Eric McArthur Glines

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Question: Where did Eric McArthur Glines settle after having served in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?

Answer: Eric McArthur Glines was born on October 5, 1822, in Grafton, New Hampshire to John and Maria Matthews Glines. Eric was reared in Churchville, Ontario, Canada, where Maria had land that she had received as her dowry. John and Maria had a large family of twelve children. Eric was the fourth child in the family.

It is not known exactly when the Glines family became affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but a group of LDS missionaries visited the Churchville region in 1836, including Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Freeman Nickerson, Almond W. Babbitt, and Benjamin Brown. Churchville soon became an LDS stronghold. Among the list of converts was the “Glines family; Toronto, 1836.”

In 1838, William Law, who became a counselor to Joseph Smith in the Church presidency, brought a group of over 300 people from the Toronto area to the headquarters of the LDS Church, which was then in Missouri. Land records show that John and Maria Glines sold their land in Churchville, Ontario, Canada in the summer of 1838, so it is probable that the John and Maria Glines family were part of the company that came with William Law.

According to census records, all the Glines children seem to have come to the United States with their parents with the exception of Amelia Caroline, who had been adopted by her mother Maria’s sister and her husband. They had no children of their own and wanted someone to inherit their large estate.

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The group of Canadian converts brought by William Law arrived in Missouri at the height of the violence against members of their new church. Governor Lilburn Boggs issued an extermination order on October 27, 1838, which ordered that all members of the Church be driven from the state or exterminated. Mormon families were forced to flee. The Glines were probably part of the mass exodus to Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, where the people welcomed them and tried to help them. On the 1840 census, the John Glines family is shown in Adam’s County, Illinois. Apparently they then moved on to Hancock County.

Maria Matthews Glines, Eric’s mother, died about 1844 at the age of 44. After her death, John married Statira Sprague Ellis, a widow, on August 17, 1845. She had at least five children by her former husband. John Glines, Eric’s father, died sometime before September 1848.

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Eric Glines, age 24, married Mary Dabney Ewell on October 5, 1846. He left his fifteen-year-old pregnant wife and headed across the plains in 1847 with Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company. He was in the 7th Ten in the Company. He was appointed to be one of the foot hunters. When the company arrived at the Platte River, a ferry was constructed, and when the company left the river, President Brigham Young appointed nine men to remain at the ferry to assist the oncoming emigration and also to ferry other companies over who might be enroute to California, thus assisting to make the ferry self-supporting. Eric Glines was not appointed to this mission, but insisted upon remaining. Some days later, he decided to followed after the pioneers. This was a dangerous undertaking, and he was reprimanded by President Young. He was among four men sent back to guide the pioneer companies coming that summer and pilot them across the Green River in Wyoming.

Mary and her family

Mary and her family

Eric and his wife and family resided in Iowa and Nebraska area from about 1849 to 1859. Then about 1860 Eric moved his family to California where he pioneered in Sacramento Valley and reared a large family. Eric and his wife had ten daughters and one son, all who lived to adulthood. Eric and Mary had separated by 1870 censes, as Mary is living alone with her eight youngest children. Eric seems to have had some trouble with the law at this time. Eric died in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, California, on May 4, 1881, at age 58. Exact place of his burial is unknown.

Mary, was buried in the Hartley Cemetery, in Lakeport, Lake County, California. She had married a man by the name of George Jordan in 1879, so her tombstone reads Mary Jordan. She died April 17, 1903 in Lakeport.

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Source: “Biographies of the Original 1847 Pioneer Company,” Church News, Updated, 14 October 2009; Taken from “The Story of the John and Maria Matthews Glines Family” Written by Carol Walters and Pam Smith; FamilySearch.org; FindAGrave.com