I was born March 4, 1863 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland--the daughter of William Daw Sprunt and Elizabeth Peacock. My parents were married in Perth, Scotland in the year 1846 and two years later joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While in Scotland seven children were born to them: Jessie, James, Thomas, Joane, William, Isabelle, and Jane. I was the youngest and only fourteen months old when I began my travels. My parents were very devoted to their religion and the traveling elders always found a home with them and a warm welcome. However, as much as they loved their native country they were very anxious to emigrate to Zion, although it meant the leaving of relatives, life-long friends and a home of comparative ease and comfort in exchange for the privations and sacrifices of pioneer life.
We left Kilmarnock May 18, 1864 for Glasgow, where we immediately embarked on a side paddle steamboat on the River Clyde. The Clyde, by artificial deepening, has been made navigable for large vessels up the Glasgow, and is the most valuable river in Scotland for commerce. Through the vast river traffic where the Clyde empties into the Irish Sea our boat carried us on to Liverpool, England. We arrived there the next morning May 19th, booked our passage on a sailing vessel--the General McClellan, with Captain Trask in command and left Liverpool the following day for our six week's journey across the great Atlantic. As my mother was getting on the ship, she slipped and fell, injuring her knee, which was continually irritated as she moved about the ship from day to day. The journey across the ocean was very long and tiresome, especially for mother with an injured knee and five small children to care for.
We arrived in New York City June 23rd, and left the same day for St. Louis. It was impossible for us to get passenger cars all the way as the United States was involved in the midst of the Civil War and the government was using most of the railroads for the movement of war supplies and troops; but we, with four hundred and fifty other immigrants bound for Zion, were finally fortunate enough to secure transportation in cattle cars. Arriving thus at St.Louis, we took a small river boat up the Missouri River to Omaha, arriving there July11th.
We were several days making our tents, getting our wagons loaded and preparing for the long, hazardous journey across the plains. Mother's knee was worse, making it impossible for her to get around, so a bed was made in the wagon. My youngest brother rode with mother and me but the other three children with father walked the whole distance of one thousand and thirty-two miles. The remarkable faith of my mother was shown in her continued fasting and prayers for recovery. The elders administered to her and she was promised, through her faith and prayers, that she would be able to walk into the Valley of Zion. During the long, bumpy ride for eight weeks, this promise sustained her and alleviated her suffering.
Our company was known as the Captain Rawlins Company which consisted of sixty-six wagons drawn by oxen, three or four yoke to each wagon. At night when we stopped for camp, the captain would give orders to form a circle with the wagons as a protection against the Indians. We met many on the long journey and the captain would always give them a little sugar to keep peace with them. [p.1]
. . . We had what they called a "good trip" having had very few deaths, and arrived in Salt Lake City, September 20, 1864, just four months and two days from the time we left our home in Scotland. My mother, as she had been promised, was able to walk into the Valley. . . . [p.2]
BIB: Garner, Jane Sprunt Warner, [Autobiography] in W.P.A. Biographical Sketches, Mss B- 289, bx. 4, pp. 1-2 (Utah State Historical Society).