Leven Simmons

1 Aug 1812 - 8 Feb 1876


Leven Simmons

1 Aug 1812 - 8 Feb 1876
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Leven Simmons was the son of Samuel Simmons and Elizabeth Scott. He was born August 1, 1812 at what is now Meads County, Kentucky. Somewhere around 1833 the family moved to Hancock County, Illinois. Here Leven met and married Harriet Bradford, February 27, 1836. They lived on a farm about twelve mil
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Life Information

Leven Simmons


Spanish Fork City Cemetery

Cemetery Roads
Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah
United States

Headstone Description

Born in Mede Co., Kentucky


July 17, 2011


July 17, 2011

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Leven Simmons

Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

Leven Simmons was the son of Samuel Simmons and Elizabeth Scott. He was born August 1, 1812 at what is now Meads County, Kentucky. Somewhere around 1833 the family moved to Hancock County, Illinois. Here Leven met and married Harriet Bradford, February 27, 1836. They lived on a farm about twelve miles from Nauvoo. Leven and Harriet joined the Mormons and suffered all of the persecutions of that time and in 1845 they were driven into Nauvoo by mob violence and their crop was burned. Leven had intended coming with the first to leave Nauvoo, but Oreon Pratt needed a team so Leven delivered up his team and sold his $1500 farm for $250 and bought another team. They moved to Pizgah in the spring of 1847, and planted crops. That fall he left the crops for people coming after and moved to Winter Quarters, Missouri. They later moved to Little Pigeon, Iowa, then to Springfield, Missouri. Leven was a cooper by trade and he was kept busy making barrels, tubs, buckets, and churns and helped mend wagons. In the spring of 1852 they decided to come west with Captain Howell’s ox-team company. At Sweetwater River in Nebraska they were forced upstream by swollen waters. After crossing they became lost. The abundance of buffalo in the area kept them alive until they found the trail again. The arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah September 26, 1852, but stayed only long enough to rest and then were advised to go on further south to find a home. They stopped at Springville and built a cabin and began farming in the mouth of the canyon. About 1856 Leven moved his family to a farm about three miles west of Spanish Fork, on the bank of the Spanish Fork River. Leven married Mrs. Lydia Rebecca Fisher Parsons, a young widow with one daughter February 21, 1856. He built a log cabin for her in Spanish Fork on the opposite end of the bank on which the older home was located. Leven was in several skirmishes with the Indians and served as guard in the Echo Canyon War. He was city councilman in Spanish Fork for a number of years and was mayor of the city from 1863 to 1865. He worked at his trade of cooper along with farming. He was of kindly disposition, a hardworking man, and a good singer. He died February 6, 1876 of dropsy and heart trouble at Spanish Fork.


Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

Simmons, Leven. Born Aug. 1, 1812, in Mead county, Ky. Came to Utah 1847, Captain Howell oxteam company. Married Harriet Bradford (daughter of George and Sarah Bradford), who was born March 30, 1821, in Jefferson county, Ill. Their children: Samuel b. 1838, m. Gulety Hilman; Sarah Jane b. 1840, m William J. Warren 1853; Jonathan b. 1842, m. Betsey Sumerville; Leven Jr., b 1844, m. Luna Spencer; Matthew b. 1846, m. Lyda C Butler; Levi b. 1848, m, Mary Powell; Lizzie b. 1850, m. Pratt Pace; Harriet b. 1854, m. Hubard Tuttle 1872; Mariah b. 1857, m. Andrew Ferguson; Ammon b.1860, m. Elizabeth Thomas 1885; Albert b. Sept. 11, 1866. Married Lydia Fisher, Spanish Fork, Utah, in 1856. Their children: Vard John, m. Jennie (Jane) Steward (Stewart); Benjamin F., m. Ann Warner; William R., m. Martha Warner; Andrew J., m. Aggie Bellows; Almond Charles, m. Miss Coyle; Sadie E., m. Charles Forsyth; Fannie E., m. Charles Steward. Families resided Spanish Fork. Indian war veteran. Served in Echo Canyon War. Died at Spanish Fork. Page 1161. Documentary evidence from newspaper records proves the Simmons family traveled to Utah in 1852. They reportedly arrived in Salt Lake City on 26 September 1852,


Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

BIOGRAPHY OF LEVAN SIMMONS AND WIVES HARRIET BRADFORD & LYDIA REBECCA FISHER Levan Simmons was bom August 1, 1812 in Mead County, Kentucky. He married Harriet Bradford, February 27, 1836 in Nauvoo and they were endowed in the Nauvoo Temple, January 24, 1846. Harriet Bradford was born March 3, 1821 at Jefferson County, Illinois. Levan Simmons came to Utah in 1847 with Captain Howells' Ox-Team Company #76. He walked all the way and helped pick the trail the pioneers followed. Levan Simmons was an Indian War Veteran and stood guard in Echo Canyon when Johnsons army were making their way to Utah. He helped to fell much of the timber used in the first building in Utah. His wife, Harriet Bradford, and children who were then born came to Utah in the year 1854. They spent the winter of 1847 at Winter Quarters, lived at Little Pigeon Creek, Iowa and Springfield, Iowa before they were able to get transportation to Utah. They had been blessed with eight children by this time, one having died in infancy at Hancock, Illinois. They came to Springville in the year 1854, and sometime between then and the year 1857 they took up land along the Spanish Fork River west of Spanish Fork. This was then known as the dividing line between Lake Shore and Spanish Fork. Much of this land is still farmed by Simmons' families. Lydia Rebecca Fisher Babcock came to Utah in the same company with her mother and father, Vardus John Fisher and Jane Chatman. This was in the year 1854 and could have been in the same company as Harriet Bradford came in. They endured many hardships, as did all the early pioneers of Utah. Hunger, Indians and so many deaths caused from cholera and other sickness. John Fisher and Jane Chatman, Lydias' parents, had a family of eight children while making this trip to Utah. Two boys, Oliver and Joseph, and six girls, Sarah, Elizabeth, Fannie, Lydia and twins Melissa and Mary. When crossing the plains, the twins Melissa and Mary, became separated. Mary lingered behind. They missed her and went back to find her but found only moccassin and horse tracks which told their own sad story of another kidnap. They supposed that an Indian had stolen her, but later found out it was a white man, James Cuddle, who wanted her for a wife. The family never saw or heard of her after that. As a result of this affair, Jane, the mother, pined and sorrowed and died soon after of cholerea. Before she died, she called Lydia and some of her lady friends and told them she was going to die and when she did, her husband, John Fisher, would take his wagon out of the ring of wagons and start back. She asked them to take the children out of the wagon and take them to Utah. Jane died that night and was buried in a feather bed and quilts inside her wagon box, in a lonely, unmarked grave on the prairie. Her husband loaded the children in his wagon and started to drive out of the ring when Lydia and the women took them and put them in the other wagons. When he saw Lydia's determination to keep the children and take them to Utah, he stayed there two years and then went back to his natlVe land, Holland. The family were all raised to be good Mormon people. They all live in Utah and Idaho. Lydia Rebecca Fisher Parsons had a small baby born May 10, 1854 in Ohio before leaving for Utah. Her husband, George Parsons, went to California to seek gold and left her and their child with her fathers' family. After arriving in Utah, Lydia had a hard time getting along. She worked at anything she could to get enough food to eat. She said one week she had but one loaf of bread and what roots she could find. This was indeed a hardship for a mother nursing a baby. Her husband offered to send her money to come to California but she told him he must come for her if he wanted her. He never returned so she married Levan Simmons as his second wife. She lived in the same home with his other wife, Harriet and their family. All of her family were born here except Sarah Elizabeth and Fannie. They were bom in a dugout that Lydia dug while Levan was away; as their home was very crowded with so many in both families. This dugout was on the Spanish Fork Riverbank. It was 20 feet square, logged up on the inside with a fireplace put in one end. Sarah Elizabeth was bom in this dugout October 23 only two months after her mother dug it. Here the family spent many happy times. It was a regular occasion to sing songs at night around the glowing blaze of the fireplace. I think it must have influenced my mothers' life a great deal for though she was left a widow with six children, after my father, Charles Forsyth died, she would always have us sing songs around our fireplace in the evening. When mother (Sarah) was nearly five years old, her father, Levan died with dropsy and heart disease. Lydia was then left alone with her family. Since they had some good farm land and stock, they got along as the boys were all good workers and helped in every way until Lydia married Nathaniel Babcock. At this time the family was broken up as he was roving disposition and was always on the move. Sarah and Fannie stayed with their mother and step-father roaming from one place to another until Sarah was fourteen years old. One night after the girls had gone to bed, Sarah heard her mother crying. She heard her step-father say 'Well the girls eat too much and it costs too much to feed them." Lydia answered, "you knew I had the girls when you married me". Sarah laid there until there was no sound. Then she got up quietly, dressed herself, got as many of her and Fannies' clothes as she could and crudely rolled them together. She woke Fannie, took her by the hand and crept silently out into the stillness of the night. They walked several miles to their brother, Vardus Simmons' home, where they were always made welcome. Lydia Fisher died at Castle Gate, Utah May 25, 1910 at the age of 72. I remember going with my mother, Sarah Simmons Forsyth, to visit Aunt Harriet, Levan Simmons' first wife before she died. She was a lovely, darting little old lady and so happy to have my mother visit her. Mother said Aunt Harriet and Lydia always got along good together, each doing their fair share of the work such as spinning, weaving, sewing and the many other tasks required for their large families. Harriet Bradford, died March 16, 1890 at Spanish Fork, Utah having lived to be 69 years old. Grandfather must have been a wonderful man and a hard worker for he left his families pretty well fixed financially for those times although he was the father of 22 children. *Copied from a biography of Levan Simmons from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum*

Life History of Harriet Bradford Simmons

Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

Harriet Bradford Simmons was born March 31st 1821, to George and Sarah Hood Bradford, in Jefferson County, Illinois. It is believed that the Bradfords and the Hoods originated in Maryland, but had migrated down into Tennessee, possibly Kentucky and in 1818 moved into Jefferson County, Illinois. Harriet was only 15 years old when she met and married Leven Simmons at Carthage, Illinois, on the 27th of February, 1836. He was 24 years old, one of four sons of Samuel Simmons and Elizabeth Scott. The generations of Simmons owned large plantations with slaves. They also migrated to Kentucky and then to Illinois around 1800. George and Sarah Bradford had at least ten children. Besides three of them that were married in Hancock Co., Illinoi8s, the 1840 census listed seven more sons. It is only Known for sure that Harriet had an older brother named Abner and an older sister named Jane. After Harriet and Leven were married, they settled on a farm about 12 miles from Nauvoo. Leven was a cooper by trade, but along with making barrels, tubs, buckets, churns and mending wagons, he was also a farmer. In the early days of their marriage, they learned of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, investigated it, became interested, and joined, much to the horror of their families. Harriet had two cousins, Elizabeth Hood Atchison and Nancy Hood Caldwell who also joined the church - but the rest of the family were very bitter about it. The lived on the farm until 1845 when their crops were burned by mobs who were persecuting the Mormons. The extreme violence drove them into Nauvoo for protection. Harriet and Leven suffered all of the persecution of that time. Leven had outfitted his family and had intended coming west with the first company to leave Nauvoo, but Orson Pratt needed an extra team, so Leven simply gave his to Orson and the y were then compelled to wait for another opportunity to leave Nauvoo. As the violence and destruction continued, he was forced to sell his farm, valued at $1500 for a mere $200. They fled to Pizgah in the spring of 1847 and camped there in covered wagons. While they were in Pizgah, Harriet had a very sick baby with an infected ear. Under the terrible living conditions, she was afraid for the baby's life. One day, a neighbor came running to the wagon and told her that the "mob" was coming and that they would have to leave immediately. She gathered Harriet's children and told her to come and go with them in their wagon. It was very cold and Harriet looked around to see what she could wrap her sick baby in. She saw the large "flap jack", or pancake, she was keeping keeping warm for her husband's supper. She picked it up and molded it around the baby's head and with what else she could grab to wrap around him, she ran for the neighbor's wagon and the were able to get away just in time. Harriet's flap jack headdress proved to be very resourceful and was very beneficial to the baby, the moist heat being just what was needed to bring relief to his infected ears. They later moved to Winter Quarters, Missouri, from there to Little Pidgeon, Iowa and back to Springfield, Missouri. Wherever they went, they would immediately plant crops, knowing full well that they would be leaving them behind for those who followed. In the spring of 1852, they were finally able to leave for Utah and started West with Captain Howell's ox-team company. The wagons were loaded and everyone who was able had to walk. She walked all the way to Utah, carrying a six month old baby. She told of how she made a pouch or a sling out of her apron and tied the baby in it so she could use her hands to work. They arrived in Salt Lake City September 26, 1852, stayed only long enough to rest and were advised to find a home in Springville. They build a home there and stayed for four years, until the warring Indians burnt their home and killed all of their animals. Stephen Markham, who had baptized Harriet and Leven in Nauvoo, invited them to come and live in Spanish Fork and insisted on giving them the north quarter of his homestead, along the Spanish Fork River. They were to live here the rest of their lives. Harriet was a small, thin, frail looking little woman, but her looks were deceiving. She was as strong as an ox. She was resourceful, extremely industrious and loved children, her own and anyone else's who were near. She had one name by which she referred to all children - "Sugar" or "Little Sug". She was a midwife nurse and was in great demand. Even the Indians brought their children to her to be treated.She practiced this profession as long as she lived. She also raised her own sheep, and would shear them, wash the wool, spin it into yarn and weave the yarn into cloth. She and Leven had twelve children - a large family to clothe and feed. Many times she would weave the cloth for a pair of pants during the day and then cut them out and sew them by hand at night, by the light of a tallow candle of her own making. Harriet did not like "outside" work, but she was an expert at weaving, sewing and spinning. When they built the woolen mills at Provo, she would take her wool over to trade for cloth. It was ten miles, a two day trip with the ox team. She would knit one stocking on the way over and the other one on the way back. She would regularly walk four miles to Lake Shore to visit her grown children, walking through sage brush and greasewoods and knitting as she walked. She made the rounds of their children's homes and did all of their mending and sewing. She and Leven both had good singing voices and were in great demand to entertain. She was always singing in her home to her children - childhood "ditties" that have been handed down from generation to generation. When the family was mostly grown, Leven entered into polygamy and married a young widow with one daughter. He build Lydia Fisher a log cabin on a farm adjoining the original one. Lydia and Leven were married for 20 years before Leven died and they had eight children, rounding out Leven's children to number 20. This "second wife" situation was only tolerated (at best) by Harriet and caused her a lot of heartache. She was never able to accept the marriage, however, all the Simmon's children worked together on the farms and grew up as brothers and sisters. Harriet treated Lydia's children with as much love as she did her own. There was a lot of jealousy over things that never seemed quite equitable. Leven Simmons died the 8th of February, 1876 at the age of 64. After his death, Lydia remarried and moved to southern Utah - much to Harriet's relief. In spite of grueling hardships in her life, Harriet was a loving and happy woman. He died March 16, 1890 at the age of 69, and was buried by her husband in the Spanish Fork Cemetery. Harriet Bradford Simmons had a very special testimony of the gospel that she was always in awe of and one so strong that it has kept her descendants close to and strong in the church. She and her husband had joined the church when it was only six years old and had been very involved in those early days They had experienced the fear and anxiety of seeing their leaders hauled off to jail and their prophet, Joseph Smith, killed. Harriet told of the unrest that settled upon the leaderless people after their Prophet was dead. The Church was thrown into great confusion and there was much speculation as to who would be chosen to take his place and how they would choose him. A meeting was called to discuss the matter and to choose a new President. Harriet was one of those who attended that meeting. The meeting opened as usual and several of the brethren spoke. Finally, Brigham Young, who was the President of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, rose to speak. As he stood before them, the mantle of the Prophet fell upon him and his countenance underwent a change and the members of the congregation saw before them a perfect likeness of the Prophet Joseph Smith. When he began to speak, his voice was that of the Prophet. She said that the entire assembly witnessed and testified as to what had happened, and everyone knew that God had chosen a leader for his people. That she actually witnessed this miracle was something Harriet never got over, and testified of it often, the rest of her life. Sources of information: "Samuel Simmons and Elizabeth Scott" by Annie Ferguson Burch. "The treasures of Annie Ferguson Burch", "One past Generation" by Elizabeth Ferguson Huff; and word of mouth stories from Jennie Ferguson Cordner, Harriet's granddaughters.

Life timeline of Leven Simmons

Leven Simmons was born on 1 Aug 1812
Leven Simmons was 13 years old when The Erie Canal opens: Passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie. The Erie Canal is a canal in New York, United States that is part of the east–west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System. Originally, it ran 363 miles (584 km) from where Albany meets the Hudson River to where Buffalo meets Lake Erie. It was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. When completed in 1825, it was the second longest canal in the world and greatly affected the development and economy of New York, New York City, and the United States.
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Leven Simmons was 19 years old when Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution. Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
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Leven Simmons was 28 years old when Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph. Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an American painter and inventor. After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.
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Leven Simmons was 47 years old when Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well. Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.
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Leven Simmons was 48 years old when Abraham Lincoln is elected as the 16th President of United States. Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through the American Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.
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Leven Simmons died on 8 Feb 1876 at the age of 63
Grave record for Leven Simmons (1 Aug 1812 - 8 Feb 1876), BillionGraves Record 55187 Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah, United States