Caroline Hobbs Watterson

Caroline Hobbs Watterson was born 28 June 1847 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. Here follows her narrative:

"My mother was a widow with seven children, five boys and two girls. When I was about three years old some Mormon elders were holding meetings in our neighborhood and my older brothers went to the meetings with the intention of making fun of the Elders. But when they heard the preaching they became interested and came home and persuaded Mother to go to the next meeting. Mother went and was converted as soon as she heard it. Most of the family were baptized soon after and like others we began to make preparations to come to Zion. Two of my brothers came ahead of the family and the others of us left England in May 1864 on board the Monarch of the Sea. While crossing, a terrible storm came up and for a day or two it looked as though we would be lost. The captain said if we had never prayed before we had better pray now or we would go down. There were 1000 Saints on board speaking four languages. Most of them were Scandinavians under Parley P. Pratt Jr. We all asked the Lord to preserve us and the storm passed. We landed at New York in July. The Civil war was on at the time and nearly all of the passenger cars on the railroad were being used to transport soldiers. We were all put aboard cattle cars and brought to the Missouri River. Brother Edlefsen refused to put his people in cattle cars and stayed behind until coaches could be secured.

At Florence, Nebraska we were given passage in Captain Murdock's mule train and began our journey across the plains. My brother James got a job to drive team for Mr. Merrick and received $50.00 per month in greenbacks, but as paper money was only worth fifty cents on the dollar, his wages did not go far. The Indians were very bad on the plains and guards had to be ahead and dept out every night. Trains ahead and behind us were burned and two or three time we saw smoking remains. The Indians came to our camp several times and we gave them beads and other trinkets, also food, and they went away again. We had two deaths in our company. One of our sisters and one of the guards named Beckstead who accidentally shot himself.

We reached Salt Lake in September and were met by my brothers, William and Henry. We came to Cache Valley in October in an oxen team. We were several days on the road. We had a pig in the wagon as a passenger and it got out and we had trouble enough chasing it through the sage brush before catching it. We met C. O. Card in Box Elder canyon on his way to conference. At Logan we stayed over night with Washington Rogers. In the morning as we were about to start, I fell in the river near his house, and had to wear my wet clothes to Franklin.

At Franklin, we stayed with my brother Charles, who had a little room log cabin without windows or floors. We did our cooking in the fireplace. We were very uncomfortable. I thought, ‘If this is Zion, I wish I was back in England.' In 1865, I came to Logan and stayed with John Smith and family. Sister Smith taught me to spin. I also worked for Thomas Weir's family.

In 1866 I married William Watterson and we moved into the two-room adobe house which is still standing. We started life under what we then considered very favorable circumstances. Our house had glass windows and we had a little cookstove which cost eighty dollars. Our old style high bedstead cost thirty dollars and a little rocker cost twelve dollars. We also had two or three husk bottom chairs. In those days we saved everything we could to eat; dried apples and pumpkins, etc.

I joined the choir when first organized by William Knowles and C.C. Goodwin. Later Alexander Lewis took charge of it and made of it a wonderful organization. I was a member of the choir for forty years. When the temple was completed, I was called to help there and was there seven years. I was also President of the Relief Society for thirteen years. I also worked in the Mutual for several years."

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