There is another piece to the “westward ho” story of those Giffin barrels mentioned in my previous blog. It appears very likely they did accompany Mormon wagons on the trek to Utah. At least we know Mary Jane Hoffstatter had a brother Elias Solomon Hoffstatter (1828-1903) and he married Luanna Bird Bybee. The significance of this is Luanna’s father was Byram Bybee an early Mormon pioneer to Utah.
Byram Bybee was a shoemaker by occupation and also a farmer. He and his family were living in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844 the same year as Mary Jane Hoffstatter’s marriage to Isaac Giffin. That was also the year Joseph Smith was murdered in Nauvoo and Luanna and her family attended the funeral.
The Bybee’s then moved to Missouri where Luanna married Elias Hoffstatter in 1847. Elias and Luanna Hoffstatter eventually settled in Davis County, Iowa but most of Luanna’s family went west to Utah. In fact, Byram Bybee, a man of many talents, built the wagons for his family make the trip. Is it any wonder we surmise the goods and supplies in those wagons were carried in Giffin barrels?
Thanks again to Margaret Schweda for alerting me to the Bybee family and their interesting history as well as the connection with our Hoffstatter family.
October 6, 2013