Thursday, January 27, 2011

Elizabeth Jane Brandon

  • Elizabeth Jane Brandon
  • Born: March 10, 1837 Nashville, Tennessee
  • Died: June 9, 1897 Brigham City, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni

Elizabeth Jane Brandon Pett was born near Nashville, Tennessee, March 10, 1837. She was the daughter of George Washington Brandon and Keziah Fowler. Her parents were among the first families in that vicinity to embrace the gospel and soon moved to Nauvoo and then to Utah. They endured many hardships on the way to Utah and had to walk many miles each day. Her father died in Winter Quarters and her mother brought her large family to Utah as a widow. In company with other saints they arrived in Salt Lake in the fall of 1852. She traveled in the James McGaw company. They first settled in Provo and then Grantsville and eventually Centerville.

She once told of an incident which happened while living in Grantsville, Utah. A neighbor’s young son ran away with a band of Shoshone Indians for a pinto pony. Two years later she met the boy camped at Black Rock on the Great Salt Lake. He was clad in Indian clothes and still had his pony. Elizabeth Jane recognized him and reprimanded him for the worry he caused his mother and they had a good reunion.

Elizabeth Jane was married in 1860 in the Endowment House to James Pett, a young architect. She was 23. According to one of her daughters Jane was a real Southern beauty with beautiful dark hair, blue eyes and fair skin.

Brother and Sister Pett raised a large family, fourteen in all. She was married twice before, and James also had two children from a former marriage. (Elizabeth was married very young as a polygamist wife to two different men. I am not sure what happened to those marriages. James was a young widower.)

Sister Pett was a good wife and mother, and wonderful help to her husband in those pioneer days. She not only made the children’s clothes, but spun yarn to knit socks and hose for the whole family. She made soap and candles for their needs. Besides many household tasks she went to the river during the summer on their farm.

Brother Pett had a farm at Three Mile Creek (now Perry, Utah) and made a home there until President Lorenzo Snow had them move to Brigham City in 1862. He felt Brother Pett could be more useful in Brigham City as the courthouse roof had blown off. He helped in the erection of many buildings.

Sister Pett was a member of the First Ward Relief Society and a block teacher for several years until her health failed. She remained a faithful Latter-day Saint until the end of her life. She died June 9, 1897 and was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery.

This article is from the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers archive.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Annis Bedford

  • Name: Annis Bedford
  • Born: October 7, 1833 Dunholme, England
  • Died: August 2, 1876 Toquerville, Utah
  • Related though: Dan's grandfather Heber Otto Langford

Annis Bedford, the first wife of James Jackson Jr., was born at Dunholme, Halifax, England October 7, 1833. She had two older sisters, Susan and Lydia, and an older brother named Joseph. Her mother Mary Ann had a common-law marriage to a Samuel Smith. When Annis was born she lived with her mother in her grandparents' home. Annis joined the Church in 1857 when she was 23 years old. Her uncle James (Mary Ann's brother) and his wife Hannah had already joined the Church and perhaps had some influence on her decision. At any rate, after joining the church she left home at the request of her parents (Her mother had married a George Eastwood in 1853 and by 1857 had a little boy).

Annis wasted no time immigrating to America. According to the local branch records, there were three other single girls from the same branch who immigrated on the same ship. So it is conceivable that they may have come together at least part way. It is hard to imagine Annis traveling all by herself first by rail to Liverpool and then across the ocean and then across the plains in a handcart company. We know that she traveled on the same boat and in the same handcart company as her future husband, James Jackson, but whether they were acquainted during the journey we don't know.

In 1857 when the company arrived in Salt Lake, Annis was sealed to a Lorenzo Dow Rudd, but it was later canceled before she met James Jackson and married him in 1859. She never actually lived with Lorenzo; (It was not uncommon for men to be sealed to the single girls and take care of them until they found someone to marry, at which time the first sealing would be canceled).

There must have been good feelings between James Jackson's wives. When Annis died in 1876, just 43 years old, Martha named her next child after Annis. She must have loved her. Annis left four living children - Lydia about 16; Rose Ellen - our great grandmother who was 10, Adelaide who was 6 and a George Samuel, who was 18 months old. These children were well taken care of and provided for by their father and his other wives. One final note of interest is that when Rose Ellen was 19, and asked for in marriage by James Harvey Langford Jr., James Jackson gave his permission for him to marry his daughter only if he would also marry her older sister, Lydia, age 24. This he did, making the father happy but not necessarily the daughters! (According to those who remember). 

Article compiled and edited by Norene Green and Sharlene Gardner, July 1997. Thanks to them for posting it on their family history site. You  can view the original here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sarah Hewlett

  • Name: Sarah Hewlett 
  • Born: September 25, 1817 Winchester, England
  • Died: July 26, 1904 Coalville, Utah
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Elvira Wilde Langford

Sarah Hewlett was born September 25, 1817 near Winchester, Hampshire, England in a town named Otterbourne. She was the only daughter of Andrew Hewlett and Sarah Alder.

Sarah had three brothers: Thomas, Andrew and Henry. Thomas worked for the telegraph department of the London and Southwestern Railroad for twenty seven years. Andrew was one of Queen Victoria’s body guards and to attain this position, he had to meet a height requirement of six feet. We don’t know much of Sarah’s other brother Henry as he died as a young man. Sarah worked as a maid in the homes of wealthy people and undoubtedly was quite a refined young lady and also a woman of ambition.

Sarah Hewlett met Henry Brown Wilde and they were married him November 9, 1840 at the age of 23. Early in their marriage they moved around quite a bit, settling in Fair Oak for a time, then in Southampton, later in Otterbourne, and finally to Portswood before making the long journey to America. They were blessed with six children: Thomas Hewlett, Sarah, Henry, Emma, Ellen Maria Martha, and Joseph Henry Wilde. Unfortunately, only four of her six children lived to adulthood and were blessed with children of their own.

While living in Portswood, her husband Henry Brown Wilde met a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whose name was Elder Thomas B. H. Stenhouse. Elder Stenhouse was serving a mission with Elder Lorenzo Snow. Henry Brown Wilde was converted to the faith and Sarah Hewlett soon followed and was baptized a week after her husband July 20, 1849 at the age of 31. Her children also believed, and the family accepted the invitation to come to Zion. On January 6, 1851 they set sail for America, a land of opportunity and religious freedom.

Sarah and Henry’s fifth child Emma Maria Martha Wilde was born on their journey across the Atlantic Ocean and was named after the “Ellen Maria” ship they were sailing on and after Martha, the nurse in attendance. I can hardly imagine what it would been like for Sarah to give birth to a baby on the ship. I would think that the beds they had would have been small and in cramped quarters and that good sanitation would have been a challenge. It would have been quite scary knowing that if something went wrong they couldn't just dock at a moment's notice and find a doctor. She did have their family nurse, Martha there which would have been a great comfort.

The family arrived at the New Orleans port after nine weeks at sea. Upon arrival, Henry searched for work and they stayed there for a time to earn money for their journey west to Salt Lake City, Utah.

By the summer of 1852, they had enough money to pay for their passage on a steamboat up the Missouri River. It was on this leg of the journey that Henry’s mother Jane Brown Wilde caught malarial fever and died. She was buried in Jackson County, Missouri.

After arriving at Council Bluffs, they purchased a team of oxen, a wagon, and a cow and started their trek across the plains. While they were camped near the Platte River, her son Henry who was then six years old, climbed a nearby tree to play and to get a view of the land, and tragically, he fell from the tree and died of his injuries. They had to bury him there by the river, and press on up the trail the next day. Sarah later recalled to her granddaughter, that this was the hardest trial of her life. To leave the body of her precious child there, knowing that wild beasts would dig him up, was almost more that she could bear. She was obviously a woman of great strength and faith to be able to continue on her journey at that time.

After arriving in the Salt Lake valley in September of 1852, they moved around a bit over the next seven years, living in Provo in a tent and covered wagon, Sugar House, Spanish Fork, and then back to Sugar House. While living at Sugar House Sarah and her husband received their endowments and were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.

On June 8, 1859, the family hitched up their ox team and drove to Weber Valley to settle in Chalk Creek which later was became Coalville, Henry having already preceded them and built a cabin and planted crops. Sarah and Henry must have like the area, since they no longer moved from place to place, but stayed there in Coalville for the rest of their lives. They were among the first to start the settlement there, but word spread quickly of the area, and by 1860 fifteen families had come.

Sarah Hewlett played a valuable role in the community and was the first teacher in the valley. Sarah held school in her own cabin for the neighboring children until a log school house could be built in 1860, at which time she taught there. School was later held in the Old Rock School House which was built in 1865. She also cooked for railroad workers that were building a railway down Echo Canyon.

Sarah remained strong in her religion. She was asked to serve as the President of the Relief Society. She willingly accepted this calling on Jan 8, 1870 at the age of 53. Her counselors were Ann Cluff and Jessie Boyden. She served in this capacity for 20 years, except for the two years when she and Henry were visiting England.

Sarah’s husband preceded her in death by almost thirty years, so Sarah had to support herself financially for quite some time, as well as two granddaughters she was raising. I presume these were two of her daughter Ellen Maria Martha’s children, since she died at the age of 33. Undoubtedly, learning to work hard in her youth as well as passing through her many trials, had taught her the skills and faith to sustain herself and those two children whom she loved. She was only 57 years old when her husband Henry passed on. By the age of about 77, her eyesight gradually began to fail her and by the age of 86 she could scarcely see light, let alone anything else. This was a sore affliction to her since she loved to do intricate needlework, read, and be industrious.

Sarah Hewlett Wilde passed away about a year later on July 26, 1904 at the age of 87 and was buried in the Coalville Cemetery. Margaret Carruth Rhead recalled of Sarah, “My grandmother was a perfect gentlewoman. She had a very sweet, even disposition and was kindly and gracious to everyone. I never heard her use a vulgar word or say an unkind thing of anyone. For the gospel’s sake, she left father, mother, brothers, relatives, friends and home. She experienced all the privations of pioneer life, buried her son on the plains and suffered mentally and physically, and through it all, she never complained or regretted the course in life she had taken. Her faith in the gospel never wavered and was just as firm at the time of her death, as it had been ever since she joined the church. I honor her memory and am proud to be her granddaughter.”

This story was compiled by Mary A., great great great grand-daughter of Sarah Hewlett Wilde's brother-in-law, William Wilde. Thanks to Mary for providing this history on her website.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Paul Martinus Jensen

  • Name: Paul Martinus Jensen
  • Born October 7, 1820 Dronninglund, Hjorring, Denmark
  • Died April 8, 1898 Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah
  • Related through: Erin’s grandfather James W. Madson

The lives of these two people were affected by the history of their native country Denmark is a small place in relation to other Scandinavian countries. It is also a very old inhabited place. To me it seems important to know a few bits of information about those people who have gone before me. To begin, the Madsen family were full Danes. I have been told we have a tie to the Atterdag family, in particular to Valdemar Atterdag and Queen Margarethe. That may or may not be true. Our people seem to have been part of Droninglund for a long time.

According to Thomas Jefferson in 1784, Denmark had nine well defined layers of society with no escape from any one of them. ONLY PEASANTS PAID TAXES. At times, peasants gave their land to the state or church because the taxes were too high for them to pay and still support their families. Only land owners were taxed so some choose to become vassals.

When land was wanted it was not available until land reform began in 1788. At that time people could begin to own the land they were working. In 1805, it became possible for some people to buy land. Most of the land in Denmark belongs either to the state or to the Church.

Paul Martinus Jensen had two younger brothers, Christen and Johannes Peter, who we don’t know much about. Mette Kirstine Olsen had one brother and three sisters. All of Mette’s siblings joined the church in Denmark and gathered with them in Utah.

Because Paul was blind in one eye (we have not found how this occurred) he never served in the Danish Army. The Danish Army lost all their wars but one. James E. Madsen was in that one it was about the border between Germany and Denmark, a problem still not really settled. Danish soldiers were easy to bribe to return to their land and leave the army.

Paul was married three times. He was married first to Brigithe Christendotter who brought a five year old son to the marriage, Hans Christian Andersen. He was not Paul’s and upon the death of Brigithe, he went to her sister. She died in 1850, her son was ten and on half.

According to a probate at the death of Paul’s first wife, Paul was a very generous, caring person. He choose to give all of Birgithe’s possessions to her son, along with some additional financial aid. At this time he also choose to forgive some other debts, although he himself was not at that time a wealthy person.

At the time of Paul’s second marriage to our great grandmother, Mette Kirstine Olsen, on April 15, 1851, good fortune almost immediately smiled upon the newlywed couple with dramatically higher wheat prices. France attacked Russia in 1854-1856, seeking to reduce Russian power in what became known as the Crimean War. The focus point of that war was the large port of Odessa on the Black Sea from which much Ukrainian wheat was exported. At that time Russian wheat was very important to global demand. Over this time period and thereafter while Odessa was being rebuilt, global wheat prices rose dramatically.

It is likely that when Mette and Paul were married they received as a wedding gift from Mette's parents a small farm on the small hill just north of Orso. It was less than a mile from the home of Mette's parents.

Whether they were persecuted for their beliefs is unknown. Mette had joined the church one year before Paul and likely was a clear and guiding star to Paul in making their decision to leave Denmark. Life had never been better for Paul since he had married Mette. Prosperity, posterity and the gospel had followed his second marriage. Mette was comfortable naming their first child, a daughter, after Paul's first wife, Brigithe. They had two daughters Brigithe and Hannah.

In 1866, preparations were complete and this family left their homeland to gather to Utah. Paul at that time was pretty well off. Research by Duane Madsen indicates that the $2,000.00 mentioned in accounts of Paul Martinus Jensens' financial affairs in 1866 has a discounted, inflation adjusted present value in 2004 of about $40,000.00.

Paul and Mette sold their precious things and significantly distributed the proceeds to the poor who were without the means to immigrate to Zion. Not a solitary reference of complaint is known to have been uttered by Mette who may have felt a significant sense of loss at leaving behind the home she had bore and raised her children. Paul seemed to have taken upon himself the responsibility of helping as many friends and family as possible to immigrate to Utah.

While no personal records were kept we have the records of others who traveled with them as they crossed the Atlantic, continued in renovated cattle cars to Missouri, and then mostly walked the last 1,200 miles to Zion. We can only imagine the process Mette and Paul went through in deciding to leave their prosperous circumstances near Droninglund, North Jutland, Denmark. For more on their journey see Brigithe’s history.

We are fortunate to have been born into a family of truly converted parents and grandparents and great grandparents. It is written that more productive members came from North Jutland than any other part of Denmark. They came as group. Not all at the same time but close enough and settling close enough together that they were still a "community of believing friends" within their new environment.

Included among the members of the local congregation of newly organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was Gutzon Borglum, the sculpture of the Mt Rushmore faces of the four presidents. He left his homeland for the sake of the Gospel and joined with the people in Utah. However, he became disaffected but was not excommunicated.

Brigham Young said, in the Discourses of Brigham Young, "Those who leave their home land and for sake of the gospel, gather with the saints will inherit the Celestial Kingdom that is all that is required of them".

After coming to Utah they settled in Spanish Fork. The first winter in Spanish Fork was spent in a small space beneath the ground which was covered with wood, adobe and branches to provide shelter. Paul and Mette quickly became part of the Danish community. At age sixteen Brigithe married James Ephraim Madsen who was then twenty-five. They were blessed with nine children- eight boys and a girl, Bodelia who was named after Birgithe's favorite and famous cousin Bodelia Mortenson who froze to death at Rocky Ridge, Wyoming while caring for a small child in the Willy Handcart Company.

As their family grew Brigithe asked her son Enoch to live with her parents in Spanish Fork to care for them and deal with the English language issues for her parents who never learned English. Each week Brigithe walked the twelve miles from Salem to Spanish Fork to spend a day with her son and parents. To have such faithful and worthy ancestors is a heritage to emulate.

These two people never learned English and probably were not in the habit of doing much writing in their native Danish language but they were faithful to the end of their days in the new faith they had embraced in their native land. They made great sacrifices to leave their native land and familiar culture and make the arduous journey by sea and by land to gather with their friends and fellow believers in a new country.

Mette died in 1885. After Mette’s death Paul was married a third time to Karen Marie Madsen Ottesen. Karen’s husband died in 1882. A child Marie, who was born in 1882, was sealed to her and Paul. They were married October 16, 1889 in the Manti Temple. Paul died in 1898 and is buried in Spanish Fork.

Article by Rae Christina Madsen Kem and Duane Madsen taken from their book “A Good Man and a Good Woman – Paul Martinus Jensen and Mette Kristine Olsen”. I found this book in the Family History Library catalog. Thanks Kerns for doing so much research about the Madsons.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

James Dennis Nuttall

  • Name: James Dennis Nuttall
  • Born: October 14, 1856 Tottington, Lancashire, England
  • Died: October 24, 1931 College Ward, Cache, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Idonna Nuttall

James Dennis Nuttall, son of William Nuttall and Alice Hopkinson Nuttall was born October 14, 1856 at Tottington, Lancashire, England and was the youngest of 10 children.

His autobiography:
About the year 1860 I went with my parents to Edenfield and I well remember the cotton panic caused by the Civil War in the United States and celebrating the marriage of the Prince of Wales in 1863.

The next two or three years I attended school at Edenfield and in about 1867 we moved to Twine Terrace and I commenced to work in the cotton mills. I also attended school at Bank Lane or Suttleworth, here is where I first saw the Mormon Elders who came occasionally and had meetings in our house. My parents joined the church several years before I was born. We belonged to the Tottington Branch of the Manchester Conference. I was baptized, along with others, on February 8, 1868 by Nephi Hawerth and confirmed by Thomas Schfield.

On June 20, 1868 my sister Alice and her husband, William Horworth, emigrated on the packet ship Emerald Isle from Liverpool and landed in New York on August 14. Thirty-seven deaths occurred on the voyage of over eight weeks. From that time on I continued to attend church and work in the cotton mills at Twine Terraces until I came to America in 1873.

Father was a farmer. My sister Mary worked in the cotton mills and my oldest sister Ann was a widow with three children. Her husband, John Robinson, was killed in the cotton mill on October 26, 1867 and her youngest child died soon after. She also worked in the cotton mills until she emigrated with our parents in 1872. Father and mother and my sister Ann and her two little girls, Mary and Esther, set sail on the steamship Wisconsin on July 31, 1872. My other sister Mary and I went to Liverpool to see them off, and then we returned to work and saved enough in eleven months to immigrate ourselves. On July 10, 1873, we sailed on the steamship Nevada and landed in New York on July 23. We arrived in Ogden on August 1, 1873. Father, who had settled in Millville, Cache County, the year before, came to Ogden to meet us with a team and wagon. Father and I slept out of doors which was the first time I had ever slept outside, and I got acquainted with the mosquitoes. I also had a meal with the first brown bread I had ever tasted. We came to Brigham City the first night and Millville the next. Indians were plentiful and we saw them every day.

Father was farming some land on shares so I helped him cultivate corn and we hauled some hay from the muddy river and when the grain was ready to harvest Father cut it was a scythe and together we raked it with hand rakes and tied it into bundles by hand and when it was ready we hauled it and stacked it. Later it had to be thrashed with a thrashing machine.

Sometime this month a two day meeting or conference took place in a bowery in Logan at which Brigham Young was present, this was the first time I had seen him.

Sometime during the latter part of October 1873, I went to Brigham City to work in the woolen mills to take the place of my sister Alice whose was sent home to Millville to her sick husband who died in November. I got board and lodging at the home of Levi Bradshaw and I was put to work weaving blankets and other cloth. (He goes on to list many of his co-workers at the mill. Of note he mentions that James Pett was the manager and that Elizabeth Pett worked as a weaver. An interesting connection.)

The United Order was the rule we were working under and we were supposed to be on hand a few minutes before 7 a.m. at the mill so we could kneel down together and have prayers before starting the wheel and everything worked alright. When Christmas came I went home to Cache Valley for a few days. We also got time off in March when we ran out of wool. I got to stay for two or three weeks until more wool came in.

On the 5th of February 1874 I went with the Brigham City Brass Band in a boxcar to witness the driving of the last spike in the Utah Northern Railroad between Willard and Ogden. The following summer and winter passed without anything of note happening. All that I earned at the mill except for paying my board and clothes I sent home to father and mother and sister, Mary, except for an occasional show ticket. I slept in the mill for eight months as a watchman and got 50 cents a night.

The summer of 1875 passed pretty much the same as the past year, working steady except two or three weeks in the spring waiting for new work. I attended Sunday School and Meetings pretty regular. Our Sunday School went on an excursion to Logan. We rode flat cards with seats fixed on and covered with brush for shade. We surely enjoyed the trip. The winter of 1875 and 1876 was quite severe with lots of snow.

Mother died on January 28th but they did not let me know for I could not have been to the funeral as the railroad was blocked with snow over the divide. Sometime that winter or spring I became a member of the YMMIA when it was first organized in Brigham City. The Sunday Schools, meetings, dances and theaters were all held in the Court House buildings and Brigham City was all in one ward, Calvin Nicholas was bishop.

The mill closed down as usual in the spring for want of wool and to put in some new machinery and I came home again for two or three weeks sometime in January or February. This being leap year I got an invitation to attend a leap year ball with a partner and I took Elizabeth Bowden, it was sure a swell affair. We had supper at intermission at James Barrons and from this time on we went together steady.

When I came back to work she had to go to work at Hansen Dairy at Collingston, but she came back home after about a month. On the 2nd of July she went to the valley of her uncle Bill in Box Elder canyon to milk her father’s cows and then coming home they ran a race to see who could get home first and the saddle synch broke and she was thrown to the ground and broke her arm. On the 4th of July Jim Baron, Bill Chatterton and I went to Ogden to celebrate, it being the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States. On the 24th of July, James Barron and his wife, my girlfriend and I came over to Cache Valley on the train to celebrate. Father fetched us home in a day or two to Brigham City in a wagon.

On the 1st of October I went to go see President Snow of the Box Elder Stake to get a recommend to go and get married. I was then ordained an Elder by President Snow and got my recommend. In a few days we went to the Salt Lake Endowment House and were married by John Taylor on October 10. We came home the next day and stayed at Bowden’s for a few days. Then we rented a room and went to keeping house and I kept on working at the mill. Two or three weeks later there were several young couples married by civil ceremony, the Endowment House being closed. The Brass Band came one night and serenaded each of us and on New Year’s Day we had our wedding supper.

In 1877 I worked steadily at the mill and we had to move two or three times. On the 29th of August word came that President Young had died and the mill stopped until he was buried on Sunday, September 2. Our first child was born on October 9 and we named him William LeRoy. The woolen mills burned down on December 21st and I was out of work. They started to rebuild the mill and I got a job until spring with the masons. In the latter part of March father came by team and wagon to move us to Cache Valley. On April 1 we arrived in West Millville and that summer and fall we planted and harvested crops like other people.

1879 The past years passed as usual on the farm except occasionally a visit to Brigham City to visit our relatives and they came and visited us. Our second child was born on July 25 in Brigham City, we named him James Dennis. My wife went to stay at the home of her parents while she was confined and I fetched them home two weeks later.

1880 This year passed as usual putting in crops and harvesting them. Making visits to Brigham City and Deweyville.

1881 This year passed not keeping any record. Farming and doing other odd jobs. Our third child was born October 22. We name him Thomas Edward.

1882 Another year passed like the previous one.

1883 Still farming and doing other odd jobs. Benjamin Reuben was born November 22.

1884 Father Nuttall died June 28. Farming and labor as usual.

1885 Going to the canyon for wood. Working on the farm as usual. Alice Ann was born December 22.

1886 The years have passed with no record. I have been busy in religious and temporal way doing what I thought to be right and in the future I intend to keep a better record.

1888 On February 14 another little girl was born to us and we named her Media Elizabeth. I was a school trustee for the first seven years after College Ward was made and on November 8, Election Day, I was elected Justice of the Peace and was allowed $20 for my labors.

1889 This year was much the same as the previous years. I took care of my farm and family and attended our civil and religious duties.

1890 On January 26 another little girl was born to us and we called her Mary Arletta. During the years that followed I took care of my farm and was also the first and only Mail Carrier to carry mail from Logan to College Ward. My wife was a substitute. We made two trips a week, Wednesday and Saturday until November 20, 1904. On December 1, 1904 rural free delivery was started.

1899 On July 4, I was elected trustee for two more years. In November I went to Salt Lake City with some produce and bought and organ for the family. In November I was also re-elected as Justice of the Peace. On March 5, 1899 I was sustained as ward clerk of the College Ward, a position I held for 30 years. I was set apart as President of the First Elders Quorum to be organized in the College Ward on January 31, 1904.

My wife and I were fortunate in raising all our children and they were all married in the temple to good companions. Two of our sons were called to fulfill missions for the church. I have always tried to do my duty and be useful in the ward where we lived and have always had a testimony of the gospel.

On January 30, 1922, I lost my faithful wife and companion. My sister Alice Taggert of Salt Lake City came to spend the rest of the winter and summer with me and made frequent visits to see me for the next years. On August 14, 1925 I lost my youngest son Benjamin Reuben, he was killed in an accident. Our oldest son, William LeRoy, had died some years previous on June 22, 1910.

James was ordained a High Priest February, 1, 1908 in a Hyrum Stake Priesthood meeting. The last three years of his life he spent with his daughters. He died of pneumonia October 24, 1931 at the age of 76.

This history was given to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers by Alverta Nuttall Bowler, granddaughter, in 1967.

Friday, January 7, 2011

James Pett

  • Name: James Pett
  • Born: March 31, 1827 Eatington, Warwick, England
  • Died: April 12, 1908 Brigham City, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni

James Pett was born March 31, 1827, in Ettington, Warwichshire, England. Only five years of his childhood was spent in school, as his father died while he was young and he left school to help support the rest of the family. As was customary at that time for all men to go out as an apprentice for some future trade, he entered the carpenter and architecture trade as an apprentice which line of occupation he followed most of his life.

May 12, 1851, he was baptized and confirmed a member of the LDS Church doing much local missionary work before he left for the United States in 1853. Just before he left for America, Queen Victoria asked him to be one of her guards, quite an honor in those days, but his religion meant more to him so he declined in favor of coming to America.

During the voyage small pox broke out and many people died and were buried at sea. After six weeks of troublesome journeying their ship finally arrived in New Orleans. From there he and his wife, Mary, migrated to Iowa where they spent three years working to get enough money to buy a team of oxen to come to Utah. Most of his earnings came from chopping wood.

They came across the plains with a company of Danish saints. Due to his marksmanship with a gun, he was appointed with one other man to furnish the company with meat. Elder Canute Peterson was captain of the company, which arrived in Salt Lake City Sept. 20, 1856. They settled in Cottonwood Creek for one year. The following year he bought a farm and moved to Three Mile Creek, now Perry, Utah.

The next year his wife died and in 1860 he married Jane Brandon in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Around this time the Courthouse in Brigham City was under construction and much trouble had arisen because the roof had blown off. President Lorenzo Snow asked him to put on a roof that would stay, which he did without nails — using wooden pegs and horse hide.

While he was working on the roof, President Snow had a crowd of men go to Perry to move him to Brigham without asking him about it. It was a surprise to James and he objected. The men tied him hand and foot, loaded up the furniture and him on top and moved him to Brigham.

After he completed the work on the Courthouse he designed and built many structures in Brigham City. The old stone bridge on north Main Street was his creation – he designed it and over saw its construction. In addition he designed the Tabernacle, the First National Bank building, the original Baron Woolen Mills and the early suspension bridges over the Bear River.

He was ordained a Seventy by Pres. J. D. Reese in 1865, and became a member of the 58th quorum of Seventy; remained a member of that quorum until the organization of the Box Elder Stake of Zion, August 19, 1877, when he was ordained a High Priest and set apart to be a member of the High Council by Pres. Lorenzo Snow. During his residence in Brigham City he assisted in building up that place in particular and Box Elder county in general, being a builder by trade. He has been connected with the erection of public as well as a great many private buildings, roads and bridges, which are seen in Box Elder county on every hand. He was superintendent of the Woolen Mill for seven years, served as a member of the city council for one term, and was county commissioner for twenty-two years. He worked in these various offices and callings under the direction, counsel and advice of President Lorenzo Snow, whom he calls "a brother and a friend indeed."

This history was written and compiled by Jane E. Compton in 1931 for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Some additional information was taken from Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4 vols. Salt Lake City 1:390 I found the excerpt at this site.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

James Jackson Jr.

  • Name: James Jackson Jr.
  • Born: February 6, 1826 in Prattsbottom, Kent, England
  • Died: September 5, 1897 Toquerville, Utah
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Heber Langford

James Jackson Jr. was born February 6,1826 in Prattsbottom, Kent, England, the first son and second child of James Jackson Sr. and Mary Anderson. As a young man he apprenticed and trained as a roof thatcher, but this must not have proved too satisfactory, for he later followed the work of a butcher whereby he dressed out and prepared animals for the London Market. He embraced the gospel and was baptized into the church on Jan. 6, 1856, in his 29th year. At this time there were many Jacksons in the Bromley Branch (Chelsfield) of the British Mission who were joining the church. It is supposed that some were most likely relatives, although not immediate family. His mother Mary joined the church the following year in 1857 and his father James Jackson Sr. was baptized in 1862 by a relative, J. Siney. Mary, his mother died in England in 1877 and her husband James Jackson Sr. then came to America and died in Toquerville the following year at age 83.

James Jackson Jr. became active immediately and immigrated to America on the "George Washington" that same year, 1856. One of the Pratt brothers was in the company crossing the ocean, and he prophesied that they would have a short, pleasant journey. It was a speedy voyage leaving March 28 and arriving in Boston April 20, only 23 sailing days! James crossed the plains in the Handcart Co. of Israel Evans. They left Florence, Nebraska June 13, 1857, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley September 13. The journey, thankfully, was made without the suffering and death that accompanied those traveling in the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies the year before. It is believed that he was alone with his cart but could manage well, being a husky young man. On the journey he became acquainted with a Miss Stevens and they planned to be married when they arrived in the valley. When they arrived in Salt Lake they were met by a large group of people and they became separated, she being sent to one place and he to another. He was to meet her on a certain evening, and when he went to see her he found she had married a man who was a widower.

He made himself a little dug-out on the bank of City Creek where he lived the first winter. Having become proficient as a butcher he readily found employment in the valley butchering animals about the neighborhood for which he received as his pay -- the heads of the different animals that he had killed. He also worked on various farms for which he received produce such as onions, and potatoes.

The next year he moved to Utah Valley where he settled in Lehi and became a farmer himself. During his second year there he met at the boarding house where he worked, a young school teacher named Annis Bedford who was also from England and had been on the same boat and in the same handcart company as he had. After a brief courtship they were married in Nov. 1859 by Israel Evans. When their first child was born they were living in a dugout in Lehi. Mary Lydia was born in 1860 and they lived in Lehi until the Fall of 1861, when Pres. Brigham Young called James on a mission to help settle the Dixie Country. Between then and 1865 when ancestor Rose Ellen was born, they had three more children all of whom died very young. By now they were living in Toquerville where they made their permanent home. They again lost another girl before having two more children who lived, Adelaide in 1868 and George Samuel in 1875.

In 1863 James and Annis went to the Endowment house to be sealed and then in 1868, when Annis was 35, he was also sealed to two other women -- Martha McFate and Sarah Ann Stapley. All together these three wives bore him 25 children. (By the time of the Manifesto two of his wives had died: Annis in 1876 and Martha in 1882. At the height of the investigation in 1890 he was called to Beaver for a government investigation, but could easily prove himself free of any violation).
James and Annis

James and Annis lived a now white-stuccoed home at 132 North Toquer Boulevard (he built a separate home for each wife). The home is still standing. There is a legend that James buried his gold in that empty lot next to this home, but died without telling his family where to find it. Folks in town dug all over that lot, trying to find where that gold was planted but the gold has never been found.

In 1873 James returned to England on a mission. His appearance was rather noticeable as he wore homespun, homemade clothes. The story goes that his trousers were over-large, baggy at the seat and impressed. When he went aboard ship and registered and paid for first class passage, there was surprise and raised eyebrows among the passengers. But he felt he was equal to anyone as he knew he had $600 in his pocket, which was quite a sum in those days. On this mission he converted several members of his immediate family, baptizing a brother William and his wife Hanna as well as others. Not long afterward many of his family immigrated to America and settled in Nephi, Cedar City, Toquerville and other places.

James became well established in the sheep business, his main source of income. He also hauled by team and wagon fresh fruits and vegetables to neighboring towns. He spent considerable time traveling between Salt Lake and Dixie. On the return trip he would bring clothes, etc. for his large family. Among the things he brought was a large box of shoes, called ankle-jacks, of assorted sizes from which each boy could select his size.

According to Toquerville town historian, Dr. Wesley P. Larsen, James owned five hundred acres -- more than anyone else in town, getting a beautiful yield from his land.  Practical man that he was, Brigham declared that if the Gentiles were going to buy wine, they might as well buy it from "the Mormons."  This area of southern Utah was known as the “wine” mission. James Jackson's grapes were a good source of income, as were other products of his fields and orchards. Larsen relates:  "Like many other Dixie pioneers, James hauled, with team and wagon, fresh fruits and vegetables to nearby towns, principally the mining towns of Silver Reef in southern Utah and Pioche in eastern Nevada.  He received five cents per peach, which at that time was a large price.

His son Jesse Jackson relates: One time Father took . . . one of these trips to Pioche with a load of produce.  After selling out and making preparations to return home, Father noticed some men watching him. See, in those days there were no greenbacks, the money being all in gold and silver. He carried his money in a buckskin bag. Being suspicious, Father nailed the bag of money on the underside of the "reach" of the wagon.

Sure enough, when they had traveled some distance from Pioche, they were held up at gunpoint by this group of highwaymen who ransacked the wagon thoroughly, but could find no cash and so had to let Father proceed."

As to religious matters he was a strict tithe payer and was also generous to any worthy cause. At one time he was the leader of the Toquerville choir. He did considerable temple work considering how much time he spent traveling on business. In 1893, at 67 years of age he drove with his wife Martha by wagon all the way to Salt Lake City to attend the dedication of the temple. The next couple of years he suffered strokes which eventually left him paralyzed and unable to speak. He died in 1897 at the age of 71. His son characterized him as a man who was as good as his bond, whose nature seemed more stubborn than it really was, and possessed by a somewhat irritable or quick temper with a generosity that few equaled. 

This article was compiled and edited by Norene Green and Sharlene Gardner, July 1997. Thanks to them for posting it on their family history site. You  can view the original here.