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LAYNE, Mary Elizabeth[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]

Female 1832 - 1909  (76 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document


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  • Name LAYNE, Mary Elizabeth 
    Born 24 Dec 1832  Bowling Green, Clay, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
    Gender Female 
    WAC 4 Sep 1857  EHOUS Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _TAG Reviewed on FS 
    Died 17 Dec 1909  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
    Buried 19 Dec 1909  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [9, 10, 11
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I55648  Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith
    Last Modified 19 Aug 2021 

    Family ID F27066  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Father LAYNE, David ,   b. 24 Jan 1806, Barren, Kentucky, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Aug 1840, Sugar Ridge, Clay, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Mother BYBEE, Lucinda ,   b. 20 Jul 1805, Glasgow, Barren, Kentucky, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jul 1895, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Married 28 Sep 1826  Barren, Kentucky, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F27067  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family WILDING, George ,   b. 9 Nov 1829, Preston, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jul 1913, Hunter, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Married 30 Jun 1850  Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Children 
    +1. WILDING, Rosilpha ,   b. 4 Jan 1857, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1934, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
    Last Modified 25 Sep 2021 
    Family ID F24224  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.

  • Notes 
    • George Wilding Jr. and Sarah Brown
      A Life Sketch
      George Wilding Jr. was born the 5th of June 1851, at Winter Quarters, North Pidgeon, Pottawatomie, Iowa. His parents were with the Saints that had been driven from their homes in Nauvoo. George was born while his parents were preparing for the trek to the Great Salt Lake Valley with others of the early pioneers. He was one year old when they commenced the journey. He was the son of George Wilding and Mary Elizabeth Layne. His Father was among the first converts to the Mormon faith in England. His Mother was converted to Mormonism with her Father's family in Clay County, Indiana, and later moved to Nauvoo. The Wildings left for the Salt Lake Valley 15 May 1852 and arrived there the 24th of September 1852, with the Benjamin E. Gardner Company. George grew up with other pioneer children in the valley and suffered with them the many trials and hardships of those early years. His education was that afforded the children of the Saints in those first years in the valley, they learned to read, to write, to work arithmetic and other things necessary to live a useful and profitable life. The month and day of George's baptism is unknown, but it is a matter of record that he was baptized in the year of 1866. With other members of the family, George attended church in the old 16th Ward of Salt Lake City, and was there ordained an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. He attended church regularly and there became acquainted with the Brown family who were converts from England. Sarah Brown later became his wife and the Mother of their 11 sons and 3 daughters. George was the eldest child in the family of 13 children, 5 sons and 8 daughters. His father had 2 wives in plural marriage or polygamy and a total of 25 children in all. George was the first child of the first wife, Mary Elizabeth Layne, and being guided by the influence of good parents and with his abiding faith in the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he grew into manhood with the reputation of being a fine man and of good parentage. George Wilding and Sarah Brown were united in marriage the 19th of October 1874, for time and all eternity, in the old Salt Lake Endowment House. It was a double wedding for the Wilding family for on that same day George's sister, Roselpha, was also married to George Rhodes Emery in the Endowment House. The double wedding was a sweet memory throughout the years to the participants.
      SARAH BROWN
      Sarah Brown was born the 5th of March 1857, in London, Middlesex, England, the daughter of Abraham Critcher Brown & Mary Ann Dearman. Through the efforts of the LDS Missionaries the Brown Family was converted to Mormonism and immigrated to Zion when Sarah was 13 Years of age. In Salt Lake they also settled in the 16th Ward. Sarah's schooling was received in England before coming to America. Soon after their arrival in the valley she went to work in the home of Emmeline B. Wells, there was no limit to the work hours in a day and for this she received the sum of $.25 per week. Sarah's father died just 2 years after arriving in the valley. Of Miners TB, caused by many years of labor in the coal mines of England. George and Sarah met through their church affiliation in their home ward where they were both active in the young folk's group. At the age of 17 1/2 years, Sarah became the bride of George Wilding in the Endowment House in the double ceremony mention above.
      MARRIED LIFE
      After their marriage they lived for a time in Salt Lake City, where their first 2 children, sons, were born to them, George David and Joseph Abram. When George David was near 2 years old, George and Sarah moved to Fountain Green, Sanpete County, in Southern Utah, where they made their home for the following 9 years. The two oldest boys were baptized while in Fountain Green. Upon their return to Salt Lake, George purchased a 10 acre farm on 33rd South, now 35th South, in the hunter Ward. He also operated a farm for Bishop Spears, then Bishop of the Salt Lake 10th Ward. At the same time they were farming and paying for 160 acres of dry farm land on the bench above the home farm. Bishop Spear’s farm was nearby the home farm. these were the days of extreme hardships for all the people in the Valley. For 4 consecutive years, after the first crop of hay was harvested, the Grasshoppers cleaned up the crops. George and his sons who were old enough to work were forced to find employment wherever possible, to keep from losing their farms and to feed and clothe the growing family. they cut railroad ties, out of logs, built bridges, any work they could find to keep things going. They were faithful in church attendance. Sarah worked in the Relief Society, she and George attended MIA together and found Happiness and peace amid their hardships. The family grew within 22 years from 1 to 14 children. One baby son died in infancy. During those years Sarah sewed the entire clothing needs of her family. She made suits, hats, coats, dressed, underwear and night wear, all the needs of growing children plus the cooking, washing, ironing, and a thousand and one needs that only a Mother knows of. As the children grew old enough to help, they were assigned their daily tasks in the home and farm routine.
      Below are listed the children by name, birth dates, death date
      NAME Birth Death
      George David 11 Sep 1875 28 Jul 1954
      Joseph Abram 19 Oct 1876 5 Jun 1943
      Heber "J" 7 Feb 1878 16 Dec 1963
      William 1879 4 days of age
      Charles Henry 6 Jun 1880 2 Jul 1906
      Thomas Edward 26 Jun 1882 15 Jul 1959
      Lawrence Roy 11 Feb 1884 23 Feb 1951
      James Albert 2 Apr 1886 16 May 1939
      Mary (May) Elizabeth 12 Mar 1889 30 Jan 1952
      Lester Layne 12 Jan 1891 10 Mar 1969
      Alice Emmeline 6 Apr 1892 1 Jun 1960
      Harvey 3 Jun 1894 28 Sep 1955
      Eva 1 Mar 1896 6 Aug 1974
      Wilford 7 Sep 1897 24 Feb 1910

      Seven sons were born before a daughter blessed their home and Edward, Ed, became his Mother's helper with the labor and upkeep of the home. Helping with the washing, at that time done with a washboard and tubs, He became a very fine cook and in later years of his life was sought after to help at Ward banquets and such, He was especially skillful in cooking of all meats and making delicious gravies.
      The Salt Lake Temple was being built and every church member was called to do his share. George and his young sons, hauled granite from the quarries with teams and wagons to do their share in helping to erect a house of the Lord. During these trying years, George with others of the neighborhood, often hunted wild ducks during the winter months. They went out during the week, killed the birds, dressed them, and took them to town to be sold on Saturday's Market. The Market then extended from Richard Street to West Temple and was known as "Green Grocery Row." It was here the farmers brought their produce to be sold to those living within the city. It was while on such a hunting trip that George was stricken with a severe attack of appendicitis and died in a Grantsville Hotel before they were able to get him to Salt Lake City. The date was 8th November 1898, at the age of 47 years.
      SARAH AND THE CHILDREN
      After George's death, to Sarah facing the future alone, her task seemed tremendous. Thirteen children must be fed, clothed, and cared for. Just a year after his Father's death their 2nd son Joseph was called to serve a 2 year mission to Texas. Sarah and the children worked at anything they could find to help support him in this calling. Great freezers of homemade ice cream were frozen, cakes were baked, these were sold at ward or community socials. Eggs were sold, butter churned, molded and sold. Sarah made switches of ladies of the community who brought some of their own hair to be made into hair pieces. These funds were always referred to as, "Joe's money," and kept for his missionary expense. The Lord blessed their efforts and Joseph returned on 1901 having completed an honorable 2 year mission. Sarah remained on the farm for 4 years following her husband's death; the younger children were attending school at the Hunter Ward where Ness Hall was teaching. At one time or another she taught Harvey, Alice, and Eva. Ness later became their sister-in-law, marrying their brother Thomas Edward. (Ed) The Following 2 years Sarah spent the summer months on the farm and during the school months lived in town where the children continued their schooling. In 1902 the older boys began to marry and commence homes of their own, but on Sunday's they would gather at their Mother's home to visit. Around the large dining table they partook of the bounties of life with which her table was always blessed. They were welcome with open arms and a glad and thankful heart. In the early part of 1904, Sarah moved to town to make a permanent home. For a while the farm home as rented but eventually it was sold and the dry farm rented, this gave her some income although yearly payments were still being made on it. Their 5th child, Charles Henry, died in 1906, at the age of 26 years from Spinal Meningitis, said to be caused from a wood tick bite, just 13-1/2 months after his marriage to Maude Collins, leaving his young widow and an infant daughter whom they called Lucille. Within a few weeks following Charles' death, Sarah's brother Joseph was drowned in the Snake River, near St. Anthony, Idaho. Following this Sarah's Mother and Mother-in-law died with in 1 month of each other. At about this time Sarah took one of her granddaughters into her home to raise, Bertha Jones, who was with Sarah until her death in 1923. Bertha was indeed a blessing and a great help to grandmother, especially as Sarah grew older. In 1910, Sarah's youngest child Wilford also died from Spinal Meningitis at the age of 13 years. At the time the family was in quarantine with Small Pox, Albert (Ab) was the afflicted one. Eva and Ab were of course unable to attend the graveside service for their baby brother. Sarah was fumigated out and allowed to go. At this time Sarah's health was seriously impaired by all these deaths and tribulations and in much need of rest. When she began to feel that she might get on top of it all, the family was again confined to their home, this time with Scarlet Fever. Just 2 or 3 months after their siege with Small Pox. There were 7 children and Sarah home at the time. Sarah's home was on 8th West which she maintained until World War I, when her only unmarried son, Lester, was called to service. During the time he was gone she moved in with her daughter Eva, who lived next door. Eva's husband, Elmer Hokanson, was also called to service. The two young men left together. After a period of time Elmer came home on furlough having had a serious attack of the dreaded "Flu," which had left him nothing but skin and bone. Eva put him to bed, nursed and cared for him until he returned for duty, 12 days later. When the war ended Elmer returned home about 2 months before Lester. Upon Lester's return, Sarah again established her own home on Mead Street in the 30th Ward. During the years that followed Sarah was able to visit her sons in Idaho, Heber at Downey, Joseph at Idaho Falls, Milo Ward, and George at Rexburg. These were the easier and more enjoyable years of her life. Kind, thoughtful, and understanding of others, she always gave of herself and shared with others her worldly goods. A pie or cake for the widowed, neighbors or friends. Little children she showered with love and kindness, Sweet memories of Grandma Wilding linger in the minds and hearts of the grandchildren who remember her. Her faith in the power of the priesthood was manifested in times of sickness and expressed her thoughts, when her first words were, "Send for the Elders." In Sarah's Patriarchal Blessing, received years before, she had been promised that she should not die until she was ready to go.
      On the 8th of June in 1923 she suffered a heart attack in her home and to her daughter Eva she made the statement that she was ready to go any time. On June 11, 1923, she died at the age of 66 years. She was laid to rest, after 25 years of separation, beside her companion in the Pleasant Green Cemetery. Salt Lake County, Utah.
      These Noble Pioneers, valiant parents and grand parents now have a great posterity, most of them residing in Utah, Idaho, and California but others spread throughout the states.
      FINIS

      As I have written this sketch of the life of my Grandparents, my heart is filled with love for them and with appreciation for their great contribution made toward my welfare in this generation. We are so abundantly blessed with the comforts of life they never enjoyed but were so willing to sacrifice for that we might know of their love and concern for us. May we, at some future day express to them the love and gratitude we feel in our hearts.

      To Aunt Eva,
      I am grateful to Aunt Eva who so graciously helped me compile the information needed to write this sketch. For a full day we made notes as thoughts and incidents in her life came to mind. Everything was laid aside that this might be accomplished. I am sure that for a long time we have both felt the need of writing a sketch of her parents, that their story, with it great valor and strength, their will to work and to accomplish, their faithfulness in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, be not lost from their posterity.
      Thank you so very much Aunt Eva and May God Bless you Always,
      Luella W. Park
      Assisted by Eva W. Hokansen
      November 1968
      George Wilding and Sarah Brown are buried in the Pleasant Green Cemetery, Salt Lake County Utah.
      These 2 pictures are of their footstones. As they are at the foot of their graves.




      Mary Elizabeth Layne was born on Chrismas Eve, 1832 in Clay County, Indiana. She came of Excellent "Hoosier" stock, the Laynes and the Bybees, her forebears, being prominent in early Indiana history. The Christian names of her parents, David and Lucinda, indicate that they were some of the "good old fashioned people" that James Whitcomb Riley the Hoosier poet tells us about in his poems of Indiana life. The family home of the Laynes was located in the "back woods country" as it was known in those days, far away from so-called civilization, and while that home was, no doubt, sadly lacking in some of the things that stand for refinement, yet there were many redeeming features which more than made up for the loss; features that were always held in the fondest remembrance of Mary Elizabeth--the dear old log cabin constructed by her father, the woods with their wealth of elm, and hickory, and the wonderful sugarmaple, the dropping nuts in the fall, wild cherries, paw paws, and the thousand and one wonders of the undefiled forest that mean so much to child life. In this environment she spent her happy childhood days, days that she loved to talk about to her dying day. A great sorrow came into her life before she reached her eighth year, her father took sick and died, leaving a poverty stricken family of seven, two boys and five girls, some older and some younger than Mary Elizabeth, but all of them under 12 years of age. It was while they were in this condition that a Mormon Elder reached their door and although abjectly poor and down hearted they gladly received him and within a month's time they had embraced what they considered "the true and everlasting gospel", had sold out their farm and with what few household belongings, team, etc., they had, went on their way to the gathering place of the saints, which was then in Nauvoo, Ill.

      Here they went through all the privations, mobbing, driving, etc., so wellknown to readers of Mormon history. Later on, following the fortunes of their people, they landed at Council Bluffs, to make ready for the Journey to the "Valley of the Mountains". It was at Council Bluffs that Mary Elizabeth met her future husband, George Wilding. The Wildings were from Preston, England, being among the first Mormons to emigrate from from that land. Courtships were usually short in those days, so before the first emigrant train was ready to start on the long "trek" across the plains, they were married. (Mary Elizabeth was about 18 years old and George was about 21). They must have been married at Council Bluffs. Two sons were born to them in Indiana; George was born on 5th of June 1851, and David was born on 6th of May 1853.

      It was a happy trip for the young and handsome couple, although their stock of worldly goods did not amount to much, at which they were not dismayed. Their wagon was not a new one, and the team that puled it across the plains consisted of a cow and horse hooked up together. But, having started on the long journey early in the spring, they landed in the valley in pretty fair shape in the fall of 1854, having been four months on the way.

      The winter of 1854 was an extremely hard one and the Wildings had no home to go to other than the wagon box which had been their domicile on the trip across the country. It was in this same wagon box on a lot in the lower part of the 19th ward that their first girl, Mary Alice, was born the night they arrived in Salt Lake City, November 3, 1854.

      It, no doubt, would be interesting to detail some of the history of Mother Wilding's early experiences, her struggle for existence under the most trying circumstances, how she raised flax, spun it, wove it into cloth, and from this same cloth made her own and her husbands underwear as well as dresses for her children. How with a few pounds bran and shorts together with roots and thistles which she dug with her own hands, kept the wolf from the door until her husband reaped his first little harvest of grain. How from her scanty fare, she helped feed hungry emigrants who settled in her neighborhood until they could be better provided for. How she did many other things that only a heroine such as she was would have done, but space will not permit, suffice it to say that she was one of God's noble women and played the part of a heroic soul when called upon to make the many sacrifices that our pioneer women were obliged to make in the early days of Utah.

      One day while some pioneer women were visiting with her, the children kept coming in and asking for some bread. She told them to wait until their father came home, then they could all eat together, as she only had one loaf of bread. A strange man came to the door and asked for a loaf of bread and she gave it to him. Some of the women sighed and asked her how she could do that when her own children were hungry, the man turned and looked back at her as he was leaving and said, "You will never want for food again." This was true, she never needed again.

      In the years that followed, Mrs. Wilding took an active part in all of those things that our Mormon Mothers are noted for --faithfulness to duty; looking after the wants of the poor, taking care of the sick and the afflicted; feeding the hungry; in short, being a real mother in Israel. But, it was in the home that she appeared to best advantage. Her home life was ideal. As an entertainer she had few equals. She was happiest when all of her living children were gathered around the big family table partaking of the bounties of life with which it was always so generously laden. She was exceptionally kind and thoughtful of the wants of little children, considerate of everyone who lived in her neighborhood, in fact, if there ever was a person that observed the injunction of the master when he said. "Love thy Neighbor as Thyself", it was Mother Wilding.

      Of her seven daughters around which this brief sketch is written, the same splendid thing may be said, because they are all exceptional women. Most of them have taken more or less prominent parts in the building up of the State. They have ever been willing so assume the responsibilities of motherhood and all that that name implies. In their respective wards they have been active in both church and social work, and their family life has followed the pattern of their mother, to which their host of friends will testify. They are a whole-soul, splendid lot of women to which any community might be proud.

      In addition to these fine daughters she produced three wonderful sons which have filled responsible positions in church and state and each one has left posterity just as equal in importance as these daughters.

      In her early youth while she lived in Nauvoo, she had the privilege of talking with the Prophet Joseph Smith and still lived in Nauvoo at the time of the death of the Prophet, Joseph Smith.






      1

      Mary Elizabeth Layne was born on Christmas Eve, 1832, in Clay County, Indiana. She was the fourth child of David Layne and Lucinda Bybee who were both born in Barren County, Kentucky, and had accepted the challenge of pioneering as settlers of Indiana. She came of excellent Hoosier stock as the Layne and Bybee families were prominent in early Indiana history. Her grandfather Robert Layne, a Campbellite Minister, was elected Justice of the Peace in Clay County. She was the first of David and Lucinda's children to be born in Indiana. Her older sister and brothers had been born before they left Kentucky.

      The family home of the Laynes was located in the back woods country, as it was known in those days, far away from so-called civilization. That home was no doubt sadly lacking in some of the things that stand for refinement, yet there were many redeeming features that were always held in the fondest remembrance by Mary Elizabeth: the dear old cabin constructed by her father, the woods with their wealth of elm and hickory; the wonderful sugar maple; the nuts that dropped in the fall; wild cherries; paw paws; and the thousand and one wonders of the un-defiled forest that means so much to child life. In this environment she spent her happy childhood days that she loved to talk about to her dying day.

      In the fall of 1838, Phineas Young, Almon W. Babbitt, and other missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passed through Terre Haute and on through Clay County. They preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored to the earth through Joseph Smith, the modern Prophet of the Lord. Some of the missionaries were making their way to New York and Washington, D. C. on business concerning the Church while others lingered in the area to preach the Gospel. Although the Layne and Bybee families were members of the Campbellite Church, David Layne and Byrum Bybee (a relative of Lucinda's) attended some of the meetings conducted by the Latter-day Saint missionaries and were intrigued with what they heard.
      The number of children in the Layne family increased when Nancy Maria, the eighth child in the family was born on February 14, 1839. David and Byrum had continued to attend the meetings held by the Latter-day Saint missionaries. They discussed the teachings of the missionaries and were impressed as they compared them with the Bible. They concluded the Gospel was true and these two young men decided to embrace the restored gospel and be baptized at their first opportunity.

      They were waiting for a date to be set for the baptisms in August of 1840, when David became ill. After just a few days illness, David Layne passed away on August 18, 1840, at the age of thirty-four. Sorrow filled the hearts of his wife and children as they watched their father buried there at Sugar Ridge, Clay County, Indiana.

      Mary Elizabeth's mother was left, actually in poverty, to care for her family of eight children, four boys and four girls: Martha Jane, just 14 years and 4 months old; Sarah (or Sally Ann), 11; Robert Lee, 9; Mary Elizabeth, 7; David Leland, 6; Jonathan Ellis, 5; Elihu Preston, 2; and Nancy Maria, 18 months old. The fact that Lucinda was three months into her ninth pregnancy added to her stress and burden.

      David's death also left the family with a $500 debt to be paid. After consulting with her father, Lucinda decided that the home should be sold and that the family should move to a small house near Grandfather Layne. Lucinda passed through many trials in trying to provide for her family until some of the older children were able to assist her.

      When the missionaries returned many members of this community were converted. Mary Elizabeth's oldest sister's baptism date is recorded as 1840. Evidently Lucinda waited until after the birth of her new baby to be baptized as she recorded her baptism date as 1841. Her new baby was born six months after David's death, on March 18, 1841, and she was named Jerusha Emmaline. It is apparent that Lucinda's father and three of her brothers were also baptized. Byrum (probably Lucinda's cousin) was also one of these early converts. When it was determined that the new converts would join the other Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, Lucinda and her young family traveled with them.

      They had traveled only twenty miles from their home when Elihu Preston fell off the wagon and was run over by the wagon wheel. Both legs were thought to be broken, but the next day he could walk as well as ever. Elihu would have been about five years old at the time. They crossed the Wabash River near Terre Haute and traveled to the settlement of "Paris" in eastern Illinois. They crossed the state to Springfield where they saw a steam-driven train for the first time. Turning northwest, they arrived at Nauvoo, Illinois, on the Mississippi River, 250 miles from their home in Clay County.

      They made their home five miles south and a little east of the city where Mary Elizabeth's grandfather Bybee and her uncles were able to buy farms. Lucinda settled her family in a rented house near her father. Their first winter there, 1842 and 1843, was very cold. The children were able to attend school part of the years of 1842, 1843, and 1844.

      The family lived in a home close to the road leading from Warsaw to Nauvoo by June of 1844. During this month of persecutions until the time of the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, mobs came from Warsaw and other places almost day and night. When the mobs weren't passing, there were reports of them coming that kept the people in continual alarm. It was a time of fear and tension for Mary Elizabeth and her family. They learned to keep their lights out to avoid being bothered, but there was little sleep in the Layne and Bybee homes with their house so near the highway and the mobs were coming or going almost constantly.

      On the night of June 27, the house seemed to be full of evil spirits. The next day eleven-year-old Mary Elizabeth's grandfather came and told them that he had heard the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum had been murdered in the Carthage Jail. When the bodies were returned to Nauvoo, Mary Elizabeth's mother forbid the children to go along with the thousands of people to take a last look at them. However, the children and their Mother joined the Saints in their time of great mourning.

      During the fall of 1844, Mary Elizabeth's brother Jonathan helped chop wood that was hauled to Nauvoo for the men working on the Temple. The family thus felt they, too, giving assistance in the building of the Nauvoo Temple.

      Mary Elizabeth's family had, by this time, had worked to buy a small brick home and ten acres of good land. The winter of 1845 and 1846 came with persecution so persistent that the leaders of the Church agreed that the Saints would leave Illinois as soon as their homes and lands could be disposed of. Advantage was taken of the Church members but most were able to dispose of their homes for some price, which in some cases was about the same as giving them away. Nearly all were compelled to take what was offered. Mary Elizabeth's mother was forced to "sell" her home and ten acres for eleven dollars worth of flour. When the opened the sacks of flour they found it was so black and bitter that they were unable to eat it.

      In May, 1846, the family, along with Grandfather Lee Bybee and their uncles, left their once peaceable homes and ferried across the Mississippi River at Nashville, five miles below Warsaw. The traveled west and north and camped on the hills in Iowa to better prepare themselves for the long journey ahead of them. They eventually moved on to the Grand River where other Saints were camped. This location became known as Mount Pisgah and they stayed there for the next eighteen months. During this time, fourteen-year-old Mary Elizabeth's two older sisters had married and her mother met Barnett Manzer who became her stepfather when he married Lucinda Layne in November, 1947.

      The following spring the family moved on to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where they camped on North Pigeon Creek, just a few miles from Council Bluffs. They became members of the North Pigeon Branch. The David Wilding family was also living at North Pigeon. The Wilding's were from Preston, England, and were among the first "Mormon" immigrants from that country. It was there that Mary Elizabeth met her future husband, young George Wilding. Mary Elizabeth was fifteen when they had moved into the community. She blossomed into a lovely young lady in the next months and it was not long until she was being courted by the tall good looking George.

      In June of 1850, twenty-year-old George and seventeen-year-old Mary Elizabeth made the trip into Kanesville, Iowa. There at the Post Office in Kanesville, Orson Hyde performed their marriage ceremony on June 30, 1850. George had only fifty cents that he gave to Orson Hyde for performing the ceremony. Mary Elizabeth had seventy-five cents.

      Two wagons full of people had accompanied them to witness the wedding in Kanesville. The family members and friends returned with them to Pigeon Creek to celebrate with dinner at George's home. After the wedding supper was ended, they followed the custom of that day. The girls took Mary Elizabeth to the bedroom she was to share with George. They not only prepared her for bed, but they tucked her in! Then the boys took George to the room and did the same with him. Thus ended the celebration.

      Their first home had one log room with a bunk built in for a bed. The bunk was made by boring two holes in the wall and nailing posts to the floor for the two other corners. Rawhide was stretched across for the bottom and on this was placed a straw tick, a sheet, and two quilts. Their household equipment consisted of a frying pan and two plates.

      Their first son, George Wilding Jr., was born the 5th of June at North Pidgeon, Pottawattamie, Iowa. The Wilding family apparently lived there until they had accumulated that which was needed to make the trip to the Salt Lake Valley. George was finally able to acquire a wagon that was not new, and obtained one ox. Their milk cow was harnessed to the wagon with the ox to pull the wagon across the plains. With their possessions packed, they joined the Benjamin E. Gardiner Company and left Kanesville, Iowa, on May 15, 1852. There were 241 people with forty-five wagons in their company.
      Mary Elizabeth's sister, Sally Lane (Layne), and her husband Horace Owens were in the Gardiner Company, also. Horace and George were chosen as the hunters for the wagon train. There were no problems finding animals for the meat supply of the immigrants for there were thousands of buffalo still on the plains. As they would go out to hunt almost every day, Mary Elizabeth and Sally were left to drive the wagons. One experience George had almost cost his life. One day, as he and Horace returned from the day's hunt, they passed a spot where there were one hundred thirty new graves. One man had been wrapped in a feather bed and buried, but animals had partly pulled it out of the ground. George put his foot out to turn the face up so he could see who it was. The "corruption came out" and he smelled the terrible odor of cholera.

      George, as a result, contracted the terrible disease and soon lay almost dead in camp. During the night they heard the Captain say, "We will stop over tomorrow to bury George." Between gasps, George said, "No! You won't! I will live." David Wilding, George's father, was a doctor and George remembered his father saying, "Take strong whiskey for cholera." Horace Owens was on night watch and Mary Elizabeth knew he would be awake. She went to his camp and Horace got the needed whiskey for her. Into the glass of whiskey she put black pepper. George drank it and was able to continue his journey.

      They arrived in Utah on September 24, 1852, four months after they had departed from Iowa. They were in fairly good shape, considering their strenuous journey. However, the winter of 1852 was extremely hard. They had no home other than the wagon box that had brought them across the plains. It was in this same wagon box that their second son, David, was born the following spring on May 6, 1853.

      That year Mary Elizabeth dug roots and thistles which she fed to her family along with bran and shorts. This was the food they existed on until George could reap their first harvest of grain.

      George, who was trained as a mason and carpenter, was able to build them a home in the Nineteenth Ward during this year of 1853. The family moved into the house at 748 West 2nd North and it served as the home of Mary Elizabeth for the next forty-seven years. There she began raising her own flax, spun it, and wove it into cloth. She used this cloth to sew her own and her husband's underwear, as well as the dresses and other clothing for the children. George helped build houses for others coming into Utah, so they, too, might be more comfortable. Mary Elizabeth had great empathy for new immigrants arriving in the valley and helped feed those who settled in their neighborhood until they could provide for themselves.

      They were expecting their third child when little seventeen-month-old David was taken in death on October 12, 1854. Their sorrow was eased a bit by the birth of their first daughter on November 3, 1854. They named her Mary Alice after Mary Elizabeth and George's mother, Alice Atkinson Wilding. Two years and four months later they were blessed with another daughter on March 3, 1857. Roselpha was the name given her. When Walker Brothers started their store, George worked for them and then went to work for Z.C.M.I. as a packer. At times he worked so late that the children had already said their prayers before he came home. Six months after Roselpha's birth Mary Elizabeth and George went to the Salt Lake Endowment House and were sealed to each other on September 4, 1857.

      Their family kept growing in numbers as Elizabeth Ann was born January 4, 1859, and Jenetta joined the family on October 26, 1860. After four daughters in a row, both parents rejoiced in the birth of another son, Preston, on November 9, 1862. It was only eleven months until they shared sorrow and tears as Preston left this life October 21, 1863. They had two more little girls, Eleanor, born August 28, 1864; and Maggie, born August 21, 1866; before they were again blessed with a little boy, Henry David, born on October 15, 1868. Their little girls were so loved, but with the loss of the little boys, sons were extremely welcome in their home.

      Two more delightful little girls were born in that loving home. Eve joined the family circle on December 31, 1870, and Olive, their eighth and last daughter was born June 18, 1873. Olive was allowed to remain on earth only twenty-one months before this choice little spirit was taken home to her Heavenly Father. She died March 21, 1875. Once again Mary Elizabeth was expecting when she had to go through the sorrow of losing a child.

      The next five months may have seemed a bit like a bad dream to Mary Elizabeth. She had just lost a daughter, she was expecting again, and her forty-six year old husband chose that time to tell her he wished to take another wife. One of the reasons he gave to Mary Elizabeth was that he wanted a house full of sons. Mary Elizabeth was not agreeable to this and told him if he married another wife he would not be allowed to live with her afterwards. He went ahead with his plans and asked eighteen year old Leoni Leoti Winner to be his wife.

      George and Leoni were married August 9, 1875. Mary Elizabeth, true to her word, never had him back even though he continued to support her and her family. Two months and one day after his marriage to the young woman, forty-two year old Mary Elizabeth gave birth to George's fifth son on October 10, 1875. The name chosen for this son was Walter Layne Wilding.

      Mary Elizabeth took an active part in the early pioneer life of the Salt Lake Valley Mormons. She was faithful to her duties. She helped care for the sick and afflicted and was generous with those who were hungry or in need. During these years there were Indians that would go into Salt Lake to beg. When Mary Elizabeth left her children alone she always left two bags, one of coffee and one of sugar. These were the items the Indians seemed to want most. She would tell the children to keep the doors locked. If Indians did come, they were to be given the bags of coffee and sugar without letting them in the house. Eleanor (the fifth daughter, who was nicknamed "Ellie") said she was always afraid of a knock at the door. If one came, she answered with the two bags in her hand ready to stave off the intruders.

      Mary Elizabeth was exceptionally kind and thoughtful of the wants of little children, and considerate of everyone who lived in her neighborhood. The home life of her household, was ideal and as an entertainer, she had few equals. She was happiest when all of her children were gathered around the big family table partaking of the bounties with which it was laden. When she was annoyed or frustrated, she would use her favorite expression: "Oh, sugar in a gourd!"

      Ice-skating was one of the favorite wintertime sports the young people enjoyed. This type of fun was often followed by a candy pull with the family and friends, or perhaps just a simple supper in that same family kitchen with its big table and homemade benches and chairs. As marriages took place in the family, wedding dinners were prepared and served there, too. Music was an important part of the family life in those pioneer days. Ellie and Walter Layne had the privilege of singing in the Tabernacle Choir and Mary Alice Widdison was said to have a rich alto voice, also. These talents were developed and cultivated as family members gathered around the old organ in the evenings.

      Mary Elizabeth always retained her testimony of the Gospel and knew the importance of being sealed as a family. George was almost seventy years old and Mary Elizabeth was sixty-six when they took two of their daughters, Mary Alice Widdison and Roselpha Emery, to the Salt Lake Temple and had them sealed to them, October 20, 1899. They also had two of their sons, George Jr. and David (who were now dead), sealed to them on that date. Ten of their thirteen children lived to maturity and all of them were privileged to go to the Temple.

      Mary Elizabeth lived eight years after George's last child (Leoni's eleventh daughter and twelfth child) was born in 1901. She had seen that George did not get his house full of sons as he had hoped. She was aging and her daughters saw that she needed their help and care. Jenetta (Nettie) Poulton (Mary Elizabeth's sixth child) had moved her mother into her home on 7th East. As she neared the end of her life, Mary Elizabeth instructed the children that she was not to be buried by George. Even when George came to see her at the end, she was unrelenting. Family members tell that he asked to talk to her alone and when he came from her room he was crying.

      Mary Elizabeth passed away December 17, 1909, seven days before her seventy-seventh birthday. She was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery


      This history was modified by Bonita P. Atkinson from the history compiled by Geneva.Wilding from the following sources:
      (1) History of George Wilding by Walter Layne Wilding and Clara Wilding Coon.
      (2) History of George Wilding written by himself.
      (3) History of Mary Elizabeth Layne by Stephen Hunter Love.
      (4) History of David Layne and Lucinda Bybee by Stella Wilson Pettit.
      (5) History of Leoni Leoti Winner by herself and daughter Clara Wilding Coon.
      (6) History of David Wilding compiled by Geneva M. Wilding.
      "Pidgeon" is show with this spelling in the old records. Records of today show it as "Pigeon.
      Many records show George as twenty-one, but his twenty-first birthday would have been in November 1850. Mary Elizabeth is also shown as eighteen. Her birthday was not until December. She was still seventeen at the time of the marriage.
      "Pigeon" or "North Pigeon" does not appear on maps of Iowa now, but there is Pigeon Creek that L.D.S. members now living in that area told about at a Mormon History Conference held in Omaha.
      "Shorts" were ground grain that was sifted finer than bran.
      Leoni was born the same year as George's daughter Roselpha.

      When George Wilding Senior died, family members had him buried at the side of Mary Elizabeth Layne Wilding. They hoped that her understanding had been increased and that forgiveness had taken place.



      Mary Elizabeth LAYNE
      was born on December 24, 1832 in Bowling Green, Clay, In. She was a pioneer in the B. Gardner company arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on September 24, 1852. She died on December 17, 1909 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT. She was buried on December 19, 1909 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT.

      It was on the 30th of June, 1850, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, that Mr. WILDING was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Lane and to them were born the following named: George, who was born June 5, 1851, and married Sarah Brown; David, who was born May 6, 1853, and died

      October 12, 1854; Mary Alice, who was born November 3, 1854, and is the wife of William Widdison; Rosilpha, who was born March 4, 1857, and is the wife of George R. Emery; Elizabeth Ann, who was born January 4, 1859, and is the wife of Joseph Burdette; Jeanetta, who was born October 26, 1860, and married Oak POULTON; Preston, who was born November 9, 1862, and died October 21, 1863; Eleanor, who was born August 28, 1864, and is the wife of Stephen H. Love; Maggie, who was born August 21, 1866, and married Nephi Timpson; Henry David, who was born October 15, 1868, and married Eliza Ann Oldham; Eve, who was born December 31, 1870, and is wife of Charles Pettit; Olive, who was born in June, 1873, and died March 23, 1875; and Walter L., who was born October 10, 1875, and married Vivian Little.

      Mary Elizabeth Layne was born 24 December 1832 in what was then Clay County, Indiana. Her father was David Layne and her mother, Lucinda BYBEE, both born in Kentucky. The family home of the Layne's was in the backwoods country and their life was somewhat isolated. This home always held the fondest memories for Mary Elizabeth. The cabin had been constructed by her father. The woods were full of elm and hickory and delicious maple sugar. There were wild berries, nuts in the fall, paw paw and all that the environment could offer a happy little girl. She had blue eyes and brown hair and always enjoyed good health.

      Before she turned eight her father became sick and died (none of the children were over twelve). This was a great sorrow to the little girl. Before he died the Mormon elders had come through the territory. After his death, the family joined the church. (David Layne’s name does appear on the LDS Membership Name Index 1830 - 1845. Her mother sold the farm and they journeyed to Nauvoo. They settled on the road to Nauvoo. Many times the mobs would go screaming down the road to Nauvoo. They kept their lights out to avoid being bothered.

      At the age of 18 Mary Elizabeth married George WILDING in Iowa. She was the mother of five sons and eight daughters. She raised flax, spun it, wove it into cloth and from this same cloth made her own and he husband's underwear as well dresses and shirts for her children. She dug roots and thistles and with bran and shorts fed her family until George could reap their first harvest of grain. George and Elizabeth helped feed emigrants who settled in their neighborhood until they could take care of themselves.

      Mary Elizabeth took an active part in all the things that our Mormon mothers were noted for-faithfulness to duty, taking care of the sick and afflicted, feeding the hungry, etc. Her home life was ideal. She was a fine entertainer and was happiest when all her children were gathered around the big family table partaking of the bounties of life with which it was always laden.

      She was exceptionally kind and thoughtful of the wants of little children, considerate of everyone who lived in her neighborhood. She was making her home with one of her daughters, Jeanetta POULTON, on 7th East when she died on 17 December 1909. She was 77 years old.

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