Dennison Lott Harris (1825 - 1885) MP

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Nicknames: "Dennis", "Denison", "Harriss"
Birthplace: Windham, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: Died in Monroe, Sevier, Utah Territory, United States
Occupation: Blacksmith; maker and repairer of wagons; farmer
Managed by: Denise Unander
Last Updated:

About Dennison Lott Harris

Dennison Lott Harris, son of Emer Harris (1781 - 1869) and Deborah Lott (1799 - 1825), was born 17 January 1825 at Windham, Luzerne, Pennsylvania. He was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1842. He married Sarah Wilson Cheney, widow of Alexander Cheney, on Sunday, 7 March 1847 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. He adopted Sarah's daughter from her previous marriage, Mary Ellender Cheney. Harris and Sarah, and their daughters (Ellender, Deborah, Sarah, and Mary), immigrated to Utah Territory in 1852 with Captain Cutler's wagon train.

He was called to serve as Bishop of the Monroe Ward, Monroe, Sevier County, Utah Territory, in July 1877. Eight years after the death of his first wife, he married Margaret Allen and Anna Maria Messerlie on Thursday, 1 November 1883 in St. George, Washington County, Utah Territory. He had one child with Anna Maria Messerlie Harris.

Dennison Lott Harris died on Saturday, 6 June 1885 in Monroe, Sevier, Utah at the age of 60 years, 4 months and 20 days. He was buried on Monday, 8 June 1885 at Monroe City Cemetery, Plot: 136 B, Monroe, Sevier County, Utah, United States.

Marriages and Children

  1. Sarah Wilson Cheney (1824 - 1875), married 7 March 1847 Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa
    1. Mary Ellender Cheney Harris (1843 - 1913) [daughter of Alexander Cheney, adopted by Dennison Lott Harris]
    2. Deborah Jane Wilson Harris (21 May 1848 - 30 March 1940)
    3. Sarah Ann Harris (19 September 1850 - 1861)
    4. Dennison Emer Harris (13 May 1854 - 24 July 1912)
    5. Martin Lott Harris (13 December 1856 - 29 January 1941)
    6. Hyrum Smith Harris (2 October 1860 - 6 February 1937)
    7. Joseph Alma Harris (1866 - 1957)
  2. Margaret Allen (1825 - 1919), married 1 November 1883 St. George, Washington, Utah Territory
  3. Anna Maria Messerli (1858 - 1889) married 1 November 1883 St. George, Washington, Utah Territory
    1. Harriet Lott Harris (1885 - ?)

Dennison Lott Harris Story told by Elder Oaks

In the spring of 1844, some men were plotting against the Prophet Joseph Smith. One of the leaders, William Law, held a secret meeting at his home in Nauvoo. Among those invited were nineteen-year-old Dennison Lott Harris and his friend, Robert Scott. Dennison’s father, Emer Harris was also invited. He sought counsel from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who told him not to attend the meeting but to have the young men attend. The Prophet instructed them to pay close attention and report what was said.

The spokesmen at this first meeting denounced Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet and stated their determination to destroy him. When the Prophet heard this, he asked the young men to attend the second meeting. They did so, and reported the plotting.

A third meeting was to be held a week later. Again the Prophet asked them to attend, but he told them this would be their last meeting. “Be careful to remain silent and not to make any covenants or promises with them,” he counseled. He also cautioned them on the great danger of their mission. Although he thought it unlikely, it was possible they would be killed. Then, the Prophet Joseph Smith blessed Dennison and Robert by the power of the priesthood, promising them that if their lives were taken, their reward would be great.

In the strength of this priesthood blessing, they attended the third meeting and listened to the murderous plans. Then, when each person was required to take an oath to join the plot and keep it secret, they bravely refused. After everyone else had sworn secrecy, the whole group turned on Dennison and Robert, threatening to kill them unless they took the oath also. Because any refusal threatened the secrecy of their plans, about half of the plotters proposed to kill these two immediately. Knives were drawn, and angry men began to force them down into a basement to kill them.

Other plotters shouted to wait. Parents probably knew where they were. If they didn’t return, an alarm would be sounded and a search could reveal the boys’ deaths and the secret plans. During a long argument, two lives hung in the balance. Finally, the group decided to threaten to kill the young men if they ever revealed anything that had occurred and then to release them. This was done. Despite this threat, and because they had followed the Prophet’s counsel not to make any promises to the conspirators, Dennison and Robert promptly reported everything to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

For their own protection, the Prophet had these courageous young men promise him that they would never reveal this experience, not even to their fathers, for at least twenty years. A few months later, the Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered.

Sources

  • Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925. Name: Denison L Harris; Birth Year: abt 1825; Gender: Male; Census Date: 1851; Residence State: Iowa; Residence County: Pottawattamie; Roll: IA_118; Line: 56; Household Members: Denison L Harris 26. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Microfilm of Iowa State Censuses, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925 as well various special censuses from 1836-1897 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest.
  • U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900. Name: Dennison Lott Harris; Gender: Male; Spouse Name: Sarah Wilson; Number Pages: 1. Source Citation: Source number: 1343.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: GHS. Source Information: Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Originally, the information was derived from an array of materials including pedigree charts, family history articles, querie.
  • 1860 United States Federal Census. Name: Dennis Harris [Dennis Cheney Harris]; Age in 1860: 36; Birth Year: abt 1824; Birthplace: Pennsylvania; Home in 1860: Cache, Utah Territory; Gender: Male; Post Office: Brigham; Household Members: Dennis Harris 36; Sarah Harris 36; Mary E Harris 17; Debra Harris 12; Sarah A Harris 10; Dennis Harris 6; Martin L Harris 4. Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: , Cache, Utah Territory; Roll: M653_1314; Page: 589; Image: 49; Family History Library Film: 805314. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
  • 1880 United States Federal Census. Name: Denison Harriss; Age: 55; Birth Year: abt 1825; Birthplace: Pennsylvania; Home in 1880: Monroe, Sevier, Utah; Race: White; Gender: Male; Relation to Head of House: Self (Head); Marital Status: Widower; Father's Birthplace: Vermont; Mother's Birthplace: Pennsylvania; Occupation: Farmer; Household Members: Denison Harriss 55; Denison L. Harriss 25. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Monroe, Sevier, Utah; Roll: 1338; Family History Film: 1255338; Page: 515A; Enumeration District: 070. Source Information: Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848. Name: Dennison Lott Harris; Gender: Male; Relationship to Primary Person: Self (Head); Father: Emer Harris; Mother: Deborah Lott; Birth Date: 17 Jan 1825; Birth Place: Windham, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA; Death Date: 6 Jun 1885; Death Place: Monroe, Sevier, Utah, USA; Burial Date: 8 Jun 1885; Burial Place: Monroe, Sevier, Utah, USA; LDS Church Ordinance Data: Baptism Date: 1842 Ordained High Priest Date: July 1877 Officiator: Erastus Snow Ordained Bishop Date: July 1877 Officiator: Erastus Snow; LDS Temple Ordinance Data: Baptism Date: October 16, 1967 Temple: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA; Endowment Date: February 7, 1846 Temple: Nauvoo, Hancock, IL, USA Sealed to Spouse Number 1 Date: March 31, 1848 Sealed to Spouse Number 2 Date: November 1, 1883 Sealed to Parents Date: December 19, 1961 Temple: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.; Comments: From the Autobiography of Dennison L. Harris: "Verbal Statement of Bp. Dennison L. Harris of Monroe, Sevier Co., Utah, made by him to President Joseph F. Smith in the presence of Elder Franklin Spencer, at the house of Bp. Dorius of Ephraim, Sanpete Co., Utah, on Sunday Afternoon, May 15th, 1881. Reported by George F. Gibbs." Author and another young man invited to meeting where plots against Joseph Smith were being hatched, Nauvoo, spring 1844. Attended series of meetings. Lives placed in danger because they refused to take oath not to reveal what they heard. Reaction of Joseph Smith to their adventure. Circumstances of the Apostles receiving endowments from Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. Also includes statement of circumstances in which this material was presented and recorded. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Iowa, Pottawattamie County, Annotated Record of US Census, 1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Susan Easton Black, Harvey Bischoff Black, Sarah Allen and Rebecca Allen. Annotated Record of the United States Federal Census Iowa, Pottawattamie County 1850. Private donor.Ancestry.com. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Black, Susan Easton, compiler. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848. 50 vols. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1989. Private Donor.
  • Seventy Quorum Membership, 1835–1846. Name: Dennison Lott Harris; Birth Date: 1825; Birth Place: Pennsylvania; Death Date: 1885; Death Place: Utah; Father: Emer Harris; Mother: Deborah Lott; Wives: Allen, Margaret; Messerli, Anna Maria (1); Wilson, Sarah (7); Quorum: Q27; Nauvoo Data: Baptized 1842; Endowed Nauvoo Temple 2/7/46; Nauvoo; Spy for israel to reveal William Law plot; Post-Nauvoo Data: Bishop 1877; Monroe UT; Sources: M:21:1; N295; S92; Q27+. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Seventy Quorum Membership, 1835–1846 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Black, Harvey B. Seventy Quorum Membership, 1835–1846: An Annotated Index of Over 3,500 Seventies Organized into the First Thirty-Five Quorums of the Seventy in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois. Provo, Utah: Infobases, Inc., 1996. Private Donor.
  • Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848. Name: Dennison Lott Harris; Relationship to Primary Person: Child; Birth Date: 17 Jan 1825; Birth Place: Windham, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA; Household Members: Emer Harris Self (Head); Roxanna Peas Spouse; Selina Harris Child; Elathan Harris Child; Alvira Harris Child; Sephrona Harris Child; Nathan Harris Child; Ruth Harris Child; Deborah Lott Spouse; Emer Harris Child; Martin Henderson Harris Child; Harriet Fox Harris Child; Dennison Lott Harris Child; Parna Chapel Spouse; Fannie Melvina Harris Child; Joseph Mormon Harris Child; Alma Harris Child; Charles Harris Child. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Black, Susan Easton, compiler. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848. 50 vols. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1989. Private Donor.
  • Utah Cemetery Inventory. Name: Dennison Lott Harris; Birth Date: 17 Jan 1824; Birth Place: Pennsylvania; Death Date: 6 Jun 1885; Death Place: Utah, Monroe; Burial Date: 6 June 1885; Cemetery: Monroe City Cemetery; Source: Sexton / Grant; Grave Location: 136-A; Relatives: Father Harris, Emer; Mother Lott, Deborah. Source Information: Utah State Historical Society, comp.. Utah Cemetery Inventory [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: Utah State Historical Society. Utah Cemetery Inventory. Salt Lake City, UT, USA: 2000.
  • Millennium File. Name: Dennison Lott Harris; Gender: Male; Birth Date: 17 Jan 1825; Birth Place: Windom, Lucern, Pennsylvania, USA; Death Date: 6 Jun 1885; Death Place: Monroe, Sevier, Utah, USA; Mother: Deborah Lott; Spouse: Sarah Wilson; Children: Martin Lott Harris. Source Information: Heritage Consulting. Millennium File [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003. Original data: Heritage Consulting. The Millennium File. Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Heritage Consulting.
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 33937079
  • Pioneer Immigrants to Utah Territory. Name: Dennison Lott Harris; Gender: Male; Birth Date: 17 Jan 1825; Birth Place: Windham, Luzerne, Pennsylvania; Religion: LDS; Occupation: Blacksmith, maker and repairer of wagons. Farmer; Spouse: Sarah Wilson Cheney (widow); Anna Maria Messerlie; Margaret Allen; Marriage Date: 7 Mar 1847; Marriage Place: Council Bluffs, Pott. Iowa.; Father: Emer Harris; Mother: Deborah Lott; Departure Place: Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa; Departure Date: 1852; Pioneer Company: Captain Cutler's Wagon Train; Travel Company: Wife: Sarah Wilson (Cheney) daughters: Deborah Jane Harris Sarah Ann Harris and Mary Ellender (Cheney) Harris; Trail: Mormon Pioneer Trail; Arrival Place: Salt Lake City, Utah; Arrival Date: 1852; Place Settled: Smithfield, Cache, Utah Monroe, Sevier, UT Springville, Utah, Utah Alpine, Utah, Utah, Willard, Box Elder Utah; Death Place: Monroe, Sevier, Utah; Death Date: 6 Jun 1885; Burial Place: Monroe, Sevier, Utah; Burial Date: 9 Jun 1885; Submitted by: Mrs.Louise Unthank Meldrum; Information Source: Records of Leroy Unthank, now in possession of Louise Unthank Meldrum "Martin Harris Story: by Belle Harris Wilson & Madge Harris Tuckett Pioneers & Prominent men of Utah: Historical Record Andrew Jensen Dennison Lott Harris was one of the young men in Nauvoo who went to meetings held by the mobocrats there, and then reported back to the prophet Joseph Smith what they were planning to do, when they planned his assanination and that of Hyrum Smith.; Page Number: 001090; Submission Date: 13 Oct 1990. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Pioneer Immigrants to Utah Territory [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001. Original data: Questionnaires compiled by Sons of the Utah Pioneers in Salt Lake City.
  • Verbal Statement of Bishop Dennison L. Harris, 15 May 1881, MS 2725, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City; the account was later published in the Contributor, Apr. 1884, pp. 251–60.
  • Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel Dennison Lott Harris; Individual Information: Birth Date 17 January 1825; Death Date 6 June 1885; Gender male. Evidence from historical and newspaper records proves he traveled to Utah in 1852.He was assigned to settle in Utah County. Companies: Harmon Cutler Company (1852); Age at departure: 27. Sources: "Obituary," Deseret News, 24 June 1885, 368. Source Location: Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Presiding Bishopric, Immigrant Location Committee 1852. Source Location: Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Harris Family News
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Dennison Lott Harris's Timeline

1825
1825년 1월 17일
Windham, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, United States
1847
1847년 3월 7일
Age 22
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States
1848
1848년 May 21일
Age 23
1850
1850년 September 19일
Age 25
1854
1854년 May 13일
Age 29
1856
1856년 12월 13일
Age 31
1860
1860년 October 2일
Age 35
1866
1866
Age 40
1877
1877년 July
Age 52
Monroe, Sevier, Utah Territory, United States

Officiator: Erastus Snow

1883
1883년 November 1일
Age 58
St. George, Washington, Utah Territory, United States