Thursday, September 17, 2015

John Toone: Martin Handcart Company Leader

John Toone heard the missionaries, and new what they preached was true, however did not join the church until five years after as he was entrenched with the Methodist Church and unsure what to do.  When he decided to be baptized, his wife followed shortly after.  John and his wife were acquainted with hardship as two of their first five children died young.  He and his family emigrated to Utah in 1852.  John Toone played the cello.  He managed to transport this in the wagon when he came to Salt Lake.  At one point he used the instrument to calm a group of Native Americans who came into camp.  He settled in the Avenues area of Salt Lake City.  He was called on his first mission in 1854, and had just been released for health reasons when he traveled with those who would join the Martin Handcart Company.  For the first part of the trek he traveled with the Jesse Haven group as the sub-captain.   This group combined with the Martin Handcart Company in Florence, Nebraska.  While in Florence, Langley Bailey’s mother came John Toone seeking a blessing.  He declined saying he could not raise the dead.  Subsequently Franklin Richards gave Langley a blessing, promising he would make it to the Valley.   
Brother Toone played a prominent role in the performing arts community of Salt Lake City.  He was instrumental in the construction of the Salt Lake Theater and played in the Mineer Band.  He also served the community as school teacher and doctor.  He was instrumental in administering vaccines when they were first available.  He relocated to Croydon, Morgan County Utah, but still continued to visit Salt Lake regularly to perform and visit his children. 
Mineer Band, John Toone on right with cello
Taken form "Tell my Story Too by; Jolene Allphin and Langley Bailey writings from

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