Thursday, September 16, 2010

History 101 - Jane Pickett Barker

This month's history is a transcribed biographical sketch of my gr-great-grandmother.

Jane Pickett Barker

(compiled by her daughter Pearl Barker Merkley)

     I, Jane Pickett, daughter of George Pickett and Maria Jarvis Pickett was born November 2, 1848 at Berkshire, Commons, England.
     My mother, Maria Jarvis Pickett, was born in Hagbourn, Berkshire, England in the year 1823.  She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1847 and died three years later in 1850, in Hagbourn, Berk, England.  She left father with three little children to care for, all under the age of 6 years.  A brother, James, born in 1844, a sister Mary, born in 1846 and I, Jane, was born November 2, 1848.  So, you see, we were very young to be deprived of a mother's care.
     My father was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1846 at Berkshire, Commons, England.
     In the early spring of 1856 my father married Priscilla Clark, who lived at Willshore, England.  She was born in 1839, baptized in 1862 and died in 1864.  My father, George Pickett, with his older brothers William and Mathew, and their families all set sail for America in 1856.  They remained together and arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in the fall of the same year.
     On November 28 the first child by this new union was born and named Louise.
     They all remained in St. Louis during the winter of 1856.  Father became very ill with small pox during the winter and died the 2nd of April, 1857.  He was buried there in St. Louis, Missouri.  Uncle William and Aunt Mary Pickett, having no children of their own, assumed the responsibility of caring for our family from then on.  Our family remained in St. Louis for 2 years or more before coming to Utah.  They arrived in Utah in 1861 and settled in Tooele County, Utah.  That same year my sister, Mary, passed away and the following year, 1862, my brother James died, leaving me the only child of my mother's family.  Of course, Louise, my half sister and her mother Priscilla and I lived pretty much together.  I was 14 years old at the this time.
     Uncle Mathew's family consisted of John Pickett 16, Moroni 14, Elizabeth 12, later known by Aunt Lizzie Tolman, Rhoda Pickett marshall 10, a son Hyrum who died while still a young man.  They now left St. Louis to be with the rest of the family who were now in Utah.  They arrived in the year 1862 and settled near Uncle William's family in Tooele, Utah.
     Now in 1862, Louise's mother Priscilla Clark Pickett, married again and went to Carson City, Nevada where they lived for several years.  By this union was born another daughter who is still living at this time (1951) at Rupert, Idaho.  She is past 80 years of age.  In speaking with her now, she calls this, the George Pickett Family, the shipwrecked family and asks "why dig up all these questions now, it is really too sad to talk about."  Priscilla was murdered in foul play of some kind while living in Nevada.  Louise was only 12 years old at the time.  Whenever she came to visit in Utah she always stayed with Uncle William's family in Tooele, where I lived.  We sisters or half sisters were only together for a short (time) in our lives.
     When 18 years old, I, like all the other young people of our community, liked to attend the dancing parties, which was about all the entertainment we young folks had.  At one of these dances I met a young man to whom I was attracted.  I danced with him several times and he accompanied me home.  Seemingly, the attraction was mutual.  After a courship of several years we were married, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This attractive young man was John T. Barker, a son of Thomas and Elizabeth Barker, who emigrated from England in 1869.  John, leaving England with a group of other saints who settled in Utah in the year 1862, later sent back to England for the rest of his family, which arrived in the U.S. by the Steamship Colorado.
     After being married in the Salt Lake Endowment House in 1870 we were chosen by the Authorities of the Church to go with a group of other Saints to help colonize the Bear Lake County.  We settled in a place called St. Charles, Idaho name(d) after the Apostle Charles C. Rich.  We made our home there and reared our family of eleven children.  At this same time, Apostle Charles C. Rich came from Salt Lake City with another company of Saints and settled in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho.
     June 10, 1871, our first daughter was born, whom we named Jane Maria.  We were just beginning to clear off the sagebrush and preparing the land for the crops when our first child was born. This was hard, progress was slow.     My husband took up a quarter section of land, but in the course of events and hardships he needed money for his family and he sold some of it. He owned a section called Jerico, which was a part of the quarter section, also a part of it was sold, now known as the Ernest Allred property.  He sold about 40 acres of land for $80, and another part of about 150 acres he traded for a wagon. Besides the farm he bought and sold fish and other commodities; would freight in a wagon to Evanston, Wyoming. 

A photo copy of this legal sized type written history has been sitting in my Book of Remembrance for about 25 years.

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