and his wives
Ann Parson, Elizabeth Smith & Ane Pederson
At 7:30 Saturday morning, 9 May 1812 there arrived at the home of Edmund and Sylvia Williams Lovell a baby boy. His early arrival interfered with the morning's work, but he was heartily welcomed as the first son of the family. Little three year old Grace was delighted with a baby brother. They named him John.
When John was only a year and a half old, George, was born. About two years after, a new brother or sister was added to the family until there were nine children.
(The following record of John Lovell was copied from a copy of his own hand written history. Many words are capitalized and some punctuation is lacking. Effort has been made to keep the spelling as he wrote it.)
I John Lovell was born May 9th 1812 in Worrell in the County of Somersetshire, England. My Father was a Blacksmith. He moved to Whare in the same County in the year 1814 my Father was a Weslyian Methodist. He used to take me and my Brother George to meetings twice every Sunday. I therefore was brought up in the strictest form of the Sect of the day.
When I was Ten or Twelve years old I was blind in the Summer Seasons for three years. My Father and Mother used to hold me down on the bed while they poured Drugs into my eyes. This blindness was in consequence of Inflammation. Through my having this blindness my Father thought it not wisdom to make me a Blacksmith so I was to work in the field and attend to his business until I was 19 years old When my Father requested me to hire out, business being very dull in consequence of the late war with France and my Fathers family becoming numerous. About this time my sister Grace died of Consumption and was buried at Upper Whare Church of England. (She died about 1831 creating a keen loss felt by all the family. She had grown to be a beautiful young lady).
I hired to Joseph Harris in the Parish of Bitsom three miles from Whare. He was a Farmer and Dairyman I receiving 10 pounds. That is $50.00 a year with board and washing. I stopped with him 3 years, when he offered to raise my wages to $60.00 if I would take care of the plantation and dairy. During the three years I was with Mr. Harris I became acquainted with Ann Parsons, the head Dairymaid. During two years of the three I was with Mr. Harris I courted Ann Parsons unknown to the Harris Family.
I returned home to my Father and rented land and prepared for housekeeping. I hired 2 acres of land, I put half in with Potatoes ... (too dim to read). Owing to the dry season they did not come. the Potatoes were very small. I had to pay $37.50 for the Rent per Year for the 2 Acres. I worked with my Father all the spare time I had so My Father paid the rent of the land in Blacksmithing. I next rented 6 acres of my Grandfather. there were 4 acres in orchard and 2 for wheat and Potatoes with house and out buildings. I was to have all the fruit for my use and the grass in the orchard for $40.00 or pounds a year. I rented this in view of housekeeping the land was at Bristom 2 miles from Whare.I intended to be married in February 1835 seeing the poverty and distress among the working classes I spoke upon the same to my Father and concluded to go to a new Country before I got married. having two Uncles in Canada I concluded to go to Canada. So as soon as I concluded to go I went to see Ann Parsons and told her of my resolution she wished me to be married and stop one year in England but I would not consent I reasoned with her and told her her the little money we had would go so that we then could not go if we wished. She then consented to be married at the set time and for us to go to Canada. In February Ann came to my Fathers house and on the 15th of February 1835 we were married at the Church of England at Bitsom Somersetshire. We went to Bitsom and spent a few weeks with Ann’s Mother’s Family. We also visited Bristol. My Father gave Ann some cooking utensils. On our return home we prepared for our journey to Canada.
We went to Bridgewater fifteen miles from Whare and took our passage on board a lumber ship, 'Captain Samson' I paid 1 pound advance. We sailed on the 25th March 1835. Previous to our sailing, Father hired a cart I went with it to Cornich with my baggage. My Father Mother and Ann came to Cornich by the Coach on Sunday. Father returned the same night Mother staid till the ship sailed. My Father before he returned put $40.00 in gold into Ann’s hand, (this was a great help to them). He counseled me on my arrival in Canada to join some Church, no difference what Church it was; he believing they were all the same, that is he believed a man or woman could be saved by any of them. We spent the afternoon at a hotel in Cornich enjoying ourselves with the good things of this life. We then took an affectionate farewell of each other.
Father with tears requested me write and he would do the same often. We sailed as I said before, on Monday morning the 25th of March 1835. The ship was beating about all that day and we had to return back into the mouth of the river and anchor. Next morning weighed anchor and sailed having a fair wind. I got sea sick about 9 p.m. the sailors call on me to look at the last lighthouse on the English coast but I was too sick to go on deck. I recovered in 2 or 3 days and my health after was good all the way.
My wife was sick (the captain brought dainties from his table for her) and the captain said if she lived to get to the St. Lawrence she would then recover but he was afraid we would have to throw her overboard. (The Captain was very happy when she made it to land). We saw it (in the) distance with the glass a ship disabled through a storm. We had no storm when on the banks of Newfoundland there was a calm, the sailors went a fishing and caught 5 or 6 Codfish. The wind arose and continued favorable until we arrived at Quebec on May the 6th 1835. I saw precipeice which General Wolfe took the English up on the taking of Quebec. When we first saw Quebec it had the appearance of a lake. The Houses and Church roof's were covered with Tin The sun shone upon them which gave them that appearance. We landed in the afternoon and the ship carpenter being acquainted with the City went with me and my wife to show us the City and also the Garrison from this place we could look down on Quebec and see for miles around steeples, Towers and Shipping we returned to the ship in the evening next day the same man went to the English Church with us. I saw there the Governor of Quebec come into the Church. He wore a three cornered hat and rich apparel, the galleries were for the Soldiers. We visited the Catholic Church. I there saw every person that went in put their finger into a bason that attached to the wall and cross their foreheads. I went to look at the bason, there was nothing in it. My attention was by 20 men dressed in white with staves in their hands and candles on the top walking and paying homage. After leaving this Church and passing through the streets we heard music and dancing in the houses. We returned to the ship in the evening. Next morning I went into a Wine Merchants store, he was an Englishman he gave me some good council which put me in mind of my Father.
By this time the ship was unloaded of the brick which it brought over for a gentleman. Next morning the ship was towed by a steamer to Montreal.
The Captain till this time was always very kind he used to send from his table something nice for my wife. he gave me good counsel when we left the ship. I then hired a passage to Port Hope we went aboard a Durham boat, I engaged one end and before I got back with my baggage two Irish Families took possession of it and swore that I should not have it. I then went to the man I engaged of and he came and ordered them out. They then left and got drunk and said they would take revenge upon some person meaning me I suppose. I arranged my boxes and my bed and went to bed after which they began to fight. My wife was scared I told her it might be some trap so I would not interfere the men of the boat came and told them if they would not be quiet they would put them in the water they then were quiet. This boat was towed by horses we were sometimes on canals lakes and Rivers in Steamboats and canal boats going us the long Sew. The tow rope was cut twice. The third time we went over, cutting the rope to save the Horses was the only danger I saw since leaving England. We arrived at Port Hope June 30th 1835.
I took my luggage out of the boat put it in a store house on the wharf. I took lodging at a Hotel. got up very early next morning and started for my Uncles (Jesse Williams) 7 miles got there and took breakfast my Uncle was glad to see me but did not believe I had a wife. Some portion of my Unclels Family was sick. My Uncle took his team to fetch my wife and baggage from the Hotel and returned same evening.
While I was absent going to my Uncles home, my wife got up as usual and took a walk in the Streets of the City when a man kept askin her questions wishing her to take a walk with him outside the City which she refused after a good deal of trouble she got rid of him. We stoped at Uncle Jesse William about a week fixt up. William Hayes arrived at my Uncles while we were their he invited me to return to my Uncle James Salters me and my wife and (William Hayes) started on foot 40 miles to my Uncle Salters. It took us two days.Uncle and Aunt received us with kindness we felt like being at home. Uncle Salter was a Methodist preacher. I hired Richard Moon for twelve dollars to go and fetch my baggage. Uncles Family was all well and doing well. I had about $20.00 when I arrived at Uncle Salters. The expense of travel from Cormish (Combwich) England to this place was 16 pounds or $80.00. I got to my journey end July 15th 1835. I hired for two months to Thomas Pasco for $12.00 a month in cash. My work was clearing land rolling logs burning logs and preparing land for wheat.
I followed the counsel of my Father by joining the Methodist Church. They had me six months on trial. I never was received as a lawful candidate, the reason was this. I asked my Uncle questions and other ministers about the doctrine taught by the Apostles and they never satisfied me with their answers.
My wife stopped with my Uncle while I was working for Mr. Pasco. After my two months was up Mr. Eanon Missionary preacher from England to the township of Pickrum (Pickering) told me Mr. Lawrence of Pickrum (Pickering) wanted to hire an Old countryman as Plowghman and recommended me to go up to see him. He recommended me as a steady man so I went up and hired with him for $160.00 a year. He was to put up a house close by his. He was to board me I stayed there three weeks then returned to my Uncles. I returned back to work. I returned back again to my wife 22 November 1835. I found my wife in labor. She had whom I named George whom I named after his Uncle George my wife’s brother George Parsons. I stayed home a week or two. my wife done well. I returned to work again and sometime in December I fetched my wife and son to Pickrum (Pickering).
Mr. Lawrence put us in a large log cabin about a mile from his house it was very cold. my wife took cold and had bad health for several weeks. I had to go for a Phiscian ten miles. He came and told me that it would lead into consumption if not stopt. The next morning I went to Witbey to Thomas Pasco to receive some money owing me for my labor, I wanted to get some things for my wife. I received $4.95 cents out of the $24. due me for my labor for the two months work. I then went to Uncle Salter in the evening. I told my Uncle that Ann was very sick, also that I had been to Thomas Pasco but I only got $4.95 out of the $24. due me.
I owed Uncle Salter $4 I asked him if he would have the kindness to wait till I got some more pay from Pasco, as I wanted the 4.95 to get some things for my wife as she was very sick but he would not wait. He said he wanted the money. so I paid him and had to return home without anything. Next morning I went to McDonalds Store I told him I had been to Witbey to get some pay but I could not get any to bring home, I told him that my wife was very sick and I wanted to get something for her. He asked who I worked for, I told him He then asked wheir I lived, I told him I was at Pickrum. He then said, Mr Lovell you can have anything you want, so I got about $10.00 of goods. I never saw Mr. McDonald before this so I found this stranger better to me than my Uncle. On my return I found my wife still very sick. In about 3 or 4 weeks my wife recovered. As I could not work steady while my wife was sick Mr Lawrence and myself agreed that the remainder of the year I should work by the job which I did till the spring of 1836.
I then rented a farm of Widow McCasting of 40 acres, half grass, the other half to crop she found team and half seed and I found the other half of the seed. I was to have half of what I made. I then moved on the farm, and Mrs McCasting rented me one cow and some 8 sheep. The cow to be doubled on three years. I put in 8 acres of wheat. but the fly or weavle got into it and destroyed most of it. My Potatoes were good. The rest of the land I summer fallowed.
Mr John Eanon preacher at Pickring I attended his meetings also the orthodox meetings. About this time John Exean visited Pickring of the same Church. John Exean stopt at my house to inform me that the Bible Society of London had sent over a quantity of Bibles for the poor of Canada he asked me if I had one I told him I had none. He than promised that he would give me one. I went about this time to see Edward Lawrence, his brother John was there and told us a new sect had come into his place, and he had received the truth. His Brother Edward said he would like to hear them preach and would give his house to preach in. he was one of the School trustees and said they should have the School house to preach in.
About two weeks after John Taylor came and preached, myself and wife went to hear him preach. he preached upon the first principles of the Gospel. My wife believed the same. I liked the doctrine better than the Methodist. (It seemed more like the Bible taught than any others they visited.)
The next evening I met Mr Taylor at Mr Lawrence's. Mr Taylor had a lot of blank butter prints (carved butter molds). which he used to cut with small knives on evenings which took my attention. I thought it strange for a servant of God to have to do the like for a living. He told us when he had cut a lot he would sell them to the stores for clothing. He told us of Joseph Smith also about the Priesthood, the Plates, persecution of the Saints. This was a new doctrine to us.
In the fall I cut my hay and got 15 tons. I payed 15 tons to a man to help me Mrs Casting had 30 tons. My Uncle Jesse Williams hearing I had plenty of feed brought me a yoke of cattle to winter, and moved to Witby and entered land. About this time his wife died and left 6 or 7 children. The spring after he came for the oxen and told me he could not pay me I let him take them. The amount was $8.00 for wintering them.
About this time I took a job to clear land of Mrs Casting at $11.50 cents per acre with a good fence ready for wheat after the job was done it was to be inspected by two or three of the neighbors.
John Taylor and Almon Babbit moved their families to Pickring in the fall of 1836. I cleared 10 acres fenced it and put it in wheat in this year of 1836. Mrs Casting paid me for clearing the land as follows the cow I rented for $25 a three year old heifer $14 one yoke of 3 year old Steers $50 The rest in sundries.
In the winter of 1836, 18 or 20 joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. me and my wife was of the number. Edward Lawrence and family. Mrs. McCasting and family. B. Hart and family. we had a deal of opposition from the Christians. About two weeks after I was in the Church I prayed much for the gift of tongues. Two weeks after John Lawrence came and preached to us. he knowing I had the gift of tongues asked me if I would speak in meeting if he would give me the privilege. I told him I would. He wanted me to speak for the strengthening of the Brethren. I arose and bore my testimony to the truth of the work, and spoke in tongues, gave the interpretation. Spoke on tongues again and took my seat. I was filled with the Spirit I arose again and gave the interpretation of the second tongue, and then took my seat again.
this caused excitement in the congregation. The President bore testimony that the tongues was the gift of the Spirit, and then dismissed the meeting. Those who were opposed to the truth when they went out formed two lines from the door about two rods long cursing me. I expected at every stop to be knocked down. (They were very badly treated by members of other churches.)
On the Monday I went to help Mr Wise to thrash there was a man there also who came to help thrash named Logen he was a Scotchman. while the men was fixing the horses, he abused me about my Religion he was at the meeting on Sunday he came to me and told me he could talk in tongues as well as I could. I told him if he could talk in tongues to speak in tongues to the gentleman present. he then gibberaged to them. I told the gentlemen that it was no tongue at all. for any of them could say the same without the spirit of God. his reply to this was I was a damn'd deceiver and a liar and abused me. he came up to me clenching his fists.
Mr Wise came up and said Mr Logan if you cannot let Mr Lovell alone and enjoy his privileges to go home. Mr Lovell is a honest man, he believes this is a free country and has the right to believe what he pleases. Mr Logan cooled down and went to work. About this time Almon Babbits child died. I went about two miles and dug a grave. I returned home. me and one of the brethren took a pole and swung the coffin under the pole and carried the child to the grave Almon Babbit went with us.
About 3 weeks after Joseph McCasting had the gift of tongues, spoke at a meeting, bore testimony that he received the gift from the Lord.
Joseph Smith the Prophet Sidney Rigdon John Taylor and Almon Babbit came in a carriage from Toronto on Saturday evening. They stopt at Edward Lawrences. I went on Sunday to see Joseph Smith the Prophet (this was previous to my Baptism). When I first saw Joseph Smith he was talking with Mr Lawrence about how he Joseph had obtained his horses at Kirtland, Ohio. The others were washing and blacking Boots. I had been brought up so strict to the religion of the day that I thought it impossible for a prophet to talk about horse trades on Sundays.
Joseph Smith and company went to the Township of Witby on the base line. Sidney Rigdon preached a splendid Sermon. Joseph Smith arose and said he had seen in a Newspaper the day before that Old Joe Smith was dead. He said he was the same Joseph Smith he spoke a short time. They then returned to Edward Lawrence's. and preached in the barn at 4 o'clock. John Taylor and Almon Babbit preached. Joseph Smith spoke again a short time. They than returned, left for Toronto.
Previous to my baptism, Almon Babbit told me, that all those who were honest had the privilege of knowing by testimony of the truth of the work. So I prayed to the Lord to give me a testimony. when I was in a deep sleep I heard a voice say see this. I then saw a light in the Northwest corner of the room It passed to the opposite corner and passed out. I was then satisfied and went and got baptized, about (7) February 1837.
Sister McCasting related the following dream to me. She dreamed she saw a swarm of Bees fly over some lighted she partook of there honey they all passed off to the West. She told me that she was so old that she could not gather with the Church and would have to lay her body down there which came to pass a few months after she went the way of all the earth. Almon Babbit gave out there would be a conference held at Scarborough, some 16 miles. Never having been at a conference, four of us went in a one horse wagon. we arrived at Brother Hornes. next morning in driving from Joseph Hornes house I drove the wagon against the root of a tree and smashed one wheel. I took the horse to Bro Hornes and we walked to the meeting.
The Conference met at 10 o'clock after singing and prayer, Almon Babbit arose and spoke upon the Business of the Conference, he said he knew nothing to hinder us from having a Penticostic feast with the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord. Brother John Taylor arose and made a few remarks and dismissed the Conference. We then returned home.I paid Mr McDonald 150 bushels of Ashes I got in clearing the land of Mrs McCasting I got 28 cents per Bushel I went to Pasco to get the remainder of the money, he paid me. I went to my Uncle Salters the same evening bore my testimony to my Uncle of the work of God. While I was bearing my testimony my Aunt shed tears. My Uncle thought it beneath his dignity to hold controversy with me. While I was bearing my testimony I told them I could not be deceived for I had the gift of Tongues. I spoke a few words in tongues. My Uncle said there was no need of the gifts of the spirit. I wanted to show by Paul's testimony in the 14th chapter of 1st Corinthians, but he would not he was a Methodist Preacher. He sent his boy unbeknown to me to fetch Mr D Clark to attact me on the Book of Mormon. Mr Clark arrived with the book of Mormon. This was the first time I saw the book of Mormon. He tried to show the absurdity of the book but it made no impression on me. He continued all the evening but accomplished nothing.
The next morning my Uncle said to me. Mr John Clark got the upper hand of you. I said to Uncle Salter he proved nothing its true he said that tongues and prophecies should cease but that was not until perfection should come. I then asked my Uncle if he had forgot to make a pair of shoes, if not knowledge had not ceased so I wished them good morning and returned home.
About this time John Excean came and preached in the School House he brought the bible for me I was at the meeting, he saw me and asked me if I wanted the Bible. I said yes Sir, he said I thought you did not need a Bible. I said, Sir I believe more in the bible than I ever did before. Then he gave it to me.
The next Sunday John Eanon and wife came to my house. They being two preachers of the Gospel, to bring me back into the Methodist Church. John felt very sorry for me he sat with his hands to his face and groaned continually, inwardly and outwardly but brought nothing forth.
John told me that my Uncle Salter was writing a Letter to my Father in England. he said it was a blessed letter, for it contained all the lying reports of the Newspapers, about Joseph Smith's walking on the water, and the default of the Kirtland Bank. When my Father received said letter, he wrote to me and told me not to write any letters with anything about my Religion in them. I did not receive any letters from my Father until the Saints left Winter Quarters for the vallies, then my Father told me to direct my letters to my Brothers.
Mrs. Eanon asked me how it was I could not believe in the sayings of that blessed good man David. I told her I did as far as I knew how I said that David had not ascended into the heavens in Peter's day and I did not believe he had yet she jumpt up clasping and wringing her hands crying that blessed man David, walking the floor, and saying what will my Father and my Uncles say, me bringing disgrace upon my family, all this time John had his face in his hands like a possum but he groaned, they arose and left me to my fate.
Sylvia was born March 9th 1837. (In Canada). When my wife was sick with Sylvia, I hired Betsy Combs to wait on her, she was with us about four weeks I paid her the household furniture. me and my wife went to her wedding at Anos McCastings, her brotherinlaw, we enjoyed ourselves the evening jumping over candlesticks, and seeing them safe to bed, so we returned home highly gratified.
About this time there was a Rebellion in Canada the cause of the Rebellion was the Government of England wanted to extend the established Church to the Colonies and thus bring more taxes upon the people. The Rebellion was most in Lower Canada. Thus Martial law was proclaimed, with a view of stoping Americans from taking part with the Rebels, which stoped immigration from Canada to the States. The people was in great excitement throughout the country McKensey was the head of the rebels in Upper Canada. The rebels gathered their forces on our Island on the North sea of Lake Erie. McKensey appointed Officers of the Rebel army to go through the colony to gather forces, promising those who fought valiantly that they should have a portion of the government property and land. they made stump speeches and set a time to meet. one portion of the Rebel Army went into Toronto by Young Street, the other portion was led by Peter Mathas, Brother in law to Edward Lawrence they passed by the draw bridge after crossing they set it on fire. when the Rebels arrived in the City, the Governor called out the Military who fired blank cartridge over them, or over the rebels heads. The rebels than broke and ran, every man to his home, some fell and broke their noses, others lost their guns. A negro killed two or three men that was all the blood that was shed. The Government took all the principal men of the Rebels and put them in prison, the prison was so full they had not room to lay down. Peter Mathas and Bronks were taken and shortly after hung. This Rebellion caused great distress men were obliged to be out for fear of being taken, their families suffering at home. The Officers from Toronto had destroyed Brother Seeley's Schooner for taking some Rebels to the States.
I received two letters from my Father.
(They decided to join the Saints in the United States.) I sold my portion of fall wheat for $50.00 sold 1 yoke of oxen and 1 cow for $60.00. I sold my sheep 9 head at $2.50 each. About the last of June 1838 the martial law was abolished.
About the first of July Bro Lawrence let his hired hand take me and my Family to Toronto in his horse wagon. Brother Lawrence crossed the Lake Ontario with us. The next day the 2nd day of July 1838 I and my family came into the United States at Weston, State of New York. Here Brother Lawrence took his farewell of us, he put 1/2 a dollar into my wife's hand and said buy some tea with that, and then went away.
I hired a wagon and went to the fall of Niagara which was 6 miles from Weston. Took passage by the Railroad to Buffalow, (Buffalo, N.Y.) then took passage on board a Steamboat for the City Earie (Erie Pensylvania). I arrived here in two days from Pickrum (Pickering) Canada. Stopt at Erie until the latter part of September. I dug and hauled with an ox cart clay for seven hundred Thousand Bricks. While diging about 12 load of clay fell and knocked me down and partly buried me, and tore my pantaloons. I was obliged to go home. the landlord asked me to loan him $5.00 which I did. he did not pay me the money but gave me a pair of a dead mans pantaloons. About the latter part of September the Bilious fever broke out in the house and one woman died. My wife had an attack of said fever she was under the doctor's (care) for several days. I took the fever a few days after and was very sick.
About 3 days after I was taken sick I got two sticks and walked about 20 rods and hired a passage for my family to Cleveland. I returned home and went to bed, sent for a dray to take my luggage to the boat the same evening. the boat started about 8 p.m. for Cleveland. me and my wife were more dead than alive. we made our bed on the boat, and went to bed. we were 2 nights and one day going to Cleveland, during the passage my wife got quite well again. I began to get well as soon as the boat started. On my arrival at Cleveland I hired passage to Portsmouth (Ohio) distance 309 miles at 1 1/2 cents per lb. for my luggage on a canal boat (the Grandville) when we got half way the Captain put us ashore and took the boat up a branch of the canal he was gone a day and a half. On his return the rest of the passengers of the boat tackled the Captain and Crew and abused me because I would not help them. we camped out this night. I hired some bread made. the woman made it out of corn meal. This was the first dogger I ever tasted. The next evening a boat came up and I hired again to Portsmouth at 2 1/2 cents per mile per 100 lbs for luggage when the boat arrived at the Ohio at 8 o'clock P.M. it rained very fast.
The Captain ordered us ashore and said not a damn'd soul should stop aboard that night. The Captain wanted the boat night for his accommodation with a Lady. after I had seen my luggage safe, me and my wife and children crossed the Srote river on a dray we walked about an hour and a half in the rain before we could obtain lodgings. I got a bed at a Hotel the next morning I found there were eight beds in the room and all sorts of folks this was on the 12th of October 1838. I fetched my luggage over. the same day a boat was passing I hailed it, it came in I put my things aboard and hired my passage to Cincinnata (Cincinnati Ohio) we arrived at our destination in three days the 15th of October 1838. I put up at a Hotel in water Street.
I got up next morning before day, left my Family in bed and went five miles seeking work. I was told by a man to go to Mark Landon. I went and saw him. He told me he would give one work if I went to Sharpenburgh to a family residing in his house the man I was to go to was Mr Corns to see if Mr Corns was willing for me and my family to live in the same house. when I arrived at Mr Corns they were all out. I saw through the window the Supper things were on the table. I thought they must not be far off so I waited for them. After a while they came. with much coolness they invited me into the house. I told them I had seen Mr Landon and my business. and told them if they would give me one part of the house, Mr. Landon would give me work. they would not give consent. I stopt and pleaded with them. I kept them from supper for about 3/4 of an hour. I then asked them if I could stop with them that night as I was a stranger and had left my family in Cincinata that morning. They then invited me to take supper with them. While at supper I thought they were religious so I asked if there was any Baptist church in the settlement. the old lady told me there was. we then talked about religion. they told me I might stop the night and also I might havethe upper room. they then apologized to me for their coolness and told me there was so many thieves and bad men about so that I might have been one of them. so religion got me the room I wanted. Next morning I went to Mr Landon and told him Mr Corns had given consent for me to have the room. He told me to hurry to Cincinata to 4th Street Market and enquire for Joseph Landon his son and to tell his son to take my family and when passing his Uncles to get 86 lbs. of flour for me. I went and found his son and he fetched us to Mr Corns. the same evening when I got to Mr Corns I had $1.50 left this was in the fall 1838. The winter was very wet. I had to chop cordwood at 75 cents per cord. I worked some in the winter enough to live on.
Sylvia took cold on the boat coming to Cincinata and was sick all the winter. I bought some furniture and when I brought it home in the house and stood the bedstead against the wall, little Sylvia went to it and pulled it over. It fell across on her and broke a rib bone which caused her death, she died March 21st 1839.
(Here is where John's story in his own hand writing ended. The following was taken from other writings).
John and Ann left the steamship at Erie, Pensylvania take the railroad to Kirtland, Ohio. At Erie John heard of the troubles in Kirtland; he was warned not go there, but to proceed on to Missouri. He decided to stay in for awhile to earn enough money to continue the journey. By the end of September he was ready to go on. The best way was to go by Steamship to Cleveland and then on the canal system on the Ohio River. They could go on the Ohio River to the Mississippi River by steamboat then follow the Mississippi to St. Louis. From there they could go up the Missouri River by boat or go overland by wagon. On route they received word that persecutions had started in Missouri again, the condition of the saints had become dangerous. The mobs were threatening to drive the Saints from the state. They decided it would be wise to wait until the situation stabilized there. They stopped in Cincinnati because it was the largest city on their route and would provide better job opportunities while they waited to hear if it was safe to go to Missouri.
In February 1839 the Saints fled Missouri. They settled first in Quincy, Illinois, but soon it was obvious they needed a place of their own. They found it a few miles north in the almost abandoned settlement of Commerce, Illinois, a swamp land filled with insects and disease, unwanted by anyone. It was the perfect place for the homeless refugees.
The Lovells remained in Cincinnati, Ohio until after February 22, 1841 where their son Edmund was born. He was named for John's father. After his birth the family decided to join with the saints in Nauvoo. They settled first in Bear Creek Township in southern Hancock County. They were living there when another son was born on 3, February 1843. He was named John after his father, but sadly he only lived three weeks and died on the 25th of February 1843.
Persecution increased against the Saints so for safety the Lovells moved to Nauvoo and purchased property four blocks east of the temple site.
Tragedy seemed to follow the family. In Nauvoo their young son Edmund caught the measles and died on 3 September 1843.
The most important project in Nauvoo was the building of the Nauvoo temple. John was employed to work full time on the temple. Somewhere he learned to be a stone mason. It is possible he learned the trade while in Buffalo, where he worked hauling clay for stone and brick work. Tradition says he helped to create the sunstones that were placed at the top of the temple.
They found life in Nauvoo to be pleasant and happy. But their happiness was shattered when the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred by a mob at Carthage Jail. Ann was a strength and comfort to her friend Emma when the bodies were brought homes
On 3 August 1844 Ann gave birth to another son. He was named Joseph Hyrum in honor of the Prophet and his brother.
John, with others looked forward to the completion of the Nauvoo temple, anxious for the time when he could receive their endowments. The first endowment session was held on 10 December 1845. Ann had been ill for a long time and was unable to attend the session and John was reluctant to go without her. Brigham Young was scheduled to leave on 3 February 1846 after the last endowment session but as he exited the temple he found hundreds of Saints outside begging for more sessions. He couldn't turn them down so he stayed a few more days to conduct more sessions. John Lovell attended the last session on 7 February 1846. After all their hard work, the temple was open only two months before it had to be abandoned.
John and Ann joined other Saints in crossing the Mississippi River to Iowa. The weather was cold and rainy. The Saints often walked in mud up to their knees. They had to build roads and bridges. The Lovells were with some of the first Saints to cross Iowa.
Winter Quarters was established and hundreds of log homes were built to house the people. The homes were roofed with clapboard or willows and dirt. Some were forced to live in dugouts. Living conditions were difficult. Food was scarce. Many lived on little more than corn bread, salt bacon and milk, and occasionally fresh meat obtained by hunting. They suffered from disease, and exposure. Many died the first winter. Under these conditions Ann gave birth to another baby boy on the 13 February 1847, they named him William. He only lived two weeks and died on 27 February 1847. He was buried in the community burial grounds, which later became known as the Pioneer Cemetery. This was a difficult time for John and Ann.
At Winter Quarters, on 15 February 1848 John and Ann received their Patriarchal Blessings, given them by Isaac Morley:
Ann received great comfort from hearing that all her children would be with her in the resurection.
When the Saints moved from Winter Quarters, Nebraska, to Iowa, John and Ann located at Big Bend on Mesquito Creek. Here conditions were much better than in Winter Quarters. There was time to plant and harvest crops and build better homes. John was assigned to grow grain and food for the migrants preparing to cross the plains. John was called to be the presiding leader at Big Bend, he was responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the people living there.
In 1850 a young couple, John and Cristina Ostler, arrived from England. They had sailed on the ship "Argo." When John and Ann found they were from Somerset in England, they invited them to stay at their home as housing was short. It was wonderful to hear news from their old country, left fifteen years before. The Ostler's had a friend named Elizabeth Smith who had traveled from England with them. Through their association with the Ostlers, the Lovells met this wonderful lady who later proved to be a blessing in their lives.
During this time John and Ann anxiously awaited the birth of another child. On March 1849, a daughter, Martha Ann, was born to them. She brought much joy the family after having lost their little Sylvia.
They thought for a while their luck had changed and tragedy would leave them alone, but that was not the case. Ann had never been very strong and often suffered from illness. The exposure to the elements, the hard work the illness in camps had her weak. In November of 1851 she contacted quick consumption, a rapidly progressing form of pneumonia. In her weakened condition she was not able to overcome the illness and on the 5 of December 1851 she died, leaving John alone with three young children to care for. John was devastated over the loss of his lifetime companion. He wasn't sure how he could continue without her, her quiet strength had been his support for many years. In spite of his own grief his biggest concern was for his children who were also having trouble dealing with the loss of their mother. Martha Ann was only two years old when her mother died.
After Ann's death John knew he would need help with the children. He had learned to respect and care for Elizabeth Smith. He asked her to marry him. She accepted and on 10 March 1852 they were married at Big Bend, Pottawatomie County, Iowa. She proved to be a wonderful mother to John's three children, but she never had any children of her own.
Elizabeth Smith was the daughter of John Smith and Ann Smith. Ann Smith was the daughter of Robert and Rosamond Smith of Barking, Essex, England. John was from Buckinghamshire, England; his family is unknown. John and Ann had seven daughters and two sons.
Elizabeth was born 10 March 1809 in Barkenside, Essex, England, a rural community on the outskirts of London.Elizabeth's father was a laborer working on vegetable farms but his children did have the opportunity of some education, which many rural children did not have. Elizabeth learned to read and write. Everyone in London had to work, even women and children to pay the high prices demanded. Many women worked in factories twelve to fifteen hours a day. One of the most sought-after jobs was to work as a maid in homes of the wealthy. The work was hard and long hours, but the houses were clean and free from disease, but because so many women wanted these jobs they were hard to find. In 1841 Elizabeth was working for Cleworking for Clement Hue, a physician. What kind of work she did and how long she worked there is not known.
As early as 1848 Elizabeth and others of her family became involved with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though they were not baptized until later. Her sister Charlotte was the first to be baptized on 2 April 1849. Her husband William Cooper was baptized on 4 September 1849. Elizabeth was baptized 13 November 1849 by Elder Sutherland, just seven weeks before she left England to join with the Saints in Zion.1 Before her baptism Elizabeth began making plans to immigrate to Zion along with her sister Charlotte, her husband William Cooper and their two children. As a single woman Elizabeth was not allowed to travel alone, if she didn't have a family, she would be assigned one. It was hard for Elizabeth to leave her home, family and friends. She was frightened of what the future held, but she knew she had to make this journey, there was something waiting for her on the other side of the ocean.
Elizabeth found life on the emigrant ships far from pleasant. The berths in steerage were small and crowded. The bunks were stacked two or three high with two to three feet or less between tiers. Food rations were often skimpy and lacked basic nutrients for survival. Wise emigrants would bring their own rations to supplement the ship's stores, but many did not know or could not afford to do this so many went hungry. Drinking water was provided but by the end of the journey the water was often bad. Vinegar was used to dilute the taste and smell of bad water.
Lack of privacy was also a problem. Elizabeth and her traveling companions looked forward with great anticipation to the end of the journey.
The "Argo" docked in New Orleans 8 March 1851, eight weeks and three days after the ship left Liverpool, England. The immigrants started up the Mississippi on 12 March with Captain Van Dosen as the master of the "Uncle Sam." It took fourteen days for "Uncle Sam" to reach St. Louis. The time was spent in singing, dancing and gospel discussions.
The immigrants stayed in St. Louis for three days then transferred to another paddle-wheeled steam boat, the "Sacramento," for the journey up the Missouri River. After leaving Brunswick it was another twenty days before the boat arrived at Kanesville, Iowa, early in May. Elizabeth stayed in Kanesville for two more years, her delay allowed her to meet John and Ann Lovell. As a result her life and theirs were changed forever. It is not known what happened to her sister and brother-in-law and their family.
John and Elizabeth had important work to do in Big Bend so they stayed until 1852. That summer twenty-two wagon trains left from Kanesville carrying the last of the Saints from Nauvoo. The Lovell's prepared to join the Orson Hyde wagon company with Henry Miller as Captain. In order to prepare for the journey John and Elizabeth had to obtain a wagon and ox team and staples like flour, bacon, sugar, etc. wagon was required to obtain at least one good musket or rifle plus powder and lead to be used for hunting and protection. They also needed soap, nails, iron and steel, a kettle a frying pan, cups, plates and utensils. Clothing and bedding were not to exceed five hundred pounds and they could take twenty-five to one hundred pounds of farming equipment and tools.
The Orson Hyde Company consisted of sixty-three wagons and two hundred and twenty-nine souls. They left Iowa on the 10th of July 1852. After having waited so long and watched so many people they knew going on ahead of them, it was with great joy that John and Elizabeth and their children began their journey. They knew it would be long, hard and dangerous, but at last they were going to Zion!
They saw huge herds of buffalo which provided them with fresh meat. To John and Elizabeth one of the interesting aspects of the journey was the new and interesting changes in landscape different and barren after the fertile English countryside and heavy forested areas of Canada and the Mid-eastern United States. Grass and feed for the livestock was thick and luscious that year.
Elizabeth found the journey tiring and frustrating. The women's long skirts decreed by modesty and fashion became dirty, often causing chaffing and sores on the legs. The skirts also absorbed moisture, even from the dew in the morning, meaning they were often walking with wet skirts which weighed more and caused more sores and rashes. Many accidents occurred as the skirts caught in the spokes of the wagon wheels or blew into the campfires.
Cholera was an epidemic on the trail that year, but only two in Henry Miller's company died. For John and Elizabeth it was sad to see the many graves along the trail. Elizabeth was nervous when they would meet a band of Indians. She had heard stories of how vicious and dangerous the Indians could be, but all the bands they encountered were peaceful and even helpful at times.
At Devil's Gate near Independence Rock on the Sweetwater River, the company stayed for three days repairing wagons and preparing for the last big push over the mountains into the Salt Lake Valley. At Bear River on 4 September an early snow came covering the ground to the depth of four inches. The snow made the journey more difficult until it finally melted.
After the long journey, the streets of Salt Lake City echoed with joy and laughter as the company pulled onto main street on 24 September 1852.
The Lovells along with others were sent south to Provo, Utah County, Utah, then with others moved on to the new town of Fillmore. Central Utah was a desolate land, few trees broke the landscape, only sagebrush covered the terrain.
In Fillmore, John again became a farmer. He built a two-room adobe home and planted a garden and began accumulating the necessities of life. Hard work was necessary to provide for the needs of a family. Indians were a constant threat and men had to carry guns and have guards out while harvesting their crops.
Each Monday Elizabeth washed clothes. She carried the water from the creek. Clothing was scrubbed on home-made wooden washboards. The clothes were ironed on Tuesday with heavy irons heated on the cook stove even in the hot summertime. Grain was harvested by hand and ground into flour in a coffee grinder, each member taking turns grinding for long hours to get enough flour to feed the family. Soap was made from scraps of fat and lye from wood ashes. Candles were made from animal fat. Butter was churned in a wooden churn by pumping the dash up and down in the cream until it turned into butter. Handmade rag rugs were made from scraps of fabric that was carefully saved. Nothing could be wasted.
Church meetings were held in a small one-room building made cottonwood logs, with a dirt roof and dirt floor. Sunday School was held in the morning and worship service at two o'clock. A larger adobe building was completed in 1854.
The Saints had started building a temple in Salt Lake, but it would take many years to complete. The endowment house was built on temple square and opened in May of 1855. In October 1855, John and Elizabeth traveled by ox team to Salt Lake City. It took them a week to make the journey from Fillmore. On 10 October 1855, Elizabeth received her own endowments. A week later on 17 October John and Elizabeth were sealed for time and eternity by W. R. Howell of Provo. On the same day Elizabeth stood proxy as John was sealed to his beloved wife, Ann Parsons.
On 11 December 1855, Elizabeth received her Patriarchal Blessing from the Church Patriarch Isaac Morley:
The Story of John Lovell and Ane Pederson
1854 a Danish family arrived in Fillmore, Utah, Jens Andersen and Ane Pedersen and two sons. Ane was called Anna or Hannah in English. Anna was a blue-eyed, blonde-hair Danish girl, born in Sonderup (Aarslev) Sor County, Denmark, 18 March 1824. She lived a happy and normal life in her parent's home. When she was ten years old her father Peder Jorgensen, died on 13 November 1834 at forty years of age. In less than eight months, on 5 July 1835, Anna's mother Kristen Hansen died, leaving the family of six children as orphans. Two sisters, Marie and Sidse, and three brothers, Ham, Maron and Jense. The oldest daughter was fourteen years of age and the youngest four.
Eleven year old Anna was placed in the home of one of her uncles. He was a stern, hard-working man. He raised a great number of pigs which he slaughtered and shipped to market. Anna was required to work long, hard hours along with the rest of the family. One night after a tiring day of butchering she was given the job of holding the light while the pork was packed and loaded. It was tiresome and very cold as the night wind blew in from across the wintry North Sea. Her body was not too well protected with clothing so that when the loading was finally finished at a very late hour, Anna was chilled through and through. She developed a very bad cold and was very ill for quite a length of time. She lost her hearing to a great extent during the illness. She remained partly deaf the rest of her life.
Anna married Jens Andersen on 1 December 1846 at Taarnborg, (Svenstrup) Sora County, Denmark. Jens was a wagon maker plus owned a small farm. Their first son, Anders Peter, was born there on 10 December 1847. A second son Christian, was born at Vemmelev, Soro, County, 19 February 1853.
About this time three Mormon missionaries came to their home. The family was converted and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April of 1853. They felt the desire to join with other Saints and decided to emigrate to America. The Andersen family had to rely on the Church's Perpetual Emigration Fund which provided a way for them to borrow money for the passage, then they would repay it after arriving in Utah. When their baby was only ten months old, on 22 December 1853 they left Copenhagen to join the Saints in Utah. They were days getting to Liverpool, England. They left England on the sailing ship "Jesse Munn". Christian Larsen of Logan Utah was the leader of this group of Danish emigrants from Copenhagen to Kansas City, Missouri.
The "Jesse Munn" traveled south to take advantage of warmer trade winds. For many days the weather was warm and a dead calm prevailed, meaning that the ship could hardly move. It was a relief when the wind came up and the ship moved on. After seven weeks sailing it was a joy to see land as they rounded the island of Cuba.
Just a day or so before they were to land in America, a strong contrary wind came up and carried them back upon their course for several days. This delay voyage left them with little food and the last of their trip was very hard. They were eight weeks minus one day on the ocean. How happy and relieved they were when they sailed into the mouth of the Mississippi River on 16 February 1854 and were transferred to a river boat, "St Louis." Here at last was plenty of fresh food to satisfy their hunger. They arrived at the City of St. Louis on 11 March 1854. A rest of one month was made in St. Louis. Then they were allowed to board a steamship to sail up the Missouri River to Kansas City, Kansas.
Special arrangements had been made for the Mormon immigrants. Tents in the woods were provided for them while they waited for Hans Peter Olsen's company who left Denmark a few days after they had left. It was a wet spring with considerable rain. Sometimes the fuel was so wet families could hardly get a fire started. They camped under these conditions for three weeks before the Olson company arrived from Denmark. The two companies from Denmark combined into one company under the direction of Hans Peter Olsen. This wagon train consisted of sixty-nine wagons and five hundred and fifty-nine people. They left Westport (Kansas City) Missouri, on 15 June 1854.
The prairie was soft and muddy because of excessive rain that spring. The oxen were young and had not been trained to pull the heavy wagons and they did not understand Danish commands. Most of the Danish settlers had never driven an oxen team before and had to learn to control the teams. Under these conditions the wagon train could only make about eight to ten miles a day. It was necessary to lighten the load on the wagons to speed it up in order to reach Salt Lake City before the snows fell. With delays occurring because of illness etc. they were longer on the journey than expected. Food supplies were short, buffalo were shot and dried for food. The journey had been hard. By the time the two companies arrived in Salt Lake City on 5 October 1854 over one-half of the original immigrants who had left Denmark in the two parties had died.
When Brigham Young found that Anna's husband was an expert wheelwright, and that he had brought with him his good set of tools, he asked Jens to go to Fillmore and make his home, as they were badly in need of a person of his trade in that area. Anna and Jens went with the first company that could take them along. Upon arriving in Fillmore, they were permitted to live in one of the small rooms in the old fort.
The trip had been a long wearisome one, full of hardships and anxieties. Jens was not well when they reached Fillmore, but felt sure that he would be all right now the journey was at an end. But he continued to grow weaker.
In the fall on 3 October 1855, Anna gave birth to their third son, Joseph Smith Andersen. When the baby was only eighteen days old, on October 1855 Jens, his father, died of dysentery leaving Anna alone with three small sons, all unable to speak a word of English. The two older boys didn't even have shoes to wear that winter.
Bishop Noah Bartholomew asked one of Anna's close neighbors, John Lovell, watch out for this Danish sister and her family and to see that they were taken care of. Evidently John decided the best way to take care of her was to marry her. His sympathy had developed into a sincere admiration for her. Elizabeth had also developed a love for Anna, it seemed logical to combine the two families. So on 4 April 1857, with the premission of Elizabeth and President Brigham Young, he married Anna as a plural wife in the endowment house in Salt Lake City for time only. Then John stood proxy for Jens Andersen as Anna was sealed to him for eternity.
John became a loving father to the three young boys. Elizabeth had a great love for children and became a special substitute mother to the boys. The combined family grew when on March 6 1858, John and Anna's first child Castina, or Dean, as she was called, was born in Fillmore. On 13 December 1859, their second daughter Ann Elizabeth was born; named for John's other wives, Ann Parsons and Elizabeth Smith.
In 1855 the United Order was instituted in Fillmore John Lovell was among those who joined. It did not last long however. The saints there were experiencing a lack of spiritual strength amongst themselves.
Taken from the early records of Fillmore, Utah is the following:
No 18. Page 16.
17 August 1855
BE IT KNOWN BY THESE PRESENT that I, John Lovell, of Fillmore city in the County of Millard and Territory of Utah, for and in consideration of the good will which I have to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, give and convey unto Brigham Young, Trustee in Trust for said Church, his successors in office and assigns all my claim to and ownership of the following described property, to wit:-
One house in Fillmore City, value $75.00, seven and a half acres of land on lot one (1) Block one (1) range one (1). Also five acres on lot two (2) range four (4), valued at $50.00. Chalk Creek Farming Land Survey at $3.00 per acre. Lot eight (8) block two (2) range four (4) containing ten acres at $1.00 an acre. Two yoke of oxen at $75.00 per yoke, one cow, value $30.00. One calf at $5.00, two wagons $30.00 each, two pigs at $5.00 each, farming utensils at $5.00, two guns at $10.00 each, twenty hens at 25 cents each, household goods at $200.00, sixty bushels wheat at $2.00 per bushel, and forty five bushes potatoes at $1.00 a bushel. Making a total of $807.00 dedicated to the Order. Together with all the rights and privileges and appurtenances there unto belonging or appertaining. I also covenant and agree that I am the lawful claimant and owner of said property and will warrant and forever defend the same unto the said Trustee in Trust, his successors in office and assigns against the claims of my heirs, assigns, or any person whomsoever.
Witnesses: Isaac V. Carling, Geo. W. Catlin
(Territory of Utah, County of Millard) I Thomas R. King, Probate Judge of Millard County, certify that the signer of the above transfer, personally known to me appeared this 21st day of April A.D. 1855 and acknowledged that he, of his own choice, executed the foregoing transfer.
Thomas King, Probate Judge
In 1859, Anna's son Christian, age seven was sent with a man to the mountains to gather wood. A large sled loaded with logs knocked him down and ran over him. For some time he was not expected to live. For John this was a frightening time because he had already lost so many children and he was attached to Anna's sons. Due to his strong physical condition, Christian recovered to become strong and healthy but he suffered from the consequences of this accident. When he died at age 25 it was the result of complications of this injury.
In March of 1860 President Brigham Young asked several families to help establish a new settlement on the Sevier River to be called Deseret. John Lovell, along with Jacob Croft, Thomas R. Lee, and Wise Cropper and a number of other Fillmore men, went to establish the settlement of Deseret. John took Anna and her family but left Elizabeth in Fillmore to care for the home there. John Powell, wrote in his journal that Anna Lovell was the first white woman to make her home in the Deseret area. The story is told of how one day the Indians kept hanging around the Lovell place. Upon being asked "why" they explained that Anna was the first white woman they had ever seen. After that experience the Lovell's made friends with the Indians giving them flour and other food. The Indians responded by helping the Lovell's clear the land of greasewood. On one occasion Anna broke her only mirror, but saved all the pieces. The Indians heard about it and begged her for the pieces, which she gave them, leaving her family without a mirror for many years.John felt more comfortable leaving Elizabeth and Martha in Fillmore where they would be protected. For Martha it was a lonesome time. Her step mother was kind and loving to her but she missed her father and brothers and her step brothers. Martha started doing housework in other homes, coming home at night to be with Elizabeth. She was required to work hard. Sometimes she had to carry water from a ditch as far away as three blocks, then she would scrub clothes on a wash board with a small amount of homemade soap. Some families were kind to her. Many of her employers could not afford to pay her salary of fifty cents a week, so they would pay her with a heifer calf. By the time she was married she had accumulated about thirty head of cattle. Martha worked at this work from the time she was eleven years old until she married at age twenty-four.
In Deseret, John built a two-room adobe house with a large fireplace in each room. The house had a dirt roof and a rough pine board floor, there were two small windows, one in each room. Those two rooms were crowded with six children living there.
On 19 December 1861, a son Brigham, named after Brigham Young was born Anna and John Lovell. He was the first child born in Deseret. The following month, January 1862, John's oldest son, George, was married to Martha Turner. The following October, their first child was born, whom they named George Henry. He died when ten months of age from whooping cough.
A second son was born to Anna and John Lovell on 14 December 1863, they gave him the name of his father and grandfather, John Edmund. Ann was unable to nurse her baby and they didn't have a cow, but they did have sheep. The baby was supplied with milk from one of their ewes and did well on it.
The family did their plowing with oxen as they had no horses. Cattle driving was done on foot. Livestock was pastured during the summer at Oak Creek, a beautiful canyon about twenty miles from Deseret. In the fall Peter Anderson would drive the sheep back to Deseret, walking the whole twenty miles without food or water.
Deseret continued to grow and by 1861 there were one hundred and forty families in the community.
On 9 January 1867, John and Anna had another baby girl whom they named Sylvia Ann, after John's mother and Ann Parsons. John had never gotten over the loss of his daughter Sylvia or the loss of his beloved wife Ann.
One of the biggest problems facing the citizens of Deseret was the inability of the people to dam up the Sevier River. Nearly every spring the dam would wash out and the town would flood. Finally after eight years it was decided to abandon the settlement at Deseret and to locate a town at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon.
In July 1868 Bishop Thomas Callister came to Oak Creek to select a place for building a city, which was later named Oak Creek, then changed to Oak City. John Lovell was called to preside over the new settlement.
After the town had been surveyed and platted into city lots, John was given his choice of all the lots. He chose the one on the southwest lot of block 3. He paid $2.50 per lot.
In August John went back to Deseret to move his family to the new settlement. They had a span of mules named John and Tom and a large California Style wagon. John Edmond had a little wagon which his brother Brigham had made. Brigham tied it to the large wagon and they took turns riding in it. They got tired and went into the covered wagon to rest, when they went back to play they found that the rope had broken and the little wagon was gone. It was too far to go back and try to find it. The loss of the wagon was very sad because toys were hard to obtain in the wilderness. All of his life John regretted the loss of his favorite toy.
The Lovells had a nice, fat pig which rode in the wagon on this journey. It took them from daylight to dark to cover the distance from Deseret to Oak City. It was a long, hard journey and the pig suffered from heat and thirst. It died the first night in Oak City, leaving the family without lard or meat for the winter
John and Anna had moved the doors, windows, and floors from their home in Deseret and John rebuilt them into a similar home in Oak City on the northwest corner of his lot. He built another two-room adobe house on the southeast corner. He moved Elizabeth and his daughter Martha into this home. The two families mingled together in harmony and the children grew up to respect and look out for each other.
Elizabeth Smith had no children of her own, but was loved and respected by all her husband's children. This fulfilled her Patriarchal Blessing that she would be a mother in Zion. The children ran back and forth between the two homes and considered each house their own.
Before long, in Oak City John planted fruit trees, apples, peaches and plums and the family used what they needed and dried the rest for winter use. John always had lovely yards and gardens. Anna's yard was a solid cluster of brightly colored hollyhocks and lilac bushes. Soon the Lovells were able to raise sugar cane and make molasses, which was a great luxury. Anna's molasses sweet cake was a favorite of the family. The children gleaned in the grain fields each fall. Castina was the fastest, she could gather as much as the rest of the family put together.
In England, John had learned to make brooms from broom corn, while working for a Mr. Harris. In Oak City he grew broom corn which he made into brooms and sold to supplement the family income.
Candles were a great luxury in Oak City at that time. At first the only light they had at nights was the fire from the fireplace. Then Anna secured a candle mold and made candles from beef and mutton tallow. She had the only mold in town for several years. Her children took candles to dances to pay for their tickets. In spite of the hard times they had fun times, parties in the homes and quilting bees.
Anna and Elizabeth washed clothes on a wooden washboard. Wool was spun and woven into cloth and sewn into clothes by hand. Anna did all the knitting for her family and was always busy making stockings or mittens.
About seven years after they moved to Oak City, John took several sacks of corn to Fillmore and traded them for a cook stove and an eight-day clock. Never was a woman more pleased with anything in her life as Anna was. It was the only stove she ever had.
In the fall John would go into Fillmore with a wagon loaded with wheat to have it ground into flour. One time he had his daughter Martha with him. It was a cold dreary day. They both became chilled. John got down and walked beside the wagon to keep warm but Martha remained huddled on the seat. Suddenly John noticed she was sleeping and he immediately helped her down and made her walk. She later said how difficult it was to revive her numbed legs.
About 1870 the Lovell family anxiously awaited the birth of a new baby, but sadly this little girl was stillborn.
John's children were now starting families of their own. While living in Deseret, George had gone east to help bring a wagon train of Saints to Utah. Here he met Martha Turner whom he married in 1862. They were the first couple to be married in Deseret, Millard County, Utah. Joseph Hyrum married Leah Ellen Radford on 30 August 1869. Leah Ellen was the daughter of John's old friend, John Whitlock Radford. Hyrum and Ellen had known each other all their lives.
As each of John's children were married he built them a fine rock-lined cellar for storage. These rock cellars were important because they kept food fresh in the strong heat of central Utah. John was able to build these because of his previous training as a stonemason. He also gave each couple at least one milk cow to get them started.
Christian Andersen was the next to get married on 17 April 1871. He married Ann Catherine Christiansen. She had first seen him sitting on a fence and was attracted by his good looks.
Two years later on 14 April 1873, two special marriages took place. Martha, John's daughter married Peter Andersen, Anna's son. Both John and Anna were delighted with this marriage because they had a great affection for both children and this truly united their families. Castina and Anton Christiansen were the other couple. Castina was Martha's half sister. Anton was Ann Catherine Christiansen's brother. They were married in the Endowment House after a three day wagon trip to Salt Lake City. The Christiansen family were immigrants from Denmark so it was natural that they would be drawn to the Andersen Family.
The Lovells were grief stricken when Christian Andersen died after only five years of marriage, as a result of injuries received as a child. Before he died he asked his brother Joseph Smith Andersen to care for his family. On 9 October 1882, Joseph married Christian's widow, Ann, but this marriage didn't last and they later divorced.
In February of 1871 Platt D. Lyman succeeded John Lovell as Presiding Elder of the Oak Creek Branch. The Lymans and Lovells became close friends. John and Platt served together in the leadership of the ward for many years. As a result their families spent much time together. Out of this association four new families were created. On 6 December 1875 Ann Elizabeth Lovell and Frederick Rich Lyman made the long trip to Salt Lake City to be married. At the same time Joseph Smith Andersen married Anne Margaret Nielson. Annie Lyman who had been married to William Dutson and divorced was married to Peter Andersen as a plural wife with Martha's consent.
On 4 October 1883 John and Anna's son John traveled to Salt Lake City to be married to Harriet Jane Lyman, another daughter of Amasa M. Lyman in the Endowment House. Traveling with them was his sister, Sylvia Ann, and Harriet Jane's brother, Walter Clisbee Lyman, who were married the same day.
That left only Brigham unmarried, but that didn't last long. A new family moved from Leamington and Brigham and Harriet Wiggill Talbot soon fell in love and were married on 4 October 1884.
Anna's three oldest sons all married women by the name of Annie, so she always referred to them as Annie L, (Martha Ann Lovell), Annie C. (Ann Catherine Christiansen), and Annie N. (Anne Margaret Nielson). With two wives named Ann, three daughters with Ann in their names and two daughters-in-law named Ann, John sometimes was confused. Anna and John's two youngest sons married women named Harriet, so they were called Harriet Brig, (Harriet Wiggill Talbot), and Harriet John, (Harriet Jane Lyman) to identify them from one another. Among their children were two Sylvias and also two sons named Joseph and two sons named John. John Lovell had ninety-two grandchildren and step grandchildren. Unfortunately as was common to the time, many of them died before reaching adulthood.
John's greatest love and concern was for his family, but his responsibilities for the town were also great. In 1877 the branch became a ward. Platt D. Lyman was sustained as Bishop and John as his first counselor. John took his religious responsibilities seriously. He was a man of great spiritual strength. One of John's spiritual gifts was of healing. He was often called upon to administer to the sick for many miles around. The son of George and Martha Turner Lovell was just a small boy and became critically ill. He had been sick for a few weeks. He grew worse and worse instead of better. Finally his mother called for John to come. When he arrived and saw the baby he cried, "Oh my Martha, he's gone, there is no use in bothering him, he's gone." Martha said, "I would still like to have him administered to. Will you please do it for me?" John anointed the baby's head with the holy oil and before he had finished with the sealing prayer and taken his hands from his head they could see that the boy was breathing again. He improved greatly that night and continued to recover. He lived to be an old man, the father of nine children.
Besides being a religious leader John was also a community leader. In 1872 John was one of a three man committee who drew up a set of laws involving land and water rights. John was also a board member of a cooperative sheep-herd which was started in Oak City in 1869.
On 3 May 1874, when the United Order was established in Oak Creek. John Lovell was sustained as the farming superintendent. In that capacity he had to appoint various men to plow, plant and irrigate the community farm. Sorghum cane, corn and peas were grown on the community farm. The major crop being molasses. Two molasses mills were built and Peter Andersen and George Lovell were assigned with the help of Joseph Lovell to establish these mills and then supervise the grinding of cane and making of the molasses. Members of the Order received a portion of the molasses crops in proportion to the time they had given to the United Order efforts. While they were practicing the Order everyone had to help care for the community farm. The Relief Society was organized on the same day as the United Order was established in Oak Creek. Anna Lovell was called as first Counselor to Sister Caroline Lyman. Charity Prows was Second Counselor and Martha Lyman served as Secretary. Elizabeth Smith Lovell was the Treasurer.
John, Elizabeth and Anna, service to their family, their Church, their fellow men and their community were all important. It was through this service that they found true joy.
John was ordained a Seventy in 1852 and a High Priest on 2 May 18613 by John A Ray and set apart as first counselor to Bishop Jacob Croft. Later he served as first counselor to Bishop B. Robinson. He also served as first counselor to Bishop Platte D. Lyman.
In the summer of 1880 John became ill with what was called dropsy. On Thursday 13 January 1881, he died at Anna's home in Oak City. The next day his body was taken to the school house where the funeral was held. Brethren spoke of his good qualities and the faithfulness to the gospel and the useful life he had led. A procession followed his casket to the Oak City Cemetery where he was buried. His obituary was published in the Deseret News, 29 January 1881.
At Oak City, Millard County, 13 January 1881, of dropsy, John Lovell, age 68 years. Deceased was born 8 March 1812 at Worrell, Somersetshire, England. Emigrated to Canada in 1835. Embraced the Gospel in Canada in 1837. Gathered with the saints in Nauvoo. Went through many of the persecutions. Arrived in Salt Lake City in the fall of 1852. He died in full faith of a glorious resurrection, and respected by a large circle of relatives and friends.
Elizabeth and Anna continued to live in their own homes after John's death. Anna's children John Edmond and Ann had lived with Elizabeth since she had moved from Fillmore. After John and Harriet were married, they decided to make their home with Grandma Elizabeth, as they called her, to help care for her. They continued to live with her the rest of her life.
In 1888 in the nearby town of Manti a temple was dedicated. This was of great importance to the Lovell family because it was close enough for them to attend. Elizabeth and her three oldest step-children and their spouses planned a special vacation. For ten days from 11 September 1888 to 21 September 1888 they stayed in Manti, camping out while they attended the temple every day for many hours. During this time they performed many ordinances for their deceased family members. This time all the children were sealed to John Lovell and their mother Ann Parsons. Ann's work was redone, possibly because when it was done originally in the endowment house it was done under the name of Ann Harney. Elizabeth also had her sister Charlotte Smith sealed to John. It was a special opportunity for the family to share time together.
A few months later on 28 February 1889 Elizabeth passed away at her home and was buried in the Oak City Cemetery beside John. Elizabeth left many friends. Obituary was recorded in the Deseret Evening News 12 March 1889.
At her home in Oak City, Millard County, Utah, 27 Feb 1889 of old age and general debility, Elizabeth Smith, widow of the late John Lovell, Deceased, was born in England on 15 March 1806. She became identified with the Saints about the year 1851 and soon afterwards emigrated to Kanesville where she married John Lovell. The deceased and her husband came to Utah in 1852 and endured all the hardships and privations incident to the settling of new counties. She proved herself true and faithful under all circumstances, and was always cheerful and contented with her lot. She made welcome all who came to her home, and was kind and loving to everyone. She had no children of her own but was a good and kind mother to several of those belonging to her husband. The deceased had been in poor health for several years and had only cared to live in order to do a work in the temple for herself and those of her friends who had passed away. This work the crowning act of her useful life she performed in the Manti Temple last summer so that her task on earth seemed finished. She has left a large circle of friends who felt her loss keenly, realizing however, that their loss is her gain. She died as she had always lived, a faithful saint in the hope of a glorious resurrection.
Anna continued to live in the home John built for her. A well worn path ran between her home and the Co-op store where she worked for many years. Peter Anderson managed the store but he also worked the farm, so his mother became the principal clerk. She also kept the books. She was well educated but not fluent in English so she kept the books in Danish. Peter Andersen would copy the records into English. She clerked in the store for 12 to 15 years. Anna never ate anything but bread and milk for her supper. One time Peter took her some ice-cream. She had never seen ice-cream before and didn't know what to do so she let it melt before she ate it. Anna was a faithful, prayerful women, she taught her children to pray and to always be faithful to their commitments to the Lord.
Anna's granddaughter Mattie Christiansen lived with her for a few years, but when Mattie married, Anna continued to live in her own home, she was an independent person. She always kept a cow, chickens and a pig, and always took care of them by herself as long as she was able. She lived alone and provided for herself for almost thirty years.
After Elizabeth's death John Edmond and his wife Harriet inherited her home, then later they built a new home and Harriet's mother lived with them until her death. After she died, John invited his mother, Anna, to come live with them, which she did until her death on 28 July 1920 at the age of 96 years. She was buried in the Oak City Cemetery next to John and Elizabeth. Her obituary reads:
Oak City, 8 August, 1920
Funeral services for Mrs. Anna Andersen Lovell were held in the ward chapel Wednesday afternoon with her grandson, Bishop J. Lee Andersen of Oak City, Ward presiding. The opening prayer was offered by John C. Lovell. Speakers were Joseph Andersen, John Hunter, Patriarch, A. Stephenson of Holden, President Joseph T. Finlinson of Leamington and Abel M. Roper. The benediction was pronounced by Joshua Finlinson while the grave was dedicated by Edwin Andersen.Mrs. Lovell was born on the Island of Shelland, Denmark, 18 March 1824 and married Jens Andersen in 1846. With her husband and family she came to Utah in 1854, they being the first Scandinavian family to settle in Millard County. Mr. Andersen died the following year leaving her with three small sons, Peter, Christian and Joseph S. She married John Lovell in 1857 and in 1860 moved to Deseret and from there to Oak City in 1868. Mr. Lovell died in 1881. By the second marriage she is survived by the following children: Mrs. Christina Christiansen, Mrs. Anna E. Lyman, Brigham Lovell, John Lovell and Mrs. Sylvia Lyman. Besides the eight children she is survived by 74 grandchildren, 163 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren, making the total number of her descendants 155.
Anna was one of the last of the original settlers of Oak City. With her passing came the end of an era. Now it was up to their descendants to continue the work that had been started so long ago.
Oak City was once just a place covered with thick grass. It was first discovered when cattle failing to find enough feed in the valley wandered away and were found pasturing on the green covered land at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon. The people of Deseret then took advantage of the opportunity presented by this incident by ranching in the canyon in the summer and returning to their homes in the winter.
During August 1863 there was a general breaking up of Deseret leaving it almost deserted. A number of people moved to Oak Creek. They lived in dugouts for the first year or two. Dugouts were holes in the ground with roofs, much like dirt cellars, many were without doors and windows, having skins or quilts hung at the openings to keep out the cold. There were a few adobe houses built. George Lovell and Peter Anderson made the adobes. The first adobe house was built in the fall of 1868. That same fall, the land was surveyed by Edwin Stott, Peter Anderson and Christian Overson. They divided the fields from the town leaving room for many small roads.
The post office was called the Deseret Post Office for many years, before the town was named Oak Creek. The mail was brought once a week on horseback, from Fillmore. In 1880, the railroad came to Leamington which stopped the horse carrier.
John Lovell had been presiding Elder at Deseret and continued in that office for twelve years. He sent men to Deseret to bring the old log school house in which to hold school and meetings. They took it apart and hauled it on wagons. It was rebuilt. A few years later it burned to the ground during the night. For years school and meetings were held in private homes because they could not afford to rebuild.
Platte Lyman was made the first Bishop with John Lovell and George Finlinson Sr. as counselors in 1870.
Platt Lyman instituted the United Order in Oak City in 1870. The people put their land and water together and worked under one head. Two molasses mills were built. The corn was shocked on the square. The products were given to the people according to their needs. Once a week an animal was butchered and distributed. People traded molasses for other necessities at the Co-op store. Peter Anderson ran this first store owned by a number of men. Peter Anderson was the second Bishop and served for twenty-seven years.