Margaret Stewart Gardiner Utah Pioneer of 1868
Born Kincleven, Perth Scotland July 27, 1849
Died Salt Lake City , Utah February 4th 1917
Compiled by Clarence L. Gardiner, son, 1957
Eva Winifred Cushing (Daughter)
Richards Camp – Daughters Utah Pioneers
Read May 13 1960 Richards Camp DUP N Center Count SLC Utah
MARGARET STEWART GARDINER Pioneer of 1868
Margaret Stewart Gardiner, wife of Robert Gardiner, and daughter of Robert Stewart and Elizabeth Stewart, (maiden name) was born July 27th 1849, in the small village of Kincleven, Perthshire, Scotland. She was the sixth child in a family of seven, and spent her early childhood in one of the most beautiful and romantic regions of Scotland. Kincleven is situated a few miles north of the city of Perth, at the head of the Firth of Tay and west of Dundee, being a parish in the county of Perth, of about 800 inhabitants. Near this town a castle, said to have been built by Malcom Canmore is located, which for many centuries was an occasional residence of the kings of Scotland, and from which many of their charters are dated. The scene of Shakespeares’s great tragedy, “McBeth was located in this vicinity. The town is in the Presbytery of Dunkeld.
The STEWARTS are of Norman blood. A gentleman by the name of Alan, a Norman, accompanied William the Conqueror in to England, and his descendants became prominent in the history of Scotland, one being Lord High Steward of that country. The stewardship became hereditary in his family and was assumed by his descendents as a surname, with the single change of the final letter “D” to at “T”. Mary, Queen of Scots is said to be responsible for the change of the original name. She was educated in France and wrote her name in the French language, in an alphabet to which there is no “w.” Stuart is the French orthography of the name. Thus originated the name of Stewart. The Stuart badge is the thistle, which has been accepted as the national emblem of Scotland. Margaret was descended from two separate lines of the Stewart ancestry.
The family of Margaret moved to Dundee, and she worked in the linen mills. Having joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with the other members of her family, she was active in the branch, and there met the young man who was later to become her husband- Robert Gardiner, (born October 4th 1845.) He was apprenticed in his youth to the trade of confectioner and baker. Their friendship ripened into love, and in 1868 they decided to leave their native land and emigrate to Salt Lake City, he at the age of 22 and she being 18. They engaged passage on the sailing vessel, the EMERALD ISLE, which was to set sail the 20th of June 1868. It was on this vessel, as it was about to sail, and on the 20th of June, that Robert and Margaret were married, the ceremony being performed by Elder Aurelius Miner of the Liverpool office.
(Robert brought with him to America a younger brother, Alfred Gardiner, born 19th August 1858, died 1st March 1932, who was engaged in the same trade and spent many years in the employ of confectioners in Salt Lake City, He was married to Susan James, and left a large and highly respected family of children.)
Some of the vicissitudes of the sea-voyage are related in the sketch of the life of Robert Gardiner. However, Margaret has left this brief account of the entire journey from Liverpool to Salt Lake City: “Had a very bad voyage on board the Emerald Isle, with 37 deaths. Nearly eight weeks on the ocean. Coming to Echo canyon we stopped, where brother Gardiner worked on the railroad in John W. Young’s camp, under William Snow. Came into Salt Lake in the latter part of November 1868, on a load of coal, as far as the First Ward, then walked from there up to the Salt Lake Theatre, where we found friends who took us in until we found a place to stay.” While in New York she had to dispose of many choice articles of linen and other cherished possessions which she acquired in Dundee, on account of the strict restrictions placed upon the emigrants, to lighten the weight of the luggage they were permitted to carry on the long journey over the plains and mountains, Much has been written of the terrible hardships and harrowing experiences of the Pioneers while crossing the plains, “Where bones of the dead men lay,” but Margaret never referred to any of these unpleasant things. Of course, the railroad had been completed to Fort Benton, Nebraska, and from that point ox teams were attached to the 54 wagons, which reached Slat Lake City, September 15th 1868. She often related how she and her young companions walked beside the teams, plucking wild flowers which bordered the road in rich profusion, as they sang the songs that carried their memories back to their native land of “brown heath and shaggy wood,” or the songs of Zion, which had awakened in their souls the anticipated beauties of their prospective home in the mountains. Many years later one of her children asked her: “Would you not like to go back to Scotland?” “No,” she answered,- “O, maybe for a visit; but this to me is the land of Zion, and here I wish to live in the fellowship of the Saints of God.”
The first home of Robert and Margaret Gardiner in Salt Lake City was in the 20th ward. Mr. Gardiner immediately began to set up in his trade of confectioner, and by thrift and ceaseless endeavor was soon able to build a fine two story home in the 14th ward, where some of the older children of the family of ten were born. After acquiring a substantial fortune for those times, the family moved to a farm about six miles west of the city, where the younger members of the family were born. In June of 1894 they again moved into the 14th ward and in the latter part of 1902 moved into the 11th ward, at 1243 Alameda Avenue, which continued to be the family home until the children married and moved away, and it was here that Margaret spent her last days.
Life on the farm, while the children were young, brought them in more intimate association with their mother. The social and educational opportunities were extremely limited. The school was one large room, accommodating all the classes, up to and about the fourth grade, with but one teacher to conduct them all. Brighton ward was the center of all religious activity and the children were early taught by precept and example to give reverent attention to their duties in the church. Mr. Gardiner being absent from home a great deal of the time on some of his business ventures, the mother created a splendid home environment for her large family, the members of which can never forget the deep moral and religious sentiments which were taught them by her unwavering solicitude for their welfare. Her voice was beautiful and melodious and she seemed never to forget the words of the songs she had memorized; the folk songs of her native land, as well as those popular songs of the day, Her hands were never idle, knitting and mending, but finding time to affiliate with the Relief Society, and visit the sick and needy.
Due to the great depression of 1893, in which the family fortune was lost, and moving into the city, life began practically anew in an endeavor to bring order out of chaos. Margaret was aware that each loss has its compensation, and she determined to take advantage of those opportunities for educational and cultural refinement which were available in school and Church. Her activities in the Relief Society continued, and she early sought the companionship of some of the noble women of the Church, Emmeline B. Wells and others in the “Reapers’ Club,” and such groups. Having been taught in early childhood to sew a fine seam, and other domestic arts, she associated with other fine women to have these taught in the public schools. Among these women were Mrs Hyrum S, Young, Elizabeth Stevenson, Mrs Wilcox, Mrs Dougall and Ruth May Fox. The children were placed in the Fremont School, where some of the most progressive methods of education were used. As the older children were now able to supplement the income, and economic conditions improved, the family moved to the Eleventh ward.
Here she was actively engaged in Relief Society and Temple work, and while on an assignment to visit a member of the ward about 1915 she fell on the icy sidewalk and broke her ankle. While recovering she contracted pneumonia, and about two years later was afflicted with erysipelas, which was a contributing cause of her death, which occurred February 4th 1917 at the family home. She was buried from the Eleventh ward chapel February 7th. She lies peaceably in the City Cemetery, beside the graves of her husband and some members of her family. She was 67 years and 6 months old at the time of her death. She left the following brief sketch of her life and activities, written about 1910:
Born Kincleven, Scotland, July, 27, 1849.
Baptized by James Ure, 25th January 1865.
Confirmed by Hensen Walker.
Schooling commenced at four years of age.
Married to Robert Gardiner June 20th 1868.
Endowed at Endowment House 9th August 1869.
Patriarchal blessing by John Smith.
Vocation Home and Art.
Height 5 feet 4 inches,
Chest 38 in.
Hair brown and gray.
General condition of health, very good.
Interests, home making, Relief Society and Temple work
As the mother of five boys and five girls, only three boys and three girls living; one son died the father of three boys, the three others died in childhood.
Her son, Clarence, who compiled the foregoing account, has written his description of her, and his tribute to her memory:
I presume my earliest recollection of my mother was when I was about four years of age, when she would be 36. I feel justified in saying she was a woman of exceptional beauty of form and feature, or natural dignity and quiet demeanor. Her features were fair and clear, with a natural beauty of color in her cheeks. Her hair was dark brown, with a natural wave, crowning a high intellectual forehead. Her eyes were dark blue, nose slightly aquiline, Her intellectual attainments were, I believe, far above the ordinary. Having commenced school at the age of four, she maintained scholarly pursuits during her entire life, being a profound student of religion and history. She was a great lover of the Scriptures and her knowledge of the Bible was exceptional in its scope and completeness; and with the knowledge she had given deep and serious study to the doctrines of the Church, which gave her a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the Gospel. As a child, in her native land, she won a prize in the school for reciting one of the Psalms, containing over 100 verses. Her ability to retain in memory what she studied was remarkable. Mother was a constant companion to her children, and joined with them in their games and studies, taking part in the “spelling bee” and enjoying with them the school songs in the evening. In our penmanship lessons she was never too tired or disinterested to show her interest, and often, as a gesture of encouragement to us, she would sit at the table and improve her own writing, Memory cannot erase the impressions of her beautiful voice, singing old songs of her native land, and others which were so dear to the children of the last generation’ and many a night we fell asleep to the strains of such songs as “Wait for the Wagon, Old Black Joe, Johnnie Sands, Ye Banks and Braes Bonnie Doon,” etc.
“To every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.” If I could recognize her “special gift of the Spirit,” I would say it was the Spirit of Discernment, for her judgment we keen and accurate in appraising the character of others, but always accompanied by charity and no show of jealousy. Her admonitions to the boys and girls in choosing their companions proved to be discriminating and beneficial to their future best interests. If she ever had any homesickness for her native land, she never expressed it, for to her, this was the land of Zion, the “Mountain of the Lord’s House, exalted above the hills, the home of the prophets of God and the abode of those who were heirs of salvation.
Her life entitles her to a mansion in the realms of bliss, where she will be associated with an innumerable company of Saints.”
Clarence L. Gardiner 1957