Mary Goble Pay

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Mary's Story

Excerpts from Mary Goble Pay’s autobiography

When we were in the Iowa campground, there came up a thunderstorm that blew down our shelter, made with handcarts and some quilts. We sat there in the rain, thunderstorm and lightning. My sister Fanny got wet and died on the 19th of July 1856. She would have been 2 years old on the 23rd. [She had broken out with the measles on the ship, and was thus in a weakened position.] The day we started our journey, we visited her grave. We felt very bad to leave our little sister there.

We traveled on till we got to the Platte River. That was the last walk I ever had with my mother. We caught up with the handcart companies that day. We watched them cross the river. There were great lumps of ice floating down the river. It was bitter cold. The next morning there were fourteen dead in camp through the cold.

We went back to camp and went to our prayers. They sang, “Come, Come Ye Saints, No Toil Nor Labor Fear.” I wondered what made my mother cry. That night my mother took sick, and the next morning my little sister was born. It was the 23rd of September. We named her Edith, and she lived six weeks and died for want of nourishment.

When we arrived at Devil’s Gate, it was bitter cold. We left lots of our things there. There were two or three log houses there. We left our wagon and joined teams with a man names James Barman. We stayed there two or three days. While there an ox fell on the ice and the brethren killed it, and the beef was given out to the camp. My brother James ate a hearty supper and was as well as he ever was when he went to bed. In the morning he was dead.

My mother had never got well; she lingered until the 11th of December, the day we arrived in Salt Lake City, 1856. She died between the Little and Big Mountains. She was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. She was forty-three years old. She and her baby lost their lives gathering to Zion in such a late season of the year. My sister [Edith] was buried at the last crossing of the Sweetwater River.

Sources: Mary Goble Pay. Autobiographical sketch, typescript. LDS Church Archives.


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