Letha's Top Matches
About Letha Hunter (Newman)
THE STORY OF MY PEOPLE
BY LETHA HUNTER
My father, Elijah Newman, was born Sept. 17, 1803 on a plantation in Limestone County, Virginia. He was raised in Richmond. His father, Solomon Newman, born in England, came to America with his father and mother in the Mayflower with the first pilgrims from England. I think Solomon Newman's father's name was Isaac Newman. He lived in Cornwall, England, but went to Liverpool to sail with the immigrants. I do not know what Isaac's wife's name was.
Solomon Newman had a lot of slaves. His wife, Peggy Jane James, was an invalid. When their son, Elijah was nine years old, his father, Solomon, had a fever, but when the doctor informed him that his wife would die in about an hour, Solomon got out of bed and called in all the slaves and freed them, all but two most trusted ones. This was a couple, Jack and Mamie, who he gave the property to, to care for and raise the son, Elijah, and then he went and lay on the same bed with his wife and they both died within one hour.
Peggy Jane James was the daughter of Gilbert James who came from England on the Mayflower with Solomon Newman. Gilbert James is a brother to Jessie James' father who was an Episcopal minister as was Gilbert James.
In 1826 Elijah Newman married a girl by the name of Almira Brown. She was born in 1808. They had one child, and Almira died giving birth. The child was named William Brown Douning Newman and was raised by his grandparents Douning. In 1887 William was elected Governor of the state of Washington.
Elijah married again in 1829 to Lucina Hammond to which union was born one daughter in 1830, Virginia Lavina.
Elijah Newman met the Prophet Joseph Smith in Springfield, Illinois in 1829 and joined the church. He worked for the prophet, living in their home for a period of seven years while they lived at Navoo, Illinois.
Elijah was then sent to Utah with the first pioneers, joining, the Mormon Battalion. While he was gone, his wife, Lucina, left their daughter, Virginia, with my mother, Letha Jane Killian, to care for and went away with William Pratt, a brother to Parley P. Pratt.
When Elijah came back he found his daughter, Virginia, with my mother, Letha. After my mother reached Utah, she married Elijah Newman in October,1850. To this union was born the following children: Almira, born 1851, Lydia who died a few hours after birth, John, born 1854; Louine, born 1857; Letha (myself), born 1859; George, born 1862; Solomon, born 1865. Letha Jane Killian was married to a man by the name of Hood. To them were born three daughters: Nancy Jane, Mary Ann, and Sarah Ellen.
Sarah Ellen died in Missouri as a baby. Letha Killian Hood moved to Utah with her father and mother Killian with some of the first early immigrants sometime around October 6, 1850. She walked every step of the way from Counsel Bluff to Green River, driving a yoke of oxen into Salt Lake City, Utah.
Letha Killian Hood brought with her the three girls, her own two and Virginia. Mr. Hood, Letha's first husband, was not a Mormon. He got killed while in government service to Mexico.
We lived in the old fort in Parowan in an adobe house. That is where I was born, in Parowan. At that time the fort was built of high mud walls, with houses built side by side with the church in the center and with guards outside watching. The fields, cultivated by all the people, were outside the walls. After a period of time the ground was cut into l1/2 acre lots. Father got one on which he built a log house with four rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. In 1859 my sister, Virginia, married a man by the name of William H. Dame who later went on a mission and also became Stake President of the whole Iron Company.
Father had gone to California, and while he was gone, sister got married and I was born.
When I was 8 years old, my father was hauling poles. I wanted very much to ride with him. He said, “You can ride with me after I get across the ditch. You might fall off.” I did not listen and climbed on the back wheel to get on the load, just as father spoke to the teem. They started up, throwing me under the wheel, which passed over my chest. Mother saw me from the door and screamed. When they picked me up I was unconscious. They thought I was dead but administered to me, and after l1/2 hours I became conscious but was sick for a long time and could feel the pressure of the wheel on my chest for many years. That is what I got for being disobedient. I loved my father very much.
On December 22,1872, my father died. After his death we sold the Parowan home and went to Richfield and wandered around quite a lot. After that my mother died at Brueano, Idaho, on August 30,1898, lacking about 6 weeks being 80 years old.
When I was nearly 15 years old. I met Robert Hunter who I knew for 3 months when we were married. He was born November 14,1849 in Des Moines, Iowa. We were married by Judge Higgins at Richfield. To us were born 9 children. 3 boys and 6 girls.
We built a home in Grass Valley Utah, but had to leave because of the Indians. We then moved to Big Cottonwood Canyon where we rented a place. We lived there seven years. In 1880 we moved to Rockland, Idaho, where we got a quarter section of land under the Pre-emption Act. We left there in 1887 and moved to Anaconda, Montana. We rented a place for one year while my husband worked for a mill. Then we moved to Georgetown Flat. My husband was mail carrier. We built a big home and lived there for about 6 years. The snowfall was heavy in winter. We could not stand to stay longer, so we moved to Marysville, Montana where we lived 10 years.
We worked in the mines in Marysville, and it was here that my youngest son was born and my oldest daughter died when she was 15 years and 8 days old. She died of pneumonia. My son was horn February 13 and daughter died on March 8.
I think you have the knowledge of the rest of the family life, so I bear you my testimony which is that the Gospel is as true today as it was in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
I have been healed by the laying on of hands many times and have always found that when I live the gospel as I should I feel much better than if I do things I know are not right.
Your mother was named after your Great Uncle George. My brother, who was never married, asked me if I ever had another girl would I name her for him. Call her Georgia, he said. Your mother was the next girl, so I named her Georgia.
This history was reviewed May 20,1938.
Transcribed to HTML by Tom Hunter July 11, 2004
Letha Hunter's Timeline
April 9, 1859
Parowan, UT, USA
December 29, 1873
Richfield, UT, USA
November 17, 1874
March 16, 1879
July 16, 1883
Rockland, ID, USA
July 16, 1885
Rockland, Power, Idaho, United States
February 29, 1940
Kimberly, ID, USA