Monday, August 31, 2009

Editor's Note

Ancestor Files will be on vacation for about a week until after the kids start school. After that, look for...
  • Biographies of Garrard III and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan
  • Notes about Garrard and Eliza Morgan's Children
  • Biographies of Samuel and Ellen Sutton Linton
  • A Note About the Linton Family Organization
  • Biographies of David and Adeline Springthorpe Thomas
  • New Information about the David and Adeline Springthorpe Thomas Family
  • More Installments of the History of the Southern States Mission
  • More biographies of the Jarvis children
[9.6.09.— I'll start posting again on Tuesday.]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pictures of the Cane Creek Area

Many thanks to a friend, Read Gilgen, who sent some pictures of the Cane Creek, Tennessee, area, where he and his wife Sue are serving a mission. They're having a dramatically different experience than the missionaries did back in the days of John Morgan and B.H. Roberts!

The historical marker for the Cane Creek site. Here are links to information about each of these men on Amateur Mormon Historian or Keepapitchinin.

A country road north of Hohenwald, Tennessee, leading to the Cane Creek area.

The cemetery where Malinda Conder's two sons are buried. They were both members of the church. They died trying to save the lives of the missionaries.

If you read the link on John Riley Hudson above, you can see that these missionaries are in a long line of missionaries making a pilgrimage to the site.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 25: Elders Berry and Gibbs

The causes leading up to the massacre in Lewis county, Tenn., originally started from the maligners of "Mormonism" in Utah. There, false statements concerning the Saints had been started, which spread to abnormal absurdities as they passed the lubricous mouths of crude truth handlers. Among the purported sayings and doings of the Saints was a sermon entitled "A Red Hot Address, Delivered by Bishop West." In this the Bishop is said to have called upon the Saints to "avenge themselves, as the time had passed when they should meekly submit to the bigotry of the national government." The address was never delivered by a Bishop or any other member of the church, but the canard served the deserved purpose. It was scattered promiscuouly [sic] throughout the land; copies of it reached Lewis county and were used with other nefarious publications and fabrications by a preacher named Vandever, against the Elders. This so filled the people with animosity against the Elders that the final outcome was the enactment of the murder as narrated.

The lies circulated through the county about the Elders were of a most revolting nature, scarcely credible to a sound-minded person. They served the purpose, however, of enlisting people on the enemies' side, so that no attention was paid as to facts.

When Elder Roberts had done his duty in caring for the dead, his attention was next directed to vindicating the character of the Elders. A petition was presented to Gov. Bates, signed by Elders B.H. Roberts, J.G. Kimball, W.H. Jones, Henry Thompson and W.E. Robinson, and sworn to before James Everett, notary public, on the 20th of August, 1884.

This petition refuted the several charges circulated, and asked for state's protection in the advocacy of the principles believed in by the Elders. Besides this, it asked that a reward be offered for the arrest and conviction of the mobbers.

To all this Gov. Bates was most indifferent; he offered a reward of one thousand dollars, however, as asked, which was to be divided pro rata according to the number convicted. The offer held good, as well, for the apprehension of the party, or parties, who shot and killed David Hinson [one of the mob].

Gov. Eli H. Murray, of Utah, sent a message to Gov. Bates upon the receipt of the news, that showed much care in the preparation, but regardless of what the consequences might be. After hollow pretenses of approval for the reward offered, he says: "Lawlessness in Tennessee and Utah are alike reprehensible, but the Mormon agents in Tennessee were sent from here as they have been for years by the representatives of organized crime, and I submit that as long as Tennessee's representatives in congress are, to say the least, indifferent to the punishment of offenders against the national law in Utah, such cowardly outrages by their constituents as the killing of emigration agents sent there from here, will continue."

This dispatch but added to the indifference of the Governor of Tennessee. The wilful and malicious lie told in it was but a license to cover over the terrible deed of Cane Creek, that its resurrection would not be apt to take place until the law of retribution should set in.

The reward, though a lucrative one, could not induce the officers of the law to bring to justice the guilty wretches who dropped themselves below the level of beasts to dip their hands in the blood of the noble martyrs. Thus the laws of the state of Tennessee were left unvindicated in one of the bloodiest acts, and certainly the greatest blotch upon its name, that ever rested upon its escutcheon.

Elder W.S. Berry was a man of reserved demeanor. His simplicity of conduct won for him many friends who loved him as a man of God. He was loved by those in authority over him for his willingness to sacrifice his own personal feelings for the welfare of his brother; his excellence of judgment, the wisdom of his counsel and the goodness of his heart, all joined to make him a noble among the nobles of mankind. His success in the missionary field was not so much owing to his ability as a public speaker, as to his conversation at the fireside; but above all else, the power of exemplary deportment attracted the attention of men to the message he bore.

Elder J.H. Gibbs was a noble man, brave and bold. Upon many occasions he was surrounded with low lying clouds of persecution. Storms may have raged, the vivid lightning of bigots' hatred flashed, the thunders of all the forces of hell may have resounded in his ears, but calmly at his post would have stood that man, unperturbable [sic], impregnable. Many times was he heard to say that if God willed his life to be yielded up for the cause of Christ, he was ready and willing to give it. He was full of faith in God, generally cheerful, while his constant kindness revealed the goodness of his heart; with all this he possessed a bold, fearless spirit, and whenever he came in contact with hypocrisy, succeeded in tearing from its face the smiling mask behind which it tried to hide. He possessed those qualities of mind and heart which naturally endeared him to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Every labor required of him was intelligently executed. He was untiring in his labors in the ministry, yet his zeal was tempered by an excellent judgment. His mind was well stored with information and he was naturally gifted, being fluent in speech, easy in conversation and an excellent correspondent—but to crown it all, he was ever prayerful and humble in spirit.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 29, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, June 17, 1899, p 225.

The photo of the Meriwether Lewis grave in Lewis County, Tennessee, from

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tribute to a Pioneer Mother

A funeral address by one of her grandsons.

My first memory of Grandma [Margaret Godfrey Jarvis] Overson was when I was 3-1/2. I had been stricken with pneumonia and by Valentine’s Day in 1928 was just enough recovered to sit up in the crib made by my grandfather in his and my grandmother’s house where we lived, and enjoy the pre-arranged dropping of Valentines at the door. During these years, and for some years thereafter, my mother was employed at the Whiting Bros. cash store as bookkeeper. This was just across the street from Grandma’s and even after we moved to our own home on the hill, almost every day was spent in the companionship of Grandmother Overson. A memory of many hours spent with Peter, exploring every nook and cranny of the two story red brick family home, and entertaining all of the kids in the neighborhood with plays starring such well known neighborhood personalities as Irma Whiting, Marion Gibbons, Jr., and that newcomer, Darwin Grant.

I have memories of Grandma baking huge loaves of bread, making cottage cheese and butter and delicious preserves, and the sweet smell of spice cake in the pantry.

Memories of warm summer nights singing songs while sitting before a bonfire in the ditch with Milford Waite and other kids in the neighborhood, and Grandma calling me to bed. The cold nights in St. Johns of crawling into bed between icy cold sheets in an unheated upstairs bedroom, and Grandma coming up with warm flat irons wrapped in flannel to warm her boys.

I have memories of Grandma sewing all kinds of fine needlework, quilts, afghans, table cloths, decorative pieces of all kinds and the finest in the world—first prize winners at any fair.

Memories of Grandma in her living room studio with the skylight and that fine portrait camera recording generation after generation of St. Johns’ families for posterity. Grandma in her dark room working hour after hour over the developing and printing chemicals and letting a young grandson in to watch the great event of a picture emerging from a blank paper. All of these sold for just enough to get new materials to replace the old and just a few dollars to help with the barest of cash needs of a large family. Memories of year book pictures produced at almost no cost to provide photo records for St. Johns High School.

Memories of Grandma and her genealogy records carrying out the promise made to her husband’s dying father to preserve the family records. The many years of concentrated work to finish a lifelong ambition of a genealogical record of George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez, together with an Ove C. Overson history. Memories of a historical collection of St. Johns carefully put together to form a soul moving story of St. Johns and provided to the St. Johns Stake Genealogical Society for less than the cost of the materials.

The memories of a loving wife half chiding her husband who is entertaining a grandson with stereo pictures of London where he spent his mission many years before, and who has heard the stories many times before. Memories of a great old house with woodwork throughout, hand-crafted by a loving master carpenter for a bride, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, with changes over the years to meet the ever changing needs of a growing and diminishing family.

Memories of months my brother Lee and I spent in Mesa with Grandma and Grandpa in 1933 after the death of my mother and Grandma’s only daughter, Eva, and the hundreds of baptisms for the dead and the testimony of a grandmother to her eight year old grandson of the truths of the Gospel and the necessity of Temple work.

The memories of a dynamic willful person who, after an operation for cancer, was up and out of the hospital and attending a play within a few days. Memories of an uncomplaining self-sufficient person many years in a wheel chair. Never complaining and taking care of herself and keeping busy—the fun time of an open house on Grandma’s 88th birthday with dozens of well-wishers to brighten up her day. At 90 the old friends are mostly all gone—even those five, ten and twenty years younger. Memories of a stalwart son Peter who cared for her daily needs for many years. This devoted service has been and is appreciated by all the family.

I have memories of Grandma saying just a few weeks ago that she wouldn’t be able to make things for the children this year as she couldn’t see very well and she was kind of tired. Her only complaint was that she couldn’t do something for others.

My memories cover less than half of the life of this great lady—all of these memories are of a woman who was older than I am now on the first day of my memory of her. I only hope that I and each of us here who have some time left can do as much with our lives as she did in her later years.

Tanner, W.O. Tribute to a Pioneer Mother: Margaret Jarvis Overson. December 1968.

The photos of the lace and crochet work by Margaret Jarvis Overson are from my parents. The photo of Maggie is from her book, Margaret Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy. Mesa, Arizona: Privately printed, 1957.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Emmaline Jarvis and Thomas P. Cottam, Part 2

(The following sketch is adapted from the article on his life and funeral published in the Washington County News of March 25, 1926.)

Thomas [Punter] Cottam, son of Thomas and Caroline Smith Cottam, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, September 28th, 1857. The family moved to St. George, in 1862, and took part in the early experiences and hardships of the pioneers of that section of country.

As a young man he was called to responsible positions in the Church, first as president of the Deacon's quorum, then councilor in the Elders' quorum. April 24th, 1887, he was set apart as Bishop of fourth Ward of St. George, by President Wilford Woodruff, and when the wards were consolidated, was chosen as a councilor to Bishop James Andrus. In 1901 he was chosen as first counselor to President Edward H. Snow of the St. George Stake, which position he held for many years. He was ordained a Patriarch in 1917 by Apostle James E. Talmage. At that time he was also assistant to President David H. Cannon of the St. George Temple, and when the President died, he succeeded him as President. He served as a member of the city council for eleven years, as Mayor four years, as Assessor and Collector for Washington County for a number of years, and was a member of the Legislature from 1905 to 1908.

President Cottam was also prominent in the stock raising business and agricultural pursuits. [I suppose that means he was a farmer and a rancher.] He was a master plasterer, and had charge of the ornamental plaster work in the Manti Temple.

Thomas P. Cottam was married to Emmaline Jarvis, daughter of George and Ann Prior Jarvis, January 26, 1882, and ten children were born to them, nine of whom with his wife survive him. He passed away March 16th, 1926.

Funeral services were held in the St. George Tabernacle on March 18, and the hall was well filled as also the galleries, many people coming from near-by towns to pay their respects. Many beautiful floral tributes were in evidence.

President Joseph K. Nicholes spoke, and read from the Beatitudes, saying that President Cottam had exemplified in his life all those good qualities which Christ expressed there. President Whitehead said that no other man had ever endeared himself to the people as had President Cottam. His life had been an inspiration.

President E.H. Snow said that President Cottam was one of the best men that had lived in the world. As a man he was all that we could expect; honest, truthful, thrifty, trustworthy. As a husband he was ideal; so also, as a father. His children worshipped him; would sacrifice anything for him. As a neighbor, no better ever lived. As a citizen, he was patriotic. He was loyal to his home, to his state, and to the nation. He was absolutely clean in his labors as a citizen; no breath of suspicion ever attached itself to him. As a Churchman, he sought first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, believing that all other things should be added. He was a master workman. It was his ambition to excel in all he did. He worked too hard. If in any way he failed to keep the word of wisdom, it was by overwork; by neglecting the needs of his body in his zeal to serve the Church and its people.

For twenty-four years he had travelled much over the Stake, in all kinds of conveyances and all kinds of weather. He was simple in his life and habits. He frowned down extravagance. He loved the poor, and would sacrifice much for their good. He loved justice and hated injustice. As a friend, there was none like him. In the passing of Brother Cottam, this county has lost one of its best and noblest characters."

(Thomas P. Cottam was first Councilor to President E.H. Snow for many years.)

From Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957, pp 77-79.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Emmaline Jarvis and Thomas P. Cottam, Part 1

Emmaline Jarvis, ninth child of George and Ann Prior Jarvis, was born at St. George, Washington County, Utah, March 21st, 1863, two years after the Pioneers arrived in the St. George valley.

She shared many pioneer experiences of shortage of food, clothing and housing facilities. Her layette consisted of pieces of wagon cover. Their first home was a willow shed. The water was very warm and insipid compared with our pure cold mountain water which is piped from the spring to our head house, thus destroying any chance of contamination. Mother often told us of the time she and Aunt Josephine gleaned grain and carried it home on their backs from the fields. This was sold sometimes to buy a Sunday dress and shoes. She carried the drinking water three blocks.

Mother had a very cheerful disposition and a beautiful alto voice which she freely used in public and at home. Her mother and sister Maggie had very good soprano voices, so their home was a gathering place for old and young to spend a pleasant evening. She joined the choir when very young, and was a member most of her life-time. She attended the schools of that time.

She married one of the cleanest, finest young men of St. George, Thomas P. Cottam. He was a leader in Church and Civic affairs. He served as Councilor to Bishop Cannon, and also was Bishop for twenty-five years, then Councilor to President E.H. Snow of the St. George Stake for twenty-five years. He was Councilor to D.H. Cannon of the St. George Temple for a few years, then was set apart as President when President Cannon died. He was City Councilman, Mayor, Assessor and Collector, etc. He was sustained by my mother 100%. Father's being away from home so much, left the responsibility of home and ten children to mother. We all loved and honored both of them. One brother died in childhood, and one in early manhood, leaving a wife and three children.

Both father and mother were very free-hearted, and always had their house full of Conference visitors, and also the corral full of teams and horses. They boarded many Dixie College Students. They always welcomed their friends, and seldom ate a meal without company.

Mother was a good cook and a good nurse. She helped her neighbors when sickness was their lot. No one was ever turned away hungry from her door. She was a willing worker in Church activities, especially in Relief Society, where she worked on the Stake Board, also as Councilor in the Ward for several years. She was called to be a Temple Ordinance worker in 1926, and worked until 1940, when she became unable to go. She had done ordinance work and endowments for at least 2000 names. She loved the work, and was never happier than when in the Temple.

Father died March 16th, 1926, and mother lived until September 21st, 1944. I can imagine that joyful meeting.

(Written by her eldest daughter, Emma C. McArthur.)

[These histories of the younger Jarvis children are in response to a request on the Jarvis Family Website.]

From Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957, pp 77-78.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Heber Jarvis and Susan Janet Smith Jarvis, Part 2

Susan Janet Smith, daughter of Jesse N. Smith and Janet Mauretta Johnson Smith, was born September 15th, 1868, at Parowan, Iron County, Utah.

Being the oldest child in a large family of girls, she was early given responsibility as both Mother's and Father's helper. She had to help mother with cooking, housework and caring the the younger children, and father with the teams and stock. [If new Family Search is accurate, she had eleven sisters and one brother, who was born six years after she married (and eighteen half-sisters and thirteen half-brothers); if she was looking to an early marriage for a break from hard labor, I will note here that she had fifteen of her own children.] She had gone to school some in her home town of Parowan, but when her father was called to Arizona to preside over the Eastern Arizona Stake of Zion, in 1878, Susie was just past ten years old.

On the way to Arizona she helped her father harness and care for the horses, and drove one of the teams. Arriving in Snowflake, they had to make a new home. The settlement was new—only a few houses, and they were log ones. Camps had to be made until houses could be built. Land had to be prepared for farming, houses, corrals, fences, ditches, etc., all had to be made; the townsite selected and laid off, a meeting house (also of logs) built, arrangements made for a school in each settlement, (which was always a "First" among the Mormon Pioneers). It was her father's responsibility to see that all these improvements were being attended to. So from the first, Susie's experiences comprehended responsibility, not alone for their immediate family, but for the community, and adjoining towns.

She grew rapidly in stature and also in understanding. Everything those early settlers had in the shape of food, clothes, furniture and conveniences of any kind, had to be raised or made at home, or freighted by team from great distances, taking weeks and often months of time. Susie not only learned to bake, cook, wash, iron and keep a home neat and tidy, but she learned to knit their stockings, sew their clothes and dresses, make quilts from the scraps left from sewing, and carpets from the worn out clothing, braid the wheat straw and make it into hats, wash and card the wool into bats [sic] to put in the quilts, then quilt them for their bedding, and make her own trimming for hats and dresses. All these things she had learned to do before she was married to my Uncle Heber Jarvis, my mother's brother. She was a beautiful young woman, — good form, brown eyes and a clear complexion, dark wavy hair and a pleasant face, and I thought my new Aunt was the most beautiful and cleverest person that ever could be, and I loved her devotedly, almost worshipfully. [Margaret was five years old when Heber and Susan married.] They were the only relatives we had or ever saw in those early years, until I was a grown woman and went to Utah to be married.

We lived neighbors for a while at Nutrioso, and I remember her first baby boy Heber, who died there at about one year old, and how happy and thankful she was when her second baby boy was born, some months later. After that, while I was still a small girl, we moved away, and they did, also. Finally they lived in Eagar, and we in St. Johns, about thirty-five miles apart, but we had to travel by team and wagon, and only saw each other at Conference time, once in three months, or perhaps six months or even a year.

I was always happy when they came to our house, or we could go to theirs. They lived on a farm at Eagar. How I did enjoy the new potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips, squash, etc., from their garden; new milk and plenty of cream and fresh home-made butter, and cheese, new laid eggs, fried chicken, or fresh beef and Aunty's pies and cakes[.] Everything tasted so good. And she was so sweet always busy, but pleasant, ready to sing with us, or get books to solve some question that was under discussion. Her home was neat, and touches of fancy work around, and she also kept ladies hats for sale—which I enjoyed to look at. Her babies came regularly, until she had fifteen, — such sweet, lovable little cousins! Uncle Heber was a good provider, and Aunt Susie managed everything just right, in my eyes; and they were always so pleasant and happy together.

He did his part in the Church, she worked in the various organizations, and always went to Church on Sunday if the health of the family permitted. Then they moved to St. Johns, to give the children a better chance for education.

Here Aunt Susie was President of the Relief Society for a number of years, filling the position with honor and distinction. My dear Aunty was a good and wonderful woman — I loved her, and love does not look for faults. I never saw any in her.

After the children were mostly grown and married, they moved to Mesa, and were workers in the Arizona Temple for about twenty years, until they were not able to do the work any longer. Now the dear Auntie is alone — her faithful mate having been called home. Her children all have families and affairs of their own that must be looked after, and none of them can give up their homes and live with her. She is not content nor can she stand to live in any of their homes, with the rush and bustle of this modern age. The grandchildren all have their work and studies, and she nor they seem able to adjust to each other. Her age, mental and physical condition, and habits of a lifetime, seem to clash with the younger generation. And so she is tired and lonely — just another and very different experience in life...... (Written 1955 by the editor M.J.O.)

[Susan Smith Jarvis died 15 December 15, 1960, in Phoenix, and was buried in Mesa.]

See also, part 1: Heber Jarvis.

From Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957, pp 74-75. Picture from Jarvis family website.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Heber Jarvis and Susan Janet Smith Jarvis, Part 1

Heber Jarvis, eighth child of George and Ann Prior Jarvis, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 14th, 1860, six weeks after the family arrived, and his mother had walked almost the entire way of 1000 miles across the plains. When Heber was one year old his father was among the first to volunteer to go South and settle St. George; consequently his childhood and early manhood were spent in that hardest of all Missions established by the Church. And so it was that his early life was one of privation and struggle, with meager facilities for education. November 9th, 1871, the St. George Temple was begun, and the life and faith of the settlers was revived and stabilized through that wonderful project, and the support and frequent visits of the Prophet, Brigham Young and the Apostles, and the fine young men who were sent from various wards in the Church to labor on the building.

Heber heard the Prophesy [sic] of Brigham Young that no lives would be lost in constructing the Temple, and lived to witness its fulfillment. And 'tho' a number of workmen suffered from accidents, with two particularly serious ones, in which death seemed inevitable, both escaped and were healed.

As he grew up, he worked willingly at whatever there was for him to do, — making and cleaning ditches, farm work, as a teamster, builder's helper, or mine worker at the Pioche mines, thereby obtaining a varied experience, becoming acquainted with many characters, and learning to mingle and get along with his fellow-men. Of most worth, there was developing within him faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, love for the church leaders, honor and respect for the Priesthood, and a desire to live according to the rules and principles of the Gospel. This testimony remained the grand and lovable part of his character all through his long life.

The Temple was finished and Dedicated early in 1877, and tho' only seventeen years old he was one of the first to receive the Endowment, February 8th, 1877.

In early 1879, he was called, together with his brother Samuel and brother-in-law Charles, to go to Arizona and help colonize the Snowflake district; but owing to his youthfulness, the call was temporarily deferred. Early in 1882, however, he went to Snowflake, being at that time past twenty-one years of age—an unusually handsome young man, with dark curly hair, expressive eyes, good features, fine form and carriage, attentive manners and pleasant personality, and was soon a great favorite among the young ladies of the settlement. One was especially attracted to him, — Miss Susan Janet Smith, oldest daughter of the President of the Eastern Arizona Stake, Jesse N. Smith and his wife Janet Johnson. Susan was very young, but these two young people became almost immediately devoted lovers, and on December 12th, 1883, were married in the St. George Temple, after a six-week's trip by team and wagon from Snowflake to St. George.

During his courtship, Heber had worked and earned enough to procure a team and wagon and sufficient means to make the trip to his home town, where they remained during the winter, with his parents and relatives, but returned in the spring to fill his mission in Arizona. They lived in Snowflake, then Nutrioso, then moved to Eagar, all in Apache County, Arizona. (Snowflake was later put into Navajo County.)

They remained in Eagar many years, and most of their children were born there, then moved to St. Johns. Heber had farming and stockraising interests, worked at blacksmithing, carpentry, was water master, Justice of the Peace, member of the Board of Supervisors, helped in Sherriff's [sic] Posses, and was elected to the Legislature. He often mentioned his experiences in the Arizona Legislature, because it was during that session that the much debated "Woman's Sufferage Bill" was passed, and he always took credit for helping put that through. He also mentioned other "Bills" and measure that came before them then, some of which he refused to be 'Bribed' to vote or work for, that he thought were not for the betterment of the people. He mingled freely and assisted in everything of moment in the civic life of the community. At the same time, he and his wife were prominent in the Ward and Stake offices. Heber was a member of the Stake High Council for forty-six years; worked in the Y.M.M.I.A, various Priesthood activities, in the Bishopric, etc., and was always faithful in his callings. After the Arizona Temple was dedicated, they worked there as Ordinance Workers for twenty years, until his health failed.

His jovial disposition and merry heart, his love, kindness and tolerance for the young and erring, his faithfulness to his family and friends, his liberality with those whose lives and opinions differed from his own, all tended to win him many friends and admirers, among young and old, stranger and acquaintance.

Heber and Susie lived together almost seventy years and were sweethearts always. A beautiful example of happy home life. When he passed away at the age of 93 years, ten of their fifteen children were living, sixty-six grandchildren, and 144 great grand children. His funeral was held in the Fifth Ward Chapel, and was a testimonial to his splendid life work and great usefulness, and his numerous friends. The large chapel and Amusement hall were filled to overflowing with kindred and friends. The date of his death was October 8th, 1953, and buriel [sic] was October 10th, 1953 at Mesa, Arizona.

Coming next... a biography of Susan Smith Jarvis.

(I'm typing up this information in response to a request on the Jarvis family website.)

From Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957, pp 73-74. Picture from Jarvis family website.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 24: Retrieving the Bodies

In the last installment of the history of the mission, B.H. Roberts had made arrangements to purchase caskets for the murdered missionaries so he could return their bodies to Utah.

Having made all necessary arrangements for procuring the bodies of the Elders, the next question was how to obtain them. The whole surrounding country was thoroughly aroused over the terrible event, but so many sympathizers did the mob have that few people had the temerity to proclaim the just cause of the Elders and condemn the evils of the murderers. All avenues leading to the places of burial were well guarded by members of the mob, who were determined to allow no one to remove the remains; more especially were they set against the idea of the Elders' friends removing them to Utah.

President Roberts met with Elders Jones and Kimball; after they had thoroughly discussed the matter they deemed it prudent to gain the protection of the authorities of the state. With this end in view they called at Nashville to see Gov. W.B. Bate, but he not being in the city, the Adjutant-General's opinion had to be abided by, viz: That nothing could be done by the state until the sheriff of Lewis county should act. This virtually being an admission that state protection could not be granted. Realizing this, the Elders determined to secure the bodies at all hazards. The Adjutant-General gave them a letter to the sheriff of Lewis county advising him to accompany the Elders to the scene and assist them in removing the bodies. This proved of no service, as when the Elders went to the sheriff's house he was away.

It was determined to go to Cane Creek; and further deemed advisable to have Elders Jones and Thompson remain at Nashville and Elders Roberts and Kimball to make the perilous journey. The latter two made their way to Columbus [I assume they meant Columbia, since they don't appear to travel out of state], the point where the caskets had been shipped, and there they took a livery team and coveyed the caskets with them to Shady Grove, Hickman county, where there was a branch of the Church. Upon arriving there they procured the assistance of Brothers Emmons and Robbin Church, who fitted up two teams and wagons. Brothers Henry Harlow, Wm. Church and a young man named Robert Coleman consented to accompany Elder Roberts to Cane Creek, help to exhume the remains and assist in bringing them to any designated place. Thus help was arranged for.

To go there undisguised would mean almost certain death to the attempter. Elder Roberts accordingly clipped off his beard and moustache, smeared his face and hands with dirt, donned old ragged clothes, and, assuming such a rough character that it completely covered his personality, that not even his closest friends could have recognized him. This done he left Elder Kimball, who was detailed to return to Chattanooga and arrange further as to the disposition of the bodies. Traveling through cornfields and woods he met his three companions at a given place, and then proceeded on toward Cane Creek. Nothing of importance happened to them on their way and they reached their destination in peace and safety.

Their next labor was to exhume the remains. This was successfully accomplished with the assistance of some of the Saints and Mr. Garrett, to whose place the bodies were afterwards taken.

"Thus daylight the next morning," says Elder Roberts in his report of the affair, "found us hitched up and on our way to Carpenter Station, which is some twenty-four miles from Mr. Garrett's house, where we had stayed all night. The road was an extremely lonely one, through a heavy growth of oak timber, principally of the species called Black Jack [Quercus marilandica]. After leaving Cane Creek and crossing Little Swan we traveled some fifteen miles without seeing man, woman or child. Robert Coleman, who drove the wagon on which I rode, claimed to have seen two birds and a squirrel—the only animal life visible to any of the party in traveling the fifteen miles mentioned. When within one mile of Carpenter Station the road forked, and arguing ourselves into the belief that we had been bearing too much to the right, we took the left fork and finally reached Mount Pleasant, a railroad town of several hundred inhabitants. By taking this left hand road we went some twelve miles out of our way. It was well that we did so, as it is reported to us that twenty men had banded together and rode to Carpenter Station, where they intended to intercept us; if so, the Lord delivered us from their hands and our hearts are filled with gratitude to Him for His watchful care over us."

The bodies were soon taken to Nashville, where Elder W.E. Robinson met the weary and sorrowful party, and the remains were turned over to him for safe keeping and on their westward journey to the bereaved families. At Salt Lake City the bodies were received amid deep solemnity; Elder Berry's remains were sent south to Kanarra, his late home, while those of Elder Gibbs were taken north to Paradise. The whole territory was in deep mourning; meetings were held everywhere in honor of the martyrs.

(To be continued.)

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 28, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, June 10, 1899, p 217.

Picture of the blackjack oak under a red sky from

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

George Jarvis and Ann Prior Jarvis Obituaries

From Washington County News, January 9, 1913. George and Ann's daughter-in-law Roseina Sylvester Jarvis also appears in the obituary column.

From Washington County News, January 16, 1913.

Monday, August 17, 2009

George and Ann Prior Jarvis Family Association

Over the past few years Mark Jarvis has put together a great web site for the descendants of George and Ann Prior Jarvis.

See the site for genealogy information and pictures and stories as well as contact information for the Family Association and its president, Jess Jarvis. A family reunion was held this summer and pictures are on the Jarvis family website and a report of the reunion on Mormanity. Another reunion is being planned for August 2010 in St. George, Utah.

The major sources on the Jarvis family are the books:
Kleinman, Mary Miles. The Essence of Faith. Springville, UT: Art City Publishing Co., 1973. (This is historical fiction, so it should not be used as a factual resource.)

Overson, Margaret Godfrey Jarvis. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957.
For information about George and Ann Prior Jarvis you can also see the following posts on this blog:
And a question for anyone who may visit this site. Does anyone know who has Margaret Jarvis Overson's original photographs? She had hundreds of original photos and photographic plates or negatives of the Jarvis ancestors and family and descendants. They are reproduced in her book, but the quality is not as good as originals would be. Please contact me at the email address listed on the blog sidebar if you have any information or know where even a portion of the collection would be. Thank you!

[Note, December 25, 2012: we have an update to the question in the previous paragraph. The question was answered last Christmas. Another Christmas Surprise. Also see the post The Ongoing Story of the Jarvis-Overson Photography Collection to see a link to some media coverage of the historic collection.]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Review: St. Johns

A number of months ago I purchased a copy of St. Johns by Cameron Udall. It is part of a series of books called "Images of America" and this edition was published in conjunction with the Arizona Historical Foundation.

It has five chapters: The Making of a Town, Taking Leave of Arizona by the Winchester Route (outlaws and crime), Dam That River, Educating St. Johns, and Pride and Perseverance (general history).

Each chapter starts with a short essay on the topic and then includes many high quality photos with extensive captions.

For a sample of the photos in the book, you can look at the google books online version.

There are many family photos in the book, including many representatives of the Christensen, Overson and Jarvis families. The photographers are not identified, but a large number of the pictures were undoubtedly taken by Charles Jarvis or Margaret Jarvis Overson.

Here is one of my favorite photos from the book:

Udall, Cameron. St. Johns. Images of America. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Pub, 2008, p 77.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Morgan 16 and 17: Garrard Morgan II and Sarah Sanderson Morgan

Garrard Morgan II
b. 23 October 1773 Goochland County, Virginia
m. 1798 Carlisle, Nicholas, Kentucky
d. 14 April 1814 Concord, Kentucky
b. Concord Church, Concord, Kentucky
Wife: Sarah Sanderson
Father: Garrard Morgan; Mother: Elizabeth Milton

Sarah Sanderson Morgan
b. 10 June 1774 South Carolina
d. 1848 Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana
Husband: Garrard Morgan II
Father: John Sanderson; Mother: Sarah Foscue

Garrard Morgan II was the son of Garrard Morgan I and Elizabeth Milton. Family tradition claims that Garrard I was an itinerant Methodist minister and also that Elizabeth died the year before Garrard II was born. (That last one is simply conflicting information from different sources. There's a lot of work that could be done on these lines, to clear up such discrepancies.)

Garrard II moved from Goochland County, Virginia, to settle in Nicholas County, Kentucky. There, he met and married Sarah Sanderson.

Sarah Sanderson was the sister or daughter of John Sanderson. One source records her parents as John Sanderson and Sarah Foscue of Craven County, North Carolina, near Cape Hatteras, but I have not seen any documentation for this claim.

In 1801 or 1802 Garrard and Sarah purchased a farm on Licking Creek. Licking Creek got its name from salt licks formed by natural salt springs in the area. It is now called Licking River. After passing to the east and northeast of Carlisle, Kentucky, where the Morgans settled, it flows past the site of the Blue Licks Battlefield (Revolutionary War), in which Daniel Boone fought and his son Israel Boone died. Daniel Boone was actually living in Nicholas County when Garrard Morgan moved there, but despite the family legend and despite the fact that Daniel Boone's mother was a Morgan, there is no proven connection between the families. Daniel Boone's Morgan family was from Pennsylvania, and Garrard Morgan's family was from Virginia.

Garrard and Sarah began farming their property and raising their children, but then Garrard died at the age of 40. He left his widow, Sarah, with seven children. The oldest child was 15 years old. The baby was not yet a year old.

Garrard II was buried in Concord Church Cemetery about three miles south of Carlisle. The meetinghouse was destroyed in a storm about thirty years ago, and the church and cemetery lie in ruins, as you can see by following the link. According to the website:
Old Concord Church was one of the original sites of the Kentucky Revival at the beginning of the 19th century. It was located north of Cane Ridge about 12 miles, and just south of the city of Carlisle, Kentucky. It was a Presbyterian church at one time whose minister, Barton W. Stone, led many to give up their creeds and man-made doctrines to take the Bible as their only guide for religious practice.
Cane Ridge was the site of a large camp meeting in 1801 which was one of the events beginning the Second Great Awakening, and one of the major events leading to the formation of the Restoration Movement, which in turn foreshadowed and fed into the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But it would be another 50 years before Garrard II's grandson John Morgan joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After the death of Garrard II, Sarah did not remarry. Due to the help and assistance of the large Sanderson family and the hard work of Sarah and her children, they managed to keep the farm.

In 1823 Sarah joined two of her sisters who had married into the Howard family and settled in Decatur County, Indiana. Sarah and her children, except John Sanderson Morgan, who remained in Kentucky, started farming near Greensburg. Her children grew and married and two more of them returned to Kentucky.

The sources disagree over whether Sarah Sanderson Morgan returned to Kentucky, dying in Covington, Kenton County, in 1848. Covington is located where the Licking River joins the Ohio River. She may have remained in Indiana and died there in 1848.

The Morgan children:

John Sanderson Morgan, born January 6, 1799 in Carlisle, Kentucky. Married Ellenor Bruce in 1828. Died at the age of 53 on June 17, 1852. He was a Kentucky state senator. Nicholas Morgan claims that he was the founder and president of Kentucky's first railway company, but I have searched a number of records and histories of Kentucky and its railroads and cannot find a mention of John S. Morgan.

James Morgan, born January 9, 1802 near Carlisle. Married Elizabeth (Betsey) McCoy in 1821. Died at the age of 70 on April 1, 1872. He served in the Indiana legislature for three terms. During the Civil War he served as Captain in the 7th Indiana Infantry for a three month enlistment in 1861.

Woodson Morgan, born January 18, 1804 near Carlisle. Married Elizabeth Bruce in 1835. She died in 1851, leaving him with eight young children, the youngest of whom also died shortly thereafter. The children went to live with relatives until Woodson remarried a widow, Amanda Vaughan Dunlap. He served a term in the state legislature, and then refused to serve again, instead serving as supervisor of his township. Died September 17, 1887 at the age of 83.

Garrard Morgan III will be covered in a separate biography. He was born May 16, 1806, near Carlisle, married Eliza Ann Hamilton, and died at the age of 82 in 1889.

Elizabeth Morgan was born about 1808 and married a Mr. Stevenson or Stephenson.

Mary Morgan, called "Polly," was born on January 13, 1811, and died on February 3, 1884. She married Robert Marshall Hamilton in 1832.

William Franklin Morgan was born on April 19, 1813 near Carlisle. He was less than a year old when his father died. He married Ann Threlkeld Bruce in 1838 and died on September 13, 1900 at the age of 87. One of his children, James Morgan, worked for many years as an influential political reporter for the Boston Globe. Here is an interesting story about James and Nicholas G. Morgan and a plate from the White House. (One source lists James as being the manager of the Globe. I haven't found any corroboration of Nicholas' claim that he was the editor.)

Reading through the list of the children, you may notice that two of the children married Hamiltons (not siblings) and three of the sons married Bruce daughters. The father of the three Bruce daughters, Henry Bruce, is reported to have said about Sarah Morgan, "Because of Sarah Sanderson's successful management of her fatherless children she deserves a pension from the United States Government."

Linked sources.
Family records.
Richardson's Life and Ministry of John Morgan.
Nicholas County Sites in the Kentucky Historical Marker Database.
Gazetteer of Early Kentucky Locations.
Old Concord Church.

The picture of Licking River, Kentucky, from The photo of the Nicholas County, Kentucky, marker from The photo of the preserved Cane Ridge Meeting house from

Monday, August 10, 2009

John Morgan to Garrard Morgan, Feb. 12, 1863

Before getting to the contents of this post, I will mention that Bessie is currently posting a lot of excellent information about John Morgan on her blog.

Here is a Civil War-era letter from John Hamilton Morgan to his father, Garrard Morgan III, as found in Richardson's Life and Ministry of John Morgan. The book reproduces an actual copy of part of the letter, and also provides a transcript. The transcript altered spelling, punctuation, and even changed or left out words. For example:
scattered all along the Cumberland River.. and they also occasinly make a raid betwen here and Nashville?
was altered to:
scattered all about the Cumberland River. And they also occasionally make a raid between here and Nashville.
The edited version of the letter in the book removed a reference to John's red-headed brother Will who also served in the war. How very curious. Nothing at all is said in the biography about any of his brothers or sisters except a list of names on page 589.

I will include as much as possible from the original letter, then change to the edited book version, then finish with the original.

Feb 12 1863
Camp Near Murfreesboro Tenn

Mr Garrard Morgan

Dear Pa Your kind favor came to hand after considerable delay. Mail facilities are verry uncertain now. Wheelers and Morgans Cavalry infest the road from Munfordville south on the R.R. and are scattered all along the Cumberland River.. and they also occasinly make a raid betwen here and Nashville? they are defeated and captured on evry hand but it [change to edited version] appears as though every cedar thicket and hollow along the road is alive with Rebel gorillas! They are led on by bold, daring men who are not paid by the Confederate Government but depend entirely on what they plunder to pay them for their trouble and danger.

They will attack a train out foraging and if they can overpower them, they disarm them and drive them on the double quick 8 or 10 miles—parole and set them loose to take care of themselves. Such instances are very common.

There is a perpetual skirmish fight going on all along the line in front; some of them terminating in an engagement that would have been counted bloody in the beginning of the war.

. . .

They are moving rebel wounded and sick from Murfreesboro almost every day.

We start on scout this evening by ourselves—that is, our Regiment is going out by itself.

I do not know how long we will be out but expect some 8 or 10 days. We intend to bushwack it—march [resume original letter] night and lay by in the day time.

The Col intends to take 200 of his best men along with him.

There was one of our 60 boy's discharged the other day his name is Charles Linder he lives a Robert Waggoners he could give you a good deal of information and is a good clever boy.

but I must Close I have not seen Will [his oldest brother William Woodson Morgan] for some time he is out as a scout. I must get ready for the Scout Write soon and give me the News
Write soon

View Larger Map

John Morgan was listed in the Illinois Civil War Records Database as follows, including the interesting fact of his height:

Name: John Morgan
Rank: Pvt
Company: I
Unit: 123 IL US INF

Personal Characteristics
Residence: Mattoon, Coles Co, IL
Age: 20
Height: 5'5"
Hair: Light
Eyes: Gray
Complexion: Fair
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Farmer
Nativity: In

Service Record
Joined When: Aug 1862
Joined Where: Mattoon, IL
Joined By Whom: Cpt Adams
Period: 3 yrs
Muster In: Sep 6, 1862
Muster In Where: Mattoon, IL
Muster In By Whom: N/A
Muster Out: Jun 28, 1865
Muster Out Where: Nashville, TN
Muster Out By Whom: Cpt Hosea
Remarks: Mustered out as sergeant

Letter as found in Richardson, Arthur M., and Nicholas G. Morgan. The Life and Ministry of John Morgan: For a Wise and Glorious Purpose. [S.l.]: N.G. Morgan, 1965, pp 12-13.

See for a list of the men in company I, 123rd Illinois US Infantry Regiment and Morgan's service record. Charles Linder, mentioned in this letter, was from Summit, Moultrie, IL, and also joined the military in Mattoon, IL. He was "discharged Feb 3, 1863 at Murfreesboro, Tenn for disability." This "good clever boy" was seven years older than John Morgan. I also wanted to look up the service records for John Morgan's companion in his first trip to Salt Lake City, but do not find a name for him in the John Morgan biography. John's brother William was listed in the service records as "William H, private company E, 38 IL US Inf, from Mattoon, Coles, IL, age 22, 5'5-1/2", red hair, blue eyes, light complexion. Single, farmer, born in Decatur Co., In. He joined Aug 2, 1861, in Mattoon, IL, and was mustered in on Aug 21, 1861, at Camp Butler, IL, and no further records available except the note "promoted sergeant trans to signal corps Nov 27, 1863."

Photo of Stones River in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from

Friday, August 7, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 23: After the Massacre

The fiendish brutes, with the life-blood of four noble men dripping from their murderous hands, did not seem fully satisfied with their fiendish deeds; on the contrary, they seemed to crave for more blood. Immediately after the shooting of Brother Hudson they stepped up to the window of the room and shot a volley into the house, most of the shots taking effect in the body of Elder Gibbs, of whom the outlaws seemed to have the utmost hatred. The desecration of the body of this noble man is sufficient to reveal the contemptible character of the men; but it goes still further in uncovering the brutal phases of human nature when excited by that spirit which actuated the slayers of the Savior. The spirit of hatred was remarkably present in His persecutors, but they had enough respect for His lifeless body as not to abuse it. Not so with these fiends incarnate; with devilish pleasure they went about their second task and vented their hatred upon the lifeless clay that felt not their diabolical deeds nor heard their despicable utterances.

In shooting into the room some of the shots lodged in the hip of the wife of Brother Condor, who, like the rest, was entirely innocent of anything of a derogatory nature, but, nevertheless, seemed to come under the blighting ban of this lawless element.

Having become satiated in their inimicable desires, they gathered their fallen leader to themselves and left the scene of carnage.

As soon as they left the people who were at or near the house at the time the mob came, but had fled to the woods at the commencement of hostility, now returned, one by one, to view the result of the dastardly work. The clothes of the martyrs were saturated with their own blood, and with their gaping wounds, glossy eyes and blanched countenances, presented a sickening sight to the knot of people that had gathered around them.

The bodies were soon washed and laid side by side. Plain coffins of poplar lumber were procured, and in them were placed the remains of the Elders and their brave defenders, whose lives were also sacrificed. In due time the bodies were buried, the Condor boys to remain there clasped in Mother Earth's bosom until the resurrection, and the Elders' remains until friends could re-inter them in the soil of their fatherland.

Elder Jones, upon arriving at Shady Grove, Monday morning, met Elder J.G. Kimball, to whom he related his adventures and gave him some of the details of the affair, having heard the shooting. Anxious for the welfare of the endangered brethren, the two obtained horses and a guide and Tuesday morning prepared to make a journey to Cane Creek. They had not proceeded on their way more than eight miles before they met Elder Thompson, who had fled from Brother Condor's house immediately after the killing of Elder Gibbs; he was being conveyed by Brother Garrett in a carriage to a place of safety. He had lain out in the woods for two nights. Brother Garrett, upon hearing of this, sent him word that if he would be at a certain place at a given time, arrangements would be made to take him wherever he desired to go. They proceeded, after meeting at the appointed time and place, toward Shady Grove, near which they met the outgoing brethren.

After Elder Thompson had related the terrible events that had just transpired to the brethren, they proceeded to the telegraph station and there wired President Roberts at Chattanooga. Upon hearing of the catastrophe he wired immediately to President Morgan for the necessary means to remove the bodies to their relatives at home in Utah. Not wishing, however, to have any delay, he procured the assistance of Mr. B. Moses, a merchant tailor, of Chattanooga, who gave his security for two metal caskets and loaned $100 to the brethren; subsequently he loaned them $200 more. These acts of kindness upon the part of Mr. Moses will be forever remembered by all who were in any way connected with the lamentable affair.

(To be Continued.)

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 27, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, June 3, 1899, p 209.

Picture of the wake-robin trillium in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, from

Thursday, August 6, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 22: The Cane Creek Massacre

The scene at the home of the Condors was sad indeed by this time. When the Elders arrived there in the morning they sang a few songs by way of enlivening their spirits and putting them in unison with their God that they might better instruct the people in righteousness. One of the hymns they sang was "I Have No Home, Where Shall I Go?" This is one of the stanzas:
"My life is sought, where shall I flee?
Lord, take me home to dwell with Thee;
Where all my sorrows will be o'er,
And I shall sigh and weep no more."
This was followed by "When Shall We All Meet Again?"

Elder Gibbs turned to Elder Thompson and said to him: "That hymn suggests a good text to preach from," whereupon he took his Bible to look it up.

And thus with hymns of holiness being sung to God and divine thoughts dwelling in their minds, making them pour out their whole souls in humble devotion to God, they passed the Sabbath morning up to the time of the meeting. Many of the people of the surrounding country had gathered together to listen to the words of instruction to be delivered by these holy men of God. The whole gathering partook of the influence of God Almighty, and no more inspiring scene could be thought of than that one where the sheep of God's fold had come united upon one thing, to ask wisdom of Him and to render their sincere thanks to Him for His exceeding goodness.

In the midst of this devout gathering the fiends in men's forms who had stopped Elder Jones, came rushing upon the scene. Brother Condor, who stood at the gate, was seized by the mob; he realizing what was about to take place, called to his son and step-son, who stood in the orchard, and told them to run and get their guns and defend the lives of the Elders, whom he considered to be under his guardian care. But David Hinson, who appeared to be the leader of the mob, first reached the room where the gun was hanging, and crossing the room was about to take it from the hook when he was interrupted by Martin, the son of Brother Condor, who had left the orchard, but not in time to get the gun. A tussle followed between the two for the possession of it; the miscreant, seeing he was about to lose, then drew a pistol and snapped it at the young man; it failed to go off, but had the effect of causing yonug [sic] Condor to step back. This left the mobber with the gun in keeping. Realizing this, the brute lost no time in whirling about and shooting the contents of the gun into the body of Elder Gibbs. The shot entered below the armpit, causing a ghastly wound, which the Elder immediately clasped his hand over and fell in innocent blood—a martyr to the cause of Christ.

Meanwhile a gun was presented at Elder Thompson, but Elder Berry, who was near by, grasped it firmly and turned it from the body of his companion. Thus left free Elder Thompson escaped through the back door. As he left he saw two other guns leveled at Elder Berry, who seemed to sense the the [sic] coming fate; he meekly bowed his head and received the shots about the waist; without a groan he fell, without protestation he offered his martyred blood that it might be seed for the church.

Martin Condor, as soon as Elder Gibbs fell, sprang upon the leader, Hinson, who had shot Gibbs, and began to attack him. Before anything effectual could be done the young man was shot by other parties, and a third had fallen a victim of fiendish passion.

J.R. Hudson, a half brother of Martin, was the next victim. While the foregoing fight had been going on he had crawled into the loft of the house and procured his gun. Coming down from there, he reached the room just as the leader was leaving by the front door. Before he could shoot several men grabbed him, but tearing himself loose he raised his gun and shot the leader, killing him instantly. At this someone outside exclaimed: "I will have revenge." The next moment Hudson fell mortally wounded, dying an hour later, a fourth martyr and victim.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 26, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, May 27, 1899, p 201.

Photo of Bledsoe Creek State Park in Tennessee from

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Morgan 6 & 7: Marinus Christensen and Frances Ann Thomas Christensen

Marinus Christensen
b. 6 June 1863 Torslev, Hjørring, Denmark
m. 6 June 1883 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
d. 23 July 1927 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
b. 24 July 1927 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Wife: Frances Ann Thomas
Father: Jens Christensen; Mother: Karen Marie Johannesen

Frances Ann Thomas Christensen
b. 4 May 1864 Nephi, Juab, Utah
d. 17 August 1950 Flagstaff, Coconino, Arizona
b. 19 August 1950 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Husband: Marinus Christensen
Father: David Nathan Thomas; Mother: Adeline Springthorpe

For information on the early life of Marinus Christensen, read the entry in the Tanner section on Mary Kjersten Christensen and family. Mary married Ove C. Oveson. Her mother and adopted brother Marinus lived with her family.

Marinus continued to live with the family, moving with them to St. Johns, Arizona, in the summer of 1880, and was considered by neighbors as the oldest child, being generally called Oveson, until his marriage, when he took his proper name of Christensen.

Marinus and Frances Christensen.

Marinus Christensen was married to Frances Ann Thomas, daughter of David Nathan Thomas and Adeline Springthorpe, June 6th 1883, at St. Johns, Arizona. She was born May 4th, 1864, at Nephi, Utah.

A page from the 1900 census of St. Johns, Apache, Arizona, showing the Christensen family. (Marinus was not born in Utah.)

David N. Thomas was a blacksmith by trade and owned a shop in St. Johns, where he died August 14th, 1888. His son, brother of Frances (Fanny) died there, too, and not long between the two deaths. Marinus Christensen took over the blacksmith shop and was caring for the mother (Adeline S. Thomas), but she decided to go to Utah, to do work in the Manti Temple. Not long after leaving St. Johns she was taken suddenly ill, and died, and was buried at Manti, April 6th, 1891.

(L to R) David, Marinus, Addie, Jessie, Frank, Fanny, Elmer.

Marinus Christensen and Frances Ann Thomas Christensen had the following children:
  • Adeline, born July 1, 1884, St. Johns, Apache County, Arizona. Married Andrew Smith Gibbons. Died 1975, age 91.
  • Anne, born July 26, 1886, St. Johns. Died 1887, age 1.
  • David Thomas, born August 2, 1888, St. Johns. Married Iness Jolley. Died 1949, age 61.
  • Marinus Elmer, born November 26, 1890, St. Johns. Married Hildegarde Garnatz. Died 1959, age 68.
  • Jessie, born June 13, 1893, St. Johns. Married Harold Morgan. Died 1980, age 86.
  • Francis Lee, born April 18, 1898, St. Johns. Married Nellie Vanetta. Died 1962, age 64.
  • Paul Anthon, born November 26, 1901, St. Johns, died May 9th, 1908, St. Johns. Cause: Children built a bonfire. Paul’s clothes caught fire. Burns and shock.
  • Joseph Laurence, born September 8, 1903, St. Johns. Married Susan Ellis. Died 1984, age 80.
The blacksmith shop. Marinus is standing on the right.

Marinus Christensen was a blacksmith all his life, and his shop was a place where the men of the town loved to gather and spend an idle hour. The blacksmith was always jolly and entertaining and his happy laughter was good to hear. He was a law enforcement officer many years, and was noted for his ability to deal with offenders, and his kindly yet firm stand for right. He was a leader in the Band, and also in the Sunday School Choir. He was Sunday School Superintendent in both Ward and Stake for many years, and dearly loved that work, and also the children. But the thing that he will be remembered by among the townspeople more than any other, was the Comic Recitations he used to give, and the Character parts he played in home theatricals. He was a splendid Comedian, and a great hit with his audiences.

Frances Christensen and children at Marinus' funeral.

He died at St. Johns, Arizona, July 23rd, 1927, and was buried there.

Frances Christensen, Jessie Morgan, Addie Gibbons.

His wife, Fanny, lived for many years after her husband’s death. She was in the Relief Society presidency for many years, and was one who was always on hand to help in sickness, take charge of making clothing and dressing and preparing the dead for burial. In those days we had no undertaker, and neighbors and friends attended to this work. The last few years of her life she visited among her children a part of the time, though she did not give up her home, and enjoyed to be alone there sometimes. She was visiting her children in Flagstaff when she had a paralytic stroke, from which she died August 17th, 1950 and was buried at St. Johns, Arizona.

[Note: the middle article seems to be from a Flagstaff paper rather than the Tribune, and why do two articles call her mother "Caroline"?]

Marinus Christensen and Frances Ann Thomas have a posterity of progressive and intelligent citizens, good neighbors and trustworthy friends.

From Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957.

[Note, February 15, 2014: changed the spelling of Inez Jolley to Iness, at the request of her granddaughter Laurel Christensen.]

Picture of the horseshoes from

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

LeRoy Parkinson Tanner Military Service

LeRoy Parkinson Tanner served in the Army during the Mexican border wars and during World War I. Here is his discharge certificate from his service in the world war.

As noted in this and his Enlistment Record, which I have not included here, he enlisted on May 26, 1918 (although he served earlier on the Mexican Border). He belonged to the American Expeditionary Force. He was one of 360,000 men belonging to the AEF who fell gravely ill during the Spanish Flu Pandemic, but luckily not one of the 25,000 who died.

His discharge papers give him an "Excellent" character, with no AWOL, no absence under G.O. 45 W.D. 1914, and noted that he was entitled to travel pay to Holbrook, Arizona. He was paid $136.56 upon his discharge on June 19, 1919, in El Paso, Texas, which included a $60 bonus.

Here is a description of the history of his regiment's participation in the Border Wars and France:
On May 10, 1916, the Second Texas Infantry was mobilized for Mexican Border service, when the entire National Guard was mobilized with stations on the southern border from Brownsville to El Paso. The regiment was federally recognized May 16, 1916, and sent to the Rio Grande Valley area of the border, where it trained until March 23, 1917, when the units were demobilized at their home stations. One week later, the regiment was called back into service because of the strained relations between the Central Powers and the United States. On April 5, 1917, war was declared on Germany. The regiment was again sent to the Mexican Border to release Regular Army troops. In September, 1917, the Second Texas Infantry and the First Texas Infantry were consolidated to form the 141st Infantry, which left the border and arrived at Camp Bowie, Fort Worth, Texas, September 23, 1917, where the entire 36th Division was mobilized and trained.
The regiment sailed from New York July 26, 1918, arrived at Brest, France, August 6, and was sent to the 13th Training Area at Bar sur Aube, where it remained until September 26, 1918, when it began its movement to the front lines, going into the Epernay-Chalons area as reserve of the French Group of Armies of the Center. On October 3, 1918, the 36th Division was attached to the Fourth French Army and on October 6 began the relief of the Second Division, U. S. A. The 71st Brigade (141st and 142nd Infantry) relieved the Ninth and 23rd United States Infantry.
On October 8, the regiment participated in the great offensive in the Champagne sector, writing a glorious page in the regiment's history. On October 28, after three weeks of front line service, the regiment was relieved by the French Army and marched back 150 miles to become part of the First Army Reserve, United States. The division and regiment were scheduled to be sent into the MeuseArgonne battle which was raging, but the signing of the Armistice prevented this. The regiment then moved to the 16th Training Area around Tonnerre, France, where it underwent intensive training for six months. On May 22, 1919, it returned to the United States, arriving in New York, June 3. Sent to Camp Travis, Texas, it was demobilized July 3, 1919. The regimental colors were decorated with the Croix de Guerre by the French at impressive ceremonies in France.
A biographical sketch written by family members stated that he was going to be sent to the "Russian Front" when the war ended, but this record corrects the information, noting that the regiment was headed to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also known as The Battle of Argonne Forest, when the armistice was signed.
For a comprehensive history of the 36th Division in the First World War, you can read the following on Google Books:
Chastaine, Ben-Hur. Story of the 36th; The Experiences of the 36th Division in the World War. Oklahoma City: Harlow Pub. Co, 1920.
The picture of the World War I recruits leaving on the train is from I love all those cowboy hats!