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Our Family Genealogy Pages

Jacob Strong & Family


Given by James T. Strong at the Strong Family Reunion
Held in the Tenth Ward Assembly Hall
April 9th, 1902

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Jacob Strong was born October 9th, 1799, in York County, Pennsylvania. He, with his father James Strong, moved to Indiana County of the same state about the year 1819 or 1820, his father having purchased 400 acres of land in that county, and afterwards laid out the village of Strongstown, in Pine Township. February 28th, 1822, Jacob Strong married Sarah, daughter of James Hill. She was born September 1st, 1806, in York County, Pa., and with her parents, moved to Indiana County, same state, about the time that James Strong and family did. Sarah Strong was born December 5th, 1822; Susan, May 3rd, 1825; William, October 30th, 1827; Lucinda, October 15th, 1831; and John Alburt, October 15th, 1838. These children of Jacob and Sarah Strong were born in Strongstown, Indiana County, Pa.

Jacob and Sarah Strong were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints October 20th, 1836, by Elder Erastus Snow, who, at that time, was about 18 years of age, and who afterwards became one of the apostles. Lucinda Strong died in December, 1837. Jacob Strong with his wife, Sarah, and family, consisting of two daughters, Sarah and Susan, and two sons, William and John Alburt, left their home and native state, bidding adieu to relatives and friends on the 24th day of September, 1839, and emigrated westward to join the Saints in the state of Illinois, arriving at the city of Nauvoo, Hancock County, March 18th, 1840. September 2nd, 1841, James Thomas Strong was born, and later was blessed by Prophet Joseph Smith.

January 19th, 1841, the Saints were commanded by revelation, to build a temple at Nauvoo, and the family contributed liberally for that purpose. June 27th, 1844, Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum Smith, were murdered by an armed mob with blackened faces at Carthage jail. September 28th, 1845, Hyrum Strong was born. The family resided in the city of Nauvoo during the time of the martyrdom of the prophet and patriarch (Joseph and Hyrum Smith); witnessed all the mobbing and persecutions of the Saints in that beautiful city, and on the 8th day of May, 1846, with others of the Saints, who were not permitted to peacefully occupy their homes, and who were driven by mob violence, emigrated westward; Sarah Strong, the eldest daughter, having been married to William Wilson, not a member of the church, remained with her husband in the state of Illinois.

July 16th, 1846, William Strong separated from the family, having enlisted in the Mormon Battalion to serve his country as a soldier for twelve months, war having been declared with Mexico, and a demand having been made upon the First Presidency of the church by the President of the United States for 500 men. On October 13th, 1846, they began their arduous and heroic march across the burning plains and rugged mountains of New Mexico to southern California. In all, the battalion marched from the Missouri to the Pacific, a distance of over 2.000 miles, pioneering much of the way through an untrodden wilderness, braving dangers and enduring hardships, short rations, lack of water, excessive toil in road making, well digging and over marching, which caused much suffering, sickness and some deaths, arriving near San Diego late in January, 1847.

October 18th, 1846, John Alburt Strong died at Council Bluffs, Iowa. In the summer of 1849 the family, then consisting of Jacob and Sarah Strong, his wife, Susan and her husband, Henry Mower, Jr., and son, John Alburt Mower, James T. and Hyrum Strong, emigrated westward across the plains to Utah. William, after having been honorably discharged from government service, arrived in Salt Lake City from California in the fall of 1848, and in the summer of 1849, with team went east, met the family and assisted them the balance of their journey to Salt Lake City, arriving in the month of October, having been caught in a snow storm en route. They lived during the winter in the fort, which then surrounded what is now called Pioneer Square, and in the early spring of 1850 moved to the tenth ward.

On July 17th, 1856, Susan Strong Mower died. The year 1856 was a calamitous one in Utah. The crops of the past two seasons had failed and a scarcity of breadstuff followed, equaling the cricket plague of 1848. The crop failure in 1854 had been due to visitation of grasshoppers. The following summer they returned again in many parts of Utah and devoured every green thing visible. Added to this was a terrible drought, which completed the work of devastation. Then came the winter, one of the severest ever known in Utah, burying the cattle ranges under heavy snows and causing the deaths of thousands of animals from cold and starvation. During the early months of 1856 the sufferings of the settlers were severe. Many, as formerly, were driven to the necessity of digging roots in order to exist until harvest time.

During the year there was another member of the family who had embraced the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their native land (England) and had bade their relatives and friends adieu and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Liverpool May 22nd, 1856, on the Packet ship "Horizon," arriving at Constitution wharf, Boston, and on June 30th took cars for Iowa City, thence to Florence, on the west bank of the Missouri and arriving on the 22nd of August. Owing to the lateness of the season, the important question was debated whether the emigrants should winter in that vicinity or continue the long and wearisome journey to Salt Lake. Unfortunately, it was determined to finish the journey the same season, and on August 25th.

The company moved from Florence with handcarts, in the charge of Elder Edward Martin, assisted by Elder Daniel Tyler. This portion of the Strong family was unfortunately in that company. The company numbered near six hundred on starting, and lost one-fourth of their number by death. They were snowed in at North Platte, and there settled down to await help or die, being unable to go further. Their campground became indeed a veritable graveyard before they left it. On October 31st, relief arrived from Salt Lake City, and after extreme suffering with cold and hunger, they arrived in Salt Lake City, Sunday, November 30th. March 5th, 1857, Jacob Strong married, through the order of patriarchal marriage, Alice Walsh, her husband having died while crossing the plains with her in the hand cart company in 1856, and leaving her with two children, John and Sarah; John being then four and Sarah one year old. July 24th, 1857.

The people of Salt Lake City and vicinity celebrated the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the Pioneers by a feast near the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and while the festivities were going on, word arrived by messenger that General Hamey, with 2,000 infantry and a proportionate number of artillery and cavalry, were ordered to Utah. September 15th, Governor Brigham Young declared the Territory of Utah under martial law and forbade the troops to enter Salt Lake Valley, and large numbers of armed militia were ordered to Echo Canyon and other points to intercept the soldiers and prevent their access to the valley. William and James T. Strong were among the number who were called and went to Echo Canyon for that purpose with the militia. March 21st, 1858, the citizens of Salt Lake City and settlements north of it abandoned their homes and moved their families south, information derived from eastern papers being to the effect that the approaching army was sent to destroy them, and in April the Strong family moved south to Springville, Utah County. James T. Strong, remaining with others in Salt Lake City as a detailed guard, witnessed the army passing through the city to the west side of the Jordan river and opposite the city, where they camped for the night. In July of the same year the family returned to Salt Lake City.

March 10th, 1859, Lucinda Strong-Campbell was born, and August 13th, 1863, William Jacob Strong was born. In May 1863, Hyrum Strong went to the city of. Florence, Nebraska, under Captain John Woolley to bring Saints to Utah, and in 1866 also served in the Black Hawk war in Sanpete Valley, under Major Casper. In May 1868, Brigham Young took a contract to do grading on ninety miles of the Union Pacific railroad. During this year the grasshoppers did much damage to crops in Utah, and many of the farmers, as well as others, sought employment on the railroad. The family having lost their crops, William, James T. and Hyrum Strong, John Walsh and John Alburt Mower were of that class who sought employment on the railroad in Echo and Weber Canyons. On January19th, 1869, Alma Ether Strong was born. February 18th, 1872, Jacob Strong died, and May 9th, 1884, his wife died, December 24th, 1888, William, son of Jacob and Sarah Strong, died; all three, having passed away in the tenth ward, Salt Lake City, were laid to rest in the city cemetery. June 30th, 1894, John Alburt Mower, son of Susan Strong Mower, died: and February 20th, 1902, Henry Mower, husband of Susan Strong, died, in Fairview City, Sanpete County, Utah.