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 Mary STREET    

By Susan Woodland Howard
(Revised Aug. 4, 2008)

From Manchester to Nauvoo 

            Manchester, England was a market town in northwest England until the end of the 18th Century when the Industrial Revolution transformed it into a key manufacturing and commercial city.  A major center of the textile industry, the city’s location and the availability of coal made it ideal for processing Lancashire cotton.  Bolton, then a small town about ten miles west-northwest of Manchester, was one of the sites of the important cotton-spinning industry.  Raw cotton imported from the southern United States was processed and manufactured in the mills of Manchester. The construction of Duke’s Canal (Bridgewater Canal) and the world’s first main line passenger railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, contributed to the area’s rapid growth as both a manufacturing and distribution center.  Just as some in our own era look at Los Angeles as a frightening view of the future, the change of pace of life in Manchester was also frightening as more traditional folks looked at the city and saw what they feared the rest of the world would soon become.  The city led in innovative inventions, new ways of thinking, and new classes in society.  Not surprisingly, new religious sects also found listeners here. 

            Many of the inhabitants of the new urban areas were people who had migrated from agricultural areas because they were no longer able to make a living on the land.  Industrialization did not mean that these workers would be able to find jobs in the urban areas. In the early 1840’s unemployment rates were as high as 50 per cent in all trades in Bolton.  Not surprisingly, many of the early converts to the Mormon Church were working class people living in or near urban centers.   The first Mormon elders to preach in the British Isles arrived in Preston, a town not far from Manchester, in July 1837. Joseph Fielding, one of these early missionaries, had family members living in the area. 

            Thomas Bateman, born 17 September 1808, was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Armstrong Bateman.  He worked as a laborer in the family brick making trade.  Just before his twenty-first birthday, on 14 September 1829 he married the nineteen-year old Mary Street, (12 May 1810) daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Schofield Street.  Mary had been born in Manchester.  The Batemans were Methodists, as were many of the English who converted to Mormonism were Methodists.  They attended the New Connection Methodist church. 

Mary Street Bateman has been described as being dark complexioned and small in stature—she only weighed 89 pounds as an adult.  She was very ambitious and worked hard as a young girl.  She worked doing laundry, and despite her small size, she carried large baskets of clothes on her head to deliver them.  At that time she had no other means of conveying them.[1] 

             During the first ten years of their married lives Mary and Thomas lived in Manchester or in nearby Pendleton.  They had six young children.  Early in 1839 they encountered the missionaries and decided to join the Mormons.  Thomas was baptized 17 March 1839 and Mary 30 March.  The president of the Manchester branch of the church was a young man named William Clayton. 

            On January 1 the following year (1840) Clayton began keeping a daily journal.  He kept track of his daily activities and dealings with members of the branch until he left for America in September of that same year, and continued to write occasionally until 1842.  James B. Allen and Thomas G. Alexander edited and published the diary, along with a chapter on the conditions of church members, in Manchester Mormons: the Journal of William Clayton, 1840 to 1842.[2] 

            Clayton gives us a glimpse of the activities of branch members, including Thomas Bateman, Mary and her sister, Nancy Street.  We immediately find out that Thomas is right in the middle of the activity. 

“Brother Jackson says that brothers Broome and Bateman are about £46 in debt which was contracted at the time of the community.  The house is 150 debt.  They have tried to sell it but cannot.  Broome is likely to have the Bailiffs and wants Ann Crickersly to go and live with him.  I have the house in her name.  Ann is since gone.  He did not ask our council at all.”  (January 2, 1840.)  

Apparently Broome was being forced to sell the property to meet his debts and was trying to have it transferred to protect it from such a sale.  (Authors’ note, p. 65.  Also, the value of a pound in the 19th century was about $5.) 

A letter from Clayton to Joseph Fielding further explains the situation:

When Bro’s Bateman and Boome lived together (the community) they got a great quantity of coals and flour on credit which has not yet been paid for.  The creditor is about to send the Bailiffs, and the way he (Bro. Boome) is going to act I don’t fully approve.  He has some time back been giving money to sister Ann […]kersly and has gone so far with her that his wife was jealous but the grievance has been settled and now Broom wants Anne to go and live with them and have the house and goods in her name and thus evade the Bailiffs.

Clayton saw some danger in the plan and said that he would talk to Fielding in person.[3]  

Thomas’ family was growing, and like many others, he apparently had difficulty in earning enough to support them.  He was very much involved with the financial affairs of the Manchester branch.  Clayton’s journal entry for January 24 tells us: 

            Brother Bateman has come in and says he has given his watch for Paul Harris’ debt and he owes four pounds for Choutler.  He has paid £2 and the man wants the other.  He has heard about some work 17 miles from Manchester and wants to know if it will be wisdom to go.  He can get little to do here and I can hardly say nay.  I feel on account of his office.  He states that Sarah Duckworth has been telling the saints about Brother Jackson and wife and is causing trouble.

           In a report of a council meeting on January 31, Brother Bateman mentions his sister-in-law, although she isn’t named in Clayton’s report in his journal.  The next journal entry mentioning the Batemans is that of February 28, and this is how we know that Brother Bateman is our Thomas. 

            Feb 28, 1840:  “Was called up before six to Brother Batemans wife.  She was in labour.  She was delivered before I got there.  A girl.  Prayed with her.”  The baby girl was Mary Bateman, born 27 February 1840, in Manchester, England.  

Two more journal entries mention Thomas:  March 8  “After meeting went to Brother Bateman’s to see Sister Street.”  March 10:  “Went to Brother Batemans, prayed with Sister Street.”  

Allen and Alexander identify Sister Street as Nancy Street, who was baptized on May 5, 1839.  This was probably Mary Bateman’s sister, also known as Ann or Hannah, who was born 19 November 1815.  She lived in Pendleton.[4]   So far we have no other record of Nancy Street, so it isn’t known if she remained in the church, emigrated to America, or married and stayed in England.

Although many of the members were anxious to go to America, church authorities discouraged them.  John Moon, who was probably a cousin of Clayton’s wife, was especially anxious to leave, but Joseph Fielding said that it was “better for the Saints to suffer in England because they would suffer in America.  If they wanted to go as emigrants, Fielding said he would bless them, but he would not approve of their going as Saints to Zion.” [5]  Only one year had elapsed since the membership had been forced to leave Missouri.  Many of them suffered in a terrible malaria epidemic at this time. 

Apostle Brigham Young attended a conference held in Manchester in April 1840 and announced that the English Latter-day Saints were to gather to the Mormons’ newly established home in Nauvoo, Illinois.   Along many other members of the Manchester Branch, the Batemans were anxious to begin preparations to leave.  Despite having six young children they prepared to make the journey across the Atlantic with children Harriet, Samuel, Elizabeth, Thomas, and Joseph W. whose twin brother James Boame, had lived only three months, and Mary, their young baby daughter.  Thomas was 32 and Mary, age 30. 

            Sometime in the late fall of 1840 the Bateman family boarded the ship Lehigh, bound for the port of New Orleans, with the James Rigby company.[6]   A one-page passenger list states that a Mrs. Bateman, age 31, and six children, ages 1 year to 10, as well as Jas. Rigby, Jane Rigby and Mary were taken on board the Lehigh, bound for New Orleans.[7] There is a passenger listing for Jane Littlewood Rigby, wife of James Rigby, arriving in New Orleans aboard the Lehigh on 2 January 1841, which is the arrival date given in family sources.

            We can imagine that an early winter crossing was difficult, especially for Mary caring for a young baby.  Once the family passed through the immigration procedures they traveled by boat up the Mississippi to St. Louis, then on to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they arrived in time for the laying of the cornerstone of the Nauvoo Temple during the eleventh annual conference of the church on 6 April 1841. A few months later, Thomas’ older brother Joseph and his wife, Margaret Turner Bateman and their family journeyed to Nauvoo, followed by their father, Thomas, Sr.  His wife, Elizabeth Armstrong Bateman, had died in England sometime in 1840.[8] Thomas Sr., age 62 arrived in New Orleans 14 Jan 1842 aboard the ship Chaos.  His occupation is listed as brick maker.  Thomas Sr. died in 1845, but he must have helped his son Joseph establish a brick making business. 

            Within a short time after Joseph Smith moved the headquarters of the Mormon Church to Nauvoo, the swampy village on the shores of the Mississippi River became a bustling town that must have seemed like the land of opportunity to these English members.  During the Nauvoo years, son Samuel (who would have been between eight and eleven years) heard sermons preached by Joseph Smith.  According to one family account, Thomas and Mary became acquainted with Joseph and Emma Smith. 

Samuel and his father Thomas also helped to build the Nauvoo Temple, working to help complete the construction throughout the winter.  In 1845 the Temple neared completion and the capstone was laid.  At one point a fire broke out and they helped put it out. 

            According to family and church records, Thomas married a second wife, Elizabeth Ravenscroft, in Nauvoo on 23 March 1843.[9]  There is no record of her traveling west, although these records are incomplete and do not include all those who traveled the Mormon Trail. In his journal William Clayton mentions an Elizabeth Ravenscroft several times as a member of the branch, and also mentions her aboard the ship North American with his family on their 1840 Atlantic crossing.  She was from Manchester, a 23-year old “bonnet maker.”[10]  Like her sister-in-law Nancy Street, she has disappeared from our records.

            While they were in Augusta and Nauvoo Mary gave birth to four more children.  In 1846 her nearly 10-month old baby boy, John, died, and six months later daughter Mary, the last child born in England, also died.  

            The family worked and saved to earn the money to make the 1300-mile journey to Utah.  In the spring of 1849 Thomas and Mary traveled to Kanesville, named after Thomas Kane, an important ally of the Mormons during some of the darkest days of the church.  After the Mormons departed the town was renamed Council Bluffs in 1853. 

In Little Pigeon, Pottawamanie County, on 30 June 1849 the twelfth and last child was born to Thomas, now 40 years old, and Mary, age 39.  They named her Margaret. 

The Batemans moved to the farm of Fredrick Lowrey for whom Thomas Bateman worked.  Because of the persecutions of the enemy Thomas was forbidden to work for about three months.  After a conversation with the leader of the mobocrats in which he said he was merely trying to earn enough money to take him and his family out west the leaders told him to go to work.  During the three months when Thomas could not work, the family would have suffered greatly had it not been for the kindness of Mr. Lowery who furnished flour, meat, and milk to the family.  Mr. Lowrey told grandfather that if the mob tried to drive him away he said, “They will drive me, too.”

  Later Grandfather Bateman was taken very ill with ague, and the children Harriet, Samuel, Thomas and Elizabeth ran the brick yard and the farm.  The brick turned out fine, and the sale of several thousands brought in money to the family.

  In 1847 they moved to a farm owned by Almond Crocker, a mile from Mr. Lowrey’s.  The children went to school.  

   In the spring of 1849 Thomas Bateman made preparations for leaving the farm for the Rocky Mountains.  Even some of the previous enemies begged him to remain, but he sold his farm and set out.  It was spring and they stuck in the mud several times.  The lightning and thunder were very bad.  They passed through Council Bluffs to Little Pigeon.  Here Thomas Bateman let George A. Smith take his best yoke of oxen to help him on to the valley.  The Batemans remained in Big Pigeon, near Cooley’s Mills all that winter.  Here he bought the mills and paid considerable on them, but the agreement was broken, and Grandfather was left a bankrupt.  They had many trials.  To make money they transported goods up and down the river.[11] 

There were as many as 90 Mormon settlements scattered throughout Pottawattamie County, Iowa.  Kanesville was the most significant outfitting post. We don’t know what kind of shelter the family had, but winters on the Plains were cold, often with freezing winds.  

            Epidemics of malaria, or as it was usually called, the ague, frequently swept through frontier settlements in the first half of the 19th century.  This was a form of malaria that produced alternate chills and fevers.  Most of William Clayton’s family suffered from it, and his infant child died of it.  “The ague, in fact, was so common that some frontiersmen hardly recognized it as a disease, and someone with a sense of humor could even write to eastern friends to “come out and have a shake with us.” [12]  


“Comedy, Tragedy and Farce” 

According to future son-in-law Philip Margetts, he met Thomas in St. Louis after he had just brought John Taylor and several of the elders from Council Bluffs to St. Joseph on their return from Utah in the spring of 1850.  Not long after this Philip met Elizabeth Bateman, his future wife, who was then sixteen years of age.  

On my arrival at Council Bluffs I met Brother Bateman who had just arrived for St. Joseph, he also had his family with him.  We all set to work preparing for the journey west.  Yokes had to be made, bows prepared, ox chains overhauled, etc. etc.  The family wagons had to be attended to.  So when all was made ready for the start, and the women and children located, we left “Big Pigeon” the late home of Brother Bateman, wended our way to “Council Point,” and camped on the banks of the Missouri River.  The wagons, which Brother Bateman had ordered, and which were to take us to Salt Lake were being made at Carterville, some distance from where we had camped.  They were soon finished, and we had considerable fun, to say nothing of hard work in hitching up the wild cattle for the trip.

Now, my friends, imagine if you can a man with a large family to look after, new wagons, wild cattle, and a lot of “green” English boys to handle them, starting out on a journey of over a thousand miles, which was enough to discourage anyone, but Thomas Bateman had courage and will power, and was equal to the task.  Finally after a drive of about fifty miles down the stream, we encountered no end of trouble, and more ‘fun.”  We crossed the Missouri river at “Old Fort Kearney” on a flat boat, This adventure came near putting an end to all our future troubles, as we were nearly upset into the river.   But fortune favored us, and after going down stream for a considerable distance, we finally landed. This place is now known as Nebraska City.  At the time I speak of, there was nothing in sight but the old Log Fort, which had been deserted years before.  This was then Indian Territory, with game of all descriptions close at hand.  Here is where our work as pioneers began, and where I began to know Brother Bateman as a man of no ordinary ability, but a man I learned to love for his many virtues; namely honesty, unrighteousness and forbearance, also his wife as one of the most self-sacrificing, patient, motherly women it was ever my good fortune to come across.

The next thing to be done was to load the freight into the wagons for the journey.  That being done, the start across the wilderness began.  With it comedy, tragedy and farce.  The first day out from Fort Kearney showed a record of four broken wagon-tongues callused by the wild unbroken cattle, bad roads, and stupid drivers.

The first night it rained.  The next morning we discovered that two of Brother Bateman’s best horses were gone.  They had either strayed away or were stolen.  I think the latter, as we never saw or heard from them again.  A few days out we were surrounded by at least fifteen hundred “Pawnee” Indians who took the liberty of helping themselves to three head of cattle, demanded flour, bacon, sugar, tobacco, etc. etc.[13] 

On 11 June 1850 the Batemans and Philip Margetts departed from Kanesville with the James Pace Company, which consisted of 100 wagons, including several loaded with merchandise for Livingston & Kincaid, the first successful merchants in Salt Lake Valley.  The official date of arrival in Salt Lake Valley was 20-23 September 1850. In addition to Philip Margetts, age 21, an English convert who later became a much-loved actor in Utah, the following members of the Bateman family made the trip:  (with ages)

            Bateman, Elizabeth (16)

            Bateman, James Morgan (8)

            Bateman, Joseph (12)

            Bateman, Margaret (infant)

            Bateman, Martha Ann (2)

            Bateman, Mary Street (40)

            Bateman, Samuel (17)

            Bateman, Thomas (41)

            Bateman, Thomas, Jr. (14)

            Bateman, William Lehi (6)[14] 

At the Platte River they met a band of Pawnee Indians who tried to stop their wagon train.  The Saints avoided a fight, and eventually the Indians allowed them to go on without paying a ransom.  However, many things were stolen from the wagons.  Some in the company accused the Indians of stealing horses. 

            “We traveled slowly until we came to the Buffalo country.  This time the “Cheyennes” and Sioux” tribes demanded toll, and by the time we reached the North Plateau, the company found themselves short of provisions.”[15]  Along the way the travelers saw a grave opened by the wolves.  During the trip cholera broke out in the camp during the trip, but no one died of it.  The members of this company felt blessed because they had suffered less disease and death than had other groups.  

Foramore Little had charge of twenty wagons and Brother Bateman had charge of ten.  Livingston and Kinkade owned the freight.  Trouble occurred with some of the teamsters and Kinkade which resulted in Henry Margetts and myself and Edward Williams leaving the train at the upper crossing of the plateau and traveling on foot the remainder of the journey which was about three hundred miles to Salt Lake city.  We suffered considerable during our nineteen-day walk after we left the company.  We arrived in Salt Lake City in safety on the first day of September 1850.[16]  

The family arrived in Salt Lake City at Livingston and Kincaid’s store, now known as the Old Constitution Building, on 15 September 1850.  Thomas purchased a large piece of land on the southeast corner of West Temple and Second South Street.  Later the Batemans were sent to West Jordan to establish a home there.  In 1851 daughter Elizabeth married Philip Margetts. 

Along with most of those who lived through the dark days of Nauvoo and the difficulties of the trip west, Thomas had suffered many hardships in the decade since he had left his native land. After coming to the Salt Lake Valley he came into conflict with some of his fellow members -- a conflict that led him to being cut off from the church. In the summer of 1851 he was back in Iowa. In August an item appearing in the Frontier Guardian, a Mormon weekly newspaper published in Kanesville, Iowa indicated that all was not well with Thomas Bateman. A group of several men, including Thomas, had just arrived from the Salt Lake Valley. While the others brought news "of a cheering character; Mr. Bateman brought nothing but darkness, gloom and dissatisfaction." Noting that Thomas had been cut off from the church "for disturbing the peace and quietude of the Saints in the Valley, and for assuming the character of Elijah the Prophet" the writer went on to accuse Thomas of having acted "crazy as a loon" and in the harshest of language told the Saints to beware of him.[16a]

Apparently Thomas returned to the valley before winter, surely to the relief of Mary. The following spring he would once again be on the trail heading east.


Return to England 

To the south of Salt Lake, in Iron County where Brigham Young had sent settlers to establish mining and manufacture of much needed items, Indian troubles made life difficult for these colonists.  Thomas volunteered to go to Iron County as part of a military force, but Samuel, only eighteen at the time, asked to take his father’s place.  After Samuel returned some months later, Thomas returned to England in the spring of 1852 to dispose of property or possibly settle an estate that may have been of considerable value.  He wanted to bring back merchandise to establish a mercantile store in the Valley. 

Phil Margetts gives this account of what happened next: 

Brother Bateman with his boys went to work building abodes, hauling wood, and before the winter set in he had a very comfortable home.  But he was not happy in his mind.  He had not been treated right by those who should have been his friends.  He had worked unceasingly for many months from the time he left his home near Council Bluffs going to St. Joseph with John Taylor, then down the river to St. Louis, back again to the Bluffs.


The responsibility of taking a train of goods through an Indian country, delivering them in safety at Salt Lake City and with comparatively speaking no one he could rely upon for assistance or help, was a feat few men could have accomplished without affecting the brain.


 After accomplishing all this he expected something handsome in return for all this worry from those who were responsible for the provision made to him by John Taylor and others who had engaged Brother Bateman to deliver the freight owned by Livingston and Kinkade in Salt Lake City, which he did.


Brother Bateman was not only an honest man but also a very religious man.  He began to read and study the scriptures until he imagined he was someone else and not himself.  He gave way to these thoughts, pondered over them, and these, with other troubles, drove him nearly out of his mind.


The following spring he left for England to dispose of some property owned by himself and his brother Joseph.  It is supposed [he] realized he was earning some money but not what he expected.  With some trunks and things purchased in England and supposedly some money, he started on his return to the valley.  It is not exactly known how it occurred but he was drowned while some distance out at sea, but unknown how, where or when. 


The family upon learning of Brother Bateman’s fate discovered that a man who was going East was given the power of attorney to receive from the captain of the vessel the things which he was bringing home.  Whether he got the effects or not, it is not known, but nothing was ever received by Brother Bateman’s family.[17] 

Mary received a letter telling her that Thomas had conducted his business in England and was bringing home a present for each member of the family.  Next she received the news that he had “died 29 November 1852 and was buried at sea” in the North Atlantic.  No one really knew what happened to him, the merchandise, or the money that he had supposedly sewn into the lining of his clothes, but the family was convinced that someone killed Thomas and threw him overboard and got away with everything.  In order to pay the expenses for his trip, Thomas had used all the money the family had.  

Samuel W. Taylor gives another version of the last few months of Thomas’s life. After the death of Brigham Young, John Taylor became president of the church.  The anti-polygamy crusade forced him to go into hiding to avoid arrest.  Samuel Bateman, Thomas’s son who was then a former SLC policeman, became Taylor’s bodyguard.  Taylor writes about a conversation that would have taken place about 1885: 

            That night Taylor headed south, on a trip that would take several weeks, to keep in touch with his people.  Sam Bateman was driving, and presently Charles Wilcken’s head dropped and he began to snore.  Bateman glanced sideways at Taylor, seemed about to speak, then turned away.  Taylor asked if there was something he wanted to say. 


            Yes; it was about his father, Bateman said.  His mother was now seventy-five, without much time left here, and she wondered if things could be straightened out?  Did President Taylor remember his father? 


            Very well, Taylor said.  Tom and Mary Bateman had arrived at Nauvoo with a party of English converts, when Sam was a lad of seven.  Tom ran a brickyard, and found his product much in demand in the booming city.  Later, when Taylor was going on his mission to France, the Bateman family was at Winter Quarters, and Tom had driven the missionaries in his wagon from Council Bluffs to St. Louis.


            A few month after arriving in Utah the following year, Sam Bateman said, his father had an argument with church authorities, and was cut off in public meeting.  The shock was more than he could stand; he was never the same after that.  Tom Bateman went to England to dispose of property there.  During the return voyage, the strain of his excommunication preyed on him until he had a nervous breakdown, and had to be restrained for several days.  He seemingly recovered, but shortly after being released a storm blew up and he leaped overboard.  A boat was put out, but the body was never found.


            Taylor said that Thomas Bateman shouldn’t be judged harshly; he wasn’t in his right mind.  Sam nodded, and slapped a line on the rumps of the team.  Brother Brigham had said the same thing, that his father wasn’t responsible, and the time would come when things would be righted.  But now his mother was seventy-five.  Five of her children had been born outside the covenant.  Could her husband be restored to his priesthood and blessings, and his children sealed to him?


            Yes, indeed, Taylor said; he’d see to it.


            Bateman’s face bloomed with joy.  He’d been relieved of a heavy load that he’d carried for many years.[18]

            Whatever might have happened aboard the ship, Mary was stunned by the tragic news.  She was only 42 years old and still had most of her children at home, with Margaret, the youngest, only three years of age.  With the help of her older sons who were able to get work on farms, Mary started out by washing clothes to get money to feed her children.  She had to sell the property at West Temple and Second South Street and only got 50 bushels of wheat for it.   Eventually the Continental Hotel was built and operated on this property.  

Mary moved to Wight’s Fort (on 90th South in West Jordan, Utah) for a time with daughter Harriet and her husband Lyman Wight, the son of Lewis Wight.  Harriet and Lyman married 7 May 1848.[19]  Here on 16 Aug 1853 Mary became the second wife of Lewis Wight, but she later divorced him.[20]  Mary then moved her family to a place called Dry Creek, near Sandy, Utah.  Here all of the family members lived in a small two-room dugout. Daughter Margaret’s earliest memories were of this first home.  She said she spent some of the happiest days of her life there.   

            The dugout was about one mile east of the Jordan River, and the schoolhouse was on the west side.  Since there were no bridges across the river, the Bateman boys (aged 18 and under) built the first boat to take the children across the river to school.  All the pupils met in the same room for instruction. 

            Heavy rains in 1853 washed away the makeshift bridges.  One day in early September Samuel Bateman, then 6 feet tall and described as “handsome” by his daughter, was on duty to ferry those who needed to cross the river.  On one trip he ferried a husband and wife and their six children and showed them the way to a log cabin near the flour mill.  Samuel then told his companions:  “I just ferried my father-in-law across the river.”  Then fifteen-year old Marinda Allen did become his wife a year later on November 27, 1854.[21]  


“Desperate Survival” 1855-56 

            “Beginning in the summer of 1855, however, occurred a series of natural disasters which, in one year, wiped out the entire social surplus and placed the 35,000 persons in the territory in the same position of semi-starvation in which the early Salt Lake colonists found themselves before the Gold rush.  These tragedies underwrote the impotence of humanity when confronted with malignant nature.  What the church did about them is a story of desperate survival mitigated by supreme confidence in the outcome.”[22]

            First came the worst grasshopper infestation that the Mormons had suffered thus far.  The insects destroyed first, second and third sowings of wheat, some corn, and even buckwheat.  This alone would have been a serious matter, but this was an especially hot, dry summer, with little runoff from the mountain snows.  The immigration of 1855 brought 4,225 new persons to the Valley.  The harvest was reduced from one-third to as much as two-thirds in some areas.   Reportedly, all of the farms south of Salt Lake were nearly a desert. 

            The church and most cattle owners moved the herds to higher, greener locations in Cache Valley that the territorial legislature had granted to Brigham Young as trustee-in-trust for the church for grazing purposes.  Winter came early, and turned out to be the most severe suffered by the settlers since 1847.  Of 2,000 head of church cattle only 420 survived until spring.  Other areas suffered as well—nearly four out of five head of cattle died as a result of the cold and lack of food, which resulted in the financial ruin of their owners.  The Indians were suffering too, so they took advantage of every opportunity to carry off the animals. 

            As a result of the loss of livestock and crops, the settlers faced near-famine conditions.  There was not just a scarcity of food, cattle, cash and provisions:  there was no work for many able-bodied men who desperately needed to work to support their families.  The family faced additional challenges with the Utah War of 1857 and the onset of efforts by the US government to stamp out the practice of plural marriage.  (For more on this period in the lives of the Bateman family, see the history of Margaret Bateman Davis.) 

            With strict rationing and the digging and harvest of weeds, thistles and sego lilies the settlers survived.  Money was almost useless, as there was no wheat to be had.  Even with these strict measures, some settlements only had a two-week supply of provisions on hand.[23]  

            The summer of 1855 was another bad grasshopper year, and the harvest was even smaller.   In 1856 Lewis Wight and his wife Nancy moved to Brigham City, which may explain why Mary and her daughter Maggie were also there when Brigham Young gave the order for all the women and children to move south while the men were to remain behind to torch the towns should Johnson’s Army actually march into Utah.[24] 

Mary’s life was hard.  Her granddaughter, Juliaetta Bateman Jensen recalled her as being harsh and severe.  “I was afraid of her because she often spoke so sharply with that English tongue of hers.”  Later in life Juliaetta was sorry that she hadn’t learned to overcome her fear of her grandmother, who worked hard and reared her family “in honesty, integrity and faith.”[25]  

As already noted, Mary was a very small, thin woman who weighed only 89 pounds.  Thomas had been over six feet tall, and the sons took after him.  Samuel became a Salt Lake City policeman, and as noted in the Samuel Taylor account, a bodyguard for both Presidents Taylor and Woodruff when they were hiding on the Underground from federal prosecutors for violating anti-polygamy laws. 

Mary made a great fuss over the oldest son whom she called “Sam’l.”  (Juliaetta was Samuel’s youngest child, born 31 Dec 1878.) After Samuel was married Mary crossed the meadows nearly every Sunday to have dinner with him and his family.  She even went sometimes when he was not there because she liked Samuel’s wife, who was quiet and reserved, just the opposite of Mary. 

Mary lived near the other two sons, James and William and saw them every day.   Later, after Samuel had taken a second wife and was forced to go into hiding on the Underground, he occasionally visited his sister’s (Martha Ann) place at night and Mary would go there to see her son. 

Mary later became a practicing midwife, often walking miles to care for her patients.  Despite the hardships of her life, she was blessed with good health.  “She had the quality and determination to achieve whatever she did try to do.  She was loved and honored by all in spite of being out-spoken, regardless of whom or to whom she was talking.”[26]  One week before her death she contracted pneumonia.  She died 4 March 1891 at the age of 81.  She was survived by seven of her twelve children, ninety-seven grandchildren and sixty-seven great-grandchildren.  According to her granddaughter Juliaetta, Mary Street Bateman was an old time Matriarch.  She is buried in West Jordan, Utah.[27] 


Joseph Bateman 

            Joseph Bateman, son of Thomas Bateman and Elizabeth Armstrong, was born 1802 at Bolton, Lancaster, England.  He married Margaret Turner 1826 in England.  She was born 21 July 1804.  Joseph and Margaret and their children voyaged on the ship Tyrian that left Liverpool on 22 Sept 1841, arriving in New Orleans 9 November 1841 with the Joseph Fielding Company. They came to Utah 20 Sept 1848 with the Lorenzo Snow Company.[28]  Upon arrival in Salt Lake, he built their house out of brick he made himself.  He also made the brick for the Council House.[29]

            Their children were James, William,[30] Mary, John (who died as a child,) Margaret and Betty.  The family made their home in Salt Lake City and helped to settle Cedar City in 1850.  He assisted in every way to build up the country around Cedar City.  He remained there until his death in 1855.


            This history is just a small part of the amazing journey that began in Manchester, England in the early 1800’s when Thomas Bateman and Mary Street joined their lives and their fate with the first Mormon missionaries to preach in England.  This brief story based on the recollections of Bateman descendants and witnesses to some of the events described here leaves us with many questions and much more to be discovered.   The descendants of Mary Street and Thomas Bateman as well as Joseph Bateman and Margaret Turner must number in the thousands.  Their history is intertwined with western United States, Utah and LDS church history.  Diaries and letters, formal histories and autobiographies await investigation. 


            In writing this history I have drawn on many sources, most of which I discovered only recently.  Juliaetta Bateman Jensen’s Little Gold Pieces, now out of print, is an account of the lives of her parents Samuel Bateman and Marinda Allen and Samuel’s plural wife, Harriet Egbert.  Juliaetta was witness to many of the events she writes about—daily life both before and after her father went into hiding to avoid prosecution.  This book deserves to be back in print. 


            Along with the other biographies and histories on this website, this story is a work in process. 

Susan Woodland Howard

June 21, 2006


[1] Daughters of Utah Pioneers history, “Mary Street Bateman Wight” submitted by granddaughter LaRue S. Ottley. (Hereafter cited as DUP history.)

[2] Peregrine Smith, Inc., Salt Lake City, 1974.  Also An Intimate Chronicle:  The Journals of William Clayton, ed. George D. Smith, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1995.

[3] Ibid. Note 10, p. 66.

[4] Ibid. P 236.  Source is Manchester Branch, “records” 86.  

[5] Ibid. P 92, note 46.

[6] A Short History of the Thomas Bateman Family prepared by Juliaetta Bateman Jensen, undated copy in my possession.  Sources are Samuel Bateman’s Diary edited by James A. Oliver.

[7] Conway B. Sonne, Saints on the Seas:  A Maritime History of Mormon Migration 1830-90, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 1983, pp 148-59. According to Sonne the first ship to arrive in New Orleans was the Isaac Newton December 2, 1840.   The Lehigh is not found on his lists.    The DUP histories give conflicting dates for the arrival of the Bateman family in New Orleans.  See Andrew Jensen, LDS Church Chronology 1805-1914, Orem, 2002.p 18.  Entry for 6 June 1840:  “Forty-one Saints sailed from Liverpool . . . on the ship Britannia, being the first Saints that gathered from a foreign land.”

[8] See note at end of this history on these later voyages.

[9] Doctrine & Covenants, Sec 132 dated 12 July 1843, but the practice predated the revelation by at least a decade. George D. Smith, “Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841- 46: A Preliminary Demographic Report,” Dialogue 27:1, Spring 1994, p 37 note 7, Thomas Bateman md Spouse #2 23 March 1843, married by HCK (Heber C. Kimball) sealed to Mary and Spouse #2 29 January 1846.

[10] Manchester Mormons, entries March 21, April 18, and April 23.  The July 1 entry states: “I received a bonnet for my little Sarah from E[lizabeth] Ravenscroft.”

William Clayton Diary 4 Oct 1840 states that his mother-in-law was ill, also Elizabeth Ravenscroft.  New York 1820-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists Elizabeth Ravenscroft arrival date:  Oct. 12, 1840, age 20, aboard the ship North America.

[11] Jensen, A Short History of the Thomas Bateman Family.

[12] Manchester Mormons, note 247, p. 215.

[13] DUP history, “A Part of My History told by Brother Phil Margetts.”  (Many commas removed from typewritten copy for readability.)  Copy in my possession.

[14] James Pace Company information is found online at Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868.,15797,4017-1-230,00.html

[15] Phil Margetts history.

[16] Feramorz Little, age 31, traveled with the Livingston Kinkead train, 1850.  Pioneer Overland Travel 1849-1868.  

[16a] Journal History quoting The Frontier Guardian Aug 22, 1851, LDS Church Archives.

[17] Margetts.  According to one source, Thomas returned on the packet ship Tonawonda. The name of the alleged agent who was to collect his property in the east is not known. The nature of the property disposed of in England is likewise unknown.  Perhaps upon the death of their father, Thomas Sr. in Nauvoo in 1845 Joseph and Thomas came into an inheritance, or possibly Thomas was winding up his father’s business.  

[18]  Samuel W. Taylor, The Kingdom or Nothing:  The Life of John Taylor, Militant Mormon, Macmillan & Co, New York, 1973, p 344.  Taylor gives as his sources Juliaetta Bateman, Little Gold Pieces, and letters concerning Thomas Bateman, August 11 and September 12, 1885.  John Taylor Letter File. (On deposit at University of Utah.)  The account of Thomas being cut off from the church is not included in the three versions of the family history.  According to my family records, all of the Bateman children except the three youngest were sealed to their parents 28 Feb 1894.  John, Martha Ann and Margaret were BIC.

[19] This was not the former Apostle Lyman Wight, but rather his grandnephew.  Harriet and Lyman had thirteen children together.  He later married two more wives.

[20] Also named as Lewis William Wight in DUP history.

[21] Juliaetta Bateman Jensen, Little Gold Pieces:  The Story of My Mormon Mother’s Life, Salt Lake City, 1948, p 12

[22] Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1958, p 148-9.

[23] Ibid. 154.

[24] See history of Margaret Bateman and Alfred Oxenbould Davis.

[25] Jensen p 36-7

[26] DUP history, author unknown.

[27] Other sources for this are records and memories of Maud Davis Reynolds Salisbury, April 1958, and Vilate Davis Chadwick, both daughters of Margaret Bateman Davis.

[28] Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868, lists Margaret Turner Bateman, age 43, (wife of Joseph Bateman) traveling with the Brigham Young Company. Departure: 5 June 1848   Arrival in Salt Lake Valley: 20-24 September 1848

[29] Copied by Dorothy Woodland from “Sketches of Pioneer Men at the State Capital,” Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Dept.  Date unknown.

[30] William Bateman appears in Will Bagley’s Blood of the Prophets, University of Oklahoma Press, 2002, pp 144-5 as one of the participants in the tragic chapter of Utah history we know as the Mountain Meadows Massacre.  See also John Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, Doubleday, 2003, pp 224-256.



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