Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jane Sant


Jane Sant Birth: 8 March 1846 in Middlewich, England

Death: 6 February 1918 in Cleveland, Idaho, USA

Jane was born to John Sant (11 January 1811-15 October 1887) and Mary Shaw (2 January 1814-21 August 1877). Their family lived on the Mercy River. Young Jane is described as friendly, likable and a quick learner.

When missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints came to England, the family was baptized and began to prepare to make the voyage to America. When her friends and schoolmates heard about this, Jane was turned away from school and her friends stopped associating with her.

Once the family reached the Mississippi River, they joined up with a wagon train. While they had a wagon to carry their goods and food, everyone had to walk. On one occasion, Jane became tired and lagged behind:

“Jane, being not too strong one day, lagged behind. The Indians in the West were on the warpath at this time, during the latter part of the Civil War, and so the wagons were pulled into a circle at night to form a corral for the protection of the oxen. When supper or evening meal was prepared, Mother Mary said: ‘Where is Janie?’ All looked at each other and Margaret who helped to drive the cows of our camp said, ‘O mother, she was ill and faint and the last I know of her she had lain down by some bushes along the road. She must have gone to sleep or still worse, fainted with fatigue and weariness.’ All were excited for the Captain of the wagon train had warned them that very morning they were to stay close to camp for they were in Indian country and there were bands that were on the war path. Father John rushed to inform the captain of Jane's absence. While he was calling for ten volunteers to go back along the trail and for other men to prepare for an Indian skirmish, for they may have stolen Janie as was frequently known to have happened to former immigrants coming west. Father John with a prayer in his heart and on his lips started back, for it was now growing dark. Mother Mary called her other children together and knelt by the wagon and if ever the hearts of a family and prayer was poured out to one's maker this little group of Saints surely did seek God our Eternal Father at this time. Others of the camp prayed there under the stars in an untamed wilderness for the girl, or child as she seemed, and for her deliverance in safety.

In the meantime the sun had gone down behind the western plains and Janie had lost consciousness but the coolness of the evening and the loud blood-curdling howl of the wolf herd aroused her, imagine this city-raised girl's fear as she awakened and sensed what had happened for many were the stories she had been told about the wolves. The Indians and what had really happened to others who had crossed these desolate plains to get to Zion. John was praying and crying out ‘Janie, My Janie, answer me,’ above the long drawn out wailing howls that were piercing the air, there came a loud voice.

She arose and tried to run towards the direction of the welcome sound, when from weakness and fear she fell, just as her father had spotted her form in the fast growing darkness. He caught her up in his arms, though she was now blooming into a young lady, and started back to camp with his burden of love. They had not gotten far when the men from camp came to their rescue and aided them on their way.

When Mary Sant saw her poor pale sick child she fell on her knees with John and the family and offered prayers of thanks for Janie's safe return.”

It was also on this journey that Jane met and fell in love with Nathan Smith, a handsome, brave frontiersman. Upon their first meeting Jane declared that she was going to marry him, to her sister and mother.

Jane Sant and her Brothers

Once the family reached Utah, they settled in Smithfield, where Jane’s brother had come to live many years before. Here she was able to meet her beloved Nathan Smith again and they were married on 3 October 1861. They were married by John Sant but made the trip to the Salt Lake Endowment House immidiately after to be sealed.

Together, the couple had twelve children: William Smith, Mary Smith, Eliza Smith, Nathan Smith, Margaret Smith, John Sant Smith, Thomas Smith, George Albert Smith, Alice Smith, Maria Smith, Harriet Ann Smith and Sarah Smith.

After Californian Armies annihilated the Natives in the area, Jane and Nathan moved to Banida, Idaho (not realizing that they were settling outside of Utah).

Jane was very intelligent and active in her community. She worked with the women's suffrage movement and wrote poems and stories for her children.

She and her husband lived apart in the latter years of their lives, as verified by their grandchildren and seen on the 1900 United States Census.

Census for Jane Sant, Nathan Smith Jr & Hannah Hansen 1900

Census for Nathan Smith 1900

Nathan moved back to Utah, while his wife continued living with her grown children in Idaho.

Jane Sant's Gravestone

Jane was living in her daughter’s home when she suffered a stroke and died.

Her body was moved back to Smithfield where her husband had already been buried.



Her obituary ran in the Smithfield Sentinel:

Smithfield, Cache County, Utah, Friday, February 15, 1918

Jane Smith wife of Nathan Smith, and a Pioneer of Smithfield died at her home at Cleveland, Idaho, on February 6th, after an illness following a paralytic stroke which she received on January 23rd. Her ten living children were at her bedside when the end came.

Nathan Smith came to Smithfield in the year 18?? and married Jane Sant October 3, 1861, just after his return from the Missouri River where he had been for a company of Saints. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were also Pioneers of Idaho. Jane Smith, or Aunt Jane as she was commonly called was the daughter of John Sant and Mary Shaw, and was born March 8, 1846 in Middlewich, Cheshire, England, and was baptized a member of the Latter Day Saints Church when 8 years of age. She in connection with her parents, brothers and sisters came to Utah in 1861. They sailed from Liverpool April 16, 1861 on board the Manchester, a Sailing vessel. They arrived in New York May 18th, and traveled from there by [garbled] to Florence, Nebraska, and from there crossed the plaines by ox teams, arriving at Salt Lake in the latter part of August. She came to Smithfield with her brother George Sant, who went back a distance of 150 miles to meet them. Her marriage to Nathan Smith took place on October 3rd.

They lived here for ten years, the removed to Idaho in 1871 where she passed through all the trials and hardships incident to Pioneer life. She was the mother of 12 children of whom the following survive her: William Smith of Cleveland, Idaho, Mary Low Bevan, Canada, Mrs. Margaret Griffiths of Smithfield, Utah, Mrs. Thos. Smith of Sharon, Idaho, Mr. George A. Smith of Cleveland, Idaho, Mrs. Alice Sant of Grace, Idaho. Mrs. Maria Prescott of Cleveland, Idaho, Mrs. Anna Anderson Perry, Idaho, Mrs. Sarah Sant of Thatcher, Idaho, a daughter Eliza Smith, and a son John Sant Smith preceded her on the other side. All of the living children which she reared to man and womanhood are faithful members of the church and respected in the respective communities in which they reside. 56 grand children and 16 great grand children also survive her.

During the two weeks of her sickness following paralysis, Mrs. Smith was a times unconscious, but during consciousness suffered greatly until relieved on February 6th, when she passed beyond. Everything loving hands could do was done for her, and all of her ten children were at her bedside when the end came.

Funeral services were held at Cleveland Ward Meeting house on February 9th. Bishops Coun. Ole Hansen conducted the services. A large attendance of relatives and friends of the deceased met to honor her on this occasion.

Opening song ‘Tho Deepning Trials.’ Prayer by Bp. Henry Larsen. ‘Rock of Ages’ was the next song by the choir. The following speakers testified of the noble character of the deceased: Elders Wm. McGreager, James Hurd, Stake Pres. Mendenhall and former Bp. Henry Larsen who had been her Bishop for 14 yeas, and Bps. Coun. Ole Hansen.

In conformity with the wishes of the deceased her children and grand children sang, ‘I'll Praise My Maker.’ Closing song, ‘Shall We Meet Beyond the River.’ Benediction by Elder Jos. Perry. The body was brought to Smithfield on Saturday February 9th, and laid beside that of her husband Nathan Smith who died in 1908.”


  1. My stepfather was Don Sant. His parents Seth & Sarah Smith Sant lived in southern ID. My dad was born in Grace ID. in 1915. They were members of the LDS Church and loved by all in the community. Grandma Sant was truly a saint if ever there was one in our time.

    It's nice to see something of the Sant family on the internet. Not a very common name in Oregon.

  2. My stepfather was Don Sant, son of Seth and Sarah Smith Sant. They were from southern Idaho. My stepfather was born in Grace, 1915

  3. Eileen Albertson Petersen - Thank you to whoever wrote this detailed life sketch of Jane Sant Smith.
    My husband, Walter Ray Petersen, is a great-grandson of Jane Sant Smith. His grandmother is Maria Smith Prescott His mother is Jane Maria Prescott. The "Maria" is prounouned with a long "i" sound so his grandmother's name was known as "Grama Rie" and his grandfather Byrum Heber "B.H." was known as "Grampa Bide."
    We are currently serving as temple president and matron of the San Salvador El Salvador Temple - July 20, 2011 to Nov. 1, 2014. We will return home to Burley, Idaho.
    Our blog is (May 11, 2014)