Henry and Sarah Field
By Melissa Spelts and Marge Becraft
Henry Field and his wife, Sarah Baker, sister of William Evans Baker (his story was told in the October Issue), arrived on the Hooper flats just before winter set in 1872. Henry Field and his family emigrated from England to Utah because they too felt ostracized because they belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they also wanted to join William Evans Baker and his family. Their family consisted of four children, including a daughter who was married and had a two-year-old son. Her name was Louisa and her son was Samuel. Louisa’s siblings were Frederick William age 14, Hyrum 6, and Orson who was 4 years old. Orson later became the first postmaster of Roy.
The Field family became sick with the smallpozz right after they arrived from their long journey. While on the ship Sarah helped take care of a sick little girl and later contracted the disease. She was sent to live in the Herd House so she wouldn’t spread it to her family. The Herd House belonged to Captain William Hooper and was used for his men while they were taking care of his live stock. He had moved his cattle up into southeastern Idaho, leaving the herd house abandoned. It was winter so it was so cold. She had blankets stretched across the doorways and windows to keep the winter out. Not only was Sarah cold and sick, but she was also five months pregnant. Being all alone in that house without her family must have been a very difficult time.
Unfortunately, having Sarah quarantined didn’t keep her family from getting sick. William, Hyrum and Louisa all got sick and died. Elisha Millard buried their bodies one by one. Miraculously, Henry recovered. Leaving Samuel Hadley (Louisa’s son) and Orson still living.
Sarah remained confined in the Herd House until her baby (Henry Jr.) was born in February 1873. That must have been the only bright light in what was a most terrible winter for the family.
As soon as Henry felt well enough, he moved to Roy and became the second settler of the city. He built a one room house and added a lean-to later.
Henry also operated a coal yard on the railroad spur running through his property. The coal was shipped from the Castle Gate mines. This was a boon to the settlers of Roy because now they would have a source of fuel to keep warm in the winter months.
Henry was one of the workers who helped build the canal from about 16 miles up Weber Canyon to Roy so they would finally have a source of water. He provided teams and scrapers to help with the work of building the canal.
Henry and Sarah are buried in the Roy City Cemetery.