Eliza Elizabeth Craner
Contributor: A M S Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
ELIZA ELIZABETH CRANER (1862-1941)
Back to top
Eliza Elizabeth Craner was born in Tooele, Tooele County, Utah on 6 March 1862 to George Craner and Sarah Emma Jenkins. Eliza was named after her grandmothers, Hannah Eliza Barber Jenkins and Elizabeth West Craner. She was the 3rd child in a family of 12 children.
As a child, Eliza did not have much schooling, but did attend a school in Tooele. There were few books and the writing and figuring was done on slates. Also, she learned to milks cows, make butter, make beet molasses, and helped to care for her father’s bees and honey.
Eliza was married at the age of 18 years old to John Bowen. Eliza was a bride of Testimony. Eliza became the 2nd wife to John in a polygamous marriage arrangement. John was 39 years old, a native of Abersychan, Monmouth, Wales, who emigrated in 1862. John was counseled through a Patriarchal blessing to...”Take unto thy self wives,” when he was nearly 33 years of age. John had married Hannah Johnson in the Endowment House on 2 Jan 1877. At the time of John and Eliza’s marriage on 28 October 1880 in the Endowment House, John and Hannah had two children. Eliza continued to live with her father for a period of time since her mother had died shortly after childbirth in February of 1880. It is not know how long this arrangement continued, but Eliza made a home for her father as well for her own little family until about 1886.
Eliza was a wife who knew sacrifice. On July 16, 1885, John was arrested by Federal agents for Unlawful Cohabitation. He was tried and sentenced on February 17, 1886 and then served a 6 month sentence in the Utah State Penitentiary until August 20, 1886.
Eliza was a mother of fortitude an industry. In late 1888, or early in 1889, Eliza and her family had to go in “the underground.” Eliza took her three small children and moved to West Jordan, Utah. Two more children were born in this area. The family then moved into Midvale and then into Salt Lake City where another daughter was born in 1896. The children never went to the same school for more than a year or two as the family was forced to move about, so they would not become too well known. To help with the anonymity, the family took the name of Brown.
Eliza had a testimony of “the Principle,” and through her sacrifice, she became a stronger person to lead and direct her family in the paths of right. Her son, Lewis, said that his mother was a saint. He never heard her complain about the pressures of Polygamy. Early in 1898, the family was permitted to return to Tooele. “Aunt Hannah’s” family lived on one corner and Eliza’s family lived on the other corner of the block. The crops of the farm were divided equally between the two families and all children were expected to work for the good of all. Four more children were born in Tooele.
Eliza and John were the parents to eleven children:
Name Birth Date Date of Death
1. Sarah Emma Bowen 19 Feb 1882 5 Feb 1886
2. Lewis John Bowen 16 Apr 1883 17 Nov 1971
3. George Benjamin Bowen 20 Jun 1885 1 Dec 1957
4. Eliza Craner Bowen 20 Aug 1888 12 May 1943
5. Rossil Craner Bowen 31 Oct 1890 8 Jan 1988
6. Maleta Craner Bowen 8 Sep 1892 29 Dec 1975
7. Ethel Craner Bowen 4 Mar 1896 8 Nov 1966
8. Homer Willard Bowen 7 May 1898 11 Oct 1971
9. Wells Craner Bowen 1 Jan 1900 6 Jun 1970
10. Lucy Craner Bowen 17 Jan 1903 12 Nov 1990
11. Myra Jennette Bowen 29 May 1905 29 Dec 1977
Eliza had learned the practice of nursing and became a Practical Nurse soon after she returned to Tooele. She performed all types of nursing care throughout Tooele county and assisted Drs. J.A. Phipps, J.H. Peck, and T.M. Aldous in home deliveries of babies. She helped deliver over 200 babies during this time of service which lasted until her health began to fail when she was 73 years old. Eliza was a woman of service.
Hannah Johnson Bowen filed for a civil divorce from John Bowen on September 27, 1908. Eliza and John were subsequently married civilly, by the laws of the state shortly after that. John died in Tooele, Utah on 20 September 1922 and was buried in that community. Eliza died in Tooele on 12 June 1941 at the age of 79. She is buried beside her husband, John Bowen, as is her “sister” in polygamy, Hannah Johnson Bowen.
1958 50th Wedding Anniversary of Lewis John & Adelaide Bowen
Ella, Ruth, Ray, Lucy
Merlin, Lewis John, Adelaide, Lewis April 1977 after death of Adelaide
David & Lucy Forsberg, LaVal & Ella Clerser, Merlin & Donna May
Book: Lewis John Bowen and Adelaide Hone, “Together Forever”, compiled and edited by Merlin John Bowen, May 1996
History: History of Eliza Craner Bowen, by Maleta Bowen Hansen. Read at the Meeting of the Martha Warburton Camp, D.U.P., Mar 25, 1938
History: Verbal comments of Eliza Elizabeth Bowen by Lewis J. Bowen, son, prior to his death to Addie L. F. Stevens Family Group Sheets: George Craner and Sarah Emma Jenkins, John Bowen and Eliza Elizabeth Craner, in poss. of Addie L. F. Stevens
EDWARD CRANER (1864-1882)