Pioneers come in many varieties from all walks of life. Utah traditionally celebrates Pioneer Day by honoring the original pioneers that came to Utah by wagon or handcart. This year however, the Standard Examiner wants to display Utah's continued excellence by highlighting achievements of what could be considered a 'modern pioneer'. Whether past or current, each person has left a unique legacy and imprint on those that will follow.
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William Gilbert Saunders Sr.William Saunders started his life in England. When his family heard LDS missionaries for the first time they immediately chose to be baptized. From that time on they were constantly persecuted by their former friends and classmates. When the family could endure no more they put what little money they had together and loaned the rest from the Perpetual Emigration Fund for their journey to America. They arrived in New Orleans and continued north to St. Louis. Here they joined a company heading west but were accidentally left behind the next morning. Upon realizing what had happened William's family promptly left and caught up by nightfall. William and his family arrived safely to Utah where they settled in Harrisville.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers-Ogden
Samantha Jones Just like traditional pioneers, Samantha Jones had the experience of immigrating to America and then moving across the country to the Ogden valley. Originally born in Canada, Samantha remembers moving with her family to Illinois when she was just four years of age. After nearly five years the entire Jones family obtained their citizenship in 2000. Samantha graduated from Central Methodist University where she also played for their soccer team. With a steady job and adorable nephews (as shown in photo) in Missouri, many could have thought Samantha was crazy when she packed up her car and moved to Utah this past March. Having nothing more than her dog and a car-full of belongings, Samantha was off to Ogden with hope for the future. Currently residing in West Haven, Samantha claims to be grateful for her decision to move and loves the phrase "Just let it happen" in regards to facing life's constant curve balls.
Samantha Jones https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152705246010731&set=a.471716310730.279767.713045730&type=1&theater
Abigail Smith AbbottAbigail Abbott was born in New York, 1835. While she was still very young her father was called on a mission for the LDS church, leaving Abigail and her brother alone to tend to their home in Nauvoo. Before long her brother passed away due to harsh working conditions. A few years later Abigail joined a covered wagon company to embark on a journey to Utah. However, before they reached the valley the company was halted by a severe snow storm in Wyoming, resulting in Abigail's cattle freezing to death. The company was stunted in their travel and had to be rescued by a party from Salt Lake City. Abigail arrived safely in Utah and settled in the Captain James Brown Fort along the Weber River where she continued to help settle the Ogden Area.
Utah Daughters of Pioneers Museum-Ogden
Sharon BolosSharon Bolos, current mayor of West Haven is the first female mayor the city has ever had. "When I was originally running for Mayor, I never even thought about gender" said Sharon. "It was honestly brought to my attention by the community during my campaign." Since her election however, Sharon says she can easily tell she is a minority. She hopes her service can help other women feel more confident about holding government positions. Although it was a stretch going from homemaker to mayor, Sharon claims her position has been a wonderful blessing for her family and has even helped them grow closer together.
West Haven City http://www.westhavencity.com/city-government/mayor.html
Levi HammonWhen Levi was young he made the choice to join the LDS church. Despite the protests from his family, and even being threatened to be arrested by his father Levi continued in his faith. Knowing he would be disowned by his family, Levi chopped a hole in the ice covering the Mississippi river and was baptized in 1846. Levi held an occupation as a carpenter where he helped make wagons to transport the Saints to Utah. When Levi decided to make the journey west he was appointed captain of a 64-man company. Upon arrival Levi settled in the Bear Lake area, one of the most northern settlements of the time.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers- Ogden
Michelle and Eric JacobsonA large element of motivation for Pioneers was their faith. Michelle Jacobson found that same internal flame when she met LDS missionaries a few years ago in an Illinois basement during a tornado warning. "I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 14, 2013. I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I could never be fulfilled the way I wanted to be without an active relationship with God, and wanted to show I was serious about following Him." stated Michelle. Now a member for a year and a half she continues to credit her faith for all positive aspects of her life. A little over a year ago Michelle moved to Utah, started working at the Provo LDS Missionary Training Center, and was married in the Draper temple to Eric Jacobson. "My life is currently nowhere near where I thought it would be," Michelle continues. "But I can say with confidence that it is 100% better because of my faith."
Byram BybeeByram Bybee and his family originally lived in Kentucky, but chose to follow their faith and join a company to travel to Utah. When they reached Winter Quarters, Nebraska Byram was asked to join the Mormon Battalion. Because of his previous occupation in the militia, Byram felt obligated to serve alongside his brothers in the faith. The Battalion marched across the country until they arrived on the beaches of California and were notified the Mexican-American war had ended. Many Battalion members stayed in California and helped establish San Diego. Byram however decided to make the journey back to Winter Quarters to meet his family so they could turn around and continue to Utah. Upon arrival in the Salt Lake Valley they decided to move north and settle in Uintah.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers- Ogden
Jim SparrowStarting your own business is something that takes a vision, followed up with a lot of hard work. Sparrow's Home Furnishings is a business that has graced Roy for over 50 years. When talking with owner Jim Sparrow, he tells stories of his dad and grandpa starting the business in the early 1950's after WWII. Because that era was a time of discovery and bold choices, the Sparrow family decided to take a chance and open what traditionally was an appliance store. Even though many of the family members had never worked in appliances, the store seemed to take off and become very popular. Today the store is increasingly favored by the community for its furniture. With sales from Bountiful to Brigham and Hooper to Morgan, Sparrow's proudly retains the title of family business, and a pioneer among the appliance stores in Weber County.
Sariah Rawson OwenA Missouri native, Sariah was thrown into tumult the moment her life began. Born a twin, she was soon alone when her brother died just moments after birth. Not many years later her family journeyed from Lafayette to Jackson Missouri during the middle of winter. This proved especially difficult as no one in her family had shoes or anything to protect their feet from the harsh conditions. Upon arriving in Jackson they were met by a mob which stole all their possessions and murdered some in their company. Sariah's family chose to continue traveling and walk to Utah. In her journal Sariah writes about the pains her family endured on their journey, including stitching up her own feet with her needle and thread at the end of each night. Despite the hardships, Sariah and her family all made it to Utah and settled in the Ogden area. Sariah then married and became the mother of eight children.
Daughters of Utah Pioneer Museum- Ogden
Robert FifeRobert Fife is the first person in his family to ever graduate from College. An Ogden native, Robert claims that his family never really talked about the importance of education. College was never something he thought about until he reached age 21 and the government started drafting young men to serve in the military. Robert was faced with a choice of joining the military or studying at Weber State, to which he chose the latter. Robert was able to score a place on Weber's baseball team for which he received a scholarship. He claims it was difficult at first balancing everything and chose not to renew his scholarship the following year. Five years after he began, Robert graduated in 1969 with a degree in Economics. Robert's wife Susanne and older brother Max followed suit and also received their degrees from Weber State. Today Robert encourages his family members to continue to learn and excel in whatever they choose.