Jacob and Sarah Hill Strong
Jacob Strong was born October 9, 1799, York County, Pennsylvania.
In the year 1819, his father purchased four hundred acres of land
in Indiana County in the same state and moved his family to that
part of Pennsylvania. About this time, James Hill and his family
moved from the same place to this section of the country. Later
the heads of these two families drew cuts to see who should have
the honor of naming the town site, which they were about to lay
out. James Strong who won, gave the place the name of Strongstown.
Jacob Strong married Sarah Hill, daughter of James Hill, February
28, 1822. Five children were born to them while they were living
in this town. During this time Elder Erastus Snow was preaching
the gospel in that vicinity and they were converted, baptized
and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. Jacob and Sarah with their family came west to Missouri.
Here they joined the Saints on their march Westward. These good
people went through all the trials of Nauvoo, Hancock County,
Illinois, where their last two sons were born, James Thomas, born
2 September 1841 and Hyrum, born 28 September 1845. While they
were at Winter Quarters, Jacob was called to enlist in the Mormon
Battalion. He was ill at this time and could not go. His eldest
son, William, went in his place. He was only eighteen at the time.
Jacob and his family arrived in Salt Lake Valley in the year 1849.
Here they made their home in the Tenth Ward.
Jacob Strong was a natural genius. He was able to adapt himself
to any condition,
although he was a farmer by trade. It is reported he arose at
daybreak and set a dozen bundles of wheat in shock before he had
breakfast. For many, this was considered almost a day’s
work. There was very little machinery to be had, therefore, the
planting, harvesting and threshing of grain was all done by hand.
They thrashed the wheat by spreading down a wagon cover and then
when the wind blew. Great Grandfather Strong would get up on a
stool with the milk pan and stand and shake it out; the wheat
would fall on the wagon cover and the wind would blow the chaff
away. These are some of the conditions they had to endure in the
Flax and Hemp were among the things grown. From these Jacob and
Sarah made their own thread and rope. Jacob also made shoes for
his children from the boots, which were discarded by the older
people. Because there were no nails to be had, he manufactured
pegs from maple wood. He also made hinges in the same manner.
It has been said that Jacob and Sarah were "the man and woman
of the hour" because they were able to master any situation.
Nothing seemed impossible to them. They did their own spinning
and weaving. They made their own wearing apparel and bedding.
As time progressed, the family accumulated a few cows, oxen and
sheep. From the sheep they clipped the wool, washed, dyed, carded
and spun it. At the time when the order came for the Saints to
move south to Springville, because the approaching army they feared
was coming to destroy them, the Strong family did not even have
a wagon cover. Sarah then spun the flax and wove it into cloth
for this purpose. Later it was used for sheets on the bed.
Just before the move to the South, the Martin Handcart company
arrived in Salt Lake in destitute circumstances, having suffered
many hardships from heavy snows and cold winter weather. About
one hundred and fifty members of this company of six hundred died
en route. President Brigham Young allotted a certain number of
survivors to each ward to be taken care of during the rest of
the winter. Bishop David Pettigrew of the Tenth Ward went to Jacob
and Sarah Strong and told them it would be necessary for them
to care for one of these families; they readily consented to do
so. They both went to the old school house where the people were
living for the time being. Upon entering the building, Sarah noticed
a woman with two small children aged one and four years, respectively.
The woman's feet were badly frozen. She had lost her husband who
died on the journey. Jacob and Sarah took them into their home
to share what they had with this young mother and children. This
woman was Alice Walsh who later became the wife of Jacob Strong
by order of Patriarchal marriage. This good man and his wives
lived very useful lives and proved themselves equal to all tasks
before them. They never complained about trials and sacrifices.
They lived to be a good age.
Sarah was a natural nurse and understood the use of herbs with
which she made
medicine. Much of her time was taken up among the sick. In Nauvoo
she cared for an expectant mother who died later in childbirth.
Even though she had a small baby of her own, she took the woman's
infant and nursed it, weaning her own because it was healthy and
strong. After seven months this motherless baby died.
Jacob Strong was the father of ten children; seven children by
Sarah and three by Alice Walsh Strong. (It should be noted these
three children were subsequently sealed to Mrs. Walsh's first
husband). This family enjoyed many pleasures and shared many sorrows
together, and at all times had time to help others. In doing so
they laid a sound and splendid foundation for their posterity
to build on. Jacob Strong died February 18, 1872, at the age of
73 years. His wife Sarah Strong died May 9, 1884, at the age of
Sarah was the first Relief Society president of the Tenth Ward,
which was organized in 1867. Her name was also on the records
of the Relief Society in Nauvoo.
John Walsh, the son of Alice Walsh, has related what a fine, upright,
honest and faithful man Jacob Strong was. He was also very good
natured and pleasant to be around.
The sons of Jacob Strong also helped in furthering the settlement
of the Utah territory, serving in the army when needed and carrying
on the work their father started.
(The above was read at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Jacob
Genealogical Society by President Elias J. Strong, March 7, 1966.
Taken from notes of a stepson, John Walsh, as assembled by Erma
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