image of Harriet Orilla Austin Shaw

Francis, 1 Jul 1841
Harriet Orilla (Stephens), 23 Feb 1843
Robert R., 15 Apr 1845
Polly Maria, 5 Feb 1848
John, 17 Feb 1850
Baby, Name and date not given
James Henry, 9 Feb 1852
Pamelia / Pyremelia, 8 Dec 1853
Jedediah Morgan, 24 Nov 1855
Myrtillo Jr., 29 mar 1858
Wilbur, 20 Feb 1860
Welcome Austin, 29 Oct 1863
Crandel, 19 Feb 1866
BIRTHDATE: 3 Feb 1820
Cowlesville. New York
DEATH: 21 May 1891
prob Ogden. Weber. Utah
PARENTS: Robert R. Austin
Harriet Rhodes
PIONEER: Fall of 1848
Lorenzo Snow Wagon Train
SPOUSE: MyrtillMyrtillo Shaw Snr.
MARRIED: 17 Sep 1839 Vermontville, New York
DEATH SP: 20 Jan 1896
Ogden, Weber Co., Utah

Harriet was born in Cowlesville, Wyoming County, New York. She was known as Orilla. She was the first of twelve children born to her parents. Little is known of Orilla's childhood.

On September 17, 1839, Orilla was married to Myrtillo Shaw at Vermontville, Franklin County, New York. They became the parents of thirteen children; two died in infancy.

In June, 1842, Orilla and Myrtillo were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her parents were not too happy about their baptism. There was still a loving relationship between them.

Orilla and Myrtillo and their family joined the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. They experienced the opposition of the mobs to the Mormons. Orill Orilla was standing in the doorway of their home one day when a mob rode by. One of the men shot at her; the bullet lodged in the door casing, narrowly missing her.

In 1846, they left Nauvoo. They were able to take one cow, one ox, an old wagon and what they could carry in a bag. The group arrived in Council Bluffs, Iowa and there they stayed for a time, preparing for the rest of the trek to Utah.

Later, in the Spring of 1848, they joined the Lorenzo Snow Wagon Company for the crossing of the Plains. On the trip, Myrtillo became ill and could not go on with the rest. The next morning Orilla saw a man standing on the wagon tongue. He knew she had a very ill husband. He gave her a bottle of medicine and promised her that her husband would get better. She took the medicine and put it in the wagon. but the man had disappeared. Orilla gave Myrtillo the medicine: the next day he was better and they were able to go on and join the others. Orilla always said that she felt the man was an angel from heaven.

Arriving in the Valley in the Fall of 1848 they settled in Salt Lake City. Orilla got blood poisoning in her arm and hand. She lay very ill for two weeks with her arm and hand so swollen and painful she could not move them. She got very little sleep. She was alone in the house one day when she heard a voice telling her to fry some onions and put them on her arm. When her husband came home she told him about hearing the voice. He followed the instructions put the onions in a cloth sack and tied it around Orilla's arm. In one hour she was at ease and asleep. The swelling came down and she was completely well.

In 1850, they moved to Odgen. They followed the Saints to Provo when Johnston's Army came. When they returned their home was flooded by the Ogden River. Orilla and the children got out on the backs of the oxen.

Orilla carded and spun all their wool and made her children's clothing; from their underwear to their outer clothing. They raised sugar cane. Sometimes they only had Sego Lily roots to eat.

Even though they had hard times Orilla knew that the Lord would provide. Her faith, courage and devotion were of the highest, both to her family and to her religion. She sacrificed and endured everything for the Gospel, but she was always happy with her lot. She knew without a doubt that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was true. She always said that she wanted her name to be in the "good book" if she only gave a dime.

Her last moments on earth were peaceful and her last words to her family were, "Be faithful, be faithful." She passed away on May 21, 1891 in the last old home she had helped to build. Her funeral was held in the Mound Fort Ward. It was filled to capacity for she was highly respected and much loved.

A brief and Incomplete History of Myrtillo Shaw and Harriet Orilla Austin Shaw.

Prepared by a grand daughter, Orilla Shaw Norseth.