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Emma Sheen
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Birth: Jun. 2, 1854
Herefordshire Unitary Authority
Herefordshire, England
Death: Jun. 26, 1856
Polk County
Iowa, USA

Emma was the daughter and fourth child of Eliza Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Sheen of England. Her family had immigrated to America with extended family and other LDS Church members.

They were recorded as the "Shinn" family aboard the sailing vessel, Enoch Train.

They reached the harbor of Boston on 30 April 1856. By the next day, they were on a boxcar train for New York. It was then westward to Iowa City, where they arrived 12 May. There, they prepared for the historic first crossing of the Great Plains by handcarts. They would walk the 1400 miles to the Salt Lake Valley, pulling a cart loaded with their provisions.

They left in the company led by Captain Edmund Ellsworth on 9 June, 1856.

Their immediate family was Mary C. "Polly", who would turn 8 in just six days; she was their first child.
Next was Louisa Eliza, 7; Ann, 4; and Emma, who had just turned two a week prior.

Little Emma died on the "Great Plains", in what is now Polk County, just two days after the death of her tiny cousin, Sidney Sheen. The account of her death and burial was recorded by Archibald Walters in his diary, [June] "26th. Traveled about 1 mile. Very faint from lack of food. We are only allowed about 3/4 of a lb. of flour a head each day and about 3 oz. of sugar each week. About 1/2 lb. of bacon each week. Made a child's coffin for Sister Sheen - Emma Sheen aged 2 1/2 years." [this age conficts with actual birthdate].

This event is also documented in the official journal of the first handcart company, Appendix A. transcribed by A. Galloway, secretary to Captain Edmund Ellsworth:

"June 26th. The camp moved off...thirty past six a.m. Traveled ten miles. Forded the River Racoon....passed the town of Balley [Bailey?] At 12 p.m. we again forded the Raccon and camped on the west bank." [this would be southwest of the mouth, where the Racoon meets the Des Moines River in Polk County, west of what is now Des Moines City, Iowa ]....."Emma Shinn [Sheen], daughter of Robert and Eliza Shinn, died this morning of whooping cough, age two years and eight months." [This discription of her age confilicts with family record also, so it is my belief that the family birthdate of 2 June 1854 may actually be a christening date].

The trail journal record continues, "June 27th. Emma Shinn was buried this morning twelve feet southeast of a walnut tree on the west bank of the Racoon, nearly opposite the sawmill. At seven a.m. the camp rolled out......."

By this time our sad group was minus three of their beloved family - their grandmother and two grandchildren.


A blanket wraps your tiny form,
As if it's presence can make you warm.
We cannot stop our freezing tears,
Nor think of future, empty years.

Nor even take the time to grieve,
For we must surely take our leave.
The handcarts slowly move along;
We, among the tattered throng.

We trudge along, behind the carts;
Choking sobs, with broken hearts.
Blinding sleet now numbs our pain;
Our only hope, "We'll meet again".
...............~Shirleen C. Farley 2011

Family links: 
  Robert Sheen (1825 - 1894)
  Eliza Elizabeth Taylor Sheen (1826 - 1901)
  Louisa Sheen Reed (1850 - 1919)*
  Ann Sheen Davis (1852 - 1906)*
  Emma Sheen (1854 - 1856)
  James Robert Sheen (1857 - 1939)*
  Eliza Ellen Sheen Clifford (1859 - 1939)*
  Matilda Sheen Hanks (1863 - 1952)*
*Calculated relationship
Non-Cemetery Burial
Specifically: Buried on the Great Western American Plains
Created by: history4sure
Record added: Aug 18, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75108056

Angel Day hugs Lilí Princess,
- Arleta💕
 Added: Jun. 26, 2016

- Legsie11
 Added: Jun. 26, 2016
Angel Day Blessings.
 Added: Jun. 25, 2016
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