Emily Bunker (Abbott) (1827 - 1913)

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Birthplace: Dansville, Livingston, New York, United States
Death: Died in Panguitch, Garfield, UT, USA
Managed by: Jacob Villani
Last Updated:

About Emily Bunker (Abbott)

Verified burial in Panguitch City Cemetery on Utah Web Site.

Aaron Johnson Company (1850) Age 22


Departure: about 8 June 1850 Arrival: 12 September 1850

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Birth: Sep. 19, 1827 Dansville Livingston County New York, USA

Death: Feb. 7, 1913 Panguitch Garfield County Utah, USA

Emily Abbott Bunker - by Lois Earl Jones, a granddaughter Emily Abbott Bunker was the daughter of Stephen Joseph Abbott and Abigail Smith, born 19 September 1827 at Dansville, Livingston County, New York. The oldest daughter of a family of six girls and two boys, and a great favorite with her father. He was a cloth manufacturer and owned a woolen mill that took the wool in at one end and turned out broadcloth at the other end. Emily was given the best opportunity at school afforded in her home town and was sent some distance from her home to attend a grammar school where no books were used; all instruction being given by use of a blackboard and lectures. The westward tide of emigration took the Abbott Family to the rich lands being opened up in the Mississippi Valley, which was being opened up to soldiers and settlers. Stephen bought a quarter sections of farmland and 40 acres of timberland on a visit to the new section, and returned for his family. They left April 14, 1837 by boat down the Alleghany River, and in five weeks arrived in Naples on the Illinois River in Pike County, Illinois, in late May 1837. Emily had often told her children of the home they lived in - a large two story frame home with a beautiful honeysuckle vine growing on each side of the dining room windows. This was in New York. In 1839 the Abbott Family became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – whose numbers were coming into Nauvoo from Missouri. Emily attended the Mormon meetings and could readily sing the songs she heard at these meetings, although until this time she had not remembered tunes very well. The Abbott Family moved into Nauvoo in 1842 and in 19 October 1843, Stephen died after a shirt illness of pneumonia, contracted while getting out cord wood from an island in the Mississippi River. He had been a bugler in the Nauvoo Legion. Emily grieved much at his untimely death and also grieved that his uniform, sheath, and bugle were given to the Temple. When some months later the prophet and his brother Hyrum were martyred, she felt that whereas her home was spoiled by her father's death, now the whole world would be different. The very air seemed thick with gloom. From that time on her life was changed. She now had to seek employment and help her mother sustain the family. She went to Warsaw and worked in the home of a merchant where she saw some of the ways of men and their insincerity to their wives. Later she worked for the wife of Thomas King. She also apprenticed to a tailor and learned to cut and fit men's clothing and to be a very good seamstress. While at the King home, she became acquainted with Edward Bunker – lately he had come to Nauvoo from his home in Atkinson, Maine. He heard the gospel in Kirtland, Ohio, where Martin Harris gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. This acquaintance terminated in marriage in the Nauvoo Temple, February 19, 1846, by Apostle John Taylor – both previously having had their temple endowments. Their wedding journey was to cross the Mississippi on ice, to where the Saints were camped at Sugar Creek. This young couple traveled west with Brother William Robison, Edward driving a team and Emily assisting with the cooking. At Garden Grove they built a log cabin and moved in. Edward then volunteered to go with the Mormon Battalion. Emily's mother moved into the cabin to live with her daughter through the winter. On February 1, 1847, their son, Edward Jr., was born. Emily fully believed him to be fatherless, as word had come that Indians had massacred the men of the Battalion. At Fort Leavenworth they drew their wages and sent it back to their families. Emily received a bolt of blue cloth from which she made clothes for herself and baby. She was confined to her bed for eleven weeks when her baby was born. Through the generosity of friends, Mother Abbott and Emily and her baby were moved to Wnter Quarters and were there when Edward returned in December 1847, in poor health from a hard trip back from California where he had been discharged from the Army. He arrived at Winter Quarters where he camped all night and learned the next morning Emily had moved there during his absence. He had been gone 18 months with no word from his family, which now consisted of a wife and an eleven month old son. Mother Abbott and her children moved on to the Valley in 1849 and in the spring of 1850, Edward and Emily and their son started for Salt Lake Valley in Captain Johnson's hundred and Matthew Caldwell's fifty. Edward being captain of a ten. Enroute the camp was stricken with cholera. Emily and her baby daughter, Emily, born in March 1849 at Mosquito Creek, Iowa, were taken very sick, but through faith and good nursing, they recovered, and all reached the Valley on September 1, 1850. They settled in Ogden where they took a farm a mile south of the city on Canfield Creek, built a log house of three rooms and fenced the farm the first year. In 1851 the Ogden stake was organized and Edward was chosen a member of the High Council and also served as a member of the first city council of Ogden. His friend, William Lang, died and Emily and Edward entered into plural marriage when Edward married the young widow, Sarah Browning Lang in June 1852. In the fall, Edward left for a mission to England, leaving in October 1852 and returning in October 1856. His daughter Hannah Adelia was born 15 April 1853, while he was away. The Bunker family passed through a very hard time in his absence. Lost 40 head of cattle one winter and their crops suffered in the grasshopper war in 1855. Edward was now called to serve as Bishop of the Ogden Second Ward. Edward and Emily were celebrating the 24th of July in 1857 in big Cottonwood Canyon when word came that Johnson's Army was coming to exterminate the Mormons. In the spring of 1858, they moved to Payson, Utah, returning in the fall when all was safe. The Bunker Family was increased in April 1861 when Edward took his third wife, Mary McQuarrie, a young Scotish girl who had lately emigrated to Utah. In November 1861, the Bunker family was called to the Dixie Mission. Emily and Mary and the older girls spent days making crackers, pounding the dough with a wooden mallet, rolling it thin and baking it in squares. They baked yeast bread in loaves, sliced and toasted it in the oven. These crackers and toasted bread, were carried in heavy sacks, they were not subject to mold. They dried the corn and squash – tomatoes were sliced and dried on a cloth which was then rolled and kept in this way for use in soups. They traveled in a big government wagon that had a bed in each end and a stove in the middle with a ladder from a door in the center where the children could climb out to walk awhile to lighten the load. It was drawn by three yoke of oxen which Edward himself drove. A wagon drawn by horses was driven by Mary and the girls and a hired boy. Eddie, 14 years old, drove the cattle and a small herd of sheep. Grandmother Abbott accompanied them and Sarah remained in Ogden and Edward returned for her the fall of 1862. The group arrived in Toquerville the last of November to a summer climate with cotton still in the pod- Indians gathering beans and seeds – their clothing made of rabbit skins, when they wore anything. Edward and Eddie dug a large cellar or basement room for the family to live in and rented a log room for Emily where she was confined till the 12th of December when her daughter Lettie was born. They built a house of adobe the first winter. After one year they were called to Santa Clara where Edward was made Bishop and presided for 12 years. To help provide food, one family was later located in Clover Valley where vegetables and potatoes grew well, and one in Panguitch where dairy farming was profitable. In those pioneer times, everyone worked – Father, Mother and the children. There was cotton to grow, to pick, to weave into cloth, to dye, or to plan a plaid weave and then to make the material into clothing. Straw hats to braid for both men and women. Suits of clothing to be made for men and boys, and Emily could do all of these, and must also pass on to her daughters all these skills. She even held classes for her girls and their friends to teach them. Emily was an expert in curing meats, canning and drying food. She could also knit and crochet. In the fall, Emily boiled up 600 gallons of molasses. This was some-thing that could be hauled north to market or exchanged for flour and potatoes. President Young had taught the law of the United Order, and it had been rather short – lived in Dixie, but Grandfather wanted to give it another try. A company was organized in Santa Clara on January 1, 1877 consisting of the families of Dudley and Lemuel Leavitt, George W. Lee, Samuel O. Crosby and Edward and Stephen Bunker, and Edward Bunker Sr. The families moved into the Virgin Valley for the new settlement of Bunkerville. After three years in which much was accomplished, the order was discontinued, but the community carried on. Edward served as its first Bishop. Later he was released and ordained a patriarch and his son Edward Bunker, Jr. was called to preside. Emily served as the first Relief Society president. Edward's health was poor and with the consent of the Stake President and Pres. John Taylor, Edward and Emily left in April 1882 for a trip into Arizona and Old Mexico, and remained nearly two years just visiting family and friends, looking over the country and resting from many strenuous years. In 1901, they sold their home and moved to Morales, Old Mexico, with a group going to open up settlements in that land. The lure of pioneering was strong, but their bodies were getting old. Edward died soon after reaching their destination, 12 Nov 1901. Emily remained there for a few years with her son George and other members of her family and then returned to visit her family in Nevada and in Utah when the Saints were being driven out by Mexican desperadoes. I, Lois E. Jones, was privileged to have her as a guest in my home in Overton, Nevada, in October, 1909. She was a cultured, well read, well dressed woman, and gave good council to me as a young wife and mother on home management, care and training of my children, how to sustain and help my companion in his responsibilities, conservation of my health, and how to meet problems as a couple that might tend to divide us. That winter she fell and broke her hip, and for three years was confined to her bed at the homes of her son Edward, Jr., in Bunkerville and Emily in Panguitch. She longed to get well, return to Old Mexico, and lay her body down by her beloved companion. She had a small pension that met her needs in a financial way. I visited her one day and opened her trunk to get some-thing she wanted. It was packed for travel with small gifts wrapped for her grandchildren in Mexico. I said, "Grandmother, you're not planning to return, are you?" "Yes", she replied, "If the Lord opens the way." This was her attitude in life, to lay her plans and do her paret and the Lord willing, it would be accomplished. I was so proud to see her win a community spelling match at 72 and be awarded a pink feather fan as a prize, and I was always inspired by her accomplishments and her keen mind. Emily passed to her reward the 8th day of February 1913 in Panguitch, Utah, and she is buried there. ....... Bunker Family History – by Josephine B. Walker - Emily had "pet" names for her children: Eddie, Emily, Abbie, Dee, Steve (she also called Steve her "Son of Thunder"), Kissie, Lettie, Silas, Ella, Horace and George. In the spring of 1912, I visited in Panguitch and helped care for Grandmother Emily in the home of Aunt Emily Steele and Aunt Dee Crosby. Our conversations were inspirational. Her mind was clear and well ordered. Grandmother was a woman who commanded great respect. She was firm in her decisions. Loyal to her duties, she said, "Poverty and polygamy were a great trial to me, but I lived them both the best I could with the nature I had." She was lovingly cared for in these homes at Panguitch. She passed away in her sleep.


Family links:

Parents:
  • Stephen Joseph Abbott (1804 - 1843)
  • Abigail Smith Abbott (1806 - 1889)
Spouses:
  • Edward Bunker (1827 - 1918)*
  • Edward Bunker (1822 - 1901)*
Children:
  • Emily Bunker Steele (1849 - 1921)*
  • Abigall Lucina Lee (1851 - 1881)*
  • Stephen Albert Bunker (1857 - 1927)*
  • Elethra Calista Bunker Earl (1859 - 1901)*
  • Cynthia Celestia Bunker Lee (1861 - 1889)*
  • Silas Benjamin Bunker (1864 - 1939)*

Burial: Panguitch City Cemetery Panguitch Garfield County Utah, USA

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Emily Bunker's Timeline

1827
September 19, 1827
Dansville, Livingston, New York, United States
1842
1842
Age 14
1846
February 3, 1846
Age 18
February 9, 1846
Age 18
Nauvoo, Hancock, IL
1847
February 1, 1847
Age 19
Garden Grove, Decatur, Iowa, United States
1849
March 1, 1849
Age 21
Mosquito Creek, Pottowatamie, Iowa, United States
1851
April 15, 1851
Age 23
Ogden, Weber, Utah, United States
1853
April 25, 1853
Age 25
Ogden, Weber, Utah, United States
1857
September 14, 1857
Age 29
Ogden, Weber, Utah
1857
Age 29