John Moses Wyatt
(This history was taken from the WYATT FAMILY Bulletin, published by the Wyatt Family Organization Volume 1, issues 1 and 2)
John Moses Wyatt was born in the parish of Hove, Sussex, England, May 22, 1829. His wife Sarah Caroline Horsecroft was born in the adjacent parish of Brighton, on January 25, 1829. Their marriage took place December 25, 1848. Thus, before either had reached the age of twenty, was established the foundation of the family we commemorate in our organization.
Sarah Caroline had lived in a small fishing village. Many times, as a little girl, she would meet the fishermen as they returned from the sea with their boats laden with fish, and carry her apron full of "smacks", home for the family larder.
Apparently three years after they were married, they seemed to be settled for life. They had their home, and their first child whom they named John Horsecroft, born on December 2, 1849.
One evening, when John Moses was coming home from his daily work, he was attracted by two Mormon missionaries who were holding an open air meeting. He afterward reported that the truth of their message came to him with great force. It seemed to him that the message they brought was what he had been waiting for.
On reaching home he said to his young wife, "Sarah, I have heard the true gospel that has been restore to the earth. Tomorrow evening we will go together and hear these messengers again."
Without reservations these parents of ours accepted the gospel and were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on June 21, 1852, by Frederick Moore and confirmed by Henry Hollis. The spirit of the Gathering was immediately manifest in their lives and preparations for immigration to the wilds of the western parts of America, known then as Deseret, were made. They immediately met with opposition. Their families became very bitter toward the church and tried to prevent them from bringing their young son John with them by hiding him. Fortunately the boy was found in time for the family to leave with a company that sailed from Liverpool, England on February 23, 1853. Captain Brown was in charge of the sailing vessel, International.
There were four hundred immigrants, in charge of Elder Christopher Arthur, cramped in this small vessel. This was stormy season on the Atlantic. The passengers endured many hardships in the ten long weeks they were in crossing.
The company reached New Orleans on April 23, 1853. They traveled up the Mississippi River to Keobuk, Iowa where they were organized in an ox team company under the command of elder Jacob Gates. http://lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneerdetails/0,15791,4018-1-13705,00.html They walked, most of the way across the plains and experienced many of the hardships incident to pioneer life. The threat of attack from Indians was ever present. Food and water was often scarce.
Their second son, Charles, was born September 2, 1853 in Green River, Wyoming. They were not able to stop for the birth of the child because of the urgent need of water for camping. When our parents left England they were not aware that a child was on the way and had made no preparation for its arrival. As a result it was necessary to use pillow slips, underwear, and other available articles to provide for the infant's clothing. They struggled on in the face of these hardships and arrived in Salt Lake City, October 5, 1853, almost nine months from the time they left Liverpool.
Before leaving England, Sarah had a dream in which she saw Brigham Young. As the company entered Salt Lake Valley they were met by Brigham Young. She pointed him out and said "there is the leader, and the man I saw in my dream". They lived in Salt Lake City for seven years working for Brigham Young.
Five years after their arrival, in 1858, Brigham Young led the entire population of Salt Lake City as far south as Provo because of the threat posed by Johnson's Army. The saints took all their livestock with them. When they returned the Wyatt family found their home and garden in good condition.
In the year 1860 they moved to Cache Valley. Their plans were to go to Providence but the Little Bear River was in flood, so they remained in Wellsville. The first year they lived in a dugout in the hill just east of the fort. Later they moved into the fort. The houses were close together because of the danger of Indian attacks and the men took turns acting as sentries to insure their safety.
After some time the town was surveyed into blocks of ten acres each with eight lots to the block. The families purchased lots and built houses of logs with dirt floors. John Moses Wyatt bought the lot across the street west from where his son John Horsecroft later lived. A few years later the family moved to Franklin where they stayed only one summer. They returned to Wellsville and made this their home until their deaths.
John Moses worked on the Logan Temple as a rock mason for one year and later he helped to build the school house. His wife Sarah, was always ready and willing to aid the sick and needy. She went many times to help sisters in confinement. She was the mother of eleven children, seven boys and four girls. Three of these children died in infancy. Two of her sons, John and Franklin filled missions to their native land of England. The family did much to build and sustain the Church and community in this pioneer period.
Sarah was a brave and hardy woman. On one occasion after they had moved to Wellsville, she had left her baby outside the cabin while she gathered firewood. On returning she found two Indian braves with her baby. They threatened to take the baby if she did not give them sugar. Instead of being frightened into granting their request she chased them away with a rolling pin. The next morning the chief and the two braves came to her cabin with a gift of venison and the chief called her a "brave squaw."
Sarah was always cheerful, neat, and clean in her home and person. She was a lover of flowers and her children were dressed in clothes made of cloth she had carded and spun. Such a woman is described by Solomon in the proverbs Chapter 31:28, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed."
Sarah Caroline attributed her long life to "hard work and trust in the Lord," Much of her education came from a careful study of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Most of her life was spent in working in the Church, especially in the Relief Society.
The descendent of these two humble people who came to Utah in 1853 have increased until today there are more than 300 living families which claim them as progenitors.
John Moses Wyatt came to the close of his long and eventful life on March 10, 1905. His wife survived him to the good old age of 85 years and 11 months. She passed peacefully from this life on December 31, 1914
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This history was taken from the WYATT FAMILY BULLETIN, published by the Wyatt Family Organization in Volume 1, issues 1 and 2.
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