Margery Smith was a 51-year-old widow from Dundee, Scotland, who was emigrating with five children, May (22), Jane (17), Mary (15), Betsey (13), and Alex(6); and a close friend of the family, Euphemia Mitchell (22). Margery’s oldest son, Robert Bain, had emigrated in 1854, where he went to Lehi, Utah, and farmed as a sharecropper. In a letter to his mother, Robert encouraged the rest of the family to emigrate.
After they saved enough for their journey, they spent six weeks on the ocean to New York, 10 days on trains and steamboats to Iowa City, and 3 weeks camped in Iowa City, the Willie Company Saints began the handcart portion of their journey on July 16, 1856.
In October, Margery and her family had to pull their handcart through the snow. One day, perhaps when they crossed Rocky Ridge, Margery carried six-year-old Alexander on her back for 15 miles because the snow was too deep for him to walk. Betsey recalled that through all these trials, “we never forgot to pray, and we sang ‘Come, Come, Ye Saints’ with great zeal and fervor. We realized that we needed the help of God to see us through.