I, Mary Ann Greenhalgh Mace, was born April 21, 1848, at Maulesfield, Cheshire, England, the daughter and eldest child of Mary Moorcroft and Thomas Greenhalgh. My father was a silk warper and worked at his trade in the city of Manchester in Lancashire. He learned this art when a very young man. I can [p.125] not remember the time when he had any other trade than that of a silk warper. At the age of twelve years I started to work in a cloth factory where my father warped. I never attended school as my parents were in need of my help at home. At nights, however, when my father came home from work, his working hours were from six until six, he taught me to read, write, spell and figure. When I was twelve years old the Civil War broke out in America. This made it necessary for me to work in the factory with my father to help support the family, which by this time included five children. I earned about three and one-half dollars each week winding skeins of yarn on spools.
On April 29, 1865, our family of nine children with Father and Mother, left Liverpool for America on a sailing vessel called the Belle Wood. This ship was in charge of Captain Freeman, a large red-headed Yankee, who said he had crossed the ocean six times. Our trip on the ocean lasted five weeks and two days. The captain said it was the nicest trip he had ever taken across the Atlantic Ocean. We landed at Castle Garden, New York, June 2, 1865, and found the county in deep mourning over the tragic death of Abraham Lincoln. Everywhere we saw soldiers who were returning home from the Civil War. I remember one troop carrying what remained of a huge American flag. The center had been taken out by a cannon ball, and soldiers were carrying it down the street by its corners. They looked ragged, tired and sick as they dragged themselves down the street to their quarters amid the sound of cheers and martial music.
My baby brother, who had been sick on voyage, died one month after we landed in New York and was buried in the Green Wood Cemetery. A short service was held at the grave. The undertaker's name was John Mace. Our family stayed in New York City until the middle of September, where my sister Sarah and I obtained work in a silk factory. We were dissatisfied here because Father could not find work and we did not like living in a city either, but we were obliged to stay until we could do better. In a short time we heard of a manufacturing town called Cohoes, which was eleven miles from Albany, so we moved there. Here we obtained a comfortable house in which to live, and secured work for us all; that was, for my sister Sarah, Father, and myself. It was while we were living here that I attended one quarter of night school, the only school I ever attended in my life. We lived here until July 10th or 12th, 1866, when Father decided to move west to Utah. When all was ready we sailed down the Hudson River for about three hundred miles from Albany to New York. Here we waited for more people whom we learned were also going to Utah. We were obliged to take a round about way to come west as a satisfactory agreement [p.126] could not be made with the company which had been handling the immigrant traffic.
Our route took us into Canada by way of the Great Lakes of Huron and Michigan, then to Chicago, from here to a place called Wyoming. We rested a few days and left on July 24, 1866, about noon after we had cooked our dinner around a camp fire. We were met by a company of eighty-two covered wagons which had been sent out from Utah by Brigham Young to meet the immigrants. Two families were assigned to travel in each wagon on the journey to Salt Lake City. This arrangement did not meet with my mother's approval, as she did not like the looks of some of the immigrants. She thought they might have vermin, or that we children might contract some disease from them. After talking with several of the drivers, we were assigned to ride in a wagon that carried some freight. It consisted of two large flat wooden boxes which just fit into the bottom of the wagon box and completely covered the floor. Packed into these boxes were the materials for the great Salt Lake Tabernacle organ. . . .
. . . After reaching Utah, the first settlement we came to was Coalville at Silver Creek, a small village with a few buildings. We did not stop here, however, as our destination was Salt Lake City, where we arrived Oct. 4, 1866. Here we camped in the lot east of the Tabernacle grounds in the tithing office sheds. The roof had been put on the tabernacle and the foundation for the temple was just laid. Not far from these was the old Salt Lake Theater, which was completed and had been in use for four years. We were to stay in the sheds until we could find another place. . . . [p.127]
BIB: Mace, Mary Ann Greenhalgh, [Autobiography], Our Pioneer Heritage, comp. by Kate B. Carter, vol. 15, (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1972), pp.125-127. (CHL)