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A Brief History
4 Mar 1857 | Baxendell, Lancaster, England
Charlotte Swindlehurst Smith was born March 4, 1857 at Baxendell, Lancaster, England. Her parents were John Swindlehurst and Matilda Rothwell.
Her first eleven years were spent in England where she enjoyed many conveniences and things that were luxuries afterwards. They had pavement around their home and to the corral, gas lights and water piped into the home. They used to be permitted to accompany their mother to market, which was a great sight; where they could buy oranges, apples, many kinds of buns, oysters, cockles and muscles be sides many kinds of fish.
At one time she attended school in a Methodist Church; the teacher was blind so would sit in the pulpit while the children played.
They then became converted to the Latter-day Saint Church; so they gathered together what things they had to have and what they thought they would be able to bring; sold and left the others and their happy home of childhood. On her mother's birthday, July 15, 1868, they left England in the Steamship "Colorado" for Utah. There were 600 Saints in the Company, with Richard Benson in charge. They arrived in New York July 28th and took the train from there to the terminal at the place called Brenton, Wyoming.
As there were so many Saints and trains not so nice or plentiful, cattle cars were pressed into service and the younger folks were placed in these. They had lots of fun and would start to shout and some would bellow like cattle when a station was reached.
They arrived August 7th. Then preparations were made to start across the plains. They found here that they would not be able to take all that they had so beds with other goods were left. They started out August 14th with 411 in Daniel D. Mc Arters Company.
Their family consisted of Father, Mother, four girls and two boys. Arrangements were made for thirteen or as near that as could be to go with each yoke of cattle. This meant that all that could were to walk. Fred Limb, Richard Mayse and Jockie Wilcher had been sent from Beaver, Utah to go back to assist in bringing the Saints to Utah so they were placed in Fred Limb's wagon. They found him very kind and agreeable and he would put her and her younger sister Amelia on the wagon to ride for a few miles when the road was fairly good. She remembers two being laid to rest on the plains, one a baby, and one grown young man, whom they had learned to love on the boat and train for his kindness and desire to help wherever he could.
They arrived in Beaver September 2nd and camped the first night where Frank Harris now lives (515 N. 200 W.). Next morning her father went to find some place to move his family. They moved into a little place that was used for a carpenter shop by Elliot Wilden, where her sister Amelia lives (2nd West & 3rd North). They stayed for two or three weeks; then a Mrs. Ashworth moved and they secured the place and later bought it. That being where the present home of her Brother Edwin now lives (NE corner of 1st No. & 3rd West).
Her father was a very efficient Blacksmith and started to work at this trade. She went with her father to help. They had their own coal to burn so wood was hauled and their first coal kill was on the corner where Oscar Thompson lives (NW corner of 4th North & 4th West). This took one week night and day so all the family who was old enough took their turn watching to See that it did not break out into flames.
When about 15 years of age the Beaver Woolen Mill started. Her oldest sister Isabelle had learned the trade of weaving in England so she went with her to learn weaving, and wove cloth for mens suits and wove the cloth for the first suit of clothes her brother Joseph had.
At the factory they had some jolly times with an occasional party for all workers and those that had worked when John Ashworth was boss. William Robinson was loom boss.
In April 1878 there was an excursion to the St. George Temple. She and her father went to do temple work. John A. Smith who she had been keeping company with went as teamster for his father who was bishop at the time. The last day of the excursion which Was April 26th Bishop Smith suggested that they get married while there and thus do away with another trip later on. As the day was fast drawing to a close there was no time for arguments, he thus made up their minds.
She was 21 and had worked in the factory 6 years, but continued to work until the following August (1878). Living with her father, her mother having died 4 years previously with a stroke, her sister Sophia having taken care of the home.
They then had completed a little home of their own so decided to go into house keeping by themselves. They moved there in October, 1878.
So Mr. Ashworth favored her for her years of steady and efficient work by letting her have a pair of blankets, a broom, some milk pans and a few other little articles for factory pay which were otherwise held for cash. It was about this time the Beaver Woolen Mills won a prize for making the best blankets in the State of Utah.
After their third child was born they took up a homestead about a mile north of town. Here they were required to live six months of every year for five years. These were not all days of pleasure as the father was compelled to go off to work at times, as they could not live on the produce of a sage brush farm, so she was left with three small children. Water had to be hauled for home use and cattle driven to the creek for water. When the land was proved up they did not move back to the farm.
She never took much part in public affairs, yet was always willing to help any cause along that she was called upon to do. Often times staying away from public gatherings to help others, and has started to Relief Society meetings and upon hearing of sickness she has returned changed clothes again and went and put out the family's washing and said she felt that she had done much more good.
She has reared 8 children, 3 girls and 5 boys. All have lived to have families of their own. In 1937 she had 38 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. One grandchild and 2 great grandchildren having passed beyond.
She died September 5, 1940 at 11:00. Her funeral was held September 8th.