Evan Jenkins was born 22 June 1817, at Cowbridge,
Glamorganshire, South Wales. Ann Davies was born 8 February 1823, at Crossinen,
Glamorganshire, South Wales. The LDS (Mormon) Elders brought the Gospel
message to their home in about the year 1845 or 1847. Evan believed and
accepted of it at once. Often Evan would take his first child John
in his arms, he was only about a year and a half old, and go out on the
street of his hometown and preach the Gospel to others. He knew while he
had the child in his arms they would not throw rotten eggs at him. It as
such a new doctrine to the world that the people thought he was crazy.
On 2 March 1850 Evan and Ann and their family, which consisted of three children, John, Ann, and Moroni, left their native land for the gospel's sake. They left Liverpool, England on the good ship Hartley. It took two months to make the trip, arriving in New Orleans May 2, 1850. They sailed up the Mississippi, and Missouri rivers, landing just below Winter Quarters. From there they journeyed four miles east to Council Bluffs, and five miles farther east to Mosquito Creek, where they lived for eleven years.
When they arrived there all their earthly belongings consisted of two feather beds and a few dishes. One feather bed was soon traded for a cow, the first cow they ever owned. Having no means with which to proceed to Utah, Apostle Ezra T. Benson, advised them to stay in Iowa until such time as they could get equipment to make the journey.
During the time they were in Iowa, Ann Davies Jenkins gave birth to seven more children, including two pairs of twins. May 15, 1852 the first pair of twins were born: William Thomas and Sarah Ellen. Sarah Ellen died May 30, 1852. On Feb.22, 1855 Henry Evan was born. On Oct 12, 1856 Juliet Amelia was born. On May 16, 1858 the second pair of twins was born: Margaret Coquella and Mary Estella. And on May 2, 1861 David Hyrum was born.
When the first pair of twins was born the family was driven from their home by a flood, and had to live in a dirt-roof house that leaked so badly that an umbrella had to be placed over the bed to shelter the mother who lay confined with the babies. They had a lot of sickness while living here. Cholera broke out among them, killing so many friends. They had to endure many hardships.
As soon as possible, Evan took out his naturalization papers. He then homesteaded a quarter section of land on which they lived for eleven years. While they lived there, their neighbors were Mormon apostates and Josephites who were very bitter against the church, with the exception of one family named Fisher. These people succeeded in influencing Mrs. Fisher and Ann Jenkins to the extent that they refused to move onto Utah. When means was provided by which they could have moved to Utah, Ann refused to sign the deeds so Evan could sell his land. About 1860 Brother Fisher took some wheat for grist to the mill one day. Leaving it there, he stated that he would call back for it. But when he left his home to go back for the flour, he continued on to Utah instead, leaving his family behind him. When Ann learned of the Fisher episode, she changed her mind in regard to signing the deed and Evan sold his land for five hundred dollars.
He equipped an outfit and they started for Utah in the first part of June 1861 with the Homer Duncan Company. This company was an independent outfit -- that is it consisted of people who fitted up their own outfit. Evan had two wagons, two yoke of oxen, eight cows, and two or three horses. Evan drove one wagon and his son John drove the other. The family was in the wagon Evan drove. They each drove one yoke of oxen and two cows, and the cows were worked as well as the oxen. When they were ready to start in the mornings, the cows were milked and the milk would be put in the churn and by noon when they would stop, it would be churned to butter. They would travel all day but would get camped before dark. Then they would drive their wagons in a large circle, placing each wagon into the back of the wagon in front of it, making an excellent corral for turning the cattle and livestock loose in. Then they knew the stock was safe.
One time while camped, Indians rode by yelling and howling and stampeded their cattle. It took them some time to quiet them down. The Indians did not give them too much trouble, other than they often came and begged for flour and sugar. Charles W. Penrose was in this company of Saints. Soon after they made camp each night, their fire would be laid. Women and children would gather buffalo chips to keep the fires burning. After feeding the families, the Saints would gather around one large bonfire to sing songs or to plan the next days journey, or to dance quadrilles, while some folks were on guard, so the Indians would not molest them unaware.
Daughter, Ann, and a girl friend rode horseback all the way across the plains. Son, John, was a good hunter; he would kill antelope and wild game for the family to eat and what they could not use, they gave to other families. Among other members of the company were President Charles W. Penrose, Francis W. Armstrong, and Samuel Russell. President Penrose often took part in the programs held around the campfire.
Many good and bad times were had while making the trip across the plains. One day while traveling, twins Mary and Margaret, who were three years old, were sitting on a high seat in front of the wagon singing "Good Bye Nellie Gray," when the front wheels of the wagon went down into a chuckhole, throwing Mary out under the wagon wheel. It ran over her head cutting a bad gash down the center of her forehead and down the side of her nose to her mouth. It would possibly have killed her if it had not happened in soft sandy soil. Charles W. Penrose sewed up the wound with plain sewing silk thread. She still had that terrible scar when she died in her nineties. This was one way of telling the twins apart.
This company was nearly four months crossing the plains. They had a great many experiences with the Indians and in hunting wild game, building bridges and floating all their families and cattle and belongings across the treacherous rivers.
They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley Sept. 28, 1861. From there they moved north to North Cottonwood, later it was called Farmington. Evan Jenkins purchased forty acres of rough land for nine hundred dollars.
Following the year of their arrival, the Morrisite trouble occurred. The Militia was called out and John W. Hess came out of the old courthouse, stood on the steps and shouted to the crowd of men that he was short three men to make his quota. John Jenkins, eldest son of Evan, volunteered. It was at this battle to which a very interesting incident was connected. The Mormon militia had three cannons, of which the historical "Old Sow" was one, and two smaller ones known as the "Iron and Brass Cannons." The Old Sow had been owned by the Nauvoo Legion. At one time the enemy was trying to capture it from the Saints. In order to hold it, the Saints buried it in the ground at Nauvoo, Illinois. An old sow and her litter of young ones happened along and, noticing the fresh turf, started rooting in the soil and uncovered the cannon. From that time on the cannon has been known as the "Old Sow." The Saints then hid the cannon in the river. It was brought to Utah in 1847 and had been used by the Saints in several of their celebrations. It was at the Morrisite Battle where the cannon that is now owned by the town of Farmington, was used.
Evan was a successful farmer. He raised broom straw and made many brooms for Z.C.M.I. store in Salt Lake City. His farm was located near the lake. Later he purchased land near the hill, near the David L. Rice farm. The old house still stands, a two room rock. The Rice family bought it later and it is a beautiful old home now. It was a comfortable home and was always neat and clean. Ann was a good housekeeper and a good cook.
Evan taught Sunday School class in South Farmington for many years. He was presented with a lovely book for having a perfect record in Sunday School. Ann never did attend.
In later years, Evan's eye sight failed him. When he was almost blind he laid tiny rocks in two ditches on his hands and knees, on each side of his road or driveway leading from the main road east of their home, making a distance of one half block. It was surely a masterpiece, good as a cement job, for a blind man, and it made his entrance very neat and attractive. Everything around his place was kept in an orderly condition; everything had a place and was kept in it.
Evan was mauled by a vicious bull close to his house one time and was laid up with injuries for quite awhile.
Ann Jenkins was a faithful wife and loving mother and a good accommodating neighbor. She always had plenty of good things to eat, and everyone was welcome to her home. She always had delicious biscuits on hand to give to grandchildren and other kids. The children thought they were better than cake.
If either Ann or Evan became sick, their daughter Ann would make some of her children go stay overnight or next day with them. The children thought it was wonderful to talk to their grandparents and to kneel in prayer and listen to Grandpa's wonderful inspiring prayers. For years at each Thanksgiving time or Christmas, we would hire a buggy and horse from our livery stable and go bring the dear old folks (Ann and Evan) up to my Mother and Father's home for the day, then take them home in the evening. They were a wonderful couple and true faithful pioneers. They had many trials and hardships, but like all other pioneers came out victorious.
When Evan passed away June 8, 1901 at Farmington, Utah, Ann went to live with her daughter Ann Steed. She was very feeble at this time. She would sit in a rocking chair but never rock. We would take her across the ditches and the Bamberger railroad track to visit her daughter Margaret Lamb, but if she got mad, she did not need any help, she would make it alone. Some time later, her son John Jenkins took her to Newton, Utah to live for awhile with his wife Marie, which is where Ann died February 14, 1905.
Written on every page of their history is the great lesson that a settled faith in a living God strengthens and sustains one as nothing else can do. We should all re-dedicate our lives to the great work which they began and of which they gave their strength, devotion and some of their lives.
Evan Jenkins (later life)
Ann Davies Jenkins
Both Evan and Ann Jenkins in younger years
Both Evan and Ann Jenkins (1880)
Farmington, Utah home (early 1900's)
Farmington, Utah home (1990's)
Nauvoo Temple (Illinois) during mid 1800's (old postcard)
The Twins (Margaret & Mary on their 87th birthday) poor xerox copy (anybody got a better one?)
Evan's genealogical record (he kept personally)
Ann Jenkins' death announcement in Improvement Era
Letter from Wales to Utah 1880
Letter from Wales to Utah 1881
Letter from Willie Bevan
Letter from Margaret Bevan
Letter from Wales to Utah 1874
Letter from Wales to Utah 1880
Letter from Wales to Utah March 1883 (?)
Letter from Wales to Utah August 1883
Letter from Wales to Utah 1930
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