Life Shetch of Loretta Smith Bigler…

A short historical sketch of the life and times of Loretta Smith Bigler, as written by her daughter, Hellen B. Walker.

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Loretta Helen Smith Bigler

Loretta H. Smith was born May 23rd, 1841 in the State of Michigan. Her father died in 1842, leaving her mother with seven children, two married, and five still at home. In 1848 her mother, with her five small children started to Utah in Heber C. Kimball’s Company. Her mother was taken sick on the way, and they were afraid she would die and be buried on the plains, but the Lord spared her life. When they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, she was well. This made it very hard for Loretta, being the only girl in the family; she took care of her mother and walked part of the way. They arrived in Salt Lake the same year, and moved to Farmington, Davis County.

Her mother was a seamstress by trade and she had to learn to sew and help make a living. She also became an expert with the needle. In 1855 Loretta was married to Andrew Bigler in the Endowment House in Salt Lake. The same day her husband was set apart for a five-year mission, leaving the next week. She was left to support herself as they were in poor circumstances. She went through the hardships of pioneer life, gathering thistles, berries, greens and segos to live on. They used segos as potatoes. When Johnson’s army was coming, the missionaries returned home to help protect their homes and families, [Andrew Bigler] being away twenty-three months.

They settled in Farmington, remaining for thirteen years. Six children were born to them. In 1870, they moved to Collinston, Box Elder County, remaining there for four years, two children were born there. In 1874, they moved to Beaver Dam, Two children were born there. In 1875, they came to Mendon; one child was born there. She spent the remainder of her days in Mendon, being a widow in 1893. Three years later she went to Teton, Idaho to visit her children. While there she was taken sick and died. Her remains were brought back and laid to rest in the Mendon cemetery.1

Hellen B. Walker


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1. Loretta Helen Smith Bigler, Hellen B. Walker, 19 March 1920, unpublished manuscript.