LIFE SKETCH OF MARY SNIDER/SNYDER [WOOD]
The longest way around is not always the shortest way home, but sometimes it is the way chosen by the Lord to complete the tests on those whom he has chosen to be recipients of his choicest blessings.
On page twelve of Brigham Young, The Man and His Work by Preston Nibley we read, "In company with my brother Joseph, I started for Kingston, upper Canada, on foot, in the month of December (1832) the most of the way through snow and mud from one to two feet deep. . . . Proceeding to West Loughborough, we remained about one month, preaching the Gospel there and in the regions round about. We baptized 45 souls and organized the East Loughborough and other branches. In the month of February, 1833, we started for Home." --Millenial Star, Vol. 25 p. 439.
In the journal kept by Daniel Wood we read: "One day two missionaries came into this humble little town of Loughborough to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They preached Faith, Repentance, and Baptism by Immersion and then went on their way." Reading on, we note that the group of neighbors who gathered in the Wood home to hear these truths were deeply impressed and finally persuaded the Ruling Elder, then serving for another denomination, to baptize them by immersion. In a short time the two Mormon missionaries returned. After a lengthy consultation, the group were convinced that although the baptism had been performed in the correct manner, the authority for conducting the baptism was lacking. They therefore entered the waters again and were baptized and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the hands of Brigham Young and his brother, Joseph, on 17 February, 1833.
Who were these people in the upper reaches of the St. Lawrence River, and how did they come to be there? The last account of that section most of us have read was concerning the erection of Fort Frontenac during the French and Indian Wars. This was Indian country surrounded by forests inhabited by wolves. Surely the Lord must watch with interest the man made solutions to the problems he sets before the human race. Oft times it is necessary for him to stretch forth his hand to untangle them from the complications which arise. He never loses sight of the promises which he made to Abraham of old. It was no small group of House of Israel which passed through the broken walls of Nineveh as the Babylonians battled the Assyrians. And again, the number exceeded one hundred thousand of those who later left the Rhine and French border to crowd into Holland and England for protection. Huddled in the British Isle were also the French Huguenots awaiting a solution to their problem. The Scotch Irish needed a haven in order to subsist.
Consequently Holland and England opened their newly acquired American colonial possessions for them. The groups which left England for America were necessarily small due to the size of the vessels they sailed in and the terms of the contracts for obtaining a homestead in the new land. They consisted of "Walloons," Englishmen who sprang from the Normans who accompanied William the Conqueror, Englishmen of Saxon descent, Old Englishmen of Welsh, Scotch and Irish origin including those of Norwegian and Danish beginnings.
Only those who have wrestled with nature to obtain a livelihood can know of the deep determination to hold on to that for which a life has been expended. Only those who have this determination can know of the gratitude which wells up in the heart for those who made it possible. To us, whom these things are given as a heritage comes the responsibility of learning to appreciate and understand the feelings of those who produced the heritage.
General George Washington must have been deeply concerned over the conditions existing at the time our young American Colonies asserted themselves against the Mother Country. He must not only cope with the problem of making a stand for the rights of loyalty then existing among the people. What to do about the former was already decided but how to handle the latter was a matter for his deepest consideration since part of his own immediate family were involved.
To three hundred thousand and/or more the first allegiance seemed to be with the ones who had made possible not only their subsistence, but a place for their posterity. They had recently signed an oath of allegiance. To some, we must admit, it meant the dissolution of wealth which they were acquiring by dishonest means, but to most it was the breaking down of their standards.
The Revolutionary War proceeded and was concluded with results favorable to the consummation of the plans of the Lord. The methods used in handling these Loyalists were not favorable in His sight, however, and so it became necessary for Him to use other ways of bringing "one of a family and two of a city" to accomplish the work which He began hundreds of years previously.
It is customary for some kind of settlement to be agreed upon as to the disposition of property following a war, but such a privilege was not granted those who were labeled "Loyalists." They were whipped, forced into hiding, in some cases almost starving to death, chained together, dying of the infectious wounds thus caused. Their beautiful lands and homes were confiscated, leaving them with barely enough to subsist upon. Families were broken and separated, never to see one another again.
Those of the Northern Colonies made their way to Canada, while those in the Southern Colonies made their way to the West Indies or Australia ("Many British colonists in America refused to take up arms against Great Britain. . . . Between 40,000 and 60,000 of these persons went to Canada. They were known as United Empire Loyalist." The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. U-V, 1968 ed.)
To those who went to Canada the ways were limited. If they had the means, they shipped out of Boston or New York and sailed to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. Those near the Hudson River used make-shift rafts and flat boats and followed the river up the Mohawk River, (then) to Lake Ontario, (to Canada). From there they walked to the surrounding lands where they originated settlements. Some crossed the then very sparsely settled western New York to the tip of Lake Erie, then crossed by raft or canoe to the opposite shore.
Even before hostilities began, some New England families had been induced by offers of free land, free implements to work it and enough food to see them through a harvest, if they would settle in Canada.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia eventually became so crowded that something had to be done to relieve the situation since tillable land is scarce in this section. The problem of feeding and clothing these people weighed heavily upon the Governor.
Among the group of "forced colonizers" was a son of one Mr. Grass who had come up from the North River New York Colony. His father had previously been a captive of the French in the Frontenac frontier.
Being informed that perhaps this man could assist in solving the local problem, the Governor demanded an audience with him. After much bickering and persuading he was influenced to lead a group of people up the St. Lawrence River Valley. This was indeed a hazardous project since there were no roads, no true maps or wayside stations for supplies beyond Montreal in the year 1782 when the exodus began. Enticed by the promise of having first. choice of the homesteads, Mr. Grass finally agreed to the contract.
Numerous articles have been written describing the hardships of this first expedition as to how they made their way upstream on an unsuitable craft loaded beyond reason, how they waded in waist deep water and much to pull the boats by rope in some places. Sickness and fevers were common and left many buried along the way. These tales make interesting literature, but enduring such a thing was not good for the mental and physical health of those who endured it.
Reaching the Old Fort Frontenac they renamed it Kingston and the captains of the companies were each given first choice of a location which eventually grew into such towns as Ernestown (now Bath), Fredericksburg, Adolphustown, Marysburgh or Loughborough (now Sydenham), and Scarborough. Other towns sprang up in-the surrounding country immediately. Each settler was-granted 200 acres of land and 200 acres awaited each child of the original settlers when they reached the age of twenty-one.
Early life in these towns was typically pioneer. At first there were no schools, churches or certified medical care. Eventually in 1786, the First Church of England sent a pastor to them. He made his headquarters at Ernestown where he divided Lennox County into parishes and commenced his labor of christening children who were already three and four years old, posted marriage bans for couples who were already living as man and wife. Where it was possible he traced death and recorded it; however, it was not possible to obtain all the vital statistics.
Justice of the Peace Robert Clark stated that he joined the First Methodist Class which was formed also in Ernestown by Rev. William Losee in 1791. So we see that (these people) were allowed the privilege of worshiping as they wished.
The fowl of the air, wild turkey and goose, deer, elk and rabbit were theirs for the taking for food and clothing, but domestic animals were rare since their transportation was too much of a problem. There were a few sheep and cows brought up; however, wolves generally prevented a noticeable increase in the sheep herd and cows were almost treated as humans because of the value of their milk and offspring.
It took a long time to build a mill and wait for grain to mature, so those who were fortunate enough to own a coffee mill for cracking cereal were kind enough to loan it to neighbors.
Upon arrival at their homestead each settler was given a handful of turnip seed. In some cases those turnips were all that stood between the party and starvation. Flax was planted and animal skins were dressed for clothing. Buckskin and Homespun were the prevailing fashion.
From the Indians they learned that the "plantain plant" gave forth of its medical value for curing the rattlesnake bites. Of these writhing pests there were plenty. Rattlesnake oil had its value, however, for several purposes.
For entertainment there was fishing, berrying and nutting, skating and making sweets from the maple syrup.
Religious and scholastic training were of necessity neglected at the beginning of this project, but they did not lose sight of neighborly kindness.
By ox team from Niagara they later brought in a few nails, some glass and salt. Sapling[s] were brought with them as a beginning for their orchards. Timber was too plentiful in most cases causing much heavy labor to clear it from the land so that food for man and animal could grow in its place.
Honest but plainly dressed farmers were the first men to represent their communities at Governor John Graves Simcoe's Legislative Assembly in 1792 at Kingston, Upper Canada Among the representatives were some of the most brilliant minds that the early American Colonies had produced.
Along the Hudson River in Ulster County, New York, was chosen by Johann (Johannes) Joost Snider and wife, Magdalena Flagler, for their home when they came with one of the first groups of Hollanders to America. Across the river on the east side were Johann (Johannes) Emigh (changed to Amey) and his wife, Anna de Lang. Eight miles of the river frontage with no limit to the land extending backward was their allotment. Here they proceeded in true Dutch fashion to improve surroundings and make the most of their possessions.
From Derbyshire, England, had come John Wood who also settled in Ulster County, New York. True to custom, his (gt) grandson sought greener pastures and decided to make his home in Dutchess County, New York, where the wife he chose was born. She was Elizabeth DeMelt (now DeMille) daughter of Garrett DeMille and Magdalena Emigh. From these families was to come those of whom this sketch is to be written.
By the year 1716 England recognized the necessity of requiring an oath of allegiance from her foreign born colonists. Even at that time she realized that all was not well with those over whom she ruled without giving them a voice in her law-making body. Johann Joost Snider and his neighbor Johann Emigh "did in open court take the oath by law appointed" which made (them] English subjects although by birth they were of German and Dutch extraction. Little did they realize that in America where they had been promised a haven their children would again be driven from their home. We feel sure that they held to their oath of allegiance with a firm belief in it's righteousness.
Crum Elbow on the Hudson, which now includes Hyde Park, was part of their allotted land. Why shouldn't they make an effort to retain it? But lose it they did. Sorrow filled their hearts as they saw others take over their beautiful homes. By which route they made their way to the North we have no way of knowing, but we assume that they went up the Hudson in the Mohawk and across the lower end of Lake Ontario.
Elizabeth Amey was born in Albany County, New York in 1770, but her brother, David, the eighth child of eleven, was born in Ernestown, Upper Canada in 1785.
John Snider was born at Fort Edward, Dutchess County, New York in 1764. The first: child of John Snider and Elizabeth Amey was born in Ernestown, Upper Canada, June 15, 1788. Their daughter Mary, (referred to as Mary Elizabeth in this history) was born in Ernestown, Upper Canada, November 25, 1803. She was the ninth child of a family of fourteen children.
We have no record of Mary's early life so must judge of it by the general life of the community. That she had some scholastic training we are sure due to some of the work she did in her later life. The record says that on March 9, 1823 (not 1824) at Kingston, Upper Canada, Mary Snider, daughter of John Snider and Elizabeth Amey (formerly Emigh) became the wife of Daniel Wood, son of Henry Wood and Elizabeth DeMelt/DeMille. (Archive Rec. Ottawa, Untied Empire Loyalists)
It has previously been thought and recorded that this Henry Wood (1777) family went to Upper Canada at the same time that the John Snider (1764) family did, but in checking the family birth records we find the Sniders had been in Canada thirteen (or More) years before the Wood family arrived.
Daniel Wood was born in Dutchess County, New York October 16, 1800, the second child of Henry and Elizabeth DeMille Wood. Their fourth child, Jacob, was born in Ernestown, Upper Canada, November 4, 1804. They all lived to marry and have a family and most of them attained old age.
The immigrant John Wood had buried his first wife, Ann Assop, in England. If there were children born to this couple, their record has not been found. Arriving in America, he married Anna or Johanna Hackleton/Hecklington (on January 12, 1682) according the Kingston, Dutchess County, New York, Dutch Register.
Henry Wood, son of Daniel was born July 8, 1777 at New York After the birth of the third child, Henry and wife Elizabeth and family moved to Ernestown, Upper Canada. About 1807 the family received their land allotment and made their home in the neighboring community of Loughborough.
The Wood and Snider's were of necessity hard working families who not only improved their homesteads, but also their homes.
Daniel and Mary made their home at Loughborough. It was here that three children, Rebecca, Henry and John blessed their home and brought joy to the parents.
As stated on the first page of this sketch, it was in 1832 that his neighbors were invited to his humble home, which had been enlarged by this time, to hear Elder Brigham Young expound recently revealed gospel principles. It is this home which today is still pointed out as being notorious for this reason. Before these missionaries departed for Kirtland, Ohio, they had baptized many on or about the seventeenth of February 1833 and had ordained Daniel Wood an Elder and placed him in charge of this branch of the Church.
It would be interesting to learn of the activities of this little branch of the church while they were making preparations to join the Saints at Kirtland, Ohio. Homesteads and equipment were sold. Tears were shed over cherished articles which could not be taken. Sorrow dwelt in their hearts at leaving their loved ones who were unable to grasp the importance of this project.
Earnestly and with determination they made their way by land until they reached the shores of Lake Erie. Here they embarked on the lake, which at times became very treacherous, taking passage on the ship "Great Britain." The trip across the lake to the landing near Kirtland was not a pleasant one. A storm added excitement and misery as it pitched the vessel to and fro during the night.
At Kirtland they were received and cared for in the homes of some of the Saints until Daniel came to a decision as to choice of location. He purchased a forty acre farm lying to south and west of the town.
They were hardly located comfortably on this farm when daughter Harriet was born December 21, 1834. The addition of this new sister must have added joy to the Christmas festivities in the home and helped relieve the homesickness which they were experiencing.
But soon they were so interested and concerned over the church projects that there was no time to mourn over by gone days. Constantly there were new converts coming in who needed assistance until they could get themselves established. Persecution of the Saints both in Kirtland and Missouri caused such anxiety.
The Prophet was organizing volunteers for Zion's Camp for the purpose of assisting-the Saints located in Jackson County, Missouri. According to Whitney's History of Utah, Vol. 1, p. 118, Daniel Wood was a member of this group.
During his absence (church chronology by Andrew Jensen, p. 10) Rebecca was baptized on May 12, 1834. These volunteers did not return until July.
In 1835 this family voted to sustain the newly chosen Twelve Apostles and men were being chosen from those who had assisted with the Zion Camp project to be members of the two first quorums of Seventies. Daniel was chosen, but not ordained until March 27, 1837 to fill this position.
So many new and marvelous manifestations were being explained during this time that the Wood family wondered if they would be able to retain all this information. That Brigham Young, John P. Greene, and Amos Orton were to preach the gospel to the Indians was not a new idea. That had been going on in America for many years. But to know who these people were and to have their friend Brigham chosen for this mission brought joy to the Wood fireside.
On July 3, 1835, Chandler arrived in Kirtland to display his Egyptian mummies, one of which held the papyrus which the Prophet recognized as revealing valuable information. Can you imagine how anxious those Saints were to obtain a copy of the translation of this scroll and how they marveled at the contents of the "Pearl of Great Price." At the church services people were expressing themselves in "tongues" with others receiving the interpretation of the expression. Visions attended anointings and ordinances and tears of joy flowed from the eyes of those attending.
But in spite of all these manifestations and explanations of the return of the gospel in it's fullness the persecutions increased and soon the Saints in Missouri began to move to Shoal Creek, later known as Far West. By April 1837 plans were produced for the erection of a House of the Lord to be erected at this new settlement.
Although the picture was a dreary one in Kirtland, two of the Apostles and three other elders were set apart to open the mission in far away England. Little did the Wood family realize that this project would affect them, but of this we shall learn later.
Now some who had received the choicest blessings were becoming dissatisfied. With anxiety in their hearts over the influence these things might have on their children, Daniel and Mary prayed constantly for guidance. They added Parley P. Pratt's newly published Voice of Warning to their library and used it in their family consultations.
The missionaries returned from England with unbelievable reports of success; the Prophet disclosed the identity of Spring Hill or Adam-ondi-ahman, and finally the order was given to leave Kirtland.
On July 6, 1838, five hundred fifteen Saints left their homes and beloved first Temple to build anew at Far West, Missouri. The Seventies planned and executed this move; each Seventy being in charge of a certain number of people. Just what Mary Wood's thoughts were as she waited patiently while Daniel took care of his responsibilities would be interesting to know.
Hardly had they found their location at Far West until Daniel came to explain to Mary and the four children the new form of church security, that of tithing. They had failed in their attempt at living the United Order. Mary did not understand all of these principles, but did her best to support her husband with his part of it. Making the most of her meager accommodations gave her little time for gossip. One thing she was sure of was that her Daniel "knew his soil" and that wherever he chose to locate his family would produce food, along with his working ability. But Daniel's foresight and energy seemed to have very little to do with it, for soon they were to leave this location.
The camp wagon served as a home once more until a one room log cabin could be erected. A blanket for the door gave them some privacy, but was of little use in keeping out cold.
Rebecca and the boys were old enough to attend school, but the family was located in the farming section and schools were not established except in the settlement center. Mary and Daniel didn't forget that education was essential, so they helped the children what they could.
Grandfather Wood's journal goes into great detail in relating incidents pertaining to the exciting times and atrocities committed at Far West. It seems that they were hardly able to get themselves established in their new location when the order came to assemble at headquarters for protection and information as to their next move. We imagine Mary had often heard the tales relative to the exodus of the Loyalists and told them in turn to her children. Now they were experiencing an exodus of their own. Were these things to be constantly repeated? How were they to know that it was the Lord's way of "proving them."
At Far West they were invited to share shelter in a small home with two or three other families and then came Governor Boggs order "to exterminate the Mormons" (October 27, 1838). Mary hugged her children more closely as they waited for results after several of the men had been killed and others dragged off in prison.
Daniel Wood relates several mirth-provoking incidents at this time even though it was a critical situation. "In the following February (1839), the weather being fine, we could make our bed on the ground," he states. This was just previous to the departure from Far West to Commerce, Illinois.
Lies still continued to be circulated, homes were burned and the atrocities of Haun's Mill (October 30, 1838) caused the blood in their veins to almost cease circulating. The betrayal of the Prophet fell with a blow on the Saints awaiting instructions. Mary and her little one must have clung closely to Daniel as news of ravishing and pillage crept from home to home.
It was not until April that the Saints were given orders to be on their way to Illinois. "We came to a place where a man had an empty house. I asked if we might sleep in it. He asked if I were a Mormon and I replied, 'Yes, Sir!' When I told him we were from Far West he replied, 'Well, you are more honest than some of them, so go sleep in the house."' Daniel Wood's comment was, "I believe the best way to go through life is to travel uprightly and honestly and keep truth on your side. Although at times we had practically nothing to eat, I never had occasion to steal. I believe the Lord assisted me and sustained me upon that principle."
Arriving at Commerce, Mary waited patiently while her husband contacted those in charge of affairs to find out where they were to locate. Fifteen hundred people with no sanitary facilities soon caused sickness amongst them. Mary began to realize the part she was to play in this drama. For her insight into what their project would be, she watched the constant increase in population as more and more came from North, East, South, and up the Mississippi River by boat.
They were farmers and much depended on their contributions. Daniel eventually located a farm to his liking about twenty-miles south and east of the center of population. This was known as Mt. Sterling in Brown County, Illinois.
By the time he put his family down at this place his funds had dwindled to fifty cents and four head of cattle. In order to cope with the problems confronting him, he sold two of the animals, purchased seed and a few ' necessities from the family and with the help of his two boys planted his crop.
No use to set idly by while the crop matured, so he obtained employment making shingles which were much in demand in the town of Commerce. Happily he jogged along the road with his contribution after his harvest. He was doing his part with the work of the Lord. How easy it would have been for Mary to keep it all, especially since there was to be an addition to the family. Christmas time arrived and once 'again the home had a new baby to remind them of the Christ Child. Perhaps even the home they lived in at great deal better than the one in which Mary of old laid the Saviour. Baby Elizabeth arrived December 20/23, 1839 and in due time received her name and a father's blessing.
Little did Daniel and Mary realize that to them was to come a great honor through the lineage of their daughter, Elizabeth. How were they to know that one of the latter day Apostles was to call her grandmother. Regardless if any inkling of such knowledge, they continued to teach all of their children the fundamentals of truth and righteousness, to pray to a living God for guidance, to obey the counsel of those placed in authority over them and to love their neighbors.
Multitudes continued to affiliate themselves with the church in spite of the false reports concerning it. With each one who registered at Nauvoo the responsibility of the former members increased. Daniel and Mary continued with their contributions. Although the members of this household were not considered among the "learned" they were not illiterate. They welcomed the additions of the Church publications in their home and profited by the truths which they gained from them.
Nauvoo had received its charter recently, the Prophet organized the Legion and converts continued to come to Zion, so it was with alacrity (joyous activity) that the Wood family assembled with others in Nauvoo in May, 1841, for the hurried completion of the Temple. Those in authority knew what was coming by way of oppression and expulsion. By this move the Wood family forfeited their claim to the Mt. Sterling home and so it came necessary to find another one. Ezra T. Benson, a recent convert, opened his land holdings in Pike County, Illinois for use to the Saints.
Daniel Wood once again made a new beginning. It was at this location on August 24/25, 1842, that Mary gave birth to twin daughters. There is insufficient information in the Wood Journal for us to determine the cause of their death a short while after their birth. They lived long enough to be christened "Catherine" and "Mary" by their father and then were buried in the Nauvoo Cemetery. Mother Mary did not regain health after this event.
We have previously spoken of the part the introduction of the gospel into England was to play in the lives of this family. "On 17th March, 1841, fifty-four saints arrived from Liverpool, England, under the direction of Thomas Smith and William Moss." (Church Chronology, Andrew Jensen, p. 19). From information contained in an old letter we are inclined to believe that William Moss was accompanied by his nephew John Moss at this time. The letter written by John's brother, William, in 1879 says, "It has now been nearly 40 years since you went away."
We learn from the Wood Journal that John Moss was employed at the Daniel Wood farm and that by 1844 he had persuaded daughter Rebecca to become his wife. They were married by Brigham Young in January/March, 1844 and John continued to work in partnership with his father-in-law.
Members of the priesthood were given assignments to act as guards in Nauvoo. Son Henry, now seventeen, prevailed upon his father to let him fill this responsibility. But the night of the assignment was cold, it rained all night and the river wind drove the dampness into his flesh. Not many days followed before he experienced a raging fever and soon passed away. The record says he died of pneumonia. They buried him beside the twins in the Nauvoo Cemetery in September, 1845.
By this time John and Rebecca had a daughter Mary to care for and so Rebecca was unable to assist her mother who had never regained her health following the birth of the twins.
Following Henry's death, Mary became very ill. Daniel was rewarded with the help of a recent convert to the church from Hancock County, Illinois, when he made application in Nauvoo. She was the only member of her family to recognize the truth of the gospel when it was brought to her home. Royal Indian blood flowed through her veins from her grandmother, Nancy Fulkerson. Peninah Shropshire Cotton, as she was known, proved to be a blessing in this afflicted home. It did not take the family long to recognize her efficiency in many lines of duty. Mary graciously conceded that Peninah was the one to help them carry out the advice of the church authorities in regard to plural marriage.
At the General Conference held in October, 1845, several thousands of members assembled within the walls of the Temple in Nauvoo, which was then entirely enclosed, windows in. An epistle issued Wednesday, October 8, 1845, advised Saints the exodus to the West would begin next spring.
During the following month of December, 1845, some of them were privileged to receive patriarchal blessings and endowments in the unfinished edifice. By January, 1846, the persecutions had increased to such an extent that the church council made arrangements for an advance group to start with the removal of the Saints from Nauvoo.
Many hurried to receive their blessings and endowments before leaving. On January 21, 1846, Daniel Wood, his wife Mary Elizabeth, and Peninah Cotton went together to receive their endowments. The next week on January 27, the necessary sealing were accomplished.
It took a long time for all of these people to arrange their affairs and make ready to go into the wilderness. Although the first family left on February 4, 1846, many were still there in June. Of course there were those assigned to remain to work on the Temple and close unfinished business.
In September there remained "not more than 150 Mormons. . . capable of bearing arms; the remainder . . . consisting of destitute women and children and of the sick." (Exodus To Greatness, Preston Nibley, p. 230.) They were those who participated in the "Battle of Nauvoo," were name the "Spartan Band" and were expelled without having time to get together even their clothing and food.
That the Wood family were still in the vicinity in May we learn from the Wood journal which tells of them attending the Nauvoo Temple dedication.
In Vol. XII, No. 10 October 1901, p. 441 of Young Women Journal, Sister Bathsheba W. Smith tells us that "in the fall of 1845 the City of Nauvoo was like a vast machine shop and that her parlor was used as a paint shop in connection with the work preparing the wagons used in crossing the-plains."
John Moss and his family accompanied the Daniel Wood family and remained with them as they located the Kanesville, Iowa, (later named Council Bluffs). Here again Daniel sought the "good soil" for his project. While making their temporary home here, Peninah and Rebecca each gave birth to a son. Each named their son Daniel. Daniel Moss was born January 21, 1847; Daniel Wood was born January 27, 1847. This was Peninah's first child and Rebecca's second.
So successful were the Wood and Moss families in raising their crops that even though they were ready to go West with the first company, their leaders refused them this privilege explaining that they were needed to raise a crop of food stuff for the Saints still coming that way. In the spring of 1848 after planting a crop, the two families made ready once again to go on. They joined the Zera Pulsipher company and Daniel Wood was made captain over fifty wagons.
The members of the two families included Daniel Wood, his wives Mary Elizabeth and Peninah, his sons John and Daniel, daughters Harriet and Elizabeth, and John Moss, his wife Rebecca, their daughter Mary and son Daniel. Their wagons contained furniture, food, clothing, farm machinery, seed, pigs, chickens, geese, a cat, oxen and horses, and a "white top" in which Mary and the younger children rode.
As the Pulsipher Company reached the Elkhorn River they came up with the Brigham Young Second Company, crossing the river they were reorganized for the remainder of the journey. Zera Pulsipher and Daniel Wood continued their supervision of large groups. The company arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley September, 1848. Advance party, including Brigham Young arrived September 20, 1848.
For his service as leader of one of these groups, Daniel was given a plot of ground on what is now known as South Temple between West Temple and lst West Street (Author sketch state "near where the Salt Lake City and County Building now stands" Signed Mrs. S. W. Call). But this was not to Daniel's liking for being self sustaining; he made a trip of investigation to North Canyon (Sessions Settlement) where he chose a location near where the Kimball Mill was later built. With the help of his families he erected a one room log house. The wagon and this one room structure served as the Wood home while Peninah gave birth to her second child. They moved into the house on November 15, 1848 and son Heber was born December 18, 1848.
Shortly afterward they built a home on the plot in Salt Lake City. When it was completed, Mary and her children moved into it. Son John helped plant berries and garden and assisted his mother in many ways.
In the meantime Daniel was about his "soil testing." He finally decided upon the section still known as the Daniel Wood Homestead. By 1850 an adobe home was completed on this location, the land filed on and Daniel was ready to become established. In 1854 an addition to the adobe home was completed. No longer would the Wood family be without facilities for improving their education.
Emma Maria Ellis, a recently acquired wife for Daniel took over the responsibility of teaching the three R's to the family which by this time included also the children of John and Rebecca Moss.
On November 22, 1853, Hiram Yancey claimed daughter Harriet Wood as his wife. They made their home in Session's Settlement. Of the four children born to this couple only two were permitted to remain on this earth. The other two were buried in the portion of ground set aside on father Daniel's land as a final resting place for the members of the family.
Many trials came to those early pioneers. Let us not be the judge of their actions. No two of us see, think or believe the same things the same way. Hiram Yancey became discouraged with (his) project. He decided to return to the East. Finding that he was unable to persuade Harriet to accompany him, he took his small son John and departed. The bereaved Harriet and son Adam remained with mother Mary.
"When spring came (April, 1856) I went to work for Daniel Wood on his farm in Bountiful for ten dollars and board," says James Moyle. "He set me digging in his orchard. I was hard work and my back ached so I could not sleep." James stayed on the Wood farm for one week and then walked to Salt Lake where he hoped to continue his work on the Temple. Giving up the impulse to go with friends to California he returned to the Wood farm. By June the work on the Temple was resumed. This gave James the necessary employment and courage to invite Elizabeth Wood to become his wife. The were married July 22, 1856, made their home in the Fifteenth Ward and became the parents of fourteen children. Among these children was the father of our recently appointed apostle, Henry D. Moyle. (ordained April, 1947)
Captain James Brown had recently become a widower by the death of his wife. He had been a welcome guest on many occasions in the Wood house. His recent visits were for the purpose of persuading Harriet to marry him.
She finally consented and they were married September 1 7, 1859 and made their home in Ogden. Captain Brown met death accidentally September 30, 1863. Sorrowing Harriet returned once more again to her parents.
So engrossed was Daniel Wood with the qualities of his president friend Brigham Young that he tried in every way to live a similar life. Charity was a big issue in his home. As a result many newcomers were sent to the Wood home to be cared for till they could find or make a permanent home. Among these were some widows and some single women. To some he gave assistance until they married or found employment, but the responsibility of others he assumed himself.
To Daniel Wood, who provided a home, was sent Eliza Hundy Langford Rushton, her son Henry and three daughters, Amelia, Louisa, and Melvina. Henry, Amelia, and Louisa were the children of William Langford. After his death, Eliza emigrated to the U. S. A. from England in January, 1852. She married Frederick James Rushton who became the father of Melvina. They separated and Eliza came to Utah with the Richard Ballantyne Company September 25, 1855. Mother Mary's consent was granted for Daniel to add Eliza's name to the family record. (md. May 24, 1859, not sealed.)
John, son of Daniel and Mary, soon found much to admire in the two Langford girls. He spent some time deciding that he wished Amelia to become his wife. On May 6, 1856, President Brigham Young married these young people in his office. Louisa spent much time assisting her sister Amelia in her home. It was finally agreed that Louisa should share the home so she and John were married May 24, 1859. John was an efficient gardener and maintained a wonderful home for his children at the corner of what is now 5th South and 5th West in Bountiful
By November, 1863, Daniel Wood had completed the Wood Family Meeting House. From "Daniel Wood Family School and Meeting House" by Josephine Wood Naylor printed in Vol. 12, Heart Throbs of the West, we read: "The first meeting was held on Wednesday evening on November 18, 1863. The bell in the tower rang out at 6:30 and meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. after the second bell was rung. Daniel Wood took charge and his wife, Mary Elizabeth acted as recorder. Seated on the stand with Daniel were Peregrine Sessions, William S. Muir, Charles Pearson and many other early pioneers." Also, "As time passed the Daniel Wood family grew and moved away. The death of Mary Elizabeth also changed things considerably."
Every Christmas while others were feasting, the Daniel Wood family assembled in their chapel, held a meeting with prayer and made right their misunderstandings.
Just at what date Mary Elizabeth left her home in Salt Lake to come and live at the "big house" in Woods Cross we are uncertain. According to the preceding item she was there to record the minutes of the meeting of November, 1863. By this we are also assured that Mary had some education. Recording calls for the ability to do so. We are inclined to believe that her education had not been entirely neglected all the way along her life and that she assisted her children with their studies.
That she was respected by all members of the family comes to light as we continue to read the Daniel Wood journal. Daniel always referred to her as "Mrs. Wood" or "Aunt Mary," an honor he reserved for her since he records the given name of the other members of his family.
Her life at the "big house" was one of counsel and advice. She not only supervised the daily activities of the home, but gave words of comfort and enlightenment to all of Daniel Wood's families.
She was a large woman and tall though not stout. She is credited with having a mild disposition. She was modest but sincere. In fact President Young was so impressed with her nature that he often remarked, "If there are queens in heaven than Mary Wood will be a queen there."
She never regained her wanted health and so was not an active church worker. There is record however of her participating in the Relief Society organization. We are thinking that acting as "maternal guide" for the Wood family consumed most of her waking hours.
Due to the two preceding tragedies in the life of daughter Harriet, it was hard for her to yield to the request of David Lewis to become his wife. He continued to seek her companionship even after she told him she did not love him. They were eventually married on January 9, 1871.
The families of all the Wood children were graciously welcomed at the "big house" by Grandmother Mary. What a wonderful storybook we would have if we could tell with some accuracy of the family "get togethers." They went to school together; they worked together; and they shed tears together. What a wonderful atmosphere for character development.
The family burial plot on the Wood farm received the remains of Mary Elizabeth Snider Wood after her departure from this life on October 7, 1873. We are convinced that she filled her mission--in this life in a remarkable way. We pause to reflect on the spirit which held so closely to the truths which it had accepted and give thanks for the influence for good which evolved from her life.
It was only two months after Mother Mary's death until her daughter Harriet passed away December 22, 1873. She was buried in the Lewis plot in the Bountiful City Cemetery.
Daughter Rebecca died March 4, 1882 and was buried in the John Moss plot in the Bountiful City Cemetery.
Mary Elizabeth's husband did not join her in the great beyond until April 25, 1892.
Son John and daughter Elizabeth came to their rest within a short time of one another. Elizabeth died May 26, 1908 and John died August 8, 1908.
But the spirit and life of this good woman goes on in (the) life of each of her posterity among which are counted apostles, bishops, missionaries, mission presidents, quorum presidents, etc. all over the face of this earth. May they ever remember from whence they received their heritage.
(A history is never completed but I have tried to give an accurate account of the incidents which I have been able to learn about. They have been put together for the benefit of the members of the Daniel Wood--Mary Elizabeth Snider/Snyder family.
Compiled (presumably after April, 1947) and written by Nina Folsom Moss with the assistance and cooperation of several members of the family.
Retyped with some documented revisions by Mrs. Stephen Wood Call (June), January, 1979-1981
Retyped from a copy by Norma Jean M. Wood 9 September 1990