So, I want to apologize for neglecting the blog. My husband and I were called to serve as the Trek Coordinators for our ward trek to Martin’s Cove, Sixth Crossing and Rocky Ridge this July. We were given a late start, like the Martin and Willie companies and so we have been a little busy. We have been deep in preparations and while it is a lot of work, it has been a tremendous blessing to learn the stories in more detail and be filled by the indomitable spirit that these Saints had.
I wanted to quickly share a birth story I found while studying the efforts of the rescue party for the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. Patience Loader recorded the birth of a baby girl:
I well remember that when we campt in Echo Canyon that Sister [Sarah Cattlin] Squires was confind in the morning[.] she had alovely baby girl and thay named her Echo [Levinia Squires.] the morning she was born the father [Henry Augustus Squires] was run[n]ing around camp enquiring of everybody if they had apin to give him to pin something around the baby but I don’t think that he was able to get one[.] the breathren fixed the wagon very warm and comfortable for Sister Squires and boath her and baby ar[r]ived safe into the City.
There is also more to the story that John Jaques, who was a member of the Martin Handcart Company, recorded about Robert T. Burton, one of the rescuers:
The next camp . . . was in a small canyon running out of the north side of Echo canyon, a few miles above the mouth of the latter. Here a birth took place, and one of the relief party generously contributed part of his under linen to clothe the little stranger. The mother [Sarah Squires] did quite as well as could have been expected, considering the unpropitious circumstances . . . The little newcomer also did well, and was named Echo, in honor of the place of her nativity. She is still a resident of the territory, is a happy wife and mother, and lives in the north country (November 26, 1856).
It should be noted that Robert T. Burton’s job was to record the distribution of supplies which he cared for meticulously. He did neglect to record that he literally gave the shirt off his own back to the little baby. His granddaughter later told the story, “After he had distributed all the clothing, Robert noticed a mother whose newborn baby did not have sufficient clothing to keep it warm, so he took off his own homespun shirt and gave it to the mother to cover the baby.”
His biography states that was just one example of how he lived his life with generosity. Some of his final words to his children were the reminder to “be kind to the poor.”
Kindness is an echo, isn’t it? May we all look for an opportunities to “echo” service today.
Tell My Story Too, page 431.