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
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
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
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.
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
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:
Charles R. Jones
Eliza S. Jones
Charles and Eliza's children:
3. Caroline Eliza Seley 4 Jun 1870 - 17
4. Alice Clara
19 Sep 1872 - 20 Jun 1896
18 Nov 1875 - 13 Nov 1967
and Rachel's girls:
1. Martha Jane
11 Jan 1882 - 22 Oct 1961
2. Eliza Rachel
24 Sep 1884 - 25 May 1965
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.