Mrs. Elizabeth B. Pratt Dies from an Accident Received
Yesterday, Sunday, May 9, Mrs. Elizabeth Brotherton Pratt, wife of the late Elder P.P. Pratt, died at her home in the Twenty-second ward of this city, in the 82nd year of her age. She was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hamilton Brotherton, and was born in Manchester, England, March 27, 1816. She joined the church in 1840, and came to Nauvoo in 1841. In 1843 she was married to Elder P.P. Pratt, in Nauvoo, the Patriarch Hyrum Smith performing the marriage ceremony. She came to Utah in 1847, arriving here in September of that year.
The deceased has been an active, faithful member of the Church, highly esteemed by all her associates. She was a member of the first Relief society organized in Utah. She has lived in this city over fifty years. About a week ago, at her home, she had the misfortune to fall to the floor breaking her thigh. Just previous to this she had had an attack of the grippe, and in her advanced years the combination of ailments resulted in death.
The funeral will take place on Tuesday, May 11, at 12 o’clock, noon, from the Twenty-second ward meeting house. Friends invited.
[Deseret News, May 10, 1897, 1]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Jan. 2006]
Pratt—In Salt Lake City, May 9, 1897, of old age and the effects of an accident. Elizabeth Brotherton Pratt, born in Manchester, England, March 7, 1816. She was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Hamilton Brotherton; became a member of the Church in 1840; immigrated to Nauvoo in 1841; in 1843, July 24, was married to the late Elder P.P. Pratt by Patriarch Hyrum Smith; crossed the Plains in 1847, arriving in the valley in September of that year. She was a faithful Latter-day Saint.
Funeral from the Twenty-second ward meeting house tomorrow, Tuesday, 12 o’clock, noon. Friends of the family invited.”
[Deseret News, May 10, 1897, 2]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Jan. 2006]
Whether it is that the semi-centennial celebration of Utah’s settlement gives special prominence to that class of events, or whether this particular period just about terminates the natural lease of life to many who entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, the present year thus far seems to have a larger record than usual of deaths among those who crossed the plains the first season, and thus become classed among the Utah Pioneers. Among the prominent workers of those early times now called to rest, Sister Elizabeth Brotherton Pratt is among the last who has complied, as yet, with the summons from the other side. Her death occurred Sunday, May 9, in this city. She was an active participant in the scenes immediately prior to the Mormon settlement at Utah. She had listened to the testimony of Mormon Elders in her native city of Manchester, England, and believing it to be a divine message, accepted it in 1840; a year later she came to Nauvoo, and on the 24th day of July, 1843—four years to a day before the institution of Utah’s Pioneer Day—she became the wife of Elder Parley P. Pratt, one of the Twelve Apostles, the ceremony being performed in Nauvoo, by the Patriarch Hyrum Smith. In 1846 she was among the Saints driven from Nauvoo, and was with these who spent that winter at Winter Quarters. Her family occupied a wagon that winter, her husband being on a mission, and in her journal she refers thus to the experience at Winter Quarters, the journey across the plains, and the first year in the Salt Lake valley:
We suffered with cold, hunger and sickness. Our bread was corn meal ground on a hand mill, and not much to go with it. Mr. Pratt returned from his mission in April, after being gone over seven months. In his absence our cattle and horses died and some were lost. When Mr. Pratt returned President Young and a company were camped on the Elk Horn river, twenty miles west, ready to start out as Pioneers to the mountains. After a little rest Mr. Pratt began to prepare to go with a company that was going to start in June. There were 500 wagons, and being short of teamsters the women had to drive. I drove an ox team a good part of the way and walked a great many miles. After traveling a long distance we met the Pioneers returning from the valley and camped with them one day. We continued our journey and after many losses, trials and hindrances we arrived at our place of destination in September, 1847. This then was a barren, desolate looking place, but we were thankful to be where we could have a rest from our enemies, have peace of mind, and worship the true and living God without any to molest or make afraid. We renewed our covenants, had a short winter and very mild one. Early in the spring we commenced to plant our gardens and were blessed with early crops. We appreciated this very much as we had been on short rations all winter. We had to work hard to raise it, as then we did not understand irrigation. The crickets were troublesome, and many of our people suffered for the want of food. We had lost nearly all our cows and the few left were dry.
She has lived to see her co-religionists become a great people in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains; has witnessed the growth and prosperity of Utah for nearly fifty years, and the change of sentiment in that time toward her people; she has seen arise, in these once barren valleys, cities, towns and villages, temples, homes, business houses and public buildings, the railway, the telegraph and other great modern conveniences; has seen a new generation grow up to rejoice in the triumph of the pioneer efforts put forth by herself and associates in opening up a new world, as it were; and her testimony of the divine inspiration and power to the religious cause she espoused fifty seven years ago was to her dying day as bright, as strong, as positive, as testimony can be. Her testimony in this regard is like that of all the Pioneers, unwavering, and confirmed by the lapse of years. For forty years she has been a widow. A few days ago she met with an accident, which hastened the end of morality, already approaching close to one who had passed the eightieth milestone, and she gone to her rest one who has earned the rich reward of faithfulness and devotion.
As Sister Pratt and others have passed to the other world, so the remaining Pioneers will pass in their turn; but their work is here—a foundation strong and firm, for the glorious work of a great commonwealth. May the present generation learn from the Pioneer example some lessons to aid them in building as wisely and well for the future as did the fathers and mothers of Utah’s pioneer days.
[Deseret News, May 15, 1897]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]