Question: How many years did David Grant serve on his mission to England in 1852?
Answer: David Grant was born on July 21, 1816, at Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, to Robert Grant and Isabella Milne. When David was eight years old his father moved the family to West Collinston Mills. At the age of fifteen, he entered a tailoring establishment as an apprentice, which trade he took up as his life’s vocation. He finished his apprenticeship at the age of nineteen and at that time moved to Edinburgh.
In the year 1839 he left England for America, landing in New Orleans on the 12th day of July. He immediately traveled to Louisville, Kentucky where his brother Robert was already established in business. After three or four months he journeyed to Payson, Adams county, Illinois and the following year David heard and accepted the gospel and was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder David Evans.
David joined the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, and for the next five or six years lived a life parallel to that of other Saints of the time, working earnestly at his trade. “In Nauvoo, David Grant owned property in the Nauvoo Section, Block 139, lot 4, that is bounded by Main Street and Sidney Street. His also had a tailor shop, held jointly with George Watt, and he is listed as the Superintendent of the Tailors Association. He owned a lot in the Kimball 1st section, that is bounded by Young Street on the north and Gordon Street on the west.’ (Ned Sweat)
The first entry in his day book, which has been preserved by his family, is dated Nauvoo, June 9th, 1842, and is an itemized statement of tailoring work done for many of the Saints including the names of Chauncey Higbee, William Higbee, William Clayton and Angus Cahoon. These first entries aggregate $88.27 with the notation below the balance, “Rec”ted for Tithing.”
David Grant was married in Nauvoo to Mary Ann Hyde on September 18, 1843. As a result of the hardships encountered on their journey to Winter Quarters, Mary Ann Hyde Grant passed away, leaving David with two small children. David accepted the assignment to go with Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company, over a thousand miles of trackless desert in search of a new home. Shortly after his arrival in the valley in July 1847, he returned east with Brigham Young and brought his children safely to Utah in the fall of 1848.
David then married to Beulah Chipman, a recent convert from Upper Canada, on September 24, 1848. Three years later, in 1851, Beulah died after giving birth to two children. On March 8, 1852, David married Mary Hunsaker in Salt Lake. They had seven children together, but didn’t start their family of seven children until David returned from his mission. In September 1852, David was called on a mission to England, returning to America four years later, on the ship Samuel Curling, leaving April 18, 1856 with a large company of converts, and arriving in Salt Lake in October 1856. He labored as a home missionary that winter in Salt Lake.
In the Day Book left by David Grant there are many interesting items such as a charge made to Brigham Young for the cutting of a buffalo coat, fifty cents; making coat $3.50; and on the same page credit to Brigham Young of $2.00 for four bushels of corn. There appears repeatedly a charge for cutting pants, 25 cents, or cutting a cloak or coat, or simply a vest, fifty or seventy-five cents; which tells the story of thrift, and necessary economy practiced by the Saints, the good housewives apparently making their husbands suits after the tailor had cut them.
Daily notations throughout the journal indicate a regular exchange of merchandise for work, and work for work, the receipt of very little cash being recorded. There are credits for day labor, wood, pistols, cabbage, loads of brick, hauling posts, pickets, fence rails, laces, flour and meal, veal and sundry items, a Mr. Blunt being given credit for five dollars for five days’ work. On page 35 of the day book is posted “Vest making and trimming, $2.62 1/2; to repairing coat and shoes, .37 1/2 cents and, on page 72, “making a coat for W. Chipman $5.33 1/3; making coat for John Neff, $6.66 2/3.
David married Elizabeth Williams on December 21, 1856, in Salt Lake City, and they had eight children, the last one being born four months after David died.
David Grant is perhaps better known through his inspiring verse, for between stitches and after long hours of confining work, he was given to penning his thoughts which portray his real character, a character of devotion and sincerity. He was fifty-two years of age at the time of his death at Mill Creek, Utah, on December 22, 1868. He was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.