Mary Allen Dewey
Contributor: MollyM Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
LIFE SKETCH OF MARY ALLEN DEWEY
Mary Allen Dewey, daughter of Jude Allen and Mary Ann Nichols and wife of John C. Dewey, was born at Parama, Caugha County, Ohio, April 18, 1838. At the age of five years, she moved with her parents to Nauvoo, Illinois, that they may be with the body of the Latter Day Saints, and receive personal instructions from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who she remembered all her life. The stay at Nauvoo was but a year when they joined James Emmit's Company and traveled up the Iowa River one hundred miles and spent the winter of 1844 near Winter Quarters. When spring opened, the Allen family moved westward to the Missouri River near Fort Vermillion. During the year, 1845, they underwent a great deal of suffering. For nine months, they were allowed only half pint of dried corn for each person per day, and were compelled to dig roots and eat the bark from the trees to sustain life. While this famine was on, sickness and chills and fever preyed upon them. The next year, they went to Pattwatmia, Iowa, to the main camp of the Church and wintered there. In the spring of 1845, they were organized into a company of 50 under George Miller and journeyed westward up the Big Punca River where they lived during the winter of 1847. In the spring the company moved to winter quarter, now Omaha, Nebraska, and spent the next year.
February 13, 1847, Mary Allen was lead into the water of the Little Punca River by Elder George Myers and baptized by immersion and thus become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. The winter of 1848 was spent at Kainsville, Iowa, moving to North Gideon in the spring of 1850, where they remained for two years. Early in the spring of 1852, they started on their perilous journey across the plains for Utah, in Captain Benjamin Gardner's company, arriving in Salt Lake City on Sept. 24, 1852. The journey across the plains was a test of faith to the whole Allen Family. Mary being fourteen years of age stood the trip splendidly, as she was quite strong and active. Late in the fall of 1852, she moved with her parents to Sessions Settlement, now Bountiful, Utah, and the next spring, April 30, 1853, was rebaptized by Bishop John Stoker.
The fifteen years of her childhood had been spent in activity developing both the mind and body, and now Mary Allen was looked upon as a young women. Cupid now played its part drawing upon the affections and admirations of Mary Allen and John C. Dewey, resulting in their marriage on April 23, 1854, at Bountiful, the ceremony being performed by Bishop John Stoker.
The duty and responsibility of wed-lock was appreciated and keenly felt by John C. and Mary Dewey and having scarcely a foundation upon which to build a home they unitedly set to work planning and building for the future They numbered among the poorer class thus being compelled to be satisfied with little. The next four years was spent at Bountiful, undergoing with the other Saints the many trials which were encountered government by sending Johnston's army to drive them from their homes to some other isolated spot on earth.
In the early spring of 1858, rumors were so strong and the Army so close, that President Young fearing that harm might befell his people instructed them to prepare and move south as far as Springville, This was a great sacrifice, but the spirit of obedience prevailed. Securing the rear gear of an old wagon, upon which was placed a box with bows and cover, John C. Dewey placed therein all his earthly belongings, including his two wives and three children, the cart being drawn by a yoke of cattle composed of their old milch cow and one loaned to them by Grandfather Allen. The journey was made safely and the old cow milked night and morning to help supply food for the family.
The stay at Springville was short, as the company returned to the north side of the Provo river and camped there until July when they returned to their homes at Bountiful in time to harvest their grain crops.
Three years were spent at Bountiful under fairly favorable conditions, when in March 1861, with her husband and three children, Eliza, Matilda and John left Bountiful and moved to Calls Fort, remaining at that place three years, when on March 14, 1884, they moved seven miles north and settled by a spring of water which was afterward called Dewey Spring. This location was made their final and permanent home, and for the next 48 years Mary Allen Dewey's might, mind and strength was spent in activity, doing all in her power for the betterment of her family and mankind.
Mary Allen Dewey was blessed with a gift of administering relief to the sick, and much of her time was spent in nursing. During the winter of 1895-6 she studied at Salt Lake City under Dr. Maggie Shipp Roberts and received a diploma from the State of Utah as a mid-wife, which profession she continued to practice until her death, leaving hundreds of people blessing her for the kindness she had done them.
As a working in Church capacity she was recognized as standing among the faithful. She was the first president of the Deweyville Relief Society, holding that position for twenty-two years. At her death the following was written by the Association showing her standing with them.
Resolution of respect in memory of Mary Allen Dewey. The Officers and members of the Deweyville Relief Society of the Bear River Stake of Zion, to which she belonged, have prepared the following resolution, whereas:
Our Heavenly Father has seen fit to call home our dear sister and co-laborer, therefore it be resolved that we her sisters who know of her loving deeds and appreciate her many noble qualities desire to express our tender sympathy for the bereaved family and to acknowledge her labors and ministrations of love and kindness as a member of the Relief Society and a friend and neighbor. We do humbly testify that she was a loving wife in every sense of the word. Be it further resolved, that we her sisters of the Deweyville Relief Society, of which she was the first president and a member so long, may follow her example of diligence and faithfulness.
"Now she has gone we'll not recall her,
From a paradise of bliss.
Where no evil can befall her
In a changing world like this.
Her loved name will never perish,
Nor her memory crown the dust,
For the Saints of God will cherish
The remembrance of the just."
The Angel of death visited her family at different times taking two sons, two daughters and her faithful companion and husband. In meeting these sever trials; she bore them bravely always, feeling to say "Oh! Lord Thy Will be Done not mine."
One of her many characteristics was a spirit of independence, with a will power to carry the same into effect. At the death of her husband in 1895, she did not become discouraged, but set to work with determination to execute their plans. For sixteen years from the death of her companion until her own death she carried the responsibilities of her home transacting very capably all the business. She had a good home and sufficient means to make her comfortable. She had arranged her affairs and made up her mind to spend the greater part of her future life, visiting and blessing her children with her company. On the 15th of June, she went to Rockland, Idaho, where she visited her daughter Eliza and other relatives, continuing her journey to Emmett, Idaho where she spent a short time with her son John who lived there. She enjoyed herself in the company of her children and friends, but at Emmett contracted a cold which grew worse and she returned to her home at Deweyville July 20th feeling very badly. Everything that was within the power of man was done for her comfort and relief. For thirty days disease held fast to her and she grew steadily weaker. Her children were summoned bedside where they constantly watched and hoped for her recovery.
At five o'clock Wednesday morning, August 23rd, 1911, the Angel of death claimed her spirit and took it back to God who gave it. From her actions and talk for the last few days it was evident that she was satisfied with life and anxious to join her loved ones on the other side.
Her earthly remains lay in state at her home for two days and were viewed by her family, most of her relatives and many friends. Services were held in the Ward Hall where President A. H. Welling and a number of her brethren told of her splendid character and faithfulness. The floral offerings were beautiful. Her final resting place in the family lot by the side of her husband, in the Deweyville Cemetery is marked by a white marble monument, with the inscription: MOTHER.