Excerpts from the History of Jasmine Young Freed

[unnumbered typescript pages from Jane Hinckley, transcribed May 2006 by Benson Young Parkinson]

Of the five Young brothers who came West (one remained in the East), my grandfather was Joseph Young.

He started as a Methodist minister before he joined his brother, Brigham, in what was first known as the Mormon church.

While still in Nauvoo he continued preaching, but he was now preaching the doctrine of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith.

Nauvoo was a new settlement. Very few people were there when it was first established, and Grandma1 was left alone much of the time. She once told me that when her first two children were little she wished she could have a door on her house. All of the houses were simply shacks made of wood and little animals—as well as big ones—moved freely in and out of the house at night. A piece of cloth was hung over the door opening.

They were obliged to move a great deal, so they never had time to build a real house and Grandpa said he could always tell which house was his because it looked the best. Grandma told me that she took her wedding dress, dyed it turkey red and made it into curtains for the windows that had no glass. She said with the white washed walls it looked very nice.

When my Grandparents reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake they had a nice little cottage that they “built onto” many times. It was on the corner of “C” Street and Third Avenue. Their very first home had been on Second South and what is known now as Regent Street.

Grandma was adept in almost every way. She carded the wool for their clothing; wove the fabric and made it into pants for the boys and dresses for the girls. She did a lot of dying and my aunts said there were always brass buckets filled with all colors of natural dyes.

Grandma told me may things about the past. In those early days the few things they did have were great treasures to them. My Mother2 went to see my Grandma one day and found her in tears. She had two glasses that were very precious to her and she had accidentally knocked one off the cupboard and had broken it. She started to show Mother how this had occurred and in so doing she knocked the other one off and shattered it. Then there were tears!

I asked her about polygamy and she told me the hardest thing about it was having a bare living for her own family, just getting by, without including the other families. But she would still be required to divide her scant necessities with several other families.

She would have a big baking day, working as hard as she could, and would take to the cellar enough pies to last a long time, only to find when she went to get one that Grandfather had given almost all of them away to the others.

There was no rice in the early days, but Grandma made little pellets out of flour and water in a frying pan, which made a very good rice pudding.

My Grandparents came from New England and were so clean it was almost painful. I remember doing some scrubbing one day when my Uncle Tom3 came in. I said, “I've scrubbed that table until the wood is a beautiful yellow.” It made me mad when he said, “Go up to Grandma and she'll show you how to scrub it white.”

My Grandmother remembered the Haun's Mill massacre and she used to say, “It wasn't the religious part that made the people so mad at the Mormons. They were belligerent because the Mormons were so industrious. They came from people who knew how to work and they could make anything and do almost everything because they knew how to go about it.” She went on to explain that the people in the “middle South” were quite easygoing and tended to be “shiftless” and they resented the hard working Mormons. She remembered that after the slaughter there was one grave with about thirty men in it.

. . .

Father4 was born in Nauvoo in December, 1840 and came to Salt Lake in a covered wagon when he was nine years old. His Mother, my Grandmother, was Jane Bicknell, married to Joseph Young, the brother just younger than Brigham Young.5 The Young Brothers who came to Utah were John, the eldest, Brigham, Joseph, Phinias and Lorenzo. Brigham Young's eldest son, Joseph A., was named after my Grandfather.

Coming across the plains in my Father's family were his brothers and sisters, Addie (Adelade); Uncle Seymour; Father; Aunt Late (Vilate); Aunt Chloe; Aunt Ret, Henrietta was her real name and Henrietta Lake was named for her; Uncle Bicknell and Aunt Fanny. Aunt Fanny was the daughter of a plural wife who had died in childbirth and my Grandmother raised her. My Grandmother was always exceptionally nice to Aunt Fanny because she wasn't her own child and she “bent over backward” in her treatment of Aunt Fanny to show she felt the same way about her as she did about her own children. Probably, as a result of this marvelous treatment, Aunt Fanny was one of the kindest, self effacing, most obliging person one could ever meet.

When my Grandmother was preparing for the journey across the plains she insisted on bringing a lot of cornstarch and similar things to put on the girl's faces because she didn't want their skin to be burned by the sun during the long journey.

. . .

As a young girl I often stayed with my Uncle Seymour, Father's brother, and Aunt Lizzie.6 It was so wonderful to have a place in town where I could stay. They were always so kind to me. I remember going into their house and Aunt Lizzie looking over my dress carefully to see what Mother had made. Mother made the prettiest dresses for me and I was always proud of them. Aunt Lizzie would look at my skirt and say, “Your Mother should have lined this skirt. It is too cold for you to wear an unlined skirt.”

Aunt Lizzie had twelve children of her own, but she always welcomed me as though I were one of them and there was never any question that there was anything but plenty of room for me.


1. Jane Bicknell Young.
2. Grace Hardie Young.
3. Perhaps Thomas John MacKintosh, md. Rhoda Young.
4. LeGrand Young.
5. Joseph Young, b. 7 Apr. 1797, was actually four older than his brother Brigham, b. 1 Jun. 1801.
6. Elizabeth Riter Young, md. Seymour Bicknell Young.