Letha Hunter (Newman) (1859 - 1940)

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Birthplace: Parowan, UT, USA
Death: Died in Kimberly, ID, USA
Managed by: Tom A Hunter
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

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 Final rites were conducted Friday at the Evans and Johnson funeral home chapel for Mrs. Letha Hunter, a long time resident of Buhl, who died last Wednesday morning at the Twin Falls county farm. Bishop E. B. Johnson, assisted by Paul Hunt and Roy Wood, officiated. A duet, Mrs. E. D. Johnson and Mr. C. Stallings, sang "There's a Home Eternal." Mrs. Johnson sang as a solo, "Oh, My Father," and Mr. Stallings sang, "A Perfect Day." Internment was in the Buhl cemetary beside the grave of her husband. Mrs. Hunter was born in Utah, April 9, 1858, and came to Buhl approximently 21 years ago. She was the wife of Robert Hunter, having married him in Utah, December 29, 1873. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. John Larsen of Townsend, MT, and Mrs. H. O Stemple of Missoula, MT; a niece Mrs. Louis Klos of Missoula, and two sons, T.S. Hunter of Portland and E.J. Hunter of Two Rivers. Canada. The daughters and niece were here for the funeral. RELIEF SOCIETY HONORS AGED MEMBER The Buhl Herald (Idaho)

The L. D. S. Relief society held a meeting Tuesday afternoon At the chapel to honor Mrs. Lethia Hunter on her seventy-seventh Birthday anniversary. The meeting was in charge of Mrs. Bertha Stallings and the following program was given: Reading Mrs. Stella Wood; solo, Mrs. Pearl Allenbach; Incidents in her early life by Mrs. Hunter; reading, Mrs. Evelyn Johanson; reading, Mrs. Albert Smith; Solo, Mrs. Cleo Hunt Carter; reading, Mrs. H. Cox; presentation of Gifts and birthday cake by Mrs. Stallings. Refreshments were Served by a committee consisting of Mrs. Len Hutchinson, Mrs. Roy Fait, Mrs. J. W. Towsley, Mrs. Everett Hustead. Thirty-seven ladies Were present. Descendants of Andreas Killian (1702-1788) and other lines Entries: 64574 Updated: 2006-10-08 08:37:26 UTC (Sun) Contact: George W. Killian For information about this database see the notes with George Weldon Killian ID#1 herein. I do NOT open e-mail if there is no "Subject" [or RE:] if I don't know you. Do NOT assume I know you. My DNA tests show a 99% probability of descent from Andreas Killian RIN 51. Index | Descendancy | Register | Pedigree | Ahnentafel | Add Post-em

  1. ID: I11960
  2. Name: Letha or Aletha NEWMAN
  3. Surname: Newman
  4. Given Name: Letha or Aletha
  5. ***: F
  6. Birth: 9 Apr 1859 in Parowan, Iron Co, Utah, USA
  7. Death: 29 Feb 1940 in Kimberly, Twin Falls, Idaho, USA
  8. Burial: 1 Mar 1940 Buhl, Twin Falls Co, Idaho, USA
  9. Ancestral File #: 187G-07
  10. _UID: 0E2B91FE7BF6D41190890020E507C2272CA3
  11. Note:

!Name: given as Aletha & Letha

Love the history by my great grand aunt. But I need to correct some errors. Her father was born in 1793, not 1803. He was raised in Hampshire County, Virginia. There is no evidence in the Mayflower stories. Elijah's and Jane's parents coming over on the Mayflower in the early 1600's and then living into the late 1700's doesn't work. Elijah's first marriage was to a Matilda Downing and they had a son named William B D Newman. We have some evidence that the B was for Benj. and the D was for Downing. He was not the Governor but was elected to appoint a representative to the territorial government. His second wife was Losina Bentley and they did have a daughter named Virginia. Not sure of Elijah meeting the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1829 in Illinois or with living with him for seven years in Nauvoo. We have tax records of Elijah in Nauvoo and nothing in Church history has Elijah and the Prophet living together. He was not with the Mormon Battalion, but came across the plains in Brigham Young's first wagon train in 1847. Virginia did not come across the plains with Letha Jane Killian. She came across the plains in 1852 with her mother. Another family history by Mary Ann Hood has her mother Letha Jane divorcing her husband Joseph Hood. Letha Jane's marriage to Elijah Newman in 1850 has some questions in my mind. This history is the only record of the marriage. I question this based on Elijah leaving for Iron County in December. Why would he volunteer to leave his bride with two small children? I am confident Elijah and Letha Jane knew each other from the Far West days and most likely met her in Kanesville when he came back to get his wife and daughter in 1848 (no evidence of his traveling during this period, but I give some merit to the story about Losina running off with William Pratt-because there is a 1850 census record of them living together with Virginia and a daughter of Losina and William in Iowa). The rest of the story is personal history of her family and runs true to my knowledge. Letha was close to eight years old when she dictated this history, so I think some of her memory of early facts was off the mark but she did live a colorful life and she had a rich heritage in the early history of the Church with her husband, her father, and her grand father, John Killian

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Letha Hunter's Timeline

1859
April 9, 1859
Parowan, UT, USA
1873
December 29, 1873
Age 14
Richfield, UT, USA
1874
November 17, 1874
Age 15
1879
March 16, 1879
Age 19
1883
July 16, 1883
Age 24
Rockland, ID, USA
1885
July 16, 1885
Age 26
Rockland, Power, Idaho, United States
1940
February 29, 1940
Age 80
Kimberly, ID, USA