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Joseph Horton [h.1.11]

Joseph Horton was the eleventh child of Henry Horton & Esther Lines christened April 17th, 1825 at All Saints, West Bromwich. Staffs.

In 1841 Joseph was still at home with his parents at Walsall St, West Bromwich. There were 4 other brothers at home as well as 2 sisters & a visiting sister-in-law. Joseph was a plasterman.

Joseph emigrated to the USA in 1850.  He travelled on the ship ‘North Atlantic’ from Liverpool, departing September 3rd, arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 1st, 1850.  An Ann Horton was also on the passenger list for the voyage but her relationship to Joseph is as yet unknown.  An Ann Horton (aged 32) was also on the passenger list for the voyage but her relationship to Joseph is as yet unknown.  Joseph was described as a plasterer & their luggage consisted of 2 boxes of clothing & 2 boxes of tools & patterns.

Joseph was found on the US census of 1860 at Cache, Utah.  He was aged 35 & working as a plasterer.  Listed with him was Jane Horton.  This was Jane Pilkington, born January 8th, 1831 in Bolton, Lancashire, the daughter of Ann Pilkington.  Jane had also travelled  to New Orleans on March 16th, 1855 & on to Utah.  Reminiscences of a fellow traveller, Archibald McFarland reveal the following:

My brothers James, William & Robert with my sisters Mary Ann & Janet there was also a young woman by the name of Jane Pilkington and a motherless girl by the name of Eliza [Elizabeth] Pinder. Our traveling from the Missouri River was not then as it is now with the exceptions of the wagon tracks that former companies had made. It was a trackless desert, we saw the first herd of buffalo the second day after we started and if I mind right killed one the third day. We would average about fifteen miles per day and we saw herds of buffalo and deer almost every day and when we got up on the Platte River the whole country seemed alive with them. We killed what we wanted for use but never wantingly destroyed any. Our journey across the plains and through the mountains was very labourous and wearying. And I have many times thought there was no comparison between us and ancient Isreal for with them the Lord preserved their shoes and clothes but with us when we arrived in the valley of Salt Lake the most of our clothes were wore done [PROBABLY MEANING, down] and our shoes wore off our feet. We arrived in the valley on the 25th of September 1855 almost wore out men and women of us but full of hope and full of the spirit of our holy religion. (Courtesy of Mormon Migration Records)

Jane was baptised into the Church of the Latter Day Saints in 1856.  The IGI record of their marriage indicates that this did not take place until November 28th, 1866 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

There is a record of a Joseph Horton living in a fort in Smithfield in the early 1860s.  The fort had been built in order to protect the early settlers of Smithfield from the Indians after a terrible fight with them on July 23rd, 1860 (ref. ‘An early history of Cache County’, Logan Journal, 1923).  It is also recorded that Joseph Horton started a molasses mill in 1861 & produced 200 gallons of molasses that fall.  In 1864 the fort was dismantled & the settlers moved onto city lots.

Joseph & Jane were both listed in the US census of 1870 at Smithfield, Cache, Utah.  Joseph was still a plasterer.

Joseph (56) & Jane (49) were still living in Smithfield, Cache County, Utah in 1880.  Joseph’s occupation was a plasterer.   In 1884 Joseph’s brother Henry & his wife Sarah together with their son William & grandson John Henry Simcock also emigrated to USA & appear to have initially joined Joseph & Jane in Smithfield.

It appears that Jane’s brother, William Pilkington, also emigrated to USA since there is a death register for him at Cache, Utah in 1889. 

Joseph died on January 24th, 1899 at Smithfield & was buried at Smithfield City Cemetery, Cache, Utah.

Widowed Jane P (Horten), aged 69,  was listed in the 1900 census for Smithfield, Cache County, Utah.  It was noted in the census that Jane was the mother of one child who was still living.  Since no record of any children being born to Jane & Joseph has been found, she may have been referring to John Henry Simcock [h.] (known as Harry Horton) who she probably helped raise.  She owned her own house which was not mortgaged & she was literate.

Jane died on May 14th, 1904 at Smithfield & was buried at Smithfield City Cemetery, Cache, Utah, noted as Jane P Horton. An obituary in the Deseret News of May 24th, 1904 states that Jane died at her home on Main Street of general debility & heart trouble.  She was described as a ‘faithful Latter-day Saint, of a kind disposition & loved by all who knew her’. 

A fascinating insight into Jane & Joseph’s later life comes from Jane’s niece, Ethel Laveda Pilkington Griffiths, who wrote:

‘I used to spend a lot of time at my Aunt Jane and Uncle Joseph Horton's house just up a few blocks from us in Smithfield, Utah. Before I started school I would gather her eggs or get a bucket of coal and wood in for her in the morning. I loved them very dearly and she would always give me a big slice of homemade bread with lots of jam on it for helping her. They never had any children of their own so they were more like grandparents to me than aunt and uncle. Uncle Joseph was blind for many years. He was a plasterer by trade and very successful in making a good living. While doing the high ceiling in the Tabernacle in Smithfield, the plaster got in both of his eyes and before the doctor could help him, he went blind. I used to lead him by the hand from his home to places where he needed to go. One Saturday afternoon, I was at Aunt Jane's and she said, 'Let's go over to Mr. Low's store and see if we can find you a little red chair.' Aunt Jane was a very petite and beautiful woman. She had lovely clothes and took great care in her dress. She loved hats and gloves and wore little capes and beaded bonnets and was particular in making sure that everything matched just right. She had lovely dark hair that she wore in a bob on the top of her head and beautiful blue eyes. She was a polished English lady and came with her sister, Isabella, from England as a young woman with the pioneers. So we left her home and started for the store. We had to cross a little ditch that ran in front of her house. It wasn't very wide but it was quite deep, and that day water was running in it. She took my hand and said, 'Now Veda, when I say jump, you jump, alright?' So when she said 'jump', I jumped. I made it across, but she fell backwards and ended up sitting in the ditch with her hat askew on her head and her feet sticking straight up in the air. It looked so funny that I laughed really hard at the sight. 'Don't just stand there,' she said, 'help me out.' I was so small that I couldn't help any, but she moved herself around, got on her knees, and got out by herself. I wondered if she would be mad at me, but all she said was, 'Well, I guess we can'na look for your chair today.' But I did get the chair, a little red one, for Christmas and kept it for many years.’


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