Valiant in the Faith – Gardner and Sarah Snow and Their Family by Archibald F. Bennett and Ella M. Bennett is a book of genealogy and stories about descendants of the Gardner Snow family of which I am one.
I’ve learned a few interesting things about the book. The author, Ella M. Bennett, it turns out, is actually my dad’s aunt. The other author, her husband Archibald Bennett, is a semi-famous genealogist. He happens to have worked as a school teacher at a couple of the same schools as me (Taber and Barnwell). My dad tells me they never finished the book while they were alive and it was their kids that did a lot of work completing it.
An interesting story shared in the book is that my Great Great Grandmother was born on the day of the Haun’s Mill massacre.
From p. 36 of the book:
On the 27th, Governor Boggs issued his infamous exterminating order. “The Mormons,” it read, “must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary for the public good.” He ordered General Clark to raise a large force of militia. Great excitement prevailed, and mobs were seen in every direction, bent on the destruction of the Mormons. They burned the houses in the country and took all the cattle they could find; they destroyed cornfields, took many prisoners, and threatened death to all Mormons.
On the very day of the stark tragedy at Haun’s Mills, on Shoal Creek, when unarmed and helpless men, women and children were brutally slain—and while a large company of armed soldiers were seen approaching Far West—a child was born to James and Eliza Ann Snow. This was on October 30, 1838. She was named Sarah Jane.
The father was with all able bodied men with the militia working feverishly to arrange a temporary fortification of wagons, earth, timber, and like materials on the south of the city as a partial protection against attack. All night long the Far West militia guarded the city, while many of the women were engaged in gathering up their most valuable effects, fearing a terrible battle in the morning, and that the houses might be fired and they obliged to flee. The enemy was five to one against them. The same day they were reinforced by about one 1,500 more, and they destroyed property in every quarter.
But instead of a fierce battle raging about the cradle of the newborn child, treachery robbed the Saints of their Prophet leader! And he and other leading men were basely betrayed by Colonel Hinkle into the hands of the enemy — were sentenced to be shot on the public square at Far West — and were only spared this fate as by a miracle. Instead they were marched away in irons to a long term in prison.
Meanwhile the mob-militia went into Far West, and plundered houses without restraint, robbing and abusing the inhabitants. The brethren were forced to give up their arms and sign away their property. Then the mob, under pretense of searching for arms, tore up floors, upset haystacks, plundered the most valuable effects they could lay their hands on, wantonly wasted and destroyed a great amount of property, compelled the brethren at the point of the bayonet to sign deeds of mist to pay the expenses of the mob, even while the place was desecrated by the chastity of women being violated. About 80 men were taken prisoners, the remainder were ordered to leave the state, and were forbidden, under threat of being shot by the mob to assemble more than three in a place.
James was forced under these circumstances to be away from his home during the first few days after the birth of his firstborn; and was absent on this day when the mob raided the houses.
Diantha Billings, the midwife, had children of her own to protect, and she left Eliza Ann, as soon as the babe, which weighed only two and a half pounds, was born. The mob, led by John F. Boynton—onetime missionary to the Carter home in Maine and erstwhile Apostle — came right into the cabin where the sick and weakened mother and her helpless babe were left alone. She recognized the leader’s voice when he demanded:
“Madame, how old is your baby?”
“Reckon it for yourself,” the intrepid mother retorted.
She called John F. Boynton by name, and reproached him for his apostasy from the truth he had once taught her and her family. He slunk shamefacedly away, calling the mob off with him.
To her courageous attitude both she and the child probably owed their lives! (4)
Eliza Ann is also the one, who after her husband, my great great grandfather Marshall Kinsman, died in a lumber accident near Provo, remarried Joseph Young (Brigham Young’s brother).
Although I’m not directly related to the Young family, there were stories that were passed down about how it was a big todo when the Prophet Brigham would come visit the family. Apparently my grandmother always made a special meal or kept the best peaches for Brigham Young. My dad recalls his own dad saying in a mocking tone, “The finest fruit for Brother Brigham”.
Valiant in the Faith.pdf (200mb .pdf)