Thomas Holroyd was a young man of fine character and his people were very happy when he made the acquaintance of Dinah Williams, a young woman of fine character. Dinah never returned to Wales. They were married January 2, 1845 at Everton, Lancastershire, England. Soon after they heard the Gospel taught by the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and June 18, 1851 they were both baptized and became members. They were baptized by Elder John Ennion. Afterwards a great desire filled their hearts to come to America; also to the hearts of her sister Ellen and her husband who had also joined the Church.
The Holroyds were well to do and respected people and they felt they had been disgraced by the action of their sons and brother and forever cast them out of their lives. In 1855 when they heard he was leaving for America, the family love was quickened and they went and begged him not to leave his native land. But upon finding out he was determined they brought baskets and boxes of dainties for the family for the journey.
Dinah's sister had been ill and given up the journey for awhile and Dinah, her husband, and four children were making ready when a great sorrow came to her. Her sister Ellen dies. She was full of sorrow but they had paid for their passage on the sailing vessel Siddons and must leave at the time planned. She did regret leaving her brother-in-law and his children under such conditions. A few years later this family all came to America.
When the day arrived for setting sail for America there were nine hundred men, women, and children on this sailing vessel. They were every one members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [p.1]
Apostle Franklin D. Richards was in England at this time and was president of the mission. He went on board the vessel to bid goodbye and the Saints gathered around him. They felt bad to leave him and many were in tears. He spoke to them for some time and then prophesied in the name of the Lord that if they would be faithful and attend to their prayers that no harm would come to them and they would arrive at their destination safely. But he said,"Your vessel will be blown back for days. The sea will be rough and the vessel will be stripped of its mast, in fact tossed at the mercy of the high sea winds until it will spring a leak and it will take all men on board to keep the water pumped out. But with all this I prophesy in the name of the Lord you will arrive safely in America."
The journey was just as Apostle Richards had told them it would be and during this terrible voyage my mother (Dinah) was full of care for her baby was about 16 months old was very sick and one week from landing she dies. It was hard to bear up under such a trial to see our little sister buried in the ocean. We'd seen a big shark around the vessel for several days going around and around. Mother was a woman of great faith and she said, "Father, Thy will be done." She was full of integrity and loved her religion. She started the journey with four children: Mary, 8 years old; Robert, 6 years old; Ellen, 4 years; and Dinah, the baby, about 16 months old. The oldest child, Mary, was almost washed into the ocean by a monstrous wave as she was emptying a pail one day. This increased Mother's worry as she had to have help with her sick baby and Father had to be with the men keeping the water pumped out of the vessel.
They had been seven weeks on the water and the men were commencing to be worn out and the holes in the vessel were getting larger. The captain said if it had not been a vessel of Mormons it would have sunk long ago. But he realized they were weary and he must have help and right soon. So he put out the white flag, a call for help, in hopes that he might get some answer in help. In a few hours a little tugboat steamer was seen coming towards them and all on board felt happy. But when the pilot came on board he wanted so much money to tow us in that the captain did want to pay it. The pilot got in his little boat and steamed away. This sure did make us feel sick. For awhile it was a speck on the ocean. We felt sure it would tow us to safety. The men became more weary and a committee of the Saints went to the captain and implored him to send for the pilot so the white flag was put up again. He came in a few minutes and we were soon sailing through the wind and storms arriving safely in Philadelphia.
All well with a greater testimony of the truth of the gospel and the blessings derived from doing our duties and having the Lord's appointed servants here on the earth. The captain always remembered the prayer of Apostle F. [Franklin] D. Richards. He said, "If it had been any other people than the Mormons they would have perished."
The old vessel was sent in for repairs and on its return trip sprung a leak and sank. A number of its crew were picked up.
We lived in Philadelphia for five years. Father opened a tailor shop and did fine. We had a very comfortable home to live in and [p.2] there was a good branch of the church there. Carl G. Mazer was the president of the branch and a number of the pioneers on Ogden City were members of the same as well as Father and Mother. You will know some of them. William H. Wright and wife, Ambrose Greenwell and wife, Richard D. Treseder and wife, William Moulding and family, and the father and mother of Thomas Maining of Salt Lake City who had been the property man at the Salt Lake Theater for a lifetime up to a year ago. Some of the missionaries who were there at this time were John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, Angus Cannon. The branch of Saints were like one big happy family.
Our home was made happy with the arrival of twin baby girls who were named Hannah Suttleiffe and Anne Pugh, these being the two names of the twin's grandmothers, the father's mother and the mother's mother. Everything was going lovely until one day father was taken down with Typhoid fever and laid ill for some time. A very influential friend of the family, a Mr. Abbott, who was on the board of one of the large hospitals, told my mother he would make arrangements for father to go to the hospital where he could receive proper care and the very best of attention.
Mr. Abbot was owner of a large hotel in Philadelphia. Father went to the hospital but did not get better. After having Typhoid Fever he had Yellow Fever, Malaria and seemed to get weaker and weaker. Used to go to the hospital twelve months and during this time my mother certainly had a struggle, but she was a woman of great energy and faith, and would not give up, but she would keep pushing right along.
Mr. Abbott made arrangements for father's expenses at the hospital and this cost mother nothing. He and his wife would come to the home in their fine carriage and always bring something for the children. I don't know what mother would have done without these fine friends.
Mother had a regular visiting day to go to the hospital once a week, but one morning early she said to me, "It is not our regular visiting day until tomorrow, but I feel that we must go and see father today. I feel that something is wrong. We got the babies ready and started out; we went on the street car having eight miles to ride. The car fare was three cents each way. We arrived safely. Mother met the nurse at the outside door and she said, "I am so glad you have come as Mr. Horoyd is not as well." Mother told her it was not her visiting day, but she felt like she had to come and see if father was worse. The nurse said father had disobeyed one of the rules and the doctor had given orders that he must be punished for it. The nurse said, "I am so glad you have come, I have been praying the whole morning that something would happen to bring you." My mother went to the head doctor and told him she wanted to see her husband and he refused her saying, "It is not a visiting day and you cannot see him." Mother told him she would see Mr. Abbott about it for she had come to take her husband home. He then told her that she could see her husband. When mother went to the room and found [p.3] father in such a condition it made her heart sick, but she knew with the help of the Lord, she could get him home. He said "Home", why he had been there a year and so sick that he had almost forgotten such a place as home. Mother said, "Yes, here are your clothes and if you will help us we will take you home." So mother and the nurse washed him and put his clothes on and you can imagine how then he was, for mother lifted him like a baby into a wheel chair, then wheeled him out on the grass as it was a beautiful summer day. Then she went back in and washed all the bed clothes and put them out on the grass to dry.
The nurse helped mother to the street car, wheeling the chair, then helped him in the car. He was so weak and bad she had a time getting him home. The nurse said she was so thankful that Heavenly Father had heard her prayer and brought mother there to take him home, as that night they were going to give him medicine to kill him, and she could not thank her Heavenly Father enough for answering her prayer.
Father was so glad to come home; there was a brightness came in his eyes. He was very weak for a long time and a big care to my mother but he gradually got better. Brothers John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, Angus Cannon and Karl G. Maeser also other Elders all administered to him and promised him that he should get well and go to Utah, and be well enough to do manual labor. He continued to get better; the Elders came every day and administered to him and he was prayed for in the meetings. Our mother was a woman with great faith and she and she taught it to her children; they would kneel around father and administer to him and pray for him, and it gave him renewed strength.
One night my father was visited by heavenly messengers. They laid their hands upon his head and blessed him for his energy faithfulness and pronounced him whole and told him he should go to Zion and do rock work. He did get well and the desire grew stronger every day to go to Zion. Father had two or three watches so he planned to raffle them off so to raise money to help bring his family west. The raffle took place at the home of one of the Saints, Brother Harper. Mr. Abbott took many chances and he won one or two of the watches and then gave them back to be raffled again.
We left Philadelphia in the spring of 1860 (the same year as the Civil War) and took the train as far west as St. Joseph, Missouri, then up the river to Florence, the winter quarters for the Saints. We were late getting there. It was in the fall of the year so father and mother were advised to remain there over winter and come west the next spring. So we moved to Omaha and Father took a position in one of the tailor shops so we joined the Omaha branch of the church.
The next July 4, 1861, we started for Utah with a company of 50 wagons. . . . [p.4]
. . . We arrived in Salt Lake City September 16, 1861. We came up to Ogden the next day and have been here ever since. The first work my father did way laying the rock wall around the tithing yard that used to stand on twenty-fourth and Washington Avenue where Wright's store now stands. . . . [p.5]
BIB: Thomas, Mary Hebden Holroyd. Sketch of the life of Dinah Williams Holroyd, pp. 1-5. (CHL)