Monday, November 5, 2012
Elizabeth Briggs Stephens
Elizabeth Briggs Stephens is Kim's 3rd great grandmother and was born on the 9th of May, 1812 in Davidson County, North Carolina. She married John Stephens on the 1st of May 1833. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She studied this new religion and believed in its truthfulness and was baptized in 1840 while living in Nauvoo. In 1846, the family was driven from their home in Nauvoo and with their 7 children and all their earthly possessions left in a wagon with one yoke of oxen. They spent a winter in Missouri and then took up some land in what is now Council Bluffs, Iowa. Their crops helped other Mormon pioneers during the westward migration. In 1851 they started for Utah with their 10 children. Elizabeth gave birth to two more children once they were in Utah, a set of twins (one twin survived, one passed away as an infant). In 1852 the family bought land with a one room cabin in south Ogden and added another room to house their family. In 1854 they fought grasshoppers, in 1856 there was a hard winter that froze and starved the cattle. To survive they ate the frozen cattle. In 1857 Johnson's Army came to Utah, and at Brigham Young's order the family moved south, leaving 3 of the oldest sons to guard the farm with orders to torch it before the soldiers could take possession. As it happened, the grain was harvested and some was sold to Johnson's Army at a profit when the soldiers needed supplies. Elizabeth lived through all of the privations, sorrows and toil of a pioneer life. John died in 1870 in a smallpox epidemic, Elizabeth lived 16 years longer and passed away at the age of 73. Both John and Elizabeth are buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.