Joseph Beecroft's Fortuitous "Cold"
(as relayed to me by Jim Beecroft in an email Feb, 2001)
On June 30, 1856, Joseph Beecroft arrived in America from Little Horton, Yorkshire, England. He intended to move west with a final destination of the Utah Territory and had progressed nicely on that goal when sickness overtook him in Des Moines, Iowa. He was originally travelling with the Martin Handcart company and they went on without him.
Joseph remained behind in Des Moines for two years. During this time, he made enough money to get the rest of his children over from England.
In April of 1859, Joseph and family left Des Moines for Salt Lake City. They joined up with Captain Horton D. Haight's 3rd Company which left out of Florence, Iowa (then part of the Nebraska Territory) and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 2, 1859. The wagon train had 174 people and 71 wagons. They travelled a distance (according to Mapquest) of 1129.3 miles in about a 4 month time period. The same trip today would take about 21 hours.
The Martin Handcart company that Joseph had been a part of before he took sick, they were caught in an early fall blizzard in Wyoming which lead to the death of about half the party. A very fortunate illness indeed has left us with many of our western Beecroft descendants of this line.
© Copyright, 2001. Robert J Becraft, All Rights Reserved.