearts and they began to save and plan to immigrate to Utah. Their lives were now greatly changed. Ellen’s brother, George B., now a young man, had learned the carpenter trade and by 1853 it was decided that he sould take the money they had saved and go to America, try to establish a home for them and perhaps be better able to assist other members of the family to emigrate. In January, 1853, he was married to Elizabeth Young and left at once with his wife and her people for America. (Church Chronology Page 47, Column 2. Mon. Jan. 17, 1853. The ship Ellen Maria sailed from Liverpool, England, with 332 Saints under the direction of Moses Clawson. It arrived at New Orleans March 6, where Elder John Brown acted as Church emigration agent that season. The emigrants continued up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa, which had been selected as the outfitting place for the Saints crossing the plains in 1853.) (See Church Chronology for journey, arrival in Salt Lake City, etc.)

By 1855, George B. was able, through the aid of the Perpetural Emigration Fund established by the Church (to be repaid later), to send for his mother and family. Accordingly, the mother, Ann Smith Bailey, set sail for America from Liverpool, England on the ship Samuel Curling, 22 April 1855, taking along her daughter Elizabeth, her son reuben and Ellen’s oldest son, William John, who was 8 years old. (see history of An Smith Bailey and History of Elizabeth Sophia Bailey Reed.) (Church Chronology, page 53. March 1855). The ship Samuel Curling sailed from Liverpool, England, with 581 Saints under Israel Barlow’s direction; it arrived at New York, May 27th. The emigrants continued by rail to Pittsburg, thence by steamboat on the rivers, via St. Louis, Mo., to Atchison, Kansas.) They encountered many hardships on the voyage, on the plains and after arrival in Utah. But after a time they obtained some land for a farm at Spanish Fork, Utah and a number of cows. They made butter and cheese to sell and gleaned in the wheat fields to get funds to help Ellen and her family to emigrate.

Now let us go back to England, to Ellen and her little family. It is presumed that her mother and the others left Bath to travel to Liverpool on February 20, in order to be ready for the sailing on the 22nd; and Ellen’s third son, Joseph Thomas, was born on that day; also her oldest son, William John left on a long and tedious journey. What a tense situation! How did Ellen meet the occasion? How many tears were shed? How many prayers ascended and blessings invoked? How empty, lonely and strange the surroundings must have seemed without the home folks and her own little son! She must have longed deeply to be with them on the journey but found the pressure of home duties so demanding there was little time for grieving. The coming of the new baby brought new responsibilities. She still had her good, kind husband and little ones, she must be happy to present duties while praying for patience to bide the time while waiting for the possible future reunion with loved ones. As time went by, a tiny baby daughter was added to the family - -Ann Eliza - -(as recorded above). When this child was but eight months old, Ellen was plunged into deep sorrow because of the death of her husband, John Lamborn, 12 December 1858. Being left in very poor circumstances, she found it necessary to support herself and three children by doing washings. Sometimes conditions became quite difficult. The years seemed long and tedious, but she found that bringing a cheerful spirit to her work made a wonderful difference to herself and those she served. This greatly enriched her life and the waiting became less wearisome. The children were growing up and relieved her of many home duties and assisted in other ways.

Then the spring of 1864, she received credentials for sailing for America on the ship Hudson. She must have been overjoyed. (Church Chronology page 71. Friday, June 3, 1864. The ship Hudson sailed from London, England, with 363 Saints under the direction of John M. Kay. The company arrived at New York July 19th, and at Wyoming, Nebraska, August 2nd.) (The following account of the embarkation and journey is quoted or paraphrased (for brevity) from the Emigration Record in the Church Historian’s office in Salt Lake City.)

“As the ship had been detained in New York for repairs after a former voyage, it was 17 days late in arriving and they could not sail on May 16th as planned; and it was not until June 3rd 1864, that they found themselves actually on board, sailing from Shadwell Basin, London, instead of Liverpool, the ususal point of embarkation. Great concern was felt as the delay may make the teams late in the season on the plains. There were 863 souls of Latter-day Saints in the company, 710 of them being adults, 120 children and 33 infants. (The Saints from Denmark were prevented from emigrating this year because of a war between the Danes, and the Prussians and Austrians.) Pres. George Q. Cannon, then presiding in the British Mission, came to see the company off and bid farewell to the Saints. Also on board were a number of missionaries returning from Europe, having completed their missions. As this did not fill the ship to capacity, and on account of the scarcity of ships and the high rate of passage, 185 emigrants of other faiths were enrolled, bringing the ship’s rostrum to 1048.” They were listed as follows:



Country Adults Children Infants Total



England 500 82 22 604

Scotland 60 13 2 75

Switzerland 86 12 5 103

Holland 47 10 3 60

France 6 3 1 10

Denmark 1 0 0 1

America 10 0 0 10

_____ ____ ____ ____

710 120 33 863

“As the ship was getting ready to sail, many visitors came on board, some to bid “good-bye” to friends, and others for curiosity to get a glimpse of the “Mormons.” Among the latter were two ruffians who insulted the women, telling them that they were immoral and simply “riff-raff” to go to Utah to be concubines for those low-down “Mormons.” Their language and manners became so rude and offensive it was reported to the Captain, Isaiah Pratt. He at once sent two crew members to remove the offenders; but as his orders were not immediately carried out, he came on deck and forcibly removed them in person. Although Capt. Pratt was not a Mormon, he was a friend to them and treated them with great courtesy, kindness and considerations during the long voyage- - - -“Mr. Alexander Massey of London, part owner of the vessel, proved to be a very pleasant and agreeable companion. All the officers of the ship were kind and helpful, making the journey a pleasure. Love and confidence ruled.” (A list of the Latter-day Saint emigrants who crossed the Atlantic on the ship Hudson, leaving London June 3rd 1864, enroute to Great Salt Lake Valley were passengers on the ship Hudson on this June 3rd 1864 voyage and their names are found in the above mentioned record. They are listed as follows:


Ellen Jane Lamborn - Widow 38

George Edwin Lamborn - son 13

Joseph T. Lamborn - son 7

Eliza Ann Lamborn - daughter 5

(it seems the children’s ages were listed ayear younger than their actual birth dates as given in the family records and histories.)

“on the ship, Elder John M. Kay, now realeased from his long mission in Europe, was placed in charge of the group as President, with Elders George Haliday, John L. Smith and Matthew McCune as counselors. Elder John L. Smith was also given special charge of the Saints from Switzerland and Holland. Elder Alexander Ross acted as Clerk, Elder James Brown as Steward and Elder Charles Goodwin as Captain of the Guards. Fourteen wards were also organized and Bishops installed as follows: William Moss, John Tuddenhs, Thomas Clifton, Timothy Metz, Ulrich Farrer, Joseph Howard, Samuel Nelsen, Thomas C. Patten, Ludwig Wolf, George Webb, George Harrison, William Sanders, Thomas O. King, John H. Miller. In this way the needs and comfort of the company were cared for. The Galley of the ship was placed at the disposal of the Saints for cooking purposes. It was a fine ship. Her movements, even in rough weather, easy and graceful, and the fresh water, food and medical comforts were first class. The water produced from the condensing engine is quite a luxury, far better than to be had in many towns and villages of Old England.

“As the sip left the docks and Pres. George Q. Cannon and the other Elders entered the tug-boat to return to land, the Saints came on deck and sent up three long, loud cheers, making the banks of the Thames ring; and the distant hills caught up the echo, as though to greet the Saints in their departure from Babylon. This was Friday night, a little below Gravesend, where they were anchored; then they hoisted anchor and pushed out to sea at 3 A.M., on Saturday, June 4th. The Saints were feeling fine. They had all been required to submit to two physical examinations, one before leaving and another on entering the ship.

“The water was clear as crystal. They could look into the depths and see the shells and vegetation. The air was cool and refreshing. The scenery so beautiful.” There was peace in their hearts, and love and gratitude—a great surge of thanksgiving to God for His many blessings. Is it any wonder that their emotions found expression in the dearly loved songs of Zion? It was both a farewell to the past and a prayer for the future. The fervent and joyful tones were wafted far across the undulating waters; and who shall say, perhaps they rose to courts on high to be echoed by heavenly choirs.


“Ye Elders of Israel, come join now with me,

And search out the righteous, wherever they be,

In desert or mountain, on land or on sea,

And bring them from Babylon to Zion so free.

O Babylon, O Babylon, we bid thee farewell;

We’re going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell.


The harvest is great and the lab’rers are few,

But if we’re united we all things can do;

We’ll gather the wheat from the midst of the tares,

And bring them from bondage, deep sorrows and snares.

O Babylon, O Babylon, we bid thee farewell;

We’re going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell. “etc.


And another favorite:

“Come go with me beyond the sea,

Where happiness is true;

Where Zion’s land, blessed by God’s hand,

Inviting waits for you.

With joyful hearts you’ll understand

The blessings that await you there,

I know it is the promised land;

My home, my home is there.


“There, on those everlasting hills,

And in the valleys fair,

Beside the gurgling fountain rills,

We’ll bow in humble prayer,

And praise our God in joyful strains,

That we are safely gathered there.

I know it is the promised land;

My home, my home is there.”

“The vessel was towed down the river by a steam-tug, anchoring at Margate, a seaport town. They sailed along near the coast enjoying the beautiful scenery, making nine miles the next night. Sunday was clear and calm so services were held on deck. There were music, singing, speaking, one confirmation and one baby blessed. Wednesday, June 8, they anchored off the Isle of Wight. (see map.) Here they were in deep water and the Pilot left them. They recorded “All well. We are thankful to be delivered from Babylon.” Friday, June 10, anchored off Dartmouth and sent letters by fishermen. Here they encountered fogs and headwinds that somewhat impeded their progress and caused a little seasickness; but soon they were leaving the English Channel, waving “good-bye” to Landsend” and the shining waves of the mighty Atlantic Ocean beckoned them on.

“Not until they were three days out at sea was it discovered that measles had been brought on board by a Jewish family from among the other passengers, and all had been exposed. This caused much suffering and anxity. The Elders did all they could to alleviate the distress of the patients and Dr. Henry James Rogers, the ship physician, was attentive to his ministrations, but 14 deaths of infants and small children resulted from this and other causes. One woman about 40 years of age also passed away.” “The bodies were committed to the deep in due order, and with that solemnity appropriate, the Elders officiating. The ties that unit us are straonger than death, and the lovethat warms honest upright hearts, lives and grows beyond the grave. The strength of parental family affection is increased, and when earth’s fleeting joys and transcient scenes shall have passed away, the links now broken in the family chain, by death’s chilly hand, shall be again welded together, and home’s enduring association shall be renewed with all the joys that animate the bosom of mortals. It matters not materially where the body lays, whether beneath the green sward in its father land, or away from the haunts of men, in the deep dark bed of the ocean.” Ellen’s heart was filled with compassion for these newly found friends and she spent many hours assisting with their care.

“The first three weeks of their journey were very warm; then the temperature cooled considerably, which was more favorable to the general health. As there was little favorable wind, the ship rode gracefully, almost majestically over the gentle waves, and from the motion of the vessel.” On various occasions they were becalmed, making no progress for several days. This was a matter of concern lest the delay force them to endure the rigors of winter on the plains; but it was a blessing to the sufferers, to rest from the steady roll of the ship during thir illness. “Several births occurred during the voyage.

“Captain Isaiah Pratt (part owner of the vessel) manifested his anxiety for the comfort of all in kindness and service by night and day. At 7:30 each evening Elder Kay held a council meeting with his helpers to hear reports from different groups and thus plan for the good of all. Capt. Pratt was always on hand to inquire about the report and to know how he could be of help. He and other members of the crew also attended the Church services held on Sunday. Upon various occasions he had hot soup made from pressed meat and served to the Saints. Especially to the ill was his tenderness seen. The many services shown the Saints reflect the highest credit on his character as a gentleman possessing a gererous disposition and kind heart, willing to bless on life’s crowded highway the need soul with what he had to bestow. By such actions he has won the love and respect of all, while his name shall long live in familiar fondness with us, and his acts of kindness be spoken of in the family circles of Zion’s happy homesteads as that of a friend and benefactor.

“On three occasions we were nearly run into by other ships coming from windward, by their not using that caution so essentially necessary in the preservation of life and property on the deep.” On July 8th, they were passed by a strange vessel which crew members identified as a “Confederate Privateer,” either the “Georgia” or the Rappahannock.” It was thought that the owners may be engaged in piracy on the high seas. To their consternation the vessel turned, came back and edged close to the “Hudson”. For a time confusion reigned on the Hudson as it was thought that the strange vessel meant to attck her. But after making three distinct circles about the ship, the strange craft went on her way and all breathed a sigh of relief and thankfulness.

“On July 19, 1864, after 48 days at sea, the “Hudson”, last ship of the season, arrived at New York, and after a pleasant sail up the Hudson River, anchored at Albany at 4:00 A.M. They were fortunate to obtain a train leaving for the west at 12:00 noon.”

(Ann Eliza Lamborn Murphy, a child of six years at the time of this journey, many years later wrote her memoirs and gave the following account of this voyage: “We spent seven long weeks on the ocean and several times the water was so rough that the dishes were scattered about the vessel. The ship was overloaded and mother was forced to throw manyh of her belongings which she was bringing with her, overboard.”)

At the time of their arrival in America the great Civil War was in progress in the United States and everywhere the streets looked deserted or else were thronged with soldiers in their blue uniforms, and groups of cavalry riding in formation, or platoons of soldiers marching, most of them looking weary and worn. The journey was made under strict surveillance, for at most stations where the train stopped, a military officer came on board and asked the Saints to show their passports. There seemed so many unnecessary storps and the train traveled so slowly, the journey which was expected to last but a few days, lengthened into weeks. A few times the train was flagged on the prairie and officers came on board and searched the male passengers, looking for spies.

The Saints enjoyed the wide expanse of free, open country, the beautiful scenes along the clear streams and the stately homes and fine shops in the cities through which they passed. They were in “America, the land of the free,” but just now it was filled with unrest because of the war. But there would be peace in Zion—with God’s people. The further west they traveled, the more difficult it seemed to proceed. When at last they reached Missouri, they found the bridges often torn out by marauding bands from the south, and sometimes they had to leave the train and find a ferry or boat to take them across the stream, and then carry their luggage long distances until they could find another train to take them further. They found their properties were not safe for a moment when left unguarded. It was necessary to organize into groups, one unit going ahead and carrying all possible, leaving a guard over the remainder; then the first group to leave an advance guard and return for more luggage. Thus, by working together, they accomplished their task. This, perhaps, does not seem difficult to us, but when we know that many of them had great chests of clothing, tools, etc., we can better appreciate their struggle, especially since they had to carry them a distance of three miles or more, at times. They fully realized now the wisdom of the Elders in counseling them to take only small luggage. Also in Missouri they found themselves surrounded by enemies. The residents seemed mostly “Mobcrats” and had remained bitter against the Mormons and would stop at nothing to hinder them in their immigration.

It was difficult for them to obtain food, for even though they had the money to pay for it, enemies would not supply it, and those who were friendly were afraid to do so lest they call down the ire of the enemy upon their own heads. Then there were the small bands of “Guerilla Forces.” By their nondescript costumes it would be hard indeed to tell to which faction these petty groups belonged. Some wore the grey of the South, others wore, perhaps a cap from the North, or a cloak of blue, but none had an all blue uniform; others were arrayed in cowboy fashion, western attire, or various other garbs, but all were bent on harassing the enemy and stealing and plundering everything they could find, from trains to churches, tearing up bridges, and setting fire to buildings and haystacks just to see them burn and hear the cries and curses of the wronged. Thus, the spirit of hatred, evil and mobocracy still remained rampant in Missouri as it had 25 years before when the Saints were persecuted and driven from their homes upon its soil.

What a relief it must have been to reach the Missouri River, have their belongings safely abord a boat, and relax and recuperate after the strenuous toil, while being carried to their next destination. The weather was pleasant and all enjoyed the beautiful scenery and were happy to attend the Sunday School ‘Service. But then word was brought to Ellen that her son Joseph had strayed away from Sunday School, wandered into the kitchen, and had accidentally fallen into a barrel of hot water. He was badly burned and suffered intensely. He became at once a constant care and anxiety. Away from home,. And traveling most of the time, made it difficult to meet his needs. He required continual attention and ministrations.

“On August 2nd, 14 days after arrival in America, they reached “Wyoming,’ Nebraska, the new recruiting station for all emigrants to Utah in 1864, the year of the greatest number (2,697) (See Church Chronology.) Up to this time Florence and Kanesville, Nebraska, had been the outfitting stations for the Saints crossing the Plains. “Wyoming” was located on the west bank of the Missouri River, 40 miles south of Omaha and seven miles north of Nebraska City. There were two large warehouses, three stores, an emigration office and store, a large corral and two or three dwellings. Pres. Joseph W. Young proved to be a very efficient manager.

“About 170 Church teams were sent from Utah to the Missouri River this year after the poor. Through the Perpetual Emigration Fund, with Erastus Snow President, young men, experienced drivers, were called as missionaries for this work, to meetthe Saints with supplies, wagons, teams, etc., and assist them on their way; to bring in freight, supplies, etc., needed in Utah. Through this assistance the “Hudson” Company was able to recruit quickly and under the leadership of Capt. Warren S. Snow, leave Wyoming, Nebraska, August 11th, only nine days after arrival there. “This company actually consisted of about half of the Saints who crossed the Atlantic on the “Hudson” and a few who had stayed over at Wyoming, having crossed earlier, in the ship “General McClellan.” Also included were a few Saints emigrating from the states and a freight train attached for safety in traveling. Even with the help from Utah, Pres. Joseph W. Young found difficulty in securing enough suitable wagons and teams to make the journey, the migration to California being very great that year, including gold-seakers and families desirous of making homes in California, Oregon and Washington. After all wagons were loaded there were 100 tons of freight still left in the ware houses. Pres. Young left with this train for Utah. Owing to the hevily loaded wagons, it was necessary for the Saints to walk all the way.

“Capt. William Hyde’s company had left two days earlier, August 9th.” (The following account of the journey is taken from the John Gerber Diary on file in the Historian’s Office in Salt Lake City.) The arrival in the valley is from Church accounts of the incident. Some incidents are filled in from family histories.) (Some material is paraphrased for brevity.)

At the time for starting Joseph was still far too ill to walk and a comfortable bed was made for him high in the wagon where he might rest as they traveled; but is was found that he could not endure the jolting of the heavily loaded wagon, and it became necessary for Ellen to carry him on her back. What a gigantic task! As I have thought of the Pioneers, walking day by day on their toilsome, monotonous way beside the plodding oxen or watching the heavy wagon wheels turn, my heart has gone out to them for their perseverance, great faith and endurance. But what of a mother seeking, without the help of a husband, to bring her three children safely to Zion, with the added burden of carrying a nine year old boy upon her back—not for one day, or even two but every day for many weeks, until he was sufficiently recovered to ride in the wagon. Perhaps sh wondered many times during his critical illness, whether or not he would survive the journey. It was difficult to tempt him to eat the rough fare provided on the plains. Then one day a flock of Blackbirds alighted near the train and Edwin lashed out with his whip; killing several of the birds. They were quickly prepared into a meal for Joseph. It was considered an act of Providence- - in providing food for the sick child. As the train got under way each day the mother took up her burden, uncomplainingly, her little six year old daughter walking by her side most of the way. Her son Edwin had agreed to drive two ox teams to pay for his fare. He was fourteen.

“On August 14th, Capt Hyde received a dispatch from Pres. Brigham Young to the effect that he should lay over, or make very short drives until Capt. Warren S. Snow’s company should be close behind, as the Indians were hostile ahead. After that the two companies traveled together as it was thought there may be safety in numbers. The next day a lady and three children were buried. Quite a number were ill with diarrhea. (It became known that ferocious Indians had attacked and killed the people of some non- Mormon emigrant trains, stealing their animals and provisions and burning their train of wagons.) All were asked to be prayerful, so be alert at all times and to remain near the wagons.

“On August 18th, the marriage of Elder John T. Gerber and Sister Anna Mary Roup was performed by Elder John L. Smith. Services were held in the center of the great corral, with singing, prayers, and Pres. Joseph W. Young preached and counseled with the Saints. After the meeting, the happy couple received congratulations. This incident occurred as they were camped on the west side of Camp Kearney.

“By August 30th, the mail had stopped running, general merchant and emigrant trains had ceased temporarily, rangers and station keepers had fled from the Indians.

But each day the Saints in these two companies held prayer meeting at 7:30 A.M. and continued to travel on, making as many miles as possible, to get out of the danger zone. No wagon was allowed to stop at this would delay all those in the rear.” Then on September 3rd, the entire train was ordered to stop for a burial. Word was passed that a woman had been accidentally run over and killed instantly in Mr. Beatie’s freight train attached to the company.

Not withstanding the illness of her little son and her many responsibilities, Ellen hurried back past the long line of wagons to offer assistance to those in trouble. As it was considered dangerous for the entire company to loiter in this vicinity, the service was very brief. A shallow grave was made in the unyielding prairie sould and the mortal remains of the young mother, wrapped only in a patchwork quilt made by her own hand, was laid within it. A prayer of dedication was given by one of the Elders; then the soil was replaced, helping hands brought many stones to pile upon the mound, and then the caravan moved on. But Ellen had picked up the cup that had fallen from the woman’s hand, and it became a treasured keepsake. She also learned the story. As the crossing was made through the swift deep current of the Sweewater River, the drivers were unable to get a drink. Being concerned for her little son, not yet nine years old, who was driving the ox team across the plains, the mother thought she could run back to the stream and bring water for him. She climbed into the wagon to get a cup, but as she was getting down from the moving vehicle, her clothing caught on the brake-rod and she was thrown forward beneath the wheel. Her life was crushed out instantly. (This woman was my own grandmother, Mary Ann Wingrove Price and her son, Isaac Thomas Price, many years later married Ellen’s niece, Ann Maria Reed, and they became my parents. It is also a coincidence that the two families later settled in Laketown and vicinity and the little boy who drove the ox-team and the little boy who was carried across the plains by his mother, became fine friends and took their wedding trip together. By horse team and covered wagon they journeyed to Salt Lake City where both couples were married in the Endowment House on the same day, 26 September 1878. Joseph’s bride was Emily Spreague.)

“There were many prominent men in these companies; Joseph W. Young, Hyrum B. Clawson, Joseph A. Young, Hampton S. Beatie, William S. Staines, Richard Bentley, Parley P. Pratt Jr., Samuel F. Neslen, John M. Kay, John L. Smith and other returning missionaries. Some of these brethren had been working at Wyoming, Nebraska, or had been otherwise engaged in service for the Church and were returning to their homes for the winter. Many important events occurred during this journey, but I will mention only a few. After a heavy rainfall the company was obliged to stop travel and build fires to dry their clothing. Elder John M. Kay became very ill with rheumatism and was unable to walk further. He became steadily worse and to the sorrow of all, passed away and was buried on the Little Laramie.

“As it was difficult to obtain adequate food and water for so many animals on the main road, agreeable with counsel, they traveled over a different route, which led up Pole Creek 180 miles, then over the Black Hills about 100 miles south of Fort Laramie, across the north fork of the Platt River to the head of Bitter Creek, and followed the course of this stream for a few days. Here there was an abundance of forage for the animals and of wild game—fish and antelope. A red handkerchief was used to lure the antelope. There were wild fruits, plums and grapes. But the water was very bad—bitter, being impregnated with alkali and saleratus; and the dust and grime were almost unbearable.

“At Julesburg, Nebraska, on the Platte River, they learned that the rangers had returned to their stations and the mail was again going through. Also that the United States Government had sent detachments of soldiers to patrol the roads and keep the Indians in check. Being thus reassured, Pres. Young, having his own outfit, left the companies, taking with him some of the prominent brethren and pressing forward, reached Salt Lake City September 25, over a month ahead of the rest. On the way he stopped at a station and sent a telegram to Prs. Brigham Young asking him to send 50 yoke of oxen to meet the Hyde and Snow companies on the Bitter Creek route over the Chalk Creek road. The Hyde Company also pressed forward and reached their destination October 26, where they were heartily welcomed by the entire community.

“The Snow company was a large one (about 70 ox-drawn wagons). Twenty or more deaths had occurred during the journey. As they plodded slowly along, on October 23, the Saints were surprised to see a group of soldiers riding on the opposite bank of the stream. The soldiers halted and greeted the emigrants with three salutes from their guns. The entire train was ordered to stop and the travelers answered with three rousing cheers and the waving of handkerchiefs. Then the Saints resumed their journey, but the soldiers continued to cheer and wave until the train passed out of sight. Poor, lonely, homesick soldiers! Quartered week after week on the barren desert, their only neighbors the crafty Redskins, their enemies; thrilled at the sight of an emigrant train, loath to see it recede in the distance.

“When the weather turned colder, with intermittent storms, the roads became muddy and increasingly difficult to pass over. Upon entering Parley’s Canyon they encountered a blinding snow storm which continued for the rest of the journey. They arrived in Salt Lake City late at night on Wednesday evening, November 2, completing a trek of 2000 miles. Most of the Saints had walked every step of the way, Ellen among them. Her shoes were worn out, her feet almost frozen and for many days were sore and bleeding. Kind and helpful Saints were there to minister to her needs.

“The custom of the Church was to meet each train of emigrants with a friendly reception, providing food, shelter and everything needed for their comfort and convenience. This was provided for by the donations of the people through their Bishops under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric. Almost every family freely responded. Those having it in charge were: Bros. Jesse C. Little, John Sharp, William A McMaster, Samuel Tumbow, Martin Lind, Father Booth, Bro. Leach and Mark Lindsay. Owing to the heavy snowfall this company could not be housed in tents on the public square as others had been, so they were taken to the 8th Ward schoolhouse. A friendly non-member who owned a blacksmith shop on the southeast corner of the public square, gave his whole premises to be used as a commissary derpartment; and many merchants, Bros. William Jennings, W. S. Godbe, Kimball C. Lawrence, and others were generous in donating of groceries and in offering the use of their warehouses, if needed for the sick and needy. Very soon after their arrival, hot soup and a liberal and bounteous supply of well-prepared food began to pass around, and continued until all were satisfied. Those who were not so well were given medical attention from Dr. Hovey and Nurse Sluice. In a few days most all had been transferred to homes of friends or relatives, or had found temporary refuge with some kind Saint.

“We think great credit is due Bishop Hunter and his assistants for the promptness and energy with which they have carried out the wishes of Pres. Young in providing food and homes for these large companies of Saints. This is the way the Latter-day Saints treat their poor brethren when they come here from distant nations, unused to our manners and customs, unfamiliar with our mode of procuring the necessities of life, and many of them unable to speak our language. Can this be fanaticism? Or is it the result of that pure and undefiled religion of which the prophet speaks? We ask, “Can the Christian world show its equal?” Our religion teaches this maxim: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

Soon after their arrival in Utah, Ellen’s son William appeared with an ox-team and wagon to take them to his grandmother’s home in Spanish Fork. Can you imagine this meeting between this mother and son? Did she recognize in this tall young man, now 17 ½ years old, the small boy who had left here in 1855 to go to America with her mother? How glad she must have been to see him! Again they took up their covered wagon travel, but they could all ride. It gave the brothers a fine opportunity to get acquainted and to take of future plans. Meantime, in Spanish Fork, Ellen’s mother, Ann Smith Bailey, and her sister, Elizabeth Reed, with her two children, Luther six and Ann four, were preparing their home for the coming of their dear ones. As Elizabeth’s husband had been called the year before to help colonize in the Bear Lake country and set up a sawmill there, he had sold his property in Spanish Fork and gone to prepare a home for his family before taking them into that unsettled area. Because of Indian trouble Ann and Elizabeth had moved into town. The home has been described as a one-room log cabin equipped with well-constructed homemade furniture. The beds occupied one end of the room, while at the other end was a huge fireplace that furnished heat and was the place where the cooking was done. There were also the cupboards, chairs, table, utility bench with wash basin, bucket and dipper, churn, spinning wheel, wood box, etc. There was also a bedroom upstairs but it was reached only by and outside stairway. While paying for her farj, making installments to the Perpetual Emigration Fund and helping others, Grandmother Bailey had not been able to accumulate too much of this world’s goods, but what she had was willingly shared with others. Ellen and her family were received with open arms. What was lacking in material offerings was made up in warmth of love and understanding. It was a real “homecoming,” a wonderful reunion after the long separation- - a happy Thanksgiving.

When spring came, with the help of the boys, it was decided to move back to the farm four miles away. The boys helped to cultivate the soil and raise the crops and garden. They endured many hardships of early Utah pioneer life. They fought grasshoppers and crickets and had to be always on the alert for fear of Indian raids upon their homes and cattle. The continued to glean in the wheat fields each year after the harvest. About this time “romance” came to Ellen and she was married to Mr. (William) Taylor and went to live in his home; but the children continued to live with their grandmother. Early in 1866 Elizabeth’s husband, Luther Reed, returned and took his family to their new home in the Bear Lake Country. He had established his mill at Round Valley, Rich Co., Utah.

When in 1868, the Lamborn boys were called to help colonize in the Bear Lake area, Grandmother Bailey decided to dispose of her holdings and accompany them. They settled in Laketown, Rich County, a few miles from where the Reeds lived; and later Luther built a trim home in Laketown and all the family were together again; for Ellen and her husband had soon followed after the boys left Spanish Fork. But soon after this Luther was called to build a sawmill at Bloomington, Idaho, and removed there.

There had been an earlier attempt at settlementy in Laketown by those who had lived first at Meadowville and Round Valley and had been advised by Church leaders to move closer together because of Indian trouble. A number of log cabins had been built, mostly along the creek. Among these settlers were: William Busby, Ephraim Watson, Peter Clark, George Braffir, George Bartlett, Luther Reed, Joseph Moore, John Oldfield, James Allen, and the Morleys. The place was first called “Last Chance,” then “Ethica” and was later changed to Laketown: Coming at about the same time as the Lamborns were the following: Nebeker, Greene, Cheney, English Hohn, Joe Dunn, Jim Miller, Harry Marshall, Erastus Carter, Warren Campbell, Samuel Henderson, Frank Whitehead, Joe Arnold, Alonzo Dish; about 1870, the Weston, Hodges, Robinson, Johnson, Willis, Gibbons, Charles Alley, Sprouse families, 1871/72 Kearl, Earley, Murphy and Price families, who mostly settled in Round Valley. Many of the earliest settlers had moved away. Other families who were friends and neighbors to Ellen were: Irwin, Wahlstrom, Satterthwaite, Findlay, Tucker, Moffat, Shelby, Webb, Hayball, Anderson, Crowther. The Bear Lake Stake was organized in 1869 with David P. Kimball as President. Ira Nebeker was the first Bishop of Laketown. (This information has been taken from several different records. I hope it is not too inaccurate.)

The Lamborn boys, being ambitious and industrious young men, began at once to till the soil, plant crops and build homes—log cabins at first, for protection, convenience and comfort, also stables and sheds for their animals. Timber was obtainable in several canyons, Dry Canyon, Loge Pole or Meadowville Canyon, but it took four days for an ox team to make one trip. The logs could be made into lumber at the sawmill in Round Valley. They made roads, bridges and irrigation ditches. Later hey built more pretentious homes. Edwin is said to have helped to build the first frame home in Laketown. The first two years were difficult, as grasshoppers and crickets destroyed most of the crops. The Indians came in great numbers and the settlers were forced to share their provisions with them. Their many ponies ate the grass and vegetation from the hillsides that was so much needed for pasture. When autumn came it was a relief to see the caravan depart. The winters were cold and severe. Food consisted mostly of potatoes and fish- -suckers from the lake. Sometimes they had bran bread and a little molasses. But their testimony was strong and their faith never wavered. Their grandmother’s method was to pray and work for better times.

The Indians were sullen and menacing. They claimed Round Valley and Laketown territory as their summer rendezvous. With the coming of so many white settlers they saw their favorite camping places by the streams and the game from the hills fast disappearing. They held a great “pow-wow” and prepared for war. A large stockade or fort of logs was built on the public square. Some times the cattle were placed in this enclosure at night. Pres. Brigham Young, learning of these conditions, instructed Apostle Charles C. Rich to go and make a treaty with the Indians, using Amos Wright as interpreter. This was done. The United States Government allotted them (the Indians) an extensive reservation in the Wind River country in Wyoming. They were given many beef cattle, flour, potatoes, etc., and left for their new home. This was a direct answer to prayer. They came no more in large groups to stay for months., A small band sometimes camped for a day or two when passing through, to rest and fish.

Many other important events occurred during those years. Because of the grasshoppers and cricket infestation, the Saints united in a special fast day. Their prayers were again answered. A terrific wind came from the south which blew the insects all into the lake and they were drowned. The tide deposited a huge windrow upon the white sandy beach. At a conference at Paris, Idaho, Elder John Taylor blessed the land of the valley for the good of the Saints. After that better crops were raised.

Ellen’s mother, Ann Smith Bailey, died December 19, 1870, and was buried on the little kinwl above her home, as she had requested. She was the second person to be buried there. This became the Laketown cemetery. She had been a faithful pioneer and a mother to all. Her great faith, helpfulness and dependability had endeared her to many. The entire community mourned at her passing. Soon it became evident that her mantle had fallen upon her daughter Ellen, for now all looked to her for uplift and comfort; and right well did she respond to their needs.

Not much is known of Ellen’s husband, Mr. Taylor, but he must have been a property owner in both Spanish Fork and Laketown; but we have no statistics. In her memoirs Eliza Ann Lamborn Murphey says; “in early days we went barefoot or wore cloth shoes, and my first pair of leather shoes I earned herding stock for my stepfather, Brother Taylor.” We know that he died in Laketown and was buried in that cemetery. His grave is located just north of that of Ann Smith Bailey and her daughter Elizabeth S. Bailey Reed. When we go to the cemetery to care for or decorate the graves his mound also is remembered. He is listed as an early resident of Laketown.

Ellen’s sons became prominent men in the town, taking part in church and civid affairs. William John, always quiet but friendly, more given to action than many words, was a farmer. He is described as follows: Height6 feet, weight 165, eyes blue, hair brown. He married Eunice Kershaw 26 April 1879 in Salt Lake City. They lived in their good two-room log house and were the parents of two daughters, Mary Ann and Martha. He died of appendicitis in Laketwon, March 4, 1882. George Edwin, efficient, versatile, progressive, married Melinda Weston. A carpenter and farmer, he made a beautiful home for his family. He was the father of 16 children. Melinda was Pres. Of Relief Society for years. He died in Laketown 1 February, 1923. Records give little about Joseph Thomas. He married Emily Spreague 26 September, 1878 in Salt Lake City. She was then Pres. Of Laketown Y.L.M.I.. They lived in several places before making a permanent home for their fine family in Marysvale, Idaho.

Each fall, during the hard years, Ellen and her daughter Eliza spent several weeks at the home of her brother George B. Bailey in Mill Creek, Utah. As he had an extensive orchard, they cut and dried fruit on shares. Before returning home they went to the woolen mills in Salt Lake City and traded part of their share for winter clothing. This helped out a lot. As the boys had acquired a few sheep, the wool was washed, dyed, spun into yarn and knitted into clothing for themselves and other members of the families. Much of the time of the winter months was given to this activity. All scraps left over from home sewing were made into patchwork quilt tops and all discarded clothing was cut and sewed into “carpet rags.”.

Ellen was known far and wide for her malt beer made from an Old English recipe. The malt was made of wheat or rye browned in the oven. Hops, dandelions and other herbs were sometimes added and at times it was quite bitter. It was fomented with homemade yeast and had a “tang.” . She made gallons of it and tried to keep a small supply on hand as there was a good sale for it to the young men of the town. This gave her a little “pocket money”. She kept it in a small barrel or cask with a spigot and drew it off in a quart measure. If she were serving guests, it was poured into a tall white china pitcher decorated with pink and red roses on the side. It was a real tonic. She was also widely known for her ginger snap bake; and potato yeast for bread making—which supplied many neighbors and friends. What a helpful service this must have been to busy housewives and mothers. It was like giving a part of herself to each home.

(In 1876 Eliza Ann was married to Emanuel Bird Murphey and went to live in Mill Creek, Utah. Every year they made a trip to Bear Lake to spend some time with her mother and relatives. In 1893 they removed to Woodland where she was President of the Relief Society and her husband was Bishop for many years. Later they pioneered at Upalco, Duchesne, County and lived there all the rest of their lives. They were parents of 13 children. Eliza died April 19, 1949. Her husband died April 19, 1943. They are both buried in the Upalco Cemetery.)

All her later years Ellen lived alone in a neat log cabin just east of Edwin’s fine home. The fenced lane running up to the barn and corrals separated the two homes. My mother loved “Aunt Ellen” her own mother’s sister, and visited her often. As children, we were delighted to accompany her. The cabin, facing north, was set only a few steps back from the gate, with a lean-to shanty on the west end for use in hot weather. The steps, solid and secure, were made of two short logs laid parallel with thick planks nailed on top. There was always a mat on the step on which we wiped our shoes well before entering, because we knew the interior would be spotless and we must not make extra work.. Near the gate was a wonderful rose bush that sent out its fragrance for all to enjoy. (It has made me happy to know that most of the granddaughters and some other relatives have a slip from this rose bush growing in their garden.) Close by were two aromatic plants known as “Old Man” and “Old Woman.” Along the fence were masses of Sweek Williams and Marigolds, backed by a row of gorgeous Hollyhocks. Back of the cabin a profusion of hop vines rioted up the wall on to the roof, along the walk and over the top of the outdoor latrine. When the hops were ripe the grandchildren helped to pick them and spread them to dry. Then they were stored in bags and hung in the shanty until needed. Here was also her tub, for she loved to do her own washing, and did it for many years. A clothesline was close by. Her children were very good to her, keeping her always supplied with food, wood and water, and visiting her daily.

Inside, the logs were well chinked and plastered (making the walls almost smooth) and white washed. There was one door and one window on the north and a window on the south. White ruffled curtains were at the windows, geraniums and a fuschia blooming on the sill and a hanging basket of “Mother of Thousands.” Half of the floor was covered with bright colored homemade rag carpet tacked down over straw for padding. The kitchen half of the floor was of plain boards scrubbed white. The well-constructed furniture was all homemade- -low, comfortable chairs, post bed and rope springs, straw tick and feather bed. The space beneath was a fine storage place concealed by the white valance edged with fine knitted lace. Everywhere there was evidence of her handwork. The quilts on the bed were of bright wool flannel, nine-patch design, the pillowcases edged with wide knitted lace, the pillow shamos starched stiff and snowy white. On the foot of the bed was a crocheted afghan done in squares of many different colors of yarn. Over the large chest that held her clothing, the sewing machine with high box top and the round table in the center of the room, were crocheted covers reaching almost to the floor. The high-backed rocking chair also held crocheted tidies. The roomy cupboard was filled with dishes—some English china, plates with gold rims, cups and saucers and fancy dishes.

A luxury for these days was a small Charter Oak stove (decorated in designs of acorn and leaves). It was Ellen’s pride and joy and she kept it well blacked and shined. Back of the stove was the wood box, well supplied with fuel. Between the stove and cupboard was the wash bench holding a basin, bucket of water and dipper. In the north west corner stood a cot—where her grandson George slept (or one of the girls) as the folks thought someone should be in case Ellen were taken ill or needed something- - George could run quickly home for help. The north and east walls of the cabin were almost covered with pictures—photographs of her children, grandchildren and other relatives- -all framed and under glass. She was so proud of them. Eliza sent her many gifts and pictures of her growing family and her sons were also happy to please her.

My memories of Ellen picture her as extremely tall and straight (Probably like her mother) with blue eyes and rather large ears set with gold hoop earrings. Her hair was gray, parted in the center, combed back smoothly, rolled a little on the sides and twisted into a large round knot at the back. She wore her dresses long, almost touching the floor. One dress for Sunday was of gray flannel with a wide panel of black velvet down the front. It was fastened by tiny black jet buttons set close together from neck to hem and those buttonholes were a work of art. The neck of each of her dresses was finished with a small-embroidered collar or a row of dainty ruche. She also wore a black silk taffeta dress and one of brown delaine with a full gathered skirt. These rustled when she walked. All of her dresses had large pockets set in the side seam of the skirt, and concealed by the fullness, in which she carried her hymnbook, handkerchief and other things. Her little black bonnet was trimmed with black lace and decorated with colorful acorns and leaves. It tied under her chin with black silk ribbon. She wore no coat, but instead, a large gray shawl—or for special “dress-up” days, one - - - cashmere with long silk fringe. The shawl was folded comer wise into a triangle and the point in the back reached nearly to the bottom of her dress. The corners were drawn over her arms and it was fastened in front with a fancy pin. In summer she wore a black silk dolman trimmed with black lace and ribbon. At home she had simple dresses of small checked black and white gingham and tie aprons of gingham in various colors decorated with cross-stick patterns. She was always clean and neat and her home immaculately kept.

At Church, the children usually sat together on long benches and older people coming in liked to sit some distance away lest they be disturbed or not be able to hear the speaker. We were always glad to see Ellen come in for she always sat near the children; and if any became restless she would reach into the pocket of her voluminous skirt and cautiously hand out pieces of her ginger snap bake to be divided among the group. It was hard and crisp but not crumbly, sweet and a little bit “nippy” and tasted delicious. We were instructed to eat it very slowly and it would last longer.

She was a kindly person and when we visited in her home, upon occasion she would take down our grandmother’s little pewter cup from the cupboard and let us hold it in our hands for a few moments, and then it would be returned to its place in the cupboard for safe keeping. If she became tired or seemed annoyed by the children, she reached into her apron pocket for her snuffbox and took a pinch of snuff. Then we would soon take our departure. Or, if the weather permitted, I would be sent to entertain the younger children outside while mother finished her visit.

Through the years Ellen had done much knitting for her family- -stockings, mittens, caps and other articles, thus contributing to their comfort and pleasure. As she grew older she became very nearsighted and could not continue his work, or to be read, as she loved to do. Her granddaughter Ada who stayed with her at night, often read to her in the evenings the stories she delighted to hear of pioneers life and early church experiences: “Lydia Knight’s History,” “Heroines of Mormon Dom,” “Parley P. Pratt’s Works” and articles from the Juvenile Instructor and contributor printed by the church organizations. Edwin and his family, living so close, were in and out of her home several times Dailey. The grandchildren loved to go there to be treated to home baked bread and fresh raspberry jam. Melinda always baked well to her care, for there was a firm bond of love between them. Ellen was friendly, sociable and hospitable. Many ladies of the town came to visit and were always offered some form of refreshment.

Although she was never homebound, through the last few months of her life she did not go out much. Her last illness was a lingering one and required much care, attention and patience. Many friends and relatives came to offer help. Our mother went night to “sit up” and help care for her, to relieve the tired family watchers from their anxious vigil. She died of general debility May 28, 1897, and Laketown and was buried in that cemetery. Her children have erected a suitable monument at her grave and the spot is well cared for and visited by numerous posterity.

It seems Ellen had endeared herself to the entire community. Everyone loved and respected her. Quietly, unobtrusively she had done her part, lending a helping hand wherever she could, in the homely tasks at hand. Though a life interspersed with toil and hardship she had maintained and even temper and had succeeded in bringing a cheerful spirit to her tasks. This provided an atmosphere of balance and stability that steadied the hearts and minds of those she touched. She used her influence for good and left the world a little better for having lived in it.

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty: and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32

After the funeral Malinda invited the children, grandchildren and near relatives to go to Ellen’s home the next day and receive a piece of her handwork, a token of keepsake in remembrance of her. But during that night the cabin was burned to the ground and everything was destroyed. All that remained was the happy memories of our association with her and the knowledge of the good she had accomplished.


Owner/SourceElizabeth P. Astle & Mary P. Stucki
Date1963-64
File nameLife Story of Ellen Jane Bailey Lamborn
File Size
ID242
Linked toEllen Jane BAILEY

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