Jeremiah III and Eliza Harrover Leavitt
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Jerimiah III and Eliza Harrover
10 Feb 1822 20 Aug 1825
12 Apr 1878 7 July 1905
Jeremiah and Eliza were led from their respective homes
in Hadley Canada and Washington D.C. by their new found faith
in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, to Nauvoo, Ill,
where they met each other and were married Feb1, 1845
During a brief stay at Bonaparte, Iowa, they were visited by
Father Jeremiah Leavitt II who shortly after his arrival took
sick and died. Mother Sarah S. Leavitt recorded, He sang come
Let us anew, as long as he had strength to sing and then wanted
Eliza to sing it. ACome let us anew@and now stands as the Leavitt
family hymn, and is sung on occasions of both sorrow and joy
The family moved from Boneparte to the Kanesville area for
several years, they crossed the plains with their five
children, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on Sept 15, 1852
From Tooele, Utah, Jeremiah was called to the Santa Clara
Indian mission on May 22 1857, living first in Santa Clara
and then in Gunlock. They suffered great losses in the flood of
1861-62. As a result of the various struggles associated with
frontier life they helped carve out the communities of
Mountain Meadows, Clover and Meadow Valleys and Hebron
they finally settled back in Gunlock where Jeremiah built a
Home and farmed
Jeremiah was a hard working, good man whos life was a
example of faithfulness to his friends and family. Eliza=s
testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith remained with her to
the end. It was the strength of both of their testimonies
that they were able to faithfully bring their young
family to AZion@ and to settle and survive in Utah=s Dixie
Their earthly tabernacles now rest beside each other in
this peaceful cemetery. And while the roots of their
posterity are here in Gunlock, their descendants have
since branched out in every direction. May their legacy
be reflected in our lives and passed to our children
for generations to come.
Jeremiah Leavitt, III (10 February 1822 – 12 April 1878)
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Son of Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Sturdevant.
Married Eliza Harrover, 1 Reb 1845, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.
Children - Melvina Leavitt, Emma Leavitt, Mary Ellen Leavitt, Jeremiah Leavitt, Lucy Ann Leavitt, Josiah Leavitt, Lydia Leavitt, Sarah Priscilla Leavitt, Eliza Jane Leavitt, Louise Leavitt, Joseph Smith Leavitt, Clarissa Ann Leavitt.
Inscription - Jeremiah and Eliza were both led from their respective homes in Hatley, Canada and Washington D.C. by their new found faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they met each other and were married Feb. 1, 1845.
During a brief stay at Bonaparte, Iowa they were visted by Father Jeremiah Leavitt II who shortly after his arrival took sick and died. Mother Sarah S. Leavitt recorded: He sang, "Come Let Us Anew", as long as he had strength to sing and then wanted Eliza to sing it. "Come Let Us Anew" now stands as the Leavitt family hymn, sung on occasions of both sorrow and joy.
The family moved from Bonaparte to the Kanesville area for several years. They crossed the Plains with their five children, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on Sept. 15, 1852.
From Tooele, Utah, Jeremiah was called to the Santa Clara Indian Mission on May 22, 1857. Living first in Santa Clara and then in Gunlock, they suffered great losses in the flood of 1861-62. As a result of the various struggles associated with frontier life they helped carve out the communities of Mountain Meadows, Clover and Meadow Valleys and Hebron. They finally settle back in Gunlock where Jeremiah built a home and farmed.
Jeremiah was a hard-working, good man whose life was an example of faithfulness to his friends and family. Eliza's testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith remained with her to the end. It was on the strength of both of their testimonies that they were able to faithfully bring their young family to "Zion" and to settle and survive in Utah's Dixie.
Their earthly tabernacles now rest beside each other in this peaceful cemetery, and while the roots of their posterity are here in Gunlock, their descendants have since branched out in every direction. May their legacy be reflected in our lives and passed to our children for generations to come.
History of Joseph Hamblin
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HISTORY OF JOSEPH HAMBLIN
Youngest Son of William Haynes Hamblin and Mary Amelia Leavitt
(as dictated to his daughter, Aloha)
My mother was living in Pinto, Utah (which is on the California trail) when I was born. Father had another place at Gunlock where Aunt Betsy and her family lived. She was Father's other wife and Mother's younger sister. The place was named for my Father by George Albert Smith, who after spending the night with him asked him what they called the place and he told them it was known as upper Santa Clara Creek. "We will name it officially after you since everyone calls it Gunlock Hamblin's place anyway." That was in August 1857 when Apostle Smith came down to warn them of Johnston's army. My half sisters, Elmira and Annie were born in Gunlock and Duane while Eliza, Vernon, and Tom were born at the Santa Clara. Then we moved to Pinto. My Grandmother, Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt was with mother when most of the children were born. It was only about 23 miles from there to Pinto. While we were here Father was gone for over 3 years. Two of my sisters were out looking for the cows. They had been gone for sometime and they began to cry when a Man with a long white beard appeared and told them the cows were over the next draw and their father was on his way home. They were so happy they started running to the draw when they stopped to thank the gentleman and could find no trace of him, but the cows were where he said and their Father came home as he said. After talking it over we thought it must have been one of the three Nephites, who were given the same promise as John the Beloved that he should not taste death until the Savior comes again. Richard S. Robinson was the presiding Elder of the Pinto Ward. Then the following year, July 11, 1867, he was made bishop. My parents were on an Indian Mission among the Piute Indians. They weren't free to move whenever they desired, but were counseled to move to Clover Valley 80 miles northwest of St. George as there were more people than the land would support. When Father returned he had wagons full of supplies; enough to open a store, so in Clover Valley we had several rooms that were divided in half, one for us and one for Aunt Betsy with a large front room that could be divided and opened up that we used as sort of a trading store. As the houses were built close together in the shape of a fort with the town ditch running through the center. It was twenty miles from Panaca where father's mine was. Mother would not move there among the heathen men for they were greedy and would kill or do anything. Here Luke Syphus presided in 1870. There were 12 or 15 families. We were attached to the Hebron Ward 30 miles southwest.
The Indians were quite peaceable when we first moved here. They would bring dried berries and pine nuts to trade, but later the winters were bad and then some prospectors came to the lower end of the Meadows and began to shoot the Indians if they stole anything. They became restless and old Bush-head was the head of the trouble- makers so we had to gather our cattle in at night and keep a strong watch around the corral. One night Mr. Hunt shot an Indian and was afraid the other Indians would find out who did it and shoot him, so he moved away. Later we were advised for those living in scattered communities to move together for safety. Uncle Frank and Fred Hamblin were living in Eagle Valley. They moved to Kanab. Uncle Dudley and Jeremiah Leavitt moved to Hebron. We didn't want to move at all. It wasn't the Indians we were afraid of, but bad white men.
It was at Clover Valley Sarah Daphne, my oldest sister was married to Edgar Deal in June 1871, and the next year she and her baby girl were buried there. Then Father was poisoned in May of 1872. All I remember of him in his coffin and before that I remember my Mother put a pink dress on me and I tore it in shreds getting it off. If she didn't spank me she should of done. I don't know if it was for punishment or she had nothing else to put on me. Another time the old cat had some kittens and they were going to drown them and I said I want at least one, but they threw them all in and I jumped in and got the little white one.
After Father's death, Mother began talking about moving to Arizona. Before we left, Eliza and Amelia got married the same day, July 11, 1872. Then in November started for Kanab. It was on the border between Utah and Arizona. It took eight days to go from St. George to Kanab, 120 miles. We stayed in Santa Clara with Grandma a few days. Some of the Mangums caught up with us and said they were down on the Paria, so after visiting with Aunt Pricilla in Kanab, we went down there for Christmas. Then Amelia was going to have a baby so Mother and I went back to Clover Valley. We left Rachel and Tom with Eliza on the Paria. The baby was born August 9, 1874, so I must have been six or seven. We all came back the first of September so Mother could take care of Eliza when her first baby was born. Then the United Order was started the 1st of October 1874. I gave my little pinto pony and Mother gave her cows and all she had. And when Bishop Stewart died 1877, his sons claimed everything, but Mother got her old cows back because father's brand was on them, and a man gave me a little colt mare racing horse. I traded it to the Navajos for part of our equipment and clothes. Mother talked Aunt Betsy and all of us to go to the St. George temple which was just finished April 6, 1877. We must have been there for the dedication for all the people there hauled logs and lumber from the Buckskin Mountains on the Kaibab Forest. During the year 1875 one hundred men were engaged at the temple in construction work. One hundred more were at the rock quarries and forty were engaged in furnishing lumber, totaling 240 men. Over a million feet of lumber were used in constructing the building. Some of the beams were exceedingly large being 12" by 24" by 26' to 46' long. Much of it was hauled by ox team.
We wanted to cross the Colorado River when it was low in the fall and early enough before the snows fell in the Buckskin Mountains. It was in November we went over the Mountains and camped at House Rock. Mother and Rachel and Tom and I camped in front of the fort and Eliza on one side and Amelia and her three babies on the other side. Aunt Betsy and her family inside and I think Aunt Pricilla too came at the same time. This was the fixing-up-place before we crossed the desert. It was about here we saw the camels Lieutenant Edward Beal brought in from Syria. They carried three times a mule-load and were declared ideal for pioneer uses and his survey of the 35th parallel across Arizona in 1857 and 1859, but our land was too hard for their feet and they were turned loose on the plains when he made Minister to Austria in 1878.
In taking the cattle across the Colorado River, some would swim and some were ferried across and some of them were so obstinate they would swim back every night and had to be crossed as many as three times. At House Rock Mother traded a cow and calf for an ox that ran off the next day which we never recovered. We heard later they had been sold countless times, but always would find its way back to its original owner who knew its trait and that he had traded it to a poor widow. John Will Mangum traded his fine black matched horses for oxen. We were told that any one that ever tried to go to Arizona with horses was sure sorry they didn't have oxen for the roads were just trails, either rough chunky rocks or sand so deep that the spokes buried out of sight, and the little Colorado was dangerous with quicksand beds.
At Moenkopi where Father had been several times, my pony Mother had given me to take the place of the one we traded to the Navajos was stolen as were all the horses. So I joined a party to hunt them and didn't see Mother for three months, but found the mare and got a start from her, and gave my sister colts from which they got their start.
When we found the folks forty miles away from St. Johns, they were living at Milligans Fort where the Mexicans had shot it to pieces. They would gamble and fight and kill. There was a stream of water running Northwest which was frozen up, so they couldn't run the saw mill or grist mill and their supplies were running out and the snow was three feet deep. They went to Nutrioso and traded for some barley so we lived on barley bread and hogs heads. Mr. Milligan had about 300 head. He got Charley Webb and John Will Mangum to kill them for him for the heads and that is how I found Tom cleaning hogs heads. Then they got a contract to log some pines out of the mountains. Tom and I helped, then we went to McNary where Emily and Warren Follett lived and worked all summer from daylight until dark for one dollar a day to earn enough lumber to build a log cabin and did the chores for the man before daylight until dark, and built a two room log cabin for our Mother near Springerville. She was kept busy as a midwife. James Harvey Mangum was born February 4, 1880. Then my other sister Amelia had Charles Webb April 8, 1889 and Aunt Pricilla had Dudley May 5, 1880. Then my sister Emily Follett had Rachel near McNary at the Forks of the road in 1881. Mother was called from all over for she was so kind and had such good luck she was in great demand. My sister Rachel married Albert Lewis, step-son of John Wesley Norton. This was the 2nd marriage in Amity and she had Sarah. She was engaged to her cousin Lym.
In 1881 the Apache Indians were raiding the country so we moved into a fort. Then Bishop A. V. Greer laid out the town October 29, 1882 and called it Amity which means friendship. While we were at the Fort here my brother Billy was living at the Fort in Alpine where Uncle Fred located and my sister Almira Adair, where John Dudley Hamblin was born 8 July 1882 and LeRoy Adair was born 22 January 1882. Then Almira, and Billy and Amelia and Eliza and Rachel all moved to Nutrioso. The climate was better than Alpine and the cows could be kept out in the fields longer. My sister Betsy Mangum was there in 2 July 1884 where George Haynes was born. Then she too moved to Nutrioso. It was about this time we got squatter's rights in a little cove on the divide which was later known as the Dudley Hamblin place. Abe Martin lived there before Dudley; before that Billy. One morning mother went to the door to go to the spring when a big brown bear ran right in front of her. We had a large place there where all the young people would come and spend the weekends. We would go to the lower valley for the winter for the roads would be snowed in. The summertime was the time to make press cheese and butter and we would put the cheese in brine water and it would keep all winter, eggs too. We would salt our pork and some beef this way too. We could go out anytime and kill us a deer or turkey. There were plenty of lions around. Whenever the cows would come in we could tell a lion was near. Our clothes were made of buckskin too, at least the pants. I remember I was on the mountain with the cows and one of those sudden summer showers came up before I could take cover. (Sometimes it rained every afternoon.) I came into a cow camp and was bent over trying to keep warm when my buckskins dried in that position. I went over to the chuck wagon to get some beans and one old man thought he would get the laugh on me. He said, "For goodness sakes, Joe, if you're going to jump, jump." I noticed his buckskins were about in the same shape as mine. To get the cows to market we would have to drive them to Magdelina, New Mexico where the railroad was and bring a freight back for some store to make the trip pay. Then we began to hear about the Gila Valley. A lot of the people were moving there. More work for cash and the climate wasn't so cold. You could raise so many more things and a larger valley. Tom made a trip in 1881. Annie married Ezra Lee in September 1882, and they went down and Clara went to stay with Annie and married Frank Lee in December 1888. Pricilla married Tom Alger in December 1891 in Nutrioso and they moved down. He was the first bishop of Lebanon. Tom married Irene Copelan in June and they moved to Gila. We went as far as McNary with them and stayed with Emily until they got ready to go. (She hasn't been right since she was out riding on a half wild horse and hit her head on a limb and knocked her off. It was quite awhile before she was found.) From then on Mother thought she should be near her to help with the children. She had one more born to her in the Gila Valley.
Now that they had captured Geronimo, it was safe, for he was the one who stirred up trouble. As a rule most of the Indians never bothered the white people, but hated the Mexicans since Coronado took all those Indians captive so they had war ever since. They treated the white man as the white man treated them.
Charley Webb and John Will Mangum got a sawmill in the Graham Mountains, which was first J. K. Roger's and then Harve Blain and Mr. Jeddar, a school-teacher got it, and they got it from them. The mountains were so rough we had to haul the logs out on a point and shoot two logs tied together to the bottom. If you wasn't careful they would bust like match sticks. We would call down to watch the children for we were going to shoot. Later we had a cabin in back of where the Arcadia Ranger's Station is. It was here in the Graham Mountains when mother died 12 August 1893. (They sent Will Follett to town for the doctor). A panther followed him all the way. It must have been locked bowels that she died of. All the girls dressed in white dresses and with tree limbs followed all the way to Pima to keep the flies away. After she was buried, the railroad went by the spot so we had to move the grave in 1899. In moving it some of us wanted to see how things were and when the air hit the body it fell like a balloon, but her hair, which was jet-black and long had grown quite a bit. She is now at rest in the Pima Cemetery.
History of Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt
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History of Sarah Studevant Leavitt (Copied From Her History by Juanita Leavitt Pulsipher, June, 1919.) [Stamped November 4, 1948 by the Genealogical Society of Utah; written in pen from Luella Abbott Leavitt; cataloged at P.B.A. #49, and stamped by The Genealogical Society of Utah with a number 36933 - Lyman De Platt]
"I have copied this history exactly as it was written by the hand of Sarah Studevant Leavitt in her record book. The original was very old, yellow and torn, and much of the writings dim; but I was able to decipher it. I have made no effort to revise it in any way, except to put in an occasional punctuation mark or correct an error in spelling. I hope that it may find a place in the hearts and homes of her descendants; that they may profit by her experiences." Juanita L. Pulsipher. [There are portions which she did not correctly decipher.]
April 19, 1875 I was born in the town of Lime, County of Grafton, New Hampshire (date torn off) and am now 76 years, seven months and fifteen days old. My father was Lemuel Studevant and my mother was Priscilla Tompson. My parents were very strict with their children, being descendants of the old Pilgrims. They taught them every principle of truth and honor as they understood it themselves. They taught them to pray and read the Bible for themselves. My father had many books that treated on the principle of man's salvation and many stories that were very interesting and I took great pleasure in reading them. He was Dean of the Presbyterian Church. For years his house was open to all denominations, so his children had the privilege of hearing the interesting relgious conversations, but as I had the privilege of reading the Bible for myself, I found that none of them understood the Bible as I did. I knew of no other way to understand it only as it read. The Apostle said, "Though we or Angels from Heaven preach any other gospel than that which we preach, let him be accursed," and it was very evident to my understanding that they all came short of preaching the doctrine that Paul preached, but I was confident we should have the faith.
From childhood I was seriousloy impressed and desired very much to be saved from that awful hell I heard so much about. I believed in the words of the Savior, that said, "Ask and you shall receive." I prayed much and my prayers were sometimes answered immediately; this was before I made any pretensions to having any religion. When I was 18 years old the Lord sent me a good husband. We were married at my father's house, March 6, 1817, in the town of Barton, County of Orleans, State of Vermont. The next June we moved to Canada, fifteen miles from the Vermont line, into a very wicked place. They would swear and drink and play cards on Sunday and steal and do any wicked act their master, the Devil, would lead them in. This was very different from what I was brought up to. My father would never suffer any profane language in his house. The next February I had a daughter born. She lived only 12 days. There was some things very strange connected with the birth of this child, which I do not think best to write, but I shall never forget, which I never shall know the meaning of until the first resurrection, when I shall clasp it again in my arms.
The next January I had another daughter born. When she was about six months old I had a vision of the damned spirits in hell, so that I was filled with horror more than I was able to bear, but I cried to the Lord day and night until I got an answer of peace and a promise that I should be saved in the Kingdom of God that satisfied me. That promise has been with me through all the changing scenes of life ever since.
When I was getting ready for bed one night I had put my babe into the bed with its father and it was crying. I dropped down to take off my shoes and stockings. I had one stocking in my hand. There was a light dropped down on the floor before me. I stepped back and there was another under my feet. The first was in the shape of a half mmon and full of little black spots. The last was about an inch long and about a quarter of an inch wide. I brushed them with the stocking that was in my hand and put my hand over one of them to see if it would shine on my hand. This I did to satisfy others, as for myself, I knew that the lights were something that could not be accounted for and for some purpose. I did not know what until I heard the Gospel preached in its purity. The first was an emblem of all the religions then on the earth. The half moon that was cut off was the spiritual gifts promised after baptism. The black spots were the defects you will find in every church throughout the whole world. The last light was the Gospel preached by the Angel flying through the midst of Heaven and it was the same year and the same season of the year and I don't known but the same day that the Lord brought the glad news of Salvation to Joseph Smith. It must have been a stirring time among the Heavenly hosts, the windows of Heaven having so long been closed against all communication with the earth, being suddenly thrown open. Angels were wending their way to earth with such a glorious message - a message that concerns every one, both in heaven and earth. I passed through all this and not a neighbor knew anything of it, although I prayed so loud that my husband was afraid they would all hear me.
After this there were two of his aunts came in and commenced talking about being slighted in not being invited to a quilting. I had no relish for any such talk and said nothing. They saw that I made no comment. Being astonished that I was so still, they asked me what I thought about it. I told them I didn't know or care anything about it, all I cared for was to know and do the will of God. This turned the conversation in the right direction. My telling my experience to these women and the effect it had on their minds was probably of much good, as they spread the news through the neighborhood. The result was, the whole neighborhood were convinced that the manner that they had spent their time was wrong and instead of taking the name of God in vain they cried to Him for mercy. In short, the whole course of their former lives was abandoned. There were some exceptions, for the leopard cannot change his spots, how then, can men do good that are accustomed to do evil, so says the prophet.
But there was a minister come from the states and formed a church, called the Baptist, which I joined because I wanted to be baptized by immersion. I had been sprinkled when an infant, but as I said before, I did not believe in any church on earth, but was looking forward to a time when the knowledge of God would cover the earth, and that glorious time is rolling, all glory to the Lord. I lived very watchful and prayerful, never neglecting my prayers, for I felt that I was entitled to no blessing unless I asked for them and I think so yet.
We took a freewill Baptist paper that I thought always told the truth, but there was a number of columns in this paper concerning a new sect. It had a prophet that pretended he talked with God. They had built a thing they called a meeting house, a huge mass of rock and wood, on the shores of Lake Cryenth (I am not sure as to the spelling of this word) to make the blue waters of the lake blush for shame. In this Joe would go talk, he said, with the Lord and come out and tell them what the Lord said. But if I should go on and tell all the lies in that paper, how they healed the sick and managed their affairs, it would be too much for me. If you ever read the Arabian Night tales you might guess of what importance they were, for I could compare them to nothing else. No person of common sense would believe a word of it, and yet they wrote it for truth, thinking that they would hinder Mormonism from spreading. But in this the Devil overshot himself, for they were too big lies for anyone to believe.
But I will go on with my experience. I had a place that I went every day for secret prayers. My mind would be carried away in prayer so that I knew nothing of what was going on around me. I seemed like a cloud was resting down over my head. If that could would break there was an angel that had a message for me or some new light. If the cloud would break there would be something new and strange revealed. I did not know that it concerned anyone but myself. Soon after this there was one of my husband's sisters came in and after spending a short time in the house she asked me to take a walk with her. She had heard the gospel preached by a Mormon and believed it and been baptized. She commenced and related the whole of Joseph's vision and what the Angel Moroni had said the mission he had called him to. It came to my mind in a moment that this was the message that was behind the cloud, for me and not for me only, but for the whole world, and I considered it of more importance than anything I had ever heard before, for it brought back the ancient order of things and laid a foundation that could be built upon that was permanent; a foundation made by Him that laid the foundation of the earth, even the Almighty God; and he commanded his people to build up the kingdom of God upon the foundation he had laid, and notwithstanding the heathen raged and Satan mustered all his forces against the work; it has gone forward and upward for more than forty years, and will continue until the work is finished.
I read the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and all the writings I could get from the Latter-day Saints. It was the book of Doctrine and Covenants that confirmed my faith in the work. I knew that no man, nor set of men, could make such a book or would dare try from any wisdom that man possessed. I knew it was the word of God and as revelation from Heaven and received it as such. I sought with my whole heart a knowledge of the truth and obtained a knowledge that never has nor never will leave me.
The next thing was to gather with the saints. I was pondering over in my heart how it was possible for such a journey with what means we could muster. We had a good farm, but could not get much for it, but the voice of the Spirit said, "Come out of Babylon, O my people, that you be not partakers of her plagues." From the time the voice spoke so loud, clear and plain to my understanding, I knew the way would be open for us to gather with the Saints. For the Lord never gives a commandment to man but what he gives them a chance to obey. From this time we set out in earnest and was ready to start with the rest of the company July 20, 1835. The company was made up of the Leavitt family, Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt and her children, consisting of twenty-three souls. Franklin Chamberlain, her oldest son-in-law, took the lead. He did not belong to the church, but his wife did.
We had a prosperous journey of eight hundred miles to Kirtland, Ohio. I had no chance to be baptized and join the church until I got there. My daughter, Louisa, and myself and some others were baptized at this place and were confirmed. Louisa had been sick for a year, under the doctor's care, and had taken very much medicine, but all to no purpose. She was very feeble, could sit up but little. She had been in the states with my friends for more than a year. Her father and myself went after her with a light carriage. As she was 18 years old I gave her her choice to go home with us or stay with my sister. My sister told her if she would stay with her she should never want for anything, but she said she would go with her father and mother. My sister said, "Louisa, if you ever get well, don't say that Mormonism cured you." So much for her judgment on Mormonism. She was rich, high spirited, and proud and belonged to a church that was more popular than the Latter-day Saints.
Now I will go back to my story. We stayed at Kirtland about a week and had the privilege of hearing Joseph preach in that thing the Baptist said they called a meeting house, which proved to be a very good house. We went into the upper rooms, saw the Egyptian mummies, the writing that was said to be written in Abraham's day, Jacob's ladder being pictured on it, and lots more wonders that I cannot write here, and that were explained to us.
But our money was all spent, we could go no furrther. We had to look for a place we could sustain ourselves for the present, while the rest of our company went on to Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois. We promised them we would follow them the next year. This was the first of September. My husband found a place ten miles from Kirtland - Mayfield, a little village with mills and chair factories, and every chance for a living we could wish. Some one asked my husband why he went there. There was everything gathered out of that place that could be saved, but he was mistaken, although it was a very wicked place. There was a man by the name of Faulk, that owned almost the whole village. Of him we hired a house. It was about twenty feet from his tavern, so I could stand in my door and talk with those in the tavern. But they opposed Mormonism, so I said little about it. I though I would first get their good will and then perhaps I could have some influence over them. Of course, so long as they thought me an enemy it would be of no use to preach over to them. I was persecuted and abused in many ways, but not by Faulk's family. But I paid no attention to vulgar expressions, for I cared nothing about them. I had something of more importance that was shut up like fire in my bones.
But it was a hard case when the children would come from school with their nose bleeding and crying, saying that they had been pounded most unmercifully. I went to the teacher very candid[ly] and told her that unless she could stop the scholars from abusing my children I should have to take them out of school, which I did not want to do. She said she would.
I wanted very much to get the good will of my neighbors, for I knew that I could have no success in preaching Mormonism unless I did and I was so full of that spirit it was hard to hold my peace. Consequently, I mingled in the society of all, was cheerful and sociable as though I was a great friend, but kept on the side of truth and right. I would go into the tavern when they had balls and help set the table and wait on ladies and was very sociable and talkative. By and by, being free with all, I soon got the good will of some of them. If, we had commenced telling them of their faults and that they were all wrong, which was the case, and they must repent or they would be damned, we could not have got along in that place but should have had to leave.
My husband said nothing, only what was necessary to get employment. He got plenty of work with his team, so we got plenty to live upon and something to lay up. But we were watched mighty close to see if they could discover dishonesty in our dealings. But as they could find nothing to complain of they thought they would let us alone. There were some that had the mob spirit in so much that they said Louisa should have a doctor. She was then confined to her bed. They were going to take our team to pay the doctor, so I heard. I thought she had already took to much medicine.
I lay pondering on our situation, thinking we should be undone if our team was took from us, and prayed earnestly to the Lord to let us know what we should do. There was an angel stood by my bed to answer my prayer. He told me to call Louisa up and lay my hands upon her head in the name of Jesus Christ and administer to her and she should recover. I awakened my husband, who lay by my side, and told him to get up, make a fire, and get Louisa up. She would hear to him sooner than to me; to tell her that an angel had told me to lay my hands upon her head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and administer to her in His name and she should recover. She was perfectly ignorant of Mormonism; all she had ever heard about it was in Kirtland, what few days we stayed there and what we had told her. Her mind was weak, indeed, but she got up and I administered to her in faith, having the gift from the Lord. It was about midnight when this was done and she began to recover from that time and was soon up and about, and the honor, praise and glory be to God and the Lamb. So you see, our enemies were defeated of their plan, but knew nothing of the cause of her recovery.
We had only been in the church a short time, perhaps two months. About this time I had a dream. I dreamed there was a deep hole in the place that looked very black and muddy, but there was lots of fish in the hole if by any means we could catch them. It was such a filthy looking place that it would be a job to get near enough to put a hook in, but I thought I would try. So I got a hook and line and bait and went, and after much trouble I got near enough to throw in my hook. There was a shark in the hole that took the bait every time; I saw that it was of no use to try to catch fish until the shark was out of the way and so I went to fishing for the shark and I soon caught it. It was a savage looking creature. Then I could catch the fish. I caught many fish which pleased me well.
After this dream I was sensible that people in that place could be saved, although their outward appearance would indicate no salvation for them. Mr. Faulk, the man in whose house we lived, was noted for his wickedness. He ran headlong into every thing that would come in and satisfy his carnal desire, but I had got his good will, so that he would come in often and have a talk with me. I discovered that there was some good stripes in the man. At last I told him I had some books I wanted him to read, he might have them if he would read them. I gave him the "Voice of Warning." He took it home and read it. Then I gave him other books, all explaining the latter-day message, and at last the "Book of Mormon." He would ask questions and answer to my questions, but I could not find out what his mind was concerning what he had read. But as it proved afterwards he believed it to be the truth.
There was one of his companions that was often with him that was thrown from his horse and had three of his ribs broken, which caused him great distress. His wife was a good woman for a gentile, but the neighbors neglected her on account of her having such a wicked husband. I would go in and help her all I could. I was talking with one of them and told her that Mrs. Carpenter had too hard a time. She was almost worn out waiting on her husband day and night; the neighbors ought to help her more. She said he was such a wicked man - let him suffer. She did not know that he ought to have much help. I told her she made me think of the words of the Savior to the Jews. He said, "Think not that them on which the Tower of Silom fell and slew were sinners, above all others. I tell you, except you repent you shall all likewise perish." So I say to you, Peter Carpenter was perhaps ahead of you in sin, but you are not on the road to happiness and must alter your course or you cannot be saved.
One Saturday night after I had got ready for bed I told my husband that we would go into Carpenters and if they had watchers we would stay and watch with them. We went in and found him without a watcher and groaning in great distress, and said he had had no rest for four and twenty hours, a[nd] screaming to the Lord to have mercy on him. At last I went to the bed and asked him if he meant what he said, if he really wanted the help of God. He looked up and said, "Do you think there is any mercy for me?" I told him I did not know, but I would pray for him and then I could help. I knelt down and prayed and while I was praying the pain all left him and he went to sleep. He was then going to gather up what he had and go with the Mormons. I told him if he would forsake his former practices and do right in all things as duty was made known to him he should not only get well, but he would be saved. I said a good deal to him, but I don't remember what so as to write it.
The next day - Sunday - I went in. The house was full of people so that I had hard work to get to the bed. He looked up to me and said, "Mrs. Leavitt, if I could feel as well as I did last night when you prayed for me, I should want you to pray again. I told him that if I could do so and do any good by praying I would and I knelt down in the midst of all that Gentile throng and the Lord gave me great liberty of speech. I prayed with the spirit and understanding, also to Him be the glory. The people were astonished and began to think there was some truth in Mormonism notwithstanding the bad reports about them. After this we were treated with respect and Carpenter began to recover and soon became able to walk the streets. He went to the tavern and joined with his old companions, drinking and frolicking, and he was soon down again as had as ever. I went in to see him. He looked up and said, "Mrs. Leavitt, you said I would get well and here I am again." "Mr. Carpenter," said I, "on what conditions did I tell you that you should get well?" I went on and related to him the conditions. "And instead of you complying with the conditions as soon as you could get well or walk you went back to the tavern and joined your old company. Christ did not die to save us in our sins, but from our sins; and if we go on in sin we must reap the reward, which is banishment from the presence of Him who suffered an ignominious death upon the cross to save us. Consequently the Devil will claim us, for the wages of sin is death." I do not remember our conversation so as to write the words, but you have the substance of it. Carpenter was convinced of the truth of what I said and could say nothing in his own defense. But I believed he reformed, for he got better, and could walk out.
Here I must leave him and begin a new subject. The time drew near for our departure. My husband had not only provided for his family, but had got considerable besides, but only $30 in money. He told Faulk he wanted to settle with him for his house rent, that he wanted him to take other property as he had but little money. He could get no answer from him, but he was very kind and obliging. So were all our neighbors, those that hated us when we came into the place, appeared now our devoted friends. It was to our advantage, for they helped us to get ready for a journey of five hundred miles.
When we settled with the merchant and I took a bill of the goods, I found there was not a charge for thread, needles, buttons or any such trifles, while at one time he gave me a whole card of buttons and told me to put them all on Tom's coat. Tom was his constant visitor. He stayed in the store most of the time. He was four or five years old. But Faulk would not settle with us until we got our team harnessed to start. Now my husband said, "We must settle." The windows were, some of them, broken and we expected the rent would be high. But Faulk would not settle - he did not want a cent, nor would he take a cent. He wanted to see if Mormons were willing to pay their debts. He hallowed [hollared] to the merchant and said, "Put up a half a pound of tea for this woman and charge to me, and another half pound and charge to yourself. She must not go to the Mormon swamps and drink the water, it will kill her." I will only add that I got the tea, and more favors than I can write here, but that Faulk joined the church and came to Nauvoo afterward. How many more I don't know and can't say, for I did not see him myself, but my boys did.
Now I will start for the Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois. Nathaniel Leavitt had come up the lake to Michigan, stoped to a place called White Pigeon. When we got into that place we heard Nathaniel was dead and that his wife had took all the property and gone back to Canada and left three children that were his first wife's children, among strangers sick with the ague. The oldest boy was ten or twelve years old; he told the folks when he got big enough he was going to hunt his folks. They were the Mormons somewhere. They told him the Mormons were all killed; he never would find any of them. What a pitiful situation for these three sick orphans with hardly clothes enough to cover their nakedness, did not know if they should see a friend again. They were at three different houses; their names were Nathaniel, Flavilla and John.
When we came you may guess what their feelings must be [have been]. We took them along with us, which increased our number to eleven, which I had to cook for and my husband to buy the provisions [for]. We had a hard and tiresome journey. The roads were bad all the way. In one place there was a five mile pole bridge over a swamp without any gravel or dirt on it and the wagon jolted so it almost took our breath away.
After we got over the swamp there was some settlers, but it was a God-forsaken looking place. I don't think we went into a house where there were no deaths, and in some half of them had died. We stayed one night in what they called a tavern, but everything looked gloomy enough and suspicious and certainly felt gloomy enough. I never had such feelings before and as I understand afterward, there had been a number of murders committed in the house. The Lake Michigan was near the house and that contained the body of one that had been murdered. I could tell all that I heard and read about if it concerned me. I suppose that I saw one of the murderers at the Bluffs. If that place had not the curse of God upon it I should not have had those gloomy feelings. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is peace and union.
Before we left Lake Michigan we had to stop and work for provisions and horse feed. After a long and tedious journey we at last found ourselves in Illinois at the Twelve Mile Grove. Here we found our friend[s] almost discouraged. They had had much sickness among them and Mother Leavitt had died and Weir's oldest son. Weir was sick with a cancer. We had doted much on seeing Mother Leavitt, but she alas was sleeping in the grave, and gone to the Paradise of God to reap the reward of the just. There was a number among them that had had the Spiritual gifts and were in a state of darkness. They had paid out much money for medicine and had much trouble, which had brought them down in bondage because their faith failed. If they had put their trust in their kind Heavenly Father and cried to Him from all this trouble, for He does not grieve us willingly [he would have heard their cries]. We must obey His commands and we have the promise of prospering upon the land.
They had brought noble farms. The soil was very rich and brought forth great crops. But it was a sickly place - the fever and ague were located there. But we had to look out for a living. They were making a canal at Juliette, fourteen miles from this place, and my husband went and engaged to work on it with his team for $3 a day. We moved out there and I washed for the workmen and we got a good living. But we stayed with our friends until their minds were stirred up and were alive in our religion, and tried to comfort and encourage them. Sally Ann Chamberlain, who had formerly had the gifts and now was in the dark, sat looking at me as I was reading where it said righteousness should spring out of the earth. She wondered what it could mean. She said, "What is more righteous than angels or what is truer than the Book of Mormon?" "There," she said, "I have got my gifts again."
They rejoiced much and sought the favor of God until all that ever had the gifts obtained them again and some that never had them. They had never seen a Mormon from the time they left Kirtland until we came, so you see how much need we have of meeting together often and stirring up each other's minds by way of remembrance. The prophet said they that feared the Lord spake often to one another and the Lord harkened and heard and a book of remembrance was kept for them that feared the Lord and thought upon His name, "And they shall be mine," saith the Lord of Hosts, "when I come to make up my jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his only son that serveth him." So you see we have our reward for all our exertions to do good and after we have done all that we can do to advance the cause of God we are still unprofitable servants, because of our weaknesses.
But I will return to my history. (A note found at the top of the page.) While I was at Juliette I was alone a praying. After continuing in prayer for some time I thought of Joseph and commenced praying for him. As soon as I spoke his name I burst into tears and my heart was filled with grief and I said, "Oh, my God, what is the matter with Brother Joseph?" I learned afterward the mob had him, raving over him. I did not know at this time that there were any mobs gathered. We were at Juliette, Illinois, and the mob in Missouri, but the spirit manifested to me that he was in trouble. I prayed with all the power I had for the prophet of God. "The fervent and effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much, saith the Lord."
We stayed in Juliette until spring. It was the last of November when we went there. In the spring we went back to Twelve Mile Grove and my husband took a farm on shares at the West Grove, five miles from there, and five cows to make butter and cheese. We raised a fine crop and had a good living. My husband built a house on the prairie a mile and a half from the place where his folks lived, but there was no timber at the grove. We moved in the house in November and had a windy place in the open prairie. In March we lost our only cow. The next day after she died I was taken sick with the chills and fever and confined to the bed. The sisters would come and wait on me. At last they said if I would go down with them they could take care of me, as they were afraid I would die there alone. They got a bed on a sled and put me on it and carried me down. I remained there about two months before I got able to sit up. When I went down, there was nothing green started out of the earth; when I came back the grass was ankle high. I had a severe fit of sickness, but shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil. I did not complain, although I had to leave my babe at home, only a year old.
I had the chills while I live at the Five Mile Grove and was reduced so low that the day I had the chill, after the fever was off they had to watch me night and day. If I slept over a few minutes I was overcome. Louisa and her father watched over me until they were tired out, as they had to work days. My husband said to Louisa: "We must go to bed tonight. We can't be broke of rest so much." I heard what was said and the first thought I had was it would kill me if I was not waked up. The next thought was that the angels will watch over me. I went to sleep and in the night some one touched me and waked me up. I looked to see who it was had waked me and I saw a person with his back towards me, going toward the fire. I thought it was my husband, but I felt unusual calmness and peace of mind. The next morning I found that no had been up in the house, so I thought it was my good angel watching over me. The Lord fed me with a Shepherd's care. "My noonday walk He will attend and all my midnight hours defend."
But I will return to my history. We had lost our only cow, but my husband made rails and bought another and finally concluded we would go to Nauvoo, as lots of our friends were going. We never had lived where there was a branch of the church, but we got together every week and had prayer meetings and the Lord was with us and poured out His spirit upon us in so much that they spoke in tongues and prophesied. The children took an active part in these meetings. They would talk in tongues and prophesy and it was interpreted. We depended on no leader but the Lord and He led us into all truth, the sick were healed as often as any were taken sick.
Before we left the place there was a number of elders came and we were made glad indeed. We had not seen a saint from the time we left Kirtland, and they gave us much instructions and encouraged us so that we felt like urging our passage through all the cares and trials of life until our work was finished on the earth. One night we had a prayer meeting and my husband was praying. While he prayed that we might be counted worthy to partake of the tree of life and enter into the gates to the city of the New Jerusalem, Sally Ann Chamberlain had a view of the city and saw throngs passing through the gates. As I was kneeling close to her, she said, "See there, Aunt Sally." She thought because I was close to her that I could see it as well as she. We all had the gifts and blessings promised in the Gospel and love and union prevailed.
But were were preparing to move to Nauvoo. We started for Nauvoo, I think, the first of November. My husband bought a place three miles from the city and built a house. There was some land plowed which he sowed to wheat. He had to work hard for a living. Provisions were scarce and high and the most of the saints poor. There were some not poor and not fit to be called saints, many of them. I will relate one circumstance that may give you a little idea of the way that many managed. I was sick and had but a few of the comforts of life. I had no tea and no appetite. My husband went down to the city, expecting some money that was due him. He could not get the money. He went to the store and told Lyons he wanted a quarter of a pound of tea and told him he would have the money the next day. He told him he had been disappointed in getting the money that day, that I was sick and he could not go home without some. He would not trust him, but he had an ax with him and he left it in pawn and took the tea, which was only one case and worth twenty-five cents. After he came home that night his money came. That was only one case out of a number that was like it.
There was an Englishman who bought a farm of Joseph, adjoining ours, and when his land was surveyed it took in our field of wheat. When the wheat was ripe my husband took his cradle and went in to cut it. The man, Fox, I think was his name, forbid his cutting the wheat. He said it was on his land and he should have it. My husband went down to Joseph and asked him what he should do. Joseph told him to let Fox have the wheat, but he should be cursed; that the law would bear him out in keeping the wheat, but not to grieve for it, that he (Joseph) would pay him it in flour.
And the curses of God did overtake him so much that he did not live to eat the wheat. He and his wife would brag of their gold and how much money and every good thing they had, that they got enough to last for years. They would take me to her bureau and show me her nice things, but though I was very poor, I did not covet anything she had. Fox said nobody would dare to come around his house to steal his gold, for he had fifty thousand in the house. When he told me that I had a very curious feeling that he had come among the saints and had brought deadly weapons to defend his gold and his great treasures. I told him he need be under no fear among the saints, for it they could take his money without his knowing it, they feel as Moses said, "Thou God seeth me," and to him that has fed us and clothed us all of our lives we have got to give an account.
Not long after this we were sent for to his house. He was dying. He did not speak after we went in and soon breathed his last. His goods he had laid up for many years he had to leave behind. How hard it is for those that trust in riches to be saved in the kingdom of God. His wife did not live long after.
But it cast a gloom over my mind and a solemnity that kept me awake that night. I lay and thought, what dependent creatures we are, that will all our exertions we can use, our destinies are in the hands of God, and he will deal with us as he sees fit. Not for all the treasures of earth would I give up the hope of eternal life, and am willing to sacrifice every earthly enjoyment if I could know that I found favor in the sight of the Lord. Life is so short and uncertain that we had better work while the day lasts, before the night overtakes us wherein no man can work. There is a land of pleasure where peace and joy forever reign and there I have a treasure, there I hope to visit.
But I will go on with my history. We all had to work hard for a living, but with the blessings of God and our exertions we soon began to get a good living. We swapped farms with a man, got one by the big mound, seven miles from the city, a fine pleasant place. But Priscilla was born before we moved and we had much sickness. There was four of the boys all sick at once with the black canker. There were many who died in Nauvoo with the same disorder and some of my boys were brought to the very gate of death, to all appearances. But by watching over them day and night and administering, the Lord raised them up, thanks be to his Holy name.
One of the boys had got about and could walk out while the other lay at the point of death. We had to watch over him every moment. The one that could walk as soon as he lay down at night he took with the toothache and would roll and groan. After a few nights (I had laid down to rest a few moments) he began to groan. I had a strange feeling come over me. I thought it was the power of the devil that was destroying my peace, and I had bore it as long as I would. I jumped out of the bed with about the same feeling I would have to drive a hog out of the house, and as sure he would have to go. I stepped up very spry in the bed and put my hands on his head in the name of Jesus and asked God to rebuke the spirit. I did not say a loud work, but as soon as it was done he went to sleep and never was troubled any more.
I had administered to very many to rebuke diseases, but never had the same feeling before or since. Very difficult were my feelings when Mary had a felon on her finger and she was groaning. My baby was but a few days old. I was very feable and weak. I felt that I had no power either of body or mind. The felon was growing worse every day. I told her to get up on the bed beside me. I took her hand in mine and asked the Lord to heal it. The pain stopped while I held her hand and she had no more pain. The next day the core came out and the hole remains there yet where the core was, and always will be. In this case I said nothing aloud, but I had faith as much as a grain of mustard seed. The Savior told his disciples that if they had the faith of a mustard seed they could remove mountains.
But oh, the sorrow and trouble that was just at our doors! We knew they had Joseph in prison and threatened to take his life, but that was nothing new nor strange, for his enemies always did that, but we did not believe they could have power to murder him; and he lived above the law. The law could have no power over him, but powder and balls could, so they shot him in Carthage jail. When the news came the whole city of Nauvoo was thunderstruck; such mourning and lamentation was seldom ever heard on the earth. There was many, myself among them, that would gladly have died if his life could have been spared by doing so. I never had spoken to the man in my life, but I had seen him and heard him preach and know that he was a prophet of God, sent here by the Almighty to set up His kingdom, no more to be thrown down, and now how was that great and important work to be accomplished? Brigham Young was the man clothed with all the power and authority of Joseph. My husband said that he had the same spirit, the same voice, and if he had not known Joseph was dead he would actually have thought it was Joseph. Brigham was gone to the east when Joseph was killed. Rigdon tried hard to lead the church and get established in that place before Brother Brigham got to Nauvoo, but his deceit and lies were proved as the twelve returned about this time.
It was whispered in my ear by a friend that the authorities were getting more wives than one. I have thought for many years that the connections between man and wife were as sacred as the heavens and ought to be treated as such, and I thought that the Annointed of the Lord would not get more wives unless they were commanded to do so. But still I wanted a knowledge of the truth for myself. I asked my husband if he did not think we could get a revelation for ourselves on that subject. He said he did not know. After we went to bed I lay pondering it over in my mind. I said, "You know, Lord, that I have been a faithful and true wife to my husband, and you know how much I love him, and must I sacrifice him?" The answer was, "No." And then my mind was carried away from the earth and I had a view of the order of the celestial kingdom. I saw that was the order there and oh how beautiful. I was filled with love and joy that was unspeakable. I waked my husband and told him of the views I had and that the ordinance was from the Lord; but it would damn thousands. It was too sacred for fools to handle, for they would use it to gratify their lustful desires. How thankful we ought to be that we live in a day when we can know the will of God concerning our duty, and that the darkness that has so long covered the earth has been dispelled and the light of truth has burst upon the benighted world. But what good will this do those who will not come to the light because their deeds are evil, and they choose darkness rather than light. But the honest in heart that seek the Lord in faith will obtain all the knowledge needful for their salvation. I have seen so much wrong connected with this ordinance that had I not had it revealed to me from Him that cannot lie I should sometimes have doubted the truth of it, but there has never a doubt crossed my mind concerning the truth of it since the Lord made it known to me by a heavenly vision.
But as I have commenced to write some of the most important scenes of my life, I will go on. My memory is so much impaired that it will be a jumbled up mess unless I have the spirit of truth to direct me.
We went to the city and was there when the bodies of the martyred prophets were brought into the city. It was after dark that they passed the house - it was Brother Snow's, a Doctor Clinton and his wife Melissa were there and they expected the mob would come into the city that night to kill the rest of the saints. There was orders for every man to arm himself and prepare to defend the city. The moon shone uncommonly bright, as we could see quite a distance. Melissa says to her husband, "Doctor, don't you go; you will get killed and then I don't want to live any longer." Says I to Melissa, "What do you mean? If I had forty husbands and as many sons I would urge them off in a hurry, and if it was the fashion for women to fight I would step into the ranks and help defend the city." And I am not much of a fighting character either, but I did not value my life very high at that time, for they had killed our beloved prophet and my life did not seem of much value at that time; but it is the Lord's and let Him do with it what seemeth to him good.
They had guards out in every direction; they had a drum that could be heard a number of miles and when there was any danger they would beat that drum, and every one that was able would take what ever weapon they could get and run to the city and guard it. We lived three miles from the city and I don't know how many nights we left the place when the alarm drum was beaten. All of our men would run to the place appointed, but we had to move to the Mound, seven miles from there. We did so, but the guard had to be kept up at the Mound, for we had enemies on every side, all threatening to exterminate the Mormons. How strange when the Mormons never injured one of them, if they had the law was open and they could have brought them to justice without killing them. It was their religion that was troubling them as they often said, if the Mormons would renounce their religion and scatter among the gentiles they would be good citizens, but to pretend to have new revelations and a prophet; it was more than they could bear. When they found they could not turn them from their purpose they swore they would kill them or they would make them leave the country.
But I for one did not fear them, for I knew that we were in the hands of God and He would make the wrath of man praise Him and turn all their threats for the good of His saints, and it was so, for the Lord wanted His people to get up onto these mountains and raise an ensign that the scriptures might be fulfilled. But he saw that they would no go willingly, so He suffered their enemies to drive them.
Nauvoo and the country round about had to be guarded as far as there were any saints. After we moved to the Mound we had to keep a double watch, as there were two roads, one led to Warsaw and one to Carthage. It was very high land and we could see a great distance. When it was my husband's turn to watch I sat up with him to make a cup of tea as he was not a healthy man. One night while we were watching I got up on the shed and could see two buildings burning. One of them we supposed was a barn containing four hundred bushel of cleaned wheat and the other a dwelling house belonging to some of the brethren.
The enemy would ravage, steal and plunder and murder and no power in the United States to stop them! The Mormons could get no help because they believed the Gospel was restored to earth by an angel. The priests knew that if that doctrine prevailed there was no chance for them, and as the ax struck at the root of every denomination, they all joined together to help destroy the work of God. There were many ministers of different denominations that took the lead of mobs and were determined to put a stop to Mormonism. But it has increased the more they have opposed it and will continue to increase until the knowledge of God covers the earth, for all their burning buildings and killing the brethren. But there was no fear in my heart, for I knew we were in the hands of God, and He would do all things right.
We soon found we had to leave the place if we meant to save our lives, and we with the rest of the brothers got what little we could from our beautiful farm. We had forty thousand bricks that my husband and sons had made for to build a house, and part of the rock to lay the foundation. For this we got an old bed quilt and for the farm a yoke of wild steers, and for two high post bedsteads, we got some weaving done. Our nice cheery light stand we left for the mob, with every other thing we could not take along with us.
I never had a murmuring thought pass my mind, although we left a handsome property and a most beautiful place. We raised one crop on the place which shows the richness of the soil. From a small patch of melons the boys took a number of wagon loads to market and such large melons. But we gave up the place. Before we left I enjoyed myself all the time and was cheeful and happy and had no fears of being killed, for it was made known to me in dreams of the night that we were safe.
We went in an old school house to stay while we prepared for our journey. After we had been there a short time it was revealed to me in a dream that we had got to leave the place in a hurry or we should be killed. I waked my husband and told him that we had got to hurry right off or we should be killed. It was a rainy morning and we were not ready. Our wagon was not covered nor our things packed up. But he believed what I said, for it was the first word that I had made manifest any fears and the first fears I had had; but I believed that we should get off before they came upon us. It was about eight miles to the Mississippi River where we had got to go before we should be out of danger. There the brothers were collecting and crossing the river on a ferry boat.
We threw our things into the wagon and started off on a bad road. We had a hard and dangerous time on account of high water, but we got safe to the ferry and crossed over into Iowa. There we stopped a week or more. The brothers made a camp with their wagons, drawing them around so as to touch each other, with one place of entrance, and our fires in the center. Our cattle and sheep were on the other side of the river, but they were soon all over safe and there our sheep were sheared.
One night, just dark, there came an officer into the door of the camp and commenced talking with the children that were in the entrance. I looked up and saw him and knew that the children did not know enough to talk to him. I stepped up to where he was and said, "What does this gentleman wish?" For I knew he was upon some mischief, for he was dressed in the highest style and had every deadly weapon hanging around him that could be imagined. He asked if there was a man by the name of Bickmore in the camp. I looked down as if in study and I was in study to know what to say to deceive and yet tell the truth. "Bickmore - Bickmore - I heard of that name. There was a man by that name went in the first company." So I deceived him and told the truth, but the Bickmore that he had a warrant for had gone back over the river for cattle. His wagon stood in our reach and we expected him every moment. The next thing was to keep the officer there until the man could be notified of the danger.
Bickmore's wife was there and heard all that was said and they sent children to tell the man to keep away until the officer had gone. I gave him a seat and sat down by his side. He commenced asking me questions and the Lord gave me answers. "Why, madam," he said, "I see nothing before you but inevitable destruction in going off into the wilderness among savages, far from civilization, with nothing but what you can carry in your wagon." I told him I had known for ten years that we had got to go and I was glad we had got started. "Oh, there, madam, you have something to bear you up under your trials?" Says I, "It is no more trial; I would not go back if I could have the whole country at my command and all the riches in it." "Well, I see nothing before you but starvation." I told him the Lord was able to spread a table for us in the wilderness, for we were going where he wanted us to go. But the church would not go until the mob drove us. The mob was a rod in the hands of the Almighty to accomplish his purposes. He says, "I understand that your women go armed." "Armed," said I, "indeed they do, and I never felt like giving pain to a mouse unless it was necessary; but if a mob should come on me I should try to defend myself, and I think I could fight." I can't write half of what there was said, but we talked perhaps an hour. I kept him in conversation until I thought the men were safe and that was all I wanted of Mr. Mob.
As to the arms the women carried, they brought them into the world with them and I had reference to no other. It would be a sad sight to see anyone without arms, but not such weapons as the mob carried. I deceived him entirely and told the truth. It is not hard to deceive a fool, but if he is alive now he must know what I said concerning the Lord furnishing a table for us in the wilderness is true and I often think of that saying when I am sitting to a well furnished table. Oh! how kind and merciful is our Father in Heaven; he watches over us all the day long and when the night comes he is still our guard. Even the great God that held the reins of government over all his vast dominion, condescends to watch over us poor, weak, frail mortals. Well might David say, "What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visiteth him?" All that I say is, "Praise the Lord, oh my soul; and let all that hath breath shout aloud the praises of King Emmanuel, and ye solid rocks weep for joy. To write the love of God above, it would drain the ocean, though the sea was ink, and the earth paper and every stick a pen and every man a scribe. When I try to praise Him in beauty, honor and magnify the name of God, I find I have no language at my command that will do justice to the case, but when I lay aside this weak, frail body I expect to praise Him in the beauty of holiness.
Well, when all things was prepared we started on our journey. As we had let one yoke of oxen for to take church property, and had but one yoke on our wagon with about a ton of loading, you may guess the hardships we had to endure. It was but very little we could ride; we had to wade the sloughs and climb the hills. But what was more remarkable, we never got stuck in a slough. They seemd to know when they came to a mud hole just what they had to do, and would push with such speed that the wagon had no time to settle down in the mud.
One night we encamped with the company and they said a few miles ahead there was a wide and deep slough that took four yoke of oxen to take a heavy load across, but we could go around it and get back into the road to camp at night. Well, I told my husband that I would go ahead and wade the slough and be there when he came around. When I came in sight of the slough I saw one wagon stuck about half way across and another on the opposite bank just ready to start. They said it was ten miles around that slough, and my husband could not get around that night; it was almost night then. Well, I guess how I felt; there alone among all kinds of wild animals. I thought I could not stand that.
I began looking off in the direction the wagon had gone and at last I saw it, but so far off it was very uncertain whether I could make them hear. I went on to the highest place there was near and raised my voice as loud as I could, and with my pocket handkerchief in one hand stretched as high as I could reach to attract attention. At last they saw me and stopped. I beckoned to them to come down for they were out of hearing and would have been out of sight in a few minutes.
My husband soon came. I told him the fix we were in and told him he must help get the wagon down. We could get across some way if we had to unload and carry our things by hand across the slough, for there was no further chance for us. He brought the wagon down and yoked up a two-year-old bull with a cow and put them on lead, thinking that they might help going up the opposite bank. But when they went to go up the bank they settled back on the oxen. Old Bery, with as much sense as a human being, told the cow to go ahead by putting his crumpled horn into her flank and tore the side open. She jumped up the bank in a hurry and it was all done so quick that the wagon had no time to settle in the mud. I expect Old Berry would have taken the team across better without any help, for he had to drive the cow. My husband said he had not struck them a blow in the whole journey. They knew much better waht to do than many men. He unyoked them every time he stopped if it was [even] for an hour.
This was the last journey that he ever accompanied me and I want to say that he was very kind to his cattle and children, especially his two little girls - he almost worshipped them. He said he wanted to live to see those girls married and settled down in peace. I had made them a nice linsey dress, both of them. Betsy cut down a slit in the fronts and bound it around to nurse their dolls. When I saw what she had done I was provoked and commenced scolding. I told her I must whip her. Her father said, "Come here, Betsy, and let me see the sewing. If it is done good your mother shall not whip you." He looked at the sewing very carefully. He said, "It is just as good as mother would have done it." He thought everything they did was good. Why I mention this is to let you know how indulgent he was to his children.
We got this far and had no material stops. At last we got to Mt. Pisgah. There was a few of the brethren stopped there and put in a crop and built houses, expecting to winter there.. This was in April, 1846, but we had not brought provisions to last until harvest and when my husband had built a house and put in a crop he started back to Bonaparte for provisions. His son Jeremiah had stopped there and he wanted to bring him along and flour for bread. I forgot to say that we had three extra cows, so we had plenty of milk and butter. He had got his cattle that he let go to draw church property here at Mt. Pisgah, so he had a strong team when he had got ready to start back. There was a woman that wanted to go back with him and she offered him two dollars if he would stop one day and that night was worth a thousand dollars to me.
He stayed in the house and talked all day and all night. He told me things I never knew before. He was not a man of many words and never flattered and I never knew until that night how much he valued me. I found that he was perfectly satisfied with all of my doings insomuch that I never did a wrong thing in my life in his mind. Oh, how little did either of us think that was our last intercourse! He talked just as if he knew that was our last interview; he was lead by the spirit what to say. Among other things he said, "Don't have anything to say to anyone else while I am gone." This astonished me, for I did not believe that he questioned my chastity. I said, "Why do you make that request? Did I ever give you any reason to doubt my honor?" "No," he said, "but it came into my mind to say it and I did."
Now to look at it, the spirit knew he would be gone till the resurrection and he did not want me to get married to any other one. When I heard of his death I thought I will keep that request sacred. Although I have had good offers I never was tempted to marry. I have lived a lonely life as a widow twenty-seven years, but my heart leaps for joy at the thoughts of meeting him at the great resurrection, never more to part.
I had such a feeling about his leaving as I had never had before. I went to him just before he started and told him that it seemed to me that I could not let him go. "Why," he said, "what do you mean? You know that I must get breadstuff. I thought you were a woman of fortitude."
I did not know there was one in the place that I had ever seen, but Lorenzo Snow's family was living in their wagon in sight, not far off. His women came to my house to wash. Some of his women was as handsome as I had seen in any place. One of them came every night and slept with me until I was taken sick, which was about two weeks. I had not to say slept, for we talked almost all night. I thought that I would get much knowledge from her as she belonged to one of the twelve, and my mind was reaching after all the truth in existence.
When my husband had been gone about two weeks I was taken sick with chills and fever, confined to the bed. I was an entire stranger, except for the acquaintance I had made with Sister Snow. Soon after I was taken down the children all took sick and I got a little girl that could cook to make porridge for us. However, our neighborns were all very kind and helped us all they could. They would come and get my dirty clothes and wash them and if there were any holes, mend them. This they continued to do until they were all taken sick, insomuch that there were none well enough to take care of the sick.
I was the first one to take sick there and three hundred took sick an died after I was I was spared alive. This bishop visited me often and told me if I needed anything to call on him and I should have it. I soon heard that he was dead. I was very sick and Mary lay at the point of death. We had watches every night till Mary's fever left her.
One morning, after the watchers had left, I looked around the room to see if all was right. Right under the chair where one of the girls had sat all night I saw something that didn't look as if it belonged in the house. I called to Thomas to come and see what that was. We found that it was a monstrous big rattlesnake coiled up on a bench and had lain there all night as harmless as a lamb. It had eight rattles. I told the boys not to kill it; it had not come as an enemy, but on a friendly visit to help the girls watch. He did not help much, only as their companion, but they would have been just as well off without his company, not knowing of his presence. I told them to throw it off the bank and not hurt it, which they did.
But the time had come for us to look for my husband. With the greatest anxiety we watched and looked day and night until at last there came a man just before daylight with a letter containing the news of his death. It would be impossible for anyone to imagine my feelings after being confined to my bed more than two weeks and expecting him to come. All things would be all right when he came and it never entered my heart that he could die. When the news came that he was dead my feelings were too intense to weep. My situation all rushed upon my mind with such force that all I could do or say was to cry to the Lord to sustain me under such untold trials and blessed be the name of the Jesus. He did sustain me and preserved my life, which I had cared little about until I found that my children had no father. All of the nervous fears that I had been suggesting to him while he was alive was taken away when he was dead. I never rested nights in his absence. There was a fear of something, I did not know what, but now all that fear was gone; the Being in whose hands my life was placed supported me. How could I have lived if the Lord had not supported me? He has been with me in sick troubles and severe ones, and He has not forsaken me. He say, "Leave thy father's children and I will preserve them alive and let the widows trust in me," and He fulfilled these promises to me in all the afflictions I have had to pass through. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
But I will go on with my history. Wier and Lemuel had gone to Council Bluffs and got the news of their father's death and my sickness and Lemuel came to Pisgah with a team and a box of medicine (name gone) would stop the ague as soon as taken and other things for our comfort. Jeremiah came with the team that my husband had gone to Bonaparte [with] and brought Dudley with him. Thomas was the only boy I had with me that summer, but now there were four with us.
My husband died the 29th of August, 1846. He had but two children married, Louisa and Jeremiah, and one grandchild, Jeremiah's daughter, Clarisa. He sang, "Come, Let Us Anew, Our Journey Pursue, Roll Round With the Years and Never Stand Still Till the Master Appear." He sang that hymn as long as he had strength to sing it and then wanted Elisa to sing it. He died without a struggle or a groan. Blessed are the dead that died in the Lord, yea, saith the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.
A few days later we all started for the Bluffs. I took the pills and stopped the chills. My appetite came on in a hurry. I had too much appetite. When we got within a few miles of the Bluffs we bought some green peas. It was at noon and I did not have time to cook them, and I ate hearty of them and it put me in a colorea [sic] morbus in its worst form. As we were near the settlement I told them to drive on until I could find an elder to administer to me. I had suffered all I could. The water ran out of my mouth and it appeared that I had naught to do but stop breathing. I expect I should not look much different after my breath was gone. Lemuel would come to the wagon, look in and say, "Mother, you must not die." I told him to drive on as fast as he could until he found an elder to administer. He repeated, "Mother, you must not die," a number of times before he found an elder. Then he stopped the wagon and the elder administer[ed] to me, but did no good. We went ahead and found another elder and he administered to me but that did no good. At last we came to another, an old man, and as he put his hands on my head and began to speak I knew he was the right man. I was soon able to be taken out of the wagon into the tent and had some tea and light food.
You see in what a miraculous way my life was spared, thanks be to God for his condescention in hearing our prayers in this trying hour, for if it had not been for the prayer of faith I no doubt should have died and been at rest. But I wanted to live to take care of my family and try to help them up the rugged path of life. I knew by experience that the way was straight and narrow that leads to eternal life, and one false step would send us into darkness and nothing but sore repentance could restore us into the favor of God. The enemy kept us constantly on the alert to draw us from the path of duty, but if we cling to the word of God as a child to its mother's breast for nourishment, we shall come off conquerors and more than conquerors through Him that has loved us. What shall I render to my God for all His kindness shown? I will try to honor him by confessing His hand in all things and obeying His commandments.
We soon arrived at the Bluffs where we found some of our friends, Sister Adams, William Snow and his wife Lydia. I don't remember how many others. Sister Adams and Lydia were both sick, and after a long and severe sickness they both died. We could get no house and had to camp out. This was in November, 1846. I soon took the chills and fever again.
The boys made a camp of hay and I crawled into it, glad to get any place of shelter. I had to live there while they built a house and suffered very much for want of proper good and with the cold, as we could have no fire in the hay camp. There was the place that the disorder started in my head that has troubled me ever since. I had a pain in my head that was very severe. I had smoked for eight years before I believe the gospel, and when I believed before I had seen the Doctrine and Covenants, or heard of an elder, something told me I had better leave of smoking. I obeyed that still small voice and left off smoking for eight years. When I had this pain in my head I thought if I would smoke perhaps it would relieve my head. I rolled some tobacco up in a paper and smoked it. It stopped the pain. I continued to do so every time the pain came on. At last I sent and got a pipe and have used one ever since.
I don't know whether I did right or not, but I am sure the anger of the Lord is not kindled against me, for I confess His hand in all things and try to keep His commandments. He hears and answers my prayers all of the time, thanks be to His holy name. His kind care and protecting hand is over all so that a sparrow does not fall to the ground without His notice. In all my sickness I have never complained or looked back, for I was sure that there was better days coming. I knew that Mormonism was true and better days would surely come, and it was needful for us to receive chastisements, for there was no other way we learn so good a lesson.
In December I moved into a house the boys had built at Trade Point on the Missouri River, where steamboats landed. I got able to do my work and went to washing up our dirty cloths. After working nearly a week I got them done and hung them up at night. I got up in the morning and every article of clothing was stole and some new cloth that was not made. They left us almost without clothes. Well, I did not complain, but it learned me a lesson not to leave clothes out over night. I was not discouraged, although it seemed hard after I had worked when I had little strength to wash clothes that had lain dirty for months for want of strength to wash them.
My health was poor all winter. At first I could get but little that was fit for a sick person to eat, but we soon had plenty. The Lord gave us favor in the eyes of the people, so we could get anything we asked for and some that we did not ask for. We only lived a few rods from the Pottowatamie chief. He told the boys if there was anything that they wanted that he had to come and get it and he would wait until they could pay him. He had two wives, one a very white French woman. They were all a great help to us.
But I had very much to pass through in this place, both good and bad. We had not been there long before Betsy was sick with a white swelling on her leg, close to the knee joint, and a most distressing thing it was. For about two months Dr. Clinton attended her. We kep on egg poultices. It was lanced twice without any effect and at last broke on its own accord. I had her on the trundle bed in the corner, close to the fire, as it was cold weather, and it would take me an hour to change her under sheet. She could not bear any jar or motion, but after a while it broke and there was lots of bone came out. It was as bad as a felon could be. I suppose, and we expected if the Lord did not help us she would be a cripple. But He did help us, and although she was only seven years old, her leg grew, and it was wonderful, as there were pieces of bone come out years afterward. The doctor said the flesh must be cut down to the bone and the bone scraped to get the rotten parts off, but I could not consent to that and after we got to the valley I succeeded with the blessing of God in curing it.
While I was at this place Brother Conlet was shot and killed in front of my house. Brother Conlet had been sick with the ague for some time. One morning he sprung from his bed and told his wife that somebody was going to shoot him. She thought he was crazy and told him to lie down again. He laid down and went to sleep. Soon he sprang from bed again and said, "don't you see the guns pointing at me?" She still thought him crazy, but he put on his blue overcoat and steeped out. He stepped on Jean's land. Jean stood there with a gun and said if any man stepped onto his land he would stood him. The man of the place wanted to make a road through his ground, but Conlet knew nothing about what they were doing, but as he stepped over the line Jean shot him.
After he had been dead a few days, one night after his family had all gone to bed and left a large fire burning and were all asleep but Sister Conlet, he came in and went to the bed where she lay and commenced talking. At first she was frightened, but soon all fear left her and she talked with him without any fear. I forget most of the conversation, but he told her he wanted his body took up and buried on high land, as the place where he lay would be washed off into the river. He told her he would always wear that blue coat when he came to see her. She had given the coat to his brothers. He told her some things that she was to tell to no one except the authorities of the church.
She had his body took up and buried where he wanted it and got the blue coat and laid it up. The land where he lay did wash off.
A few rods from where Conlet was killed I saw one Indians kill another with a club. I often thought this might truly be called a place where Satan's seat was, but my whole mind was engaged in preparing for our journey to the valley. I did everything in my power to accomplish this great work. I made eleven fine linen shirts for the merchant; I baked pies and bread and cakes for the grocery the boys kept, as there were lots of gold diggers on the way to California, stopping there waiting for the grass to grow. We had market for everything. There was lots of big men boarding at the tavern. Some of them came to us for victuals, as their fare at the tavern was very poor.
Among these was a Dr. Vaun that visited my house. There was a family by the name of Rolins staying at my house and Vaun visited them. I heard that Mrs. Rolins was a doubtful character, but believed it to be false until I was forced to believe it to be the truth by watching nights. I had one daughter, Mary, that was a woman grown. I kept her very close after I found what characters we were among. They often took evening walks, I mean the young folks. I told Mary she must stop walking out evenings or going to parties in that place. She very readily consented to what I said.
One evening, when all the rest were fixing to walk out, the doctor said, "is not Mary going?" Mrs. Rolins said, "Oh, no, Mrs. Leavitt is so particular; she won't let Mary go." I always thanked Mary for listening to me. She was glad to get rid of bad company, for Dr. Vaun had a wife and children back in the states. His wife was the sister to the governor.
But if I should write all that transpired in this place of note it would be more than I will do. How there was a bogus press found there; and a man drowned in the river trying to drive cattle while his companions stood on the bank and saw him drowning. Thomas told them if they would let him have a horse he would go and save him, but they did not like to venture their horses in such a dangerous place. Benway, the merchant, cursed them and told them they had stood on the bank of the river and seen one of their own men drown and not made the least exertion to save him. "There was little Thomas Leavitt that would have gone unto the river and would have saved him, too, but you were afraid your horses would drown - Oh, shame!" Benway was a great friend of Thomas and gave him many presents. Thomas was thirteen years old and his good conduct made him many friends.
Also how Jeanes' wife had a frightful monster born; and how I had the offer of marriage; and Sister Adams and Lydia Snow both died; and Robert McLean and Father Richards both apostatized, and how many debates I had with them; and a thousand other things, too numerous to relate.
But my whole study was to prepare to leave that place and go to the valley. It was a great undertaking, as I had but two boys, the oldest fourteen years old, and three girls, two of them young children. My son, Lemuel, had gone in a former company.
But through energy and faith and the blessings of God we got a good fit-out [outfit]; two yoke of oxen and four cows hitched to one wagon. The cows we milked on the road and made butter. We had plenty of flour and groceries and had enough, so I was perfectly contented. Jeremiah and Wier crossed over the river with us, and stayed over night. When we parted in the morning, Weir said, "Mother, you must no go in the next company." And once he said, "Mother, I want to bid you good-bye; I bade father good-bye and never saw him again." He would often say, "Mother, you won't go in the next company, will you?" I asked him if he did not want me to go as soon as I could get ready. He said he would rather I would wait until he could go with me. I told him I wanted everyone to as soon as they could get ready. I little thought that if I left him behind I should hever see him again in this world, but so it is[was]. Very likely if I had been with him in his sickness he would not have died. I cast no reflections on myself on that account, however, but I can say, "the will of the Lord be done."
We started on our journey and got safe to the valley, but I never saw Wier again. He died in August, the same month his father died; his father in 1847, Wier in 1847.
The first person I spoke to after I entered Salt Lake was Dr. Vaun. He came running out of a house and appeared much pleased to see me. He said, "Well, Mrs. Leavitt, I have joined the church." Of course, I was glad and was in hopes he had repented of his sins and would forsake them. But in this I was disappointed, for he sought the women's company and with the help of love powders succeeded in gratifying his hellish desires. He was called up before the authorities more than once and confessed his sins and asked forgiveness. He was forgiven and he said if he was ever found guilty again his life should be the penalty. He knew the law of God required it. He was guilty again and was shot and killed. Oh, the weakness and depravity of man, to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, or in other words, sell their souls' salvation for a few moments of carnal pleasure. Oh! thou Eternal God, roll on that happy day when satan shall have no power over the hearts of the children of men, but the knowledge of God cover the earth as the water cover the mighty deep.
We went to the Deul Settlement, where Brother Fish live, Lemuel was there. He was engaged to be married to Melvina Thompson, sister to Julia Fish. Julia tried hard to break up the match, but failed. Julia slighted me in every way she could. She lived in a room adjoining mine; made a tea party and invited all the neighbors but me. She did not think I was worthy of her company, but it did me no hurt or cause me to commit sin, for I was trying to keep in favor with God and knew that I should look well to my own conduct. I should not have to mention this, but she has left the church. She is too proud to be a saint.
Lemuel was married there and his was was sick a long time after they were married, with the worst kind of sickness, for her reason was gone and although she was about the house the most of the time, she did not know what she was doing. I had a severe trial, but I let patience have its perfect work.
We lived in that place about three months and then moved to Pine Canyon in Tooele. We lived there until the Indians became so bad that we had to leave with the cattle and horses. The stole five head of horses in one night and all the cattle they could get. Walker's band was in the mountains, just above us and he said he was going to kill us all off. They kept guards out in every direction. Some of the young men cried and said, "We shall all be massacred." As for myself, I had no fears. I thought we were in the hands of God and it would be all right.
Here her history ends, apparently unfinished.
[Original in Platt Family Records Center, Document 158]
Jeremiah Leavitt III, Sarah Sturtevant Monument program 2011
Contributor: Springsteen Groupie :-) Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
In the middle of a cold, Canadian winter, 10th February 1822, Jeremiah Leavitt III was born. He was the eldest son and fourth child of his parents Jeremiah and Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt. He was reared with responsibilities on his father’s farm and was nurtured by his mother, a prayerful and humble woman. When the extended Leavitt family, urged by their faith, became determined to leave their homes in Canada and journey to join the Latter-day Saints, Jeremiah at fifteen years of age drove the second of his father’s two wagons on the month long journey to Kirtland, Ohio.
The day after their arrival Jeremiah was baptized on 22 August 1837 by one of the missionaries who had preached the gospel to them in Canada. As the family journey toward Nauvoo, Illinois, Jeremiah worked with his father raising crops, building fences and homes to sustain their large family. By the time they reached Nauvoo, Jeremiah had grown into a man and was well established in his newfound faith.
At Nauvoo he met and married Eliza Harrover, a beautiful young woman from Washington, D.C. who had recently joined the church. They were attracted to one another from the first and after a brief courtship were married on 1 Feb 1845. A few months later Jeremiah was ordained a Seventy in the 25th Quorum in the City of Joseph.
Jeremiah and Eliza crossed the plains in 1852 with five children under the age of seven. They faithfully journey to Zion not only physically but also spiritually, as their generosity and service to others became their strength.
Family was important and they made great effort to be close to them, continuing that tradition from Canada to Nauvoo and across the plains to the great American West, finally settling in southern Utah where they continued on energetically fencing, farming and rearing their children.
They had a humble home where they gleaned all they had from the soil and the hard labor of their hands. They tilled the soil, hoed the weeds, irrigated the land and watched the floods wash it away and then they started over again. AS times improved Jeremiah spent weeks in the late summer taking loads of fruit, beans and sorghum north to trade for other goods. They lived at various times in Santa Clara, the Meadows, Panaca, Clover Valley, Hebron and Gunlock which they considered to be “home”. Here nine of their twelve children grew to maturity forging bonds with family and friends which have crossed the generations and are vibrant still today.
Jeremiah took Eliza to the Endowment House in 1862 to be sealed as husband and wife. In 1877 at the creation of the Gunlock Ward he and his brother Dudley performed priesthood ordinances for each other’s family members and while in Hebron, Jeremiah served as a ward teacher. As further evidence of his testimony of the restored gospel two of his children were named Emma and Joseph Smith Leavitt.
Jeremiah’s pioneering included crossing a continent, floods, the death of three daughters, the sun parched southern Utah desert, Indian trouble and cholera. His life was cut short by an accidental inhalation of poisonous insecticide he had applied to his farm ground. Exactly one week after his mother died, Jeremiah III followed her in death on 12 Apr 1878. Eliza, hid dear wife lived another twenty-seven years as a widow. They are buried in the Gunlock Cemetery.
Brief History of Jeremiah Leavitt, compiled by Aura Leavitt Allen, 10 Sep 1949
Contributor: Springsteen Groupie :-) Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Jeremiah Leavitt 7th, son of Jeremiah 6th, was born February 10, 1822 at Stanstead, P. Q., Canada.
Jeremiah was just a boy when his father moved he and the family to Kirtland, Ohio to join with the Saints there.
They had been told of the prophet, Joseph Smith, his vision, and the gospel as preached by Mormon. Jeremiah's mother was first to hear of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She, being a humble and prayerful woman knew in her heart that it was true and most important to her and her family. It was permanent, having a sound foundation on which they could build.
She read the Book Of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and any literature she could get from the Latter-day Saints. She knew them to be the words of God.
Jeremiah's mother and Father gathered their children and relatives together and were ready to leave their homes in Canada by July 20, 1835.
They had few difficulties in their 800 miles journey to Kirtland Ohio. There for the first time, they were privileged in meeting and hearing the Prophet Joseph Smith preach.
Having spent all their money on the journey thus far, they were compelled to remain at Kirtland for some time until they had earned enough money to travel the remaining 500 miles to Nauvoo.
Upon reaching Illinois, Jeremiah's father took a farm on shares at Twelve Mile Grove. There the family raised a fine crop and had a good living.
Jeremiah had grown into a man by the time they reached Nauvoo. He was a good man being well established with faith in the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While in Nauvoo, Jeremiah met Eliza Harover, a girl of great faith who had been converted and brought from Washington D.C. by the Prophet Joseph Smith. She had given up home, family,and friends to return to Nauvoo with the Prophet,who was acting as her guardian.
Eliza on seeing Jeremiah for the first time exclaimed, "That is the man I am going to marry!" Of course her friends chided her but she and Jeremiah were attracted to each other from the first and were soon married.
They had 12 children, some of them being born during the time they were crossing the plains. The children were: Clarissa, Lucy Ann, Sara Priscilla, Mary Ellen, Jeremiah, Louisa, Eliza, Emma, Joseph S., Josiah, Melvina, and Lydia.
Josiah, their youngest child who lived, was the first white child born at Gunlock.
Jeremiah and Eliza lived at Tooele and Santa Clara, Utah before moving to Gunlock.
During their first years at Gunlock,they had much trouble with the hostile Indians living around there. They finally had to kill the Indian's Big Chief, "Menuer". From then on they had much less trouble.
Jeremiah worked as a farmer at Gunlock for the rest of his life. Before planting, he always sprinkled his grain with paris green to keep he grain from going to smut. This one time as he was planting his grain the wind blew the poison dust back and he breathed it into his lungs, causing him to contract pneumonia.
Dudley Leavitt and William Jones were on their way from Gunlock to Mesquite, Nevada. They were camped at Beaver Dams and about 6:00 a, Dudley raised up in his bed and said, "William, Jeremiah died at 5 o'clock this morning." He said it with such sureity that there were no questions from William. They debated to whether they should turn around and to back to Gunlock, or hurry on, complete their business and then return as quickly as possible. They agreed to go on but before they reached Mesquite a horseman overtook them bringing the news that Jeremiah Leavitt had died at 5 am on that 12th day of April in 1878.
Descendants of Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover, by Lyman De Platt
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I. Clarissa Ann Leavitt, born December 26, 1845, Bonaparte, Van Buren, Iowa; died April 14, 1879, Gunlock, Washington, Utah; married December 11, 1864, Clover Valley, Lincoln, Nevada, Jonathan B. Hunt, son of Amos Hunt; Jonathan was born September 25, 1845; their children:
1-1 Clarissa Ann Hunt, born October 30, 1865, Clover Valley; died September 4/19, 1866, Clover Valley;
1-2 Lucy Ellen Hunt, born December 21, 1866, Hebron, Washington, Utah [may have been born at Clover Valley]; died April 15, 1885; married June 7, 1882, Hyrum William Burgess.
1-3 Mary Jane Hunt, born October 11, 1868, Hebron; died March 11, 1933, Enterprise, Washington, Utah; married William Thomas Truman, March 11, 1884, St. George; their children: 1-3-1; 1-3-2 Heber Reed Truman; 1-3-3; 1-3-4 Mae Truman; 1-3-5 Nellie Ann Truman; 1-3-6 Clarissa Elizabeth Truman, born March 20, 1886, Hebron; died March 9, 1933, Salt Lake City; 1-3-7 Jacob Thomas Truman, born March 4, 1890, Gunlock; died June 24, 1987, St. George; 1-3-8 William Jonathan Truman, born December 12, 1892, Gunlock; died October 16, 1974, St. George; 1-3-9 Rosell Truman, born November 30, 1894, Gunlock; 1-3-10 Roxie Ellen Truman, born February 28, 1897, Hebron; died October 4, 1983, Enterprise; 1-3-11 Belle Truman, born December 19, 1899, Hebron; died November 14, 1938, Enterprise; 1-3-12 Thelma Truman, born April 9, 1902, Hebron; died March 20, 1985, St. George; 1-3-13 Alma Truman, born June 30, 1904, Hebron; died July 5, 1992, Salt Lake City; 1-3-14 Tillie Truman, born December 25, 1908, Enterprise; died December 26, 1908, Enterprise.
1-4 Jonathan Reed Hunt, born June 30, 1872, Hebron; died May 21, 1914; married March 11, 1896, Esther Priscilla Truman.
1-5 Joseph Henry Hunt, born July 11, 1874, Hebron; died March 23, 1958, St. George;
History of Jeremiah Leavitt III by Lyman De Platt
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JEREMIAH LEAVITT III
Pedigree: 20; WIN: 71-2
5th Generation: Leavitt
Jeremiah Leavitt III◄
Jeremiah Leavitt IV
Clarissa Josephine Leavitt
Gordon Leavitt Platt
Lyman De Platt
Jeremiah Leavitt III, son of Jeremiah Leavitt II and Sarah Sturtevant, was born, according to his own record, on February 10, 1822, at Hatley, Stanstead, Quebec, Canada. He was their eldest son. (1) He had three older sisters: Mary Ann (born and died in 1818); Clarissa (who was born in 1819, who remained in New Hampshire when the family moved west, and married Horace Sturtevant, her first cousin, and later Simon Colton); and Louisa, who was born in 1820 and died in June 1855 at St. Joseph, Missouri, wife of William Ellis Jones, with no posterity).
(1) Minutes of the 18th Quorum of Seventies, 1845-1888 (Church Historian's Library, Salt Lake City, Microfilm No. 87562), page 51.
(2) Kate B. Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage (Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1963), page 442. Dinah Davis, second wife of William Ellis Jones had moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where she married him February 3, 1856, it being stated in his journal that he had been widowed for eight months (June 1855), having apparently remained in St. Joseph, where he and Louisa had moved from Winter Quarters because of hardships, sickness and poverty.
Being the oldest son, Jeremiah soon had his responsibilities in helping his father with the animals and chores around the farm. He also had time to go to school when it was held. Schooling was just getting a good footing in the area and although what was available was the best offered anywhere in the northern U.S. - Lower Canada region, still by our standards it was scanty. The basic courses of spelling, grammer and the three R’s were the only courses taught. School was held usually during the three summer and three winter months. The schools consisted of “central log houses and barns in the different neighborhoods, and were generally taught by the best educated young men and women in the settlements....” (3) The Leavitts were among this group and may very likely have contributed to the education of the area.
(3) B. F. Hubbard, Forests & Clearings: The History of Stanstead County (Montreal: Lovell Printing & Publishing Co., 1874), page 10.
The stories of the Leavitt family have been published in some good detail in the book by William P. Leavitt, entitled Leavitt Pioneers, Western Migration and Colonization. Bill quotes Jeremiah Leavitt (age thirteen at the time of their departure from Canada), but the source has not been preserved. It indicates that somewhere in the family there is an autobiographical work that needs to resurface. Speaking of their leaving Canada he recounts the following details, not found in any other publication about the family:
“Mother wanted to visit the place of her birth (Lyme, New Hampshire), across the Connecticut River, near the Carr Mountains.... But the wagon train would not.... So we went on...to Brattleboro and turned west to Bennington, and camped for the night at the boundary between Vermont and New York. We crossed the upper reaches of the Hudson River at Troy, and headed west (possibly using the Mohawk Trail) through Utica and Auburn to the boundary between New York and Pennsylvania.... Three other wagon trains had joined our company while we were crossing New York. There we stopped for a day to let our stock rest up and re-supply our wagons. While we were crossing the northwest top of Pennsylvania, we stayed well back from the shore of Lake Erie to avoid swamps and mosquitoes. It did not seem to do much good, as we ran into plenty of mosquitoes anyway.... Two more wagon trains had joined us in Pennsylvania....
“For some time it had been apparent that we were not the only people interested in seeing the Prophet.... In Ohio a long train of wagons stretched ahead of us in a continuous line. We were not sure that they were all saints but we felt pretty sure they were. And the sight of so many people interested in salvation filled our hearts with gladness.... We came to Kirtland sooner than I had expected. I was thinking of it as somewhere in the center of Ohio, instead of near the northeast corner...not too far from the southern shores of Lake Erie, and it had its share of mosquitoes. (4)
(4) William P. Leavitt, Leavitt Pioneers: Western Migration and Colonization (Las Vegas, Nevada: PDBK Enterprises, 1985-1996), page 48.
The journey had taken just several days short of a month.
It was interesting to me in preparing to give a brief account of the life of Jeremiah Leavitt III to find that the Autobiography of Nathaniel Leavitt, son of Nathaniel, and nephew of Jeremiah III, gives the name of the missionary that converted the Leavitts in Canada. He was Hazen Aldrich. Whether he accompanied the Leavitts to Kirtland or not is not known at this time, but in the Biographical Record of the 25th Quorum of Seventy (5) Jeremiah Leavitt III indicates that he was baptized in Kirtland by Hazen Aldrich. Jeremiah also notes in the genealogy of 18th Quorum of Seventy that he provided to that quorum, that his baptismal date was August 21, 1837 and restates it was Hazen Aldrich who baptized him.
(5) Biographical Record of the 25th Quorum of Seventy, 1845-1855 (Church Historian's Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Microfilm No. 87621), page 38.
(6) 18th Quorum of Seventies, 1845-1888 (Church Historian's Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Microfilm No. 87562), page 51; Endowment House Book D, page 142, No. 2773.
He says of the occasion: “Many were so overcome by the things they saw and the wonder of it all (the preaching of Joseph Smith, the Kirtland Temple, and the Egyptian mummies), that their eyes were filled to overflowing with tears of joy.... For the first time, I knew that the Spirit of God truly is the Spirit of Love. From that time onward, I resolved to find a girl that also loved the Lord for my wife.” (7)
(7) Leavitt, op. cit., pages 48-49.
With the need to earn money, Jeremiah III was sent by his father, alone with two Indian friends that they had brought with them from Canada, Smoky and White Wing, to look for a place to live. During one of their forays they found the town of Mayfield, ten miles southwest of Kirtland. They were so impressed with the location and possibilities that they quickly returned to Kirtland to report their findings. As they were returning they came across a minister and a farmer with a rifle:
“The minister asked, ‘What is this we hear about a Prophet and a new religion?’ Since he was looking at Jeremiah, he answered, ‘I’m too young to know much about religion, but the way my mother puts it is, that this is not a new religion that the Prophet is preaching, but the old one that the Savior taught when he was here; with all the ancient offices of the priesthood and all.’ ‘But,’ objected the minister, ‘...the Church of Christ has been here all along. Why restore something that is already here?’ ‘I only know what my mother said, sir. That every prophet since the world began spoke of this restoration,’ Jeremiah replied. The minister’s face got a little red, but he spoke calmly, ‘Can you name one of them?’ ‘Yes, I think I can. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth...saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give him glory....’ Jeremiah had expected praise for quoting scripture so eloquently, but, instead, the farmer and the minister just stood looking at each other. Finally, the minister said, ‘You know they are right. With talk like that, I could lose my whole congregation.’ While the two stood scowling, the boys gave the horses rein. Quickly, the farmer responded, ‘What shall we do about it?’ To which the minister replied, ‘Let’s kill ‘em!’ The boys heard the guns fire and the bullets whiz barely past. They quickly gained cover in a nearby grove of trees, while continuing their ride back home.”
The story of Jeremiah's life is amply told by his mother in her autobiography between Kirtland and Nauvoo. It does not need to be repeated here. He continued helping his father on the farm at Nauvoo and in 1844 when they moved to the Big Mound, seven miles east of Nauvoo.
One day in the fall of 1844, Jeremiah stopped in one of the boarding houses in Nauvoo to get something to eat. He had probably just brought a load of produce in from the farm to sell. He was served by a waitress by the name of Eliza Harrover. She also helped with the cooking and the housework. The meeting was one of those which so often seals the destinies of two persons for the rest of their lives. After Jeremiah left the eating area, Eliza said, “That is the man I am going to marry.” (8)
(8) Rose L. McAllister, History of Josiah Leavitt and Mary Ann Bowler & Family (St. George: priv. pub., 1967), pages 363-364 (a section of Eliza Harrover).
Eliza Harrover was born August 20, 1825 at Nevertire, Fairfax, Virginia. (9) Her father, had been drowned in a boating accident and had left Eliza and ten older brothers and sisters fatherless. Her mother apparently died shortly thereafter. The administration of the estate of her mother, Sinah [Ogden] Harrover, [this name was Sinah Harwood in the index of the minute book, and shows a similar problem as noted in the censuses for mistaking Harrover for Harwood at times] deceased, is granted Hiram Harrover. Benedict Jones and Presley B??? securities. Henry A. Halley, William Beck, Francis F. Ratcliffe and John Simpson were three appraisers.
(9) Ibid. All family records indicate August 20, not August 26, is Eliza's birth date.
September Court, 1829 - 1st day:
The guardian account of Maria N. Harwood with Walter Williams her guardian.
The guardian account of Samuel M. Harwood with Walter Williams his guardian.
The guardian account of Mary E. Harwood with Walter Williams his guardian.
The guardian account of Caroline N. Harwood with Walter Williams her guardian. (10)
(10) Fairfax County, Virginia, Minute Book 1829-1831, page 269, December Court, 1830 - 1st day.
Eliza, because of her tender age of four, was given to her Aunt Jane Richie and husband to raise. She was to receive an inheritance upon becoming of age.
In November of 1839 the Prophet Joseph Smith and Judge Elias Higbee stopped at the Richie Ranch for food and lodging for themselves and their animals. While they were there they preached the gospel to the Richies and to Eliza. The next morning there were on their way to Washington to talk with President Martin Van Buren.
On their return trip the Prophet and Dr. Foster again stopped at the Richie Ranch. “After Eliza heard them talk again she was convinced of the truth of their message. She wanted to go with them but her aunt said no. Eliza had made up her mind. She forfeited her inheritance and went with the Prophet. She lived in the home of the Prophet and Emma Smith for some time after that. She was baptized by Joseph Smith himself according to the Santa Clara Ward Record.
“After plural marriage had been announced and the people started practicing it, the Prophet’s wife, Emma, feared that Joseph was looking upon Eliza as a future wife, so she made her leave. Eliza got a job in a local boarding house.” (11)
(11) Ibid. There is no indication that Eliza ever married Joseph Smith, but there have been indications in family traditions that she did.
In 1842 she was living in the Nauvoo fourth civil ward, being listed in the census between the Lemon and Marks families. (12)
(12) Lyman D. Platt, Nauvoo: Early Mormon Records Series, Volume 1 (Highland, Utah: priv. pub., 1980), page 91: Eliza Hanover, following the last Lemon family member, and preceding Marks family, indicating she was probably boarding with the Peter Lemon family in February of 1842.
After meeting Jeremiah in the latter part of 1844, they began seeing each other quite often and they were married in Nauvoo on February 1, 1845 by William Snow, minister of the gospel. (13)
(13) Hancock County, Illinois Marriage Records, 1837-1857 (Family History Library Microfilm 30325), page 83.
Jeremiah and Eliza spent a short time after their marriage in Nauvoo. Jeremiah was ordained to the 25th Quorum of Seventies in Nauvoo on April 9, 1945. Later that year they moved to Bonaparte, Van Buren, Iowa, about thirty miles from Nauvoo, up the Des Moines River. Because of this move he was dropped from the 25th Quorum on November 4, 1845. At Bonaparte on December 26, 1845 their first child was born. They named her Clarissa Ann.
(14) PFRC, Note 73. Biographical Record of the 25th Quorum of Seventy, 185-1855 (Church Historian's Office, Serial No. 87621), page 38. Jeremiah Levett dropt Nauvoo, Nov. 4, 1845. Born in the province of Lower Canada, 1822, son of Jeremiah and Sarah Leavitt; was baptized in Kirtland, 1838, by Hazen Aldrich and April 9, 1845 was ordained into the 25th Quorum of Seventies in the City of Joseph. S. W. Richards, Recorder.
(15) Family Records.
The young family was still there in July of 1846 when Jeremiah's father came back from Mt. Pisgah for supplies and to help them unite with the family at Pisgah. Tragedy struck at this time, however. Jeremiah, Sr. took sick with fever and chills. Eliza cared for him as best she could. As the end drew near, Eliza carried on for him the singing of his favorite song “Come, Let Us Anew.” He sang it until his strength gave out.
Jeremiah buried his father there, likely in what is now the Bonaparte Cemetery west of town. [That is where the Western Association of Leavitt Families has placed a monument in his honor.] Then with the teams and animals his father had brought, Jeremiah moved his small family to Pisgah where he took charge of moving the rest of the family to Council Bluffs.
The family left Mt. Pisgah in September of 1846 and arrived at the Bluffs in November. No homes were available. Eliza was heavy with child and had camped out in the dampness of that river area. The men set to and had a house built at the steamboat landing (Trade Point, or Trader’s Point; also called Council Point), south of Kanesville on the Iowa side of the river, by mid-December.
All the efforts of Jeremiah and his brothers during 1847 were bent towards getting as many of the family as possible ready to make the journey to the mountains or “the valley” as it was commonly referred to at the time. As each was able they made their way. Lemuel went first, their mother Sarah with Dudley and the four other young children went next. Jeremiah and Weir crossed the river to see them on their way. Weir died shortly thereafter.
Jeremiah and his family stayed at the Bluffs for several years after that. The 1850 Census for this family gives the following information: Jeremiah Leavitt, age 27, laborer, birthplace unknown; Eliza Leavitt, age 25, birthplace Virginia; Clarissa, age 4 (if born in December of 1845 she would have been 4, so the census is accurate), birthplace Illinois; Lucy, age 2 (actually 3), birthplace Iowa; Priscilla, age 1 (actually 2), birthplace Iowa, Ellen 1/12, birthplace Iowa. If Mary Ellen was only a month old, and it would seem unlikely that the census taker or Eliza would mistake a one-month-old baby for a one-year-old baby (the census being taken September 2), this indicates that Mary Ellen was actually born in 1850, not in 1849 as the family records give. This also makes Jeremiah IV’s birth date inaccurate, because if she was born in August of 1850 rather than October 13, 1849, he could not have been born February 7, 1851, but rather 1852. However, despite the discrepancies, it appears that the family records are correct.
Family records give the children’s births as: Lucy Ann was born February 10, 1847, Sarah Priscilla February 17, 1848, Mary Ellen October 13, 1849 and Jeremiah, February 7, 1851. (16)
The Council Point Branch in Pottawattamie County, Iowa is where Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover stayed during the period that they were preparing to make the trip to Utah. On July 13, 1851, all five of the older children were blessed by Elder George Coulson, Elder T. Robins, and Elder John Tidwell. (17) Several months later the family is shown as follows: Jeremiah Levit is listed as age 29, a Seventy, the family's records being received from the Old Branch; Eliza as 26, Clarissa Ann as 6, Lucy Ann as 5, Sarah Priscilla as 4, Mary Ellen as 2 and Jeremiah IV as 7 months. That presumes that the record was made in September and the Jeremiah IV was indeed seven months old. This would substantiate the family dates.
(17) Council Point, Iowa, L.D.S. Branch Records (Family History Library Microfilm 01922).
At the request of the First Presidency of the Church, the Saints began preparing to evacuate Pottowattamie County and surrounding areas in 1852. The members of the Church from the Council Point Branch were formed into a company, the records of which have been preserved. They are the best source for the family's history during this time period. (18)
(18) A Journal of the Emigration Company of Council Point, Pottowattamie County, Iowa, In the Summer of 1852 (Family History Library Microfilm 34055).
In September of 1852 when the family is preparing to leave for the valley, they are recorded as follows: Jeremiah Leveitt, age 30, Elizer Leveitt, age 26; Clausia Ann Leavitt, age 7, Lusy Leavitt, age 6; Sarah P. Leaveitt, age 5, Mary E. Leveitt, age 3, and Jeremiah Leveitt, age 1. Jeremiah would, by the revision, have been seven months old, not a year old; Mary Ellen’s age is correct based on family records, Sarah Priscilla would be four, not five, Lucy would be five not six; Clarissa would almost be seven.
They settled first in the Salt Lake Valley. Later they moved to East Tooele, Tooele County. The Bishop’s Report of Members of Various Wards in the Utah Territory, 1852-1853 (19) shows the following related families living in East Tooele:
(19) Bishop’s Report - Record of Members of Various Wards in Utah Territory, 1852- 1853. [FHL Film 164614 report; FHL Film 430074 index] for Tooele, Tooele, Utah. PFRC, Note 54.
James W. Huntsman
Jeremiah Leavitt [III]
In October of 1853 Jeremiah is listed as a member of the 25th Quorum of Seventies who is requested to report himself forthwith to Thomas Squires, Great Salt Lake City. (20)
(20) PFRC, Note 86, Journal History of the Church (JHC, May 9, 1853, page 1): 25th Quorum of Seventies - Jeremiah Leavitt is listed as a member who is requested to report himself forthwith to Thomas Squires, Great Salt Lake City (originally taken from Deseret News, October 1, 1853, page 4).
According to Seventies’ records, the family was still living there in 1855. (21)
(21) JHC, June 6, 1855, page 2 (taken from Deseret News, June 6, 1855): Jeremiah Leavitt, seventy, residing in Tooele County.
Jeremiah and Lemuel Leavitt were added to the Santa Clara Mission as pioneers May 22, 1857.
(22) JHC, October 6, 1858, page 6
In the Spring of 1858 Jeremiah and his son Jeremiah cleared a piece of ground in the northwest part of the present city of St. George, Utah taking water for irrigation purposes from the North Spring. This piece of information is not connected, or verified, from any other family records or local records, but is there in Jeremiah IV’s obituary as an interesting historical note, for it would make them the first of the pioneers to farm on the present site of St. George. “Very soon thereafter Jeremiah and Eliza moved north to a settlement they later called Gunlock. They planted a crop that first year and raised corn and beans.”
(23) Journal History of the Church, July 26, 1931, page 10: taken from the Deseret News, August 4, 1931).
(24) Rose Leavitt McAllister, History of Josiah Leavitt and Mary Ann Bowler and Family (St. George, Utah: priv. publication, 1965), page 6.
The family moved to Gunlock on the Santa Clara Creek in 1861, when only four families resided there: those of Joseph Smith Huntsman, Dudley Leavitt, William Hamblin and Isaac Riddle. These four families built log cabins and put in crops planning to make this their permanent home. On Christmas day 1861 rain began to fall. The storm continued for more than a month. After the storm they gathered what little they could salvage from their cabin and moved back downstream to Santa Clara, and remained there until the following spring.
“After the flood in the Santa Clara River in 1862 they moved the settlement (Gunlock) north one mile. Jeremiah’s homesite was the center of the Valley. The cabin stood just north of the schoolhouse and south of Wilford Holt’s house (1965). A playground is located there now.”
(25) McAllister, ibid.
These were very trying times as they were short of provisions and clothing. On advice of President (then Apostle) Lorenzo Snow, who came to visit them, they moved in a body to what was known as Shoal Creek, later called Hebron, where several other families were located. There were still Indian troubles, but before long peace was made and the settlers hired the natives to work for them, taught them many helpful things and learned much from them regarding the country.
One of Jeremiah and Eliza’s sons, Jeremiah IV, learned the Indian language and could communicate in it when he was nine years old. He saw many Indian depredations, and believed in Brigham Young’s policy that, “It is cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight them.” Many times he divided his last piece of bread with the redman, thus establishing a lasting friendship with all the southern tribes. (26)
(26) Obituary of Jeremiah Leavitt IV.
[Recorded here as written] There are a few items of local history at Hebron that are pertinent to the family’s history. It was known at the time as the Shoal Creek District of the Cotton Mission, under the presidency of Elders Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow. The page numbers are included from the original ward record. “On the 18th of June 1863 we were favored with a visit by President Snow who Blest us - our families our flocks & herds ... (2) & all we have, he blessed in the name of the Lord & said it was our right & priveledge to enjoy the Blessings of the Kingdom of God. We have been holding meetings on the sabbath which he said was right. He advised us to choose one of our number to preside and one to keep a record. Hold meetings, bless children, baptize, partake of the sacrament and live the live[s] of Saints and we are entitled to all the blessings of the Kingdom. (3) Accordingly on Sunday the 28th of June we organized by choosing father Zerah Pulsipher to preside over this Branch of the church. and it fell to the lot of John Pulsipher to keep the record. I on this wise proceed to make a little record of our doings. Being called upon the Cotton Mission in the fall of 1861 we left our homes at Salt Lake City and moved to the southern (4) part of our Territory and located at the site where our Prest said the city of St. George was to be built.
The missionaries generally being rich in cattle it became necessary that somebody should go out some Distance and make of their business to take care of stock outside of cotton growing district. To keep all parts of the great work in motion John, Charles and William Pulsipher and David Chidester undertook (5) the herding business and on the 1st of Jan 1862 started out for the mountains with a herd of cattle sheep and horses.
We build a log house, corral about 20 miles north of St. George and wintered there. When Spring came we moved on north past the Mountain Meadows, over the rim of the Great Basin of Deseret, turned west 12 miles to Shoal Creek, a small stream fed by springs, runs a few miles and sink[s] again. This is about 45 miles (6) from St. George quite a distance but the nearest suitable location for a large stock, that we could find.
We had spent considerable time exploring during the winter by advise of Pres. Snow. It was on the 5th of Mar that Chas. and myself started with a span of horses and cart to explore Shoal Creek located our road. Visited the natives a band of Piutes that inhabit that Place they expressed themselves well Pleased with our (7) coming to live with them.
We arrived at this place with our families flocks and herds on the 27th of Apr. 1862.
We were very busy all the season taking care of our flocks,... Strange Place for the first year we could hardly get a chance to rest on Sunday. David Chidester started for Salt Lake on the 14th of June and came back in December. Sold out his share in the herd and settled in Washington City, with his father.
(8) We were blessed wonderfull and we had no trouble with the rating [raiding] altho we were few, but always ready.
August 1st William [Pulsipher] and his wife started for Salt Lake 300 miles, returned 17 September.
We cut hay built houses and prepared for winter. This is a fine place; stock are getting very fat.
Besides our herding and building we helped our women some in the Dairy business. We made about 3,000 lbs of Butter & Cheese (9) which helped our friends in St. George to better living than they would have had without it.
John [Pulsipher] and family started October 6th for Salt Lake with an ox team, as we had all left our business in a very unsettled state and all had business back to our old home.
This fall a large additional force [including the Leavitt family] was called to the Cotton Mission and among the rest Father Z[era] Pulsipher and all his family. (10) Charles [Pulsipher] came late & was then at the dance times and helped father to move to the south. Father Pulsipher moved home with us to Shoal Creek, where we all arrived all safe 27 December. We had a long tedious journey most of the way in winter.
We past off this ... of the winter very agreebly. Cattle & sheep, wintered well, fat in spring. (11) By advise of Prest. Bro. Charles works at mechanical work in the city and Pine Valley most of the time and Thomas S. Terry, brother-in-law, moved to this place in March to help cary on business ...
1863 This year we fenced and cultivated some land which proves to be very fruitful. Truly we feel thankful for a good garden and we enjoy it, last year we had none.
(12) When the call came for teams to gather the poor [from off the plains] we raised one at this place. Father Pulsipher sent one yoke of oxen, John 2 yoke and William one. T. Terry furnished the wagon. Teamster Pulsipher, William Lytle of St. George.
23 May, Wilson Lund moved part of his family up here to dairy and take care of stock. His wife, Ellen stayed 2 1/2 years. He thot but then to move her away, as he could not be here much of the time.
(16) August 18, 1863, John Perkins and family and John Kennsey moved up to Shoal Creek with a herd of sheep and some cattle as the feed has failed nearer the cotton land.
This is a very dry season small growth of grass. Hay is short. Springs of water are durable, and all we can depend upon for took of farms.
Father and William Pulsipher moved half a dozen miles west to springs at the upper end of a grassy plain. The object is to keep the sheep (17) on smoother ground, and enlarge our farming operations, etc.
This is a very dry winter, hardly wet enough to lay the dust generally freezes some at night; days are warm and pleasant.
(18) This winter a company under the direction of Bishop Bunker of Clara, are making a settlement in Clover Valley, 25 miles west of us.
February 18, as the surveyor was coming in from Clover we had him stop and survey for us at Shoal Creek.
Bread very scarce.
Ezra N. Bullard came in March, William Cowley came on the 7th of April from Beaver. All those have brot their families to make their homes here.
Hyrum Burgess moved here to make his home at this place.
We generally hold meetings alternately on Sundays at the first Shoal Creek settlement and at the upper place - Pleasant Valley - have good meetings; the good spirit is with us, which enables us to preach, exhort, instruct, edify and interest each other and once in a while we have visiting elders preach with us as they are passing. This is getting to be quite a public place.
(24) Large numbers of settlers are moving westward and making happy homes in the rich vallies of the southern mountains. Some Gentiles and apostate Mormons are rushing in that direction and in all directions in search of the precious metals which are being discovered in many places.
We are too busy at home to go in search of that kind of employment; our women have all they can do dairying and manufacturing clothing, &c.
1864 Military organization on the 14th of May, 15 men enrolled. John Pulsipher was chosen to take command.
On inspection we find 12 guns, 10 pistols, 2 swords, and about 1,000 rounds of ammunition, all in good order.
Rain. Several fine showers in fore part of June - grass grows.
(27) On the 24th of July we had a celebration in commeration of our entrance into our mountain home by which we are freed from oppression and violence of mobs. The 24th coming on Sunday, we had our performance on Saturday 23rd; a very good time.
The fore part of the day we devoted to speechifying, songs, toasts, &c. Then come an intermission and public dinner in the bowery which past off without a dissenting voice. The ball being prepared (28) we had a singular good game of town ball, the first ever played at this place.
The floor being cleared, we gathered in and commenced another exercise for the first time at Shoal Creek, called “The Dance” in which old and young took a part, this writer heads of youth and those that had grown white with age were alike happy. There woz an adjournment for milking time and continued in the eve 'til bedtime.
This was at Pleasant Valley & a pleasant time it was.
(29) Sunday, 2? ??? 1864, all of us that were living at the lower settlement of Shoal Creek moved to the upper Pleasant Valley for mutual defense as a large number of thieving Indians have collected and been stealing considerable stock and tried to kill several of the men at the new settlements west of us. 3 Indian prisoners have been taken and in trying to make their escape were killed, which ... enraged the others.
We have to use great care and energy to keep our families and great flocks in safety. (27)
(27) Hebron, Washington, Utah, Record of Members, 1863-1867 (FHL Microfilm 26037. The Hebron Ward was organized November 10, 1869 and disorganized October 8, 1905. It belonged to the St. George Stake. Note: the foregoing gives a good idea of the beginnings of Shoal Creek. The pages 30-83 may be referred to by the reader for further details.
Several further notes will round out the history of this time period from the ward records:
page 83. Several family from Clover are moving the timber and preparing to build here - May 1866.
page 84. The Clover people have lost nearly all of their small children. The ... was determined to kill ... page 85. the babies and when it had past [sic] through that place the scourger commenced his ...
Sunday, October 21st, fine weather - good meeting; three men present and a good number of women. Z. Parker, J. Pulsipher, and Father Pulsipher were the speakers. Eight families from Clover Valley are here now - Amos James, and Jonathan Hunt, James William Huntsman, Joseph Smith Huntsman, and Hyrum Huntsman, Dudley Leavitt, and Zadok Parker and families busy building homes.
Fine weather for business. We have to spend considerable time gathering up and taking care of our cattle. Sent off 45 head, most to St. George.
page 91. Sunday, November 25. Meeting at Brother Amos Hunt’s at the close of which a letter was read from President Snow, stating that more money was needed to finish the telegraph; about $60.00 from this place.
John Pulsipher appointed a school meeting tomorrow eve and proposed that we attend to this Telegraphic Subscription at that time.
Monday evening, November 26. The brethren came together. Father Pulsipher had Father James William Huntsman voted in as chairman of the meeting and John Pulsipher [as] clerk.
page 92. After a little consideration we subscribed to make up the amount as follows:
Brown Crow, 4.00
John Pulsipher, 5.00
Zera Pulsipher, 6.00
Thomas Sirls Terry, 5.00
Amos Hunt, 5.00
James William Huntsman, 5.00
Zadock Parker, 4.00
Dudley Leavitt, 6.00
James Hunt, 4.00
Orson Huntsman, 6.00
William Crow, 1.00
R. James, 1.00
Jonathan Hunt, 2.00
Joseph Smith Huntsman, 4.00
L. Calloway, 2.00
page 95. Monday evening, December 31st. The Brethren met at school house and deliberated upon dividing up the land, etc. Zera Pulsipher was chosen chairman. Father Huntsman said he was appointed spokesman for the Clover Brethren, expressed some fear that there was not enough land on what we claimed the best. Whereupon, The Brethren that formerly lived here
page 96. the First settlers of Shoal Creek, offered, not only their claiming, but their enclosing cultivated lands - all to be used for the public good.
It was proposed also that we stop the name of “Clover Brethren” and “Shoal Creek Brethren.” We are all citizens of this place. So let us be united.
Thomas Sirls Terry, James William Huntsman, and John Pulsipher were chosen a committee to divide out the lands.
page 97. New Year’s day. Dancing, theatrical performance, songs, recitations and all enjoyed first rate. The old and young took an active part.
page 98. Fast meeting - house was crowded. January 6, 1867.
page 112. Emma Leavitt, daughter of Jeremiah and Eliza, born October 10, 1857.
page 116. Lydia Melissa Leavitt, daughter of Jeremiah and Eliza Harrover, died June 17, 1867, aged four months, lacking six days.
Also daughter of the same, Sarah Priscilla, died May 4, 1864, aged sixteen years, three months, and twelve days. Died at Meadows and buried at Pinto. (28)
(28) Hebron, Utah, Record of Members, 1863 -1867 (FHL Microfilm 6337 or 26037).
Jeremiah Leavitt took up quarters at Meadow Valley in the fall of 1864; after the Church advised the people to leave the area, he moved in. (29)
(29) JHC, August 27, 1864, page 3.
CLOVER VALLEY, NEVADA
page 21. Jeremiah Leavitt, and Jonathan Hunt [have] moved to Clover lately. The Brethren have had no counsel to go - nor did they ask for any that I know of. They can’t see inducements sifficient to stay here and work, although this is the place we are commanded to live by the Presidency of the Mission. We hope they may do well.
page 34. August 28. President Snow, accompanied by G. A. Buron, surveyor, made a visit to locate and survey a townsite which we named Hebron.
page 61. A Female Relief Society was organized on Sunday, March 7, 1869. Hannah Huntsman, Presidentess, Mother Mary Pulsipher and Mother Mirriam Parker, counselors. Mary Ann Terry, treasurer, and Solinda Huntsman, secretary.
page 84. Bishop of Hebron attended Clover Branch of Hebron and completed ward organization. Jeremiah Leavitt called as one of two ward teachers for Clover.
page 102. Cooperation - we have formed a small cooperation Mercantile Association to supply ourselves with the goods that we have to buy, at fair prices and avoid the necessity of trading with Gentiles and Enriching our enemies. Shares one dollar. The people put about $400 capital to start it.
The officers are: George H. Crosby, President; J. W. Crosby, Treasurer; John Pulsipher, Secretary; Zadock Parker, Thomas Sirls Terry, and Amos Hunt, directors.
page 105. July 12, 1870. President Snow and company preached here and our Bishop and Joseph Smith Huntsman went to the Western Settlements with them.
Our town election on the 1st Monday in August was well-attended. Many of the ladies voted as our laws now give them the right, being the first in the Union that past [sic] that law.
J. Pulsipher was elected as one of the school trustees of this place and J. W. Crosby constable, Zadock Parker, judge.
page 121. December 1870, U. S. surveyors have just passed here running the line between Utah and Nevada and fix it about fifteen miles west of us and bring Clover and Meadow vallies in Nevada, against the wishes of the people.
For a few years the people of Hebron prospered, their crops were good and they found sale for all their surplus at the mining camp of Pioche, Nevada. Then the water began to fail and their crops dried up without maturing. This meant another move. Back to Gunlock they traveled, clearing more ground, building a log house and putting in more crops. (30)
(30) Hebron, Utah LDS Ward Records (FHL Microfilm 6337 or 26037). Volume 2, Record of Members, 1867-1872. Church Record of the Branch at Shoal Creek.
Jeremiah always worked very hard as they were on the frontier from the time they came to Utah. As time rolled on they became a little better off. There were a few small stores in St. George, the largest nearby town, and a grist mill and cloth factory in Washington. They raised a little cotton and owned a few head of sheep. They would take their corn to the mill to have it ground and while there trade cotton, wool and other products to the factory. Later sorghum and fruit and dry beans were the main crops. Jeremiah would spend weeks in the summer and fall, taking loads of fruit, beans, dried fruit, sorghum, and other produce north along the Sevier River, to Richfield, Anabella, up or down the river and trade for flour or anything that they could use. Such a trip would take from three weeks to a month.
His experiences with the Indians were great. They loved him and would do anything for him. He believed what Brigham Young said: "It is better to feed them, than fight them." He spoke their language very well.1
From the Gunlock Ward Records we find some of the history of the family.2
p. 1001 Jul 1877Josiah, son of Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover, confirmed by Dudley Leavitt and baptized by Dudley Leavitt; born in Gunlock.
29 Jul 1877Joseph Smith, son of Jeremiah Leavitt and Eliza Harrover, born Santa Clara, Washington, Utah; baptized and confirmed by Dudley Leavitt.
Joseph Smith Leavitt, son of Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover, born September 6, 1860 at Santa Clara, Washington, Utah baptized for renewal of covenants.
p. 22Eliza [Harrover] Leavitt, re-baptized August 26, 1880.
Jeremiah Leavitt IV, son of Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover, re-baptized March 11, 1883; baptized by Franklin Overton Holt; confirmed by William E. Jones.
p. 26November 27, 1887 Joseph Smith Leavitt, son of Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover, baptized by Joseph Smith Huntsman; confirmed by John Powell.
Luna Adelia Huntsman Leavitt, bpatized November 27, 1887, confirmed same day.
p. 151-152About four weeks ago Jeremiah Leavitt [IV] was disfellowshipped in this Ward for drinking wine and quarreling. He had been brought up several times before and had made confession and then drunk as usual. On Sunday, February 9, 1887, at the afternoon meeting the case was again brought up. Bishop Huntsman asked the saints if they were willing to bear with Jeremiah Leavitt in the course he was persuing; if so to hold up their right hand. Not a hand was raised in his favor. It was then moved and seconded that he be disfellowshipped until he showed himself worthy of a standing in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the vote was unanimous. Brother Leavitt, after he was disfellowshipped, did not seem to think the Bishop and his counselors had been too strick with [him] but soon altered his opinion and desired that he might be restored to his standing in the Church but they did not feel to be hasty about it and told him that he had better wait and see President McAllister; and on Saturday, March 6, 1887, Jeremiah, in the house of Bishop Huntsman spoke to President McAllister, who said there should be a meeting called and his case be laid before the people; accordingly a meeting was held in the schoolhouse at 5:00 P.M.
Meeting opened by singing and prayer by Franklin Overton Holt. Bishop Joseph Smith Huntsman stated the object of the meeting. Jeremiah was then called upon to make a statement of his desires and intentions. He said that he felt ashamed that he had acted so that he had to be disfellowshipped and made some excellent remarks as to what he knew his duty to be and intended to do it in the future and asked the Saints to forgive him. It was moved by the counselor William E. Jones, seconded by counselor Franklin O. Holt, that we receive Jeremiah Leavitt [IV] back to fellowship and hoped he would keep his covenants. President McAllister called on the Bishop and Counselors to state their feelings. Bishop said he was glad to see Jeremiah back to fellowship and hoped he would keep his covenants. William E. Jones said he thought Jeremiah knew that we were not his enemies but friends and what had been done was for his good; said we should pray for him that he may be enabled to keep his covenants. Franklin O. Holt made remarks similar to those already mentioned, and endorsed what had been said.
President McAllister made some excellent remarks; said he was pleased to see Jeremiah come back and hear him talk the way he did; said Jeremiah's father was a good man and hoped he would pattern after his Father.
p. 154Josiah Leavitt married Mary Ann Bowler after getting out of jail in St. George where he had been several months for stabbing a man in the back. Married December 28, 1888, St. George Temple.
p. 201Josiah Leavitt, son of Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover, was sealed to Mary Ann Bowler, December 28, 1888. [See page 154; their initial marriage was in the St. George Temple, so possibly they married in the temple for time - Lyman D. Platt]
RECORD OF MEMBERS, Early to 1907
#46Jeremiah Leavitt IV, born February 7, 1851, son of Jeremiah Leavitt and Eliza Harrover, Pottowattamie County, Iowa; baptized by Jacob Hamblin.
#147Josiah Leavitt, son of Jeremiah Leavitt III and Eliza Harrover, born February 24, 1853 [should read 1863 - Lyman D. Platt], Gunlock; baptized [4 July] 1877.
RECORD OF MEMBERS, 1925 - 1941
#16Josiah Thomas Leavitt married Flora Christine Harder, April 23, 1909, St. George.
#24Josiah Leavitt, son of Jeremiah Leavitt [III] and Harrover, Eliza Harrover, baptized 1871; married Anna Bowler.