Saturday, June 18, 2016

How The West Was Won

While we are eagerly anticipating a wonderful family post (hint hint) from the lovely and brilliant Magic Fayre, who is currently acrost yon pond, I thought I would whet your appetite for history and historic things. This is a bio of a pioneer woman, written by her daughter in 1921. I will post it as I found it, without editing:

NANCY JULIA PIPKIN  This history was written by her daughter, Lelia Kirk Hatch, 24 day of March, 1921 at Fruitland, New Mexico.  Nancy Julia, daughter of Aser Pipkin & Margaret Foster, was born 24 day of March 1842 in Hardin Co, Tenn. She was baptised 1 Feb 1882, at Hickory Plains, Ark, by Elder James H. Wells & Elder Harden.  When Nancy Julia was a baby she moved, with her parents to Mississippi where they lived eight years. In 1850, on her eight birthday, they moved to Hickory Plains, Ark, where they remained. At the age of 14 years she was deprived of a loving mother's care by death. This, she said was the darkest hour of her life.  Nancy Julia was about 18 years old when she was engaged to a man by the name of Hood. He joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War & was captured by Federal soldiers. He died in jail. Nancy Julia lived pretty close to the battle front. She was told many times of the Confederate soldiers coming in their house in a great hurry & throwing papers in their fireplace, she quickly covered them with ashes and had barely done so when the Federal soldiers came in & asked where the  soldiers were that had run through their house, as they had some very important papers.   She didn't tell them anything, but they ripped the feather mattresses & pillows open & feathers flew all over the place. She became very angry & called them "Dam Yankee." She also told about hearing the cannons roar for about two days.   After the battle was over there, she, with some of her family went where they had been fighting & the dead had not been buried, their bodies were black & swollen. What a horrible experience. About this time the great plague, yellow fever, broke out & so many lost their lives.  On November 23, 1863, she married Paris Pipkin, of Steeleville, Crawford Co, Missouri. This man was her second cousin & 31 years her senior. They lived seven years in Missouri. During this time three children, two girls & a boy, came to brighten their home.   But this happiness was short. The tenth of May 1870, her husband was taken in death & the 27th day of this same month, their little boy died. The 20th day of June, the oldest of the little girls died. The children had scarlet fever. This left her & her little six month old girl alone. She went back to her father in Hickory Plains.  On 24 Dec 1873, she married William Louis Kirk. Two daughters & a son were born to this union, but in the sixth year of their marriage again, the angels of death came, taking her husband just a month before her son was born. William Louis Kirk died 13 Dec 1879, the baby boy was born 24 Jan 1880.  With all she had passed through, she trusted in the Lord continually. She was baptised into the Church of Later Day Saints in Feb. 1882. She came west to Sunset, Arizona the same year, to join her father & family. Here she met Ira Hatch & they married 7 Jun 1882 in the St. George Temple by David Cannon.  They moved from Sunset, Arizona to Ramah, New Mexico in the fall of 1882. They lived there until the year of 1891. In 1892, they moved to Fruitland, New Mexico where they remained until death.  She was blessed with a daughter & a son by this marriage. This happy marriage lasted for 27 years. On the 13th day of Sept. 1909, her oldest child, Mary Lafentia Pipkin Ashcroft was taken by death & the 30th day  of the same month & year, her companion was taken from her.  When all her children married but the youngest son, this was a lonesome & trying time for her to endure as she was feeble in body & had passed through so much; but she never failed to say "The Lord's will be done" for all her days. She clinged to him for comfort. Her eyesight had been bad for years & on the 19th of Sept. 1910, she found herself blind to the world with in-growing catarachs; & for four years she sat in this condition, but she was able to learn the raised letters for the blind. On the 14th day of Feb. 1914, she was operated on at Mercy Hospital in Durango, Colo, by Dr. A.L. Davis & through this operation, recovered the sight of one eye.  Two years later the sight returned to the other eye, stronger & better than the one that was operated on & could see well enough to read print again.  She was 79 & had been blessed with so many kind & loving friends who love her so dearly for her humble, loving disposition & who have met here with her on her birthday to help brighten & make happy her old age.  She was called home to meet her loved ones 28 Jul 1922.  Her children by Paris Pipkin:  1) Lillie Morris Pipkin, b 19 Apr 1865, d 20 Jun 1870, Crawford Co, MO  2) Paris, b 9 Sep 1866, d 27 May 1870, Crawford Co, MO  3) Mary Lafentia, b 7 Nov 1869, d 13 Sep 1909, Crawford Co, MO  Her children by William Louis Kirk:  1) Lelia, b 11 Oct 1875, d 7 Apr 1945, m Joseph Hatch, 7 May 1892    Hickory Plains, Ark  2) Minnie, b 7 Nov 1877, m Wayne Clawson, Hickory Plains, Ark  3) Louis Ambrous, b 24 Jan 1880, m Amelia Gallagher  Her children by Ira Hatch:  1) Martha, b 4 May 1883, d 25 Apr 1931, m John L. Hunt 25 Oct 1900,    d 25 Apr 1931, Ramah, McKinley Co, New Mexico  2) Ira Asa, b 12 Oct 1886, m Margaret Gallagher, 12 Nov 1912,    Ramah, McKinley Co, New Mexico

What a life she lived! Travel in those days was rough, and look at all the places she'd seen.  She experienced such tragedy and hardship, yet kept on going. I so admire the hardy men and women who forged our great country through sheer will and strength of character.

7 Jun 1882
St George, Washington, Utah, USA
Standing: Joseph Hatch, Amanda Hatch, Marie LaFentie Pipkin. Seated: James Hatch, Ira Hatch,Nancy Julia Pipkin Kirk Hatch, Ira Stearns Hatch. Two younger girls between James & Ira Hatch is Lelia Kirk. Between nancy & Ira Stearns is Minnie Kirk. Small boy on lap of Nancy is Louis Ambrose Kirk.Picture made in St George, Utah, 7th June 1882 at the marriage of Julia Kirk & Ira Stearns Hatch.


  1. "Dam Yankee" indeed. The Hickory Plains/Des Arc area of Arkansas was annihilated by the Union during the Civil War, due to its strategic location along the White River. It's probably a good thing she married her cousin Paris and escaped to Missouri (even if he was an old fart).

  2. What a woman - so much grief and loss... and she just kept going. I hope we still make at least a few with that kind of resilience. We've got it so easy now. To think that we've gone from that being the norm to women now being told that they need to be shielded from the expression of ideas that make them feel "unsafe".

    1. These pioneer women never cease to astound me. Every story like this I read leaves me so grateful for the cushy life I have.