Thomas Cartwright

It is said that Thomas and his family came to the United States on the steamship Clinton and landed in the Hudson River in New York City (there is some discrepancy in dates 1848–1850). They moved west in 1850 and Carolina was born as they sailed down the Ohio River.

On 3 June 1850, they joined the Milo Andrus Company for Salt Lake City. This was the company of emigrating Saints for the season of 1850. They left the Missouri River 3 June 1850. It consisted of 266 persons and 51 wagons in charge of Captain Milo Andrus. This company had nine horses, six mules, 184 oxen, 122 cows, 44 sheep, six yearlings, 19 dogs, one pig and two ducks.

The company made good time and on the 11 July 1850, the Captain wrote that…”the company was in good traveling order. We are all well, there is no sickness, we have met with no accident and are getting along well. We have passed the graves of hundreds yet God has preserved us for which we feel thankful. Peace and union prevail in our midst.”

Later he wrote: “We got along pretty well as far as Salt Creek. Here the stream was swollen so high that the bridges had been carried away and we were obliged to go to work and build a raft to carry our wagons over. We got across in safety. Elder Hyde had told the company the day it was organized, that if we would be faithful and keep the name of God sacred, we should be blessed with health and our lives would be preserved.

We endeavored to do our duty to the best of our ability and the promises of God were fulfilled toward us.

There was one death and one birth; we were just as many when we started, as when we landed in Salt Lake Valley.

After a long and tedious journey, we arrived in Salt Lake City 30 August 1850.”

Thomas Bullock, noting the arrival of this company, writes: “About 5 p.m. Captain Andrus passed the office having banners inscribed “Holiness to the Lord” on one side of the wagon and on the other side “Hail to the Governor of Deseret.”

In the fall of this same year, he was called to help settle Iron County.

There were so many hardships to be encountered in the settling of a new territory, that any man with a family of six was not allowed to take them with him. It was for this reason that Mrs. Cartwright and her family remained in Salt Lake City for some time.

This winter, she and her family suffered for want of food and clothing. The only bread she had was course bran. Oft times she gave her silver spoons, a bit of silk or a little tea for buttermilk. One by one, the treasures she had brought from England and Ireland went to the purchase of food and clothing for her little brood, while the father was laboring in the house making a safe place for them to have a home.

The company of settlers traveled as far as the present site of Parowan where they stopped to build the first house. While in Parowan Canyon, Thomas Cartwright had the misfortune of severing one toe completely and part of another while cutting logs. For the next two months until the company moved on to Cedar, he was unable to work.

It was in April 1852 that he returned to Salt Lake City to move his family south. On May ninth, the first white child to be born in Cedar arrived in the world. This was Cedaressa, Thomas and Jane’s daughter.

During the seven or eight years the family lived in Cedar, they experienced all the hardships common to pioneer life. They were without bread sometimes for days. Their only food was roots and whatever grass that could be found. The little wheat that was possible to obtain was ground into flour in a coffee mill. This flour was one of the most carefully guarded and hoarded possessions.

At one time the three eldest girls, Mary, Carolina and Ellen were very much in need of clothing. As it was impossible to get cloth, their mother colored with alum and sagebrush a wagon cover, and made this into dresses for them. She also made for them underskirts of a piece of store carpet brought with them from England. She was an excellent seamstress, and a fine knitter. All the stockings her grandchildren wore were made by her.

When the church erected an Iron works about a mile and half from the Cartwright home, Thomas who was a blacksmith by trade worked in it. Once a week as part of his wages, he would get a small amount of black flour.

Times however, were difficult and there was not much work to be done in his line. Leaving his family again, he went to California. Here he stayed for eighteen months, and after getting the money due him and buying clothes for his family, he returned to Cedar. He remained here until 1858, when he moved to Beaver, the adjoining county.

Soon after coming to Beaver, he and the Gillies Brothers erected the first woolen carding machine in Southern Utah. They did very well with this machine, for practically every family had a few sheep and carding had been done prior to this time by hand. When sometime later, the machine and the building burned down, he and the Gillies Brothers built another. They also built two threshing machines.

One of these was sold to Edward Patten of Manti, Utah, in exchange for grain and cows. He also made the first rollers for a sugar cane machine, and the first plows in Iron County. The people further south were raising a great deal of sugar cane and converting it to molasses.

He was a member of the High Priest’s Quorum, and belonged to the first brass band in Beaver.

Thomas married and became a Polygamist on 28 April 1866, when he was sealed to Catherine Beswich (Hooten) in the Endowment House. There were no children. Thomas died in Beaver, Beaver County, Utah in 1880.

References Compiled by Thomas A. Mathews Fall 1977:

  1. Frank Esshom Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah pg. 199,
    797.
  2. Crossing the Plains Indes G.S. Film 38355 pt. 10
  3. Documentary History of the Church v. 6
  4. Certified copy of Marriage certificate of Thomas Cartwright and
    Sarah Yates obtained 24 October 1966 from the Parish Church of St.
    Welfried, Standish, Lancaster, England.
  5. Certified copy of marriage certificate of Thomas Cartwright and
    Jane Allen obtained from St. Nicholas Church in Liverpool,
    Lancaster, England 7 December 1966.
  6. Temple Index Bureau.
  7. Susie C. Cartwright Bullock DUP History of Thomas H.
    Cartwright