Elizabeth Hollist’s Story
(Part relating to her parents from the book on her family and descendants with John Henry Stinger)
In London, England on February 14, 1842, was born Elizabeth Hollist, the daughter of Henry Hollist and Elizabeth Chandler. From her story, I here quote:
We were raised in pretty good circumstances. In 1845 we moved to Brighton, Sussex. My parents did not belong to any religion, but were always seeking for what they could not find until October 1848, when my father heard of the Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, and he went to investigate and find out what they preached, going to a meeting on Sunday morning and taking me with him. There he found two preachers and three listeners. The Elders were Charles Phelps and Joseph Silver. He was impressed with the doctrine, and he and my mother went again in the afternoon. And then they invited the Elders to our house. On the 9th of November, 1848, they were baptized, my father being the first man in that town with just one lady before them. About two years later on May 7, 1850, at the age of eight, I was baptized by Charles Holley.
On the 6th of April, 1849, my father was ordained an Elder by John Banks, and he went out in the country to preach every Sunday and raised a Branch at Shoram, six miles from Brighton. He presided there for some time until he was called to preside over the Brighton Branch, which he did for three years. He again went preaching on Sundays in the country and raised a Branch at Burgess Hill, call the Johns Common Branch, where he presided until we emigrated. He sometimes walked long distances, being often mobbed and beaten.
In 1857 we came to America. We crossed the Atlantic on the ship, George Washington. Elder Park was the President of the company. Eight hundred sixteen were in the company; eight hundred fourteen landed, as here was one birth and three deaths on board ship. Elder Ezra Benson came on deck and said that if the Saints would do as they were told, we should anchor in twenty-two days. His word came true. We sailed March 28th, but on account of having measles on board, we were quarantined in the Boston Harbor until April 26, 1857.
We found a Branch in Boston, and Elder James McCleary was President. He was called home in 1858, and my father was called to preside.
I worked at housework and saved enough money to pay my fare to Omaha. We left Boston May 2, 1859 and were twelve days making the trip to Florence. We did not have the means to go any farther, so my parents moved to Omaha. Elder Horton was President of the Branch there. He emigrated in 1860, and my father was called to preside. I again worked at housework.
When Elizabeth Hollist’s family was still in England, a friend, Brother Jacob Gates was visiting them. He was planning to emigrate to the United States, and Elizabeth’s mother was very anxious to come too. With prophetic inspiration he promised her that they would all cross the plains together. Although he emigrated that year and they did not, his promise was fulfilled. In 1861 he visited them again in Omaha, Nebraska, where arrangements were made to cross the plains as one family that same year. They joined the Richard Horne Company, driving two church teams with John (John Henry Stinger, Elizabeth Hollist’s husband) driving the second team. Brother Gates paid their fare for the trip. Quoting again from Elizabeth’s story:
I believe there were fifty-nine wagons in the company, and at night we formed a ring, or corral. We were organized in companies of ten with a captain over each company. I was sick nearly all the way across, having mountain fever. We arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah September 13, 1861.
The city was the prettiest place and we rejoiced to get there. We met friends and enjoyed a good dinner in one of President Young’s houses with brother Maiben who lived there. We decided to settle in Ogden, as the team we drove came from there.
President Young called for volunteers to go to Dixie to raise cotton, and Elizabeth’s father, Henry Hollist, volunteered. But where the time came to go, the bishop of Farmington wanted him to stay there as they needed mechanics, so John and Elizabeth went in their place.