S: George William Stevens 1873-1906
BC: The Saga of Catherine and George (Tune: “The Old Oaken Bucket”) Kate Richards was born in the land of old England And gathered to Zion with her family when three. In Manti her father cut stones for the Temple, But they moved on to Ferron, a poor family. Then tragedy struck when her father and mother Were taken by death, with a child newly born. The six orphaned children were split up and scattered To no more know the closeness that families can form. In the home of the Fred Olsen Kate grew up through girlhood; She worked hard at housework with very little play. At thirteen she earned pay doing hand laundry for others; Not much time for school, it was hard in her day. George William Stevens moved to Ferron when he was a young boy. A hard-working lad who was studious in school. When Catherine and George met, ‘twas mutual attraction. They courted in youth, temple marriage their goal. Together they planned for their future forever. Built a home, farm and lovingly planted each tree. Then five lovely children were born to their union, But sorrow was theirs as they lost one baby. George worked hard at farming, bookkeeping and freighting, Went to Provo to school at B. Y. Academy. He taught school, invested in farm and the future. Together they made plans for their family. From the Church came a call for George to go on a mission, The Gospel to preach in New Zealand far away. In December he left friends and loved ones together, With Kate left to care for the small family. The weather was cold and George came down with fever. He labored with love though he ached all the more. With faith in the Lord he continued his mission, But died before he finished on that far away shore. For Catherine the shock was too great for the taking. Depression came o’er her; she lost faith in prayer; But loved ones and friends gathered ‘round and sustained her. Years later she found faith through service and care. The children grew up through years of hard work and trials, They married and then raised their own families. Kate served in the Church and community also. She was loved and respected as anyone can be. At sixty she sold home and farmland in Ferron. She then moved to Logan near her loved ones to be. She climaxed her life serving God in the Temple; With joy she served others so unselfishly. At age eighty-five she died, peacefully sleeping; Reunited with George and loved ones gone before. She loved all her children and grandchildren, also. A strong testimony she faithfully bore. ---- By Vera Stevens Winkel, Granddaughter
FC: George William Stevens 1873-1906 | Written by: Catherine Richards Stevens (Wife) Compiled by: Mandy Larson Heal (Great Great Grand Daughter)
1: Great Grandparents | Parents | Grandparents | Joseph Smith Stevens Sr. B: 12 Mar 1845 Yellrome, Hancock, IL D: 8 Nov 1919 Salt Lake City, Utah, | Abigail Martina King Stevens B: 16 Sep 1849 Council Bluffs, Iowa, M: 12 Aug 1865 Circleville, Utah, D: 24 Jul 1913 Ferron, Utah, | Lyman Stevens B: 7 Feb 1812 Danby, New York, M: 21 Jan 1836 Kirtland, Ohio D: 18 Apr 1886 Ferron, Emery, Utah, z | Margaret "Martha" Durfee B: 17 Nov 1811 Lenox, New York D: 2 Nov 1874 Shonesburg, Utah | Eleazer King Jr. B: 05 May 1811 Sunderland, Vermont Death Date: 23 Mar 1897 Spring City, Sanpete, Ut. | Edmund Durfee B: 3 Oct 1788 Tiverton,Rhode Island M: 18 Oct 1809 D: 15 Nov 1845 Green Plains, Illinois | Eleazer King B: 11 Oct 1784 Williamstown, Mass. M: 27 May 1804 Williamstown, Mass D: 14 May 1854 Spring City, Utah | Nancy Fowler B: 31 Mar 1788 Williamstown, Mass D: 8 Nov 1845 Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois | Susan Hart B: 2 Dec 1798 Avon, New York D: 23 Dec 1834 Avon, Livingston, New York | Jonathan II Stevens B: ABT 1775 Stamford, Fairfield, CT Death 1846 | Olive Hyatt B:14 Jul 1775 Ridgefield, CT D: 1843 | Magdalena "Lana" Pickle B: 6 June1788 Tiverton, Rhode Island D: 17 May 1850 Musketol, Iowa | Samuel Fowler B: 14 Dec 1790 Williamston, CT D: 24 Jul 1848 Iowa, United States | George William Stevens B: 19 Jan 1873 Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah D: 26 Jul 1906 Invercargill, Sthld, New Zealand | Mary Caroline Fowler B: 19 Nov 1818 Avon, New York D: 29 Mar 1880 Spring City, Utah,
2: Edmund Durfee and Magdalena "Lana" Pickle Paternal Great Grandparents of George W. Stevens | “The Durfee ancestry, as far as is known, goes back five generations to Thomas Durfee, immigrant to America. He was born in England in 1643. When he was only seventeen years old, he left England and set sail for America. He settled at Portsmouth, Rhode Island Colony. Five sons and one daughter were born at Portsmouth; however, Thomas’ first wife’s name is unknown. After her death, he married widow Deliverance Hall Tripp and they had two daughters. Thomas Durfee was a prominent citizen of Portsmouth, taking an active part in both business and town government affairs. William F. Reed’s Vol. 1 ‘Descendants of Thomas Durfee’ gives a short biography which describes him ‘as a man of resolute character having respect and confidence of his fellow townsmen as shown by business transactions. These imperishable traits of character have been handed down to his posterity, among these will be seen founders of our country, statesmen, officers of government, students of universities, and those who have been willing to give their lives in the defense of freedom of our great country.’ Edmund (also spelled Edmond) Durfee was born 3 October 1788 in Newport County, Rhode Island. Edmund was only seventeen when his father died in May of 1800. The following year, Edmund’s grandparents, James and Ann Durfee, and their sixteen year old son, Ephraim, moved from Tiverton to New York state, taking with them their fatherless grandsons. (Edmund’s father was Perry Durfee, whose father was James Durfee, whose father was Benjamin Durfee, Jr., whose father was Benjamin Durfee, Sr., whose father was Thomas.) They settled in Broadalbin, Montgomery County (now Fulton County), New York, where Edmund spent his young manhood. In about 1810 Edmund went a little farther west to seek a plot of land for himself, which he found in Madison County, New York. This is probably where Edmund met Magdalena, known as ‘Lana’. Her parents moved to Lincoln, Madison County, about 1790. Magdalena was born June 6, 1788 to John and Magdalena Pickle. She was the seventh in a family of thirteen children born at Stone Arabia, Montgomery, New York. Her grandparents and great-grandparents also lived in Stone Arabia after immigrating to America from Germany and Prussia. Their homeland had recently been devastated by war; heavy taxes had been imposed upon them; religious disagreements had occurred; and they had been attracted by a vigorous advertising propaganda announcing that rich land was available in the New World. They longed for the greater opportunities for advancement there, and the dangers involved appealed to their own love of adventure. After their marriage, they settled in the little town of Lennox, Madison County, New York, where they had six children. Then they moved to Amboy, Oswego, New York, where six more were born.At Amboy, Edmund bought land, built a home, farmed, and worked at his trade as a carpenter and millwright. Maple trees abounded in that area and Edmund bought more land with many maple trees on it. In June of 1830, he sold his sugar bush and farm, and moved to Ohio. During the Winter of 1830, rumors began circulating about Joe Smith and a ‘gold bible’ which he had translated. Spring 1831, Solomon Hancock came to Ruggles to preach the new gospel established by Joseph Smith. He was allowed to preach in the meeting house where the Durfee family attended. They became very interested in the new religion, and attended both the Methodist meetings and the meetings conducted by the ‘Mormon’ elders. They listened to the story of the Lord sending the Angel Moroni to Joseph Smith and how the Church of Jesus Christ had been restored in the latter-days. They learned that the Book of Mormon was a second witness for Christ; that Salvation is gained only by coming to Jesus Christ and doing his will through the saving ordinances of the Gospel. They were astonished to learn the truth, for it was different from the rumors they had heard beforehand. They were thrilled to learn that with the restoration of the Gospel of Christ came the true and holy priesthood of God – giving authority to administer in the ordinances of Salvation. This new restored Gospel message found its way into the heart of Edmund, Lana, and their family. Edmund was baptized by Simeon Carter on May 15, 1831. Lana was baptized by Solomon Hancock on June 1, 1831. Edmund was ordained an Elder in the Priesthood by Simeon Carter and Solomon Hancock soon after his baptism. The Durfee family rejoiced in this new way of life and gladly adhered to its principles. They were to become part of the central core of the Church during its early growth period and their contribution to Church and posterity cannot be measured in words. (Edmund sat in meetings with the prophet Joseph Smith.) In December 1831, Edmund was called on a mission for the Church. He and his companion, Joseph Brackenbury, labored in Chautauqua County, New York. Traveling without ‘purse or script’ (money), they trusted in the Lord and their fellowmen for food and shelter. Many believed the Elders’ testimonies and were baptized. Opposition arose against them and caused the death of Elder Brackenbury. He died January 7 in Pomfret from the effects of poison administered to him by their opposers who afterward boasted that Mormon elders did not have enough faith to withstand poison. | Protsmouth, RI
3: After his mission he left for Jackson County, Missouri, with nine other men, to help build up the new country. Edmund was called on another mission back to the states in May of 1832. Edmund returned to his family in Ruggles in the Fall of 1832 and proceeded to sell his farm and possessions so he could join with the Prophet and the saints in Kirtland, Ohio. They prepared to live in Kirtland so as to assist with the building of the Kirtland Temple. He spent a great deal of time and means in the construction of that beautiful edifice. They were present at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Many marvelous manifestations occurred at this time. All the saints had sacrificed and labored with all their strength and means for three years to build the temple. It should be noted that these people had little in the way of financial resources. The leaders among them had been devoting their time and energies to missionary labors. Nevertheless, they had received a commandment to build a sacred house; they set upon their task and no effort was spared to create a house worthy of Deity. It was erected at a cost of seventy-five thousand dollars. Besides financial difficulties, another trial was added when enemies threatened destruction and the saints had to guard the temple site day and night or the walls they had erected would have been torn down by vandals. As the Church grew in numbers and spiritual strength, the forces working against it became more vigorous. Persecution increased. The Durfee family living in Kirtland had escaped the early period of dire persecutions in Missouri. But in the Spring of 1837, they decided to join the saints in Missouri. In the company of 500-600 saints, Edmund, Lana and eight unmarried children set out on the long journey to Caldwell County. (Oldest daughter, Martha, had married Lyman Stevens, and they and another son’s family took the trip about this time also). By the Fall of 1838, nearly the whole body of the Church was located in these two counties. The Durfee families settled at a place called ‘Log Creek’; six miles south of Far West. On July 4, 1838, they laid the cornerstone for a new temple at Far West. But these conditions of peace and progress which they celebrated were to be short lived. Their old enemies, noting the ever-increasing population and rapid progress, again sowed dissension; united by unscrupulous treachery from within the church which would bring about untold hardships. The same hatred and persecutions that had been aroused against the saints in Jackson County came with full force against them from ministers, officials, and mobocrats. The Lord gave instructions to the saints not to retaliate in kind, but to seek redress through the courts. Obeying the law, the saints appealed to county and state officials for protection and redress of losses of property and lives – to no avail. Homes were entered by force and plundered. All weapons were forcibly taken from the Mormons, even to butcher knives, so that they had no means of defense. Men were dragged from their homes and families – brutally beaten, tarred and feathered, and abused in every conceivable way. When some saints did defend themselves from acts by mobs, the mobocrats sent reports to Governor Boggs that the Mormons were in insurrection, that they refused to submit to law, and that they were preparing to make war on the old settlers. The governor used this as an excuse to issue his ill-famed and that illegal ‘Extermination Order.’ Greatly outnumbered and denied any semblance of legal protection, fifteen thousand members fled their Missouri homes and properties (then valued at a million and a half dollars) without hope of ever being paid for their properties taken over by the mobs. Through the Winter of 1838-39 they painfully made their way eastward towards Illinois, not knowing where else to go. Many died from exposure. Journal History January 29, 1839, page three lists: ‘Lyman Stevens, Albert Miner, Edmund Durfee’..and 380 others..’appointed for removing the poor from the state of Missouri’. After making many trips, the men went back for their families, .so the Durfee family did not get away until April 1839. They crossed the Mississippi River, near Quincy, Illinois, then followed the river northward to a place called Lima (twenty-five miles due south of Nauvoo) in Adams County (Tamma and Albert Miner stayed there). The rest of the Durfee families continued northeast for another two and a half miles where they settled an area called Yelrome which was still part of the Lima Township. (Yelrome is backwards for Morley Town.) Edmund Durfee, now a High Priest, was made a member of the Stake High Council. On the eleventh anniversary of the organization of the Church, April 6, 1841, the four cornerstones for the Nauvoo Temple were laid by: First Presidency – southeast corner; High Priests (Edmund also) – southwest corner; High Council – northwest corner; and the Bishops – northeast corner. Approximately 10,000 people were present. The majestic temple rose steadily in the midst of sacrifice to become the most beautiful structure in Illinois. Edmund and his brothers, James and Jabez, helped with the building of the Nauvoo Temple. Nauvoo became quite a beautiful and peaceful city. By 1844 the saints had built a city without equal on all of the American Frontier. The Mormons were hard working and industrious; but because of the extreme poverty they labored under, their problems were seriously aggravated. In 1842, Joseph had prophesied that ‘the saints would continue to suffer much affliction and be driven to the Rocky Mountains; many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease.’ Edmund and Lana would be some of the first to witness the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy.
4: After killing Joseph, (at Carthage jail) the mobocrats laid the plan to burn Yelrome, then attack some other place, and finally drive all of the Mormons to Nauvoo. When that was accomplished, they planned to move them from Nauvoo by help from other areas. The first blow was struck as planned. On the night of September 10, 1845, armed ruffians on horseback rode to the home of Edmund Durfee and rudely ordered him and his family outside. They rolled ten year old Nephi, ill in bed, up in his mattress and carried him outside and then set fire to Edmund’s house, barn and other buildings (nothing was saved). The mob of 100 to 200 men followed this procedure several succeeding nights until the homes of most of the saints in the Morley Settlement (Yelrome) were destroyed. From one hundred to one hundred and seventy-five houses were thus ruined. A messenger was dispatched to Nauvoo to inform Brigham Young (now leader of the Church) of the outrage and to solicit aid. President Young sent a letter of comfort and included council to not retaliate against the marauders as they were anxious for such an act on the part of the saints to give them excuse for further outrages. The Church leaders sent out 134 teams and wagons to bring in the families and grain, according to Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 7, p. 443. Edmund and the others had not procured all their crops at Morley’s Settlement and an agreement had been made with the mob to allow the men to return and harvest their stacked grain in November. It was Saturday night and their wagons had been loaded for the return trip. Sadly the men carried Edmund’s body and placed him in one of their wagons, then drove the twenty-five miles to Nauvoo to break the sad news to his family and then bury him. (The following article was written in the Deseret News later in memory of Edmund Durfee): Fire!’ someone shouted in the midnight darkness. Several men jumped up and ran to the windows of the Solomon Hancock house. As they peered out, their faces glowed with the reflected light from the blazing straw out in the yard. ulling on their trousers, they ran out into the yard, seizing rakes and other implements to scatter and beat out the flames. As they worked furiously, a shrill whistle came from the darkness. An answer was heard from the opposite direction. The crack of a rifle was followed by five more shots. One of the silhouettes near the fire staggered and fell to the ground. The shooting stopped. The men around the fire examined their companion then carried him to the house. Edmund Durfee, of Yelrome, Illinois, a member of the Lima High Council, carpenter, millwright, and farmer had died instantly on this night of November 15, 1845. He was the victim of a mischievous gang of drunkards who considered Mormon shooting a fair sport. The winning marksman received a gallon of whiskey. In the months following the death of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the lives and property of the members of the Church in Illinois were continually threatened with mob violence. Two months prior to the fatal shooting on the 15th, a mob had ridden into the settlement of Yelrome and burned nearly all of the homes. They had burst into the Durfee home on that September day and had ordered the family to get out. Ten year-old Nephi, ill in bed, had been rolled up in his mattress and carried out. Two of the rowdies then had gone over to the oat stack, fired two bundles and tossed them onto the roof. The gang rode off leaving the bewildering family to watch the destruction of their belongings.Sadly the Durfees left Yelrome to seek safety and shelter among friends in Nauvoo. | Morley Settlement
5: The mobsters had agreed to allow the Yelrome men to return in peace to the settlement to harvest their crops which would be needed on the contemplated journey to the West. Elder Durfee and his companions were pursuing this work according to the agreement when the unwarranted attack occurred. Elder Durfee’s body was taken to Nauvoo for burial. The ‘Nauvoo Neighbor,’ in an editorial, characterized him as ‘one of the most industrious, inoffensive and good men that could be found’. Edmund Durfee remained true to the Church in spite of all that mobs could do and finally joined those who had paid the ultimate price for their loyalty to the Restored Gospel.’ (End of article). No one could possibly understand the grief and terror which must have filled Lana’s heart at such a tragedy. Her one son was wounded in the heel of his foot in one of the battles to defend the City of Nauvoo. The mobocrats were surprised when they saw the saints continue to build on their temple. Instead of the work coming to a halt, it was speeded up so the saints could receive their endowments before crossing the plains in the spring. While workmen were upstairs hurrying to complete the inside of the temple, workmen downstairs were hurrying to build wagons to carry the saints away from their temple. Snow lay on the ground when the saints were able to attend the temple sessions for three months. (Lana had her work done and her children did, and she was sealed to Edmund for time and all eternity by Pres. Brigham Young.) She was married to Jabez Durfee (Edmund’s brother) for time only. (His first wife had died). Once again expulsion faced the Durfees. Lana, Jabez, and her two boys, Jabez and Nephi, left Nauvoo with the main body of saints in February 1846. They were able to cross the Mississippi River on the ice that had formed because the winter weather was so bitter cold. They spent the winter in a settlement called Winter Quarters. It was decided that Brigham Young and a vanguard of men should cross the plains in the Spring of 1847, plant crops, then return to Winter Quarters and lead the way for the migration of the 20,000 saints the following year. They were making preparations to leave in the Spring of 1850; however, the more than four years of hardship and exposure of camp life took their toll and Lana died 17 May 1850 at the Mormon Encampment at Musketol Creek, Council Bluffs, Iowa, at the age of sixty-two. Joseph Smith’s prophecy regarding the persecution and move of the saints to the Rocky Mountains was literally fulfilled in the lives of the Durfee family. Edmund ‘would be put to death by our persecutors,’ Lana would lose her ‘life in consequence of exposure and disease’ (t wo sons also died); ‘many would apostatize’ (two of their children did. One repented and was accepted back into the Church); ‘and some of you will live and go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains’ (eight of Edmund’s and Lana’s children did cross the plains and began to ‘make the desert blossom like a rose.’)” * * * * * * * http://www.mormonhistoricsitesfoundation.org/publications/nj_spring1999/NJ11.1_Historic%20Sites.pdf [This is an abridgement from the prepared history by Gloria Galloway] | Winter Quarters | Council Bluffs Prairie
6: Lyman Stevens and "Martha" Durfee George W. Steven's Paternal Grandparents | The genealogy of Lyman Stevens has a starting point in America with Thomas Stevens, who died in 1658. He was the father of Obadiah Stevens, who married Rebecca Rose, December 18, 1678, the daughter of Robert and Rebecca Rose. He died December 24, 1702, in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut. Their first child, Thomas Stevens, was born there September 6, 1679. He married Sarah Adams, daughter of Daniel Adams and Mary Phelps, and they were the parents of Daniel Stevens, born March 30, 1711, in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut. Daniel married Judith Webb, daughter of Jonathan and Judith Webb. Their son, Amos Stevens, was born April 2, 1743, in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut. Amos married Mercy Weed, daughter of Hezekiah Weed and Mercy Seely, also of Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut. They were the parents of Jonathan Stevens, born in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut. Jonathan married Olive Hyatt, daughter of Uzziel Hyatt and Rachel Smith. Olive died in 1843; Jonathan died in 1846 (Ancestral File: 3 April 1843). To Jonathan and Olive was born a son, Lyman Stevens. They had moved from Connecticut to Danby, Tompkins County, New York, where Lyman was born on February 12, 1812. Though nothing is on record concerning his early youth, he must have been in search of truth, for on May 27, 1831, at the age of 19, Lyman was baptized at Kirtland, Ohio, into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Lyman’s parents, Jonathan and Olive Hyatt Stevens, were baptized March 13, 1831. The following quotation is from History of the Church, Vol. 2, Ch. 19, pg. 253: “On the 24th the High Council at Kirtland ordained Jonathan Stevens an Elder,and instructed him and his sons, Uzziel and Lyman, and his son-in-law, John E. Page, Elders, to locate their families and then go forth and preach the Gospel.” On January 21, 1836, Lyman Stevens married Martha Durfee. She was the daughter of Edmund Durfee and Lana Pickle, and was born November 17, 1811, in Lennox, Madison County, New York. She and her parents had joined the Church and had come to Kirtland to live with the saints. Lyman and Martha were staunch admirers and friends of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and of his brother, the Patriarch, Hyrum Smith, after whom they named two of their sons at a later date. They followed them steadfastly through many trials and tribulations. After their marriage, they migrated to Missouri, and from there to Yelrome, Illinois, and later to Nauvoo, Illinois. Lyman Stevens was ordained an elder May 9, 1838, the certificate of which is still possessed by his family, bearing the signatures of Joseph Smith and Frederick G. Williams; and also his certificate of ordination to a high priest dated May 11, 1843, is still possessed by his descendants. Lyman and Martha became the parents of eight sons. The first two were born in Waukersaw, Ray County, Missouri; John on November 25, 1836, and Reuben Lyman on August 29, 1838. This was while the saints were suffering trials and tribulations at the hands of unfriendly neighbors in Ray County, Missouri. This was near Far West, where on July 4, 1838, the cornerstone for a new temple was laid. The same hatred and persecutions that had been aroused against the saints in Jackson County came with full force against them from ministers, officials, and mobocrats. The Lord gave instructions to the saints not to retaliate in kind, but to seek redress through the courts. Obeying the law, the saints appealed to county and state officials for protection and redress of losses of property and lives, to no avail.
7: When some saints did defend themselves from acts by mobs, the mobocrats sent reports to Governor Boggs that the Mormons were in insurrection, that they refused to submit to law, and that they were preparing to make war on the old settlers. The governor used this as an excuse to issue his ill-famed and illegal ‘Extermination Order.’ Greatly outnumbered and denied any semblance of legal protection, about fifteen thousand members fled their Missouri homes and properties (then valued at a million and a half dollars) without hope of ever being paid for their properties taken over by the mobs. Through the winter of 1838-39 they painfully made their way eastward towards Illinois, not knowing where else to go. Many died from exposure. It was during this time that the Prophet Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail. Lyman’s son John died in 1837 or 1838. Journal History Jan. 29, 1839, page three lists: ‘Lyman Stevens, Albert Miner, Edmund Durfee’and 380 others..'appointed for removing the poor from the state of Missouri’. After making many trips, the men went back for their families, so the Stevens and Durfee family did not get away until April 1839. They crossed the Mississippi River, near Quincy, Illinois, then followed the River northward to a place called Lima (twenty-five miles due south of Nauvoo) in Adams County, and later settled in an area 2 miles northeast called Yelrome (Morley Settlement)) which was in Hancock County. The next three sons, Hyrum Smith, Edward Jonathan, and Joseph Smith, were born at or near Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, in the years 1840, 1843, and 1845, respectively. Lyman Stevens participated in the building of Nauvoo and the Temple, also. Morton W. Foys states that Lyman Stevens was a doorkeeper of the temple when Joseph Smith cast out the devil from Hyrum Smith. Lyman later said that Joseph used all his power and authority to prevent the devil from accomplishing his fiendish desire. Lyman also had a specific assignment in being one of Joseph Smith’s bodyguards. He merited and received special assignments which he faithfully accepted and fulfilled. Following the martyrdom of Joseph Smith in 1844, Lyman and Martha, though discouraged, continued in faith to be staunch members of the Church While sorrowing with the saints over the loss of their leaders, Lyman and Martha were called upon in August 1844, to lose their year and half old son, Edward Jonathan. They continued to stand firm following this, however, and went through the trials and tribulations heaped upon the saints in and about Nauvoo. Seeing that Mormonism did not die with its first Prophet but was prospering, the ‘old citizens’ again commenced hostilities. They attacked the Mormon settlements in the south part of Hancock County, set fire to Buel’s flour mill and carding machine; and then commenced to burn the houses of the people, their stacks of hay and grain, together with their stables and everything that fire could destroy, continuing the work until from one hundred to one hundred and seventy five houses were thus burned and destroyed. The historian, Gregg, says, “For a week the burnings continued until the whole of Morley-Town (Yelrome) was in ashes, ..In all instances, their occupants were driven off.” The houses of Lyman Stevens and Edmund Durfee, Martha’s father, were among those thus destroyed in Yelrome, while their occupants were driven into the bushes, where men, women, and children laid drenched with rain through the night, anxiously awaiting the breaking of day. By late September, the Saints were leaving their lands and possessions in the smaller settlements to flee to Nauvoo for protection. The Church leaders sent out 134 teams and wagons to bring in the families and grain. On November 15, 1845, while gathering grain harvest with other men, Edmund Durfee, Martha’s father, was shot and killed by one of the mob. The following is an excerpt from a letter to K.R. Stevens, Jr., from T. Edgar Lyon, dated March 25, 1977: “Your ancestor, if his wife’s name was Martha Durfee, purchased Lot 2 of Block 121 in Nauvoo, in 1840. The price was $350.00 and was payable in ten annual installments of $35.00. If he paid at that rate, he did not have it paid for at the time of the exodus – sorry I haven’t had time to follow through on the payments, but it would appear he lived on it, although in 1842 there was a man named Truman Wait living on it, who was listed as a tenant (renter). Lyman could have been away on a mission. At any rate, that is what the deeds record. If you have a map of Nauvoo it will be found at the corner of Munson and Durphy Street. It is katticorner from the block where the Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff homes are located. That block is now in the Nauvoo State Park and all buildings on that block have been destroyed.”
8: They earnestly aided in the completion of the Nauvoo Temple, where they both received their endowments and sealings on January 21, 1846, just prior to the expulsion of the saints from Nauvoo. When the saints were finally driven from beautiful Nauvoo, beginning a westward trek into the generally unknown area of the west, Lyman and Martha Stevens and their three small boys were a part of them. Later at Council Bluffs, Iowa, they were as alarmed as the other saints when one of their scouts brought the word to camp that the United States Army was coming to destroy them. It turned out, however, to be representatives of the United States Army, led by Captain James Allen, who requested of Brigham Young 500 able bodied men to join the army of the United States and go south to fight the Mexicans. Five hundred men volunteered, even under the strenuous living and economic conditions which confronted the saints on the outer fringe of civilization. Among these 500 men was Lyman Stevens, Private Number 72, in Company B. He left his wife and three small sons at Centerville, Iowa, and went on that historical trek of the Mormon Battalion. On October 18, Lyman Stevens was part of the sick detachment (Santa Fe Detachment) sent north about 300 miles to Pueblo under direction of Captain James Brown to winter over there. About 89 members of the battalion and 29 women and children were in the group. (A month earlier another group, mainly dependents, was sent along the Arkansas River to Pueblo under Captain Nelson Higgins and in November a third sick detachment was sent to Pueblo. There was also a small group of Saints from Mississippi.) It was a very difficult journey with limited rations. They arrived at Pueblo winter quarters on November 17. Lyman began to recover and was set to building winter quarters. This was east of Pueblo in the river bottom on south side of Arkansas River. (South of the river was Mexican territory and north side was American territory. Ft. Pueblo was on the north side.) They built a total of 18 or 20 houses, a blacksmith shop and a large corral; also a meeting house. While engaged in this labor a log fell on him and injured his spine, which gave him some trouble the rest of his life, according to his pension application. | In June these battalion detachments and Mississippi Saints traveled north about 250 miles to Ft. Laramie and then traveled on to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving there on July 29, 1947. From the Journal of Brigham Young, p. 223: Thursday, July 29, 1847 – (after arrival of Pioneers in Valley) “The sick detachments of the battalion that were sent to winter at Pueblo on the Arkansas river, under Captains James Brown and Nelson Higgins and Lieut. Wesley Willis arrived, accompanied by a small company of brethren who started from Mississippi in 1846.” (Lyman Stevens was in this company of soldiers). These members of the battalion helped construct a brush bowery of forty by twenty-eight feet. Lyman also helped to build the road down emigration canyon and helped break the first ground in Salt Lake City to start raising crops. The ground was so hard and dry that they broke a number of plowshares, but by turning the waters of the creek over the soil they were able to work it and put in their crops. It was so late in the season that they knew there was not time to be lost. In fact, they had begun planting within two hours after they had selected their camping site. Lyman and other Battalion members received honorable discharge in Salt Lake from military duty. | Lyman, in the fall of 1847, went in the company led by Brigham Young to Iowa to reunite with his family, having been discharged from the Battalion. On the 29 July 1848, another son, Amos Henry Stevens was born to them in Centerville, Iowa. They worked hard and saved for another year and left Iowa in 1849 in Captain Silas Richard’s Company of emigrants. Arriving in Utah, they located in Holladay at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake County. They took up a farm and participated in the usual pursuits incident thereto while they lived there. Lyman served in the ward bishopric for five years. Here two additional sons were born to them. They were Ezra William, born in 1850, and Charles Franklin, born in 1853.At the Church General Conference, October 6, 1853, under the direction of President Brigham Young, Lyman Stevens and Reuben W. Allred were called to gather fifty families for each of the settlements in Sanpete County. There they helped establish settlements in Mt. Pleasant, Manti, Sterling and Fountain Green. In 1854, he moved his family to Cedar Fort, Utah County, Utah, where he ran a store and again served as a bishop’s counselor. They were there in 1857 when Johnston’s Army moved in. One of the younger sons remembers how he and his brothers used to watch the soldiers parade and practice their warfare drills and activities. activities. The soldiers would set up dummies and dash forward on horseback and cut the heads off the dummies with their swords. Then riding over to the group of watching but frightened boys, they would declare, “That’s the way we are going to treat all of you Mormons.” And the boys never forgot that declaration.
9: On January 21, 1855, he married Elizabeth Lucina Mecham at Salt Lake City. She was his second wife and they had one son, Nathan Henry Stevens. Her home was in Tooele, Utah, but the baby was born in Grantsville, Utah. Lyman and Elizabeth Lucina only lived together for a few months before separating. Lyman also married Adelia Mariah Perkins, by whom he had one daughter, Olive. This wife lived in Ephraim, Utah. Olive married Joseph Crofts. In 1859, Lyman Stevens went to California on a trip to see the country and invest in anything he could to make some money. While there this incident happened. He was working in California for a sawmill company and was given the assignment of taking a sum of money to a camp to pay the workers’ wages. An acquaintance overtook him on the trail. He was a man Lyman didn’t trust. After riding together for a distance, they entered a wooded area. There a bad storm overtook them. It was in this environment that the man hit Lyman Stevens several times over the head with his riding whip. The blow dazed Lyman, but he realized that the man must know of his mission and was intent on robbing him. Lyman roused himself to his best, and leaving the trail in the forest, was able to lose his pursuer. He later reported that his memory of time and events, which transpired from then until he rode into camp the next morning, was dim. The guard at the camp inquired what Lyman had been doing, as his horse was worn out, his clothes torn and bloody. Lyman took the money out from under the saddle where he was carrying it, handed it to the guard and asked him to take care of it and his horse. Then he fell unconscious and remained so for several days. The men at the camp did not expect Lyman to recover. He did recover, however, but from then on had very severe headaches as a result of the blows he received about the head. After he fully recovered, he returned to Utah with a fine span of mules which he evidently had invested his money in. Lyman Stevens was a Walker War veteran. He also sat on a jury that convicted five Indians who killed two men, sons of Doctor Weeks. Lyman’s son Ezra William, related that he remembered this incident and that when they were preparing to hang the five Indians that one of them cried while the other four were brave and walked serenely to the noose. Ezra William has also related that he remembers that when Johnston’s Army was coming to Utah in 1857, his brother Hyrum was sent to be ready to set fire to their homes in case the army attacked them. In 1862, Lyman Stevens furnished a yoke of oxen to the Church to send across the plains to meet a company of emigrants. In the fall of 1862, Lyman’s wife, Martha, and her younger sons moved down to the southern part of the state, settling in a beautiful little hamlet surrounded by mountains, beautiful cliffs, with the three streams nearby. They were the east fork of the Virgin River, South Creek, and Shones Creek. The little hamlet was called Shonesburg and was near Mt. Carmel. Lyman joined his family the next year in the fall of 1863. Martha, his wife, died there in Shonesburg, Utah, November 2, 1874. The United Order of the Church was organized at Mt. Carmel in the spring of 1874 and Lyman Stevens and his family moved there and joined with them. He moved with the Order Saints to the new site at Orderville in 1875. He was assigned to take charge of the Order gardens, but after three years he left and went to Sanpete County, Utah, where his sons Reuben L., Hyrum S., Joseph S., and Amos H. and their families lived. In about 1882-83, after the Emery County area was opened to settlement, Lyman Stevens and four of his sons, Reuben L., Hyrum S., Joseph S., and Amos H. and their families moved to Ferron, Utah, and established homes there. It was here that he married Elizabeth Dyson Wardle on February 24, 1883. She is the mother of Hannah Wardle Stevens, second wife of Hyrum S. Stevens. A physical description listed in a government pension application when he was 69 years of age (October 10, 1881) shows him to be 5 feet 8 inches, of light complexion, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. It further states the nature of his condition. “While a member of the organization aforesaid (Mormon Battalion) in the service and in the line of his duty at Pueblo, New Mexico, on or about the 14th day of October, 1846, he contracted disease of the spine under the following circumstances: that through exposure on the march of the Battalion, he was taken sick (typhoid) at what was called Council Grove, which was increased by the lack of transportation for the sick, that on the arrival of the Battalion at Santa Fe, he with others who were sick were sent to Pueblo, while at the latter place, he began to recover and was set to building winter quarters, that while engaged in this labor a log fell on him and injured his spine, that this caused a relapse of his sickness and that a disease of the spine set in, from which he is not yet recovered. He was treated at Pueblo for 5 or 6 months.” Lyman Stevens died in Ferron, April 18, 1886, and was buried in the southwest corner of the Ferron Cemetery, where his grandson, Joseph S. Stevens, Jr., later erected a stone to his memory.Courage, faith, fortitude, and persistence are strong, desirable qualities to be found in some rare human beings. Such were the qualities possessed by our common progenitor, Lyman Stevens.
10: Eleazer King Sr and Nancy Fowler George W. Stevens' Maternal Great Grandparents | The small, sleepy village of Williamstown lies nestled in the green hills of Berkshire Co. in the northwest corner of Massachusetts. It was here, during a beautiful autumn season, that Eleazer King made his presence known in this world. On October 11, 1784, he was born to John King and Sarah Hawkins, the first of thirteen children. John had been mustered from the Revolutionary Army, with an honorable discharge. He and his bride had settled in this beautiful spot to make a home for their future family. Life was not easy for those early settlers, but their love for the earth kept them working and struggling to provide food and raiment for their families. Many hardwood trees grew in this part of the country providing fuel for cooking and heat for the homes. Making a living for a large family was no small task. In such humble circumstances as these, Eleazer grew up and took his place in helping to clear trees and stumps from the land, work the ground, cut wood and perform other necessary labor required in those early days. The Kings owned land in Williamstown, but about 1804 John moved his family to Bennington, Vermont. Eleazer was now at the age where romance plays a big part in a young man's life, and on May 27, 1804 he took Nancy Fowler to be his wife, in Williamstown. They evidently went into Vermont with his father's family and settled in Sunderland, Bennington County. Here they farmed in the rolling rocky country about 50 miles southwest of Royalton, where the Joseph Smith Sr. family resided at that time. From the diary of John Morris King, Eleazer's oldest son, we learn that his grandfather John, took his family from Vermont, in 1816, and moved into Northumberland, Saratoga County, New York. John and Sarah's family now included all thirteen of their children. Eleazer and Nancy had six young ones; all of them had been born in the New York and Vermont area, but Eleazer and his family moved with John, his wife, and youngest children in 1817. This time they went southwest near the border of Pennsylvania and settled in Tioga, Owego County, New York. This town is just across the state line and a little west from the spot where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized in the Susquehanna River. Eleazer purchased property here, but again their stay was short lived. The following year, 1818, John, at the age of 51, with his wife and the children who were still with them, returned upstate to Saratoga. Eleazer's family migrated northwest past the finger lakes of New York and put down roots in a place called West Bloomfield, in Ontario County. Here farmers were having good luck raising wheat. The King family was now living fifteen miles southwest of the Joseph Smith, Sr. family who had settled in Palmyra in 1816. If all of the children were still living, Eleazer's two oldest daughters would have been 13 and 11 years old. The oldest son, John Morris, was 9; Eleazer, Jr. had turned 7; and Lorenzo Don was but 3. These were the six children born in Vermont. Five more babies were to join this family, swelling the number of siblings to eleven. Alonzo F. joined the family August 26, 1819 and Enoch Marvin on May 1, 1821. They were followed by Huldah on June 24, 1822, Mary about 1824 and Robert, the youngest child, about two years later. Living only fifteen miles from Palmyra, the King family must have heard about Joseph Smith, his vision, and the gold plates, because the news of these things was common knowledge all around that part of the country .It would be interesting to know how Eleazer and Nancy learned of and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but no record has been found concerning this event..Elder W. W. Phelps was a convert from Canandaigua, New York, just six miles east of West Bloomfield where the King family lived. He arrived in Kirtland while preparations were being made for the trip to Missouri. Phelps had been a writer, a printer, a newspaper editor, and a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York. He was called to print and edit the Evening and Morning Star in Missouri. Did the Kings know him, or know of him while he lived in New York? Was his conversion linked with theirs?
11: All seven presidents of the First Quorum of Seventy and all sixty-three additional members of that quorum also served in Zion's Camp. Both quorums were charged with carrying the gospel to the inhabitants of the world and sent on missions. From May to September in 1835, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles traveled extensively throughout New York, Canada and New England. The Seventy served mostly in the eastern states. Perhaps it was during this intensive missionary campaign by these zealous elders that the King family was converted. Eleazer Jr.'s baptism in 1835, falls within the timeline of this proselytizing effort. His baptismal date is the first known in our family. We do know that the King family moved to Kirtland, Ohio in the spring of 1836. The first Latter Day Saint Temple was dedicated there on the 27th day of March and again on the 31st. It is unknown as to whether Eleazer's family had arrived in Kirtland in time for that historic event. It is a matter of record that Eleazer King, Sr. received a Patriarchal blessing under the hands of Joseph Smith, Sr. at Kirtland on the 14th of October 1836. He was ordained an elder in the fall of 1837.On the 20th of March, 1838, the 6th child of this family, Lorenzo Don, died in Kirtland. He was three months short of reaching his 22nd birthday. This must have been a heart rending trial for Eleazer and Nancy to see their son cut down on the threshold of young manhood. In that same month, the Seventies Quorum at Kirtland held meetings to decide if they would move with their families, in a body, to Far West, Missouri. It was decided to do so, and the names of Eleazer King, Sr. age 54 years, and his sons, J.M. King, 29 years, and Eleazer, Jr., age 17 years are listed among those who signed the constitution which was drawn up to govern Zion's Camp as the group of saints was to be called. Eleazer, Sr. gave 7 souls as the number of members in his family. Five of his children were still under the age of nineteen. Since John Morris makes no mention of the death of any of these, they were probably still with the parents. John Morris listed his family as having 4 members, meaning 2 children, and Eleazer, Jr. and his wife had 1 child. This is proof that these two sons were in Kirtland with their parents. The younger Eleazer had joined the church in 1835, but John Morris had not yet been baptized. In September, 1837, while John was in Michigan, Eleazer wrote a letter to him in which he gave an account of his conversion. John wanted to know more and moved his family to Kirtland where Eleazer and Nancy were living. He and Nancy were baptized 17 November 1837, by Brigham Young. It was a time of crisis in Kirtland. Eleazer and his sons, with their families, did not wait until July to journey with Kirtland's Camp, but they left with another group on the 8th of June (1838), a little less than three months after burying Lorenzo Don. Kirtland Camp, to its discredit, was plagued from the start with dissension and backbiting. The Kings were not part of it. They traveled by way of Cleveland and Norwalk to West Union, Ohio, then turned their direction to the southwest toward Missouri. Zion's Camp took a more southern route. The recorder of Zion's Camp made the following entry in his journal:Saturday, 22 September, 1838 - Eleazer King and sons, who left Kirtland before the camp, came up and encamped with us this night. The air was cool and chilly and towards night uncomfortably cold. We encamped about one half mile east of Lick Creek in Monroe County, Missouri. They did not travel to Far West with the main camp, but turned southwest to DeWitt in Carroll County, traveling with James Foster who had relatives there. They arrived at DeWitt just as a siege of the place commenced. Earlier in the month the old settlers of the area had held a series of meetings at which they decided to drive the Mormons from Carroll County, or exterminate them. The Saints wrote to Governor Lilburn W. Boggs asking for assistance in defending themselves against mob action, but Boggs did not even extend them the courtesy of a reply. Anti-Mormon forces from neighboring counties arrived daily swelling the ranks of the mob. The members of the Church also received reinforcements and began constructing defenses. Arriving in DeWitt after a long and difficult trip from Kirtland, the Kings found themselves embroiled in a "no win" contest. An express rider was sent to Far West to seek help from Joseph and the Saints there. At the time, Joseph was looking for a place to relocate. Changing his plans, he traveled along back roads to avoid identification and hastened to DeWitt. There he found the Kings and others defending the town against a large and irate mob under the command of Captain Bogart. All Mormon settlers outside the town had gathered within the town and barricaded themselves. Food and water were short and the Saints were subsisting on a daily ration of parched corn.
12: Again the Saints appealed to Governor Boggs. On October 9th, the governor replied that the matter was between them and the mob and that they would have to "fight it out." The Kings and the rest of the Saints of DeWitt under the direction of Joseph, abandoned the place on the afternoon of 11 October 1838. The group headed for Far West, some fifty miles to the northwest in Caldwell County. On the way several of the company died from the effects of exposure and malnutrition, including a woman who gave birth just before the exodus and had not regained her strength. She was was buried by the wayside without a casket. The company crossed into Caldwell County on the evening of October 12th. The John Morris King diary contains these words: Arriving in the state of Missouri the people began to advise me, with the rest of the company to return or we would be killed, yet we continued on to DeWitt where we were surrounded by a mob. This was my first experience of this kind. We remained about ten or twelve days and was threatened by the mob everyday. In the course of this time, we sent an express to Far West and there was a company came from there, including Brothers Joseph and Hyrum Smith. After a few days we left for Far West, with the promise that if we would go there, the mob would leave us alone. We arrived at the city about the 20th of November, but our rest was of short duration. Nothing but strife and trouble attended us until we were forced to leave the state. Many could be traced by the blood of their bare feet over the frozen prairie. I left the state of Missouri about the 17th of February for the State of Illinois, arriving in Quincy about the last of March 1839 - - - Early in spring of 1840; I moved my family to the city of Nauvoo, where we enjoyed more of the society of the saints. John Morris was baptized 17 November 1838, so it must have taken place 3 days before they arrived in Far West with the prophet and his brother, Hyrum. The diary leads us to believe that all of the King family that went to Missouri, left Far West in February and went with Emma Smith to Quincy knowing the Prophet would seek her out when he was released from jail. After spending about one year in Quincy, Illinois, they moved on north, about 45 miles, to dwell at or near the city of Nauvoo. This was in the early spring of 1840. We need to remember that there wasn't much in that area at that time - - - only a swamp land waiting to be tamed. They had traversed the Missouri prairie in the dead of winter, just one year ago. Traveling in wagons with horses or oxen provided very little protection from the cold, blustery prairie winds and snow. It had to have been a very arduous journey for everyone - - - especially little children. There is no doubt that it took the whole hearted efforts of every member of the King family to put up living quarters in this new location. As farmers, they might have lived on the outlying area of the city of Nauvoo. The first year, especially must have presented severe hardships for all of them. The first immigrants from England arrived in Nauvoo in October of this year. They traveled down the Mississippi River and were met at the dock by the prophet, Joseph Smith, and many others. With this group came Mary Bigg Ware. Eleazer's 5th son, Enoch Marvin was now a young man in his 19th year. He and Mary met and a short romance culminated in marriage a few months later - - - 30 March 1841. The Nauvoo Legion had been organized on February 3rd and Eleazer, Sr. and John Morris were members of the Legion Martial Band. They probably served as drummers, as Eleazer's father had done in the Revolutionary War. With all of the unrest in the area and the many accusations against the prophet, the Legion became very well trained and was ready to be called out at any time. Trouble of some kind was brewing in Nauvoo the whole time the Mormons lived there. A great event took place on the 6th of April 1841. The corner stones for the Nauvoo Temple were laid to the tune of cannon salutes. B.H. Roberts tells us that the day was clear, balmy and beautiful. The Nauvoo Legion was out in full force. A program and band concert was held on the square where the stones were place in preparation for the construction of the temple. With the large concentration of people that attended, it is likely that most members of the King Family witnessed the laying of those stones. During the years spent in Nauvoo, more grandchildren were born and Nancy surely enjoyed those little ones as she watched them grow and learn. There were probably some back in New York and Ohio, and if so, letters must have gone back and forth, to and from this grandmother. She never returned to those old home places. She had cut family ties when she left those loved ones behind in the New England States. This is always a heart breaking experience for any woman. It appears, however, that Nancy's mother was with the family in Nauvoo, and perhaps had lived with them from as early as when they lived in West Bloomfield, New York. If so, she was likely twice widowed by then and in her late 70's. And while Nauvoo may have had thriving businesses and farms, a flourishing arts program and a more than adequate social life, it also had a cemetery. Phebe [MANTER] FOWLER Lacy, passed away on 8 January 1842, and was buried in Nauvoo. On Thursday, the 24th of March in 1842, the Relief Society organization was established under the direction of the prophet, Joseph Smith. He said there was a “numerous attendance there.” It is nice to think Nancy attended that gathering of women with her own daughters and daughters-in-law.
13: Everyone in Nauvoo was aware of the problems of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the times that he spend in jail. Surely one was prepared for the terrible news which reached their ears on the evening of June 27, 1844. The martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith stunned and practically paralyzed the City of Nauvoo. The Kings, as others, must have found the news hard to believe. The next day as the bodies of the two prominent men were brought to Nauvoo, the Legion was ordered out and told to meet on the parade ground, east of the temple, at 10:00 a.m.From History of the Church we read the following: addresses were delivered and exhortations given to the Saints to keep quiet and not to let their violently outrageous feelings get the better of them.At 2:00 p.m. the corpses arrived at Mulholland St. on two wagons, guarded by a few men from Carthage, and nearly all the citizens collected together and followed the bodies to the mansion.Yes, our Kings were there to go through the heart ache and sorrow of that week’s nightmare in Nauvoo. Later in that year, Eleazer, Sr. was ordained a High Priest on December 1, 1844 by George Miller and N. Packard. In 1845, there were 12,000 souls in Nauvoo and 5,000 more in the surrounding countryside. It has been reported that there were 350 men zealously working on the temple at that time. The baptismal font was dedicated on Monday, November 8, 1845 for baptisms to be performed for the dead. This work was now being performed. | The fall of 1845 brought sorrow and heartache to the Kings once more. This time the reaper took Nancy on November the 8th. She was laid to rest at Nauvoo. Her youngest child would have been about 18 years old. This little mother had lived 57 years, seven months and eight days.Thursday, January 22, 1846, Eleazer Sr. received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple. Tuesday, January 27, 1846 Enoch and Mary received their endowments and were sealed for time and eternity on February 6th. This date is also given as Enoch’s baptism date. In January and February, some families began to pack their belongings in their wagons and cross the Mississippi River on barges. Brigham Young and the Council of Twelve knelt around an alter in the temple and dedicated the building to the Lord, on February 8th. After this had been accomplished he took his family and crossed the river. In the next two months, many, many families had followed him in the bitter cold weather. In telling of the progress on the temple, B.H. Roberts says,Externally the gilding had been completed in the spring of 1846, even to the gilding of the angle and the trumpet at the tip of the spire. He also stated that some rooms had been completed and dedicated for ordinance work and that on April 30th the temple was privately dedicated. It is likely that most of the eligible members of the King family attended that dedication. Enoch’s wife, Mary told her family that she was present on that occasion. These people had seen the rise and fall of the “city beautiful”. Now they prepared to leave their homes once more. With a large group of expelled saints, they too left the city on May 6, 1846. After crossing the river, they headed their ox teams westward and journeyed along the trail so many had already taken. It is possible that Eleazer traveled with Enoch Marvin and his family. They stopped in Mt. Pispah late in the year and ultimately stayed for 2 years. Traveling with Enoch, he would have left Iowa in May 1849 and arrived in Salt Lake City the 24th of September that year. However, if he was with John Morris, he didn’t reach the Salt Lake Valley until 1852. This staunch family patriarch later moved from Salt Lake City to Spring City, Utah, about 20 miles north of Manti. It is possible that he lived with his son, Eleazer, Jr. and his family. He became ill on May 8, 1854 and died May 14th at Spring City. Here he was buried. He had attained the age of 69 years, seven months, and three days. This progenitor was in the midst of all the persecutions and troubles of the saints from the time that he took his family from Kirtland. He was a farmer throughout his life and records say that he served in the Black Hawk War in Utah. Linda Larsen added this on 4 Apr 2009 to Ancestry.com Sources of Information: Comprehensive History of the Church, B.H. Roberts History of the Church, Joseph Smith, Jr. Diary of John Morris King | Daguerreotype of Nauvoo in 1846 at the time of the Mormon exodus (LDS Church Archives).
14: Eleazer King Jr. and Mary Caroline Fowler Maternal Grandparents of George W. Stevens | Eleazar King, Jr. was born December 1, 1811 in Sunderland, Vermont to Nancy Fowler and Eleazar King. Mary Caroline was born November 19, 1818 in Avon, New York to Susan Hart and Samuel Fowler. Their marriage date was not available. They were early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Eleazar, Jr. was baptized in 1835. Eleazar, Jr. and Mary Caroline were living in Grove, New York when their first child, Caroline Matilda was born on December 11, 1836. Their second child, Eveline Jenet was born April 15, 1838 in Kirtland. She died as a child. By the time their third child, Emily Jane arrived on March 24, 1840, they were living in Nauvoo, Illinois. He is recorded as owning property in Nauvoo, Illinois. He was a mason and farmer. Susan Nancy, who also died as a child was born on December 23, 1842. They grieved when the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred in June of 1844. Eleazar Jr. and Mary Caroline were endowed in the Nauvoo Temple on January 31, 1846. They were probably at the dedication of the temple in May of 1846. Daughter Caroline, age 11, was at home across the street at the time and heard the angels singing. The King family endured many hardships because of the persecution of the Saints by non-members. They were in Kanesville (Council Bluffs), when Mary Elizabeth, who died as a child, was born on October 17, 1847. Abigail Morana was born there on September 16, 1849. Eleazar, Jr. signed up with the John Tidwell Company to cross the plains. The first meeting was held on November 28, 1851. During the month of December, members of the company hunted for timber to make wagons for the journey. Mary Caroline and Eleazar Jr.'s first son Samuel Eleazar was born January 26, 1852, at Council Bluffs. During the spring of 1852, many meetings were held in preparation for crossing the plains. On March 2nd Eleazar Jr. said his family could make the journey without any help. On April 5th he said, "I can't tell whether I can help others." On April 27th, his family was assigned to the third company of ten. On June 5th, Eleazar Jr. was dropped from the company for refusing to help the poor. When he agreed to take one hundred pounds of freight for the poor, he was reinstated. | Excerpts from Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868 June 5. This morning Eleazer King Junr was droped from the Emigrating company for refusing to help any of the poor, and for contention with the power that be. After this had been done he came to the authorities and made satisfaction and agreed to take one hundred weight of freight of luggage for the poor. June 20th Sunday. John Heldredge then arose and said that he proposed that we rouse our Captain an horse either by subscription or some other means[.] Eleazer King Junr said he might ride his horse if he had a mind[.] it was young, and had never been rode with a saddle yet but it was at his service. It was then moved and carried that we accept this offer. August 2nd Monday. At this time Eleazer King Junr. took [h]is horse away from captain Tidwell, which had loned unto him for the good of the company contrary to the wishes and desires of the majoriety of the same and in a mean shabby way he [took it] when all hand was engaged in preparing to roll of [f] [not]only him but others manifested a Spirit of [contention] an [r]ebellion and some of these was in authority[.]
15: On June 8th, the companies of ten were reorganized and Eleazar Jr. and Mary Caroline were changed to the second company of ten (families). At this time their family numbered six - the parents, Caroline Matilda, age 15; Emily Jane, age 13; Abigail, age two and a half; and baby Samuel. They had one wagon, one horse, two oxen and four cows. Sometime during the next week they crossed over the river, which was difficult because of the high wind and rainy weather, and were finally on their way. Most of the John Tidwell Company arrived in Salt Lake Valley on September 15, 1852. the company journal states that Eleazar King Jr. and his family left the company a few days earlier. At this time they had in their possession one wagon, four oxen and four cows. The King family was sent to settle in Sanpete, Utah. They located in Springtown (Spring City.) Soon after the Indians left an old sick Indian woman with Eleazar Jr. and Mary Caroline. They nursed her back to health and she returned to her tribe. The Walker Indians caused so much trouble for the settlers they had to move to Manti for protection. Elsey Lovina was born on March 17, 1854 in Manti. Eleazar Jr. and Mary Caroline were living in Ephraim, when their next three children were born. George William joined the family on November 9, 1856; Francis Enoch arrived September 1858; and James Alonzo, who died as a child, was born December 12, 1861. While living in Ephraim, the Indians stole one of their little boys. You can imagine the concern. The Indian they had befriended, with the assistance of an Indian brave, helped the boy get back to his family safely. In the summer of 1857, when Johnston's Army was marching toward Utah, Eleazar Jr. heeded Brigham Young's call for help to fortify strategic mountain passes. He served as drummer during the Echo Canyon Campaign. Eleazar Jr. and Mary Caroline were in Springtown when their twelfth and last child, John Lorenzo, was born on January 19, 1864. In 1864, twenty families were called from Fort Ephraim to settle Circle Valley (Circleville in Piute County). Eleazar Jr's family was among this group, but they were driven out by the Black Hawk Indians. The family had to leave their home and everything they owned with the exception of a few things that could quickly be gathered together and a few head of cattle. Their daughter Abigail Marina married Joseph S. Stevens while they were in Circleville. They returned to Sanpete Valley and settled in Spring City Eleazar Jr. was a veteran of the Black Hawk and other Indian Wars. He served in the church as an Elder and as a Seventy. He was gifted in masonry - building with stone and brick. He was also a farmer. Mary Caroline died on March 29, 1880 at the age of sixty one. Eleazar Jr. lived for seventeen more years. He died in Spring City on March 23, 1897 when he was eighty five years old. Linda Larsenadded this on 4 Apr 2009 to Ancestry.com Compiled in 1992 by Rae Lou W. Olsen Sources: Mildred W. Rasband Audrey L. Christiansen Pioneers & Prominent Men of Utah Frank Esshom, 1918 The Journal of the Emigration Company of Council Point, Pottawattamie County, Iowa | Echo Canyon | Settled in 1854, Ephraim was once Sanpete County's most important fort built for protection from Indians during the Black Hawk War. At one time, 90% of the population was Danish. Ephraim is the home of historic Snow College and a wonderfully restored Mormon cooperative mercantile.
17: LOVE | Joseph Smith Stevens, the fifth son and child of Lyman Stevens and Martha Durfee – faithful and stalwart members of the L.D.S. Church – was born on Wednesday, 12 March 1845, in Yelrome, Hancock County, Illinois. He was born in a place and at a time where and when persecutions and wanton mobbings and burning of homes and crops were being suffered by the L.D.S. Church members in that general region. The world began to understand, by the summer of 1845, that Mormonism was not born to die with its first Prophet. And it began to be whispered that the Prophet Joseph dead was even more potent than when living. Seeing then the continued prosperity of the Mormons, the ‘old citizens’ again commenced hostilities. They pounced upon the hapless Mormon Settlements in the south part of Hancock County, set fire to Buel’s flour mill and carding machine; and then commenced to burn the houses of the people, their stacks of hay and grain, together with their stables and everything that the incendiary could destroy, continuing the work until from one hundred to one hundred and seventy five houses were thus burned and destroyed. The historian, Gregg, continues and says, “For a week the burnings continued until the whole of Morley-Town (Yelrome) was in ashes, with many other residences in the Bear Creek region and that of Green Plains. In all instances, their occupants were driven off.” The houses of Edmund Durfee and Lyman Stevens were among those thus destroyed in Yelrome, while their occupants were driven into the bushes, where men, women, and children laid drenched with rain through the night, anxiously awaiting the breaking of day. By late September, the Saints were leaving their lands and possessions in the smaller settlements to flee to Nauvoo for protection. The Church leaders sent out 134 teams and wagons to bring in the families and grain. Mr. Gregg, in his History of Hancock County, 1880, speaking of the manner in which the burnings were carried on in Yelrome, says: | “From a very respectable old gentleman, who witnessed some of the house-burning operations in the fall of 1845, we have this recent statement. He said that for such lawless and outrageous acts, they were done in such a quiet and orderly manner as to be astonishing. He resided not far from the burned houses; and, hearing what was going on, he mounted his horse and rode to where the incendiarism was in progress. The manner was to go to a house and warn the inmates out. With little show of resistance, everyone – burners and all – would proceed to take out the goods and place them out of danger. With the goods thus securely removed, the torch would be applied and the house consumed. Then on to another.” On the 13 September 1845, Elder John Taylor made this entry in his journal: “A number of the brethren were rendered houseless and homeless by a few reckless desperadoes in consequence of their adherence to the gospel. What rendered it more trying for them was that they had it in their power to destroy their persecutors, and yet in consequence of our counsel then endured it patiently, and looked tamely on to see their houses and property destroyed for the gospel and the kingdom of heaven’s sake; they are good and faithful men or they would not have done it.” This background material is included here to demonstrate to the reader the trying times existing when a new life was ushered into mortality. The name of Joseph Smith Stevens was bestowed on this new male infant, indicating the deep love and respect and admiration which the parents had for the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was when this infant was six months old that the parents, along with their neighbors, were driven from their legal property and forced to go to Nauvoo for shelter and protection. Still zealous to the L.D.S. Church doctrines and faithful to the leadership, Lyman and Martha were among the saints in the exodus from Nauvoo to the West. They suffered with others the serious hardships and trials associated with traveling in new, primitive country, and lacked many of the basic essentials in food and living conditions. | Joseph Smith Stevens Jr and Abigail Martina King Parents of George W. Stevens "What a Team" by Kenneth Stevens (Son)
18: LOVE | What rejoicing to be with wife and sons again! It was almost like getting reacquainted with them; but it didn’t take long to re-establish family relationships and become the head of the home. On the 29 July 1848, another son, Amos Henry Stevens was born to them in Centerville, Iowa. They worked hard and saved for another year. They left Iowa in 1849 in Captain Silas Richard’s Company of emigrants. Arriving in Utah, they located in Holladay at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake County. They took up a farm and participated in the usual pursuits incident thereto while they lived there. Lyman served in the ward bishopric for five years. And, during that time, the boys were growing up. They helped their parents in various ways: doing chores, herding cows, cultivating and harvesting garden produce and field crops, and in roaming the hillsides and the adjacent side canyons and ravines. The family moved to Cedar Valley (Fort) in 1854, and was there in 1857 when Johnston’s Army moved in. Two additional baby boys, Ezra William Stevens, born in 1850, and Charles Franklin, born in 1853, had entered their home in Holladay. One of these younger boys remembers how he and his brothers used to watch the soldiers parade and practice their warfare drills and activities. The soldiers would set up dummies and dash forward on horseback and cut the heads off the dummies with their swords. Then riding over to the group of watching but frightened boys, they would declare, “That’s the way we are going to treat all of you Mormons.” And the boys never forgot that declaration. In 1859, the family moved to Fort Ephraim in Sanpete County. In the summer of 1862, their mother, Martha, took the younger boys and went down to Shonesburg, Washington County, Utah, for farming purposes. Her older son, Hyrum S., was one of four men who first developed that new settlement earlier that year. In 1865, Joseph Smith Stevens, now twenty years old, drove his team and wagon south from Sanpete into Circle Valley – “the first team driven into Circle Valley.” He helped other men and families in establishing the first settlement of Circleville in Piute County. Among these new families was that of Eleazer King, Jr., with his wife and sons and daughters. This father and mother were converts to the L.D.S. Church from the New York state area, and had known of and endured the hardships, persecutions and drivings suffered by the Church members as they finally emerged into the Rocky Mountain valleys. They first settled in Sanpete County before going south to Circle Valley. Among the King children was a young teenaged beauty named Abigail Marina King. She was short in stature, but her beautiful brown hair and dark, sparkling eyes gave proof of a promising young lady. As soon as Joseph S. Stevens “got” his eye on her that summer, it did not take him long to make her acquaintance; and soon he “popped” the question of marriage, and she consented. They were married in Circleville on Saturday, 12 August 1865, a month before she was sixteen years old. She was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Sunday, 16 September 1849. Her growing-up experiences had prepared her well for the new challenges that she was willing to accept. | Parents of five sons, but having lost two already to death in their infancy, the mother and three small boys were left alone in Iowa when the husband, father and provider joined the Mormon Battalion and left them alone from July 1846 until October 1847. Two older brothers were Reuben Lyman Stevens, born in Missouri the 29 August 1838 and Hyrum Smith Stevens, born in Nauvoo the 12 December1840. Lyman Stevens returned to his family in Iowa in late October 1847, he having been discharged from the Battalion in Salt Lake City in August 1847. He had spent the winter of 1846 in Pueblo, Colorado, with the sick detachment, and had marched on to the Salt Lake valley, arriving there on the 27 July 1847. He Lyman helped others in plowing, diverting the waters from the creeks onto the dry and lifeless soil, building a bowery for a meeting place, and in building canyon roads, prior to his return, with other members of the Battalion and returning members of the Pioneers to Iowa and their families.
19: They were bothered and plagued in Circle Valley by roving bands of Indian warriors, but they stuck it out through that winter and were blessed with their first baby, Martha Caroline Stevens, born on 30 April 1866, in Circleville, Utah. All of the settlers were driven out of Circle Valley in the late spring of 1866, and Joseph S. Stevens took his young wife and baby to Fort Ephraim in Sanpete County. There they took up farming, ever troubled by the Indian maraudings, which were part of the existing and enlarging Black Hawk War, with its beginnings in 1865. The farmers had to work together and carry their guns for protection against scouts to sound the alarm when Indians were seen in the nearby fields and hiding places. Abigail M. took her turn and witnessed many sad events when the men folks would be out numbered and killed, and see small children scalped or stolen by the stealthy Indians. Joseph S. participated officially in the Black Hawk War and later qualified to receive pension benefits. It was a real hard life for them, and they rejoiced with all others when the Indian War stopped in 1868; and the Indians were sent to the established Indian reservation in Duchesne County, Utah. A second child and daughter – Abigail Matilda Stevens – was born to them in Fort Ephraim on Wednesday, 25 March, 1868. Three more children – Joseph S. Stevens, Jr., born Wednesday, 11 May, 1870; George William Stevens, born Sunday, 19 January, 1873; and Mary Jane Stevens, born Thursday, 25 March, 1875 – were also born to them in Fort Ephraim. It was in Fort Ephraim that the growing-up children first received their introduction to participation in Sunday School and other church meetings and to non-secular schooling. The environment for these activities was favorable and strong, including well-qualified teachers, and the children developed good attitudes towards their learning opportunities. This was encouraged by the parents, who appreciated the benefits of schooling for the children, and encouraged them to high goals in acquiring an education and in gaining an understanding of the Church doctrines. The children were also encouraged to be cooperatively helpful to the family needs in accepting home responsibilities and in doing family chores. It was an excellent beginning for the later challenges in life that would confront them. In 1875 the family moved to Mayfield, Sanpete, and continued their farming enterprises and schooling. A son – Charles Franklin Stevens – was born to them there on Saturday, 2 June, 1877. On Saturday, 22 June, 1878, Abigail M. took her baby and went up to Spring City, in north Sanpete, to visit her ailing and sick mother, Mary Caroline Fowler King. Joseph S. took the other children for an outing and picnic up to Funk’s Lake, near Sterling. He permitted his two oldest daughters to go out in a row boat for a ride on the water. However, a sharp, strong wind developed suddenly and the resulting waves splashed water on the young occupants. Inexperienced, they all rushed to the opposite side of the boat, which capsized. Not all of the young people survived, and Abigail Matilda Stevens, 10 years old, lost her life. It was a great and serious shock to her mother, who ever afterwards had a woeful dread of water in a stream or lake. In August, 1878, Joseph S. and Abigail M. were re-baptized in Mayfield , and Joseph S. was given the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained an Elder. Then, in the fall of 1878, he took his wife and five living children and drove his team and wagon down to St. George Temple. There the parents received their endowments and sealing, and their six children were sealed to them on Wednesday, 18 November, 1878. Their deceased daughter, Abigail Matilda, was baptized for by proxy on the 12 November, and her mother acted as proxy for her to receive her endowment on the 17 November, 1878. Their oldest daughter, Martha Caroline, although only 12 years old, was permitted to receive her personal endowments on the 14 November 1878. On Wednesday, 7 January, 1880, John Eleazer Stevens was born to them in Mayfield, and the family moved up to Spring City that spring following the death there of Abigail M’s. mother in March, 1880. They lived there until the winter of 1882, when the father, Joseph S., went over to Castle Valley, east of the Wasatch Mountains, to secure land holdings; a town building lot and some farming ground; then he returned to his family in Spring City. The entire family left in March, 1883, and moved to Ferron, Emery County, and built them a log house on a choice and well-located lot in town: one-fourth of a 10-acre town block. Three of his brothers and their families also moved and settled in Ferron and took up farming and stock-raising. They were Reuben Lyman Stevens, Hyrum Smith Stevens, and Amos Henry Stevens. A half-brother, Nathan Stevens, and his young family settled on the Huntington Creek at about the same time. Their father, Lyman Stevens, also moved from Orderville, Kane County, Utah, to Ferron in 1883, and lived there, where he met and married Mrs. Elizabeth Dyson Wardle, a widow, until his death and burial in Ferron, Sunday, 18 April, 1886.
20: Joseph S. soon began the enlargement of his holdings and developments, and their family numbers also increased. On Friday, 28 September, 1883, James Lyman Stevens was born to them. They later enlarged and remodeled their home into a frame building, with space enough for all. In a short space of time Joseph S. had built corrals and sheds for his horses, cows, pigs and chickens; they even had guinea hens and big beautiful peacocks. They added a large granary and an adjoining building for the storage of blocks of ice in winter for summer time use and benefits. Then there was a rock smoke house for meats and a large fruit orchard and plenty of space for a vegetable garden. On Monday, 20 April, 1885, a daughter, Huldah Lovina Stevens, was born to them; and on Friday, 21 March 1890, their last child and a daughter, Lilly Jeanette Stevens, was born. Sorrow came again to their home on Monday, 11 October, 1886, when typhoid fever claimed the life of their young son, Charles Franklin Stevens – nine years old. Other children in the family were terribly sick with the same fever, but none succumbed to death. The home had previously been attacked with diphtheria and whooping cough, but without any deaths; although some homes in Ferron had two and even three children dead at the same time from diphtheria. At that date, none of these dreaded diseases had a specific know cause, preventive, or cure; their bacterial germs, vaccines and antibiotics had not then been discovered. , With their large holdings of farm ground, the family raised an abundance of hay, wheat, oats, corn, and potatoes; also chickens, pigeons, pork and beef. And under the pioneer conditions of the times, they set a good table. Educational opportunities for Joseph S. and Abigail M. had been extremely limited. They learned to read, write and do arithmetic on an average with the times and conditions under which they lived through their childhood to adulthood. They were most friendly people, as attested by the countless friends they had. Newcomers were seldom strangers for long in their environment; and Abigail M. Stevens soon became “Grandma” or “Aunt” to many who were not her blood kin. Life and living were not easy in those years, and they lived the hard life. “Hard” in the sense that nothing came easy and everything they earned and gained had to come the hard way. Eggs, butter, grain and meat could be exchanged at the local stores for the necessities of living, but to get cash money for machinery and taxes required additional activities. In season, Joseph S. would travel south by team to the towns in Wayne County, secure a load of home-made cheddar cheese and bring it back to peddle out in the different towns of Emery County for the much needed cash. He maintained several good teams and outfits and was known to send them, with hired drivers, as far away as Yellowstone Park and the newly developing areas in Idaho for road and canal building. Joseph S. was not without ambition, and there was not a lazy hair on his head. Later, he set up bee-keeping as an enterprise and established an apiary on a commercial basis. In church work and religion they remained strong in the faith, though they were not among the church leaders of the town ward. They taught their children to go to their church meetings, to love and serve the Lord, and to live temperate lives. Their testimonies continued steadfast throughout their lives and they remained true to their covenants and beliefs. The children in the family became good workers and all developed a self-sustaining attitude. They lived and worked in the spirit of cooperation, and always provided well for themselves, without being considered as being rich. They also shared freely with those in destitute circumstances, and were well-known to the needy. They were a united tribe, even after their children grew up, married and got children of their own; and Joseph S. and Abigail M. loved every grandchild equally and sought to let them know of their feelings of love and friendship. The children and grandchildren remember feelingly the many good times they used to have at Grandma’s when she served them good meals, topped off with home-made ice cream and soda crackers. Also remembered well were the large stacks of hay, the bins full of grain, the well-bred horses and milch cows, the pens with fattening pigs, the yard full of chickens and pigeons, with the guinea hens and peacocks adding their shrill calls in the environment. Then there was the cellar stocked with potatoes, vegetables, preserved fruits and honey, even molasses from Dixie. The smokehouse would contain a plentiful supply of salted and smoked hams, shoulders, bacon and sausage; the pantry and fruit cellar cupboards would have a good supply of bottled fruits, jams and jellies. And there was a house full of love and merriment. And Grandma would sometimes coax the grandchildren to stay with her overnight, and sleep themselves together in family style on the front room floor under her home-made quilts. Oh, the nostalgic memories of it all!
21: Joseph S. and Abigail M. sensed the needs and yearnings of the town’s young people, and encouraged them to come to their house for parties and get-togethers. They built swings of several types and home-made merry-go-rounds, and, on Sunday afternoons and July holidays, “Grandma’s” was the main place in town to go and buy and eat all the home-made ice cream one wanted. As time passed, their eight living children married and established homes and families of their own, and all prospered well and sufficient for their needs. And it pleased the parents to see the ambitious nature and accomplishments of their grown-up children, and even the grandchildren. The stunning shock of death once more struck one of their children in 1906, when their son, George William Stevens, died of brain fever while on an L.D.S. Church full-time mission to New Zealand. The loving parents, the brothers and sisters, and especially the young wife and four children were so wholly grieved and prostrated by this unexpected event. How difficult it can be to adjust to the sting of death. The toils of life and time began to show themselves on the parents, and Abigail M’s health began to fail perceptibly. Her heart had fought a good fight but the load it had carried had been real heavy, and this weakness and other health complications caused her death on Thursday, 24 July, 1913 in her home in Ferron, Emery, Utah; she was buried in the Ferron cemetery. , , Joseph S. was now a lonely man; he had counted so on Abigail, and she had been a good, uncomplaining and worthy companion for nearly forty-eight years. He sensed her loss and missed her very much, but was brave enough to accept the law of mortality and death. He continued to be active. He visited with his children and enjoyed their warm companionship. He had his bees to look after and he did some freighting of farm produce to the railroad depot in Price and hauled freight merchandise back to the Ferron stores. He lived quite a bit with the family of one of his daughters, and visited occasionally with a living brother in southern Utah. He also continued his enjoyment of hunting venison and fishing. “When I think of Joseph S. Stevens, I do not see the mortal remains of an old man, but the vision of a free soul, riding the range, turning the furrow, the full zest of life shining in his eyes and a song on his lips. Remembrance of him brings me further visions of proud horses, eage Still active in the fall of 1919, in his seventy-fifth year, he loaded his wagon in Ferron with sacked alfalfa seed to be delivered to the train in Price. Upon arriving there, he suffered a urinary stoppage. His freighting companions, aware of potentially serious trouble, but him on the train and sent him to a hospital in Salt Lake City. Uremic poisoning set in, however, and despite the efforts of medical help, he died on Saturday, 8 November, 1919. Typical of the energetic nature of the man, he literally died with his boots on in pursuit of honest work and labor. His body was prepared and sent to Ferron for burial in the Ferron Cemetery. And now to borrow a thought from another and let it apply to Joseph S. Stevens, with thanks and apologies for the same. “When I think of Joseph S. Stevens, I do not see the mortal remains of an old man, but the vision of a free soul, riding the range, turning the furrow, the full zest of life shining in his eyes and a song on his lips. Remembrance of him brings me further visions of proud horses, eager to respond to the touch of the hand. I see the cattle grazing in quiet contentment on upland pastures. And my nostrils are assailed with the wholesome odors of bacon frying in a pan over an open camp fire and fresh sour-dough bread in a bake skillet.”
22: Time Line for George William Stevens Date____________Event_______________________Place_____________ 19 January 1973 Birth of George Ephraim, Utah 1975 Family moved to Mayfield Mayfield, Utah 22 June 1878 His sister Abigail Matilda Drowned Funk’s Lake November 1878 Sealed to parents in Temple St. George, Utah 1879 George had diphtheria Mayfield, Utah 1880 Family moved to Spring City Spring City, Utah March 1883 Family moved to Ferron Ferron, Utah 11 October 1886 His brother Charles F. Ferron, Utah died of typhoid fever 1887 Courting Catherine Richards Ferron, Utah 1889 Helped finish school house Ferron, Utah 1891 Took over his father’s farm on shares Ferron, Utah Started building a new home 27 October 1892 Ordained an Elder in L.D.S. Church Ferron, Utah 2 November 1892 Married Catherine Richards in Temple Manti, Utah Lived with George’s parents first winter. Spring 1893 Moved into new home Ferron, Utah Winter-spring 1893 Herded sheep on Steven’s Creek Ferron, Utah Clerked at Singleton Store Farmed 15 March 1895 Ione Stevens born Ferron, Utah Fall 1895To Brigham Young AcademyProvo, Utah 12 November 1896George Orion Stevens born & diedFerron, Utah 9 December 1898Kenneth Richards Stevens bornFerron, Utah Fall 1899-Spring 1900Brigham Young AcademyProvo, Utah 1900-1902George taught schoolFerron, Utah 12 May 1901Vera Stevens bornFerron, Utah 1901Started work on 160 acre homesteadRochester, Utah 1902George started peddling againFerron, Utah 1903Whole family had smallpoxFerron, Utah 1 June 1904Hugh William Stevens bornFerron, Utah May 1905Mission call receivedFerron, Utah 26 August 1905Ordained a SeventyFerron, Utah 23 November 1905Ward Thanksgiving dinner & farewellFerron, Utah 6 December 1905George left San Francisco 5 January 1906Arrived in Auckland, New Zealand 26 July 1906George W. Stevens diedInvercargill, New Zealand 17 August 1906News of death reached FerronFerron, Utah 7 September 1906George’s body arrived in FerronFerron, Utah 11 September 1906Funeral for GeorgeFerron, Utah Buried in Ferron Cemetery
23: Fall 1895 To Brigham Young Academy Provo, Utah 12 November 1896 George Orion Stevens born & died Ferron, Utah 9 December 1898 Kenneth Richards Stevens born Ferron, Utah Fall 1899-Spring 1900 Brigham Young Academy Provo, Utah 1900-1902 George taught school Ferron, Utah 12 May 1901 Vera Stevens born Ferron, Utah 1901 Started work on 160 acre homestead Rochester, Utah 1902 George started peddling again Ferron, Utah 1903 Whole family had smallpox Ferron, Utah 1 June 1904 Hugh William Stevens born Ferron, Utah May 1905 Mission call received Ferron, Utah 26 August 1905 Ordained a Seventy Ferron, Utah 23 November 1905 Ward Thanksgiving dinner & farewell Ferron, Utah 6 December 1905 George left San Francisco 5 January 1906 Arrived in Auckland, New Zealand 26 July 1906 George W. Stevens died Invercargill, New Zealand 17 August 1906 News of death reached Ferron Ferron, Utah 7 September 1906 George’s body arrived in Ferron Ferron, Utah 11 September 1906 Funeral for George Ferron, Utah Buried in Ferron Cemetery
24: On the 26 November, 1888, when he was 15 years old, George William Stevens wrote the following short life sketch by school assignment: Autobiography of George W. Stevens, son of Joseph S. and Abigail M. Stevens, born in Ephraim City, Sanpete Co., Utah, on the 19th Jan., 1873. After living there a little over two years, I moved to Mayfield in the year 1875, where I attended the school of M. G. Clark, and I also attended the Primary and the Sabbath School. In 1878 I went with my parents to the St. George Temple and back. The next year (1879) I had diphtheria. After living in Mayfield five years I moved to Spring City in 1880. There I went to the schools of J. F. Allred, John Baxter, and Deal Kofford. I lived in Spring City two years, and then moved to Ferron, Emery Co., Utah, in the year 1883. Here I attended Primary and Sabbath School. In the summer time I helped on the farm, and some of the time herded cows, and in the winter time I would go to school. I went to the schools of J. S. Thornton, Emily Lowry, Harmon Curtis and now I am attending the school of Mr. F. A. Killpack. | “As a Primary boy, George was always active and had the leading part in any play or drama. In the play Cinderella, he was the Prince, and I was the mother with graying hair and spectacles. But who am I? I am Catherine Richards, the wife of George W. Stevens, but it didn’t happen that quickly. However, I want to tell of how our lives blended together, and of our lives on earth. --Katherine Richards Stevens, "Their Lives and Family"
25: “Through school, Primary and Sunday School, I met other girls and boys, but there was one boy that made my heart beat faster. Everyone liked him. He was quiet like and a good student, and was a regular book worm. It would not matter if all the girls and boys were where he was he would still have his face in a book, reading. He always wanted to get more education, but there were difficulties and interferences. This boy’s name was George William Stevens. “Outside of school, he was always busy in doing work in the home and chores at the corrals. His mother’s health was not too good, and they had a big family to care for, and there was only one unmarried daughter in her early teens to do house work; so George helped a lot. Outside, there were chickens, pigeons and pigs to feed, cows to herd, and horses to water. As he grew older, there were cows to milk, animals to feed and garden work to be done. And when they built the new frame school house in 1889, he did all of the puttying. So, he learned at an early age the principles and values of work, doing his share. “George and I just seemed to blend together mutually and in a natural manner. I liked him from the first and sought his friendship. There was warmth and a wanted protection and feeling of security for me when in his company. One day when he was 14 he walked me home from Sunday School. Before we ever had a formal date together, he sent me a Valentine made of brown wrapping paper cut out in a pretty heart design, and on it he wrote: ‘The Temple’s made of marble stone, The window’s made of glass, There’s many a couple married there; I hope we won’t be last.’
26: Abigail Marina King Stevens and Oldest Children: Joseph S Jr., Martha Caroline, Mary Jane, and George W. | “When the new school house was finished—he was 16—a first dance was held; and he asked me to be his partner; and “Grandma” said “Yes.” It surprised me that she would let me go, and what a good time I had; I just walked on air. From the time he was 17 and I 15 years old, he always took me out to socials and parties. There were no chocolates in those days to give to a girl as a treat, so the boys would treat with a sack of hard tack candy. We enjoyed the dances—three round dances—and the rest were square dances. There were house parties, too, and sleigh riding behind a good team, in season. We also attended socials and church conventions in Castle Dale and Huntington, and George could always take a team and wagon, with cover. We stayed with friends overnight. The distance was far for a team, and the dirt roads were poor. George was Ferron Ward M.I.A. secretary—also for Sunday School, and he was good to take part on the activity programs. He and his brother James used to sing duets. George had a good tenor voice, and sang in the ward choir. I was counselor in the Primary, teacher in Sunday School, secretary in the M.I.A., with choir practice each week. “George’s mother had him ask me to Sunday Dinner quite often. George’s home was so happy and open to all—really friendly. His mother was such a wonderful woman—so kind, understanding and patient with everyone. She was a famed cook and ice cream maker, also.
27: “George was a right-hand helper to his father on the farm; there was a required need for large amounts of hay, grains, corn, potatoes and garden produce. When he was 19 years old, he took over his father’s farm on shares. And, with his father’s help, he got out enough mountain timber and native sawed lumber to build a large two-room frame house, with adobe lining, in the south-west part of Ferron. The building lot and adjacent acreage was a gift from his parents. | “In the summer of 1892, our social group—men and young ladies—were chaperoned by two married couples on a fishing trip up on Emery mountain. On the Fourth of July, our crowd all rode horses in the big town parade. This is typical of the many good times we had together.
28: George and Catherine were married in the Manti Temple on November 24, 1892
29: “When we decided to get married in the fall of 1892, he was 19 and I was 17. We were rebaptized in the cold water of Ferron Creek in October, 1892. He was ordained an Elder in the L.D.S. Church on the 27 October in the Ferron Ward by William Taylor, Jr. (6) Two of our close friends, William Hitchcock and Julia Duncan, went with us over to Manti for their marriage; each couple drove a separate team and wagon. At night, on the way over, we two girls slept in one wagon and the men slept in the other. It took three days to go from Ferron to Manti by way of Salina Canyon. “We were married in the Manti Temple on the 2 November, 1892, by Anthon H. Lund, Temple President . Then our relatives and friends in Manti gave us a supper. We had a reception when we returned home, and we received so many nice and useful things: - a cow from George’s parents, a two-year old heifer from “Grandpa” Olsens, two pigs, 12 chickens, chairs, rocker, two big vases, dishes, and home-made carpet. I had made four nice quilts from sheep’s wool which I had clipped from dead sheep pelts, washed, and carded myself. “We didn’t get our house plastered until the next spring, because of cold weather, so we lived with George’s folks for four months. They gave us a room upstairs; we cooked and ate with the family. It was quite crowded with us and George’s parents and his six brothers and sisters, the youngest a 2 year old baby girl—Lilly Jeanette (Jennie). Then, shortly, George’s married sister, Martha, her husband and their four children returned to Ferron and moved in with her parents. And on 3 January, 1893, Martha gave birth to her fifth child, a boy, George Clifford Olsen. This made 17 of us in the one-family size house. We also did the laundry for the sheep herders who came into town about every two weeks, with clothes very dirty and greasy. George’s sister, Mary Jane (May) and I did all of the laundry by hand, on washboards, after which we boiled the clothes to brighten them. We had to carry all of the laundry water from outside and heat it on the stove. And then there was the ironing to do with heavy pressing irons heated on top of the stove. | Home of Joseph Stevens Jr. and family. Now the sight of the county courthouse.
30: “During that winter, George found time to build us a table, a wash basin stand, a water bucket bench, and a wooden flour bin. He worked at nights at his father’s granary work bench; and we would talk and plan. In the daytime he would be busy with chores and in the building of corrals, sheds, feed mangers, and a good size granary. Early in the spring of 1893 we moved to our own house and rented quite a large acreage of ground. That fall we had lots of grain and big stacks of hand-stacked hay to be fed to purchased beef feeders. “Our furniture consisted of a cook stove, a bed, springs, straw tick, feather bed, six chairs, a rocker, cupboard, churn, our wedding gifts, the things George had made, some carpet, window blinds and curtains. And we were as happy as any young couple could want to be, and I felt real contentment. Then we started saving money to get our first bedroom suite—a lovely three-piece set. “That spring of 1893 I raised a lot of little chickens; how it thrilled me to be working for us two. In the summer of 1892, George had planted Lombardy poplar trees around the house and along the frontage. In 1893 we planted a fruit orchard and berry bushes. In the planting of all the trees, George let me hold the tree in the planting hole while he shoveled dirt in to hold it. “In the late winter and spring of 1893, George wanted some quick money, so he hired out to herd sheep on the winter and spring range, and during the lambing period. It was then they had troubles with bears and cats up on Steven’s Creek. “My younger sister, Emma, lived just south of our new house, at the home of Harris Fugate. Across the road, east of his house, he built and maintained a large pond which furnished much sport for fishing for bass and sun fish, for wild duck shooting, and for winter skating, with big bonfires nearby for warmth.
31: “We continued to have good times with our social crowd, and had them come to our house to dance. When a new house was finished with a wooden floor, a house warming and dance were held; and dancing helped to smooth the rough surface of the floor boards. Everyone was good to participate in singing, dances, instrumental music—George played the organ in the town orchestra, and in socials and dramatics. The early town parties and dances were held in the log meeting house located between Ferron and Molen. Later, a large home (Taylor’s) was built with a good lumber floor, and this was our first good dance hall. Then came two regular dance halls of J. David Killpack and Wyatt Bryan. Dances were supervised by the Ward. They had an ex-bishop (Hyrum A. Nelson) in charge of the dances, and, by and large, the behavior of the participants was good. But, one time, an out-of-town young man attended one of the dances and made himself troublesome, and was forcibly ejected. He afterwards said, “I’ve been kicked by mules and horses, but I have never been knocked out like I was by that white-haired Swede.” “We built a frame shanty kitchen on the rear side of our house, and an ice storage building and work shop off to one side. George was busy all of the time; he even clerked and took stock part of the time in the Singleton Co-op general merchandise store. “On Friday, 15 March, 1895, we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl—a real brunette, and we named her Ione; how we needed and loved her (8). That fall George sold a 10-acre piece of farm land his parents had given him—it was in an out-of-the-way, southeast location—and used the money to go to the Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah. I stayed home with my baby and did some chores with the help of Grandpa Stevens. At Christmas time we all went to Provo. Our baby got bronchitis and then whooping-cough in the spring, and we got word that Grandma Stevens was critically ill; so we quit school and went home.
32: “On Thursday, 12 November, 1896, I delivered an 11-pound baby without the needed aid of a doctor; it was too prolonged a delivery for a midwife to handle. The baby was normal but too hurt to live long, so George named him George Orion Stevens, and then we had to bury him, with our hearts broken and our spirits sad. “George had farmed with good results, and had taken up “peddling” or hauling farm produce to the Carbon County coal mining camps, first to Castle Gate and then to Sunnyside. On his return he would bring store merchandise from Price for the Ferron stores; there were five of them then in Ferron: - Bryan’s, Killpack’s, Singleton’s, Rasmussen’s, and Christian Nelson’s. He made good money and was never miserly with his earnings, and he brought home many surprises. And he was saving money towards financing more schooling at Provo. “We got us another baby boy on Friday, 9 December, 1898, and we named him Kenneth Richards Stevens; and how happy we were to get a living baby—a 10 pounder. A month later, though, he got a la-grippe respiratory infection, and we almost lost him; several new babies died of this condition in Ferron that winter. Our faith, prayers, and the administrations of the Elders helped to save him for us. “We had another busy summer, and how we enjoyed our blessings. By September, 1899, we were ready to go to Provo for more schooling for George. George’s sister, Mary Jane, her husband, Osborn Morgan, and their baby, Gerald, rented our house. We were prepared with a supply of flour, potatoes, other garden produce, bottled foods, bedding and some household furnishings. George’s brother, John, would also be going and would live with us. Alfred Swenson, his sister, Annie, were also going there to school, and would batch it. “Alfred, his father, and John, drove two wagons with supplies by way of Salina Canyon to Provo, and Brother Swenson took the outfits back to Ferron. We took Annie with us and went to Price and by train to Provo to get our accommodations secured by the time the teams came. We got renting units in an 8-room house. | Ione at 5 yrs
33: “Just a week after school got started, John and a boy friend took a long, strenuous bicycle ride and returned all tired and sweaty. John cooled himself off rather quickly, and then felt a pain in his shoulder blade area. We doctored him but he got worse. We had the Elders and got a doctor, who said John had bad pneumonia and to send for his parents. Grandpa and Grandma Stevens came to Provo. John had been exposed to the mumps while visiting relatives on his way to Provo, so now he got mumps along with the pneumonia; and he was in a semi-conscious condition part of the time. It was quite a while before he showed improvement; then Grandpa went home to his work, but Grandma stayed. It wasn’t until near Christmas time that John was well and strong in body for him and his mother to go to Ferron. It was too bad that he got denied his desire to get some schooling that year. Etta Henrie stayed with us after Christmas; she was a Ferron girl. “George qualified to teach school, which he did in Ferron for the next two years—1900-02. He also farmed and had hired men run his teams and equipment while he was in the school room. George also had part-time work in Singleton’s Co-op Store, clerking and bookkeeping. He kept busy in so many areas all of the time. “On Sunday, 12 May, 1901, our beautiful daughter, Vera, was born. She was and has always been such a treasure. “We were enlarging our interests by now. George had filed in 1900 on a homestead claim for 160 acres of farming ground eight miles south of Ferron. The area was known as “Independent Flat”, though “Flat” for short was the common name. He began farming operations out there in 1901, sending a hired man to use our team and equipment out there. By now, our orchards and berry bushes were bearing fruit to be harvested and disposed of; we were farming rented ground in Ferron; and everybody was busy. When they had built corrals, a small granary and a dugout cellar out to the “Flat”, we lived out there for two summers. George kept three teams, with hired drivers, busy doing assessment work in the construction and development of storage reservoirs and an enlarged canal system to get irrigation water delivered to the new farms. His father and his brother, Joseph, also had interests out there.
34: “In January, 1902, I became bothered with the beginnings of a chronic appendicitis inflammation, which was a periodic and persistent bother to me. I couldn’t do my housework satisfactorily, so George got me hired help; and for three years, we had some of the nicest girls in Ferron work for us. In 1903, George took me to the Salt Lake City doctors, but they wouldn’t operate on me—too much risk in my weakened run-down condition. Such operations were not always successful then, so they prescribed a truss for me. Twenty years later, I had the appendix removed. “In the fall of 1902, George resumed his “peddling” to Sunnyside. There was more money in this work than in teaching, and he produced a lot of his own foods that he hauled, while he made good arrangements with local people for more butter, eggs, meats, and other foods. “George got exposed to smallpox in Sunnyside in early January, 1903; so also did his brother, James. They both took sick, and then George had a relapse as he went back to work too soon. The children and I had the smallpox; in fact, it reached epidemic proportions in Ferron. There was no vaccine available to us then. We always had to fumigate our homes after a serious contagious disease, and it was usually with the fumes of burning sulfur. “By the spring of 1903 our poplar shade trees had grown so tall that George and his hired help topped them, and then used the tops as poles for building a farm fence a mile and one-half south of our home. And then came another busy summer of farming; and peddling followed. “We got us another addition on Wednesday, 1 June, 1904, in an 11 pound baby boy. When George saw how big he was, he said, “We’ll name him Hugh.” “George was never idle. We decided to raise more chickens and eggs; so he made enough clay adobes to build a nice laying coop and an adjoining scratch pen. That summer George and his brother, Joseph, purchased a new horse-drawn grain binder for their own and custom work. The season was short and they had many acres to cut, so they changed teams frequently and kept the machine busy from daylight until after dark each working day. “In the fall of 1904, typhoid fever appeared again in Ferron, and I suffered with it, along with many others in Ferron. When I finally recovered, I had to learn to walk again with the aid of chairs and the baby buggy. Then that fall George bought a one-half interest in a horse-powered threshing machine with Peter Jensen and John Ralphs, and furnished two teams to work on it. He also worked on it, being in charge of measuring the threshed grain. Through his farming that year, and in earnings in grain from cutting and threshing grain, our granary was filled to the brim with grain. This he fed out to purchased beef feeders, which he butchered and hauled to Sunnyside to sell. His load consisted of eggs; butter; meats: - beef, pork, veal, mutton, chickens, turkeys, and ducks; apples; vegetables; and grain. He did most of the slaughtering of his meat animals. When the weather was stormy, and the dirt roads muddy and bad, he would take a third horse to pull also and make the trip faster and easier on his regular team.
35: “He loved and respected his church work, though, and always tried to be home for week ends for church meetings: - Priesthood, Sunday School, and Sacrament Meetings. We had a fine team of buggy horses to take us to meetings in our white top buggy. George always paid his offerings and a full tithing. “Life wasn’t all a hard-driving, monotonous routine of work only. The Stevens tribe was very close knit. They got together most every Sunday afternoon Grandma’s place for a good visit, while the children played games and made merry outside. Then there were times for picnics together, when they all prepared and brought food. There would be beef roast; chicken, turkey or duck; new potatoes and green peas in season; other vegetables; gravies; jams, jellies, and pickles; ice cream and pastries: - cake, and pies and cookies. “George always loved and remembered Christmas and birthday anniversaries, and gave presents freely. One year it was a beautiful fur cape for me. Other times it was a beautiful hand-wound clock, furniture, dishes and doll for Ione, the organ, carpet, and a big kerosene lamp on pull chain for the ceiling of the front room. True joy, happiness and satisfactions existed for us and we felt the oneness that is possible in a closely knit Latter-day Saint family. The future glowed with promise, even as the present offered its established security and peaceful satisfactions. We never thought to ask ourselves how long it could last this way; we just took it for granted that it would be for always. “We had set a pattern for keeping busy, but we were also heavy in debt. However, the prospects for clearing ourselves of financial obligations looked promising. There was still good money in farming and in freighting and we would get our farm machinery paid for, and our taxes and water assessments taken care of; and so we carried on. We put in a sandstone foundation in Ferron for an enlarged addition to our house, and built a cistern to hold water so we could do away with carrying water in from the ditch; the barrel-by-the-ditch or melt snow and ice in the winter time. We also had a rock foundation built out to the “Flat” for a farm house. George had enough cedar posts and barb wire to fence the lower 80 acres on the “Flat,” and most of the posts were set in the ground. We had some young milk-strain Durham breed heifers growing up, and also some two year old draft horse colts that showed promise for work horses, and a work horse stallion. And so were we set up and our hopes and plans established.
36: In late May, 1905, a letter came to us from “Box B’ in Salt Lake City. It was a call from the First Presidency of the L.D.S. Church for George to leave his family and his work and go on a mission to far away New Zealand. We had been interviewed previously by our Ward and Stake Leaders. “In the rather short time available for getting everything in readiness to leave, George worked on a double time basis to get everything accomplished that needed taking care of. He worked through the summer and early fall in his regular pursuits of farming, harvesting, doing custom work with the grain binder, and in working on and helping to run the threshing machine. He even got in some trips to Sunnyside to earn additional money. This over-exertion in hard work and strenuous preparation, along with the emotional strain he felt, wore him down in strength and health, and he caught cold and ended up with a bad, aggravating bronchial cough. “Our faith continued strong and we trusted in the Lord for his help and inspiration, but there were so many things to get done. There was much machinery and livestock to be sold, at a discount, and money was hard to get just at tax time. A cow with suckling calf brought only $17.00 and other sales were correspondingly low. “We were humble and prayerful, and felt that surely everything would be well for us; but our hearts were full and our thoughts heavy with the prospects of a separation for two years. We tried not to think about these things, but the suddenness and abruptness of it all was really hard to make adjustments to; in fact, it turned our total plans up-side-down and it was like starting all over again. “Relatives and friends arranged for and had parties; but they were sad and tense. Not all of George’s folks were inclined to see the justification for him to accept the call and leave when things were so favorable for him getting his family and work established. However, his mind was clear and his determination resolute to accept this call and see it through, at all costs, whatever that might be. At Thanksgiving time the Ferron Ward had a farewell for George with a community dinner, and a photograph was taken of those present. His Father was unable to be there, but his Mother was and she stood on one side of him in the picture; and his brother, John and sister Huldah and their families were there. He was loved and admired in the Ward, and everyone thought so well of him. “
37: Everybody hated to see him go, and the final partings were felt very much, and especially by George. His Mother was not well and there was such a strong bond of love and understanding between them. But she blessed him and told him to do his best. And then came our parting at home on the early morning of Wednesday, 6 December, 1905. The time had come to say good-bye and we all gathered just inside of our front room and had a family prayer. Then George took me in his arms and smothered me with hugs and kisses; neither of us saw each other for tears. The children were tugging at his coat and legs, and crying. Maybe we shouldn’t have given in to our feelings so much, but after all we were just human. He left us then with his blessing for each of us and his Father took him to Price, by team, to catch the train for Salt Lake City. “He had been ordained a Seventy in the L.D.S. Church on Saturday, 26 August, 1905, in Ferron by Elder Peter R. Petersen (9). He was set apart for his mission by Elder Seymour B. Young. There he met Elder and Mrs. J. W. Linford and Elder George W. Tanner, who were to be his traveling companions to New Zealand. His brother, James, was then in Salt Lake City, and they had a pleasant visit together. “George was good to write letters to us. He was truly a family man and loved us all very much. From his diary, I submit excerpts to show his feelings for us, his work, and for himself.
39: George was good to write letters to us. He was truly a family man and loved us all very much. From his diary, I submit excerpts to show his feelings for us, his work, and for himself. “’Wednesday – 6 December, 1905. Having been called by the Authorities of the Church of the Most High to fill a mission to the land of New Zealand, and having accepted the call, I this day bade farewell to my loved ones, relatives and friends, and set forth. No one can sense the pain this parting causes but he who has passed through it. I hope that I will never have that to do again. It wrings the heart to the core to separate from wife and children, my Father and Mother, sisters and brothers, and friends, leaving them in tears. O, my precious wife and babies! There is a picture of this morning’s parting stamped upon my memory which time cannot efface . . . . We left San Francisco on the S. S. Sonoma on Saturday, 16 December, 1905, and arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday, 5 January, 1906, after a long, stormy, and seasick trip on the ocean, with brief stops at Honolulu and the Samoan Islands. . . . . I was given an assignment to the South Island and sent to Christchurch . . . . Never saw so much storm and continued wet over such a prolonged period of time. . . . The monthly mail from home brought good news from my family. . . The cough I left home with continues to plague me, and I am bothered with the la-grippe and infectious cold, which also gives me a severe headache and some rheumatic pains in my one leg. . . . Tracting and contacting investigators, and street meetings mean lots of study and reading of scriptures; it makes me wish that I had come better prepared in a knowledge of the Gospel. . . . Storms and wet continue such as the citizens here have not experienced in years. . . . On Monday, 19 February, 1905 Elder William G. Wooley and I were assigned to go to Invercargill, at the extreme southern tip of this South Island. . . . Received another mail from home, and, oh, the joyto learn the good news of their continued well-being!. . . . Have had a week of rain and wind and
40: cold, which isn’t good for my chest and pains. . . We are doing a lot of tracting, despite the bad weather conditions, and are enjoying a lot of gospel conversations. . . . “’March is here, and weather continues wet and cold; and my health condition is not getting any better—la grippe, rheumatism and severe headaches. How I am wishing I could have my wife’s warm hands hold my head and rub it gently to assuage the throbbing and poundings occurring therein. This cold, wet weather is surely no help to me; it discourages me. . . . On Saturday, 10 March, I received my mail from home, and, feeling miserable like I am, it makes me lonesome and homesick. . . . From the 14 March until the 29 March we have been out in the country; it has been hard on me, but the Lord’s work is entitled to go on. . . . . Back in Invercargill again, and it seems so good to have Sister Murray to talk to and visit with. She is one of our stalwart Saints, and is so understanding and appreciative of the gospel. She warns me that I am overdoing myself for the good of my health. I laugh and ask her where her faith is, but she seems real serious. . . . “’On Saturday, 31 March, I received six letters from home. Oh, what a feast I had! But, as usual, it left me hungry for more. Now I’ve taken more cold again. It seems that no matter how I try to take care of myself, I catch cold, anyway, as the weather is so changeable. Now I’ve ended up with a serious hoarseness. . . . I keep on tracting and visiting, but my persistent cough is a considerable annoyance to me, as it troubles me all of the time. I get aggravated with my cough condition as it even interferes with my nighttime rest and sleep. . . . Still tracting and hoping for gospel conversations; but, oh, the condition of the world! People just don’t seem to be willing to talk about the precious gospel truths. . . . Monday, 9 April and the rain continues and the weather is very cold and miserable. . . . Moved our lodging to a new location in town to Mrs. A. Sharp’s home. Sent letters home; they take quite a bit of time to write, but what a stimulant between loved ones and me. Too much storm and hail and cold, can not go tracting.
41: “’It is nice for us to be able to visit and feel at home at Sister Murray’s. . . . It is funny how I have my ups and downs. I am feeling some better now at the middle of April, and the weather is improved, also. . . . Again it storms and is cold, but if we don’t go out tracting and visiting, who will get the Lord’s work done? . . . Again it looks like storm, but here goes for tracting, anyway. Posters are up reporting a great earthquake in San Francisco, with much damage and many lives lost. This is Thursday, 19 April, 1906, and we’re on this side of the date line. . . . “’Well, here it is Friday, 20 April and the postman brings me seven wonderful letters from the folks and friends at home, with good news. It is so nice to get a letter from my dear Father, with a helpful remittance included; how I love and admire him. And also my dearly beloved and persevering wife and her remittances, including some money from the Ferron Ward Relief Society sisters. May God bless all of them. “’Still more storm and cold, and we’re staying in to read newspapers and magazines from home. It rained most of last night, but we managed to get out and do some tracting and had some excellent gospel conversations in the forenoon; the afternoon got too stormy, though. . . . Stormy weather and tracting have to be mixed, I guess; otherwise, how will the Lord’s work get done? . . . .
42: “’I have just re-read a clipping that my dear wife sent me about love. It reads, “Real love is eternal, and nothing can destroy it. Deep waters can not wash it away; the storms of adversity can not prevail against it, and it must either in this life or the one to come, conquer, for it is God-given. The love which exists between a man and a woman is something none can understand unless he has felt the divine fire. Sacrifices but make the flame leap higher; opposition is fuel which feeds it, and absence and separation have no effect upon real love. The theme of such love between a man and a woman is as old as the world, and yet it does not stale, for it is the one element in life which is always interesting, always uplifting, always sacred, because through it and its full realization, humans share with God the divine power of creation.” “’It has been raining steady for about 36 hours and we are unable to get out to do our work on this May Day. . . . . The weather improves slightly, so we must be out and doing the Savior’s wishes of sharing with others. It is difficult, however, to mix tracting and gospel conversations with this kind of weather, especially when it is hard at best to get around with troublesome rheumatism. My peculiar headaches continue to bother me, and sometimes they feel like they would split the skull open. . . . More showers and tracting, but how can a person enjoy it when health conditions interfere?. . . . How nice it is for us to still have Sister Murray to visit with and have a place to do our laundry. . . . Here it is the middle of May and it is cold enough to form ice. Though it is stormy, I put on my overcoat, took my umbrella and went out to tract and hope for some gospel talks. . . . Mrs. Sharp, our landlady, is surely good to us and gives us extra favors now and then. . . . “’On the 21 May we get mail from home that is dated the middle of April. How good to hear from them again and to learn that their winter is past and that they are getting into spring; while we are going into wintertime down here. . . . Continued stormy weather surely interferes with our desires to keep at our outside tracting work. Took chances on the weather at the end of May and went out in the country to tract and return, walking ten miles in our round trip. . . . Early June, and I’m not feeling very well, but still have faith that the Lord will protect me in performing His work. I am suffering now with a pain in my lower right side. Mrs. Sharp has taken me in hand and is attempting to give me good nursing care. My companion, Elder Wooley, thinks if I am going to be sick down here all of the time that I will have to be transferred to the North Island. Why does the weather have to continue to be so stormy and miserable, and me so miserable along with it? Between my continued cough, headaches, sore side and rheumatism, how can I do the Lord’s work as I know I should?. . . ..
43: ’My conscience won’t let me stay inside when I know that I’m not doing a full job, because I can’t stand to be out for a full day. Here it is the 14 June and I’m still not feeling very well. Sister Murray is surely good to me; it is like going to see a mother to visit with her. The storms continue and my health is not better. If I do not soon improve in health, I think I will have to be given a change in location as this climate is so hard on me. . . . We moved our quarters today, Friday 15 June, and we worked hard for two hours. It did me no good as I feel worse tonight. . . . “’Sister Murray continues to warn me about my health and to slow down on getting out in stormy weather, but I tell her that would cancel the assignment that sent me down here. . . . When the weather brightens up a bit and warms accordingly, then I struggle out to do some tracting and visiting. . . . Although I do not feel extra good, I still put in this forenoon tracting. My cough is bad again and I have a bad congestion in my chest. Mrs. Sharp fixed up a poultice for me to put on my chest, but I spent a restless night. . . . On Sunday, 24 June I did not feel well so stayed in bed most all day. Besides my cough, I have rheumatism in my back, hips and legs. I don’t like this grunting around when away from home and on other people’s hands, but I suppose it can not be helped. . . . The weather is wintry and snow and freezing are in evidence on the South Island. My rheumatism gets worse these cold snaps. . . . “’Managed to walk to Sister Murray’s for a few minutes. She and Mrs. Sharp think that I had better leave the south land while I can as I am losing flesh weight every day. I am discouraged and also impatient over the week’s delay in our mail on account of steamer trouble with their boilers. . . . Wednesday, 27 June and here’s the mail, finally. I didn’t feel like going to the post-office, so Elder Wooley got it for me. What a haul! This was a double mail—15 letters. It seemed unusual bur fully acceptable to get letters from Father, Mother, each of my sisters and brothers, and my dear wife and children, and good Ferron ward friends. All are well except my Mother, and I wish she would learn to take better care of herself. My cough is better but my rheumatism gets worse. . . . Friday, 29 June and I am house confined; can hardly use my right leg. . . . Sunday, 8 July—During the past week I have ventured out a bit, but it is hard to hobble around. I’m finally getting concerned about my health and future. . . . Everybody is so kind and considerate, but I don’t like to be so crippled up. . . . What am I to do bout it all? Oh, dear Lord, please bless and help me get well.’
44: George William Stevens began his first diary in Emery County on December 6, 1905, as he began his journey to New Zealand to fulfill a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was leaving behind a loving wife and four darling children. His comment the first day: “This parting from my loved ones I feel will be my greatest trial. At least I hope there will be none that will wring the heart more.” He left with great sadness and maybe some premonition that things would not be all right in the future. Traveling by train from Price, Salt Lake City, across the Great Salt Lake, he arrived in San Francisco where he was to embark on a sailing vessel for Auckland, N.Z. The ship sailed on December 15, 1905 and arrived on January 4, 1906. There was not the organization of the mission as we know today. The president was traveling 900 miles away and George was met by the mission secretary. The books take us through his travels to the South Island and further south to Invercargill. As he moves from town to town and meets people he remains melancholy, no mail for more than a month and when the mail ship comes in, his mail is sent to another place. He extols over a newspaper sent from home by Catherine’s brother-in-law (her future husband). The weather is excessively rainy and the missionaries have trouble keeping warm. They often visit with friends who are not members of the LDS Church. It’s often too wet to go tracting. | Two Diaries of George William Stevens. Commentary by Catherine S. Boman Recently two very small diaries came into my hands. I was invited to transcribe them to make them easier to be read by descendants of George William Stevens. The books are written in ink and pencil (hard to read.) When I made copies, words were easier to view. In addition I used a magnifying glass (that belonged to Kenneth R. Stevens, Sr.) especially on names of people and places. An atlas proved valuable to make sure that place names were correctly spelled. There really is a “Cave” town. | On Jan 13 he writes: “Went with Elders & held street meeting, and was called to open meeting. This seemed the hardest task that I have ever had in Church capacity.” The food prepared is mostly vegetables, peas, cauliflower, potatoes, once turnips out of a field eaten right there raw. Only once does he mention having meat to eat.. On January 29, one of the elders was being allowed to go home to his widowed mother because his brother broke a leg. How do you think George must have felt, as he, George, had left a wife and little children to themselves and really needed him. He does not complain, but trusts in the Lord.
45: February 11: “Oh if I could only get to Sunday School this morning I would feel like I was having a treat.” There was no Church organization, only street meetings.. They spent time with friends who belonged to Salvation Army, Presbyterians, and George visited a Catholic Church. Often wet and cold, he was often sick having what he called “LaGrippe” and splitting headaches. On February 21, “As we had not bought anything to eat, we decided to fast this morning. . . .on going to town about 10 o’clock to purchase some eadibles, we saw lying at side of pavement about a half pound of N.Z. biscuits. I stopped and pointed them out to my companion and asked him if he ever heard of the Elders who found the loaf of bread. He said he had not but those biscuits looked good enough to eat. We gathered them up and as we walked on down the street eating them I related the Elders’ story to him.” It sounds like George and his companion had their own miracle. The last entry in the second diary is dated March 9, 1906, when he states, “Has brought back that miserable cough again. I suppose I will always be bothered with it in the winter time.” This was summertime in the southern hemisphere, but doesn’t sound very sunny. | To read the full text, go to the CD of all the pictures and documents from the 1996 George and Catherine Stevens Reunion. Typed from an original notebook, light brown, 5 1/4 inches tall, 2 5/8 inches wide, 1/4 inch thick. Beautiful penmanship mostly written in pencil. Written by George W. Stevens as he continued his mission to New Zealand, 1906. Original is with George Hugh Stevens Winkel. This copy made by Catherine S. Boman, October, 2003. | George William Stevens died in Invercargill, New Zealand, on July 26, 1906. His remains were shipped back to his loved ones in Ferron, Utah, where they arrived about September 9, 1906. His funeral was held on September 11, 1906 and he is buried in the Ferron City Cemetery. He was 33 years of age. Cause of death is listed as “meningitis/brain fever.” (Obituary: The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah; U.S.U. Microfilm # 100, June 29, 1906 - Oct. 20, 1906 56th year What an honor to know this man through his words and the strength of character that he shows as he does the bidding of Church leaders who call him to serve his Lord on a mission. These same sentiments are spoken by others from his mission and at the funeral service. This concludes my remarks and I invite others, after reading the transcript of the diaries, to contribute their own thoughts about our grandfather. Except for quotations, these are my own words. Catherine Stevens Boman, Granddaughter Nov. 12, 2003 - Springville, Utah
46: “No more entries appear in George’s diary, but a sequence is indicated in other sources of information which came to us shortly. From them—Mrs. M. A. Murray, where they held their meetings and who was so good to the Elders; Mrs. A. Sharp, where they had housekeeping rooms; George’s companion, Elder William G. Wooley, who took sick and was hospitalized; and the Mission President, Louis G. Hoagland—I got word that George’s illness got worse. He was finally put in the Invercargill Hospital and given medical care for two weeks; but it was too late. He had developed brain fever, and the symptoms had been indicated in his previous severe headaches and rheumatic pains. More acute symptoms set in and he died at 9:30 p.m., Thursday, 26 July, 1906 (10). “Word of his death did not get to us, though, until Friday, 17 August, when a cousin of Georges, Isaac William Behunin, at Clawson,--five miles north of Ferron, read the death announcement in the Deseret News. Stunned, he and his wife hitched up a team and buggy and drove to Ferron, with the tragic news to share. They found the Ward Bishop, who had just received the distressing news in a letter from President Louis G. Hoagland, including a letter to me to be delivered by the Bishop. Together, and with many other townspeople whose sympathies and love would be manifested in so many, many ways then and later, they came and made the tragic announcement to me. (Obituary and Letters on file.) (11). “It was a busy day. All the Stevens Family were going to Mary Olsen Funk’s place in the afternoon, it being her 23rd birthday anniversary. I had just taken a nice big batch of bread from the oven. I had garden beets on cooking for us to eat and a batch of black currants on for preserves; I had just previously finished a big ironing. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent this ribbon to Catherine Richards Stevens soon after George's death
47: “Then like a bolt of lightning, or as bad or worse, I was struck down never to be the same again, by seeing a crowd of people at the kitchen door. All I remember was seeing Will Behunin; all the others didn’t seem in clear focus. They were saying something about George Stevens and New Zealand. Oh, how did I ever survive those punishing words! “I had known that George’s cough that he left home with still bothered him, and he told me in his letters that he had a few aches and pains, but for me not to worry about him. But his May-written letters which we got in June told of how he was getting worse. This really worried me, but I felt that he would take good care of himself and get medical help, if needed. Oh, if he had only had less ambition, and better judgment, if he had taken the work a little easier; but even when he was sick, he felt he should go out tracting and preaching. In June was the first he had let us know that he was really sick. When July mail time came, there were no letters from him, and then I was sick with worry. “And then I had a feeling of depression come over me, and I could scarcely endure one day after another. Almost every night George would appear to me in a dream and tell me he was not coming home, or he would be sick and I would be nursing him, or he would come to my bedroom window and talk but said he couldn’t come in. I worried till it was awful. And I had maintained good faith in the Lord that George would be made well and returned to us when he had completed a full-term mission. But I was not prepared for this tragic turn of events. “We had to wait until Friday, 7 September for his body to be brought to Ferron. It was delivered in a sealed lead coffin and crated in a large wooden box. George’s brothers, Joseph and John, went to San Francisco to meet the body and to help in bringing it home. One of George’s companions, Elder Hiram L. Baker, of Lehi, Utah, accompanied the body home to Ferron from New Zealand, and stayed and spoke at the funeral. The funeral and burial took place in Ferron on Tuesday, 11 September. (12) “I literally collapsed in shock. This was one separation and death that I was not prepared to meet. George and I knew the meaning and value of prayers, and we had kept ourselves united in and through them. While he was in the mission field, I used to gather our children around me and give fervent thanks to the Lord for all that we were and had, and for such a spiritually-minded husband who would leave us for the Gospel’s sake to do the Lord’s will. But when he was taken so abruptly from us, I lost faith in prayer, and ceased praying. How could I? What did I have further to pray for? I continued to have the children say their humble and sincere prayers, and I shed tears as I listened to them; but I couldn’t bring myself to say ‘Thanks’ to the Lord. One day, more than four years later, and when I felt more adjusted, I put a colored apron on one day, and my six year old boy insisted that I take it off. Then I sat down in the rocker and, taking him on my lap, I began to sing, ‘Jesus once was a little child, a little child like you. . . .’ He looked up into my face with surprise and said, ‘Mama, I didn’t ever know you could sing.’ How bad it made me feel to realize that my children had been thus affected by my long-time suffering in mourning.
49: While delivering a copy of the Book of Mormon, Elder Stevens was stoned and thrown into a river. He soon after died. But, when missionaries were sent back into the area, they found many prepared to hear the gospel due to that copy of the Book of Mormon! | Excertps from Kathleen's Life History about her fact finding trip to New Zealand
50: Kenneth Richards Stevens Catherine Marva Vera Kenneth B. Kenneth R. Lyman Mark | Ione Stevens Conover Maurine Jesse George Kathleen Ione J. | George and Catherine (Richards) Stevens | Hugh William Stevens Darlene LaRue Roberta George | Vera Stevens Nelson Gerald Keith Catherine Don Shirley | **George Orion Stevens died as baby
52: Ione Stevens Conover | 16 years old | Jesse nad Ione at a Costume Party | Daughter of George
53: Jesse and Ione Conover | Maurine Jensen Joel Jesse Rosemary Peter Maurine Ann | Jesse George Conover Paul Catherine Sterling | Kathleen Richardson Geneen Jacqueline Gary Jesse Marsha Marilyn | Ione J. Scow Steven Janece Sharon Kimberly | Jesse and Ione at a costume party. | Ione and Nana
54: Ione Jacqualine Conover Scow | Ione J. was born October 30, 1928 in Ferron, Utah | 3 months old | Kathleen and Ione | Grandaughter of George William Stevens | Grandaughter of George William Stevens | Grandaughter of George Willimas Stevens | Grandaughter of George William Stevens
55: Dick and Ione J. Scow | Janece Larson Katherine Mandy Adam Holly Jesse | Steven Scow Steven B. Bethany Richard Bradley Shannon Christina Daniel David Sarah | Sharon Bagley Matthew Christie Melanie Stephanie Katie | Kimberly Riches Victor Jr. Shane Justin Jonathan Brittany Quinton Mackenzie Hunter Trevor | Dick and Ione were married in the Logan Temple on July 19, 1948. | Grandaughter of George William Stevens | They chose to be married in the Logan Temple because Catherine Richards Stevens (George's wife) worked at the Logan Temple.
56: Back Row: Scotland & Dusty Heal, Sarah, Eizley, & Adam Larson, Jesse & Brittany Larson, Dallin, Katie, & Jared Wride Middle Row (seated): Kylie Wride, Mandy & Megan Heal, Landon Wride, Scott & Janece Larson, Deagan & Holly Moss, Quinton & Jeff Moss Front Row: Corbin Moss, Kimball Heal, Alyssa Wride | Janece Scow Larson Family December 2010 | Steven Scow Clan Summer 2011 | Middle Row: Jenny & Will Scow, Sarah Scow, Jane Scow, Richard & Anna Scow, Brad & Julie Scow; Nick, Chrissy, & Brinton Bishop; Mary Beth & Steven Scow; Suzanne, Daniel & Michelle Scow; Miriam, Sam, Steven, & RB Scow; Brent & Bethany Schumann; David Scow Front Row: Sarah & Rachel Schumann; Garrett Scow | Back row: Shannon & Scott Chapman; Jonny Dayton, Russell Scow, Aaron Chapman, Bekah & Elizabeth Dayton, Hannah Chapman, Bailey Scow, Emily Scow, Miriam Dayton, Catherine Schumann, Hannah Schumann, Caleb & Ben Scow, Megan Scow, Ethan & Wilson Scow | Steven Scow Clan Summer 2011
57: Great Grand Children of George William Stevens and their Families 2009- 2011 | July 4, 2011 | L to R: Stephanie Bagley, Kenzie Foster, Christie Bagley Foster, Josh Foster, Richard Bagley, Sharon Bagley, Melanie Bagley Dunbar, Riley Dunbar, Chris Dunbar, Matthew Bagley, Katie Bagley | Kimberly Scow Riches Family Spring 2009 | Back Row: Shane, Vic, Justin, Nate, Brittany, Victor (Dad), Kimberly (Mom), Quinton, Jonathan, MacKenzie Front Row: Hunter, Trevor | Sharon Scow Bagley Family
58: Kenneth Richards Stevens | Kenneth and Ione May 1901 | Son of George Stevens
59: 1938 | Kenneth and Iona (Brimhall) Stevens | Catherine Stevens Boman Susan Paul Maile Lucy Kenneth Elizabeth Kent | Marva Genevieve Allen Maylene Rebecca Kayla Daniel Scott Marcia Rozanne Jennavee | Vera Stevens Winkel Steven Von Julann Bryan Laren Janeen Marlynn Arla Amy | **Kenneth Brimhall Stevens died at one year of age | Kenneth Richards Stevens Michael Ryan Elise Andrew Calene Joel ----- Lisa John Cindy Susan Catherine Kenneth | Lyman Brimhall Stevens William Diane Marianne David Richard John Holly Brian Paul Lorin Daniel | Mark Brimhall Stevens Virginia Tiffany Mark
60: Vera Stevens Nelson | ... | Family | Daughter of George Stevens
61: Cherish Yesterday Live Today Dream Tomorrow | Lloyd and Vera Nelson | Gerald Lloyd Nelson Alan Jennae Teona Gerald | Keith Earl Nelson Leslie Dennis Kristine David Dianna | Katherine Kaye Aschenbrenner Peggy Melanie Julie | Don Stephen Nelson Stephen Paul Dawn Patricia Suzie | Shirley Jean Bartoldo Robert Fred Lisa
62: Hugh William Stevens | Belva, Hugh, and Darline | Son of George Stevens
63: Darlene Stevens | LaRue Stevens Stephenson Michael Jeri Lyn Patsy Paula Brent Janelle Nancy | Roberta Stevens Hoffman Vickie Sue Steven Lyle Jack Ronald Alan | Hugh and Belva (Cook) Stevens | George Hugh Stevens Howard Joan Stephanie William Saressa Spencer