"A Short Sketch of My Life"

Written in 1881

I, Lucy Ashby Clark was born December 14, 1818, in Millend, Hertfordshire, England. I was the youngest daughter of William Ashby and Elizabeth Grimsdale. I attended school until I was thirteen years old when my mother died in 1831. I kept house at home until 1833, then I decided to go to Rickmunsworth and learn dressmaking. I was there until 1835 then went to live with a lady by the name of Sanders who lived in London. I remained with her for eighteen months then moved to Staffordshire and became lady’s maid to Lady Arden Travill. I was with her six months then went home again for two years and kept hose for my father and brothers then again returned to Staffordshire where I was employed as lady’s maid to Lady Walton. There I met Edward Watkin Clark, son of James and Phebe Clark. He paid his addresses to me for about two years then we were married July 25, 1843. We lived in Wolverhampton. My husband was a carpenter and worked at his trade until 1847, then we sold our effects and started up to London with some intention of going to Australia.

We took a room in Camden Town. In part of this house were a Brother and Sister Taylor who belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My husband and I were invited to go and hear the new doctrine. At first I was a little doubtful of its truth, but my husband read the works, Sister Taylor preached to me, and in two weeks we were baptized in Tentonvill Baths, London, by Elder William Boothe, on November 23, 1847, and confirmed in the Church on the 27th by Elder John Banks. We then took another house and opened it for teaching and quite a few were baptized at Camden Town. At this place we witnessed the Power of God in the ordinance of baptism. A Mrs. Woodgate had been afflicted for a number of years and was helped to the water by two men. After baptism she was made whole, ran and rejoiced and praised God.

We left London in 1848, May 7th, and went back to Wolverhampton. Here we preached the gospel to our relations and friends and a large branch of the Church was soon organized. We bore our testimony there for two years and made a home for the elders who came to preach the gospel. In 1851 we emigrated to America with a company of Saints on the sailing ship "Ellen." The first night out from Liverpool we encountered a heavy storm and had a collision with another ship. Both were disabled but not a soul was lost. We sailed into Camden Bay and stopped there for three weeks while the ship was repaired. Had a good voyage after we started our journey again and in six weeks landed at New Orleans on March 15, 1851.

The company went to St. Louis on the "Ellick Scott" and landed on March 23rd, stopped in St. Louise for three weeks, then started up the Missouri River on the 13th of April on the "Sacramento"; stayed there until the next spring and during this time we secured a team of one yoke of oxen and one of cows. We started from Kanesville on July 3rd, 1852, in the 18th company of that year’s immigration. Henry Miller was captain of 50 wagons and Apostle Orson Hyde over the 100. We had a rough trip over the plains as we were not accustomed to the mode of travel, and as if to add to all our troubles, our eldest daughter, Sarah, slipped from the wagon and was run over and died the next day, September 6th , at the age of seven years and eleven months. We buried her on the Sweetwater. It was a great trial to leave her, but we acknowledged the Lord in all things and proceeded on the journey. Soon after this one of our cows became very weak and we had to leave it, as it could not stand the trip. We traveled on with one yoke of oxen, and it seemed the Lord strengthened them for the extra burden. We arrived in Salt Lake City on the 24 of September, 1852. We remained for October conference and felt well paid for our three months of travel, crossing the ocean, rivers and plains. On October 10th we left Salt Lake and started south to Provo, a distance of fifty miles. We stayed at the home of Samuel Jackson who was an old friend from England. In a short time my husband built a small adobe house 12 by 14 feet. We had just finished it and had moved in when the Indians became hostile and killed a Mr. Keel at Payson. We were all called together and the militia was organized. My husband had to go with them on very short notice to help the Saints at Payson and while he got ready I ran some bullets for his rifle. He left me with four children and no bread and no money to buy any, but the way was opened and we lived. In two weeks my husband returned and peace was restored. at this time President Brigham Young called us together and asked us to pull down our houses and move into forts. This we did and later on we built another home on Main Street in Provo.

Time passed and on May 1, 1855, I was sealed to my husband by Apostle George A. Smith. The same year swarms of grasshoppers came and were so thick as to almost darken the sun, and devoured most of all the crops in the territory. That very year was a semi-famine, so a great many people had to live on roots and fish which were plentiful. It seemed the year 1856 was a year of plenty and the Saints were called to do better, and a great excitement arose among us and we were called to make a new covenant with the Lord and be baptized again, which we did, and were blessed. That year companies were organized to cross the plains in handcarts. Some did fairly well, but some were caught in the deep snows and a good many suffered severely. Transportation and tams were sent out to meet the. The survivors were brought back and each came to stay with a family who was to take care of them for the winter. At this time a young sister by the name of Louisa Mellor who came across the plains in the handcart companies came to live at our house. It seemed as if she was sent to us, as I believed in the plurality of wives, and I thought my husband worthy to enter this order of the priesthood, and I invited her to come into our family as a wife to my husband and she consented. My husband took her to the city and had her sealed to him February 3, 1857, by President Brigham Young. She was the mother of nine children, and I was the mother of ten. All the children are members of the Church. In 1885 my husband performed a mission to England and was blessed in his efforts and brought some new members into the Church.

Now, Dear Children of our posterity, I have given you a short sketch of our life’s history and when we are in the graves, it is our wish for you who are living to hunt up our records and finish as far as you can our work, as we cannot have time to do for ourselves, and we, your parents, will aid you all we can in the spirit world.

E.W. and Lucy Clark

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