Helen Condie

  • Thomas Condie, her father, was born in 1806 in Scotland.
  • He married Helen Sharp on August 21, 1830 in Scotland. She was 19. He was 24.
  • (Because there are two Helens, I’ll call Helen Sharp Helen S. and Helen Condie, her daughter, Helen C.)
  • Both were tall and had blue eyes and dark hair.
  • Helen C. seems to have curly hair.
  • Helen C. was born in 1837.
  • Helen S. joined the church first, in 1847.
  • Thomas, after resiting, was baptized in 1848. He studied the Bible and his Presbyterian were not correct.
  • Thomas let the Elders use some of his property for church service, and lost his business because of it.
  • They traveled to Salt Lake, and I’ll talk about this journey more next week.
  • A quote directly about Helen C.:

In early 1852 preparation for the journey west was made. Young Helen Condie (1837- 1923) being 11 years old was lucky in that she came west in the Isaac Russell Company driving a team most of the way, Russel brought the machinery for the first sugar factory. He arrived in the Salt Lake Valley September 2, 1852 and established a home on the corner of 1st West and 7 South streets in the Fourth Ward in Salt Lake City.

Young Helen remembers the laying of the corner stone of the Salt Lake Temple, April 6, 1853, her father and brothers helped build it and to break ground. She often told of – the grasshoppers and famine and the suffering that was endured.


Excerpts from story about her parents

Soon after he failed in his business he was anxious to gather to the body; of the church in America. He went to Glasgow and ma short time was joined by his family composed of his wife Helen and their children; Janet, Gibson, Helen (1837 – 1923), Margaret, Thomas (1842 – l92l) and Mary. From there they went by steamer to Liverpool, England, arriving Christmas day, 1849, after – a cold, rough unpleasant journey. While waiting in Liverpool for the ship to be made ready to sail, Thomas was cleaning his shot gun with vitrol and while he was not looking, little Mary took the cup and drank the vitrol. The two eldest children, Janet and Gibson, were sent to find some Mormon Elders. – They found Orson Pratt, then President of the Mission, who sent two Elders who administered to Mary. They rebuked the poison and promised her she would live. No sooner had they taken their hands away than she began to vomit and the poison was cast upon the floor. So strong was it that it burned the floor and it took the skin off her throat and tongue.

When the ship was ready, over 400 saints from England and Scotland went aboard. The ship was named the Zetland.

. . .

About January 29, 1849 the vessel was towed out to sea. The first mate got drunk and neglected his duty and the vessel was nearly dashed on the rocks in the Irish Channel. During the voyage the fireplace got afire and it seemed the vessel as doomed, but the Lord again preserved them. The vessel arrived in New Orleans about nine weeks later. From there the family took a steamboat for St Louis. . . .

At St. Louis, Thomas thought he would take – a box of his goods ashore. While going down the gangplank, he lost his balance and fell into the water and no one saw him, lie saw some rope hanging down the side of the steamboat and seized this to pull himself upon deck.

About seven miles from St. Louis were coal mines, Grove Diggings, where good wages were being paid. Many old friends who had come from Clackmannan the previous year were here, the Sharps, Fifes, Wilsons and others. So in early April of 1849 the family moved there and Thomas and Gibson worked there for several months. Goods were very cheap. Thomas purchased two cows for $11 and pork was one cent a pound, sugar five cents and whiskey twenty cents per gallon.

During the season cholera broke out, a real plague, many died. Then the great fire destroyed more property in St. Louis. The fire seemed to clear the atmosphere and the disease cleared away. But, fever and ague were prevalent and attacked Thomas and he thought often he would die.

August 28, 1849 while at Grove Diggings Janet married Joseph Sharp. Little Mary died. A son, Robert, was born but he died also. Thomas was very desirous of moving up the river to Council Bluffs. Grove Diggings was an unhealthy place. Helen has a miscarriage and came near dying. She was so low when they left St. Louis on the first of March, 1850, that it took four men to carry her aboard on a bed. They started by steamboat to St. Joseph. From there the journey was made by ox team through the mud and bad weather, a very trying journey indeed.

Arriving in Kanesville, Thomas began looking for a place. He purchased a farm located on Mosquito Creek from an Enos Curtis. It had several houses on it. He then bought a cow and calf and began to plant corn, it being cheap, ten cents per bushel. The weather was dry and prices went up. Summer continued to be very dry and church history records the condition when Orson Hyde prophesied rain would be sent from the Lord and it came. The family lived three miles from the mill. When the corn ripened so it could be made into meal, Thomas would take a sack on his back, Gibson, Helen, Margaret, and little Thomas the same. The children had a smaller sack to carry. They had no team or wagon. In due time the calf they had purchased with their first cow had become large enough to do a little work. Thomas traded for another calf and made a wagon and a yoke. Then the calves were broken so they could do some of the farm work.

Also, I found this quote from a Daughters of the Utah Pioneers book (From An Enduring Legacy, Volume 11, Page 192).

In 1885 Reief Society President [of Croydon, Utah] Helen Thackeray caution sisters by saying, “We are living in trying times.” She exhorted the sisters to do their duties and said they were a blessed people, for the destroyer had not been int heir midst for a long time. “While in propserity and peace, we should serve God and encourage our daughters not to follow the pride and fashion of the world.”

I am not completely sure that is my ancestor, but it could be.

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Author: Heather Hoyt

I'm a stay-at-home mom living in Wyoming and I like to write, take photographs, and play with my kids.

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