John Solomon Fullmer, Sr.

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John Solomon Fullmer, Sr.

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Huntington, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Died in Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA
Place of Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Springville, Utah County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah Fullmer
Husband of Mary Ann Fullmer; Olive Amanda Fullmer and Sarah Ann Fullmer
Father of Johanna Price Fullmer; John Solomon Fullmer; Anna Adelaide Dennis; Don Fullmer; William Price Fullmer, Sr. and 3 others
Brother of David Fullmer; Mary Elizabeth M Fullmer; Charlotte Fullmer; Louisiana Fullmer; Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer and 1 other

Occupation: Business & School Teacher
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Solomon Fullmer, Sr.

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...John Solomon Fullmer (July 21, 1807 – October 8, 1883), was an American politician and farmer, born in Huntington, Pennsylvania. He was the younger brother of David Fullmer, another politician..."

"...John Fullmer spent his childhood and early adult years on his family's farm in Huntington, Pennsylvania. In 1830, his father, Peter Fullmer, moved the family from Pennsylvania to Jefferson Township, Richland County, Ohio. In 1832, John S. left Ohio for Nashville, Tennessee where he intended to study for the Baptist Ministry. Yet, upon arriving in Nashville John S. took a job at the "Banner" newspaper and became an established and respected member of the Nashville community. Fullmer established Fullmer and Mitchell, a mercantile business, with a partner in 1836 and was married to Mary Ann Price, the daughter of a wealthy planter, on May 24, 1837 in Nashville..."

"...in 1839 and was baptized by Joseph Smith, Jr. on July 29, 1839 before returning to Nashville to assist his wife and their two daughters, Lavina Elizabeth and Johanna, in moving to Nauvoo. While living in Nauvoo, John S. Fullmer, was closely associated with Joseph Smith and served for a while as his private secretary..."

"...Fullmer married Olive Amanda Smith Cook on January 21, 1846 in Nauvoo, Illinois. She was Fullmer's second wife under the early-LDS practice of plural marriage..."

"...Fullmer crossed the plains to Utah with his family in 1848 and settled in Davis County, where he was actively involved in the political affairs of the territory and assisted in the drafting of a constitution for the provisional State of Deseret, and the Utah Territory..."

"...After returning from England Fullmer married his third wife, Sarah Ann Stevenson, on October 12, 1856 in Salt Lake City, Utah..."

"...Upon returning to Utah he moved his family to Springville, Utah, where he lived until his death on October 8, 1883 at Springville, Utah, where he is buried in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery with his first wife, Mary Ann Price Fullmer, who followed him in death on November 29, 1897. Fullmer had a total of thirty-three children with his three wives. The three wives did not share the same household, however, but lived approximately 30 miles apart..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'John S. Fullmer', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 March 2011, 09:29 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_S._Fullmer&oldid=420462356> [accessed 23 April 2011]

Biographical Summary #2:

John Solomon Fullmer had three wives. He married Mary Ann Price on May 24, 1837 in Nashville, TN. He had two other wives, Olive Amanda Smith whom he married on January 21st, 1846 in Nauvoo, Illinois, and Sarah Ann Stevenson -my direct descendent - whom he married on October 12, 1856 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. John Solomon Fullmer had 8 children with Mary Ann, 11 children with Olive and 12 children with Sara Ann Stevenson. Of those 12 children, John Charles Fullmer, the second child in order of birth, was my direct descendent. -------------------- There is a whole family history organization for this man and his ansestors and decsendants. It is www.geocities.com/richardwinmill/john_s_fullmer.htm

Below are some short paragraphs taken from this website.

He received what was considered an "average" education. In those days, an education considered as "liberal" would be to us but a grade school education. However, John S. possessed a driving ambition to better himself in every way and never ceased to study to improve himself. He acquired knowledge of the law by taking a correspondence course while working in a newspaper office in Nashville, Tennessee and, although he never practiced as a lawyer, this knowledge served him greatly throughout his life.

In 1830, his father's family moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Two years later, John S. left the family to go to Nashville where he intended to study for the ministry of the Baptist Church. He later changed his mind about becoming a Minister as he felt that he was incapable of filling such a position.

When he arrived in Nashville, he had barely five dollars in his pocket, was without friends or acquaintances, and had no training in a trade.  He obtained a job at the "Banner" newspaper office and, within five years time, had become so well known and highly regarded that he received the financial backing of a wealthy merchant to enter the mercantile business with a partner.  The firm was known as Fullmer and Mitchell.

Mary Ann Price

It was while in Nashville that he met and fell in love with Mary Ann Price, a daughter of a wealthy planter. Mary Ann had known none of the hardships of life and had her own maid and a private tutor. Her father was very much opposed to her association with John S. and she was forbidden to see him.

Describing their romance to his parents, John S. said, "I always thought I would be better pleased for having a little romance in my courtship.  In this I was fully gratified.  She was prevented from having any association with me for a long time, and when we did have any, it was clandestinely conducted.  She was not permitted to visit a neighbor's house alone, or even go to church without someone to attend her, lest I should intrude and take advantage of the circumstances.  We at length, however, corresponded daily: and when we thought we were about to be discovered, we consummated the business to our liking, and the utter astonishment and surprise of everybody.
On the morning of the 24th of May, 1837, she put on her morning gown as usual and, instead of walking among the flowers in the garden, as usual, she skipped across the street, through an alley, and met me at the place of appointment.  At 9 o'clock, we were at the Parson's house and had the ceremony completed, and wrote a joint note to her mother (her father being at the time in Texas), informing her of what was done, and hoped also that it was well done."
After the marriage, her father did become reconciled to their marriage in that he was friendly toward the newlyweds.  However, he disinherited Mary Ann.  Some years later, after her parent's died and their estate was probated, Mary Ann finally received some settlement, but this was after they had come to Utah.

It was while living in Nashville that his parents heard the gospel preached and accepted it. He was bitterly opposed to them joining what he called some "new fangled" religion when it meant moving from their home to a new place and the breaking up of the family unit. The Fullmers had been a closely knit family and John S. had been the only one to leave home up to that time. His three sisters[ii] had not joined this new church and were to be left behind in Ohio when the rest of the family moved to Missouri. John S. asked "Wasn't the old religion they had lived for so many years satisfactory anymore?" In a letter to his brother David, he says, "And as regards your religion, I have not another word to say in opposition, for I don't think you so lost in foolishness as to advocate any cause so zealously, without, to say the least, the appearance of some reason for it. I shall therefore cease the effort to laugh you out of your belief; neither will I debate the question, but will at once become your pupil, and will hear what you have to say, and if you can, by deed or doctrine, command my reason, I will make the acknowledgment."


Pennsylvania Germans

The story of the Life of John Solomon Fullmer is most interesting. His was a life of devotion to his religious beliefs and he never faltered in his faith. He possessed a great dignity and great pride in doing everything as nearly perfect as possible. John Solomon Fullmer, Sr. (hereafter referred to as John S.) was born in Huntington, Luzern County, Pennsylvania on 21 July 1807, the third of seven children born to Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfass. He came from a good, religious family whose means of livelihood for many years was that of farming. He spent his youth and early manhood on his father’s farm in Pennsylvania.

His ancestors were among the very early settlers of Pennsylvania, those of the Fullmer family coming from Germany on board the ship "Friendship", in 1738, and those of the Zerfass family also emigrating from Germany.  He was reared in Huntington until he was an adult and spent his youth and early manhood on his father's farm there. 
Fullmer Family Embrace Mormonism

It was while living in Nashville that his parents heard the gospel preached and accepted it. He was bitterly opposed to them joining what he called some "new fangled" religion when it meant moving from their home to a new place and the breaking up of the family unit. The Fullmers had been a closely knit family and John S. had been the only one to leave home up to that time. His three sisters[ii] had not joined this new church and were to be left behind in Ohio when the rest of the family moved to Missouri. John S. asked "Wasn't the old religion they had lived for so many years satisfactory anymore?" In a letter to his brother David, he says, "And as regards your religion, I have not another word to say in opposition, for I don't think you so lost in foolishness as to advocate any cause so zealously, without, to say the least, the appearance of some reason for it. I shall therefore cease the effort to laugh you out of your belief; neither will I debate the question, but will at once become your pupil, and will hear what you have to say, and if you can, by deed or doctrine, command my reason, I will make the acknowledgment."

Thus began the conversion of John S. Fullmer.  At the end of two years, he decided to go to Nauvoo to visit with the portion of his family living there and to see for himself the Prophet Joseph Smith.  He made the journey from Nashville to Nauvoo, Illinois on horseback in the Spring of 1839 and, before returning to Nashville, was baptized into the Church by the Prophet Joseph Smith on 29 July 1839.  He then returned to Nashville and prepared to move his family to Nauvoo.  He and Mary Ann and their two daughters moved into their first real home, in Nauvoo, in the Spring of 1840.  Here, they were as John S. said, "comfortably but not splendidly situated."
Mary Ann, who knew nothing about the religious beliefs of his family at the time of their marriage, was baptized after their arrival in Nauvoo; however, the exact date of her baptism is unknown.

Nauvoo, the Beautiful

In Nauvoo they were as John S. said, "comfortably but not splendidly situated. Our place is rich and beautiful; half prairie, and is susceptible, by proper management, of supporting stock to almost an unlimited extent. But what is of infinitely more importance is that we reside within two miles of the City of Nauvoo, a place founded by the church of Latter-day Saints with whom we became acquainted, and after an impartial and thorough investigation of their principles have united ourselves in Christian fellowship. . . . If you ever heard anything, be assured it was either a gross misrepresentation or perhaps an utter falsehood. They have, to be sure, been driven from the state of Missouri, two years ago, by the force of arms, but certainly not for any criminal act, . . . but because there is a prophet at their head and because the church places implicit confidence in what he teaches. Equally with the primitive Christians, this church professes to have the same priesthood, together with the same power and gifts. . . . The organization of the church, according to the apostolic pattern, is a prelude to the Millennium, which is not very far distant.

                                               -From a letter by John S. Fullmer, February 15, 1841

From the time of their arrival in Nauvoo until the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Fullmer family was closely associated with him and his brother Hyrum, and their families. Being a neighbor for a time to the Prophet, they saw a lot of each other. Stories are told in the family how, in the evenings, the rugs of the Prophet's home would be rolled up and the time spent in dancing, and in the wrestling matches that John S. and the Prophet would engage in. In the Fullmer family, there is a sword and a watch which were given to John S. by the Prophet as tokens of his love and affection.

John S. later wrote that he had been with Joseph Smith "a great deal since my first acquaintance with him; was in his company and employ, in his office and in his red brick store on Water Street over a year; and acted as his private secretary."  John S. was active in all his Church activities and, in some of his letters, he relates the struggles required of the Saints in building the Nauvoo Temple, and many other of their hardships.
He received his patriarchal blessing May 29, 1841, at the hands of Hyrum Smith.  In this blessing he was promised that he would never lose his clearness of mind, even in his old age.  He never did.  Desdemona, a sister of John S., was one of the first women to enter into the order of Celestial marriage.  She became a wife to Joseph Smith in 1842.  John S. and his brother David also accepted this new order.

Mission to Pennsylvania

October 1842, Elder John S. Fullmer left on a mission that included some time in and around his birth place Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Elder Fullmer experienced “some experience in common with the rest of the Saints” Of the persecutions, John S told Joseph Smith later he was “glad of it.” He encountered much difficulty proselyting in Pennsylvania due to rumors about Joseph Smith’s character based on his early years in New York. John Solomon has been described as “a man of detail and assertion, one who could hold his own in any argument and give as much as he took.” Wanting to be prepared for future encounters, he wrote to Josiah Stowell, Jr asking for a statement regarding Joseph Smiths’ character. John S. had become acquainted with Stowell and discussions with him regarding Stowell’s views on the restoration and Joseph. Stowell offered that he always defended Joseph against this kind of slander.

Josiah Stowell, Jr. and Joseph Smith were school mates and friends from 1825 to 1827.  Joseph has worked for Josiah Stowell, Sr.  However, he had never joined the church or gathered with the Saints. Thus his testimony regarding Joseph Smith’s character can be fairly seen as more impartial than members or those who fought Joseph.  Josiah willingly provided the character reference and included a reference from his father Josiah Stowell, Sr. who had joined the Mormons, but had not gathered with the Saints.  Here is a link to a transcription of these letters. 

Carthage Jail

John S. had been living on a farm four miles from Nauvoo when, on June 25, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum were arrested.  As an officer in the Nauvoo Legion, he had been on duty during the time the city was under martial law.  Because of his great friendship with the two brothers, he was one of those who accompanied Joseph and Hyrum Smith to Carthage Jail.  He spent the day and night before the martyrdom with them there.  On the morning of the day they were assassinated, June 26th, when he was sent on an errand by the Prophet, he left his gun with the Prophet.  It was this gun that Hyrum used to defend himself with later that day.  The story is told that all those who were wounded with the gun that day died a horrible death. 
John S. wrote[iii] the when Joseph and Hyrum had first been jailed, they had been incarcerated on a riot charge and bail had been set at $500 each, which was about two and one half times as much as normal bail.  "It was evident,” said John S. ” that the magistrate intended to outreach the pile of the brethren, so as to imprison those on trial for want of bail; but it happened that there was strength to cover the demand.  I went to the full extent of my worth; so did others – and the prisoners were all released.  But Joseph and Hyrum having been arrested in the first instance on two charges, one for riot, the other for treason, were now not suffered to enjoy their liberty after the first examination and release; and were almost immediately taken in charge by a constable."

Navuoo, and Carthage Jail with the Prophet Joseph Smith

John S. told of lying on the floor next to the Prophet during the night before the assassination.  "He laid his right arm out for me to lay my head upon it.....  After the brethren were all quiet and seemed asleep, excepting myself, he talked with me a little about the prospects of his deliverance.  He did not say he knew that he had to die, but he inferred as much, and finally said he 'would like to see his family again,” and he 'would to God that he could preach to the saints once more in Nauvoo' ". 

John Solomon Fullmer was rebaptized 11 Oct 1876, he was originally baptized by the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. He was given his Patriarchial Blessing by Hyrum Smith, Patriarch of the Church,May 29, 1841.

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John Solomon Fullmer, Sr.'s Timeline

1807
July 21, 1807
Huntington, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA
1837
May 24, 1837
Age 29
Nashville, Davison, Tn
1839
December 13, 1839
Age 32
Murfreesboro, Rutherford, TN, USA
1841
October 25, 1841
Age 34
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States
1846
January 25, 1846
Age 38
Navoo, IL, United States
April 12, 1846
Age 38
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States
1856
October 12, 1856
Age 49
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
1856
Age 48
1859
March 23, 1859
Age 51
Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah, United States
1860
1860
Age 52