Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Charles Walker Hyde

Bryce Fifield traces his fascination with Mormon pioneers who had disabilities to an experience he had as a bishop in 2006 accompanying the youth of his Minot, N.D., ward on a commemorative handcart trek in Martins Cove, Wyo. He was beset with plantar fasciitis, a painful condition afflicting the sole of the foot.Left to bring up the rear of the handcart train, and suffering pain in his foot and back, Bishop Fifield paused at a trail marker and reflected on the some 70,000 Mormon pioneers who had passed that spot.

"If they made it, I can do it too," he vowed. Through the rest of the trek, recurring questions came to his mind: How many of the pioneers had disabilites, rheumatism, arthritis? How did they deal with it? What can be known about them?

Speaking June 14 in the Church Office Building auditorium for the monthly Church History Library Lecture Series, Brother Fifield, who has a doctorate in special education and rehabilitation and directs the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University, told of the historical study of these pioneers with disabilities he has made since he was on that trek and shared biographical sketches of several of them.

Though it seemed at times like "hunting for a needle in a haystack," his effort has paid off, he said, as he has studied the pioneers during the time period beginning April 15, 1847, when the vanguard party moved out from Winter Quarters, Neb., under the leadership of Brigham Young, and ending June 25, 1869, when the coming of the railroad to Utah ended the covered-wagon era. He has studied the Church's Overland Trails database, pored over the four U.S. censuses of 1850-1880, examined family histories and enlisted the help of "some really smart people."

In the first 30 years of the settlement of the Salt Lake Valley pioneers with disabilities accounted for a tenth of a percent of the whole; during the 1880s, the percentage went up to four-tenths of a percent, he said. He has, to date, been able to identify and develop profiles of about 380 people.

For example, there is Charles Walker Hyde, born in 1814 in New York state with a congenital defect in his feet an ankles.

"His parents didn't expect him to be able to do much in life or get married," Brother Fifield said. But they enjoyed his company and "sweet disposition."

His older brother, Heman, was the first to join the Church and served in Zion's Camp under the leadership of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Later, in 1836, the family also joined and moved to Kirtland, Ohio. They eventually ended up in Nauvoo with the main body of the Church and joined the 1846-47 exodus to the Salt Lake Valley.

Charles was 34 when the family left Winter Quarters for Salt Lake City under leadership of Elder Lorenzo Snow, and though he had some mobility with crutches, it is likely that Charles rode in one of the wagons.

In 1852, he married, and a year later, at the age of 39, was ordained a patriarch under the hands of President Brigham Young and his counselors in the First Presidency. During his service in the Salt Lake Stake, he gave more than 7,000 patriarchal blessings before his death at age 77.

Displaying a projected photograph of Brother Hyde, Brother Fifield said, "I would love to have looked into his eyes, to have gazed on his face. He seems like a happy fellow, with serenity, peace and wit."

For the full article click HERE.



James Hyde
Betty or Betsy Pennock

Thomas Hyde
Ann Hyde
Patrick Hyde
Mary Hyde
Heman Hyde
James Hyde Jr
Elizabeth Hyde
John Hyde
Rosswell Hyde
Sophia Hyde
Jarom Hyde
Ezra Isreal Hyde
Betsey Hyde
Hiram George Hyde
William Henry Hyde
Stephen Hyde
Jacob H. Hyde
Dennis Hyde

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