Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Burns, James ------ December 2008

James Christopher Burns was the son of John and Lydia Ann Porter Burns. He was born in Linden-Rock Port, Atchison Missouri in September of 1849. His parents were headed for California in the Great Gold Rush of 1849.At the place known as “the Last Crossing of the Sweetwater”, in the State of Wyoming, two-month old baby James Burns was found by a company of other travelers. He was lying at his mother’s breast. Both parents lay cold in the embrace of death. They had succumbed to the deadly disease of cholera. Deadly cholera is a very contagious disease. One brave soul from the company by the name of Milton Dailey risked his life to save the baby, if possible. The kind-hearted people of the wagon train did what they could for the baby, and they put forth efforts to find any relatives.
Arriving in Salt Lake City, they found the Saints gathering for conference, and Milton Dailey, gave the baby to Brigham Young who held him in his arms before the conference gathering, told of his parents tragic death and asked for information. The baby’s aunt, his mother’s sister, was among the saints and claimed the child.
He was then taken to the home of his grandmother at Provo, Utah. His early boyhood and manhood was spent in Mt. Pleasant, where he was educated and grew to the type of man that earned the love and respect of all who came in contact with him.
He fell in love with Matilda Josephine Anderson. It was thought by many to be “love at first sight”. James Burns often remarked that when he gazed into Matilda’s eyes of blue, he knew she was the one being in the world to make him happy. They were married on the 22nd March 1869.
After the Blackhawk War, he made friends with the red men, allowing his children to play with them, learn the Indian songs and dances, and many of their phrases.
James Burns prospered and progressed and became the Sheriff of Mt. Pleasant, and later served the people of Sanpete County in the same capacity.
Then on the 24th of September 1894, he received a telegraph notice from Scott Bruno, asking him to meet him in the morning at Moroni, as there had been a sheep stealing case.
The following is taken from the writings of Niels Heber Anderson:‘Bill Brewer, Scott Bruno, Niels Heber Anderson and Sheriff James Burns confronted sheep rustlers at Reader’s Ridge back of the Horseshoe Mountain. Evidence of the changing of the ear marks and brands made it quite clear that certain sheep had been stolen.
Sheriff Burns made an attempt to place the rustlers under arrest without first disarming them. As he approached them, they shot and killed the sheriff, then warned the other men that if they did not stay out of the affair, they would receive the same treatment as had been given the sheriff.
Bill Brewer and Anderson brought the news to Spring City and Mt. Pleasant. Thomas Braby, with the Mt. Pleasant Militia, was soon on the scene of the shooting, and the body of James C. Burns was taken to Mt. Pleasant. Although the Militia searched and guarded for a couple of weeks in the ledges and dense timber, the murderers were never apprehended.’ (This has since been proven wrong. They were apprehended)
“James Burns’ life was short but some there are who do not have to live long to accomplish big things. He was killed in the performance of his duty.” Olivia Burns – daughter in law and author of James Burns History

Hyde, Charlotte Staunton ------ November 2008

Charlotte Staunton Quindlan Johnson Hyde
You would think that a wife of Orson Hyde would be buried in Spring City next to him. You would think that she would have a very distinctive, monolithic marker of granite and stand very tall. Not so for Charlotte Staunton Quindlan Johnson Hyde. Of those many names by which she was called, we can only verify that her name was Charlotte Quindlan Hyde. She lived in Mt. Pleasant, taught school in Mt. Pleasant and died in Mt. Pleasant. Her grave marker is about 18 inches tall made of marble. You literally have to kneel down to read her epitaph there.

Charlotte Quindlen was born 22 of August 1802 at Lower Pensnock, Salem, New Jersey. Charlotte Quindlan was the name used at the Endowment House in Salt Lake City when she was sealed to Orson Hyde in 1852. The marble marker lists her as Charlotte Staunton Hyde as does the Mt. Pleasant History Book. Perhaps the name Staunton came from another marriage. From the dates we find that she was fifty years old when she married Orson Hyde.
The following is taken from the book “Orson Hyde Olive Branch of Israel”
“Orson Hyde was chosen as an original member of the Council of the Twelve in 1835, when the Mormon Church first organized this governing body. Orson's most well-known accomplishment was as a Mormon missionary to Jerusalem (1840-1842) to dedicate the land for the return of the Jews. Because his words have proven prophetic in the many decades since his entreaty, a peaceful garden on the Mount now honors him and his supplication. In 1979 civil authorities in Jerusalem invited the development of a five-acre hillside garden in honor of Orson Hyde.
“Orson Hyde was a remarkable individual. He received esteem in many roles, among them apostle, teacher, missionary, orator, scriptorian, journalist, editor, lawyer, judge, statesman, colonizer, and administrator; also as the husband of eight wives, the father of thirty-three children, a friend of mankind, and a servant of God.
During the years 1850-1852 Charlotte Quindlin Johnson lived in Kanesville, Iowa at the home of Orson Hyde as a domestic assistant to his first wife Marinda. She was already a member of the L.D.S. Faith. She had been divorced from a man named Johnson. She was described as a seamstress who also liked children. She helped Marinda with her children Alonzo, Frank and baby Delila. She was with the Hyde Family at Winter Quarters and as they traveled across the plains to Salt Lake, arriving in 1852. Marinda and Charlotte got along very well.

Orson and Marinda discussed the possibility of inviting Charlotte to become a wife rather than a domestic. Orson had also married Mary Ann Price who for a time was a domestic in his household. Orson and Mary Ann were married in Nauvoo in 1843. Orson talked with Brigham Young about taking Charlotte as another wife and Brigham Young approved. Orson proposed to Charlotte, she accepted and they were sealed as husband and wife in the Endowment House 22nd of November, 1852. She was the fourth wife of Orson. Besides Marinda and Mary Ann, Orson had married Martha Rebecca Browett, who he later divorced in 1850. Martha went on to become the wife of Thomas McKenzie who also divorced her.

In the spring of 1853 we find Marinda, Mary Ann and Charlotte all living together under one roof in Salt Lake. Charlotte, however, was having a hard time adjusting to being a plural wife and departed the family, a mutual decision between she and Orson. They were separated, but never divorced. Brigham Young granted official separation for Charlotte and Orson Hyde in 1859.

Charlotte came to the Sanpete Valley long before Orson shows his influence here. It was during the “big move” with the earliest Saints first to Fort Ephraim, then north to resettle Mt. Pleasant. The first pioneers had been driven out of Camp Hambleton, located one mile west of the current city of Mt. Pleasant. She first made her living as a seamstress then as a school teacher while the settlers still lived inside the fort. A schoolhouse was then built outside the fort. She was fondly called "Aunty Hyde" by her students. She inspired many of her students to become teachers themselves.

In Mt. Pleasant History by Hilda Longsdorf the following description of Aunty Hyde school: “In a little log house about 12x15 feet, on the south side of the street on First North, about midway between State and First West, (in the area where Mary Ursenbach now lives-2008) Charlotte Staunton Hyde taught school. The building was also known and later used for Lesser Priesthood meetings and similar Church gatherings. Mrs. Hyde was a woman who no doubt had earlier in life received quite a liberal education, and although described as “a little old woman who smoked a pipe and was quite deaf,” she was affectionately called "Aunty Hyde". Many amusing stories were told of her school, but with all her students there remained pleasant memories. There being no hand bell, as in later years, the children were always called from their play to the schoolroom with her familiar call, “To Books. To Books. To Books.””

“Mrs. Hyde lived in a little log house west of the school. She often brought her bread to the schoolhouse to bake. She had a skillet with a tight fitting lid and in this, by heaping on it coals from the fireplace, which was in one end of the building, she baked the bread during school hours. She was paid for her services as a teacher with any produce or garden stuff available.
Mrs. Hyde taught for sometime in the log meeting house in the fort. Many attended school. A number of the pioneers were polygamist families and usually were large families. In some cases the entire family had attended her school as was the case in Abraham Day’s family, Joseph, Abraham Jr. , Eli A., Ezra, and Ephraim, children of the second wife, all attended; among others who also in later days became prominent citizens were her students Emaline Seely Barton, Oscar Anderson, William Morrison Jr., Sylvester Barton, Joseph Nephi Seeley, Annie Porter Nelson, Melvina Clemensen Crane, Peter Johansen, Chastie Neilsen, Benta Neilsen, Peter Jensen, Allen Rowe, Henry Ericksen, Miranda Seeley Oman, Wilhemina Morrison Ericksen, Hans Neilsen, William D. Candland, Charlotte Reynolds Seeley, Sarah Wilcox Bills, Celestial McArthur Barton, William A. Averett, Amasa Aldrich, James B. Staker, Maria Tidwell Larsen, Libby Barton Averett, Morgan A. Winters, Eli A. Day, W.W. Brandon, Sarah Davidsen Wilcox, Maggie Peel Seely, Samuel H. Allen, Harry Candland, Albert Candland, Charles Averett, Hazard Wilcox and Hans Neilsen.

Seeley, William S. ------- October 2008

Bishop William Stewart Seely, the first Bishop of Mount Pleasant (Sanpete Stake), Sanpete County, Utah, was born May 18, 1812, in Pickering, Home District, Upper Canada, the son of Justus A. Seely and Mehittabel Bennett. Becoming a convert to "Mormonism" under the instruction of John Taylor, he was baptized in 1838 and migrated to Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, where he resided until 1846, when he became an exile, like his co-religionists, and departed into the western wilderness. He came to Salt Lake Valley in 1847 and lived for some time in Salt Lake City and afterwards in Pleasant Grove, Utah county. When Mount Pleasant, Sanpete county, was re-settled in 1859 he became one of the founders of that place, where he spent the remainder of his years and where he was active in everything pertaining to the growth and welfare of that commonwealth. When Mount Pleasant became an incorporated city, William S. Seely was elected its first mayor, and he acted as Bishop of Mount Pleasant about thirty years. He took part in all the military movements during the Black Hawk war and also filled two missions to Canada, one in 1873 and the other in 1878. In 1868 he went as captain of a Church train as far east as Laramie after immigrants. Bishop Seely married three wives, two of whom survived him. His first wife was Elizabeth De Hart, who died April 6, 1873, after bearing her husband several children, of whom Elizabeth, Emily, Moroni, Emmeline, Joseph N. and Lucinda were still living in 1898. His second wife was Ellen Jackson, whose children are Justice L. and William S. The Bishop's third wife was Ann Watkins and her children are William A. and Anna R. Bishop Seely was not only a prominent citizen in local affairs, but was well and favorably known throughout the Territory of Jenson, Andrew. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, UT: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901. Utah. He died at Mount Pleasant, Sept. 17, 1896.

In August 1885, William S. married his fourth wife, Susanne Foster. They did not have any children.

Ellen Jackson Seely, Second wife of William S., died on January 17, 1908. She was 89 years old.

Ann Watkins Seely, third wife of William S., died April 18, 1927. She was 81 years old, and was buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Final Peace Treaty. Several peace conferences with the Indians had been held in different settlements. A meeting was held at Mt. Pleasant, September 17, 1872, at which General Morrow, Apostle Orson Hyde, Bishop Amasa Tucker, Bishop Fredrick Olson, Bishop W. S. Seely, Colonel Reddick Allred met at Mt. Pleasant with a great number of Indian Chiefs and braves, among whom were Tabiona, White Hare, Angizeble and others who were known to have encouraged depredations under Chief Black Hawk. The concluding peace treaty was signed at this time. That meeting was held at the home of William S. Seely. (the current Mt. Pleasant Relic Home) also see:,18016,4976-5975,00.html

Christensen, Jacob ------- September 2008

Biographical Sketch of Jacob Christensen (excerpts)

Jacob Christensen, son of Christen Petersen and Maren Thompsen, eldest of ten children, was born in Vennsyssel, Hjoring, Denmark, September 21, 1827. His father was the son of Peter Peterson and Mette Christensen. His father, Christen Peterson was born in Lendum, Jutland, Denmark and his mother Maren Thomsen was born in Napstyert, Jutland Denmark.

His boyhood days were typical of the times in which he lived. His parents earned their scanty living by fishing. When a young man he spent two years in the service of his king, as was customary. He served as a sailor.

Jacob joined the L.D.S. church in his native land on February 20, 1853 and was a traveling elder for the following two years. He married Inger Kristine Thomsen January 19, 1855. She became the mother of nine children, the eldest being born in Denmark before immigration.

In 1857 they immigrated to the United States. a perpetual emigration fund came into being through the desires of the church leaders to bring to this land those too poor to provide themselves with the transportation money which was needed.

Jacob's mother accompanied them to Omaha, Nebraska, where she died a short time later. They were compelled to stay here for two years, because of lack of funds to go further. Here, although he took whatever employment he could get at sawmills and adobe yards, they lived under the most trying circumstances. One time he was obliged to trade one shirt, of his meager supply of two, for a bushel of frozen turnips, which they boiled and then warmed up in tallow. While crossing the plains Jacob and his good wife encountered a great misfortune. Their only child died.

They located in Mt. Pleasant, among the first settlers in the fall of 1859, living in a dugout until the fort was built. Jacob helped to build the south wall of the fort, furnishing team, wagon and his own work. Homes were built against the inside walls of the fort where the settlers lived. By the fall of 1859 Mt. Pleasant had a population of 800 people.

Jacob Christensen Grave Marker

The First Ward was organized at Mt. Pleasant, July 9, 1859, by Elders George A. Smith and Amasa M. Lyman. William S. Seely was ordained bishop. Jacob Christensen became his first counselor. The Bishop and his counselors were looked upon as the leaders of the group. They were the superintendents, planners, confidant tribunal, directors, ecclesiastical tribunal, the leaders of the group, in fact the responsibility of the settlement rested upon their shoulders.

They were all busy people those days, building homes, a fort, clearing and plowing land, planting crops, building fences, canals, fighting and guarding against Indians, harvesting crops and a score of other jobs.

Thereafter, Jacob devoted much of his time to building up of this community. He was a shareholder in Mt. Pleasant's first cooperative institution and organizer of the United Order here. He served as Counselor to Bishop William S. Seely for seven years and as president of the High Priest's quorum for twenty five years.

January 14, 1865, he married Ingeborg Anderson, daughter of Christian and Karen Anderson. Ingeborg was the only daughter and the youngest of a family of four, born in Seiland, Denmark, April 28, 1846. Her father was a tailor, and Ingeborg had a comfortable childhood attending the schools of the town until her parents accepted the Latter-day Saint Church and decided to leave their homeland for Utah, where her three brothers had already settled. This was in 1862.

Plurality of wives was in flower at that time. Those who could afford two families and were worthy could get permission of the Church authorities to marry a second wife. Jacob asked Ingeborg to marry him, and after due consideration she accepted his offer of marriage. The were married, January 1865. She was 19 years of age and he was double her age, but it seems at that time, this was often the case. Ingeborg became the mother of seven children, two dying in infancy.

About this time Jacob took a very active part in the Black Hawk War, being captain of Company A, Mt. Pleasant Militia and was in several engagements with the Indians. He was also a Councilman in Mt. Pleasant's first city council.

On March 15, 1869, he married his third wife, Anna Christena Marberg, daughter of Johannes and Christine Peterson Marberg, who was born March 2, 1850 at Leitse, Gutland, Sweden. She was the second child in a family of four daughters.

They were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Their first home was the Haage home about 411 South State Street, Mt. Pleasant (now vacant). This house, built by Jacob Christensen was considered one of the finest residences of the early days.

Anna became the mother of ten children, three dying in infancy, one in youth and two in middle life.

Jacob died March 9, 1915, having been an invalid for eleven years.