Monday, August 10, 2009
Today I'll share a little about my great-great grandfather on my dad's side, Robert Sweeten. These excerpts from his life history were told by him at the age of 92 to his grandson Melvin Atkinson during the summer of 1932 in Holbrook, Idaho. I have the entire account, but it's rather lengthy so I'm writing some of the highlights.
"I was born December 14, 1840 in the township of Brooke, Kent County, Ontario, Canada. My father, George Sweeten, was born in North Ireland; my mother, Mary Gardner, was born in Scotland. When I was two years old my father died of overwork- the immediate cause being the breaking of a blood vessel. About two years later my mother married Roger Luckham. About this time the church entered my life in the form of 2 missionaries- Elder John Borrowman and Elder Bolton- who converted the whole Gardner family of uncles,aunts, parents and a sister. Shortly after our conversion we left Canada for the West, having no idea where we were going, only that we were joining the Mormons. This was in 1846. By the time we reached the United States, there were about 100 wagons in our company. We heard that Nauvoo was peopled by Mormons so we headed there, but when we arrived we found that they had been driven from the city about a week before. We rested a few days in the deserted houses before continuing our journey. It rained all the time. I saw the Nauvoo temple and can remember one of the oxen under the baptismal font had a broken horn. We went on to Winter Quarters, where the houses were just huts. While we were there we had almost continuous rain. The following spring the different companies began leaving for Salt Lake, which to them was unknown country. The first company reached Salt Lake on July 24, 1847, and we arrived either in August or September of the same year."
More of Robert's recollections next time. Oh, and the picture is of Robert and his wife Amanda Hagle Sweeten.