John, Olena Hoth, John Jr., Henry & Anna Muller
The converts were emigrating to America. Some of John Jacob Hug’s children decided to go. It was a long, long journey; so far in fact that a visit back to the native Switzerland would be almost impossible. His wife, also zealous in the new faith, gained permission from him to go, but she could not prevail upon him to go also. He would not stand in the way of their going, but Switzerland was his home, and the Mormon faith was not true Christianity to him. So the wife of John Jacob Hug,?????, and their sons Henry & John and wives and children all came to Utah. John Jacob died approximately one year later in Switzerland.
Their mother and other members of the family went to Oregon, but brothers John and Henry came to Santa Clara. In about 1878 they left Santa Clara and moved to Oregon.
Soon after the first Hugs arrived, this interesting courtship took place. John, who was quite bashful in those days and was working in Salt Lake. He occasionally ate at a restaurant where a young girl by the name of Olena Hoth worked. Olena took a fancy to the young man who came in to eat. Knowing that he and his mother were poor, she sometimes put leftover food in the bashful young man’s coat pocket. John appreciated this kindness, but his bashfulness caused him to refrain from comment. However some of his young friends made a plan to aid cupid.
One day John was home in his ragged work clothes when Olena came toward the house. He was badly frustrated and was advised to crawl under the bed until she left. This he did. The other young people visited with Olena, and led her to admit that she loved John, and that she would marry him if he would ask her. Hearing this conversation was too much for John. He crawled from under the bed and said, “Come Olena, let’s get married.” and they immediately left the house and did that very thing.
A people living as far out of contact with the rest of the world as did the early residents of Utah must be self sustaining. They must produce what they consumed because it was too far away to carry on trade with other people. Utah sorely needed products of the south land. Particularly they needed cotton for clothing. They longed for a supply of sweets and more fruit.
Down in the extreme southwest corner of the territory was a volcanic region which was warmer than its location would indicate. Here, with irrigation, sugar cane and cotton, melons and peaches and other crops of the south could be grown well. The Indians called the Virgin River Valley the “Warm Valley.” Trial plantings were made with success. Popular sentiment grew for the settling of the low Virgin and Santa Clara valleys along the old Spanish Trail. This would be Zion’s “Dixie”. As a consequence settlers were asked to outfit for a long trip through the desert lands to Dixie to make their future home, conquer the desert, and grown cotton and cane.
On November 28, 1861 there arrived at Clara Creek a train of covered wagons, and 85 people known as the Swiss Company. They camped ab out the little adobe meeting house and proceeded to conquer the wild lands of Dixie. The battle started immediately and lasted long. Today it is not completely won, but today a monument stands in the public square of Santa Clara in memory of the Swiss company which included the families of John, Henry and Rachel Hug.
Each family was allocated a lot on the townsite, and a small piece of land to farm. Work commenced immediately on the new homes.
Olena Hoth came to Salt Lake in America some time prior to 1856, from Schleswick, Denmark, where she was born in 1832. Her mother was born in Denmark, a daughter of Hans Amus Ganseberg and Elizabeth Christina Sab. Her father, Hans Peter Imnual Hoth, was born in Oldsloe, Germany, October 26, 1803, a son of Emanuel Hoth and Anna Marie Elizabeth Link. Emanual Hoth was a son of Carl Christopher Hoth, born in 1706 and Helen Christina Gulick, born in 1715.
Olena met John Hug in Salt Lake. After they moved to Santa Clara she became the village school teacher for a time. (Page 36 in 100 years of hugs)
We have not acquired written history for him yet.
On October 20, 1829 I was born in the village of Weiningen. My parents had two children before me, the older named Rachel, and the younger Jacob. On the 25th of the same month I was baptized and received the name Henry. The home of my parents was the third of a very large house in Outer town. In Weiningen my parents were considered neither rich nor poor, but well respected people. Father had always lived in and been a citizen of Weiningen, and for 10 years was the clerk or recorder of the district. When he was 30 years old he married mother, and the celebration lasted for three days, during which time all kinds of enjoyments were indulged in, as was the custom of that day. This all happened while my father was still living with my grandparents, where he continued to live for some time afterwards, in fact until after my older sister and brother were born.
A house in Outer town also belonged to my grandparents and in dividing up the estate, father received this home, where I was born. Father’s brother received the old place. My grandfather, whom I remember quite well, was a very good natured man who was well thought of. He was an officer that looked after the affairs of the community, something like our county commissioners, and he died at a ripe old age. Grandmother was cranky and not so peaceful. She lived to be pretty old too.
Most all that I know of my life up to the time I was five or six years old is what my mother told me. She told me that I was born in an eventful time, as it was during wine harvest, and my birth delayed the whole thing. That fall the cold weather came gradually, but early and increasingly, until by and by it became so severe that icicles formed on the grapes; an unusually unpleasant fall when one is accustomed to such pleasant weather during grape harvest that it permeates the whole atmosphere with a feeling of joy and good will.
As mother sat at her spinning wheel she told anecdotes as her wheel whirled busily; how this was the coldest winter that any one could remember. It is a wonder that we still e3xist, as the cold came before they could get their winter wood in. How can one keep a room warm when one has nothing to warm with? It was just like the forsaken places in Russia.
In my sixth year I started to go to school, but it was not an agreeable occupation to me. The sitting still on the chair was not to my liking. A second cause for dislike was that the whole thing did not progress satisfactorily, because I could not whisper. If a fellow did not abide by the rules the schoolmaster soon gave him the rod, from which he unmistakably suffered. The school house was too small to hold all of the children, and the castle was built over for a school room. In this castle I spent the rest of my school days. In going to school I never took very much pleasure, excepting in a few subjects, for instance singing, drawing, geography and in history. In the first I was one of the best, as I was also in drawing, the reason being that I liked them.
Instead of leaving Switzerland for Utah in 1854, with the other members of the Hug family, Henry was asked by the Mormon authorities to stay for a time as a missionary. He kept a quite detailed diary of his experiences in missionary work. After five years of work for the Church and preparing groups to come to Utah, Henry was finally chosen to lead a group. He quotes from his journal.
August 9, 1859: It was a beautiful day as we departed from the depot in Zurich at 1:30 in the afternoon. Father and many friends bid us goodbye. We and other groups of emigrants stayed in the White Cross Hotel in Bassel.
August 10: It was another nice day as we rode the train from Bassel to Mannheim.
August 11: We rode a steam boat from Mannheim to Colon.
August 12: We rode a train to Rotterdam where we stopped in two hotels.
August 13: We went on a steam boat to Hull; picked up 18 more emigrants.
August 14: Continued to Liverpool; lodged in Paradise Hotel and got ready for the voyage which would start on the 16th.
August 19: Struck into the open sea. Did not know the sea could be so calm, but it did not last.
“We often had song services. . . the other passengers liked to listen. We received favors from the captain, and were allowed to go all over the ship. . . we stood good with the cook, too. . . the captain and doctor said we were the most orderly passengers. Two children were born on the ship. A woman and a child died.”
They arrived in New York in September and continued their journey west. Soon after reaching Salt Lake, his wife, Maria Wampfler Hug died with Mountain Fever and he was desperately ill. His mother was there to take care of him and had become acquainted with a Swiss girl, Anna Muller.
I was born in the city of Bern, Switzerland, in 1836 about June 20th. Marie Muller died when I was three and my father, Samuel Muller, who was a baker by trade, died when I was seven. I lived with an older sister until I could earn my living, which was at a rather early age.
When about 16 years old I worked for a French speaking couple who forced me to learn French by speaking only that language to me. The man was a watchmaker in the city of Bern. He had many other men working for him, making watches and parts of watches. It was my duty to carry them from place to place. They put the watches in cartons of about a dozen, and I would take an arm load of these cartons and deliver them to the workmen whose names were written on the boxes. At first I had some trouble tramping over the cobblestone streets and finding these men, as they were in buildings four and five stories high. The boss would only tell me to go on up more stairs until I came to the right place. This man was a very good watchmaker, and always had a sale for his watches. He had the whole top of a big counter full of them, and they would run together to a minute.
I would make deliveries to the exporter, and when he gave me the money it would be in silver. I could hardly carry the money received for an armful of watches. Had it been generally known that I was carrying so much money, I would have been robbed. After returning with the money I would distribute it to the workmen. They would usually give me a tip. The boss was always interested in, and tickled over the amount of tips that I received. They were about all the wages that I did get. After I worked at this place for a year I spoke French very well, and liked the language even better than German.
I worked many places for my board, which was often very poor at the best. Young girls had to work hard those days. I have had to do such things as wash cabbage at the fountain in the freezing weather of winter time. Such things caused me to long to go to America.
Two young couples in the neighborhood were going to America with the Mormons, and they persuaded me to go with them. As I had no money, some men loaned me the transportation until I reached my destination in Salt Lake. I told my husband before we were married that I owed this debt. He said, “Oh that doesn’t matter,” and went straight and paid it.”
“Our company went on train and boat to Liverpool, where we embarked for the journey across the Atlantic. We crossed the ocean on a German sail boat, the “Thomsgott”. It was so stormy that it would spill all of the water out of the pots that we were trying to cook with in the kitchen. I constantly thought that we were going down, and I said that if I ever got out of that ship alive, I would never go on the ocean again, and I never did.
It took six weeks to cross the Atlantic in this little sail boat, and we were most of the time being churned about by the stormy seas. We landed at Castle Gardens, New York City, where we transferred to a train. The rail journey was long and tedious. The track was rough and the train bounced and bucked along quite differently from the modern trains. Omaha was the end of the railroad, and from here the trip was by wagon.
At Omaha we bought wagons and cattle and outfitted for the trip across the plains. A few had no money at all, and the rest bought push carts and provisions. Six or eight of these were fitted up and started out about two weeks ahead of the wagons. Thus they started the long journey through the wild lands and pulling by hand all of their provisions and camp equipment in a light, high two-wheeled cart. They kept us informed as to what was happening to them by writing on the rocks and cliffs where we could see it as we came along.
I had no money, but another girl and I agreed to bake the bread for the wagon train for the privilege of walking along with them. We usually were obliged to gather buffalo chips in our aprons, for fuel for our fire in the treeless regions. Each night we would cook until about 11 o’clock to make bread enough to last the next day. We used a Dutch oven to bake in.
We were constantly afraid of Indians. One time we saw a big band of Indians high on a hill above us. We had heard of Indians stealing young girls. Six of us girls were ahead of the train when we saw them. We immediately stopped until the rest caught up. Later the Indians came into camp one night and ate up our provisions and took what they wanted. We could not talk to them, and were too scared to resist. They followed along the next day. An air of anxiety was over us all day. That night we stole away while they were asleep.
In traveling, the girls had to help, and it was not uncommon for them to lead the oxen around by the horns. Of course the oxen were very gentle, and tired from their hard work. Grass was scarce and the oxen were compelled to go without enough to eat. One by one they died, and at last it became necessary for us to reduce our loads. Boxes of clothing were thrown away. Dishes and stoves were buried with the idea that later some one would return for them. The ground was hard, and some times the supplies could not be completely covered. However, no one ever came back to look for anything after we once reached Salt Lake.
Days when one felt ill, the wagon train could not stop. Impure water some times caused dysentery. Alkali water led to similar disturbances. Afflicted people, with a sense of modesty, trailed behind the train. Some of my friends lay in shallow graves, because they were too sick to t\walk behind the train.
Before we reached our destination it was late in the year, and we encountered snow storms. The three pairs of heavy shoes that I had on the start of the trek were worn out and I was bare foot. With the exception of some flour, our food was all gone. All we had to eat was bread made by mixing flour and water. This “hardtack” was so hard that we had to boil it in water to eat it. As we neared Salt Lake we came to some farm houses where we bought some milk. Were we glad! These people asked me to stay with them, but I did not want to leave my friends who were with the train.
When we reached Salt Lake I had no place to go. However I met a Swiss-speaking lady who was there to be married in the Temple to a man named Nail, who lived at Levi, Utah. They offered to take me home with them. I asked if they had enough for me to eat. They laughed and assured me they did. I went with them in their covered wagon. The man had two other wives on a farm across the river. These folks liked me and told me to help myself to anything that I wanted out of their big store that they owned. However, I did not feel like doing this. They asked me to go with them to a dance, but I told them that I could not because I had no shoes. They fitted me up with a good pair from the store, and I went. I danced well and they always insisted that I go with them. (Afterward, when living at Santa Clara, Aunt Ann waltzed with a full glass of water balanced on her head, without spilling it, for the amusement of her friends.) One time they had ladies’ choice, and I danced with a stranger, rather than with Mr. Nail. When questioned about it, I said that I thought he had enough women. It soon developed that he wanted to marry me, and I left for Salt Lake.
Here I met Grandma Hug (Rachel) who had room for me to stay with her. Her son Henry, who lived next door, was recovering from Mountain Fever. Grandma Hug took a liking for me, and bragged to her son what a nice girl I was. The outcome was we were later married.