I love Jacob Bushman, my 2nd great grandfather. There are six simple words he once recorded that have burned in my mind since the first time I read them. I found an autobiographical account Jacob wrote to his brother John on April 1, 1843 in BYU’s Special Collections. You will notice those six words below when you come to them. I’ve added italics.
I hope someday to meet Jacob and his wife, Charlotte and I hope to be able to repeat those words back to them. Today, on Jacob’s birthday, I honor his memory and example to me.
1 April 1843
Jacob Bushman, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 1
Father put in quite a crop that year, and every 10th day we would go and haul rock for the Temple. We raised a very good crop but it was very hard to get milling done. Had to go some of the time 35 miles to mill and we had a good deal of sickness the first two years. Still we got along very well having to stand guard very often. And before the Prophet Joseph and the Patriarch was martyred, Hyrum Smith gave father and mother their Patriarchal Blessing and ordained father a High Priest.
We lived on Bishop Hunter’s farm until the Spring of 1846. And in the Winter of 1846, when the Church crossed the river, we sent a pair of horses and a wagon, all the team we had to help the main party of the Church, not knowing how soon the mob would drive us off. And we had to stand guard night and day in the Spring of 1846. The team came back and some time in June we crossed the river into Iowa and went to a farm of a Mr. Bunells. He had in 500 acres of grain and we helped him to harvest it. There was several Mormon families there to work. And just about the time we got done, the mob drove the last of the Saints out of Nauvoo.
We traded off one of our horses for a yoke of oxen and started for Council Bluff with six sick children, all in one wagon, all down with the chills and fever. And when I had the chills, I had to walk and when the fever came on I could sit up in the front end of the wagon,. And on the 12th of Oct. 1846, Elizabeth died, just before going into camp. Had to be up all night getting her ready to bury her. We done the best we could and left the next day about 10 o’clock. Traveled on until Oct. 19th 1846, when the baby died about 11 months old. She had to be left about the same as the other one was by the road side. We then traveled on until we got to Keg Creek, Pottiwatimie County, Iowa, near Council Bluff. By that time we all had got about well, thank the Lord.
We went to work and built a log cabin and prepared for the winter. Then father had to go down over a 100 miles to Missouri and split rails to get some corn and when he got a load of corn and some meat he sent for me to fetch the yoke of cattle and fetch it home. I went and got it and he came home with me, and being thinly clothed, I nearly froze getting home.
Jacob Bushman, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 2
We had to make another trip to Missouri to get some bread stuff and seed grain. In the Spring we broke up some land and put in a crop and got along the best we could. Along in the summer father tended the crop and I went down to Oregon, Missouri, and went to work for 4 dollars for a half a month and then helped to harvest in that place and worked till late in the fall. Then I went home and stayed the Winter and father went down to Missouri and worked again. And towards Spring I went and fetched him home. We put in another crop in the Spring of 1848 and then I went down to Missouri to St. Joseph, and father and the little boys tended the place.
And in Dec. 6th, 1849, mother gave birth to her last child a boy. Father still kept on working on his little place on Keg Creek, and I was to work in Missouri, at St. Joseph, going home the Winter of 1849, went back in the Spring of 1850 and was there until the Spring of 1851 when father had concluded to go to Salt Lake and came down for me to go too. And I went home to Keg Creek.
Spring of 1851
Jacob Bushman, autobiography, typescript, BYU, Pg. 3
In April 1851, I was baptized by E. H. Davis and confirmed by the same. We then started for Utah. Father had one yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows and one wagon. I drove 3 yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows for Henry Kerns. We crossed the Missouri River at Winter Quarters and went out to a grove a few miles to organize in Mr. Kelsey’s Hundred and Alma Allred’s Fifty. Laid there about two weeks on the account of high water. Then started out to head the Horn and made a complete elbo to get back to the Platt. Got along without much loss. Had two or three stampede, but very little sickness in the camp.
Traveled up the Platt and crossed over the Divide to the Sweet Water. Crossed Green River and over the Mountain and down Emigration to Salt Lake City and from there we went south about 30 miles to Lehi, where they settled down, father and mother and the rest of the family. I went back to Salt Lake City. Now Brother John you know more what was done for the next 6 years than I do.
Your Brother in the Flesh,