Mrs. Ann A. Pratt Dies
Pioneer of Church Who Came to State With First Party Passes Into Beyond
Mrs. Ann Agatha Pratt, last surviving wife of the late Parley P. Pratt, who was one of the first twelve apostles of the Mormon church, passed away at the residence, 3162 Adams avenue, shortly after 6 o’clock yesterday morning. About four months ago Mrs. Pratt suffered a fall, from which she never recovered. This, with complications and old age, caused her death. The body will be shipped to Salt Lake for burial.
Mrs. Pratt had the distinction of being one of the first white women to set foot on Utah soil, crossing the plains with Brigham Young and his party with ox teams. She was the mother of seven children. Those surviving are: Mrs. A.P. Ridges of salt Lake; Leona P. Eldredge of Salt Lake; Moroni W. Pratt of Preston, Ida.; Mrs. F.C. Woods and W.O. Ridges of Ogden. She also leaves forty-nine grandchildren and sixty-three great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Pratt was born June 11, 1828, in Banu Leek, Staffordshire, England, and when 8 years of age moved with her parents to Manchester, where, when but 10 years of age, she heard the preaching of the Latter-day Saints and became converted to the Mormon faith. She was baptized July 18, 1863, since which time she had been a devout and faithful worker within the church. With a company of Saints she sailed from Liverpool for America in January, 1847. Together with her husband, she aided in the planning of Salt Lake.
She became the first milliner in Salt Lake, and made two dozen hats for Brigham Young, his high officers and their wives. For many years she conducted the millinery business in Salt Lake. She became a member of the first relief society and in 1869 served as the president of the society in the Nineteenth ward in Zion.
For sixteen years she acted as secretary of the First Ward Relief Society in this city. Her husband, one of the first apostles, built the first road through Parley’s canyon, which was named for him. While this work was in progress Mrs. Pratt cooked for the camp and endured many hardships during the trying days of the pioneers.
[Salt Lake Herald, June 26, 1908]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Jan. 2006]
Death Summons Mrs. Ann Pratt
Widow of Parley P. Pratt Dies in Ogden After Lingering Illness
She Came to Utah in 1847
Was First White Woman to Pass Through Parley’s Canyon—
Interesting Extract From Diary
At 6 o’clock this morning Mrs. Ann Agatha Pratt, widow of Parley P. Pratt, died at her home in Ogden, after a lingering illness. She had been a resident of Utah since 1847, having arrived in Salt Lake valley Sept. 28 of that year, after an arduous journey across the plains during which she drove an ox team the entire distance, and is said to have been the first woman to perform such service.
Other distinctions are accredited to Mrs. Pratt, one to the effect that she was the first white woman to ride up and down Parley’s canyon, named for her husband, and where, with him, she spent part of the summer of 1848 while he was superintending the building of a road. On the 24th of July that year, 24 straw hats, made by her hands, were worn for the first time, some for men and some for women. Among the wearers were President Brigham Young and other leaders, the president’s hat having a crown five inches high and a three inch rim, there being 12 strands across the top, weaving and manufacture being the handiwork of Mrs. Pratt.
Extracts From Her Diary
The following appears in a diary kept by Mrs. Pratt of experiences during her second year’s residence in Utah: “Early in the spring of 1848, my husband built a dugout and commenced farming operation for the summer. I helped him, holding the plow while he drove, or vice versa; dropping corn while he covered, and cooking our scanty meals, which consisted principally of thistle grains, often going two miles over plowed ground to get a little buttermilk to wash them down. Sometimes we had a little graham bread.”
The maiden name of Mrs. Pratt was Ann Agatha Walker. She was the daughter of William Gibson and Mary Godwin Walker. She as born at Leek, Staffordshire, June 11, 1829, and when eight years of age went with her parents to Manchester. There they heard the gospel and were converted, the daughter being baptized July 18, 1843, by Elder Charles Miller. She came to America in Jan., 1847, and arrived at Winter Quarters in April. When the start was made in the wake of the pioneers, her husband’s company halted to see that all were safely under way.
Mrs. Pratt was a woman much beloved by all acquaintances, being possessed of many noble qualities that endeared her to all she met. She was active in church work, being for many years president of the Relief society of the Nineteenth ward to his city. After removing to Ogden 16 years ago she was made secretary of the First ward society, a position held by her until failing health compelled her to retire.
While a resident of Salt Lake she conducted a millinery establishment for many years.
Mrs. Pratt is survived by seven children, 49 grandchildren, and 63 great-grandchildren. The names of her children are: Mrs. Agatha Pratt Ridges and Mrs. Lona P. Eldredge of this city; Moroni W. Pratt of Preston, Mrs. F.C. woods and Mrs. W.O. ridges of Ogden.
The funeral will be held from the Ogden First ward chapel at a date yet to be set, after which the remains will be brought to this city, and a service will be held in the Eighteenth ward chapel, probably Sunday.
[Deseret News, June 25, 1908]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Jan. 2006]
Funeral of Mrs. A.A. Pratt
Services Held in Ogden and Eighteenth Ward Yesterday Afternoon
Mrs. A Agatha Pratt, pioneer of 1847, was laid to rest in the city cemetery yesterday afternoon, following funeral services in the First ward, Ogden, and Eighteenth ward chapel of this city, the body being brought down from Weber county on the afternoon train, even the Oregon Short Line.
In Ogden a large body of friends and relatives gathered at the meetinghouse to pay tribute to the sterling qualities of the deceased.
The services opened with singing by the choir followed by prayer by Patriarch David McKay. Miss Sarah Pingree and Miss Fowler then sang, “Count Your Many Blessings,” after which Moroni W. Pratt, son of the deceased, spoke of the life work of his mother and the privations she endured for the gospel in the early days. Mrs. M.A. Critchlow, president of the First ward Relief society, was the next speaker. She dwelt at length on the excellent work accomplished by Mrs. Pratt while she was an active member of the Relief society. The other speakers were Elders H.C. Jacobs, Joseph Parry, President C.F. Middleton and Bishop D.H. Ensign. After singing by the choir, prayer was offered by Elder B.H. Goddard. A large cortege followed the hearse to the Union depot, where a number of relatives and friends accompanied the casket to Salt Lake.
The services in the Eighteenth ward were presided over by Bishop T.A. Clawson, the music being furnished by the Pyper-Whitney-Ensign-Spencer quartet, and Mrs. Claribel Ridges Pike of Idaho Falls, granddaughter of the deceased. Prayer was offered by Elder Milton A. Musser.
Elder Joseph E. Taylor was the first speaker and like those who followed he devoted the greater part of his remarks to the trials and tribulations incident to the pioneer days and the part “Aunt Agatha” took in assisting her husband, Parley P. Pratt, in raising crops on their 10-acre allotment on West Temple and Tenth South streets. He closed with a eulogy for the departed and Parley P. Pratt and his descendants generally.
Elder Robert Patrick bore his testimony to the efficiency and humble and faithful work of Mrs. Pratt while a member of the Eighteenth ward Relief society prior to her moving to Ogden. Moroni Pratt followed with an interesting biographical sketch of his mother’s life in Utah. How as a delicate milliner from England she undertook successfully to drive an ox team across the plains and her subsequent trials and triumphs were all touched upon. He declared that the deceased taught all her children to love the gospel and never was heard to murmur or for a moment listen to any criticisms of the priesthood.
Elder Orson F. Whitney was the last speaker. He spoke briefly on his admiration for the integrity of Parley P. Pratt and his brother Orson Pratt, both of whom, he said, were not noted for their wealth, but were the more remarkable as being intellectual millionaires. He loved their memory, declared the speaker, for the wealth of eternal riches they left to their posterity. Prayer was offered by Bishop Ensign and the grave at the cemetery was dedicated by Elder Milando Pratt. Floral tributes were numerous, conspicuous among them being one from the family and another from the Relief society workers of Ogden.
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 28 June, 1908, 7]
[Deseret News, June 29, 1908]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]
Events and Comments
By Edward H. Anderson
Death of a Pioneer
The widow of Parley P. Pratt, Ann Agatha Pratt, died at her home in Ogden, Utah, after a lingering illness, on the morning of June 26. She had resided in Utah since 1847, having arrived in the Salt Lake valley that year, on the 28th of September, crossing the plains with an ox team which she drove the entire distance. She is said to have been the first woman to perform such service. She is also said to have been the first white woman to ride up and down Parley’s Canyon, named for her husband. She was the daughter of William Gibson and Mary G. Walker, and was born at Leith, Staffordshire, England, June 11, 1829. She was baptized into the Church, July 18, 1843, and came to America in January, 1847. She was a woman of many noble qualities, active in Church work, and for many years was president of the Relief Society of the 19th Ward, Salt Lake City; and also secretary of the First Ward Society, in Ogden, for many years.
[Improvement Era, 1908]