Question: What special skill did Henry H. Hoskins develop, which he continued to use after he settled in the Salt Lake Valley?
Answer: Henry H. Hoskins was born December 1, 1807 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, the oldest child of the eight children of Eli Hoskins and Harriet Richardson. Henry married Fidelia Skinner on September 28, 1832, in Windsor, and they had two children.
Henry listened to missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized. He seems to have been the only member of his family to join the Church. There doesn’t seem to be a record of what happened to Henry’s wife or children or of Henry living in Nauvoo, but he is at Council Bluffs, Iowa, with the Saints in 1846.
At Council Bluffs, Henry Hoskins, age 38, wagon master and carpenter, enlisted in the Mormon Battalion as a private in Company E. They left Council Bluffs in the spring of 1846 and traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Henry became ill and was assigned to the Sick Detachment. They returned to Pueblo, Colorado, where they spent the winter of 1846/47. In the spring, the Sick Detachment traveled to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving there a few days after Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in July 1847.
After helping do some work in the Valley in preparation for the many Saints who were headed to the Valley, Henry continued on to California with a group of other Saints. He spent a couple of years there, working in the gold fields. Henry left Sacramento, California on 14 July 1849 in the Thomas Rhoades Company. Thomas Rhoades led a company of almost 50 people from Sacramento, California, to the Salt Lake Valley. They returned with substantial amounts of gold they had discovered and mined in California.
Henry was married to Julianna Sims (Davis), a widow, on December 14, 1853 in Salt Lake City by Brigham Young. Julianna Sims was born February 4, 1807 in Westminster, England. They had no children. When Henry was 49 years of age, he married both Elizabeth Hall and Philena Daniels on March 19, 1857. They were married by Brigham Young. Elizabeth Hall was born in 1837 in Birmingham, England. Philena Daniels was born in 1838 in Caldwell County, Missouri.
Henry and Philena had two children born in Salt Lake City: Brigham Heber Hoskins (1858-1870) and Harriet Susan Hoskins (1860). Philena died on July 9, 1865 at the age of 27. Their son Brigham, at age 13 years, was accidently and fatally shot by another boy. Henry and Elizabeth had four children: Henry (1857), Mary Elizabeth (1860-1937), Sheffield (1861-1864), and Editha (1864-1881).
The following notice was published in the “Deseret Evening News’ of Dec 12, 1879:
“Another gone – Brother Henry Hoskins, an old member of the Church, well known in this community, died at his home in the 17th Ward, last evening, about 5 o’clock. He was born in Connecticut, joined the Church at an early day, was a member of the Mormon Battalion and served faithfully in that capacity, and remained firm to the last in his belief of the divinity of the Gospel as revealed through Joseph the Prophet. For many years he has been an employee on the Temple Block, was a skillful artisan in wood, and well liked by all his associates. He was upwards of 70 years of age.’ Henry Hoskins died on December 11, 1879, at age 77, and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.