Mary Ross Muir
Mary Ross Muir, the oldest daughter of John B. Ross and Mary Patterson Ross was born May 9th, 1815, at Bankhead Linlithgowshire, Scotland. She became the wife of Walter Muir in the year 1835 and to this union were born twelve children, four of whom survive her at the present time (1919) her husband having died in Scotland, August 15th, 1860. Having become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the year 1859, her greatest desire was to rear her children in the fear of the Lord, and credit to the church. So leaving her comfortable home and many of her dear ones, three of whom were buried in Scotland, she with a family of five, three boys and two girls, set sail from Liverpool on the sailing ship Arkwright, May 28th, 1866. Living in faith that she would soon meet her two children who had emigrated to America previously.
One incident, which occurred while on the ocean, shall never be forgotten by members of the company. The sea being so calm, the boat had been at a stand still in mid-ocean for nearly a week, the provisions were getting low and the water was bad. The captain of the boat, Daniel P. Caulkins, went to the leader of the company of the Saints, Elder Folsom and told him of the existing conditions, also told him this was the eleventh company of Saints he had brought across the ocean, they all seemed to have such faith in God, that he desired they pray unto Him for assistance. That night, Elder Folsom asked all Saints to go without supper, also to fast in the morning, at nine o‘clock the next morning he called a meeting out on deck, just after the first prayer was offered, a wind came up which sailed the boat directly to New York. Arriving on July 6th, 1866. Leaving New York on the 7th, of July this company went by train to Albany, from here they crossed a river in a down pour of rain, in an open cattle boat, which was flat surfaced with just a chain around, this being just at the closing of the Civil War, means of travel were very difficult.
Landing in New Haven, they boarded the train reaching Montreal, from here still traveling by train until they reached the banks of the Missouri River on July 22th, after five days travel they were visited by a band of five hundred Pawnee Indian warriors, who told them if they would give them flour, meat, etc., they could travel over their land unmolested, that they could use their wood for fires, and the oxen could feed on their grass. Two or three oxen had to be given up to the Indians for meat. Their journey across the plains began July 25th, 1866, with ox teams. The journey across the plains was long, Sister Muir walked nearly all the way fording all the rivers except Green River, arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 9th, 1866, remaining but a few days, then traveling northward, landing in Mendon, Cache County, Utah, where she remained until death. She was an active church member, being a very industrious and energetic woman; she tried to help provide a comfortable living by practicing the art of nursing, always being ready to help the sick and afflicted.
She was loved by all whom knew and associated with her. She gave up her life with a strong faith in the gospel on November 27th, 1888, at Mendon, Utah.1
1. Mary Ross Muir, Agnes Muir Richards, August 1919, unpublished manuscript.