Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People

Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People
Answers at bottom of the left column.

January 5, 2010

Smith, Joseph Sanford and Arabella Jane Coombs

Joseph Sanford and Arabella's Children:  Ada Olivia, Joseph Elroy, George Abraham  From Cedar City, Utah.
Joseph's parents were Joseph Hodgetts Smith (1819-1890) and Elenor Marie Stanford (1809-1896).  Joseph was born 23 June 1850 Tipton, Staffordshire, England .  He married Arabella Jane Coombs 23 October 1871 Salt Lake Endowment House, in Salt Lake.  Other spouses include: Matilda Irene Thompson and possibly  He died 6 April 1941 Ammon, Bonneville, Id and was buried in Ammon.

Arabella Jane Coombs: was born 28 December 1853 Redwood Canyon, Contra Costa, California and she died 19 January 1883 in Mancos, Colorado.  She gave birth to nine children.  The first two died in infancy: Mary Ann and Ellen.  The next children: Ada Olivia Smith (1874-1924) and Ida Olive Smith (1874-1877) were evidently twins, but Ida died at age 3.  Ada was the oldest Smith child (born 24 January 1874 in Cedar City)  on the Hole-in-the-rock trek, and watched the two younger siblings: Joseph Elroy Smith (1876-1893) and George Abraham Smith (1879-1962) while their parents took the "last wagon" down on day 1.  It appears that their next child Arabella Smith (1881-) died at birth. Mabel Arabella Smith (1882-1885) was born the next year and the last child, Joseph S. Smith (1883-) died the same year as his mother...possibly both dying during child birth.  No verification of that has been found yet, only genealogy files with dates.

The wagon of Joseph Stanford Smith was the last of twenty-six wagons to pass through Hole-in-the-Rock on the first day of descent day. Brother Smith, known as Stanford, had helped others through the passage all day while his wife and three children sat on a pile of quilts in the snow and watched. Apparently not realizing there was one more wagon to come down, the rest of the group had all moved on to the ferry. So Stanford and his wife, Belle, determined that they would have to bring their wagon down by themselves. Belle sat her three-year-old son on the quilts, placed the baby between his legs, and told them not to move until their father came back for them. Ada, the oldest, sat in front of her brothers and said a prayer.  
Belle and one of the horses pulled on the ropes tied to the back of the wagon as Stanford braced his legs against the dashboard and gently urged the horses on. As soon as they started down, the anchor horse fell. Belle caught her foot in the rocks and broke free several times before she too fell and was dragged along with the horse down the steep slope. By the time the wagon stopped, a jagged rock had cut Belle’s leg from heel to hip. Stanford ran to her to see if she was all right. With pioneer tenacity, Belle told him she had “crow-hopped” all the way down. Stanford helped her into the wagon, cleaned her cut, and then climbed back up for the children. As he passed his horse, which was dazed but alive, Stanford took off his hat and waved it in the air as a salute to his wife. They had made it!  (Ensign » 1995 » October )

Sometime before 1884 the Smith's moved to Mancos, Colorado (Lund p. 799).
Another account of the descent down the Hole
Tribute to Pioneers by BRENT L. TOP
Many references to the Smiths are in Hole in the Rock by Miller


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