Monday, December 27, 2010

Elizabeth Bowden

  • Name: Elizabeth Bowden Nuttall
  • Born: March 5, 1860 Swansea, Wales
  • Died: January 30, 1922 Brigham City, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Idonna Nuttall Madson
Elizabeth Bowden Nuttall was the fourth daughter of Ann Grinny and William Bowden. She was born March 5, 1860 in Swansea, Wales.

At the age of three she immigrated to the United States with her parents. They landed in New York in the spring of 1863. They traveled by train as far as Council Bluffs. Here they were assigned to an immigrant company that was starting west. The wagons were loaded very heavy and all that were able to walk were obliged to do so. Elizabeth although very small walked most of the way from the Missouri River to the Salt Lake Valley.

A young man by the name of Charles Ballintyne was the teamster of the wagon to which the Bowden family was assigned. As the wagon was heavily loaded, when approaching hills, Charles would say “You little girls (meaning her mother and two sisters) will have to get out and walk.” He would often allow two other young ladies assigned to the same wagon to ride, while Elizabeth and her sisters walked. The little girls would scold him quite a bit about this seeming favoritism. Later on when they settled in Brigham City this same young man was their neighbor.

Elizabeth’s early years in Brigham were typical of real pioneer life. Her father had a small farm east of town and supported the family as best he could by raising fruit and hiring out as a butcher.

While still a young girl, Elizabeth, with a number of other girls from Brigham City, hired out to work at the Hansen Dairy and Cheese Factory, located at a place then know as Cottonwood Hollow about 20 miles north of Brigham on the divide between Box Elder County and Cache County. The factory, a two story rock building built in the spring of 1871 is still standing.

She later worked at the home of one of President Lorenzo Snow’s wives. Here she was treated as one of the family. She would often refer to Sister Snow as Aunt Adeline.

At the age of 16, she married James Dennis Nuttall, a young man who had emigrated about five years previous. They were married in the old Endowment House in Salt Lake City in October of 1876 by Apostle John Taylor. They often said that when they left the Endowment House all James had was 10 cents in his pocket and with that he bought two rolls for their lunch.

They made their home in Brigham City for the next two years where James was employed as a weaver in the Woolen Mills. Here their first child, a son, was born to them. They then moved to Cache Valley and settled on a farm two miles west of Millville. Living with James’ father and taking care of him until he died six years later.

They belonged to the Millville Ward until the College Ward was organized and they belonged to this new ward for the rest of their lives. They took an active part in all the affairs of this new community. Elizabeth was always active in the church and walked many miles to attend to her duties. She was an officer in the Primary for many years, first as a counselor and then as president. She was also a member of the choir and a Relief Society teacher for years.

James was the first and only mail carrier to carry the mail from Logan to College Ward. Elizabeth was his substitute. This trip was made twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays for several years. As James was a farmer and often had other work to do Elizabeth carried the mail a great deal of the time. For the first few years the trip was made with a horse and cart, later with a surrey or buggy. Elizabeth loved horses and was very proud to drive a spirited animal. The work ended December 1, 1904 when Rural Free Delivery was put into effect.

She loved music and was a good singer. She was blessed with a happy, cheerful disposition, a wonderful characteristic she carried into the homes where she was called to nurse the sick. A talent she was richly endowed with and one duty she dearly loved to perform. She was the mother of seven children, four boys and three girls. Two of her sons fulfilled missions.

After their children were all married they moved away from the farm and settled in a cozy home near the meeting house. Here she spent the remaining years in active service in the church and nursing the sick. She passed away January 30, 1922 in Brigham City from an appendicitis. She was stricken with it while she was helping her daughter who had just had a new baby. She is buried in Millville, Cache County.

This article was written by Media Nuttall Dunn, daughter, for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. I found it in their archives.

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