Sarah Jane Snyder Dickinson
Sarah Jane Snyder Dickinson, the sixth child of Samuel Comstock Snyder and Henrietta Maria Stockwell, was born in Camden East Upper Canada, 14 June 1838. She had four brothers and six sisters. It was at this place that her parents heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and embraced it removing shortly after to Illinois and settling on the outskirts of Nauvoo at a place locally known as Jobs Creek. Her father soon become a great friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum and often his family visited the prophet"s home.
On one of these occasion's her father took his family to visit the beautiful temple of Nauvoo and the journey been made with ox team, corn on the stock was taken to feed the oxen. One of the children, Mary Ann seeing the oxen which held the baptismal font, rushed out and got an ear of corn to feed them. The Prophet, noticing the incident, was moved with the simplicity of the child and sat and talked to her about it. As a child Sarah Jane went through the persecutions and gloomy trials of Nauvoo. She saw the bodies of the Martyred prophet and Patriarch when they were brought from Carthage where they had been slain by the mob. The years that followed were trying times. Sarah Jane well remembers while they were seated at the breakfast table the morning after the martyrdom of the Prophet and his brother. Her mother was in the act of serving the children when a man rushed into the house, without knocking, telling them that the Prophet and his brother had been killed by a mob at the Carthage Jail.
When the persecutions became so violent, the saints were driven from the state of Illinois. The mob rode up to her father's door and gave orders for them to leave before sundown, it being about two hours time, threatening to burn the house over their heads and under penalty of death should their orders not be complied with. They hurriedly got together a scanty supply of bedding, clothes, and food leaving a comfortable well furnished home and out buildings. The pigs were left in their pens. The chickens were going to roost and other farm animals that they could not move were left in the yard.
The following winter was spent at Winter Quarters, where many of the saints died and were buried on the side hill overlooking the camp. The scurvy was very bad among the members of the camp. Many who had it and did not die were left invalids. One of Sarah Jane's sisters was left an invalid for life. That winter Sarah Jane was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church by Elder Daniel Russell.
The following spring her parents moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, to obtain outfits and supplies enough to take them to the valleys. Her father Samuel Snyder, prospered financially and soon had good teams and wagons together and provisions for the journey to Salt Lake City. The years of 1847 and 1848 Samuel freighted to Fort Laramie. While they were preparing to go to Utah, two of Sarah Jane's brothers-in-law were called to go with the Mormon Battalion. Their wives and children were left with their parents to come to Salt Lake City which they did.
In the year of 1849 they came to Salt Lake City in the Enos and John Reece Company. John Reece being the captain over the one hundred wagons, Samuel Snyder captain over fifty wagons and Christopher Merkley over ten wagons. Samuel Snyder owned five wagons and a number of yokes of cattle. Apostle Parley P. Pratt was furnished a yoke of cattle by Samuel. One outfit was loaded with merchandise for Reece store in Salt Lake City.
The other wagons, besides bringing his family, were loaded with flour and provisions of different kinds which was a great benefit to many that were in need of food in Salt Lake at that time.
Sarah Jane testified that Heber C. Kimball told them that if they would share with those in need, the flour would multiply in their bins. Her father assigned her to deal out flour to the needy and many times has Sarah Jane bore her testimony to the fact that the flour did multiply in their bins, as she dealt it out to the needy every day. He also had her put on meat to boil and cook food to feed the hungry. Samuel Snyder built a sawmill at Parley's Park, in 1850, soon after he came to Salt Lake City. Sarah and an older sister cooked for the hands that worked at the mill. They also milked a large number of cows and made butter and cheese for the men. They also did the hired men's' laundry. They also took butter and cheese to the men who worked on building the Salt Lake temple. Their home was always open to those in need.
Returning to the journey across the plains: Many things of interest happened while they were crossing the plains. Jane, as she was called though only eleven years old, rode a horse much of the distance driving cows, some of which were milked at night and the cream skimmed off and put into the churn, which by the shaking of the wagon churned it into butter to be taken out at the next camping place. At night the wagons were drawn up in a circle, which formed a corral in which their cattle were placed to keep them from straying or being driven off by Indians or being stampeded by buffaloes. The company would pass the evening in a merry dance. One night after they retired, a large band of buffaloes came by their camp. The men tried to keep the cattle from stampeding, but in vain. The cattle ran striking one poor weak wagon owned by brother Perkins. Brother Perkins was asleep in his wagon and after the entire herd had passed over him he was found with his neck broken from which he soon died. The cattle were found next morning badly scattered about three miles from camp.
Jane and her sister Betsy were the first white women to put foot on the site where Park City now stands, as it is near the sawmill where they cooked for the men who worked there during the summer months.
Her father also ran a butcher shop and every morning he would have a large kettle of meat cooked and had a sign put up that those who were hungry were welcome to come and be fed. Thus many a man, women and child were fed by this faithful steward during the famine which followed the grasshopper war. Jane was appointed by her father to ration out to the poor and hungry who came to her fathers home for provisions that none might starve. Many a time she has seen the flour bin almost empty but never was the last pound taken out, fulfilling the prophecy made by Heber C. Kimball.
Sarah Jane Snyder married James Dickinson March 27, 1857. James ran a grist mill for brother Heber C. Kimball and lived in his house until he and Sarah Jane were called to help settle Utah's Dixie.
April 6, 1858 their first child was born while conference was being held in Salt Lake City. It was a girl and was named Alice Jane. Then December 28, 1859 another baby girl was born which they named Ellen Amelia but they called her Nellie. December 24, 1861 a third baby girl was born to this union and they named her Maria Delight.
Not long after they left Salt Lake City and went to Dixie and settled at Santa Clara in 1862 and underwent the trying scenes incident to the settlement of that area. They lived there 13 years. While there James ran the grist mill at Washington. He also made coffins for many who died there, free of charge. He worked hard all day and stood guard at night for protection from Indians. He could talk the Indian language as he had previous to his being married, filled a two year mission at Las Vegas to make peace with the Indians. Therefore he was a peace maker among the Indians at Dixie. While there they lived the United Order.
March 20,1864 a boy James Franklin was born under trying circumstances. The next child was born March 9, 1865 in Salt Lake City. Just before the birth of this child Sarah Jane met with an accident and had three ribs broken and was hurt badly and the baby was born a month premature. The baby seemed to do well but April 9 it died. He was named Samuel Giddion. March 26, 1868 another baby girl was born which was named Luna Elizabeth at Santa Clara. Then September 30, 1870 Robert Ephraim was born while James was gone to Washington for the midwife. Before the cord could be cut Sarah Jane went through untold hardships. Her next boy named Isaac Hyrum was born May 26, 1873. Sarah Jane had her family under great hardships and though she had poor health and a family of small children in those trying times she spent much time helping the sick and those in less fortunate conditions.
James Dickinson ran a sawmill at Pine Valley the last seven years during the summer months. Sarah's health was poor and the heat and poor living conditions she was unable to stand. They were called to help settle Panguitch [Garfield co.]and moved to that place the first of June 1875. Just three weeks after arriving in Panguitch a baby girl named Rhoana Permelia was born June 24, 1875 and she died June 28, 1879 with diphtheria as that disease caused many deaths at that time. Shortly after going to Panguitch, the High Council was organized and James Dickinson was chosen as one of the first to hold this position. He was a member of this group for twenty years, until he died. He also ran the grist mill for the twenty years he lived at Panguitch. He died October 28, 1895.
Shortly after going to Panguitch Sarah Jane was chosen as counselor in the Relief Society to Rhoana Henrie and has done many things not mentioned in this history. Wherever she lived she was a faithful Latter-Day Saint.
January 15, 1882 a baby girl was born to them and they named her Sarah Orilla. June 15, 1884 another baby girl was born. Her name was Mary Estell. Up to this date the four oldest girls were married. At the age of fifty Sarah Jane had her last baby, a nice baby boy born November 28, 1888 named Ezra Hampson. He died March 19, 1889. Sarah Jane reared eleven children to marry and raise families and during her life has gone through untold hardships. Besides rearing her own family, she helped to rear four of her sisters family. When her daughter Luna died January 29,1900 Sarah Jane took part of her children and kept them and was very good to them. Her son James F. Dickinson lost his wife in June 6, 1906 and Sarah Jane helped all she could with his children. Her house was always open to help many others not mentioned who have been in need. She was a women of great faith and a widow for thirty years. She lost her eye sight with cataracts coming over her eyes. At the age of 66 she had one removed but could see very little and suffered with pain in her head a great deal of the time.
In speaking of the organization of the Relief Society by the Prophet Joseph Smith, she well remembered the spirit of the occasion. Every one was talking about it and doing the Work. Women would make up bundles of clothing and provisions and whatever they thought would be a blessing to the ones to whom it was given. It was given to the poor and unfortunate.
Sarah Jane rejoiced in her testimony of the gospel and that her lot had been cast among the people of the Lord. She delighted in telling the young the events of her life which were indeed faith promoting.
At the time of this history was written Sarah Jane was the mother of fourteen children, eighty-six grandchildren, two hundred and twenty-five great grandchildren and about eighty-six great great grandchildren.
She died Oct.10, 1924 at the age of 86 at Panguitch, Utah.
by Sarah Orilla Dickinson Wilkinson: a daughter
Sarah Jane Snyder Dickinson
Isaac Hyrum Dickinson
Maralta Dickinson Talbot
Bertha Talbot Lindstrom