Agnes Hill Richards
Agnes Hill Richards, daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth Curry Hill, was born June 6th 1808, at Johnson, twenty-five miles from Glasgow, Scotland. She with her father’s family, immigrated to America in 1819, locating at Quebec, Canada. Here she became a beautiful and talented young lady and at the age of twenty-two, married John Richards, son of General John Richards, of the Royal Artillery at Quebec, and Mary Angelic Kinney, a French lady. Their first child was accidentally scalded to death at the age of three years. In 1833 they moved to Ontario, where shortly after their home was destroyed by fire. Here, in about the year 1840, two Latter-day Saint missionaries, James Standing and Samuel Lake preached the gospel in this neighborhood, where they were soon converted to join the church.
In the spring of 1841, they with their four children, Elizabeth, Mary, John, and Joseph, emigrated to the U.S. and located in Nauvoo, Illinois where she suffered all the hardships and persecutions that were heaped upon the Saints at this time. Here, she with her little daughter Agnes in her arms attended the funeral of the martyred Prophet and his brother Hyrum. Here they built them a nice home and were on the way to prosperity when mob violence became so common. Here, her husband, with seven others, while working in the field, were caught by a mob of forty ruffians and striped and their bare backs beaten with hickory switches, about an inch in diameter, the marks of which he carried to his grave. One week from this time they were driven from their home in Nauvoo, across the Mississippi River, where in two weeks time her daughter Rachel was born in a covered wagon. When the babe was three days old they were again ordered by a mob to move on before daybreak or they would forfeit their lives. They moved during the night, wending their way westward until they reached Winter Quarters, where the father contracted scurvy from which he never recovered, having to walk with crutches the remainder of his days.
From there they moved to Honey Creek, Iowa, where Hyrum was born. Here they remained until 1851 when the family commenced their journey to Salt Lake City, in the company of Captain Day. She walked most of the way, just lying down in the shade of the wagon to rest when a stop was made. They reached the valley late in October and located at Mill Creek, where in just two weeks time her son Alexander was born. This noble woman suffered all the hardships incident to a pioneer life, and raised her family of nine children under most trying circumstances, doing her own carding, spinning, knitting, and sewing, with no conveniences what ever. Again in 1859 she assisted in pioneering Cache Valley, reaching Mendon on Christmas Day. Here they built a comfortable home, and she was ever faithful in the performance of her duties to her family, her friends, and her religion. She died of pneumonia after a short illness on March 30th, 1886, at Mendon, Cache, Utah.1
1. Life of Agnes Hill Richards, Elizabeth Richards Rowe, 9 July 1918, unpublished manuscript.