Monday, May 12, 2008
Robert C Egbert (1821) GGGrandfather
Another GGGrandfather Birthday. 12 May 1821
Robert C Egbert was born in Indiana. He and his parents joined the Church in 1833 or 1834. He married Seviah Cunningham on April 1, 1846 in Nauvoo. He was part of the Mormon Battalion from July 1846 to July 1847, so their first child wasn't born till after he got back.
He died early (1863 age 42). This is very early to have a photograph but the link below includes this photo. We come through his daughter Sarah Catherine Egbert who is Mom's Grandma.
Here are some outtakes from a biography of his wife.
An Early Marriage and Life On the Plains. At the age of seventeen while Seviah lived in Nauvoo, she met and married on April 1, 1846, Robert Cowden Egbert. The two had been married for only a short time when the Saints were driven out of the city. Her father tried to convince her to stay in the area, but she decided to go with her husband to the West. They crossed the Mississippi River and traveled westward under great difficulty and suffering to Winter Quarters near Council Bluffs, Iowa. While camped there a call came for 500 men to fight in the war with Mexico. Her husband left for Levenworth, Kansas, on July 20, 1846. Seviah, a bride of only 3½ mo., was left to be cared for by family, friends, and the Church--basically left to her own resources. She was very lonely.
Lonesomeness and Uncertainty. In the spring of 1848, when the Saints again started to get ready to move westward, she decided go with them driving her own team. She had never heard a word from Robert, nor did she know whether he was dead or alive. Robert's brother, Joseph, helped her yoke her oxen and she drove her own ox team all the way across the plains. President Francis Marion Lyman was then just a little boy and he traveled with his parents right near to her wagon. He helped her yoke and unyoke her oxen and tend to them and her brother-in-law Joseph Egbert drove her cow and calf. As she was traveling along over the dusty roads there was no sound but the creaking of the wagon and the grating of the wheels against the hard ground and the brush. She was so lonely and wished so much to know where her husband was and if she would ever see him again. She became so wrought up over his absence that she shed tears as she traveled along. Suddenly she looked up and saw a man coming from the opposite direction. Very strange, she thought, as they knew of no human beings, except Indians, for hundreds of miles. As he drew near she tried to hide her face in her sun bonnet. The road was very narrow--he could hardly turn out to let the wagon pass for the high brush on both sides of the road. When he turned out, however, he stopped by the wagon and inquired if this was Robert Egbert's wife. She said, "Yes!" She supposed it must have been a messenger form California, someone who had seen her husband. He said, "Here is a letter from him to you." She took it and found it was written in his own handwriting. It said that he was well and that he would meet her at the head of the Sweetwater. After reading the letter she looked up to see if the man was still in sight. She stopped and asked her brother-in-law Joseph, if he had seen the man, that she wished to inquire further about her husband. Joseph had not even seen him, even though he had never left the road and the wagon trail being so narrow someone else could hardly have left it. She though it very strange and tucked the letter carefully away in the front of her basque. Later on she intended to read the letter again, but it was nowhere to be found.
Together Again. Seviah rejoiced; her spirit was buoyed up; she did not shed any more tears. The Saints finally arrived at the head of the Sweetwater in Wyoming, where they stopped to pitch camp once more. She was elated to be there and looked hard to see Robert. He was there, but he was not expecting to see her; he had supposed that she would be waiting for him to come after her back in Council Bluffs. As he looked over the immigrants' teams and outfits, he came across one particular ox team that he thought he recognized. He thought it looked like his own, but not being sure he scrutinized it more carefully. He looked around discretely as he did not want those in the wagon to think him impolite. Still, he got a pretty good look in the wagon. Whom should he discover, but his young wife, Seviah? Was he ever surprised? He told her that he was on his way back to get her. She told him about the letter she had received from him. He apologized that he had never written a letter, nor had he had any chance to send one. They marveled together over this strange experience.