Margaret Pettigreen Hope
Margaret1 was born in Bristol, England, on January 19, 1833 to Thomas Hope and Martha Harris. She had a fairly good education and, at the age of fourteen years, she entered a dressmaker and millinery establishment and served as an apprentice for two years.
On February 7, 1853, twenty year-old Margaret married William Williams Jr. of Cardiff, South Wales. He was born December 7, 1826, in Cardiff, South Wales, a son of William Williams and Charlotte Bolton. They joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, just two weeks after their marriage, they left for America, leaving their families behind except for one sister and her husband.
They crossed the ocean on a ship which took about eight weeks. Sometimes the winds caused delays by pushing them back or by causing them to stand still. At one time a terrible storm arose and the captain would not allow anyone on deck. The large number of Saints aboard fasted and prayed for the Lord’s protection. They were holding a meeting and singing when the captain came down and asked them, in the name of the Lord, what they were doing. He said he had traveled the ocean for twenty years and had never seen anything like that before; he was all the more amazed when the storm died away. It was a great testimony to all of them that the Lord would protect them. When they landed, they could hardly walk, being so used to the motion of the ship.
When Margaret, William, and her sister and husband arrived in St. Louis, her sister and husband became discouraged and would go no further. Margaret and William lost track of them and never heard from them again.
Margaret and William crossed the Plains with the Vincent Shurtleff Wagon Company and endured all the hardships of that long journey with oxen. During the trek, Margaret had a frightening experience with the Indians. As the pioneers camped in the evenings to rest, they would often entertain themselves with singing and dancing. Margaret Williams was a willing participant. While passing through a territory of friendly Indians, members of the tribe would often gather around the campfire to be entertained. As the wagon train moved westward, the Indians would camp nearby so they could watch the “little white squaw.” One evening, the chief rode up with twenty-three Indian ponies, wanting to trade for the “little squaw”. Of course the offer was refused. The next night he returned with a few more ponies. This too, was refused. At this point the camp leaders became alarmed and decided that Margaret should hide in a wagon. The Indians were told that she was ill, but still they followed. After several days, the pioneers held a mock funeral for Margaret, telling the Indians that she had died. William gave them some flour and bade them farewell. Even with all this deception, it was necessary for Margaret to remain hidden until they passed through that territory.
Margaret and William arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 22, 1853, and shortly thereafter, settled in Cedar City. While there, daughters Margaret Hope and Martha Jane were born to them. They then moved to Goshen for a short time. Of these early years, the girls remembered the family gathering leaves from the mulberry trees, washing the honey-dew from them and boiling down the water until they had about a pint of “sweetening” for a variety of goodies.
It was during this period that Margaret contracted Mountain Fever and was ill for a long time; this was a great trial for her as well as her family. The Indians were also a continuing problem and she was very much afraid of them.
In April of 1860, the family moved to Hyrum. On August 30th, another daughter, Finnetta Ann, arrived and was the first child born in the city of Hyrum. Here too, the Indians were troublesome at times and, though they lived inside the fort, Margaret would sit up all night when her husband was away, in fear of harm because of her experience with the Indians on the plains.
Margaret was the mother of nine children, two born in Iron County and seven in Hyrum. She was a kind, loving wife and mother. She was very charitable and did much to ease suffering in the early days. A very hard-working woman, Margaret worked at her trade of dressmaking to help keep the family, in addition to caring for family and home. When she first came to Hyrum she did not have a sewing machine so, in order to get one, she canvassed the area seeking work, often giving $1.00 worth of work for fifty cents. In this way she was able to buy a sewing machine, which was only the second one in town, to help with her dressmaking. Dressmaking expanded later into owning her own millinery shop which she operated for some years.
Margaret served as Secretary and other offices in the Relief Society. She was also interested in the theater and, in her younger years, participated in many productions. Later, she took great pride in making costumes for local plays and musicals and was a member of the choir for years as one of the lead singers. She was a very good woman and enjoyed the love and respect of all who knew her. Though beset by many trials in her pioneer life, Margaret remained a faithful Latter-Day Saint, passing away on February 17, 1897, at the age of sixty-four years, in Hyrum, Utah.
1. The following was copied from Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, Volume IV, International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, page 3390 (has a better picture of her)
2. Sketch of Margaret Pettigreen Hope Williams written by her daughter Finnetta Allen and submitted to the International Daughters of the Utah Pioneers
The text was from a book written by Mikal A. McKinnon titled “Archibald Graham McKinnon, Julia Wahlstrom and their ancestors,” 2011, Available at the Family History Library, call number 929.273 M216. Note: The book version contains tables, additional pictures, and an every name index that are not included is this text only version.