RACHEL HURD 1854 - 1884

Much of this information was obtained from an account written by a granddaughter, LaVon Turner Erickson and Lorraine Moss, a relative of Eliza, supplied the photo and some history.

            Rachel was the firstborn child of Martha and John Hurd.  She was born in Middleton, Yorkshire, England on 16 Apr 1854.  Rachel was 22 when they left England.  After her family arrived in Utah it may have been Rachel who took care of the family household and younger children while her mother and sister cooked at the railroad camps.   The photo to the left was in a book belonging to Rachelís brother, John.  No date or age was given.

I do not know how she met her husband but Rachel married Charles Robert Jones 16 Oct 1879 as his second wife.  But the 1880 census only lists his first wife and family in Bountiful.  Rachel appears with her family in Brigham City as Rachel Hurd in the 1880 census.  They may have been trying to protect themselves from government intrusion over the plural marriage issue or maybe she stayed in Brigham until the addition to the Bountiful home was complete.  Church records source the 1879 date.  Since I donít have a story of Rachelís life I will introduce you to her husband, Charles and his first family.

            Charles was born in Ireland where his father was stationed as a member of the Kings Army of England.  As he grew older his father saw to it that Charles got educated at the Duke of York School in London.  At age 17 he sent him to apprentice for 3 years with a tailor.  At the end of his apprenticeship, he met two Mormon Elders while he was visiting his sister.  He was very impressed with their teachings.  They gave him a Book of Mormon.  He started attending their meetings.  His brother-in-law James I. Cottee baptized him on 18 July 1852.  Cornelius Bagnell confirmed him the same day.  He was ordained an Elder 2 April 1854 at Chelsea, London by William W. Major.  He was then set apart as a missionary and served in this capacity for the next 8 years. 

            While serving his mission he witnessed many miracles, such as healing the sick, the blind being given their eyesight, the lame to walk and the casting out of evil spirits. 

Charles married Eliza Seley Bell on 23 Sep 1861 in Cheltenham, England.  He was 29 and Eliza 28.  Eliza had lost her parents and all her siblings to death excepting a younger sister, Lucy.  Charles baptized Lucy on 10 May 1862 the day before they immigrated to Utah aboard the ďWilliam Tapscott.Ē  The sea voyage took about 6 weeks.

Because of Charles service in missionary work he is listed as a native elder and was one of 19 brethren called to preside over a group of members aboard the ship.  There were over 800 saints on board.  They had a fairly structured routine to accommodate this large group such as prayer times and an eating time schedule.  They suffered the usual seasickness.  Captain Bell fell and broke a rib in the first week at sea but he was still able to see to his duties and Brother Gibson who was in charge of the entire group of saints had to give up the leadership about 4 weeks into the journey due to ill health.  [Bro. Gibson explains in his own account that he was suffering a case of nerves from lack of sleep.  The ship doctor prescribed medication that was a stimulant, which made his problem worse so he gave him something to calm him which only made him more miserable so he approached Captain Bell about the situation and the captain told him to ignore the doctorís orders and do as the captain prescribed.  This proved to be the right advice and in time Bro. Gibsonís health was restored.] His counselors, Brothers Clark and Francis were given charge until they got to New York on June 25th.  Food supplies had to be cut in half the final two weeks owing to the length of the trip due to contrary winds or no wind. 

Brother Lyman Francis was given sole charge of the company for the trip by rail from New York to Florence, Nebraska.  It is of interest to note that in 1862 the Civil War was raging in the south but it was having an effect on the railways.  Routing to the north helped but didnít solve the problem of passenger cars being in great demand.  At one point the group voted to ride in boxcars rather than wait for a passenger train that might cause a 24 to 40 hour delay.  With no place to stretch out or relax you can imagine how exhausting that ride must have been though it was not without some drama when the travelers got an ďawful joltĒ which they came to learn was caused when the train plowed into a handcar that had been placed across the track. The conductor found not one person dead or hurt as he checked each car, he didnít know how to explain it.  The saints counted it as a blessing.

Captain Joseph Horne led the group of 570 persons, which included Charles, Eliza and Lucy across the plains.  They left on July 20th and reached the great Salt Lake Valley on Oct 1st.  Because they owned no wagon of their own they walked most of the way. 

Charles was a tailor by trade so he settled the family in Salt Lake City and set up a small shop downtown.  Owing to the challenges of that time, Charles made suits for men out of overalls, blankets and even wagon covers!  Nothing went to waste.

Two sons Charles Nephi and David Edward were born there.  Coincidentally they were born on the same date just two years apart.  During this time the Black Hawk War was raging in Sanpete and Sevier Counties.  Charles enlisted in Andrew Burtís Militia on 25 Jul 1866 and headed off to war but he was discharged about 3 months later on 3 Nov 1866 when Chief Black Hawk lost his desire to fight and abruptly left the war.  Perhaps the extra men going to the aid of their brethren in Sanpete is what it took to convince the Chief that it was not wise to fight.  I am sure that Eliza was glad to have her husband home and out of danger.

In 1869 the family moved north to Bountiful and purchased 13 acres of land on the east bench that had a small home.  Charles gardened in the summer and tailored in the winter.  Three daughters were born to them in the years that followed, Caroline Eliza Seley, Alice Clara and Elizabeth Annie.  The home was located between what is now 600 and 700 North on the eastside of 4th East.

The Jones Family became a part of the North Canyon Ward.  In 1877 three wards were created and now the family belonged to the East Bountiful Ward.  There was a co-operative mercantile established in Bountiful.  When a tailoring department was added, Charles was put in charge of it. 

            Charles entered into the practice of polygamy.  A couple of rooms were added to the Bountiful home and both families resided there.  Two daughters were born to Charles and Rachel, Martha in 1882 and Eliza in 1884.  1884 proved to be a year of trials for the Jones Families.  Eliza and Charles oldest son, Charles Nephi was 19 when he set off with a friend to work on a farm in Idaho.  When the family got word that the boys never arrived they conducted an extensive search for them.  They were never heard from again and nothing was ever turned up. 

            Sadly another trial occurred that year. Rachel was just 30 and Eliza Rachel just 3 months old when Rachel died.  I donít know the cause of her death.  She is buried in Bountiful.  Her headstone reads: "Mother Rachel Hurd Jones   April 16, 1854 - December 29, 1884"

            Eliza Jones raised Rachel's two little girls as her own.  Perhaps the little girls were good therapy for keeping Eliza busy as she worked her way through her loses.

Charles was very civic minded.  He served as the water master for 10 years and was the first city recorder.  He was also a person of conviction.  He did not think round dancing was proper.  He loved to dance quadrilles.  Knowing how he felt about couple dancing, sometimes when they were dancing quadrilles, the band would break into a waltz just to tease him.  Many of the couples would break up and start waltzing, but not Charles.  He would take his partner and sit down.

            Charles was always faithful to the church.  He served as superintendent of the Bountiful Sunday School for 22 years.  He was a ward clerk for 20 years.  His family never knew him to miss Sunday School unless he was ill.  He fasted every Sunday of his life after joining the church.  In 1902, Charles was ordained a Patriarch.  He held this calling until his death on 30 July 1905 from kidney failure.  He is buried next to Rachel in Bountiful and his headstone reads:

"Father Charles R. Jones   December 20, 1832 - July 30, 1905"

              Eliza lived on her own until she started losing her sight.  She lived with her daughter Elizabeth for about the last 6 years of her life.  She passed away just a week short of her 85th birthday and is buried on the other side of Charles.  Her headstone reads:

"Mother Eliza S. Jones December 14, 1834 - December 8, 1919" 

 

Charles and Eliza's children:

                                                                1. Charles Nephi                    17 Mar 1865 - ?

                                                               2.  David Edward                    17 Mar 1867 - 26 Dec 1928

                                                                3.  Caroline Eliza Seley          4 Jun 1870 - 17 Feb 1944

                                                                4.  Alice Clara                        19 Sep 1872 - 20 Jun 1896

                            5.  Elizabeth Annie                 18 Nov 1875 - 13 Nov 1967

 

Charles and Rachel's girls:

                                                                1.  Martha Jane                     11 Jan 1882 - 22 Oct 1961

                                                                2.  Eliza Rachel                      24 Sep 1884 - 25 May 1965

 

 

Note:  Elizaís sister, Lucy married Edmund Bird as a plural wife. (LaVonís account stated that she had never married)   After his death she married Thomas Green but I am unaware of any posterity.  I do know that after Thomas died and when her health declined Lucy lived with her niece, Elizabeth Ashby until her death.