Laura Jane Walker

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Laura Jane Walker (Brown)

Birthplace: Lehi, Utah County, Utah Territory, United States
Death: Died in Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah Territory, United States
Cause of death: child bed-fever
Place of Burial: Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Brown, Jr. and Amy Brown
Wife of Ezra Foutz Walker
Mother of Ezra Brown Walker
Sister of Minetta Permelia Brown; Robert Alexander Brown; Henrietta Mariah Brown and Mary Ann Clark
Half sister of William Crosby Brown; Sarah Staker; Paulina Eliza Bullock; Martha Elizabeth Bullock; Sytha Snyder and 1 other

Last Updated:

About Laura Jane Walker

Daughter of John Brown and Amy Snyder

Wife of Ezra Foutz Walker, married 8 Dec 1881 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA

Mother of Ezra Brown Walker

Laura Jane Brown, daughter of John and Amy Snyder Brown, was born Mar. 29, 1857 at Lehi, utah. Her father was a farmer and also raised cattle. Laura was raised in a polygamous family. John Brown had three wives; Amy Snyder, second wife, and Margaret Zimmerman, third wife, lived together. When Laura was three years old her father was called on a mission, leaving for England May 1, 1860. Amy and her two children, Laura Jane and Mary Ann, spent part of this time with her parents, Samuel Snyder, who lived in the Salt Lake Valley.

Shortly after John retunred from his mission, he was ordained Bishop of Pleasant Grove Feb. 2, 1863. At this time, he moved part of his family to Pleasant Grove. His first wife, Elizabeth, and her family had lived in Pleasant Grove for sometime, but the other wives were still living in Lehi. In the early spring of 1867 he moved the remainder of the Brown family to Pleasant grove. Amy and Margaret and their families continued to live in the same house, they ate at the same table, but each wife had a room of her own. They were very united and got along very well. At April Conference 1867, John was called to preside over the Southern States Mission. He left immediately. The house he was building for his families was not finished, but being always willing to do what the Lord required, he was ready to go and leave his affairs in the hands of the Lord and his brethren. May 13, 1867 he left Pleasant Grove, arrived in Salt Lake and stayed over night with Grandmother Snyder.

Living conditions were not too good for the Brown family. The house being made of soft adobe, the water and mud began to come through with the coming of the fall rains. Home-made rugs were hung up to the walls to keep out the cold and dampness, but as conditions grew worse they were forced to move. Brother Thomas Woolley moved Amy and Margaret and their families inot his home, which was unoccupied at the time. He with other members of the ward finished their home which stands today on the corner of First West and Main St. in Pleasant Grove. Laura attended school with other children of the town. Books and paper were very scarce so slates were used on which to do their school work. The summer months were spent getting ready for winter. Soap and candles were made by hand. Wool from the sheep was washed, corded, and spun and made into cloth which was in turn made into clothes. Laura, being very apt with a needle was given part of the responsibility of making clothes for the family. Shoes were a problem for a large family. The shoemaker had to made the shoes by hand and didn't always get them finished when they were needed. they were not able to afford them for all the children at once. laura attended barefooted part of the time.

When Laura was fourteen years old her mother died Mar. 20, 1871. Being the oldest in the family a great deal of responsibility fell on her. However, the Brown family was very united and the other wives helped to raise the family. Small-pox was a very dreaded disease at that time and vaccine was not available. Laura and her brothers and sisters were vaccinated for smallpox in this manner. Laura was not able to do the hard work, so she spent much of her time with easier household duties. She tended babies for Lizzie Beers, earning $1 a week. Laura gleaned wheat in the fields to earn enough to attend school at the Brigham Young Academy: Laura, Rose, and James L. attended at the same time. During this time the Saints in Pleasant Grove were living the United Order which made it very difficult to obtain money for an education. Finally, Laura had to discontinue school because of ill health. She was very talented with her sewing. her father sent her to Salt Lake to learn the millinery business. At the finish of the school she returned to Pleasant Grove, rented a room in the old Bullock House and ran a store. This was the first millinery shop in Pleasant Grove. She made hats and bonnets for ladies and straw hats for men. She bleached and braided the raw straw and then fashioned her own models. She also did her own blocking. Her sister, Rose, worked for her helping with the harder work. Laura trimmed and gave them the finishing touches. She was very successful. Her father was manager of the Pleasant Grove Merc. Co. and she worked in the store for a while.

Recreation was also created in the home. A group of young folks would meet and roll back the home-made rugs and enjoy an evening of dancing. Dances were also held on the second floor of the United Order Store-house. Aunt Rose has related to me how the young folks enjoyed many pleasant evenings there. She said "Everyone walked to the dance, the roads were so muddy that after every dance everyone had to move off the dance-floor while someone swept up the mud. But they had fun and enjoyed dancing." It was at one of these dances that Laura Jane Brown met Ezra F. Walker. There were a number of girls in the Brown family so Ezra took them all home that first evening. He returned to see Laura, not because she was the prettiest, but because she was the sweetest.

They were married Dec. 8, 1881 in the Salt Lake Endowment House. A brother of Ezra Walker, John Y. and Chastina Holman Walker, were married the same day. They made the trip to Salt Lake with a team and wagon. Their first home was two rooms in the old Henson Walker home, which still stands on Main Street. They were very happy. Her husband worked part of the time for Bishop Brown at the tithing yard. He also rented part at harvest time. Shortly after her marriage, Laura received $300 from the Snyder Estate. She bought 20 acres of land in Lindon and used the balance to make her home more comfortable.

Her only child was born Dec. 9, 1882. They gave him the name of Ezra Brown Walker and he was called "B". At the time of his birth she contracted and infection which was commonly known as child bed-fever. She passed away Dec. 15, 1882.

Laura Jane Brown was about five feet seven inches tall. She was quite frail. Her hair was dark brown and very long and beautiful, her eyes were brown, and she had an olive complexion. She was most tender hearted, sympathic and understanding. She had a very lovely disposition and was always ready to help someone. She was cheerful and full of fun. Everyone favored her. Her health was very delicate and her left arm didn't grow as large as it should have done. She was never able to do hard work.

By Laura Walker Allred, granddaughter

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Laura Jane Walker's Timeline

March 29, 1857
Lehi, Utah County, Utah Territory, United States
December 8, 1881
Age 24
Salt Lake City, Utah
December 9, 1882
Age 25
Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, United States
December 15, 1882
Age 25
Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah Territory, United States
Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah, United States