Although not religiously inclined, what surprised Ann Welch’s mother when she stopped at a crowd of people listening to a Mormon missionary in 1841?
A The fact that he was a mere boy
B The fact that the Mormon’s believed in Prophets
C The fact that the missionary wasn’t taking up a collection
D The fact that the missionary had more than one book of scripture
A Survived the Willie and Martin Handcart company ordeal
From the life of Sarah Emily Wall Cowley: Sarah Emily Wall was born in England, 1840. She was the next to oldest of nine children in her family.
Emily, as she was called, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with her family in England. They could not afford to send the whole family to America at once, so they sent the two oldest of their children first.
Joseph and Sarah Emily traveled to America on one of the ships (“Thornton” or “Horizon”). They left Iowa City, Iowa, with the Willie and Martin Handcart Company, July, 1856, and arrived in late November or early December in Salt Lake City.
Apostle Orson Hyde gave Joseph and Emily a blessing before they left England, promising them that if they were true and faithful and obeyed the council of those in authority over them, they would arrive in Zion in safety.
A few days after leaving Winer Quarters, Joseph became ill. Emily pulled him in the handcart, but he grew worse each day. Finally the company stopped for three days to allow him to recover, but he did not.
Those in authority said they would have to leave him behind to be picked up or buried by the next company. Emily said that she would not go on without her brother, and she would stay behind as well.
The company moved on, but the captain remembered that the Wall family had given him a large sum of money to take care of these children, so after travelling three miles out, he decided to go back for them. Emily, with the aid of a young girl, pushed her brother in the handcart the rest of the way.
As they were promised by Apostle Hyde, they made it to the Salt Lake Valley. Joseph regained his health after his arrival, and lived to be sixty-eight years old.
This journey across the Plains was an endurance test for all of the people in these companies. They suffered extreme hardships because of the early snow storms. Many froze to death or died of starvation. Rescuers had been sent from Salt Lake City to their aid. Among them was a young man William Michael Cowley.
Emily was only sixteen years of age when she lived with Amelia Young, one of Brigham Young’s wives, until she finally received consent, for her mother in England, to marry William Cowley. They were married in 1860. They had twelve children.
Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, Daughters of Utah Pioneers: (International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers: 1998), 1: 690.