I, David West, was born January 26, 1824, in the village of Borrowash, Ockbrook Parish, Derbyshire, England. My father's
name is William West. He was born in Borrowash in 1787 and died there. My mother's maiden name was Hannah Winterton. She
was born in Borrowash and died there. My grandfather's name was Mathew West. His wife, my grandmother West, was named Ann
Bosworth. Both died in Borrowash.
When I was a boy I had very little learning in letters. I used to work at different things, sometimes I was employed to scare
the birds away from the wheat fields, sometimes to drop potatoes in the furrow at planting time; and at getting up time, to
pick up potatoes when they were dug; sometimes to drive the teams for the farmers when they were ploughing; sometimes to carry
bricks from the brick kilns to the boats on the canals. They paid me from 4 to 8 cents a day.
When I got about twelve years old, my father taught me to work on the stocking knitting frame, to make white cotton stockings
for ladies. I worked at that until I was seventeen years old. My brother William and some of the other brothers worked at
the silk glove making trade, and they taught me the same trade. I continued to work at that until I came to America, except
for about six months when I worked at gimp making. I was connected with a political party for a number of years. We were
struggling for the right of voting for representation in making the laws to govern us. I also belonged to the Odd Fellows
Society, serving in all the offices from the outside Tyler until I became Noble Grand, and I remained in the order until I
came to America.
Amelia Hooley and I were united in marriage in the Protestant Church of England, in the Parish church of Ockbrook, Derbyshire,
on the 15th day of July, 1844.
About this time, none of us that worked in the shop, except my brother John, belonged to any religion. In the year my brother
Jesse left his job and went to another village to work. In the year 1848, I think the month of May, a man came into the shop
and wanted to know if he could get a job. My brother William asked him if he could work in silk. He said he could, so he
let him have the frame of my brother Jesse who had just left. His name was Henry George, and he came out of Leicestershire.
He began to preach the gospel to us. Up to this time we had heard nothing about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. He said he was an elder in the church, and had power to baptize people into the Church, and he said the gifts and
blessings were the same as when the Saviour and apostles were on earth. I thought and prayed about it, and the Lord blessed
me with faith and I received his testimony and came to the conclusion to be baptized; and on the 20th day of June, 1848, I
said to my brother John I had made up my mind to go into the water. Then, said he, "I have made up my mind also."
After our days work, I went home. I had not told my wife what I was going to do. I went up the stairs to get me some things
to go into the water with. I tied them in a bundle and came down stairs, and my wife said, "What are you going to do,
be baptized?" I said, "yes," She said, "Don't go in that way-people will stare at you."
There never had been anyone baptized there before; our family was the first in that part of the country to receive the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. Me and my brother John, and Elder Henry George went down to the meadow where the river Derwent was, and
Henry George asked us which will go into the water first, I said, "Brother John is the oldest, let him be baptized first."
They went down into the water and he buried him in the water; then I went down into the water and he buried me in the water,
and we came up out of the water. When we had put clothes on us, he said there would be a conference held in Derby after a
little while and the President of the Leicestershire and Derby would be there, and he asked us if we would wait until then
to be confirmed. I asked him if he had any authority and he said that he had. Then I said to him, "give us all that
you can right here on the sod." Then he confirmed us. My mind was satisfied ever since, and I have always been pleased
to testify to the truth, that I was satisfied that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
John Fido was the president of the conference. He was High Priest and he ordained me to the office of a Priest, and he ordained
my brother to the office of an Elder. After a little while others came into the Church. My brother John had charge of the
meetings for awhile. My brother William was baptized by William Finch, a traveling Elder. My brother Jesse came into the
Church, also my brothers Thomas and others, and a branch was organized. My brother William was set apart to preside. This
was in the year 1848. John Fido was removed from being President of the Conference, and Lucies Robins, one of the Seventy,
was sent to preside. This was in the year 1849.
My brothers Jesse and Thomas left England to go to America in September, 1849, Jesse took his wife and the two children.
I think Thomas was married on ship board to Harriet Moore, a young woman from Derby. Her mother was married to a man by the
name of Bradshaw. There was quite a family of them. They all started together in the ship Berlin. There were two hundred
fifty Latter-day Saints on the ship. Cholera broke out and there was something like forty-two or three deaths. My brother
Jesse was taken bad with it, and he was put in the dead house; they thought he would die. His wife wanted the Elders to administer
to him again, and after they had administered to him, he began to get better. They had two little girls; the oldest was about
three years. She took sick and died and was buried in the sea. Bradshaw had a girl who died.
When they arrived in New Orleans they went in boat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and stayed all winter. In the spring
they went up to Council Bluffs. When the emigration commenced for Utah, my brother Jesse and wife went that season, in the
year 1850, but before they started their other child died. My brother Thomas remained at the Bluffs for a little while.
In those days the Elders preached a great deal about the gathering to Zion, and the Saints were very anxious to get to the
Me and my brother John made up our minds to go to America the next year and in January we left for Liverpool and went on board
with our families on the 6th day of January, 1851. Me and my wife and children, Charles Henry, David Fisher, and Mary Hannah
and John Moore, my nephew. His father and mother were dead. My brother John and family, there were six of them, and Alfred
Longman and family, there were six of them. The first night we were in the Irish Channel; it was a dark night, there were
no lights on the ships and a schooner was coming from the opposite side and it raked us pretty bad. It tore off our main
yard arm and did some other damage. We had to get into Cardigan Bay for repairs and remained there for two weeks. There
were four hundred and seventy-six L.D.S. people on board the ship. The name of the ship was Ellen. There were a few deaths
on the ship. James Cummings Crandell Dunn and William Moore had charge of the Saints on the ship. We arrived in New Orleans
on the 14th of March, 1851. We then went on a boat up the Mississippi. The name of the boat was Alick Scoot. We went to
St. Louis. Then me and my family and my brother John and his family, and Alfred Longman and his family went on another boat
to St. Joseph, Missouri. I, and others, worked on the boat up to that place.
Here we are in a strange place and among strange people and very little means. The first thing we had to do was to find a
place to put our families in. My brother found a place for his family. Me and Alfred Longman found one room and we all lived
in it and we remained quite a while. We had no means to buy furniture; there were twelve of us and at nights the bed covered
the floor. Then we hunted for work and we found a job at a brick yard and the wages were small. They were twenty-two dollars
a month if we boarded ourselves. The third day Brother Longman took sick and remained sick a long time. I did not remain
at work in the brick yard at that work very long. John Moore, my nephew, remained at work in the brick yard a long time,
carrying bricks from the moulder. I got another job at carrying the hod for the brick layers and plasterers. I got a dollar
a day for ten hours work. I worked nearly all summer at that. My son, David F., took sick and was very sick for a long time.
There was a man lived next door to us; he had a little sick boy at the same time, and he had the doctor to his boy and he
seemed to be getting better. My boy never spoke to us for a month, and the man said to me, you should have the doctor. I
did not have a doctor. His boy died. I had them administer to my boy and he recovered.
In the Fall I was taken very sick with some kind of fever, and was confined to my bed for a long time. I got to be very low,
and it was thought that I would die. There was a woman lived by us, by the name of Kutle. I understood her husband had gone
to Utah. She had a family to support. Her house joined up to ours and she said to my wife, if I should die in the night,
rap on the wall and she would come in and help her. When I began to get better, John Moore was brought home. He worked at
a hotel. He had chills and fever. Two doctors came down to our house from the hotel and attended to him. They gave him
medicine and he soon recovered. When I got so that I could work a little, I would try to get work that was not so hard on
me. There was a man who came across the sea in the same boat that I did and I asked him if he could find me a little work.
He set me to doing lathing and I said to him, I wish he would teach me to be a plasterer. After awhile he put me to plastering.
I worked with him while he had work. I then worked for a man by the name of Henry Curedon. He was from Lancashire, England.
He came to Utah in the year 1852. I then went and worked for a man by the name of Thomas Heaps. He was an old Mormon.
He was a plasterer and lived in Nauvoo when the temple was being built, a pretty good old man. I worked for him until I left
to come to Utah,
I bought a wagon that summer and late in the fall there were a number of elders arrived from Utah going on missions. William
Taylor and James Parks arrived. They each had a horse, very poor in flesh, and I bought them. William was going to Germany.
Edward Stevenson and some others came, and he had a copy of the revelation on celestial marriage. He was at my house one
night and he read the revelation to us. I had never heard anything about it before. Brother Stevenson and other Elders remained
for a few days. We held a meeting and some of them met with us. Some of the Saints talked and said they would go to Utah
next year if they had to pack a bundle. This was in the winter 1852. Brother Stevenson was at my house the next morning
after the meeting eating breakfast with us, he said he heard them talking about going to Utah, and he said he did not think
that any of them would go. He said if it was necessary, he could prophecy that I would go.
My brother John took sick and he had three children sick and they all died, and he died. My brother Thomas was with him and
just before he died he sang in tongues. That left his wife and one little girl. This was in the year of 1852. There was
a brother by the name of William Greenhalgh making ready to go to Utah, and he wanted to marry my brother John's widow, and
she came and asked me what I thought about it. I said to her, if you do not want to marry him I will help you all I can,
but perhaps it may be the best thing you can do to marry him and then you will get to Utah. They were married and went to
Utah that season. After they arrived in Utah they separated; then she was married to a man by the name of Whipple and she
had two children by him-both boys. They lived in Salt Lake City in the 19th Ward. She lived until she was 93 years old.
The little girl she had by my brother John was named Eliza. She was married to a man by the name of Taylor. We buried our
little girl the same season, 1852.
My brother Thomas worked at a sawmill. He had charge of the engine. This was early in the year 1853. One morning when he
was cleaning it and getting it ready to commence sawing, he slipped and fell on the piston rod, and it jammed him up against
the key and cut a hole in his side, right through the kidney. Three doctors came to see him, but they did nothing for him,
and he lived until the next day. There was a man who lived a little distance from us by the name of Cafall. I think he was
from London. He sat up with me until about 1 o'clock in the morning. He said he had to go home so as to get a little rest
as he had to go to work. He was a carpenter and was helping to build a sawmill. His wife came into our house the next morning
and said she could not see how my brother's wife could stand it. I went to the flour mill to buy some bran to feed our cows,
and I saw a few people in a house; the door was open, and I went in to see what was the matter, and I saw a man lying on a
bench and it was the man who sat up with me in the night. They were erecting some timbers and they gave way and fell on brother
Cafall and killed him. When I arrived home my wife and brother's wife were walking about the house, each with a baby in her
arms. My brother seemed troubled and looked toward his wife and child. I said to him, "Don't trouble about your family,
I will see to them." That seemed to satisfy him. I talked to him a little while and said to him, "How do you
feel about dying?" His answer was, "All right." He was sensible to the last minutes of his life. I said
to him, "Would you like me to lay my hands upon your head," and he said, "Yes." I then laid my hands
upon his head and asked the Lord to let him depart in peace, and he died while my hands were upon his head. I had buried
my daughter a little while before. My son William was born on the 8th of December, 1852, in the city of St. Joseph. My sister-in-law's
child was a few weeks older. She had another little girl about two years old.
My brother Thomas' widow had a mother and brother and three sisters living here. I asked her what she was going to do, and
she said, "I want to live with you." I said, "As long as you wish to stay with us you shall fare as well as
we do." I traded my horses for a yoke of cattle. I loaned them to a man by the name of Bradshaw until I wanted them.
He was to pay some wood for the use of them. He turned them out and they strayed away. I had to advertise in a newspaper
for them. I found out which way they had gone and hired a man and two horses and we started off to find them. We found them
about thirty miles away. It took us three days before we arrived home again, and the man I had befriended never gave me one
cent for the loss that I had sustained.
We began to prepare for our journey for Utah. We sold what few things we had and got a lot of flour and bacon and other things,
we bought bed ticking and my wife and my sister-in-law made a cover to put on the wagon bows. I got a yoke made to put on
the oxen necks, and got my wagon repaired and loaded up all ready to move out of the City of St. Joseph. The wagon box was
full. We moved out of the city in the afternoon of the 25th day of 1853. When a little distance from the city we camped
for the night. In the morning we ate breakfast and then yoked up our cattle and went on our journey. We had not traveled
far when we came to a small grove of timber and there we found three or four men yoking up their teams. They were Welshmen
and they were going to Utah. We traveled together. When we arrived at a place called Council, I found Moses Daley, a man
who had come from Utah. I got acquainted with him in St. Joseph and he came to help them out. He came to our meeting. One
Sunday, after meeting, I asked him to go with me to dinner, and we had a long talk about Utah, and he told me what he had
come for. He had a son and his wife and a son-in-law and his wife and he had come to take them out to Utah. I told him that
I expected to go to Utah, and how I was situated. He said, "If you should get in the company I am in, and get stuck
in a hole, I will help you out."
We camped at Council for a little while. One of our cows had a sore neck and the yoke had chafed it, and I was afraid she
would not be able to stand the journey. I saw a man and told him I had a cow with a sore neck and asked him if he had a cow
that he would trade. My cow was good looking and was young, and he brought his cow. She was a good sized cow but she was
getting into her years. I asked how he wanted to trade. He knew I was in a pinch, and said he wanted a dollar to boot.
I gave him the dollar and we traded. In a few days we left that place and went to Council Bluffs and remained there a long
time, until there was a company organized.
Ira Eldredge and Jacob Houtz came into the camp and talked with Moses Daley and said to him that they wanted him to take charge
of a company across the plains to Utah, to start as soon as possible. The river was very high that season. We would have
to wait a long, long time before we could have been taken across at that place, so we went down to a place called Sarpen's
landing, and there were some men at that place who had a boat, so we crossed the river in that. It was not a very strong
boat and it took us about three miles to make a trip across and back again. I worked on the boat until we got all the company
safely over on the other side. We were now in Indian country. It was on the 6th day of July, 1853, when we had all got over
safe. It was dangerous work. I was on guard the first night. The Church owned some of the wagons and teams and they had
some loose stock to be driven. The Captain was allowed a horse for his use, and he asked me if I would let my nephew drive
the loose stock and he ride on the horse. When we had fully organized the company we started our journey. The Captain had
my wagon next to his all the way until we arrived in Salt Lake City. Sometimes he put me and my team at the head of the train.
He treated me and all my family pretty good all the way. We could not travel many miles in a day. At night we formed our
wagons into a corral and had our cattle on the inside. One night they broke out after the people had retired, except the
guards. They went right through the wagons and broke some of the wheels, and it was three days before we recovered all the
When we arrived at Fort Laramie, the river was pretty high and we had to put blocks on top of the bolsters to raise up the
wagon boxes to keep out the water. We had to wade across along side of the cattle. I bought one hundred pounds of flour,
for which I paid ten dollars. We saw a great number of buffalo on the plains.
My wife walked a great deal of the way and carried a baby. My sister-in-law rode in the wagon with the Captain. We arrived
in Great Salt Lake Valley on the 27th of September, 1853. I had one ox. We had two cows. One of them my brother had bought,
as I gave that to his widow. We remained with my brother Jesse's family all winter. His house was small and the weather
was very cold and we did not have any coal in those days, and we had very little wood.
They had a small fire place and they had to make the fire on the hearth stone. We did not have any stove and had to do all
our cooking in a skillet. It was pretty close times with us. I did some work to labor tithing. In the spring we went up
north to a place called Kaysville. William Kay was the bishop of that place. There was a family living there by the name
of Flint. He came to America in the same boat as I did, and I was the first who ever told him anything about the gospel.
I hired a team and took my family up to that settlement. We camped on the same land as brother Flint. He was living in
a dugout. I took my wagon a little distance from his dugout and we remained all that summer. The land had no fence around
it. I borrowed a little wheat; Brother Flint did the ploughing and I did a deal of ditching for him. He sold me a piece
of land and I paid him in labor for it. It was very hard times; Brother Flint's bread stuff ran out and I did not have any
and we could not borrow any, so I went and saw a man by the name of Robert Wilson and asked him if he wanted any work done.
He said he had some ditching he wanted done, but did not have the pay only as he could sell his butter. He had a lot of
cows. I asked him if he would give his note if I could buy some flour and he said he would, and I went and saw a man by the
name of Robins who had some flour to sell and asked him if he would take the note on Wilson. He said he would, so I went
and bought four hundred pounds of flour at seven dollars a hundred. That furnished both brother Flint's and my family with
breadstuff for quite a while.
I put in a small garden and quite a nice lot of corn. My brother Jesse came to Kaysville to see me. I thought of staying
here. He and Jesse made a lot of dobies, that was when the corn was soft on the cob, this was in the year 1854.
The grasshoppers came in great numbers and settled all around us and they commenced to eat the corn and all the vegetables.
They ate all my corn off the cobs, stripping off all the leaves. My wife came over to us and says, "Why don't you drive
them things off." I said to her, "They have come for a certain purpose." In the fall they deposited their
eggs in the ground. In the year 1855, the people plowed their lands and put their crops in the ground as they had done before,
not knowing what would take place. In the Spring the crops looked promising. The grasshoppers began to hatch out and they
ate nearly all the grain that came up that year. That left the people without crops that year, and we had to do the best
we could until another crop was raised. The water was very scarce in Kaysville that season.
I made up my mind that I would move down to Salt Lake City, and me and my brother Jesse made a lot of dobies. I owned a small
lot in the sixth ward in the south part. Jesse put up a little house for me. I sold my wagon for lumber to fix the house
with. I left my family for about a month camping in the wagon with the three children. I went up to Kaysville and brought
my family down to the city. This was late in October and there was very little work that I could get.
There was a man by the name of Henry Curedon living in the city, a plasterer that I knew and he found me a little work. He
took a job to plaster a house for Charles C, Rich up at a place called Bountiful and he sent me up there to do the work and
I boarded at one of the wives of Brother Rich. He and Brother Lyman were in San Bernardino. Old Brother Rich was living
there, Charles' father. I finished the plastering and said to him, "How about the pay for this job?" He said,
"Why him-Curedon had never been to help you." I said to him, "Will you bring the pay to me?" and he said
I did work for others. I did plastering up at Kays Ward for Joseph Egbert. I finished it Christmas. He paid me in home
made clothes his wife had made. In the spring of 1856, I worked for a man by the name of Davis. He took the job to plaster
the penitentiary. I helped him to do it. We boarded at Feramorz Little's. He and Charles Decker had the contract. Albert
Rockwood was the keeper at that time. We plastered the house that we live in. Alma Babbitt was the Secretary for the Utah
Territory, and Brigham Young was the governor.
While I was at that place, my son, Charles, and another boy came and brought me the news that my boy, Hyrum, was sick. His
mother had sent him, and she wanted me to come home. I left, and when I arrived my wife had the little fellow on a pillow
in her arms walking the floor. Sister Watson, wife of Robert Watson of the sixth Ward where we lived, was in the house.
She said the child cannot live, that her child was sick like him and it died. I said my child is not going to die and I administered
to it. I laid my hands upon him and rebuked the disease in the name of Jesus Christ and by the virtue of the priesthood which
I held. The Lord heard my prayer and the boy got better.
After we had finished plastering the penitentiary we plastered Alma Babbitt's home. It was one of the largest homes in Salt
Lake City at that time; it was in the Sixteenth Ward. After that I plastered a building for Lorin, brother of Alma Babbitt.
In the fall of 1855, hard times began to be felt, provisions began to get scant and people found it hard to get food for
their families, that is many poor families. Some did not suffer much.
I moved from Salt Lake City in July, 1856, and went to live at Pleasant Grove, Utah County. In the Fall of 1856 and 1857
there were exciting times there. What was called the reformation, that for the people to repent of their sins and be baptized
and try to do better; and if anyone had stolen to make restitution and confess their sins before the Lord. I believe this
was for a certain purpose. We did not know what was going to take place. I believe it was to prepare the Saints for what
was coming. The majority of the Saints renewed their covenants before the Lord and it pleased Him, and their testimony was
In the year 1857, news came to Brigham Young that a large army was on the way to Utah, and, he, being governor, should have
been informed of it, what they were sent to Utah for. He found out they were coming to arrest him and others and to bring
trouble upon the Saints. When he found out what they were after, he said they should not come in and he called upon an army
to go and stop them from coming in. I started in October, it was very cold, and many of the men did not have much clothing
to keep them warm. I had to borrow a shirt and quilt, and I saw our men nearly naked. While we were out in the mountains
our food consisted of bread and beef and water. We never had any vegetables, sugar or salt or rising to put in the flour
to make it raise, no tea or coffee or soap. We had one pound of flour and one pound of beef a day for each man. When I got
to Echo Canyon I found my brother Jesse in with a lot of men.
Well, the army did not come in until the Government sent some men to negotiate with Governor Brigham Young and others. I
arrived home in the latter part of December, and I found them without anything to burn, and my wife had been confined but
a few weeks before. I left with the army to defend our homes and our families and our church. When I left home, my wife
was there with five children;the oldest being nine years, the oldest at home. About the third day I was at home, I went up
Battle Creek Canyon to get some-thing to burn, some small oak and maples grew there. There was a man by the name of Miner
Wilcox going up the mountain to cut some cedars and I said to him not to throw his wood down that day. While I was gathering
my wood, he began to throw his wood down from the ledge of rock, and I saw one large rock coming down like lightning and it
made a sharp turn and struck me on the right leg a little above the ankle. It broke my leg and dislocated my ankle. There
were no doctors or surgeons in those days and I was confined to my bed on my back eighteen weeks and had to use crutches for
months and I have been lame ever since.
END OF JOURNAL
His wife, Amelia, died October 14,1900, in Pleasant Grove, as did another wife, Martha Ann Hadfield, July 20, 1999. He passed
away at the home of his son, David, near Pleasant Grove, Dec 21, 1917, at the age of 94 years.
Treasures of Pioneer History
They Came in 1853
Daughters of the Utah Pioneer
Kate B. Carter
Volume 3 - 1954