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Compiled by Martha Mayo
& Connell O’Donovan

Click on a name below to go to a brief biographical sketch

Women (50) Men (38) Missonaries & Apostles (17)
Miss Annis (daughter) Joseph T. Ball George J. Adams (Apostle & Fifty)
Sister Annis (mother) Charles Hopkins Davis William I. Appleby (Fifty)
Fanny Atherton Eliakim Spooner Davis Ezra T. Benson (Apostle)
Persis Atherton George Augustus Davis Samuel Brannan
Hannah Elida Baldwin Augustus Alwin Farnham Isaac Butterfield
Rhoda Barnes Christopher C. Fisher Jesse Wentworth Crosby
Relief M. Bartlett Francis Fletcher Nathaniel Henry Felt
Louisa Sarah Chandler John Gould Benjamin F. Grouard
Sophia P. Clark Charles Aaron Hardy Orson Hyde (Apostle & Fifty)
Helen Marie Davis Leonard Wilford Hardy William Hyde
Jane Davis Samuel Brocklebank Hardy Eli P. Maginn
Mary Elizabeth Davis William Hardy Julian Moses
Clara Jane Dow Israel Harriman Freeman Nickerson
Sarah Elizabeth Glines Thomas Knowles Parley P. Pratt (Apostle)
Clarissa Henrietta Hardy Enoch Lovejoy Lewis Albert P. Rockwood (Fifty & Danite)
Elvira W. Hildreth Q. Walker Lewis William Smith (Apostle & Fifty)
Mary A. Hills Varanus Libbe Wilford Woodruff (Apostle & Fifty)
Orpha Brown Hopkins George Lloyd Brigham Young (Apostle & Fifty)
Caroline Amelia Knowles Darius Lougee  
Sarah Ann Maria Leavitt Willard Messer
Children in the Branch (27)*
Hannah Maria Libby Joseph Millett Emily Davis
Sarah Libby Loyal C. Nichols Emma Jane Davis
Tirzah Lord Abiel Pevey Ida Lucinda Davis
Angeline Lovett Merrill Cummings Pevey Alwin Augustus Farnham
Catherine Augusta Lovett Lewis Robbins Edwin Francis Fletcher
Ann R. McDonald Jeremiah L. Roundy Charles Eugene Fletcher
Mary Murray William Walker Rust Esther Jane Fletcher
Elizabeth Harriman Nichols D. Sawyer Emma Elisa Knowles
Emily Jane Northrup Cyrus Snell Henry Thomas Knowles
Lucy Jane Nutting Cyrus Alma Snell Enoch R. Lovejoy Lewis
Eliza Osborn George Dixon Snell Emma Priscilla Libby
Mary Jane Pottle John Wesley Snell Lydia A. Libby
Mary Thurston Rand Rufus Phillips Snell Darius M. Lougee
Abigail Seekel Ricketson Samuel Lindsey Sprague Sr. Elizabeth Matilda Lougee
Caroline Bacon Rogers James Stratton Joanna Lougee
Susan Eliza Savage George Washington Wilkins Sarah Jane Lougee
Susan Scranton James Wilson Wilkins Sophia Alpetta Lougee
Harriet Atwood Silver Jefferson Wright William Lougee
Ann Smith Aaron York Susan A. Nichols
Francis Smith   Orianna Elizabeth Pevey
Lucy Meserve Smith   Lewis Galloway Robbins
Zelnora Sophronia Snow   Sariah Eliza Robbins
Elizabeth Stone   George Smith Rust
Louisa Stone   Horace Bradley Rust
Abby Elisa Switzer   Lucy Hannah Snell
Mary N. Thornton   William Smardus Snell
Sarah E. Wallace   Samuel Lindsey Sprague Jr.
Mary Warner    
Mary Matilda Webster    
Esther Bathsheba Wright    

* Unbaptized children under the age of eight



Women & Girls of the Lowell Branch (by Maiden Name)


Sister Annis and Daughter, Miss Annis
During the October 1844 excommunication trials of John Hardy, recently President of the Boston Branch of the LDS Chuch, Hardy called a Mrs. A**** to the witness stand in his defense. Six months later (1845), George B. Wallace, brother of Sarah E. Wallace, recorded in his journal the address of a "Sister Annis" as being 48 Chestnut Street and that is certainly who "Mrs. A****" of Hardy's trial must be - no other known Mormons in Boston, Lowell or New Bedford had a surname that fits. It is probable that Sister Annis of Hardy's trial was Eliza Fales Annis, wife of Lowell resident Rollins B. Annis. The 1844 city directory of Lowell lists "Mrs. Eliza Annis" as living on Jackson Street in Lowell. Why her husband Rollins is not listed with her that year is unknown. Rollins and Eliza Annis, per the 1830 and 1840 censuses, did have a daughter the right age to be involved in this trial but her name is currently unknown, although I hereafter provide one possibility. Note that in the following I assume that "Mrs. A" in the Hardy trials was Eliza Fales Annis.

John Hardy was being tried in an ecclesiastical court for exposing the fact that Apostles William Smith and George J. Adams and their protégés (such as Samuel Brannan and Joseph T. Ball) were seducing young women and performing polygamous marriages. Hardy, although a recently stalwart Latter Day Saint, had never been to Nauvoo and therefore had no idea that polygamy was secretly being practiced there by Joseph Smith and a few other Mormon leaders. Understandably he felt that William Smith's actions were entirely out of line. During his trial, Hardy asked Mrs. Annis to testify about her daughter's engagement to Apostle William Smith. Hardy asked her to confirm that her daughter, Miss Annis (possibly Sarah Annis per the 1850 Census of Lowell) was engaged to William Smith, and that their engagement was "to be consummated as soon as his sick wife [Caroline Grant Smith] is dead". Mrs. Annis however "appeared much confused, exhibited much feeling, and refused to answer at first" but when pressed she said she "knew beans" about the engagement. Hardy then called fellow Mormon Benjamin Brown to the stand, who confirmed he had "had some conversation with Mrs. A." about the engagement. Brown had asked Eliza Annis if her daughter "was engaged to William Smith" and she had replied "she had engaged her to her God, or had dedicated her to him; thereby evading the question." Hardy then asked Brown, "Did Miss A. tell you that William Smith said to her that a woman should have but four children, but that a man should have fifty[?]", which Brown affirmed. John Hardy then introduced testimony

that linen with William Smith’s name marked on the same, had been sent from Mrs. A’s to be washed in a most unutterable situation, and that Mrs. A. visited the lady that did the washing, and accused her of turning traitor! surmising she would testify in the matter. (The particulars of this testimony cannot be here made public.)  It was proved, however, that the witness was about to leave the church on the account of the matter.

William Smith then testified that his blood-stained sheets were not from sexual intercourse with Miss Annis, but from being "troubled with blood biles". Two other witnesses testified "that he had these biles some years since." John Hardy then called Elder Freeman Nickerson to the stand, the patriarch of the Boston Branch who had founded the large branch two years earlier. Nickerson had previously complained to Hardy about Smith's scandalous actions with young women, but now, in the glaring light of a public trial which might question his own faithfulness to Mormon principles (including unquestioned obedience to priesthood superiors) Nickerson backed away from the issue. Hardy, after asking Nickerson to testify about what he knew about William Smith and Miss Annis, reported that Nickerson "was very willing to talk and consume time, but not to answer any questions." Hardy tried a more direct tactic, asking, "Did you not tell me directly that both Mrs. and Miss A. told you that Smith was engaged to the daughter, the marriage to take place as soon as his wife died?" Nickerson waffled and denied this, but stated that Miss Annis "had her eye on a certain individual whose wife was sick, and not expected to live, and she was trying to get him : he thought it was Wm. Smith; he replied to her it was hard to wait for dead men’s shoes, &c." Hardy then recorded that Nickerson "had been browbeat and frightened by Smith to the degree that he dared not testify against him, and even went so far as to state that he never knew any thing against Smith." Therefore Hardy introduced to the church court his affidavit which stated:

I hereby certify in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in view of the judgment, that Elder F. Nickerson came to me and voluntarily offered himself as witness against Smith, told me he had rather have his arm cut off that to testify what he knew of Smith, but he must tell the truth, and he supposed they would also cut him off.  He told me positively that Mrs. A. and daughter told him of the engagement between Smith and daughter, to be consummated as soon as Smith’s wife died ; said he doubted not but they had already cohabited, and [in] confirmation told me of the “washing business,” before referred to; and the old man cried while related the matter to me, and said it nearly killed him, to think the first females to be baptised in Boston should be thus duped and deceived.                                                                               JOHN HARDY.

William Smith then asked Nickerson "if he had not heard it from a number that he was engaged to Miss A. and if that did not cause him to inquire of them concerning it; he answered, he did hear it." Hardy then called Jacob C. Phelps, another Boston Branch member, to testify that William Smith had "exhibited actions" toward a Sister P. that in Phelps's own words "It made your very blood boil!" Phelps confirmed this and "related the particulars" which were of such a sexual nature that Hardy felt they were not proper to publish in his report.

John Hardy then called a Mr. Turner (apparently a non-Mormon who boarded at the Annis home) to testify. Hardy asked him, "Did you not say that you had no doubt but [George J.] Adams and Smith slept with a sister each at the house of Mrs. A. where you board, one with Miss A-------[Annis], the other with Susan Clark?" Turner denied this however. However Hardy pressed Mr. Turner, asking him, "Did you not make arrangements with Mr. B. Brown, to have him come to the [Annis] house on a certain night, and you would let him in, and you had no doubt but he would find them in that position?" Turner confirmed this, so Benjamin Brown was recalled to the stand and asked to confirm Turner's story, which he did. The trial continued with Hardy demonstrating that Smith and Adams had had multiple affairs with several other LDS women in the Boston, Lowell, and New Bedford branches. Still Adams and Smith, both Apostles, browbeat the jury into pitying and siding with them, mainly by blaming the women for constantly seducing the men. According to Hardy's pamphlet (see below for link to a complete transcription), William Smith "jumped, frothed, and roared, and fairly shook the house ; he whined over his manifold persecutions, and told how females were laying their plans to seduce him from the paths of virtue." Even worse for Hardy, Smith and Adams "arose and threatened all that dared vote against them with excommunication". John Hardy was then officially charged with slandering William Smith and George J. Adams, with 95 members agreeing and 25 not agreeing. Elder Samuel Dam then moved that Hardy be "cut off" from the LDS Church, with the vote being 75 yeas and 25 nays (and therefore some 20 abstentions). Thus within the space of some two or three weeks, through a series of ecclesiastical injustices, John Hardy was driven from being one of Mormonism's staunchest defenders in New England, to one of its loudest dissenters and critcs.

Above taken from History of the Trials of Elder John Hardy (etc.), Boston: Conway & Co., 1844

1850 Census of Rumney, Grafton, NH
Rollins B. Annis, 54, M, Maine
Eliza Annis, 46, F, Maine
Oliver P. Annis, 15, M, Maine
George H. Annis, 10, M, Mass.
Joel N. Annis, 5, M, Mass.

1850 Census of Lowell, Mass.
Boarding with Elsie Clough & several single young women (next door to the Durgin family)
Sarah Annis, 21, F, Vermont [sic - Maine?]

1840 Census of Lowell, Mass.
Rollins B. Annis 0/2/0/0/0/0/1 - 0/1/0/0/0/1

1830 Census of Oxford County, Maine
Rollings Annas - 0/2/1/0/0/1/0 - 1/1/0/0/1/0/0/1

Rollins B. Annis, b. 1796 in Maine
Woman b. 1770-1780 (mother or mother-in-law?)
Eliza b. 1804 in Maine
Son - b. 1815-1820 (? Ira Annis, b. 1817 Vermont - md. Brilla P. Corey in Lowell in Nov. 1841)
Daughter - b. 1820-1825
Son - b. 1820-1825
Son - b. 1820-1825
Daughter - b. 1825-1830 (? Sarah Annis, b. 1829 Vermont; in Lowell in 1850)
Son - b. 1830-1835
Oliver P. Annis b. 1835 in Maine
George Henry Annis b. July 17, 1840 in Lowell, Mass; md. Lucy Jane McKean Oct. 25, 1862; d. Sept 9, 1922 per family records
Charles E. Annis, b. 18 December 1842 in Lowell; died November 14, 1845 in Lowell - aged 2 years 10 months
Joel N. Annis b. May 22, 1845 in Lowell per Lowell Birth Records; md. Lovinia

Unnamed son, b. Nov. 19, 1852 in Rumney, Grafton NH, per Rumney Birth Records

Rollins B. Annis was born about 1796 to Benjamin Annis and Sarah (or Eunice) Phelps. He was named after his grandmother, Abigail Rawlings/Rollins. He married (1) Sarah Parker on September 7, 1816 in Augusta, Kennebec, Maine. Married (2) Eliza Fales on June 26, 1830 in Andover, Oxford, Maine. Died in Rumney NH in 1857.


Persis Atherton (Farr)
Born May 27, 1820 in Dalton, Coos, New Hampshire. Persis was one of eleven children of Samuel Atherton and Molly Brown. Molly Brown Atherton died in January of 1835, and later that year, 15 year-old "Perces Athington"and her 24 year-old sister Fanny M. Atherton were baptized by Apostle William E. McLellin on August 10, 1835 in Dalton. With their mother gone from the family, Fanny apparently moved to Lowell and worked in the mills there, appearing in the 1836 Lowell Female Directory, as working in the Lawrence Mill. Fanny M. Atherton married David Harvey Redfield (son of Samuel Russell and Sarah Gould Redfield) on October 26, 1837. Persis then followed her elder sister to Lowell and opened a bank account there in 1838, and at that time was a weaver in the mills. Pesis was a member of the Lowell Branch in May 1843. Her older sister, Fanny M. Atherton and her husband David Harvey Redfield (who also joined the LDS Church) disappear after being endowed in Nauvoo in December 1845.

Persis too went to Nauvoo, where she was married by Joseph Smith to Aaron Freeman Farr on January 16, 1844; they were later sealed in 1846. (Aaron F. Farr, a lawyer born in 1818 in Vermont, had previously fallen in love with Margaret Moon in Nauvoo, not knowing that Margaret had secretly married her sister's husband, William Clayton, as a polygamous wife on April 27, 1843. When Aaron found out, he was devastated and tried to break up the plural marriage. Farr was unsuccessfull even though Margaret Moon Clayton was deeply unhappy about polygamy and nearly left Clayton on several occasions.) Aaron and Persis eventually had five children. Their eldest, Celestia Ann Farr, was born January 3, 1845 in Nauvoo. Persis and Celestia Ann were part of the Daniel Spencer/Ira Eldredge Company of September 1847, while Aaron Farr was two months ahead in Brigham Young's Company. Once Young's company reached Wyoming however, Young sent Aaron Farr back to help the other companies following behind, and thus Aaron eventually joined up with his family on the trek, finding Persis and baby Celestia driving their wagon hitched to two yoke of cattle.

Persis Anna Farr was born November 25, 1848 in Salt Lake City, as were Aaron Freeman Farr Jr. (1850), and Lucian Coridan Farr (1855). Their last child, Ladornia Gilkey Farr was born in Ogden, Utah (1857), where Aaron was a city alderman. Aaron Farr also married two other women: Lucretia Ball Thorpe in 1855 and Hope Estill in 1870.

Their oldest child, Celestia Ann Farr, later married the controversial LDS Apostle Moses Thatcher, who was a morphine addict and constantly battled with First Presidency member George Q. Cannon over Cannon's administrative ineptitude and mismanagement of church funds in various "mining schemes."

Persis Atherton Farr died in Logan, Utah on December 31, 1906.


Hannah Elida Baldwin (Crosby)
Hannah was born 4 March 1820 at St. George, New Brunswick, Canada. She was the second daughter of George Baldwin and Elizabeth Hanson. Hannah's father died in March of 1821, leaving Elizabeth a widow with two young daughters. Before long, the widow Baldwin married Nathan Leavitt (making her the step-sister of Sarah Ann Maria Leavitt) and they eventually relocated their family to Clinton, Maine.

As a young woman, Hannah moved to Lowell, Massachusetts. It was probably at Lowell that she first met Jesse Wentworth Crosby a Mormon missionary from Nova Scotia serving in Massachusetts. Lowell provided needed employment opportunities for the young women of New England. These women lived in company boarding houses and worked a twelve hour day, six days a week. Wages varied from $2.25 to $4.25 weekly, with $1.25 deducted for room and board. According to family tradition, Hannah became a member of the Church in Salem, Massachusetts. The date of her baptism is unknown. Hannah did serve as a Committee Member of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society, organized on July 17, 1844.

Even after Hannah's departure west, several of her sisters continued to live in the Lowell area, some as late as 1906. Note that Hannah E. Baldwin was also the 2nd cousin of Arthur Milliken, husband of Lucy Smith, Joseph Smith's sister.

Whether they met in Lowell or Nauvoo, Jesse courted Hannah and they were married on 23 November (or May) 1845 by Brigham Young. Two months later, they were sealed in the Nauvoo Temple on 28 January 1846. Indeed, the temple figured prominently in their lives during these months. Even as they were preparing to move west, the Saints worked to complete the temple. As noted above, Jesse worked regularly as a laborer on the Nauvoo Temple between June of 1845 and May of 1846, reporting that he worked 262 days on the temple during that period. In addition to being sealed, both Jesse and Hannah took out their Endowments on 10 January 1846.

Their first child, George Henry Crosby, was born October 25, 1846 in Clinton, Kennebec, Maine, where her mother and step father Leavitt were living. Their next child, Jesse Wentworth Crosby Jr., was born in Salt Lake on June 22, 1848. Hannah, Jesse, and George Henry Crosby were part of the Daniel Spencer/Perregrine Session Company, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on 24 and 25 September, 1847. TheJesse eventually had three polygamous wives.

Hannah Elida Baldwin Crosby died on May 2, 1907 in St. George, Utah.


Rhoda Barnes (Snell)
Born November 21, 1815 in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada to John Barnes and Hannah Dixon. Married Cyrus Snell on March 13, 1832 in Sackville. Rhoda's father and maternal grandparents, Charles Dixon or Dickson and Rhoda Emerson, joined the LDS Church in the mid-1830s and moved to Kirtland, Ohio in October 1837. The Snell family probably joined the Mormon Church about the same time, as they named their son Cyrus Alma Snell in 1838; the man's name "Alma" comes from the Book of Mormon.

Cyrus and his entire family are listed in the 1850 Census of Lowell and his occupation is given as "Clothier", so he was probably in Lowell because of the cotton mills.

Migrated to Utah in 1854 in the small, independent Cyrus Snell Company, arriving in Salt Lake on August 27, 1854. They brought with them in their wagon company a nine year old Danish girl named Nicolena Marie Bertelsen, a Danish convert to the church, so she could care for Rhoda, who was very ill at the time of the journey. Nicolena's parents had converted to Mormonism and remained in Denmark while they sent each of their children to Utah alone, one by one, trusting their care to returning missionaries.

Rhoda Barnes Snell died October 26, 1900 in Spanish Fork, Utah.


Relief M. Bartlett (Silver)
Born February 22, 1822 in Bloomfield, Essex, Vermont to Aden or Adin Bartlett (1794-1863) and Nancy Clough (1802-1879), daughter of Joseph Clough (1748-1825).  Aden Bartlett was a veteran of the War of 1812 and died February 11, 1863. Nancy Clough Bartlett died February 10, 1879 or 1884.  Both were buried in the Bloomfield Methodist Cemetary.

Relief was the Secretary of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society when organized on July 17, 1844.

She married William Riley Silver in 1849 (probably in Vermont).  He was the brother of Harriet Atwood Silver, and was born March 27, 1820 in Bloomfield, the son of Arad Silver and Sophia Emily Nichols.  (Since Harriet A. Silver was baptized a Mormon in Lowell on November 27, 1842, it is likely that Relief joined the LDS Church at the same time, as the two women were very close.)

They had eight children:

  1. George Washington Silver (moved to California)
  2. Louise A. Silver
  3. William Riley Silver Jr.
  4. Alvira or Elvira E. or J. Silver born about 1854; married Frank W. Hale of Henniker (his second marriage, her first) on March 26, 1893 in Bloomfield
  5. Henry Silver
  6. Fayette Silver
  7. Alice Silver (md. Edson Holden)
  8. Bernie E. Silver

William Riley Silver Sr. was a lawyer and later assistant judge; served as town representative of Bloomfield in 1858-9 and again in 1884-5.  He died July 26, 1894 (June or July); buried by Rev. R. Dinsmore.  She died February 17, 1901. (Much of this biographical info came from the obituary of Hon. William Riley Silver, Pond Island Herald of Bloomfield, Vermont, July 13, 1894.)


Louisa Sarah Chandler (Pratt)
Born March 12, 1822 or 1823 in Stoddard, Chesire, New Hampshire, to Asa Chandler and Sarah Barrett (Fisher). (Sarah had married Isaac Fisher on October 26, 1814). Sarah Barrett Fisher Chandler died on September 27, 1850 in Dow City, Crawford, Iowa.

Louisa was a Committee Member of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society when it was organized on July 17, 1844.

23 year old Louisa was sealed to 45 year old Mormon apostle Orson Pratt in Nauvoo on January 17, 1846 as his fifth wife; this was just six days after he was disfellowshipped for the second time in his life; his membership was fully reinstated though several days later. She was part of the mass exodus from Nauvoo in February 1846.  She died and was buried on June 12, 1846 in Mt. Pisgah, Iowa.

Her sister, Lovina Chandler (born March 19, 1820), was endowed in Nauvoo on January 23, 1846; she married William Taylor (born June 19, 1823 in Hale, England) on June 19, 1846 in Iowa or Winter Quarters; members of the Edward Hunter-Joseph Horne Emigration Company to Utah of September 1847. Lovina Chandler Taylor died December 1857; William Taylor  married polygamously to Jane Mallett on June 9, 1855 and he died May 10, 1910 in Holladay, Utah.


Sophia Patterson or Perkins Clark (King)
Born in Springfield, Mass. on January 8, 1827. Per 1900 Census, her father was from Vermont and mother from Connecticut.  She heard Mormonism preached when she was 11 (about 1838) and converted, despite attempts by her Baptist congregation to prevent it. Her relatives confined her in her home but she escaped and worked in a factory in Lowell, Mass.

17 year old Sophia Clark testified in the excommunication trial of Elder John Hardy in October 1844 in Boston.  Elder George J. Adams had her testify that Hardy slanderously referred to Adams as a “whoremonger”.  However, when carefully pressed by Elder Hardy, she retracted her signed affidavit and admitted Hardy had only referred to Apostles William Smith and Adams as “bad men”, not whoremongers.  Despite the divisiveness of the Hardy trial and his (true) accusations of what amounted to unauthorized polygamy, adultery, and fornication, Sophia Clark remained loyal to Smith, Adams, and Brannan.

After saving enough to pay for her passage, she then took the ship Brooklyn, under the leadership of Samuel Brannan, to California to join the gathering Saints. There she met Capt. Edward Augustus King (born Sept. 2, 1817 in Salem, Mass.), whom she married in San Francisco. While in SF, they had a daughter (name unknown) who died December 1849 at age of 10 months.  Sophia then gave birth in February 1850 to Eliza A. King.   A son named Edward Watts King died at the age of three months in September 1851. Another daughter, Harriet P. King, was born in San Francisco In May 1852.

Capt. Edward A. King listed in the 1850 San Francisco Directory, working as a "boarding officer", and living between Montgomery and P(owell?) Street. In the 1852/3 Directory he's still in "boarding" and living on Valencia between Stockton and Dupont. King also apparently married Martha Osborn at some point.

Charles H. King was born to the couple in San Francisco in 1855.

Sophia P. Clark King

Another son, Edward Augustus King Jr. (aka “Edward G. King”) was born in September 1857 and almost immediately threafter, Sophia and her children moved to Utah in November 1857, probably with the Robert Crow Company from San Bernardino. Edward King followed them to Utah a year later. 

1860 Census of Salt Lake 13th Ward (7 June 1860) - four houses from George A. and Bathsheba Smith
E A King 43 M Reporter $300 Mass.
Sophia P. King 32 F Mass.
Lizzie A. 10 F Cal.
Harriet P. 8 F Cal.
Charles H. 5 M Cal.
Augustus 3 M Cal.
Frank W. 8/12 Utah

Edward then died December 19, 1860 and she probably gave birth to their last child (Henry) after his death.

1870 Census of Salt Lake 13th Ward
Sofia King 43 F Keeping House $900 Mass.
Eliza 20 F At Home Cal.
Harriet 18 F At Home Cal.
Edward 12 M At School Cal.
Henry 10 M At School Utah
PLUS a 16 year old domestic servant and five male and female boarders in early 20s

1880 Census of SL 13th Ward
Sophia P. King 53 Keeping House
Lizzie A. King 28 At Home
Hattie P. Lawrence 25
Bertie Lawrence Fem. 1
Edward G. King 22 Laborer
Henry F. King 20 (no occup.)

1900 Census of Salt Lake (2nd Ward) - 200 South St.
Edward G. King, Sept 1849, 50, Married 20 years - Cal. Mass. Mass. - Broker
Living with Jas. W. Heywood and Jas. Nesbitt.  Where is wife of 20 years?

1900 Census of Alameda, Alameda, California
Sophia P. King
Liz Guion, born February 1852 or 1853 in California,
Earl Guion (tent worker) born Oct. 1884 in Illinois
Hattie P. Mullery born May 1865 in California
Nicholas M. Mullery (post master) born Dec. 1853 in New York of Irish parents (no children).

Sophia indicated for the census that she had born 8 children, with only three currently alive. 

Sophia then died in Alameda, in April 1908, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Lizzie Guion.

1910 Census of Alameda (Walnut St.)
Lizzie Guion Head 52 Widow (1 child, 1 living) Cal. Mass. Own Income
Earl K. Guion Son 25 Illinois Missouri Cal. Civil Engr. for Rail Road Co.

1910 Census of Alameda (Walnut St. and Clermont Ave)
Hattie P. Mullery Head 45 Wid. (1 child, none living) - Own income

1910 Census – Edward Augustus King Jr. not found

1920 Census of Alameda (Lincoln Ave)
Lizzie A. Guion 69 Widow

1920 Census of Willets, Mendocino, Cal
Earl K. Guion Head 36 Illinois - U.S. U.S. - Civ Engr State High Way Office
Anna C. Guion Wife 29 Arizona - Monenegro Arizona
King E. Guion Son 8 Cal.


Helen Marie Davis (Thurston Reeder)
Born October 29, 1844 in Lowell to Eliakim Spooner Davis and Orpha Brown Hopkins.  17 year old Helen married 55 year old Thomas Jefferson Thurston (born February 12, 1805 in Fairfield or Fletcher, Vermont and later of Ohio) on May 4, 1862 in Ogden, Utah as his third plural wife.  (The Thurstons had arrived in Utah in October 1847 with the Jedediah M. Grant/Willard Snow Company.)  When Helen was 20, she then married 45 year old Francis "Frank" Hubbard Reader or Reeder (who was from England) about 1865 (or March 23, 1887??), again as his third(?) plural wife, and they lived either in Brigham City or Logan, Utah.  Frank had arrived in Utah in 1853 in the Cyrus Wheelock Company.


Jane Davis or Davies (Lougee)
Born February 4, 1816 probably in Lowell.  Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show that a Jane Davis held an account there in 1833, 1834, 1838 and 1839, and she was described as first a drawer, then later as a spinner and weaver in the mills.

Married Darius Lougee as his first wife on November 24, 1839 in Lowell.  Had one son, William, born February 27, 1842 in Lowell.  Jane Davis Lougee died less than a month later, on April 15, 1842 in Lowell and was buried two days later at St. Anne's Episcopal Church.  William then died from diarrhea on September 4, 1842, also in Lowell and he too was buried at St. Anne's.


Mary Elizabeth Davis (Gehrum)
Born May 2, 1848 in Lowell to Eliakim Spooner Davis and Orpha Brown Hopkins. Married Michael Gehrum or Garram (a beer brewer) on June 21, 1866, probably in Atchison, Kansas.  (Gehrum was born June 9, 1837 in Germany.) Listed in 1880 Census living with her father and her two children (Ida M. and George F. Gehrum), but no husband, in Atchison, Kansas.  Her occupation was "housekeeper."


Clara Jane Dow (Rice Goding)
Born 1829 in Concord, New Hampshire, daughter of Ira Dow and Susan Scranton.  Her father died in 1836. She and her widowed mother worked as mill operatives in Lowell. The two women also joined the LDS Church. In fact, 15 year old Clara served as a Committee Member of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society when it was organized on July 17, 1844.   (An 1838 sampler she made in memory of her father, Ira, recently sold on the Internet.)

She was married in Lowell first to Benjamin P. R. Rice on August 26, 1845.  He was a 24 year old cabinet maker, son of Charles and Hannah Rice.  They divorced before 1850 and he moved to Dunstable, Mass. Benjamin P. Rice then married second, Jerusha H. ________ about 1851. (Benjamin also had a sister, Mary Ann Rice, born February 6, 1828 in Chesterfield NH; she was a mill operative who died in Lowell on May 30, 1849, age 21 y, 3 m, 2 d.)

Clara Jane Dow Rice then married David Nutter Goding on May 21, 1852 in Lynn, Mass.  Their children were:

  1. Albert Monroe Goding (b. July 23, 1853; married Georgiana E. Brown on January 1, 1878)
  2. David Arthur Goding (b. December 29, 1853; died in Indiana after 1880)
  3. Clara Arvilla Goding (b. October 8, 1856; died November 4, 1856)
  4. James Alfred Goding (b. April 23, 1859 in Brighton Mass.; married Clara Tuttle)

Clara Jane Dow Rice Goding then died October 8, 1859 in Brighton, Mass. and her widowed husband remarried to Elizabeth Ludgate (b. 1837 in Ireland) on March 11, 1861 in Charlestown, Mass. and they had four more children.


Sarah Elizabeth Glines (Millett)
Born August 13, 1830 in Franklin, Merrimack, New Hampshire (or Peterborough, NH) to James Pearson Glines and Ruth Brown. Listed in the 1850 Census of Manchester, Hillsborough, NH living with two older brothers, a future sister-in-law, and several other young adults in one household (apparently to pool their meager resources). Her father, James, is listed as living in the Poor House in Franklin, NH, and he died there one year later. Location of mother unknown (although allegedly she survived until 1868.) Sarah married Joseph Millett or Millet on March 26, 1854 in Lowell. Their first child, Artimus Millett, was born June 21, 1855 in Marquette, Iowa and he died two months later. Migrated to Utah with her husband in the Second Wagon Company of the Canute Peterson Company comprised of mostly Scandinavian Saints and a few U.S. citizens, arriving in Salt Lake mid-September, 1856. Her brother, James Harvey Glines, had preceeded her to Utah four years earlier, with his wife and children. Other siblings also joined the LDS Church and migrated to Utah.

She and Joseph had 10 children total, born all over Utah and Nevada. She died in Springdale, Utah on October 4, 1889.


Clarissa Henrietta Hardy (Russell)
Born November 20, 1834 in Bradford, Essex, Mass. to Leonard W. Hardy and Elizabeth Harriman Nichols. Lived in Lowell in the late 1840s. Migrated to Utah with her parents in 1850 when she was 15.

Married Alonzo Havington Russell (Dec. 11, 1853) as his third polygamous wife, and had three children. She then divorced him and married Wilford Woodruff in 1855 as his umpteenth polygamous wife (then divorced) with no children. Finally she marriedThomas William Winter (Feb. 11, 1867) as his fifth polygamous wife and had three more children by him.

Died September 3, 1903 in Salt Lake City.


Elvira W. Hildreth (Silver)
Born about 1800 in New Hampshire. Married James Buswell Silver about 1817. Worked in the Lowell mills with her niece (by marriage) Harriet Atwood Silver.  Did she also join LDS Church?

She and James had four children: Frederick (md. Jane M. _______), Elizabeth Ellen, James, and Henry Silver, all born in New Hampshire in the 1820s. James Buswell Silver died on December 25, 1835. [An Elvira Hildreth married Hartwell Ross in Lowell on April 1, 1838.]

In Lowell in the 1850 Census, apparently working as the head of a boarding house for mill manufacturers. Her son Frederick and his wife Jane M. were living in the house with her.


Mary A. Hills (Fisher)
Born November 20, 1818 to Timothy Smith Hills and Patty Gates in Penfield, Monroe, New York. Married Christopher C. Fisher on July 29, 1839. Member of the Lowell Branch on May 8, 1843. In 1847 had a daughter named Eliza A. while living in New York. They may have gone to New York to join Brannan's shipload of Mormons headed to California but were turned away for lack of funds. By 1850, the Fisher family was living in the Poor House in Greenfield, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.


Orpha Brown Hopkins (Davis)
Born July 15, 1815 in Grantham, Cheshire, NH to Abram Hopkins and Mary Brown.  Married Eliakim Spooner Davis on October 18, 1841 in Lowell. Had seven children.

Orpha Brown Hopkins Davis died February 10, 1863 in Milton, Morgan, Utah.


Caroline Amelia Knowles (Webb)
Sister of Thomas Knowles. Born August 29, 1824/1828/1829, probably in Manchester, England to Richard Knowles and Sarah Rostrin/Rossiter. Baptized Mormon on November 7, 1841 in Bristol Branch, England.

Caroline married David Webb on Dec. 22, 1850 in Salt Lake City as his polygamous wife. He had married Esther or Hester Olpin in 1843 in Bristol, England (perhaps while on or after his mission?) He may have been the "Elder Webb" who baptized her brother, Thomas, a month after her own baptism. First child was Annette Elizabeth Webb born 1851 in Spanish Fork. About a year later moved to Nephi and she died there 27 Nov 1908. Had fourteen children total, but not all lived to adulthood. Named a daughter Zelnora in 1867 - did she know Zelnora Sophronia Snow in Lowell? Or only in Utah?

David Webb was born January 17, 1820 in Coaley, Glouc., England. 1850 Census of Utah County, Utah lists him with both wives and one daughter, Amelia.

Caroline Knowles Webb died on November 27, 1908 in Nephi, Utah.


Emma Elisa Knowles
Born 8 Dec 1848, Dracut, Middlesex, Mass. (now part of Lowell) to Thomas Knowles and Eliza Osborn; died 8 Dec 1849, Council Bluffs, Iowa.


Sarah Ann Maria Leavitt (Lougee)
Born Dec 2, 1822 in Clinton, Kennebec, Maine to Nathan Leavitt and Elizabeth Hanson. Step-sister of Harriet Elida Baldwin.

Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show that Sarah Leavitt had an account there as a weaver in the mills in 1841.  She married Darius Lougee as his second wife on June 25, 1843 in Lowell and eventually they also divorced. 

Children of Sarah Ann Maria Leavitt and Darius Lougee were as follows:

  1. Sarah Jane Lougee was born on 14 Jun 1844. She died from dropsy of the brain on 1 May 1845 at Lowell, Middlesex, MA.
  2. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Matilda Lougee was born on 1 Dec 1845 in New Hampshire. She died on 12 Jan 1916 at Billerica, Middlesex, MA, at age 70. She was buried at Lowell Cemetery, Cushing Ave., Lowell, Middlesex, MA.
  3. Joanna "Anna" Lougee was born on 31 Mar 1847. She married Charles W. Jones on 7 Sep 1869 at Lowell, Middlesex, MA. She died on 22 Feb 1892 at age 44. She was buried at Lowell Cemetery, Cushing Avenue, Lowell, Middlesex, MA.
  4. Sophia "Fida" Alpetta Lougee was born on 2 Nov 1848. She died unmarried on 28 Feb 1887 at Lowell, Middlesex, MA, at age 38. She was buried at Lowell Cemetery, Cushing Ave., Lowell, Middlessex, MA.
  5. Darius M. Lougee was born on 5 Dec 1850. He died on 6 Sep 1851 at 62 Lawrence Cr., Lowell, Middlesex, MA.

About 1854, Darius Lougee left her and migrated to Utah alone, where he married other polygamous wives. Sarah Ann Maria Leaveitt Lougee died May 29, 1899, probably in Mass. 

1870 Census of Lowell lists mother Sarah A. Lougee (born in Maine) with daughters Lizzie M., Fida A., and Anna (Jones) along with Anna's newly-wed husband Charles Jones (of Maine), all living in Sarah Lougee's boarding house for mills workers (about 34 men, women, and a few children).


Hannah Maria Libby (Smith Smith)
Hannah was the daughter of Nathaniel and Tirzah Lord Libby, born June 28, 1828 in Ossipee, Grafton, New Hampshire. She began working in the mills at the age of 11, certainly as a "doffer", replacing the empty spools. Girls aged 10-12 were hired for this safe and easy job. Although the 14-hour shifts (5:00 am to 7:00 pm) were long, doffing only took 15 minutes every hour, and the young girls were allowed to leave the mills for the other 45 minutes. They were also well-paid and received three "substantial meals" every day. As she grew older, she would have been given new responsibilities and harder (and better paying) jobs to do. Nathaniel Libby died July 18, 1840, possibly in Lowell.

The two Libby sisters joined the LDS Church on May 15, 1844. In 1905, Elder Joseph F. Smith (1876-1972) wrote to Richard C. Evans, counselor in the First Presidency of the Reorganized LDS Church, that "William [Smith] entered into plural marriage in the Prophet's day and his wives lived here in Utah. They were Precilla M. Smith, Sarah Libby and Hannah Libby. One of these is still living today." (Joseph F. Smith, Blood Atonement and the Origin of Plural Marriage, Deseret News Press: Salt Lake City, 1905, p. 49.) The first of William Smith's plural wives mentioned here was Persillia Mogridge (or Morgridge) from Wiltshire, England. She and William Smith were married in August 1845 in Nauvoo and then she married man named Lowery and later William Carter Staines. William Smith may have married the Libby sisters in Lowell after their baptisms, or he may have married them later in Nauvoo (about August 1845, as with Persillia Mogridge).

After William Smith's excommunication on October 19, 1845, the two Libby sisters then married his first cousin, George Albert Smith on November 20, 1845. Hannah Maria Libby Smith Smith died in 1906, and was therefore the one referred to above by Joseph F. Smith as "still living today" in 1905.


Sarah Ann Libby (Smith Smith)
Sarah Ann was born on May 7, 1818 to Nathaniel and Tirzah Lord Libby, in Ossipee, Grafton, New Hampshire. Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show that Sarah Libby was a carder in 1841. Her family records also document that she was a pastry cook for one of the boarding houses in Lowell.

She and her sister both married William Smith, and after his excommunication, they married his cousin George Albert Smith (see Hannah's entry for details).

Sarah Libby Smith Smith died in 1851 in Salt Lake. Her only child, John Henry Smith, was an apostle who married Sarah Farr, niece of Aaron and Persis Atherton Farr. John Henry and Sarah Farr Smith's son, also named George Albert Smith, became president of the LDS Church in 1945.


Tirzah or Thirzah Lord (Libby)
Born 1794 in Lebanon, York, Maine to Nathan Lord and Mercy Knox.  Married to Nathaniel Libby on November 24, 1813 in Lebanon, ME.  Mother of two of the plural wives of William Smith, Hannah Maria and Sarah Ann Libby, although she herself did not join the LDS Church and apparently disowned her two daughters who did.  Tirzah died in Lowell on October 26, 1846 (age 52).  She was an “operative” in the mills and died of apoplexy.  Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records indicate that Tirzah Libby had a bank account there in 1846 and was a housekeeper.


Angeline M. Lovett (Kittleman)
Born about 1828 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Mass. to Thomas Lovett and Mary Morgan, sister of Catherine Augusta Lovett (see below). Samuel Brannan married her to Thomas Kittleman in San Francisco on December 19, 1847. Kittleman was a millwright by trade but Brannan appointed him the Constable of San Francisco in early 1848.

They apparently left California for Utah in the fall of 1848, instead of when the most of the Kittleman family migrated to Utah with the Gold Train, in the Thomas Rhoades Company of 1849. However, there is no record of them in Utah. Note that Thomas' father, John Kittleman, stayed in California and moved to Santa Cruz about 1850 and died there in 1857.


Catherine Augusta Lovett (Wilkins)
Born on April 25, 1823 to Thomas Lovett and Mary Morgan in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Mass.  Married George Washington Wilkins in Lowell on July 4, 1846.  Migrated to Utah overland April to October 1849 in the Allen Taylor Company.  Stayed in Salt Lake until 1852.  Adopted an Indian child, whose parents had been killed by Mormon settlers, “Moroni A. Wilkins”, born in Iron City, Iron County, Utah in January 1849.  Stayed in San Bernardino until 1855, when they left there with the William McBride Company, traveling over the Mojave Desert to Utah. They then settled permanently in Spanish Fork.  They had eight children total.  Catherine died in Spanish Fork on December 5, 1874.


Ann R. McDonald (Gould)
Mormon woman who married John Gould May 22, 1842 in Lowell; she is mentioned in Woodruff's journal for October 1848.  May be the daughter of Daniel McDonald (in 1840 Census of Lowell, b. 1790-1800).


Mary Murray (?)
(Single woman, 36 years old, on the Brooklyn ship – worked in Lowell???)

??Born 1801 in New York. Married 2nd Isaac Chauncey Haight in 1849 in Salt Lake.  She married ____ Murray and had Carlos G. Murray and William Murray.

Lowell bank records show that a Mary J. Murray had an account there in 1834 and she was a spinner in the mills at the time.

A Mormon woman named Mary A. Murray married Frederick Kesler/Kessler (b. 1816 in PA) as a polygamous wife.  Was particularly close to her sister-wife Abigail Dow Snow Kesler, who named a son Murray Miles Kesler, after Mary A. Murray Kesler.


Elizabeth Harriman Nichols (Hardy)
Born in New Hampshire about 1796. Married Leonard Wilford Hardy in September 1826 in Bradford, Mass.  Had four children: Charles Aaron, William, Rufus Leonard (died at 2), and Clarissa Henrietta or Harriman Hardy.   Moved to Lowell by 1846 and converted to Mormonism.

Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show that a "Betsey Hardy" had an account there in 1848.  Her occupation was a weaver at that time.  Clarissa H. Hardy would have been 14 at the time, certainy old enough to allow her mother to work outside the home.

Died in Salt Lake City on October 13, 1872, aged 76.


Lucy Jane Nutting (Ferguson)
Born 1 Oct 1825, Hatfield, Hampshire, MA to Bryant Nutting and Matilda Belding. Died 7 Jan 1895, Salt Lake City, UT and Buried: Salt Lake City Cemetery, Plot. E Block 11 Lot 14-5, Salt Lake City, UT

Baptized 14 April 1843 by John M. Woolley in the Little River, MA. She was the only member of her family to join the LDS Church; she was age 18 and unmarried. She had been working in a mill and laid up enough money to pay her passage from New York to San Francisco.

Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records indicate that a Lucy Nutting, "spinner", held an account there in 1844.

In 1846 she sailed from New York on the ship Brooklyn with Samuel Brannan, landed in San Francisco, where she found employment as a waitress in John H. Brown's newly opened Portsmouth House Hotel.

Lucy m arried "General" James Ferguson, an Irish convert, in San Francisco. He was a Sgt. Major in the Mormon Battalion. After the wedding, they rode a black stallion all the way to Salt Lake City. They traveled with the Ebenezer Brown Company leaving California 10 Aug 1848 and arriving in Salt Lake City 10 Oct 1848. Her husband, James Ferguson became a lawyer, orator, and a very popular actor on the stage in Salt Lake City.  He died in Lehi, Utah 30 Aug 1863 at the age of 35. She raised 5 children.


Lucy Nutting Ferguson died January 7, 1895 in Salt Lake City.


Eliza Osborne (Knowles)
Born April 19, 1818 in Abbeston, Glouc., England to Thomas Osborne (a lime burner) and Ann Barrett.

(husband) Thomas Knowles b: 11 May 1823, Manchester, Eng
1841: LDS, Bristol, Mass.
1844: Throstle spinner

Eliza Osborne (b: Eng) married 27 Dec 1844 Thomas Knowles, in Bristol, Mass.

1845: LDS, Bristol – priest
1845-1847: Lowell
1848: Lawrence, MA – weaver, h. Elm Street
1849: Council Bluffs, IA (Member of the Council Point Branch until 1851)
1852: Utah, probably in the John Tidwell Company


  1. Henry Thomas Knowles b: 10 or 16 Apr 1847, Lowell - married three or four women polygamously and died 1922 in Nephi, Utah. 
  2. Emma Elisa/Eliza Knowles born 8 Dec 1848, Dracut, Middlesex, Mass. (now part of Lowell); died 8 Dec 1849, Council Bluffs, Iowa.
  3. Emmaline Louise Knowles b: 5 Jan 1852, Council Bluffs, IA d. 1911 in Nephi, Utah.
  4. Alva Gowan/Growing Knowles b: 23 May 1854, Nephi, UT, died 1931 in Nephi.
  5. Unity Ann Knowles b. 1857 married Frederick William Chappell, died in 1957 in Nephi.
  6. Sarah Marie b. 1859 d. 1955 in Nephi.

Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show that an Elizabeth Knowles, "weaver", had an account there in 1846.

Died September 14, 1864.


Orianna Elizabeth Peavey/Peva/Pevey
Born 1847 to Merrill Cummings Pevey and Elizabeth Stone in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1850 went to Utah with her parents but they left Mormonism and returned to Lowell by 1860. She worked as a seamstress, never married and lived with her parents until their deaths. In 1910, she was living with Alfred F. and Florence G. Prescott in Lowell. In 1920 she was a lodger with the John Kydd family, next door to her cousin, Franklin S. Pevey (son of Abiel).


Mary Jane Pottle (Farnham)
Born in Rock Farm, Exeter, New Hampshire on April 20, 1817, to Samuel W. Pottle and Mary Jane Leavitt. Her family moved to Lowell before 1837, as her youngest brother, Henry W. L. Pottle was born there on March 11, 1837. Samuel was elsewhere in 1840, as only "Mrs. M. Pottle" is listed in the 1840 Census of Lowell. (The US Pension Bureau says he died in June 1843 at Natchez, Mississippi or in Sept. 1854 in Russellville, Alabama.) Joined the Mormon Church before 1840 (along with just three daughters).  In 1850, her mother and youngest sister and brother Christiana and Henry were living in Litchfield, Hillsborough, NH. Mary Jane Leavitt Pottle died in Boston on March 1, 1884.

Mary married Augustus Alwin Farnham (from Andover, Mass) in Boston on July 5, 1840 (and they eventually divorced on October 13, 1859 in Salt Lake City).  Their first child, Alwin Augustus Farnham, was born in Lowell on April 19, 1841.  By 1842 they had moved to Morgan City, Scott County, Illinois, and by January 1845 had moved to Nauvoo (Augustus being baptized in 1843).  They moved briefly to St. Louis in 1847, where Augustus served as counselor to President Nathaniel H. Felt. In July 1849, they joined the Silas Richards Company (inexplicably listed as Sarah Farnham, with children Sarah M., Mary J., and Rebecca).

Around August-September 1849, while passing through Wyoming, 7 year old Alwin was chasing his 6 year old sister Ann around the camp fire and they both stumbled and fell into the fire, burning themselves so badly that they both died. Their father made tin coffins for the two, and preserved their corpses until they arrived in Salt Lake on October 19, 1849.  There, the grieving family buried their two oldest children on the banks of City Creek under a large tree.  Augutsus took his first plural wife (Caroline Pill) in February 1858, which Mary Jane apparently resisted.  When Augustus wanted to add a third wife to the family, she left the Mormon Church, divorced Farnham at the end of 1859, and returned to St. Louis, Missouri where she ran a boarding house in the downtown area.

Mary Thurston Rand (Rust)
Born February 17, 1806 in Haverhill, Grafton, NH to George Rand and Anna Smith.  Married William Walker Rust on July 24, 1832 in Cabot, Caledonia, Vermont.  Bore five children: George Smith (1834 - Lowell, Vermont), Dexter (1835 - Lowell, Vermont; died 1836), Horace Bradley (1836 - Danville, Vermont; died June 21, 1850 unknown), Eben (1837 - Danville, Vermont; died Oct 1838 unknown), and Mary E. Rust (April 20, 1839 in Lowell, Mass.)  Mary Thurston Rand Rust died in Lowell, Mass. soon after giving birth to Mary, on August 24, 1839, and then Mary E. Rust died in Lowell in October 1839.  [Not found in Lowell Vital Records.]  Mary Thurston Rand Rust was apparently reinterred in Lehi, Utah in July 1935.


Abigail Seekel Ricketson (Maginn)
Abigail was born in New Bedford, Mass. about 1825 to Elihu Ricketson and Reliance Snow (any relation to Zelnora Snow?), both of Dartmouth. Her father, Elihu, was the son of Cook and Sarah Sherman Ricketson, born July 27, 1798 in Dartmouth. Abigail married Elder Eli P. Maginn 27 Jan 1844 (a polygamous marriage for him as he had a wife in Nauvoo [Hannah?] - did both women know about the other?)  She also converted to the LDS Church and was present during the John Hardy excommunication trial in October 1844, personally reporting the event to New Bedford's Branch President, George B. Wallace (brother of Sarah E. Wallace) on October 28. Abigail was widowed just months later, April 27, 1844 in Lowell.  

Abigail Ricketson Maginn died October 9, 1847.


Caroline Bacon Rogers (Hardy)
Born September 16, 1806 in Maine. Married Samuel Brocklebank Hardy. Migrated to Utah in 1850, with their five children (all born in Massachusetts); a sixth child, 2 year old daughter Caroline Matilda, died during the journey. They were in the Wilford Woodruff Company, leaving Kanesville, Iowa on June 15, 1850 and arriving in Salt Lake on October 14.

Caroline Rogers Hardy died November 21, 1898.


Susan Eliza Savage (Angell)
Born 1 Jan 1825, Skowhegan, ME to Jacob Savage Jr. and Eliza Cates.

Susan Eliza Savage Angell, selft-portrait

She was a dress maker, school teacher & artist. She became a Mormon about 1844. Even though she was not a memer of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society, she named her oldest and her youngest daughters after Zelnora S. Snow and Hannah Elida Baldwin, who were both members of that Society, so she must have been closely tied to it. Susan's sister Hannah Savage (born in Maine in 1832) also came to the Lowell/Boston area. Hannah married Moses M. Young and they lived in East Boston. In 1857, after completing a mission to Europe, Truman O. Angell visited Hannah and Moses in Boston.

In 1846 she sailed from New York on the ship Brooklyn with Samuel Brannan, landed in San Francisco. Traveled to Utah with the "gold train" in July 1849, as part of the Thomas Rhodes Company.

On April 20, 1851 Susan married Salt Lake Temple architect Truman O. Angell (as his second of three plural wives) and mothered six children. She died 19 July 1893 in Logan, Utah and was buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery (Burial No. 19351 Plat C Block 13 Lot 10).

Deseret Evening News, July 19, 1893:

Mrs. Susan E. Angell, of this City, passes away.

At 7 o’clock this morning, Sister Susan E. Angell, widow of the late Truman O. Angell, Church architect for the Salt Lake Temple, died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Serge Ballif, in Logan. The lady was a resident of this city, and ten days ago went to Logan to visit her daughter. She was then in the enjoyment of unusually good health. About a week ago she took ill, with the result stated, the cause of her demise being dropsy of the heart. Her funeral will take place on Friday.

Sister Angell had an interesting history, and in her life experienced many sever trials for the Gospel's sake. She was a native of Skowhegan, Maine, and was sixty-eight years of age on the first of last January. When about eighteen years of age she heard the Gospel and received it. Her family was very much averse to the position she had taken, and as a consequence she had to leave home. She had been reared in comparative affluence, and given such advantages of education as the time afforded, so when she left home and had to engage as a factory girl in Lowell the experience in that portion was very severe. She saved up money enough to take passage in the ship Brooklyn, and was one who made the famous voyage on that vessel to California in 1846. She was in the Golden State at the time of the discovery of gold there. In 1849 she came to Utah, having traveled most of the way from California on foot. In 1851 she became the wife of Elder T.O. Angell. She was a woman of most excellent qualities and attainments. She leaves six living children, three sons, and three daughters.


Susan Scranton (Dow Nichols Pratt)
Born in 1809 to Elisha Scranton in New York. Married first Ira Dow (b. 1803) but she was widowed by 1836, and living in Lowell at Appleton Mills #14. Their daughter, Clara Jane Dow, moved to Lowell with her. Susan Scranton Dow married second Loyal C. Nichols in Lowell on January 1, 1837 and later that year gave birth to Susan A. Nichols (in New Hampshire?), their only child. The family (including Clara) became Mormons about 1842 and Loyal was ordained an Elder and apparently served as Branch President. After Loyal died in 1844, the widow and her daughter Susan lived in a boardinghouse on Green St. for two years. In 1847, they lived on Elm St. On May 4, 1847, she then married third the widower Joseph Lewis Pratt (b. 1813-1821) in Lowell. They moved to Lynn, Mass. by 1850 where he worked as a shoemaker and cordwainer. Susan Scranton Dow Nichols Pratt last appeared in the 1880 Census of Woburn, Mass.


Harriett Atwood Silver (Dunn)
Born 22 Jul 1818, Bloomfield, Vermont to Arad Silver and Sophia Emily Nichols.

Family consisted of ten children, six boys and four girls: Samuel Newel, Harriett Atwood, William Riley, Charles Bingham, Norris Wesley, Mary Adeline, Oscar Hayes, Albert Allen, Samantha Johnson, and Louisa Augusta.

When Harriet was a young girl she left her home and found work in the mills of Lowell. It was in Lowell, in the year 1842, Harriet heard the gospel and became interested in it. In a short time, she, along with her three girl friends, were converted to its truthfulness and were baptized. They immediately made preparations to go west, to the gathering place of the saints.

Her three friends sailed from New York on the ship "Brooklyn," with Samuel Brannan, landed in San Francisco, and later came to Utah. Harriet, on the other hand, left her home alone, and joined the saints in Nauvoo. She shared in the persecutions of the saints, and was driven with the body of the Church, from their homes. In February she crossed the Mississippi River on the ice, and traveled with the Saints to Winter Quarters.

Married Simeon Adams Dunn as his fourth wife (of six). Dunn, a convert to the Church, from the State of New York, was also on his way west at this time, having left Nauvoo in May, 1846, with four little motherless children, the mother having died in Nauvoo. He met Harriet at Winter Quarters, and they were married by President Brigham Young in the fall of 1847 (or January 3 1847?).  Were members of the 17th Ward at Winter Quarters. They left Winter Quarters on June 5, 1848, and shared in all the trials and hardships of the westward journey as part of the huge (1220 people) Brigham Young Company. Their team consisted of one yoke of oxen and one yoke of cows. The cows supplied the family with milk as they traveled. They arrived in Salt Lake at the end of September, 1848.

Harriet died ten years later, at the age of 39, on January 2, 1858.


Harriett Silver Dunn
Harriett Atwood Silver Dunn


Patriarchal Blessing
Winter Quarters, Omaha, Nebraska
May 26th, 1847

A blessing by John Smith, Patriarch, upon the head of Harriet A. Dunn, daughter of Arad and Sophia Silver, born at Bloomfield, Essex County, Vermont, July 22, 1818.

Sister Harriet, I place my hands upon thy head, in the name of Jesus Christ, and seal upon thee a father's blessing. Thou art a lawful heir to all the blessings that have been promised to the children of Joseph by his father Jacob. Thy name shall be held in honorable remembrance in the House of Israel because of thy faith in the promises of the Lord.

The Lord shall bless thee, thou shalt raise up a posterity that shall be numerous and very great. Thou shalt have power to heal the sick in thine house by the prayer of faith. Thou shalt be blessed with health, peace, and plenty. Thy table shall be well supplied and no good thing shall be withheld from thee. Thou shalt be clothed with all the power of the Priesthood in common with thy companion; be able to redeem thy dead and living friends, all that falls to thy lot, and do every work that your heart desires in righteousness; shall live, if you desire it, to dwell with the Saints in a land of peace and safety. Come up in the morning of the Resurrection with all thy friends, inasmuch as thou art faithful.

Thou shalt enjoy all the blessings of the Redeemer's kingdom, worlds without end.



Ann Smith (Libby)
Born about 1820 in Maine?  Daughter of Jonathan Smith (born May 1780 in Newry, Oxford, Maine) and Lydia Brown (born about 1790 in Bethel).  Had brothers Lawson C. Smith (md. Agnes) born 1821 and Elijah R. Smith (unmarried).  Married in 1842 to Varanus/Varanes Libby, who was baptized Mormon along with Mary Thornton (below) in 1848 in Lowell.  It is not known if she herself joined the LDS Church, but it is likely. She and Varanus had two daughters: Lydia A. Libby born Sept. 27, 1843 in Lowell; and Emma Priscilla Libby born June 2, 1849 in Medford, Middlesex, Mass.  Ann's brother, Elijah R. Smith, who worked in the shipping industry, was born in Maine about 1829 and was living with her husband and children in Chelsea by the 1880 Census, and after her death.

Lowell bank records show that an Ann Smith had an account there in 1837 and her occupation was working in a cloth room.

Ann Smith and Mormon pioneer Lucy Meserve Smith were first cousins (i.e. their fathers, Jonathan and Josiah Smith, were brothers).


Francis Smith (Robbins)
Born in Waterford, Oxford, Maine on October 16, 1811 to Isaac Smith (no relation to the Josph Smith family) and Eunice Cutler (their youngest of seven). Married Lewis Robbins on October 26, 1837 in Kirtland, Ohio (then Mormon headquarters). They had a daughter named Sariah Eliza born September 8, 1838 in either Far West, Missouri. Although a resident of Boston, she and her husband were involved with the administration of the Lowell Branch. She was one of the seven women and nine men who signed a certificate of support for William Smith on November 11, 1844, in the aftermath of the excommuncation of Elder John Hardy in October 1844. She then had a son named Lewis Galloway Robbins 1847 in Iowa.

While Lewis was away on a mission to England, Francis Smith Robbins died in August 1849 in either Winter Quarters, Nebraska or Pottawattamie County, Iowa.


Lucy Meserve Smith (Smith)
Worked in a mill but not known if in Maine or Lowell (Mormon historian Jill Mulvay Derr says Lowell).  She is accounted for in the 1840 Census of Newry, Maine, still living with her parents.  Baptized in the 1830s?  First cousin of Ann Smith Libby of Lowell (above).

Born February 9, 1817 in Newry or Bethel, Oxford, Maine to Josiah Smith and Lucy Messervy Dean or Bean.  Married George Albert Smith November 29, 1844 in Nauvoo. Endowed in Nauvoo on December 29, 1845.  Had one son, Don Carlos Smith, b. Sept. 11, 1846 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska; he died in Winter Quarters on July 22, 1847 (the same day that his father George Albert entered the Salt Lake Valley with Orson Pratt the very first time); Lucy nearly died of starvation herself at Winter Quarters.  She arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 27, 1849 at 11 o’clock at night, part of the George A. Smith/Dan Jones Company. Her daily journal of this journey is a major source of information on the pioneer trail.

Lucy’s brother, David Smith, was baptized on March 5, 1840 at age of 20.  He married Phoebe Bowley in Nauvoo in 1843 and died in March 1847 in San Diego, California as a member of the Mormon Battalion.

In 1856 was living in Provo and headed the Provo women’s efforts to heal and support the survivors of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies. Under Lucy’s leadership (having worked in the mills), the Provo women spent all winter spinning wool, quilting 27 quilts, and making clothes for the survivors.

Listed in the 1880 Census of Salt Lake, with two boarders in her home.  Died October 5, 1892 in Salt Lake and is buried in the City Cemetary.


Zelnora Sophronia Snow (Glover)
Born 25 Feb 1824, Bernardston, MA to Prince Snow and Asenath Scott. Died 20 Jun 1900, Lewiston, UT. Buried in Farmington City Cemetery Section F Lot 48 grave 64, Farmington, UT.

At age 19, she went to Lowell to work in a mill and was a tailor by trade. She began attending the LDS Church and was baptized April 11, 1844. She was a Committee Member of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society when it was organized on July 17, 1844. In 1846 she sailed from New York on the ship Brooklyn with Samuel Brannon, landed in San Francisco, and later came to Utah.

She traveled with the William Glover Family to Salt Lake in the "gold train" (or Thomas Rhoades Company) July to September, 1849 (along with Susan Savage).  She became 2nd wife of William Glover, Jr. on 7 Jul 1851, and they had 5 children in Utah.

Zelnora Sophronia Snow Glover


Elizabeth Stone (Peavey)
Elizabeth was born Feb. 24, 1817 in Fitzwilliam, Cheshire, New Hampshire to Martin Stone and Betsey Valentine/Ballard.  Married Merrill Cummings Peavey/Pevey on June 3, 1841 in Greenfield, Mass.  They moved to Lowell in the late 1840s and knew Apostle Wilford Woodruff there.  Merrill died in Lowell August 8, 1873.  They had one daughter, Orianna Elizabeth Pevey, born in Lowell on July 12, 1847. 

The Pevey Family migrated to Utah in the 1850 Wilford Woodruff Company, along with Leonard W. Hardy and Samuel B. Hardy and their families. The parents were "sealed" together by Mormon priesthood (married for eternity) in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on March 30, 1852.  However they soon abandoned Mormonism and returned to Lowell by 1860.  Elizabeth Stone Pevey died 1 Mar 1890 in Lowell. 

Elizabeth (and Louisa's) grandfather, Samuel Stone, was in the Revolutionary War, from Framingham, Mass.  He and his family moved to Fitzwilliam NH in 1817.  Samuel Stone's uncle - Elizabeth and Louisa's 2nd great uncle - was Zedekiah Stone, who sold Mingo, Dinah (the grandparents of Walker Lewis), and Quacko to the Caldwell family in 1754.


Louisa Stone (Peavey)
Louisa was born March 9, 1813 (or November 15, 1811) in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. (Sister to Elizabeth Stone – see above.)  Married Abiel Pevey on December 4, 1832 in Greenfield, Hillsborough, New Hamphshire and they later moved to Lowell (between 1844 and 1847). Abiel had joined the church and even received his Patriarchal Blessing in 1843, but by 1849 had become a disbeliever.  They had six children: John M. George E., Franklin S., James A. Emily L., and Gilbert A. A. Pevey. Only Emily and Gilbert were born in Lowell.

Louisa Stone Pevey


Abby Elisa Switzer (Howell)
Abby Eliza or Elisa Switzer was born April 12, 1824 in Pittsfield, Rutland, Vermont (about 12 miles due east from where Joseph Smith was born), the sixth of twelve children of Timothy Switzer or Swycher and Sarah Greenleaf.  Timothy was born in Warren, Worcester, Mass. on December 28, 1789, himself the second of twelve children born to Henry or Henery Swycher or Switcher and Polly or Molly Brooks.  Timothy married Sarah December 13, 1815 in Warren. Sarah was born May 22, 1792 in Bolton, Worcester, Mass to Daniel Greenleaf and Sarah Townsend.

Abby Elisa Sweetser (sic) was treated at the Lowell Corporation Hospital in 1842 for a fever and was “Cured.”  Although the Hospital Association Records do not give her occupation, she was almost certainly working for the mills.  They do give her birth place as Pittsfield, Vermont and her age as 19. Around this time she became affiliated with the LDS Church, and on July 17, 1844, was elected as President of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society. The purpose of the Sewing Society was to purchase cloth cheaply and directly from the local mills where the eight Society members worked and then tailor the cloth into clothing to distribut gratis to travelling Mormon missionaries, much as the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo was organized to sew clothing for the men working on the Nauvoo Temple. The Sewing Society may not have lasted long because it was organized the same day that word arrived confirming the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Nauvoo, which threw the whole church in dissaray at the time.

Abby E. Switzer apparently left Mormonism and Massachusetts, for she married non-Mormon Charles M. Howell about 1847 (probably in Ohio).  He was a wealthy wagon maker from Ohio.  They had three children:

  1. John W. Howell, born 1849 in Ohio
  2. George M. Howell, born 1853 in Ohio – probably died before 1870
  3. Ida E. Howell, born 1856 in Ohio; married John P. Ambrose (born in Ohio in 1851 of French parents) about 1878

Abby's father, Timothy Switzer probably died between 1850 and 1860.  His widow, Sarah Greenleaf Switzer died February 11, 1872 in Madison, Wisconsin. Abby's husband Charles M. Howell died in Ohio before 1880 and Abby E. Switzer Howell died in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1883.


Mary N. Thornton
Born about 1826. Mary was elected to be Treasurer of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society on July 17, 1844 and then was baptized a Mormon in Lowell by Wilford Woodruff on October 16, 1844 (per his journal), along with Varanus LibbyLowell Institute for Savings Bank Records indicate that a woman named Mary Thornton (factory worker) had an account there in 1845.  No other info. 

In 1845 in Lowell, John Thornton, son of Isaac and Mary Thornton, married Catharine Curry. They had at least three children born in Lowell: Patrick, 1846; Mary Ann, 1847; and James, 1849. Per the 1850 Census, their daughter, Mary Ann, had died and John Thornton is listed as having been born in Ireland in about 1816; his brother, Bernard Thornton (b. about 1825 in Ireland), was also living with the family. John and Bernard may have been siblings of Mary N. Thornton.

A 35 year old single woman named Mary Thornton migrated to Utah in 1862 (born about 1827) in the Homer Duncan Company. In Salt Lake CIty, a Maria Thornton married Phillip Vaughn in 1862 and a Mary Thornton married Charles Williams in 1869.


Sarah E. Wallace (Brannan)
Born July 12, 1825 in Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire to John Wallace and Mary True. Her brother, George Benjamin Wallace was baptized a Mormon in December 1841 in Boston by Elder Freeman A. Nickerson. Sarah probably converted about the same time. George was President of the Boston Branch until February 1843, when he was called to move to New Bedford and be president over the branch there. She lived in Lowell for quite some time and met the brother of Joseph Smith, Apostle William Smith, while there. In fact, she was also elected as Vice President of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society on July 17, 1844.

Sometime around October 1844, 19-year old Sarah was seduced into premarital sexual intercourse in New Bedford one Sunday by an already married Elder Samuel Brannan (whose wife, Ann Eliza Corwin Brannan, was apparently still in New York). An Elder from the Lowell Branch named Willard Messer questioned Sarah right after her seduction, and found she was deeply "dissatisfied" with what Brannan had done to her. Brannan then attempted to cover it up by having William Smith “seal” them together polygamously.  When Elder Freeman Nickerson, founder of the Boston Branch, was preaching in Lowell, Sarah heard him state that anyone practicing "the spiritual wife system" would be damned to hell, and she believed it. In addition, Parley P. Pratt told her that her "sealing was not according to the Law of God" (since the polygamous marriage had been done both without proper ecclesiastical authorization, without the first wife's permission, and far away from church headquarters in Illinois). Brannan also promised to take her to New York in the spring of 1845 but she never heard from him again after he skipped town. Once Brannan reached New York, Sarah wrote him a chastising letter, "upbraiding" him for his "humbug" and charging William Smith with "assisting him" in the affair. Her brother George was in New York with Brannan when Brannan received Sarah's letter, yet said nothing to George about it. Instead, Brannan only gossiped about it with the women of the New York Branch.

Back in Lowell, Willard Messer apparently began to tell others about Brannan's extra-marital seduction of and polygamous sealing to Sarah Wallace performed by William Smith, and Messer was excommunicated in Lowell by Elder Jacob C. Phelps (President of the Boston Branch and a supporter of the erratic William Smith) on November 3, 1844, for slander, unchristianlike conduct, and profanity.

Sarah fell gravely ill from the scandal but decided to move back to her hometown in New Hampshire before dying, while her brother George was intent on migrating to Mormon headquarters at Nauvoo, Illinois. (George's wife, Mary Critchett McMurphy, was vehemntly opposed to polygamy and to escape it, she refused to move to Nauvoo and instead took their three children back to her home town of Epsom, New Hampshire, where she died in 1853.) Sarah E. Wallace died en route to Concorde NH on March 15, 1845, reportedly from “consumption”, but all the while claiming to her brother that her illness “was occasioned by what had passed" among herself, Brannan, and William Smith.  Sarah E. Wallace Brannan was only 19 years of age.

Sarah Wallace's grave
Sarah E. Wallace's headstone
McClary-Epsom Center Cemetery, Epsom NH
(photo courtesy of J.T. Rand of genealogy.com)

George B. Wallace recorded the following in his journal upon his sister's death. The poem is based upon the epitaph engraved on the poet Robert Burns' tombstone.

Died in Concorde, N. H., March 15, (1845).  Miss Sarah E. Wallace, youngest daughter of John Wallace, a native of Epsom, N. H., aged 19.  Disease – consumption.

“An honest sister has gone to rest,
Do ever God with his image blest,
A friend of man,  a friend of truth,
A friend of age, a friend of youth,
Few hearts like hers, with virtue warmed,
Few heads with knowledge so informed,
If there is another world, she lives in bliss,
If there is none, she made the best of this.”

I can only speculate why her brother did not acknowledge her marriage to Brannan (calling her "Miss Wallace").

Sarah's brother, Elder George Benjamin Wallace

George B. Wallace soon thereafter brought up charges with the Quorum of the Twelve against Samuel Brannan, as being responsible for Sarah's despair and subsequent death (see meeting minutes quoted below). The Twelve sent for Brannan to come to Nauvoo from New York to answer these charges in person and in the meantime excommunicated him based on George's testimony. On May 10, 1845 William Smith happened to be in Nauvoo and was currently in the Twelve's favor, so he answered the charges, downplaying Brannan's seduction, confirming that he had "sealed" Sarah to Brannan as his plural wife after their sexual encounter by Smith's own apostolic and patriarchal authority, and emphasizing her poor health, as well as testifying that she willingly went into the relationship. On May 24, 1845, with Brannan now present, Twelve Apostles met again regarding Brannan's role in Sarah's death, and Brigham Young callously replied that "since Sis Wallace had gone home [died], we could throw the mantle over the whole & shutter the subject", as just water under the bridge. Brannan was reinstated into full membership in the Mormon Church. Then, to keep George Wallace quiet about the scandalous death of his sister, he was allowed to marry polygamously a mere eleven days later, to Mrs. Melissa Melvina King Crowell from Boston. She was the widow of Howes Crowell, whom Wallace had known in Boston when he was Branch President there.

Minutes of Quorum of Twelve Apostles meeting with Samuel E. Brannan, May 24, 1845 (Nauvoo, Illinois), as transcribed by D. Michael Quinn, quoted in Will Bagley, The Scoundrel's Tale: The Samuel Brannan Papers, (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1999) pp. 67-8.

Bro. [George B.] Wallace said, his sister [Sarah E. Wallace] came to his house in New Bedford, [Massachusetts, and] told him Bro Brannan had waited on some, one Sunday [when] she staid at home.  Bro Brannan staid at home [too].  On the edge of [bed?] Brannan accomplished his desire, & went into the kitchen.  Messeur [Willard Messer] came in & after reported She was dissatisfied.  Wm [Smith] sealed them up.  It worried her to think she must be Brannans.  Bro [Parley P.] Pratt told her the sealing was not according to the Law of God.  [She] went into consumption & died.  Wallace wrote Br Pratt, about Brannan, that unless he repented he could not be crowned in the celestial kingdom.  She said her sickness was occasioned by what had passed.

Wm Smith, acquainted with Sis Wallace at Lowel (sic),  [said she was] of poor health.  Brannan asked Smith if he had any objection to mary them.  She manifested [a] strong attachment for Brannan.  I married them [-] did not consider he had (sic) was under any obligation to any one else.  Married them by all the authority he possessed for time & Eternity, and had a right &c to do as an apostle of J. Christ.  Father [Freeman] Nickerson preached that if anyone should get hold of his skirts or any else, on the spiritual wife system, they would go to hell, & she believed it.  Sis Wallace wrote Brannan upbraiding him with the humbug & charging me with assisting Brannan.

Prest Young, said since Sis Wallace had gone home, we could throw the mantle over the whole & shutter the subject.

Wm. Smith said he felt interested in the subject & wished the council if they chose to say whether he had a right to do so – whether he [had] a right to mary Brannan & do what he had done.  Or whether [he] was to be rode on a rail, & put down, or not.  Quite a time for him.

Prest Young – said he was satisfied with what Wm Smith did in the case of Brannan in marrying him to Sis Wallace.  [Young] did not couple any other of Wms acts, in this decision. -       

Wm Supposed that P. P. Pratt supposed that Brannan was married to two, at once, Brannan walked with Sis Wallace in public &c.  She had discovered that the time would come when men would have more wives than one ==made arrangements to take her to N. York in the spring – Told her I should be master. – Would correspond with her.  But [he] did not write for fear some one would get the letter.  Father Nickerson went to Lowell & disaffected the minds of the sisters.

Wallace was in N. York when Brannan received his sisters letter, but did not talk with him about it as freely as with other women.


Mary Matilda Webster (Lewis)
Of Chester, Hampden, Mass (perhaps the daughter of Ira Webster and Bathsheba Wright??)  Born about 1823. Married Enoch Lovejoy Lewis on September 18, 1846. She was white and he was mulatto and both were Mormon at the time. Upon finding out about this inter-racial marriage on December 3, 1847, Brigham Young told the Twelve Apostles gathered in Winter Quarters, Nebraska, that he would have them both killed if only "they were far away from the Gentiles", instead of in Massachusetts:

If they were far away from the Gentiles they wod. [would] all on [sic] to be killed - when they mingle seed it is death to all. If a black man & white woman come to you & demand baptism can you deny them? the law is their seed shall not be amalgamated. Mulattoes r like mules they cant have children, but if they will be Eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake they may have a place in the Temple. [MS in d 1234, Misc. Minutes, Brigham Young Papers, LDS Archives]

They had one child, Enoch R. Lovejoy Lewis, born about April 1847 and who died September 5, 1848 in Dracut (now part of Lowell). Matilda was probably pregnant when she married, as their child was born just seven months after they married. While Enoch was in prison for stealing clothing, she died of "exhaustion" in the State Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, on December 28, 1852.

Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show that she had an account there in 1844, and she worked as a spinner in the mills.

Per Lowell death records, in 1842 there is a Jacob Webster in Lowell old enough to have been Mary Matilda's father. Also a William Webster died in Lowell in 1849 at age of 78 (born in Kingston NH).


Esther Bathsheba Wright (Fletcher)
Born January 15, 1823 in Groton, Middlesex, Mass. to Asa Wright Jr. and Bathsheba Dadman. Sister of Jefferson Wright, who also became a Mormon. Married Francis Fletcher on June 10, 1839 in Westford, Middlesex, Mass. Bore him seven children (see his profile). Migrated to Iowa in 1850 and then to Utah in 1851. After Francis Fletcher's death in 1854, she married Royal A. Barney as his fourth wife on July 18, 1857, and bore two more children by him.

Esther Wright Fletcher
Esther B. Wright Fletcher
Photo Courtesy of Tom Fletcher

Click here to read a fascinating biography of Esther, which includes many quotes from her journal.

She died in Salt Lake on September 30, 1893. Her obituary in the Deseret News, November 11, 1893, p. 32, reads:

With profound sadness we record the death of another of God’s noble women Sister Esther Bathsheba Wright Fletcher. Sister Fletcher was born at Groton, Middlesex county, Mass., Jan. 15, 1823; was married to Francis Fletcher July 3, 1839; was the mother of nine children – seven sons and two daughters; five sons and the two daughters survive her and all have families. She also has forty living grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and a large circle of friends who deeply mourn her loss.

The gospel having come to Brother and Sister Fletcher’s neighborhood, they embraced the opportunity and united themselves with the Church of Jesus Christ in 1842 and gathered with the Saints at Winter Quarters Aug. 25, 1847.  In 1851 they emigrated to Salt Lake City joining the Eighth Ward, in which they lived until their death.  Shortly after arriving in SaIt Lake City Brother and Sister Fletcher were called upon to lay away their youngest son [John William Fletcher] in death.  In 1854 Sister Fletcher was again called to pass through the scene of death in losing her faithful husband, and soon after this deep trouble another son [Francis Jan Fletcher] was taken in death. In July, 1857, she was married to Royal Barney and her last son and daughter were by this marriage.  In the spring of 1890 he died.

In all these sore afflictions and severe trials she trusted in God, saying, “Thy will not mine be done; I know whom Thou lovest Thou dost chasten.”  In 1856 she became an active worker in the Relief Society of the Eighth Ward, having held the office of teacher, secretary, second counselor and was president at the time of her death.  She was also a diligent teacher in the Sabbath school, in which place she is greatly missed. In 1868 she opened a private school and taught till 1878; afterwards she taught the Eighth Ward district school for one year to support herself and family.  As an instructor of the young she be proved a natural teacher randen and endeared herself to the hearts of the children.

The primary association being organized in1879, Sister Fletcher was chosen the president and continued in this office until called to the presidency of the relief society, in 1881. In all these callings she proved faithful and true to the principles of the Gospel and the covenants she had made and died a faithful Latter-day Saint.  During her last days, almost up to the time of her death, she labored for her dead relatives and friends in the House of the Lord and had a strong desire for the faithfulness of her family to go on with the work she had commenced. 

Sister Fletcher departed this life Sept. 30th, 1893 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The funeral was held in the Eighth Ward assembly hall, at which a large gathering of relatives and friends met to pay their last respects and listen to consoling remarks of Elder J. D. T. McAllister, Bishop Samuel A. Woolley, Counselor Joseph McMurrin, Bishop Elijah F. Sheets of the Eighth Ward and Elder Joseph E. Taylor, e[a]ch speaking in high terms of the esteem in which the deceased was held by all who knew her, the record she had made, the sure crown of bright glory that awaits the faithful, the assurance that her work here was well done and that a starry crown will be her reward. The day before she died she sang the first verse of the hymn beginning, “Come let us anew, our journey pursue.” - – [COM







Men & Boys of the Lowell Branch 

Joseph T. Ball
Born February 21, 1804 in Boston to Joseph and Mary Ball.  He was apparently the second African American man to join the LDS Church and the second one to be ordained to the LDS priesthood. He was in Kirtland, Ohio in 1833. Ball was on a mission in Orange County, New York in 1838 (where he baptized Benjamin Aber); in March 1838 he and Wilford Woodruff were also proselyting on the Fox Islands of Maine; and then he was in Iowa in 1840 with Truman Gillette as a companion - in March that year they baptized the John Leeka family (who later joined the RLDS Church). Then, the "Quorum of the Twelve held a council on August 31 [1841], at the house of Brigham Young, when it was resolved to send...Joseph Ball to South America." (History of the Church, Vol. 2, Ch. 24, p. 544.) However Ball never fulfilled his calling to proselyte there and remained instead in the Massachusetts area.

Mentioned by Woodruff as in the company of “Brother Robins” and William Smith. Noted that Ball and Smith removed the (unnamed) presiding Elder of the Lowell Branch and put Lewis Robbins in his place in October 1844.  The Branch was imploding because these men, and especially Joseph T. Ball, were preaching “the Lowell girls that is [sic] not wrong to have intercourse with the men what they please & Elder Ball tries to sleep with them when he can”.  Ball received his patriarchal blessing from William Smith on July 14, 1845 (perhaps in Nauvoo?), and was in Nauvoo prior to 1848.


Charles Hopkins Davis
Born in Lowell on December 19, 1846.   Married Catharine E. Crossland December 28, 1870 probably in Atchison, Kansas (listed there in 1870 Census, still single at the time).  She allegedly was born January 23, 1855.  A 13 year old Catharine Crossland is listed living with her widowed(?) mother Amelia, in the 1870 Census of Atchison.  Both women were born in Ohio.  (This is Catherine Elizabeth Crossland/Crosland, daughter of Caleb and Amelia Crossland, from Union, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Caleb was the son of Elijah and Catharine Crosland from Indiana.) 44 year old Charles also married 21 year old Elizabeth or Elizibeth Walker October 30, 1890.  They had a daughter Orpha, born probably in Osawatomie, Miami, Kansas in July 1892.  (In Osawatomie for the 1900 Census.)  In 1910 he and Elizabeth were living in Little Rock, Arkansas, and he was a painter for the railroad.  Their daughter had died.


Eliakim Spooner Davis
Born October 12, 1812 in Lebanon, Grafton, NH to Nathan Davis and Abigail Spooner.  (His name is also variously George Eliakim or Eli H. Davis.) Occupation was painter.  Married Orpha Brown Hopkins on October 21, 1841 in Lowell ("both of Lowell").  They had seven children, all born in Lowell.  They were: George Augustus (1842), Helen Marie (1844), Charles Hopkins (1846), Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" (1848), Emily (1852), Ida Lucinda (1855), and Emma Jane (1857). He was an Elder in the Church and served as Branch President.

In 1860, the family was living in Ward No. 4 of Lowell.  Migrated to Utah soon thereafter and lived in Milton, Utah in 1861. By 1863 he was in Salt Lake, helping construct the buildings at Ft. Douglas. In 1870 Eliakim was living in his son-in-law's home in Atchison, Kansas.

Eliakim died April 8, 1890 in Atchison, Kansas, where his son George was living.


George Augustus Davis
Born August 22, 1842 in Lowell to Eliakim Spooner Davis and Orpha Brown Hopkins.  Baptized about 1850 "when about 8", probably in the Merrimack River.  Listed in 1850 Census of Lowell. In Lowell in 1860 he was a printer's apprentice.  A George Davis of unknown age is listed as traveling alone in the Job Pingree Company in 1861.  Married 16 year old Harriet Elizabeth Weber (born in England) on November 10, 1866 in Morgan, Utah and had 10 children born in either Utah or Atchison, Kansas.  In 1870 Census of Morgan, Utah, he was living in his mother-in-law's home, with his wife and two girls, Ellen E. and Emily J.  and he worked as a store keeper.  In 1880, he was in Atchison, KS, working as an "Ingineer" on the railroad.  Died June 10 1921 in Vernal, Utah. 


Alwin Augustus Farnham
First child of Augustus Alwin Farnham and Mary Jane Pottle.  Born in Lowell in 1841 to Mormon mother and non-Mormon father (although he later joined).  Died tragically in 1848 in Wyoming, on way to Utah along with little sister.


Augustus Alwin (or Alwyn) Farnham
Born May 20, 1805 in Andover, Essex, Mass. to Peter Farnham and Chloe Wilson. Married to Mary Jane Pottle in 1840 in Boston.  Living in Lowell in April 1841 (when their first child was born) and he was baptized a member of the LDS Church on April 21, 1843. Endowed in Nauvoo on Christmas Day, 1845, then sealed to Mary Jane Pottle Farnham on January 24, 1846, in the Nauvoo Temple.  Member of the Nauvoo Legion. His brother, John Wilson Farnham (born in Andover Dec. 5, 1794) was also LDS and was endowed in Nauvoo at the same time. However John was apparently murdered in Nauvoo during anti-Mormon hostilities. They moved briefly to St. Louis in 1847, where Augustus served as counselor to President Nathaniel Henry Felt. In July 1849, they migrated to Utah in the Silas Richards Company, with Farnham serving as Captain of a Ten. Their company arrived in Salt Lake October 25-29, 1849.

The 1850 Census of Salt Lake County lists him and his family, along with the widow Hannah Webb Knowles, sister-in-law of Thomas Knowles. In 1853 he was called on a mission to the "South Sea Islands", and he became president of the Australia Mission (including New Zealand.) He returned with a shipload of converts

Died May 2, 1865 in Farmington, Willard, or Brigham City, Utah (accounts differ). He was first buried in Brigham Young's private cemetary but later reinterred in the Salt Lake City Cemetary.


Christopher C. Fisher
Born September 8, 1809 either in Alstead, Cheshire, or Dalton, Coos, New Hampshire to Jonathan Fisher III and Rebecca Adams. Married Mary A. Hills. Member of the Lowell Branch on May 8, 1843.

Listed in the 1850 Census of Greenfield, Hillsborough, New Hampshire in the Poor House. Their three year old daughter Eliza A. (born in New York) was with the couple.


Francis Fletcher
Born October 14, 1818 in Westford, Middlesex, Mass. to Thomas Fletcher and Orpha Fletcher (very distantly related - about sixth cousins). He married Esther Bathsheba Wright on June 10, 1839 in Westford (a few miles from Lowell). They converted to Mormonism in 1842 and were baptized by Isaac Butterfield in July. Francis was ordained a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood on September 10, 1842 at regional conference held in Salem. They were members of the Lowell Branch. Aaron York and Joseph Stratton blessed the two oldest boys, Edwin and Charles, in 1843 and Leonard Hardy blessed daughter Esther Jane in 1845. They migrated to Winter Quarters, leaving on April 8, 1847 as part of Elder [Elijah?] Fordham's company out of Boston. They arrived in St. Louis on May 1, 1847, remaining there while Esther Wright Fletcher recuperated from being ill while pregnant with her fourth child. They finally arrived in Winter Quarters on August 25, 1847.

Francis Fletcher photo
Francis Fletcher
Photo courtesy of Tom Fletcher

Click here to read a fascinating biography of wife Esther, which includes many quotes from her journal and information about their family's history.

Children by Esther Bathsheba Wright:

  1. Edwin Francis Fletcher born May 21, 1840 in Westford, Middlesex, died March 22, 1913 in Salt Lake
  2. Charles Eugene Fletcher born June 26, 1843 in Westford, died March 9, 1922 in Logan, Utah
  3. Esther Jane Fletcher born September 29, 1845 in Tyngsboro, Middlesex, died May 7, 1926 in Salt Lake
  4. Kendall Asa Fletcher born March 23, 1848 in Omaha, Douglas, Neb. (or WInter Quarters?), died September 23, 1932 in Junction, Garfield, Utah
  5. Willard Thomas Fletcher born December 12, 1849 (or ’50? Not in 1850 Census taken in September 1850) in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, died March 26, 1936 in Magrath, Alberta, Canada
  6. John William Fletcher born April 10, 1853 in Salt Lake, died September 5, 1853
  7. Francis Jan Fletcher born Feb. 17, 1855 in Salt Lake and died March 8 (or Oct. 26), 1855

In 1850, Francis and Esther were living in District 21, Pottawattamie, Iowa, preparing to migrate to Utah, which they did in 1851 (in unknown company). The Fletcher family lived in the Salt Lake 8th Ward, per the 1852 Bishop's Report.

Francis was sealed polygamously to Mary Ann Loring on August 16, 1852 (and she was endowed the same day). She was born May 31, 1829 in Gardiner, Kennebec, Maine to Daniel and Hannah Loring (per Gardiner ME vital records at ancestry.com). She reportedly died in 1855 in California, possibly a member of the San Bernardino Mormon colony.

He and Solomon Angell opened the first granite ledge in Cottonwood Canyon, which was used to build the Salt Lake Temple, and Francis was one of the guards at the laying of the temple's cornerstone. He also cut the granite that was used for a table top in Brigham Young's Beehive House. Francis Fletcher died in Salt Lake the day after Christimas, 1854 (although the Deseret News does not report his death, nor is their any known burial record for him). He reportedly contracted consumption (tuberculosis) from the stone dust he inhaled cutting granite out of Cottonwood Canyon. Esther Wright Fletcher's 14 year old sister Emily Augusta Wright died May 4, 1856 (location unknown). Emily Wright was also sealed to Francis Fletcher (apparently both by proxy as they were both dead) on September 6, 1878.

John Gould?
Married to branch member Ann R. McDonald on May 22, 1842 in Lowell.

May be the son of Otis Gould, who died March 28, 1847 in Lowell, aged 80/11/17 – April 11, 1767 - , born in Franklin VT or MA, to Joseph Gould and Keziah _____. An Otis Gould married Joanna Waite on August 24, 1789 in Leicester, Worcester, Mass, and an Otis Gould married Ruth White on October 13, 1793 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.)


Charles Aaron Hardy
Born November 5, 1827 in Bradford, Essex, Mass. to Leonard W. Hardy and Elizabeth Harriman Nichols. Lived in Lowell in the late 1840s. Migrated to Utah with his parents in 1850. Died in Salt Lake on March 29, 1852, unmarried.


Leonard Wilford Hardy
Born in Bradford, Essex, Mass. on December 31, 1805 to Simon Hardy and Rhoda Hardy (sic).  Married Elizabeth Harriman Nicols/Nichols in October 22, 1826 in Bradford.  Worked as a shoemaker. Had five children.  Baptized Mormon on December 2, 1832 by Orson Hyde and soon after ordained an Elder.  Was in Nauvoo at the end of June 1844, and played in the Nauvoo Legion Band there, but then called on a mission. Left with Wilford Woodruff and Milton Holmes in December 1844 for a mission to England.  Reurned to Massachusetts in October 1845.  Moved to Lowell by 1846.  Hardy performed the marriage of George Washington Wilkins (see) and Catherine Augusta Lovett (see) on July 4, 1846 in Lowell.

Leonard's second cousin (sharing great grandparents, Stephen Hardy and Mary Holmes) was a Mormon named Samuel Brocklebank Hardy, who may have lived in Lowell in the late 1840s. The families of Samuel B. and Leonard W. Hardy migrated to Utah together in the same company in 1850 and then lived next door to each other in the 1850 Census of Salt Lake City. Leonard's fifth cousin, Josiah Guile Hardy, also from Bradford, joined the LDS Church and moved to Utah, but there is no evidence so far that Josiah G. Hardy ever lived in Lowell.

Leonard Wilford Hardy

Left Boston for Utah on April 9, 1850 with about 100 Mormons from the Massachusetts area. They were in the Wilford Woodruff Company, leaving Kanesville, Iowa on June 15, 1850 and arriving in Salt Lake on October 14. Leonard was the Captain of the "First Fifty" during the journey, which included Woodruff himself. After arriving in Salt Lake he married an additional four wives, including the three Goodridge sisters, Harriet, Esther, and Sophia, who were all from Lunenburg, Worcester, Mass. and had traveled in the same wagon company when migrating to Utah.   (Were any of them "Lowell mill girls"?)

Once in Utah, Hardy was made Captain of the Salt Lake City Police Department, which he served as for many years, and was a member of the Salt Lake City Council from 1851 to 1874.

Became Bishop of the Salt Lake 12th Ward in 1856, and then asked by Brigham Young to also preside as Bishop of the 11th Ward.  In the midst of the Reformation of 1856, Young appointed him a General Authority, as First Counselor to the Presiding Bishop of the Church, which office he held until his death.

Hardy died July 31, 1884 in Salt Lake City.


Samuel Brocklebank Hardy
2nd cousin of Leonard W. Hardy. Born September 21, 1804 in Bradford, Mass. Also joined the LDS Church and migrated to Utah in 1850, with his wife Caroline Bacon Rogers (of Maine) and their five children (all born in Massachusetts); a sixth child, 2 year old daughter Caroline Matilda, died during the journey. They were in the Wilford Woodruff Company, leaving Kanesville, Iowa on June 15, 1850 and arriving in Salt Lake on October 14.

Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show that a "Samuel Hardy" had a savings account there "in trust for" him in 1847.

The 1840 Census of Lowell lists a "Samuel P. Hardy" (sic) and the family ages are all accurate (except one child, Samuel Prescott Hardy, is missing). Note also that Brocklebank is often spelled Procklebank in Massachusetts records. Samuel B. and Leonard W. Hardy lived next door to each other in the 1850 Census of Salt Lake City.

Samuel died September 9, 1899.


William Hardy
Born about 1829 in Bradford, Essex, Mass. to Leonard W. Hardy and Elizabeth Harriman Nichols. Lived in Lowell in the late 1840s. Migrated to Utah with his parents in 1850.


Israel Herriman (or Harriman, Aerriman)
Born June 13, 1813 (or 1821?) in Hampstead, Rockingham, New Hampshire (or New York) to William and Mary Harriman. Member of the Lowell Branch on September 6, 1843. Married Sabra Catherine Van Leuven on January 24, 1846 in Pike County, Illinois (and she was born March 2, 1825 or '29 in Camden, Ontario, Canada). They were both endowed in Nauvoo on February 6, 1846. He was also ordained a Seventy. Israel apparently died before 1850. Sabra Herriman married second, William Zattoo Kimbel in 1852 at Council Bluff, Iowa and they had six children. They named their fifth child Israel Herriman Kimbel, after her first husband. Sabra Van Leuven Harriman Kimbel died September 2, 1865 in Council Bluff, Iowa (or St. Mary's, Missouri).


Henry Thomas Knowles
Born 10 or 16 Apr 1847, Lowell to Thomas Knowles and Eliza Osborn. Migrated to Utah with parents in 1852. Married three or four women polygamously and died 1922 in Nephi, Utah.

By 1900 Census, living with a wife named Clara (perhaps this is Sarah Draper?) and three stepsons with the surname Draper (born 1876-1881 in Utah).


Thomas Knowles or Knowels
Born 11 May 1823, Manchester, England to Richard Knowles and Sarah Rostirn or Rossiter.  Baptized LDS by Elders Webb and Steel on December 13, 1841. Married to Eliza Osborn 27 Dec 1844 in Bristol. In 1845 ordained a priest by Elder Rawle. His parents also joined the LDS Church and after sailing to America, his mother and father, Richard and Sarah, joined the New England Saints on board the Brooklyn to sail to California in 1846. Sarah Rostrin Knowles died in San Francisco in 1856 and father Richard died in San Francisco in 1859. Thomas' oldest brother, John, also joined the church and died in April 1847 at Winter Quarters. His youngest sister, Caroline Amelia Knowles also joined and she married David Web in 1850 in Salt Lake and died in Nephi, Utah in 1908. (Did she live in Lowell too since she was not on the Brooklyn with her parents??) His other siblings did become Mormons but remained in England.

Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records indicate he had a savings account there in 1847, and worked as a "dresser" in a cotton mill.

1845-1847: Lowell
1848: Lawrence, MA on Elm Street
1849: Council Bluffs, IA (Member of the Council Point Branch until 1851)
1852: Utah, probably in the John Tidwell Company

Died December 30, 1887 in Nephi, Utah.

Enoch Lovejoy Lewis
Born May 20, 1825 to Q. Walker Lewis and Elizabeth Lovejoy. Married first Mary Matilda Webster, a white woman from the Lowell Branch, on September 18, 1846 in Cambridge. This inter-racial marriage of two Mormons enraged Brigham Young so much that he threatened to have the newly-weds killed when he found out about in on December 3, 1847. The marriage of a black Mormon to a white Mormon was one of the main things that led Brigham Young to instigate a ban against all black men holding Mormon priesthood, beginning in 1847 (and not rescinded by the LDS Church until 1978). Their only child, Enoch R. Lovejoy Lewis died at the age of 17 months on September 5, 1848 in Dracut (now Lowell). Enoch was a hairdresser in Lowell.

Enoch was caught breaking into the clothing store of F.W. Tuxbury & Co. in Lowell. Arrested on May 4, 1851 for attempted larceny (just days after his father's departure for Utah), Enoch was imprisoned for two years in July 1851. While in prison, his white wife died of exhaustion in the State Hospital in Worcester, Mass. After his release, he married a black woman named Elisa Richardson Storer (previously married to James Storer) on September 13, 1853.

Upon his father's death in 1856, Enoch was declared insane by the mayor and aldermen of Lowell and he was put under the guardianship of family friends and relatives, and by 1880 was institutionalized in the hospital for the insane in Worcester. He died from an epileptic seizure on February 26, 1885.


Enoch R. Lovejoy Lewis
Born about April 1847 to Enoch Lovejoy Lewis and Mary Matilda Webster, a mulatto grandson of the black Mormon Elder Q. Walker Lewis. The infant died September 5, 1848 in Dracut (now a part of Lowell). Matilda was probably pregnant when she married, as their child was born just seven months after she and Enoch married.


Q. Walker Lewis
Born in Barre, Worcester, Mass. on August 3, 1798 to Peter P. Lewis and Minor Walker, named for his maternal uncle, Quacko Walker (Kwaku being the Bobangi name meaning "boy born on Saturday"). A radical abolitionist, he arranged for a white printing press to publish David Walker's controversial "Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World", which called for immediate and unconditional abolition of slavery, or face armed insurrection by the enslaved. In 1826 Lewis was a founding member of the Massachusetts General Colored Association (the first all-black abolitionist organization). He was initiated into Freemasonry around 1823, and served as the Senior Warden of the African Lodge #459 in 1826 and was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master of African Grand Lodge #1 in 1829 and 1830.

Married Elizabeth Lovejoy on March 26, 1826 in Barre. They moved to Lowell around 1830 where he built a home and opened a very successful barbershop (specializing in cutting children' hair) and he became relatively wealthy. They had four children: Enoch Lovejoy Lewis (see), Lydia Elizabeth Lewis, Lucy Minor Lewis, and Walker Lovejoy Lewis. He even built a second home in Boston. He and many members of his family remained active in the abolitionist movement and often harbored escaped southern slaves in their homes as part of the Underground Railroad. Friends with William Lloyd Garrison, Coffin Pitts, William Cooper Nell, Frederick Douglass, Maria W. Stewart, Maria Weston Chapman, Sarah Clay, and many other abolitionists and feminists of the day. In 1841, he and his brother-in-law, John Levy, were also involved in raising funds for the "Amistad Africans" to return to Africa after their victory before the US Supreme Court. Massachusetts Senator Linus Child was also a close friend and ally.

Lewis was ordained an Elder by William Smith (certainly under the authority of Ezra T. Benson, who was the Lowell Branch president) in the summer of 1843.  Was presiding Elder for about 15 seconds on November 14, 1844 when all the church officers, including the branch president and branch clerk, resigned except him, leaving the only priesthood officer of the branch.  Woodruff however convinced the men not resign after all. Befriended and generously entertained in his home at least seven of the Twelve Apostles, as well as several members of the secret, theocratic Council of the Fifty, during the 1840s.

Left his wife and family for Utah in April 1851 and arrived October. Received his patriarchal blessing under the hands of John Smith (Joseph Smith's uncle) on October 4, 1851. Otherwise, during his six-month stay he was completely ignored by the leaders and missionaries he had once entertained in his own home. Adding injury to insult, Brigham Young pressed the territorial legislature (comprised of Apostles and members of the Council of the Fifty who all knew Lewis well) to pass a law not only legalizing slavery in Utah, but also making sexual intercourse between blacks and whites (whether married or not) a major crime. This was certainly done in response to the inter-racial marriage of Lewis' son Enoch Lovejoy Lewis, with the white Mormon Mary Matilda Webster in 1846.

While in Utah he did meet Joseph Smith's black servant, Jane Elizabeth Manning James, and he proposed to marry her polygamously, however she turned him down (although she later requested from LDS leaders that the marriage ceremony be done vicariously after his death). Dismayed by his poor treatment, Lewis left Utah around April 1852 and arrived back in Lowell at the end of October 1852, where he promptly reopened his barbershop business. He died October 26, 1856 of "consumption".


Varanes/Varanus/Veranus Libbe (or Libby)
Born about 1819 in Maine or New Hampshire to Samuel Libby and Sarah Stevens Ellenwood of Saco, York, Maine.  Married Ann Smith in 1842 (in Lowell?)  Worked as a manufacturer and "white washer" in the Lowell mills.  Baptized in Lowell by Wilford Woodruff on October 16, 1844 (along with Mary Thornton), and almost immediately was made Branch President. By mid-December 1844, he was replaced as Lowell Branch President by travelling missionary Elder Jesse W. Crosby.  He probably left the Mormon Church about that time as well. Varanus and Ann had three daughters: Lydia, Emma, and Charlotte.

  1. Lydia A. Libby was born September 27, 1843 in Lowell.  She never married and lived with her parents the rest of her life, becoming a dress maker to help support her family. 
  2. Emma Priscilla Libby was born June 2, 1849 in Medford, Middlesex, Mass.  She married Hugh Martin of Nova Scotia, Canada in November 1869, and they also lived with her parents, Varanus and Ann Smith Libby.  Emma and Hugh Martin had one daughter, Elizabeth E. Martin, born about 1872 in Lowell. 
  3. The last of the three daughters, Charlotte W. Libby, was born about 1854. In 1870, she is living at home in Chelsea.

By the 1880 Census, the extended Varanus Libby family (except Ann Smith Libby who had apparently dead) was all living together on Walnut Street in Chelsea, Suffolk, Massachusetts, along with Ann's brother Elijah R. Smith.


George Lloyd
According to the History of the Church, on April 15, 1844 George Lloyd of Lowell was one of the political missionaries selected to canvas the state of Massachusetts for Joseph Smith's presidential candidacy, under Presiding Elder Daniel Spencer.


Darius Lougee
Born March 1, 1815 to Seth Fogg Lougee and Joanna Kimball in Gilmanton, Belknap, NH.  He moved to Springfield, Mass. before 1839.

Branch President of Lowell in May 1847 over 20 members “in tolerable good standing”.  Married first Jane Davis in Lowell on November 24, 1839.  Their son, William, died from diarrhea on September 5, 1842 in Lowell.

Married second, Sarah Ann Maria Leavitt in 1843 but later divorced (see).  Had five children.

In 1855, Darius left his family in Massachusetts and migrated to Utah in the John Hindley Company. They left Mormon Grove, Kansas on June 7, 1855 and arrived in Salt Lake on September 3, 1855. Darius Lougee and Jane Tuckett were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake on November 22, 1855 and they had three children: Darius Charles Lougee (1857), Seth Lougee (1859), and Emily Jane Lougee (1862).  Jane Tuckett Lougee died June 4, 1862 in St. George, Utah, just one week after giving birth to Emily, and Emily died three weeks later.

In the 1880 Census of St. George, Utah, he was living next door to Jesse Wentworth Crosby.  Darius then had a 46 year old wife named Alice (born in England) and an 8 year old daughter named Lucinda.  This is apparently Alice Hume or Alice Hume Thompson, whom he married about 1865 in St. George.  They also had a daughter, Hannah, born in December 1867 and who died four months later.

Although Mormon and family records state that Darius died in St. George, Utah the day after Christmas, 1893, he is definitely listed in the 1900 Census as an "inmate" of the State Hospital (formerly the State Almshouse) in Tewksbury, Middlesex, Mass.  Tewksbury Hosptial records indicate he died there on November 26, 1901, about 85 years of age.  He had been treated there for "senility" and was probably buried there at the Pines Cemetary.


Willard Messer
There were two Willard Messers in the Lowell area, apparently a father and son, although the younger Willard moved to Boston while in his 20s to live with Stillman W. Messer, probably his uncle (and a twin of Willard Messer Sr.?) The elder Willard, a "laborer", was born about 1797 in Massachusetts. In 1820 Stillman W. Messer (and another male about the same age - Willard?) were living in Boston's 12th Ward, with two women, also about the same age (their wives?) The 1823 Directory of Boston in fact shows both Stillman and Willard living at 52 Pleasant Street; the 1826 Directory indicates Willard worked in "W.I. goods". In 1830 Stillman was in Boston's 5th ward, while Willard remained in the 12th Ward (at 112 Pleasant Street per that year's directory). By the 1840 Census, Willard Messer Sr. and his family were living in Townsend, Middlesex County, some 25 miles due west of Lowell. Before 1850, the elder Willard and some of his family had moved to Groton, just a dozen miles west of Lowell. Two of his sons, Willard Jr. and David, appear to have moved to Boston to live with their wealthy uncle Stillman, who was a grocer; David was an errand boy, and Willard Jr. worked selling herbal-based Thomsonian Medicines (and may have been trained by Samuel Thomson himself, who died in Boston in 1843).

The 1810 Census of Massachusetts only lists one family which had two boys the right ages to be Willard and Stillman, that of Richard Swan and Patty Farnum Messer of Methuen, Essex, Massachusetts. Richard Messer and his wife also had three girls under the age of 10, besides two boys, 10-15 years old. Several other Messer families also lived in Methuen. (Richard Swan Messer was the twin son of Abiel Messer Jr. and Susanna Swan; he and his twin brother, Asie Swan Messer, were born in Methuen September 4, 1768. Abiel and Susanna had a total of ten children. Abiel Messer Sr. was the son of Thomas Masser and Jane Pearl, who were married in Methuen on May 15, 1727.)

The elder Willard was married about 1824 to Lucy (Bennett?), born about 1804 in Massachusetts; her mother may have been living with the family in 1850, since a 79 year old Sarah Bennett is listed with them in that year's census. (N.B. A Lucy Ann Bennett was born December 13, 1809 to Elias Bennett and Sarah Hastings Bennett in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. Also note that Lucy Messer's daughter was named "Lucy A.".) Their known children were:

  1. Willard Messer Jr. - b. about 1824; seller of Thomsonian Medicines and resident of Boston
  2. Lucy A. Messer - b. about 1828 ; md. William McEllroy
  3. David Messer - b. about 1833; apparently never married; farmer and resident of Watteson, Wisconsin
  4. Joseph R. Messer - b. about 1840; married Emma W. _____; a confectioner and resident of Albany, NY
  5. Joanna E. Messer - b. about 1843

By the summer of 1844, Willard Messer (whether the 48 year old or the 20 year old; the older seems more likely) had been baptized and was ordained an Elder in the Lowell Branch by early fall. Messer became acquainted with Sarah E. Wallace, and soon after she had been seduced by Samuel Brannan around October 1844, she confessed to Messer that she was "dissatisfied" with the situation. Elder Messer apparently began to spread unkind words among the Lowell Branch that Brannan had seduced Wallace and then William Smith had married Wallace to Brannan as a plural wife to cover up the adultery. The two men likely attacked Messer (as with so many others), for on November 3, 1844, Elder Jacob C. Phelps, president of the Boston Branch, went to Lowell to press charges against Elder Willard Messer for slander, among other things. Brannan's Mormon-oriented newspaper out of New York, The Prophet, published extracts from the church court minutes in its November 9th issue (p. 2):

Lowell Conference.
Lowell, Sunday, Nov. 3rd 1844.
A Conference was called in Lowell by Elder J[acob] C. Phelps being called to the chair and Elder Varanus Libbe appointed Clerk.

The following charges preferred against Elder Willard Messer. First for slander, second, unchristianlike conduct, third profanity. after testimony had been introduced, the following questions were put:

Is Brother Messer guilty of slander. - carried unanimous.

Is Brother Messer guilty of unchristianlike conduct and profanity. - carried unanimous.

It was moved and seconded that brother Messer be excommunicated, yeas 36 nays 1.

Extracts from the minutes.
V. LIBBE Clerk.

So Messer was excommunicated for his knowledge of the Brannan-Wallace affair, although his name and testimony would be brought up in Nauvoo in May 1845 before a meeting with the Quorum of the Twelve, when Sarah's brother, Elder George B. Wallace, brought charges against Samuel Brannan for being complicit in his sister's death in March 1845. Three weeks after his exommunication, Willard Messer also wrote a letter to Brigham Young (original now in LDS Archives):

Lowell November 24the 1844

Mr young sir I sit down to write a few lines too you too inform you that I am in want of Sum cash at thiss time as I have ben out of health much of the time    cens [since] I saw you I have not ben able too work near all of the time and being in want of funds I theirfore write you and wish you too cend on the amount of the note which is 30dollars and let the interest go   I would not cend but it is a time of want with me    pleas cend it as soon as you get this and if you can cend [to] lowell monny   if you can you can cend it to sister Susan Nichols or too mr Darius Lougee Darius Lougee and let them take up the note as I suppos you would not like too trust me  you can cend it too who you please all [but] brouther libby for he has left thiss plase  Please cend it as soon as you get thiss for I am in want of the some ---------------------I do not know when I shall come too nauvoo as things have turnd up as they have but hope I shall some time and be save[d] with the people of God now may the grace of ower lord bee and abide with you all amen

                        yours Willard Messer  lowell

The later records of Willard Messer:

1850 Census of Groton
Willard Messer born 1796
Lucy Messer born 1803
Joseph R. Messer born 1840
Joanna E. Messer born 1843
Eliza (Messer?) Reed born 1810 (Willard's sister?)
Caroline Reed born 1842
Sarah Bennett born 1771 (Lucy's mother?)

1850 Census of Boston
Stillman Messer born 1796 (a twin of Willard?), grocer, $12,000
Asenath Messer born 1800
Frances "Fannie" Messer born 1830 (no occ.); md. ____ Snow
Daniel Messer born 1834 (no occ.)
Addie Messer born 1836; md. _____ Darling
Gorham B. Messer born 1838 (illegible - erased?); md. Louisa ____
Willard Messer born 1824 (seller of Thomsonian Medicine)
David Messer born 1833 (Errand boy)
Sarah Harley born 1825 (tailoress)

Both Willards disappear from records after the 1850 Census. Lucy Messer and her son David were farming in Watteson, Wisconsin in 1870 but by 1880, Lucy was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts (on Shepard St.) with her 52 year-old daughter, Lucy A. Messer McEllroy, and son-in-law, William McEllroy (a confectioner). The elder Lucy is listed as a widow. The 1887 Directory of Cambridge confirms that Lucy was the widow of Willard and was then living at 28 Shepard St.


Joseph Millett
Born December 22, 1832 in Ernestown, Ontario, Canada to Artemas Millett and Susanna Peters. His entire family (parents and siblings) joined the LDS Church. He first migrated to Utah at the age of 17 in the David Evans Company, arriving in Salt Lake mid-September 1850; his father and step-mother were in the Stephen Markham Company, just days behind him. Married Sarah Elizabeth Glines in Lowell on March 26, 1854. Migrated to Utah with his wife in the Second Wagon Company of the Canute Peterson Company comprised of mostly Scandinavian Saints pushing hand carts, and a few U.S. citizens, arriving in Salt Lake mid-September, 1856. Note that this pioneer company fortunately arrived just a few weeks ahead of the disastrous Martin and Willie Hand Cart Companies, in which hundreds died of starvation and freezing due to early blizzards.

Married Ane Elene Petersen polygamously in July 1863.

Died October 31, 1911.


Loyal C. Nichols
Born about 1809 in Vergennes, Vermont to William and Susan Nichols.  By 1835, Loyal was in Lowell, as bank records show he had a savings account there as a machinist that year (and only that year).

Married the widow Susan Scranton Dow in Lowell on January 1, 1837.  Loyal worked as a machinist in the mills at the time of their marriage. They had one daughter, Susan A. Nichols, born later that year.

Listed in the 1840 Census of Fishkill, Dutchess, New York - 1 male 20-30, 1 female under 5, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 15-20, and 1 female 40-50. Perhaps he was on a mission?

In 1842 he was a watchman for Lowell Carpet and living on William Street. . Mentioned in letter from Erastus Snow, August 29, 1842, as a member of the Lowell Branch. Was Lowell Branch President on September 6, 1843. By 1844, he was a machinist again, still on William Street.

Died of "consumption" in Lowell on September 1, 1844 (aged 35).


Abiel Pevey
Born 17 January 1807 in Greenfield NH to Peter Pevey and Lucy Cummings - brother of Merrill Cummings Pevey (see below). Married Louisa Stone on December 4, 1832 in Greenfield, Hillsborough, New Hamphshire and they later moved to Lowell (between 1844 and 1847) where he worked in the iron foundries as a Master Moulder. Abiel had joined the church and even received his Patriarchal Blessing in 1843. He was also appointed the guardian of a young LDS boy named Charles Agustus Adams of Fitzwilliam NH (where his wife was from), whose parents had died in 1828 and 1841.

The Adams family owned a lot in Nauvoo and eventually part of the lot was deeded to Abiel Pevey, but by 1849 he had become a disbeliever. Wilford Woodruff visited him in January 1850 to try to convince him to migrate to Utah to start an iron foundry there but he refused.  The November 1, 1856 issue of Scientific American (vol. 12, issue 8) announced that Abiel Pevey of Lowell had invented a way to resmelt cast iron turnings, which had been previously useless. In 1870 he patented "Pevey's Cupola" which melted, with one ton of coal, 2000 pounds of iron more than any other cupola in the market. Van Tuyl & Co. of 273 Cherry St. in New York acted as his agents for selling his cupola.

They had six children: John M. George E., Franklin S., James A. and Emily L., and Gilbert A. A. Pevey (a distinguished lawyer in Boston). Only Emily and Gilbert were born in Lowell. Abiel died in Lowell about 1886.

Abiel Peavey photo


Merrill Cummings Pevey
Abiel Pevey’s brother (above). Born on 7 Aug 1812 in Greenfield, Hillsborough Co., NH. Married Elizabeth Stone on June 3, 1841 in Greenfield.  They moved to Lowell about 1846 (Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records show he had an account there in 1846) and knew Apostle Wilford Woodruff there as early as 1848, and he sometimes stayed overnight in their home on Branch Street (such as on December 16, 1848 - see Wilford Woodruff Journal, 3:391).  Occasionally Merrill joined Apostle Woodruff to proselyte in nearby towns in 1850. Merrill worked in the iron foundries of Lowell as a moulder. After moving to Utah, he was a farmer.

They had one daughter, Orianna E. Pevey, born in Lowell on July 12, 1847, who never married and died after 1920 in Lowell.  Merrill and Elizabeth Stone Pevey and their daughter migrated to Utah in the spring of 1850 as part of the Wilford Woodruff Company, along with Leonard W. Hardy and Samuel B. Hardy and their families. The parents were (re)married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on March 30, 1852.  They apparently abandoned Mormonism (perhaps after the official announcement in August 1852 that church leaders were in fact practicing polygamy, or possibly during the religious zeal of the 1856 Reformation, which drove many "fence-sitters" out of the Utah territory or else face vandalism or worse by Danites) for by the 1860 Census, they had returned to Lowell, where Merrill died on August 8, 1873.


Lewis Robbins
Born September 8, 1811 in Rockbridge, Berkshire, Massachusetts to Asa Robbins and Louisa Simmons (one of 11 children). When six, his family moved to Bloomfield, New York, and then six years later, to Norfolk, Connecticut. At 16, he moved with an older brother to New York to apprentice as a blacksmith. Heard Mormonism preached on May 1, 1832 by Elder Simeon Carter, and was baptized by him four days later. Shortly thereafter he moved to Kirtland, where he was ordained an Elder by Joseph Smith. In 1834 he participated in Zion's Camp to Missouri and then settled for a time in Clay County, Mo. Went on several U.S. missions with Orson Pratt, Lorenzo D. Barnes, John Murdock and others. In December 1834, Robbins arrived in Sugar Creek, Indiana on his first mission, where he met up with Orson Pratt. Became a Seventy on February 28, 1835.

On May 17, 1837, Robbins and Samuel Brannan bought 15 acres of land in Kirtland for $600, as part of the larger Mormon land speculation scheme, which ended in failure. Robbins married Francis Smith October 26, 1837 in Kirtland, Ohio (then Mormon headquarters). According to William "Jenkins" Salisbury's journal, on May 7, 1838 Salisbury left Norton, Ohio for Missouri with his wife Katherine Smith Salisbury (sister of Joseph Smith), "Joseph Sr. and Lucy Smith, William, Don Carlos and Agnes, William McClary, and Lewis Robbins, and families, and Sister Singly." They had a daughter named Sariah Eliza born September 8, 1838 in Far West, Missouri (although the1850 Census says Massachusetts). From there they were driven to Nauvoo, where Robbins built a home "on the hill" (apparently near the temple under construction). While in Nauvoo he was was President of the 2nd Quorum of Seventies. According to the History of the Church, v. 2, chapter 29, on June 1, 1843, under the direction of Joseph Smith, "Lewis Robbins and Jacob Gates; have a roving commission for Massachusetts, with leave to take their wives, but to keep out of the churches." Lewis and Francis Smith Robbins returned to the Boston area, where they became supporters in William Smith's circle, getting involved in unethical behavior among the branches.

Robbins was mentioned by Woodruff as being in the company of Elder Joseph Ball and William Smith. Ball and Smith removed the (unnamed) presiding Elder of the Lowell Branch and put Elder Robbins in his place in October 1844, although the branch soon rejected Robbins and instead installed Varanus Libbe as their branch president.  The Lowell and Boston Branches were imploding because these men were preaching “the Lowell girls that is [sic] not wrong to have intercourse with the men what they please & Elder Ball tries to sleep with them when he can”. Both husband and wife got involved in the scandalous trial of Elder John Hardy, and despite the well-known behavior of the womanizing, erratic, and alcoholic William Smith, Francis Smith Robbins was one of 16 members of the Boston Branch to sign a letter of support and commendation for Smith on November 11, 1844 (per the Nauvoo Neighbor, May 14, 1845). Then Lewis and Francis returned to Nauvoo where Lewis ordained Lorenzo Wesley Roundy a Seventy into the Second Quorum on April 8, 1845.

On October 5, 1845, William Smith in Nauvoo wrote to "Bro Robbins" (now back in Lowell, Mass.), defending the right of his nephew, Joseph Smith III, to succeed his father instead of Apostle Young: "Brigham Young is a tirant and userper & he shall not prosper in his fals clames So help me God the man that Robbes the fatherless child [young Smith] God will curse...I shall not trouble Nauvoo myself very soon not at least until they can treat the Smith blood with more respect." [Letter in LDS Church Archives]

In a letter of Agnes Moulton Coolbrith Smith Smith Smith to her third husband, Apostle George A. Smith on June 3, 1846 (as quoted on p. 157 of In Sacred Loneliness), she reported from Nauvoo that she felt ambivalence about joining the westward migration of the Mormons under Young, without support from the living members of the Smith family (William, Emma, and Lucy). She then reported that one of William Smith's plural wifes "Sister Mary Ann [Covington Sheffield Smith] is with me and will come West with me...tomorrow we move on the hill to live at Bro Robbins house...I have Sold the old [Times and Seasons] printing Office for Seventy dollars...." Anges and Mary Ann had worked there at the printing office.

By that November, the two women, Agnes Smith and Mary Ann Smith, had moved to St. Louis, Missouri and were boarding with Lewis Robbins in a house he had rented there (In Sacred Loneliness, p. 158).

The couple then had their second child, a son named Lewis Galloway Robbins, born 1847, in Iowa (although oddly the 1860 Census of Salt Lake City, Utah says be was born "In Atlantic Ocean", which is clearly inaccurate).

Woodruff again noted in his journal on August 12, 1848, that Lewis Robbins was then back in Cambridge; Woodruff met with Robbins, Elder Nathaniel Henry Felt, and Elder Alexander Badlam in that city. Robbins was likely on his way to England on his first of two overseas missions.

His wife Francis died in August 1849 in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, while Robbins was on a mission in England. By the following June, Robbins had married a woman named Mary, probably in Pottawattamie County, Iowa (where they were living in the 1850 Census). In that census, 45 year old "Louis Robins" was an "L.D.S. Clergyman" living with a 34 year old woman named Mary Robins (born in Mass.) and two young children (Sariah - 9, and Lewis -3) in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, the Mormon settlement there - all born in Massachusetts, except young Lewis who was born in Iowa in 1847. In 1851 Elder Robbins returned to Europe for another mission. Lewis Robbins and his two children then went to Utah in the Henry W. Miller Company of 1852. Mary is not listed in the wagon company roster, so she may have left him or died before reaching Utah.

Lewis Robbins married his third wife, Martha Jarvis (1818-1907), on August 3, 1853. Family records claim this marriage took place in Liverpool, England, but there is no evidence that he returned to England a third time. Also, Homer Brown's journal clearly documents that Robbins was in Salt Lake on February 18, 1853, ordaining Brown as a Seventy in the 2nd Quorum. There is no way Robbins could have made it to England in five months. Martha was likely one of his converts from an earlier mission, who had come to Utah on her own. In addition, this marriage was a forced one, as she was some two months pregnant with their first child at the time of their marriage. Don Carlos Robbins was born seven months later on February 6, 1854 in Salt Lake.

Martha Jarvis Robbins gave birth to two more sons: Alvin Robbins (Feb. 8, 1856 in SLC) and Orson Robbins (Jan. 16, 1858 in SLC). In between their births, Lewis's eldest child, Sariah - aged 17, married Charles Pulsipher as his first plural wife on July 16, 1856, during the height of the Reformation.

Lewis Robbins died February 10, 1864 in St. George, Utah in a horrible accicent. While quarrying rock for a chapel in St. George, a five-ton stone suddenly gave way; Lewis ran downhill to escape the rolling stone but he stubbed his toe and fell. The rock, with "fearful velocity", rolled after him and crushed the man to death. It took the workers three hours to extricate his remains from under the boulder. (See his obituary in Deseret News, April 27, 1864.) Despite Lewis Robbins' participation in questionable land specuatlion in Kirtland, unauthorized "spiritual wifery" in New England, support of premarital sex with "the Lowell girls", support of the clearly erratic (and soon excommunicated) William Smith, and getting a woman pregnant outside of marriage, the unnamed author of his obituary (apparently a former missionary companion while in England) found Robbins to be "a man of sterling worth and of unflinching integrity".

Lewis Galloway Robbins died March 14, 1890 in Park City, Utah. Sariah Eliza Robbins Pulsipher died February 4, 1921.


Jeremiah L. Roundy
From Marblehead, Mass (or Bangor, Maine?) but by October 1848, he is a member of the Lowell Branch, per Rockwood’s journal.  Married Mary Ann Littlefield, December 30, 1841 in Bangor, Maine?  (Perhaps the son of Lacey Roundy and Jane Libby of Bangor?)  Died in Doniphan Co. Kansas in 1862?


George Smith Rust
Born January 23, 1834 in Lowell, Orleans, VT to William Walker Rust and Mary Thurston Rand.  Married first Eliza Sophia Brown in Mormon Grove, Atchison, Kansas on November 18, 1855.  35 year old George then married second 15 year old Sabre Jane Beckstead on October 5, 1869 in Salt Lake.


William Walker Rust
Born on August 14, 1808 in Danville, Caledonia, VT to John Rust and Mary Towel.  Married first Mary Thurston Rand (of New Hampshire) in Cabot, Vermont on March 29, 1833. They have five children, only two of whom reached their teens, and only George Smith Rust reached adulthood. 

While in Vermont, William had an affair with his sister-in-law and sired a daughter by her.  The scandal forced him and his pregnant wife to move to Lowell.

Mary died soon after giving birth in Lowell, Mass. on August 24, 1839.  William then married Laura Marie Barrows (b. 1810 in Mansfield, CT; widow of Reuben Hartshorn, who died in Nauvoo? in 1841) on January 1, 1842 (in Nauvoo?)  Barrows died soon thereafter, on July 5, 1843, apparently in Mansfield, CT.  William then married Wealthy Merrill (born about 1811 in Mass.) in Nauvoo on November 19, 1843.  He then married polygamously Mary Aspin (b. 1815 in England) in Nauvoo on November 12, 1845.  Mary may have been the first polygamous wife of William Smith (we only know that her last name was spelled As**n and that she lived in Lowell, Mass.)  He and Mary Aspin Rust and their children were in the William Snow/Joseph Young Company, arriving in Utah on October 1, 1850. After moving to Utah, he also married Elizabeth Baker in 1854 and Jane Dixon in 1855. William was also in the Charles A. Harper Company, arriving in Salt Lake from Mormon Grove, Kansas on October 31, 1855.

William was in the Nauvoo Legion and then was a private (serving as assistant surgeon) in Company C of the Mormon Battalion, under Capt. James Brown.

Died on September 18, 1894 in Payson, Utah.


D. Sawyer
Lowell Branch Clerk on September 6,1843. Lowell banking records show that Daniel Sawyer, a carder in the mills, had a bank account in 1847.

In the 1850 Census of Lowell, a 21 year old carpenter named Daniel Sawyer (born in Vermont) was boarding with Sarah Knight. He's rather young but it's possible he was a branch clerk at 14 or so (or that his age was misrecorded).


Cyrus Snell
Born November 19, 1809 in Eaton, Carroll, NH to Smyardus Snell and Lucy Phillips. Married Rhoda Barnes on November 21, 1832. His wife's maternal grandparents, Charles Dixon or Dickson and Rhoda Emerson, joined the LDS Church in the mid-1830s and moved to Kirtland, Ohio in October 1837. The Snell family probably joined the Mormon Church about the same time, as they named their son Cyrus Alma Snell in 1838; the man's name "Alma" comes from the Book of Mormon.

Cyrus and his entire family are listed in the 1850 Census of Lowell and his occupation is given as "Clothier", so he was probably in Lowell because of the cotton mills.

According to a 1934 history of Sackville, Canada, Cyrus Snell purchased the mill at Frosty Hollow (in Sackville) and worked there until he and his family converted to Mormonism. After living in Lowell, the family moved to Wisconsin (perhaps as a Strangite faction of Mormonism?) and thence on to Salt Lake and Spanish Fork, Utah. He formed his own small, independent company in 1854 to travel overland to Utah.

At the age of 64, Cyrus was walking along a street in Salt Lake at 9:30 at night in mid-May of 1873 with $900 in large bills on his person. He was attacked by Robert Mitchel and Robert Mellen, one of them strangling from behind with his arm. Cyrus died September 5, 1873 from injuries sustained in the attack.


Samuel Lindsey Sprague Sr.
Born March 1804 or 1805 in Boston to Samuel L. and Abigail Sprague. Samuel was a physician in Lowell and had a bank account there in 1835. Married Mary Warner in Lowell on April 10, 1842. They had a son, Samuel Lindsey Sprague Jr., born in Lowell on March 23, 1843. The family migrated to Utah in the 1848 Brigham Young Company. At the age of 47, Mary Warner Sprague gave birth to a daughter, Mary Ann, in 1851. In 1860, the family was living in the 13th Ward of Salt Lake, next door to Joseph W. Young.

After June 1860, 17 year old Samuel Jr. apparently went on a brief mission (or other expedition back east), returning to Utah a year later, in the Joseph W. Young Company of 1861. He then married Marianna Kimball, the grandaughter of Apostle Heber C. Kimball, in 1869, and they had eight children. Mary Ann Sprague married George R. Maxwell (I believe he was not a Mormon) on July 21, 1872. He was US Marshal to the Utah Territory from 1873 to 1876.

Dr. Sprague died August 16, 1886.


Joseph Stratton
Blessed two eldest children of Francis Fletcher in 1843.


George Washington Wilkins
Born in New Hampshire October 28, 1822 to Abraham Wilkins and Mary Emmons. In 1839 apprenticed as a mold-maker in an iron foundry.  Converted by Elder Eli P. Maginn and baptized by him in Petersoboro, NH on October 9, 1842, and then ordained an Elder in 1844. 

In the 1845 city directory of Boston, a George W. Wilkins is listed as employed in "W. I. goods" on Broad Street, and living at 88 Purchase Street.

Settled in Lowell and there married Catherine Augusta Lovett in Lowell on July 4, 1846 (by Leonard Hardy).  Wilford Woodruff stayed in their home in Lowell on Christmas Eve, 1848. They remained in Lowell until April 19, 1849 when they left for Utah.  They arrived six months later on October 12, 1849, part of the Allen Taylor CompanyBrigham Young employed him to cut lumber and build homes in the Salt Lake Valley.  Then in 1852, Young sent Wilkins, some 500 other Mormons and many of the Mormon-owned slaves to settle in San Bernardino.  They returned in 1855 in the William McBride Company and permanently settled in Spanish Fork, where he farmed and started a molasses mill.  Wilkins became the bishop of the Spanish Fork Ward in 1862.  Went on a one-year mission to England in 1871.

George W. Wilkins
George Washington Wilkins

At age of 64 George married second, the just-turned 16 Mary Margarette Cable Mayer, on September 17, 1887.  They had two children.  He died in Spanish Fork, Utah on March 19, 1916.


James Wilson Wilkins (?)
Born April 11, 1820 in Peterborough NH.  Became a Mormon with his brother, George Washington Wilkins (see).  Married Adeline Sophia Atkins on July 4, 1847 in the Nauvoo Temple.  Left for Utah in spring 1851 and arrived in Salt Lake on September 15, 1852, a member of the Robert Wimmer Company.  Was he ever in Lowell with his brother???


Jefferson Wright
Born July 30, 1825 in Groton, Middlesex to Asa and Bathsheba Dadman Wright, brother of Esther Bathsheba Wright Fletcher.

Married 16 year old Sarah Elizabeth Angell (niece of Truman O. Angell and Susan Eliza Savage) on December 12, 1847 at Winter Quarters, Nebraska and they had 14 children in Utah.  The two were in Brigham Young’s 1848 Pioneer Company.  Also married her sister, Sarah Jane Angell (date unknown), who was in the same Company with her parents, in 1848.  Died in February 1896 in Virgin, Washington, Utah.


Aaron York
Blessed two eldest children of Francis Fletcher in 1843.






Missionaries, Apostles, and Council of the Fifty in the Lowell Branch

The information includes known dates when they were in Lowell, other important events involving the apostles and missionaries while at Lowell, and their photos, if available.


George J. Adams – Feb - Mar 1843; 1844 - March 1845 (then sent to Nauvoo to stand trial for apostacy and immorality).

George Washington Joshua Adams

William I. Appleby – May 1847; at the end of the month, Appleby wrote a letter to Brigham Young wondering if “amalgamation” (inter-racial marriage) was approved of by the church and informing him that black Mormon Enoch Lovejoy Lewis of the Lowell Branch, has married a white Mormon woman.  Presided over all the branches in New Jersey, Penn, and Delaware in October 1848 so Wilford Woodruff could go “east”.

Ezra T. Benson – early spring – July 1843 (called to be Lowell Branch President); Jan 1845-

Ezra T. Benson


Samuel Brannan - August 1844

Samuel Brannan


Isaac Butterfield (1816-?) Baptized Francis Fletcher and Esther Bathsheba Wright Fletcher, July 1842, in Westford, MA (just southwest of Lowell).


Jesse Wentworth Crosby – Dec 1844 (Lowell Branch President, replacing Varanus Libbe) until March 1845 (when he resigned presidency and returned to Nauvoo per council of Parley P. Pratt). Married Hannah Elida Baldwin of Lowell in Nauvoo in November 1845.

Nathaniel Henry Felt - Aug 1848 in Cambridge and Lowell

Nathaniel Henry Felt


Benjamin F. Grouard – May 1843, July – Sep 1843 (then to Hawai’i)

Orson Hyde – Mar 1843; late July 1844?  John Greenleaf Whittier, the famous Quaker poet and abolitionist, may have witnessed Hyde and Enoch Lovejoy Lewis preaching in Lowell after the death of Joseph Smith. Whittier does not name the apostle, but says he has just returned from Europe, which fits with Hyde's journey to Palestine and Europe.

Orson Hyde


William Hyde - mid-April 1843. From his private journal: "The forepart of April I took my leave of Brother Wilber, who expected to follow in a few days, and started on my return route. I traveled on foot and by stage to Peterborough, New Hampshire, and from thence to Lowell, Massachusetts. At this place I found Elder E. T. Benson. I stopped in Lowell 2 days and delivered three public discourses. During this time there were 2 baptized. Baptism administered by Elder Benson. From Lowell I journeyed to Worcester."

William Hyde

Eli P. Maginn  - Feb 1842 – May 1843, July - Sep 1843 (to preside over Lowell Branch)  On January 27, 1844, Maginn married polygamously to Lowell resident, Abigail Seekel Ricketson in New Bedford, Bristol, Mass.  He died from tuberculosis just four months later in Lowell.  Maginn was born in Ohio or Massachusetts about 1817 to Stephen Maginn or McGinn and Mable Adkins Riley (Morse).  Had an older half-brother, Justus Morse.  The whole Maginn-Morse family converted to Mormonism in 1833.  Eli was ordained a Seventy before 1842, at the age of 24.  His first wife, Hannah _______, remained in Nauvoo while he was on his various missions to the eastern states, and had his endowments performed vicariously in 1846, two years after his death.  It is unlikely Hannah knew of Eli’s polygamous married to Ricketson; also church leaders at the time strongly discouraged the practice of polygamy away from church headquarters, as they were trying to keep it secret.  (Justus Morse, after multiple polygamous marriages, moved to San Bernardino CA where he converted to the Reorganized LDS Church and he then moved to Lamoni, Iowa, where he died.)

Julian Moses - August 1842

Freeman Nickerson - 1844 or early 1845 (He was the founder of the Boston Branch, later it's President; he also preached in Lowell against "the spiritual wife system" sometime around early 1845, which led to the death of Sarah E. Wallace.)

Parley P. Pratt – early 1843 until July 1844.  In November or December 1843 while at North Bridge (Concord) Mass. which is halfway between Boston and Lowell, he wrote his famous dialogue “Joe Smith and the Devil”. First published in the New York Herald on January 1, 1844.  December 1844 returned to Boston and presided over the local branches (including Lowell).

Parley P. Pratt


Albert Perry Rockwood – Sep 1848.  (NOTE: Both he and his first wife, Nancy Haven, were also born in Holliston, Middlesex, Mass. near Lowell in 1805.)

William Smith – summer 1843 – early 1844?  May  1844 –  April 1845. Secretly married Mary Ann Covington Sheffield on March 26, 1845 (in Lowell?); she later received her Patriarchal Blessing from Smith in August 1845 in Nauvoo (and married Chauncey Walker West in 1864 in Salt Lake).  In June 1844, Smith and his severely ailing first wife, Caroline Grant Smith, were in Boston.  They returned to Nauvoo in April, and she died in Nauvoo on May 22, 1845.  Ordained Patriarch to the Church on May 24, 1845 in Nauvoo. Brigham Young civilly married Smith to 16 year old Mary Jane Rollins on June 22, 1845.  Rollins Smith received her Patriarchal Blessing from Smith on July 7, 1845 (in which she is called his wife).  But she left him on September 3, 1845, when she found out that Smith had secretly married (Mary Jones in July?).  (Did she commit suicide per Nauvoo Neighbor report of woman’s suicide that day?  Or did she later marry Frank Williamson and then W. N. Taylor?)  In 1845, Smith also married 14-19 year old Henriette/Harriet Rice; 19 year old Elizabeth Weston (who then was sealed in the Nauvoo Temple to Henry Earl Lamoreaux on January 20, 1846); 22 year old Priscilla Magridge/Morgridge/Mogridge and perhaps her 19 year old sister Sarah (who both later married William Carter Staines polygamously); 27 year old Sarah Ann Libby and her 19 year old sister Hannah Maria Libby (who both were sealed to George Albert Smith in the Nauvoo Temple on January 20, 1846; Sarah M. Cooney; Abeanade E. Archer.

William Smith


Wilford Woodruff – Oct 1844

Wilford Woodruff


Brigham Young – 1835 (first to preach Mormonism in Lowell); often in Boston in the mid-1840s. 

Brigham Young



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