Life Sketch of Martha Goatman Hughes

Written in 1928.

Mendon Utah Logo

Martha Goatman Hughes

I was born at Churchdown, Glouchestershire, England, June 22, 1845. I was raised in that place until I was seventeen years old, then I was hired to a family by the name of Baldwin at a place called Tiberton, I stayed there one year, then the next year I was hired to a lady in Chettnam. I stayed there about nine months when I went to another lady in the same town and stayed with her family until I came to this country.

My father and mother and family, being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were desirous for me to come to Utah with a company of Saints who were coming in the spring of 1864. There were ten members from our conference coming, so I came with them. We left England on Thursday, April 28, 1864 on the ship Monarch of the Sea, under the direction of Patriarch John Smith with 973 Saints. There were Scotch, Welch, English, and Danish saints on board and a great many children. There was a lot of sickness on board. The measles broke out among the children and we lost about thirty-three of them and one man. There was also one birth on board, a little boy and they named him William Monarch after the captain and the ship.

We arrived at New York on June 3rd after being five weeks on the ocean. It was at the time of the Civil War and we came through many places that were all torn up and destroyed. In some places the railroad tracks were torn up so we had to lay over while they were fixed up. In some places we saw trains of cars ruined and in places were we couldn’t get cars we were loaded into cattle cars. All one day and night, we were crowded so thick in a car, we had to stand up. We were delayed many times for the want of cars to move us, but the Lord was on our side and we got safely to the camping place in Wyoming where we found another company of Saints about ready to move on.

Our train, having not arrived yet, we had to camp there four weeks while the oxen and the teamsters rested and loaded up ready for the journey back to Utah.

We started on our journey back to Salt Lake early in July and arrived here on the 23rd of September. We were met at the Eagle gate in Salt Lake City by President Heber C. Kimball and Daniel H. Wells. As there was no one to take care of us, Brother Henry W. Hughes and myself, with his nephew and wife were sent to Pleasant Grove to some of their friends.

On the 25th of September I was married to Henry W. Hughes, Bishop Brown and counselors officiating. I went to work in Brother Lewis Robesens family and Brother Hughes got work at a molasses mill.

We had not been there long when Brother Hughes received a letter from his sister Ann M. Hancock asking him to come to Mendon, so when we worked about five weeks we came to Mendon and stayed with them until the spring of 1865 when we bought a city lot and made us a home.

When we arrived in Wellsville we were met by Bishop William Maughan, Sr., of that place and taken to his home. The next morning Brother Shumway, Sr., brought us to Brother Hancock’s place at Mendon. I have lived in Mendon ever since, only as I have been away a few months visiting with my children.

I was acquainted with Brother Andrew Shumway, then Bishop of this place, as he had been a missionary to our conference about three years before. His wife Amanda, sisters Elizabeth Ann Willie and Hancock were the first sisters I got acquainted with. Then came Aunt Maria Lucy Baker, Hannah Gardner and Elizabeth T. Wood. They were a good band of sisters and we had many enjoyable times together.

When the Relief Society was organized in this ward, May 28th, 1869, I became a member and am still one. I worked as secretary in the society about three years, with sister Willie and about five years with Maria Baker when they were president. I am still sustained as a teacher although in my 84th year. I feel that I have been blessed in my labors and hope to continue faithful to the end.

My husband died July 21, 1898 at Mendon. My parents and brother and sister also died here. I have on sister living at Bynm, Montana. I have done work for a great many of our dead in the temple and hope to be able to do more. I have raised four of my five children to man and womanhood and am at the present time living with my daughter Mrs. Martha A Bartlett at Mendon.

Author Unknown