Capt. James Brown had 13 wives, and 28 children. His family is as follows:
Martha Stephens, (first wife) was born 12 October 1806, in Davidson County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Alexander Stephens and Mary (Polly) Dailey or Daley. She died 28 September 1840, at Kingston, Adams County Illinois. She was a sister to Daniel Brown’s wife, Elizabeth Stephens.
Susan Foutz, (second wife), was born 14 February 1823, at Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She was the eldest child of Jacob Foutz (1800) and Margaret Mann (1801). She died 18 August 1842. She married James Brown, 25 January 1841, in Adams County, Illinois, by Ezekiel Roberts.
Esther Jones [Roper, widow] (third wife), born 17 January 1811, at Surry County, North Carolina. The Nauvoo Area marriage records lists her as Esther Raper. She was the widow of Robert Roper. She married James Brown 20 November 1842, at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. They were married by Stephen Abbott. She is buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, in Ogden, Utah. She died in c.1898.
Sarah Steadwell [Wood, divorced] (wife #4), born 31 March 1814, at Chester, Cayuga County, New York. She died 18 March 1893, at Trenton, Cache County, Utah. She married James Brown 1845. She was married also to: (1) Samuel Woods who left her in Sandusky, Ohio, (2) James Brown, (3) Ithamar Sprague, (4) Alonzo LeBaron. [She died 18 March 1893.]
Abigail Smith [Abbott, widow] (5th wife), born 11 September 1806, at Williamson, Ontario County, New York, a daughter of James Smith and Lydia Lucinda Harding. She was married first to Stephen Joseph Abbott (1804). [After he died in 1843,] she married James Brown 8 February 1846, at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. After Capt. James Brown married her daughter, Phoebe Abigail Abbott [in 1850], this wife divorced him. She died 23 July 1889, at Willard, Box Elder County, Utah. No children from this union. Capt. Brown helped take care of Stephen Abbott’s children.
Mary McRae [McRee Black, widow] (6th wife), was born 28 October 1829, at Copiah County, Mississippi. She was married (1) George Black, and had one son. She married Capt. James Brown 16 July 1846, at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, on the day he was inducted into the Mormon Battalion. She accompanied the Battalion as far as Santa Fe, then returned with her husband by way of Pueblo, Colorado. She was the daughter of Dr. Charles William McRae [McRee] and Mary Corkins [McCorkins] . She died 1 November 1907, at Ogden, Weber County, Utah, and is buried on the lot with her husband, Capt. Brown in the Ogden City Cemetery.
Phebe Abigail Abbott (7th wife), born 18 May 1831, at Hornellsville, Steuben County, New York, [the third child and] daughter of Stephen Joseph Abbott and Abigail Smith. [After her father’s death in 1843,] her mother married Captain Brown [in 1846, becoming his] 5th wife, but Abigail Smith [repudiated her relationship with] James Brown when he married this daughter [in 1850 over Abigail’s protest]. [Phoebe married James Brown 17 October 1850, when she was 19 years old.] He died September 30, 1863, when she was 32 years old.] Phoebe married (2) 9 October 1866, William Nicol Fife, her younger sister’s husband. Phoebe died 9 January 1914, at Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona.
Children [of Captain James Brown]: (All born at Ogden, Weber County, Utah)
Cecelia Henrietta Cornue [Robellaz, widow] (8th wife), was born 17 May 1825, at Corcellas Nechatel, Switzerland. She was a daughter of David Francois Cornue and Henrietta Egalite Baulard. She married (1) Charles Francois Robellas. He died crossing the plains. She married (2) Capt. James Brown, 26 December 1854, at Salt Lake City, Utah by President Brigham Young in his office. After the death of Capt. Brown, she gave her two children to one of his other wives, and returned to Switzerland to care for her ailing parents. She never returned to America. She died 14 September 1882, at Neuchatel, Switzerland. She was sealed to her first husband 27 March 1857 in the Salt Lake Endowment House.
Children: (All born at Ogden, Weber County, Utah)
Mary Woolerton (9th wife), born 30 March 1814, at Stock port, Cheshire, England. She sailed for America 12 March 1854 for the port of New Orleans, Louisiana, on the ship, "John M. Wood". She was probably in one of the companies that Capt. Brown led to Zion from New Orleans. They married 7 February 1855, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The marriage was performed by Heber C. Kimball. She was the daughter of John and Mary Wollerton. They had no children. [She died 16 January 1877.]
Darthula Catherine Shupe (10th wife), born 27 December 1834, at Wythe County, Virginia. She was the eldest daughter of Andrew Jackson Shupe and Elizabeth Creager. She married Capt. Brown, 17 February 1856, at Salt Lake City, Utah. She gave her birthdate at 1838 when she was sealed to James Brown. Shupe family records indicates it was 1834. She died 3 March 1911. No children from this union.
Lovina [Lavania Sarah] Mitchell (11th wife), born 22 July 1837, at Sheffield, York, England, a daughter of Hezekiah Mitchell and Sarah Mallinson. She married Capt. Brown, 7 September 1856, in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were later sealed in the Endowment House, 27 March 1857, by Heber C. Kimball. She married (2) 20 January 1865, John Horrocks. She died 16 March 1905. She was baptized 4 July 1847.
Harriet Wood (12th wife), born 21 December 1834, at Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, a daughter of Daniel Wood (1800) and Mary Snider (1803). She married James Brown, 17 September 1859. She was sealed to him in the Endowment House, 19 September 1861, by Daniel H. Wells, Brigham Young was a witness. She was married previously 22 November 1853, to Hiram John Yancey, born 31 December 1832, a son of Hiram John Yancey and Elizabeht Pratt. She married (3) 9 January 1871, David Lewis. No children of this union. She died 22 December 1873, at Bountiful, Davis County, Utah.
Maria Mitchell (13th wife), born 14 April 1843, at Sheffield, York, England, a daughter of Hezekiah Mitch and (1) Sarah Mallinson. She was a sister to Lovina Mitchell, wife number 11. She married Capt. James Brown, 19 September 1861, in the Salt Lake Endowment House. The sealing was performed by Daniel H. Wells, with Brigham Young as a witness. She married (2) Edward Gregory Horrocks, 4 June 1864, after the death of Capt. Brown. She died 19 February 1923. No children. Her family records indicate that she was born at Liverpool, Lancashire, England, and not at Sheffield, York, as her sister was born at Sheffield.
*A granddaughter of George David Black gives us this insight into the life of this step-son of Capt. James Brown. Lillian Felt of Brigham City, Utah, tells us that Mary McCree lost her husband and a number of children from an epidemic while living at Nauvoo. She was left with only one child, George David Black. She took this child to Brigham Young and told him that this was the only child she had left and she did not want to lose him. Their family history stated that Brigham Young took the little boy down to the Mississippi River and baptized him, then sealed him up against all sickness and disease. He came on to Utah with Capt. James Brown and lived in Ogden, Utah. He was later asked to help colonize the area of Oxford, Idaho. He married and had thirteen children, but never had a sick day in his life. In later life, he was killed in an accident.
[Bracket] notations for clarification. Minor spelling corrections made.
Page numbers left hand aligned-not centered.
Captain James Brown’s Wives and Children
By Belva Moyle
[Picture of Captain James Brown]
Married 1st: Martha Stephens
Married 2nd: Susan Foutz
Married 3rd: Esther Jones [Roper, widow]
Married 4th: Sarah Steadwell [Wood] (Div)
Married 5th: Abigail Smith [Abbott, widow] -- [No Children]
Married 6th: Mary McRee Black, widow
Married 7th: Phoebe Abigail Abbott
Married 8th: Cecelia Henrietta Cornue [Robellaz, widow]
Married 9th: Mary Woolerton -- She raised the two sons of
Married 10th: Darthula Catherine Shupe -- No children
Married 11th: Lavina or Lovina Mitchell -- No children
Married 12th: Harriet Wood -- No children
[text about Captain James Brown]
Children of 1st wife [Martha Stephens]:
JOHN MARTIN, b. 29 Jun 1824, No. Carolina.
Children of 2nd wife [Susan Foutz]:
ALMA, b. 1842. Lived 3 weeks.
Children of 3rd wife [Esther Jones Roper, widow]:
ESTHER ELLEN, b. 18 Mar 1849. Md. James Leech Dee. D. 26 Oct 1893.
Children of 4th wife [Sarah Steadwell (Div)]:
JAMES HARVEY, b. 8 Oct 1846/7. D. 7 Oct 1912.
Children of 6th wife [Mary McRee Black, widow]:
MARY ELIZA, b. 8 Nov 1847, Utah. Md. William F. Critchlow. D. 20 Mar 1903.
Children of 7th wife ([Phoebe Abigail Abbott ] daughter of 1st husband of 5th wife, Abigail Abbott Smith.):
STEPHEN ABBOTT, b. 22 Aug 1851. D. 22 Dec 1853. Child.
Children of 8th wife [Cecelia Henrietta Cornue Robellaz, widow]:
CHARLES DAVID, b. 23 Jan 1856. Md. 26 Jun 1879, Sarah Ellen Dixon D. 23 Aug
Submitted By: Belva Moyle
[Bracket] notes for clarification and explanation. Bold added.
By Erold C. Wiscombe
Martha Stephens, (first wife) was born 12 October 1806, in Davidson County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Alexander Stephens and Mary (Polly) Dailey or Daley. She died 28 September 1840, at Kingston, Adams County Illinois. She was a sister to Daniel Brown’s wife, Elizabeth Stephens.
See also the Stephens’ Ancestry.
spelling corrections made. Page numbers left hand aligned-not centered.
Husband: James Brown — Captain — Company C
By Shirley N. Maynes
Esther Jones was born on January 7, 1814 in Lyman, Sportanburg County, North Carolina. Esther was the widow of Robert Roper [Raper]. After her husband’s death she married James Brown on November 20, 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois. Perhaps they were acquainted with each other in North Carolina, the birthplace of James and Esther.
The Browns became parents of five children: August and Augusta; twins, born in 1843 and had died soon after their birth; Amasa born in 1844 and died in 1844 and Alice Brown born in 1846. All were born in Nauvoo, Illinois. The fifth child was born in Salt Lake City in 1849. Before the Browns left Nauvoo, they received their endowments in the temple on December 22, 1845.
James brought all of his families to Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1846. He had three wives at the time: Esther, Sarah and Abigail and their children. He also brought the children from his first wife, Martha Stephens Brown, who had died from complications of childbirth when her ninth child was born.
At Council Bluffs, James enlisted in the Mormon Battalion as Captain of Company "C". Before he left, on July 16, 1846, he married Mary McCree Black, a widow with a small son. Mary became one of the laundresses for the Battalion and took her son with her. Esther was left behind with her daughter, Alice. She had become despondent over the deaths of her children and over the fact that James had left her on the prairie. In a letter written on August 6, 1847 to one of his wives, Abigail Smith Abbott Brown, James asks her to visit and care for Esther. He admonishes her to lift Esther’s spirit, for he relates: "She has surely been afflicted since I have left."
On June 17, 1847, Esther joined the Isaac Haight Company who left for the Salt Lake Valley. The journey across the plains took about three months before she arrived in the Valley on September 19, 1847. She remained in Salt Lake living in the "Old Fort" until James came back from California in November of 1847. Mary Black Brown left the Battalion and wintered in Pueblo. She came to the valley on July 29, 1847 and was also living in the "Old Fort" when she gave birth to a daughter in the same year.
Upon his arrival in Salt Lake, James Brown purchased, from Miles Goodyear, a large tract of land for the sum of $3,000.00. Of this amount, $1,950.00 was money from the pay of the men from the Mormon Battalion. One of the reasons James Brown had gone to California was that he was authorized by the men to collect their pay that they had earned
while they were at Pueblo, Colorado. The purchase of the Goodyear Ranch was made upon the advice from the authorities of the Church. President Young had a definite plan for the colonization of Utah.
President Young sent scouts out to explore the surrounding area. John Brown was one of these scouts as he had accompanied Captain Brown west on his journey to California. John carried a report of Goodyear’s Fort on the Weber River, back to the Church authorities. Brigham Young gave instructions for Goodyear to be bought out. Not until Captain Brown returned with the battalion’s pay was there enough money in the colony to pay for the purchase of this land.
Before James Brown could purchase the Goodyear Fort, a treaty with Mexico had to be resolved. Edward Tullidge, an early Utah historian writes: "Miles Goodyear claimed a tract of land, which was a Mexican grant to him in 1841; commencing at the mouth of Weber Canyon and following the base of the mountain north to the Utah Hot Springs, thence west to the Salt Lake and thence east to the place of beginning. Goodyear had built a fort and few log cabins on the spot now occupied by the Union Pacific Freight Depot. This land was then Mexican Territory and was ceded to the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in February 1848. This treaty having been executed, was of supreme importance to the Mormon Colonists as it was the only remaining Spanish title in this territory."
Eventually, Esther and her daughter, Alice, accompanied James to Weber Valley. This area was first called "Buenaventura" but was changed to "Brown’s Fort" and then later to "Brownsville." In 1861 it became "Ogden" named for Peter Skene Ogden. There were three other families who helped to colonize the area besides James Brown: Henry C. Shelton, Louis B. Myers, and George W. Thurnkill. Two of James’ sons from his first marriage, Alexander and Jesse, came with James to help settle the area. They had joined the Mormon Battalion and were with him on the long march to California.
Esther became involved in caring for a large household. The first year in the Brown’s Fort, the men planted acres of wheat, corn, turnips, cabbage, potatoes and a few watermelons from seeds that James had brought with him from California. Included in the land purchase were seventy-five cattle, seventy-five goats, twelve sheep and six horses.
During 1848, there was very little food left in the Salt Lake Valley due mainly to the cricket infestation. Until crops could be harvested, James Brown sent his son, Alexander, and others to Fort Hall to purchase flour for his family. The party brought back six hundred pounds. James kept two hundred-pounds for his family and sent four hundred pounds to Salt Lake for the starving Saints. The family milked twenty-five cows each day and from this supply
of milk the women made cheese and butter. Much of the dairy products were sent to Salt Lake. In fact, the Brown family supplied the Saints with breadstuff, beef and dairy products that had come from the Brown’s Fort as the cricket infestation wasn’t nearly as bad in Orgen as it was further south. On March 18, 1849, Esther gave birth to a daughter she named Esther Ellen. Her daughter, Alice who had been born in Nauvoo, died in 1865 at age nineteen.
Before leaving for his mission, James was in the process of building a new twelve-room house. The house was a two story adobe with a long veranda running across the front of the house. When the house was completed his wives and family lived in it. It was located across from the Ogden Tabernacle.
James Dunn gives this description of life in a large extended family household: "James Brown was not only a polygamist, but everything around him was built on a polygamist plan. His barn was divided into separate apartments where each family could take care of their own cows. His yard were so arranged that each wife could have her own pigs and chickens to themselves., if they wished; or they could let them run together and divide up according to their own needs and wants, which was indeed the case in his family. His house was formed and designed to have each family in a separate part where they could live and be as independent of each other, if they wished to, as any single family could be. And all the improvements that he made, either indoors or out, were made after this plan. All shared alike in the supply of provisions according to the number in the family. A sack of sugar was divided into three parts and each got their quarta. A beef was killed with the same object in view. If a dress was bought for one wife, the others got the same. Besides, he gave each family a weekly allowance to buy the hundred and one nic-nacks that are needed in every house; all were treated alike as far as measures and weights could divide—and that was abundant as far as his limited means could go."
It is unknown when Esther Jones died or where she is buried.
Children of James Brown and Esther Jones Roper [Raper] Brown:
Information obtained from a history written on James Brown by Gladys Brown
White – found at the Utah Historical Society – 300 Rio Grande Salt Lake
notes listed by Shirley N. Maynes. Page numbers left aligned and
Provided by Randy J. Thompson
SARAH STUDWELL or STEADWELL WOOD was born March 31, 1814 at Chester or Genoa, Cayuga County, New York. Her father, Abram or Abraham Studwell or Steadwell, was a native of Fairfield, Connecticut, but moved to New York with his father, Gabriel Studwell, and his two brothers, William and Peter Studwell in 1798, and later took up land in Rye, New York. Emigrant Thomas Studwell of Massachusetts came from Kent, England to Connecticut and New York. His mother, Rebecca Sheffield, was a native of New York. Abram (Abraham) and Rebecca had ten children as follows:
They moved to Berlin, Huron County, (now Erie County) Ohio, about 1829 and later moved to LaHarpe, Hancock County, Illinois.
Samuel Wood, was born in 1807, in Auburn, New York, married Sarah Studwell, on 15 July 1832 in Berlin, Huron County, Ohio. They had six children but three died in infancy, as follows:
Samuel and Sarah joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and started towards Nauvoo, but Samuel became discouraged and taking their eldest son, Warren, said he was going back home. They separated at Sandusky, Ohio. Sarah and her two sons, Charles and Joseph, continued on their way to Nauvoo, Illinois, determined to be with the Saints. They endured all the hardships of pioneer life, and the opposition of those who did not believe in this new religion. It took faith and courage to go on, but Sarah had both and did her part to help the cause along.
On January 10, 1846, Sarah married James Brown, as his first polygamous wife, in Nauvoo, Illinois. He was born 30 September 1801, in Rowan County, North Carolina, and died 30 September 1863, in Ogden, Weber, Utah, as a result of an accident. He joined the Mormon Battalion, was elected Captain of Company "C", and left in July 1846, for the long trek to help win California from Mexico. He took Mary McRee Black, one of his four wives at the time, with him, and Sarah was left to shift for herself, along with the other Saints preparing to travel west.
These were troublesome times. Persecution was so great that the Mormons were forced to abandon their homes and were driven out of their beautiful city of Nauvoo, which was built on the banks of the Mississippi River. Their temple was burned and they had to flee for their lives across the river. They traveled on to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, on the west bank of the Missouri River, and suffered from cold and privations. Many lost their lives. Six hundred were buried in the little cemetery there. Sarah and James Brown’s only child, James Harvey Brown, was born at Winter Quarters on October 8, 1846. Her bedroom was a wagon box set on the ground, but being of sturdy stock and having faith in the Gospel, Sarah survived the ordeal. History tells us that the early pioneers suffered more hardships, sickness, and death while traveling from Nauvoo, Illinois to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, than during and other part of their journey.
Brigham Young was very concerned about his people, especially the widows, wives, and families of the men who went with the Mormon Battalion. It is said that, ". . . he slept with one eye open, and one foot out of bed. Everyone helped each other when they were in need and their rations were low. He was a fine carpenter as well as a capable leader, and whenever they stopped along the way, he had the men build cabins and bridges, as well as plant crops and gardens, which were often left for those who followed. They set up blacksmith shops and made wagons, and other things necessary for their trip westward."
Although men, women, and children were dying off by the hundreds, due to swampy lands, unhealthy conditions, malnutrition and hardships, the saints kept up their spirits by singing Gospel hymns and dancing around the camp fires when the day’s work was done. It was at this time, April 15, 1846, when the people were so discouraged that William Clayton wrote the song, "Come, Come Ye Saints", which was sung by hundreds of weary pioneers, and is still a favorite Mormon hymn.
It was during these strenuous times that my grandmother, Sarah Studwell Wood Brown lived, with her three sons, Charles Wood, about ten years, Joseph Wood, about eight years, and baby James Harvey Brown. We have no history of her life, but elder members of the family say she was a very intelligent woman, who did her own thinking and was a good manager. Her husband, Captain James Brown, sent her money to buy a wagon and two span of oxen for the journey to Utah. They came in 1848 with the Brigham Young Company, with Heber C Kimball in charge of ten wagons. My father, Charles, only eleven years of age, helped to drive the oxen. There were no lines, but they were guided by "Gees" and "Haws". After a long hard journey, they arrived in Ogden, Utah. They lived in Brownsville on the former Goodyear property which Captain Brown had purchased with money earned from service in the Mormon Battalion. Several other families lived there to. The fort consisted of some log cabins and corrals, a small garden and a large tract of fertile land, lying between the Weber and Ogden Rivers. There were 75 cattle, 75 goats, 12 sheep, 6 horses and a cat. During the spring of 1848 they plowed a large tract, planting it to wheat and other things. They also made large amounts of cheese and butter, which was plenty of work for all. In Salt Lake Valley the frost, drought and crickets ravaged the crops, so they were glad to get food from Captain Brown.
Sarah was not too happy living in polygamy, so after a few years she left Captain James Brown and later married Ithamar Sprague, an older man. The Indians were very troublesome and it was necessary to give them food to keep them from stealing and to maintain peace. One day the Indians came begging for food. They had stolen an Indian girl from another tribe, but they pushed her back and would not let her get anything to eat. Grandmother saw that her hair was all matted and she was thin and undernourished, so she persuaded them to leave the girl with her. She cut off her hair, being unable to comb it, fed her and made her a bed on a straw tick, and finally brought her back to health. They called her "Fanny", but she had another Indian name. Every time the Indians came, Grandmother had to hide Fanny so they wouldn’t kill her. She taught the family many words which helped them to speak and understand the Indian language. Later my father, Charles Wood, went on a mission to the Indians and taught them the Book of Mormon. He also served as an interpreter for the immigrants. The Indians taught Grandmother how to make gloves and moccasins from deer skins. These she sold to the travelers who were passing through Utah. It became necessary to send Fanny away to live with other relatives to protect her from the Indians.
Ithamar Sprague was a blacksmith and there was plenty of work in his line in those days. Sarah, being a good manager and thrifty, was able to help make a home in this new country and raise her large family in the land of the free. Their children were:
Years later, after the death of her husband, Sarah married Mr. Lew and lived in Soda Springs, Idaho. Here she had a small shop where she sold candy, books, pencils, trinkets and etc., and had a good business. After her husband’s death, she kept her business and made good money, but finally sold out and spent her last days with her son, Joseph Wood and his family in Trenton, Cache County, Utah. She passed away March 31, 1894, and was buried at Cornish, Cache County, Utah. Many fine descendants honor her name.
Copied from family history of Laura Wood McCarty.
October, 1960 Laura Wood McCarty, granddaughter of Charles and Sarah Studwell Wood.
August 24, 1968 Copy made by Barbara Wood Olsen, a great-granddaughter of Joseph Wood and Elizabeth Ellen Slater Wood.
April 17, 1972 Recopied by Barbara Wood Olsen, a great-granddaughter of Joseph Wood and Elizabeth Ellen Slater Wood.
April 17, 2000 Retyped with minor corrections for spelling and punctuation by Randy J. Thompson, great-great grandson of Sarah Studwell Wood Brown Sprague LeBaron Kelly Reed Lewis and Captain James Brown Jr.
Notes: Notes as stated in the document. Minor punctuation
Husband: James Brown — Captain — Company C
By Shirley N. Maynes
Sarah Steadwell was born March 31, 1814 in Chester, Orange County, New York to Abram Steadwell and Rebecca Sheffield. She was married on July 15, 1832 in Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio to Samuel Wood and became the mother of six children. Sarah divorced Samuel and married James Brown January 10, 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.
James had filled three short missions for the Church. The last one was in North Carolina. After his return and marriage to Sarah, he began operating a sawmill and gristmill. Upon looking at a map, these mills were located either in Nauvoo or Augusta, Iowa. Augusta was located just across the Mississippi River but not far from Illinois. James mentions in his history that he had business in Augusta.
In 1846, after the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo, James took his wives, Esther, Sarah and Abigail and their families along with his family from his first wife, Martha Stephens, who had died in childbirth, and these families journeyed to Iowa. While at Council Bluffs,
James Brown enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and became Captain of Company "C". He left from there on July 20, 1846. Before leaving he situated his families at various places in Iowa. Abigail, for a while, was a Mt. Pisgah and Esther and Sarah were near the banks of Council Bluffs. On October 8, 1846, Sarah gave birth to a son she named Harvey. At the time of his birth she was living in a wagon box with three of her children from Samuel Wood. Three of the children had died previously.
James Brown wrote to Abigail, one of his wives, dating the letter August 6, 1847 Salt Lake Valley. At the time he had just bought the three detachments and some of the Mississippi Saints from Pueblo, Colorado. He was about to depart for California to collect pay from the United States government for these three detachments of the Battalion. Before he left for California, he was concerned about his families and wrote to Abigail Smith Abbott Brown.
In his letter, he mentions that he had heard from both his daughter Nancy and from his wife, Sarah. Both of these women wrote saying "they planned on coming to the Salt Lake Valley as soon as James could provide them with wagons and teams." The letter mentions that Heber C. Kimball had been in contact with the Brown families and he reported that Sarah had not been well.
In Abigail’s history it tells that James sent the necessary wagons and she, Abigail, made arrangements to send the Brown families remaining in Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley. Sarah and children came in the Brigham Young Company leaving June 1, 1848 and arriving in the Valley on September 20 - 24, 1848.
After Sarah and her family came into the Valley, she eventually moved to the Ogden area. It is not certain if she lived in Brown’s Fort, but if not, it was nearby. While there, she met Mr. Arthurmer or Ardemis Thomas Sprague, who was a blacksmith and had worked for James Brown. Sarah divorced James and in 1849, she married Mr. Sprague. Sarah became a mother of five children. The family remained in Ogden for many years. She then divorced Mr. Sprague and married Alonzo Le Baron.
Sarah died March 18, 1893 in Trenton, Cache County, Utah. She is buried in the Cornish City Cemetery, Cache County, Utah. She died just before her seventy-ninth birthday on March 31.
Children of Samuel Wood and Sarah Steadwell Wood:
Children of James Brown and Sarah Steadwell Wood Brown:
Children of Arthurmer Thomas Sprague and Sarah Steadwell Wood Brown Sprague:
Information obtained from a history written on Abigail Smith Abbott Brown by
Lois E. Jones and Myron A. Abbott, Jr. – found in Compiler’s files
notes listed by Shirley N. Maynes. Page numbers left aligned and
WILLIAM E. ABBOTT
Compiled by Erwin & Colleen Waite
This book was written in Grandpa Abbott’s own handwriting and because he was a modest man, many of his accomplishments are not found here. However, those who had the opportunity to know him realize his greatness. The proof of his greatness can be found in his posterity.
Within the pages of this book a void is found - more information on the life of Mary Jane Leavitt Abbott, the noble wife of William E. Abbott. She raised their large family, was a loving, kind, dedicated wife and mother. She suffered many trials and tribulations while her husband was away from home. She not only raised her own family but, as a mid-wife, brought over one hundred babies into this world, staying with mother and child for weeks after the birth. She always had a helping hand for everyone, was always cheerful and was blessed with a wonderful sense of humor which everyone enjoyed. Truly, she was a choice daughter of our Father in Heaven and all who knew her loved her.
This couple had a great influence for good on this earth and certainly have merited a grand reward in our Father’s Kingdom.
A special thanks to Elmer and Emily Abbott Hughes for their closeness and devoted attention to this couple. Emily has been instrumental in having this book published spending much time and effort in its behalf. In later years, they remained close to their parents and after the death of Grandpa Abbott, Grandma Abbott lived in their home. My, what great blessings and experiences.
We appreciate our knowledge of this grand couple and our close association with them and, with many others, desire to again be with them.
We hope that the members of the family will find this book an inspiration and an enriched realization of their fine heritage and an influence to live up to that heritage.
THE STORY OF MY LIFE
This is a brief sketch of the life of William Elias Abbott, who was born October 16, 1869, at Ogden City, Weber County, Utah; who was the son of Myron Abbott who was born December 1, 1827, at Perry, Pike County, Illinois; who was the son of Stephen Abbott who was born August 16, 1804, at Providence, Pennsylvania; who was the son of James Abbott who was born March 9, 1753; who was the son of Abial Abbott, who was born March 3, 1726; who was the son of Philip Abbott who was born April 3, 1699; who was the son of George Abbott of Andover, Massachusetts, born May 22, 1615. His wife’s name was Hannah Chandler. My mother was Laura Josephine Allen, the daughter of Orval Allen. She was born April 4, 1846, at Hancock County, Illinois. My parents were married April 25, 1861.
My father, Myron Abbott, died at Mesquite, Nevada, September 3, 1907. My mother died at Bunkerville, Nevada, January 22, 1924. My parents followed the humble pursuits of life. They were pioneers and both crossed the plains with the early pioneers.
My grandfather, Stephen Abbott, died in Nauvoo, Illinois, October 19, 1843, leaving a widow and eight small children to struggle for an existence at a perilous time just prior to the exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo, Illinois.
Like Nephi, the son of Lehi, who left Jerusalem six hundred years before the coming of our Savior I feel that I, too, was born of goodly parents and I have always been thankful that I was permitted to come forth in this wonderful day and time, at a time when God has again condescended to speak to the children of men and that my parents and grandparents knew the voice of the True Shepherd and obeyed the Gospel message, and that I have had the privilege of participating in the ordinances of the Gospel from my youth up.
George Abbott was born in Yorkshire, England, about 1615, and immigrated to America in 1640. He was one of the first settlers of Andover, Massachusetts. In 1647 he married Hannah Chandler. They raised a large family. He died December 24, 1681, age 66 years. She died June 11, 1711, age 82 years.
About two hundred years afterward a monument was erected in the old burial place in Andover to their memory, by popular subscription of their many descendants. Theirs is indeed a numerous tribe. Their descendants have been traced and names recorded in the family register for six and seven generations.
It has been said of Abraham that he was of pure stock, that the man in himself was so strong that his characteristics have marked all his race
through a thousand generations. The same seems to be true of George Abbott. Although they have inter-married with all the old families of New England, in later generations with English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, German, Scandinavian, and Italian stock, yet they exhibit the traits of character of their ancestors of two hundred fifty years ago. First of all, a deep religious sentiment that inclines them to contact themselves with some organized form of worship. Perhaps all of the prominent church organizations contain names of members of this family. They are modest and unassuming, content to live humbly if need be, yet when entrusted with public affairs, discharge their trust with fidelity and honor. They love education and liberty, both religious and civil, and resent oppression in any form. They are firm in their convictions and have frequently made great sacrifices for conscience sake. They are generally studious and sober, many are graduates of institutions of higher learning. Though generally industrious, few have accumulated great wealth. Many are poor, but would disdain to eat the bread of charity.
They follow all vocations but a large percentage are farmers and home builders - a hardy, thrifty, frugal race, prolific also, and the name of Abbott is likely to endure as long as surnames are recorded. Few have become stars of the first magnitude, yet, generally speaking, they are people who exert an influence for the best things wherever they are, which is in accord with Christianity and the forces that impelled George Abbott to leave his native land and settle in the new world. A gentleman speaking of the Abbotts to Elder William E. Abbott in the California mission said, "I have met men of your name in many sections of the United States and in England and they have generally been above the average in intelligence."
The name appears to be derived from an office or occupation. Abbo, Abbi, and Abbe, are from the Gothic tongue. In olden times the office of Abbott, in point of dignity, was next to Bishop.
George and Hannah Chandler had thirteen children of whom William was the sixth son. William married Elizabeth Geary and they had twelve children of whom Philip was the ninth child. Philip married Abigail Birchford and they had eight children of whom Abiel was the second son. Abiel married Abigail Fenton. They had five children of whom James was the second son. James married Phoebe Howe Coray. They had five children of whom Stephen Joseph Abbott was the fourth son and married Abbigail Smith and they had the following children: Emily, Charilla, Phoebe, Lydia Lucina, Abiel, Myron, Cynthia and Abigail of whom the eldest daughter, Emily (who married Edward Bunker), was the mother of Elethra Calista Bunker (who married Joseph I. Earl).
Stephen Joseph Abbott was born August 16, 1804, in Providence, Pennsylvania. On December 11, 1825, he married Abigail Smith in Dansville, Stueben County, New York. Stephen was full six feet in height, strongly built, with black hair, brown eyes. He was alert and honest, a good business man, loved by his relatives and respected by all. He learned the trade of
furniture making and painting. He was rather indifferent to religion until after his marriage, when he and his wife attached themselves to a sect called Universalists, who seemed to hold much broader views than the Methodists or Presbyterians, the dominant creeds of that section. Besides his cabinet making business, he and his nephew, a son of his half-brother, Elijah, owned and operated a cording and fulling machine at Arkport, New York.
About 1838 there was a great tide of emigration pouring into the Mississippi Valley. Stephen’s two brothers Austin and Eleazer were already living in Michigan, so he concluded to go to the Mississippi Valley, and make a permanent home for himself, where he could settle his family. He went by boat down the Allegheny River and in five weeks arrived in Pike County, Illinois. He bought a quarter section of farm land and forty acres of timber land. He then went to Michigan to visit his brothers which was the last time they ever met. He went on to New York where he was warmly greeted by many friends all anxious to learn something of the new country in the Great Valley. He settled up his business affairs, and after visiting with this wife’s family at Palmyra, New York, he said farewell to his friends and relatives and took his wife and children, by boat, down the Allegheny River, leaving April 14, 1837. They landed at Naples on the Illinois River in Pike County, Illinois, in the latter part of May, 1837. They at once began to cultivate their land and build a home. His wife, Abigail Smith Abbott, writing of this period says, "On the first day of December of that year our son Myron was born, a promising child. My daughters went out in the garden and found a beautiful rose, altho the season for that flower was long past, I took it as an omen of promise and rejoiced. There is nothing unusual or strange in this for a mother, but after many years, when it was known that through him alone, descended his father’s name, the incident may be worthy of preservation."
In 1838 Stephen’s elder brother James and family and their mother, Phoebe Howe Coray Abbott, came to Illinois and settled near them and again they were surrounded by friends. Their mother died here about 1840. In 1839, Stephen Joseph Abbott and his wife, Abigail, came in contact with the Mormon people who, on being driven out of Missouri, were settling in Nauvoo, Illinois. They investigated the new religion long and carefully and they and their children became members of the church. Stephen was baptized in March, 1839, by Joseph Wood and confirmed by him and William Brenton. At the April conference of the Church held in Nauvoo in 1840, he was ordained an elder. In 1842 he was ordained a seventy. The same year, they moved to Nauvoo and bought a home and some land. In company with George Miller, Lyman Wight, and James Brown, Stephen was called on a temporal mission to gather funds to build the Nauvoo temple. He was afterwards called on a mission to Wisconsin. When he left Pike County he placed a quantity of wheat in the mill. This he depended on to feed his family in his absence. Through false pretense, one Brier Griffin, a distant relative, obtained four barrels of flour and a Mr. Jaques also obtained a considerable quantity. This loss was a great disappointment to him, so to make provision
for his family, he in company with E. Thompson, a cousin who was to accompany him on this mission, began to get some cord wood down the Mississippi from an island. This entailed much wet and exposure. On October 16, he was taken ill, and on the nineteenth of October, 1843, he died, age 38 years. Yet a young man, just coming into the prime of manhood, just beginning a life that held much promise of honor and usefulness, he was much loved and sincerely mourned by his family, a young wife and eight children, six girls and two boys. His struggle was over, theirs was not [about] to commence, and will be related in as much detail as the ravages of time has permitted to be preserved.
The work he commenced was destined to be continued by his wife, the faith that he exposed, and practically gave his life for, is professed by all his children unto this day, and almost without exception by their children also. He sleeps in an unmarked grave on the hillside overlooking the Great Father of Waters.
His wife was stunned, heartbroken, and almost overwhelmed by the terrible and unexpected blow. Winter was almost upon them, she had eight children, the oldest sixteen years. Provisions were hard to obtain, the country being new. The people with whom she had cast her lot nearly all were poor, mostly refugees, having been robbed, scourged, and mobbed out of Missouri. Her husband, who was public spirited, had put a large portion of his property into the building of the Nauvoo Temple and other public buildings. Public opinion was inflamed against the whole community. In just a few months they saw their leaders, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, murdered. Emily, the eldest daughter, speaking of this sad time, says she was wrapped up in her father, loved him dearly and grieved bitterly when he died, but she says her sorrow was nothing compared with their grief when Joseph, the Prophet of God was murdered. She felt their home was spoiled when their father was taken, whereas, at the death of the prophet, she felt the whole world was spoiled. Such was the gloom among the people of Nauvoo.
Abigail Smith Abbott was alone with few relatives, nobody to rely upon except God and her own efforts. It is probable that her father may have given her some help. He lived in Michigan at the time and had partially accepted the doctrines of the Mormons, but, according to his own statement, at that time he was wavering. She did not complain to him or ever tell him of her destitution nor did she ever waver in her faith. It became her guiding star. She never lost sight of it day or night, in sorrow and adversity, in sickness or in health, it was ever pointing to the West and thither she followed across the great rivers, across the undulating prairies, across the giant mountains into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, there to find solace and rest, not entirely free from toil, for her hands were ever busy; not entirely free from care, for her sympathies were broad and the welfare of her family was ever uppermost in her mind, but free from the terrible strain she was under for several years after her husband’s death. She has said, "I had no means to erect a monument
or even a slab to mark my loved one’s grave, but I planted some morning glories on the grave and left him there to sleep and rest."
Abigail Smith, the daughter of James Smith, a soldier of the War of 1812, and Lydia Lucina Harding, was born at Williamson, near Palmyra, Ontario County, New York, September 11, 1806 and died at Willard, Box Elder County, Utah, July 23, 1889, age 83 years. I visited her grave there with my second cousin, Marie Zundell, in 1903. A fine headstone marks the grave and on one face it has the record of her birth and death and on the opposite side the record of her husband. She was the youngest of several children, all of whom died young. Her own mother died when she was six weeks old and she was nursed through infancy by her aunt, Mrs. Polly Harding, and later by her step-mother, Mehetable Adams. At the age of fifteen years she had a sick spell of many months duration in which her life was despaired of. Her father was a farmer and a teacher of music. Myron Alma Abbott records he had in his possession several letters written by James Smith in a beautiful hand, the grammar being excellent, the diction good, showing that he was a man of education and refinement. Of her mother little is known but her family was good. One member, the Honorable Stephen S. Harding, was appointed Governor of the Territory of Utah in 1863 by President Lincoln.
Lydia Lucina Harding Smith was born July 31, 1781 and died October, 1806 at Williamson, Ontario County, New York. Her husband, James Smith, was a native of Norwalk, Connecticut, born January 14, 1777, and died at Bedord, Michigan, August 26, 1857. At the age of sixteen, Abigail Smith went to Homellsville, New York, to visit relatives of her mother. Here she lived in the family of James Abbott for some time and a warm attachment between her and his son, Stephen Joseph, sprang up. Her father came to take her home but instead, by mutual consent of both families, the young couple were married December 11, 1825. Much of her life from then on has been related in connection with that of her husband. About 1836 her father moved to Michigan. Although she kept in touch with him by correspondence, she never again met any of her family. Many of their letters have been preserved, most of which are kind and affectionate to her personally, but some are full of vindictive denunciations of her religious views and of the Mormon people. Some of her people were at one time attached to the Mormon faith, but the movement west left them behind. At her husband’s death she was left with a home, some land, cows and a few sheep. They had always been independent and the thought of dependence upon strangers was bitter indeed. She taught a private school in her home and obtained both food and clothing. She says, "I trusted in God and improved every opportunity to help myself, but the necessity of becoming servants to our fellow men was almost more than I could bear". Some of her older children did hire out to neighbors and, besides relieving her of their keep, earned a little recompense.
In the spring of 1844 she fenced a small tract of land near the Mississippi River. As she was teaching school, much of the work was done
of evenings in the moonlight. She planted one and one-half acres to garden truck and cultivated it. As the ground was low and swampy, she and the children were stricken with fever and ague. Lyman Wight, then an apostle, lived in an upper room of her house and was also ill. The week after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, he was visited by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Amasa Lyman and Wilford Woodruff and several ladies. When they went to leave she asked them to administer to each of her sick children, which they did. Heber C. Kimball manifested his charity by giving her a half-dollar. When Brigham Young got to the door he turned and, in the name of the Lord, promised them that all should recover. At times after doing all they could to help themselves, they were compelled to ask charity. This was a great grief to Abigail Smith Abbott for never before in her life has she needed to ask for anything she could not pay for. Many friends showed them favors and assisted in what ways they could. Some other husband’s relatives from Pike County, Mrs. James Abbott, Lyman Wight, John Higbee, and Capt. James Brown and others, are held in grateful remembrance for their kindness. She was able to collect some debts owing to her husband and their wants were relieved. She continued to correspond with her father and her sisters, but she never complained to them. A letter which came down to her grandchildren from her father received while she was in the wilderness of Iowa says, "We received your letter in which you have no complaints to make, etc." One from her sister, Anna Crane, after berating her for her religious views and affiliations tells her if she is getting along so well, a present would be acceptable.
In May, 1846, she was offered $10.00 for her house and lot and twenty acres of land, all fenced. To her remonstrances at the price, he explained, "The Mormons have got to go. That amount will ferry you across the river and it is better than nothing." She accepted it. He also demanded that the furniture be left in the house for he truly explained, "You cannot carry it with you."
On February 9, 1846, the eldest daughter, Emily married Edward Bunker, who was a young man of sterling worth, intelligent, pure, and ambitious. He was ever a friend of the family. History relates their cruel expulsion from Nauvoo and when they were forced to flee, Edward Bunker assisted the family across the river and from the west bank of the Mississippi River they witnessed the Battle of Nauvoo. Abigail felt fortunate indeed to get away with her children before this awful occurrence. Here she remained until November, 1846. Edward Bunker and wife, with three of the eldest daughters of Abigail Smith Abbott went on to Garden Grove where he built a cabin and the family, thus scattered, were not reunited for fifteen months. When Mrs. Abbott arrived at Garden Grove she found Edward Bunker had enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, called out to assist in the war with Mexico and had already gone, leaving his young wife in a delicate condition. They fixed the cabin up the best they could and lived there eleven months, planted a crop and harvested it. During the winter of 1846-1847 Abigail taught school and thus helped to support her family.
On February 1, 1847, her eldest daughter, Mrs. Edward Bunker, gave birth to a fine son. They called him Edward Bunker, Jr. This date also came near being a fatal one for Abigail’s little son Myron, then nine years of age. He was sent out early in the morning to hunt for wood and encountered a large, hungry wolf. Thinking it to be a dog he threw chips at it. It stood growling and ready to attack the lad when the attention of a neighbor was attracted and the wolf was frightened away. This winter proved to be a hard one for Abigail. Beside the regular care of her household, she taught school and one of her elder daughters was ill for eleven weeks with fever and Mrs. Bunker was ill nine weeks at the time of her confinement. Water for the home had to be carried a quarter of a mile, firewood had to be gathered and cut, enough to keep a fire all the time, for the cabin had no floor and was very cold and it took a warm fire to make it comfortable with illness in the family for such a long time. During the winter Abigail received $22.50 from Captain James Brown, sent to her from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Edward Bunker sent his wife some money. Both were serving in the Mormon Battalion. In October, 1847, they moved on to Mosquito Creek, a point farther west near Council Bluff, Iowa. On the morning of December 18, 1847, they heard a group of Battalion men had arrived in town the evening before, so Emily prepared to go and inquire if they knew anything of Edward. Just before she was to leave the house a knock was heard at the door. It proved to be Edward himself. He thought they were still in Garden Grove where he left them, but someone told him they had moved since he left. He was almost frozen and starved. It was necessary for him to remain in bed for several weeks and he was fed gruel every few hours, just a few spoonsful at a time at first. He had endured terrible privation on the return journey and had completed one of the most difficult marches on record. Abigail’s son, Abiel, came to her from Council Bluffs, where he had gone fifteen months before. Once more she had her family all together again. She says, "I thanked God and praised Him and took new courage, for my burdens seemed much lighter."
Before leaving Nauvoo, Abigail Smith Abbott had married for a time as a plural wife to Captain James Brown. Mr. Brown had been a friend of her husband in Nauvoo. He was a man of broad views, great energy and a natural leader of men, but he had a great train of relatives dependent upon him. The relation gave him more the right of protector than husband and that was practically the relation sustained between them. Myron A. Abbott in writing of her life, says he has several letters that passed between them in 1849-1850 in which she reminds him of his covenants with her in relation to the dead (meaning her husband) and telling him that whatever he wished her to do she would do excepting she would do nothing unrighteous. However, her religion taught her polygamy. She accepted and believed in this principle and probably did at one time sustain the relation of wife to him, but she insisted that it be the relation of wife and not concubine. After they were living in Ogden he married her daughter, Phoebe, over her protest. Thereupon she repudiated the relationship and ever afterward lived apart from him.
James Brown went into the Mexican War in 1846. He sent her money
from Santa Fe. He had helped her a little in Nauvoo. He followed the pioneers into Salt Lake Valley on July 28, 1847, just four days after Brigham Young’s party. He must have regarded Abigail as a woman of ability to act and accomplish as a letter written to her soon after his arrival abundantly indicates. Possibly this is one of the first letters written and sent from Utah. A copy of this letter follows:
There the letter ends. The last page has been lost. I have copied it in full for its historical data and the light it throws on the situation at that time and how the emigration of the saints was accomplished. The wagons and teams were duly received and in 1848 Abigail fitted them up and sent all of Mr. Brown’s family that remained, on to the valley. She remained until the next year, raised a crop, but before it was harvested, sold it, and came on to the valley. She left Mosquito Creek August 6, 1849, and was just sixteen weeks on the way. She brought all her children except Mrs. Bunker, who came two years later, and she never lost one dollar’s worth of property on the trip, which speaks volumes for her care and management. Soon after arriving in Salt Lake City, she went to Ogden.
The city then contained six families. Captain Brown had purchased nine square miles of territory (the center of which is now Ogden City) from Miles Goodyear, who owned the land through a grant from the Mexican government and offered it for sale to Captain Brown when he went through there on the way to San Francisco in charge of a squad of cavalry men from Company C Mormon Battalion. The price paid for this tract of land was $3000.00 from money he and his sons, Alex and Jesse, received for wages from the U.S. Government for services in the army and some gold they brought from California where they were when gold was discovered there in 1849. A city was laid out and settlers welcomed. The first winter was spent in a fort.
Abigail Abbott received a tract of land in the southern part of the city facing what is now Washington Avenue. Here a home was built and she dwelled with her family for several years until the children were grown and married and gone to homes of their own. Charilla Abbott was the first school teacher in Ogden City. Preferring not to live alone, Abigail sold her home and lived with her children, visiting them all as a ministering angel, greatly beloved and respected by them and their children. She was active and had good health, traveled much, was happy, pleasant, cheerful and benevolent and was like a ray of sunshine wherever she went. During one of her visits to her children, Myron Abbott and Emily Bunker, living in Bunkerville, Nevada, I still remember seeing her as I saw her sitting in an easy chair near the east window in my grandmother’s living room, crocheting. She wore a lace cap on her head and a white apron and was a short, fleshy woman. Agnes Viola Earl relates that at Christmas time Grandmother Abbott, then near eighty years of age, gathered a group of young people to her home of evening and taught them Christmas carols and on Christmas evening procured a wagon and accompanied the young carolers as they sang their carols at the homes of the community, an act which brought much joy to the young people and endeared her to them.
The final summons came while she was visiting with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Abigail Zundell at Willard City, Box Elder County, Utah, July 23, 1889. At her death, she was possessed of a little property which by consent of the heirs was devoted to the erection of a modest monument to her and her husband, Stephen Joseph Abbott, who she left buried in Nauvoo.
Abigail Smith Abbott was a heroic woman, pure, chaste and noble in purpose, and the aims and objects of her life were as successful as could be expected in human life. Honor be to her memory.
Notes: Transcribed only the first ten pages of the Book.
Included page numbers in transcribed text. Bracket notation added.
By Lois E. Jones
George Abbott was born in Yorkshire, England, about 1615, and emigrated to America in 1640. He was one of the first settlers of Andover, Massachusetts. In 1647 he married Hannah Chandler. They raised a large Family. He died December 24, 1681, age 66 years. She died June 11, 1711, age 82 years.
About 200 years afterward a monument was erected in the old burial place in Andover, to the memory, by a popular subscription of their many descendants. Theirs is indeed a numerous tribe. Their descendants have been traced and names accorded in the family register for six and seven generations.
It has been said of Abraham that he was of pure stock, that the man in himself was so strong that his characteristics have marked all his race through a thousand generation. The same seems to be true of George Abbott. Although they have intermarried with all the old families of New England, in later generations with English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, German, Scandinavian, and Italian stock yet they exhibit the traits of character of their ancestors of 250 years ago. First of all a deep religious sentiment that inclines them to contact themselves with some organized form of worship, perhaps all of the prominent church organization contain names of members of this family. They are modest and unassuming, content to live humbly if need be, yet when intrusted with public affairs discharge their trust with fidelity and honor. They love education and liberty both religious and civil and resent oppression in any form. They are firm in their convictions and have frequently made great sacrifices for consciences sake. They are generally studious and sober, many are graduates of institutions of higher learning. Though generally industrious few have accumulated great wealth. Many are poor, but would disdain to eat the bread of charity.
They follow all vocations but a large percentage are farmers and homebuilders, a hardy thrifty, frugal race, frolific [prolific ?] also and the name of Abbott is likely to endure as long as surnames are recorded. Few have become stars of the first magnitude, yet generally speaking they are people who exert and influence for the best things where ever they are, which is in accord with Christianity and the faith (? that impelled George Abbott to leave his native land and settle in the new world. A gentleman speaking of the Abbotts to Elder William E. Abbott in the California Mission said: "I have met of your name in many section of the United States and in England and they have generally been above the average in intelligence." The name appears to be derived from an office or occupation Abbo, Abbi, and Abbe, are from the Gothic tongue. In olden times the office of Abbott in point of Dignity was next to Bishop.
George and Hannah Chandler had 13 children of whom William was sixth son, William Married Elizabeth Genry and they had 12 children of whom Phillip was the ninth child. Philip married Abigail Birchford and they had eight children of whom Abiel was second son. Abiel married Abigail Fenton, they had five children of whom James was the second son. James married Phoebe Howe Coray. They had five children of whom Stephen Joseph Abbott was the fourth son, he married Abigail Smith, and they had the following children: Emily, Charilla, Phoebe, Lydia Lucina, Abiel, Myron, Cynthia, and Abigail of whom the eldest daughter Emily (who married Edward Bunker) was the mother of Elethrn Calista Bunker (who married Joseph I. Earl and were my, Lois E. Jones, parents).
Stephen Joseph Abbott was born August 16, 1804, in Providence, Pennsylvania, on December 11, 1825. He married Abigail Smith in Danaville, Stephen County, New York. Stephen was full six feet in height, strongly built, with black hair, brown eyes. He was alert and honest, a good businessman, loved by his relatives and respected by all. He learned the trade of furniture making and painting he was rather indifferent to religion until after his marriage, when he and his wife attached themselves to a sect called Universalists, who seemed to hold much broader views than the Methodist or Presbyterians, the dominant creeds of the section. Besides his cabinet making business, he and his nephew, a son of his half brother Elijah, owned and operated [a] cording and fulling machine at Arkport N. Y. about 1838, their was a great tide of emigration pouring into the Mississippi valley. Stephen’s two brothers Austin and Eleazer were already living in Michigan, so he concluded to go to the Mississippi Valley, and make a permanent home for himself where he could settle his family. He went by boat down the Allegheny River and in five weeks arrived in Pike County, Illinois. He bought a quarter section of farm land and 40 acres of timber land. He then went to Michigan to visit his brothers which was the last time they ever met. He went on to New York where he was warmly greeted by many friends all anxious to learn something of the new country in the Great Valley. He settled up his business affairs and after visiting with his wife’s family at Palmyra, New York, he said farewell to friends and relatives and took his wife and children by boat down the Allegheny River leaving April 14, 1837. They landed at Naples on the Illinois River in Pike County, Illinois, in the latter part of May, 1837. They at once began to cultivate their land and build a home. His wife Abigail Smith Abbott writing of this period says, "On the first day of December of that year our son Myron was born, a promising child. My daughters went out in the garden and found a beautiful rose, although the season for that flower was long past, I took it as an omen of promise and rejoiced. There is nothing unusual or strange in this for a mother, but after many years when it was known that through him alone his descended his fathers name, the incident may be worthy of preservation."
In 1838 Stephen’s elder brother James and family, and their mother Phoebe Howe Coray Abbott came to Illinois and settled near them and again they were surrounded by friends. Their mother died here about 1840. In 1839 Stephen Joseph Abbott and his wife Abigail came in contact with the Mormon people, who on being driven out of Missouri were settling in Nauvoo, Illinois. They investigated the new religion long and carefully and they and their children became members of the church. Stephen was baptized in March, 1839, by Joseph Wood and confirmed by him and William Brenton. At the April conference of the Church held in Nauvoo in 1840 he was ordained an Elder. In 1842 he was ordained a Seventy, the same year they moved to Nauvoo and bought a home and some land. In company with George Miller, Lyman Wight and James Brown, Stephen was called on a temporal mission to gather funds to build the Nauvoo temple. He was afterwards called on a mission to Wisconsin. When he left Rike County, he placed a quantity of wheat in the mill. This he depended on to feed his family in his absence. By false pretense, one Brian Griffin, a distant relative obtained four barrels of flour and a Mr. Jaques also obtained a considerable quantity. This loss was a great disappointment to him, to make provision for his family, he in company with E. Thompson, a cousin, who was to accompany him on this mission began to get some cord wood down the Mississippi from an island, this entailed much wet and exposure on October 16, he was taken ill and on the 19th of October 1843, he died, age 38 years. Yet a young man just coming into the prime of manhood, just beginning a life that held much promise of humor and usefulness, he was much loved, and sincerely mourned, by his family, a young wife and eight children, six girls and two boys. His struggle was over, theirs was now to commence and will be related in as much detail as the ravages of time has permitted to be preserved.
The work he commenced was destined to be continued by his wife. The faith that he exposed, [espoused ?] and practically gave his life for, is professed by his children also. He sleeps in a unmarked grave on the hillside overlooking the Great Father of Waters.
His wife was stunned, heart broken, and almost over-whelmed by the terrible and unexpected blow. Winter was almost upon them, she had eight children, the oldest 16 years. Provisions were hard to obtain, the country being new. The people with whom she had cast her lot nearly all were poor, mostly refugees, having been robbed, scourged and mobbed out of Missouri, her husband, who was public spirited, had put a large portion of his property into the building of the Nauvoo temple and other public buildings. Public opinion was inflamed against the whole community. In just a few months they saw their leaders, Joseph and Hyrum murdered. Emily, the eldest daughter speaking of this sad time says she was wrapped up in her father, loved him dearly, and grieved bitterly when he died, but says her sorrow was nothing compared with their grief when Joseph the Prophet was murdered. She felt their home was spoiled, when their father was taken where at the death of the prophet, she felt the whole world was spoiled, such was the gloom among the people of Nauvoo.
Abigail Smith Abbott was alone with few relatives nobody to rely upon except God and her own efforts. It is probable that her father may have given her some help, he lived in Michigan at the time and had partially accepted the doctrines of the Mormons but according to his own statement at that time he was wavering. She did not complain to him or even tell him of her destitution, nor did she ever waver in her faith. It became her guiding star, she never lost sight of it day or night in a row in adversity in sickness or in health, it was ever pointing to the west and thither she followed across the great rivers, across the undulating prairies, across the giant mountains into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, there to find a place and rest, not entirely free from toil for her hands were ever busy, not entirely free from care, for her sympathies were broad and the welfare of her family was ever uppermost in her mind, but free from the terrible strain, she was under for several years after her husband’s death. She has said–I had no means to erect a monument, or even a slab to mark my beloved one’s grave, but I planted some morning glories on the grave and left him there to sleep and rest.
Abigail Smith was the daughter of James Smith, a soldier of the war of 1812, and Lydia Harding . [She, Abigail] was born at Williamson, near Palmyra, Ontario County, New York, September 11, 1806, and died at Willard, Box Elder County, Utah, July 23, 1889, age 83 years. I visited her grave there with my second cousin, Maria Zundell in 1902, a fine headstone marks the grave and on one face it has the record of her birth and death and on the opposite side the record of her husband.
She was the youngest of several children, all of whom died young, her own mother died when she was six weeks old and she was nursed through infancy by her aunt Mrs. Polly Harding and later by her step-mother Mehetable Adams. At the age of 15 years she had a sick spell of many months duration in which her life was despaired of. Her father was a farmer and a teacher of music. Myron Alma Abbott records he has in his possession several letters written by James Smith, in a beautiful hand, the grammar being excellent, the diction good, showing that he was a man of education and refinement. Of her mother little is known, but her family was good. One member, the Honorable Stephen S. Harding, was appointed Governor of the Territory of Utah in 1863 by President Lincoln.
Lydia Lucina Harding Smith was born July 31, 1781 and died October, 1806 at Williamson, Ontario County, New York. Her Husband James Smith was a native of Norwalk, Connecticut, born January 14, 1777, and died at Bedford, Michigan, August 26, 1857. at the age of 16 Abigail Smith went to Hornellsville, New York to visit Relatives of hers and here she lived in the family of James Abbott for sometime and a warm attachment between her and his son Stephen Joseph sprang up. Her Father came to take her home, but instead by mutual consent of both families the young couple were married, December 11, 1825, much of her life from then on has been related in connection with that of her husband. About 1836 her father moved to Michigan although she kept in touch with him by correspondence she never again met any of her Family. Many of their letters have been preserved, most of which are kind and affectionate to her personally, but some are full of vindictive denounciation of her religious views and of the Mormon people. Some of her people were at one time attached to the Mormon faith, but the movement west left them behind. At her husband’s death she was left with a home, some land, cows, and a few sheep, They had always been independent and the thought of dependence upon strangers was bitter indeed. She taught a private school in her home and obtained both food and clothing. She says, I trusted in God and improved every opportunity to help myself, the necessity of becoming servants to our fellow men was almost more than I could bear. Some of our older children did hire out to neighbors and besides relieving her of their keep earned a little.
In the spring of 1844, she fenced a small tract of land near the Mississippi River, as she was teaching school much of the work was done in evenings in the moonlight, she planted one and one-half acres to garden truck [?] and cultivated it, as the ground was low and swampy, and the children were stricken with fever and ague. Lyman Wight then an apostle, lived in an upper room of her house and was very ill. The week after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, he was visited by Brigham Young, Heber C Kimball, Willard Richards, Amasa Lyman and Wilford Woodruff and several ladies. When they went to leave she asked them to administer to each of her sick children, which they did. Heber C Kimball manifested his charity by giving her a half a dollar when Brigham Young got to the door he turned and in the name of the Lord promised them they should all recover. At times after doing all they could to help themselves they were compelled to ask for charity this was a great grief to Abigail Smith Abbot, for never before in her life had she needed to ask for anything she couldn’t pay for. Many friends showered them favors and assisted in what ways they could. Some other husbands relatives from Pile County, Mrs. James Abbott, Lyman Wight, John Higbee, and Captain James Brown and others are held in grateful remembrance for their Kindness. She was able to collect some debts owed to her husband and their wants were relieved. She continued to correspond with her father and her sisters, but she never complained to them. A letter came down to her grandchildren from her father received while she was in the wilderness of Iowa says, "We received your letter in which you have no complaints to make, etc." Also one from her sister Anna Crane after berating her for her religious views and affiliations tells her is she getting along so well a present would be acceptable. [?].
In May, 1846, she was offered $10.00 for her house and lot and 20 acres of land all fenced. In her remonstrances at the price he explained, the Mormons have got to go, that amount will ferry you across the river and it is better than nothing. She accepted it, he also demanded that the furniture be left in the house for he truly explained you cannot carry it with you.
On February 9, 1846, the eldest daughter Emily married Edward Bunker, who was a young man of sterling worth, intelligent, pure and ambitious, he was ever a friend to the family. History relates their cruel expulsion from Nauvoo, and when they were forced to flee, Edward Bunker assisted the family across the river and from the west bank of the Mississippi River they witnessed the Battle of Nauvoo. Abigail felt fortunate indeed to get away with her children before this awful occurrence. Here she remained until November, 1846. Edward Bunker and wife, the three of the elder daughters of Abigail Smith Abbott went on to Garden Grove where he Built a cabin and the family thus scattered were not reunited for 15 months. When Mrs. Abbott arrived at Garden Grove she found Edward Bunker had enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, called out to assist in the war with Mexico and had already gone leaving his young wife in a delicate condition. They fixed the cabin up the best they could and lived there 11 months. Planted a crop and harvested it. During the winter of 1846-7 Abigail taught school and thus helped to support her family. On February 1, 1847, her eldest daughter, Mrs. Edward Bunker Gave Birth to a fine son, and they called him Edward Bunker Jr. This date also came near being a fatal one for Abigail’s little son Myron, then nine years of age. He was sent out early in the morning to hunt for wood and encountered a large hungry wolf, thinking it to be a dog he thru chips at it. It stood growling and ready to attack the lad when the attention of a neighbor was attracted and the wolf was frightened away. This winter proved to be a hard one for Abigail. Besides the regular care of her household, she taught school. One of her eldest daughters was ill, for eleven weeks with a fever, and Mrs. Bunker was ill nine weeks at the time of her confinement. Water for the home had to be carried a quarter of a mile, firewood had to be gathered and cut enough to keep a fire all the time for the cabin had no floor and was very cold and it took a warm fire to make it comfortable with illness in the family for such a long time. During the winter Abigail received $22.50 from Captain James Brown, sent to her from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Edward Bunker sent his wife some money. Both were serving in the Mormon Battalion. In October, 1847, they moved on to Mosquito Creek, a point farther west near Council Bluffs, Iowa. On the morning of December the 18th, 1847, they heard a group of Battalion men had arrived in town the evening before; so Emily prepared to go and inquire if they knew anything of Edward. Just before she was to leave the house, a knock was heard at the door. It proved to be Edward himself, he thought they were still in Garden Grove where he left them, but someone told him they had moved since he left. He was almost frozen and starved. It was necessary for him to remain in bed for several weeks and he was fed gruel every few hours just a few spoonfuls at a time at first. He had endured terrible privation on the return journey and had completed one of the most difficult marches on record. Abigail’s son, Abiel came to her from Council Bluffs, where he had gone 15 months before. Once more she had her family all together again. She says, "I thanked God and praised him and took courage for my burdens seemed much lightened."
Before leaving Nauvoo, Abigail Smith Abbott had been married for sometime, as a plural wife to Captain James Brown. Mr. Brown had been a friend of her husbands in Nauvoo, he was a man of broad views, great energy and a natural leader of men, but he had a great train of relatives dependent upon him. The relation gave him more the right of protector than husband and that was practically the relation sustained between them. Myron A. Abbott, in writing of her life, says he has several letters that passed between them. In 1849-50 in which she reminds him of his covenants with her in relation to the dead (meaning her husband) and telling him of his, that whatever he wished her to do she would do; except she would do nothing unrighteous however her religion taught her polygamy. She accepted and believed in this principle and probably did at one time sustain the relation of wife and not concubine. After they were living in Ogden, he married her daughter, Phoebe over her protest then after she repudiated the relationship and ever afterwards lived apart from him. Captain James Brown went into the Mexican War in 1846, he sent her money from Santa Fe; he had helped her a little in Nauvoo, he followed the Pioneers into Salt Lake Valley on July 28, 1847, just 4 days after Brigham Young’s party. He must have regarded her as a woman of ability to act and accomplish a letter written to her soon after his arrival abundantly indicates. Possibly this is one of the first letters written and sent from Utah. A copy of this letter follows:---
Camp of Israel Salt Lake Valley Aug. 6, A. D. 1847
My Dear Abigail:
It is with pleasure I sit down this morning and address you a few lines to let you know where I am and what my engagements are and also to let you know that I have not forgotten you and your family. I also wish to give you some instruction in relation to your movements and in relation to your family. I would keep them all together as much as you can so that you can control the whole matter yourself until I can see, you, which I hope will be soon. With regard to your moving to this beautiful valley, I wish you to come with the first company next Spring. I haven’t been able to assist you but very little since I enlisted. I was detached last October at
Santa Fe and sent to Pueblo in command of 107 men. Since that time Lieut.Willis and Capt. Higgins have reported to me with their detachment making 170 men. My expense had been high and not being able to draw my pay in time to assist you to come last spring, you must wait with patience and I will assist you all in my power for I am anxious to see and hear from you. I sent you $25.00 by Brother John D. Lee, last October from Santa Fe. I haven’t heard from you since only that you was at Mt. Pisgah and know not whether you have got it or not, if you haven’t received it, it is in the hands of the Bishop at Winter Quarters, near Council Bluffs. I hope you will be able to get it. I have sent you one wagon and harness and four mules by the hand of A. J. Shupe and so by the hands of Franklin Allen one ox team and four yoke of oxen to assist you on your journey next spring, which I hope you will receive, and receipt the brethren for the same. I have also sent you by the hand of Brother Allen $30.00 in cash which is all I could send at this time. I want you to bring all the means for making bread in your power also flour and meal as I may want to help you eat it when you come. I hope these lines and the teams will find you at Council Bluffs. So you can come out next spring in the first company. I received a letter from my daughter Nancy and one from Sarah they calculated on coming this summer in Israel Birche’s company. I am looking for them every day, Brother Kimball says he thinks they will be along this summer. He says that Sister Brown’s health is poor, yet she may recover so as to come this season. I hope she will come. If she does not, I want her to come with you. I sent the teams to you not knowing but what Esther was on her way. If Nancy and Sarah uses all the teams and wagons they have to bring them, I want Esther to have room in one of the wagons I sent you. I want her to be made comfortable and to come with you. I hope she will be spared until I see her again. I want you to see her and to comfort her drooping spirit for she has surely been afflicted since I left her. I shall write to her on this subject not knowing whether she is coming or not. My Dear Abigail the time seems long when I look back since I last saw you. You may think I have forgotten you but never, the ties and covenants that binds and unites us together are stronger than death and the powers of Satan. I hope I shall ever feel that affection for you and your father’s house and all the portion unto them that will enable me to do all I can for you and them, but by the help of my Heavenly Father and my Brethren, I hope to carry out the principle of salvation and exaltation in all things. My being called into the Army of the United States is no reason why I should cease to serve the Lord. I hope I shall ever remember my covenants and live up to them. I arrived here with my command on the 28th, day of July, one week after the twelve. I was also on thier heels and had communication with them from time to time after we got to Fort Johns. I have quartered my company in this beautiful valley where there is salt water and sweet water, cold and hot water, in abundance and it looks very much like the one the Lord speaks of in the scripture where the Lords people was to build in the tops of the mountains and I hope I shall see you with the rest of our friends flowing [to] it.
I should have returned this fall with the twelve if it had been council to assist you on your journey, but I am counciled to take 8 men and report myself at San Francisco bay on the Pacific Ocean and meet the Battalion that is near that post. It is eleven hundred miles from this place. I want to return this fall or in early spring. Brother Samuel Brannon from near the Bay is here and is going to pilot me thru. There my business will be to get a discharge for any men and draw their pay and transact other business of importance for the good of the church. I shall omit saying anything about my sufferings since I enlisted in the army of the United States. Those things will do to talk about and think about when we have nothing else to do to employ our minds. Read this to my brother Daniel and my sisters and that will save me from writing to them, give Moroni a sweet kiss for me and save the rest for me when we meet. I haven’t heard anything special from Brother Bunker or A. Stephens since they left Santa Fe, only they arrived safe at the Ocean and all was well in February last.
There the letter ends, the last page has been lost. I have copied it in full for its historical date and the light it throws on the situation at that time and how the emigration of the saints was accomplished.
The wagons and teams were duty received and in 1848 Abigail fitted them up and sent all of Mr. Brown’s family that remained on to the valley. She remained until the next year, raised a crop, but before it was harvested, sold it and came to the valley. She left Mosquito creek August 6, 1849 and was just 16 weeks on the way. She brought all her children except Mrs. Bunker who came two years later and she never lost one dollar’s worth of property on the trip which speaks volumes for her care and management. Soon after arriving in Salt Lake City, she went to Ogden, that city then contained six families. Capt. Brown had purchased nine square miles of territory the center of which is now Ogden City from Miles Goodyear, who owned the land thru a grant from the Mexican Government, and offered it for sale to Capt. Brown when he went thur there on the way to San Francisco in charge of the squad of Cavalry men from Company C. Mormon Battalion. The price paid for this tract of land was $3000., from money he and his sons Alex and Jesse received for wages, from the U. S. Government for services in the Army and some gold was discovered there in 1849. A city was laid out and settlers welcomed. The first winter was spent in a fort.
Abigail Abbott received a tract of land in the southern part of the city facing what is now Washington Avenue. Here her home was built and she dwelt with her family for several years until the children were grown and married and gone to homes of their own. Charilla Abbott was the first school teacher in Ogden City. Preferring not to live alone Abigail sold her home and lived with her children visiting them all as a ministering Angel greatly beloved and respected by them and their children. She was active and had good health, traveled much, was happy, pleasant, cheerful and benevolent and as like a ray of sunshine wherever she went. During one other visit to her children Myron Abbott and Emily Bunker living in Bunkerville, Nev., it was my privilege to see her and I, Lois E. Jones, still remember her as I saw her sitting in an easy chair near the east window in my grandmothers living room crocheting, she wore a lace cap on her head and a white apron and was a short fleshy woman. Agnes Viola Earl relates that at Christmas time Grandmother Abbott then near eighty years of age, gathered a group of young people to her home of evenings and taught them Christmas Carols and on Christmas evening procured a wagon and accompanied the young carolers as they sang their carols at the homes of the community, an act which brought much joy to the young people and endeared her to them. At the birth of my brother Ira J. Earl. the first son, father called on grandmother to report the new arrival, he said– "A new blacksmith came to town last evening, Sister Abbott, she quickly inquired. Do you think it will hurt your business any? No, said Father, I think it will help it, you see the new blacksmith is my first son."
The final summons came while she was visiting her youngest daughter, Mrs. Abigail Zundell at Willard City, Box Elder County, Utah, July, 23, 1889. At her death she was possessed of a little property which by common consent of the heir was devoted to the erection of a modest Monument to her and her husband, Stephen Joseph Abbott, whom she left buried in Nauvoo. It was my privilege in 1902 to visit this monument in company with her granddaughter, Maria Zundell.
Abigail Smith Abbott was a heroic woman, pure, chaste, and noble in purpose and the aims and objects of her life were as successful as could be expected in human life. Peace be to her ashes.
Lois E. Jones writer of this sketch, wishes to acknowledge and thank Myron A. Abbott, Jr. for material used from his sketches.
(Copy completed on October 16, 1936 by Virginia Lee of the Historical Records Survey at Ogden, Utah.)
(Copied to disk for use in electronic media July 7, 2000, by Lane Brown 1281 23rd Street, Ogden, Utah.)
Notes: Notes as stated in the document.
Husband: James Brown — Captain — Company C
By Shirley N. Maynes
Abigail Smith was born September 11, 1806 in Williamson, Wayne County New York to James Smith and Lydia Lucina Harding. The town of Williamson is near Palmyra, New York where Joseph Smith and his family had resided. James Smith was a native of Norwalk, Connecticut. He was a soldier of the War of 1812. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed the Honorable Stephen S. Harding, a member of Abigail’s mother’s family, as Governor of the Territory of Utah.
Abigail was the youngest child in the family. Sadly, all of her brothers and sisters had died young. Her mother had also died when Abigail was six weeks old, and she was cared for through infancy by her Aunt Polly Harding.
After her father remarried, her stepmother, Mehetable Adams Smith, nurtured and cared for Abigail. Her father had received a good education in some of the finest schools. He taught music classes and was a farmer, and Abigail was very fond of her father. At age fifteen Abigail became very ill and remained so for many months before she finally regained her health.
When Abigail turned sixteen she went to Hornellsville, New York to visit relatives. While there she lived at the home of James Abbott. A warm attachment developed between her and his son, Stephen Joseph. When Abigail’s father came to take her home, it was decided by the mutual consent of both families, that Abigail and Stephen could marry. Their marriage took place on December 11, 1825.
Stephen and his nephew were proprietors of a cabinet making and painting business. During this period of time, the Abbotts were looking for a church to belong to and they finally decided on joining the sect called "Universalists". Although it came closest to what they were looking for, there was something lacking in their doctrine. The Abbotts had heard of Joseph Smith’s views on religion and his "golden plates", but their introduction or association with the Church did not extend beyond that point. This was to come later in their lives.
In about 1836, her father moved to Michigan. Abigail kept in touch with him through correspondence, but never again met with members of her family, including her father. Fortunately, many of the letters written between families have been preserved. Most of the letters were kind and affectionate; however, some are vindictive of her religious views and of the Mormon faith.
In the latter part of May 1837, the Abbott family decided to move to the Mississippi Valley region where they could establish a permanent home. The family went by boat down the Allegheny River and in five weeks arrived at Pike County, Illinois where Stephen bought a quarter section of farmland and forty acres of timberland. He cultivated the land and built a house for his family.
In 1839, Stephen and Abigail came in contact with the Mormon people who had been driven out of Missouri and began settling in Nauvoo, Illinois. After the Abbotts investigated this new religion, they were convinced to the truthfulness of it. They felt that they had finally found the religion they were looking for. The Abbott family became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Stephen was baptized on June 17, 1840 by Elder Joseph Wood and confirmed by him and Elder William Brenton.
In about 1842, the family moved to Nauvoo and bought a home and some land. Stephen was ordained to the office of a Seventy. He, along with George Miller, Lyman Wight and James Brown, was called by the Prophet to go on a temporal mission to gather funds for the construction of the Nauvoo Temple.
Later, he was called on a mission to Wisconsin. Before he left, he had placed a quantity of wheat in the mill at Pike County. He was depending on this wheat or flour to feed his family while he was gone, however, a man, who was a distant relative, stole several barrels of his flour. The loss was a great disappointment to him as he had to find other means to provide for Abigail and the children while he was away.
Stephen, in the company of a Mr. E. Thompson, a cousin, who was to accompany him on the mission, began floating cordwood down the Mississippi River. This work entailed exposure to cold and damp conditions and as a result, Stephen died on October 19, 1843, at age thirty-eight from exposure. According to Abigail: "He sleeps in an unmarked grave on the hillside overlooking the Mississippi River." Abigail was without the means to erect a monument or even a slab to mark his grave. She planted some morning glories on the spot where he was buried.
Abigail was stunned, heart broken and overwhelmed by this tragic event in her life. Winter was almost upon her and she had eight children to care for. Emily Abbott, the oldest child, who later married Edward Bunker, said: "She was wrapped up with her father, loved him dearly and grieved bitterly when he died." She continued by remarking: "Her sorrow over the loss of her father was nothing compared with the grief when Joseph, the Prophet was murdered. Although, she felt their home was spoiled when father was taken, the death of the Prophet resulted in the whole world being spoiled…such was the gloom among the people of Nauvoo."
In the spring of 1844, Abigail fenced a small tract of land near the Mississippi River. She began teaching private school to obtain the necessities of life. Abigail, along with her family, came down with Ague. Lyman Wight, an apostle, lived in an upper room of her house. From time to time he was visited by some of the apostles including Brigham Young. One time during one of their visits, Abigail asked them to administer to her and her children. As the apostles were leaving, President Young turned to Abigail and told her they would all recover. Many friends and relatives came to her aid at the time of her sorrow, including James Brown.
Before leaving Nauvoo, Abigail married James Brown. She was his second polygamous wife. Sarah Steadwell Wood was also married to James. Esther Jones Roper Brown was married to James but had not married him in polygamy. Stephen and James Brown were good friends and had entered into an agreement that if anything happened to one or the other, they would take care of the family that was left. The relationship between Abigail and James was more of protector than that of a husband. However, according to family history, Abigail and James had married in Nauvoo. James had high regard for Abigail. They had been good friends for several years.
In May 1846, Abigail was offered $10.00 for her house, lot, twenty acres of fenced land and her furniture. The buyer told her the money would ferry her across the Mississippi River. She had no other choice than to take the money.
Edward Bunker, her son-in-law, helped the family cross the Mississippi River. From the west banks they witness the "Battle of Nauvoo". The Abbotts and Bunkers then journeyed to Garden Grove, Iowa and it was here that Edward Bunker enlisted in the Mormon Battalion as Private in Company "E" under the command of Captain Daniel Davis. Before he left, he had built a cabin for Emily and her family. James Brown enlisted in the Battalion as Captain of Company "C".
While her husband was away, Abigail taught school and took care of her sick children. She also cared of Emily during her confinement with her first baby. Emily gave birth to a baby boy on February 1, 1847. Water for the home had to be carried from a quarter of a mile away. Firewood was gather each day and cut into logs to maintain a fire throughout the day. The cabin was cold and with sick children, they needed the warmth that a cozy fire could provide.
During the winter, Abigail received $22.50 from Captain James Brown and Edward sent Emily some money. These funds helped to sustain the family. In October 1847, the women and their families moved to Mosquito Creek, a point farther west near Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Captain James Brown wrote several letters to Abigail while he was gone with the Battalion. On August 6, 1847, after he had brought the three sick detachments from Pueblo, Colorado to Salt Lake, he wrote to her giving her instructions on how to bring the families to Salt Lake. He related: "My expenses have been high and not being able to draw my pay in time to assist you to come last spring, you must wait with patience and I will assist all of you within my power, for I am anxious to see and hear from you." He told her he had sent to her by the hand of Andrew Shupe and Franklin Allen one wagon, harnesses, four mules and four yoke of oxen. He also gave Franklin Allen $30.00 to give to her. He asked her to bring flour and meal so they would have something to eat when the families arrived in the Valley. He also told her that he had quartered his company in this beautiful valley where there was an abundance of salt water as well as sweet water. He related that the valley "looked very much like the one the Lord spoke of in the scriptures where the Lord’s people were to build in the tops of the mountains." He went on to say: "I hope I shall see you with the rest of our friends flowing in it."
In 1849, Abigail planted a crop, but before it was harvested, she sold it and came to the Salt Lake Valley. She left Mosquito Creek, July 4, 1849, in the George A. Smith Company, and brought all of her children, except Emily Abbott Bunker, with her. She never lost one dollar’s worth of property on the four month trip which speaks highly of her care and management.
After arriving in Salt Lake she moved to Ogden, Utah. In 1850, Abigail received, from James Brown, a tract of land in the southern part of the city facing what is now Washington Avenue. Here her home was built and she dwelt with her family until the children were grown and married. When her daughter, Phebe Abigail was grown, James Brown took her as one of his wives. Abigail was very much against the marriage and she divorced James. She then sold her home and lived with her married children visiting them all as a ministering angel greatly beloved and respected by them and her grandchildren.
At Christmas time, when Abigail was eighty years of age, she gathered a group of young people to her home in the evenings and taught them Christmas carols. On Christmas evening, Abigail procured a wagon and accompanied the young carolers as they sang their carols throughout the homes of the community. The event brought much joy to the young people and endeared her to them.
Abigail Smith Abbott Brown died July 23, 1889 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Abigail Zundell at Willard, Utah. At the time of her death she possessed a little property, which by common consent of the heirs, was donated to the erection of a modest monument to her and her husband, Stephen Joseph Abbott, whom she left on a hillside grave near Nauvoo, Illinois. Abigail is buried in the Willard City Cemetery, Box Elder County, Utah.
James Brown was born September 30, 1801 in Rowan County, North Carolina. His parents were James Brown and Mary or Polly Williams. He died on September 30, 1863 and is buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, Weber County, Utah.
Stephen Joseph Abbott was born August 16, 1804 in Providence, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. His parents were James Abbott and Phebe Howe. He died October 19, 1843 and is buried near the Mississippi River by Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.
Children of Stephen Joseph Abbott and Abigail Smith Abbott Brown:
Information obtained from a history on Abigail Smith Abbott Brown written
by Lois E. Jones and Myron A. Abbott, Jr. — Compiler’s files.
Notes: Information notes listed by Shirley N. Maynes. Minor spelling
correction on page 67. Page numbers left aligned. Bold and underline also added.
A UTAH PIONEER OF 1847
Prepared by her granddaughter Mary Harriet Critchlow Jensen
Mary McRee Black Brown was born October 17, 1819 Copiah County, Mississippi, the daughter of William McRee and Mary McCorkins. Her parents were of Scotch decent and had immigrated to Mississippi from North Carolina about 1816. He was a wealthy planter and doctor medicine of high standing.
In her young days when she was very young, and her father married a life-long friend of his deceased wife, Mary Warnock.
She was a very devoted and wise stepmother, Mary was taught to sew by the family seamstress, and when she learned to make good buttonholes her brother, William, made her a present of two silk dresses when silk was very much more expensive than it is today.
She was also taught to cook and all her life was considered a splendid cook of the old Southern type.
Mary at twenty-two years of age married George Black, son of a neighboring planter. Charles Black and Rebecca Brewer. When they set up housekeeping, then had four colored servants.
In 1841 Mary and her husband joined the Mormon Church, having been converted to the faith by Daniel Tyler.
Mary had always been of a religious turn of mind. Her parents were very strict in observing the Sabbath. No work was done by the family or servants on that day. Everything was prepared on Saturday, and all went to church on Sunday. Mary spent part of Sunday over at the quarters of the slave, teaching them about Jesus and in reading the Bible to them. Her father had a hundred slaves. He was opposed to slavery, so he gave all of his slaves their freedom, but retained them to work on his plantation and provided for them.
In 1845 Mary and her husband moved to Nauvoo. When they joined the Church her father told her she was being led astray by the devil, so when they left for Nauvoo they gave up family, friends and their land and property which they could not dispose of. Mary had a half section of valuable timberland which her father had given her as a "gift of love" at the time of her marriage. This was later sold for taxes.
After arriving in Nauvoo, Mr. Black worked on the Nauvoo Temple for two years, and later engaged in the mercantile business. He took a partner in with him and was successful until his health failed him. He died of malaria in 1845. The partner of Mr. Black a Mr. Guily, defrauded Mary of every cent that was invested in the business. He was afterwards excommunicated from the Church.
During all of these years, Mary had not heard a word from her father. She had buried three little girls and the death of her husband greatly tired her. Falling in health and destitute of means, her husband’s folks in Mississippi who had become converted to Mormonism wrote her to come back to Mississippi. Her husband on his deathbed had told her not to go back to Mississippi, fearing that her people would persuade her to stay. He had practically given his life for his religion as the doctors had told him that if he would go back to a warm climate, he would recover his health. But he refused saying "I can either live or die for the Gospel, whichever God desires of me."
Mary became very ill, and the doctors told her she would go as her husband had unless she went away from that clime. Mary refused to go but sent for the Prophet Joseph and he brought Brigham Young with, and blessed her, and told her to go home to her husband’s people until spring. They told her she would recover and would live to do much good.
She took the advice of the Prophet and went back to Mississippi. While there, she made peace with her father who felt more favorable towards his daughter. Her stepmother who had always been so good to her, stood by her in her trials, as she was called upon to give up her last little daughter leaving her with one little son five years old. During all this time her brothers and sisters ignored her.
In the spring Daniel Tyler with others of the Saints in Mississippi took Mary and her little boy back to Nauvoo.
Later, James Brown proposed marriage to her and she was married to him in 1846.
When the prophet Joseph was murdered, Mary was in Nauvoo and in common with the other saints went through that trying ordeal.
As the conference of the church called by the authorities to put a leader in Joseph’s place, Mary saw Sidney Rigdon as he put forth his claims, and when Brigham Young stood up in the pulpit. Mary exclaimed with many others. "The prophet has come back!" for the mantle of Joseph; had fallen upon Brigham and I have heard her testify to this many times.
When they reached Council Bluffs, Iowa, the government drafter five hundred men for the war with Mexico. James Brown was made Captain of company C and took Mary his wife, and little son with him.
She endured all the hardships incident to that long march, washed for sixteen men and did many hard tasks she had never done before, suffered with heat and thirst, on soldiers rations, and became footsore and weary; waited patiently in the heat or cold, in storm or blistering heat or intense cold while the men dug well, cut down trees or undergrowth to make roads and forded streams, some of which were treacherous with quicksand.
After wintering in pueblo with all of the sick of the Battalion, where Mary was as an ministering angel to them, they finally arrived in Salt Lake Valley July 29th, 1847 and made their home in the Fort which stood where Pioneer Park now is. Here Mary gave birth to a baby girl, Mary Eliza, who was the third white girl born in Utah. Mary Eliza at fifteen years became the wife of William F. Critchlow. When the baby was three months old her parents were called upon to move north where Ogden now stands.
While en route, as they came near Sessions Settlement which is where Centerville is today, the wagon in which they were riding tipped over into a large creek and spilled the occupants into the icy water. Fortunately, no one was injured and being near the home of Perrigrene Sessions, they were made welcome over night.
The next day they resumed their journey, over the Sand Ridge and tired and weary they arrived at their destination on the Weber River, near where the Union Depot now is.
The home that awaited them was a log hut which had been occupied by Jim Bridger’s squaw wife.
When Mary viewed her future home and saw the loose dirt several inches thick upon the floor, she exclaimed, "This is a hard way to serve the Lord."
The men folks shoveled out the dirt, made a fire in the fireplace and put up a one legged bedstead.
The next day they cut down a large cottonwood tree and made a cradle for little baby Mary Eliza. They also built a Dutch oven in the dooryard to roast meat in and take what little bread was rationed out for them.
The men folks (Captain Brown and his grown sons by his first wife, first duty was to get the ground ready for planting their precious seed. They had plenty of cattle and milk and butter, but other food was very scarce.
Mary used to bake the meat and when it was cold, cut it in slices and they would spread butter upon it and make believe it was bread.
One day while she was engaged in cooking some meat, several big Buck Indians came bedecked in red paint and feathers and demanded the meat. By signs she explained it was for the men’s dinner.
They pointed their bows and arrows at the baby in the cradle, making Mary understand in no uncertain manner that if she didn’t give them the meat they would kill the baby.
She ran to the baby, snatch it from the crib and ran to where the men were working a mile away expecting any minute to be pierced with a flying arrow, as the blood curdling yells of the Indians followed her.
After this incident one of the men stayed near the cabin.
Imagine if you can how this woman must have felt. Alone, except for her family, forty miles from the nearest neighbor in a lonely wilderness of snakes, wild animals, and Indians. And compare it with the life she had before she cast her lot willingly and gladly, for the Gospel’s sake, with the Mormons.
She, though of delicate nature, and slender built, was made of the stuff pioneers are made of. She had courage, faith God, and a disposition to the make the best of conditions.
She learned to make cheese, and was known as the first cheese maker in Utah.
When the gold rush was on in 49 she sold great quantities of butter and cheese to the travelers.
She bore Captain James Brown five children, four daughters and one son, the same as she bore her first husband.
She lived to be nearly ninety years old, beloved by all who knew her for her sweet personality, generosity, unselfishness and kindness.
When she was in her eighties, she lived with her daughter, Mary Eliza Critchlow.
Her two sons, David Black, and Joseph Smith Brown, lived in Northern Idaho. She had not seen them for several years.
Her daughter, Mary Eliza, died suddenly of pneumonia and her two brothers, David and Joseph were on their way to the funeral.
While grandma was grief-stricken over the loss of her daughter the thought of seeing her two sons sustained her.
While en route to Ogden, they had to change trains and wait several hours at Idaho Falls. Joseph, to pass the time away, went up town. On his way back to the depot at midnight he was held up and shot to death.
David took the body back to their home in Idaho and was unable to attend his sister’s funeral.
When it became necessary to tell grandma about it, none of the family felt that they could do so. Bishop McQuarrie told her of it. She looked at him with stricken eyes when he told her and whisperingly said, "Providence knows best."
Such courage and faith and acceptance of trial in the face of this double bereavement and disappointment was another indication of her wonderful character.
She was an example to all of us.
adjustments to spelling.
I was born in New York, Stuben County, May 18, 1831, the daughter of Stephen Abbott and Abigail Smith Abbott. When I was five years of age, my father moved to Illinois, Pike County. Father and mother joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1843, and moved to Nauvoo. I was baptized when I was eight years old, in the Mississippi River by William McWinteres, and led out of the water by the Prophet Joseph Smith. What joy I felt! My whole body was filled with joy.
In 1844, my father died, leaving mother with eight children, the oldest being fifteen years and the youngest three months. They had to endure all the hardships of that period. I was the third girl in the family. I had to go to work for my living among strangers. I attended Relief Society meetings with mother and heard the Prophet speak to the sisters. I saw him after his martyrdom. Then the Saints were driven from Nauvoo. I started out with Brother Church, but was taken sick and came near dying.
I was at Mount Pisgah when the Mormon Battalion was called. This separated many families and there was great sorrow among the Saints.
My mother and family, including my oldest sister, who had been married, had come on as far as Garden Grove. My sister Charilla came with me expecting to have a home with our married sister. My brother-in-law, Edward Bunker, had joined the Battalion and had to go to meet them. My sister was heartbroken.
I soon went to live with a Sister Baldwin. Sister Charilla went with a friend to Missouri. Mother and the rest of the children came in the fall and then our joy was full. I had to work out of doors in the snow. I came down with the pleurisy and was sick for three months. Mother taught school and it was necessary for her to cut wood to keep up warm. I came near dying and was just able to walk when my sister, Mrs. Bunker was confined. We had hard work to save them. Sister Charilla came in the spring. We cleared off three acres of land; planted it; and raised a good crop.
In the fall, we moved to Winter Quarters. In January Brother Bunker came in hungry and ragged. We soon got him some clothes and fed him. I worked out all winter. Went to Kimball’s farm and while there, the family moved to Willow Creek, thinking I would get a chance to follow. One of Captain James Brown’s boys and I started and had to walk all the way, twenty-five miles, carrying my bundle.
In the spring I helped Mr. Bunker on the farm. In the fall, I worked for Mr. McCenny, and Indian agent and cooked for forty people three months. I then went home and started to work for a Mrs. Hammers. The Indians were having an epidemic of cholera. Father came to me in a dream and said, "Phoebe, go home quickly." I told Mr. Hammers, but could not tell him why. I got the Indians to take me over the river and then had four miles to walk in order to reach home. The Hammers family was taken with cholera. Mrs. Hammer and her babe, little girl, and hired man died that night, so you see how father and the Lord watched over me.
On the 7th of July we started across the Plains in Brother George A. Smith’s company. We had good time until we reached Sweetwater. Then we had snow storms and lost many cattle. We had to throw away trunks and baggage to make the loads lighter. I took malarial fever. We had to burn buffalo chips for wood. We saw many buffaloes. Helped to care for John Henry Smith while crossing the plains. Reached Brown’s Fort or Ogden on the 17th of October, 1849.
I worked for Mary Brown and went to school. My sister Charilla taught school that winter. In the spring the flood came. Our calves, goats, chickens and everything else were swimming and we ourselves were almost waist deep in water. The neighbors came and helped us out. We camped under some trees. Brother Brown made a stockade and milk houses. The boys and girls did the milking; made butter and cheese; made straw hats for the family. When the emigrants came, we made hats for them.
In the fall of 1850, was married to Captain James Brown [when she was 19 years old]. I took care of his four boys. We passed through two grass-hopper years, and the people suffered for want of food.
I was treasurer of the first Relief Society. My husband, James Brown, was called on a mission for two years. I lost my little baby boy [Stephen Abbott Brown, born August 22, 1851, and died December 22, 1853]. My husband’s son James lived with me. We worked in the garden. I had fifty pounds of wool. Got it carded and went to spinning. I found plenty to do. I had the wool spun and seventy pounds of carpet rags sewed. When my husband came back, he brought me some warp. It had to be doubled and twisted. I got it all done and wove a carpet.
In October, my baby girl (Phoebe Adelaide) was born [October 24, 1855, who later married Henry Theodore Snyder, and died June 11, 1930]. We always had a great deal of company and had the privilege of entertaining all the apostles except one; Brother George A. Smith; President Brigham Young; Heber C. Kimball; Parley P. Pratt; Orson Pratt; Daniel H. Wells. We always enjoyed it and always had something to give them to eat. They are all on the other side now.
Then came Johnson’s Army. My husband had received some flax. We fixed it and I spun and wove three table cloths; three long roller towels while he was moving some of his family south. Then I drove the horses and made two trips. I had the privilege of returning home. My husband had three hundred bushels of volunteer wheat, but had no one to help him to harvest it. I went in the field, helped to bind and haul until it was done. We saved our bread.
The next excitement was Connor’s fight with the Indians at Bear River. It was very cold and the Indians had shot and wounded many of our people. We had to bring them in on sleds. We had to give them beds and something to eat. We were up all night and what terrible suffering they had to endure! When the rest came, they were so badly frozen that they could not feed themselves. Several died that night. This was in winter of 1863.
In the spring, May 22, , my baby boy (Orson Pratt) was born. There was seven years between him and my daughter (Adelaide). On the 30th of September  my husband died (on his birthday), through an accident that happened while grinding sugar cane. [Pheobe was 32 years old when Captain James Brown died.] Mother came to live with me and helped to pass away the time. (After he died I wove cloth and carpet to make a [________?] living took boarders.) In the fall of 1866 I married William Fife. [Phoebe married William Nicol Fife, her younger sister’s, Cynthia’s, husband, October 9, 1866.] In July 22, [1867,] my little girl was born [Cynthia?]. In two years another girl was born, but died at birth. In another year another came, but it was taken with smallpox and died. I had many trying times and I worked hard (and) felt as though I could not live long.
In 1880, we moved to Arizona, Sulphur Springs Valley. There were several Mormon families to haul lumber from the Mill to Tombstone mining camp. My health became better, than it had been for years. We lived in a tent for eleven months. Then we built a nice frame, four-room house. We had a great deal of company between Rustlers and Indians and prospectors; altogether it was an exciting time. The Mormons all moved away, leaving us the only Mormons there, but always had company. Our teams were busy; our house like a boarding house. The third year, my sister Emily and Brother Bunker came and were there all summer. In the fall, Mrs. Fife [Diana Fife and her 13 year old daughter, Agnes] came and I went to St. George to meet mother and work in the Temple. There were mother, three girls, one son, and three grandchildren to have their work done.
My daughter Cynthia, sister Charilla Browning, and I went by team to the Wa Wa Springs to our sister, Lydia Squire. We stayed two days and then went on the train to Ogden, where we met my daughter Addie and Harry Snyder; and also many of my old friends. What great joy I felt! I had lived there for thirty years and made many friends. I stayed at my daughter’s for eleven months. I had never spent such a pleasant time. Word came that Mrs. Fife [Diana Fife] had been killed by the Mexicans. I had to hurry home so that Mr. Fife could come with his son William to Ogden. Oh, the sorrow and confusion.
On arriving home we found my husband and my son Orson there alone. Made arrangements for Mr. Fife to go with his daughter, Agnes, to Ogden. I was to stop on the ranch. Cynthia and Sarah Brown came later, then it was not so lonesome. Nothing happened but a few Indian scares until the brethren on the under-ground came. It was a good place to hide and be safe. They were very welcome. After two years they went home.
My daughter Cynthia was married to Joseph Layton. Orson came to Thatcher to get some land and we were alone. Brothers Snow and Thatcher came and advised me to go to Mexico; Mr. Fife was to sell out and come down with family later on.
Orson was called on a mission. He and I went to Juarez. We arrived there May 30th. Orson was taken with chills and fever and was very sick for three weeks. Some of the boys rented his team; he went along; killed some deer. He began to get better. We plowed the garden. The neighbors were very kind and let me have garden stuff until mine grew. I had some beautiful Plymouth Rock chickens.
Everybody wanted eggs and gave me garden stuff in exchange. The people were very ragged, but I had some overalls and coats, together with tread, needles and pins. The sisters worked them over for their boys. I was not idle, but helped many babies come into the world; took care of their mothers; and nursed many sick. I took care of my garden. Orson went to work. He sent me some wheat. I marketed it and browned and ground it in my large coffee mill. It made good bread. That fall, I had a good deal of dried corn and beans; made a lot of pickles. Orson was married to Mattie Romney and built an adobe room in front of my tent. We went along fine.
The sisters had no stocking for themselves nor for their children. I was appointed Relief Society President. We had some wheels made and got some cards; spun and carded wool that we bought of the Mexicans. We soon had some yarn made. The sisters were united and worked with a will. Several raised cotton and had that for summer. In October, on the 30th, Mattie’s baby was born. In February, I went to Thatcher to take care of my daughter Cynthia in her confinement. I stayed there eleven months. Then I returned home. In May, Mattie’s little girl died. She gave birth to a boy not long after.
In January, 1890, I went to St. David to attend Cynthia. In May I went to Ogden to be with my daughter Addie and stayed there two years. Orson came to go to the Logan Temple. I went with them and did some work. Was present at the dedication of the Logan Temple; also the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893. Then went to Mexico to live where my son Orson lives.
[Please note what follows is on a separate page attached to the first five, and is apparently typed Phoebe's daughter, Cynthia Fife Layton:]
Mother left Ogden Utah, with Orson to go back to Mexico, after the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. While living in Mexico she spent her time in helping the sick, taking care of the needy, brought many babys, was president of the Relief Society for several years, was a pioneer of Utah, Arizona, and Mexico.
In the year 1905 she moved to Thatcher Arizona to live with her daughter, Cynthia Layton; she was much afflicted with rheumatism, that she had contracted in Mexico, she walked on crutches for some time, then had a wheel chair, was always cheerful, and happy, although she suffered much pain from her afflictions, she lived and died a true Latter-day Saint, and taught her family to do the same.
She died January 9, 1914, in Thatcher Arizona, at the age of 84 years.
President Andrew Kimball, Brigham Stowell, and Caroline Eyering, were the speakers at her funeral services; she was buried in Thatcher, Arizona.
Ethel went to Mexico in the year 1896 remained there one year with my mother.
spelling and punctuation changes made for clarity, and were kept to a minimum to
By O. James Brown Klein
Phoebe Abigail Abbott is my maternal great grandmother. She was born 18 May 1831, at Hornellsville, Steuben County, New York, the third child and daughter of Stephen Joseph Abbott and Abigail Smith. Her parents had 8 known children, 7 daughters and one son.
After her father’s sudden death in Nauvoo, Illinois, 19 October 1843, her mother, Abigail Smith Abbott, married her husband’s good friend, Captain James Brown, in 1846. Stephen Abbott and James Brown had promised one another that if one of them died, the other would take care of his family. Abigail become James Brown’s fifth wife. She, however, repudiated her relationship with him when he married her daughter, Phoebe, 17 October 1850, over Abigail’s protest. Family history gives at least one reason for Abigail doing this, which was that she did not think it was right for one man to be married to both a mother and a daughter.
Phoebe and James Brown were married in the city James had founded, Ogden, Weber, Utah. Phoebe was 19 when she married James Brown, and he 49. She was his seventh wife.
Phoebe and James Brown had 3 children. He died at age 62, on his birthday, September 30, 1863, when she was 32 years old. Later, in 9 October 1866, Phoebe married William Nicol Fife, the husband of her younger sister, Cynthia Abbott.
Phoebe and William Fife apparently had 3 daughters, but one died at birth and another fom smallpox. Apparently, only her daughter Cynthia Fife lived, who later married Joseph Layton. They lived in the Ogden, Utah area until 1880, when they moved to southern Arizona.
Phoebe was a pioneer in Utah, Arizona and Mexico. She died January 9, 1914, in Thatcher Arizona, at 84 years of age.
Children of Phoebe and Captain James Brown, all born at Ogden, Weber County, Utah are:
Events Involving Phoebe Abigail Abbott Brown Fife, the Mother of Orson Pratt Brown, take from his Autobiographical Historical Sketch.
She is identified in bold type as "mother" or "my mother". See Document Data below.
. . . .
The next incident in my [Orson Pratt Brown’s] life was in the November of 1880. I started with my mother and step-father [William Fife] to Arizona. We had three wagons and three teams. When we arrived on top of the Buckskin Mountain it snowed and we lost one of our teams, a pair of mules. I returned to a little village by the name of Johnson, in Southern Utah and there found some people who were also traveling to Arizona and they had extra animals and they came on top of Buckskin Mountain and loaned us a pair of horses and we continued our journey crossing the Big Colorado river at Lee’s ferry and while we were at the ferry some people traveling to Arizona overtook us and advised us that our mules would be found at a little village called Pahrea. We borrowed a pony and saddle and I crossed the river to hunt the mules and the company moved south.
I arrived at the Pahrea the next day and found that the mules had been taken by the man that found them, north to a village called
Hillsdale. This was late in December and it began snowing and the roads were practically impassable. I received word from Ellsdale that the mules would be at a town by the name of Kanab. On Christmas morning I went to Kanab from the little village of Johnson and there found the mules in the corral of the sheriff of the county. I went into the house and the wife of the sheriff asked me who I was and when I told her who I was and where from, tears came into her eyes and she came and embraced me and kissed me and sent for her husband; and when he arrived she said to him:
"See who is here! This is the son of Captain James Brown of Ogden."
And he, too, embraced me and said, "Your father and mother saved the lives of our fathers and mothers and our families when they were in dire need and starvation.
And notwithstanding, the man who had taken the mules demanded twenty dollars, and I not having only three dollars in my pocket, the sheriff said:
"Take the mules, my boy, and while you are going I will put the man who stole the mules in jail."
They put me up a fine lunch, gave me a Christmas dinner, and I started on the road rejoicing."
I encountered severe stormy weather and nearly froze. My mother and her husband and family did not get word from me and as they had traveled some two-hundred miles from Johnson south. My mother saw me coming in a dream and said I would be there for New Year’s dinner. She prepared that dinner and sure enough I arrived for New Year’s dinner, at noon, fulfilling the dream of my mother at the place called Willow Springs.
The next day we started on south arriving at Sunset, Arizona, on the Little Colorado; staying there a couple of days and then up the Little Colorado passing through at Fort Apache. The military officers advised us that we had better not proceed farther south as the Indians Apache chief and about fifty Apache warriors were on the warpath. But my step-father, after we had a consultation, decided to proceed on south and after passing the south fork of the Salt River and climbing out of the canyon starting down the dugway we saw an ambulance and two dead horses that had rolled down the dugway that the Indians having attacked the ambulance killing three soldiers only a few hours previous to our arrival. The Indians had gone on to the east and we arrived at Pima, Arizona unmolested.
While at Pima we heard of some freighting to be done of lumber from the Chiricahua mountains to Tombstone, Arizona; and so we proceeded on to a camp of Mormon freighters at Oak Creek at the foot of the Chiricahua mountains and there began to freight lumber to the big mining camp of Tombstone.
. . . .
. . . .
These Indians continued their raiding to the southeast when at a point know as Rucker’s canyon they ran into the Hunt brothers. The older Hunt brother had belonged to a gang of outlaws and murderers. One or two of the men there in a fight with the sheriff’s party had gotten Hunt; and while there Billy the Kid, no.2, was killed.
Hunt was placed in the hospital. His brother came down from eastern Texas and got him out of the hospital, got him into Rucker canyon and was tending his wounds so that he could take him on home.
They were attacked by these Indians. Hunt being an expert shot, raised up from the bed in the tent and shot one of the Indians and his brother escaped on a horse to a military camp on the east. They sent an escort of twenty-five American soldiers who killed all five Indians and found that two of them had been wounded a few days previous; another evidence of the justice of the law of retribution, both in the case of the Indians and this man Hunt who was a murderer and outlaw.
I arrived at my home in Sulphur Spring Valley about ten o’clock. Our dogs began barking at me.
"I know that is Orson coming, because last night I saw him coming home," my mother said, even before I had spoken.
In April 1883 in the full of the moon, an Indian Chief by the name of Loco, with about eighty warriors broke out from the San Carlos reservation and they made their way south up the San Simon valley, murdering and destroying ranches and property along the way. At the point known as "The Three Irish Friends" ranch, one-hundred and fifteen of these Indians crossed over the Chiricahua and that morning John Fife, Tom Fornay and a man by the name of Lobley started from a ranch with four mule teams, two wagons, to bring a load of mining timbers to take to Tombstone Arizona.
While they were going up the Pinery canyon they were attacked by this band of Indians. They killed Tom Fornay and Lobely and wounded John Fife in two places but he got away from them, running through the brush, arriving at a little mining camp some four miles from where they were attacked, by the name of Tip Top. A messenger came to our ranch and told of the killing.
There were only two more of us at the ranch and the information having come that probably the whole band of blood thirsty Indians were on their way we took my mother and Diana Fife and the girls and went across the trail to Riggs's ranch that night. It was about six miles distant. And in the morning at daylight with Mr. Thomas Riggs driving a light wagon and myself as a guide we drove up into the Pinery canyon and before we got to the mining camp we met about fifty men on their way, leaving the camp.
They advised us that they had left six men behind to guard and protect John Fife until we came. His wounds were of such a nature that it was impossible for him to ride on a horse. We lifted him on the wagon on a mattress we had taken and at Riggs's ranch he soon received medical aid. In the afternoon we formed a small posse of five and went up the canyon to bury the bodies of Fornay and Lobeley. As I knew the country well I was in the lead and about a mile before we got to the dead bodies it had sprinkled on us. Just then I saw in the road tracks of 3 Indians who had crossed the road leaving their tracks fresh on the trail. I stopped and said to the men:
"There are their tracks, fresh on the trail; they are going to lay for us."
I suggested to them that we separate; three going up the road and two on each side flanking the road, looking out for the Indians. This whole country was covered with Oak brush; in places so thick you could hardly get thru it. So one of the boys went on one side of the canyon and I went on the other and the other three men went along and up the road. They found the two bodies. One was about one-hundred yards from the other. They carried the one to where the other was, dug a grave and placed the bodies in the grave while we too were standing guard on each side of the canyon. And when the burial was finished. I suggested to the boys that these fellows were going to be laying for us and we had better cross into a divide in the next canyon instead of going down the canyon the way we had come. We decided to do this. It will be remembered that a lot of these Apache Indians had received an education in government schools and could speak English. Undoubtedly some of these understood English for when we went over the top of the Divide I saw some fresh signs. The five of us were riding about twenty...five steps apart and I hollared back,
"Here they are! Here are the fresh signs again!"
I was the only one who had a pistol. All at once an Indian raised up from behind a stump and we fired simultaneously and just at my left another Indian raised to fire at the man who was following me, and I fired at him, he not being more than ten steps from me. The second one jumped up, throwing his rifle over his head and yelling like a wild animal fell over backwards. I yelled to my companions who were the farthest away to come, and I fired the rest of the cartridges. I rode down the canyon and stopped to wait for my companions and I felt a trickle of blood down my left breast and stuck my hand into my shirt and pulled out a bullet. The wound was directly over my heart; the bullet was flattened and we wondered how it was that it had not penetrated and passed through my body.
We returned to the Riggs's ranch where we had a consultation and remained there over night. We got two more men to accompany us and started back on the trail after these Indians at daylight the next morning. On arriving at the point where we had the skirmish we found blood stains where these two Indians had lain. The mules had been taken from the wagon but the trail was easy to follow.
We crossed the canyon, following the trail, and went up over some cliffs where there were some small caves and found that they had deposited the two bodies in one of these crevices and piled in rock tight so that the animals could not get into them. We took out these rocks and took out the bodies and found one of them had been shot just under the left eye, the bullet coming out at the base of his brain; the other was shot just below the arm pit, bullet coming out just above the hip bone. We saw the Indian signal fires and following them until about two o'clock we arrived at a small saw mill about five miles from where the first encounter had been. We got some more men and left our horses there. We climbed a steep mountain that night to attack the camp in the early morning but when we arrived we found that the Indians had set fire to the whole mountain country. We made our way back to where our horses were and that night went back to the Riggs's ranch, making two days of very hard work.
Again proving the law of retribution to those who willfully take lives, in September of this same year, 1883, I was living on a little ranch that I had taken up about four miles from where the family lived. My aunt Diana Fife, the wife of William Fife, who was my step-father, had come from Utah. My mother and sister, Cynthia, had gone with my uncle, Edward Bunker and family to do work in the Saint George Temple and while aunt Diana and Agnes were on the ranch alone with a Mexican hired man (my uncle William having gone to Wilcox, Arizona for provisions) a Mexican who had deserted the Mexican army in Sonora came to the house and asked for a watermelon. They gave him a watermelon and his dinner.
He seemed to be acquainted with the Mexican who was working on the ranch; and while aunt Diana was ironing in the center room he pulled out a pistol and shot her, the bullet passing through the cords of the arm just above the wrist, then passed through her stomach just above her hip bone. Her daughter Agnes was in the kitchen, and on hearing the shot ran out of the back door. At this the man who was working ran to the door and this man that had the pistol shot at him, missing. Then the hired Mexican grabbed hold of the other and wrestled for the pistol. Both became bloody from the blood of aunt Diana.
In the meantime Agnes had run around the house into the front room and got her mother by the shoulder and dragged her into the front room. The hired man had taken the pistol and thrown it to one side and asked Agnes for a rope but she fearing treachery did not give him one. There the Mexican murderer got away; the other picked up a pistol and fired a shot but missed. The Mexican laborer went around to the window and asked Agnes what she wanted.
She wrote a note to a ranch about six miles distant. The Mexican got on a horse and rode to the ranch with the note. This was the White Ranch. Mr. White, the president, immediately sent a man back with the Mexican and he himself, rode to Tombstone to where one of the county commissioners stayed and there started a search for the murderer. About ten o'clock that night Charles who had been employed in the hayfields at the ranch came to my little cabin and told me what had happened. I got up and saddled my horse and we immediately started searching, going to the north.
The night was very dark and as we passed a ranch known as "Italian Joe's ranch" we found that the Mexican had been there and got his supper. He had gone on his way toward a ranch north near Fort Bowie. On the way our horses became frightened and shied and I said to my brother Charles that I believed the fellow would be along here somewhere. The country was a prairie country so we rode up to the Pass and waited for daylight. We guarded the pass to see whether the man would come through. But just at daylight we saw what appeared to be, in the distance, Italian Joe coming with his horse and buggy taking vegetables, as was his custom, to Fort Bowie. We decided we had better go down toward camp as the Mexican might have gone through the pass before we had arrived there. We searched out a little camp near there and then went to a mining camp called
Dos Cabezas where we met Deputy Sheriff Ward with another man. They had come from Wilcox Arizona in obedience to a telegram sent them asking them to help in the search for the murderer. Together we returned to the ranch to be present at the burial of my aunt. These two rode directly towards the ranch but I went around by Italian Joe's and he told me that they had caught the murderer and had taken him to the home ranch. Just before I got to the home ranch I saw hanging from a big oak tree the murderer of my aunt. I rode down to the ranch and encountered the Deputy sheriff Ward and his companion. They asked me if I had seen or heard anything. I said yes. That I had heard something and had seen the biggest acorn I had ever seen hanging from an oak tree.
We went back to the ranch and held the funeral of my aunt. It was a very sad affair. Little Agnes was inconsolable. She was only thirteen hears old. Then I heard from the Mexican who had defended Agnes what the murderer had proposed to him; that they rob the house, take the horses and girl and escape to Sonora. I heard from Agnes how much the Mexican had done in defending her life.
By this time a great many frontiersmen had gathered and we proceeded up the valley to where the murderer was hanging. The mob spirit took hold of the crowd and they wanted the hired Mexican hanged too. This was seconded by all with a shout. I was the only one who was there horse back; I pulled my rifle from the scabbard and backed the Mexican up against a tree. I told them if there was going to be any hanging done they would have to hang me first; that I would put a bullet through the first man who laid hands on the Mexican. I stated the injustice of hanging the man just because he was a Mexican. The mob spirit immediately vanished. We buried the Mexican and in three days the coyotes had dug him up and gnawed the flesh off his bones; another incident where the law of retribution was brought to pass.
Going back to the year 1881 I desire to relate some incidents that happened to show the conditions that existed in that section of the country. There was a number of men whose names were: Old Man Ike Clenton, and his son Ike; Billy and Jim, the two McDaniels brothers, big head Jeff Lewis and Rattle Snake Jack Wilson. They attacked a Mexican caravan from Basaricia and Bavaspia, Sonora; mortally wounding the head of the caravan and killing the two mules that were loaded with Mexican silver dollars. These Mexicans were on their way to Las Cruces, New Mexico to purchase merchandise.
Rattle Snake Jack Wilson came to our home with Jeff Lewis a few days after the assault on the Mexicans, having a saddle and bridle. Their pants pockets were full of Mexican silver pesos.
These men said to me, "Kid, come and join us. This is the way to make money!"
I replied that it was only a matter of time till they would find its termination and their extermination but they only laughed. Rattle Snake Jack was born and raised a Mormon boy at Wilson's Lane just west of Ogden city and my mother tried very hard to get him to stop his mode of living but all in vain for only a few days later he was at Clifton, Arizona and had been drinking and carousing all night and as he rode out of town towards Duncan he met a Chinaman with a load of vegetables taking it into Clifton. He shot the Chinaman, got into the wagon, tying his horse behind, and began to peddle vegetables. He raised the Chinaman’s head up every once in a while and laughed.
When the sheriff was notified and went to arrest him, Jack reached for his pistol but the sheriff shot him all to pieces with a double-barreled shot gun; another incident of swift justice and retribution.
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In the fall of 1884 I was working as a cowboy for the 3C Cattle Co. in Sulphur Springs Valley and while engaged in this work it was the custom for the ranch
hands to all cut and haul hay. My brother Charles and I with four [others? – torn page] were hauling hay from the White Water section to the Sulphur Springs, a distance of about fifty miles, taking four days to make a trip. The [? - torn page] previous I had been over home and returned. My brother and I camped at [a? – torn page] little ranch about half way from White Water to Sulphur Springs and as it was chilly the next morning I put on my coat. While I was sitting on the hay [I? – torn page] found something in my pocket and saw that it was a hymn book mother had given to me. I opened it and read and the tears fell down my cheeks. I began to remember the things that had happened in my childhood and the testimonies of President Brigham Young, John Taylor, Martin Harris and many others, among them the wonderful testimony that was always borne to me by my mother. I had been wild and wayward but never an Idea had come into my head of being a robber or bandit. On the other hand the inheritance of Justice to everything contrary to banditry that I had received from my birthright from my father and mother had always stayed with me and the reading of these hymn[s] was a turning point in my life for it awakened in me a desire and determination to find out what there was in Mormonism for me.
On arriving at the ranch that evening I said to my brother Charles, "I am through with this kind of a life. I am going to find out for myself what there is in Mormonism and try to live the life of a Latter Day Saint. I am going to quit this kind of a life now and go down to the Gila River among the Mormon people and try to get a piece of land and settledown! Charley said he would go with me.
So we went and saw Mr. White, the manager, and asked for our time. He called me to one side.
"Orson, what is the trouble? Are you dissatisfied?" he said.
I told him no; not with him but with the kind of a life I had been living. He asked what I was going to do and when I told him, he said that was right. He was glad I had seen the light for he had thought many time what a shame it was that a young man like me was wasting his life in that kind of business.
Mr. White was a refined person, an engineer by profession. There was also another young man there from Ogden City who had been our neighbor when we were boys.
"That is right, Orson," he said. "You and Charley go over and get a place if you can. Count me in on it and I'll stay here and keep up expenses."
Charley and I went over and bought three forty-acre fields from a man and there began living a new life.
In the spring of 1885 we were visited by Apostle Lyman and John Henry Smith; and the president of the seven presidents of the Seventy's, Seymour B. Young. And while we held a fine meeting at Safford, my brother Charley and William Nelson and the two Wright brothers after the meeting had a fine talk at about twelve o'clock at night. And previous to our talk the two brothers and myself were ordained as Seventies, my brother and Nelson not desiring to take upon themselves the obligation.
About two in the morning a bunch of Apache Indians rode through the outskirts of Safford driving off a number of horses. The two Wright brothers, together with Robert Welker followed the Indians. The Indians fired on them, killing the two Wright brothers and Robert Welker, but his companions were saved and they returned to Safford. We went out and brought the bodies home and it was one of the saddest funerals I have ever witnessed. The husbands and fathers of two small families being dead at the same time. Apostle Lyman, Smith and Young advised us not to follow them further. My real work and experience in the Gospel began here.
I labored in the Mutual and Sunday School and did everything that I could to make myself worthy of service among my fellows and in the Gospel.
In March 1887 Apostle Moses Thatcher returned from the colonies in Mexico and told how the conditions financially were so distressing with the people in Mexico, and asked for volunteers of young men who were willing to serve and labor and build roads and dig ditches and become members of the colonies in Mexico.
There were as I remember, about twelve or fifteen young men who volunteered to come to these colonies, along with them, myself. When I asked Apostle Thatcher how soon he wanted us to leave he laid his hand on my shoulder.
"Just as soon as you can arrange your affairs," he said. "Get ready and go; and I promise you in the name of Israel's God that his blessing and Spirit and protection will be with you and that this will be the greatest blessing that could ever come to you to have volunteered this service for it is a service in the work of the Lord." And he sent me on the way rejoicing.
I began to dispose of what little I had and came to Sulphur Springs Valley where my mother was. She desired to come with me and together we journeyed to the colonies, arriving there on the thirtieth day of May, 1887.
Just before getting into the little colony of Juarez our wagon broke down and in the work of reloading and moving the malaria fever came back on me; I having had it once before. I was in bed for about three weeks, nigh unto death.
I remember especially this incident: My mother had gone from our little tent and sent Brother MacDonald to come and administer to me. He brought a man who was a doctor, by the name of Metz. I remember after they had administered to me they stepped outside of the door of the tent.
Brother MacDonald said to his companion, "What do you think about this case?"
Metz said, "Poor woman! She is going to be left alone very soon."
On hearing these words, I raised from my bed and called Brother MacDonald to come in and Metz followed.
"I will live yet to perform the work that has been promised me I should; I will see this man buried and live many years."
Brother MacDonald clasped my hand and said he felt also that I was going to live.
As soon as I was well enough I got up and went and saw Apostle Teasdale and he told me to go to Brother George Seavey who was Bishop of the ward. I went to him. I asked him what he wanted me to do.
"Can you make adobes?" he asked.
"I never have, but I can try," I replied.
I immediately went and laid out an adobe yard and began making adobes. Although my health wasn’t the best I continued making adobes into the rest of the year, making the adobes for the first school house.
This was the beginning of my work and service in Colonia Juarez.
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In the year of 1893 I had the glorious privilege, together with my wife Mattie, to go to the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in company with my very good friend, Joseph S. Cardon and his wife, Rhoda. We went together from Juarez by wagon to Deming and from there on to Salt Lake City and Logan where we had the privilege of going through the Logan Temple and receiving our washings and anointings and were sealed by Apostle Merril who was then presiding over the Logan Temple.
We then returned to Salt Lake where we had the privilege of going to the dedicatorial service of the Temple there; it was one of the most wonderful manifestations have ever witnessed. While the choir and congregation were singing "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning," they were joined in this most wonderful hymn by a heavenly host whose description of their singing is beyond words. This gave me a wonderful testimony.
On returning home to Mexico I had the privilege of bringing with me my mother who has always been a wonderful inspiration to me; her faith and testimony was always a great blessing to me.
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This dream so impressed me that on Monday morning I went to President Ivins who was in El Paso and I told him Salazar and his rebels were going to drive the people out of Mexico and I related to him my dream and the impression that I had received.
He said, "O, I guess you are mistaken. I have not had any impression in regard to this matter."
At this same time I wrote a letter to the President Junius Romney to this effect:
I feel impressed to say to you that Salazar and his rebels are going to demand the arms and ammunition of the colonists and will then drive them out into the United States. It seems to me the best policy to follow would be to deliver them the old arms and old ammunition and keep the new guns and ammunition that I have sent for your protection. I feel sure that the people are going to be driven out of their homes. I have received communications from Senator Smoot stating that he had just visited the Secretary of State and the President in regard to our critical condition and that if we did anything that might bring on international complications in Mexico, the American government would not give us assistance or protection.
This seems to me that our policy as to defending our interests and protecting our homes makes the conditions unendurable and we will not be able to do so."
The following day I received a letter from my sister, Cynthia Layton, in Thatcher. It said my mother was very sick and desired very much to see me; that she felt she might die at any time. I showed this letter to Brother Ivins.
He said, "I think you had better not go just now."
Then on Friday morning's mail I received another letter from my sister, requesting my immediate presence in Thatcher, Arizona; that my mother was much worse. I showed this letter to Brother Ivins and asked him what I should do.
He said, "Well, I think you had better go."
I said to him, "Brother Ivins, things in the colonies are in a terrible condition and I don't feel like deserting my post but if you say go, I will go and if anything happens while I am gone, you can wire me. At any rate, I will be back here next Monday morning.
I arrived at Thatcher Saturday at noon and found that my mother's condition was somewhat improved. She had received a wire I was on the way. On a Sunday afternoon while I was in Thatcher I was privileged to speak in meeting. While addressing the assembly I briefly related the critical conditions of the Saints in Mexico and asked the people of that community for their faith and prayers for the preservation of the lives and property of the people in Mexico and I was inspired to say that not only did we need their faith and prayers but also their materiel help, for at this time I knew the people would be having to leave because of Salazar and his red-flaggers.
After meeting was over I was asked to go and administer to one of our sisters who had previously lived at Morelos. On my return from that sister’s home I met President Kimball with a telegram from President Ivins.
It read: "Conditions serious return immediately."
When asked by President Kimball what I thought it meant, I said, "It means that our people have been attacked and are being driven out of Mexico by those bandits."
I returned home on Monday, finding that a train of our people who had been driven
out had arrived at El Paso. I immediately took steps to find places of refuge for them and make them as comfortable as possible. It was one of the most heart-rending scenes I have ever witnessed in my life to see those women and children who had been driven from their homes and most having left behind their husbands and sons and their anxiety for their safety was a terrible scene. They continued coming out until all of the women and children from all of the colonies arrived in the United States.
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In 1925 I was again admitted into the Church. I was baptized by Bishop Arwell Pierce and confirmed by my very tru[e] and good friend, Brother Thomas Kimball of Thatcher, Arizona, at El Paso, Texas. In 1927 I moved to Colonia Dublan, beginning again my appreciation and sense of the blessings of the Gospel. I was employed in El Paso in the winters of 1929 and 1930 and on the first of March I received a letter from my son Miles, asking me to come to the Centennial celebration in Salt Lake City. He sent me fifty dollars and said he had told the other boys to do the same and was sure they would; and I had the glorious privilege of accompanying Brothers Keeler, Pierce and Call to Salt Lake City to the Centennial.
While I was there I met President Ivins and he took me into the office and said he had been instructed by President Grant to confer upon me my former blessings. He laid his hands on my head and gave me all of my blessings and resealed my wives to me, and also my children.
This was one of the happiest days of all my life. I returned home to Dublan. Shortly afterwards I had a most wonderful manifestation.
I dreamed that I was on a beautiful hill that sloped down towards the east. I had heard that the Master was coming and I was gazing into the heavens watching for him to come. Then I walked down the slope where there was a road and by the side of the road stood a man and kneeling at the feet of this man was a Mexican.
As I neared, the man who was standing said, "Who are you looking for?"
I said, "I am looking for the Master."
He said, "You, like many others, are looking where He is not."
Then He passed on along the road with the Mexican and I followed them until I came to the bank of a beautiful river and there my wife and her baby joined me and as she came near me she had the baby in her arms but she dropped it and it slipped into the river. I jumped into the river, which was crystal clear, and brought the baby unhurt. As I looked across the stream I saw on the other side a wonderful space of green grass surrounded by trees. It was one of the most beautiful spots I have ever imagined. I saw my mother coming down the slope.
I said, "Don't you know me, mother?"
"Of course I do, son," she said.
I said, "Look at this beautiful baby."
"Yes, she is most beautiful."
I asked her if I could come across to where she was but she said I could not for I was not yet prepared, and to wait until I was prepared then I could come and join her.
Then I said, "Why mother, you do not seem to be lame any more." My mother had been a rheumatic invalid all the last years of her life.
She said, "No, son. I have my resurrected body and am free from all pain. Her countenance was lighted up and it was most beautiful and she looked like when I could first remember her."
Then she disappeared and I marveled at this wonderful manifestation and knew that I must surely be more prepared.
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Pratt Brown Document: Orson’s mother, Phoebe, identified by bolding, e.g.,