Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mormon Handcart Rescuer: James Barker, 29

James Barker, 29
James Barker is a rescuer who would bear the burden of the effects of the cold the rest of his life.  James Barker settled in the Ogden area after immigrating to Utah in 1849.  He was married in 1851.  In 1856 he accepted a call to help with the rescue of the handcart pioneers. 
He and a companion were sent to bring back a couple cattle that had wandered away from the rescuers.  It was very cold. It took them a couple of hours to find the cattle.  By the time they did, the campfire had gone out and they had difficulty finding camp.  They eventually did find camp but Brother Barker was frost bit in his hands and would have arthritis in his hands the rest of his life.  They were practically useless.
Even so he was a successful farmer.  He was the first to introduce the red delicious apple to Utah.  He used many farm hands, and family hands to help with his farming enterprise.  His goal was to leave a farm to each of his male children, and make sure his daughters were also provided for.  His wife, Polly was a noted midwife and local curer.  She received calls from many locals as well as Native Americans. 

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