Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our Brass Plates: Chapter 10

Joseph Howard
     The Howards and Lowes

The call to gather to Zion was for all saints.  All would need the blessings of the temple.  However, some were given the call to remain where they were for a while in order to build up the Church.  The Joseph Howard family received just such a call.  Joseph was taught the trade of farming by his father on the family farm near Birmingham, England.  

Canal towpath with heron near Gravelly Hill, Birmingham

Joseph met his wife to be, Ann Shelton, who worked as a clerk in a grocery store.  After their marriage, they farmed near his father.  In addition to farming, Joseph became a successful coal merchant.  They had eleven children.  Joseph was the first in the family to be converted to the Church.  He was baptized in a font that was built on his farm that was fed by a spring by William Griffin on November 27, 1851.  He was then ordained an Elder by Charles Jones.  Ann was baptized on December 16, 1851.  The children were baptized as they reached the appropriate age.

Joseph was appointed to be the president of the Allison Street Branch of the Church.  Church singing in that area often attracted the unwanted attention of rough men who hung-out in the neighborhood.  Joseph was a strong man and had to stay near the door at the top of the stairs to keep ruffians out of the meeting place and to prevent them from not letting members and investigators get past.  Not withstanding of these hardships, membership in the branch grew.  Joseph secured a larger meeting place and was able obtain a lease for 99 years.  The Chapel became known as the Hockley Chapel.

The very day that Joseph made the lease of the new chapel, on the way home he was attacked by a mob of Mormon haters and was nearly beaten to death.  His clothing was ruined.  His silk hat was smashed.  He received deep cuts and was left unconscious in the mud.  His own neighbors would not come to his aid because the hate was so great towards members of the Church.  Joseph continued to preside over that branch for another ten to eleven years.  Members of the branch made sure that Joseph had bodyguards to see him safely home after his meetings.

Economically, things went from bad to worse for the Howards.  People refused to buy coal from a Mormon.  Coal mine owners refused to sell their coal to him.  The family decided to sent two of the older sons ahead to America to see if they could earn enough money to help pay the passage for the rest of the family.  Eighteen year old Thomas and seventeen year old William were agreeable to do this for the family.  They set sail on April 23, 1861.  America was a different place for these teenagers with different customs and manners of speech.  This was also the beginning of the American Civil War.  

The two brothers hired on as teamsters driving ox teams across the plains to Utah walking all the way.  They survived by eating only bread and bacon grease as their main source of food.  The people of Utah were very poor and could not give them to much help.  The first winter they cut wood in the mountains for the right to have a place to stay and have a little food to eat.  During that winter in the mountains, Thomas had his feet frozen and had to walk back home to the family with whom he was staying.  With his feet wrapped in burlap, he chopped wood for the family for the rest of the winter.  

Thomas was able to find work with William Muir.  He saved his money and send it to England to help pay the passage of the rest of his family and his bride to be.  It would not be until 1864 that the rest of the family would be able to sail to America. 

Joseph was able to find work at a smelting and refining company.  It was hard work but he was glad to be able to have some work.  They had to sell five acres of their farm to also help make ends meet.  

Mary Lowe Howard
The year before Thomas and William left for America, a young woman by the name of Mary Lowe started attending some of the church meetings that were held in the Hockley branch.  Joseph and Ann made her feel welcome.  Mary had to walk six miles to attend the meetings and six miles back to the home where she was staying.  Some times she stayed over with the Howard family rather than walk back late at night.  Thomas started walking Mary to her home because the distance was a hardship on his father and they did not want her walking home in the dark.  The family for whom Mary worked as head cook were very rich and had a strong liking for Mary.  When some of the other servants told them that Mary was going to Mormon meetings, they tried to talk her out of going any more.  They even had the minister come and meet with here to try and convince her of the error of her ways.  The more he talked, the more she was convinced that the Church of Jesus Christ was true.  She had the opportunity in that small branch of hearing Apostle Penrose speak.  

Mary was released from her employment and had a hard time finding work.  No one wanted to hire a Mormon or friend of the Mormons.  At last she was able to work for a family who said that they too belonged to a strange church and that Mary=s religion did not bother them.  She had to work longer hours and for less pay.  Mary was baptized by Joseph Howard on September 11, 1860.  This was before Thomas left for America.  The two had been seeing each other and agreed that if neither of them found anyone better, that they would be married when she got to Utah.  Mary had several opportunities for marriage, but waited for her reunion with Thomas. 
The Howard family and Mary Lowe set sail for America on the ship Hudson in 1864.  This was the very ship that Margaretta Clark Call sailed on in 1856 as one of the handcart pioneers.  They arrived at the port of New York.  The Civil war was still going on.  England had taken sides with the South.  English emigrants were suspect and not made welcome.  Joseph and his son James were sick most of the way from New York to Nebraska where they joined a wagon company of 170 wagons.  Two of the sons, James and Joseph then hired out with a freight company as drivers.  This separation was hard on their mother Ann.  

The family had to walk.  It was hot and dry.  There was very little clean water for them to drink along the way.  In their weakened condition, two of the little girls became ill.  The baby, Tamar died just before they got to the South Platt River and was buried along the way.  Two weeks later one the six year old twins, Matilda, died and was also buried.  The stress of losing her children, weakened Ann even more.  She became to weak to walk but there was no room in the wagons to ride.  Finally Joseph was able to get permission for his wife to ride in one of the wagons.  Ann=s daughter Emma rode with her and comforted her as much as she could.  Emma could see her mother growing weaker as she held her in her lap.  That night, Ann Shelton Howard died and was buried the next morning in two sheets in a shallow grave never to see her four sons again in this life.    

Ann Shelton Howard was buried on Bitter Creek, Wyoming.
Thomas and William were waiting at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City for their family when they arrived on October 26, 1864.  Their joy soon changed to sorrow for the loss o their mother and two of their sisters. 

Thomas and Mary Lowe were married by Bishop William Muir on Christmas day in 1864 just two months after Mary got into the valley.  Love knows no distance that can be separated by ocean and plains and desert.  Love also knows no distance of time either.  In June 1882, Joseph with his son James and daughter Emmy, made the journey from Bountiful to St. George where for the first time in this dispensation, work could be done for the dead other than baptisms.  Emma became proxy for her mother Ann and was endowed for her and sealed for her to Joseph.  The purpose for the gathering is evident.  Through the temples which are the product of the gathering, it makes families eternal families.  Families can be forever.

Of interest also is the story of the husband to be of Emma Howard.  Edward and Alice Parker Corbridge were some of the early converts to the Church in England.  They came to the United States in 1850 and crossed the plains in 1852 and settled in Bountiful.  Edward would take his young son William Henry with him into the mountains to get logs that could be used in the construction of barns and houses.  William learned to work hard at an early age.  In 1862 at the age of eighteen, William Henry drove a mule team for David Sessions back to Council Bluffs, Iowa to bring aid and to help immigrants into the valley of the Great Salt Lake.  He made a second trip back to the Missouri River to help another group of immigrants to the valley.  He made a third trip to bring wagon loads of telegraph wire to the valley to aid the saints in being able to communicate faster.  Back in Bountiful, William continued to do logging east of Bountiful.  He brought much of the timber that was used in the construction of the Bountiful Tabernacle.  He joined the U.S. Army for a short time and fought in the Black Hawk Indian War.  He received a bullet in the calf of one leg in one of the skirmishes.  He was sealed to Emma Howard in the Endowment House on Valentine=s Day in1870 by Daniel Wells.  
Of further interest, another family , the Henry Barrett family joined the Church in 1861.  They too needed to send their family to Utah a few at a time.  They sent their youngest son, Thomas, with a family that was coming to Utah.  He settled in Farmington with the Manning family.  They then sent their sixteen year old daughter Mary Ann and their twelve year old son, John next.  They sailed on the Hudson at the same time the Howard family sailed and were in the same company that crossed the plains.  Mary Ann Barrett would go on to marry Alfred Burningham one of our handcart pioneer ancestors.  

Note: Leslie Tuttle Foy wrote Our Brass Plates, of which this was but one chapter. Thanks, Uncle Les!  Picture of Gravelly Hill area near where the Howards farmed was taken by © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence and is found on the Geograph website The picture of Bitter Creek was first published in the Ensign in 1984 and is now found on                                                                                                                   


Our Brass Plates: Chapter 6

Newton Tuttle

                The Tuttles 

Another prominent family from Connecticut was brought in contact with the Church near the same time as the Stone family.  The Tuttles were some of the earliest settlers of New England as well.  William Tuttle sailed from England on the first ship to enter Boston Harbor in Massachusetts in 1635, just 15 years after the Pilgrims, who were also seeking freedom of religion.  Our first Tuttle ancestor donated the land that was used for Yale College.  Two of our ancestors were the first teachers at the College.  Education became an important family tradition. Our first Tuttle ancestor to become interested in the Church was Newton Tuttle.  His father, Zerah Pierpont Tuttle, was a teacher in Connecticut.  Newton attended school until he was seventeen after which he learned to become a blacksmith.  He was skilled enough to make things as fine as a small chain or as large as ship=s anchor.  

Richard Rummell's iconic landscape watercolor view of Yale University, 1906. Courtesy of Arader Galleries.
In 1844 Newton heard of a sect called the AMormons@.  He and some of his friends decided to attend the meeting and to break it up.  Newton was selected to go inside and then give a signal to the others outside to start yelling and make loud noises so that the meeting could not continue.  As he listened to the opening hymn, and prayer, he became interested.  He had never heard anything like that before.  It was not like the sectarian songs or prayers.  He listened intently to the sermon of Elisha H, Davis that was about the first principles of the gospel.  He remained to the close of the meeting and there was no disturbance.  He had no chance of hearing any more about the religion so he soon forgot about it.  

 His attention became focused on a young woman by the name of Lucinda S. Mix.  They were married on the 24th of November 1847.  He was twenty two and she was seventeen.  It is of interest to note that this was the same time as the saints were spending their first winter in the Salt Lake valley.  On the 13th of August, 1849, they had their first child, Clara.  Lucinda was also very educated.  

Sometime in 1848 or 1849, Newton came into possession of some Mormon literature.  Once again he was interested and started investigating the Church.  There was a small branch about five miles away.  Meetings were held in the home of Mr. Bassett, his former employer who was a member of the Church.  Newton was baptized a member of the Church on October 13, 1850 by Elder John Doolittle and confirmed at the water=s edge by Elder Chester Loveland.  Elder Loveland was the brother-in-law of Anson Call.  Loveland married Ansons=s sister, Fanny.  Lucinda did not join the Church at this time.  She did read some of the literature that Newton gave her to read.  Her parents were very much against the church.  Newton shared literature with some of his family and friends as well.  None seemed interested.  Missionaries traveled without money during the early days of the Church.  Newton and Lucinda were always giving the missionaries a place to sleep, food to eat, and money for their keep.  Lucinda did not have very good health but she did go to some of the meetings with Newton.

The missionary who was laboring in New Haven, Connecticut at this time was Aaron Farr.  His family are the ones that married into the Bingham line.  Elder Farr gave Lucinda a blessing on July3, 1853.  She was some what better. Then on the21st of July, 1853 Lucinda was baptized by Aaron Farr.  It was hard for Lucinda to go against the wishes of her parents.  She was their only daughter and Clara was the only grandchild on either side of the family.  But Lucinda loved Newton and she loved the gospel so she too joined the Church. 

 The Tuttles and some of the other families that were members of the Church began making preparations to make the journey to Utah.  They and the missionaries would all travel in a group to Utah.  Newton had become friends with other blacksmiths in Connecticut.  He became a friend of Amos P. Stone.  The two friends had exchanged letters.  Newton wrote to asked Amos what sort of things they should take with them to the west that would be most helpful.  Amos was living in Bountiful at the time.  He was told to bring things that could be used to cure illnesses, tools, seeds, fabric and several other items.  Of great importance to Newton was to take with him his genealogy.  This he did.  Although the parents of Newton and Lucinda did not want to see their children go, they helped them get some of the things that they needed to take with them.  They did not like their Church but they did not stop loving their children and their only granddaughter.  Lucinda=s mother told her that if she were to go west, that she would not live longer than three months.  All recognized just how weak and sick she was.  Still she was determined to go so she could learn more about the Church.

They were not driven out of their homes like the others of our ancestors.  They chose to go.  They left on Aril 3, 1854.  They went by ship to New York.  They traveled by steam ship to Amboy.  Then they took the railroad to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  They transferred to another train and traveled to Pittsburgh.  They traveled by steamboat until they got to St. Louis, Missouri.  Lucinda was sick most of the way.  In St. Louis, they purchased their wagon and the supplies that they would need to take with them.  The weather was very rainy and it hailed.  Their things were loaded on a ship and transported to Fort Leavenworth.

View in Salt Creek Valley near Leavenworth, Kansas
On Sunday. May 14th 1854, Lucinda Mix Tuttle passed away at 6:30 A.M.  She was buried that night on the left hand side of the Salt Creek.  AWe could not stop long,@ Newton wrote, Abecause the company wished us to arrange our affairs to move on as soon as we could in the morning of the 15th.@  Both he and his five year old daughter Clara were sick a great deal of the time for the next few weeks.  There was a lot of cholera in camp.  Several more people died for the next few weeks.  In spite of their illness, they had to keep on doing those things that had to be done.  He cooked, hunted, and made yokes for his oxen.  He gave some of Lucinda=s shoes and clothing to the needy. 

On June 24,1854, little Clara died.  Newton wrote, AWe drove on next morning leaving a little mound containing my only child and comfort.  But she was released of the earthly sorrows and suffering.  Gone back to her maker and her dear mother who no doubt wished to have her dear one with her.  God bless and protect their remains.  May I live worthy to meet them when my mission on earth is ended and I am permitted to return to my maker and loved ones who have preceded me to their Heavenly home.@

Lucinda and Clara were not the first of our ancestors to make the greatest of all sacrifices for the Lord.  They gave their lives.  Nor would they be the last.  Picture the heart ache of Newton.  Picture what he would say to their parents about the loss of their loved ones.  Picture how hard it would be to continue on.  But he knew if he did not, they could never be an eternal family.  He had to do it for them.  For some, the deaths and sacrifices came in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.  For others, the sacrifice came on the trek west.  But all of us must pass though a trial of our faith before we return to our Father in Heaven.  This much I know.  The trials we face are indeed small in relationship to the trials of our Savior.  He suffered not just for our sins, but he suffered for all our infirmities and weaknesses and illnesses and he will not give us burdens that we can not bear.  He bore the burdens of not just those who lived on this earth but of all those of all the worlds that he created.
Newton's father, Zerah Pierpont Tuttle

Newton went on to marry the daughter of Amos P. Stone, Emily Amelia Stone.  Later in life, Newton went on a mission to Connecticut.  Although he did not covert his family, he was able to get over 6,000 family names for whom he could do their temple work.  He too returned for his Brass Plates.  

Notes: This article was originally printed by Leslie Tuttle Foy for his family. Thank you, Uncle Les, for creating our family version of the Brass Plates. The picture of Yale is in the public domain and found on Wikimedia. The photo of Salt Creek Valley was found on the Salt Creek Valley School online slideshow 2013.

Our Brass Plates Chapter 5

Emily Amelia Stone Tuttle
  Emily Amelia Stone Tuttle, the paternal grandmother of Florence Foy, was born in 1839. This is the story of her family.

The Stones
In the early spring of 1844, Joseph Smith sent most of the Quorum of the Twelve to various parts of the U. S. on missions.  The first purpose was to preach and to testify of the restoration of the gospel.  Another reason was to campaign for Joseph Smith=s run for the office of President of the United States.  Another reason was to be sure that the Twelve were not in Nauvoo at the time of his murder so that they would not be murdered also.  Orson Pratt was therefore in Connecticut as part of that great missionary effort.  It was here that Pratt came in contact with the Stone family.  
Amos Pease Stone
The Lord in his wisdom brought people of various skills and educational backgrounds in contact with missionaries of the Church so that they could hear the gospel and add to the skills needed to sustain and help the new struggling Church and its members.  One such person was Amos Pease Stone.  Amos came from a long line of well educated and talented people.  His family were among some of the first to settle Connecticut.  His parents moved to upper New York about 100 miles from where the Church was restored.  Amos became trained as a machine forger for three years in near-by Massachusetts.  After his training, he worked as a blacksmith for about eighteen months in Connecticut and later worked as a gunsmith in a different city in Connecticut.  Still later he opened his own blacksmith shop in Connecticut where he met and married Amelia Bishop in 1838.  The Bishops were from a long line of educated and distinguished people as well, and were also some of the earliest settlers of Connecticut.  While living in New Haven, Connecticut, Amos helped in the construction of a steam engine and machinery for making ship engine blocks.  

On March 3, 1844 while living in Hamden, Connecticut, Amos attended his first meeting with those of the Mormon faith at the home of Merlin Jones.  That same day, Minerva Jones was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Minerva was a close friend and former roommate of Amelia.  This was just a short time before the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum on June 27th of that same year.  The missionaries laboring in Hamden at that time were Orson Pratt and Ashel Lane.  The missionaries stopped at the home of Amos and Amelia while they were laboring in New Haven, Connecticut.  Their home became the stopping place whenever they were traveling in the area.  Later that year on December 3, 1844 after chopping a hole in the ice, Ashel Lane baptized both Amos and Amelia into the Church.  Their daughter Emily records that she does not know if her mother was ill before the baptism, but afterwards, she became very ill. 

Amelia told her husband that she was not long for this life and that when she died that she wanted Amos to marry her friend Minerva Jones and have her take care of their children.  At first Amelia hung onto life so that she could learn all there was about the restored gospel.  But when it was explained to her that learning continues after this life and that some of the greatest teachers like the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum, could be some of her teachers, she was content to let go of this life.  She was promised that her work would be done for her by proxy in the temple.  Amelia died on December 29, 1845.  Amos married Minerva in February of 1846.  Amos and Minerva chose to join with the saints in the west and to travel by land rather than to try to go by water.  They left on March 20, 1846 with only one of Amos and Amelia=s children.  Two sons had died in infancy.  A baby girl, Merab, was left behind with her Aunt Merab Bishop until she was a little older and then Amos would return and get her.  They traveled west with family and friends by way of Nauvoo, Illinois.  Emily, our direct line ancestor, remembered playing as a little girl along the banks of the Mississippi River and near the Nauvoo temple.  They got to Nauvoo after the temple ordinances were no longer being given.  They had to wait until the Endowment house was completed in Salt Lake to get these special blessings.   
Nauvoo, Illinois, as seen from Iowa -- late 1840s depiction

It is of interest that the Stones would travel west in the same wagon train as the Foys. 

The Stones continued their trek arriving at Council Bluffs just before the Mormon Battalion marched off to be in the Mexican war.  Like most of the saints in these winter quarters, they too became ill.  They survived a grass fire as it swept toward their camp.  The wind changed and they were saved.

Amos built a home in Kanesville, Iowa, for his family.  He took some household items that could be spared and went to Missouri where he could trade them for flour and other food items.  They moved again about two miles away where a larger cabin was built and they had land to farm.  Minerva gave birth to her first child in 1847 in this cabin.  Amos returned to Connecticut the following year in May to get his little girl.  Minerva and Emily planted and tended a garden while Amos was away.  Then in November of 1848, Amos arrived with his daughter Merab and his first wife=s family, the Bishops, and some of the Jones family of his second wife.  By 1850, they were well enough equipped that they could make their trek to Utah.

Note: This post was originally published by Leslie Tuttle Foy as Chapter 5: The Stones in "Our Brass Plates." Thanks, Uncle Les! The picture of Nauvoo was found on the website Uncle Dale's Old Mormon Articles.