PINNEY, Richard Charles - Obituary
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RICHARD CHARLES PINNEY
Richard Charles Pinney, when he died February 14, 1929, at the age of 85, was reputed to be Cache Valley’s oldest pioneer.
His father died crossing the plains, leaving his widow and two small living children. Richard Charles was the oldest and upon him fell, to a large extent, the responsibility of providing for his mother and the other children.
He went to Cache Valley in 1855 and as a mere lad helped care for the Church stock. He moved back to Salt Lake in 1859 and from there went to Spanish Fork, then to Summit and later to Virgin City. Still later, he was also in Kanab.
In 1866, he moved to Toquerville and in the fall of that year, he with about 65 other men, went on an exploring expedition under the command of Captain James Andrus to find the trails where the Navajo Indians came in to make their raids upon the southern settlements.
Later, he moved back to Toquerville and in 1867, he took the contract to carry the U.S. mail from Cedar City to St. George, a dangerous work in those days.
After leaving Toquerville, he moved to Johnson’s Fort, then to Summit, then to Kanarra. While he was living there, the Indians made a raid on that settlement and ran off all the work horses and saddle horses but one, which they overlooked. Among the stolen animals was a pair of mules. One of them got away and returned. Richard rode the mule and with the man who owned the horse, and followed the Indians the next morning to try to recover the stolen horses. After a ride of six hours, they came across the stolen horses feeding on a hill. While the Indians were down in the canyon eating, the two men surrounded the animals, and by yells scared them, until they ran down the hill. The Indians, not knowing how many white men there were, fled in another direction. The two men secured the stolen animals.
Richard later moved to Hillsdale, where he was made a member of the bishopric. He, again, took a contract to carry the mail from Marysvale to Panguitch.
In 1918, he moved to Logan.
PINNEY, Richard Charles & SMITH, Susannah Dugard
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RICHARD CHARLES PINNEY and SUSANNA DUGARD SMITH
By Roseann Goulding Peterson, granddaughter
Edited by Marlane Millward Johnson
Richard Charles Pinney was born on November 22, 1844 or 1845 in London, Middlesex, England. His parents were Robert Pinney and Matilda Murch. He had two sisters—Matilda and Eliza.
Susanna Dugard Smith was born on January 10, 1846, in Worchester, England. Her parents were Thomas Price Smith and Mary Dugard. (Mary Dugard Smith is said to be a relative of the Prophet Joseph Smith.) Susanna had only one sister. Sadly, she and her sister were orphaned at a very early age. Susanna was raised by a wealthy family in the East, and was a very accomplished lady. She was a musician and an artist. She was a French painter. She was vivacious and beautiful, but also very frail physically, never weighing over 100 pounds. Although she was not really demanding, people usually gave her what she wanted. There is no history of Susanna’s journey to Utah.
Richard’s parents first heard about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Mormon missionaries in England. They were shortly thereafter converted and baptized. Richard was about 9 years old at this time.
Soon after this (when he was 10), Richard’s family sold their home and precious belongings, and prepared to sail to America with a group of Latter-day Saints.
Just before the boat was to leave, Richard’s father, Robert, decided that they shouldn’t go. He retrieved all their belongings and put them back on shore, unknown to the other members of the family. On learning of this, Robert’s wife, Matilda, was so upset and sad that Robert relented and had their belongings put back on the boat. A few minutes later, the five members of the Robert Pinney family left England forever.
Matilda spoke of the voyage as being long, crowded, and tiresome; at the same time, she also said it was a happy one because they thought the Lord wanted them to come to Zion. They were willing to sacrifice in order to do that. They arrived in America after a 6-week voyage, and were assigned to the Handcart Company of 1855. This was neither the most common nor the easiest way to cross the plains. (A handcart was a simple 2-wheeled cart that was made to be pushed or pulled by people instead of pulled by mules or oxen. It could carry only a fraction of what a normal covered wagon could heft. The Mormon pioneers used these because most of them were poor immigrants from Europe with little money for oxen or wood.) The Pinneys built 2 carts, and disposed of everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. The family now felt, as other families did, that they were ready. They had faith that with the Lord’s help, they would be provided for and reach their destination in safety.
As they walked through the wilderness, they soon realized that the farther they went, the greater the dangers they faced. They battled adverse weather conditions, wild animals, savage Indians, breakage and wearing of equipment, weariness, starvation, sickness, and death.
One of these dangers had a direct and tragic impact on the family of Robert Pinney. An epidemic of cholera broke out in the camp, and three members of the Pinney family came down with it. Robert Pinney, Richard’s father, who had been a pillar of strength after his last-minute decision on the docks to come to America after all, died with this sickness. The next morning Eliza, Richard’s younger sister, was dead. Matilda, his older sister, survived but she would never fully recover her health. (She never developed further mentally, and her mind remained as a child’s. Many years later, she would live with Richard’s future daughter—Lydia and her family, and help Lydia with the housekeeping. She would live until she reached the age of 70 years old.)
While the handcart company resumed their journey, Richard, his mother, and sister, Matilda, managed to dig a gravesite. They lined it with rocks and mud, and then wrapped the two bodies in their bed blankets for burial. After a simple service, they made young Matilda as comfortable as possible in the handcart. They hurried on and caught up with the handcarts that had gone ahead.
The remaining Pinney family members found it very difficult to pull the cart now that Robert, the strongest in their group, was no longer with them. Fortunately, one kind friend and then another assisted them through their hardships, and they felt happy and thankful when they finally reached the Salt Lake Valley.
Their trials were not over, but shelter and food were partially taken care of by Heber C. Kimball. Richard’s mother, Matilda, had the opportunity to help repay this kindness by assisting Heber’s fine wife when she needed some help. Richard Charles was the man of the house now, and in his father’s absence, the responsibility of providing for his mother and sister fell upon him to a large extent. Though a mere lad of 10 years, he went to Cache Valley almost immediately to help care for the Church stock. Richard moved back to Salt Lake in 1859. From there he went to Spanish Fork, then to Summit, and later to Virgin City. Still later, he was also in Kanab. There were many hardships during this time, but the family also experienced many joys and satisfactions from having the Gospel in their lives. (Matilda would remain in the Salt Lake area for many years. Richard would live in many towns around Utah, but he would remain in the state for the rest of his life.)
By this time, Richard Charles had grown up. He was now a large man, well-proportioned, and had a medium complexion. Richard was generally healthy and happy, and was known to be kind, honest, and friendly. He was principally a bricklayer and carpenter by trade, but also had many other vocational abilities. He was well known for his high standards of workmanship.
It was somewhere in Utah that Richard met Susanna Dugard Smith. They were married on April 2, 1864. Richard was very attentive to Susanna. He always lifted her out of the buggy when they went some place. When he set her down, her hoops would just wiggle. They lived in Salt Lake City for some time after their marriage.
When living in Kanab, Richard and Susanna had their first child on January 21, 1866. They named him Charles Archibald.
In 1866, Richard and his family moved to Toquerville. In the fall of that year, Richard, with about 65 other men, went on an scouting expedition under the command of Captain James Andrus to find the trails the Navajo Indians used to make their raids upon the southern settlements.
In 1867, the family moved to Manti, Utah, and stayed there for a number of years, because Richard got the mail contract from Manti to Richfield, Sevier County. This was dangerous work! On December 6, 1868, Lydia Marion was born in Kanarra. Robert William was born on March 26, 1870 in Toquerville.
For a number of years, Richard and Susanna were involved in the local drama productions. Richard served as either president or general manager of several dramatic companies. Susanna played the leading lady parts.
The family was sent farther south, to Panguitch, to help build up that section of the country. Cora Mary Margaret was born on November 5, 1872, in Panguitch. Around this time period, Richard also cleared and made two of the finest farms on the Sevier River.
Richard was an Indian War Veteran, fighting in several Indian Wars, including the Black Hawk War. While living in Panguitch, they had many experiences with the Indians. The Indians had been a menace and were troublesome for the people in that area. Richard and his family were among the first settlers who built the Indian Fort and lived in it to protect their families from further attacks.
Besides living in Johnson’s Fort, Richard’s family also went to Summit, and then to Kanarrah. While they were living in Kanarrah, the Indians made a raid on that settlement. They ran off all the work horses and saddle horses except for one, which they had overlooked. Among the stolen animals was a pair of mules. One of them got away and returned. Richard rode the mule and with the man who owned the horse, followed the Indians the next morning to try to recover the stolen horses. After a ride of six hours, they came across the stolen horses feeding on a hill. While the Indians were down in the canyon eating, the two men surrounded the animals, and by yells, scared them until they ran down the hill. The Indians, not knowing how many white men there were, fled in another direction. The two men secured the stolen animals.
They also lived in Hillsdale, where Richard was made a member of the bishopric. Five more children were born while the family lived here. They were: Ida May (April 17, 1874), Elizabeth Murch (August 14, 1876), Mary Bundy (January 23, 1879), Susanna (November 19, 1880) and George Seth (August 10, 1884). Shortly, thereafter, Richard accepted another contract to carry the mail from Marysvale to Panguitch.
Again, they were asked to go farther south, “Under the Dump,” as it was called, to help settle Georgetown, which was five miles west of Henrieville. Richard became Bishop of that small town for a number of years. They were very thrifty people and always had a good home. Annie Elsie was born there on August 19, 1888. (Mrs. Alice Cook Zabriskie’s genealogical records — reportedly based on family records — also show a Matilda that was born in January of 1912. This is questionable, because it is unlikely Susanna would have been giving birth at 66 years old. Also, another history mentions Annie being the youngest.)
Richard played the violin. Susanna played the organ in church. She also gave music lessons to students in their home. Lydia Marion grew up to be able to sing beautifully, while her brother George, a big, tall man, became a great piano player and was even better on the organ! (George was the only child who could play music.)
Susanna died on January 31, 1916 in Henrieville, Utah at the age of 62. Richard was very lonely without her. He went to Logan in 1918 to live with his oldest son. He worked in the temple. In the temple, he met a widow about his own age. They were married and lived a happy life for a number of years. During this time, Richard drew a small pension for his services as an Indian War Veteran. This helped him out financially.
All through his life, Richard was an active civic man, a religious man, a family man and a fine neighbor. He was an explorer, a colonizer, carpenter, blacksmith, cattleman, farmer, mail contractor, sawmill worker, and later in life a merchant and freighter. On February 15, 1929, Richard died in Logan, Utah, at the age of 84.
Cora Mary Margaret Pinney (written by Susan Alice Cook Zabriskie)
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Cora Mary Margaret Pinney was born on November 5, 1872 in Panguitch, Utah to Richard Charles Pinney and Susanna Dugard Smith.
Residing in Georgetown in 1889, two letters in my possession were written to my Father Frederick Cooke, one dated May 19, 1889 and the other dated June 5, 1889. They were love letters from Cora and they were both sent from Georgetown, Garfield Co., Utah to her intended husband Frederick and tell of the preparation for their marriage which was in the Manti Temple on June 26, 1889.
Robert William Pinney, the brother of Cora, was married the same day to Clara Eliza Goulding. They gave me the story of their double wedding.
The two couples left Georgetown about June 20, 1889 and traveled in a covered wagon the long distance to the Manti Temple where they were married on June 26, 1889.
Then they had the long trip back to Garfield Co., which lasted from the first day out, about two weeks. Frederick Cooke had employment in Kanab for a time then Susan Alice was born on August 11, 1890 and the parents moved to a sawmill in the Spring of 1891 where Frederick again found employment helping to saw lumber. He was going to build a home in or near Tropic, Utah when they could earn enough lumber to do so.
Cora took sick soon after they moved to the mill and she had every care from a good doctor but Dropsey developed and her body was swollen until she could not wear any of her clothes for many weeks. My Father came for my Grandmother Cook to go to the mill and care for me. She was there from August 1, 1891 and faithfully cared for me and my dear Mother who was very ill by that time.
The morning of August 29, 1891, Cora seemed a little better and asked for something to eat. Grandma Cook gave her some soup and a neighbor came in with some kind of food for her, which she ate and as they watched her lying there in her bed, they could see a change come over her. They were hoping my Father would soon return from the sheep herd where he had gone to purchase a fat lamb for meat. He did not arrive to see Mother alive again. She called for Grandmother Cook and Aunt Emma Cook, who was sixteen, to raise her so she could get her breath, which she did.
I was but one years old and was asleep in my cradle when Grandma tried to save my Mother by some raising of her arms but she said, “Mother I am going, will you please take my baby and always be kind to her?” Grandma told her she would and Aunt Emma promised to help care for me, then with a “thank you” she died in my Grandma’s arms where I was held with love for many years that followed.
Grandmother faithfully fulfilled her promise to my Mother, as she did all a Grandmother could do for a child and I bless her memory forever and I have written a history of our lives together in a large leather bound book.
Events added later from Uncle Robert Pinney on April 22, 1957 at Monroe, Utah.
Before the two couples, Frederick William Cooke and Cora Mary Margaret Pinney and Robert William Pinney and Clara Goulding left on the journey to Manti to be married, they had to be rebaptized because their baptism dates could not be found on the old church records. Robert Charles Pinney, Father of Robert William Pinney and Cora Mary Margaret was the person who rebaptized the two couples on June 21, 1889 in Hillsdale.
The Pinney family were musical, Grandmother Susan Dugard Smith Pinney was a good musician, the organ was her best friend. Grandfather, Robert Charles Pinney could play the organ quite well, so the family played for dances in different towns. That was where my parents met after they were grown up. The dance was at Hillsdale and as most couples do, they got pretty well acquainted in one season of dancing by the music of the Pinney Orchestra in Garfield County. The home of the Pinney Family in 1888 and 1889 was at Georgetown in the Winter where the children attended school but in the Summer they moved to Blue Fly Ranch where the sawmill was and where my Mother died. One name for the sawmill was “Seam and Sawmill.”
Mother was very religious and a very good housekeeper and although she had lived such a short life, she did much good and left an honored name for her little child to carry on. People all loved her very much because she was a real lady, clean and pure. She would not stoop to any act that would not be right. She loved the taste of beer but would not keep it in her house because it was a temptation to her and she believed the “Word of Wisdom” and lived it as well as the rest of the gospel.