Charles Bird, Senior
Charles Bird, son of Benjamin Freeman and Marabe (Marabah) Reeves Bird, was born at Flanders, Morris County, New Jersey, September 19th, 1803. He was married to Mary Ann Kennedy on March 22nd, 1826. They lived for a while at Elmire, Tompkins County, New Jersey, then moved to Hector. They lived there until 1838 and then moved to Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri. He joined the Church soon after it was organized. He was one of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s bodyguards. The men took turns on guard; when it was Charles’ turn to go on guard, the man on guard before him would ride to the top of a hill close to the Bird home, take off his hat and wave it. Charles would wave back; that was his signal to take over.
The day the Prophet was killed was the day for Charles to go on guard. The man rode to the top of the hill, got off his horse, knelt on the ground with his head bowed. Charles knew then that the Prophet was dead. He was ordained January, 1839 to the First Quorum of Seventies, by Joseph Young, on Sunday, December 22nd, 1844 the Thirteenth Quorum of Seventies was organized in Nauvoo, with Charles Bird senior president. They suffered hardships along with the Saints. Their home was burned several times and they would have to start over again. On February 3rd, 1846 he was the first person to cross the Missouri River on the ice. President Brigham Young requested him to remain and help the Saints sell their property and get teams and wagons to emigrate to Utah. He and his family came to Utah with the Milo Andrus Company in 1850. They left the Missouri River on June 3rd, 1850. The company consisted of two hundred and six persons and fifty-one wagons.
He settled at Springville, Utah, then moved to St. George to help with the settlement, lived there a short time and then came back and lived at Cottonwood, Salt Lake County, near (Great) Salt Lake City. While living there he married Sarah Ann Dunsdon, an English girl, February 15th, 1853 by President Brigham Young. He served as counselor to Bishop Smoot for four years. In the spring of 1859, he and his family moved to Cache Valley and settled in Mendon. He was among the first family to settle there. They lived in a fort in their wagons until they could build dugouts and log houses. His home was always open to them until they could get a place to live. His team with son Bradford, as driver, crossed the plains five times with immigrants.1
1. Charles Bird, Sr., Author Unknown, unpublished manuscript.
2. Diary Entry, Anna Adelia Bird, daughter of Charles Bird, Sr. and Sarah Ann Dundson. (Anna Adelia Bird was born 9 July 1867, so this is not a first hand account of the event.