Jane Huntington Eastham

Written by a granddaughter, name unknown

Jane Eastham, daughter of Robert Huntington and Janet Holden was born 22 March 1817 at Chadesley, Lancashire, England. Of her early girlhood we know very little. Her parents were well to do as they owned their own home and a row of cottages which they rented as well as other property. She married John Eastham who was an engineer on the railroad. John was a very good provider. They had 11 children, Emma Jane, Evelina, Louisa, Edith, Cathron, Marenthie, Merlin, Lenora, Jane, John Henry, and Betsy Ellen. Six of the girls grew to womanhood. The family owned a furniture store in England and Jane Eastham and the girls took care of the store while the father was away.

Jane Eastham joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, being baptized 1 March 1839. Her brother, Robert Huntington, had joined the Church in 1837 and her sister Elizabeth in 1838. Jane, with her husband and four girls, Cathron 16, Marenthia 15, Merlin 13, and Lenora 12, emigrated from Leeds, England, sailing 29th April 1865 from Liverpool on the ship Belle Wood under the direction of William H. Sherman. The company landed in New York 1 June 1865 being six weeks on the ocean. They left New York in a few days and June 15, 1865 left Wyoming Nebraska to cross the plains in Captain Henseon Walker's company. John Eastham was made Captain of the 1st company, Robert Pixton was Chaplin and John Hammer was captain of the guard. The English company arrived in Salt Lake August 12, 1865.

Jane and her family came direct to Grantsville where their two daughters Emma Jane Ratcliffe and Louisa (Lucy) Millward and their husbands had settled in 1862. They lived, for a time, in the home James Ratcliffe had built for himself, but as soon as possible they bought the property that the Wrathall and Knowlton homes stand on and lived in the home that Melvin Prim now lives in. (1849) It was on the north west corner of main street and the school street.

She was a very industrious woman, and an immaculate housekeeper and excellent cook. It is said that one could eat off from her floors. They had to be scrubbed with sand until they were shiny. She did not have straw under her rag rugs, but great long strips that would be taken up so the floor could be scrubbed. Her pots and pans shone until you could see your face in them. The great copper boiler was scrubbed every week after the wash day with vinegar and salt and hung in it's place on the back porch. Her towels and dish towels were white as snow even though they had to be washed on the board. She loved nice things and kept them so. She used to have what was called a "cosey". It was a pretty quilted black silk cover with a bright colored lining that she used over the teapot to keep it warm. She was a most excellent cook and made all kinds of fancy pastries. The famous lemon tarts are a hand me down recipe of Grandmother Eastham.

She and Ann Clark were very dear friends and they would exchange ideas of cooking which they both enjoyed. The conference visitors would always come to her place to eat. Grandfather would say, " For your good cooking." They entertained many of the General Authorities. Joseph F. Smith would always come to her place. He had lived for a time in their home when he was in England on a mission. They were very dear friends. After Grandmother's death, Grandfather lived with President Smith in Salt Lake for a time.

She was a very patient woman and when Grandfather, who was not quite so patient, would come and tell her something he had seen or heard, she would say, "Never mind John, let thee and me do right and never mind what others say or do."

Jane Eastham was made 1st Counselor to Mary Ann Hunter in the Relief Society 4 Feb 1875, Sarah Hale as 2nd Counselor, Mary Cook, Secretary, and Elizabeth Orr, Treasurer. They had 93 members in the Relief Society. Jane was sustained as the 4th President of the Grantsville Relief Society, 6 March 1879 with Ann Clark and Breta Felt as Counselors. When Jane was President, the Relief Society made overalls and jumpers, and sold them to the Co-op Store. Sister Clark would come to her home and help cut them out and then others would come and help sew them. The planting of the Mulberry Trees was also introduced in Grantsville in carrying out the instructions of Pres. Brigham Young to have the silk industry in Utah. Two trees stand today on their home plot. She was a diligent worker in the Relief Society and when they had to go to Tooele one of us children would sit on a box in front of the buggy. Sister Hunter and Grandmother were on the seat. We had an old gentle horse named Dan and when one of us children would hit him to make him go faster, Grandmother would say, "Never mind, lass, he can see a ditch ahead."

She was most kind hearted and gentle, and hospitable. Her Grandchildren remember her "Pancake-a-Tuesday" (an old English Custom). She made the best pancakes. We would eat and eat our fill. They were the best ever. My mouth waters now to think of those good pancakes. We children went to her place often, and sometimes when we would stay extra long she would say, "Now children you had better "nip off" for home, your mother will need you." Many times we have gone to her place to help cut the fruit to dry. It was our job to climb up on the shed and lay out the fruit on a nice clean cloth to dry.

Grandmother brought some lovely pieces of silk goods over from England with her and she always had a silk dress for best wear and a paisley shawl and a pretty little bonnet made of lace and ribbons that tied under the chin. She always looked so nice even when she was ready for bed. She always wore a long sleeved white night gown and a white night cap to match; she looked so pretty with her white hair.

Grandmother and Grandfather received their Endowments in the Endowment House 15 Dec 1868 and were sealed the same day.

Jane Eastham died June 22, 1889. Her husband died on Dec 18, 1893. They were both buried in the Grantsville City Cemetery.

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