Lydia Bryant Hines

  • Birth 27 Mar 1811
  • Death 14 Mar 1870
  • Burial Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA
  • Plot OLD 180-02
  • Memorial ID 27402529

daughter of Royal Bryant, Esq., wife of Gustavus Hines

"Mrs. Gustavus Hines died on Tuesday last, at her residence in Salem, as we learn by note from Rev. H.K. Hines, to whom a telegraphic dispatch was sent, announcing the sad intelligence. Friday (yesterday) was fixed as the day of burial. One year ago, March 1st, Father Leslie bade adieu to earth; since then Mrs. Parrish, and now Mrs. Hines, both identified with the early missionary history of Oregon are numbered with the pious dead." PCA Mar 19, 1870

[The following was transcribed from the Pacific Christian Advocate, Vol. XVI. No.. 14, 2 Apr., 1870, by H.J. Peters, third great grandnephew of Gustavus Hines.] "Outline of the life of Mrs. Lydia Hines--She was born in Winfield, Herkimer Co., N.Y., March 27th, 1811. She was the daughter of Royal Bryant, Esq., and connected with the large family of Bryants in Massachusetts. Her father and mother were both praying people, and noted in community for their ardent and uniform piety. These traits of character led them to commence the moral and religious training of their children in early infancy, and continue it so long as they remained under the paternal roof. As a result they had the satisfaction of seeing all their children walking in the ways of religion.
Though often concerned for her spiritual welfare, the subject of this memoir did not receive permanent religious impressions until she arrived to maturity. She was fully awakened to a sense of her spiritual destitution in 1828 under the labors of Rev. Ephraim Hall, of precious memory; and after passing through a most severe struggle in breaking away from the gay world, at the shrine of whose pleasures she had been an ardent devotee, in September of that year, she bowed before the family altar at which her father and mother were knelt, and besought them to pray for her.
The prayer of faith at once ascended to the throne, and while in the fullness of her agonizing heart she was repeating the words of Dr. Watts: "Here, Lord, I give myself away, ‘Tis all that I can do," the precious answer came, and peace and joy filled her soul. From this it will be seen that her conversion was remarkably clear, and knowing from this bright experience that Christ hath power on earth to forgive sins, she at once became an ardent laborer in the Lord's vineyard. She immediately united with the M.E. Church, to the communion of which she was soon followed by her parents, who for many years had been devoted members of the Baptist Church; and also by all her brothers and sisters who had arrived to adult years. She was married in the church at West Winfield, Oct. 17th, 1830, by Rev. Calvin Hawley, to Gustavus Hines, then a private member of the church. In the following winter, by sleigh, through accumulating snows, they removed westward to the distance of 250 miles, and settled in the woods of Cattaraugus Co., Ellicottsville township. Here her surroundings for two years were indeed of a very humble though honorable character. The log cabin, rough on the exterior, but ornamented within by love and industry, in connection with the furniture of the shoe-bench, and pressboard of the tailoress—a small clearing in the forest, where beech, maple, linn, oak and hickory stumps gave evidence that the axman had commenced the process of opening a farm; these and such like characteristics of a wilderness country just beginning to yield to an advancing civilization, marked the scenery in the midst of which she and her youthful companion found themselves in the summer of 1832. In October of this year her husband received his first license to preach the gospel, and was appointed by his presiding elder to travel the circuit on which they were living; and by this strange providence she very unexpectedly found cast upon her the responsibilities incident to the life of a Methodist itinerant preacher's companion. In all her calculations for the future, she had made no reckoning for this; and for a while it was a source of the severest trial. Itinerating as a Methodist minister's wife, was to her synonymous not only with crushing responsibilities, but with want, destitution, mendicancy. The prospect appalled her, and she recoiled in its contemplation. By a few months, however, of mingling with people, during which she contributed largely to the promotion of an extensive revival, she became convinced that the call of the Church was indeed the call of God: and accordingly yielded the controversy and prepared herself as best she could to become a co-laborer in the gospel field.
In this capacity, the following are the outlines of her travels. Beginning with the Franklinville circuit, Genesee Conference, in Western New York, the next field of labor was the old Ridgeway circuit, 100 miles northward; the next Pekin, Erie Co., embracing Niagara Falls; from thence to Otto, Cattaraugus Co.; and then in the following year to Lodi, and the next to Pike village in Wyoming Co. On each of these fields of labor there were extensive revivals, in each of which she took an active and very efficient part. During her seven years residence on these fields of labor she witnessed the conversion of about 600 souls, and in counsel, exhortation, and altar work, was perhaps the most successful laborer employed. Besides this, possessing the rare faculty of adapting herself to circumstances, she was remarkably popular with all classes of people among whom she was called to move. Early in the spring of 1839 she was called upon to endure perhaps the most severe trial of her life; the severing of all ties that bound her to the land of her nativity, the committal of herself to the treacherous storms of ocean, and in connection with others, to seek, as a missionary, a far distant home on the then almost unknown shores of the great Pacific.
A few months were employed in visiting her friends and bidding them what she then supposed her last adieu. This accomplished, with her husband, she then repaired to New York city, and the evening of Oct. 9th, 1839 found her for the first time on the deck of a ship. Nearly eight months of ocean life, during which she was permitted to look in upon Brazil, Chili, and the Sandwich Islands, acquainted her with the lights and shadows of a sea voyage in a crowded vessel, of 2,200 [must have been more – perhaps 22,000?] miles. June 1st, 1840 found her at Vancouver, and exchanging the ship Lausanne for a Chinook canoe, by which craft the waters of Oregon were then navigated, she arrived on the 15th of the same month at the old Mission stand, situated ten miles below the present city of Salem. Early in the spring of 1841 it was her lot to occupy a small shanty located near what is called the "old parsonage" in said city, and thus she had the honor of being the first white woman that lived in the original precincts of the present Capital of the State of Oregon. Thrown as she was into the midst of savages, and often witnessing evidences of their hostile dispositions, and hearing of their murderous designs, she entertained at times great fear that she and her family would yet fall victims to savage fury—and the more so as she now had under her protection a young and helpless sister. One day, at the dusk of evening, in the fall of the year, while the neighborhood was agitated by rumors of Indian outbreaks, there appeared immediately in front of the parsonage 12 mounted savages of the Molalla tribe, painted and accoutred in the most hideous and frightful manner, and rushing up into the very dooryard, all dismounted, giving evidence at the same time that their visit was not friendly. Mr. H. went out to meet them, and approaching the one who appeared to be their leader, offered him his hand in token of friendship. He refuse the proffered signal, and immediately the whole band set up a horrid laugh. This demonstration of hostility so alarmed Mrs. Hines that she resolved to take her little sister, and if possible, effect her escape to a house on the north side of Mill Creek, now North Salem, occupied by the families of Messrs. L. H. Judson and James Olley, the only house within many miles. She took a circuitous route for a distance down the little stream running in the rear of the parsonage, so as to keep from the sight of the Indians as long as possible. Sometimes leading little Julia by the hand and at others lifting her in her arms, she struck across the prairie northward, struggling through the tall grass with her precious burden, while expecting every moment to be pursued and feel the violent hand of a savage laid upon her. On reaching the creek, not daring to extend her flight to a foot bridge a short distance below, she dashed straight through the current, bearing her sister in her arms. Not being pursued, she gained the house in safety, and collecting all the adult persons belonging to the families, she returned with them through the darkness to look after the fate of her husband. The savages had in the meantime encamped in [the] rear of the parsonage, where they remained quietly for a few hours, and then before daylight decamped, bearing with them as booty some provisions and a valuable horse, the property of Mr. H. Here was the scene of Mrs. Hines' cares and labors to Dec. 1843. In the spring of 1842, by the death of Mrs. Jason Lee, their infant daughter, but three weeks old, was taken by Mrs. Hines from the bed where its mother, just deceased, still reposed, and conveyed to her own home. This was the providence which resulted subsequently, when Mr. Lee was on his dying bed, in his full commitment of this beloved daughter to her sole guardianship and training during the period of her minority. For reasons which need not be inserted in this sketch, Mr. Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Hines and family, left Oregon in Feb. 1844, intending to proceed to the Eastern States. But on arriving at Honolulu it was found that there was no vessel which would sail for any of the Atlantic ports for several months. It was however ascertained that a small Hawaiian schooner about to sail for San Blas, on the coast of Mexico, would take one person on board. And Mr. Lee being exceedingly anxious to proceed, took passage in hope of being able in some way to get from Mexico to New York: while Mr. Hines and family, including Mr. Lee's daughter, decided to return to Oregon. It was here, on the Island of Oahu, in the midst of the solitudes of the great Pacific, and after the little company had spent a whole night in prayerful solicitude, without any prospect of ever meeting again this side of Heaven, that Mrs. Hines received more fully the important charge committed to her by Mr. Lee. It was on the 28th of Feb., 1844, that with flowing tears and words of tenderest sympathy and love Mrs. Hines received the daughter from the arms of the weeping father, and made a solemn pledge before Heaven, that all a mother could do for a daughter she would do, God being her helper, for the motherless child that then in her heart of hearts she adopted as her own. Mr. Lee never saw his child again, and she was never separated from that second mother until a few days since, when that mother took her flight to Heaven.
According to arrangement Mrs. Hines with her family returned again to Oregon, and arrived at Oregon City the last of April. Residing there for the best part of two years, she was remarkably active in Church interests, but especially in searching out the destitute among the emigrants who crossed the plains, and in affording the needed relief. During the years 1844-5, in company with her husband, she visited every portion of Oregon then occupied by whites, for Missionary purposes, traveling on horseback and in canoes.
In September 1845, for reasons that need not be here appended, it became the duty of Mrs. Hines to leave Oregon again and return to the States. Accordingly, she with Mr. H. and their two adopted daughters bade a second adieu to the wooded mountains of Oregon, and on the Brig Chenamus performed another voyage to the Sandwich Islands, where they arrived on the 15th of October. This was her third visit to these Islands, where in all she spent upwards of three months. Providence so ordered that from the Islands, she had the opportunity of crossing the Pacific Ocean to the coast of China and of spending upwards of two months among the Celestials at Hong Kong, Macao, and Canton. From thence, in the good ship Leeland, the Chinese and Java Seas were traversed, the Straits of Sunday penetrated, the Indian Ocean crossed, the Cape of Good Hope doubled, the Atlantic Ocean again traced, and on the 5th of May the missionary family arrived in safety at New York city.
The following September found the subject of this memoir a resident in the town of Victor, Ontario Co., to which her husband had been appointed, who during all these years had retained his connection with the Genesee Conference. Her travels for the next eight years may be summed up in few words. They were removed from Victor to the village of Pike, thence to Covington, thence to Lancaster, and last to Spencer's Basin [later known as Spencerport]. Her uniform character during these years was that of a faithful, devoted, useful, Methodist preacher's wife. While residing in the latter place, in 1853 [should be 1852 – Gustavus' transfer was published in the paper in Dec. 1852], very unexpectedly to her husband she informed hin that she would be glad to return again to the Pacific Coast, and there spend the remainder of her days. Sympathizing in this feeling, Mr. Hines asked of Bishop Waugh and obtained a transfer to the Oregon Conference, with the privilege of returning to the country by way of the Plains. The journey across the Plains, which was performed the same year [actually next year, 1853], was one of great interest to Mrs. Hines though attended with great toil and exposure. It was also marked by many thrilling incidents, all but one of which must here be passed over. The company to which she belonged were nooning on Burnt River where the grass and herbage were exceedingly dry. While she was engaged in preparing dinner, the sun shining brightly on the earth, she did not observe that the fire was running under her feet. Her dress, which was of cotton, took fire and she almost instantly became enveloped in flames. Some one exclaimed "Mrs. Hines will burn up." Mr. Hines hearing this and looking up saw that not an instant was to be lost; and, springing at once to the rescue, seized the burning dress with both hands, and with one effort tore the entire garment from her person, and casting it upon the ground, in one moment it was reduced to ashes. She has always believed that she was thus saved from the terrible fate of being burned to death. Their first place of residence after reaching Oregon in October, 1853 was on the Vancouver circuit; and in the spring of 1854 by virtue of the appointment of Mr. H. to Salem she became a resident of that city. On this year she received a third orphan [this was Marie Smith] into her family and into her heart: and in her education and training she ever manifested the care, solicitude and affection of a most devoted mother. Here, for fourteen years she has had a settled home, though from time to time she has extended her travels to various parts of the State and Washington Territory. Wherever she has been she has not failed to leave the impression of her many excellencies upon all who understood her character. In this home she closed her highly useful and eventful life in great peace, March 14th, 1870. Though her last sufferings were great, and protracted, her patience, her faith, her hope were strong and unwavering. Her joy in the Lord at times was triumphant. "All is peace;" "All is bright;" "Praise the Lord" were some of her last expressions. The dying hour of the Christian! ‘Tis the most solemn, yet it is the most sublime, the most glorious hour of their lives. N. Rounds [The Rev. Nelson Rounds, D.D. was a first cousin of Gustavus. Nelson's father, Alfred Round, was a younger brother of Gustavus' mother, Betsey Round. Different generations of the family varied in their spelling of the surname with or without the terminal "s."]

Bio source: Oregon Pioneers Website


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  • Created by: Patty C
  • Added: 7 Jun 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 27402529
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lydia Bryant Hines (27 Mar 1811–14 Mar 1870), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27402529, citing Lee Mission Cemetery, Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Patty C (contributor 46926670) .