History of Jane Huntington


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HISTORY OF JANE HUNTINGTON EASTHAM

SUBMITTED TO THE DAUGHTERS OF THE UTAH PIONEERS BY RUTH ELKINTON

Jane Eastham, daughter of Robert Huntington and Janet Holden was born March 22, 1817 at Chadesley Lancashire, England. Of her early girlhood we know very little, but her parents were well to do as they owned their own home and a row of cottages that they rented as well as other property. She married John Eastham, who was an engineer of the railroad, he was also a good provider. They had eleven children, Emma Jane, Evalina, Louise, Edith, Catherine, Merentha, Merlin, Lenora, Jane, John Henry, and Betsy Ellen. Six of the girls grew to womanhood. They owned their own furniture store in England and Jane Eastham and the girls took care of the store while the father was away.

Jane joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1st March 1839. She with her husband and four girls Catherine, 16; Marentha, 14; Merlin, 13; and Lenora, 12, emigrated from Leeds, England sailing April 29, 1865 from Liverpool on the ship "Belle Wood" under the direction of William H. Sherman. The company landed in New York June 1, 1865 being six weeks on the ocean. They left New York in a few days and June 15, 1865 left Wyoming, Nebraska in Captain Henson Walker's Company. John Eastham was made captain of the 1st company, Robert Pixton was Chaplin and John Hammer, was Captain of the Guard. The English Company arrived in Salt Lake August 12, 1865.

Jane and her family came directly to Grantsville where their two daughters, Emma Jane Ratcliffe and Louisa (Lucy) Millward and their husbands had settled in 1862. They lived in the home James Ratcliffe had built for himself for a time, as soon as they could, they bought the ground that the Wrathall and Knowlton homes stand on and lived in the home that Melin Brom now lives in. (1949)

She was a very industrious woman, an immaculate housekeeper, and an excellent cook. It is said that you could eat off of her floors, they had to be scrubbed with sand until the boards were white. She did not have straw under her rag rugs, but great long strips that were taken up so that the floor could be scrubbed. Her pots and pans shown until you could see your face in them. The great copper boiler was scrubbed weekly after wash day with vinegar and salt and hung in its place on the back porch. Her dish towels were white as snow even though they had to be washed on the board. She loved nice things and kept them so. She used to have what was called a "cosy," it was a pretty quilted silk cover for the tea pot with a bright colored lining that she used over the tea pot to keep it warm. She was a most excellent cook and made all kinds of fancy pastries, the famous lemon tarts are a hand-me-down recipe of Grandmother Eastham. She and Ann Clark were very dear friends and they would exchange any new ideas of cooking which they both enjoyed. The conference visitors would always come to her place to eat. Grandfather would say "for your good cooking." She entertained many of the General Authorities. Joseph F. Smith always came to her place, he had lived for a time at their home when he was in England on a mission. They were very dear friends.

She was a very patient woman and when my Grandfather, who was not quite so patient, would come and tell her something he had seen or heard she would say, "Never mind, John, let thee and me do right and never mind what others say or do."

Jane Eastham was made First Counselor to Mary Ann Hunter in the Relief Society February 4, 1875. Sarah Hale was Second Counselor, Mary Cook Secretary, and Elizabeth Orr Treasurer. They had 93 members in the Relief Society. Jane was sustained as the Fourth president of the Grantsville Relief Society March 6, 1879 with Ann Clark and Breta Felt as counselors. When Jane was President, the Relief Society made overalls and jumpers and sold them at the Co-op Store. Sister Clark would come to her home and help cut them out and then others would come and help sew them. The planting of the Mulberry trees was also introduced in Grantsville in carrying out the instructions of President Brigham Young to have the silk industry in Utah.

She was most kind hearted, genial and hospitable. Her Grandchildren remember her Pancake Tuesdays. Once a year we would all go to Grandma Eastham's place for Pancake Tuesday (an old English custom). We would eat and eat our fill. They were the best ever, my mouth waters now to think of them. Sometimes when we went to her place and stayed extra long, she would say, "Now children you had better nip off for your home your mother will need you." Many times we have gone to her place to help cut the fruit to dry and we children could climb up on the shed and lay out the fruit on a nice clean cloth for the fruit to dry.

Grandmother brought some lovely pieces of silk good over from England with her and she always had a silk dress for best wear and a paisley shawl and pretty little bonnet made of lace and ribbons that ties under the chin. She always looked so nice even when ready for bed she always wore a long sleeved white night gown and a white night cap to match. She looked so pretty with her white hair.

Grandmother and Grandfather received their Endowments in the Endowment House December 15, 1868, and were sealed the same day.

Grandmother Eastham died June 22, 1889 preceding her husband who died December 18, 1893. They are both buried in the Grantsville City Cemetery.


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