Today is the birthday of my beloved Great-grandmother, Charlotte.
The Theodore Turley Family Book, pp. 474-478
Charlotte Turley Bushman
There had been much illness in Nauvoo when the Saints had fled from Far West, Missouri in 1839. Commerce (later named Nauvoo), Illinois was nothing more than a swamp that no one had wanted. But the Prophet Joseph saw this place as the beginnings of a beautiful city. Malaria, pneumonia, and chills and fever had touched almost every family. The Saints would not give up. They started draining the swamp areas and building homes.
Theodore Turley was the very first Mormon to build a home in this city. He took great pride in his work and the home was lovely. He and his wife, Frances Amelia, with their seven children moved into it before he was called to go with Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff on a mission to England.
It was in this home on April 15, 1839 while Theodore Turley was in England that a lovely baby daughter was born. With all the illness and discouragements of the past year, what joy must have come to Francis Amelia to have this sweet spirit come into her home while their husband and father was away serving the Lord. The baby was named Charlotte
With much of the illness past, 1840 promised to be a very exciting year for the Mormons in Nauvoo, It was a Presidential Election year and the Illinois politicians wanted the Mormon vote. Many concessions were made to pacify the Saints and Nauvoo began to blossom. Charlotte had been born at a time that was to be joyous for the citizens of Nauvoo. Those first few years must have been happy and normal ones for this beautiful little girl with black eyes and lovely black hair.
Then as the tides changed and the Saints became more and more persecuted, anxiety and fear once more filled the hearts of the Mormons. The Prophet Joseph was often sought by the mobs. Many times Theodore Turley hid the prophet in his wine cellar. Charlotte often told her children that when the Prophet was in the cellar he would hold her on his lap and tell her stories so she would be very quiet. This was a memory she always cherished.
As the Mormons were driven out of Nauvoo, they fled across the Mississippi River and wintered in Winter Quarters, Nebr. More sadness and tragedy took place here for the Turleys when Charlotte’s mother, Frances Amelia, and Theodore’s fourth wife, Sarah Ellen Clift, died. How grateful Charlotte must have been to have older sisters and brothers as well as her father’s other wife to care for her as she was still a very young child.
When the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, President Young almost immediately instituted his great colonization program. In the early 1850’s the Turleys were sent to San Bernardino to help with the building of this western-most boundary of the State of Deseret.
Jacob Bushman a well-respected teamster, arrived in San Bernardino with a group of LDS families. He fell in love with Charlotte and they were married on March 4, 1857. Later in this year they returned to Utah with the other Mormon settlers from San Bernardino because of the threat of Johnston’s Army to the Utah colonies. They wintered in southern Utah, “Dixie.” It was here that their first child, Priscilla Elizabeth, was born during a blustery January night near the Muddy River. As soon as spring came the following year, they continued north and settled in Lehi where Jacob took up, his first farming land. He and his brothers ran the Saratoga Springs farm for John C. Naile for some years. During the following thirty years they prospered and were blessed with nine more children.
In 1884 Jacob and Charlotte and their family were called on a mission to help colonize St. Johns, Arizona. He sold his property in Lehi and prepared for a permanent home in Arizona. They took their herd of 40 head of cattle and traveled by covered wagon. The trip was not an easy one. Amanda had contracted a liver condition and was seriously ill in one of the wagons the whole trip. Nights were not free from anxiety. Their beds were in the wilds with rattlesnakes so close that sleep was difficult. Many other wagons met the Bushmans in Richfield and together they started on the long journey. Food was baked over rocks.
One day as they reached Willow Springs, they stopped to fill the water kegs on the sides of their wagons. Indians met them and continually pestered them for food throughout the rest of the trip. They reached House Rock and ferried across the adjoining river. They traveled through the Petrified Forest with their six span of horses. The mud and mire was so deep that it reached the horses bellies. After a hard six week trip they reached their destination where they were immediately sent to Concho, eight miles from St. Johns. They settled there for two years. Jacob made a log house; and they were rather comfortable until the terrific rain-storms and floods came. The floods were so treacherous that they were forced to return to St. Johns. There they rented a farm and their children attended school with 500 Mexican children.
Even in St. Johns they couldn’t seem to escape the flash floods. Grain farming became almost an impossibility. After years of struggle with the elements in St. Johns, President Woodruff sent a letter of release and urged them to return to Utah as soon as possible. Six years of struggle had depleted Grandfather Bushman’s savings considerably. He had just enough to return to Fairview, Utah where his daughter Sarah and her husband Henry Fowles lived. He bought a small farm, with an old log house on it where the family was to live.
On the first of November, 1899, Charlotte died as a re-sult of pneumonia. Her life had been one of service and love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She had participated in the great drama of Nauvoo, crossing the plains, colonization, motherhood, and sustaining and supporting her husband as he performed his duties as a father and missionary.
One granddaughter recalls that Grandmother Charlotte’s picture hung in her parents’ home. She relates how her mother Ida used to pause and look at her mother’s picture saying, “Mother was a very beautiful woman. Her creamy white complexion, her black eyes and silky black hair made her one of the most beautiful women I ever knew!” Ida also enjoys relating how beautiful her mother, Charlotte, was and the utmost care she always exercised in her appearance, Also of her mother’s neat black dress, with a pocket in the skirt where frequently pieces of candy were usually available for her children and grandchildren. Mrs. Ora Anderson, a granddaughter, helped prepare this record, and mentioned her mother telling of the devotion to children, husband and the church, assuming any hardship that came with no complaint, as her mother, Charlotte, accepted each day as it came and gave thanks to God for her lovely family.
Here is the home in Fairview Charlotte lived in until the end of her life.Charlotte Bushman, In Loving RemembranceCharlotte’s hair: