Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Pioneer and Prominent Men of Utah
Brown, James (son of James Brown and Polly [Mary] Williams of Roan county, N. C.). Born Sept. 30, 1801, in Roan county, N. C. Came to Utah in charge of invalided and discharged Mormon Battalion soldiers and Mississippi immigrants, arriving at Salt Lake City July 29, 1847, escorted into the city by the men of prominence, to the inspiring strains of martial music. He left Aug. 9 for California to collect his solders' pay, and brought back the first $10,000 in gold doubloons to the valle, which was the first money put in circulation by the colonists. This was but few months previous to the first discovery of gold in California by members of the Mormon Battalion.
Married Martha Stephens 1823, in Roan county (daughter of Alexander Stephens of same place), who was born (Oct. 12, 1806, and died Sept. 28, 1840. Their children: John M. b. 1824, m. Ann Foutz; Alexander b. March 3, 1826, m. Amanda McCurtrey; Jesse S. b. 1828, m. Carline Stewart; Nancy b. 1830, m. Eleazer Davis; Daniel b. 1832; James M. b. Nov. 17, 1834, m. Adelaide Exervid; William b. Aug. 21, 1836, m. Mary Bybee; Benjamin F. b. May 9, 1838, m. Susan A. Wright; Moroni b. Sept. 25, 1840, m. Evaline C. Connover/
Married Susan Foutz, Esther Rapier, Sally Wood and Mary Black, who were the mothers of six boys and eleven girls, many of whom have risen to prominence.
Married Cecilia Robella in 1854, while immigration agent at St. Louis, Mo., who came to Utah with him Sept. 29, 1856, m. Sarah Ellen Dixion June 26, 1879; James Frederick b. July 2, 1859, m. Ester Marriott 1884. Family home Ogden, Utah.
Justice of peace; member Ogden city council from1855 continuously until his death. Member Utah legislature several terms. Founder of Ogden, as he purchased Miles Goodyear claim, a Mexican grant, comprising the land where Ogden, Weber county, now stands, in January, 1848, for $3000 and planted first crops in Weber valley with seed brought from California. Captain Company C. Mormon Battalion. One of the illustrious citizen pioneers of Utah history. Earliest missionary to southern states 1842; to British Guiana 1852 but returned unsuccessful to St. Louis, where he remained as immigration agent until 1854. First counselor to President Lorin Farr, and an intimate adviser to those high in authority. Died Sept. 30, 1863, from fatally crushing his arm in a molasses mill, dying from gangrene.
Emma Adams White, by Emma
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
the typed copy of this is attached in sources.
Be it known that I, Mrs. Emma white Guthrie, whose present residence is Harrisville, Weber County, Utah, am on this 15th day of April 1931, herein stating the history of my life.
AND: be it know that this document is made of my own free will and consent.
AND: Be it further known that no document relating to my life's history is authentic without my signature which appears on the last and concluding sheet of this document.
I was born in London, England, November 21st, 1842. My mothers name being Rebeca White, my fathers being Samuel White.
My father joined the Mormon Church in 1850, at London, England. I was personally baptized into this Church when I was eight years of age. My mother was never baptized in this Church.
My father was a porter in a fruit and vegetable market, known as Covent Garden, in the city of London. This market was the largest market of it's kind in existence at that time, fruit, vegetables, and flowers being shipped to this market from all parts of the country, France, etc. This position my father held long before my birth and up until his departure to America, which will be stated later in this document.
On the 1st day of April, 1852 myself and my father left London, England for America. The views of my mother regarding the Mormon Church were not in accordance with these of my father and myself, and it was for this reason that we two left London, leaving mother behind. WE had one thing in mind, which was 'to go to the City of Zion". We had been converted into the Mormon religion by Mormon Missionaries who worked in London.
As stated, on the 1st day of April 1852, we left Liverpool, England, (Liverpool being 100 miles away from London.) There were four hundred people set sail on this date, including men, women, and children, all converted to the Mormon religion, and our slogan was, "we are all Zion bound". The name of the ship on which we traveled was, "The International".
We were on board this ship exactly six weeks and three days, from the time we left Liverpool, England until we dis-embarked at New Orleans, Louisiana.
Our average speed under the normal conditions, was forty miles per day on this ship, but frequently we encountered what is known as head winds, and in such cases it was our experience to be driven back forty or more miles, due to these head winds.
The trip in general, for these days, was about as pleasant as we could expect. My father brought with him quite a supply of food, such as bread, which we called "ginger bread". This was made into large slices of toast, which was mostly our food. the ship allowed us a certain supply of food, but mostly our food consisted of our own bread, as that which was supplied
by the ship was only in very small quantities: and for liquid, we were allowed a certain amount of water. For instance, my father was allowed one pint of water per day, and myself being under age, I was allowed a half pint of water. We brought with us our own tea, and form the water allowed us we were permitted to go to a certain part of the ship where we could heat this water to make our tea. Occasionally we were allowed a small quantity of hot water with which to make this tea in addition to that which we were usually allowed.
Our sleeping quarters were all below deck, the beds called bunks and were so arranged that one was above the other. . Each individual had their own bunk. The main deck was used only for pleasure, such as walking around, holding meetings, etc. Every evening we held meetings on board ship.
One of the Mormon missionaries by the name of Captain Brown was in charge of four hundred converts. He left Liverpool with us and was in charge throughout the trip from Liverpool until we landed in Zion.
As previously stated, we landed in New Orleans, La. six weeks and three days from the date we set sail from Liverpool, this making our landing in New Orleans, LA., about the middle of May in the year of 1852.
After landing in New Orleans, we remained there only long enough to get our belongings together, and our Captain then leaded us on a steam ship on which we sailed up the Missouri River to St. Louis, Mo. A short distance from St. Louis was our camping ground where arrangements were being made to cross the plains to the city of Zion.
At this camping ground the equipment consisted of wagons and oxen teams. There were generally what is called three of oxen to each wagon. (A yoke consisting of of two oxen). There were forty wagons to our train (A train being the entire outfit of wagons, oxen, etc.). In a few cases there were four yoke of oxen to a wagon, but not often.
We remained at this camping ground for a few weeks, during which time the equipment was being put in order for our trip to Zion. Oxen had to be purchased wagons equipped with bows and covers, etc.
We left this camping ground headed for Salt Lake Valley. Previous to our crossing these plains, surveyors had surveyed practically all of the road, and there had been some travel over the same, enough so that it was known to us which was the road. Scarcely any one rode during the entire trip from the camping ground in Missouri to the Salt Lake Valley. we all walked, as our clothing, bedding, provisions, etc. took up all the room in the wagons, and it was only when one became ill, or some manner unable to walk, that hey were permitted to ride. It was only when we came to rivers that we would ride, and when coming to these, naturally they had to be forded and we would ride across such waters.
Our main trouble was with the Indians. This was the tribe of Sioux Indians. They were a very wealthy tribe of Indians, highly painted and dressed, in their style, and rode the most beautiful of ponies They would halt our train of wagons and demand food. There was no use in trying to fight them, as in such an event they would fight to kill. Our only way out of such a predicament would be to feed them. In such cases where we were attacked by the Indians, our Captain made each family of the entire 400 Converts, give unto the Indians a certain amount of our supplies, such as one half pint of sugar from each family, and other foods we had, in proportion. Sugar, these Indians were very fond of, and made special demands for this. These Indians were equipped with bow and arrow, scalping knives, and in a few cases of the wealthier ones, they had fire arms. The main food on which these Indians lived was the Buffalo's they would kill.
Encountering these Indians so frequently, and having to give a certain portion of our food products to them, we were afraid we were going to run short of food for ourselves, and on every occasion we tried to hold out from giving them food., but they were wicked and would kill in the dark. On one occasion they came in the night and frightened our cattle, causing them to stampede. In one case I recall now, our cattle were frighten to the extent that we were days getting them rounded up and ready to pull off again.
I might say as I recall, we had three full months of traveling across the plains, walking all the way from our camping ground in st. Louis to Salt Lake Valley.
The first mountains I recall coming to , was what is know as the Little Mountain, and Echo Canyon. I recall my Father taking me by the hand and standing on top of Little Mountain, and looking over into Salt Lake Valley.
We landed in Salt Lake Valley Oct 1st, 1852, a full six months journey from Liverpool. We camped on what is known as Immigration Square, which was very near the place that is known as Temple Square. No one was allowed on the place except immigrants. Our Captain told us that we would not have to remain on this Immigration Square very long, as there would be members of the Mormon Church who would come and get u and take us to their homes. Fortunately for my father and myself we were taken by Mr. William C Staines, who was a high member of the Church and later a high man in the organization of Brigham Young. We remained here all winter, at which time my father took a notion to leave Salt Lake City and go North, taking me with him. We came North from Salt Lake Valley and located at Bingham's Fort (later known as Lynn Ward). This Bingham's Fort was all enclosed by a high mud wall, as a protection against the Indians This protection, as was thought, was rally not much protection against the Indians, but acted as a feeling of safety in the minds of the people. My father worked in this vicinity approximately three years, building fences and digging ditches, working for other people who located here previous to our coming.
My father and myself lived in a log cabin which he built himself. The winter of 1855 was known as the "Hard Winter". Terrible cold, so much that cattle died from exposure. The snow was so deep and the weather so cold that the cattle in trying to feed themselves, by eating the bark from the trees at the river bottoms, would freeze to death standing up. It would be difficult for me to say how we lived during that winter. I could probably best answer this question by saying, we didn't live. However, I recall my father bringing home a bushel of wheat from a man for whom he had been working, and he took it to a small mill and had it ground. We ate the best of it and then were forced to eat the balance, which we would now call bran, or pig feed.
I also recall one incident where my father would go to the river bottom, with a sled he had built, and cut the rear quarters from the cattle which had frozen to death in the river bottoms, and bring them home. Here he would do what we called jerking the meat. That is slicing it in fine slices, salt it and dry it. In this manner we had two burlap sacks full of this kind of dried meat.
In the fall of 1857 Johnsons's Army came in and it was their intentions to kill of all the Mormons. They were held back in the mountains by the Mormons all during the winter of 1857. They had sufficient grain for their mules, and they killed wild game for their own support. They were held back into the mountains by the Mormons util they were about starved out. In the spring of 1858 Brigham Young issued orders that all Mormons, except a few rear guards, were to leave this valley and go down South. This was done. Then, as stated above, Johnson's Army was about starved out, and finally sent word into the guards of the Mormons that if the Mormons would allow them to come in they would not fight. Word was passed on to Brigham Young and on the promise of Johnson's Army not to fight, they were allowed in, and they came. They went directly to what is now known as Fort Douglas. They hired the Mormon boys and paid them in actual money. They had plenty of money but no provisions. This was done while the majority of the Mormons were down South, then after being down South several months, quiet seemed to reign in the Salt Lake Valley and Brigham Young ordered all of us to return to our homes, which we did.
It was after our return form the South that father and I went North and located in what is now my home in Harrisville, Utah. IT was while I was on this farm with father that I met Thomas B Guthrie whom I later married My father died in 1878. I was married previous to my fathers death, and gave birth to five girls and four boys, nine in all, six...... the remainder of this story is lost to our family. Larry Cragun
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
History of Charles Wood, Pioneer of 1848
by Laura Wood McCarty and Catherine Wood Morley
Charles Wood, born 9 June 1837 in Berlin, Huron Co., Ohio, was the son of Samuel Wood, born 1807 in New York and Sarah Steadwell, born March 31, 1814 in Chester, Cayugauga Co, New York. He was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Tomas Sprague.
Samuel and Sarah and their three sons, Warren, Charles and Joseph left their home to join the Saints, but the father became discouraged and taking, his oldest son Warren, went back to Ohio.
Sarah was faithful to her church, and with her two small sons Charles and Joseph, struggled along. In 1845 she married Captain James Brown, in Nauvoo, Illinois. He joined the Mormon Battalion in 1845 and taking with him his other wife Mary Black, left for the long trek. Sarah and her boys were left to shift for themselves.
The saints were driven out of Nauvoo, Illinois and Sarah camped at Winter Quarters, on the banks of the Missouri River. Here they suffered cold and hunger and many died as a result. Six hundred were buried in the Cemetery there.
In October 1846 Sarah gave birth to her son Harvey Brown. Her bedroom was a wagon box, but being of sturdy stock and having faith in the gospel, she survived the ordeal.
She was among the early pioneers arriving in Utah with the Brigham Young Company in 1848. My father Charles, only eleven (11) years of age, helped to drive the ox team across the plains.
They lived in Ogden on the Miles Goodyear property, which Captain Brown had purchased after his return from California with the Mormon Battalion.
Charles was blessed with a happy, cheerful disposition, always making friends with people. As a boy he learned the Indian language and when but seventeen years of age filled an Indian mission, serving as interpreter and missionary to the Indians at Fort Supply, from 1854 to 1858, under Captain James Brown. I have often heard him say that he taught the Indians the story of the Book of Mormon and helped to keep peace among this troublesome people. It was here he first saw and fell in love with the pretty young English girl, Alice Horrocks whom he later married 31 Mar in 1858 in Ogden Utah by Jonathan Browning.
Alice's father Edward Horrocks, (mother Alice Houghton - pioneer of Jesse B Martin Company 185?), was born in Bolton, England in 1806, and his family came to Utah in 1857 – walking most of the way. On arriving at Fort Supply, Alice, age 16, met and captured the heart of Charles Wood, who fell in love at first sight. Charles was a nice looking young man, straight as an Indian. Being the owner of a good horse and saddle and sporting a beaded buckskin suit made by the Indian squaws, he made quite an impression on Alice, but she went on to Ogden, Utah where her father settled. The next year Charles was released from his duties and hurried back to find Alice. As no fine home or furniture was needed to set up housekeeping, these two young people, Charles twenty one (21) and Alice seventeen (17) took a horseback ride, found Jonathan Browning of Ogden who performed the marriage ceremony, on the 31st day of March 1858. On their return her father was angry and the folks surprised, but the couple was soon forgiven and a supper was prepared with a molasses cake as a wedding cake.
The couple was sealed in the Endowment house in Salt Lake City in June 1867. They assured a one room adobe house with a dirt roof and floor, on what is now 28th St in Ogden, Utah. A bedstead was made in one corner by putting up two posts and fastening the pieces to the wall with wooden pegs, as no nails were available and cording it with rawhide thongs. The “mattress” as a tick filled with fresh clean straw. The dresser was no doubt a box with a curtain drawn around it, and the other furniture all homemade. Though the furniture was crude, Charles and Alice were very handy around the house, and it took little to make them comfortable and happy.
Their first child Alice was born in Ogden on the 2nd day of April 1859. The next year 1860, they moved to Ogden Valley and were among the first seven families to build cabins in a grove by the river which was named “Hunt's Fort,” later known as Hawkins Grove and presently Winter's Grove. The houses were built in a circle for protection from the Indians, and the men with loaded guns were on guard night and day.
The families were: Capt. Jefferson Hunt, Hyrum Hunt, Joseph Hunt, Joseph Wood, and mother, Charles and Alice Wood, Cyrus Thompson Coffin and mother, and Edward Rushton.
In 1861 other families came and they moved to the site which is now Huntsville, Utah, named after Jefferson Hunt.
The Indians being of hostile nature, were loath to give up their summer hunting ground, so the saints were forced to divide their scanty supplies with the red men to keep peace in the land. Winters were long and cold, snow fell deep and summers were so short, no what could mature. The men trapped and went to the mountains for wood, hauling it to Ogden and trading their loads for flour and molasses and other provisions. During these long hard winters, working in the canyons and mountains, Charles sometimes froze the boots on his feet, trying to make a living for his large family of fourteen children. One cold winter day while driving cattle from Ogden to Huntsville, he became so cold and numb he got off his horse and tried to walk to keep warm, but they found him in the snow with his feet ice and water. In later years he suffered a great deal with rheumatism.
In 1861 the Indians came into the Valley decked in war paint and threatened to burn the settlement. Alice was so nervous it was decided to take her to Ogden for protection. There was no road through the canyon so our father took her on his horse up through North Ogden Canyon and back into Ogden where two weeks later on July 11, 1861 Charles Samuel was born. It is said that had Alice remained in the valley, he would have been the first white child born there.
Charles Wood was a friend to the Indians and many times restored peace between the two races. He always said that the Indians would not hurt them if they were met with kindness and treated fairly. For many years, the Indian Chief Washakie and his tribe of warriors would camp on the south hills – Often they would gather on the grass by the house of Charles and Alice Wood and a feast would be prepared for them, thus preserving the friendship of the race.
About the first of May 1866, Charles was called to fight the Indians who had become very troublesome. He enlisted as a Scout and was given command of Company A in a regiment of the Militia of Utah, headed by P.J. Taylor. He was honorably discharged about 1868 at the end of the Black Hawk War. Charles also assisted in defending the saints when Johnston's Army came in 1857.
In 1878, he homesteaded land in Lewiston, Cache County, Utah but maintained his farm and home in the valley.
Charles and Alice helped to build the community where they lived and many babies came to bless their home. They were wonderfully gifted in song and were called the “sweet singers of Huntsville”. Charles was a drummer in the first Marshall band organized in Huntsville. They were all active in all social affairs and their home was the scene of many happy gatherings of the saints. But sorrow came to mar their happiness. Diphtheria broke out in the valley in 1878, and the grim reaper of death claimed four of their ten lovely children, two boys and two girls in one year. This was a sore trial to these good people who so dearly loved their little ones, but God sent them four more, two boys and two girls to help fill the vacancy.
Charles was a faithful Latter Day Saint and was ordained a Seventy in the 75th Quorum. In 1900 he was taken ill, brought on by many hardships, exposure in his youth, and rheumatism. On August 13, 1905 Charles Wood passed away and was buried in Huntsville, Utah leaving a host of friends and family.
The names of their children follow:
Alice Ann April 2, 1859 Ogden Utah
married Wm. Armstead Moffett – Eden Utah
Charles Samuel July 11, 1861 Ogden Utah
married Emma E. Mortensen – Huntsville, Utah 11 Dec 1884
Mary Elizabeth Oct 14, 1863 Huntsville, Utah
married Marius Madsen Huntsville, Utah
Edward Warren Sept 23, 1867 – Huntsville, Utah
died July 8, 1878 Diphtheria
Joseph Wood Sep 19, 1869 – Huntsville, Utah
married Amalia Olsen - Huntsville, Utah
James Sylvester Oct 9, 1871 – Huntsville, Utah
died July 13, 1878, diphtheria
Martha Emma October 20, 1873 – Huntsville, Utah
died Dec 4, 1878, diphtheria
Minnie Maybelle Sep 28, 1877 – Huntsville, Utah
died Jan 2, 1878, diphtheria
Catherine Mozell Sept 28, 1877 – Huntsville, Utah
married Jesse S. Misener, American Fork, Utah
Frederic William Nov 4, 1879 – Huntsville, Utah
married Charlotte Durrant, American Fork, Utah
Laura Pearl Jun 10, 1881 – Huntsville, Utah
married Arthur T. McCarty, American Fork Utah
Benjamin Franklin Mar 11, 1883 – Huntsville, Utah
married Olevia Felt, Huntsville, Utah
Chloe Adele Feb 4, 1886 – Huntsville, Utah
married George Rhodes Doxey, Ogden, Utah
Malinda or Melinda Allison Kelley Covington 1815-1894
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Malinda Allison, my great great grandmother was born to Isaac Allison and Jane Hunt, a sister to Catherine Hunt, who was the mother of Milton. She was born on the 16th of October 1815 in Crawford, Kentucky. She was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-say Saints by her Uncle Captain Charles Jefferson Hunt. They had a daughter named Martha who passed away when she was about 6 years old. They also may have had a son in 1838, also deceased.
They went with the Mormon Battalion. I found records on microfilm that seemed to indicate that Milton was there to help with the Hunt families for Captain Jefferson Hunt. He and Malinda who went as a Laundress were with the sick detachment in Pueblo, Pintada, New Mexico, (Colorado); Milton went on a hunting excursion and became ill because of the cold and exposure and died with pneumonia on 4 Nov 1846. After Milton passed away Malinda was cared for by other Mormon Battalion members and it was a month later that she gave birth to a daughter, she named Catherine Malinda Kelley. I have also seen her name as Malinda Catherine.
Milton’s brother Nicholas and his wife, Sarah and step-son, Raymond Parley Bathrick, were also among the members of the sick detachment.
Malinda traveled to Utah in 1847 in the Captain James Brown wagon train with her daughter Catherine Malinda Kelley, and it was there she met and married Robert D. Covington, who was also left a widow, when his wife, Elizabeth Thomas Covington, passed away after arriving in Utah, leaving him with three children, John Thomas, Emily and Robert Laborius Covington. Their two other children, Sarah and Catherine had preceded her in death. Malinda had one child with Robert, Mary Ellen Covington, and she also helped raise Phebe and Thomas, his children by his plural wife Nancy Roberts, who died in March 1864. James Isaac Covington her baby born February 1864 died a couple months later.wife Nancy Roberts, who died in 1864. Nancy had lost a girl, Nancy Melinda, earlier.
Robert and Malinda also adopted a lamanite girl, they rescued her as a small child, from being sold into slavery by her captors and they raised her as their own until she died around the age of fifteen of one of the common childhood diseases of the time. Malinda died on Nov 18, 1894 in Circleville while visiting family. (Some records have her death as 1881, while others 1894. From my research it appears her family had not arrived yet in Circleville or Circle Valley by 1881, so the second date is more accurate.
To learn more read the book, "The Red Hills of November" by Andrew Karl Larsen, or "Utah 'Dixie' Birthplace" Compiled by Harold P. Cahoon and Priscilla J. Cahoon.
Check out The collections at the DUP Museum in Salt Lake City, or visit the website for the International Daughters of Utah Pioneers. they have a collection of pioneer histories and photos for a small fee.
Visit Washington City and tour the pioneer museum and see the pioneers commemorated in the front of the museum by Bronze Portraits or Statues. Malinda is one of the Bronze portraits, (plans are under way for a statue to be built to honor Malinda, by Jerry Anderson.
There is also a full sized statue of Robert D Covington. Many of these people in the Pioneer Memorial will have connections to my pioneer families. See the home in Washington which Robert D Covington and Malinda and families lived in. It was built in 1859, and is a two story home where Brigham Young would stay and others passing through town. they held meetings on the top floor which then was entered in by stairs on the outside of the house.
My great grandmother Catherine grew up here and married Benjamin Lamoni Alexander, also a pioneer who was born in Nauvoo and crossed the plains and whose family was also called to the Cotton Mission.
It was probably Catherine and Benjamin who were living in Cedar Valley (Circleville) whom Malinda was visiting at the time of her death.
Evidence suggest that several of the Alexanders passed through Harrisburg, & Silver reef and so forth. Catherine and Benjamin's last two children may of been born in Harrisburg and died there according to some records, rather than Washington City, where the rest of their children were born.
My direct line Grandparents; Robert Angus Alexander met and married my direct line grandmother, Annie Mariah Dobson, whose family lived in Circleville in October of 1897 and then migrated to the Uintah Basin with the rest of the families of Benjamin and Catherine Kelley Alexander, to homestead new land in the Uintah Basin.
Catherine passed away in Vernal, Uintah, Utah and is buried in the Maesar Cemetery, next to her husband and the infant son of Robert and Annie Alexander who died in 1905. Catherine died 17 Feb 1899. Benjamin died in 1914.
Malinda's child with Robert, Mary Ellen Covington married James Harton Thompson, he died in 1873, leaving her with two children, James Harton Thompson and Malinda Caroline Thompson. Mary Ellen some records indicate she may of died in Cottonwood, Utah on Nov 18 1894.
Robert Dockery Covington died on the 2nd of June 1902 and is buried in Washington City. His wive's names are also on his headstone and a 'Woman of the Mormon Battalion' marker honoring Malinda is also there. written & compiled by Julia Corry
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Lest we, who are the decedents of great and noble forefathers, forget the heritage we have, I
am writing this history of James Brown, missionary, soldier, patriot, pioneer, and founder of Ogden,
James Brown was born September 30, 1801, in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was the
eighth of nine children born to James Brown and Mary Williams. They were: Jane, Polly, Nancy, Susan,
Patsy, William, Obedience, James and Daniel, the father of James Steven Brown, also a leading pioneer
figure. The entire family had an excellent reputation, being upright, thrifty, and good and industrious
James’ father was born in 1757 and fought in the Revolutionary War. His mother was the
widow of a Revolutionary Was soldier, a Mr. Emerson, with two small children, Margaret and John.
James was given a good education as were all the Brown children. James was inclined to literary
pursuits, becoming a school teacher in his early manhood. Not much is known of his childhood and only
a brief sketch of his early manhood. However, it is known that he became a Baptist minister after
teaching school, and then he served several terms as the sheriff of Rowan County.
In 1823 James married Martha Stevens. To this union was born nine children, eight sons and
one daughter. In 1834, he and his family migrated to Illinois where his parents had moved in 1831. It is
not known if James farmed with his father or not, but his father had purchased a large portion of land in
Illinois in 1831, so perhaps James worked with his father.
While in Illinois, James and his wife became acquainted with the Mormons and the church
probably hearing the Prophet Joseph Smith preach. In 1838 James and Martha were baptized members
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Only two years after their baptism Martha died leaving James with nine children to provide for
During this period of time, James took up his residence in Nauvoo from which place he fulfilled a
mission to the Southern States, where he helped in the gathering of funds for the construction of the
“According to his biography, he married a widow, Mary McRee Black, in 1846. She had one
small son, David Black.” James was living in Nauvoo when the Prophet Joseph Smith was brutally
murdered at Carthage, Illinois. Also he was with the Saints in their exodus from Nauvoo in February
1846. One might think that after being persecuted by the mobs and having their dear Prophet
murdered while the government looked on, the people would wish they were not citizens of a country
which allowed such atrocities, but this was not the case with James Brown and many of his brethren. In
July, 1846, a call came from the President of the United States for the Mormon people to supply 500
troops to fight in the war against Mexico. James was probably with the group of people who heard the
Prophet Brigham Young at White Oak Groove when he stood before the people and called for
volunteers to engage in the Mexican War, saying that the 500 men must be raised if it took the whole
strength of the camp to do it. If the young men would not enlist, the middle- aged and the old men
would, said Brigham Young; the demand of our country should be met if it took the Twelve Apostles and
the High Priests.
James felt the call of his Prophet and country and, although he knew how badly he would be
needed for the march west, he volunteered. The Prophet Brigham Young and the men in the Battalion
showed a great deal of faith and confidence in him when he was chosen to be the commander of
Company C and given the rank of Captain. Mary McRee, his wife, was one of the few women to go along
on the march of the Mormon Battalion: “her job was to do the laundry for 16 men which called for days
of hard work that she was not accustomed to doing.” Besides his wife and her son, David, Capt. Brown
took several of his children of his first wife. His two older sons, Jesse and Alexander, enlisted in the
Battalion as privates and served in his company.
Mrs. May Belle Thurman Davis, whose grandfather, was a member of the Battalion, wrote the
following poem depicting the march of the Mormon Battalion.
They marched half naked and scarcely half fed
And the desert was stained where their bruised feet had bled.
Their tongues were parched dry neath the hot desert sun
Yet no water was found when the day’s march was done.
Abreast of their wagon wheels burdened by packs
They plodded the deep sands to make wagon tracks.
With stout ropes they drew their mules up the ascent
While half fainting themselves with the effort they spent.
They hewed through the rock with crow-bar and ax
And carried their wagons on low bending backs.
Orders were orders and everyone knew,
“Build a road to the coast, take the wagons on through.”
At Santa Fe Capt . Brown, with Capt. Higgins and Lt. Willis, were put in charge of the sick
detachment and sent to Pueblo, Colorado to spend the winter. This proved to be the most tragic march
of the entire trek of the Battalion. Many of his men, overcome with fever and exposure, could not
endure the hard journey to Pueblo and, due to the lack of food and medical supplies, many of them
died. It was necessary for them to trade their equipment for mules in order to make the steep climb
over the Sierra de Crystal mountains.
Mary accompanied her husband on this march and it was said of her as she went about the sick
and weary men, “She went among them as a ministering angel.”
Upon arriving in Pueblo, Captain Brown’s detachment prepared for the coming winter. They
found in Pueblo, the Crow family and several other members of the church from Mississippi. Their plan
was to intercept Brigham Young at Fort Laramie, but finding that he was wintering at Council Bluffs, they
stayed in Pueblo.
The next spring Capt. Brown gathered his detachment together along with the Crow family and
the Mississippi Saints and started the trek for the Great Salt Lake Valley. They travelled by way of Fort
Laramie and south Pass and arrived in the valley on the 29
Young had announced from the mouth of Emigration Canyon, “This is the Place.”
“Being aware of their approach, Pres. Young and others mounted horses and went out to meet
them. First advance columns were encountered about three miles from camp. The main body of Capts.
Brown and Higgins and Lt. Willis were a few miles behind in Emigration Canyon. Pres. Young rode on,
met this main body and they were escorted by Pres. Young to City Creek at about 4:00 p.m.”
It was the design of Capt. Brown to push on with his detachment to California where they might
obtain the pay due them for service in the Army. However, finding his men and equipment exhausted,
he decided to stay in the Salt Lake Valley a few weeks to await orders from his military superiors.
Enlistments had expired and the larger portion of the Battalion had been discharged at Los Angeles. At
the request of Pres. Young, Capt. Brown’s detachment built the first bowery in Salt Lake City on the
present Temple grounds. On August 9, 1847, Capt. Brown, with a group of other men and with Sam
Brannon as guide, set out for California to obtain the pay due the men in his detachment. Capt. Brown
had the muster roll of his men and had been given the power of attorney for them. The group followed
the east shore of Great Salt Lake to the Weber River and followed this river to the base of the west
mountains where Miles Goodyear, a trapper, had built a fort. Capt. Brown was very impressed with the
area and for this reason he approached Miles about the sale of his property. At this time, however, he
visited only shortly with Goodyear. Capt. Brown pushed on to California with nine other men and the
rest of the group returned to Salt Lake City to tell the Prophet Brigham Young that it would be possible
to purchase the Goodyear tract if the money could be raised.
“Pres. Young and his associates immediately favored the idea of buying Miles out. The Saints
had selected the Great Basin as the place in which to establish their homes because they wanted to be
free from contact with people of other religious denominations. Their leaders maintained that since
there was so much good land in California and Oregon, Gentiles would not be interested in building their
homes in the semi-desert region of the Great Basin. It was their plan, therefore, to control as many
valleys as possible through colonization and maintain them free from Gentile interference. Having been
driven from their homes, and having come many miles to escape conflict with non-Mormon settlers,
they wanted every advantage possible connected with being the first colonists in a frontier region.
of July, 1847, only five days after Brigham
Therefore, Brigham Young decided that Miles Goodyear, a Gentile, must sell his property to the
Mormons. The newcomers had no desire to see a settlement, located only 40 miles from Salt Lake City,
become the headquarters of the mountaineers and other non-Mormons who might drift into the Great
Basin. Besides, the region , Goodyear claimed, contained some of the finest farming and pasture lands
to be found in Utah and the rapidly expanding colony at Salt Lake would soon need all good available
acres. Thus, before Brigham Young and others left the Salt Lake Valley on August 26 for Winter
Quarters, he definitely instructed his people who remained in Utah to purchase Goodyears’s claim.”
However, when the Saints in the Valley tried to raise the $2000 Miles was asking, they found it
impossible since $2000 in cash was not to be found among all the members remaining in the Valley.
Meanwhile, Capt. Brown and his group had arrived in San Francisco late in the fall, completed his
business and obtained $10,000 for the men in his detachments. He prepared to return to Salt Lake City.
Six of the nine men remained in California “so there was only himself, his son Jesse, and two others to
make the hazardous trip back to Salt Lake City over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. On his pack horses he
put four bushels of wheat, some corn, and other seeds. A light snow fell and it was very cold. They ran
out of provisions, spent three days on the desert without water and subsisted the last three days of
their journey on soup made from the leather of their saddles and a lean crow. They arrived in Salt Lake
City the first of December, almost starved and so weak they could travel no farther. They had refused to
eat the grain realizing that it was needed for seed and that the lives of so many would depend on the
harvest reaped from this grain”.
The money which Capt. Brown brought into Salt Lake City was the first money in Utah used for
exchange. Later in December Capt. Brown and company, with Apostle Jedediah Grant and others, made
a trip to Ogden and negotiated with Miles Goodyear for the purchase of his holdings. Miles was
interested in selling and, of course, getting as good a price for his lands as possible. Miles was basing his
title to the land on a Mexican grant. The Mormons thought this sounded logical so they completed the
transaction on January 15, 1848. Capt. Brown paid Goodyear 3000 Spanish doubloons, approximately
$2000. Along with the title to the land Capt. Brown received 75 cattle, 75 goats, 6 horses, and l2 sheep.
Miles had kept most of the horses for himself since he and his brother, Andrew, planned on driving
them to Fort Leavenworth and selling them to the people in that area. The title which Capt. Brown
received labeled his land holdings as follows: “Commencing at the mouth of Weber Canyon and
following the base of the mountains north to the hot springs; thence west to the Salt Lake, thence south
along the shore to a point opposite Weber Canyon; thence east to the beginning. The land within these
bounds included that portion of Weber County which lies between the mountains and the lake
extending about fourteen miles from north to south and fifteen miles from east to west.” This land
approximated about 134,000 acres.
The title to the land purchased by Capt. Brown, however, was worthless since Miles had based
his selling the land for a higher price on the fact that he had a Mexican land grant. This grant was never
produced and there is no record of the Mexican government ever issuing a grant for land situated so far
north. The livestock he sold were easily worth the $2000, but the title to the land itself was worthless.
Only a few months later this property was in the hands of the United States and, had Miles waited until
then, he might not have been so lucky in selling it for this price. The U.S. Government was glad at this
time to have people settle the country, so the Mormons were able to keep their holding.
After purchasing the Goodyear holdings Capt. Brown sent his two sons, Alexander and Jesse, to
the Weber area to take care of the stock until he and the rest of the family could move there. Thus the
first Mormon settlers came to Ogden.
During this time Capt. Brown’s wife, Mary McRee had a baby daughter who was named Mary
A short time later Capt. Brown, his family, and some other emigrants, mostly those from
Mississippi who had wintered with him at Pueblo, moved to the Weber area and Goodyears’s fort,
which had been named Fort Buenaventura by Goodyear. That summer Alexander and Jesse dammed up
Canfield Creek and did the first irrigating in the Weber Area. Brown’s Fort, as it was now called, was
located in the southwest section of present Ogden on the banks of the Weber River.
The settlers didn’t like the name Fort Buenaventura for their new home so for some time the
area was known as Brownsville.
The first winter in the Great Basin was very hard and long before spring, the food was very
scarce. The only thing that could be done was to ration out the food and hope for an early spring.
When spring did come, the crickets came with it and, as we know, the only thing that saved the people
was the hordes of sea gulls which devoured the crickets. In February, 1848, Capt. Brown sent Thomas
Williams, Alexander Brown, and Ephraim K. Hanks to Fort Hall, a distance of 160 miles, to purchase flour.
They obtained 600 pounds at $25 per hundred pounds. Two hundred pounds were kept at Brownsville,
while 400 were taken on to the destitute brethren in Salt Lake City. The main supply of food in the
Weber area came from Capt. Brown’s dairy products and the cattle he slaughtered for his brethren. His
wife, Mary, made several hundred pounds of cheese that winter, the first cheese made in Utah.
The next spring Brownsville suffered somewhat from the ravages of the crickets, but compared
with the losses at the parent colony, the destruction of the weber crops was insignificant. That year
Capt. Brown, on the few hundred acres which he had kept for himself, “raised 100 bushels of wheat, 75
bushels of corn, and also cabbages, potatoes, watermelons and a good crop of turnips.”
These crops along with others produced in the Weber area were of vital importance in tiding
over the Saints in the Great Basin the next winter. The larger portion of this food was supplied by Capt .
The historian, Edward W. Tullidge, described the feelings of the Weber County people toward
the generosity of Capt. Brown as follows:
“It was during this destitute condition of the parent colony that Brownsville, on the Weber
River, was as the land of Goshen to the Children of Israel. At a time when Captain Brown might have
readily sold his breadstuff for $10 per hundred, he sold it to his destitute brethren for $4 per sack of
flour; while he slaughtered a large portion of his fat cattle, which he had purchased from Goodyear, to
supply them with beef. The old settlers of Weber County, to this day, speak with grateful appreciation
of this public benevolence of their pioneer to the community at large, at the onset of our colonies, when
their little settlement grew up as a worthy help-mate of the parent settlement of Salt Lake City.’
In bringing the people through that second winter in the Great Basin without a large casualty
list, ‘the sociologist and historian will…attribute much of the good results to the presiding care of
Brigham Young and the semi-communistic example of such pioneers as Captain James Brown, who with
an unstinted hand fed to the people his breadstuff, and his beef and butter and cheese from his
In September 1849, Brigham Young came to Brownsville for his first visit. While there he gave
Capt. Brown the right to build the first bridges across the Weber and Ogden rivers, and to collect toll on
the bridges until they were paid for; then it was to be turned over to the Territorial Government. Capt.
Brown had these two bridges built that winter, but they were washed out by the spring floods.
In March 1849, Capt. Brown was set apart as the first bishop in Ogden, in the Ogden River Ward.
He was ordained by Charles C. Rich and Erastus Snow. The following January Lorin Farr, a powerful
Church and civic leader, was sent to the Weber area to direct the affairs there. Shortly after this a stake
was organized and Lorin Farr was ordained as stake President.
In the fall of 1852 Capt. Brown went on a mission to British Guiana, setting sail from San Diego
and sailing to the Isthmus of Panama. Finding conditions unfavorable for introduction of the gospel in
British Guiana, he returned by way of St. Louis, Missouri, where he assisted in the Church emigration of
Captain Brown, during the next few years farmed, was county accessor for a few years, and
served on the city council from 1855 until his death. In 1859 he was the captain of a wagon train of
emigrants coming to Salt Lake City. They left Florence, Nebraska on June 13, 1859. In a letter of one of
the members of his company to her relative in the East (U.S.), we read: “We left Florence, on the
Missouri River, Nebraska, on the 13
wagons joined us on the way so that the whole number was 69 and 389 people, a pretty good company.
Captain James Brown of Ogden City, Utah had the command of it and a better man there never was.”
This was the opinion of those who knew the Captain. Historians write that his main attributes were
honesty, truthfulness, and integrity. After the death of his wife he had four others, participating in the
doctrine of plural marriage. His wives were Susan Foutz, Esther Rapier, Sally Wood, and Mary McRee
Black. He was the father of 28 children.
“On September 25, 1863, while operating a molasses mill near Weber River his sleeve caught in
the cogs of the mill and drew in his arm. As soon as he could recover his balance he made a tremendous
surge and pulled his arm, in a terrible lacerated condition, the muscles being literally torn off, out of the
mill. On September 28 while conversing with his eldest son, he said, “Johnny, if I live until the day after
tomorrow, I will be 62 years old, and I guess I will about make it.’ He died September 30, 1863, at