Sophronia Hatch Tidwell


Sophronia Hatch was the daughter of Josephus Hatch and Melinda Durfee. Sophronia was born in Bristol, Addison County, Vermont, October 8, 1834. When seven years of age, a missionary carne to preach the gospel. Her parents, Josephus Hatch and Melinda Durfee, accepted the gospel and joined the church in 1841. Her sister, Mary Rebecca (almost 14); her grandparents, Jeremiah and Elizabeth Hatch; her father's brother, Hezikiah, and family; and her mother's brother, Francillo Durfee, also joined in 1840 and 1841.


Sophronia writes: In 1842 we started on our journey in June to Nauvoo and arrived there in August, being about six weeks on the journey. We stopped to grandfathers until father got a house. I here attended school four years during our stay in Nauvoo.


I have heard the Prophet Joseph Smith preach many times. I was there in the time of the battle. The bullets were flying thick and fast. Most of the women were forced to go down into cellars.


We had difficulty in getting started my father having had a horse stolen. We took what we could in one wagon and left our home in 1846 our family consisting of father, mother, grand-parents, my sister Mary and one brother [William Edson], and myself and mother's niece her mother having died and her father [Francillo] had gone to the Battalion. I was then twelve years of age.


After crossing the Mississippi River, and while we were trying to locate the place where Cousin Jerry Hatch had stopped at which was called Mississippi River, as we were journeying along our wagon tipped over spilling most of our things. My sister at once went and found the place and Jerry came with a yoke of cattle and helped us, and we again started on our way. When we arrived at Zion, we spent a very happy evening to think we were there among friends. There were five families there in a little log room.


The week after we were there, mother was confined in a tent where they had to dig trenches to keep the water from running over her, it rained so hard. Baby was born September 24, 1846. We stopped there two or three weeks, then moved to a place called Sugar Creek. It was a place in the woods where all kinds of timber grew, and it was there that father learned to make baskets. He would take a load to Montrose every week; so you see the way the Lord blessed us, helping us to earn our daily bread. My mother and sister were sick all that winter, so it fell to me to do the cooking and work for the family and take care of my little brother. My father bought a house in Sugar Creek, and we stayed there and raised a crop.


In the fall of 1847, we started for Winter Quarters and arrived there about the first of November. We lived there through the winter, and my grand-mother [Elizabeth Haight Hatch] died on December 15 of that year. We then moved to Pleasant Grove, [Pottawatomie County] Iowa to get ready to come to Utah. I attended school while there three years, and it was there that I first met Peter Tidwell. We were married March 2, 1852, at which time I was seventeen years of age. [Peter was 21.] We started to Utah in May, having a good outfit.


[They traveled the summer of 1852 with Captain Isaac M. Stewart in the 9th Company.]


Visited in Salt Lake City two or three weeks, then we moved to Ogden. Father bought a house and they lived in that; also, my husband and I lived just across the street from them. We lived there one year, and then we built a house and my son was born [Royal Edwin].


My husband, Peter, was a minuteman and was always ready to go at every call. We moved to Payson and they all got word that we could move home, so we came back to Ogden.


[Was sealed in the Endowment House 16 August 1857.]


After we got back, my second daughter was born. We lived there ten years, then we moved to Richmond. We lived there two years.


We then moved to Smithfield where my husband worked in the blacksmith shop with Jerry Hatch in the winter and summer of 1864-65. We have raised an honorable family of children one son and six daughters; also, 34 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren."


[Per a history written regarding Will Thornley, it tells where in 1886 he established a blacksmith shop. Will had "learned the rudiments of the trade from Pete Tidwell who was then the only blacksmith in town." Apparently Peter took over the blacksmith shop from Jerry Hatch and worked in that capacity for over twenty years.]