Sharing our Links to the Past
[This biographical sketch of the life of Sarah Ann Bushman Rhodes, written by her brother, Martin Benjamin Bushman, in 1916, was found written in the Temple Record Book of their father, Jacob Bushman, pp. 6-10 ( FHL # 673266, item 11). It is retyped here by Ann Laemmlen Lewis, May 2007. Spelling and punctuation from the original have been retained.]
A Short Biographical Sketch of Sarah Ann Bushman (Mrs. Alonzo D. Rhodes) (1833-1917)
By Martin Benjamin Bushman, her brother
Plus a sketch by Newbern Isaac Butt
A Short Biographical Sketch of Sarah Ann Bushman Rhodes Daughter of Martin and Elizabeth Bushman was born January 9th 1833 in Bart Township Lancaster county Pennsylvania US her Father was of German discent her Mother came from Switzerland. She was the fourth child of a family of ten six boy and four girls her Father was a farmer. There fore in her early life she learn to take care of the farm home and help to take care of the children her schooling wsa very limited on account of her parents moving away from her native state when she was only nine years old. They moved to the state of illinois the journey was over one thousand miles and was made with horse team and wagon and took a long time and very tiresome. They arrived at Nauvoo illinois and united themselves with the mormon people to which the famly belong having joined that church having joined that church in their native state her Father rented a farm and the family again took to farming and every thing prospered with them in their new home. She was able to attend school again and to join the young people in her new home But her good time was not to last long for the people that lived in that country around the mormans at Nauvoo got jealous of thm because they ware getting along a litte better than they ware. so they killed their Prophet and drove the saints from their homes. Then she with her parents had to leave this home and most every thing in it . also left their grain in the shock standing in the field. They put a few thing that they needed most into their wagon and bid their fair city good bye and fled from their enemies into the state of Iowa. in passing through that state they suffered much with the cold and hunger she had two sisters die on that journey the first on October the 12. 1846 they had to buery her without a coffin. one week later she had another sister die and was burried by the road side. That was a very trying time for her and her parrent They never had the privlage of seeing their grave again they continued their journey with sad hearts. after several weeks more of bad roads and cold weather they arrived in the western part of Iowa and located at a little place called hiland grove near council Bluffs. it was here that they indured much hard shkp and suffered for want of proper food and clothing. her Father or elder brother went into the neighboring state to get work so they could git food and clothing for the family. they worked there most of the time for four years to get an outfit to come to utah where they wished to go sarah ann made herself usful all this time helping her mother take care of the home and the children. She was a great help to the neighbors in time of sickness she also taught the vilage school when only sixteen years old. at that age she was almost like a woman on acount of the hardships she had passed through. She was onest true and chaste in all her ways and tried to do good to all she cance to meet. in the spring of 1851 her Father had sufficient means to go to utah. on this long journey of one thousand miles she took part in camp life with willing hand and cheerful heart. there were many many things happened on that journey to try the nerve of any person. on one occasion when about five hundred miles on the journey. the wife was getting their meals. there came into camp two hundred indians riding on their horses. their faces painted red and their guns in their hands they demanded a number of beans and a lot of flour for the privlage of going through their lands. the company had to yeald to their demands for there were enough of them to kill the whole company in a short time. but after talking to them a long time they got the indians to take a less amount. there was many beating hearts and silent prayers while the indians was there. and many other things they had to try them. the rivers to cross and mountains to climb and much rough roads to pass over before they got to their end. The last morning before they got to Salt Lake City the Mother was heard to say we are eating the last morsal in our posession. sothey arrived with only the team and wagon that had brought them safly through. they were nearly five month on the journey. they stayed one week in Salt Lake City where kind friend administered to their wants. then went south thirty miles to a place called Lehi. her parents obtained a small log cabin to live in through the winter. her Father obtained work from the earlier settler gethering their crops so he obtained enough provisions to see the family through the winter. he cut sufficient grass for hay to feed their cattle through the winter. Sarah Ann as usuall (?) always found some thing to do assisting those that needed help and soon found friends among the young folks of the vilage and attend the primative parties. the dress and surrounding was very crude to what it is now bur they enjoyed themselves and ware happy. she was at the age when girls generally think of getting married and had a number of beaus. but like so(?)rs of other of other girls in those days they married the man of their choice even if he had another wife she knew that the prophet Joseph Smith had received a revelation that a man could marry two or more wives and not sin. so she exceped the hand of Alonzo D. Rhodes they who then had a wife. They were married by Brigham Young at Salt Lake City may the 25.1852. her husband provided her with a home. it was a very modest one but it compared favorable with other homes at that time which generally (?) consited of one room. the furiture was home made and of a primative style. the cooking was done over a fire place ina stew kettle fry pan and a bake skellet their home was about one mile sough of Lehi they staid there until 1854 when on acount of the indian trouble the houses were all moved into the fort one house being placed against another forming into the fort she lived on the east sied line. the next year there was another change the fort was laid out in lots. each block was twenty two rods square and eight lots to the block and four rods street between the blocks. when she moved oute her lot they erected a good adobe house and was made more comfortable with cook stove and better furniture. and susficient means to make herself and children comfortable. Some years later they moved onto a small farm one mile east of her then home. She seemed to love the farm where they could raise their could raise their fruit vegatables and grain also have cowa pigs and chickens to make herself and children comfortable. for they had passed through many trying scenes. She has seen her husband go into the mountains in the dead of winter at the risk of his life to save the lives of the emigrants that was coming to utah. She has had him go after the wild indians when some of the men was shot down by the red men. he was county sheriff and oftimes he would have to follow crimnals long distances in all these trips she would never know if he would come back alive but he always returned unhurt. She has passed through all the hardships in building up Lehi from the beginning up to the presant time. but by her frugality and good management she always had sufficent to eat and to clothe herself and her large family. She was the mother of twelve children. Six boys and six girls nie are now living. and all of them are the best of citison where they live. her husband has now been dead twenty two years. She is not 83 years old and still quite healthy for one of her age she still lives in her old home and loves to care for her cow and chickens. and always keeps her house clean and tidy and loves to have her children and friends come and visit with her.
This short biographical sketch was writen about 18 month before her death that a few incidents of her life might be preserved for posterity to read. She examied it and pronounced it correct and was pleased that it had been written. her health was was quite poorly the last few months of her life she sufered a great deal of pain but later day saint with the hope of a glorious resurrection she was 84 years five month and nine days old she had 12 children 80 grand children 110 great grand children and 2 great great grand children making a total of posterity at her death of 206 thirty one of whom was dead. she died June 18th 1917.
Compiled for the Bushman Family History Committee by Newbern Isaac Butt, The Bushman Family, Originally of Pennsylvania and the Rocky Mountain States, Provo, Utah 1956., p. 54.
Sarah was nine years old when the family made the first long trek from Lancaster County Penn. to Nauvoo, and was thirteen when they left Nauvoo for Western Iowa. Therefore she was thoroughly drafted into domestic duties while she should have been in school. The hard work under improvised conditions gave her a domestic maturity, frugality and ability as a good manager which she could have secured in no other way. From her mother she learned the fundamentals of nursing and sympathy which aided in making her the “good Samaritan” of the pioneer communities in which she lived. To help relieve the poverty conditions in which the family were living in Western Iowa, she taught school at Highland Grove in 1850-51, and during the summer of 1850 when she was only 17 years old she went to Missouri to earn what she could as a domestic servant.
These experiences undoubtedly gave her the thoughtfulness for the welfare of others which made her such an ideal friend and hostess of young and old alike. She was popular with the young men, but happened to make the 1000 mile trip across the plains in the same company as a young married man who gained her love, and to whom she was married the year after their arrival in Lehi.
Her husband provided her with a separate home south of Lehi, but they were later forced by danger from Indians to move inside the Fort in a house which was part of the East Wall. After the danger was over, she lived in two other adobe homes built by her husband, the second one East of Lehi where she could help raise her own garden, fruit and livestock for a family of 12. She was a widow for twelve years, and at her death, June 18, 1917, she had 80 grandchildren, 112 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Sarah was married May 25, 1852 in Salt Lake City, by President Brigham Young, to Alonzo Daniel Rhodes, son of Erie and Eunice Wright Rhodes. He was born 12 September 1825 at Fowler, Trunbull County, Ohio. While in Nauvoo, Alonzo was a drummer in the Nauvoo Legion, and he knew the Prophet Joseph Smith as well.
In Lehi he was one of the well-known violinists who played for dances. In 1854 he served in the Tintic Indian War and 1857 in the Echo Canyon War. Late in 1856 he was one of the men who went to help rescue the unfortunate Handcart company where so many perished.
He was police of the Lehi Fort in 1853, and was elected Marshall of the town from 1854 to 1871 when he resigned to devote his whole time to farming and other duties. He, with others, financed and constructed the first toll bridge over the Jordan River west of Lehi and built some of the more important canals and roads in the neighborhood. He was arrested in a polygamy raid at Lehi, Dec., 23, 1888. His death occurred at Lehi, 8 July, 1893. Their children were all born in Lehi:
Alonzo Daniel, b. 17 April 1853; m. Harriet Elizabeth Stewart
Elizabeth Emira, b. 10 April 1855; d. 6 Nov 1885; m. Jos. Simpson Barnes
Sarah Ann, b. 4 March 1857; d. 4 Feb 1844; m. Shadrick Empey
Martin Elmer, b. 8 February 1859; d. 21 Nov 1928; m. Louisa Elizabeth Childs
Alva Benjamin, b. 25 February 1861; d. 8 Dec 1862
John Franklyn, b. 12 April 1863; d. 7 April 1944; m. Mary Elizabeth Ashton
Elsie Maria, b. 12 March 1865; m. George Briggs
Lois Liddelia, b. 6 August 1867; m. 1. Joseph Briggs; m. 2. A. Amundres
Marcellus Albert, b. 6 August 1869; m. Amanda Hodge
Bertha Salome, b. 27 October 1872; m. Wm. Henry Neibaur
Lorena, b. 9 September 1875; m. John M. Smith
Jacob Wilson, b. 24 May 1881; d. 25 May 1883
Alonzo had married 1st, 14 September 1843, Barbara Kearns, daughter of Henry Kearns and Barbara Pickle, by whom he had:
Lamyra Amanda, b.23 December 1844
Julia Ann, b. 29 September 1846
Henry Erie, b. 4 September 1848
Alverana Barbara, b. 20 August 1851; m. Hyland D. Wilcox
Ellen Marie, b. 8 July 1853; m. Jacob Nelson
Adeline Malissa, b. 11 October 1855; m. Mathias Peterson
Sarah Lavina, b. 8 March 1857; m. Henry Houre
Clarissa Elizabeth, b. 2 September 1859
Rosa Bell, b. 21 December 1861; m. Theodore Green
- - - - Lagrand, b. 13 May 1863
Alonzo married 3rd, Sarah Jane Lawrence, daughter of John Lawrence and Rhoda Sanford. By this marriage the following children were born:
John, b. 30 April 1859
Daniel R., b. 30 August 1860; m. Beula Adams
Rhoda, b. 6 April 1862; d. 23 July 1864
Olive, b. 12 March 1864; m. Henry White
Henry, b. 11 July 1866
Amos, b. 24 December 1869; m. Susan Ann Riley
Elberta, b. 5 October 1874; d. 26 February 1881