Jacob Bushman Letter 27 March 1902

Jacob Bushman    Charlotte Turley

This week in my Family History Class, we talked about Descendant Research. I told a few stories about some of the descendant projects I’ve worked on over the years. One project was gathering all the descendants of my great great grandparents, Jacob Bushman and Charlotte Turley. I’ve spent a good deal of time learning about their lives and in honor of their memory and their wonderful example to me, I wanted to return a favor, and do what I could to gather all of their descendants. Over the years, I’ve found almost 4000 descendants in this branch of my family. This has been a wonderful project, and as I’ve phoned people and met relatives, I’ve also discovered a few real treasures.

One day as I was making phone calls, I met two delightful sisters, Maxine Powell, and Anita Van Wagoner Fitzgerald.  (Anita died 18 Jan 2013.)  Maxine celebrated her 95th year last November.  She lives in American Fork, Utah. I visited these sisters several times and helped them gather their descendants too. As we worked on this project, they started bringing out some family treasures. One was the letter below from my great grandpa Jacob Bushman written on this day in 1902.  They let me take these photos of his words.

I’ve included the transcriptions at the end.

Bushman, Jacob Letter 1902 p. 1. Bushman, Jacob Letter 1902 p. 2 Bushman, Jacob Letter 1902 p. 3.

Page 1    March 27th 1902
I will now try and give you a short synopsis of my
self while in California as you are aware I left in the
spring of 1852 to go to Carson valey with mayor Holman
the Indian Agent as one of his Escort and when we got
to Carson he gave some of us the Privelidge of stoping and
we concluded to stop we went to work in the Placer
Mines a short time and then 4 of us got us a pack
animal and crossed over Sierada Mountain to California
went down to Placerville and stayed two nights and
sold our Pack animal   Could not get any work there
and started for greenwood    we went about 1 mile
when the other three boys turned back but I said
I never was known to turn back and I went on to
greenwood and stayed all night  next morning could get
no work and left for Muders Bar a mining Camp on the
middle fork of the American river Where there was a
few families of old Mormon that I knew in Nauvoo
and I stoped with them and worked for about a month
or two and the family that I was living with started
for San Juan Monterey Co  and I went with them and
found a very nice place in San Juan valey where
there was quite a few families of old Mormons

Page 2
we supposed that it was government land and we took
up a squatters Claime apeice and went to work building
and fencing and farming working in the large redwods
getting out the fenceing and for Building and the third
year it proved to be a Spanish Title and we never
got what the improvements cost then there was
mishinaries sent up from sanbernardino by apostle
Rich and Lyman for all the Mormons or even caled
them selves Mormons to Come to sanbernardino and
there was about 10 families from San Juan went to
Sanberdino and I went with them arrived there about
the fall of 1855 and I thought it was a fine place
I went to work for Bro Theodore Turley and John
Cook[?] a short time then went on the mountain to
run an Engine for a saw mill for gilbert Hunt
I was there about 3 months in the fall of 1856 I went to
work for George Crisman and in mar 2 1857 I was
married to Charlotte Turley Daughter of Theodore and
Frances Kimberly Turley then News came from Salt Lake
for all that caled them selves Later day saints to come
back to Utah and the most of the saints started
back in December 1857

Page 3
I left Sanbernardino on the 25 day of Dec 1857
in Company with my fatherinlaw and 2 Brotherinlaws
and about 20 other families for Utah we traveled
along until we arrived at the mudy on the night
of 22 of Jan 1858 and on the 23 of Jan my first
Child was Born a girl Priscilla Elizabeth we had
a hard time from there until we reached Cedar
City about the first of feb 1858 I left my wife
there with her father and went on to Lehi with
one of my Brotherinlaws Stephen Franklin and we
Arived in Lehi about the 10th of feb 1858 being gone
nearly six years in march I returned to Cedar City
for my wife and Child traving through snow
some time three ft deep and started back for Lehi
the first week in April 1858 and had to shovel snow
a going back arrived there about the middle of April
now Dear Bro you know a good deal of the rest for I am
about tiered out a writeing and I do not know wether
you can make it out or not for there is nothing
grammatical about it and may God Bless you all
yours Truly Jacob Bushman

It is a thrilling thing for me to read the words of my ancestors! But my heart aches when I read words like “you know a good deal of the rest for I am about tiered out a writeing.”  I would give anything to have more of Jacob and Charlotte’s story. And Jacob’s worries about there being “nothing grammatical about it,” encourages me to write, no matter what or now matter how for I can see that the  order of our words or how we spell them will not detract from their meaning to our descendants in years to come.

Another reason for writing my fingers to the bone.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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6 Responses to Jacob Bushman Letter 27 March 1902

  1. Jc says:

    What a treasure! Sometimes all we have of our ancestors are names and dates. It makes it hard feel connected to them. It is wonderful to have something more personal!

  2. K. John Bushman says:

    Ann, Thank you so much for this treasure! I have never seen it. Jacob was also my great great grandfather and I always had visions of him as a young buck in Nauvoo and as a teamster and expert horseman on his adventures to Utah and California and back. Several years ago me and my 5 kids scoured the Fairview pioneer cemetery looking for him and his Charlotte, with no luck. Then as we were driving away on the other side of the valley we looked back and saw there was another cemetery up on top of the hill above the old one. We raced back and were so thrilled when we saw the tall grave marker with Jacob and Charlotte’s names on it.
    The letter gives me a new family history mystery, which there is never a lack of. I always showed in my records that baby Priscilla died in Muddy, Iron, Utah but this letter seems to indicate she would have made it back with them to Lehi or maybe Fairview before she died at 18 months of age.
    John Bushman/North Ogden, Utah

  3. Shelly Hunt says:

    Thanks for sharing! That was my great great grandfather as well!

  4. chmjr2 says:

    What a great family heirloom.

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