[Retyped by Diane Rawlins Mayo April, 1988. Scanned from Diane's typed copy February, 1997 Stephen L. Rawlins.]
History of Hezekiah Carter
Written by Ernest Carter
Hezekiah Carter is the son of Thomas Carter and Jane Nightingale. He was born on the 11th of February 1843 in Alderton Gloucester, England. Hezekiah's mother died when he was six so his father took him to live with Grandfather & Grandmother James & Mary Ann Carter so that his father would be free to work on his farm.
One day Hezekiah's father heard the Mormon elders preach the gospel and after a few weeks he became convinced of the truth of the gospel and was baptized a member along with Hezekiah. This made his Grandfather very angry with them and threatened them with violence so Hezekiah and his father gave up everything and left with a group of thirty-two Saints under leadership of Jacob Gates and sailed from Liverpool England in Jan, 1853, landing in New Orleans March 26, 1853. They took a steam boat up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa.
There some time was spent in preparing for the long tedious journey across the plains which was crossed mostly on foot, driving two yoke of oxen and a wagon. While crossing the plains a young lady saw Hezekiah's father mixing bread and jokingly said there is a poor man that doesn't have anyone to mix his bread and he replied maybe you would like to mix it for me. This started a romance with his father and Mary Ann Goble. They arrived in Nephi on 10 October 1853 and were married on 1 November 1855. From then on Hezekiah lived with his father and step Mother and was very industrious in helping to build up the new city of Nephi. He also helped build the mud wall that protected the saints from the Indians.
While the saints were building the wall, Chief Walker came along and told them to stop. He did not want to have his land dug up like that, then went away and when he came back again the wall was all finished. It was three blocks around.
Hezekiah was a veteran of the Walker and the Blackhawk wars. In the year 1863 he was called to go on a mission with nine others to drive four yoke of oxen to the Missouri River to bring some more immigrants to Salt Lake City. He was now twenty years old. At first he did not take very kindly to this calling and thinking he could avoid going he hitched up his team and went to Farmington and stayed two weeks in hopes the company would be gone when he returned, but this was not to be, for when he did return the Bishop and others met him and persuaded him to take the mission, which he reluctantly accepted.
He left Nephi April 1st 1863, and it took him ten weeks to reach the Missouri River. While waiting for the immigrants for about four weeks they worked for the farmers cutting grain and from the proceeds Hezekiah bought dishes, a shovel and a pitchfork. He used the fork to spear fish.
It seemed the Lord had a hand in having Hezekiah go on this mission for while at the river they went to visit another camp and there he met a brown eyed maiden by the name of Elizabeth Morris.
One of the boys said that young lady is going to Zion with me, but that was decided a few days later when some girls were trying to decorate Hezekiah's hat with sunflowers. None of them succeeded until Elizabeth Morris came along and he willingly gave her his hat.
They were about five months on the road, arriving in Nephi, Utah on the 20th of October 1863, where Hezekiah and Elizabeth Morris were married two months later.
Their furniture was two three legged stools and a table made by his own hands, a folding bed and three quilts, which he had with him on the trip, and a tick full of straw which they folded down at night and up in the morning, also three sheets made of factory.
There were many striking incidents of his trip across the plains. On the way to the Missouri everything went fine, but on the return trip when a few days out at Turkey Island a terrible electric storm came up and while passing under some telegraph lines one of the teams was struck by lightening. Five out of the six oxen were killed and the teamster, Charles Adams, was knocked down. The wagon which was loaded with gun powder was set on fire, it was soon put out and the powder was saved.
They saw a farmers grain stacks burned by being struck by lightening. The company saw about 1500 Sioux Indians on the war path but they did not molest the company.