Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Pioneer Profile: Hannah Chapman, Part III
Hannah served as the Relief Society President in the Soda Springs Ward from 1879 to 1894 (yikes - that's a long LONG time to be a Relief Society President). During her time as president, the Church celebrated it's 50th birthday, which meant a big celebration. She also headed up groups donating money to build the Logan Temple. Dr. Ellis Kackley had Hannah help him as a nurse to the sick in the community. Hannah was a busy little lady. Unfortunately, her beloved husband Charles passed away on December 2, 1883. (Her son Thomas Chester died March 19, 1886 in England and her son Richard Goodworth died May 9, 1896 in Kamas, Utah.)
I had to take a moment to marvel at the weight of so much loss. It's amazing to think about what humans can go through and survive and, in Hannah's case, become better... refined by suffering. Even though she had lost her eyesight, Hannah continued to live in her home in Soda Springs and take care of herself. (She did have family nearby and neighbors who were quick to do what they could for her.)
Hannah's dearest wish was to see the finished Salt Lake Temple. By the time the temple was completed, however, Hannah could not see anything - even with the aid of glasses. She attended the dedication anyway and when she arrived at the temple, her eyesight was restored so that she could see everything around her distinctly. After the dedication she went to her daughter's home in Woods Cross, Utah and she was able to read the newspaper and thread a needle. Within hours her eyesight was gone again.
Hannah Chapman outlived most of her children. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints amid protests from family in England, crossed the ocean and the plains to get to Zion. The impact of her choices and her strength has affected me, her great great great granddaughter, more than one hundred years later. She died on February 15, 1898 in Soda Springs, Idaho.
(I condensed Hannah's history from one of her great granddaughters, Marjorie Beus Brewer's extensively researched biography of Hannah Chapman. Mrs. Brewer is descended from Hannah and Adolphus Babcock's daughter, Hannah Alice. It made me happysad to know that such good could come from that sad section of Hannah's life.)