Peter Weston Maughan

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The Story

Peter's Story

As told by his mother Mary Ann Weston Maughan

About noon [on July 12, 1850], as we were traveling along on a good plain road, my little Peter, about three years old, was sitting in the front of the wagon between his brother Charles and his sister Mary Ann. They were looking at a cow that had lost one horn. He leaned forward, lost his balance, and fell before the wheels. The first passed over him, and he tried to escape the other one. But alas, the wagon stopped just as the hind wheel stood on his dear little back. The brethren from behind ran up and lifted the wheel and took him from under it. He was bruised internally so that it was impossible for him to live long.

We did all that was possible for him, but no earthly power could save him. He did not suffer much pain. The people left their wagons and gathered around mine, and all wept for the dear little boy that we knew must soon leave us. I had talked to him many times to be careful and not fall out of the wagon, or he might be hurt very bad.

I did not know that his father had fainted, for the brethren stood to hide him from my sight. On my asking for him, they said he would come soon. As soon as he was able, he came to the wagon, covered with dust. But his little boy could not speak to him. He opened his eyes and looked so lovingly at us, then gently closed them and passed peacefully away and left us weeping around his dear little bruised body.

Then loving hands tenderly dressed him in a suit of his own white linen clothes. He looked so lovely. I emptied a dry goods box, and Brother Wood make him a nice coffin; and it even was a mournful satisfaction, for we had seen our brothers and sisters bury their dear ones without a coffin to lay them in.

We buried him on a little hill on the north side of the road. The grave was consecrated, and then they laid him to rest. Someone had made a nice headboard with his name printed on, also his age and date of death. This was all we could do, and many prayers were offered to our Heavenly Father that he might rest in peace and not be disturbed. We turned away in sorrow and grief.

A few days after, we heard that his grave had not been touched, but another little one made beside it, and afterwards some more were buried by them. This was a great satisfaction to us, to know that he remained as we left him.

Sources: Mary Ann Weston Maughan. Autobiography, typescript. Special Collections, Merrill Library, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

See also Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:376-77.


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