David Fullmer Autobiography
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
David Fullmer Autobiography
Autobiography of David Fullmer.
I here give a brief history of my father, having copied the same
from own autobiography.
I, David Fullmer (my father), son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah
Zerfoss, was born July 7, 1803 at Chilisquaque, Northumberland County,
Pennsylvania, United States of America. I was brought up on a farm, and
recieved a common school education. I left the farm and went to
teaching school for a while, and subsequently to merchandising.
In September, 1831 A.D. I was married to Rhoda Ann Marvin,
daughter of Zera Marvin and Rhoda Williams Marvin. In the year 1835 I
moved to Richland County in the State of Ohio. On September 16, 1836 I
was baptized in to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, by
Elder Henry G. Shirwood. The following winter I went to Kirtland, where
for the first time I had the pleasure of seeing the Prophet Joseph
Smith. Here I was ordained to the office of an Elder in 1837, under the
hands of Reuben Hedlook, in the Temple of Kirtland, and also received a
Patriarchal Blessing there under the hands of Joseph Smith senior, the
Prophet's father, who was patriarch for the Church. In September 1837 I
removed to Caldwell County in the State of Missouri, which State had
been designated as the gathering place for the Saints. In the spring of
1838, I removed to David County in the same State.
The following summer I had a severe sickness and was reduced
nigh unto death, but by the blessing of God my life was preserved and I
was raised up.
Great persecution raged against the Saints, and Governor Lilburn
W. Boggs issued an order of extermination against the Saints, and the
mob compelled our people to leave their homes an possessions. I with my
family was driven from my home and property and I went Caldwell County.
At Haun's Mill the mob massacred 18 members of the Church, and the next
day some 13 or 15 were buried in a dry well, as there was no time to
I, in common with all the Saints, was compelled to leave the
state of Missouri. We fled to the state of Illinois, where I left my
family and went to the state of Ohio and assisted in moving my father
to the state of Illinois. I settled in Nauvoo, Hancock County, in 1839.
I was ordained a High Priest September 2, 1842, and was appointed one
of the High Council for that stake of Zion. In 1844, I was appointed,
with many others, to go on a preaching and electioneering mission to
the states. I went to Michigan and preached the Gospel and told the
people that Joseph Smith was a good and suitable person for the
presidency of the United States of States America. A state convention
was being held at the town of Jackson to nominate a president of the
United States on the very day that the news reached us of the
assassination of the Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith in
Carthage Jail in state of Illinois.
I returned to my home in Nauvoo and attended a general meeting of
the Church, at which meeting claims of Sidney Rigdon to the presidency
or guardianship of the Church were not recognized, but the Twelve
Apostles with Brigham Young as a president were sustained as presidents
of the Church.
We were not permitted to enjoy our homes long, for the mobs
burned and otherwise destroyed our property and finally drove us from
the state of Illinois. I was appointed one of a committee, called "The
Living Constitution", whose business it was to settle all difficulties
that might arise among the different mechanical associations. I was
also elected a member of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo in
1844, and when the state legislature repealed the charter for the City
Nauvoo. I was elected a member of the Town Council of Nauvoo, I was
also appointed a member of a Quorum of Fifty.
When the upper story of the Temple in Nauvoo was finished I
received with my companions our washings our anointings and all
endowments, and all ordinances and blessings of the fullness of the
Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred upon us, in which we rejoiced
In the winter of 1846 when the Saints were expelled from Nauvoo,
and the presiding authorities of the Church having decided to journey
into the wilderness to seek a home and gathering place beyond the Rocky
Mountains, I started with the first company or camp of Israel to go to
find a home in a land that the lord our God should show unto us.
In the following spring (1847) it was decided to make a temporary
settlement or resting place for the rear company of Saints and all
those who from lack of means were unable to proceed further, at a place
we called Garden Grove in the State of Iowa. Brother Samuel Bent was
appointed to stay at this place and preside, and I was appointed first
councillor to him. We made a large farm and worked together to raise
grain etc. There were many poor among us who were almost destitute both
of food and clothing. President Bent died and the presidency of the
place devolved upon me. In order to feed and clothe the poor I sent
missionaries along the great rivers to solicit donations in their
behalf, which afforded some relief.
On leaving Garden Grove I moved to another temporary settlement
farther west called Winter Quarters on the Missouri River, at which
place I was appointed one of a committee of vigilantes by President
Brigham Young. From this place, by the counsel of President Brigham
Young I took up my journey for the Great West, and traveled in the
company over which President Willard Richards presided in the summer
Having arrived at the Valley of Great Salt Lake, a city was laid
out and other settlements made. A provisional government was
established under the name of the "State of Deseret", and I was elected
a member of the legislature. I was also appointed on the 14 February
1849 as first counselor with Willard Snow as second counselor to
President Daniel Spencer of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion.
A company of brethren was appointed to journey southward on an
exploring expedition, with Parley P. Pratt as President and I was
appointed. I was with this company for five months during the winter
season, until we could dig our way out of the snow, which we finally
accomplished, and then returned to our home in Great Salt Lake Valley.
I was appointed captain to take charge of a company to go east to
Independence Rock, to take relief and assistance to a company of Saints
who was journeying westward. I was appointed assistant to Bishop Hunter.
When the Territory of Utah was created by the General Government,
I was appointed Chief Judge of the County Court 12 May 1851. I was
elected a member of the legislature for the county of Great Salt Lake
22 September 1851. I was also appointed Treasurer of University of
Great Salt Lake, and gave bonds in the sum of one thousand dollars. I
was appointed a home missionary to labor among the saints of Zion. I
was appointed treasurer for Great Salt Lake City. I was elected
delegate to a Territorial Convention from the sixth ward, at the
convention I was appointed a director of the Agricultural Society.
Elder Fullmer served as first counselor to President Spencer
until April 1866, when he was released at his own request because of
He died in Salt Lake City, October 21, 1879 Several years before
his death he was ordained a Patriarch. At the time of his death he was
in full fellowship, beloved and respected by all his associates.
David Fullmer's Life History
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
David Fullmer's Life History
"The only conclusive evidence of a man's sincerity is that he
gives himself for a principle. Words, money, all things else are
comparatively easy to give away; but when a man makes a gift of his
daily life a practice, it is plain that in that truth, whatever it may
be, he is sincere." (Lowell).
Judged by his measuring stick, David Fullmer was sincere in his
espousal of the restored gospel and in his adherence to its precepts
throughout his eventful life. He made his mistakes, as do all men,
but his virtues so far outshone his weaknesses as to give him a place
among the great and good of his generation. He was not known for his
eloquence nor for brilliant achievements in that spectacular sense by
which men attract the attention and the loud acclaim of their fellows,
but was content to do his simple duty each day without ostentation and
in the quiet retreat of his local environment. His life was dedicated
to the cause of Mormonism; and from its altar he withheld nothing,
deeming no sacrifice too great in the interests of the work of the Lord.
Born July 7, 1803, David Fullmer came to mortal life a little
more that two years before the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. His
birthplace was an obscure village tucked away in a secluded section of
Pennsylvania, and bearing the almost unpronounceable name of
Chillisquaque. His parents were Peter and Susannah Zerfoss Fullmer, of
whom we know but little more than that they were of the farming class
whose contributions toward the early development of frontier America
played such a prominent part. The early life of David was spent on the
farm and his common school education was obtained at "****** and grab"
periods when the farm work would ease up a bit, enabling him to attend
the rural school in his neighborhood for a few months each year.
It would seem that the farm life of those days had little appeal
for young Fullmer; for upon the completion of the course of study
required for teaching, he entered the schoolroom as an instructor of
children. But this calling did not hold his interest for long, and he
sought to gain a livelihood in the field of merchandising. At this
period of his life he saw the need of a companion; and in September,
1831, he married Rhoda Ann, the daughter of Zera and Rhoda Williams
Four years after their marriage the couple moved to Richmond,
Ohio, and it was while living here that David became identified with
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the baptism being
performed by Elder Henry G. Sherwood. This rebirth changed the entire
current of his life. He longed to be with his newly found
communicants; and this urge led him to Kirtland, where for the first
time his eyes fell upon the Prophet of the Lord. From that moment he
became his devout and faithful follower. Spiritual blessings came to
him in rapid succession, among them being his ordination to the office
of an elder in the Kirtland Temple, and a patriarchal blessing under
the hands of the first Patriarch to the Church, Joseph Smith, Sr.,
father of the Prophet.
His sojourn in Kirtland was brief and he left in the fall of 1837
to make his home at or near Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri. Here,
too, he was to remain but a short time; then he moved to Daviess
County, less than fifty miles to the north, at Adam-Ondi-Ahman, the
spot upon which Adam offered sacrifices to the Lord following his
banishment from the Garden of Eden. This was in the spring of 1838,
the year of a terrible apostasy in the Church. Under the unjust and
cruel edict of Governor Boggs, backed by the military forces and the
mob elements of the state, the Saints began their exodus toward Quincy
and other portions of the state of Illinois in search of a place of
safety. During this period of stress and storm for the Church, Elder
Fullmer contracted an illness which well nigh ended his mortal career,
but by the power of God through the administration of His servants, he
was miraculously healed and lived to go with the Saints to Nauvoo.
The building of Nauvoo was rapid and in that growth David Fullmer
was an active and prominent participant in different fields. He was
ordained a high priest and made a member of the stake high council. He
was also a member of the city council of Nauvoo and when a small
portion of the city was incorporated as the "town of Nauvoo" in 1845,
he was appointed one of the trustees to look after its interests.
Several months before his death, the Prophet Joseph Smith was
that the Saints were not to remain permanently on the banks of the
Mississippi, but that they eventually must flee to the mountains for
safety in fulfillment of ancient prophecy. With this in mind, he began
as early as February, 1844, to initiate plans for that event. On the
21st of that month a meeting of the Twelve was called at the Mayor's
office at Nauvoo for the purpose of selecting a company to explore
Oregon and California with the thought of founding a "new city for the
Saints." Among the number chosen was David Fullmer. Of this meeting
and its purpose the Prophet wrote: "Met with the Twelve in the
Assembly Room, concerning the Oregon and California exploring
expedition, Hyrum and Sidney present. I told them I wanted an
exploration of all that mountain country. Send 25 men, let them preach
the gospel wherever they go. Let that man go that can raise $500, a
good horse and mule, a double barrel gun, one barrel rifle and the
other smooth bore, a saddle and bridle, a pair of revolving pistols,
bowie knife, and a good sabre. Appoint a leader and let him beat up
for volunteers. I want every man that goes to be a king and a priest;
when he gets on the mountains, he may want to talk with his God; when
with the savage natives, have power to govern, etc." Nine men
volunteered, among them David Fullmer.
In the meantime, trouble was brewing in and around Nauvoo over
the coming presidential election. To escape being entangled in the
mesh of either of the major political parties, the Prophet offered
himself as a candidate for the presidential chair of the United States.
Leading brethren of the Church were appointed by him to go throughout
the country and speak in his behalf. David Fullmer was one of that
number, and while laboring in that capacity in the state of Michigan,
he received the word of the tragedy at Carthage. Immediately he
returned home and was present at the meeting when the claims of Sidney
Rigdon of being the lawful successor of the Prophet Joseph were
rejected by the Saints, and the mantle of Joseph fell upon Brigham
Young, as a witness that he was the one called of God to lead his
Brother Fullmer served his fellows well in a very practical way
in Nauvoo, being appointed a member of a committee, known as "The
Living Constitution," whose duty it was to settle all difficulties that
might arise between "mechanical associations." This responsibility
came to him during the later years of Nauvoo when conditions were in an
unsettled state, requiring wisdom and patience in the adjustment of
industrial disputes. He was also a member of a civic organization
known as the "Council of Fifty," of which but little is recorded.
When the temple was completed he and his wife were privileged to
receive their endowments and all other blessings to be received in the
House of the Lord; this was a source of strength and comfort to them in
the months and years of trial ahead of them.
When the exodus from Nauvoo began, Elder Fullmer was appointed
captain of the 11th company and upon arriving at a wayside station,
Garden Grove, he was requested by President Young to remain there for a
season to assist in the direction of the branch of the Church at that
point. He and Ezra T. Benson were to act as counselors to President
Samuel Bent. Soon thereafter Elder Bent was taken away in death; this
is mentioned in a letter written jointly by David Fullmer and Aaron
Johnson. An excerpt from this letter follows: "Garden Grove is left
without a president and a large circle of friends and relations are
bereft of an affectionate companion and friend, and the Church has
sustained the loss of an undeviating friend to the truth and
righteousness. The glory of his death is that he died in the full
triumph of faith and knowledge of the truth of our holy religion,
exhorting his friends to be faithful, having three days previously
received intimation of his approaching end by three holy messengers
from on high. This is a short history of a man of God and a servant of
the Most High who magnified his calling and died as he lived, a
faithful Saint." ("Journal History," Aug. 16, 1846.)
With the passing of this devoted servant, Elder Fullmer was
called to take his place. During his incumbency, reports reached
Winter Quarters which were derogatory to the character and conduct of
the members of the branch over which Elder Fullmer was presiding.
These reports reached the ears of Apostle Orson Hyde, resulting in the
writing of a letter of disfellowshipment of the branch. The letter
bears the date of July 19, 1847, and is addressed to "Brother David
Fullmer" and signed by Orson Hyde:
"Dear Sir: The High Council here did yesterday withdraw the hand
of fellowship from the branch of the Church at Garden Grove, until a
proper investigation can be had as to the real causes of the division
and contentions that appear to exist in that branch. It is admitted by
those who have lately come from that place, almost universally, that
much theft and wickedness have existed there, and do still exist, and
that the evil has overcome the good, and been suffered to get the
preeminence and to disarm the good of all power to act. This is truly
a lamentable state of things, and the Church and Council here were
unwilling to receive into fellowship those who are coming from Garden
Grove and thus become subjects of all the consequences that might arise
from the evils and crimes that have been suffered in your place. Those
whose hands are clean and whose hearts and pure have no reason to fear
though they of necessity have been disfellowshipped for the present.
The above action of the Council upon your branch has been confirmed by
the vote of the people here." ("Journal History," July 19, 1847.)
Attention has been called to this letter for the purpose of
pointing out that the leaders of the Latter-day Saints did not palliate
in the least degree evil among their followers; but, at the same time,
they were willing to give those thus accused the opportunity of
defending themselves. And so it was in this case. David Fullmer and
other representative brethren were permitted to appear before the High
Council at Winter Quarters and answer the charges against the Saints of
Garden Grove. The results of this hearing were set forth in a letter
of August 7, 1847, written by Alpheus Cutler, president of the branch
at Winter Quarters:
"To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
"Greetings: Whereas the High Council in Winter Quarters, Indian
Territory, in consequence of representations being made to them, did on
the 25th of July last withdraw the hand of fellowship from that branch
of the Church who reside in Garden Grove, Iowa Territory, now,
therefore, this is to inform and witness unto the Church in all the
world that on the 4th day of August, inst., the presidency of Garden
Grove branch, viz., David Fullmer, Daniel D. Hunt, Lyman A Shirtleff
and Duncan McArthur, did appear before said Council in Winter Quarters,
at which time the supposed existing difficulties were more fully
examined and investigated by said Council in which it appeared and was
manifest that misrepresentations had been made derogatory to said
branch of evil and designing persons and were without foundation in
truth, therefore, the said High Council restored said branch at Garden
Grove to full fellowship in all respects as they were when first
organized." ("Journal History," Aug. 7, 1847.)
Brother Fullmer, because of his duties in the East, was not to
arrive in the Salt Lake Valley until 1848; but early in the following
year, February 13, he was sustained as first counselor to Daniel
Spencer, president of the Salt Lake Stake. At the same time, he with
President Spencer and his second counselor, Willard Snow, were made a
committee to direct the locating of streets in Salt Lake City and to
supervise fencing of the farm land south of the "big field."
On the 14th of March, 1849, a convention was called for the
purpose of appointing a committee to draft a constitution for the
Provisional State of Deseret, and David was made a member of that
In August of the same year, he was appointed captain of a company
sent by President Young to meet companies of Saints on their way to
Salt Lake Valley and give them needed assistance. This mission was a
strenuous and trying one, but Captain Fullmer and his associates were
equal to the occasion. Upon the return of this expedition, Captain
Fullmer reported that they went seven miles beyond Independence Rock,
in Wyoming, where they met Franklin D. Richards and George A. Smith
with their companies, and from that point sent sixty yoke of cattle
back to help Ezra T. Benson and company.
The greatest exploring expedition ever sent out by President
Young was the one headed by Apostle Parley P. Pratt in November, 1849.
The company consisted of about fifty men; and their mission was to
explore the country south of Salt Lake City to the Virgin River, with
the view of locating feasible places on which to establish settlements
of the Saints. The organization effected was patterned after the
organization of pioneer companies crossing the plains. Assistants to
Parley P. Pratt were David Fullmer and William W. Phelps, and then in
order came the lesser officers.
Their journey took them through Fort Utah (Provo), the present
locations of Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Nephi, and thence
through Salt Creek Canyon, into Sanpete County, and from there up the
Sevier River as far as Marysville. All of these places were reported
as being suitable for the location of settlements. At Deer Creek up
the southwest fork of the Sevier River, 237 miles from Salt Lake City,
the company found itself in two feet of snow. With no roads in the
midst of a rugged country, there were pitches down which the wagons had
to be lowered with ropes. At other times in making the ascents, the
cattle were pulled up by the men; and, when on the summits, and animals
would painfully draw the lumbering vehicles up the steep inclines. In
casting about for the cause of their serious predicament, the brethren
finally agreed that it was just retribution meted out to them by an
offended God because of their "vanity, folly and wickedness."
Earnestly did President Pratt plead in behalf of the company and
entreat the Lord to reveal to them the pass that would take them
through the mountains in safety. The prayer was answered, for they
soon discovered a relatively smooth canyon that led through the
mountains into the valley to the west in which today are located
Parowan and other thriving settlements.
Upon arriving at the site of the present town of Paragoonah, it
was decided that because of the jaded condition of the animals, all but
twenty men would stay there in camp until the return of the brethren
chosen to accompany Elder Pratt into the southland. Elder Fullmer was
placed in charge of the portion of the expedition to remain behind.
Captain Fullmer and his men were not idle during the absence of
Parley P. Pratt, but were busy exploring the country to the west in the
neighborhood of the Little Salt Lake Valley and the adjacent mountain
range. They found what the Indian Chief, Walker, called "God's Own
House," consisting of a canyon and perpendicular rocks, covered with
hieroglyphics and strange figures chiseled on the rocks, some of which
Upon the return of Parley P. Pratt and those under his immediate
command, the entire expeditionary force was once more united and they
began their return journey toward Salt Lake City. Upon arriving at the
site of Fillmore, Millard County they found themselves buried one night
in three feet of snow. When Elder Pratt awoke in the morning, he arose
and commanded his company "to arise and come forth." The company was
obeyed simultaneously, and as a result, the place became known
as "Resurrection Camp." It was not until the following spring that
David Fullmer and those under his immediate command arrived in Salt
The honesty of Fullmer and his ability to manipulate figures seem
never to have been questioned, since he served as treasurer of the
University of Deseret, of Utah County, of Salt Lake City, and of the
Universal Scientific Society, an organization for the "diffusion of
knowledge and science." In addition to these civic positions, he was a
member of the Territorial Legislature of Utah and a director of the
Agricultural Society of the Territory.
For years he was a member of the presidency of the Salt Lake
Stake, first as a counselor to President Daniel Spencer, and then, when
President Spencer was called on a mission to Europe, as president of
the stake. Upon the return of Elder Spencer, Brother Fullmer was again
made his counselor, a position he held until his health failed him, in
1866. Before his death, which occurred in Salt Lake City, October 21,
1879, he had been ordained a patriarch and in this position he served
the Saints well.
Frequently he spoke in public meetings on Temple Square, and upon
one such occasion, he bore a powerful testimony, from which the
following excerpt is taken: "I would not give my experience in the
gospel for all the gold and riches of the world, for it is worth much
more to me. Peace, happiness and high anticipation of the future are
in his kingdom, out of it I have no hopes no expectations whatever....I
have never witnessed so much peace as I have for the last twelve
months. We do not appear to have any difficulties amongst ourselves.
"I believe that if we can purchase a seat in the celestial
kingdom at the expense of everything we have got, we shall obtain it
very cheap; I feel that whatever we do to establish righteousness upon
the earth we will be rewarded for...I can truly say that all the
trouble I have is to get along with myself and to keep myself right; I
have to look after Brother David and keep him in order and that
occupies most of my attention....
"I feel to say, brethren and sisters, let us not go contrary to
the instructions of our brethren who preside over us. We have the
privilege of seeing those men all the time, and for that reason,
peradventure, we do not appreciate their words as highly as we should
if they were absent from us part of the time." ("Deseret News," May 3,
Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 1:289; Story of Deseret, by
Thomas C. Romney; Journal History, Feb. 23, 1844; Apr. 16, 1845; Feb.
13, 1849; Oct. 14, 1849; Dec. 25, 1849; Jan. 7, 1850.
Biography of Esther Fullmer
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Esther Fullmer was the daughter of David Fullmer and Rhoda Ann Marvin. She was born in Salt Lake City May 23, 1857, after the family came west with the pioneers in the Bishop Edwart Hunter Company. They arrived in the valley October 1850. They made their home in the 6th Ward, Salt Lake City, on 3rd South between 2nd and 3rd West.
Her father David, was the son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfass, who were on a farm in Pennsylvania. He left the farm and taught school for a while and then went into merchandising. Her mother, Rhoda Ann, was from Union Township. She was a very good woman, a member of the Baptist Church and a practical mid-wife. She traveled far and wide attending to the sick and the new born. David and Rhoda Ann were married September 18, 1831. They moved to Jefferson Twp., Richland County, Ohio in September 1835. They joined the Church in 1836 and joined the saints in Ohio. The family went through many trials and privations as the saints were driven from the state by the mobs. This included the Haun's Mill Massacre.
Esther was the youngest of eleven children. She has a lineage to be proud of. Esther was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints June 1865 by James Leatham and confirmed June 1865 by George Keaten. She was raised in the 6th Ward, 4th South and 2nd West across the street from the old fort. She was active as a girl in the ward activities and always studied the principles of the gospel. She had a strong testimony of the gospel. Her parents being ardent workers taught their children the principles of the gospel.
Esther married John Shadrack Bowers on December 6, 1875, in the Salt Lake City Endowment House. He was the son of John Bowers and Rosannah Leech. John S. was born February 27, 1853 along the Big Cottonwood Creek in Murray, Utah. Their first home was 452 South 1st West. They also took up a homestead in Baccus, Utah. Esther spent some time there with her young children Rose and John David. Father John S. joined them there on weekends. John S. and Esther were the parents of eight children. All of these children grew to adulthood, married and raised families. In about 1895, John S. moved the family to 1076 South West Temple into a new home. He had built the home for a Mr. Horsley, who had financial problems and couldn't take possession. This was where they lived the rest of the time.
The new home eventually had two stoves. One on the summer porch and the other in the kitchen. The home was furnished in the pioneer style of the day, including a pedal organ. Esther was an excellent baker and cook. Rose and Myrtle as they grew up were the chief helpers.
John S. was a builder, contractor and provided well for the family, but there was usually no surplus. He would lose his temper occasionally and Esther would have to act as the buffer between the boys and father. The boys as they grew up were expected to take their turn in helping on the current job. They would take the horse and wagon and load up the supplies for the day and deliver them to the job site. John David often told about the rush that was necessary to try to get to school on time.
It would take Esther all day to do the wash. She had an old washer with two dashers inside, which were moved back and forth with a handle on top. She made her own soap in the backyard over a wood fire. She sewed for the family but never became an expert. She encouraged the girls to help and learn all they could. The children attended the Grant School on 1st West.
Esther was the one who presided over the dinner table. She necessarily had to adopt a policy of a strong disciplinarian. Six boys would be quite a handful even in pioneer times. Esther was active in the church and was always a leader, doing the best she could under all circumstances. She was an excellent mother in taking care of her family and still finding time, like her mother, to help others who were sick and in need. Just being able to clothe and feed a family was a big job because of the frugal way everyone had to live.
Esther and John S. were wonderful parents, they instructed their children in how to conduct themselves when out in public. They were encouraged to do their part in church. When the children were growing up, John S. would have them line their shoes up all in a row. He then would polish them all so everyone was at their best on Sunday morning. The boys were encouraged to go on missions and they all had the chance to respond except Ernest. He had been interviewed to go on a mission when the army called him to serve during World War I.
Esther served as the President of the 4th Ward Relief Society. At a meeting that was held to consider who would be the President of what was later the 30th Ward, then a branch of the 4th Ward of Salt Lake Stake, Annie Wells Cannon of the General Board of Relief Society pointed to Sister Bowers and said, "there is your President." This met with the approval of all present. She was sustained as President with Erminnie Cottrell 1st Counselor, Elizabeth Hunter 2 Counselor, Edna S. Lambert secretary, and Mary C. Tomlinson treasurer. Esther was set apart by Heber S. Cutler and she served for ten years in this capacity.
As Rose grew up she was a difficult teenager, so Esther stayed out of her way to avoid conflicts. Rose, after finishing school worked at the telephone company. Her mother would walk over to 9th South to walk Rose home from work when she worked the night shift.
Esther had poor health during her last few years. John Alden wrote a letter home to Arco, Idaho in 1921. John Alden was the oldest son of John David. He lived with grandma and grandpa Bowers during his freshman year at the University of Utah. A letter from him to his parents stated: "Grandma was ill with her heart problem and almost croaked last night."
Christmas was a special time when all the families would go for a party. Esther could bake the best turkey - she would cover it with a dishtowel during the baking. When all the families gathered both stoves would be in use to cook enough food for the big group. Jane (wife of John David) remembered a dinner when 32 people were present, including Aunt Jemima Walker. Ruth (daughter of John David and Jane) remembers playing under the tables with the other grandchildren and receiving a good reprimmand for the play. The tables were fixed with planks sitting over saw horses to provide enough sitting space for all. Mildred remembers that the adults usually ate first and the children ate second. In 1917 the John David family missed the traditional celebration owing to a fight to save the life of their cow, Rhoda, who had eaten too much wheat and bloated.
Esther and John S. lived to enjoy celebrating their golden wedding anniversary Dec 6, 1925. A special party and dinner was held in the recreation room of son Frank's home on Harvard Avenue. About this time Esther visited with John D. and Jane and gave them the only cup and saucer left from a tea set John had brought her from his mission in England in 1899. She took sick after the 50th wedding party and did not recover. She died January 15, 1926 at tage 68. The day of her funeral the snow was knee deep. The service was in the 30th Ward Chapel, Tuesday January 19, 1926. Bishop's counselor George C. Phillips conducting. The service was as follows:
Opening prayer: Jacob Maues of Waterloo Ward
Speakers: Annie Wells Cannon, Bishop Heber C. Cutler, James H. Anderson, Bishop Charles Cottrell, Jr.
Music: 30th Ward Relief Society Chorus
"Though Deepening Trials" "When First the Glorious Light:" "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere"
Mable Poulson solo "Light Divine"
Charles R. Pike baritone solo: "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"
Benediction: Edward H. Hardley
All of the speakers spoke in glowing terms of Esther and praised her for her integrity and faithfulness in church work. She had been a faithful worker for many years of her life. They also paid tribute to her devotion to her large family who were all highly respected members of the community. There were many beautiful floral pieces attesting to the esteem in which Esther was held. Thus ended the life of a wonderful woman.
Compiled by granddaughter, Ruth Bowers Robertson. Some of the material copied from the history of the 30th Ward Relief Society. Also some of Mildred Bowers Hunter memories.
History of Desdemona, including her W
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
History of Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer Smith Benson
Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer, a daughter of Peter Fullmer and Susanna Zerfass, and the sister of David Fullmer, was born in Huntington, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 6 Oct 1809. She embraced the Gospel about the close of the year 1836, in Richland County, Ohio, being baptized by Elder John P. Greene. Soon afterwards, she removed to Kirtland, Ohio, and from that time forward shared in the persecutions to which the Church was subjected in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. She was living with her brother David’s family near Haun’s Mill, Missouri, at the time when the massacre of the Saints occurred at that place, and she and other members of the family were forced to hide in the woods to escape the mob. (L.D.S. Church Encyclopedia, Book page 235)
In 1842 she married Joseph Smith, Jr. who had been born 23 Dec 1805 at Sharon, Windsor, Vermont. After his death, and just before the exodus of the Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo, Illinois, Desdemona married Ezra T. Benson on 26 Jan 1846 at Nauvoo, Illinois. On this same date, 26 Jan 1846, Desdemona was sealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., Ezra T. Benson stood as proxy.
Desdemona came to Utah in 1848 with a large company of Saints. We have no information about her crossing the plains; however, in the 1850 census of Utah, Desdemona was living in the household of Ezra T. Benson in Salt Lake City.
History given by herself 7 June 1868. Original found in room 301, former church office building, 47 East South Temple, about 1953.
“I want to write a short history of my life, the more particular part that I think will do the youth some good and those that come into this church not having the same experience that I have had. I was brought up with goodly parents, yet with the ignorance of the gentiles. I was taught to pray, being raised very strictly.
“When I was 13 years old, I prayed much in secret alone to the Lord. From that time, I became very serious of mind. Not long after I received a change of heart, then I began to read the Bible much and all the different creeds of the churches to know what people I should join. I prayed much to know about it. I heard the Latter Day Saints preach the gospel and I joined them soon after. I went to Kirtland with a few Saints and lived one year there during which time a great number of the members turned against the church. Oliver Cowdery, with others, would say to me, ‘Are you such a fool as still to go to hear Joseph the fallen Prophet?’ I said, ‘The Lord convinced me that he was a true Prophet, and He has not told me that he is fallen yet.’
“When the trouble began in Kirtland, Ohio, I moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, with my brother’s family. There was trouble there for two years, the last being when the mob put the Prophet Joseph and others into prison and killed many of the Saints. I had to move with some members from place to place for safety, and sometimes at night we had to take a quilt in our arms and flee into the woods with the children; then sometimes it would rain all night.
“Sometimes the mob would come to the door all armed and yell like Indians, ‘You must leave here in three days or all will be killed!’ When snow and winter was there, my brother lay helpless with fever. I spoke and said, ‘We have no team and wagon. We may as well die in the house as a few rods from it.’ So they let us go. We started to march for Illinois. On the way, the sectarian priests came around us and would say to us, ‘Give up your faith and stay with us, and you shall never want.’ I said, ‘I have no faith in you nor in your father, the Devil.’ So I shut them up every time.
“In Nauvoo I lived until the spring after the war took place. Afterwards, the mob often came to the house and told us to leave. My father lay speechless at that time with a fever. There were three or four families living in that house at that time. The mob came one day with 100 armed men. Part of them stayed in the street and yelled like Indians. The rest of them came into the house, broke locks and took all they pleased to take. They found one keg of powder. Then they told all of us to leave in one hour. I told them that keg belonged to a man they had driven away that morning.”
After the move to Salt Lake City, Desdemona declared that the first year she suffered from hunger, and at one time, she does not say which year, she lived on biscuits for 17 days with only wild greens, salt and water, and she had to go a half a mile to find the greens.
Desdemona had no children by either of her first two marriages; however, at a later time, she married Harrison Parker McLane, born 17 July 1815 at State Creek, Bath, Kentucky, the son of James McLane & Elizabeth Parker. Desdemona had one child, Desdemona McLane, who was born and died the same year.
In her latter days, Desdemona lived with her brother, David Fullmer, and his family, trading him a cow and a calf valued at $50.00 in return for a room in his house when it was finished.
Desdemona also left a will, dated 18 Sept 1881.
“To President J. Taylor:
“Desdemona Fullmer Smith, living in the city of Salt Lake, Territory of Utah, the day and year aforesaid, make the following statements and will of my property.
“To President John Taylor: for the worthy poor, such as following: The room and building where I reside, the cooking stove with all its belongings, the bedstead, straw mattress, the best feather bed, 3 feather pillows, 4 light quilts, one heavy comfort, a flower box, a big clothes box, a coal box, a big rocking chair.
“For Sarah S. Fullmer: The clock, 3 shelves cupboard with all the dishes, with all the trumpery about the house.
“To Sarah S. Fullmer and her 3 daughters, and James, her son, all the cotton and shoes not named in this sheet for others shall be divided with Sarah and her four children named.
“To Joseph F. Smith the Apostle’s family: Shall have the large frame glass with all inside and the looking glass, one blue woolen dress, one worsted rose dress, one pongee silk dress, one summer coat.
“To Marcy E. Thompson: One black delane dress, one thick waterproof dress, two reddish calico dresses, one brown calico dress. The rose pieced quilt, a thick cloth coat and a light feather bed.
“To Eugene Fullmer: All my writings and papers.
“To James Fullmer: All my books.
“Desdemona Fullmer Smith.”
Desdemona Fullmer Smith d 9 Feb 1886 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is buried in Salt Lake City cemetery as Desdemona Fullmer Smith.
Pioneers to Utah
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Brigham Young Company, 1848
- Almon Lunis Fullmer, his wife Sarah Ann Follett Fullmer and son Almon Linus, Jr. Sarah Ann Fullmer, a daughter, was born at Fort Laramie, Indian Territory, Wyoming. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley in September 1848.
Willard Richards Company, 1848
- Peter Fullmer and his wife Susanna Zerfass Fullmer, Desdemona Fullmer Smith, David Fullmer, John Solomon Fullmer, his wives Mary Ann Price Fullmer (with 5 children), and Olive Amanda Smith Cook Fullmer (with 2 children). This group arrived in Salt Lake Valley in October, 1848.
Edward Hunter Company, 1850
- David Fullmer's families remained at Winter Quarters and did not arrive in the valley until October, 1850. They were Rhoda Ann Marvin Fullmer (with 8 children) and Sarah Sophronia Banks Fullmer (with 1 daughter).
J.D. Ross Company, 1860
- Johann Jacob (Ira) Naef and Mary Frey were married in Winter Quarters, Nebraska, after arriving from Switzerland. Mary's mother, Barbara Aerny Frey, died on board ship two days before arriving in New York City.
Captain Almon Linus Fullmer - The Battle of Nauvoo
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
After the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, the majority of saints left Nauvoo in the late winter and spring of 1846 and headed west through Iowa. Several families of saints remained behind. Some being to poor to leave; others, such as John S, and his brother Almon Linus Fullmer, were left to protect the property and business rights of the Church. The persecution and violence continued through the summer, and in September, an organized mob attacked Nauvoo in earnest. Less than 150 men were left to bear arms and defend the city. The Nauvoo Legion Spartan Band (which these men were called) were greatly outnumbered, but fought a heroic battle, the famous Battle of Nauvoo, in which they repelled the advance of over 1,000 men. *1
Almon was numbered among the forty men with repeating rifles who found and was also at the side of Captain Anderson when he feel in battle. Upon Anderson’s death, the command of the men fell upon Almon and Alexander McKee *2 (Also Mrs. Sarah Ann Fullmer was with Anderson’s widow when her husband’s body was brought home.)
The men fought fiercely for three days with no reinforcements and would have continued to fight on if the men representing the Church had not chosen to sign the “Articles of Agreement” that were drawn up between the mob and the Saints. *3
In this treaty the remaining Saints agreed to leave the state and cross the river as soon as possible. The reason for signing was that they Saints had already made the commitment to remove themselves from the area as soon as possible to join the earlier vanguard of Saints as they moved westward. All they wanted was to be left in peace to accomplish this purpose.
In the spring of 1847, they moved to Winter Quarters and in 1848 Almon Linus, his wife and son, Almon Linus Jr., traveled to Utah with the Brigham Young company, with Almon serving as a Captain of Ten. Along the way, Sarah gave birth to a little girl, Sarah Ann, near Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Twin girls had died while in Nauvoo, and this was to be the only daughter to reach maturity. How happy they were to finally reach Zion October 5, 1848. Sarah and Almon had four sons after they arrived in Utah: Buckley Martin, Oscar Myron, Collins DeWitt and Halsey Dean. Almon had been sealed to his wife’s sister, Tryphena, after her death in Nauvoo. He took a second wife, Rachel Neyman, in 1852. Three sons (Thaddeus Edgar, Franklin Pierce and John Hyrum) were born to this marriage before the couple divorced in 1858.
Almon continued his involvement with the military and church after arrived in Utah. He had been elected adjutant to Colonel Markham of the Nauvoo Legion with the rand of Major while in Illinois, and served as a member of the Utah militia, involved in the action to meet and deter the Johnson Army as they marched into Utah. He was active in Indian skirmishes in Utah Valley and Sanpete County, was elected deputy marshall of the state by legislature of Deseret, helping pioneer Iron County with George A. Smith, and held the position of Colonel of the First Regiment for ten years when he tendered his resignation upon moving to Logan in 1870. He served in the Seventies Quorum in Nauvoo and Utah.
Almon Linus was the youngest child of the Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfass’ family. He did not join the church with the rest of his family, but converted himself in 1839 while disposing of his Father’s property in the East. Almon was not with his brother David and family, or sister Desdemona at Haun’s Mill or during other periods of persecution while in Missouri, but joined them as they moved to Nauvoo. He married Sarah Ann Follett in 1843. Her parents were from New York and New Jersey, with her mother’s family, the Van Dyke’s, tracing their roots to early New York City (New Amsterdam) and before that to the Netherlands.
He died 2 October 1890 in Providence, Utah and is buried in the Providence Cemetery.
Doctrine & Covenants Section 124:132 and David Fullmer
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Who is David Fullmer? He is a brother to great-grandfather Almon Linus Fullmer, and the eldest child of Peter and Susannah Zerfass Fullmer. He was born in the small village of Chisquaque, Pennsylvania in 1803, and grew up helping his family farm there land. In 1831 at the age of 28, he married Rhoda Ann Marvin, who was the first member of the Fullmer family to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ when it was introduced by missionaries to the family in July 1836. Rhoda Ann and David’s parents were baptized almost immediately, and then in September of that same year, David too was baptized.
In the winter of 1836, David traveled to Kirtland and met the Prophet Joseph. From that time forward he was a stalwart in building the kingdom and defending the Prophet. David and his family followed the Prophet Joseph to Missouri and was involved in many of the tragedies of that period of Mormon History. One of these was the Haun’s Mill tragedy. David’s brush with death at Haun’s Mill shows the Lord’s hand in preserving him for many important future events.
In the uneasy setting of Missouri, David was stricken with fever and ague whose severity threatened his very life. In was only through his faith and the healing power of the priesthood that he was restored to health. While he was yet recovering, the mob came and ordered them from their home within twenty-four hours. If they did not leave, the mob threatened to burn and destroy the place. David went immediately to Haun’s Mill for assistance. There he joined a group of brethren to protect the settlement from mob violence. However, the brethren advised him to return home due to his illness. Thus, an almost certain death was adverted for on that very night, Haun’s Mill was rushed by the mob and eighteen of twenty brethren were killed.
The dark days of Missouri were followed by joyous days in Nauvoo. David became involved in almost every facet of life in that new city. In 1841, the Lord gave to Joseph Smith a revelation naming those to be appointed to church positions. This revelation, the longest in the Doctrine and Covenants, is Section 124. Among those called to the high council of the Nauvoo Stake was David Fullmer (D&C 124:132). The stake was designated as “a cornerstone of Zion.” David Fullmer’s appointment came because of his distinctive leadership qualities. He had been elected a member of the Nauvoo City Council, the Council of Fifty, and a significant appointment, illustrating his loyalty to the Prophet, was as an electioneering missionary for Joseph Smith during his candidacy for presidency of the United States.
When the church was driven from Nauvoo, David was appointed captain of 100, and a counselor of Samuel Bent, president of the saints at Garden Grove and Winter Quarters. Upon Bent’s death, David was named president of Winter Quarters. Upon his arrival in Great Salt Lake Valley, David was sustained as a counselor in the Salt Lake Stake presidency, and at one period was acting president for four years while the president, David Spencer, was a missionary to England. Several years before he died in 1879, David Fullmer was ordained a patriarch. He had received his own patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith Sr., the first Patriarch to the Church, while living in Nauvoo.
David Fullmer & Rhoda Ann Marvin, from Carol Fullmer Heiner
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
The Peter Fullmer Family Organization has gathered much historical data and printed many articles regarding this family. [Peter Fullmer Family Organization, 3919 Nordin Ave., Ogden, Utah 84403. Peter Fullmer and Susanna Zerfass were from Pennsylvania and were descendants of German immigrants. Susanna's father fought in the Revolutionary War. The Fullmers, except for two daughters, joined the Church in Ohio.]
Peter and his wife, Susanna Zerfass, had seven children. David Fullmer, their oldest son, was born July 7, 1803, at Chilisquaque, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. In his autobiography he stated that he grew up on a farm and received a "common school education" which qualified him to be a teacher. ["Autobiography of David Fullmer," obtained in 1952 by the Fullmer Family Organization from Rose Bowers Buchanan, a granddaughter of David.]
His brother, John Solomon, taught school in Union Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and one of his pupils was Rhoda Ann Marvin. She was born February 12, 1813, in that township, being the seventh child and first daughter of Zerah Marvin, a "leading and prominent" man, the local Baptist minister. ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer," as told to her daughter, Elvira Fullmer Hickenlooper, November 29, 1885. From the Fullmer Family Organization.]
David and Rhoda Ann were married September 18, 1831. He tried his hand at merchandising, ran a boarding house and tavern, and operated a hotel in the first years of their marriage. Their first son, Eugene Bertrand, was born May 3, 1833. [Eugene Bertrand devoted his life as a stone mason working on the Salt Lake Temple. He cut both the corner stone and the cap stone. See Church News, May 22, 1993. See also Peter Fullmer Family Newsletters, 1952-1991, Salt Lake City: 1995, p. 117. The 1977 Newsletter states, "Today we would like to mention Eugene Bertrand Fullmer, son of David Fullmer and Rhoda Ann Marvin. He was a stone mason and was the ONLY man who worked the entire 40 years that went into the building of the Salt Lake Temple."] Rhoda Ann's mother, Rhoda Williams Marvin, was the attending midwife. Their second son, Junius Sextus, was born January 14, 1835. That fall they moved to Jefferson Township, Richland County, Ohio, to farm with his father.
The Mormon missionaries introduced the Gospel to the Fullmers in the winter of 1835-36. Rhoda Ann said, "I believed it the first time I heard the Elders preach." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."] She was baptized in July 1836 "by Elder H. G. Sherwood and George A. Smith, the latter being mouth."["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."] David joined the Church that September. They lived much of Church history first hand. He traveled to Kirtland where he met the Prophet Joseph Smith, was ordained an Elder in the Kirtland Temple, and received a Patriarchal Blessing there from Joseph Smith, Sr. On May 16, 1837, their third son, Hanibal Octavius, was born. That fall David and his wife took their little family and moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, near Haun's Mill, where they spent the winter. Enroute Rhoda Ann met the Prophet for the first time. At a Solemn Assembly held in April 1838 the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon blessed their youngest son. She wrote,
"Soon after I returned from the Solemn Assembly I took a violent cold. ... I was administered to by the Elders and was instantly healed, and I arose from my bed and attended to my household work, and the next day we packed up our goods and moved to Daviess County, where my husband purchased a small homestead of about two acres of land with a small house on it. He also rented about 18 acres of land which we planted with corn." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
David recounted his illness of that summer. "I had a severe sickness and was reduced nigh unto death, but by the blessing of God my life was preserved and I was raised up." ["Autobiography of David Fullmer."] The mob ordered David and Rhoda Ann to vacate their property or it would be burned and destroyed. He went to Haun's Mill to get help and would have stayed there to assist in protecting that community had he not been so ill. Of the twenty who did stay, eighteen were killed by the mob that night. [Sarah Sophronia Oysterbanks Fullmer wrote in her personal history, "he was in Missouri and helped bury the brethern [sic] in the well." See Peter Fullmer Family Newsletters: 1952 - 1991, p. 172.] Fearing for their lives, Rhoda Ann took their three sons and hid in a fallen oak tree while David hid nearby. They carefully returned to their home about 3 a.m. to see if it had been burned. Miraculously, they also escaped a bad thunderstorm that night. They were allowed to stay until spring when they moved with another family and David's sister, Desdemona, to Illinois. Rhoda Ann noted,
"We were about two weeks on this journey. We were poor having been compelled to leave our property. Our children were barefoot, and all of us that could walk were compelled to do so, there being but one team for so many. (15) We made our beds on the ground as we camped by the way. " ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
David took his family fourteen miles up the Missouri beyond Quincy to stay while he went back to Ohio to move his parents to Nauvoo. Rhoda Ann was blessed with the gift of being healed. She wrote,
"While I was at Hartford I was prostrate with fever and Ague [malaria]. The Prophet Joseph on leaving Missouri came this way and administered to me, and I was healed and I have never had a spell of the fever and Ague since. " ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
The Fullmer families lived in Nauvoo and owned a one-quarter section of land known as the "Fullmer Tract." David and Rhoda Ann had their fourth child, Elvira Martha, October 14, 1839. David wrote, "I was ordained a High Priest, September 2, 1842, and was appointed one of the High Council for that stake of Zion." ["Autobiography of David Fullmer."] The first High Council in the Restored Church was revealed in Doctrine and Covenants 124:132. Hortensia Jane, their fifth child, was born September 6, 1842. Rhoda Ann wrote concerning eternal marriage.
"In the fall of 1843 my husband, having heard that good men could have wives sealed to them for time and eternity, asked the Prophet Joseph for the privilege of having me sealed to him. The Prophet granted the request and sent his brother, Hyrum, to our house to attend to it and Brother Hyrum Smith sealed me to my husband in our house for time and all eternity." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
The Fullmer families had a close association with both Joseph and Hyrum Smith and their families. "Stories are told in the family of going to the Prophet's home, rolling up the rugs so the evening could be spent in dancing." ["Honorable Mention of our Worthy Pioneers," p. 2. Fullmer Family Organization paper.]
Both David and Rhoda Ann commented on the martyrdom.
[David] "In 1844 I was appointed, with many others, to go on a preaching and electioneering mission to the states. I went to Michigan and preached the Gospel and told people that Joseph Smith was a good and suitable person for the presidency of the United States of America. A state convention was being held at the town of Jackson to nominate a President of the United States on the very day that the news reached us of the assassination of the Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage Jail in the State of Illinois."
"I returned to my home in Nauvoo and attended the general meeting of the Church, at which meeting the claims of Sidney Rigdon to the presidency and guardianship of the Church were not recognized, but the Twelve Apostles with Brigham Young as president were sustained as presidents of the Church. " ["Autobiography of David Fullmer." David's brother, John Solomon, was very much involved with the Prophet at the time of the martyrdom. He was on duty in the Nauvoo Legion when the Prophet and Hyrum Smith were arrested, and he accompanied them to Carthage, and spent the night with them in the jail. He left the next morning and returned that night, having hidden in his boot a single barrel pistol that he gave to Joseph Smith. John Solomon Fullmer again spent the night in Carthage jail, lying on the floor next to the Prophet, and wrote. "He laid his right arm out for me to lay my head upon it... After the brethern [sic] were all quiet and seemed asleep, excepting myself, he talked with me a little about the prospects of his deliverance. He did not say he knew that he had to die, but he inferred as much, and finally said he 'would like to see his family again,' and he 'would to god [sic] that he could preach to the saints once more in Nauvoo.'" John Solomon Fullmer left the next day, June 27, 1844, to help obtain witnesses for the treason hearing, and returned to his farm upon learning that had been done. He wrote, "I had the honor to be with him by permission during his whole imprisonment, and the fact of being subpoenied [sic] to attend his trial caused me to return home a few hours before the fatal tragedy to get a change of raiment, and but for this I would, a hundred chances to one, shared the fate that he did. ["See Peter Fullmer Family Newsletters: 1952 - 1991, pp. 181-183.]
[Rhoda Ann] "On the 27th day of June, 1844, our beloved Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum, were murdered in cold blood in the Carthage Jail. I saw the lifeless remains after they were brought to Nauvoo. The feelings of sorrow that filled the hearts of the Saints at this time are indescribable." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
On November 25, 1844, the Fullmer's sixth child, Susannah, was born. David wrote concerning temple blessings given to him.
"When the upper story of the Temple in Nauvoo was finished, I received with my companions our washings, our anointings and all endowments; and all ordinances and blessings of the fullness of the Melchizedek priesthood were conferred upon us, in which we rejoiced evermore." ["Autobiography of David Fullmer."]
Rhoda Ann added more detail and gave specific dates.
"On December 15, 1845, we received our endowments and on the 19th of January, 1846, in the Temple of the Lord at Nauvoo we received our second anointings and ordination, and the next day, the 20th of January, we attended to the last anointings, that of the feet. ... On the 19th of February, 1846, I fulfilled the law of Sarah. On that day in the temple of the Lord in Nauvoo, I gave my husband two wives, who were sealed to him for time and eternity - Margaret Philips and Sarah Sophronia Banks, and I felt happy and greatly blessed in fulfilling this law."
["The sealing of Margaret to David was canceled on 31 January 1848,... and she was sealed to Phineas Richards on 2 February 2, 1848. This sealing was canceled 16 February 1852." Peter Fullmer Family Newsletters: 1952 - 1991, p. 174. Margaret was Sarah's mother. This was all finally straightened out in 1966, and Margaret was sealed to her husband, Sarah's father, Moses Oysterbanks, who died in Nauvoo in 1845, and their three children were sealed to them in the Manti Temple. Margaret died in 1890. See also "Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer." See Peter Fullmer Family Newsletters; 1952 - 1991, p. 172. Sarah S Fullmer wrote "Aunty (meaning Rhoda Ann Marvin Fullmer) came to me and wanted me to be sealed to David Fullmer this plurality was contrary too [sic] our traditions and I prayed over it, the scriptures told of righteous men that had more than one wife, and here is an offer of salvation if I reject it then I shall be condemned so then I accepted it. I (am) thankful this day I have done as I have." Sarah passed away January 1, 1906.]
The persecution they had experienced in Missouri was repeated in Nauvoo. David commented,
"We were not permitted to enjoy our home long, for the mobs burned and otherwise destroyed our property and finally drove us from the state of Illinois. I was appointed one of a committee, called "The Living Constitution," whose business it was to settle all difficulties that might arise among the different mechanical associations. I was also elected a member of the City Council of the city of Nauvoo in 1844, and when the State Legislature repealed the charter for the City Nauvoo, I was elected a member of the Town Council of Nauvoo. I was also appointed a member of a Quorum of Fifty." ["Autobiography of David Fullmer."]
Leaving Nauvoo was not without anxiety for Rhoda Ann. Fearing that she and her six children would be left behind, she made it a matter of fervent prayer. Those prayers were answered and another team and wagon and provisions were forthcoming in a trade. David was appointed captain of the 11th company and they left Nauvoo February 16, 1846, and traveled to Garden Grove, Iowa. He was asked by Brigham Young to remain there and assist in the direction of the branch. During this time twins were born to this valiant couple. Rhoda Ann, named after her mother, was born March 15, and David, Jr., was born eleven hours later the following day. This pioneer mother wrote, "I was extremely ill on this occasion and could not have survived had it not been for the faith and power of the priesthood, that were exercised in my behalf." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."] David served as a counselor to the Branch President, Samuel Bent, in Garden Grove and was appointed president upon Bent's death. David had an interesting experience when the entire branch was disfellowshipped in a letter sent by Orson Hyde. [Thomas C. Romney, "The Gospel in Action" Sunday School Lesson book for 1950, pp. 64-69.] This action was based on reports of misconduct among the members, but was rescinded less than a month later when David testified at a hearing in Winter Quarters. He had responsibility to feed and clothe the poor among the Saints in the branch. In the fall they moved on to Winter Quarters where President Brigham Young appointed David a member of a committee of vigilantes.
The following summer President Young asked David to go West with President Willard Richards, the last company to leave that year. Both David's wives remained behind. Rhoda Ann stayed in Winter Quarters with her eight children for two years. She described her circumstances as "trying," and gave credit to the Lord for his strength and sustenance. She recounted two faith promoting incidents.
"In the spring of 1850 many emigrants passed through this place on their way west in search of gold. I did washing for these people which helped me to provide for my family. One family of emigrants stayed at this place to rest awhile and occupied a house near me. I now had a feeling come over me that I must move away with my family. I could not give any reason why I should do this but I could not stay. I felt I must go. I accordingly moved my family about six miles away to a place called Pigeon Creek. In about a week after I left the smallpox broke out in the family of Immigrant gold seekers and the disease spread to many of the saints of the place. I could now see why I was impressed to move away." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
When Rhoda Ann was very short of food, she left her children with only enough corn meal for one cake and journeyed to Council Bluffs, a two-day trip. In her absence to procure provisions, her children had sufficient to eat and some for her on her return. She wrote, "My feelings may be more easily imagined than described. My heart was filled with thankfulness and gratitude to God for His mercy and goodness, for I know this meal was increased." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."] She compared herself to the widow in the days of Elijah.
During his first winter in the valley, David went on an exploring expedition southward and served as a counselor to Parley P. Pratt. In five months those fifty men found many suitable settlement sites and dug themselves out of a lot of snow. David captained a company sent to Independence Rock to relieve a belated company, and assisted Saints journeying westward. Rhoda Ann prepared to travel west at the direction of Brigham Young in the Bishop Edward Hunter Company, assisted by the perpetual emigration fund. She wrote,
"Our wagon was a wooden one having no iron about it but the king bolt. President Orson Hyde thought it not safe, but I told him the wagon would go to Salt Lake if he did not furnish me with a better one. At this answer he smiled and the wagon went to Salt Lake." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
She described meeting David.
"On arriving at the crossing of the Platt River, I had the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing my husband, who had come from Salt Lake Valley with a small company of brethren to establish a ferry at the Platt crossing." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
Her journey of a thousand miles took fourteen weeks, and they arrived in Salt Lake Valley October 12, 1850. Her oldest son drove her wagon and her second and third sons herded the loose stock for the company.
On October 5, 1851, David and Rhoda Ann had their ninth child, Don Peter Marvin. Mary Vilate was born April 16, 1853. Unfortunately, Hortensia Jane died of typhoid fever October 28, 1853, at the age of eleven. Her loss was mourned greatly, and Rhoda Ann described her as "a very exemplary and promising child." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."] Their eleventh and last child, Esther, was born May 23, 1857. Both of David's families lived together in the same house across from Pioneer Park, residing in the Sixth Ward. David and his other wife, Sarah Sophronia, had nine children, seven living to adulthood. What a household! In the Relief Society records, Rhoda Ann was listed as a "weaver," and Sarah Sophronia as a "seamstress." [Peter Fullmer Family Newsletters: 1952 - 1991, p. 175.]
David also took his parents, who were in their seventies, from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake Valley, where he cared for them. After crossing the plains, the three Fullmer brothers, David, John Solomon and Almon Linus, were well known for their diligent efforts in building the State of Deseret. David Fullmer was among the ten men selected to draft the first constitution of the State of Deseret. David served on the committee to direct the location of streets and supervised the fencing of farm land. He was a member of the territorial legislature. David served as treasurer of the University of Great Salt Lake. He was appointed treasurer pro tem for the County of Great Salt Lake and elected treasurer for Great Salt Lake City. David became the Director of the Agricultural Society of the Territory, Chief Judge of the County Court, and was also a school teacher, farmer and home missionary. [See also "Men in Modern Scripture David Fullmer," Church News, October 18, 1969, p. 16.] He served in the Salt Lake Stake Presidency from 1849 until 1866, when he was released because of poor health. David also served as a patriarch until his death on October 21, 1879.
This man left a legacy of faith, service and sacrifice for his family. He often spoke on Temple Square, and bore the following testimony.
"I would not give my experience in the Gospel for all the gold and riches of the world, for it is worth much more to me. Peace, happiness and high anticipation of the future are in this kingdom, out of it I have no hopes, no expectations whatever. ... I have never witnessed so much peace as I have for the last twelve months. We do not appear to have any difficulties amongst ourselves."
"I believe that if we can purchase a seat in the celestial kingdom at the expense of everything we have got, we shall obtain it very cheap; I feel that whatever we do to establish righteousness upon the earth we will be rewarded for ... I can truly say that all the trouble I have is to get along with myself and to keep myself right; I have to look after Brother David and keep him in order and that occupies most of my attention. ..."
"I feel to say, brethren and sisters, let us not go contrary to the instructions of our brethren who preside over us. We have the privilege of seeing those men all the time, and for that reason, peradventure, we do not appreciate their words as highly as we should if they were absent from us part of the time." [Deseret News, May 3, 1857. Quoted in "The Gospel in Action."]
Rhoda Ann praised her husband with the following statements.
"His life was one of labor and devotion to his fellowmen, both in church and civic places of trust to which he never failed to give his best. He was a kind and loving husband and father and was indeed worthy of the love and trust his family and friends placed in him." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
Rhoda Ann was an amazing woman of immense faith, who dearly loved her husband, her family and the truths of the Gospel. She endured tremendous trials without wavering and never complained. This stalwart woman saw adversity as an opportunity for the Lord to bless her. Rhoda Ann knew her Savior and felt His love in her life. She looked upon her mortal probation as a means to a glorious reward and whatever difficulties were placed in her path would not divert her focus. At the end of her autobiography she bore her testimony.
"In conclusion, I desire to leave my testimony of the divinity of this Gospel which has been restored in our day, to my children and their children and on to the last one of them, my descendants, and exhort all who read this narrative that have not yet received this knowledge and who desire to know its truth and great worth will with sincerity seek this knowledge."
Rhoda Ann quoted Moroni 10: 4 and James 1:5, and concluded:
"My testimony I have followed and tested the words of Moroni and found them to be true and the truth will be revealed to all who desire to know and will seek with sincere heart and faith believing in God the Eternal Father and power of the Holy Ghost, they will receive the answer and get a true testimony of its truth and value of salvation."
"My desire is that my posterity to the latest generation, both those now living and those yet to be born, will receive this Gospel and participate in its blessings, which are glorious and many when understood." ["Experiences in the Life of Rhoda Ann Fullmer."]
Rhoda Ann passed away August 18, 1892. Thomas C. Romney wrote the following about David Fullmer. His statements could be applied to Rhoda Ann as well.
"The only conclusive evidence of a man's sincerity is that he gives himself for a principle. Words, money, all things else are comparatively easy to give away; but when a man makes a gift of his daily life and practice, it is plain that in that truth, whatever it may be, he is sincere. (Lowell)"
"Judged by this measuring stick, David Fullmer was sincere in his espousal of the restored gospel and in his adherence to its precepts throughout his eventful life. He made his mistakes, as all men, but his virtues so far outshone his weaknesses as to give him a place among the great and good of his generation. He was not known for his eloquence nor for brilliant achievement in that spectacular sense by which men attract the attention and the loud acclaim of their fellows, but was content to do his simple duty each day without ostentation and in the quiet retreat of his local environment. His life was dedicated to the cause of Mormonism; and from its altar he withheld nothing, deeming no sacrifice too great in the interests of the work of the Lord." ["The Gospel in Action."]
[From "Our Family History...Carol Fullmer Heiner].
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Biography David Fullmer
7 July 18031–21 Oct. 1879.2 Teacher, merchant, farmer.3 Born in Chillisquaque Township, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania.4 Son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfoss.5 Moved to Huntington Township, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, by 1820.6 Married Rhoda Ann Marvin, 18 Sept. 1831, likely in Union Township, Luzerne Co.7 Moved to Jefferson Township, Richland Co., Ohio, 1835.8 Baptized into LDS church by Henry G. Sherwood, 16 Sept. 1836, in Ohio.9 Ordained an elder by Reuben Hedlock, 23 Feb. 1837, in Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio.10 Moved to Caldwell Co., Missouri, 1837; to Daviess Co., Missouri, 1838; and to Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois, 1839.11 Ordained a high priest, Oct. 1839.12 Appointed to Nauvoo high council, 1839.13 Member of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge.14 Served mission to Michigan, 1844.15 Member of Nauvoo City Council; when city charter revoked, appointed to new town council, 1845.16 Admitted to Council of Fifty, 1 Mar. 1845.17 Moved to Iowa Territory as captain of hundred emigrant families, 1846.18 Moved to Garden Grove, Decatur Co., Iowa, 1847.19 Moved to Winter Quarters, unorganized U.S. territory (later in Omaha, Douglas Co., Nebraska), 1847.20 Moved to Salt Lake City, 1848.21 Served in legislature of provisional state of Deseret, 1849, and then of Utah Territory.22 Died in Salt Lake City.23
David Fullmer (7 July 1803 – 21 October 1879)
Contributor: Patty C Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
David Fullmer is immortalized in LDS scripture:
"And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a ahigh council, for the corner-stone of Zion—
"Namely, Samuel Bent, Henry G. Sherwood, George W. Harris, Charles C. Rich, Thomas Grover, Newel Knight, David Dort, Dunbar Wilson—Seymour Brunson I have taken unto myself; no man taketh his priesthood, but another may be appointed unto the same priesthood in his stead; and verily I say unto you, let my servant Aaron Johnson be ordained unto this calling in his stead— David Fullmer, Alpheus Cutler, William Huntington."