SUSANNAH DALLEY CLARK

By Suzanna Mae Clark Grua, grand-daughter

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            Susannah Dalley Clark was the sixth child in a family of seven children. She was born in Leominster, Herefordshire, England, on September 30, 1830, a daughter of William Dalley and Ann Davies. She spent most of her girlhood days in Birmingham and London, living with her sister, Ann Dalley Baker, who was a well-to-do business woman. When very young, Susannah displayed unusual dramatic ability and also possessed a lovely singing voice. She was a lover of fine literature and when just in her teens she began to memorize Shakespeare. Her sister recognized this love and talent for drama and though she was frequently too busy to attend plays in the theater herself, she always sent Susannah to see the productions and bought copies of all the plays for her. With these copies of the plays and the knowledge she gained from seeing the fine London productions, Susannah memorized entire plays herself and delighted her family and her friends with her reading of all of the roles.


            It was after the death of Susannah's father, William Dalley, that the family heard the Gospel of the LDS. Church and in the fall of 1841 most of them were baptized. Her, brother, William Dalley came to America about 1845, and Susannah and her mother and sister, Mary, and brothers, James and Edward, came to the New World in 1848. They set sail from London on Sunday, Feb. 20, 1848, on the barque "Carnatic," bound for New Orleans, with Captain McKenzie in charge of the vessel. The barque was towed about a mile down the Thames River before it reached the English Channel and cast anchor. There were 130 Latter-day Saints on board, nearly half of them Scotch, and the rest from all parts of England. The ship remained at anchor until Feb. 22, 1848 and then set sail for America.



            The Saints were organized into a company, on shipboard, with Franklin D. Richards as president, C.H. Wheelock and Andrew Cahoon as counselors, and S.W. Richards as clerk. They met each day for prayers. The first part of their trip was stormy and of very rough weather. On one occasion the Captain, himself, feared that the ship would be dashed to pieces on the rocks off the coast of France. Everyone was ordered below deck and president Richards asked the Saints to unite in prayer. Many passengers had given up hope and as the prayer began the ship was rocking terribly. The Saints prayed earnestly, placing their faith in their Creator. Almost miraculously, within a few moments after the prayer had been offered, the vessel glided safely past the dangerous rocks into a quiet bay and the sea storm ceased to rage. Everyone began to say prayers of thanksgiving and the Captain though, not a Mormon, told President Richards that this storm had been the worst in his long experience and that he had never before seen such a miracle. He was very kind to the saints for the remainder of the voyage and always remembered them. The rest of the voyage was in good weather and Susannah always said that she had enjoyed it very much. Her talent in music and drama made her a favorite entertainer and she read plays and with her sister, Mary, sang at the evening assemblies on shipboard. She often spoke of the voyage as the happiest part of her girlhood days.


            Arriving in New Orleans, the Dalleys traveled with the saints up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and then overland to Council Bluffs, Iowa. It was here that she met George S. Clark and was married to him in March 1850. Her letter to Franklin D. Richards, written late in her life says she "thinks the date was March 23, 1850,” but other records give this marriage date as March 20th. Liobas T. Coon performed the ceremony. Her letter to Richards (written Jan.19, 1889) states that she "was baptized at Leominster, Herefordshire, England, by Thomas Morgan, but do not know whether I was confirmed by him or by someone else. I was not more than eleven or twelve years old.....My endowments I received in Salt Lake City in '52, I think in the Spring. I do not know what month. Heber C. Kimball officiating in the House, Sister Snow and Sister Whitney officiating in the washing and anointing. Sealed over again over the Altar, by Brigham Young, in the year of '56, before George went on a mission to Australia."


            Soon after their marriage in March of 1850, Susannah and George began to make preparations to cross the plains to Utah. They set out in June in company with a large party and arrived in Great Salt Lake City on Sept. 3, 1850. They camped a few miles south of the city and attended Conference on Sept. 6, 1850, and after visiting briefly with friends, they decided to settle in Utah Valley and left with a party that included George's father and mother and their husbands. Just before leaving Salt Lake City she wrote a long letter to her mother, who was still in Kanesville, telling of the perils of the journey across the plains. This letter and another written a year later follows this sketch.

 

            Their trip into Utah County, or Utah Valley as it was known in 1850 was of three days duration and on the afternoon of the third day the group of settlers located in a beautiful Cottonwood Grove and began the building of the present city of Pleasant Grove. The site they chose being on the slopes of Little Mountain at the foot of towering Mount Timpanogos, where the rich sagebrush covered slopes extended westward to meadows of wild hay and then to the shore of Utah Lake which glistened in the sun and entranced them after their long journey across the prairies and mountains. Susannah Clark never failed to love the beauty of this setting, and to all those who made up the first company of pioneer founders of Pleasant Grove, the site of Pleasant Grove was always the most beautiful site in the world, just as it was to the founders on September 18, 1850.

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Mount Timpanogos from the west side of Utah Lake


            Susannah Dalley Clark began her housekeeping in Pleasant Grove in a rude lean-to of willows, but it was not long until she and every other woman in the new community could boast of a fine one-room log house. In his house the daily living went on, but as families came into the new settlement the log houses were crowded and wagon boxes were taken from running gear and set up on logs at the side of the one-room cabins to provide sleeping space. Here in her wagon-box bedroom Susan Clark bore her first child. This was Joseph Brigham Clark, born September 23, 1851, the third child to be born in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Her letter, telling of their first year in the town they helped to found, is included at the end of this sketch.


            In the fall of 1853, just after the birth of her second child, George Heber Clark, she went, with her husband and a group of fifty families, to Cedar City to live. George S.Clark had been called to lead this party of settlers to the southern part of the State to help strengthen the southern settlements who were being molested by Indians and marauders. The Clark family returned to Pleasant Grove in the spring of 1855 and made a permanent home in Pleasant Grove and spent the remainder of their lives in being an active family in the community development.


            In April of 1856 George S. Clark was called to go on a mission to Australia and Susan took care of the property they had acquired. During the entire time that her husband was away, April 1856 to late fall of 1858, she supported herself and her children through her own efforts. She had always managed to make her butter, eggs, and dried fruit pay her household expenses and now she raised sheep and made all the clothing for her family, washing the wool, carding and spinning it into yarn, and then weaving the cloth and fashioning the garments. She wove for other families as well as her own.


            Being a natural linguist, Susan learned the various Indian languages and dialects and was soon known as one of the best Indian interpreters in the entire Utah Valley. The Indians were always welcomed into her home and she fed them and gave them supplies every time that they visited with her. Several Indian families made visits to the Clark home and in good weather it was not unusual for them to pitch their tents and wick-i-ups in the Clark yard of pasture and remain for several days to gather fruits and other supplies. The Indian women delighted to come to the Clark home for a cup of tea and some bread and honey, and they always brought their new babies to be shown off to the Clark women, Susan and her daughter and daughters-in-law. It was an unwritten law in the Clark homes that the Indians appreciated were always to be treated with kindness and friendliness. The Indians appreciated the friendship of the Clark family and showed their appreciation in many ways.

 

            Susan was a leader in dramatic and musical activities of the community for all the years of her life in Pleasant Grove. She opened her home to any entertainment group and she was, herself, a born entertainer. Older members of the town can well-remember how beautifully she sang "Annie Laurie" and "Then You'll remember Me", and how well she could read scenes from Shakespeare's plays and a great variety of other selections. It is no wonder that many of the children and grandchildren have excelled in dramatics and in music, for Susan Clark spent many days and many hours in working up entertainments for the community to enjoy.


            When the first Relief Society was organized in Pleasant Grove in the year 1856, she became an active member at once and continued to be a worker in this organization as long as she lived.


            Susannah Dalley Clark, or "Susan,"as she was affectionately known to her family and friends, was a born hostess, and her home was ever open for the entertainment and comfort of the Church authorities, friends, newly arrived emigrant saints, and numerous admiring Indians who were apt to stop for a bite of lunch, some fruit, or some fresh comb honey. Her love of the finer things in life she definitely handed down to her children and all who knew her were impressed with her manner and her desire to have everything shipshape in her home. She was ever a helpmate for her husband and staunch in the religion that she had come to America to affiliate with. She and her husband cared for her aged mother for many years and also for her husband's father and mother. Her sudden death April 9, 1891 caused a great sadness in the community.


Susannah Dalley Clark was the mother of six children:

             Joseph Brigham Clark                                  born Sept. 23, 1851

            George Heber Clark                                   born Oct. 11, 1853

             Susannah Matilda Clark Gamette                   born Nov. 23, 1855  

            John Franklin Clark                             born Mar. 23, 1861

             William Edward Clark                       born Feb. 9, 1864

             Hyrum Lorenzo Clark                         born Nov. 7, 1866




This history was edited in 1995 by Roger E. Grua, a grandson of the author, Susannah Mae Clark Grua, and a great, great grandson of Susannah Dalley Clark. Some typographical and syntax errors were corrected. The letters to Susannah Clark’s mother, mentioned above were not present with this history at that time. Roger Grua found these letters in the Land and Records Office in Nauvoo, Illinois in 2001 and they are now included. Roger Grua also added the photos in 2001 and 2004.


(Please note on page 2, paragraph 2 where Susannah talks about receiving her endowments, she states “Heber C. Kimball officiating in the House.” The “House” would be the Endowment House which was located on what is now Temple Square. Ordinances were performed in the Endowment House prior to the completion of the Salt Lake Temple.) Roger E. Grua





These two letters were mentioned in the history of Susannah Dalley Clark written by her grand-daughter, Susannah Mae Clark Grua. These letters were not available and thus not included in the history retyped and edited by Roger E. Grua in 1995. Roger Grua found the letters in the Land and Record Office in Nauvoo, Illinois in 2001.


            The paragraph just before the letters titled “Life in the Valley” says:

            “Susannah Dally Clark was born September 30, 1830 in England. She came to Utah in 1850 and, with her husband, George Sheffer Clark, settled in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Mrs. Clark died April 9, 1891 in Pleasant Grove. The following letters were written to Susannah’s mother, Ann Dalley, James, Edward, William, and Mary who are mentioned are her brothers and sister.

Submitted by Goldie Clark Dickerson



These letters were digitized in May 2004 by Roger E. Grua (roger@rogergrua.com) Some minor spelling and punctuation errors were corrected but the original writing is as it was. There are some minor differences between the copy typed by Suzanna Mae Clark Grua and the one found in the Nauvoo Land and Records office. Suzanna Mae Clark Grua’s version was used in these instances. The lengthy paragraphs are as they were in both copies. The location of the original document is unknown at this time. (REG)



Two Letters written by Susannah Dalley Clark



Salt Lake Valley

(eight miles from the city)

 Friday, Sept.6, 1850


My dear Mother, Brothers and Sister -


            Knowing that you would be glad to hear from me, and having a good opportunity of sending it as Brother Orson Hyde is going to return on Monday. I scarce know how to commence. We arrived here on Tuesday, Sept. 3rd, all in good health and spirits after a long and toilsome journey. The first part of the journey was rough; after that the roads were good. until within seventy miles of the Valley. Our health has been mostly good. We had four deaths in our company, most of themwere sick before they started. I can truly say that the Lord has blessed us. While huntireds were laid low on the prairie, we were preserved. Some days we would pass thirty graves, besides what were en the roads which we did not see. Most of them died in one month in June. They were gold-diggers, and most all of them were from Missouri and Illinois, and no doubt those that had been the cause of the death of Joseph and Hyrum, and the mobbing of the Saints. Truly the words of our Prophet have been fulfilled, “That their bones should bleach on the prairies, “ which they do, for scarce a grave was there that had not been opened. They died of cholera. Some had slight attacks in our company. Bro. Harvey took sick with the same complaint and was very sick, but through the laying on of hands he was healed, as were several others. Some think that the complaint is caused through drinking different kinds of water. Some of it is very bad. You must bring something along to put in your drinking water, such as ground ginger, composition, and acid or lemon. This will make the water drink better and be more healthy. Potatoes we found very good. We had a few the first part of the journey, but wished we had brought more. We saw many buffalo and killed six or seven in our company. George killed the first one. It is very much like beef. We dried a quantity of it. Well, of that I will say no more.

            The next day after we came here I learned. where Charlotte was and went to see her. She was surprised to see me. She had not heard of me being on the road. She was glad to see me. She said that she thought she should never again see anyone she knew. She was talking about us the week before, she said, and that next to her own folks, she would like to see the Dalley folks. She had not heard of me being married, but was glad to see I was. She was married a little while before Franklin went away. She is well and has a fine little girl, nine weeks old. She is happy and contented. She wants to see her brother and sisters. She had heard of them being in St. Louis. She saw Jane Ann Robinson. They went on to the gold mines.



            Conference commences here today. I expect to go tomorrow. We are camped. eight miles from the city on account of grass and water (for stock). We will stay here till after Conference, and then expect to look out for a place. We expect to go to a valley south thirty miles from the city, and ten from Salt Lake Valley. The Valley is a pretty place. They have some pretty houses made of adobes. You have a pleasant view of it as first you enter it. It is very extensive. The houses are very scattered. I would like to live in the city, but the other valleys are better for farming. George intends to take up a lot for you. I want you to come next spring. If you come you can get plenty of work here, and good pay – from a dollar to two dollars a day. Provisions are dear, but if a person has a little to keep them a while, they may soon work and get more.


            I have seen Margaret Yates that was. She is well and has a fine boy. James that was with, Spencers, has gone to the gold mines.


            I think I have sent you all the news I can think of. If I had been here longer I might send more. Dear Mother, Brothers, and Sister, I often think of you with tears. Is it possible that I am separated so far from those that are near to my heart? Yes, it is so, yet I have a hope of seeing them again. Wish to God is that He will bless you and prosper you and soon bring you to this place. When I think of it, I can scarce bear it. I want you t. pray for me that I may be blessed and comforted, and my prayers shall be for you continually. My love to James and Edward and William, his wife and all inquiring friends. Give my love to Mary and Robert and little Robert. Tell them that I would write to them, but I shall not have time. When we get settled, I will write to them. Tell them to come, not wait to get rich, for if they would come here they would soon get plenty. Wages are good and a man may soon be independent. George sends his kind love to you and Edward and. James and all. His mother likewise. They are all well. George is kind to me. I suppose James is married, if so, remember us to his wife. I hope he will do well.


            Mother, when you come, I want you to please bring me some dried fruit. There is not anything of wild fruit here, nor tame, that I have seen. We have had some water melons and musk melons.


            I think that if I keep on I shall fill the letter with one scrap or another, but I know that you want to know all. I have not yet seen Brigham, but likely I shall tomorrow. He was not at home when we came in. The first I saw to know was Brother Hyde. He passed when we were on the journey. I was truly surprised to see him, as I did not think he was coming when we started. I believe he is coming (back) next spring. I would like for you to come with him.


            I must bring my letter to a close, else I cannot send it. May God bless you all and. soen bring you here is my prayer to God, Amen.


            From your son and daughter,

 

George and Susannah Clark.



P.S. Since I wrote this letter, I have been to Conference. I saw Brigham Young and George A. Smith and Samuel Richards, and a great many that I was acquainted with. George and I were at Charlotte's and Jane Richards's yesterday. We stayed there all night. She sends her love to you and the boys. I am now at Margaret's. She sends her love to all. When you come make as little use of spring water as you can. The river water is healthiest, and you can get that nearly all the way out from different rivers. Spring water is not considered healthy, it is mostly mineral water.


            Farewell, till we all meet again.


To Mrs. Ann Dalley

Mosquito Creek

20 miles from Kanesville,

Kanesville Post Office.


From Salt Lake Valley


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Pleasant Grove, Utah County,

State of Deseret.

October 23, 1851.



My dear Mother, Brothers and Sister: –

            We received your kind letter which you sent by Philip Green's sister, which we were happy to receive. We had been waiting anxiously sometime, expecting to hear from you, and began to think we were forgotten. We have written two letters and received no answers. We were glad to hear you were all well, sometimes we thought you were all dead as the cholera has been so bad back there. We are all well and enjoying the blessings of a new world, with plenty around us to eat and plenty to spare. We are glad that you have not been troubled with the chills. We have been blessed with raising a good crop this year. We raised fourteen acres of good wheat, which will make about 400 bushels, one acre of oats (35 bushels), two acres of corn (60 bushels), half an acre of potatoes (100 bushels), half an acre of squash and pumpkins (10 wagon loads), fifteen bushels of beets and other vegetables in proportion. George has raised all this himself. excepting harvest. He has taken up one hundred-thirty acres of land and has fenced one hundred and broken up forty acres. He expects to sow forty acres this fall and next spring. I wish you had come on this season as things are cheap to what they will be next season, as Brother Benson and Brother Grant have gone back to stir up the brethren to come from all parts of the world.


            Now I will say a little about myself. I was confined with a fine boy on the 23rd of September, one month yesterday. His name is Joseph Brigham Clark, I am well, the Lord has blessed me with health. I was able to do my work in a fortnight and I now feel as strong as ever. There were four boys born within three weeks in this ward. Nancy Clark Holman has a boy and Margaret has a boy.


            George is Bishop and President of this Ward and was elected Probate Judge and holds the office of First Lieutenant in the Military. There are about one hundred members in this ward.


            I was pleased to hear that Ann and Baker are about to join the I Church, I hope they will, and will come on here. You did not say whether they sent you anything. I was sorry to hear that they lost their little boy. I was sorry too, to hear that Denham had been sick, but glad that they have moved down with you. I hope they will come on here, they would do well here. Give our kind love to Mary and Denham, and James and Edward and William and their wives.

 

            We have heard that Sarah Fox is dead. She died a year ago last August by breaking a blood vessel. Mrs. Fa___ has come and she lives at Salt Lake Valley. Spilsburys have come – they live at Salt Lake Valley. Mrs. Spilsbury has been out with us a week visiting. They are good folks, we feel at home at their house.

 

            We wrote you a letter last November, in which we stated where we had settled, but likely you did not receive it, as you said nothing about it in your letter. We live about thirty-six miles from Salt Lake City, Utah County is a pretty place, and good land.

 

            I will draw my letter to a close, we might say more but time will not permit. You are remembered in our prayers and now may God of Heaven bless you and grant that you may withstand your trials and troubles and bring you here in health and safety. This is our prayer for you all. We desire an interest in all your prayers. Accept of our kind love and best wishes. Please write as often as you can. The mail comes out every month. Mrs. Clark (George's mother) sends her kind regards.

 

We remain, your son and daughter,

George S. and Susannah Clark.

 

 

            P.S. If you come out next season, write us at every opportunity on the road, and tell us what company you are in.

 

To-Mrs. Ann Dalley

Kanesville

Council Bluffs

Ioway.