Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ain't Nothing Going to Break My Stride

Sally Penn Barton (1800-1882)

my fifth great grandmother

me-->Ruth Rasmussen Buchanan-->Arthur Price Rasmussen-->Mary Jane Olsen Rasmussen-->Sally Ann Barton Olsen-->Stephen Smith Barton-->Sally Penn Barton

Sally Penn Barton was tough.  Maybe not Chuck-Norris tough, but tough enough.

Sally Penn Barton
She was living in Lebanon, Illinois when she learned about the Mormons.  She was so determined to meet Joseph Smith, she rode on horseback to Nauvoo just to meet him.

That's 3 hours and 42 minutes by car, according to the all-knowing Google.  I don't even want to think how far that would be on horseback.

When Sally was 46 years old, her husband died. This was also when the Mormons were riddled with persecution and trying to flee to the Rocky Mountains.  Four of her children had died,  three of her children were adults, and three sons were still under her care.  She was finally able to make it Iowa where the Saints had settled to escape persecution and build up supplies to make the trek west.

Her two grown daughters found out about polygamy and said that they would not be "seconds" to any man.  One of her daughters stayed in Iowa, the other went back home to Illinois.  She was left with her three sons, Joseph, 21, and Stephen, 13, and Samuel, 11.

All three of her sons practiced polygamy, which included serving jail time.

As Sally grew older, she found it harder to walk and had to use a cane.  Her eyesight was also gone, but she continued to knit.  She may have old, she may have been frail (5'7" and 125 lbs.) but nothing was going to bring her down.  Not even a steer.

What's the difference between a steer and a bull?  Let's just say a bull can breed and a steer can't.
No wonder steers are angry.
Sally was visiting her son, Stephen, who was fattening a steer for beef.  The steer got out of the corral.  This steer saw Sally out in the yard and charged after her.  She had nothing but a cane to defend herself. The steer kept snorting over her and bunting her around, and she kept attacking him with her cane.  She tried to make it towards the house.  Eventually, she fell over backwards and others heard the commotion and came to her rescue.

Now when I hear that song Matthew Wilder, I think of her.

Nobody's going to slow Sally down, not even a steer.

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