Adolphus Rodolphus Babcock (1800 - 1872)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Middlefield, MA, USA
Death: Died in Spanish Fork, UT, USA
Cause of death: Typhoid Fever
Managed by: Brendon Clark
Last Updated:
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About Adolphus Rodolphus Babcock

Birth: Feb. 23, 1800, Middlefield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA

Death: Mar. 15, 1872, Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah, USA

Burial: Spanish Fork City Cemetery, Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah, USA

At the age of 21 years, Adolphus married Jerusha Jane Rowley, daughter of John Rowley, of Mina, New York. Adolphus built for his young bride a two room home of hewn logs with floor and doors made of puncheon. The chimney was built of sand and rock, and the corners were mortised together. He was in all the forced relocations from state to state with the earlier church members. From New York the Saints migrated to Ohio, from Ohio to Missouri. In Missouri he accumulated a large tract of land and was fast becoming financially independent when he was forced to sacrifice his property and follow the Saints to Nauvoo. It is interesting to note here the precaution he took in safe guarding his money along with the valuable possessions he had been able to accumulate in Missouri from mob theft and Indian raids while traveling from Missouri to Nauvoo and likewise from Nauvoo to Zion. He had an old common looking keg that he used to store pieces of iron, loose bolts, screws and burs from wagons that he had a chance to pick up. In this decrepit old keg, that looked more like a junk box than anything else, he carefully placed his hard-earned money and personal and household treasures Jerusha was not prone to part with.

On arriving at Nauvoo, he took his closely guarded money and bought a large tract of land three miles out from Nauvoo called Green Plains, where a group of Saints settled because of more fertile soil. This is just another evidence of the sound judgment of Adolphus Babcock, because Green Plains was and is now the most fertile spot and more adapted for agriculture than any part of that vicinity. Here, Adolphus built a comfortable home and a large barn and again started breaking ground for spring planting. Adolphus, like the other Saints, conscientious and God-fearing, settled down to enjoy a little piece of mind and soul.

He remained on his property in Nauvoo until the expulsion of the Saints February 16, 1846. During the night of February 15, 1846, a mob of men clamored on his front door to inform him that he would have 24 hours to gather his belongings and be out of his place or everything would be burned on his property. He,like hundreds of other Saints, could be seen hurrying from barn to house, gathering the necessities needed to maintain his family during the last long flight of the Saints to safety. They crossed the Mississippi River on ice and camped on the banks of the river until open weather.

Adolphus settled in Salt Lake City for two years. In 1849, Brigham Young assigned Adolphus the charge of all the church's cattle. Adolphus moved his family to Bountiful and proceeded from Bountiful with his son, George, into Cache Valley, where he grazed and protected the church cattle from Indian attacks until President Young, fearing for their safety, sent word for them to bring the cattle in. The drive back with the cattle became much more hazardous than taking cattle out into Cache Valley three years previous. The Indians had become more fearless and bold in their attacks on the settlers in the outskirts of the small towns which had been settled by the pioneers, necessitating a constant guard over the cattle night and day. They returned with the cattle and turned them over to the church authorities in 1851.

In 1852, the gold rush to California proved too tempting for Adolphus. He left his family in the care of his oldest son, Lorenzo, and taking his son, George, traveled to California in pursuit of wealth. While in California, he came in contact with freighters from South America and purchased alfalfa seed and brought it to Utah with him. He was the first to introduce alfalfa growing in the state. He also brought fruit trees, including apples, peaches, pears, apricots, currants, grapes and plums. Arriving back in Bountiful in the year 1853, he found his wife Jerusha had died the previous September, 1852, leaving the family without parental care. Adolphus, on returning, gathered his children together and made a home for them in Provo for a year or two. While in Provo he encouraged and helped financially to build the Provo Woolen Mills. From Provo he moved to Palmyra,Utah.

In 1856 the people from Palmyra were ordered by the church authorities to move to Spanish Fork where a fort had been built for protection from the Indians. He homesteaded 22 acres of land, built a home of adobe with walls 18 inches thick, each adobe being 12x6x4. The walls were plastered inside and out. Shingles for the roofing were made by his son, Lorenzo, and the nails were handmade on a hand- made forge by Adolphus, who was a blacksmith by trade. The rafters and joists were pinned together by handmade wooden pegs. Here he and his family lived until his death.

Around the 22 acres of land he built a wall made of mud and straw, partitioning off a portion of ground where he started the first orchard in Spanish Fork. The sterling qualities of Adolphus's character can only be appreciated when we know of some of the courageous tasks he was called to do. His entire life from the time he was baptized into the church until his death was spent in serving his God, his church, and his community. Although a hardworking and saving man, his honesty and generosity to the less fortunate were strong characteristics of his life. I have selected the following experiences from among many that prove his generosity and fairness in dealing with others.

During the settlement of Spanish Fork, one harvest season resulted in a failure for most of the pioneers. Fortunately, the crops of Adolphus were successful that year. Realizing the conditions of the less fortunate in the settlement, Adolphus made known to the settlers, through testimony, that those in need could share his wheat, molasses and meat. He urged the men to come and get food and seed with which to plant their crops. In exchange for the food and grain, the men worked with Adolphus in building the mud wall around his property. It is of record that had Adolphus not come to the aid of the settlers, many, if not all, would have been compelled to migrate to other settlements or perish during the hard winter.

Adolphus and Jerusha's children were: Sophronia, Lorenzo, Eliza, George, Lucy, Permelia, Albern, John, and Henry, the youngest child, was born in Salt Lake City three months after they arrived in Utah.

Dolphus changed his name to Adolphus. Many early records have the name Dolphus. Later records have the name Adolphus.

CROSSING THE PLAINS:

Babcock family members were in the Fifth Ten (led by Thomas Orr, Sr.) of the First Fifty (led by Joseph Horne) of the Second Hundred (led by Edward Hunter) of the 1847 pioneers, arrived in Salt Lake City on 29 Sep 1847. "Pioneers of 1847: A Sesquicentennial Remembrance," compiled by Susan Ward Easton-Black.

I will tell the story of how I found the death record of Adolphus. I was visiting my grandson, who lives in Spanish Fork, Utah. I went down to the Spanish Fork City Office Building to see where I could find land records of Adolphus Babcock. While there a young women was sitting at a desk and asked me if I was doing genealogy. I said yes. She said there were some old books that the University was getting ready to microfilm. She asked me if I would like to see them. We went up in the attic and in an old dusty corner was a note book called "The Book Of The Dead". This note book was an index to the large "Book Of The Dead".

I asked her where this book might be. She did not know, but asked someone else and they said to go down stairs where the people of Spanish Fork pay their water or electric bill. I went down stairs and when I asked the lady she brought out a large very, very old original book showing the early deaths in Spanish Fork and the cause of the deaths, parents of the person and doctor who attended. I was very happy to see this book as it had the original source data for many Babcock's including Adolphus Babcock. I would never of thought to look there for such a book.

Source: Spanish Fork Record Of Death, Book 1, Nov 13, 1853--Sept 18, 1939.

Adolphus Babcock, Birth: February 23, 1800, Middlefield, Mass. Father: Daniel Babcock, Mother: Jerusha Taylor, Church: LDS, died of Tyroid Fever, March 15, 1872, Doctor: Dr. Clark. Occupation: Farmer

Written by Patricia Ruth Major Miller, Adolphus's is my g-g-grandfather.

Parents:

 

Daniel Babcock 1756 - ____

 

Jerusha Zereptha Taylor Babcock 1765 - 1828


Spouse:

 

Jerusha Jane Rowley Babcock 1802 - 1850

Children:

 

Sophronia Babcock Carter 1822 - 1847

 

Lorenzo Babcock 1823 - 1903

 

Eliza Babcock Young Groves 1828 - 1868

 

George William Babcock 1831 - 1899


Lucy Babcock Wood 1832 - 1863

 

Permelia Babcock Young 1837 - 1916

 

Albern Babcock 1840 - 1917


Hannah Alice Babcock Campbell 1859 - 1906

Created by: Pat Miller

Record added: Aug 17, 2008

Find A Grave Memorial# 29104613

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Adolphus Babcock's Timeline

1800
February 23, 1800
Middlefield, MA, USA
1821
1821
Age 20
Mina, NY, USA
1822
July 14, 1822
Age 22
1823
December 21, 1823
Age 23
Mina, Chautauqua, NY, USA
1828
October 8, 1828
Age 28
Mina, Chautauqua, New York, USA
1831
February 7, 1831
Age 30
Mina, Chautauqua, NY, USA
1832
November 30, 1832
Age 32
Mina, NY, USA
1872
March 15, 1872
Age 72
Spanish Fork, UT, USA
March 18, 1872
Age 72
Spanish Fork, UT, USA