If you want to read some heart wrenching stories that will give you courage when life gets tough you need to read “Tell My Story Too.” This book is amazing. It was written by Jolene S. Allphin. It contains stories about members of the Willie, Martin, Hodgett and Hunt Companies. It also has histories about those valiant rescuers. This is amazing. You do not have to have pioneer ancestors to fall in love with these courageous saints. We wanted to share one of the short stories in this book with you.
Jemima was born on April 13, 1803, at Earlstoke, Wiltshire, England. Jemima had very little education as a girl as many children were put to work in factories instead of being sent to school. She did participate in the local celebration of the coronation of Queen Victoria in June of 1837.
Jemima married and had a son named Thomas who was born in 1824. Her husband died when Thomas was just a child. Jemima later married Francis Baker Rogers, but was left a widow the second time when her husband died in 1854.
The Elders found Jemima in her native land and she was baptized in 1844. She faithfully saved all she could during the next twelve years in order to join the Saints in Utah. Her son Thomas, had emigrated to Utah earlier, and with his help she was able to sail on the ship “Thornton.” Jemima had adopted a daughter, Elizabeth, age eight or nine, and together they sailed for their promised land.
Jemima and Elizabeth joined the Willie Handcart Company to cross the plains. They faced many complications from their carts falling apart, the lack of adequate food and warm clothing and early winter storms. This was a very hard trip for the 53 year old Jemima and her young daughter. Jemima said that when their food was gone, all that was left were unground kernels of black pepper, called peppercorns, which only kept their stomachs warm but did not stop the hunger.
Jemima used all the extra clothing and covering she had to keep little “Lizzie” from freezing to death and by so doing she suffered such exposure herself that her scalp was badly frozen and all her hair fell out. She wore various little black lace caps the rest of her life.
Jemima and Elizabeth survived this difficult journey. Jemima raised her daughter to be a very fine young lady. Elizabeth married the honorable James Sharp, mayor of Salt Lake City. Jemima lived with them in a mansion on Brigham Street until about 1885. She then moved to North Ogden and lived with her son and his family until her death on January 25, 1891. She was 87 years old. She had done much good in Zion and her faith and testimony were unwavering.