Mary Pain is one of my 3rd great grandmothers. Today we mark 200 years since her birth near Lebanon, Wilson, Tennessee. Her parents were John Pane and Elizabeth Smith. On the 22nd of January in 1830 she married James Holt in Wilson County, Tennessee. In 1839 they joined the Mormon Church, then moved to Iowa, then to Nauvoo, where she is listed in the 1842 Nauvoo Census. Because of the hardships she faced with unhealthy living conditions, Mary watched her first three children die as infants.
After leaving Nauvoo and traveling up the Iowa River, she gave birth to her 8th child in 1844. She died two months later in October 1844, a young mother, only 30 years old. The doctor gave her a dose of Lobelia when her stomach was too weak to stand it. Mary’s casket was made by cutting down a large tree and hewing out the coffin with an adze. She was buried between the bank of the Iowa River and a large tree, where wolves would be less likely to dig up the body than if left out in the open. Less that a month after Mary died, her 8-year-old son Leander also passed away at the site above Kitchen’s Settlement. Three months later the baby died.
Remembering Mary today helps me put a few things into perspective. I’ve been shedding tears over some lost computers files and photos. Mary lost children. And then her own life slipped away. I am grateful for Mary, a woman I know very little about, other than that she suffered greatly. In spite of all she lost, she gave. She gave life to my great great grandmother, Mary Ann Pain Holt, and because of that and those who followed, I am here today. What a gift she gave, the gift of motherhood! Today I honor and remember her for giving all she had. For me, that is enough. Happy 200th Birthday, Mary!
Jesse Hyrum Payne Holt, 1832-1832
Washington Payne Holt, 1833-1833
Sarah Elizabeth Holt, 1835-1835
Leander Holt, 1836-1844
Leroy Payne Holt, 1838-1910
Mary Ann Pain Holt Barker, 1840-1916 (my great great grandmother)
William Alma Holt, 1842-1920
John James Payne Holt, 1845-1845