In 1848, five-year-old Francis Ann Coon and her siblings tried to cross the Garner pasture, but the bull saw them and charged. They ran for safety. Her sister “Permilia…climbed [a] tree and…[her brother] John handed all the younger children up before he climbed up himself” narrowly escaping the animals wrath.1 The Coon family, in route from Nauvoo to Council Bluffs was selected to go with the first pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley, but then Brigham Young assigned father Abraham Coon to remain a few years in Pottawattamie “to run a mill and help provide for the Saints…”2 The “corn was scarce,” but the “bluffs, glens, and running streams” were “picturesque.”3 Francis observed her father, Bishop Coon,4 a former member of the Nauvoo Legion and guard to Joseph Smith, faithfully help operate the Indian Mill on Big Mosquito Creek and care for families whose men had gone to serve in the Mormon Battalion2 including William Garner, the likely owner of the bull.3 At this young age, Francis experienced the faith of her parents, their determination to be endowed in the temple before leaving Nauvoo,2 and their sealing in Winter Quarters.5 After fulfilling their assignment in Iowa, Francis and her family walked1 most of the way to Salt Lake to carry out their hopes and dreams in Zion. It was in Salt Lake where Francis would meet her future husband.
1. Hardman Biographies, Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin, 2009, pg. 53, Adapted from histories written by Lehi and Francis’ daughter Amelia Hardman Sadler, as included in Goble’s Coon book.
2. FamilySearch, “Rachel Caroline Coon,” Memories, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/KWNF-WQY, Biography by Handy, Annette Cooley, accessed 8/24/2017
3. Keatley, John H., History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, Chicago, O.L. Baskin & Co, 1883, pg. 330
4. “Settlements – Pottawattamie County, Indian Mill,” BYU The College of Life Sciences, http://winterquarters.byu.edu, Winter Quarters, accessed 8/24/2017
5. Newman, Jessie Coon, FamilySearch.org
6. “Pottawattamie County, Iowa Genealogy,” https://www.familysearch.org/wiki, accessed 8/24/2017