Trek to Zion.

From the United Kingdom to Heber

Thomas Moulton, a resilient soul, made his debut on November 10, 1810, in the charming village of Irchester, Northamptonshire, England. His life took a dramatic turn when he first said “I do” to Esther Marsh in the enchanting town of Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. Together, they experienced the joy of raising two daughters, Susan, whose light faded too soon in 1836, and the spirited Sarah Elizabeth, born on March 5, 1837. Tragedy struck when Esther departed from this world in Irchester, leaving Thomas to navigate the twists of fate alone.

Undeterred by life’s trials, Thomas found love again with Sarah Denton, tying the knot on April 26, 1840. Their union was not just a marriage; it was a pact to face the unknown together. A turning point came in 1841 when the couple embraced the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, setting their sights on the distant Zion. However, the journey was delayed by the weight of financial constraints as Thomas eked out a living as a farmer. The dream of migration remained alive but dormant until 1856.

In the spring of 1856, the Moulton family embarked on a maritime adventure, setting sail from Liverpool on May 3. Their ship carried not only the echoes of England but also the hopes and dreams of a tight-knit family. New York Harbor welcomed them on June 14, but their odyssey was far from over. Train rides and delays led them to Iowa City, where, on June 26, they joined the James G. Willie Hand Cart Company — a fellowship bound for the promise of Zion.

As the Moulton family traversed the vastness of the American landscape, their story unfolded with both challenges and unexpected blessings. The birth of Charles Alma on May 6, 1856, mid-voyage, added a unique chapter to their tale. The trials continued, with frostbite, cattle stampedes, and a blizzard on Rocky Ridge, where their young son, James Heber, faced the perilous cold, tied to a handcart with a makeshift rope.

November 9, 1856, marked their triumphant arrival in Salt Lake City. Amidst tears and relief, they left behind the hardships and embraced the unknown challenges of their new life. James Heber, bearing the scars of frostbite, underwent a painful amputation. Meanwhile, daughter, Sarah Elizabeth found love and stability in the arms of John Bennett Hawkins, a blacksmith in the burgeoning Salt Lake City.

The Moulton saga unfolded further, with a brief sojourn in Salt Lake City before venturing south to Provo. Their one-room adobe home in the 4th Ward became a haven, witnessing births, marriages, and farewells.

The Moultons’ Provo chapter came to a close in 1860. At the recommendation of their son-in-law, Fred Giles, the Moultons made their way to the charming Heber City. Spring brought them to the Heber Valley for plowing, with Joseph laboring under James Carlyle. The family, alongside the Hicken family, sought refuge in the log fort amidst escalating tensions with the indigenous tribes.

Their first Heber City abode was a humble two-room log house, constructed with resourcefulness. Cottonwood from the nearby river formed the roof, initially covered with straw and then dirt. When leaks appeared with the first rains, they ingeniously thatched it with straw shingles, creating a makeshift barrier against the elements. Between the rooms, a hall emerged, evolving into an additional living space over time.

The Moultons’ commitment to their faith was marked by their endowment in the Endowment House on July 27, 1861. By 1865, a majestic red sandstone home graced the Heber landscape, standing proudly at 190 West 200 North, a testament to their perseverance and progress.

The family’s journey continued over the years, with more marriages, successful endeavors, diverse occupations, and adventures for their children: Charlotte, Sophia Elizabeth, Charles Alma, John Ephraim, and George Franklin Moulton. Their legacy unfolded across various locations throughout the West, and Heber Valley.

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