Monday, February 11, 2013


[First DUP Application 7 Oct 1907 to be added on another post.]

Hand written history of Martin Luther ENSIGN by daughter Harriet Camilla ENSIGN SMITH. 
This includes Martin's handcart mission call to England.

Date of Application June 11, 1916
To the Society of the Daughters of Utah Hand Cart Veterans

          I Harriet Camilla Ensign Smith wife of Isaac Smith hereby apply for Membership in the Society by right of descent from Martin Luther Ensign who was born in Westfield, Massachusetts on 31 Mar 1831 was a citizen of Brigham and died in Brigham City on 18 May 1711. 

The service of my ancestors in assisting in pioneering Utah were as follows:
My Father Martin Luther Ensign came to Utah in the 2nd Co., Ira Eldredge captain.  He was then a boy of 16.  In 1853 he married Mary Dunn, and moved to Centerville where they remained a short time building a small log house, which they later took with them to Ogden then after a short time to Brigham City where they remained until Father's death in 1911. 

They were one of 8 families who were Pioneers of B.C. [Brigham City]

Where he assisted in building the "Old Fort" also Nail Factory where nails were made for number of years.  Also first "Grist Mill".  Many saw mills. Bridges also many Public Building.  

In 1856 father received a call to go on a Mission to England by Hand-cart.  He left Brigham City the 16 of April 1856 at the Eli Pierce Co.  He was almost penniless having only a change of shirts and a pair of boots that the shoe maker "trusted" him with until Mother could pay him in butter, which was $16.00.  

On the 23rd of April they left Salt Lake City in company of 70 elders, 2 or 3 to a cart.

He agreed to do the cooking, while the others furnished provisions.  It took 42 days to reach the Missouri River where they sold their outfits all but a blanket each to get money to get to St Louis, where means was raised to take them to Cincinnati  then more means were raised to take them on to New York.  The Mission Pres there asked father if he would go as freight if so his fare would be $15.00 to which he agreed.  They gave him food but nothing to eat it on, and no bed to sleep in.  It took [not legible] weeks to make the trip to England where he filled his mission without purse or script, fulfilling the scriptures to the letter.  He returned home at the time Johnston's army was in Utah.  

Martin Luther Ensign returning from Mission


Martin Luther Ensign age 27 was returning from a mission to England and served as the chief cook.

trail excerpt: 

Ensign, Martin Luther, Autobiography 1897.

We landed at Omaha on 17th Apr and at the Florance [Florence] five miles above the same day by stage[.] In a few days all of the Elders had arived and preperations were made to Continue our Journey to Utah. The Church furnished teams, Wagons and Provisions to bring us home[.] we had 12 Wagons[,] 50 horses[,] 8 mules. We started from Florance [Florence] May 1st and Orgenised on the 4th[.] Capten of Com[pany] John W. Bary [Berry,] Capten of Gard Barnerd [Bernard] Snow[.] Clirk [Clerk] Thomas Bouluck [Bollock]
There were Eight in our mess, Thomas [R.] King, Robert [Reuben M.] McBride, Eli H[arvey] Pearce [Pierce], Thomas Pearce [Pierce], Enoch Rees[e], T. [Peter] Roberson [Robinson,] Henry Herriman & M[artin] L[uther] Ensign[.]. I was cheaf [chief] Cook. their ware about 125 men in the Com[pany] as near as I can remember
We had to walk most of the way[.] I walked 9/10 of the way or more. We had a very good Journey[.] all came Safe & without any troble.
The Army that came to Utah was at Bridger 125 miles from S[alt] L[ake] City. we took a road north of them and Came into the head of Echo Canion [Canyon.] the Army Started from Bridger the Same day[.] we passed there[.] We came onto the fromt [front] guard who were reparing the road and bridges in Echo Canion. they wanted to Stop us but Peace had ben declared by the Comision Sent out for that purpos[e] So we were not disturbed, we pased them and came 60 miles that day Camping on East Canion Creek. We arived in Salt Lake City June 21st 1858 Making the Journey in 52 days.
Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah
[Also found in Ensign, Martin Luther, Autobiography, in Utah State Historical Society Cache Valley Chapter, Historical resource materials for Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, 1955-1956, reel 1, item 9, 6.]
Other trial excerpt Sources:

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