Taken from the Andrew L. Heggie Collection at Utah State University, Merrill Library, Special Collections room.
Letter to Bernice Orcutt in Montana from Helen
Mc Fadyen of Scotland (Sept. 1980)
Letter to Bernice from Helen (Oct. 1980)
Letter from William Stewart in Utah to his son William in Scotland (Dec. 1871)
Letter from Elizabeth Stewart Crane to her brother William in Scotland (1872)
Letter from Elizabeth [Liza] Crane to her brother William in Scotland (1882)
Letter from William Stewart Jr. to his sister Anne Heggie in Clarkston (abt. 1897)
Letter from Samuel Stewart to his brother William in Scotland (April 1897)
Letter from Hugh's wife, Nina, to Helen Wallace, daughter of William Jr. (1911)
The letters that follow
came to me [Andrew L. Heggie] from Bernice Stewart Orcutt, P.O. Box 347,
Glendive, Montana 59330. Bernice is a 2nd g. granddaughter
of William Stewart, our pioneer
emigrant ancestor. I am a g. grandson.
Bernice received the letters from Helen Stewart Mc Fadyen, 27 Westcliff, Dumbarton - C82-5DG - Scotland. Helen is a g. granddaughter of William Stewart and a granddaughter of his son William who stayed in Scotland rather than come to America with the family in 1860.
The first letter is one from Helen to Bernice. I will copy it as it is written.
- Andrew L. Heggie (Dec. 1981)
Dumbarten - C82-5DG
Scotland - 13 Oct 1980
I received your letter with the photos and was thrilled to read about Hugh and Emily Stewart. There is such a lot to write about which will take time, so first it says Hugh Stewart married Mary Thompson an immigrant from Denmark, but any mention of the family is that they were from County Antrim, northern Ireland. Thompson is certainly not a Danish name but then she could have gone there from Scotland then to U.S.A.
Now next, in days gone by it was the custom to name the first boy child after his father, so we have the name William Stewart for a few generations. You ask if William Stewart's father was Peter. Now here it is: William Stewart - born 23 Feb, 1790 -- Place Campbelltown Argyll Scotland.
Father Peter Stewart
Mother Janet Mc Murchy
Then William Stewart - born 24 April 1820 married Sarah Thompson born 18 Nov. 1821. Sarah Thompson died 12 June 1857 and is interned in Alexandria Parish church cemetery. After her death her husband left for U.S.A. with all his family except for my grandfather William T. Stewart who was born 1st May 1841.
Now throughout these old letters his family now settled in U.S.A. keep asking him to join them. He would not travel with them as his young wife was pregnant and in those days pregnant women were not allowed to sail as it would be sailing ships and the journey took about 2 months. As it was, many years after he had built up a good business he sold out and left his family to follow later, but at Liverpool he was set upon by robbers and lost his papers and money. Eventually he got back to Alexandria but had to start working for someone else and never made the journey. So it goes on, but these old letters are interesting as they bring back little stories I heard from my mother. So I enclose the letters as promised. Love to you all.
Helen Stewart Mc Fadyen
This letter is from William
Stewart [Sr.] to his son William in Scotland.
(Many of the original misspellings have been left in, but not all; some clarifications are added in brackets)
From Clarkston Cash County [Cache County, Utah] Dec The 20th 1871
Feeling once more to take my pen once more to let you know that we are all well at present and enjoying the spirit of God and hoping these few lines will find you enjoying the same at present and without the Spirit to lead and guide us in the wright path we are poor and miserable creatures as long as we live on this planet. However we all took upon us to come here to work out ower probation hour for good or bad. The old chap [William Sr.] is still alive yet and healthy and well. I expect to live to see you and wife and your children all home in the promised land that is the home of the saints where they attain to all the keys and powers that is necessary for their exultation both through [life] and eternity if we serve God and keep his laws.
Dear son, I still mind you looking at Hugh and Thompson and then, looking at me, shook your head. I seen you quite well, but I knew what you meant. You thought that some large fish would get me for his supper but the Lord was able to let many more years to my life there. One thing, I have mighty good lungs. Every person does not know that no sickness trouble me and for which I feel to thank the Lord my God for his great mercies to me as a Father and God.
Dear son, I have wrote time and again but know answer. I've concluded that you was dead for otherwise you did knot want to come to this country. If you was hear you would never want to go back to the old Babylon. We can live independent of baldy Ewing or any of those that hold Publick Works. It is all very good in the country where he liv but here no Bele (bell ) waken us in the mornings. We go to bed when we pleas and rises when we pleas. We work very little here in the winter but we goew for the work in the summer. We have no need to go to Pot Smiths to get a peck of meal or a forpit of potatoes. I can goew into my Selear [cellar] for my potatoes. Also we have knot to go out of the house for flower [flour]. We have it insid of the house in ower barreles. Money is shear wheat and oats and barley. Their figur is pretty low. That is the selling prices, but it is a good thing for a man to have a good supply of grain in his granary. It enables him to walk about quite deliberately because he knows that he has got plenty to eat. It was some time before I could say that but it is otherwise now and I thank my heavenly parent for his great mercies. It is true that man or woman that comes or family that comes to this country, if they hav knot got their pockets well-lined, they will have 3 or 4 winters before they find many sinners in this country.
Dear son, that is not to discourage you, knot in the least, becaus it was the Lord that sent us to prepare the way before you. It will be quite different with you. We are all hear before you and we hav all got a little and if every one gives a little, many littles rise to a muckle. We want you to writ and let us know how many children you have got and I want to know how little Cock Robin is getting along. You and your family will be alright once you get hear [here]. We never knew that Forest and family was hear until a fiew days ago. Samuel and Andrew was goewing to Ogden and they stopped overnight at Brother Isaaks and he told them that Forest and his family was hear 2 years. So Samuel and Andrew called into their house and had a shake hands with Forest and his wife. They stopped 30 miles from Clarkston. It is no trick at all to come [here] now they can ride all the way. They can come here on a month from Scotland. So it is just a pleasure trip. Forest giv us a short detail of what was afoot at that time. Dear son, I want you to take care of yourself. That is my advice to you. It will wear to the time that we all shall meet. Forest told us that you had 2 horses. We want to know how mutch you couldn't raise to help yourself out at the first of July. We hear that it takes 16 pounds to fetch out one to this country. After we hear your calculation, then we will make up the balance.
Dear son, I want you to keep your mind to yourself and set your head to work and your hands. If you have any things that you can dispose of, and you can do it to advantage and knot loose as we did. If you was hear we could get all you could eat and drink, but it is hard to turn it into money. But had I not lost so many head of stock since I came to this country, you would have been hear long since. I have not been fortunate with my stock, else little Cock Robin wood been with his Pady grandfather years that are gone by. Anney [William Sr.'s daughter] sends her best respects to Janet and her family. Anne has got 3 girls, one boy. Lisa has 4. Sarah is married 3 years agoew. I have knot seen her this 3 years. Her and Elisa is a hundred miles from us [Salt Lake City]. Hugh and Thompson is with me and Martha stops with Ann. Samuel's wife has 3 sons. They all join in sending their best respects to brother and wife and family, hoping this will find you all in good health as it leaves me at present. We send our best respects to Thomas Lindsay and Mrs. Lindsay, not fergetting James and Sister Lindsay, and likewise brother Thoburn, and I send my best respects to Gordon. And if he is alive yet and facter for Oaldarth, he can tell her that I liv in a beter house than ever she owned and mine is all rent free. Know more at present. Please writ and let us know. When you write address for William Stewart your father Clarkston Cash Valley by Login [Logan].
Fort Heriman. Jan 14, 1872
Dear Brother & Sister,
I take up my pen to write to you a few lines hoping you are all well as I am at present, which I feel thankful for. It is now over seven years since I've seen you. When I left I was a girl; now I am married and four children -- three boys and a girl. When I left I was not in the Church [LDS Church]. A week before I got married, I was baptized. I feel well. I have a good husband, plenty to eat and wear. I don't suffer for anything. I have never regretted leaving my native land. Since I left, this is a much better Country. I have never seen a beggar since I have been here. There is no poor houses here, filled with little destitute children as there is in every other place. Dear Brother, I often wish you was here and your family. I expect you have quite a large family by this time. Father and Anne lives 120 miles from me [Clarkston, Utah]. It is now over six years since I seen Anne & Martha. But I have seen Father and Hugh and Thompson several times. Hugh lived with us over a year. I just wrote a letter to Cache Valley to Anne today. Sarah lives about twenty miles from me. I was over on a visit to her place a few months ago. She is comfortable, in good circumstances and don't suffer for anything. She has a good house, plenty to eat and wear. She has a little girl named Alice. My children's names is as follows -- James is the first one, after his father. The next is Heber. The next Willy and the last is Anne. Tam [Thompson?] lives at the same place as Father. I have seen him several times since I was married. I have enquired about you with several of the Brethren that has been from here on Missions but none of them knew anything about you, so I had almost come to the conclusion that you had left the Church. I hope it is not so. I should have wrote to you before, but I have not got your address til Anne sent it to me from Cache Valley. I heard that you left Scotland to emigrate and came to Liverpool and was disappointed and had to return. I felt sorry when I heard it. I always hope and pray that the way may be opened that you and your family might be gathered here to these valleys of the mountains to mingle with the people of God instead of being mixed up with the gentiles. Dear Willy, please send and tell me how many children you have got and what their names is. Send and let me know how James Linsey and family is. And is the young man that I kept company with married yet, and let me know if Mary Wallace and Agnes Furguston, Mary Braudy and Liza Bock is married yet and if there is any of my acquaintances dead since I left.
So now I must conclude with my kind love to you and Janet and the children. If you get this letter and answer it, I will send you my likeness in the next.
Please direct James Crane, Fort Heriman
Nr. Salt Lake City
Utah Territory North America
I take this opportunity to write you these lines in hoping to find you and your family well, as I am and also my family. It is several years ago I wrote to you and received an answer. I wrote again and received no answer. I thought perhaps you had moved to a new place so I did not write again. Last spring I received a letter from our sister from Cache Valley, to say that you was coming to Utah. I wrote back to her to let me know about the time you was expected in. They heard that you had got your outfit and was in Liverpool and that was the last that they heard of you. We looked over the list of names of the Emigration of the Company that we expected you would be in, but your name was not there. Anne lives a hundred miles from me. I took the train up to Cache Valley to meet you as I expected nothing else but you would be there. I thought perhaps your name might have been missed on the list through some mistake. But what a disappointment. You don't know how bad I felt, and I have felt very much worried about you ever since, thinking perhaps something had happened to you. I got your address from Annie, so I thought I would write to you and learn the particulars why you did not come. Please write back and let me know how much of a family you have. Remember me kindly to your wife and all the children.
I have 7 children living, buried one little boy. I have now 4 boys and 3 girls. M oldest boy James will be 16 next Sunday. Heber is 14, Willy is 12, Anna 11, Frank 7, Mary 5, Fanny is 3. So I have sent you the names of all my children hoping you will receive this letter and answer it and tell me all the news around our old home and more particular about your own family as I want to know so bad how you are getting along. Our father and brothers and sisters all married and live at Cache Valley. They are all well off, plenty to eat and wear, and good houses and farms of their own. I am the same, I don't want for anything. We are having a pretty cold winter with deep snow and hard frosts. It is too cold to work outdoors here in the winter. We have to work hard in summer to lay up for winter. The Lord blesses us in summer with good crops so that it don't matter how hard the winter is . It don't affect us because we are prepared for it and there is none among the saints that go hungry. Dear brother, I often wish you and your family was here to share with us these blessings. I must bring my letter to a close. My husband and children wish to be kindly remembered to you all.
From your affectionate sister,
Liza Crane [Elizabeth Stewart Crane]
[P.S.] Dear Willy, I had not seen Anne for 17 years till I went up to meet you. If you could send me your likeness I will send you mine next time I write.
Direct -- Mr. James Crane
Herriman, Salt Lake County
Utah Territory -- North America
This letter was written by William Stewart [Jr.] in Scotland to Andrew W. and Annie T. Stewart Heggie, in about 1897. Annie is a sister to William. Andrew L. Heggie writes that the original copy of this letter is in his Heggie-Walker Enclosure File. It is enclosure no. 4. Perhaps it is now in the Special Collections library room at USU, but I did not see it -- Lana Archibald, 1999.
8 Poindfauld Terrace
Dear Brother & Sister,
I received your kind and welcome letter and was very glad to see by it that you were all well as this leaves me in good health at present. I would have written sooner but things have went sore against me and I had not your correct address. I will give you an idea of my trials this few years back. First, I lost my son Thomas aged 22, Thompson 21, William 31, Mary 15, and the greatest blow of all was the loss of my wife, all within 2 or 3 years. So you will see I have had my own to do.
You will perhaps wonder why I am staying in Dumbarton. When my wife took ill, their was no one to look after her, so we removed from Renton into my oldest daughter Helen's house in Dumbarton so as she could attend to her. And she died in Helen's house on July 29, 1895 and I have worked none since, owing to my eyesight failing me.
I am left now with three of a family -- 2 daughters and a son, all married, so you see I am practically alone, all doing for themselves. My home is with my daughter Helen and her husband who has been very kind to me. Her husband's name is James Wallace. Your son-in-law Mr. Jardine will know him, he having spent a day with him when he visited Scotland [on an LDS mission].
Now that we have found one another out again, I hope the correspondence between us will never cease until we part from this world. I had given up all hope of ever hearing from you all again. You might give them all my address and let them know I am still in the fore and I will be very glad to hear from them all at any time.
I will now close, hoping you will write soon and let me know how you are all getting on. Give them all my kindest regards, hoping they are all well, not forgetting yourself,
I remain your loving and
P.S. I have done as you instructed me to do, written to Richard Godfrey, giving him the particulars you stated in your letter which I received on March 14, 1897.
My address is,
c/o Mr. James Wallace
8 Poindfauld Terrace
This letter was written by Samuel Stewart to his brother William Stewart in Scotland [written in April 1897]
Wilford, Freemont County, Idaho
Well my dear brother, William Stewart,
I thought that I would write to you after a long time. I was sorry to hear about your family loss. I have thought about your bereavement. Well, if you can send me your son James' address I will try to send for him, if the others will send for his wife. You had better come too. You can come in about 14 days. You have some work to do for your dead [LDS temple work]. I hope you will not lose this chance when you have the money. Well, I have got 12 in my family, 7 boys and 5 girls, all alive. We had a fine time on the 16th of this month, it being my wedding day 33 years ago. We are all well. Hope this will find you all the same. We all send our love to you all. I think you had better come. The names of our family is as follows: Samuel, Joseph, James, Julia, Angeline, George, Sady, Andrew, Hugh, Bennie and Clarie. My wife's name is Mary Ann [Clark] Stewart. Cheer up. God likes you all. Write to me as soon as you get this. If you can come, you can have your family all sealed to you, which will be a great blessing to you. This life is not all. God has made salvation for all his faithful children so you had better do the best you can. Write soon.
Good-bye from your brother Samuel Stewart.
There is no words that can express how sad it makes me feel to write to and tell you that your uncle Hugh is no more. Dear girl, he died 20 minutes after 6 Monday afternoon, May the 29th 1911. He was only sick eleven days with the spotted fever [Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, from infected ticks]. Oh, I can't tell you how lonely I am without him. He was always well and strong and jolly.
Of late he had said many times that he was just wanting to work this year then he would be fixed so he would never need to work another day, "And then, Mother, we will take a trip to Scotland for I must see William and mother's grave and the children before I die."
Oh, Helen my girl, how could he have known he was going to die so soon? I don't quite know his age but when his sister Sarah was up here she said that your father [William Stewart, Jr.] got the family Bible and that the family record was in it. If you can get it or know where it is, please send me his birth. I am sure it will be appreciated.
When I look into the future I can't see how I am going to get along without him. It is six weeks ago today since he died and yet each night and day he has never been out of my thoughts. That looking and longing creates agony and becomes akin to despair. But if he is only safe in heaven, I will continue to struggle on bravely and each night when the sun sets it will be comfort to me to know that I am one day nearer to where he is waiting for me.
My dear girl, I received your letter but it came too late for Hugh to hear it and, with all my sorrow, it made me even more sad. When you spoke of your nose being bad again and the new baby you wrote about made me think how trying your circumstances must have been for you last winter, with you being in a delicate condition. Well, I'm glad anyway to know that your husband and son are at work again and I do hope that God in his mercy will let all of you become well again. In my prayers at night, dear Helen, I will not forget to send a petition to heaven for your speedy recovery. Give my love to Jim, sister Janet, and old Lindsey, for often, often Hugh spoke of them. Write soon.
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