The Photo Request has been fulfilled.


Sidney Sheen

At Sea
Death 24 Jun 1856 (aged 2 months)
Polk County, Iowa, USA
Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: Buried on the Great Western America Plains
Memorial ID 75104872 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Sidney was the son and first child of Mary Shields Jaynes and James Sheen Jr. of England. His father and mother had immigrated to America with their extended family and other LDS Church members.
They were recorded as the "Shinn" family aboard the sailing vessel, Enoch Train, where Sindey was born on the Atlantic Ocean.
They reached the harbor of Boston with their tiny babe only 2 weeks old. By the next day, they were on a boxcar train for New York. It was then westward to Iowa City, where they would prepare 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 handcart company led by Captain Edmund Ellsworth on 9 June, 1856.

Tiny Sidney died on the "Great Plains", in what is now Polk County, near the abandoned Fort Des Moines. This area later became the city of De Moines, Iowa.

The account of this baby boy's death and burial was recorded by Archibald Walters in his diary and also in the official journal of the first handcart company, Apendix A. by A. Galloway, secretary to Captain Edmund Ellsworth:

"June 23rd......good camping ground, plenty of wood and water, four miles from Fort Des Moines. Passed a small town this morning seven miles from the Fort. June 24th. The camp rolled out at thirty past six a.m. Traveled eleven miles. The roads a little exceedingly warm - hard on the handcart boys. Pitched tents at thirty past one p.m.......Sidney Shinn [Sheen], son of James and Mary Shinn Jr., died this morning. Buried thirty yards south of the bridge on Four Mile Creek, on the east bank, under an elm tree."

The broken hearted parents, grandfather, aunts, uncles and cousins carried on as best they could, weary of their losses, but more were to come.


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 Members



See more Sheen memorials in:



  • Created by: history4sure
  • Added: 18 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75104872
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sidney Sheen (17 Apr 1856–24 Jun 1856), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75104872, ; Maintained by history4sure (contributor 46997739) Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a Buried on the Great Western America Plains.