BIOGRAPHY OF SARAH ELIZABETH EWELL STEWART
Contributor: Mary Hennig Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Sarah Elizabeth was born 18 April 1841 in Livingston, Missouri to William Fletcher and Mary Lee Bland Ewell. Her mother was a Southern Belle and her father had been a missionary for the Church in the southern states. He first encountered her when she had fallen off her horse and he was training to be a doctor so he helped her. The family liked him at first and his new religion. Then her father found that his neighbors hated the “Mormons” and told him to leave and Mary was heartbroken. She knew that gospel was true and she loved William. Her Mammy Cloe (black slave servant) passed notes back and forth between the two. She sneaked out of the house with her Mammy to accompany her. They found a small town in Missouri and were married.
Mary’s father wouldn’t let see her mother and he also refused to see her. She was beginning to decline in health and her doctor told him that he needed to let her see her daughter. He did so but wanted them to live near them and give up their new religion.
William and Mary Lee had six children, three girls and three boys. The first Francis Marion was born 3 November 1835 in Ray, Missouri. John Pleasant was born 2 August 1837 in Livingston, Missouri; Sarah Elizabeth was born 18 April 1841 in Livingston; Barbara Ann was born 24 October 1842 in Livingston. William Thomas was born 5 October 1846 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie,Iowa.
Her father, William, was a member of the Mormon Battalion. After going all the way to San Bernardino, California where he was discharged from the Army, he started for Utah Territory. After he had finally reached Utah he planned on being with his family, thinking they were in Utah. Upon finding that they were not, he trekked back to Winter Quarters,Nebraska. He died on 18 December 1848 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa.
After being reunited with his young family, he died unexpectedly. He was buried in the Winter Quarters Cemetery. Sarah Elizabeth was baptized into the Churchin 1849 at the age of eight. They were still living in Pottawattamie,Iowa in 1850. Her sister, Mary Jane was born four months after he passed away on 5 February 1849 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. Sarah was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1849 at theage of eight.
Her family came to the Utah Territory with the Uriah Curtis Company. Her mother was 34 years old; Marion Francis was 16; John was 14; Sarah Elizabeth was 11; Barbara Ann was 8; William Thomas was 5; Mary Jane was 3;and William Warren was 1. They departed on 28 June 1852 with about 260 individuals and 50 wagons,departing from Kanesville (present day Council Bluffs) Iowa.
This was taken from Lucy Benson Wilson’s autobiography of the trip they encountered: “we have had good health in camp till this morning (July the 12)The cohlery[cholera] came & took Bro Bracken & Sister mathews [Mathis]from our midse. Mary Ann’s father was 57 years old and died on the Loupe Fork of the Platte River in Nebraska.
We traveled on our journey till the 23 when Brother Mathews [Mathis] died.their was 2 more deaths before we reached Laramie. at that place our company was divided in to 2 Com.so as to travel faster. our Com. No. 1 proceded on our journey.
At the Pasifick [Pacific] Springs we met my Brother James Benson with provision for us, which was thankfuly received[.]we traveled up hill & downhill &over Mountains & threw valleys& all manner of creekes & turns&snow & rain & cold. Still we felt to rejoice to know we would soon reach the valleys of the Mountain.”
The following is from the journal of John Lee Jones who was in their company: “After the Journey of Nearly 16 Weeks & 3 Days we ascend the Summit of the Rocky Mountains nearly 9000 feet above Sea Level, as we Stood gazing with rapture & delight, from the Summit of the Mountain. down into the Vally of the Great American Desert. with its Lake of Some 70 Miles in lengeth running North & South. by 30 Miles in Wideth, this to be the Place for the Gathering of all Nations, our Hearts Swelled with Gratitude to Our Heavenly Father for his goodness unto us while Crossing the long & Dreary Plains, Guiding us to Our future Home in the Mountains. as My Mind reverts back Upon the Scene it is Just 34 years Ago, our Cattle was Foot Sore & weary, on arriving in the Small "City of Salt Lake", the future Capital of ‘Deseret,’”
They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 29 September 1852. They located in Cottonwood and Mammy Cloe taught her how to spin and weave materials for their clothes, carpets for the floor, how to card wool, to make quilts and weave straw hats. They were able to make a living until her sons were old enough to earn and make a home for them.
Her mother married Peter Jones in 1853 in Ogden, Weber, Utah Territory. They had three children. Hannah was born in 1853 in Ogden, Weber, Utah Territory. Zachariah Henry was born 6 December 1856 in Ogden; and Emma Keziah was born 19 February 1858 in Provo,Utah, Utah Territory. They lived in the Ogden area until 1858. This would have been the same time that the Saints had to abandon their homes and lands and head south because of the approach of Johnston’s Army. They probably stayed down in the Provo area.
She married Joseph Abram Stewart in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory on 9 November 1861 at the age of 20. Joseph Abram Stewart was born 1 April 1837 in Vandalia, Fayette, Illinois to Levi and Melinda Howard Stewart. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6 April 1856 at the age of 19. His family was in Nauvoo during the 1840's,and were sealed in the Nauvoo Temple on 14 Jan 1846. His parents were first cousins.
The saints were expelled from Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois on 4 February 1846 so they were sealed just before leaving Nauvoo. They came with the Brigham Young Company. His family consisted of his father Levi, his mother Melinda, Elizabeth Jane,age 14, and the following brothers and sister, John Riley, Joseph Abram, Levi,Howard, and Louisa. They departed on 5 June 1848 with 1057 individuals in the company which began its journey from the outfitting post at Winter Quarters, Nebraska.
By 15 July they had made it to Chimney Rock. They made it to Fort Laramie on 22 July 1848 and Independence Rock on 10 August, which brought them closer to the Sweetwater. There was no wood and very few chips (buffalo). The river was very cold. There were hundreds of names painted and cut on the side of the rock.
When they got to the last crossing of the Sweetwater, they stopped for 8-10 days waiting for teams from the valley to meet them. When they arrived the teams were distributed among the company. It lightened up their loads tremendously. One man went from 850 pounds of corn down to 400 so that when they started up the hill leading over South Pass it would be easier.
While they camped at the Sweetwater they had a heavy storm of snow and rain. The first night they camped at Pacific Springs they broke up into smaller companies in order to have a better journey through the rugged mountains and have the smaller pastures for feeding the cattle.
They were at Fort Bridger on 10 September. There was a good deal of cobblestones which were hard on wagons and cattle’s feet. After passing through Echo Canyon they got to Big Mountain. It was so treacherous that they had to double team the wagons and have ropes at the back with several men pulling so the wagons would not go down to fast and crash. Because they were so scattered, the company arrived in the valley continuously between the 20 through the 24 September 1848.
His family settled in Big Cottonwood and then in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake,Utah Territory. By 1860 they were residing in the 14th Ward in Salt Lake City.
Joseph was baptized on 6 April 1856 at the age of 19 and received his endowments on 15 April 1856 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Utah Territory at the age of 19. He was 24 years old when they married.
Joseph and Sarah Elizabeth had six children, five girls and one boy. Mary Melinda was born 22 March 1863 in Salt Lake City; Louisa Ann was born 16 June 1865 in Sugar House; Joseph Levi was born 28 June 1868 in Cottonwood; Elizabeth Jane was born 31 May 1870 in Santaquin, Utah, Utah Territory; Sarah Elvira was born 7 April 1878 in Santaquin; and their last child Olive DeEsta was born 4 February 1887 in Kanab,Kane, Utah Territory.
Sarah Elizabeth died on 4 July 1893 in Georgetown, Kane, Utah Territory at the age of 52. She was buried on 6 July 1893 in Georgetown, Kane, Utah Territory.
Joseph died on 23 March 1897 in Malad City, Oneida, Idaho at the age of 59. He was buried on 26 March 1897 in the Malad City Cemetery, Oneida, Idaho.