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Rescue of the 1856 Handcart Companies

by Rebecca Cornwell & Leonard J. Arrington

The following list of handcart rescuers, their age at the time of rescue. Biographical data on them had been compiled from Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saints' Biographical Encyclopedia, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Company, 1901-36); Solomon F. Kimball, "Our Pioneer Boys, The Improvement Era 11 (July 1908):668-74; Kate B. Carter, ed., Heart Throbs of the West, 12 vols. (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1936-51), and Kate B. Carter, comp., Treasures of Pioneer History, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1952-57); Autobiography of Asa Hawley, Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City (hereafter referred to as Church Archives); Papers of Dan Jones, Church Archives; Diary of Goudy Hogan, Utah State University Library, Logan, Utah; Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1964); Autobiography of Harvey Cluff, Church Archives; and family group sheets in the Genealogical Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.

  1. Alexander, Thomas Murphy (26) - Born 1831 in Tennessee, son of Randolph Alexander. Parents baptized 1836 and 1837. Thomas named a son David William Patton, which suggests that his family had associated with David Patton in Missouri. By 1839 the family was in Quincy, Illinois, and in Salt Lake City 1848. Thomas had in all sixteen children, one plural wife. Died 1905 in Idaho.
  2. Allen, Frank (36)
  3. Allred, Reddick N. (34) - Born 1822 in Tennessee. Served in Mormon Battalion. After 1853 Black Hawk War a colonel in Utah territorial militia.
  4. Alvord, Joseph B. (26)
  5. Amussen, Captain
  6. Atkinson, William (42)
  7. Bailey, John
  8. Bankhead, Tom - Daniel Jones listed "Tom" as only "colored man" in rescue party. Possibly this was Dan, a blacksmith for John Bankhead of Tennessee, who migrated to Utah in 1848 with "Mississippi Saints." Dan and his brother Nathan were dispatched with teams from Salt Lake Valley at least two different years to bring Saints to Utah. Descendants still in Salt Lake Valley.
  9. Barker, James (29)
  10. Barlow, Israel (50)
  11. Bean, George Washington (25)
  12. Beck, T. H.
  13. Beckstead, Henry
  14. Broomhead, William Milton (23)
  15. Bullock, Isaac Bullock (32) - Born 1824 in New Hampshire, son of Benjamin Bullock and Dorothy Kimball. Settle Fort Supply 1855. Married Elect Wood in Provo, December 14, 1856. No reference in his journal to handcart experience, but mentioned by Cluff as one of rescuers.
  16. Burton, Robert T. (36) - Born 1821 in Canada, where his parents had emigrated from England. As a teenager was baptized with his family. Served in Nauvoo Legion and Nauvoo Brass Band. When Legion reorganized in Salt Lake City in 1849, he was made bugler in the first company under George D. Grant. Members of this company became heroes in winter 1850 during "Provo River Battle" with the Utes. In 1853 had another hard experience in Tooele County when fighting Indians in winter with no shelter or bedding. Was made militia major and colonel in 1855-56.
  17. Cluff, Harvey H. (20) - Born 1836 in Ohio, living in Provo by 1856. Served in "Standing Army after Echo Canyon War." His diary gives detailed account of rescue.
  18. Cole, James (28)
  19. Cole, Moroni (23)
  20. Cowley, William M. - According to an account of the rescue in Carter, Heart Throbs 1:80, met Emily Wall of the Martin company at Devil's Gate, afterwards married her. Was a "very young printer."
  21. "Handsome Cupid" - So listed by Dan Jones.
  22. Decker, Charles F. (32) - Born 1824 in New York. Married 1847 in Florence, Nebraska, to Vilate Young, daughter of Brigham and Miriam Works Young. Traveled Mormon Trail through Rockies forty-nine times prior to rescue, according to George D. Grant.
  23. Dunn, George - Sent in November from Union Ward, according to Bishop Silas Richards.
  24. Fairbanks, Amos - Perhaps son of an Amos Fairbanks, born 1802 in Massachusetts, who would have been 52 at time of rescue and probably too old to have participated. This older Amos Fairbanks was living in Indiana in 1842, baptized 1853, endowed 1854, died 1882 in Bountiful. That he had a son could not be verified.
  25. Ferguson, James (28) - Born 1828 in Ireland, served in Mormon Battalion. An actor with Joseph Simmons. Member of Stout's rescue party. Died 1863.
  26. Garr, Abel (22) - Solomon Kimball describes him as "a prominent scout in early days and had charge of Church herds on Antelope Island."
  27. Garr, David - Presumably one of the "Garr boys."
  28. Garr, John - Presumably one of the "Garr boys."
  29. Goldbrough, Henry - Possibly the Henry Goldsbrough who had a son Henry, born 1885 in Nephi, the son of Ellen Russell Goldsbrough.
  30. Grant, George D. (18) - Son of George D. Grant and nephew of Jedediah Grant (second counselor in First Presidency of Mormon church), according to Solomon Kimball, who includes a photo. One of three 18 year olds Kimball credits with carrying the Martin company over the Sweetwater Crossing during a blizzard.
  31. Grey, Charles
  32. Hampton, Benjamin (19) - Born 1837 in Philadelphia, parents from Chester County. A brother (or sister) was born 1849 in St. Louis. Benjamin was endowed 1855, married Adelaide Eugenie Grant 1864, had a daughter who married William S. Godbe.
  33. Hanks, Ephraim K. (30) - Born 1826 in Ohio. In Mormon Battalion and 1853 Walker War. Scout and Indian agent.
  34. Hawley, Asa (21) - Born 1835 in Canada, converted with parents in Iowa, came to Utah 1852. In S. S. White's and Sidney Willis's (Lehi Ward) Minute Man companies. Escort of George A. Smith who was in 1856, commander of Southern Military Department (militia).
  35. Hinckley, Arza Erastus (30) - Born 15 Aug 1826, Leeds, Ontario. Joined the Mormon Battalion
  36. Hogan, Goudy (27) - Born 1829 in Norway, emigrated 1849. In fall 1856 "I was called on with several others to go out," he says in diary.
  37. Huntington, C. Allen (18) - Married Rosanna Galloway, had a son born 1859 in Salt Lake. Photo in Kimball article. One of three 18 year olds to carry immigrants over Sweetwater at Devil's Gate.
  38. Ivie, James (26) - Probably the Utah militia colonel who was born 1833 in Missouri, fought in 1853 Walker War. Died 1909.
  39. Jones, Daniel W. (26) - Born in Missouri. In Mormon Battalion. Baptized 1851 after arriving in Salt Lake City. Wrote important account of rescue effort. Died 1915.
  40. Kimball, David Patton (18) - Born 1839 in Commerce, Illinois, son of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball. One of three 18 years olds praised by Solomon Kimball. Died 1883.
  41. Kimball, Heber Parley (21) - Born 1835 in Ohio, son of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball. Died 1885.
  42. Kimball, William Henry (31) - Born 1825 in New York, son of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball. Was returning from mission to England at time of disaster; arrived in Salt Lake City with Franklin D. Richards; left again immediately to find Willie company. Died 1907.
  43. Linton, Samuel (29) - Born 1827 in Ireland. Emigrated to Utah in 1853.
  44. Little, Feramorz (36) - Born in New York, nephew of Brigham Young. Was mail partner with Hanks and Decker, enduring great hardships. After rescue took mail trip to Independence, Missouri, arriving early 1857.
  45. Murdock, John Riggs (30) - Born 1826 in Ohio. In Mormon Battalion, later with Brigham Young Express and Carrying Company.
  46. Nebeker, Ira (17) - Born 1839 in Illinois. In Burton's company of Minute Men 1855. Died 1905.
  47. Nylon, C. - Mentioned by Silas Richards as being sent out in November from Union Ward with supplies to refurnish rescue party.
  48. Parish, Joel - Cook mentioned by Dan Jones.
  49. Peck, Edwin Martin (28) - Born 1828 in Vermont; settled Provo. Died 1903.
  50. Ricks, Thomas Edwin (28) - Born 1828 in Kentucky. Explored with Parley P. Pratt. Took Indian mission to Nevada. Photo in Kimball's article. Died 1901.
  51. Simmons, Joseph Marcels (28) - Born 1824. Son-in-law of Bishop Edwin D. Woollen. During summer and fall 1855 had been at Fort Supply to control Indians and to help immigration On staff of Colonel George D. Grant; later associated with Burton in Echo Canyon War; colonel by October 1857.
  52. Smith, Lot (26)
  53. Spencer, C. N.
  54. Standley, Franklin (25) - Born 1831 in Ohio. Migrated with parents to Utah in 1852; settled in Bountiful. Died 1859.
  55. Steed, Thomas (29)
  56. Stout, Hosea (46) - Born 1810 in Kentucky. In Missouri militia, Nauvoo Legion in Nauvoo and Salt Lake City. Head of Salt Lake City police and prominent lawyer and diarist. Died 1889.
  57. Taylor, Stephen Wells (20) - Born 1834 in England. Married (1857) Harriet Seedy Young, daughter of Brigham Young. Died 1920.
  58. Teeples, Sidney (19)
  59. Tracy, Mosiah (18)
  60. Van Coat, John (42) - Born 1814 in New York. President of Scandinavian Mission 1853-56; had returned with Franklin D. Richards. Died 1883.
  61. Wachman, H. H.
  62. Wadsworth, Abiah
  63. Warren, William
  64. Webb, Chauncey G. (20) - Born 1836 in Kirtland, baptized 1849, married daughter of Seth Taft 1855. Handcart agent in Iowa. Daughter Ann Eliza Webb divorced Brigham Young.
  65. Wheelock, Angus
  66. Wheelock, Cyrus Hubbard (43) - Born 1831 in New York. Chaplain in main rescue party. Gifted orator and scout. Died 1894.
  67. Whitbeck, John
  68. Whitman, Brother
  69. Whitney, John
  70. Wickersham, John
  71. Wilken, David
  72. Wilkens, Brother
  73. Williams, Alexander (53)
  74. Wilson, H. W.
  75. Wilson, Robert (37)
  76. Wilson, Thomas Henry
  77. Winn, Dennis (24)
  78. Winn, William H. (23)
  79. Winward, Peter (23)
  80. Woolley, Franklin (22)
  81. Woolley, Henry (35)
  82. Workman, Albert
  83. Young, Brigham (20) - Born 1836 in Kirtland. A Minute Man. Helped tamp roads on Big and Little mountains for handcart companies.
  84. Young, Joseph A. (22) - Born 1834 in Ohio, son of Brigham Young. Had returned from mission to England (1854-56) with Franklin D. Richards. Died 1875.

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