Catherine Ann Pluck

19 June 1795 – 5 May 1878

        The first German immigrants in America came seeking land and the promise of religious freedom. They had heard that both could be found in the newly chartered colony of Pennsylvania, which was governed by a Quaker, William Penn. William Penn's mission to Holland and Germany in 1677, touched off the large Dutch and German emigration to Pennsylvania. These German Quakers felt an immediate kinship to their new home, since Pennsylvania's rolling hills and fertile plains resembled the terrain of the land they had left behind. Descendants of the first German immigrants are called Pennsylvania Dutch - an Anglicization of the word
"Deutsch" meaning "German."

        Among the descendants of these German Quakers were Adam Pluck and his wife Melane. Adam was born sometime around 1750 in Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He and Melane, who was a couple of years younger, were married around 1779 and had a family of seven children. Their youngest daughter, Catherine Ann who went by Ann, was born on June 19, 1795 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

        When Ann was twenty years old, she married Jacob Cloward in February of 1815 in Pottstown, Chester County,Pennsylvania. Their marriage date is based on a pension request from Catherine Ann Pluck Cloward dated 23 September 1876 in which she states, "Mrs. Ann Cloward, the declarant, does not remember the precise date of her marriage, but is positive it was about the first or beginning of February 1815 and before the 17th of said month."

        Their first two children were born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Catherine Ann (19 May 1816) and Charlotte (6 Oct 1818). There next five children were born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; Daniel Henry (30 Aug 1820), William (4 Mar 1822), Thomas Poulson (10 Dec 1823), James Mason (17 Oct 1826), and Jacob Jr. (19 Jul 1828). In 1829 they moved to Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware where their last three children were born, Albert Wilson (9 Jun 1830 – 9 Feb 1831), Hannah Jane (12 Oct 1833), and Elizabeth Ann (11 Oct 1836).

        While living in Wilmington, their oldest daughter, Catherine Ann, died at the age of 19 in February 1835. During that time, the first of their children were married. Daniel Henry married Ruth Bailey Logan on October 15, 1840 at Unionville, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

        It was in Wilmington that the Clowards were introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first to join the church were Daniel and and his wife in 1841. Ann and Jacob were baptized in April of 1842. During this time, all their children who were of age were also baptized. By the fall of 1843 the entire family moved to Nauvoo, Illinois to join with the Saints.

        In Nauvoo, Ann and Jacob were well acquainted with Joseph Smith, the Prophet. One morning while the family was having breakfast, the Prophet came to their home. After exchanging greetings and visiting with the family, he called Jacob aside to talk to him. A few moments later Jacob returned and told Ann that the Prophet had told him that he needed money – right away. "We must help him," Ann said. The Prophet placing the money in a basket, left with the understanding that if he was able to pay it back, he would do so – if not, he was welcome to it. In time, the money was repaid.

        When the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum Smith, agreed to go to Carthage and surrender themselves to the authorities, the Cloward family watched, with others, as they rode out of town. Ann told Jacob and the children that they would never see the Prophet alive again. Her prophecy proved to be true when the news of their deaths reached Nauvoo.

        They joined the crowd at the Mansion House, which was Joseph Smith's home, and there viewed the bodies lying side by side in their caskets. The long line of mourners took a last look at their beloved Prophet. Later, the family was in the congregation that saw the transfiguration when the mantle of Joseph fell upon Brigham Young.

        Then came the night when the mob came to their home and demanded that her husband, Jacob, denounce Joseph Smith as a prophet. He had to choose between the burning of his home or denying the gospel. They burned his home, barn, sheds, granaries, and killed his animals. The Cloward family fled for their lives in the cold, wet night. Jacob suffered a nervous breakdown as a result and never recovered from the devastation the mob placed upon his family.

        There was another wedding in the family as Charlotte married Elias Harmer on November 16, 1845 in Nauvoo.

        They left Nauvoo in the Spring of 1846, with the main group of the Church and stayed at Winter Quarters, Iowa until 1851. It was in Winter Quarters that Thomas Poulson married Mary Page on March 25, 1847. In his early twenties and newly married, Thomas was called by Brigham Young go to west to the Rocky Mountains with the advance company. In September, of that same year, he returned to assist his father's family in preparing for the trek across the plains. However, they did not leave immediately and months extended into years before the family was ready to make their way to Zion. During this time, William married Rebecca Ann Searle on March 4, 1848 at Winter Quarters.

        The family talked considerably about leaving and trying to make a living in the west. The grown sons and daughters were somewhat apprehensive of the effect the move might have on their father. They finally spoke to their mother. "Aren't you afraid,' they asked, "that Father might die before we get there?" Her answer was, "If he does die, he will have his face pointed toward Zion!"

        In the summer of 1851, Jacob, Ann, and Hannah Jane, along with Charlotte and Elias and their two children started west in a company of 72 wagons. The name of the company with which they traveled is not known, nor is the date they began the journey.

        They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1851 and settled in Provo. They set about establishing a home and preparing a place for the rest of the family when they arrived the following year. By being extremely careful, they had enough provisions to keep them until spring.

        Soon after they arrived in Provo, Hannah Jane married George Baum on October 20, 1851. Jacob died shortly after arriving in the Utah Territory on December 29, 1851 in Provo, Utah at age 61 of tuberculosis, or consumption as it was called then. The rest of the family arrived in the Utah Territory the next year as planned and settled in the Provo area. They lived through some frightening experiences during the Black Hawk Indian War.

        Ann kept her home in Provo and raised her younger children. Jacob, Jr. married Susannah Mendenhall on December 5, 1853, Eliza Ann married William Oscar Sperry on May 3, 1855, and James Mason married Ellen Adelia Redding on February 8, 1857 and he then married Mary Ann Baum as a second wife on March 16, 1861. That same day Ann received her endowments and was sealed to Jacob by proxy in the Endowment House.

        Along with the marriages of her children and the births of her grandchildren, Ann also experienced additional sorrows. A couple of years after arriving in the territory, Daniel received serious brain damage from a fall and spent the rest of his life in an asylum. Hannah Jane died on November 21, 1860 at the age of twenty seven, leaving four small children without a mother, and Charlotte died on May 23, 1870 at the age of 56

        Ann spent her later years living with first one of her children and then another. In 1860 she was living with Hannah and in 1870 she was living with Eliza Ann.

        Ann was a dedicated member of the Church with a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. After living as a widow for twenty seven years, she died at the age of 82 on May 5, 1878 in Provo, Utah County, Utah and was buried next to her husband in the Provo cemetery.

* * * * * * * *

Sources of Information

-Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, Volume 1

-The life story of Jacob Cloward by Madoline Cloward Dixon

-Genealogical records