Monday, September 21, 2009


Treasures of Pioneer History Vol 5 p. 434-436
The Dart Family
Lucy Ann Roberts was born November 7, 1814 in Monroe, Connecticut a daughter of John Benedict Roberts and Phoebe French, the sixth of twelve children. Lucy Ann married John Dart November 24, 1831. Two children, Phoebe Maria, and Lucy Edna, were born to them while livingin Monroe. They then moved to New York State where four more children were added to the family.These were Pauline Harriet, Mary Minerva, John Henry Harrison and George William. John was engaged in the merchandising business and was able to make a comfortable living for his family, but during a serious illness, John’s partner in business persuaded him to sign an obligation to pay all thedebts of the concern, and then left the country. When John arose from his sick bed, he found he had been stripped of all his possessions and his family was homeless.
The family then went to Bridgeport, Connecticut where John bought a house and here they lived until 1849. Three more children were born here, James Benjamin, Esther Rosella and Amanda Josephine. Sidney Roberts, a brother of Lucy Ann, brought the message of the Gospel to them from his home in Illinois, soon John and Lucy Ann decided to go West and find out more about these "Mormons." This was in the spring of 1849, many were preparing for the journey to California. Those joining the Saints, and those California bound made preparations to start the journey together. They made quite a company as they boarded the steamer and were sent out into the bay headed for New York. They arrived in New York about 5 p.m. and were taken in a carryall to a hotel to spend the night. The next morning they crossed by ferry into New Jersey, and from there traveled by rail to Philadelphia and on to Cincinnati. They traveled by steamer down the Ohio River then to St. Louis on the Mississippi River, thence by steamer to St. Joseph. Soon they were heading by wagon to Council Bluffs.
Cholera was even then around them, and the elder sister, Phoebe, had an attack before they left St. Joseph, so the family was compelled to travel slowly. When they reached Winter Quarters, they were counseled by those in authority to buy a farm, which John did. The fields had already been planted in wheat and corn. The crops were gathered and during the winter and spring were sold at fair prices. In the spring of 1850 John sold his farm to buy cattle to complete his outfit for traveling to the Salt Lake Valley. They gathered with the Saints at the mouth of the Platte River to be organized into companies for the trip west. Soon John Dart and his family were traveling with Warren Foote’s company. Along the way they saw graves where other travelers had buried dear ones. Sometimes there were evidences that wolves and other wold animals had disturbed the graves. As travel was slow and the people were many, some of the children walked. One day they came upon a boy who seemed to be asleep under a tree. John went to him and found the boy so ill he could hardly speak. He was given some prepared brandy and pepper which John carried for such emergencies. This revived the boy who told him his name was Rollins.
His family were in the company just ahead, so in a short time the boy was returned to his father. That night rain descended in torrents and while traveling the next morning the wagon became stuck in mud. In trying to get out the wagon tongue broke. They stopped to make repairs and while they stopped, Lucy Ann and two of the children, Harriet Pauline and George William, were takenill with cholera. Soon after they started George asked to be taken out of the wagon. This the father did but when he put the boy back in the wagon, George had passed away. They traveled on to where the company was camped, a grave was dug, and George William Dart, age eight years, was buried June 29th at dark. There was no sleep for John Dart and his eldest daughter, Phoebe, that night as they were kept busy caring for the mother and a sister. During the night a raging storm almost overturned the wagon. About 4 o’clock in the morning, just some twelve hours after the death of her brother, Harriet Paulina died. Her last words were a message to the young man with whom she had kept company in Council Bluffs and whom she hoped to meet again in Salt Lake City. She was past fourteen years of age and was buried at daylight on June 30th.
The mother, Lucy Ann, was desperately ill and when her husband spoke to her about their dead, she replied, "I shall notice it more when I get better." Many other families were suffering loss of their loved ones. While the company was camped near Fort Laramie for the night, the mother, Lucy Ann Roberts Dart, passed away about midnight. She was buried the next morning on a little hill near the campsite. She was forty-six, eight months old. All their tears could not bring back their dead, so they traveled on with the Saints to Utah.

2 comments: said...

Thank you so much for posting this very interesting information. I've always wondered how my family came to America and how they were introduced to the LDS Church. My name is Preston Owen Ford, son of Walter Owen Ford Jr., son of Walter Owen Ford, son of Edwin Mantripp Ford, son of Edwin Ford.

Joan Ford said...

Nice to meet you. I have more on the family on my CD.