A brief sketch of the life of Sister Ann Redford Haslam, born May 27, 1846, at Lancashire, England, the daughter of Robert and Lettice Redford. This sketch is given in her own words.
I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Father and mother joined the church the same year Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith were martyred. When we lived in England, before father (Robert Patefied Redford) came to America, we kept the small green grocery store. After father came to America, we were unable to get enough money to run it.
Father left England for America in 1855. After arriving in this country he took part in the war in Echo Canyon, that was in 1857. My two brothers, John and Joseph, came to America a few years later.
Two or three months after father left England, mother gave birth to a son, he was called Ephraim. Mother had a very hard and trying time of it, alone. She had only one dry hard crust of bread in the house, but the Saints were very good and kind to her. Mother was up in two or three days doing her work as she had no money to hire it done. My brother Ephraim died when he was 11 years old of consumption. The Elders came very often to administer to him. One day while administering to him they ordained him an Elder. My mother being deaf, could not hear what the Elder said. After they were gone, my brother Abraham said to mother,” Will Ephraim have to go on a mission now?” mother said, No, why? Abraham then told mother the blessing the elders had given him. Mother said she knew her boy was not long for this earth.
Ephraim had a few pennies different ones had given him. He told mother to put them away. He said, I know you will have a hard time to bury me. It was a very hard time, also a sad one.
The early part of my life while in England, was spent working in the factory. At the age of 21, I came to America with John Hilton, his wife and two children. They said they would pay my fair if I could help with the children. Mother thought it a fine chance for me to come to America.
It was a sad parting for me, leaving my mother and two brothers in England. Instead of Mr. Hilton coming onto Utah, as he intended doing, he stayed in New York, being persuaded by a man he had met on the boat who was going to Philadelphia to work in a coal mine. He said nothing of this to his wife, and when we landed in New York he left us.
We slept one night in the Depot, after that was sent to the Poor House, where we stayed two weeks. We had to sleep on hard benches, and our meals consisted of water and dry bread.
Hilton finally came back for us. He told me he found me a job, working for Mrs. Sage, a Catholic lady living in Pittsburgh. You can imagine how glad I was at the thought of leaving the Poor House. Mr. Hilton would not give me my trunk, so had to go without it. He went to the coal mines, where I learned afterward he was killed. His wife got up a subscription for money, saying she wanted to go on to Utah, but she went back to England, where she told a good many things about the Mormons.
While living with Mrs. Sage, I was earning six dollars a month. I stayed there eight months lacking two days. While I was living with Mrs. Sage, mother sent me a letter, saying, they were coming on a sailing vessel. I did not get the letter. A lady friend and myself went to the harbor to see the ships come in and see if there were anyone we knew. We paid a man $.50 to row us out on a ferry boat. I was very much surprised when mother and my brothers Abraham and Robert called to me from the steamship, asking me if I was not going with them to Utah? I was so surprised I did not know what to say. I told them, I guess not. I did not think I could get my money from Mrs. Sage.
After landing, mother came with me, and we went to the immigration office, kept by Brother Staines. He asked me my name, and looking over his books, found my brothers John and Joseph had sent money from Utah to help us across the plains. I went back to Mrs. Sage’s home and asked her if I could get my money. She was so angry at me for leaving, she held back one month’s pay. I was feeling very bad, as I had been very careful saving every penny I could to help us on our long journey across the plains. Mother said, never mind the money, let her keep it, what does it matter as long as I have you, we will get along alright.
When I left Mrs. Sage, I told her I would write to her, when I got to Utah. She said, never mind writing, I don’t want anything to do with the Mormons.
We went to where the Saints were getting ready to cross the plains. All the young folks had to walk crossing the plains. The elder ones had the privilege of riding part of the way. We had some very happy, and very sad times on our journey.
While fording Green River, a son of a widow lady was drowned, the Company waited there for some time, thinking the body could be found. We finally had to go on without finding any trace of it. The poor mother was broken hearted.
We left Laramie City, Wyoming, in Capt. Chester Levland’s mule train, consisting of 40 wagons, and about 400 passengers. We arrived in Salt Lake City, August 20, 1868, and in Wellsville, August 23, 1868.
John B Hill and Richard Williams were called from Wellsville to Laramie, to assist the immigrants. The Redford’s were passengers in Richard William’s wagon from Laramie to Wellsville, Lettice Redford, Abraham, Robert and Ann.
After arriving in Wellsville, we learned my father had been dead two years. He died the same year my brother Ephraim had died in England.
I was married to James Holt Haslam, 5th April, 1869. Have had a family of 10 children, five boys and five girls. Three girls died very young. Two of my boys have performed honorable missions. Ephraim in the States, and Richard to England.
Father (James Holt Haslam) died 13th March, 1914, at Wellsville, Utah. Mother died 8th February, 1926, at Weiser, Idaho.
An incident that happened in the life of Ann R. Haslam, as she told it to me, her granddaughter, Pearl H. Redford when I was living with her in 1918.
While she was working for Mrs. Sage, she was sent to the store one night. The road led through a forest, that she had to traverse to get to the store. As she was walking along the path, through the forest alone, a man attacked her, and while struggling to get away, she prayed for help. A dog came trotting down the path, and the man thinking someone was coming, ran away. The dog followed her until she left the forest, and, on entering it again, the dog was there to accompany her on her return home. She never saw anyone with the dog, nor did she see the dog again, but she was sure it was a direct answer to her prayer.
(signed: Pearl H. Redford)