What wonderful sweet stories have come from our Pioneer heritage.
This week I am remembering a Primary age pioneer Richard Winmil (b. 1840) he was my great grand father this weekend. Richard traveled to America with his father William, mother Jane and two sisters on the ship Hartley arriving in New Orleans on 28 April 1849. The traveled up the MIssissipi on the on the steam boat Mameluke. Many died of cholora in the voyage including possible two sisters. The Mameluke, along with 22 other steamboats and one third of the city of St. Louis were destroyed in an historic fire on thesteamboats and docks. By the time it was over some 11 hours later, the blaze claimed 430 buildings, 23 steamboats, nine flat boats, several barges, and claimed at least four lives." Following this devastating fire a cholera epidemic broke out killing ten percent of the population. William, Jane and their children Richard and Sarah continued their journey to Council Bluffs. Upon arriving in Council Bluffs, they established a butcher business. Not long after arriving at Council Bluffs, William and Jane became ill reportedly due to the effects of cholera. They passed away during the night of October 7, 1850. We can only imagine what 10 year-old Richard must have felt as he came to awaken his parents only to find them cold in death. Richard moved in with his sister Sarah and her husband until her death on February 1850.
Life with the Watts was not very pleasant. William Watt[s] punished Richard so often that he ran away. A family friend, Mrs. McKee[v] said, " I think the reason for Watt's cruelty to the boy was to get possession of the $500.00 grandfather Winmill had saved to make the trip to Utah." Richard wandered about the streets of Council Bluffs and was attracted by sparks from the Russell Blacksmith Shop. He entered and became friendly with Mr. Alfonso Russell to whom he told the story of his parents death and the unpleasant conditions in his sister's home which caused him to leave. "Well" said Mr. Russell " I have five girls and need a boy." So it was that in the Spring of 1851, Richard left Council Bluffs with the Russell family in an oxen team bound for Salt Lake City. The exact date of their arrival in the valley is not known, but the last company to arrive that year was October 24th.
His surname in the 1860 census is "Hardy." His was adopted by Bishop Leonard Hardy. In the 1880 Utah census, his death record and Find A Grave website his surname is "Winmill." He died in Idaho but his burial is in Utah.steam boat Mameluke.
His father and mother both died in Iowa. He traveled with the Russell family to Utah.
Benjamin Gardner Company (1852)
Age at Departure: 12
Alonzo Havington Russell (Age: 30)
Nancy Briggs Foster Russell (Age: 27)
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