History Of Alice Smith Done

Given to Becky S. Porter by Rhonda Nelson Poole, great-granddaughter

In the town of Bury, Lancashire, England (map), on the 21 day of August 1842, Alice Smith Done first saw the light of day. Her parents, William Smith and Mary Grimshaw Smith had embraced the gospel and when she was but three weeks old they with their three children set sail on the 4th of September 1842, on the ship called The Great Western for America. They were six weeks and three days crossing the ocean and they landed at a place called Ke-A-Kirk (Keokuk, Iowa map). The money that had been saved by this time had entirely given out before they could come any farther there must be more earned. Her father got to work in a butcher shop. They stayed in Ke-A-Kirk until the spring of 1843.

With the means which had been saved, they again started on their journey and took passage on a steam boat to sail down the Mississippi River to Nauvoo. When they were about half way to their journey's end, one of their children, a girl three years of age, was taken suddenly ill. She lingered for two days and died. They prepared her for burial, and for a coffin the box that had served to keep clothes was used. She was buried on a small island in the middle of the stream where one more small grave had previously been made. The same spring they arrived at Nauvoo. They resided there for five years during which time two more children were born.

They endured all of the hardships that the Saints had to suffer during their sojourn in Nauvoo. Their intentions were to come when the majority of the Saints did. But when the time came that the Saints were compelled to leave, her mother with herself and one child were so sick with malaria fever that to leave was impossible unless they had been forced to go. Her father was warned to leave the following Monday. When the day arrived for departure, thirteen armed men came to see that their commands were carried out. When asked why he had not gone, they were invited in the house to see for themselves the reason for disobeying their commands. The sight of a mother laying insensible to everything around her with two small children aroused the sympathy of the captain and with a good thorough search of the house for guns and ammunition and instructions to leave as soon as possible, the men departed.

Through the instructions of Brigham Young her father was left as one of the committee to dispose of the church property and sell it at the most valuable price they could get. They lived here until the 16th day of October 1847, when they started on their journey for Utah (map of the Pioneer Trail). For a team they had an ox and one horse and an old wagon with no cover, her mother had a young baby six days old. The weather was very wet, it rained nearly all the way and through exposure the mother was in very feeble health. They traveled until they came to a place called Ferryville at Council Bluffs (map) across the river from Winter Quarters. Here they stopped to rest and recruit up intending to go on with their journey. But through a call from President Young, he was to stay preside over the branch. His councilors were brothers Clark and Harris. They lived here for five more years and for a livelihood her father ran the Ferry boat.

Sister Alice was getting quite a good sized girl by this time, can remember many things that transpired while here.

In the year 1852 they again started for Utah and it is on this journey that things were brought so vividly to her mind. When they left Ferryville they were organized in company of 50 families under Captain Wheelock, but when they reached the Platte River, they were divided in companies of tens. On their way across the plains the cholera broke out and there were hundreds buried by the road side. There were no fashionable coffins, nor was there time to see that they were covered with six feet of earth, but they were rolled in some blankets or other pieces of clothing that would cover them and they were lowered into the shallow ground that had been dug. They were then covered with dirt and dedicated to the Lord who giveth life and taketh away.

After a tedious and tiresome journey of seven weeks, they arrived in Salt Lake City the 6th day of October 1852. How thankful they were to God their deliverer that they had been permitted to behold the City of Zion. They stayed here 10 days when they moved to a place 12 miles south by the name of Little Cottonwood (Union Fort; map; see alsoUnion Ward).

She lived here for four years when her mother died and she was left to take care of seven children. The 9th of September 1858 she was married to George Done. One child, a girl, was born while they lived here and in the year of 1860, they came to Cache Valley and arrived in Smithfield (map; see also Smithfield) the 17th of June of the same year. She with her husband were members of the first choir organized in Smithfield, when it was first organized. There were just six members including their conductor, Brother Robert Fishburn. She has remained a member ever since.

In the year 1879 she was called by the Relief Society to go to Salt Lake to study Obstetrics and she has labored in that calling until recently when her health and age would not permit. Her record is perhaps not equalled by any one of her professions. She was the attendant doctor at the birth of 2,127 children. The first child to come under her care was Elizabeth Tidwell, now Mrs. Fred Hillyard. All of the above were following her receiving her Doctor's Certificate, but she had been the assistant for some time previous to her receiving her diploma. She worked as a teacher for the Relief Society years before she was called to fill this position and later years she has taken the work up again.

She is the mother of twelve children, six of whom are living, grandmother of 53 grandchildren, and great grandmother of 37. She has been a noble and faithful wife, a kind and loving mother, and faithful Latter-day Saint. She maintained good health and appeared much younger than her age almost until the end when she was stricken down by a paralytic stroke, the first of which was received in March of this year. Two others followed later and resulted in her death on September 23, 1919 (cemetery marker). She was a true and noble example throughout her long, useful, and eventful life, one that made the world better by her having lived in it.

Her children who have preceded her in life are James, John (cemetery marker), Sarah Ann, each of whom died at about 8 years of age; John was killed by a horse; and an infant also died, and Mrs. Donna Done Chambers.

The living children are Mrs. Mary Done Coleman, Alice Done Smith, Maria Done Taylor, George Done, William Done, Nathan Done, and Mrs. Bertah Done Mather. All of whom are among the best citizens and faithful Latter-day Saints.

A brother, Joseph Smith (cemetery marker) of Smithfield, and a sister, Mrs. Mary Ann Stohl of Burnt Fork, Wyoming, and a half sister, Mrs. Sylvia Franson of Oakley, Utah are still living.

There were present at the funeral other relatives: Mrs. Lucy Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wardel, and William Smith of Union, Utah, and William Smith, George Smith, Thomas Smith and Maria Prescott of Gentile Valley, Idaho, and George Done of Payson, Utah.

Genealogy Collection provided by:
Becky S. Porter, 2493 S. Hulls Crossing, Preston, Idaho 83263

E-Mail: Roland K. Smith