PIONEER CHILDREN FACED THE SAME CHALLENGES and hardships as their parents. We learn how they also stood for the values of faith, education, cooperation, and industry in their lives.


Read the stories below to learn about A.B. Sidwell and Elizabeth Wilcox Hurst, two pioneer girls who settled in Sanpete.

A.B. Sidwell and the Sneaky Snakes

Rattlesnakes - Michelle L. Wilson

“Just after sunset, on this memorable occasion here, a weird hissing and rattling was heard apparently coming from all points at once; and the very earth seemed writhing with great gaunt spotted-backed rattlesnakes. They had come from caves situated above us in the ledge of rock that had been our shelter and shield, from the piercing northern blast of winter. They invaded our homes with as little compunction as the plagues of Egypt did the palace of Pharaoh. They arrogated to themselves the privilege of occupying our beds and cupboards (pantries we had none). The male portion of the community turned out en masse with torches, to enable them with more safety to prosecute the war of extermination, and the slaughter continued until the ‘wee small’ hours. Persons who were engaged in the work, estimated the number killed the first night as near three hundred.”

~ Mrs. A.B. Sidwell, an 8-year-old pioneer of 1849

Elizabeth Wilcox and the Dress-eating Grasshoppers

Elizabeth was 14 years old before she owned a dress of “boughten” cloth. She worked and earned the money to buy a piece of black calico with a small, white flower on it.

She made the dress by hand. She thought it was beautiful. One Saturday evening she washed her dress, starched it with flour starch, and spread it out on the bushes to dry.

When she went to “gather in” her precious dress, all that was left of the skirt was the band, hem, and seams. The basque (or upper part of the dress) was also ruined. The grasshoppers had eaten the dress for the starch.

~ As retold by Luella H. Rogers