ROBERT DOCKERY COVINGTON. Ref: 11745. Born:
2 Aug 1815 at Rockingham NC. Father: Thomas B, Father Ref: 11497. Mother:
Thomas, Jane, Mother Ref: 11738. Died: 2 Jun 1902 at Washington UT aged 86.
Mar: 2 Feb 1839 at Rockingham NC to Thomas, Elizabeth Ann 12065. 2nd Mar:
during 1848 at Salt Lake City UT to Allison, Malinda 13533. 3rd Mar: 28 Dec
1856 at Salt Lake City UT to Roberts, Nancy 13538. One of the original Utah
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travellers (1847-1868).
Saturday, June 19, 1847 on the Oregon Trail:
Elkhorn River, Nebraska: - The Jacob Foutz fifty
moved out. They were part of the Edward Hunter Company. The Foutz fifty consisted of 59 wagons and 155 people.
[Included in the fourth ten led by Daniel M. Thomas were: Albert Washington
Collins, Adeline Sarah Collins, Susan Newman Thomas Collins, Elizabeth Lemon
Covington, Emily J. Covington, John Thomas Covington, Robert Dockery
Covington, Sarah A. Mathews, James Nicholas Mathis, Mary C. Mathis, Martha Noab, John Robertson, Ann Thomas, Ann Thomas, Catherine Thomas,
Daniel Monroe Thomas, Henry Thomas, John T. Thomas, Mahala J. Thomas, Phi
lemon Thomas, Tennessee Thomas, Calysta W. Warrick, Louisa Warrick, and
THE ROBERT DOCKERY FAMILY STORY
Robert Dockery Covington was a college graduate, who helped on his father's
plantation raising cotton and tobacco. His wife, Elizabeth Ann Thomas was
born April 21, 1820 in Marlboro District of South Carolina and on February 2,
1839 she married Robert Dockery Covington. John's parents moved shortly after
their wedding to Marlboro County, South Carolina.
The next move came with Robert's parents, Thomas B. Covington, known as
"Big Tommie" and Jane Thomas. They settled in Summerville, Noxbee, Mississippi. They Established large plantations
and they prospered, because of Jane Thomas's relatives, having settled there
since 1834, also the rich soil and plenty of slave labor
helped a great deal. This was the place where John Thomas Covington was born
on August 4, 1840.
It was three years later, on January 1, 1843 that John's sister Emily June
Covington was born. Around this time, Daniel Thomas had brought home a Book
of Mormon. And after Robert Dockery Covington and his wife had heard Elder
Clapp preach for two weeks, they were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints on February 3, 1843, in Noxbee County, Mississippi by Benjamin Clapp. Although
most of Elizabeth's family joined the church, Robert's family thought that he
had lost all his reason. Little did Robert's parents, Thomas B. Covington and
Jane Thomas, realize that the son whom they had greeted with open arms at his
birth, August 2, 1815 in Rockingham, Richmond, North Carolina, would one day
be disinherited by themselves. In fact, in Covington books written by non
L.D.S. authors, Robert's name isn't listed among the children. Although, his
older brother James, who also joined the L.D.S. church and moved to Salt Lake
City, Utah. Nancy later returned to Mississippi in a state of
Soon after Robert had joined the Church, he longed to join the Saints in
Nauvoo. At this time he was overseer on two
plantations. He set his slaves free, which was protested by the slaves
because of their deep love for Robert. Now preparations to leave got
underway. On February 1, 1845 Sarah Ann Covington was born. John had a new
baby sister. John Thomas Covington was not yet 5 years old, and stories have
been told that he "baptized" many of his negro playmates in the
muddy ponds before his family left for Nauvoo.
Robert Dockery Covington and Elizabeth Ann Thomas Covington received their
endowments January 20, 1846 in the Nauvoo temple. Soon John Thomas Covington
lost his sister Catharine Covington, born 1846 and died in 1846 in Nauvoo,
Illinois. He also was to lose his toddler sister Sarah, born 1845 in
Mississippi and died October 16, 1846 in Winter Quarters. John had gone from
a life of wealth and plenty, to a life of great needs and want, but these
circumstances and happenings were not all that happened to this family.
In 1847, Robert, Elizabeth along with children John and Emily started for
Utah in the Edward Hunter Company under the direction of Captain Daniel
Thomas. Elizabeth was expecting again and the ordeals the Saints had to
suffer had made inroads on her health. It must have been a trying journey for
it seemed that the forces of the elements were pitted against them. The dust
storms, the hail storms, lack of good water, and wood to burn, with Indians
camped on the opposite bank of the Platt River stampeding cattle crossings
often to beg or trade for food that was such a scarce commodity. Sometimes
they swarmed in their camp like bees and would often help themselves to
whatever was handy. Housewives would often be missing their camping and
One day while the men were fixing broken wagons they
stopped near some currant bushes. Robert D. sent his children John and Emily
with buckets to gather what they could. They worked hard picking clean the
currant bushes as they went. Just as they finished filling their buckets full
of currants, an Indian stepped from behind a bush and gave a war hoop. The
children dropped their buckets and fled to the camp. When they neared the camp they looked back and saw the Indian with their
currants laughing at his huge joke.
On the morning of August 1, 1847 it was quiet, the heat was terrific. The
party of immigrants had called a halt. Saints had not found wood to burn for
11 days and the water was unfit to drink. Some of the animals had died by
licking alkali off the ground. They also had wagons to fix. Mrs. Sessions,
the midwife was called to take care of Elizabeth Covington. Mrs. Sessions had
a buggy so she drove back to the second hundred a distance of some 5 miles.
She, Mrs. Sessions brought Sister Covington back to her camp and put her to bed
with a new son, Robert Laborious Covington. This all took place in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska.
The Saints were halted here for the day and A.O. Smoot called a meeting and
pleaded with the Saints to be more united and to trust in the Lord, and to
consider these experiences like a school, readying them for leadership
positions. The saints had many hardships to bear during their track westward,
some times traveling many miles only finding sparse
food for their cattle and other animals, Indians often came into camp and
would spread blankets on the ground wanting to trade or be fed, the Saints
were counseled not to trade with them, but to feed
them. Their was much
sickness and death among the pioneers. Eliza R. Snow was a great comfort to
the sorrowing, on one occasion she remarked, "Death makes occasional
inroads among us. Nursing the sick, tending wagons was laborious service. The
patient faithfulness with which it was born. To consign loved ones to these
desolate graves was enough to try the hearts of the strongest."
On August 5, they camped 8 to 9 miles from Fort Laramie where the food was
plentiful and the water was good, they stayed here for 5 days to fix wagons
in need of repair, wash clothes, mend them and to bake. While camping here
some bears near the camp disturbed their sleep. Two Indian women who were
gathering berries nearby saw these bears and they left gatherings for the
bears, some of the pioneers in the company witnessed this.
Traveling became very hard and was going very slow due to the rough terrain,
there were hills to climb and several wagons broke. In September, the
pioneers crossed miles of sand and the winds blew very hard, here they saw
fearful storms and sand, rain, and snow. They encountered pioneers going back
East to help the remaining Saints travel West. These travelers
camped all night with the party and gave them words of encouragement and of
telling them about their new homes in the West. Their words were welcomed and
there was a feast prepared by the women of the company that night.
The last miles into the valley were hard ones because of the cold and rugged
mountains they had to travel. But arrive they did on September 24, 1847. The
Robert Dockery Covington family arrived in the valley, the trip had taken it's toll though for Robert's
wife was frail, the hardships had all but taken her strength. She hoped to
get stronger, but the cold winter winds along with a severe cold only added
to her troubles, and on December 7, 1847 she left her devoted family to carry
on her good name.
Marian Adair, a good person helped the family out by helping with the new
baby, since milk was very scarce she fed the baby
buttermilk and clabber.
Robert Dockery Covington next married a widow, Malinda Allison Kelly, so
John, Emily, and baby Robert had a new stepmother and stepsister Kate. This
family settled in the Big Cottonwood Ward in Salt Lake City. While they were
in Big Cottonwood, Robert was able to teach school and was called
"Professor Covington". This is also the area that they lived in
when the locust infested Salt Lake Valley. Their crops were spared and they
shared their food with their starving neighbors.
In the fall of 1849, John Thomas Covington was only 9 years old when his
father accepted a call to be a missionary in the Southern States. And on
December 28, 1849, a new daughter was born to Malinda and Robert, she was
named Mary Ellen Covington.
May Ellen Covington didn't meet her father till she was almost 7 years old
and John was almost 16. That was in the spring of 1856, when Robert returned
from the Southern States mission.
Robert Dockery Covington took a plural wife on December 28, 1856. Her name
was Nancy Roberts. To this union was born three children Pheobe,
Thomas, Malinda, when Nancy Roberts died, Robert's second wife Malinda mothered
her children as well as those of Robert's first wife Elizabeth.
This Covington family accepted a calling to settle Dixie and moved to
Washington, Washington County Utah. John Thomas Covington found himself in
new surroundings once again, and on August 1, 1857, the son of the Bishop of
Washington Ward. John's next few years were filled with hard work, planting,
harvesting of grains, corn, tobacco, and cotton. In 1858, Grape cuttings from
California were planted as well as chinese sugar
cane. And in 1861 peach stones were planted and the peach trees began to
Robert Dockery Covington's family prospered and built a spacious home, he,
Robert D. had cut large stones from a nearby mountain and built a grand home
for those day pioneers. The walls were three feet thick and built Colonial
style. There were two fireplaces on each of the three floors. The upper floor
was used for years as a dance floor for the young people, many people spoke
of their generous and good hospitality.
Robert Dockery Covington. Written by himself April 1872. St. George, High
Priest Record Book 15649 p. ((he wrote a beautiful hand)
"I was born August 20, 1815 in the State of North Carolina, Richmond
Co., City of Rockingham. Baptized February 3, 1843 by Benjamin Clapp in the
State of Mississippi, Noxebe Co. Ordained a Bishop
1858 by Amasa Lyman and George A. Smith. Received
my endowments in Nauvoo in the fall of 1845. Came to Salt Lake in 1847. Spent
1846 at Winter Quarters. I went on a mission to the Southern States in the
fall of 1849. Returned in the spring of 1856.
I was sealed to my wife Elizabeth Thomas 1867. Nancy Roberts taking her part.
We had four children, John, Emily, Sarah and Robert. I was sealed to my wife
Malinda Alison on December 1856 by whom I had one child, Mary Ellen. Was
sealed to Nancy Robert Dec 28, 1856 by whom I had four children, Phoebe,
Thomas, Malinda and James. My grandfather was John Covington. My grandmother
was Nancy Wall. Her forefathers immigrated to America at an early date. My
grandfather on mother's side was William Thomas. My Grandmother was Rachel
Robert Dockery Covington was appointed May 7, 1857 Bishop of Washington Ward,
Washington Co., Utah. Set apart August 1, 1857 with Brother Harrison Pierce,
1st Counselor Bro. Jonathan R. Ragean
Further info - From Documentary History of the Church:
The Dixie Mission left Salt Lake City April 6, 1857 and came to Parowan
without any serious accidents. We remained three or four days to get grinding
done. They went to Cedar City where we met President Height. It took six days
from Cedar to Washginton. President Height aided us
on our trip having to make roads over the roughest ground I ever saw. We
arrived May 6, 1857. On May 7, 1857 we were called together to organize a
branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint. We numbered about
160 men, women and children, 200 head of cattle, some sheep and pigs and
Men who were called were J. B. Begina, John Spouce, Richard Queen, W.H. Crawford, john Thomas, J.D.
McCollough, James Matthos, Gabriel Cooley, William Jergens, William Slade, Dr.,
William Slade, Jr., Robert Loyd, Joseph Harfield, John Freeman, J.M. Couch, John Hawley, William
Hawley, Jacob Clark, Stephen Duggins, William Duggins, Thomas Smith, ?lmstead
Richer, Alexander Parron, Robert Covington and Edward West.
Brother Height took charge. Brother Crawford took the minutes, “Oh My Father”
was sung. Bro Height offered prayer. It was moved that Brother Height
appointed president. He appointed Robert Dockery Covington. It was Bro.
Covington’s right to choose his counselors. He said
that he preferred for the President to choose his counsellors so Bro Harrison
Pierce, 1st Counselor and Johnathan R. Ragean, 2nd Counselor were
chosen. Instructions were given on how to honor the
Priesthood, how to treat the Indians, and the Brethren were exhorted to put
down evil wherever it was found. Prayer was offered by Harrison Pierce. That
evening a meeting was held and the charge given over to Brother Covington.
August 22, 1857
George A. Smith and others visited Washington where the Dixie Mission was
being established. We arrived Tuesday
August 18, 1857 and was most cordially welcomed by Brother Covington and
others who spared no pains to make our visit a pleasant one. Brother Smith
thought that no other settlement had a more promising start in the mountains,
considering the lateness of the start. The corn planted by the Indians was
fifteen feet high. Ours was not quite that high as it was not planted until
the 15th of June. The cotton looked well, never had the old cotton grower
seen so many balls on a single stock and such thrift.
January 6, 1859
Robert Covington was in President’s office when he with others went with
President Young to administer to Fanny Murry, a sister of President Young.
April 14, 1859
Elder Amasa W. Lyman tarried with Brother
Covington. He found them busy planting wheat.
October 31, 1859
Brother Covington in Salt Lake Reports the cotton crop good. Sugar came the
best he had ever seen.
June 3, 1857
Amasa M. Lyman writes, returning from California,
he camped with Robert D. Covington who informed him that he though 1,000
acres of good land could be cultivated. Good herd grounds with plenty of grass
also plenty of wood and water.
Robert D. Covington was Notary Public for Washington Co.
April 16, 1860
Was chosen as judge of cotton and tobacco of State Fair.
April 1, 1861
A contract was let for a road to be built near Beaver Dams to Robert D. Covington,
James D. McCullough, James Pierce and Walter E. Dodge. Robert has cultivated
cotton every year since he was bishop and has preserved specimens and grape
cuttings were imported from California. The Chinese sugar cane was planted.
Grain was taken from Fifty to Ninety miles to be ground. To get blacksmithing
done, they also traveled that far. Many southern
men left after the first year declaring cotton could not be grown there.
Those who remained are acquiring sheep, cattle and goats.
August 27, 1862
Robert D. was chosen County Representative of the Deseret Agriculture and
Manufacturing Society. Within six weeks he was to hold a County Fair, give
awards and choose helpers.
September 25, 1862
President Brigham Young returning to Salt Lake related that they were given
peaches and grapes to feast on in Washington. Also viewed with pleasure the
fine crop of Brother Covington’s who understood his business and puts whole
heart into his work.
March 22, 1863
Robert at St. George Conference took his seat with the State High Council
November 2, 1865
Bishop Covington was one of the speakers. He reported Washington Ward in good
May 7, 1865
At conference in St. George, Robert D. was sustained Presiding High Priest
over his Ward.
November 6, 1864
A conference was held with Apostle Erastus Snow presiding. A convention of
experienced men of Washington and Kane Counties to consider self protection. To establish uniform priced in Exchange
for grain, etc. Cotton $1.25 lb, Molasses $4.00 gal,
Tobacco 3.00 lb and preserves $6.00. Robert Dockery Covington was one of the
September 2, 1867
Robert D. Covington wrote the following letter:
Washington Ward, St. George Stake, September 2, 1867
Elder George Albert Smith
Knowing you are interested in the property and general welfare of our
Southern Utah Dixie, I thought it would not be amiss to send you a few
particulars and items of interest with regards to the settlement. We have had
the warmest summer ever experience in this country. It has had its effects of
many of us in the shape of languidness. It has been very oppressive. But
aside from this, the general health of the people has been very good. While
sickness and death nd making such inroads on human
families in different parts of the country, we feel like offering our prayers
of gratitude to the Almighty for the blessings of health that we enjoy, not
with-standing the difficulties we have had this seasons
in obtaining sufficient water for irrigation. Our cane and corn look
remarkable well. I believe the best that I have seen in the Washington
fields. The cotton crop will be late because of the lateness of the season in
getting water onto the land. Our fruit crop is profitable. The Indians are
quiet and peaceful. (unreadable) taking all into consideration, we are pretty
well satisfied with our Dixie home. I remain your brother in the gospel of
peace, Robert D. Covington
November 3, 1867
R.D. Covington’s Washington Choir furnished the music.
January 6, 1867
Bishop’s from different settlements started on a missionary tour. R.D.
Covington was the number. They visited and held meetings with all the people
of the Upper Virgin Valley, then to the Muddy and Beaver Dam settlements.
They reached St. Thomas on the 19th having crossed the Virgin River 38 times
and the Muddy once. The people of Muddy had raised that year 6,500 bushels of
wheat 10,00 bails of cotton. On the 24th of January
they returned to St. George. The early part of February Iron Co with Pinto
and Pine Valley were also visited. The products of the past five years were
astounding. When they saw how much the people had accomplished. The choices
products of the earth were there.
February 24, 1867
The Western Union Telegraph Office came to Washington. Robert D. did not
place it until he heard from President Young. It was put in Delph Whitehead’s
home. Moroni, San Pete Co, was as far south as the line.
Col. D. D. MacArthur: Brother Mendez Cooper and William Prince have just come
in from Harrisburg and they report that an Indian had told him that 40 or 50
Navajos were in the vicinity of Grape Vine Springs and had killed three head
of cattle and were traveling in the direction of Harrisburg Fields. All are
afoot. The friendly Indians are very much excited. The people of Harrisburg
are on guard. Indians say they want horses. We wish to know immediately what
to do. We await your orders. Yours hastily, Robert D. Covington.
June 19, 1868
Elder George A. Smith wrote in the Millennial Star, “On horseback from
Montana to Arizona. At Washington 19th of June. We were kindly received by
Bishop Covington. He writes, ‘It was amusing to see my sole companion, Dr. Boyd A. Batchalor from
Louisiana pronouncing the quality to the cotton as we went through the mills
and looking around at the buxom girls and mechanically nodding a yes, yes to
the explanations of the sedate Bishop Covington as he explained the
difference of spinning, weaving, twisting, etc.’”
Southern Mission Conference
November 20, 1868
Bishop Robert D. Covington was a speaker. He was still President of High
Priest Quorum. He spoke of some of his 25 years experience.
Referred to the Lamanites. Ask the people to give them work then pay them
food and clothing to encourage them to be industrious.
April 18, 1870
Bishop Covington just home from the Southern States Mission. He started for
the east the 18th of last November. Labored in
Mississippi and brought two families comprising thirteen persons as part of
the fruits of his labors. The Bishops account of
conditions is far from good. He says a feeling of unrest, insecurity to life
and property to prevalent, greatly increased by suspension of military and
civil rule. Instead Klu Klux Klan is numerous and
powerful and by no means life is considered safe. Many are moving to Texas
and California. He met no opposition from the ministers. A few scattered
Saints were left in charge of S. P. Holley – end of copy
Robert Gardner wrote in his diary: We found Robert D. Covington our old neighbor and others who had been sent to that mission
some years before. The appearance of these brethren, their wives and children
was discouraging. Nearly all had Malaria. They had
worked hard and worn out their store clothes and had replaced them with the
cotton they had raised on their own lot or farm. The women had corded, spun
and woven by hand and colored with weeds this
cotton. The men’s shirts, women and children’s dresses and sunbonnets were
all made of the same piece of material. Their clothes and faces were all of
the same color, being blue with chills. This tried
me more than anything I had seen in all my Mormon experience, thinking if I
remained my family would soon look the same. I wanted to go back to Salt Lake
and spare them this. Brother Covington said, “Let’s pray about it.” We knelt
in prayer. It was the Lord’s will we stay. So I said, ”
We will trust in God and go ahead.”
Robert D. cut large stones from a nearby mountain and built a grand home for
those pioneer days. The walls were three feet thick and built Colonial Style.
There were two big fireplaces on each of the three floors. The upper floor
was used for years as a dance floor for the young people. Many people speak
of the Southern hospitality enjoyed in his home. He had no tolerance for sin.
He had the name of doing a good job of housekeeping his Ward living the
Gospel. He died at a ripe old age, nearly 87. June 2, 1902, Washington, Utah.
(Robert Dockery Covington. Written by himself April 1872. St. George, High
Priest Record Book)
reports – “The Robert D. Covington House was built in 1859 in Washington,
Utah. Built for Mormon bishop Robert D. Covington, it was one of the first
buildings in Washington and one of the largest in town, furnishing
accommodation for visitors that included Brigham Young. The house's second
floor originally consisted of one large room, allowing it to be used for
assemblies. The second floor has since been subdivided. The Covington family
living quarters were on the ground floor and basement.
house is built of local red sandstone with two stories and a basement. It is
an I-house with a rear extension. The house measures 21 feet (6.4 m) by 39
feet (12 m) with two chief rooms on the basement and first floor divided by a
massive bearing wall. A front porch has been removed and a back extension
added. The Covington House was listed on the National Register of Historic
Places on April 20, 1978
Susannah COVINGTON. Ref: 4295. Born: 11 Mar
1816 at Olney. Father: Freeman, William, Father Ref: 0. Mother: Tyrell, Elizabth, Mother Ref: 0. Died: 4 Mar 1881 at Ogden, Weber
UT aged 64. Mar: 19 Jul 1840 at Bedford to Josiah 668. One of the original
Utah Mormon Pioneer Overland Travellers (1847-1868).
Known as Susan. Christened 27 Oct 1816 at Olney, Bucks, England. Appears in
1861 Census living in West Derby employed as a Bootbinder.
Buried at Ogden City Cemetary, Weber, Utah, USA.
On 11 March 1816 Susan Freeman was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire England,
daughter of William and Elizabeth Tyrrell Freeman. She was the youngest of
five children – three boys and two girls: Richard, born 25 February 1799;
Isabella, born 15 August 1802; Samuel, born 4 March 1806; Thomas, born 26 May
1811. They were born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England at the home fo their parents.
Susan's father, William Freeman, was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England ans was christened 27 April 1764. Her mother, Elizabeth
Tyrrell, was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England as was christened 14
April 1774. Both died in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England and were buried
Samuel, Susan's older brother, is our Freeman ancestor. We have to assume
that Susan received as much education as they had at that time in Olney. At
the proper age she worked as a servant in Bedford, England. She met Josiah
Covington in Bedford and they were married 19 July 1841. Josiah was a
shoemaker. He was born 10 Jan 1820 in Bedford, England. His father was Berrill Covington, born 6 July 1794 in Wellingbrough, Northamptonshire, England. His mother was
Elizabeth Hodges born 29 October 1793 in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.
Records show that Josiah and Susan and his parents were baptized into the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in July 1841.
Josiah and Susan were parents of six children: Mary Ann born 2 June 1842 at
Bedford, England; Josiah Jr. Born 3 June 1845 at Bermondsey, St. James; Berrill born 6 May 1848 at Bedford; Susan Hannah born 10
February 1850 at Windsor Lane, West Darby; Edward Thomas Ord born 15 August
1853 at Liverpool; William Henry born 24 November 1862 at Liverpool. They
made their home in Liverpool until they could get enough money ahead to come
to the United States and on to Utah.
Some time in 1863 they sent their daughter, Mary
Ann, who was twenty-one and their son, Berrill, who
was fifteen to the United States. They came to Salt Lake City and then on to
Ogden. The following year, Susan and the following children, Edward Thomas
Ord, Susan Hannah and William, sailed aboard the General McClellan, leaving
Liverpool on 21 May 1864. Her husband, Josiah Sr., and son, Josiah Jr., were
left behind. They were to follow as soon as they saved enough for their fare.
Things happened, plans changed, they never emigrated, and they continued to
live in Liverpool. Josiah married a niece of Susan's and raised a family in
England. He was later excommunicated from the Church. The son, Josiah, we
have no record of, other than his birth in Bermondsey, Surrey, England (St.
James Church records).
On board the McClellan sailing vessel were 802 Latter-day Saints immigrating
under the direction of President Thomas E. Jeremy and counselors
Joe Bull and George Bywater with John C. Graham as clerk. The counselors were returning missionaries.
During the voyage, which took thirty-three days, the seas were rough with
heavy storms, making the voyage very unpleasant. One night a terrific storm
arose and did a great deal of damage to the ship. The main mast was broken,
so there was grave danger of the vessel sinking. The passengers were warned
of this danger and prepared to board the life boats. Members of the Church,
including the returning missionaries, gathered together and humbly prayed for
their safety and the safety of the ship. The storm passed over with no loss
The next morning the captain called the Saints on deck and told them that if
it had not been for their faith and prayers the ship and many lives would
have been lost. He acknowledged that a supreme power had guided the ship.
During the crossing one child died and was buried at sea; two children were
born; and four couples were married.
After the hazardous voyage by ship, they arrived in New York 23 June 1864.
President Thomas E. Jeremy relates in a letter to President George Q. Cannon
in England, dated 2 July 1864, that upon their arrival in New York they
boarded a steamer for Albany, New York. There they boarded a train to St.
Joseph, Missouri. Some delays occurred on the railroad on the way to St.
Joseph. At Buffalo, New York the railroad officials distributed a quantity of
biscuits and cheese. Additional food was provided by the railroad officials
at Chicago, Illinois. While in Chicago, President Jeremy met Judge Kinney of
Utah and Elders William Goble and Francis A. H. Mitchell. Together hey gave him fifty dollars to assist the immigrants. This
money and the generous help of the railroad officials was much appreciated.
As a large number of the immigrants were entirely destitute of means, they
were dependent upon President Jeremy and his assistants to supply their
On arrival at St. Joseph, Missouri they began getting ready to travel to
Utah. Some time before 15 July 1864 Susan and
children started traveling with the Joseph Sharp Rawlins company, a Church
train of ox drawn wagons. This company consisted of about four hundred
immigrating Saints. They left Wyoming, Nebraska 15 July 1864. Most of them
had crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
They had the usual pioneer trials. A telegram sent to President Young from
Sweet Water bridge, dated 1 September 1864 stated that the wagon train was in
fine condition and was doing well. Another telegram sent from Little Sandy 9
September stated that the wagon train was still in good condition and that
the cattle were traveling well. The company arrived in Salt Lake City 20
How long Susan and children stayed in Salt Lake City I have not been able to
find. Her daughter Mary Ann and son Berrill, were
in Ogden or soon moved there after their mother arrived. Mary An met and then married Chauncy Walker West in 1866. She
was his eighth wife. He was bishop of the Third Ward in Ogden. He had many
and varied interests. Some of his interests were: a lumber mill in Ogden
Canyon; a tannery in Ogden making boots, shoes, harnesses and saddles; a blacksmith
shop where the Methodist Church stands on 26th and Jefferson; a meat market
on the same street; a fine livery stable, a hotel on the corner of Main and
24th Street. These activities provided plenty of places for people to work.
Mary Ann's sister, Susan Hannah, also married Chauncy in 1867, being his
Mary Ann had two boys, Milton J. And Orlando. Susan Hannah had just one
child, a daughter who died. Berrill married Marie
Louise Newman and they had six girls and four boys. I knew some of his
children before I found out that they were related to me.
Berrill worked for the railroad. Edward Thomas Ord
married Henrietta Tyrrell and had eight girls and five boys. I have m
Chauncey Walker West died 9 January 1870. Mary Ann later met and married
Aaron Ross. They had two girls and two boys. The girls were Mae and Sue and
the Boys were Aaron and Montella. The son, Aaron
Ross, was a doctor in Ogden and I worked with him. Kay and Marilyn Freeman
were in the Twenty-eighth Ward with Aaron and his family in the early 1950's.
Aaron was in the presidency fo the elders quorum.
Susan Hannah Covington West remarried, but died in childbirth as did the
Susan Freeman Covington died 4 March 1881 at the age of sixty-four from what
they called, "softening of the brain." She is buried in the Ogden
On visiting the cemetery there was no account of her death in the regular
files. They finally found her in the unknown file. She was just listed as
Mrs. Covington, mother of Mary Ann and Susan Hannah Wells. I gave them the
proper information so she is now listed as Susan Freeman Covington and is
buried on the Silas Minter lot, but the exact location on the lot is unknown.
(taken from Family History of George Richard and Euphemia Jane Freeman (1990), )
JOHN THOMAS COVINGTON. Ref: 12064. Born: 4
Aug 1840 at West Somerville MS. Father: Robert Dockery, Father Ref: 11745.
Mother: Thomas, Elizabeth Ann, Mother Ref: 12065. Died: 13 Jun 1908 at Torrey
UT aged 67. Mar: Sep 1862 at Salt Lake City UT to Lundblad, Johanna 6105. 2nd
Mar: 15 Mar 1875 at Salt Lake City UT to Adams, Elizabeth Ann 12066. 3rd Mar:
7 Mar 1883 at St George UT to Carling, Lydia May 12968. One of the original
Utah Mormon Pioneer Overland Travellers (1847-1868).
Travelled with parents & the Edward Hunter - Jacob Foutz
Company (1847) wagon train from Nebraska to Sacramento CA.
Probably the most profilic Covington in terms of
fatherhood. He sired 30 Covingtons with his 3
When John Thomas Covington was 22, he made a trip north for supplies and as
he neared Washington he was met by his father who
during the rest of the trip brought him up to date on the town news. Where
upon he, John Thomas asked it there were any new
girls in town, his father answered there were some new girls, but the
prettiest was a little Swedish girl, and his father concluded, "If you
don't marry her I trust I will."
It wasn't long after that and after a brief courtship he married the sixteen
year old Swedish girl, Johanna Ludblad. They began
a happy life together. From Washington the young couple moved to Cash County.
They returned to Washington but moved again this time to Beaver to be near Johanna's
John was a good musician after composing his own music for his violin, in
night the whistling of a bird kept ringing through his head until he could
not sleep. He arose and wrote the notes for his violin. This tune proved so
popular he called it the "Ladies Favorite".
He and his brother-in-law, Winslow Farr, wrote a song called "The Big
Cottonwood Waters." Where ever he lived John and his violin were called
into service. It was an unusual sight to see him playing his violin as he
danced the square dances, with his partner clinging to his coat tail. Often he walked miles to play for a dance, after the dance
was over he walked home. He was full of fun and took great pleasure in
teaching his children to play and sing. He had an orchestra in his family. He
with family and friend liked to gather around the organ and sing.
While living in Adamsville, John took as his plural wife Elizabeth Adams. She
was a daughter of David Barclay Adams and Lydia Catherine Mann. They were
married in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah and at the same
time his first wife Johanna was sealed to him. To the marriage John Thomas
and Elizabeth Adams were born 13 children our heritage is brought through
Junius Gilbert Covington their 12th child.
The family wasn't satisfied in Adamsville but was undecided where to go.
Elizabeth was anxious to move to Wayne County where her people had gone. But
Johanna said she thought it would be better to move where they have more
relatives. So it was decided to go to Orderville, they left Beaver April 15, 1877 and they
joined the United Order. John and his wives were good workers. He worked in
the gardens and fields but most of his time was spent in herding sheep.
The Indians were bad at this time. He exercised great influence over them. He
with other were often called on to make peace with the Indians. The united
order owned a great deal of the Buckskin Mountains. They had a big dairy
there also used it for range for their sheep. The Indians resented this and
claimed the land for their own. They were very ugly and the white people were
in constant danger from them.
Brother Covington was herding sheep on Buckskin Mt. when the dog,
"Queen", as prized imported dog, which the order had traded a cow
for, was shot while on duty with the sheep. Reports reached John that
"George" an Indian with a mean temper was making threats against
him. One day, while out with the sheep he crossed a deep wash, when he
reached the opposite bank he came face to face with "George". John
was unarmed but putting on a bold front said, "I hear you were going to
kill me, now is your chance." George impressed by his bravery would not
shoot and later proved to be a friend.
About the time the united order was broken up John married his third wife
Lydia May Carling a daughter of Isic Van Wagoner
Carling and Mariam Hobson. She was born March 1, 1866. There were seven
children born to this union.
When the united order was discontinued Brother Covington, Jonathan Heaton and
George W. Adair rented the order sheep. During the summer the sheep were
herded in the mountain during the winter they were herded "out in the
When Brother Covington drew out from his partnership, he bought a dairy ranch
that had belonged to the order. The ranch was located at the mouth of Dairy
and Main Canyon's.
Two of John's families lived on the ranch in the summer milking cows, making
cheese and butter. Late in the fall they moved into town for winter. Brother
Covington raised wonderful gardens in the ranch. His was a generous nature he
would give sacks of vegetables to anyone who called. Often
he would start for Orderville with a load of
vegetables for his families. But everyone he met he stopped to talk to them,
but by the time he arrived home the wagon would be almost empty. His home
though humble was always open to everyone.
At the time of the raid on the polygamists he and his son-in-law, Thomas
Chamberlin were arrested and sent to the penitentiary for having more than
one wife. He served six months in the "pen". With his violin for
company. One morning he wasn't feeling very well and didn't get up at the
regular time. He was still in bed when the doors were unlocked for breakfast.
When he tried to open his door it was locked again.
The other prisoners said, "Now you won't get out" John took his
violin and played "The Methodists Prayer" he fairly made the violin
talk. When the guard came along he found he corridor
crowded with prisoners listening to the music. The guard swore and said,
"Covington, if you stop that violin I'll let
you out." So, he got his breakfast with the rest.
In 1902 John, Elizabeth, Lydia and families moved to Torrey, Wayne County,
Utah. There he lived until 1908 when at age of 68 he died after playing the
violin most of the night. This violin was passed to his son, who's children,
grandchildren and great-grandchildren have fingered and played the heirloom.
An heirloom with a legacy that was given us roots, strong roots that have
shaped our lives and our children's lives. Without these ancestors' vision and
dedication we could not nor would we have done the
things that have been meaningful in our lives. What greater wish than to
become ancestor of their stature and influence, which would be our best gift
to our children.
JOHNNY MAKE THE BOX TALK by Matilda Staker
One summer, in 1885, we were with Father at a dairy on Buckskin Mountain,
north of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Indians were mad at us, and just
waited until my father, who was known to them as “Buckskin Tom” would go
away, then they planned to kill all the people at the dairy and burn the
house and corrals. This place is now known as Pipe Springs, and the Indians
wanted to destroy the buildings that prevented them from getting water at the
Before very long Father and the other men had to take 50 head of cattle to
another ranch, and the woman and children were left alone. Just before dark,
a band of Indians came and began building big bonfires around the place. The
herd boys and five woman and three children who were there went into the house,
barred the door and just dropped on their knees and asked God to help them. I
can remember looking out the window and seeing the camp fires and the Indians
dancing around them. In the house were Phoebe Clark, Lottie Webb, Lue Stolworthy Palmer, Aunt Johannah,
Mother, three small boys, Charley Black, 16-years-old and myself. Charley had
sneaked out and ran to tell mother’s brother’s Silas and Terry Young, who
were about five miles away, to come in. It was quite dark when the boys
returned, so they slipped in without being seen.
Just before it got light we saw three men ride up to
the Indians. They were my father, Buckskin Tom, and Ed Lamb, and Aunt Johannah’s father, John Covington. They had been warned
of the planned attack by a little squaw who had run 30 miles to carry the
word to them. They had quickly changed to fresh horses and started back.
The Indians were waiting for daylight to make their attack, and had kept up
their whooping and dancing most of the night, while we huddled in the dark
Now Buckskin Tom was a friend of the Indians and tried to talk to them. The
older Indians listened, but the young ones still wanted to kill us all. When
Johnny Covington saw that they would not listen to Buckskin Tom, he walked
over and stood by a tree and started to play his violin. Now the Indians had
never heard music before. They were so thrilled at the sound of the music
made by pushing and pulling a stick across the box that they came closer and
closer to Johnny. He stepped backwards, a little at a time, the Indians
following him, and when daylight came they found
themselves far away from the house and we were safe.
Johnny Covington was always called ‘Johnny-make-the-box-talk’ by the Indians
EMILY JANE COVINGTON. Ref: 12994. Born: 1
Jan 1843 at Summerville MS. Father: Robert Dockery, Father Ref: 11745.
Mother: Thomas, Elizabeth Ann, Mother Ref: 12065. Died: 4 Mar 1921 at Taylor
UT aged 78. Mar: 17 Oct 1858 at Washington Co UT to Farr, Winslow
. One of the original Utah Mormon Pioneer Overland Travellers
Biographical Sketh by Great Granddaughter Wilma
Susan Harris Smith:
Emily Jane Covington, a New Year's child, was born January 1, 1843 in
Summerville, Noxubee Country, Mississippi. She was
the Great Great Great
Granddaughter of William Covington. William Covington and his younger
brothers, John and Thomas Covington, came from England to Maryland with Lord
Baltimore in 1632. The brothers had received land grants in Maryland and
Virginia from the King of England. William and Thomas moved on and settled in
Emily Jane's father, Robert Dockery Covington, was born August 20, 1815 in
Rockingham, Richmond country, North Carolina. He attended school in
Rockingham where he obtained a college education. Emily Jane's mother,
Elizabeth Thomas, was born April 29, 1820 in Marlborough County, South
Robert D. Covington and Elizabeth Ann Thomas married in about 1838 or 1839.
Soon after their marriage they moved with Robert's father, Thomas B.
Covington, to Summerville, Noxubee County,
With the help of slave labor, the Covingtons established a large successful plantation in
Summerville. Here three children were born to Robert and Elizabeth Ann. John
Thomas, August 7, 1840; Emily Jane, January 1, 1843; and Sarah Ann, February
2, 1845. Sarah Ann died the same year in 1845.
During this time period many of the Thomas family, relatives of Elizabeth Ann
Thomas, had also moved to Summerville, Noxubee
County, Mississippi. Some of the Covington and Thomas families attended
Gospel meetings which were presented by Mormon missionaries. Robert D.
Covington and Elizabeth Ann Covington were baptized February 3, 1843. Robert
D. Covington's father, brothers and sisters disapproved of their new
religion. Robert D. Covington was eventually disinherited.
In 1845, Robert D. and Elizabeth Ann Covington left Mississippi and joined
the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. After just two years in Nauvoo, the Covington
family joined the great Mormon Westward migration. Travelling by wagon train
they headed toward the great Salt Lake Valley. They travelled in Edward
Hunter's Company under the leadership of Captain Daniel Thomas. Emily Jane
was 4 years old. The wagon train endured rain, hail storms, dust storms, lack
of good water and wood to burn.
Indians often followed the group and sometimes approached their camp to beg
or trade for food. On one occasion the travelers
had stopped to repair wagons near a growth of wild currant bushes. Emily Jane
and her older brother John were given an empty lard bucket and sent to pick
the ripe currants. When their container was about full, several Indians
reared up from hiding with a loud war whoop. The frightened children dropped
the bucket and ran for camp. When they looked back the Indians had retrieved
the currants and were laughing at their big joke. The Indians, on several
occasions, stampeded their cattle. However, the Mormon leaders tried to
maintain a friendly relationships as no one wanted a
hostile confrontation with the Indian followers.
Somewhere near what is now known as Scotts Bluff,
Nebraska, Elizabeth Ann gave birth to her last child, Robert Laborious on
August 1, 1847. After traversing the last of the cold, slow and rough miles
through the mountains, the Hunter Company arrived in Salt Lake Valley on
September 27, 1847. Elizabeth was frail and weakened from the hardships of
the journey. She fell ill of a severe respiratory infection and died December
Robert moved his family to the cottonwood settlement located just south of
Salt Lake City. He became the school teacher and was called Professor
Covington by the community. He accumulated land and livestock and married
twice more. His second wife was Melinda Allison Kelly. His third wife was
Nancy Roberts. In April of 1857 Robert D. and a number of other men from the
Southern States were called by President Brigham Young to travel to Southern
Utah to establish a new settlement on the Virgin River. At the age of 14,
Emily Jane Covington was one of the 160 men, women and children who were
called to move 330 miles to Southern Utah to establish a new Mormon
The phrase "I was Called to Dixie" became the by-word of the hardy
pioneers who journeyed and stayed to establish the communities of Washington
and St. George in Southern Utah. Like the true Dixie of the Southern United
States, they planted cotton, sugar cane, tobacco and later alfalfa, vineyards
and peach trees.
Winslow Farr, Jr., resided with his father and mother, Winslow Farr, Sr. and
Olive Hovey Farr on their farm in the cottonwood settlement. Winslow, Jr.
describes his journey to Cotton country:
September 27, 1858: I started with a horse team for the Cotton Country the
distance of 330 miles.
After describing his 11 day journey, he continued in his diary:
October 8, 1858: I arrived at my place of destination down in cotton country
on the 8th of October in good health. My animals stood the trip first rate.
On the 17th of October 1858 at eleven o'clock a.m., I was married to Emily
Jane Covington the daughter of Robert D. & Elizabeth Covington Washington
City Washington County Utah. I help to make molasses while was there from
sugar cane (Diary of Winslow Farr, Jr. 1856-1899, Page 42).
At the time of their marriage Winslow Farr Jr., was 21 and Emily Jane
Covington was 15. Ten days later the newlyweds began their journey back to
Winslow's parents home in the Cottonwood settlement.
October 27, 1858: I with my wife started for G.S. Lake the distance of 330
miles arrived there on the 10th of November in good health I am living with
my father the following season I farmed my fathers
place for one third of the crop he helping what he as
able and boarded (sic) us till harvest wheat crops did not do very well this
year. I raised for my share 105 bushels of wheat 30 bushels of corn 20
bushels of potatoes and I do not know as this will ever be any (good?) to any one but to my mind I do write as these things
present. (Diary of Winslow Farr, Jr. 1856-1899, Page 45).
On November 9th of 1859 Winslow and his wife started by team and wagon for
Southern Utah to await the birth of their first child.
Washington County February 3, 1860 : "at 2
o'clock p.m. our first child was born Winslow Robert. (Diary of Winslow Farr,
Jr. 1856-1899, Page 45).
Winslow Farr, Jr. helped his father-in-law, Robert D. Covington, quarry
sandstone and build a stone wall. In addition, Winslow drove cattle to mountain
pastures, hauled seed cotton to the gin, helped bail cotton and plant trees.
He also worked for others in exchange for cotton and molasses. On April 24,
1860, their wagons loaded with 100 bales of cotton and 42 gallons of
molasses, the young couple headed out for the return journey to the Salt Lake
Winslow's brother, Lorin Farr, the Mayor of Ogden
and the Church President for Weber County, recruited and called the young
couple to help establish a new Mormon settlement in Northern Utah. By January
of 1861 Winslow and Emily Jane moved to a community known as Mendon, Cache
Valley, Utah. They lived in Mendon for a season and then sold the small farm
and moved on to Paradise, Cache Valley, Utah.
Emily Jane's first home in Paradise was a single room "dugout" in
the side of a hill. A fireplace, located at one end held an iron kettle for
cooking in addition to providing heat for the one large room. Their children,
Emily Olive Farr, LaFayette Thomas Farr and Lorin Freeman Farr were born in this "dugout" home.
Winters were severe, often with four to five feet of snow. Emily Jane told
her grandchildren of times when young people, would sleigh ride right over
the top of their dugout.
During the time when Emily Jane and Winslow lived in Paradise, Winslow Farr,
Jr. was selected as Captain in the Minutemen Militia. The Militia, organized
into groups of men to work in the fields, and to provide protection from
Indians who would often raid the settlement for cattle and horses.
As was the custom, the pioneers often took time out from their work for
entertainment. The Mormon families, traveling by wagons or bobsleds, would
gather from miles around. They made beds for the younger children and would
dance until the wee hours of the morning. Winslow, who had a saying "I
am not a musician, I just love to fiddle around" was always called upon
to play his violin for these social occasions. After breakfast they harnessed
their teams and headed their wagons toward home.
In March of 1882, the U.S. Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act which
outlawed the practice of polygamy. By 1884, government agents were gathering
evidence and issuing warrants for the arrest of many of the Mormon polygamists.
In October of 1885, while Winslow was at work at the ZCMI Co-op in Ogden, the
underground sent word that the U.S. Marshals were on their way to place him
under arrest. He made his escape by being nailed inside a wooden box which
was taken away by team and wagon. Winslow was taken to the home of Simon
Halverson in the Marriott settlement. Winslow fled with his third wife,
Matilda Halverson Farr, and their children to San Juan County in Southern
Utah. Later they moved to an area near Cortez, Colorado. After two years of
self-imposed exile, Winslow returned to Utah in November of 1887 to give
himself up to the Federal authorities.
FROM WINSLOW FARR JR.'S DIARY:
November 1887 : "We arrived in Ogden all safe
in November after having quite a pleasant trip. But some cold weather some
500 hundred miles of travel Br J. T. Johnson and family accompanied us on our
journey. Found the rest of my family all well at Ogden I did not come out in
public but kept quiet as I wanted to arrange my business to stand my trial in
court as there was an inditment (sic) against me I
then with my attorneys went up to court and gave myself up to the marshalls they then wanted bonds Br Barnard White William
H Wright were my Bondsman I was then released to go where I pleased I then
went to work for the co-op till my trial came on which was May 1888 I was
then sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and $300 fine and cost of Court by
Judge Henderson for keeping my Covenants with my wifes
(sic) for unlawful cohabitations I had the privlege
(sic) to obey the law and be released but I prefered
(sic) Prison walls rather then to abandon my wifes (sic) that god had given me or to go back on my
children and religion In the evening myself and Br Lorenzo Waldron were taken
by a deputy marshal to the Utah Territorial Penetentiary
for the term of 6 months" (Diary of Winslow Farr, Jr. 1856-1899, Page
Winslow stood trial in the First District Court on May 27, 1888, Docket No.
815. Emily Jane and Melvina were subpoenaed to testify. Emily Jane was called
as the States first witness. She claimed the
privilege of exemption from testifying, as she was the legal wife; therefore,
she was excused. Winslow was convicted of unlawful cohabitation and was
sentenced to six months in the Utah Territorial Penitentiary with a fine of
When Winslow was released from prison, November 24, 1888, the Ogden Third
Ward, where he was a bishop, gave him a grand reception and welcome home
Winslow with his wives, Melvina and Matilda, and their children left Ogden in
August of 1890. They joined other Mormon families on their journey to establish
farms in Mexico. The families arrived in September at Colonia Diaz, a Mormon
settlement which had been established in 1885. The Farr's and all of the new
arrivals spent the winter living in tents.
January 1891: "We all moved up to Colonia Dublan
and laid out a new town bought some land of the Mexicans and got ready to
farm and put in a small crop."
Colonia Dublan is located about 150 miles south of
Deming New Mexico and 170 miles from El Paso, Texas. To make the trip to Dublan, from Deming, and return by team and wagon
required at least 8 days of hard tedious travel.
A railroad was not built until 1897 and then it was still 12 miles beyond Dublan. The railroad eventually extended through Dublan and became a great benefit for travel and
marketing the colony's farm products.
Winslow returned to Ogden in the fall of 1892 with his wife Matilda and her
children. Melvina with her children remained in Colonia Dublan.
Upon arriving in Ogden Winslow rented a home for his wife Matilda and
enrolled their children in school. Dividing his time between Emily Jane's
farm in West Weber and Matilda's home in Ogden, Winslow spent the following
spring and summer in Utah. Emily Jane was a charter member of the West Weber
Relief Society which was created February 17, 1893. By 1895, the relief
society had raised the funds and built a granary for the storage of wheat for
the Bishop's storehouse. The grain was used as seed crops for the farmers in
time of crop failure and was also used for donations to the needy in times of
On October 28, 1893 Winslow with his wife Matilda and their children, joined
four other families in seven wagons, with 500 head of "loose
stock", and headed for the long journey to Dublan
Mexico. Subsequent return trips to Odgen, to visit
his family in West Weber, were easier and affordable, when his brother Lorin Farr provided a railroad pass.
January 1, 1897 : "My wife Emily's birthday is
today. She is fifty-four years old."
In April of 1897 Sariah Farr, wife of Emily and Winslow's son, Lorin Farr, became suddenly ill. The doctors diagnosed
her condition as "brain fever".
April 12, 1897: "Raked all the brush from under the trees administered
to my son's wife Sariah who is very sick and stayed a short time by her
April 13,14,15,16 "waited on the sick did not have my clothes of(f) for
3 days and nights. My son Lorin sent for Doctor
Rich He pronounced it brain fever".
April 19, 1897 : "My daughter-in-law is about
the same, not much change. We all gathered around the bedside and prayed for
her. She seemed a little better."
April 20, 1897 : "Quite stormy and windy. My
daughter-in-law not so well, delirious and out of her mind. Sent for Dr. Rich and he brought another man with him to consult.
I sat up with her tonight."
April 21, 1897 : "Sariah no better. Fever not
quite so high. I sat up with her. The day is stormy and cold."
April 22, 1897 : "My son's wife Sariah died at
5:00 a.m. with brain fever after an illness of two weeks. She leaves a
husband and four small children. She was born June 1, 1870 in West Weber,
Utah. We went over to Ogden and got a coffin and material to dress her. We
returned at 2:00 p.m." (Diary Winslow Farr, Jr. 1897, Page 187).
When Sariah Farr died on April 22, 1897 at the age of 27, she left four small
children, Charles Buck, age 8, Emily Evelyn, age 7, Lorin
Winslow, age 3 and Nephi Horace, age 2.
Emily Jane's own children were now adults. Starting over with a new family,
Emily Jane took her four grandchildren into her home. These grandchildren
lived with Emily Jane and their father Lorin until
they were grown.
Emily Evelyn Farr Mower, age 90 in 1980, was asked in an interview to
describe her grandmother, Emily Jane. She stated, "Oh she was gentle,
kind, a wonderful mother. She would sometimes scold us, but she never ever
laid a hand on us. She would say to people, I never whip any of these
children. I'd hate to meet their mother, up there, and have her say, you
spanked my children, you didn't take good care of my children."
In 1897 Winslow was called by the First Presidency of the Church to move
permanently to Mexico.
December 20, 1897 : "received a letter from the first Presidency for me
to Locate permanently in Mexico quite a Disappointment to some of the family
but the Lords will be done" (Diary of Winslow Farr, Jr. 1897, Page
Before he left for Mexico he deeded his interest in the homestead to Emily
Jane. In 1899, Emily Jane divided the farm into parcels and deeded the
property to her four sons, Lafayette, Lorin,
Barnard and Aldebert.
On January 10, 1899 Winslow married his fourth wife, Sarah Mitchell Graham in
Colonia Dublan, Mexico. In December of 1902,
Winslow, his wife Melvina and their two youngest sons, Wilford and Ashael, traveled by train to
visit the families in Ogden arriving on December 6, and spent the night with
his daughter Emily Halverson and family.
December 7, 1902 "Visited my Tilly and children Had dinner with them
visited my brother Aaron and Lorins families staid
all night at Emilys."
December 8, 1902 "Got a horse and buggy and took my wife Melvina and two
little boys over to West Weber to the rest of the family found all well and
glad to see us wrote some letters to my folks in Mexico in the eve My
children Laffy and family came and had supper with
us and spent the evening with us We had a very enjoyable time."
Melvina and her sons stayed often with Emily Jane and her family in West
Weber during the time she was in Utah. Emily Jane lived on the farm in West
Weber, Matilda lived in her home in Ogden and Sarah lived in her home in Salt
Lake City as well as Dublan, Mexico.
Sarah, known as Dr. Sarah Farr, was often called
upon as a lay midwife. Sarah gave lectures about the human anatomy and using
her own formula, bottled and sold a product known as Dr.
Farr's Canker medicine. Evelyn Farr Mower (Granddaughter of Emily Jane)
reminisced in a 1980 interview, "Grandfather gave grandma Emily some of
aunt Sarah's medicine and it was really gooooood tooo!"
In the spring of 1903 Winslow Jr. records in his diaries, time spent with each
of his four wives. Winlsow spent more time with
Sarah in Salt Lake City. After returning to Ogden, from an extended stay with
Sarah, he records in his diary:
March 20, 1903 "Took horse and buggy and took my wife Melvina and two
little boys to Ogden had dinner with my daughter Emily took my wife and boys
up to Hyrum and Gooddall Her cousin on her way to
Ogden valley to visit her sister Marintha called
and see my wife Tilly and talked with her She said that she desired not live
with me as wife but did not get a d(i)vorce I tried to reason with her but it was no use Bp
(bishop) counselor P Anderson talked with her but
all to no purpose She had made up her mind to separate (sic) It seems hard to
pull away after rasing (sic) a family together of
six children it was against my wishes (to) separate she said I could come and
see the children whenever I wanted so we quit on speaking terms I then
returned to West Weber."
On April 9, 1903 Winslow attended a Farr family reunion at the Ogden 3rd
April 9, 1903 "Took train for Ogden met my son Barney and came over to
west Weber to my home and got ready with my folks and went over to Ogden and
attended the Farr reunion that was held in 3rd ward meeting house and asemby (sic) hall. Arrived about 6 to
late for the opening program just in time for supper table were spread and
supper was ready a large company sat down to supper I was called on to ask a
blessing on the food after supper went over to the hall where there was songs
and music and speaches (sic) I played 3 tunes on
the violin made a short speech (sic) there was present 260 of the farr descendant and 15 of my own family were present we
had a very enjoyable time long to be rememberd
(sic) dismissed about 12 pm and I returned to west Weber with my
On April 24, 1903 Winslow, Emily Jane, Barnard and Susan Farr, traveled by horse and buggy to Ogden to say goodbye to
Melvina as she and her two youngest sons boarded the train for the return
trip to Mexico.
In November of 1903 Melvina was hospitalized in El Paso, Texas for an attack
of appendicitis. An operation came too late and she passed away on November
6, 1903. She was buried in Colonia Dublan, Mexico.
November 7, 1903 : "Came to Ogden & heard the sad death of my wife
Melvina she was at the Hospital at El Paso Texas where she underwent an
operation for apendisitis (sic) & died with
blood poison she leaves a loving husband and 11 children to mourn her loss
she was a noble woman she was burried (sic) in Dublan Mexico Myself and son Joseph and wife and two
little children took train for Mexico the folks at the farm came to see us
off all feeling very sad."
His wife Sarah, accompanied by Winslow's brother Lorin,
joined them in Dublan in December 1903. Winslow
remained in Mexico until July of 1906. In June, a family gathering, including
11 of Melvina's children and 18 of their grandchildren, held a farewell
supper for him in the old family home before his final return trip to Utah,
Saturday June 30, 1906.
July 2, 1906 : "Never sleep on the train.
Sleeping berth is too short. Came from Sacramento to Ogden. Landed at West
Weber at 9:00 p.m. in the evening. Walked up to the home and was very tired.
Found all well" (Diary of Winslow Farr, Jr. 1906, Page not
With the exception of occasional brief visits to the West Weber farm, Winslow
lived most of the time between 1906 and 1913 with his fourth wife, Sarah, in
Salt Lake City. Winslow, Sarah and his brother Lorin
spent many hours working in the Salt Lake Temple.
December 25, 1907 Wednesday : "Christmas. Eat
dinner at my wife Sarah my wife Emily was with us had a roasted duck received
a Christmas gift and some letters from my children in Mexico."
December 26, 1907 Thursday : "My wife Emily went home to West Weber
Sarah went to the train roads very muddy" (Diary of Winslow Farr, Jr.
1907, Page not numbered).
July 21, 1908 : "My wife Emily and I went over to Ogden and joined the
Old folks excursion to Lagoon had a nice time a splendid dinner and supper I
drew a suit of clothes as father of 31 children." (Diary of Winslow
Farr, Jr. 1908, Page not numbered).
On February 2, 1913, Winslow suffered a stroke. Winslow and Emily Jane's four
sons were called to move him from Salt Lake City to Emily Jane's home in West
Weber (now known as Taylor, Utah). Their sons took turns attending and
staying up through the night with their father. Winslow died February 18,
1913. He was buried in the Ogden cemetery in Weber County, Utah. After his
death Emily Jane and her son Lorin, a widower,
continued to live in the old family home. Her son Aldebert,
whom everyone called Uncle Dell, moved to Idaho. Her daughter, Olive Emily
Farr, had married Samuel Halverson and they made their home in Ogden, Utah.
Barnard and Susan Alvord Farr built a home north of the old adobe home on the
portion of the homestead which Emily Jane had deeded to "Barney" in
1899. Her son Lafayette and his wife, Nancy Hipwell
Farr, built their home on the west section of the old homestead.
Jason Farr, great great grandson of Emily Jane and
Winslow, currently farms his great grandfathers' (Lafayette Farr) portion of
the original homestead. Emily Jane died March 4, 1921 at the home of Barnard
and Susan Farr. She was buried beside Winslow in the Ogden City cemetery,
Weber County, Utah.
Emily Jane gave birth to 14 children, including one set of twins. Only five
of the children survived to adulthood. All of the infant children are buried
with their parents, Winslow and Emily Jane, in the Ogden City cemetery. The
only graves, in the Winlsow Farr family plot, which
are identified with tombstones are Winslow, Emily Jane, their oldest infant
son Winslow Robert and Matilda (third wife).
Emily Jane's grandchildren remember her as a vivid, colorful
story teller. She would gather the children around her as she sat in her
rocking chair, telling them interesting stories of her early days in Dixie
(Southern Utah). Tales of struggles she and Winslow had in trying to
cultivate a dry farm in Cache Valley, including the early days of marriage
when they went on sleigh rides to church socials and dances, stories of
Winslow playing his violin for many occasions, wild bear and Indian stories
were but a few of the exciting tales the children loved to hear. She often
told accounts of the Shoshone Indians who raided their settlement in Cache
Valley for cattle and horses.
She also told stories of the Ute Indians who camped near her home in Ogden.
Every summer while on their way to their traditional fishing grounds, near
Tremonton, Utah, a band of Utes would stop to camp near her homestead in West
Weber. She would give them produce, from her garden, and fruit from her
orchard. Water and pasture were always available for their animals.
Dee Farr, a great grandson, has the pistol which belonged to Emily Jane. The
gun is a 38 caliber Smith & Wesson five shot,
with a rotary barrel. The revolver is engraved with the date February 2,
1886. Emily Jane is purported to have always slept with her 38 under her
pillow. Her Grandsons, Ken and Glen Farr, describe Emily as a "crack
shot", who could shoot a squirrel out of a tree at 20 paces. All of her
grandchildren recall how she loved to read. She would sit by the window, in
her rocking chair, with a large stack of magazines and newspapers by her
side. The grandchildren recall Emily Jane always wore a clean white apron
with two large pockets. They knew, hidden deep in one of those pockets, was
her small box of snuff. They remember her delicious homemade bread, her colorful Indian stories, her soft chuckling laughter and
her stoic quiet dignity.
Emily Jane was a faithful pioneer woman. Her quiet nature, courage, endurance
and dedication to family will always be remembered as endearing qualities by
EMILY JANE COVINGTON FARR - REFLECTIONS OF HER GRANDCHILDREN
Mabel Farr Harris Decker
Grandma always had the midday meal promptly at 12:00 noon every day. She
always rang a lunch bell and expected everyone to be washed and ready to sit
down to eat. This ritual was probably a carry over
tradition from her father's southern plantation schedule.
When I was a young girl, mama gave me an empty lard bucket and sent me to
Uncle Laf's (Lafayette) and Aunt Nanc's (Nancy) home to borrow some wheat. Their home was
just a little ways west and a little south of
grandma's house which was just south of our house. Returning home with the
wheat, by way of Grandma's yard, I heard a buggy coming down the road. In
order to get a view of who was coming I turned and started walking backwards.
The well outlet pipe caught me in the knee and the wheat went flying in all
directions. I tumbled backward into the wash tub which grandma had placed
under the water outlet. I don't know who was more surprised, me or the ducks
who had been swimming in the small pond next to the metal tub. My backside
was thoroughly drenched and as I scrambled to regain my feet, my shoes and
stockings slowly filled with water. With wings flapping and quacking with
excitement, the ducks quickly devoured their unexpected gourmet feast.
Embarrassed and soggy, I hurried home to explain what had happened. Papa
laughed heartily at my predicament. Mama was not amused and gave me a stern
lecture about being so careless.
My cousin Evelyn and her husband, Jeff Mower, lived across the street from
grandma's and just down and across the way from our house. My sister Lavon
and I loved to hold and play with their infant daughter Ruth. Ruth was a
happy baby who laughed often at our play antics. I was fourteen when Ruth
took sick and died unexpectedly. As the family gathered at the Mower home, everyone,
including myself, seemed to be crying. I noticed grandma seated in a chair,
dry eyed and gazing out of a window. I approached grandma and asked,
"Aren't you sad that little Ruth died?" She replied, "Of
course I am dear". I asked grandma, "why aren't you crying like
everyone else?" She looked up at me and sighed, "Oh my dear, I
cried all of my tears years ago".
When Grandpa Winslow had his stroke he was living
with Aunt Sarah in Salt Lake City. Papa and his brothers moved him back to
grandma's home in Taylor. With the assistance of some brethren from the ward
they all took turns in sitting through the night to care for grandpa. Grandma
slept at our home. The first week he was in a coma. The last week he would
partially wake for a few minutes at a time. As was the routine, mama and
grandma went by early in the morning to see how
grandpa was doing. One morning as grandma walked in the door grandpa cried
out, "Well hello Melvina, when did you get here?" Grandma looked
startled for a moment, but then replied, "Oh, just a little while
ago". She sat beside grandpa and never explained that she was really
Emily Jane. In later years when we visited grandma's home, she and Uncle Lorin would be sitting in their chairs, each by a
different window and reading from a stack of old newspapers or magazines. A
year before grandma died, I acquired a brand new
Kodak camera, and she posed for me standing outside her home in Taylor. I
believe the year was about 1920. I am built just like grandma. We look just
like a plump sack of potatoes tied in the middle.
Kenneth Alvord Farr
When I was about three or four, Lavon and Mabel enjoyed dressing me up in
little girls clothes to pretend that I was their big
baby doll. I did enjoy the attention, until the day they decided to dress me
up and walk me over to grandma's house. They put a frilly white dress on me
and twisted my curls into ringlets and put a big bow in my hair. I can still
hear the sound of grandma's chuckling laughter as we walked into her front
door. Embarrassed I started to bawl my head off. Grandma picked me up and sat
me on her knees. I quieted right down as she preceded to tell me a story
about a big bear.
Some years later I noticed grandma's habit of reaching into her apron pocket,
sniffing and wiping her nose. I asked mama, "Why does grandma always do
that?" Mama replied, "Grandma has a little tin box in her apron
pocket and every now and then she dips a little snuff".
Papa enjoyed presenting and directing, and often playing a lead roll in community or church
plays. Papa had a collection of items which he often used as stage props. The
most intriguing was a pistol which he informed me had belonged to grandma. I
can still recall the murmur of excitement in the audience when blanks fired
on the stage echoed through the meeting hall.
"Grandma", papa said, "slept every night with the gun under
her pillow. She suggested the weapon was for protection from Renegade Indians
and from Federal Marshals who might try to sneak into the house in the middle
of the night. Papa insisted grandma was a crack shot, who could shoot a
squirrel out of a tree from twenty paces. The firing pin was missing when I
gave the gun to my youngest son, Dee Farr. Dee had the gun completely
restored. I gave Winslow and Emily Jane's family bible to my son Keith Farr.
Evelyn Farr Mower
Every other day grandma always carried the same large round pan to the cellar
to get just the right amount of flour to bake six loaves of bread. On her
baking days we always enjoyed the treat of warm bread with plum jam. One of
my chores was to feed the chickens, ducks, geese and to gather the eggs. When
I entered the barn yard I had to watch out for the
old gander who was mean and territorial. Many times, with neck extended and
wings flapping, he chased me as I scurried up the haystack to escape his
stinging bite. Sometimes the old goose would circle and keep me a prisoner
atop my perch. Eventually, content with himself, he would wander away while I
made my escape down the other side.
One of my other daily chores was walking to the lower pasture to bring the
cows home for milking. I remember wearing four buckle galoshes, in the spring
and fall, as the pasture was always very wet and swampy. If it was storming,
grandma often sent one of the boys to bring the cows home. We all took turns
bringing in kindling and firewood for the stove to heat the house. I never
had to milk the cows, thank goodness, as this was always considered the boys'
chore. We kept some milk for our daily use, and we skimmed cream for weekly
butter churning. Our extra milk was sold to the dairy. This provided us with
a small cash return.
I went to school only four days a week. I stayed home every Monday to help
grandma do the washing and ironing. We heated the water, for wash day on a
coal stove which stood in a shed behind the house. The clothes were scrubbed
and rinsed by hand on washboards which stood in large galvanized tubs. The
clothes were hung on outside lines to dry. Flat irons, heated on the kitchen
stove, were used to iron the clothes. It took both of us most the day to
finish this chore.
Grandma taught me the basics of sewing on her old foot treadle sewing
machine. We cut our patterns out of old newspapers. We cut open and bleached
our flour sacs, which we used to make dish towels, tablecloths, napkins,
nightgowns, and underwear. When we could afford it
we bought cloth to make our dresses, skirts and blouses. One of my favorite pastimes was making doll clothes from scraps of
material. By the time I was fourteen I was making all of my own clothes.
When we were teenagers the church started mutual meetings for the youth.
Whenever the weather permitted, grandma always encouraged us to attend those
meetings, which were held on Sunday evenings.
When I was a young girl grandpa and Aunt Melvina, who lived with her family
in Mexico, came on the train with her two youngest sons to visit grandma and
her family. My brothers slept in the upstairs north bedroom, which was the
larger room. I had the south upstairs bedroom to myself. Aunt Melvina slept
in my bed and I slept on a pallet bed on the floor. Grandpa stayed downstairs
with grandma in the big front room.
In the summer and fall we kept very busy canning and drying fruits and
vegetables. I would often climb onto of the buggy shed roof to spread sheets
out where we dried corn, apples, and apricots. I still remember the taste of
one of my favorite desserts, which was a dish of
white currants with a little cream poured over the top.
My oldest brother Charles raised pigeons and we all looked forward to the
days when grandma made a big pan of pigeon pie. She used the pigeon breast,
vegetables, and a biscuit dough on top, and Oh, it was so good.
When Uncle Barney and Aunt Susie were married, they lived in grandma's big
front room while their home was being built next door. Grandma shared the
upstairs bedroom with me. Barney worked at the sugar factory to earn money to
build his home on the twenty acres, which grandma had deeded to him. The
house was substantial and well built. The home is in good condition and it is
still occupied today.
When grandma took sick, Barney and Susie took her into their home and cared
for her until she died in 1921. When Ken (Barney and Susie's youngest son)
and LaRene were married they moved into Uncle
Barney and Susie's old home. The year they married Ken was driving past our
place with a team and wagon. I spotted grandma's old rocking chair and side
table atop the load. Jess hailed Ken who explained that LaRene
had cleaned a lot of old junk out of the house and he was on his way to the
dump. With Ken's permission, Jess rescued grandma's chair and small folding
table. Jess sanded and painted this furniture which we placed in our living
room. After Jess died, I gave grandma's furniture to my daughter, Fern
(Kaye). My father Lorin lived in grandma's old home
until his death in 1946. Jess and I sold the property to Johnny Favero. As you can see, Johnny built a lovely house in
the exact place were grandma's home once stood.
Grandma gathered my brothers, sisters and cousins around her rocking chair,
and as we sat on the floor she told us Indian and
bear stories. She told us tales of the day she lived as a young woman in
Southern Utah and of the time she and Winslow worked hard to establish a dry
farm in Cache Valley, Utah. She was a good story teller. She told us of the
years they lived in their home in Ogden. Each summer a band of Indians would
set up their tents in the Farr family backyard. They came to trade their hand
made goods for sugar, salt, and other staples. The children became especially
fond of an Indian woman they all called Aunt Mary. On one occasion grandma
allowed Aunt Mary to carry my infant father, Lafayette Farr, on her back when
the Indian clan traveled on a one
day trip to the Ogden hot springs.
When Grandma divided her farm in 1899 she deeded twenty acres of her
homestead to my father Lafayette. She deeded twenty acres to each of her four
living sons. When Uncle Dell "Aldebert"
moved to Idaho, Inez and I bought his twenty acres. I have a chair that grandpa
Winslow purportedly made while incarcerated in the Utah State Penitentiary
for polygamy George Q. Cannon appears to be sitting in the chair shown in a
photo of the prisoners in the penitentiary. My father gave me a cane which
belonged to grandpa. The style colors and design of
this particular cane lead me to believe it is was of Mexican origin and not
one of the ten canes he made while he was in the Penitentiary.
Dee Farr, a great grandson, furnished a photograph of Emily Jane's gun. It is
a 38 Smith & Wesson 5 shot revolver with a rotary barrel. The revolver is
engraved with the date February 2, 1886.
Jason Farr, great great grandson of Emily Jane and
Winslow Jr., currently farms his great grandfather's (Lafayette Farr) portion
of the original homestead.
Emily Jane is buried at Ogden City Cemetery, Weber UT.