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Mary Moyer

Compiled by Kathryn Jensen Ensign, Great-granddaughter

Mary Moyer Grow
Compiled by Kathryn Jensen Ensign, Great-Granddaughter

Mary Moyer was born on the 28 of April, 1917 in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She was the first child of Charles Moyer and Elizabeth Bird.

She married Henry Grow Jr on January 8, 1836 in Pennsylvania.2 They were both 19 years old.  She was the first of five wives.

Mary was baptized on the 8 of June 1842 in the Delaware River in Philadelphia.2 They then moved to Nauvoo where they lived from 1843-1846.1

In spite of the fact that the Saints were leaving as quickly as possible, the mob marched upon the doomed city and began the Farmer's Battle of Nauvoo 19 Sep 1846.  Henry fought in this battle.  The mob, consisting of about two thousand well armed men with thirteen pieces of artillery, camped in front of his house about a block away.  During the night Henry heard a voice warn him "Get up and get out of here in the morning."  Early the next day he awakened Mary and the Children, hitched a yoke of cattle to his wagon, took some utensils, bedding and a tent, leaving behind everything else he owned.  They had only gone about fifty feet from the frame home when the mob fired a twelve pound canon ball that hit a tree in their yard.  Henry, Mary and their family traveled alone to Winter Quarters arriving in October.  Here they remained one winter and the next at Kimball's farm where Henry worked another year. 2

In the fall of 1847, after the departure of the pioneer companies Henry moved further into Missouri on the Little Platt River twenty miles above Weston.  His son John W. Grow, our progenitor, was born her 21 December 1848.  By now he and Mary had four sons and one daughter.  Henry met other saints at the Missouri River and traveled with James Cummings' hundred with 150 people and 100 wagons.2

The dresses were made full and long as it was necessary to have freedom in climbing gracefully in and out of their wagon homes.  Even though they were driven from their homes in Illinois and Missouri, they were still gentle women who were modest and God fearing.

They boiled down maple syrup and made little lumps of maple sugar to be used as a special treat.  They brought their molasses in small barrels, and prepared as best they could for a long, tedious journey.

The women and children were happy to walk when possible.  IT broke the monotony of constantly jolting along in the covered wagons and made the load easier for the teams to pull.  They also helped gather the wood to cook their meals.  Some times when wood was scarce, they would use what they called "Buffalo Chips."  This was grass digested by the buffalo and dried in the sum.  At first the women hesitated to pick them up and carry them in, but as time went by this was a very common thing for them to do, and they made just as hot a fire as wood.4

Each day on the trail was much like every other day.  A raucous horn blast awoke the traveler each morning.  Prayers and breakfast, then preparation for the day's journey.  They became increasingly practiced at the routines, soon became proficient at making and breaking camp.  Every day was like every other day except for the rain which sometimes held up the company at rivers too swollen to ford.  Or buffalo herds which occasionally appeared and had to be headed off lest the Mormon cattle mingle with the wilder herd and wander off.  Or the Indians who occasionally appropriated some few head of cattle.

There were the ordinary distresses of the trail; the pesky mosquitoes, the sudden thunderstorms, the wagons which pitched forward over a broken wheel, the frequent sickness, and the howling wolves.  Those wild cries in the black prairie night must have been terrifying.

There were the pleasures, too.  Each evening there would be singing, and maybe dancing around the campfire.  There was always the dream coming closer and closer as the mountains came into nearer views  The hardest part was the last part up the mountain inclines and through narrow canyons, but even that passed.  They had endured sickness, hunger, and weariness to reach their promised land.  There it lay, spread before them.  They saw the wide sweep of flat valley floor, the settlements spotted along the few streams,. the business center forming to the north of the canyon mouth; there before them lay the young Salt Lake City.  The end of the trail! It was Wednesday October 1, 1951.4

They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on Henry's birthday Oct 1, just two months before their baby daughter, Ann, was born.2

Mary was noted as a self sacrificing devoted mother and wife.  She had 7 children.  Naturally she was a saint to live and keep peace, for Henry had 4 other wives.  She and the last one lived in the same house and she raised two granddaughters, Jane and Emma, after their mother died.  They were the girls of Charles Grow and Elizabeth Langlois.

Others have said that she was a peacemaker and they heard her talk in tongues.

Her granddaughter, Mary Jane Grow Halls, remember when she came to their home.  She was small, had jet black hair, parted in the middle always straight and shiney.  Her lips thin and tight, indications she had learned to keep silent.  She was always dressed neatly in black clothes.1

Mary M. Grow, wife of Henry Grow, died on Sunday, October 1st, 1882, of congestive fever.  She was aged 65 years, five months and two days.  Deceased was a king and affectionate mother, a true wife and faithful Latter-day Saint.  She leaves numerous posterity and a host of friends to mourn her loss.  She experienced every trial through which she passed without a murmur.
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1 Biography by Mary Jane Grow Halls, grandaughter

2 History of Henry Grow by Audry Fuller Robertson

3 Obituary from the Desert News

4 Early Utah Pioneers. Levi Hammon and Polly Chapman Bybee from their journals traveling in the Cummins Company

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