Monday, June 1, 2009

Morrison, William and Mary Margaret Forquhar Cruickshank

William and Mary were both of Scottish descent, being born in Aberdeen Scotland. William was born 7 Sept. 1820 to George Charles and Mary Ann Bruce Morrison. Mary Margaret was born 5 June 1823 to William and Mary Forquhar Cruickshank. William was a young man of good reputation. He had the advantage of having a classical education and was a good latin scholar. Mary (Maggy) was taught to always do her best. Her mother was always a silent monitor to her to guide her along through life's journeys.

They were married 22 December 1843 by a Rev. David Simpson, Minister of the Free Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland. They entered life's journey together with youth, health and much happiness with bright prospects. In the spring of 1844 William received a governmental appointment in Her Magesties Dockyard, Sherrness, Kent, England. On the 31st of October 1844 they had a son whom they named Anthony Bruce Morrison. He was a light and sunshine of their happy home. Everything went on pleasantly with nothing to mar their peace for about three years. Then William was taken down with fever and ague. In a very short time Maggie was seized with the same disease. The doctor pronounced her as incurable and so William applied for a transfer to Woolwich, Kent, England which was granted. They remained there for some years and spent many happy days together.

In the summer of 1848, Maggie made a visit to the home of her childhood, Aberdeen, Scotland accompanied by her little son anthony. Never was there a more joyful gathering: father, mother, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, Maggie and her son. They had all met to show their love and respect for cousin Maggie and her new child.
About six weeks later on the 25th of September, Maggie gave birth to another son who was named Andrew Cruickshank Morrison, named after her oldest brother. Maggie's whole thought was of my return home with two beautiful boys and the happy greeting awaiting her by her husband. However, one short month later her firstborn son was seized by scarlet fever and a malignant sore throat. He died and was buried on the 31st of October, 1848 which was his fourth birthday. That was the first great sorrow of her life, but not a tithe of what had to follow.

In the month of November 1848 they were introduced to the principles of the great latter day work preached by elder Thomas Bradshaw and believed in its devine authenticity of the same great work. And unitedly with a firm determinbation to serve God and keep His commandments, Maggie and William were baptized January 1, 1849for the remission of their sins and had hands laid upon their heads for the reception of the Holy Ghost, with the signs following. After this great event their aim and end was to gather up with the Saints to the land of Zion, via Utah, and their future course was shaped accordingly.

Two years later, Maggie desired to go home to visit her parents and family with her son Andrew. Andrew at the time was bad with whooping cough and it was considered the change of air would do him good. But again in two weeks after her arrival, death seized her second son, leaving her childless. She felt that the hand of affliction was laid heavily upon her. She tried to console herself that the Lord knew best and she tried to obey His Will. Three weeks later on the 15th of September 1850, she gave birth to a daughter who they named Sarah Allen Morrison.
This taking place at the home of her parents in Aberdeen. She was able to visit the graves of her two sons and bid farewell to those dear ones in Aberdeen.

In the spring of 1851 a change in circumstances caused Maggie's father to move to Dartmoor, Devonshire, England where he had received an appointment. He repared thither forthwith and with his family made a new home. In the meantime, Maggie's oldest brother, Andrew wound up his affairs and started for America to make his home in Connecticut where he remained till his death which took place in the summer of 1855. In the meantime, her sister, Isabella, was married to Mr. James Freston and went to reside near Maggie in Woolwich. She died in February of 1852. This was season of great affliction for Maggie. Her sorrow was almost greater than she could endure. But still the Lord in his mercy and goodness made Maggie's strength equal to the great task. As months rolled on she was strengthened and fortified to meet every emergency. On the 16th of January 1852 she gave birth to another daughter. This daughter was named Mary Isabella Morrison. After this they commenced in good earnest to prepare for their emigration to the land of our adoption. The time for which was set for April 1854 and accordingly all their arrangements were made preparatory to the event of leaving England.

In the fall of 1853, Maggie's father visited her at Woolwich to give his last farewell and tried to convince her to change her views on religious matters. He found that she was resolute to continue on to Zion. So, he then tried to convince her not to see her mother again as he knew it would break her heart. However, about two weeks after her father left, Maggie made preparations with her two little girls and her nephew, Willie Freston to go to Devonshire to visit her Mother and sisters.

Her visit was a delightful time. She remained with them for about ten weeks, but the time of parting drew near and the dreaded hour at last came when Maggie had to say "Farewell". Her father's heart burst and he could not speak as he pressed her next to his bosom. He told her that he was proud of her and although he could not see things in the same light, he knew that she had a mind of her own and that she would not swerve from the path of duty at whatever cost. He said that Maggie had been true to her marriage vows and no inducement that he should lay before her could tempt her; to relinquish or turn aside from the road already marked out. He told her that she would carry with her good wishes of both her father and mother; and their constant aspirations would ever be for her future happiness and prosperity, and if ever she was in need of help to call on him and he would help to the best of his ability.

Just before leaving England, she received a letter from her mother with the following poem:
Farewell, farewell, my treasured one,
My second born, farewell.
I cannot speak the yearning thoughts, that now my bosom swell,
I cannot tell thee half my love, My precious one for thee,
Henceforth thy Mother's heart will dream of nothing save thesea.

Strange visions came to me last night.
The whole life seemed to pass before my eyes in one shor hour.
Through sleep's mysterious glass.
I thought I held thee in my arms, a tiny babe once more.
And marked with pride each infant grace, thy happy features wore.

I blessed thee with a quivering lip, and flattering speach my child.
But though bright tears were in thine eyes, Love's angel in them smiled.
Then with a start, I awoke to know that ere the morning's dawn,
These aged eyes must look their last, on thee my second born.

And now tis hire this dreaded hour of agony and woe.
I cannot send thee from my side. I cannot let thee go.
These words are wild; Thou must depart,
But sorrow not for me.
For thou wilt take thy Mother's heart, across the pathless sea.
Maggie loved her mother with a love unspeakable and hoped that her mother would be the first to greet her on the other side of the veil.

William and Maggie sailed from Liverpool on board the ship Germanicus on the 6th of April, 1854 in company with her two daughter, her brother-in-law James Freston, and his little son, Willie. All were in good health and comparatively good spirits, all things considered. Their journey across the Atlantic was long and tedious, it being eleven weeks from the date of starting from Liverpool until the time of their arrival at New Orleans. There, they were still in good health and good spirits. No one in their family had been sea sick which they considered to be a great blessing as they watched much sickness all around them.

The next day after their arrival at New Orleans, they sailed to St. Louis and were two weeks on the river. Never was there a healthier company to land. But because they had been so long at sea, the city authority deemed it improper for them to land. They were towed back to a small island nearby. There they had to remain quarantined at the authorities pleasure. It was only one day before the people began to take sick, and in one week's time, 80 persons died of choloera. Maggie had a severe attack, but through the blessing of God was restored to health. A petition was sent into the city begging that they be allowed to leave that dreadful place. Their petitions were granted, but in many cases it was too late, for disease had laid ahold and many victims were doomed to an early grave. Among those were Maggie's three darlings. Within ten days she lost both her daughters and her nephew. Mary Isabella, age two died of cholera on the 23rd of July. Sara Allen died July 28th at age 4. On August 2nd her nephew Willie Freston age 4 died. All died of the same disease. They all lay side by side in the Holy Ghost Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Maggie and William were left childless and in a strange land broken down in body. It seemed as nothing could compensate for the heavy loss they had sustained.

But in the midst of such great affliction, the Lord again blessed them and on the 3rd of January, 1855 another daughter was born. They named her Mary Margaret. This again brought sunshine into their home for a short period. But in the month of November of the same year, death again robbed them of the blossom after being privileged to enjoy her sweet company just ten months.

It was most painful to look back on all those days, weeks and months and years of sorrow and affliction, but surely the Lord was with Maggie in the midst of it all and had a purpose in view to prepare her for yet greater events which came to pass little by little as time rolled on.

In the spring of 1856 their faces still turning Zionward, they again commenced to St. Louis, by way of Omaha, and from there crossing the plains by oxteam. For six weeks they remained at camp in Omaha living in tents, waiting for the company to get ready. On the 26th of June, 1856 they commenced their journey across the plains. They were 60 wagons in all with Canute Petersen as Captain of the company. He was a wise and most efficient leader. During their journey their cattle stampeded five times. A young man from Denmark was run over and instantly killed, but otherwise there were no other accidents on the journey. On the 14th of July a herd of buffalo passed right through their camp. This surely was a great sight and as no accident occurred they were indeed very thankful for the preserving care which had been around them.

On the 23rd of September they arrived in Salt Lake City in good health and glad to meet many dear friends with whom they were acquainted before they left England. Soon after they arrived they bought a good city lot and hous in the 5th Ward in Salt Lake City for $300. And soon, they were comfortably fixed. On the 28th of November 1856 William was engaged to take charge of a mill which was under construction at Farmington. His employers were S.W. Richards, and Joseph Cain of the firm Elias Smnith and Co.

They had much to be thankful for in this the land of their adoption. On the 9th of December, 1856 Maggie once again gave birth to a son, named William George Cruickshank Morrison and so again the Lord blessed them with another child which surely helped to make life worth living. And on the 13th of March 1857 they received their endowments in the House of the Lord and were sealed at the alter for time and eternity. This was what they had started for and had now obtained.

On the 7th of March 1858, William married a second wife, Lucy Etherington with President Brigham Young officiating. This was a great trial for Maggie, but her faith was strong and she was willing to sacrifice her feelings for the righteousness sake. During the same month, William was called to go to Echo Canyon to meet the army who were on their way east to exterminate the Mormons. Very soon after he went, notice was given that everybody had to leave Salt Lake City and move south. This was called the "big move" and early in April, Maggie was ready for the journey with her husband's second wife and Maggie's little son. They took only their clothing and bedding to supply their wants for the journey, leaving everything we owned behind them, trusting to a kind providence to open the way for them to recover what they had left behind. Bishop Woolley had called from the stand to find out who would be ready to start south the next morning. Maggie raised her hand, and was ready when they started at 9: a.m. with her infant son in her harms. friends came around and begged Maggie not to go farther than Provo and they would soon come. They said goodbye for a little while and traveledon until they arrived at Provo. The brother who owned the team said, "Now Sister Morrison, this is Provo, how far will you go with us?" Maggie then asked, "How far do you go?" He answered, "One hundred miles farther." Then Maggie replied, "If you will take me, I will go as far as the team will carry me, for I feel that is where the Lord wants me to be." So they drove right to Ephraim, Sanpete County. This was in April, 1858. Maggie did not see her husband for eleven weeks, but it was a joyful greeting when they did meet.

They met a very welcome reception from the inhabitantsof the little "Fort". For at that time it was in its infancy. There was not a hous to be seen from the time they left Nephi, til they came to Fort Ephraim. Maggie made up her mind to remain there, feelibng that was the place the Lord wanted her to be. William was out to meet the Army, and she did not know when he would return. She assumed all the responsibility. The people in the country towns were very bare of clothing and she had a plentiful supply, so she bartered clotingand blankets for things she needed. She rented a house and paid rent three months in advance. She then bought a city lot and had it ploughed and grain put in. She then bought a coa, a pig, and chickens, flour, meat, butter, eggs, soap and everybody treated her with respect and kindness. Wherever she saw the chance to do a kind act, she took pleasure in doing it; thereby, gaining for herself many friends, who were dear to her for the rest of her life.

It was sometime in June before William came to find them, not knowing exactly where they were. He had gone south and made an inquiry at every settlement until he got to Nephi. There he was told that a few families had gone on to Sanpete. So there he directed his steps and found the family all well, with plenty to eat and drink and a comfortable house to live in, which was all obtained by obedience to the commandments of the Lord, given through his servant Brigham Young.

When William was at Nephi he came to a junction where the roads lead not only to Sanpete, but also on to settlements on the west side of the mountain range towards the St. George or Dixie country, he did not know for sure which way Maggie had gone. He got off his wagon and prayed that the Lord would guide him to her, then took his place behind the wagon and let the team lead the way. They were guided to take the left hand road which let him into Sanpete. It was a warm summer evening adn Maggie had found herself most restless and not able to sleep. After the other folks had settled down for the night she walked out into the night, down to the gate of the fort and back several times and then opened the gate and walked out of the fort and down the road not knowing why she should be disobeying the order of safety which forbad anyone going outside the fort alone especially at night. She had not walked far when she thought she heard the creaking of a wagon. She peered into the dark, but could see nothing, but listened again and was sure then she could hear a wagon coming towards the fort. She quickened her steps going toware the oncoming visitor - then in the clear air she heard a familiar "hrmmmmph" which we would no doubt cal a "burp" today and she clled out "William is that you?" and the voice in the dark quickly answered. "Maggie, darling, is that you?"

On the 13th of March Maggie gave birth to a daughter and named her Williamina Henrietta Morrison. During this same spring it was deemed wisdom to organize a new settlement in the county, so Mt. Pleasant was organized and settled (but was called Fort Hambleton at that time). It was thought the inhabitants were becoming too numerous in Ephraim, so William moved his family to Mt. Pleasant thinking that would be a better location for them.

On the 11th of June, William took another wife. As he was one of the first settlers, he was appointed Clerk of the settlement, also postmaster and assessor, and collector. There were many trials during this period, too numerous to mention. But through patience and perseverance they were enabled to endure all things. In the mont of August 1861, William took yet another wife, this being the 4th and the last. After that the family moved into their new home known as "Bon Accord Cottage", Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County.

Here on the 15th of February 1863, Maggie gave birth to another daughter and they named her Clementina Marion Morrison who surely was the comfort and joy of Maggie's later years.

In the spring of 1865, William was called to lead a company of 30 families to make a new settlement called Richfield, Sevier County. He was the first probate judge of that county and held that office for five years in succession, also the office of Postmaster until the government officials deemed it improper for a man holding the family relations (Polygamy) he did - to hold public office any longer. He also held many other important offices with honor and dignity. He lived in Sevier County and raised a numerous posterity til 1889 when he died honored and respected by all who knew him. Peace to his ashes. (The following epitaph was written by Grandmother for his grave marker):

Aged 68 years, 11 months, 10 days,

Beneath this consecrated ground,

Now free from mortal care,

at peace with God and all mankind,

An honest man lies there. MFCM

Maggie was the first Relief Society President called to serve in Mt. Pleasant. Following her death on January 10, 1910, the WOMAN'S EXPONENT published in Salt Lake City, Utah carried an article entitled "A REMARKABLE WOMAN, Margaret F. C. Morrison". written by Sister Emeline B. Wells, giving a brief sketch of her life and also the following comment:

"The Morrison family were among the foremost in the new settlement they had helped make. As time went on there were trials and difficulties to meet and obstacles to overcome, but through patience and perseverance they were able to endure all things and to keep the faith for which they had made much willing sacrifice. William Morrison died in 1889, honored and respected bo all who knew him, leaving a numerous posterity to labor in the interest of Zion.

"On May 11, 18668, Sister Morrison was called and set apart to preside over the Relief Society of Mount Pleasant, Utah and filled the position not only with great dignity and credit, but her charity and magnanimity were boundless, the peopple of that vicinity never tire of recounting instances of her great love and humility and ready assistance for the needy and distressed often from her own personal resources. she was the very embodiment of that "charity that never faileth."

"It is stated that ofver one thousand of those who have died andare buried intheMt. Pleasant cemetery were dressed and laid out for burial by her without charge. what a record of service for others, truly she will receive an abundant welcome into the courts of glory." (signed) E.B. Wells

In 1893 upon the occasion of what would have been the 50th wedding anniversary of Grandmother and Grandfather Morrison had Grandfather lived another 4 years, the entire family including all the children of the subsequent wives as well as her own, gathered together to honor and show their love andrespect for Margaret F. C. Morrison. Because of this demonstration, Grandmother wrote the following and read itto all who were assembled that day.

"My dear Children:

In response to your good feelings manifested towards me this day, I must confess that I am too full to give expression to my feelings asI should like.

In reviewing the past fifty years of my life it brings many thing to my mind, but the one of the greatest importance to me is that since I embraced the Gospel I have been enabled by the help of my Father in Heaven to prove faithful to my Covenants which I made at the waters of Baptism, and in the House of the Lord.

In looking upon your faces all so happy and cheerful today, I feel thankful that I never once opposed my husband in his wishes to enter into the order of plural marriage. We all know that it was a great trial, but we have stood it and will receive our reward.

Our husband and father is absent in body, but I believe he is present in spirit, watching over our doings this day with great interest mingled with joy andpride, to witness those of his family wsho are here so united in thier efforts to make one heart glad.

May God help us to live in the future so that when our mission here is ended, we shall all meet in one grand family reunion that shall be lasting as eternity is the heartfelt prayer of

Grandma M.F.C. Morrison

Grandmother remained in the adobe cottage named by her "Bon Accord" which means "unity" until her death in January, 1910. Her son William spent much time with his father in Sevier County and eventually married and made his home in Monroe, Utah.

Her daughter Mina (Williamina) married Henry Ericksen and they made their home in Bon Accord where mother and daughter loved and worked together for many years as one, mainly caring for the needs, cares and woes, of the less fortunate in the community.

The youngest child, Tina, "Clementina" was a spirited talented child who gree up and was able to attend school through the assistance of her mother and older sister, and thereby was able to teach school and music. she married Judge Ferdinand Ericksen, and brought great happiness and joy to her mother. Then at the birth of her third child she too was taken in death which was as great if not the greatest sorrow her mother had yet born. TGhe two older children were taken into the home of her grandmother, and Aunt Mina to be cared for and raised while the baby was taken by her Father's sister.

And so at the age of 86 year, 7 months, and 5 days Margaret F.C.F. Morrison passed on to her reward leaving a heritage of faith, courage, and industriousness of emulation, but difficult to match by the many who revere her name.