Ann Hartley Greenwood (1821-1897) joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1840 in England. Her family immigrated to Illinois to join Latter-day Saints. Living conditions were so bleak that Ann convinced her husband William to return to England. Later, they returned to Illinois and eventually crossed the plains with the Saints and were called to settle a desolate land. Ann’s granddaughter Louela White Storrs compiled this account of her grandmother’s life.
Ann Hartley was born into the home of Bernard Hartley and Mary Beck, July 26, 1821, at Addingham, Yorkshire, England. She had two sisters, Margaret and Martha, and three brothers, Barnard who died young, Joseph, and another Barnard. Of her mother, Ann said, “She was a very good looking woman, having white pearly teeth and a rosy complexion. She was a very good manager with quite a business sense.”
Her father was a clothing manufacturer near Burnley. It was customary at that time for little children to be carried to work at looms in the factories at a very early age. Ann related that she was carried on her father’s shoulders as soon as she was old enough to start work. A never-to-be forgotten memory for her were the moaning cries of these little children being thus carried to work in the early morning hours. Ann grew up thus being kept busy with factory life until she became very adept at the looms, being able to handle three with the help of one little girl by the time that she was married.
Ann met William Greenwood who was a loom overseer. As they grew very fond of each other, they decided to get married, which they did in 1838, when Ann was only eighteen years old. Since they both went on working, it seemed expedient that they should live in Ann’s father’s home, paying board.
Baptism By Mormon Missionaries
About this time, Ann heard missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preaching. She was very much interested in it, and began leaving her home, alone, to hear more of the gospel message. She was afraid to let her husband or family know what she was doing for fear they would not approve. As was to be expected, her husband became curious, so he decided to follow her one evening to see what was going on. He listened attentively to the message and became so interested that he began attending the meetings regularly with her. Ann’s family hated to have Ann join the Church, and she was the only one of the family ever to do so. She was baptized September 8, 1840, and William followed in June of 1841.
Joining The Saints In Illinois
William and Ann began making plans to go to America to be with the church members there. William and Ann arrived at New Orleans November 24, 1841, after a seven to nine week trip in the ship Tyrene. They settled in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois. Before they could adjust to the new climate, they all came down with the “ague” and were very, very sick for a long time.They found it hard to adjust to the new life, as living conditions were very hard. Ann decided that it was just unbearable. Her family had told her that if she ever wanted to return to them to let them know and they would send her the money for the return voyage. She tried to talk William into writing to them to tell them of her desire to return. He wasn’t in favor of the action, so wouldn’t write the letter. She then went to another William Greenwood, a friend of theirs, and got him to write the letter for her. The money was immediately forthcoming.
They returned to England in 1843, taking with them the little girl Martha who had been born in Warsaw. This child died and was buried in Burnley in 1844. Two other children were born to them here, Sarah and Foster. Foster also died and was buried in the same place as Martha.
William was very unhappy back in England, so he decided he would have to leave Ann there, as she still wanted to stay, and return to the new land alone, which he did in 1846 or 47. But Ann was not long in deciding that living with her husband was worth more than living in England without him. She went to work and earned enough money to bring herself to Warsaw in 1848. Their son Bernard was born in Warsaw in September of 1849.
Crossing The Plains
The Greenwoods began making preparations to cross the plains to Utah, and left Illinois in May of 1852. When it had come time for baby William to be born July 27, 1852, the family merely pulled off the road behind the wagon train and, with the help of some of the kind women, the baby came into the world. That baby lived to be one of the healthiest and long-lived of the family, so everything must have gone well.
At one time, the animals became frightened and stampeded while Ann was driving. She had William shortly before and was not yet strong enough to walk by the wagon. She hung onto the animals, talking gently to soothe them down, until they finally continued on without any harm being done. What a breathtaking experience for this factory maid from civilized England!
Settling The Desert
The Greenwoods arrived in Utah in November and soon were called to help settle Cedar City. Their first year in Cedar City they lived in a sort of cave or dugout. After several discouraging years in Cedar City, the family relocated in Beaver. The first year in Beaver was very hard for them. The only shoes Ann had were moccasins purchased from the Indians. Her daughter Mary Ann wrote: “Having no dress to her back, she wore what was called a sack, along with a quilted petticoat which she secured by making a quilt for a neighbor. Ann went out doing washing or helping in any way when possible, but this was not often, as very few could afford such a luxury in that day.”
Ann had never had any experience in making clothing or doing housework before she was married, as she was practically raised at the loom in the factory. She became very adept at all kinds of such work connected with raising a large family. She was a very good cook and housekeeper, and she could make clothing in all its steps, starting from the sheep’s back to the finished product. Mary Ann wrote, “Clothing was extremely scarce. It was not an uncommon thing for my mother to bathe her children on Saturday night and put them to bed perfectly nude while she sat up and washed and dried their clothes by the fire so they could have clean things for Sunday.” The boys also sometimes ran around the house in their shirt tails while their trousers were being mended. Even her husband had to go to bed when his trousers needed mending.
At this time, William and Ann had only one quilt for their bed. It had worn very thin in the middle. In desperation, they tore it in two so that they could each make better use of their piece, as they could tuck it in around their backs a little better. They kept wood fires burning day and night, as wood was quite accessible, and it did help in keeping the biting cold away.
An interesting incident of this first year was of Ann walking a mile or so to an old fort to milk a teacup of milk from a cow that was about to go dry. Her husband called her a fool for doing it. However, the cow didn’t go dry; her milk came back, giving the family all the milk they needed, and it became their chief food. Then her husband had to admit it hadn’t been foolishness, but extreme foresight and wisdom.
At one time, the family lived on potatoes and salt for three weeks. They had not had a taste of bread all that time. They went up to North Creek to gather bullberries at this time. When Ann got out of the wagon to help gather the berries, she was so weak and faint from hunger that it was impossible for her to help gather any berries. These bullberries were a great delicacy, heated up in their milk. Hunger was the sweetener for the dish. Bullberries were the only fruit they had for years. They made many uses of them, such as drying them for storage and use all through the year. In later days, they made dumplings of the berries with the other usual ingredients which gave a most delicious dessert.
Although their economic situation gradually improved somewhat, as late as 1863 when Ann’s baby Rachel was born, Ann could not provide a single piece of clothing for the baby to wear. It was only through help from kind neighbors that the child had any clothing at all. In 1861, when Titus had been born, Ann could only scare up two cotton diapers.
Every family in Beaver secured a barrel of molasses from Utah’s “Dixie” for the winter. Except for an occasional bit of brown sugar, this was their only sweet flavoring. Molasses candy combined with parched corn was their greatest delicacy. Ann would make molasses candy loaded with cayenne pepper whenever a cold appeared among the children.
Eight of Ann’s children grew to maturity, and soon there were grandchildren. They were always welcome in Ann’s home. Cookies and apples in season were always on hand. It was great sport to run and climb among the orchard trees and in the cattle corral and barn. Most of all they loved to play in “Grandma’s Attic.” They took picnics together and picked the yummy apples from the trees in the fall.
Ann was a dearly beloved mother with a sweet disposition. She was a hard worker and a good example of the sturdy, long-suffering, patient pioneer woman of her day. She was crippled up for many of the later years of her life so that she had to use a cane to get about. She did much of her housework sitting and moving about on a chair. She passed away in her bluestone house in Beaver on July 18, 1897, at the age of 76.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.