Monday, April 29, 2013

Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial ~ Henry Needham & Sarah Mathias Bake


Henry Needham Bake & Sarah Mathias


Henry Bake was born to John and Elizabeth Needham Bake, 7 Mar 1826 at Bollington, Cheshire, England. He came to America in 1849 when he was 23 years old. According to grandma Hazel, he was a stowaway and used the name of Needham which was his middle name. They discovered him too late to send him back. He settled in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania and worked in the Bethlehem steel mills.

Sarah Mathias was born 9 Jan 1824, Myrthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, South Wales to Daniel and Rachael Jones Mathias. In 1839, Sarah along with her mother and siblings sailed to America on the ship Queen Victoria arriving in New York 5 Sep 1839 to reunite with her father. He had sailed to New York on the Pulaski arriving 24 August 1832.

Sarah was the widow of David Evans when Henry met her.  They were married about 1851 in Pennsylvania. He gained three stepchildren with this union; Ann Josephine, Daniel Mathias, and Sarah Cornelia.  

Around 1856 Henry and family had converted to the LDS church. Henry and Sarah took the children and headed west with Captain Ira Eldridge's Company leaving the 1st of July 1861. Among the travelling youngsters were the three Evans children and their four; Elizabeth Needham, John Alfred, Rebecca Hannah, and Oliver Cowdery.

Little 4 year old Rebecca had to walk a lot of the way. She said she couldn't walk very far at a time. Her mother thought it would help both the oxen and herself. Her memory of that trip and the hard times that followed was very vivid. Keeping warm seemed to be very difficult. They had to gather almost every dry thing they could find, even buffalo chips to burn or make fires. Their drinking water was bad. They met with some Indians at different places, but had no trouble.

By 1864 they were in Bloomington, Idaho. The story is told in her daughter's history that while living in Bloomington, Henry left his family for a load of flour in Hyde Park. On his way back he became stuck and had to leave his load of flour in Emigration Canyon and came home without any. The family was forced to eat boiled wheat all winter. Sarah was in poor health and their home consisted only of some willows put up to form a shelter. It was here with a three inch cover of snow on her bed that she gave birth to David Dillie who lived less than 2 weeks.

Family tradition says Brigham Young gave Henry Bake an assignment to go to Southern Utah and settle. At this time his wife Sarah was bedfast and unable to be moved. She died at this time and Henry became bitter and parted ways with the church. 

He then joined the Reorganized Latter-Day Saint Church. He was baptized Nov 1869 in Malad, Idaho and became a presiding elder. Henry was expelled from the RLDS Church Jan 1889.

Henry married Rosina Bigler about 1868 or 1869 and settled in St. John, Idaho. They had two children Rose, and David Henry. Their marriage ended in divorce.

Sources:
  • History of Bear Lake Pioneers, p. 293-4
  • Hand written story by, Hazel Rebecca Madsen
  • Ancestry.com

Leslie Ann

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