Hunt and Hodgetts

We’re wrapping up our ten-part series (you read right–ten parts!) on the Handcart migration into Utah. One of the episodes is about two wagon companies, Hunt and Hodgetts, but it fits in with the handcarts because they accompanied the Willie and Martin companies and suffered right along with them. Several of the historians that we interviewed have said that if it weren’t for those two wagon companies, we wouldn’t be talking about the great rescue but of the great tragedy in which most, if not all of the Willie and Martin travelers, had died. So why don’t we talk more about Hunt and Hodgetts? Mel Bashore said this in our interview with him:

“This is nothing new today, to have them be forgotten. Fifty years after those handcart companies came into the valley, the handcart company survivors, in 1906, planned to have a jubilee celebration, a 50-year celebration where those survivors would get together and remember the hardships, the suffering, and as they planned it, they sent out word in the newspapers for the handcart survivors to get in touch, and write things up, to gather for this reunion.

“Well, one of the members of one of these wagon companies wrote a letter to the organizer of this reunion, this jubilee, and said, ‘I think we’re forgetting the wagon companies.’ And suggested, ‘Why can’t those people in the Hodgetts and Hunt–there are survivors of those wagon companies who played a big part in this story–attend this jubilee celebration, too?’ And I think that did, in fact, happen. I think they included them. But for too long, these wagon companies have just been forgotten and they shouldn’t be because they were out there suffering the same conditions and for longer, even, than the handcart companies were.” 

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5 Responses to Hunt and Hodgetts

  1. Bob Monson says:

    Would like to know where I can find out more and hopefully some pictures of the members of the Hodgett hand cart company

  2. V. Briggs says:

    I second Bob Monson’s queary about any pictures or sketches of the Hunt and Hodgett Wagon Companies, and any information at all about the duties and life on the trail of their teamsters. No doubt many were pressed into service after a long day wrestling their animals over the snowy plains to lend support and some of their own meager rations to the cause of brotherly love. Our 27-yr. old grandfather was one of the ox-team drivers, fresh off the ship Enoch Train from Scotland. Being unattached and with no family of his own, he was asked to stay as one of the 20 guards at Devil’s Gate through that long and difficult winter, and darn near starved as they all did, boiling and eating their pack saddles to survive. I hope to hear more about Dan W. Jones journal experiences at Devil’s Gate, especially of those brave young men’s efforts during the long winter months. I’d especially like to know just WHEN they were able to leave for SLC, and which two guards stayed behind when Dan W. Jones made his first trip back to Salt Lake City since the rescue sent him west. In particular, Chief Washakie’s support and assistance in helping keep them safe against marauding Indian tribes in the area, and bringing fresh meat for these starving men, without which they very likely would have perished as their food stores were all used up. Were there any other journals kept or experiences written about Devil’s Gate in the personal or life histories about these amazing young men?

  3. Jolene Robinson says:

    I too would like to know where to find more information on the Hodgett Wagon Train. My G-Grandfather was Henry James Hamilton from Scotland. I also agree that not enough praise has been made for the assistance of these two wagon trains to the hand carts. Henry James Hamilton made contributions in Salt Lake City at the Utah Woolin Mills, working as a bookeeper, he was 24 when he came with the Hodgett Wagon Train. He too was one of those that had nothing but cloth wrapped around his feet as he entered the valley. We all would like to find more information about these strong, valiant, people that endured so much for us.

  4. Karin K Bryner says:

    There is a lot of information about the two Wagon Trains by LYNNE SLATER TURNER:
    10/31/13 8.15 PM, Karin K Bryner

    • Bob says:

      Karin , thank you for your comment , can you give me any further information or contact information how I may contact Lynne Slater Turner, my gg grandmother came with the Hodgett Company I have been looking for years to find any thing at all about her. I would like to contact her .Thank you for your help, Bob Monson. Could there be a journal that I may look at ?

      Sent from my iPad


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