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9 Stories of Conversion and Faith

the family made plans to go on to Ameri- Ann discussed the possibility of looking
can Fork where they lived for a year. for a new home that might give them
They then moved to Mountainville, later more security. Perhaps this is the reason
named Alpine. This was to be the family that prompted Thomas to look for a loca-
residence for several years. It was in Al- tion in Southern Utah.
pine that the last of the children of Tho-
It was during July of 1858 that Tho-
mas and Ann was added to the family.
mas left for the southern part of the state.
Jane Marie was born on December, 1,
Information provided by family members
1855. It was a hard life for the family to
and others tells us of the tragic death of
get established in Alpine.
Thomas. It is stated that the Indians had
One incident that affected their ef- a plot to kill the first white man who
forts to make a livelihood was when a crossed a certain trail, and that man hap-
plague of grasshoppers invaded their pened to be Thomas Freestone. An Indian
field and practically destroyed their later found Thomas mutilated and in
crops. Each morning Ann and her chil- great pain. The Indian thought that he
dren drove off the grasshoppers from would do him a favor to kill him and end
their patch of grain. Because of their ef- his pain. The Indian then put him to
forts enough grain was saved for wheat death and wrapped him in his blankets
needed for flour. The grain was ground in and buried him. This Indian did send a
a coffee mill with the finest ground being message to Ann to inform her of her hus-
used for bread and the coarser being band's death and his burial near Paro-
used for mush. The family suffered for wan, Utah. To this day the family does
food during the winter of 1855-56. When not know where he was buried and it
they got a pot full of wild onions roots seems likely they will never know. So
and made a kettle of soup, it tasted so ended the life of Thomas Freestone, pio-
good and they really appreciated it. They neer frontiersman. He died trying to find
had pigweeds in the spring to eat. a better place in which to raise his family.
(Pigweeds are a weed, the leaves are
Ann's life had been one of hardship
sometimes used as potherbs, and the
and deprivation from the time that she
seeds are used as cereal.)
joined the Church. Now the greatest trial
The next problem to confront the came with the death of Thomas leaving
family and other settlers of the area was her with a family of young children to
the danger of hostile Indians who made raise. Ann was a woman great faith and
raids on the surrounding settlements. she relied on her Heavenly Father for
This caused the family to be moved into a comfort and help.
fort for protection. The fort was de-
With the help of her children she
scribed as having been built of mud and
gathered in the crop of 1858. It was a
stone with walls 14 feet high and six feet
cold, gloomy winter that they faced that
wide at the bottom. It covered an area of
year. They gathered wood from the can-
ten acres. Each family planted a small
yon to keep them warm. Food was scarce
garden outside of the walls to provide
and Ann often deprived herself in order
them with fresh vegetables to add to
to give a little more food to her children.
their meager diet. It was during these
Ann's living condition finally became des-
critical, tense times, 1858, Thomas and
perate.