Sarah York CarterOne of my ancestors who deserves a lot more praise is Sarah York Carter. She was a woman of great faith, courage and fortitude. These traits were shown time and time again as she proved her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by following the counsel of her prophets, leaders and husband. Her story will show the true pioneer that she was as she moved from Maine, to Kirtland, Ohio, then to Far West Missouri, then to Lima, Adams County, Illinois [near Nauvoo] and on to Kanesville, Iowa [near Council Bluffs, Iowa]. From Iowa she traveled to the Salt Lake Valley and then on to Provo, Mona, Santaquin, Goshen and Benjamin, Utah. Her final journey at the age of 71 took her into Pima in the Arizona Territory.
Sarah York came from longtime Maine families with a great New England Heritage. She was born on 25 August 1812 in Bethel, Oxford, Maine to Peter and Abiah Russell York.
On 28 February 1832, William Furlsbury Carter of Newry, Maine filed in Newry his intention to marry Sarah York of Bethel, Maine. The couple was married in Oxford County, Maine on 1 March 1832.
Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first arrived in Maine in 1832. In 1832, 46 people were converted in the Bethel-Newry, Maine area. Among them were William Furlsbury and Sarah York Carter, Sarah's brother Aaron and wife Hannah Carter York, William's mother, Hannah Knight Libby and other Carter siblings.
Brigham Young, serving then as a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, encouraged those who had been baptized in the Newry area to move to Kirtland, Ohio, which was then the Church headquarters.
The Carters and Yorks traveled from Bethel-Newry, Maine to Kirtland, Ohio in 1836 or 1837 then to Kirtland, Ohio, Far West, Missouri in 1838 and then to Lima, Adams County, Illinois, [near Nauvoo] in 1839.
The Carters were well acquainted with the Church founder and prophet Joseph Smith.
Sarah went through many trials and persecutions with the early saints in Missouri and Illinois. Her family lived in the Nauvoo community when word was received of the prophet Joseph Smith's martyrdom.
Mob violence still continued even after Joseph's death. In February of 1846, a mob came to Sarah's door. She asked them what they were going to do with them. They told her they were going to burn them out and drive them from there to Nauvoo and from there to Hell. She told them to go ahead they thought there was no hereafter.
At this same time all the men in the community had had to flee for the lives into the corn fields as the mob had sent word that every man and boy that was left in town would be killed.
This short video may give a glimpse into what live was like then in Nauvoo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0K4Btz6uvs&feature=related
The Carter family left Nauvoo, went across the Missouri River and into Iowa. They started a town called Carterville named after William Furlsbury Carter. William was asked to stay behind in Council Bluffs, Iowa to prepare wagons, horses and equipment for other Latter-day Saint emigrants.
William's polygamist wife Roxena remembered the family's move to Iowa, "Then were moved to Kanesville, [Iowa] and my husband set up a big blacksmith shop, and the mobs burned into ashes--also his first wife's [Sarah] house when her baby was only three weeks old. She was ordered out by the mob, and she sat on a goods box and watched her house burn."
The Carters left Iowa in 1850 and crossed the plains with the William Snow/Joseph Young company.
This video will give one a glimpse of their circumstances: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9Y8x5z2pd8&feature=related
After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, the Carters didn't stay long and relocated to Provo, Utah.
William and his family left Provo about 1862 and spent the next two dozen years between Mona, Santaquin, Goshen and Benjamin, Utah, where he operated a store, blacksmith shop, farmed and built a threshing machine which he manufactured out of parts made in his own blacksmith shop.
In the 1880s Sarah lived with her son Edwin and his family in Santaquin, Utah. He took the opportunity from the Church when asked to volunteer to help settle the Pima area in Arizona.
Traveling by team and wagon, The Carter family left Utah on 10 September 1883 and arrived in Pima, Arizona on 22 October 1883. Sarah York Carter, who was seventy-one years old, drove a team and wagon from Santaquin, Utah to Pima, Arizona.
On this journey, they met groups of Indians several times, but they were usually friendly and did them no harm. The families arrived safely in Pima after many hardships.
It seems as though Sarah York Carter had indeed spent the biggest part of her adult years living as a pioneer--first moving to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, Iowa, Utah and lastly Arizona--all being frontier land.
Sarah gave birth to ten children. At the time of her death, only four were living.
Her family claimed that Sarah was sick only one week before her death at the home of her son Edwin Carter in Glenbar, Graham County, Arizona on 8 September 1888. She is buried at Pima, Graham County, Arizona.