Pioneer of 1847
Casualty of Winter Quarters
Jonathan Pugmire, Sr. was born 28 March 1799 at Castle Sowerby, Cumberland, England, the son of Hannah Hetherington. His biological father was also a Jonathan Pugmire. Little is known of Jonathan's early life except that he was trained to be a blacksmith and became an expert iron worker. On 20 October 1820, he married Elizabeth (Betsy) Barnes in the St. Cuthbert Parish in Carlisle. At that time he used the name of Coulthard, which was the name of his step-father, Thomas Coulthard. Elizabeth was born 15 October 1800 at Dalston, Cumberland, England and was the daughter of George Barnes and Sarah Harrison.
Elizabeth and Jonathan were the parents of ten children, all but one having been born in England. During the early part of their married life, Jonathan and Elizabeth lived in Carlisle and then moved to the Edge Hill area of Liverpool where Jonathan was the foreman of a shop owned by the Grand Junction Railway Company. Later the company relocated at Crewe and Jonathan followed.
In 1841, the Pugmires joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were baptized in the River Mercy at Liverpool. By 1843, they had relocated at Crewe near Chester. It was there that Jonathan was involved in an unfortunate drowning incident. Thomas Cartwright's wife drowned in the river while being baptized by Jonathan and Cartwright. Both men were arrested and spent six weeks in prison before being acquitted.
In the year 1844, the Pugmire family joined about sixty other church converts in coming to America. They sailed from Liverpool February 6 on the packet ship Isaac Allerton and after a voyage of 45 days, landed at New Orleans. With Jonathan and Elizabeth were six of their surviving children: Jonathan, Jr., Sarah, Joseph, Elizabeth, John and Hannah. A married son, George, remained in England. From New Orleans, they traveled up the Mississippi River by steamboat, arriving in Nauvoo, Illinois in April of 1844.
There was unrest in Nauvoo due to persecution and mob activity. According to Joseph Pugmire, his mother was a nervous person and could not stand the troubles in Nauvoo, so the family moved across the river to Montrose, Iowa and purchased a farm. It was there that a son, Moroni, was born. He did not live long.
As persecutions continued, the Mormons began preparations for a great exodus to the West. Jonathan's skills helped many to prepare their wagons for the long trek. In 1846, the family traveled across Iowa to Winter Quarters near present-day Omaha, Nebraska. Hundreds of people died that winter, including Elizabeth who died 3 November 1846. By spring Jonathan had married a widow from England, Mary Baylis Haywood. Jonathan and Mary left Winter Quarters on 17 June 1847 as part of the Edward Hunter company. With them were four of Jonathan's children, Joseph, Elizabeth, John and Hannah. Two married children, Jonathan, Jr. and Sarah, would follow later with their families.
After a three-month journey, they arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley on 29 September 1847. At first the Pugmire family resided in the Old Fort, but in the fall of 1848, Jonathan Sr. built the first real house in the Seventh Ward area. Early Salt Lake City maps show the Pugmires living on the corner of Third South and West Temple, Block 50 Lot 5. Son Joseph said that they lived on roots for the first six months and continued to be hungry for two or three years.
In 1850, a group was called to go to southern Utah as part of the Iron Mission, an attempt to mine and process much needed metal. Jonathan, Sr. moved his family to the Cedar City area where he remained for eight years running a blacksmith shop, working in the Deseret Iron Works, and serving for a time in the stake presidency. He is recognized as one of the original settlers of Iron County, Utah. The years in southern Utah were difficult ones as the pioneers battled floods, droughts, harsh winters and constant povery. But the most difficult trial for Jonathan had to be the loss of his son. In January of 1852, the Pugmire's twelve-year-old son, John, was shot and killed while out herding cattle with other young boys. It was a tragedy for the family and the whole community.
When the Iron Mission ended in 1858, Jonathan returned to his home in Salt Lake. Son Joseph Hyrum and wife Eleanor stayed in Cedar City for another year and then moved to Fillmore. Daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Jesse Lewis, went to San Bernardino, California. Sixteen-year-old Hannah, recently married to Edward Hope, also went to San Bernardino.
Jonathan's wife, Mary, died 15 November 1861. His third wife, Elizabeth South, a cousin to Mary, was his companion for the rest of his life. Jonathan Pugmire, Sr. died from inflammation of the lungs on August 9, 1876 in Salt Lake City, age 77. He is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
See history of Jonathan Pugmire, Jr. and Elizabeth McKay
[The following is a statement given by Jonathan Pugmire, Jr. about his father's involvement in a baptism at Crewe, England. His statement was recorded in the History of the Church, Period I, Vol. 6, pages 160-162.]
"Thomas Cartwright was baptized November 6, 1843, unknown to his wife, by Elder Jonathan Pugmire Senior; but she had mistrusted he had gone to the water and went to Pugmire's house the same evening and inquired where Tom was (meaning her husband). Mrs. Pugmire answered she did not know.
After this, Mrs. Cartwright went out and met them returning from the waters of baptism and shouted - 'Damn you, I'll dip ye!' and expressing her determination to have revenge on Pugmire's family, she used a great deal of very bad language.
Some of the neighbors (not belonging to the Church) advised her not to speak too much against the Latter-day Saints, as she might yet become convinced of the truth of their doctrines and be baptized herself. She replied, 'I hope to God, if ever I am such a fool, that I'll be drowned in the attempt!'
A short time afterwards, in consequence of her husband's talking to her about the truths of the Gospel, she consented to go to Pugmire's house and hear for herself. After attending a few times she told her husband she had a dream, in which she saw it was a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, and requested to be baptized.
Mrs. Pugmire talked with her, reminding her of her harsh expression. She confessed all, and said, 'I am very sorry; and as my conduct is known to all this neighborhood, I do not wish to have my baptism public, but to have it done privately; and I wish no female to accompany me to the water but you.'
On the night of her baptism (November 23, 1843), she was conducted to the water by her husband and Elder Pugmire, witnessed by Mrs. Pugmire and James Moore. Previous to this time, Elder Pugmire had baptized eight or ten persons in the same place.
On arriving at the water, they found the creek had overflowed its banks, in consequence of a heavy rain which had fallen that day. Elder Pugmire examined its banks, and concluded he could attend to the ordinance without going into the regular bed of the creek.
This was done; but on raising Mrs. Cartwright, and as they were walking out, they both went under the water. It was afterwards discovered that the water had undermined the bank, and it gave way under their feet. Meantime, Thomas Cartwright leaped into the creek and seized hold of his wife's petticoat; but the water carried her off, and left the garment in his hand.
James Moore got hold of Elder Pugmire by the hair of his head, Mrs. Pugmire holding Moore's hand, and thus they dragged him out.
Moore then ran to the village to give the alarm. On his return, he found Cartwright about one hundred yards from where he leaped in, with his head above water, holding on to the stump of a tree. He said he could not have remained in that situation one minute longer.
George Knowlen swam the stream and got him out; but his wife was not found until the day following, where she was found about two hundred yards from where the accident occurred, standing upon her feet, with her head above water, the stream having fallen about two feet. On Pugmire reaching home, a Church of England minister had him arrested and dragged from his family the same evening, and kept in custody of a constable until a coroner's inquest was held on the body of the deceased.
After she was buried, Cartwright was arrested, and both were sent to Chester jail to wait their trial before the judge of assize. They were in confinement six weeks and three days before the trial came on. The judge (Whitehead) remarked to the jury that baptism was an ordinance of our religion, and that it was a mere accident which had occurred. He advised the jurymen to be very careful how they examined the case before them--that it was an ordinance instituted by God (at that moment theLord spoke by the voice of thunder, which shook the court house) and advised the prisoners to be very careful in the future to select a proper place for the performance of that rite. They were then set free."
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