Elizabeth's own story, and remembrances by Elaine Hillyard Hyer.
I was the daughter of Thomas Hillyard and Elizabeth Wool and wasborn 1 January 1838 in Doddington, Cambridgeshire, England andwas baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsby Elder John Wayman and was confirmed by Elder Thedrhilies Copeon 8 April 1850.
I immigrated with my mother and step-father, (my father having died when I was only two years old), in the year 1853, leaving Liverpool on 23 June with a company of 321 saints and crossing the ocean on the ship Galconda. When midway we had a terrific storm and all our topmasts came crashing down on the deck, and had it not been that we were attending meeting at that time, some of us must certainly been seriously injured, or possibly killed. The next time that vessel tried to cross the ocean it sunk, so we can see how the Lord protects His saints. We crossed the plains with ox teams and were obliged to walk all the way as there were six persons and their luggage to every wagon, it being the year when the church fetched the people through for ten pounds of English money. We arrived in Salt Lake City the latter part of the following October, being almost a year on the way.
On the arriving in Salt Lake City all our means were gone and we were among strangers, but we were very thankful to the Lord to get a resting place and be with the Saints. We rented a house, there being two rooms and three families of us. After a while, myself with my mother and step father obtained work at the public works, trimming beets for making molasses. We received our pay at the tithing office and there were so many that sometimes we had to wait nearly all day before we received our pay.
I assure you we did not have many luxuries in those days, but we had good times for the people were all united.
I was sealed to Robert Thompson in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, July 16, 1857. I remember well the grasshopper war and how we had to live on roots and bran, for there was no flour in the country. It did appear that some of the people would actually die from starvation but the Lord sustained us. I well remember gleaning a handful or two of wheat in the lot and grinding it through the coffee mill to make the first pancake and how sweet it tasted. We got along nicely after that until Johnson's Army came to kill Brigham Young and drive the people, as they said. It was an exciting time; the men were called to go into the canyon to keep the army back; the women were home alone. Finally we had word from President Young to vacate the city and leave just enough men to burn the city if necessary. My husband was in the canyon when I was notified to pack up and be ready to go in the morning, to where I knew not, nor did I know with whom I was going. My first baby was just six weeks old then, but we went and returned so the Lord delivered his people.
Shortly after ward we were among the first called to go settle Dixie country. There were two families of us who were the first to go and locate St. George. There were soon more down there. We lived in camp all winter. In the spring the city lots were surveyed and we moved to them. That spring my Lizzie was born, being the first child born in St. George. Through hard work and exposure my husband took sick. Brother Erastus Snow advised him to come north, thinking he would regain his health, but instead he died at my brother's house. I was left with three children and not much to help myself with, as that mission had used up nearly all of our means. We were there nearly two years. After my husband died I went to live with my mother. About two months after that my Loretta was born and I came nearly my life but by the faithful nursing by one of the best of mothers that ever lived, and the power of the Lord, my life was spared.
After some time I was married to Alonzo P. Raymond in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City (May 1868). I had two children by him, one son and one daughter. I have had six children, three sons and three daughters; have buried one son and one daughter. I am left alone again for only my children, and they are kind and good to me and are a great comfort and the Lord has always raised up lots of kind friends to me. He has also blessed me with sufficient means that I do not suffer for anything. And now my greatest desire is to be able to do good while I shall be permitted to live and see my children good honorable men and women and that we may each one be true and faithful to the principles of the gospel.
by Elaine Hillyard Hyer
She came to our home very often when I was a child for her home was less than one block away. So along with my grandparents, she was one of the first people I knew. We loved to have her come. She was always kind and loving to us children. She was a busy woman for she was always helping someone and never forgetting or neglecting her church duties. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church she had joined when she was only 12 years old, was the dearest thing in life to her. She upheld the leaders and was always ready to serve whenever or wherever she was called. It was remembered by her family as well as many others how she labored as a Relief Society teacher when living in a home north of Smithfield--how she visited many of the other homes in that part once a month. Her visits took her almost as far north as the Carson home. This she made on foot and through the fields with boots on in muddy weather. Each visit covered several miles and she had told them she never missed one visit. (This was related by Alma Raymond with great pride to Wayman Hillyard one night when Wayman was visiting as Ward Teacher when Alma was in his seventieth year.) She was always a Relief Society member and worker, helping with the sick and to prepare bodies and clothing for burial. Much of that work was needed in early days, so she was called on often. You always found her at their work meetings, or on cleaning days when the temple, the church house or Relief Society house needed cleaning, she was there also. She was a Counselor in the Relief Society to Sister Rebecca Pitcher for a number of years.
She never neglected to be at Sacrament Meeting and on time. When Grandpa was not home and Grandma not able to walk to church, she called very often on her way home from the meeting and would tell Grandma all that had gone on at church for she had a very good memory.
She was left alone twice in her younger days, so had to raise her family alone. So she and her family knew many hardships and she had many lonely hours, yet she seldom went to others with her troubles, yet I have seen her at times when her heart was full. She was surely one who could be remembered as a true and faithful pioneer.
The love I felt for her as a child has always remained. (none)