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William Robison and Margaret Smith Robison

William Robison and Margaret Smith Robison

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Published by Leena Rogers

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: Leena Rogers on Mar 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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WILLIAM ROBISON AND MARGARET SMITH ROBISONBy Rachel Sabina (Ada) Robison RogersWILLIAM ROBISON was born in Quincy, Franklin County, Pennsylvania on April 18, 1829.He was the son of Alexander Robison and Mary Ellen (Wagaman) Robison.MARGARET (SMITH) ROBISON was born on December 23, 1834, also in Quincy, FranklinCounty, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Daniel Smith and Catherine (Geeseman)Smith.My parents were married on January 12, 1851. They tried to live their religion in as littleplace called Thomastown, later called Fairview. It was very hard, as so many people wereopposed to their new religion. They had four sons born to them and buried one of thembefore leaving Pennsylvania.The gospel of Jesus Christ was brought to them by Elder Angus M. Cannon, a missionaryfrom Utah representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or more commonlycalled the Mormons. Elder Cannon baptized my father and also confirmed him in the year 1854.
My mother was baptized and confirmed by Elder William Tarmen on the 15
day of 1854. Her conversion was due to the fact that on one occasion when my brother Alex wasill, she having heard of the healing power of the Mormon Elders, called them in toadminister to him. He was healed after their administration leaving her with a testimony thatthis was the True Church.My mother·s father and mother (Daniel and Catherine Smith) both died very suddenly,(within two weeks of each other) leaving two small girls, Sabina and Charlotte.
My mother and her sister Rachel had the two little girls to raise, but their brother upon hearing that theyhad joined the Mormon Church took the children away from them and gave them to an aunt.They were not even allowed to see their little sisters, so they used to go to the playgroundat school and wait until they came out for recess, in order to spend a few precious minuteswith them.
 On June 7, 1860, they left all their earthly possessions, and started over the lonely prairiefor the land of Zion. They traveled by rail
and water for 2000 miles. They then camped atFlorence, Nebraska for two weeks while arrangements were being made for the handcartcompany.Aunt Eliza Smith, my father·s sister, told in her diary of the terrible storm they encounteredwhile at Florence (now Council Bluffs). The company was ordered to move on; they obeyedorders and when about a half-mile from Florence, they noticed a very black cloud arising. Afierce windstorm arose and blew down every tent with the exception of two, which wereheld in place by a number of men.Aunt Eliza·s husband (Conrad Smith) took his two children and put them in a handcart andcovered it up, fastening it to the ground so that the wind could not upset it. Aunt Eliza,getting uneasy over her children, left her tent, got the children out of the cart and started
back to her tent. It was too much for her. She was unable to reach it and sank down on theground with her children. Here she remained for some time. She finally was rescued bysome of the brethren and carried to the ten where she was carefully cared for until sherecovered from the shock. This was one of the worst storms ever witnessed by them duringthe remainder of their journey.The outfit consisting of 240 men, women, and children, 40 carts, 10 tents, 6 wagons, and 36oxen. The teams of oxen were put in the lead, and the carts in the rear.
They were two-wheeled carts, with bows over the top, which were covered with canvas. The tongue of thehandcarts had a crosspiece fastened in the end, about 2-½ feet long so that two personscould stand on either side of the tongue, leaning their bodies against the crosspiece.
Theycalled it pushing instead of pulling. There were about four to seven persons to one cart.Thus, we have a picture in our minds of our brave pioneers trudging along day after day inthe hot sun and sand, believing that they were on their way to a blessed land where theycould worship their Father in Heaven as they pleased, unmolested from the rest of theworld.This handcart company was one of the last and most successful in its journey. My father·sbrother, Daniel Robison, was appointed captain of the company. He tried very hard to avoidany trouble that might arise and was very well respected by all.My mother and her sister Rachel, Daniel Robison·s wife, made noodles and dried thembefore leaving home, which they shared with the sick. They also made yeast cakes and hadlight bread all the way. Provisions were weighted out to each family once a week, and at onetime were rationed at 1 pound of flour a day. At times water was very scarce and at low,soggy places shovels and spades were used. After digging two or three feet down, theywould strike water which was about the color of rain water. This was caused by alkali.At night, when a campground was reached, the carts were placed in a circle leaving andopen space about ten feet; this was used for a corral for the oxen. The oxen were thenunyoked and driven perhaps 2 miles away where they were watched by two men untilmidnight; then they were relieved by two others. When morning came they were brought in;each man yoked up his own oxen and as soon as breakfast was over they were loaded withbedding, cooking utensils and sometimes children, as their little feet became so very timedat times. Barefooted mothers led their barefooted children by the hands over hot roughplains, but when camped for the night they would always offer prayer and sign hymns. Theyseemed very happy in spite of all they had to endure.
 They saw very few Indians while on their journey. Several bands passed, but they were notmolested.At one time their food failed to reach them and Uncle Daniel Robison swam the Platt River and arranged for provisions to be sent to the camp. The river called Sweet Water was filledwith fish, so everyone had all the fish they could eat, which was a treat after having eatensalty bacon all the way. At Green River all were taken across on a ferryboat, except the oxen
and they had to swim across. Just when they were low on provisions and were very weakand hungry, two wagons drove up, loaded with food and necessities.While traveling through Wyoming territory, one of my brothers died. He had dysentery andpassed away within a day and a night. This was a great sorrow for my parents for they lovedhim so dearly. They took a box off the wagon to make a little coffin, dressed him in his bestlittle clothes and buried him by the wayside. They covered rocks over the little grave as aprotection against the elements and wild animals, thinking they would come back sometime in the future to find his grave. After reaching Utah my father returned to the place of rest, but it was never found.They camped two days at the mouth of Echo Canyon on the Weber River at a small towncalled Henefer. The town was named Henefer in honor of the only family living there at thetime. Mr. Henefer donated five bushels of potatoes, providing they would dig them. Fish wasplentiful so everyone had all the potatoes and fish they could eat.They at last reached the end of the journey, Salt Lake City, on August 27, 1860.
Wagons,carts, tents, oxen, everything that was used on their way was taken from them as they wereall property of the church.My parents first settled in Farmington, Utah, and lived there three years. My father helped tolay the rock for he old rock meetinghouse in Farmington, which still stands. In 1863 theymoved to North Morgan, which was then known as Mt. Joy. They were the first settlers andwere there and were here before South Morgan was settled.The first cabins were built of logs with small poles and wild wheat grass, and no lumber for the door. A quilt or carpet was hung in place of a door; there was also a dirt floor. Finewillows were tied together for a broom. Beds were built out of pole; blocks of wood weresplit for chairs. Holes were bored in the bottom and round sticks were put in for legs. Theyused tallow candles for lights, and sometimes they tied a button in a piece of cloth and outit in a small dish of tallow and lit the cloth and used that for a light. They made all their tallow candles, soap, and lye that they used. They spun cloth and made all their ownclothing and the yarn that they knit their children·s stockings from.My father owned the first store and restaurant in Morgan. It was located where the DunnFloral now stands. He sold the building to the ZCMI and it was moved down where theParkinson store is now located.Uncle Dan and father owned the springs which is now used by both North and South Moran,and also by the railroad. To this day it is known as William Robison Springs. My father lovedgardening and was considered one of the best, if not the best gardener in the county. Hesaid Uncle Daniel plant the trees on Mt. Joy Avenue ² my father planting the locust trees infront of the church building.Our home was across the street, opposite the chapel. Mother made a half-dozen trips eachday across the street while it was being built. She died at the age of 77 on August 26, 1911,

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