Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sugar Beet Manufacturing in Utah and Idaho

I wrote this brief history as a note to my mom's history which I transcribed for her a couple years ago. 

The first sugar from the Utah Sugar Company was processed at the Lehi factory in 1891.  This came after a failed experiment with sugar manufacturing in Sugar House in Salt Lake City several years prior.  The Lehi factory was the fourth sugar beet factory in the United States.  "The Lehi factory was the first beet sugar factory int he world to utilize beets grown by irrigation, the first to have a systematic program for the production of its own beet seed, the first to use American-made machinery, and the first to build ancillary cutting stations. " (Arrington p 182)

The Mormon Church was highly invested and involved in the sugar industry.  They were looking for a stable industry where their population could be employed.  President Wilford Woodruff attended the laying of the cornerstone for the Lehi factory:  "I want to say to all Israel that we believe it right to dedicate everything we engage unto the Lord.  We have assembled today to lay this cornerstone, as is our custom in establishing all our temples.  I want you all to unite on the subject of sugar.  There is not a question of public improvement which is of more value or has better prospects than sugar.  God bless you."  (as quoted in Arrington p 10)

Sugar was processed at Lehi from 1891 to 1924:  "The demise of the Lehi Sugar Factory was ultimately caused by two beet maladies: nematodes (round worms) and "curly top" from white fly infection.  Farmers did not plant sufficient acreage in this area to sustain the factory and it closed after the 1924 campaign although beets continued to be grown locally and processed at other factories until the 1960s."  (Lehi)

After the closing of the Lehi factory, local beets were processed in Spanish Fork which became operational in 1916.  Before that time it had been a cutting station for the Lehi factory (Arrington p 189)

The men from the Lehi factory became a valuable resource to the sugar industry:  "Lehi technicians learned their trade in "the school of hard knocks" and in the process acquired a special capacity to devise imaginative solutions to problems.  The emergent industry, as it expanded toward national stature, learned to rely on Lehi men.  A substantial number of the factories which were subsequently erected in the West and Midwest employed Lehi "alumni" for the know-how and experience they had acquired.  (Arrington p 38)

U&I Sugar was born from the merger of the Utah Sugar Company and the Idaho Sugar Company.  They had factories throughout the inter mountain states: Washington, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada and South Dakota.  Of  course there were other sugar companies operating in the same  area, including  Amalgamated Sugar.  Major competition also came from cane sugar, C&H (California and Hawaii) Sugar and Cuban sugar.

At times the raising of sugar, and the marketing of sugar was controlled by tariffs and allotments.  This was to control the price of sugar.  I remember Dad (my father) saying that sugar beets was always a cash crop, but the acreage was controlled strictly by government regulations. (Wardle)

By the 1960s, sugar beet production was losing to that of cane.  The last U&I factories in operation were in Idaho Falls and Washington.  However these factories also closed in the 1970s. 


Arrington, Leonard J. Beet Sugar in the West, University of Washington Press, 1966

Lehi Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, Blue Bell Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Civic Improvement Association of Lehi  (Plaque at the site of the old Lehi Sugar Factory, picture taken by Charles Wardle)

Wardle, Billy, memories

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Story of the Mormon Pioneers,W. Cleon Skousen

This is a little book published by the 223rd Quorum of Seventy, San Fernando Stake in 1947.  It deals primarily with the 1847 trek of the first Mormon Company to the Salt Lake Valley.  I know you can get it through

There are a couple of things that stood out to me from this book.  One is the dedicatory poem at the beginning of the book:

Lay him down tenderly under the willows;
Dampen the warm brown earth with your tears;
Then turn your face again to the prairie,
Harden your heart to the lonely years.

We must relinquish him to this wide darkness,
Push toward the goal again, smiling and brave;
The willows will guard him silent and weeping,
No one will know that they shelter his grave.

Lay him down quietly under the willows,
Lay him down gently, gently, and then
Run away quickly, softly, on tiptoe--
We cannot come back to the willows again.

     by Lisbeth Wallis, Improvement Era, July 1943

I think this poem says a lot.  Over the years, 60-80,000 pioneers crossed the plains making there way to Utah.  Of those 6000 were left in graves, mostly unmarked, along the way.
The other quote that caught my eye from this book is a quote from Brigham Young, which more explains why the Mormons moved so far away from everyone else, resulting in such a long and dangerous trek.  "We wish strangers to understand that we did not come here out of choice, but because we were obliged to go somewhere and this was the best place we could find.  It was impossible for any person to live here unless he labored hard and battled and fought against the elements, but it was a first-rate place to raise Latter Day Saints, and we shall be blessed in living here, and shall make it like the Garden of Eden"

This explains a lot to me why people were so willing to put there selves through such risk, and hardship.  They must have known that they would not all make it to Salt Lake.  They sang it along the way, "And should we Die."  I am grateful for people who chose to endure despite the obstacles.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: Stories of Young Pioneers In Their Own Words

This book is written by Violet T. Kimball,Mountain Press Publishing, Montana, 2000. This book has many interesting stories. It tells not only the story of the Mormon Trail, but also the Oregon and California trails. It is a very good book for background information on what the trail was like, what activities the children participated in, and what tragedies befell some of the pioneers.

My favorite part of the book was a song from the out and backers (when young men would go out, pick up the Mormon pioneers and bring them back.) It refers to to ox team:
Whoa, haw, Buck and Jerry Boy
There's a pretty little girl in the outfit ahead
Who, haw, Buck and Jerry Boy
I wish she were by my side instead
Whoa, haw, Buck and Jerry Boy
Look at her now with a pout on her lips
As daintily with her fingertips
She picks for the fire some buffalo chips
Who, haw, Buck and Jerry Boy.

The author includes several stories of different pioneers at the end of each chapter. I enjoyed the story of Lizzy Flake Rowan, an African American Mormon who helped found the city of San Bernadino. She eventually married Charles Rowan, a local barber.

This book is full of many such stories and tidbits about the plains, romance, deaths, hardship, happy times. I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning about the Western migration in our county.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Riview: BYU Harold B. Lee Library, Liverpool to Boston, Horizon
The Harold B. Lee Library has transcribed many of their historical documents and put them on the internet. This particular collection is a compendium of first person accounts of the voyage of the Ship Horizon, which carried most of the Martin Handcart Company. However I think the collection contains information on most of the Mormon voyages.

I think this is the most complete information with regards to this voyage. I pleasantly found stories I had never heard before. At on point while hoisting said on of the officer said "hoist higher." This was misinterpreted by one of the young guards to be "fire." He raised the alarm, but fortunately his mistake was quickly corrected.

On passenger was on deck with her father during a fog, when they saw an ice mountain. They were frightened, but then the sun began to shine brightly which it did until the ship was out of danger. John Jacques talks of how the company suffered when they were ordered below to give more reign to the seamen as the entered Boston Harbor.

An interesting story is told by John William Southwell, but not collaborated by any other entry. He described a wedding where the bride and groom were hoisted into the topmast and were there married. He says when they were lowered each of the couple were met by 100 people congratulating them.

I would recommend this series of diary entries and reminicences for anyone interested in studying the handcart pioneers.

The above website could be used to check the records of other boats.  It seems this website has the boat trek, while the church history website has the trail trek.  Together there are many primary sources of pioneering information.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hx of the Mormon Church in England

 Book Review: BYU studies 1987
1987 marked 150 yeas since the Gospel was first taken to Great Britain. To commemorate BYU Studies dedicated the first two issues of the year to the history of the Gospel in Britain. There was also a symposium held at BYU which provided much of the material for the magazine. Gordon B. Hinkley, counselor in the First Presidency at the time, introduced the theme with a discourse published in the magazine "A declaration to the World." He gives a good introduction, and testimony, but not much in terms of historical detail. However he points out the sacrifice of those who first went to England, and their millennial call.

The article by Robert D. Hales "The British Contribution to the Restored Gospel" is excellent. As is the following article, "Cradling Mormonism, the Rise of the Gospel in Victorian England" by Ronald W. Walker. This article points out the influence of the environment to the rise of Mormonism, while not discrediting the message of the Gospel itself--That the original Christian Church had been reestablished upon the earth.

Leonard J. Arrington talks about the history of British women in the Church. Thomas Lyon talks of the first book of poetry published by the church "The Harp of Zion." I will provide a review of the Book of Poetry at a later time, but this article gives a good idea of the history of the book and how it came about. It was written by someone who could not read and write until age 25. There are more articles, which were not directly related to my topic of research, but which someone might find interesting.

My only disappointment was that the articles mentioned the revelation Heber C. Kimball had in which he saw the evil spirits who opposed the restoration of the Gospel. I would have liked to have read the original revelation.

I would recommend these studies to someone interested in looking at the history of the Mormon Church in England. It can be accessed via the internet at

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Review: Expectations Westward

 I priced this book $100 through Amazon.  It is also available through San Jose State, City Library.

This book is completely titled Expectations Westward: The Mormons and the Emigration in the Nineteenth Century of their British Converts by P.A.M. Taylor. It is published in 1966 by Cornell University Press. It is an very good look at the migration of the Mormons by and makes several very good conclusions. It is not written by a Mormon, however the author did considerable homework in going through the old Millennial Stars, and other resources to compile some very good data about the Mormon migration from Utah.

55,000 British Saints migrated to Utah during the 19th century. While this was only a small percentage of the millions of British who were immigrating the United States and Australia, it represented 25 percent of the population in Zion. They made a significant contribution to the economy of Utah in music, business, mining, farming and religion. They now have a posterity numbering in the millions.

The author concludes that the migration did not mimic that of the Britain in general, where the primary motivation was economic. Much of the drive to emigrate came from a testimony of the Gospel and a desire to share in building the Kingdom of God.

However many of the converts in Britain were poor. This book talks about the Perpetual Emigration Fund and its role in fulfilling the goal of helping the Saints gather to Zion.

The author has several chapters which follow the migration. The description of the voyages across the Atlantic are very insightful. There were more death aboard a Mormon ship than other ships. The author points out that a Mormon ship represented the British population in general--old, young, women, men, pregnant women, infants and children. There was more contagious disease among the children, and more deaths due to old age. When the migration went through New Orleans and St. Louis there was death due to cholera and typhoid. The alternative resulted in 1700 miles by rail, and an extra 300 miles overland.

The pioneer migration, from 1847 to 1869 was very difficult. Eventually fast steam ships, and trains all the way to Utah made the journey less risky, but it still represented a major change in the lives of the people who were emigrating. I would recommend this book to someone who is wanting to better understand the Mormon migration.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Manteca is a Sugar Town

from Manteca Bulletin
After moving to Manteca, I discovered it has a sugar history.  It was at the Kelly's Brother Restaurant, with all the displays, that I realized this.  I came through Manteca, going to the mountains, while the factory was still here, but never paid attention.   It has now been knocked down, and now a Target is on the property where it use to be.  In the corner is a memorial to the sugar factory, although there is no plaque identifying it as such.  The Spreckels Sugar Factory opened in 1917.  There were a few years it did not operate due to curly top.  The silos were torn down in July 1997, paving the way for Spreckels Park, and property for Home Depot, Target and Food For Less.

My mother's family comes from sugar beat workers, mostly with U&I Sugar.  My great grandfather, and grandfather worked in the sugar in Lehi, the first economically successful sugar factory in Utah.  However it succumbed to curly top.  My grandfather moved from their to Idaho Falls, Lincoln Street where he was the boiler operator for the Idaho Falls Sugar Factory.

Book Review: John Jaques, reminiscenses, from Church History Lbrary

In 1878, 22 years after the Martin Handcart Company, John Jaques wrote a series of newspaper articles which where published in the Salt Lake Herald. As far as I know this was the first published material about the handcart company. They are available through the Church History Library:,16272,4019-1-192,00.html
John Jaques had been the company historian. I have other writings from John Jaques put together by Stella Jaques Bell which I will review at another time.

There are lots of things to like from this article and great quotes. There are a couple of things to not like. John Jaques tries to compare the handcart ordeals to the retreat of Napoleon. That just doesn't work. He also uses the third person when he talks about himself and his own family. I guess he didn't want to sound egotistical, but it causes confusion..

Now for a couple of the good quotes. John Jaques describes the last crossing of the Platte River. "That was a bitter cold day. Winter came on all at once, and that was the first day of it. The river was wide, the current strong, the water exceedingly cold and up to the wagon beds in the deepest parts, and the bed of the river was covered with cobble stones. Some of the men carried some of the women over on their backs or in their arms, but others of the women tied up their skirts and waded through, like heroines as they were, and as they had done through many other rivers and creeks. The company was barely over when snow, hail, and sleet began to fall, accompanied by a piercing north wind, and camp was made on this side of the river."

John Jaques also described the duty of those who dug graves, as well as one particular story. This interests me as Isaac Wardle, my ancestor, helped dig graves for those who passed away. "I have mentioned the generally prevalent abnormal indifference to death and the dead, induced by daily familiarity therewith, in the company. In some, if not all, of the hundreds, men were specially appointed to be grave-diggers, and the feelings of these men would naturally grow more callous than those of others of the emigrants, from usage, as well as from the fact that the exigencies of travel would frequently require the interment of the dead in what, under other circumstances, would be considered indecent haste. But on one occasion, at least, the old sensitiveness or normal nervousness returned and re-asserted itself unexpectedly and suddenly though temporarily, to two of these grave-diggers. One evening, on the other side of Devil's Gate, after the tents had been pitched, these two men dug a grave, buried two corpses in it, and filled it up again, out- side of camp. Scarcely had they finished their work, when some unaccountable, irresistible and uncontrollable nervous impulse simultaneously seized them both. Without saying a word to each other at the time, each shouldered his spade or his pick and ran back to camp as fast as his legs could carry him, or in a popular parlance, as if the very Old Harry were after him. This was the only time, one of those grave-digging and pedestrian Tam O'Shanters subsequently declared, that he ever felt frightened over that part of the camp business." I have found lots of other good quotes. I would recommend that people check out the church history website, and this series of newspaper articles is a good place to start.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: Devils Gate

Roberts, David, Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, 2008, Simon and Schuster, New York.

This book I cannot recommend. It advertises itself as a book of the Mormon handcarts, but spends most of its pages as an antiMormon book. The contention of the book is that Brigham Young was a man set on greed and power, who lied freely to absolve himself of any guilt with regards to the handcarts. Brigham Young expressed his desire to build up the Kingdom of God as his motivation for helping the pioneers cross the plains, and the use of handcarts allowed them to help more people than otherwise. That true is an economic question, but where you could help a couple thousand, instead of a few hundred, that was Brigham’s motivation, no greed, not power, even though they did hope people would come to Utah to help build Zion.
Roberts does not seem to have any concept of spiritual motives. The idea of building Zion I imagine is very foreign to his nature, and he had difficulty accepting other motivations. He gives himself away in the acknowledgments in which he thanks a Mormon researcher, “Ardis realized early on that my conclusions about the handcart tragedy, nineteenth century Mormon history, and Brigham Young himself would be seriously at odds with hers.” I think Roberts had drawn his conclusions before he began investigating, and minimized anything which was contrary to this conclusion, and played up anything negative.
This is evidenced by his handling of the pioneers themselves and their journals. Mormon diarist who were positive, or write anything upbeat about the handcarts were obviously “fanatics.” He uses sarcasm against some of those who suffer, based on their earlier being for the handcart plan. I personally had difficulty reading the book, until I just took it this is how someone who is a “jerk” would write the story. (I actually thought something stronger.) As an example he quotes from John Jaques rarely and he was the Martin Company historian. He does use his reminiscences because the “fanaticism was mellowed out of him.” (p 23) His major sources of information with regards to the Willie company is people who left the church and wrote derogatory accounts.
The author’s coup de grace is a letter which was written by William Willard to Heber Kimball which announced the arrival of the Thornton to New York, and that it was expected in Iowa in June. The letter was stamped received in Salt Lake July 30, 1856. The author argues that this letter proves Brigham’s lying when he said he did not know of handcarts on the plains until Franklin Richards brought word the first part of October. In my research Brigham never said he didn’t know there were companies in the East, he had assumed they had wintered in the East however. This makes sense as the Church had cautioned against any team leaving the Missouri after August 1. Both the Willie and Martin Companies left Florence after August 1, (P.A.M. Taylor in Expectations Westward, also a nonMormon author but not one with a point to prove.) Roberts spends another part of the book saying there was no date set after which immigrants should winter in the East.
The author does let the pioneer’s stories come through from time to time, and in those places the book is very moving. However some of the “background” stuff he puts in the book seems to over shadow this. The author quotes, and talks about anything negative ever said about Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. Some of his sources include Bill Hickman, (excommunicated from the church and saying anything negative he could think of about Brigham Young so as to beat a murder rap against himself. Authorities went along with this but then realized, too late to convict Hickman, that there wasn’t a case against Brigham Young) Fawn Brodie, (whose work has already been discredited as she printed every rumor about Joseph Smith she could find) and Will Bagley (who carries a great deal of anger against the church for whatever reason who knows.)
The strangest chapter is the author’s personal experience, “The Mormon Mayflower.” The author went to Mormon Handcart Visitors Centers and asks, “Who’s to blame.” The question seems so inappropriate, especially when the author wouldn’t accept anyone’s answer anyway, as the only right answer to him was “Brigham Young.” Sometimes bad things happen. There is no guarantee in life. He challenges a group about the rescue at the Sweetwater saying the story was untrue, not explaining that the story is basically true, but in the way it is normally told some of the particulars are incorrect.
If you want to read a book, that concludes before it starts that Brigham Young is a liar, then I guess this book is OK. I read for the handcart stories, and then determined I could go to primary sources which the church makes available, which the author does say to his credit are available via the internet.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: Handcarts to Zion

This book was written in 1960 and was the first book about the handcarts.  There had been other series of stories written for the newspaper.  It was written by Leroy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen.  It covers the entire history of the handcarts, and all ten of the handcart companies that came to Utah between 1856 and 1860.

It uses the Millennial Star to show why the handcarts were used.  The most famous quote from the book is in the introduction.  "But at only one period, 1856-1860, was the handcart employed for mass migration--the most remarkable travel experiment in the history of Western America."

The Hafens had an ancestor who as a small girl was part of the last handcart company.  The bias of favoring the church and the handcart plan is part of the book, and is to be expected.

The appendices are great.  They include poetry and hymns important to the pioneers, diaries, story of the rescue, and rosters of each of the companies (although not complete as Isaac Wardle is missing from the Martin Handcart Company roster.)

If one is studying the handcarts, this is the place to start that study.  It includes an interesting graph of all the companies, the number of immigrants, the number of handcarts, the number of deaths.  250 or eight and a half percent of the handcart pioneers died along the trail.  The majority, 150 were part of the Martin Company.

Book Review: Scouting for the Mormons on the Great Frontier

This book is the biography of Ephraim Hanks. It is written by Sidney Alvarus Hanks
and Ephraim K. Hanks. I am not sure of the year. It can be accessed at the website:
Some of it is stories from church magazines, some letters are copied, and part of it is the first person account of the rescue of the Martin Handcart Company. It includes stories of Ephraim's life after the handcarts, including his practicing of polygamy and his reaction to the federal marshalls.

Ephraim Hanks was a man of miracles, and I feel closer to he, as well as my great-great-grandfather Isaac from reading this book. His story of the rescue of the handcarts manifests the miracle it was that any of them got out alive. Ephraim was not a rescuer at Red Buttes, or Martin's Cove. He arrived shortly after the company left the Cove.

But he made a big impression. He is one of two rescuers mentioned in Isaac's one page person history. He continued on to the company, when all the other rescuers stopped to ride out the winter storms, and he prayed for a buffalo, and one was provided by God, and he rode into camp at dinner time with his horses laden with buffalo meat. That was his first impression; but the impression he made by anointing and healing and curing the sick even more lasting. He brought one man back to life (at least he was dead as best anyone could tell.) One day he performed over 100 blessings. He also healed with his soap and knife, removing dead skin with his castille soap, and cutting away flesh that was dead due to frost bite.

Miracles followed this man in more dealings than with the handcarts. He carried mail for many years along the trail, and escaped Indian trouble only with God's help. He performed annointings and healed the sick through out his life. He also was somewhat a prophet, seeing beforehand things that would shortly come to pass.

This story is worth reading.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Historic Hyrum Elite Hall; Best Dance Floor in Utah
Hyrum Elite Hall is an historic building, but it is still being used.  It was built in 1917 after the opera house on the same site burned down in 1915.  It was used for high school basketball games for South Cache High School, before they had their own gym (before my time).  It also hosted other events such as wrestling.

The big draw was the dance floor.  At one time they had weekly Saturday dances.  The floor bounces, because of the springs built under the floor.  My brother said one time he was able to get underneath the floor with someone and see the springs.  In the really old days, when cars weren't so plentiful, you could take the train to Hyrum to catch the dance.  People still come from all over the Valley.

There was also a time when it was open Saturday morning for people to play basketball, or run around the balcony.  This was the main court for my Bantam Basketball playing days.  The Hall had large restrooms, men's and women's.  Above the restrooms, off of the balcony, were two classrooms, one on each side.  It was in this classroom that I took my hunter's safety.  I also attended an Emergency Preparedness seminar and learned how if the Russians missed nuking Hill Air Force Base by a little bit we were toast.

One year, for our May Day dance program from the elementary school, it was held there.  I think it was the back-up place for bad weather.

While I was growing up, dancing wasn't popular with me.  There were regular dances held there.  Sometimes they would throw saw dust on the floor to enhance the sliding motions.

They stored a drum and other instruments from band in the display case as you entered the Hall.  Eventually the drum had a tear in it.  The instruments have been moved to the museum.
I understand dancing is still taking place in the Hall.  I saw an ad for dances two Saturdays a month with dance instruction for those who may need Swing Dancing instruction.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Helping the Poor Saints Emigrate from England: Perpetual Emigration Fund

 Chapter Five
Mormon Emigration Roster Ship Horizon:
“Martin Company, Isaac Wardle, 20, Collier, England, PEF yes, p 10” (Handcart)

The Perpetual Emigration Fund by John Lyon

Come on, ye rich, with all your gifted store;
Give to the poor, and God will give you more!
Your feeling hearts, responsive to His call,
Will find His love and blessing best of all:
Yea, tenfold, int’rest on the things you have,
And more than all your charities e’er gave!
Why should not help the lab’ring poor?
Both are compell’d to knock at mercy’s door!
As well the river scorn the stream and brook
From which it all its swelling greatness took;
Nor give one drop to quench the parched shore;
As wealth withhold accumulated toil,
And say to Poverty,--Starve on the while!
Let richer Saints pour in their glitt’ring gold,
‘Twill pave your way to Zion’s mountain fold!
Ten thousand hearts, with prayerful ardour, seek
The means to live, yet mourn from week to week,
Who could be blest through your beneficence,
To go where labour gains a recompense!
Oh, then!  Let love your names in sums record
What you will do for Zion, and the Lord!
Ye poor who labour, learn with pure delight,
How much in value was the widow’s mite!
How farthings multiplied to pence make pounds,
And pounds, to hundreds, thousands—have no bounds!
Till every Saint reliev’d and sinner stunned,
Will shout,--LOOK HERE!  At this Perpetual Fund! (Lyon, John)

Helping the poor to emigrate was long a concern of the Brigham Young and the Church.  The Church supported immigration in several ways.  The first was to encourage the Saints to do whatever they could to prepare for their emigration.  Andrew Olsen explained that even the poorest of Saints was encouraged to do whatever they could towards their own migration. President Richards taught, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”  (Olsen p 18)  President Richards further taught:

We ask all the Saints who are desirous of gathering, have you, during the past season, made it your study and business to accomplish something towards your emigration?  Or have you carelessly passed it by, leaving it to some mere chance of fortune?  Have you acted as though you expected the Lord to do for you which you have not considered worthy of your own exertions?  Or have you laboured faithfully to accomplish your own salvation on the principle that “the Lord helps those who help themselves?”

As strong as the desire of the Saints is almost universally to gather, there are comparatively few who have gone to work systematically to accomplish it. …If they would carefully take their expenditures into consideration, they might save from one to ten shillings a-week without curtailing themselves in the needful comforts of life.  Eighteen pence a-week saved for one year, would generally pay passage of one person to the United States.  There are many Saints who with care and consideration could save from that to five times as much.  In this way, through the blessings of the Lord, they could have already accomplished their deliverance. (Millennial Star XVII p 601)

That this teaching was effective is manifested in the stories of those who emigrated.  Many did all they could in preparing.  For example, one pioneer woman, 13 at the time, later wrote, “The spirit of gathering to Zion was strong upon us and we worked at our looms by day, and our fancy works by night, and saved the proceeds.  By this means, we gathered enough in six months to pay our passage across the sea; and in many ways we realized that God helps those who help themselves. (Olsen, 42) Betsy Goodwin Smith wrote in her life history, many years later, “For the benefit of the youth of Zion who may read this, I bear testimony that I know God hears and answers prayers, and the Lord will help those who help themselves.”  (ibid p 19)
This type of teaching must also have had some effect on Isaac.  In his own history he talks of leaving his family home for Walsall, where for whatever reason he was able to make more money until he had enough for the journey to America. (Wardle, Isaac)  This may have been an inconvenience, but Isaac was doing what he could to emigrate.  Even so, he took advantage of the Perpetual Emigration Fund.

Perpetual Emigration Fund

 Mormon immigration was hindered by a lack of resources on the part of the Saints. Traveling could be expensive.  As early as 1847, Brigham Young and the Quorum of 12 Apostles were looking at this problem. “It is the duty of the rich Saints every where, to assist the poor, according to their ability, to gather; and if they choose, with a covenant and promise that the poor thus helped, shall repay as soon as they are able.”  (Millennial Star X p 86)
This was the basic philosophy behind The Perpetual Emigration Fund which was established in 1849:

The first Church plan for large-scale aid to foreign converts appeared in 1849 when the gold rush was adding so nobly to Utah’s resources.  A conference at Salt Lake City ratified a proposal for a perpetual emigration fund.  (Taylor, P.A.M. p 131)

  The Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, commonly referred to as the Perpetual Emigration Fund (PEF), was a corporation established by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1849. The purpose of the corporation was to provide economic assistance to more than 30,000 individuals who sought to emigrate to Utah and surrounding regions.
   The PEF used both church assets and private contributions to aid impoverished converts to the LDS faith when they moved west. As funds were limited, converts seeking aid were ranked by their useful skills and by the duration of their membership in the church. Limits on funds led to innovative preparations and travel methods, including the establishment of handcart companies, to reduce expenses. Once established in their new homes, the converts were expected to repay the funds to the company in cash, commodities, or labor, with minor interest, so others could receive help.  (Wikipedia)

In addition to fulfilling the purpose of gathering the Saints, the PEF fulfilled another purpose, that of populating, and providing strength to the Mormon community:

The first great task to which the Mormons devoted themselves in the 1850’s was the build-up of population through the Perpetual Emigrating Company.  As he result of the initial operations of that company, the Mormon population in the Great Basin soared from some 6,000 persons in the spring of 1849 to approximately 20,000 persons in 1852.  The new task to which it now turned was the emigration of approximately 30,000 Latter-day Saints in England.  The primary motive of this emigration, of course, was the theological principle of gathering, but there is no question that economic goals also were important. (Arrington p 97)

Brigham Young said the purpose of the fund was to “Help the honest poor from localities where poverty is a crime,… where every avenue to rise in the scale of being to any degree of respectable joyous existence is forever closed.”  (op19__) Initially the PEF was used to help the scattered Saints in the Eastern United States; those who chose to migrate but did not have the means.  In 1853, it began to assist those from foreign lands.  The PEF was established during the gold rush period, when there was an economic boon in the Intermountain West as a result of travelers going through Salt Lake, and needing to purchase horses, or willing to trade to unload goods.  As a result the fund was able to pay traditional means of transport for those who wanted to emigrate, first from the eastern United States, and then from overseas.  However, as 1856 approached these conditions had changed. 
In 1856 the Church faced some serious concerns.  Most of the members who could afford to emigrate had already done so.  Many were dependent on the Perpetual Emigration Fund, and this was exhausted.  Crop failures in Utah in 1855 had dwindled donations.  The greatest expense on the Church was immigration, and many thought this should be postponed. 
James Willie expressed the importance of the PE Fund in a letter to Franklin Richards.  …but I am certain the only source the Saints here can look to for deliverance and escape from Babylon is the P.E. Fund…I can truly say the emigration spirit is universal here, and most of the Saints appear to be impressed with the belief that “God helps them that helps themselves.”  (Millennial Star xviii p 18)
Brigham Young proposed donating his own property, if there were a buyer, to finance the emigration.  “It will be remembered that in 1856 the great yearning and benevolence of our Prophet towards the poor of this Mission were manifested by large appropriations of property for their emigration.  In this he was seconded by the liberality of others in Zion towards the same end, while on this side of the Atlantic a similar spirit was manifested, and a hearty co-operation of efforts made for the emigration of the poor.”  (Millennial Star xxii p 72)
A Millennial Star editorial talks about the special relationship between Jesus and the poor.  It then talks about the poor and the Church:

The great object has been continually to gather the poor and provide for them.  For this brother Brigham and the faithful in Zion labour and contribute liberally of their substance, for they realize that of such is the kingdom of heaven.  It matters not how wealthy a man is when he obeys the Gospel, or how much of the world’s good he may take to the gathering place with him, in common with his brethren he must learn by experience if necessary, to feel for the wants of the poor, before he receive a fullness of the blessings which the Lord has in store for the faithful.  (Millennial Star XVIII p 73)

The buyer for a great deal of the property was found in the person of a British land owner, and convert to the Church, Thomas Tennant.  “Before leaving England, Thomas Tennant paid $25,000 to buy a home that Brigham Young offered for sale to help replenish the Perpetual Emigration Fund. This purchase provided the greatest single contribution to financing the 1856 emigration.  (Olsen pp 227-228)
John Beecroft noted this with regards to “Squire” Tenant who was next to them on one of the legs of the journey aboard a train:

Before we changed carriages and when we got into the other carriages we had Mr. Tenant for our nearest neighbor. He had his wife, her mother, and his child. What had Mormonism done? Such a spectacle was scarcely ever witnessed as to see one who has been so rich, so high in life, to come to be huddled together with the poorest of the poor and see how patiently he endures all things is truly wonderful.  (Beecroft, BYU)

Millen Atwood, who was in the Willie Company, and second-in-command, was a missionary in England when the handcart plan was announced.  “But when Br. Brigham offered his property so liberally, and the word came that they should gather from England, it ran like fire in dry stubble and the hearts of the poor Saints leapt for joy and gladness; they could hardly contain themselves.  (Atwood)
75 percent of those who would take the voyage aboard the Horizon with Isaac were traveling with the Perpetual Emigration Fund.  (Handcart)  As beneficial as these additional donations were to the PEF, it still wasn’t enough to allow all those who wanted to, to travel.  Resources where still spread too thin.

The Handcart Plan

A member of the Manchester Branch in England summed up the immigration problem thusly:

A great many people joined the church. The question was how to get them to Utah. There were hardly enough teams to carry all the emigrants. Finally, however, it was decided to form handcart companies to cross the plains from the end of the railroad in Iowa to the valleys of the mountains. The plan looked hard, but not impossible, and the people were so eager to get to Zion with the Saints that nothing seemed too difficult.  (Harrison, BYU)

Leroy and Ann Hafen described the Hancart plan as “the most remarkable travel experiment of Western America.  Nearly three thousand men, women and children, pulling their worldly possessions in hand-made, two-whelled cars, trudged some thirteen hundred miles to the Zion of their hopes.  Across prairies and mountains, rivers and deserts, creaked their fragile vehicles, motored by muscle and fueled with blood.” (Hafen and Hafen p 11)  The handcart plan was further described:
Most of the home seeking families who set out for Oregon, California, or Utah in the 1840s traveled by wagon, but between 1856 and 1860, when Mormon funds for bringing new converts to Utah Territory grew short, hundreds of families walked all the way to the promised land, drawing behind them handcarts that held all their belongings.  Unlike the majority of emigrants who had chosen to go west, these were not hearty frontier families used to rural living but were mostly immigrants from factory towns in England.  In these “handcart companies” women generally outnumbered men, and many people of both sexes were elderly.”  (Peavy and Smith)

 “According to the Mormon Church’s ‘divine plan’ European Saints were to sail to America and proceed by train to Iowa City, Iowa, the starting point for the long trek to Utah.  From there they would walk, pushing or pulling all their possessions in handcarts.  Hundreds of European families responded to the plan.”  (Kimball)
This idea was not new to Brigham Young.  He had pondered on it since seeing Forty-niners travel through Salt Lake with their possessions on their back, or in a wheelbarrow. (Roberts, p 89)  The Millennial Star of December 22, 1855 announced the plan in a published letter from Brigham Young to Franklin Richards:

   I have been thinking how we should operate another year.  We cannot afford to purchase wagons and teams as in times past, I am consequently thrown back upon my old plan—to make hand-carts, and let the emigration foot it, and draw upon them the necessary supplies, having a cow or two for every ten.  They can come just as quick, if not quicker, and much cheaper—can start earlier and escape the prevailing sickness which annually lays so many o our brethren in the dust… The carts can be made without a particle of iron, with wheels hooped, made strong and light, and one, or if the family be large, two of them will bring all that they will need upon the plains. 
   If it is once tried you will find that it will become the favourite mode of crossing the plains… I want to see it fairly tried and tested, and I think we might as well begin… and save this enormous expense of purchasing wagons and teams—indeed we will be obliged to pursue this course, or suspend operations, for aught that I can see at the present. (Millennial Star XVII p. 813)

            Brigham Young may have been overly optimistic in his appraisal theorizing “They will only need 90 days’ rations from the time of their leaving the Missouri River,… A company of this kind should make the trip in sixty or seventy days.” (ibid)
            In the same Millennial Star Franklin Richards, Apostle and President of the European Mission editorialized:

…The plan about to be adopted by the P.E. [Perpetual Emigration] Fund Company, of substituting hand-carts for ox-teams in crossing the plains, has been under consideration for several years.  The plan proposed is novel, and, when we allow our imaginations to wander into the future and paint the scenes that will transpire on the prairies next summer, they partake largely of the romantic.  The plan is the device of inspiration, and the Lord will own and bless it.  Those who are ready to adopt it in faith and confidence will find that many supposed obstacles will disappear, and real ones be readily overcome…

We do not but that a multitude of the faithful are ready to do anything, or gather to the Mountains in any way that may be opened before them,  and that will best subserve the interests of the work.  The sacrifices and exertions they are willing to make are the constant measure of their faith and appreciation of the blessings of salvation.  Those who are willing to do anything required of them to get to Zion are the very ones most likely to obey counsel after they arrive there.  And every difficulty which the increase of the work and the perils of the times throws in the path of the emigrating Saints, is another guarantee that fewer hypocrites and apostate spirits will be mixed up with the Saints in Utah, to work iniquity and prove enemies in the day of trouble…

It would be much more economical both in time, labour, and expense, if, instead of spending several weeks to obtain, and accustom to the yoke, a lot of wild, ungovernable cattle, impairing the health of many of the brethren by excessive labour and fatigue, and bringing disease and death into the camps by long delays… [if] on the arrival of a company of Saints on the frontier they could have the necessary hand-carts ready, and load them, and be 200 or 300 miles on their journey, with the same labour that would otherwise be expended in getting started.    (Millennial Star XVII p 809-810)

            Brother Richards pointed out other advantages to traveling by hand-cart.  Not having to yoke the oxen every morning which could take two hours to get ready, not having to look for lost oxen, not being a temptation for Indians as there would be less livestock, having more time for sleep and refreshment and less for guarding, and being able to make the trip more quickly.  He also mentions that the cost for the trip will be decreased by two-thirds, which would decrease the indebtedness of the emigrating Saints. (ibid) He continued:

Now the time has arrived when the funds of he Company can be applied to their legitimate object, and the faithful, long suffering poor are the special objects of regard.  Plans are being devised to effect the deliverance of the greatest possible number of these with the means at the disposal of the Company.  This is the great object to be attained, and for which hand-carts are to take the place of ox-teams. (ibid p. 811)

            He lastly comments that making such a trip can be compared to other religious pilgrimages, The Mahomedan to Mecca, The Roman Catholic enduring severe penance, the Hindoo and self-inflicted tortures.   “Then shall not the Saints,…be ready to prove by their works that their faith is worth more than the life of the body…” (ibid)
            Josiah Rogerson, wrote a series of articles on the handcarts.  He explains the dilemma in this way:

There are several reasons why the emigration of 1856 was augmented in numbers above that of many years previous …, but the main reason in memory now was, that hundreds of the first converts to Mormonism, in 1837, 1840 and till 1850, had been so whole-souled in their importunities to President Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards and other prominent elders that first went to England, Scotland, and Wales, with the gospel for “deliverance form the British Isles,” that President Young became determined to meet the emergency with the handcart experiment. 

One of the reasons for the church to promote the handcart plan was cost.  It could cost 600 dollars to outfit a family of three for the plains by the traditional methods.  (Kimball) Benjamin Platt and his wife were hampered by the cost, and the handcart plan was suited to them:
...In the latter part of the year 1855 President Brigham Young wrote to Franklin D. Richards then presiding over the British Mission that First [p.1] Presidency had decided to have company of handcarts organized to cross the plains the coming season and that he, Brigham Young, would sell a house and barn and stables if anyone in England would buy them and he would turn the proceeds into the Emigration fund for the benefit of the gathering Saints.
 It was thought this would be a little cheaper way of gathering the Saints. I wrote to Brother Richards at Liverpool that I would like to go by this way by handcarts as my money was limited and there was two of us and I had £ 12.10 S or about $60, sixty dollars and if I could not go to Utah I would go to the states. [-] the cost by hand carts was £ 9 or, $45 dollars each so he arranged for us to go by hand carts that is me and my wife.  (Platt, BYU)
The Church considered alternatives; including having families immigrate to the Eastern United States, where they could get jobs and earn money for the final part of the journey.  However the risk of losing these members was too great:
   Even the emigration journey proved an ordeal too severe for many; and while no precise calculation can be made, it seems that although most of the emigrants who went straight through to Utah arrived as loyal Church members, most of those who for any reason broke their journey in the eastern United States found the attractions of local American life too strong to ever face that last thousand miles. “(Taylor, P.A.M. p 74)
   Another policy which had to be kept in mind was emigration by stages.  It was plausible to argue on economic grounds that, with emigration to Utah so costly, families should go to the eastern States, take advantage of the higher wages there, and save for the final stage of the journey.  But Mormon emigration was not a purely economic enterprise.  It was useless for a convert to reach America if, under the influence of Gentile society, he lapsed form the Church. (ibid p 128)

With the announcement of the handcart plan, those who were able to travel by wagon were asked to make even more sacrifice.  They were asked to consider going by handcart, and using the difference to help other Saints gather.  Francis Webster was one brother who chose to do this.  He had been a gold prospector in California, and then returned to England and eventually became a branch president in London.  He set an example by using the money saved to pay the way for other Saints.  With the money that would have supplied a wagon for he and his wife, they were able to go by handcart themselves, as well as nine other Saints.  (See Olsen, p 1)
The returning missionaries would play a major role in the handcart plan.  Franklin Richards reminded the Elders of their duty to the immigrants:
The poor have particular demands on you.  On your journey home you should constantly seek how you can aid them by your experience, direct and comfort them by your counsels, cheer them by your presence, strengthen their faith, and keep the spirit of union and peace in their midst…

On our arrival in the United States, instead of feeling as though you had nothing to do but to get home yourselves, be in readiness to render any assistance or assume any responsibilities which those having charge of the immigration may see fit to place upon you.   Make the interest of the gathering poor your interests, and be as anxious to see them safely home as yourselves.

Traveling across the plains with teams has always been trying to the patience and perseverance of the inexperienced, and traveling with handcarts cannot be expected to be any less so.  You cannot crown your mission with a labour more befitting your calling, or more consonant with the spirit of the Gospel you have been preaching, than to consider it your duty and privilege to assist the poor in gathering home. (Millennial Star___OP49)

Isaac would have been hampered in his efforts to travel to Utah by his own illiteracy.  However he wasn’t the only member to have this problem. “The authorities in Conferences and Districts were expected to ensure that members understood the instructions, since many were illiterate as well as inexperienced.”  (Taylor, P.A.M. p 161)

Complexities of the immigration

The immigration was a large, complicated undertaking.  It was spread out over 5000 miles and their were emigrants from 14 nations.  (See Olsen p 50.)  There were large numbers immigrating in 1856, 4400, and almost half of them were using the Perpetual Emigration Fund.  Scheduling was complex and involved coordinating on both sides of the ocean when mails were slow:

The organization required to coordinate sea, train, river, and overland travel for thousands of emigrants took masterful planning, especially in the days before the telegraph.  LDS emigration agents …carried a tremendous responsibility for chartering ships, purchasing railroad tickets, preparing schedules, meeting emigrants at arrival and departure points, buying and distributing equipment and supplies, and keeping financial records in order. (Arrington)___op51
John Southwell gave an idea of how the migration was organized.  “In the Spring … the annual call was made for a number of the oldest members of the church to emigrate to the land of Zion…. Those who could pay their fare and those who needed help were instructed to forward their names with a recommend to the president of the European Mission in Liverpool.  The presidents of the different branches of the church having this part of the business to attend to.”  (Southwell, BYU)
Isaac traveled with the PEF Fund.  The Millennial Star included a sample of the papers he would have signed.  (See Illustrations)  Later, aboard the Horizon the PEF passengers would sign papers for their passage.  “P.E. Fund passengers signed receipts for their passage to Boston.” (Jaques, Bell)