Harriet Ann Nebeker (Van Wagoner) (1817 - 1899) MP

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Birthplace: Pompton, Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Death: Died in Payson, Utah, Utah, United States
Occupation: Housewife
Managed by: Richard Aaron Wilson
Last Updated:

About Harriet Ann Nebeker (Van Wagoner)

A short sketch of the lives of Henry Nebeker & Ann Van Wagoner Nebeker" facts given and accepted by Susanna Nebeker Pickering Jan 1926:

Henry Nebeker and Ann Van Wagoner were both descended from early Dutch settlers of New Jersey. Henry Nebeker being born in Bergen, New Jersey, which was the first settlement of New Jersey being established as a trading post. Henry was born 1 February 1817.

Ann Van Wagoner Nebeker was the daughter of Halmagh J. Van Wagoner and Mary Ann Van Houghten Van Wagoner, who were both natives of New Jersey, her father being born in Pompton 21 November 1788. Ann Van Wagoner was born 25 March 1817. Occupation of this family was farming. The first twenty years of her life were spent in this place. During this time, when a child, she was laid out for dead with yellow fever. She saw the money that was placed on her eyes, also she remembers the family in the attitude of prayer when she came to.

Here she met and married John Havens 13 February 1839 in the English neighborhood church in Bergen, New Jersey. Into this union three children were born, Ann 10 December 1839, and died 14 January 1840. William Henry, born 31 March 1841 and Mary Ann born 25 February 1844. The latter two children coming to Utah. In 1837 she moved to Bergen, New Jersey, and while there through the missionary work of Parley P. Pratt the Van Wagoner family, which consisted of father, mother, one son John, and three daughters, Hannah, Ann, and Sarah, were all converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She with her children and father's family made preparations to go to Utah. Their first step was to go to New York City where she was baptized into the Church 13 April 1844. In 1845, they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. While there she had her endowments in the Nauvoo Temple. In the spring of 1845 they stared with the first company to their home in the west.

At Cutler's Park, Omaha their mother died. The advice from the President of the Church and his Counselors of the branch of the Church at this place was that it was too late to cross the Rocky Mountains that fall and so they accepted his counsel and went as far as Winter Quarters and remained there during the winter. 4 December 1846 Halmagh J. Van Wagoner died and was buried .... the two coffins being made out of wagon boxes. It was at Winter Quarters that she met and married Henry Nebeker 4 Jan 1847 (Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska).

In the spring they began their journey to the great west. She drove an ox team across the plains to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Being a driver of one of those wonderful covered wagons in the first company of original pioneers of Utah in 1847.

They entered the valley 6 October 1847 and joined those that had come a few months before. The Old Fort was built for the protection of the Pioneers from the Indians. This description is copied from a "Salt Lake History." "The colonists who came the first year, save a few lived in the stockade or Old Fort located on Pioneer Square in the south western part of the city. For the first winter, it was enclosed - the east side with log houses , the north, south, and west sides with adobe walls. It was rectangular in shape and a large gate at the east was kept carefully closed by night for protection from the Indians, etc. The roofs of the houses or huts of the fort slanted inwards, doors and windows faced the interior but each house had a loop hole for looking out."

The first part of the winter was very mild but as the season advanced heavy snows fell, dirt and willow roofs descended in drizzling streams upon the heads, beds, bodies of miserable inmates spoiling at once tempers and provisions. Umbrellas were often used in bed, or held in hand while turning beef steak with the other.

Situations often ludicrous from pleasant, almost pitiful at times especially during sickness. Swarms of vermin, bed bugs, mice, infested the Fort, while wolves prowled about making night hideous and attacking the cattle on the range.

In the Fort. more than one happy gathering and more than one joyful celebration was held within the rude walls. Two schools were taught there the first winter.

On 29 February 1848, her first son Ammon was born. It was in one of those leaky roofed houses, for while lying in bed, pans were placed on quilts to catch the water as it dripped through the roof.

The Nebeker family along with all of the others experienced the trials of the early Utah pioneers in food, clothing and shelter. They lived in Salt Lake City for four years. In 1851 with 15 other families they moved to Payson. On account of the scarcity of water they could not stay in Payson so they along with David Crockett, John B. Fairbanks went to Salem where they were the first settlers of Salem. While living in Payson (probably Salem was meant) they helped build the Salem Dam and the Old Fort which was built on the west side of the Dam. It was adobe. In 1852 they moved back to Payson.

While living in Salt Lake, two children were born in the family, Ammon, 29 Feburary 1848 and george washington, 25 October 1850. Three more children were born after moving to payson; Florence, 16 March 1854, Susannah, 3 May 1856 and Henry, 3 June 1859.

Henry Nebeker built the little school house which still stands on the east side of the Nebeker home which marks the south east boundry of the Old Fort. The school teachers who taught in the Nebeker school where James Simmons, Mr. Wright, Isaiah Clombs, and William Reed.

Henry also built a molasses mill west of the Ammon Nebeker home on Peteetneet Creek. A man by the name of Wilburn Madison Wall brought an Indian boy from the north and sold him to Mr. Nebeker for $60.00. This Indian boy was adopted by the family and was liked and respected by all the family. His name was Cush.

In 1855 the Salmon River missionaries were called and Henry Nebeker was one of the twenty seven missionaries to leave their homes in Utah for the purpose of locating a Mission among the Bannocks, Shoshones and the Flat Heads. They located on the snake River, which at that time was part of Oregon. The mission failed for the twenty seven men were but a handful when compared to the many savages that they went to work among. They suffered many hardships so President Young ordered them home after two years. Upon returning from this mission he brought with him two pair of buckskin trousers and two pair of red to[ boots for Ammon and George. These boys wore them in the slough north of Payson and got them so wet that they stretched below their feet. so they cut them off and when they dried they shortened to their natural length so that they could not be worn.. No one ever found out who did the deed.

In 1867 or 68 Henry with his families responded to the Muddy Mission call. While in Payson Henry Nebeker took opportunity and for those days was quite well off financially. in making preparation for the mission and because of the failure of the Mission most of his property went at a sacrifice. They made two trips to the Muddy during the time of the mission. On the first trip they took a threshing machine. They stopped at Red creek and thrashed for a family named Montague. The second trip they took eleven mules...these were stolen by the Indians, st they needed help to reach their destination. So the bishops sent for teams to meet them at different places until they could be met by their own teams. children at times cried to be taken home even then they did not realize the danger.

The deep sand hindered their progress but added fun for the children. It was a task to go over the Big Virgin Hill. they would lead their teams and double up with the chains and even the it was hard work or task.

On the Muddy, they had a fairly good home built of adobe, with can roof covered with dirt. This house was in the fort also a town corral was built of rocks to keep the cows at night from the Indians.

Mr. Nebeker bought a cotton gin and hired Indians to pick the cotton. An Indian squaw named Sally would do the washing for the family.

A dance hall was built for amusement and the young people did quite well as far a god times were concerned. They would have excursions to Salt mount to gather willows to make baskets. There was an old lady, a Mrs. Davis, who learned from the Indians how to make baskets, taught the girls, Susan made a basket and sent to May Brown her cousin.

Due to failure of the country to reach what was represented, President Young released the Missionaries to go wherever they wanted to make their new home. Thru all of the trails and hardships, no one ever heard one word of complaint or dissatisfaction from Ann Nebeker.

Though it all she remained a faithful and devout latter day Saint and her teachings have lived until the present day. Two of her favorite maxims were: Every tub must stand on its own bottom...and it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong.

A Letter from Ann Nebeker to her Grandchildren: Miss Florence Sargent, Annie Nebeker & Minnie Pickering.

Dear Grand Children:

It has been requested of the Relief Society that we should give a short history of our life and enclose a letter to come forth in fifty years of which I will endeavor to give.

Ann Van Wagoner was born March 25th, 1817 in Bergen Co., N. J. and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Apr. 13th, 1844. Baptized by George T. Leach in New York City and went to Nauvoo with the Saints and went to the temple in 1846. Married to Henry Nebeker in 1847, and traveled with the George Noble company and arrived in Salt Lake City in 1847. Lived there five years, and in that time there was a grasshopper and cricket war; and a hen with her chickens saved a great deal of our grain. I then moved to Payson and the Indians were very bad the Saints built a fort and the families had to leave their homes and go in for protection; on one occasion one of the guards was shot and killed, the women were taken to the school-house; the men stood guard for we did not know at what moment we might all be killed, the people were weary cautious and stood guard until they became peaceful, they moved back to their homes.

I have eight children of which names I will now give. Ann, William, Mary, Ammon, George, Florence, Susanna, and Henry. My husband married another wife in uly 1865 and we went to the Muddy on a Mission in 1867, passed through a great many trials for the Gospel sake and am a firm believer in the church at this very time. I still believe in the principle of Celestial Marriage and bear my testimony of the truth of this work. I know that it is the only true Church on the face of the Earth.

I returned to Payson 1869 and was appointed teacher of the Relief society and held that position until divided the Society into districts and then I was set apart as treasurer in the society of the first district by Bishop J. S. Tanner and counselors.

From your affectionate Grandmother

Ann Nebeker

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Harriet Ann (Van Wagoner) Nebeker's Timeline

1817
March 25, 1817
Pompton, Passaic, New Jersey, United States
1839
December 10, 1839
Age 22
New Jersey, USA
1841
March 31, 1841
Age 24
Bridgetown, Cumberland, New Jersey, United States
1844
February 25, 1844
Age 26
Jersey City, Bergan, New Jersey, United States
April 13, 1844
Age 27
New York City, New York, United States
1845
1845
Age 27
Payson, Utah, Utah, United States
1847
January 4, 1847
Age 29
Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska, United States
1848
February 29, 1848
Age 30
Salt Lake, Utah, USA
1850
October 25, 1850
Age 33
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
1854
March 16, 1854
Age 36
Utah, Utah, USA