My Great Great Grandmother, Charlotte Turley Bushman died on this day 114 years ago. She was only 59 years old. I love Charlotte. She will be one of the very first people I seek out when I go to the Next Place.
Charlotte was born in a home built by her father, Theodore Turley on the 15th of April, 1840 in Nauvoo, Illinois. She had creamy white skin dark eyes and silky black hair. I’ve spent many years researching her fascinating life. She lived in Nauvoo, San Bernardino, CA; Lehi, UT; St. Johns, AZ; and Fairview, UT. You can read more about her life on my Ann’s Stories blog: http://annlaemmlenlewis1.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/charlotte-turley-bushman-15-april-1840-1november-1899-my-2nd-great-grandma/
About five years ago I drove to Fairview to find the pioneer log home Charlotte lived in. I had learned that the homestead and farm were still in the family. I made some phone calls and ended up knocking on the door of Jay Barker in Fairview. He and his wife invited me in and we talked about Charlotte and Jacob Bushman and their Fairview farm. Jay is a grandson of Charlotte’s youngest daughter, Ella Isadora (b. 1884).
It was fun to get acquainted. After Jay could sense the love I also shared for Charlotte, he said, “I have something I want to show you.” He went down to his basement and brought up a treasure that made my heart beat in my breast. It was a large framed memorial made by Jacob when Charlotte died. Here is a photo I took of it:
At the bottom is a beautiful rosette made of Charlotte’s hair. Jay said it hung for years in his father’s garage in Provo (after being salvaged from his father’s attic) and was later given to the Fairview Museum, where it was stored in the basement–never displayed. Jay finally went to ask if he might have it back. It was hard to photograph through the glass, but I did the best I could. It was thrilling to see an actual piece of Charlotte’s hair. It was the closest I’ve ever been to her.
Here is the sentiment from Jacob:
‘Tis hard to break the tender cord,
When love has bound the heart.
‘Tis hard, so hard to speak the words:
“We must forever part.”
Dearest loved one we must lay thee
In the peaceful grave’s embrace
But thy memory will be cherished
‘Til we see thy heavenly face.
Jay Barker took me to see the old pioneer home. He owns the farm now and cares for it lovingly. He dropped me off there, sensing I wanted to spend some time, and said, “just phone when you’d like me to come pick you up.” I wandered and sat and felt and thought about Charlotte and Jacob for a couple of hours that day. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking where they walked.
I’ve been back several times since that first visit. I love going there. I love the peaceful feeling I get when I feel close to my ancestors. I sense they are also near.
I have also visited the old pioneer cemetery in Fairview. Jacob and Charlotte are buried in the upper part of the cemetery. The words on their headstone haunt me in a thrilling sort of way. These words speak to the core of my heart. I know I must do what they ask of me:
“Prepare to meet us in heaven”
Mother, thou wast
mild and lovely,
gentle as the
I remember you today, dear Charlotte, my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother, my sister and friend.