Friday, July 6, 2012


Hannah Hardy Eckersly Crompton was born June 10, 1815 in the city of Oldham, Lancashire, England.  She was the daughter of James and Mally Hardy.  Her people were good, honest hard-working people.  All of them belonged to the Methodist Church and were very devout and sincere.  They persuaded her to go to church with them, but she came away unsatisfied with their way of teaching the gospel.  One night when she was returning home, she said, "Father, I am a stranger here."  About two weeks after, she heard a 'Mormon' elder preach and was soon converted as it appealed to her hungry soul that was seeking for the truth.  She was baptized in December, 1841 (age 26), when the ice had to be broken and steps made to go down into a pond of water.  She was very hoarse with a bad cold, but when she went home after being baptized, she said she was well and the cold had left her.  She was baptized by William Schofield.

They emigrated from England in 1845(age 30) on a sailing vessel known as "Palmyra".  They were six weeks crossing the sea.  She landed in St. Louis, with her husband and four little girls, leaving a mother, two brothers and five sisters in England.  They all felt very badly at parting with her and told her if she was not satisfied when she reached America, to let them know and they would help her to return.  She gave birth in 1846 to a little boy, who lived six weeks and was buried in St. Louis.  Her husband died there in 1847 (Hannah, age 32), leaving her to support herself and four girls.*(See below)   She worked at the Planter Hotel, which was up the river to Council Bluffs, where she met John Crompton, married him in Council Bluffs in 1850 (age 35).  In 1851, there was born to them a little girl who lived one year, and was buried there.

They began to prepare to follow the saints to Utah.  They left in the spring of 1853 in an independent company (age 38, 8 years after leaving England).  Their captain was Edward Pugh.  When they reached the North Platte River in the state of Nebraska, a baby girl was born.  They forded the Platte River the next morning.  The new baby was called Margaret Emma.  The mother was too sick to nurse her baby.  She was fed on milk from the cows that had to help pull the load.  This milk did not agree with the baby and she was not well until their arrival in Utah.  They arrived in Utah in September.  They picked up potatoes on shares and had enough to do them all winter. (See the attached story, In Covered Wagon Days.)

John and Hanna moved to Little Cottonwood, where they resided two years.  A baby girl was born to them in 1856 (Hannah age 41).  They moved to Cedar Valley in the spring of 1856.  On account of the Indians being on the war path, they moved to American Fork that same year. 

      They went through all the hardships of pioneer life.  Many times they were without bread and gathered weeds, berries, and thistle roots, until they could raise something.

Their first crop was barley, which matured a little earlier than the wheat.  This barley was ground in a coffee mill to make bread.  Their only sweets were beet and carrot molasses, which they made themselves.  Hannah sold feathers out of her bed for a shawl to make her two little girls some dresses.

Hannah made a trip to her native land when she was over 60 years old, to get genealogy of her people, so she could do temple work for them.  She found one brother and a sister alive.  None of them ever joined the 'Mormon' church, but have come to her in dreams for her to do their work for them, which she did willingly.  She did considerable work in the Logan, Manti, and Salt Lake Temple. 

She was a counselor to Sister Mary Handley in the American Fork Relief Society for seventeen years, and was  always faithful to every trust.  When she left American Fork, the President of the Relief Society and members made her a present of a $15.00 Bible.  She was Sunday School teacher under Brother William Paxman for a number of years.

Hannah and her husband left American Fork in 1890(age 65) and went to Sanpete County to live with her eldest daughter in part of her home; she, being left a widow, and they were getting too old to care for themselves.  Hannah Hardy Eckersley Crompton passed away in March, 1901 age 86) in Sanpete County and was buried there.  Her desire was to be buried in American Fork, where she had spent so many years and had so many true friends.  After she had been buried fourteen years, her daughter, Mrs. Warren B. Smith went down to Freedom, Sanpete County and had her remains removed to American Fork cemetery. 

Of her posterity, she left six daughters, eighty grand children and great grand children, and one great-great grandchild.  She died as she had always lived, a faithful Latter-day Saint and in the full hope of a glorious resurrection and her children called her blessed. 

By Mrs. Mary E. Abel
(The story of the birth of Margaret Emma Crompton Rushton, daughter of Hannah and John Crompton)

After the Saints had been driven from Nauvoo, a brother by the name of Crompton went to St. Louis to secure an outfit to go to the land of Zion to be with the Saints of God.  The arduous journey across the plains was at length begun with one yoke of oxen and one of cows hitched to a covered wagon containing their few necessary valuables and provisions for the journey.

While in the state of Nebraska, they camped on the Platte River.  This night a terrible storm arose.  The lightning flashed, the thunder roared.  It seemed as though the elements were no longer under control.  The wind was so terrific that the wagons had to be chained to the ground. 

At twelve o'clock midnight, Mrs. Crompton gave birth to a little baby girl.  Every sister in the company was anxious to lend all the assistance they could to comfort this little mother, yet the care she and the baby should have had was out of the question on this terrible night.  As a result, she was very ill; so ill that she begged her husband to leave her by the wayside.  She had no nurse for her new-born babe and so its food was obtained by diluting the milk from one of the cows comprising their team.  This seemed to poison the baby.

For two months, the baby was carried on a pillow and her life was despaired of.  In September of that year, 1853 they neared the valley, the mother's health improved, and the baby began to thrive.

This little babe grew to womanhood and has lived a wonderful life of service in the communities in which she has lived, in her own home, and in her remembrance of her kindred dead.

Surely Father understood.

*Note:    In the book, Pioneer Women of Faith & Fortitude, Vol I, a biography of Hannah Hardy Eckersley Crompton states:

The following year (after the birth and death of baby James Henry) William went into town, and some say he was mugged and killed for the money he had hidden in his coat, because when he was found there was no money.  This left Hannah with four small girls and no support.  She took employment at the largest hotel in St. Louis and earned enough money to get the family to Council Bluffs, Iowa, the taking off place for Utah.

 Sarah’s mother left St. Louis in 1850 with family and went to Council Bluffs, Iowa.  There she met and married John Crompton.  This family, with the desire to come to Zion, began their trek west.  Upon their arrival in Platte River Nebraska, a daughter, Emma, was born to them on the 21st of July 1853.  A few months later they arrived in Salt Lake.

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