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John Toone


John Toone of Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
10 April 1813 - 31 August 1893

John Toone emigrated to America on the ship the Ellen Maria with his family in 1851. For an account of this journey and the loss of their youngest child, read Emma`s page.

His journey home from his mission in England was on the ship Horizon in 1856.

On this journey he is mentioned in the Journal of Joseph Beecroft.

Sunday 22nd I arose about 5. Washed, shaved, carried up water for breakfast and found an unpleasant morning. Very foggy, got breakfast, fetched water and went on deck. Attended meeting at half past ten, which was addressed by Brothers Havens, Waugh, Broderick, and President Martin. They thought it might be the last meeting on ship board on a Sunday on deck. Elder [John] Toone also spoke a short time and begged we would not get intoxicating drinks. Meeting closed a little past 12. Came and got dinner and went on deck again where I remained until about 2. Came, attended meeting, felt well, bore testimony, closed about four and carried water up for tea which we got after 5. The night was very foggy and unpleasant. Attended meeting at 9 and was glad to go to bed.



Crossed the plains twice - first by wagon train with his family and second upon returning from his mission in England with the ill-fated Martin Handcart Co.

Family Records indicate that John Toone crossed the plains five times helping immigrants to Utah. While he may have been assisting with different companies as they crossed, he is only listed as a member of a company twice.



Quoted from "A Brief History of my Father -- William Henry Toone" by J. Melvin Toone


"In preparing to come across the plains from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City, Grandfather [John Toone] purchased teams and wagons and a cow and the first pound of butter Grandmother [Emma Prosser Toone] made from this cow she paid as tithing. The first winter and part of the next summer, they spent in a place called Little Pidgeon, Indiana. The came across the palins in the Captain Thomas D.C.Howell Co. They left Inidian June 7, 1852 for Salt Lake City and arrived there September 27, 1852, Father [William Henry Toone] being about 10 years old. Father was born March 4, 1842 in Leamington, England. Because of the large company and not many wagons, Father at the age of 10 walked all the way across the plains."




Details and Sources for the pioneer John Toone on his first journey with his wife Emma and their small children.

Details and Sources for the pioneer John Toone on his second journey with the Martin Handcart Company.I haven't posted any excerpts from this journey as you can find many with references to John Toone by following the link above. When I have more time, I'll select a few to post.

Excerpt about the trail from a diary kept by Gibson Condie - I've included a great story of how singing kept them safe in their travels in John Toone's first journey to Salt Lake with his young family. (some spelling edits have been made)

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
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Source of Trail Excerpt:
Condie, Gibson, Reminiscences and diary, 1865-1910, 33-35.
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Read Trail Excerpt:
. . . .Bro' Orson Hyde Came along and organised us in a Company[.] we were in Captain [Thomas Charles Davis] Howell Company[.] he had charge of 100 wagons. they were divided into Fiftys and tens. Bro McCulloch [Levi McCullough] was the Captain of our ten. Bro [William] Banks was in our ten also Bro Simeon [Simmons Philander] Curtis and Joseph Hunter and others. it was advisable by Bro Hyde. that the hundred wagons should go as a body until they pass the Hostile Indians. the Pawnee] and the Omaha nations.


We continued our journey as a Whole body[.] it Looked a grand sight to see the wagons at camp. circle. if they were attacked by the Indians, they were ready. they had their guards out. we had guards to watch our cattle every night[.] at nights we would have prayers. everything had to be in order[.] no confusion whatever[.]


On Sundays they would rest and have meetings[.] generally good attendance[.] good spirit prevail. they took an Interest to help an assist one another. Sometimes they would have a little amusements. dancing &c[.] everything to cheer and Comfort them on their journey.


I remember well on the Camping ground. a few Omaha warriors with their chiefs came into camp[.] they were very Friendly. we were very Kindly to them[.] gave them something to eat and some presents. we knew we were passing through their Country[.] we wished their good will. Captain Howell called the Brethren together and wished the saints to sing a Hymn or so. to the Braves or Warriors. We sung. O stop and tell Me Red Man. Bro John Toone** took the lead of singing. the Indians were in the Center of the Circle[.] the singing took like a charm upon them. Singing about there Forefathers. they listened very attentively[.] the spirit of God rested upon them. there murderous spirit. seemed to vanish away. from them. they were pleased in our company and thanked us. we did all rejoice to see the good spirit prevail. while we were singing of a fallen race. while their forefathers was once a white and delightsome people and Chosen people of the Lord. I wonder why people has been Blessed[.] has seen and know for themselves while our Saviour visited them on this land. the good Teachings and counsels he gave to them. and the Lord Blessed their labours. And now we see the results of disobeying the Commands of the Lord[.] a curse Came upon them. a dark skin and became indolent, plunder and Steal. &c[.]


We continued our journey crossing the rivers with flat Boats taking our wagons across[.] swimming the Cattle across Elk Horn and Loup Fork rivers[.] all went safely across[.] we continued our march. we would continually see Indians from the war path having Scalps with them. hanging on poles the ones they have Killed[.] they are continually fighting while they are out a hunting. they intrude on there lands[.] Kill their game &c. they then fight it out. generally they wield the Bow and arrow. The arrows are poisoned / their weapons. And guns if they can get them. they would trade anything for a gun. sometimes for exchange poneys. Buffalo robes. Buckskins. &c[.] we Bought or traded[.] gave them some sugar and flour for buckskins, moccasins Buffalo robes &c.


We arrived at Fort Laramie. we had traveled along the north side of the Platte river and now we are in Sioux Country a powerful tribe numbering many thousands warriors[.] it is said to be the most powerful tribe from the Missouri to the rocky mountains[.] it is a Beautiful Country all around the Platte river for hundreds of miles. they were no white families living around. only a few mountaineers living amongst the Indians[.] their living. buying furs, robes, Buckskins and take them to the cities and do well. we would sometimes go Hunting for Buffalo five or six miles from the roads. it was a grand sight to see hundreds of them grassing on the plains. when they run it made the earth almost tremble before them. we Killed a number of them. generally we had horsemen to follow them up. they ran so swift. we would follow the horsemen[.] they would shoot them down. we then would cut the best parts[.] the hind quarters and pack it in sacks and carried for miles until we get to camp. we Cut the meat in slices and hang the meat before a slow fire. until it was dry. I was very fond of it. when it was cured. it was so sweet I could be eating all the time.

We were camping alongside the Platte river. I went with a large tin pail. for water to the river[.] I reached over the Bank. the earth gave way. Bucket and I went into the river[.] it was very deep. I regained my senses. I tried to get the bucket but it was gone. I had done a little swimming while i was boy. I was very thankful to my Heavenly Father that I was spared from being drowned.

We continued our journey and passed Pike peak a high mountain. and traveled and came to the sweet water. we crossed this stream fourteen times. our cows and oxen were, sore footed, the hoofs cracked. we used. Tar for there hoofs. we passed tar springs on the road side and continued traveling until we came to Green River[.] we all crossed in wagons. the river was low. it is a very fine country round there[.] we continued and came to Fort Bridger. there were no Soldiers. only Bridger himself a trader or mountaineer[.] there were around Bridger a large Band of Indians very peaceably[.] had ponies to trade and Buckskins &c. I understand. Bridger did say if the Mormons could raise a bushel of corn in Salt Lake Valley he would give them a thousand dollars. the Mormons did raise corn. in the valley. I do not suppose Bridger gave the money[.]

We traveled until we came to Bear River[.] crossed in wagon and traveled down Echo Canyon until we came [to] Weber river before us[.] they were a chain of Mountains for us to cross. we cross the river in wagons and traveled up by Hogs Back and got into East Canyon Creek[.] traveled up the stream until we came to the foot of the Big Mountain[.] we traveled up the Big Mountain five miles[.] very rocky, until we got to the top[.] we could have a view part of Salt Lake valley and descended down the other side. until we came to the foot of the Little Mountain. we again traveled up the mountain[.] had to double until we got to the top about one mile and half in length. we could have a good view in the valley. and descended down the little Mountain[.] lock both wheels all the way until we came to emigration Canyon [.]

We passed Captain Smoot's Company[.] they were Camping[.] we traveled down emigration until we came to the bench[.] now we had a beautifully view of the Valley and its surroundings[.] I marveled to my[s]elf. how the pioneers could find their way cross the mountains making roads cutting brush and timber to come to this beautifully Valley. surely the Lord opened their way for them to pass through the chain of mountains and Canyons[.] our Company of 13 wagons arrived in Salt Lake Valley September 2:1852.

The rest of the company would be in a few days[.] we left part of the Company 500 miles back. it was considered to do so on account of feed and being scarce water to go in small companies. I consider we had a good time, free from sickness[.] enjoyed Health & Strength traveling over one thousands miles across the plains[.] we had no trouble with the Indians whatever. generally very friendly toward us. I am very thankful to my Heavenly Father for preserving us


This is a link to the lyrics of the hymn that was sung. While it was sung long ago, it no longer would be appropriate to sing today. I include it for the historical reference only.

http://www.losthymnsproject.com/14_Texts/O_stop_and_tell_me_Red_Man.pdf