Mother of Lydia Davis (Wife #7)
by Lola Davis Bitton
History of Lucy Davis Davis
by Lola Davis Bitton (Lucy's son, John, was 18 when the voyage on the JUVENTA occurred. From this history by Lola Davis Bitton, we learn that John was her grandfather.)
Davis was born 14 November 1806, at Stoke Abbott, Dorsetshire,
England. Her father's name was Samuel Davis and her mother's,
Philis (Phyllis) Fossey Davis. She was the second child in the
family, having four sisters and two brothers. Of her early life
we have no record. She married William Davis, who was the son
of William and Sarah Grippy Davis. He was six years older than
she, being born in 1800 at Witch Dorsetshire, England. To them
were born fourteen children.
1. Mary was born 5 September 1824 when Lucy was 18 years old.
2. Lydia Davis, was born on 23 June 1825 at Stoke Abbott, Dorsetshire, England.
3. Sarah was born 6 November 1827.
4. Joseph, died at birth in 1829.
5. Elizabeth was born on 6 March 1831.
6. George was born 4 November 1833.
7. Henry was born 5 December
8. John (who was my (Lola Davis Bitton's grandfather) was born on 30 October 1836.
9. Joseph (the second) was born December 28, 1838 and he died at the
age of 18 months.
10. Ann was born 16 November 1840.
11. Jane was born 19 December 1842.
12. Samuel was born in 1845 and he died at birth.
this time in their lives Elder William Kendall brought to them
the message of the gospel. Lucy was then 41, the mother of twelve
children, nine of whom were living - three boys and six
girls. They listened to the gospel as Elder Kendall preached
it to them and they believed it and gladly accepted it. Lucy was the first person in the town to accept the gospel. and she was baptized and confirmed by George Kendall on 13 February 1847.
13. William was born September 27, 1848,
14. Lucy was born March 28, 1853 and she died at the age of 17 months.
accepting the gospel it had been the earnest desire of William
and Lucy to migrate to Utah. They were very poor. The father, William, worked on farms and the children had to work
as soon as they were old enough. My grandfather, John, said that at
the age of seven he had his first work, and he would go out in the grain fields and scare the crows away from the crops, and he had to keep moving
and waving his arms. When he grew older he was
given the work of washing the horses in the stables and later
was hired to help do farm work. The children were small but it was
necessary for all of them to work to make enough to eat. The father had to go to work so early in the morning that he
hardly ever saw his family. He had to leave home before daylight
in order to get to the farm where he was working and get the
horses ready and he did not get home until after dark at night.
George Davis and wife
was many years before they were able to save enough money to
go to Utah. They finally saved enough to send their oldest son,
George, to Utah. He sailed from Liverpool for Utah on April
13, 1853 on the ship Cornermills and landed in New
Orleans. He went up the river on the Ellen Scott
to St. Louis. He crossed the plains in John Brown's Company
and arrived in Salt Lake City, October 16, 1853, and went to
Bountiful, Utah in the fall of 1854. He went up Echo Canyon with the
company of men who went to meet Johnston's Army. He worked
to prepare a home for his parents and brothers and sisters and he also provided money to help them come to Utah.
was 1855, eight years after they had accepted the gospel, that
they were able to begin their journey. They sailed from Liverpool
March 31, 1855, on the ship JUVENTA. They landed in Philadelphia.
On board the Juventa were 573 persons. The ship sailed from Liverpool, England, for Philadelphia on Saturday, March 31, 1855.
On board the JUVENTA were William Davies age 54, Lucy Davies age 49, Mary Davies age 30, Lydia Davis age 29, Sarah Davies age 27, Elizabeth Davies age 23, Henry Davies age 20, John Davies age 18, Ann Davies age 14 and Jane Davies age 14, William Davies age 6, George Davies, age 2, and John Davies infant.
""EIGHTY-FIFTH COMPANY. -- Juventa, 573 souls. The ship Juventa sailed from Liverpool, England, for Philadelphia, on Saturday, March 31st, 1855, with five hundred and seventy-three Saints on board, under the presidency of Elder William Glover. Elders Benjamin Brown, Sylvester H. Earl, Elias Gardner, Charles Smith, William Pitt, John Mayer, Noah Y. Guyman and Joseph Hall, who had all labored as missionaries in the British Isles, also embarked for America in this vessel, together with Elder George Mayer, who was in charge of a company of Saints from Switzerland; and Elder James F. Bell, late president of the Malta Mission, in charge of a small number of Saints from Piedmont, in Italy. The voyage of the Juventa was a most prosperous one; no sickness, except seasickness, and a few cases of measles among the children, occurred among the passengers, and not one of the large number of emigrants found a watery grave. A child was born while a storm raged on the bosom of the deep, and the little one was named Juventa, after the ship. On the fourth of May the vessel cast anchor off Cape May, and on the fifth was tugged up the Delaware River to Philadelphia. On Tuesday the eighth, the emigrants continued to rail to Pittsburg, from which city about two hundred of the company proceeded down the rivers on the steamboat Equinox, to St. Louis, Missouri, where they arrived on the seventeenth of March, forty-six days after leaving Liverpool. About one hundred and fifty of the emigrants came from Pittsburg to St. Louis, by the steamboat Washington City. The Equinox continued up the Missouri River to Atchison, where she landed her passengers on the twenty-eighth of May. After arriving in Atchinson, the company was attacked with sickness, and a number died, among them Elder Bell, who had presided over the Malta Mission.The successful and quick journey made by the Juventa company, gave the new route, by way of Philadelphia, great prestige. As demonstrative evidence of the superior advantages of the route, Elder Glover remarked that he had three more in his company and fifty dollars more in his pocket on arriving in America than when he started from Liverpool. Thus both lives and time were saved, and the New Orleans route was discarded by the Saints never to be used by them afterwards. (Millennial Star, Vol. XVII, pp.233, 375, 490; Deseret News of August 8th, 1855)"
William Davis and wife
William was 57, and Lucy was 48 and they are listed as having been among the 461 persons who crossed the plains to Utah with the MILO ANDRUS COMPANY (1855). With them were Lydia (30), Mary (30), Sarah (27), Elizabeth (24), George (21), Henry (20), John (18), Ann (14), Jane (1), William (7).
The trip from Liverpool to Philadelphia and the journey to Kansas had been very difficult for the father, William. After eight long years of saving, sacrificing and planning to start a new life in Utah among the Saints, William never made it to Utah. On the first night out on the plains he died - on August 12, 1855. This was about twelve miles from Atchison, Kansas.
A daughter, Elizabeth (24) also died on this journey.
The Milo Andrus Company with 461 individuals departed from an outfitting post at Mormon Grove (near Atchison, Kansas) on August 4, 1855, and arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah October 24, 1955. This was a Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company. A narrative of this company follows: It is from the Church History Pioneer Company records.
|Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868|
|Milo Andrus Company (1855)|
|This was the last of the Perpetual Emigration Fund companies for 1855. Milo Andrus received the assignment to captain the train the night before the party was to leave Mormon Grove (just outside Atchison, Kansas Territory) and had just 12 hours to get himself ready. Two things made this last-minute appointment necessary: the season was very late and no one else with plains experience was available. Thus Andrus and his two assistants had an enormous responsibility. The company had few oxen, and many of these were small and unbroken, so they had to be trained en route. Part of the company left Mormon Grove on August 1; the rest left on the 3rd. Inexperienced drivers had to shuttle some wagons forward, then return with the teams to bring up others. One emigrant recalled that early on it took four men to drive one yoke of oxen. There were 461 individuals in the company when it set out.|
No sooner had the company left Mormon Grove than the U. S. Marshall for Kansas Territory arrived with an order to attach the train for debts attributed to Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Jedediah M. Grant (at that time the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Captain Andrus convinced the marshall that the train belonged not to the First Presidency, but to the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company. The lawman then tried to take Andrus back to Atchison to "get sufficient good security from amongst the Citizens there to secure the debt & cost," but the Captain refused to leave his train. At this critical moment, the marshall "was taken with the bellyache and wanted a little brandy," which Captain Andrus quickly supplied. He then fed the marshall supper and drove him in a buggy to his lodgings. Nevertheless, the marshall ordered Andrus and three other brethren to appear at the October 3rd term of the U.S. court in Leavenworth, and when he got back to Mormon Grove, he attached four or five Mormon-owned wagons, "a few lame cattle," and some calves.
The Andrus train overtook Captain Allred's emigrant company on Big Grasshopper Creek; later, both parties camped on Walnut Creek. Tired of leapfrogging his wagons, Captain Andrus decided to leave a Perpetual Emigration Company thrashing machine in the care of a local farmer (Captain Allred left five wagons with this same man at that time). Andrus now set a pace that was "as hurried as he could urge, push, and cajole, the group over the plains, up and down the mountains, through the canyons, across the rivers, and through the miles of the thick dust of the trails." At some point, the train encountered a large herd of buffalo that "ran across our train, while in motion, and knocked down and [bore] off the horn of one of the oxen." The Indians that the train met were friendly. At Big Blue River the train used the ferry because the river was running high. Near there the party camped just a few rods west of Captain Harper's company. It was here that Andrus "nailed our colors to the top of the mast." From Little Blue River, the Captain wrote: "Two wagon axles, one wheel, and several tongues broke which has caused us some delay; but notwithstanding . . . I . . . am doing all in my power to push on this camp . . . as I am deeply anxious for their welfare." Two elderly emigrants had died. The train followed the Platte River and must have crossed the South Platte. It stopped at Ash Hollow, where Andrus learned that General William S. Harney and about 700 soldiers had "found a party of the Sioux Indians about eight miles from Ash Hollow and a battle had ensued on the 3rd of September. The General sent over word to Andrus on the 5th keep an advanced guard stating at the same time that the best information that they could get was that they had killed one hundred and twenty Indians, taken about fifty-eight prisoners, mostly women; had four soldiers killed and five wounded. He stated, also, they were going to lay out a fort a small distance below Ash Hollow after which they calculated to proceed to Fort Laramie, and from thence to wherever they could find any of the Sioux Nation."
"A few miles from where they were encamped there were about forty Indians that were in the battle near Ash Hollow. Nothing came of this. The company passed Court House Rock, Chimney Rock, and Scotts Bluff. By September 13 the company was 12 miles below Fort Laramie. It then passed Laramie Peak, Independence Rock, and Devil's Gate. At the latter place, on September 28, the emigrants met brethren from the Salt Lake Valley. On October 4 the train crossed Devil's Backbone, "a most awful mounting [sic] of stone." That night "came on a dredfull [sic] storm of snow." On the 6th the train crossed South Pass. Near Chimney Rock 20 oxen and 2 cows died "from something the[y] had eat or drank [sic]." Upon reaching the Sweetwater River many more cattle died. There was little feed for the animals; in all, the Andrus train "lost 11 animals above 50%."
At the fifth crossing of the Sweetwater it snowed three inches. The train
crossed the Green River on October 11 and arrived at Fort Bridger four days later. From the fort, Captain Andrus sent word to Salt Lake that he needed fresh animals and that "many of the men, women and children were almost barefoot and very destitute of clothing." By the time the train reached the
Weber River, the emigrants were running out of provisions. They crossed Big Mountain and Little Mountain. A delegation of dignitaries from Salt Lake met them at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Here the emigrants formed a circle around the welcoming party and "sang a piece of poetry composed for the
"Come Zion's sons and daughters,
Who seek this blest abode,
That over plains and waters
Have come to serve our God;
Our gratitude demanding,
Let praise to Him abound,
That we are favored, standing
On consecrated ground.
Oh! This we've long expected,
For this we've prayed and sighed,
Like Israel's sons neglected,
By Babel's limpid tide;
And now befo
. . . When on the way to Zion,
And every heart was hope,
The means we'd to rely on
Was fastly closing up;
But as the darken'd shadows
Declared a brighter sun,
We felt a power to glad us,
Th' Apostles would make known.
Tho' elements did battle,
As late the season pass'd,
And weakly seemed our cattle,
We're in the "hive" at last:
No power should withstand us,
Declared Erastus Snow;
And Captain Milo Andrus
Thank God, has brought us thro'.
We come not here for pleasures
That carnal minds can prize,
Nor seek aurif'rous treasures
Of th' West to aggrandize;
We come with spirits fervent
To fully serve the Lord;
To hear His holy servant,
And live by every word.
And as the arms of Moses
Required bearing up,
So every soul proposes
To be our Brigham's prop:
Tho' late and last our carriage
Across the mountains' brow,
We hope, like Jesus' marriage,
There's best wine even now."
The Andrus train, with "upwards of 50 wagons," arrived in Salt Lake City October 24th. Because of the lateness of the season, Captain Andrus had pushed his people hard. Undoubtedly, this is
why one of the travelers described him as "a terrible bully and tyrant." However, another emigrant wrote, "It was not an altogether unpleasant trip." For his part, Captain Andrus had been ill during much of the journey. He said that leading this 1855 train was "one of the hardest burthens that I have
been called to bear in the midst of Israel during my sojourn in mortality" this from a man who had been with Zion's Camp, who had been in Nauvoo at the time of the Martyrdom, who had "helped watch the city by night, and worked on the temple by day," who had gone to Carthage at the time of the indictment of the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who had experienced the persecutions leading up to the abandonment of Nauvoo, and who had participated in the Latter-day Saint exodus westward, a man who, himself, had led several other emigrant companies.
William and Lucy's son, John, is my (Lola Davis Bittner) grandfather and John was not at the wagon when his father
died. The men in the company took turns standing guard. Because
of his father's illness, John who was 18 years old, was guarding for him. As
he was returning to the wagon, his father appeared to him. Not
knowing of his father's death, he became so frightened
that he hurried on to the wagon. There he learned of his father's
death and then he knew that it was his spirit that appeared
to him. As near as John could tell, his father was buried on
the very spot where he had appeared the night before.
The mother, Lucy Davis, was left at the very beginning of this long trek across
the plains with her large family of children, and at this time
she was age 49. Because their eldest son, George, was already
in Utah it fell to the lot of John, who was then 18, to take
the place of his father as much as possible. He drove one of
the wagons and took his turn standing guard at night.
doubt the long trip across the plains was very hard for Lucy,
especially with the added burden of sorrow because of the death
of her husband and the entire responsibility for the care of the family.. Her trials were by no means ended for her daughter,
Elizabeth who was age 24, also died and was buried on the plains.
As they neared the Salt Lake Valley, George, the eldest son
who had arrived in Utah earlier greeted them. He took them
to Bountiful, ten miles north of Salt Lake City, where he had
a farm rented for them. They lived there until 1858 when they
went to Provo with the rest of the Saints when they heard that
Johnston's Army was coming to drive them out.
things were at peace they returned to Bountiful and gathered
their crops. They continued to live there for some time. Gradually
Lucy's children were married and began to scatter. Some
of them moved to Idaho. John, my grandfather, married Jane Caroline
Lesueur and they moved to Montpelier, Idaho, later going to
Arizona to make their home.
After her children were all married and settled in homes of
their own, Lucy went to live with some of her children in Idaho.
She died August 13, 1896, at Wilford, Idaho of old age. She
lacked only three months of being ninety years old.
Davis Davis was the mother of Lydia Davis Bleazard.