Abigail Sprague Gardner (1812 - 1879)

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Birthplace: Aurelius, Cayuga, NY
Death: Died in West Jordan, Salt Lake, UT
Managed by: Jesse Steinke
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About Abigail Sprague Gardner

Abigail (Sprague) Bradford, after the death of her husband (Jehial Lee Bradford), was in Brigham Young's wagon train that crossed the plains and arrived in Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. One of her sons, Pleasant Sprague Bradford, who was only 4, straddled a canon and rode across the plains. This canon, named "Old Bessie" was used in the War of 1812, and is now on display in the LDS Historical Museum in Salt Lake City. This museum is located next to the LDS Genealogical Building in downtown Salt Lake City. Her first husband, Jehial, was among the first converts to Mormonism in 1831. Last month, I had business in Chicago. When it was finished, I took a few days of vacation and drove to Nauvoo. While there, I found Jehial and Abigail's 640 acre farm outside of town. I also visited the Pioneer Cemetery where he is buried in an unmarked grave. The Bradford/Sprague commitment to Mormonism has survived five generations to me. From Stephen C. Bradford, correspondent, September 26, 1996

A few things I find odd about this. 640 acres is a complete section of a township. It is roughly the size of the entire city of Nauvoo. Also if Mr. Bradford was a convert to Mormonism in 1831 why did he not gather to one of the other localities the members gathered to of Kirtland and Missouri? It would seem more logical that the conversion would have taken place some time after the 1840 census where he is still in Indiana and the county where he was married, and then moved to Nauvoo. I have also researched when Abigail Bradford arrived in Salt Lake City and it was not on the 24th of July but on the 29 Sept 1847. From Larry Simonsen, correspondent, note of May 11th, 2007

Archibald Gardner was a captain of 10 in the trek from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake Valley. Abigail Sprague and her daughter, Mary Ann, were in his company. The company was as follows:

Included in the third ten led by Archibald Gardner were: Abigail Sprague Bradford, Ithamer Bradford, Mariana Bradford, Pleasant Sprague Bradford, Rawsel Bradford, Sylvester Bradford, Triphenia Bradford, Andrew Correy, George Correy, Janet Correy, Margaret Clemmie Correy, Archibald Gardner, Jane McKeown Gardner, Janet Gardner, Janet Gardner, John Gardner, Margaret Gardner, Margaret Gardner, Margaret Callander Gardner, Margaret Livingston Gardner, Mary Jane Gardner, Neil Gardner, Niel Livingston Gardner, Robert Gardner, Robert Gardner, Robert Gardner, Robert Pierson Gardner, William Gardner, William Gardner, Mary Luckham, Mary Gardner Luckham, Roger Luckham, Agnes Duncan Park, Andrew Duncan Park, Hugh Duncan Park, James Duncan Park, Jane Duncan Park, Jane Duncan Park, John Duncan Park, Marian Ellen Park, Mary Ann Park, William Duncan Park, William Park Sr., Dolly Sprague, Hezekiah Sprague, Margaret and Sweeten, Robert Sweeten.

In organizing the westward trek, Brigham Young organized the travelers into groups of 100, 50, and 10. I understand that a captain of 10 was responsible for 10 "family units". A family unit could be a single person as a unit, a single mother with children, or a complete family with father and mother and children. I do not know how the individuals in Archibald Gardner's group were divided among family units, but it would have (at least according to the plan) resulted in 10 of these family unit groups. Archibald Gardner, as the Captain of ten, would have been responsible for the well-being of every member of his group. From Mark Lawyer, correspondent, note of July 8th, 2007

Archibald eventually married both Abigail and her daughter Mary Ann (in the source I listed there is a Mariana Bradford. I assume, but do not know if this is Mary Ann Bradford). Just for interest, there is a Jane Park listed. Archibald also married her. Her sister, Mary Ann Park, married Ebenezer Bryce, who Bryce Canyon in southern Utah was named after. I am a descendant (on my mother's side) of Archibald and Abigail.

Archibald Gardner has a well-known early pioneer, so much has been written on him and his wives. A search on the internet will provide much material. He built many mills throughout the intermountain west. He also helped settle Star Valley Wyoming (Afton). The Olympic wrestler Rulon Gardner is from Afton and is one of his descendants. For 30 years, Archibald was the Bishop (principal ecclesiastical leader) of the West Jordan Ward (essentially everything west of the Jordan River in the Salt Lake Valley).



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Abigail Gardner's Timeline

August 14, 1812
Aurelius, Cayuga, NY
August 21, 1830
Age 18
Oxford, Chenango, NY
November 7, 1831
Age 19
(Cotton Township) Patriot, Switzerland, IN
Age 18
(Cotton Township) Patriot, Switzerland, IN
July 13, 1833
Age 20
Switzerland, Indiana, United States
July 13, 1833
Age 20
(Cotton Township) Patriot, Switzerland, IN
March 5, 1835
Age 22
(Cotton Township) Patriot, Switzerland, IN
May 21, 1837
Age 24
(Cotton Township) Patriot, Switzerland, IN
November 17, 1839
Age 27
Cotton Township,Switzerland,Indiana
January 21, 1841
Age 28