Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bertha Cragun writes about her Great Great Grandparents Sanford Porter and Nancy Warriner

My mother, Bertha Cragun left us boxes of family history information and stories. They need to come out of the boxes and be shared.

One such story in bound in booklet form. I am going to share a few items from it. It is found in the Morgan County Library, Historical Records section, for you to be able to read.

20110725-IMG_5638Bertha introduces the book as follows; "One of the most precious memories I have is of my Grandma Porter (Electa Elizabeth). When I was a young girl she told me many precious memories she had of her Grandma Porter (Nancy Warriner), and of those dear hearts and gentle people who founded my hometown."

Please know that I spent two years researching and verifying their lives and this is factual and true.

Nancy Warriner spent her early childhood years in Vermont. She lived a half mile down the road from the Nathan Porter family and their son Sanford was her age.

Even though Sanfords grandfather West had been a Baptist minister for over 30 years, neither Sanford nor his father, Nathan had joined any organized religion.  Nathan believed the Bible to be the word of God, but did not believe any church on earth was actually following the signs and laws that Christ laid out.

Nancy loved the way Sanford could confound the evangelist, preacher, or layman when it came to proving things from the Bible.

She tells of their courtship which is very interesting.

They were married and moved to New York.  Sanford built their first home in one day, by himself. She was astonished. Shortly after the war of 1812 broke out. His militia had to furnish eight men. They cast lots to see which were the eight. Sanford with his new wife pregnant was one of them. 

As I write this, this story is interesting, the book is too. If you want a copy leave me a comment and we will figure out a way to get you a copy. It's about 70 pages in total.

There are miracles in their story.

Sanford was a visionary man. They had endured financial problems which troubled him. One experience was he prayed to God to show him the way to go that he might support his family. Almost immediately a messenger came from the spirit world. He told Sanford to sell their place and go to the state of Illinois. He was told to go there to a place called Fort Clark. This move was complicated and a story book adventure. 

In May of 1828 Nancy gave birth to their 11th child, Justin Theodore. 

Sanford farmed in Illinois, then saw the opportunity to build a saw mill.  He ran it with his boys. It was there he had the experiences that led him to join the Mormon church. He experienced many spiritual things, special things. One of them caused Sanford to sell his mill and move abruptly, in the winter to Missouri. He was the leader of 500 families in this trek, many were people Sanford had taught the gospel.  They crossed rivers and ice. This was begun in December 1831 and the journey required they exercise great faith. This was a four month journey.

One of my grandfathers is Lyman Wight Porter, a younger son of Sanford. He was named after one of the missionaries who converted them. Lyman was born 5 May 1833. Nancy was 43 years old. This was 13 months after they moved to Independence, Missouri. 

The book covers their concerns about the mobbery taking place. Finally, at threat of being murdered they had to quickly, in November, load what they could into their wagon, and leave Missouri. More miracles and heavenly experiences are written about this adventure.

"The trials of the Porters were much like being reduced to the lowest poverty level, making a living by day labor, jobbing, building, or woodcutting." The violence and turmoil extended on for years.

Their faith was sorely tried.

This story is so interesting I have decided to find a way to put it online for you to read it in it's entirety.

Nancy lost four sons. She was later comforted listening to The Prophet Joseph Smith teach , "all mothers who have lost infant children, who died before the age of accountability, who were too pure, too lovely to live on earth; therefore, they are delivered from evil, and we shall have them again, and mothers will have their children in eternity. 

The last 3rd of the book discussed the journeys to Porterville and issues they had to deal with. I'm going to end here, I may add another post later. I'm glad mother wrote it, I am sorry it took me years to read it. I wonder what else I have missed.

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