Husband - Jacob Samuel Ferrin
third child, but first surviving child: daughter of Robert McBride3rd
and Margaret Ann Howard McBride,
whose 2nd husband was Samuel Ferrin
here to read the story of Jacob Samuel Ferrin
of Janetta & Jacob:
Janetta Ann Ferrin was
born in Church Town, England,
on December 24, 1839.
The Elders used to stay with her parents and missionary meetings were
held at their home, "Mother prepared sacrament for the meetings, I was
blessed and named there by Brigham Young. We left Church
Town and moved to the Isle
of Butte, Scotland, at the age of six years. While living with
grandmother (father's mother), both grandmothers were burned to death,"
At the age of 13, I went to England
and at the age of 14 was an apprentice to a dressmaker for two years.
Then on May I left on the ship "Horizon" to come to Utah.
We had good weather and a good passage all the way over. I
landed in Boston on June 30, 1856. We came from Boston
by rail. While traveling from Boston
to Iowa we passed
through Buffalo on the 4th
of July. The people were celebrating while we poor emigrants were
crowded into box cars. While at Chicago
we went swimming in the lake. When we arrived in Iowa,
everything was to be ready for us to travel on, but through some
mistake, nothing was ready, We walked to company grounds two or three
miles away and we walked in heavy rain and waded creeks in mud."
Three Weeks later the hand carts were ready, so we
went on foot three hundred miles to the Missouri river, walking all the
way, pushing and pulling those carts. We crossed on ferry boats to Florence
and stayed there to fix and prepare our loads for a long journey
westward. We traveled mostly through settlements thus far and
made the trek in about a month. Florence
was about three hundred miles from Iowa City.
The people were in bad conditions, also their handcarts so it was
decided to stay awhile. On the 5th of August we again started on a 1000
mile journey. Civilization was left behind and we began a march through
the wilderness. Each cart had baggage for seven persons, 17 pounds each
and 100 pounds of flour, tents and poles, cooking utensils, and
children who could not walk were scattered among the carts. Father’s
cart didn't have a tent and there were seven of us. We had three carts
to begin with. Mother took sick soon after leaving Florence
and was sick all the way. The hardships became more severe as we were
getting into the mountains and many lost their lives.
The Indians came to camp soon after we left Fort
Laramie but made no trouble.
Father died here and 13 were buried in one grave, and the weather was
calm, cold and snowing the night they died, but hunger and exposure was
the cause of their death. At the upper crossing of the Platt river we
had just one-fourth pound of flour for each of us a day, and only
enough to last three days; this was all the food we had. I stayed in
camp until teams began to come from Salt
Lake to meet us. We then
traveled from Platt River
to Devils Gate and here the women, children and sick were carried
across the river (Sweet River)
and the teams began to meet us at Greasewood Springs. The first teams
that met us were driven by Joseph A. Young and two other men, who met
us at the upper crossing, and told us, if we would to meet them at
Greasewood Springs, teams would meet us there. We thought we could make
it, but we were five days getting there as the snow and mud was
so bad, and only three teams were there when we arrived.
They had no supplies, but others began to come so
they got help at Devils Gate. They reached this place the first week in
November, and about one fourth of the company left their bones on the
trail, and of the ones left some of them were disabled, fingers and
toes frozen and a lot were sick. Their movements became mechanical and
they pulled their carts from force of habit with no hope for the
future. At Devils Gate, on Sweetwater it was discussed whether to go on
or stay in the mountains until the teams were rested and snow melted.
But help came, and the Saints were glad to get what provisions were
available, but it was only a drop in the bucket to what they needed.
The carts were abandoned at this place, as they could not take them
farther. Some had to walk as there were not teams enough to take all.
They walked up the steep mountain barefoot with snow two to three feet
deep. Mother walked part of the way behind the wagons. They camped at Fort
Bridger several days to rest
the teams that came to meet them. There were four men in father’s group
when they started and not one of them reached Salt
Lake alive. George P. Waugh,
a missionary who had been to Scotland
died at the foot of Big Mountain
and his body was taken to Salt
Lake for burial. We reached Salt
Lake City on November 30, 1856.
Mother and brothers (Heber, Ether and Peter), sister
Margaret and myself all reached Salt Lake City
army came to Utah and
tried to oust the Mormons, my brother Heber and I and also my six weeks
old baby, Fidelia, left Ogden
and went to Provo, where I
stayed until July. We had a team of two cows and a horse on lead,
the cows had calves, which would lag behind and worry their mothers,
while the old gray horse wanted to be led or else leave the road. My
husband was left at Ogden
on detail, so if the army came our men could burn the houses
and everything. Our homes were saved, and later that year we
started for Arizona and
I drove a team all the way with baby Charley on my arms.
My husband was in the sawmill and blacksmith business in
Pleasant View in 1870, and in 1880 we started for Arizona
and landed in Pima on January
5,1882. It was here we settled down, built a home
and went through all kinds of trials and hardships of pioneer life on
the frontier. My life was stricken with sorrow at the untimely death of
my husband who was killed by the Indians on the San Carlos Reservation,
while freighting from Wilcox to Globe. A friend brought his body home,
and our family had to take up the threads of life and go it alone.
Jacob was killed July 19, 1882
so he didn't have much time to get his family settled and ready to care
for them. A family of 11 children, three of them married in Utah,
the other eight of them came to Pima with their parents. I was a good
seamstress and got much sewing to do, the boys all found work so the
family did very well, and the children stayed true to the gospel all
their lives; grew up, married, and most of them settled down to live in
"When I was a child I was in poor health, so my
father took me to Scotland to stay with my grandparents, thinking it
might help me as they lived close to the sea," My mother came the next
year and since there was no branch of the Church there we belonged to
the Glasco Conference. We were the only Mormons on the island, but the
elders from Glasco often came to see us, and we often went to
Glasco to their meetings. I got some schooling there, and when I was
eight years old the school was run by the Presbyterian church, and our
studies were in the bible and father always instructed me, if I got any
wrong ideas, I had to learn the catechism. When I was nine years old I
was baptized in the river Clyde on New Years
Eve, and there was ice on the rivers edge, for we had to go in the
night, Brother William Budge and others were baptized at the same time.
I went from Scotland
on a visit and we went on a Steamer from Greenoch to Fleetwood, and
there to Preston on the train, that was the
first railroad I ever did ride on. While in Preston
I attended meetings in the old cockpit where the Saints were holding
services. From there we went to Church
Town, then back to Scotland,
where I stayed until I was twelve years old when we moved back to Southport,
and there was a branch of the church and we were in the Liverpool
Conference. We had to go along the seashore several miles to the church
house where the meetings were held. My father was secretary of the
branch and our house was the home of the elders, I stayed with a lady
and learned the dressmaking trade."
Partly from Delsa Davis McBride research.
Janetta’s married life with Jacob Ferrin was one of thrift and
industry, coupled with a devotion to Church affiliation. Not unlike
others in those early days in Utah,
the struggled together at farming and related occupations to raise a
large family. During the next twenty-four years their family grew to
eleven children, six boys and five girls. They moved to Arizona
soon after the birth of their last child, and by this time the three
older children had married and they remained in Utah.
Though only forty-three years old at the time of her
husband’s death, Janetta lived a long and productive life, serving her
Church and community. In her tidy house, always open to visitors, tasty
food was readily served to welcome guests. A great grand-daughter,
Delsa Davis McBride, has this to say about memorable visits:
My great-grandmother, Janetta Ann McBride Ferrin was
a sweet grandma whom we all loved to visit, ----My mother (Ethel Davis)
took us there quite often to spend the day. Grandma would have
delicious loaves of bread, and fruit she had canned to feed us for
lunch. There was always plenty of milk to drink with our lunch. My
childhood memories are of grandma wearing a white waist apron. It was
gathered in front on a band and tied in back. I never remember seeing
her without her apron when we visited.
Several time Janetta made the trip to Utah
to visit her children and their families and to do temple work. Beloved
by all, she died Dec. 29,
1924, at 85 years. The little girl who pulled a hand cart
hundreds of miles across plains and mountains was finally laid to rest
in Pima Arizona, and she left a legacy of her lovely disposition and
beautiful life for all of us to follow, even against great odds.
Not one who found crude comfort
In tented wagon train.
But one who braved, unsheltered,
Dark storms upon the plain.
To push and pull a handcart
Was not one borne with ease.
You, but a tender, wispy lass,
Found strength upon your knees.
Left tortured, crimson footprints
Upon the snowy sod—
Not only found a homeland.
But tracked a path to
A legacy of virtue
Of love, of joy, of sorrow—
Deep wells of testimony
To fill each child’s tomorrow.
To grace the blessed memory
Of you who spanned the years
To touch the hand of God
And seal our love with tears.
By: Earline Cluff Layton
Written as a tribute to her
Janetta Ann McBride Ferrin