Monday, February 14, 2011

Keziah Fowler

  • Name: Keziah Fowler
  • Born: June 19, 1815 in Gibson County, Indiana
  • Died: February 3, 1899 Centerville, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni

Keziah Fowler Brandon was born June 19, 1815 in Gibson County, Indiana. She was the daughter of George H. and Rebecca Stillwell Fowler. It is not known how many brothers and sisters she had but the 1820 census listed her parents with six children. Her father was named as one of the executors of this father-in-law David Stillwell’s will in 1822 in Gibson County.

We don’t know where she met her husband, George Washington Brandon, but they were married October 6, 1831. They took up homemaking in Henry County, Tennessee.

According to church records, there were missionaries in the area as early as 1834. George and Keziah were undoubtedly some of the earliest converts. George did missionary work himself, baptizing several people. He stated in a letter written to church headquarters that he had preached as many as 500 sermons.

Keziah and George were the parents of eleven children, seven of whom were born in Henry County, Tennessee before the move to Nauvoo.

Sometime between 1842 and 1844 Keziah and George moved to Nauvoo, no doubt to be near the prophet and other members. In 1844, a short time before the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and Hyrum, George and his brother, Thomas Jefferson Brandon, were appointed to go to Alabama to preach the gospel and to teach the prophet’s viewpoint on politics. This mission was cut short and he returned home to Nauvoo.

When the exodus from Nauvoo began they were not prepared to make the long trip to Utah. They took up residence for a few years at Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa, were more children were born. In April of 1848 Keziah received a patriarchal blessing while they were living in Winter Quarters.

While working in the timber on Cow Creek in 1849, George was stricken with cholera and died. Keziah was not allowed to see him or to bring his body home for burial. The exact date of his death isn’t known by any of the family.

After George’s death, Keziah came to Utah in 1851 or 52 with seven or eight (available sources do not agree) of her eleven children, including our ancestor Elizabeth Jane. Our grandmother must have had a strong testimony and great determination to bring so many children so far, not knowing how she would feed or clothe them. She died in Centerville, Utah on February 3, 1899. She is buried in the Centerville City Cemetery.

This article was written by Gertrude Jackson for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Story! Thank you so much for sharing I am a descendent of Keziah through her daughter Rebecca Brandon Wilcox, Ann Venetta Wilcox Nebeker, her son George Washington Nebeker (my grand father)

    In the book “History of Sanpete and Emery Counties, Utah : with sketches of cities, towns and villages, chronology of important events, records of Indian Wars Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens
    W.H. Lever

    Page 22 under Brandon Wilford W. “and in ’52 Mother, then a widow and seven children came to Utah in Capt. Henry Miller’s Company and located at Provo." I’m not sure if it is right, but I thought I would share.

    Thank you again for posting the story.

    Darlene Odenwalder