History of Charlotta York Carter Wilkins

Given over the radio in Safford AZ by Harry L. Payne, President of the Arizona Temple

John Carter, the grandfather of Charlotta, was born at Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine, May 19, 1783. In that same community three years later, her grandmother Hannah Knight Libby was born Ootober 9, 1786. Grandfather Carter was a sailor. He owned his ship and spent much of his time on the sea. Grandmother Carter joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and remained true and faithful, although her husband did not join.

William Furlsbury Carter, father of Charlotta, was born at Newry, Oxford, Maine, May 11, 1811. Her mother, Sarah York was born August 25, 1812 at Bethel, Oxford, Maine. After their marriage they continued to live in Maine for some years. However, in 1837 these good people cast their lot with the L.D.S. Church and moved west and finally located in Nauvoo, IL. They were there at the time of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrm Smith and were subjected to trials endured by the people when expelled from their homes in Febuary of 1846. Charlotta's mother recounted to her children many times her experiences during those trying times.

Her father did blacksmith work in Nauvoo. At the time of the expulsion some of the mob came to the home of Mother Carter and notified her that the mob was coming to burn all the houses and advised her to get what she wanted to save out of the house as quickly as possible. These neighbors who warned her were some of the men who had been customers at her husband's blacksmith shop. Her husband and the boys had to hide out in the corn fields to keep away from the mob. Mrs. Carter asked these neighbors to help her get some of her household goods out of the house, but they explained that if they were to do so the mob would kill them too. She then asked those men what the mob was going to do with the people whom they were expelling from their homes. The reply was that they were to be driven to the next town and then to Hades. Mrs. Carter then said for them to proceed if they did not think that Just Providence would not bring upon them retribution. Many fires were started and some of the homes were burned that night. But a heavy rain came later and extinguished many of these fires.

The men folks came out of hiding and loaded up what few things they could from their homes and then they joined the hundreds of refugees who were starting Westward.

After enduring all the hardships and privations incident to that memorable trek across the desolate plains for so many hundreds of miles and finally landing in the Salt Lake Valley more than a thousand miles from civilization, they began life anew.

Later this family moved to a small community about fifty miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah called Provo City. Here on January 2, 1856 Charlotta first saw the light of day. Her parents endured all manner of privations and hardships, and she remembered many of these hardships which she passed through as she grew up. When she was six years old her family moved still farther south to a little community called Mona, Juab, UT. Here they lived for three years then moved a few miles north again to the town of Santaquin. This town was named in honor of an old Indian Chief.

When fourteen years old she became a member of the Relief Society. October 8, 1873 she married Alexander Wilkins and was at that time 18 years old. After their marriage she continued to work in Relief Society in the community where she lived. The first six years of her married life she lived in the little town of Mona, then again in Santaquin.

In the year 1883 she and her husband decided to volunteer to move to Arizona to help settle that new country. At that time she was the mother of four little children. The trip from Utah to the Gila Valley required about six weeks of travel and naturally called for a lot of hardships and sacrifices. They made the trip in the old covered wagons drawn by horses. While they were not molested by the Indians while making this long trek, people traveling ahead of them and people who followed them were.

The company consisted of thirty-three people. The mother of Mrs. Wilkins, Sarah York Carter, was one of the group. She was 72 years old at the time and she drove the team on one of the wagons all the way. Others of the group were William A. Carter and Edwin L. Carter, her brothers and their families. Also William Dale and his sister Mary Ann Miller and her family, she came to join her husband who had come earlier to establish a home for his family. Joseph Greenhalgh (?) and family and A.M. Dixon and family were also in the group.

Author of the above history is unknown.