Sunday, June 21, 2015

Martin Handcart Pioneer, Heber Robert McBride, 13

Heber's father, Robert, was on of the first individuals baptized in England.  He was only two days behind the first baptism.  They were provided the opportunity to immigrate to Zion by the handcart plan.  Heber talks of the march of the last train stop to the outfitting camp.  They were caught in the rain, soaked and lost their way..  It was only after dark and they could see the campfires that they were able to make it into camp.  On the handcart trek Heber's mother became ill, and the care of the children went to his older sister Jeanetta.  Heber had three younger siblings and an older sister.  She was no longer able to draw the handcart and this duty went to Heber.  His mother would walk as far as she could and then would be placed on the the handcart everyday.  Their baby sister also rode.  He recalled using buffalo chips for fuel.
His father pulled the cart everyday, and his body began to break down.  Despite this, he made about 25 trips across the river helping others across.  After they made it into camp, Brother McBride was asked to sing.  "O Zion when I think of thee, I long for pinions like a dove."  He could only sing one verse.   He was so ill the next day he could barely sit up.  Heber found a spot for him in one of the wagons.  That would be the last they would see of him alive.  That night the arrived in camp after dark.  The next morning Heber went in search of his father.  He found him frozen under a wagon.  He was buried in a communal grave with 14 others.  He and his family faced terrible hunger and privations, and resorted to eating the bark off of trees.

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