About Mary Evans (Ellison)
Biography of Mary Ellison Evans - Pioneer of 1856
Author: Lucy Briggs Brown
Date of original document origin: unknown
Original Document format: 3 pages typed with an additional cover page.
Transcribed: Dec 31, 2008 by Randy Stebbing. email@example.com
Mary Ellison Evans was born 11 July 1830 in Altrincham, Middlewich, England. She was the daughter of John Ellison and Mary Goulden Ellison, who were of English decent. Her father was a gardener by trade. Mary Ellison had five or six brothers and sisters but she was the only one of her entire family or relatives who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or came to America. The Ellison family belonged to the Church of England.
When Mary was six year of age the commenced her schooling. At that time the boys and girls were kept in a separate room. There were only sixteen or seventeen girls and twenty boys in the school Mary attended. The girls were given the upper room for their classes and the boys used the lower floor. At the age of eight years Mary was taken seriously ill with brain fever. When she was taken sick she had beautiful hair being able to sit on it when braided it was so long. During her illness all her hair had to be cut off close to her head, a razor being used to cut her hair. Mary never had the opportunity of going back to school after she had at last recovered from her illness. After a year, at the age of nine she began work as an apprentice at dressmaking. So small was she that she was placed on a table to be able to see. She worked at this work for three years and three months without any reward for her labors.
Among Mary's friends were John Evans Sr. The Evans family lived in Worington, England. Mary visited this family of ten and it was when visiting their home that Mary first heard the gospel preached by Latter-Day Saint elders. Mary at this time belonged to the Church of England but when she heard the gospel her heart and soul bore witness of its truth. On September 13, 1852 Mary was baptized in a rive by John Evans who later became her father-in law and confirmed by Elder C. Longson on the same day.
Previous to Mary's hearing of and acceptance of the gospel, Mary had met William Dinwoody of Worington. After a few months of courtship Mary and William became engaged. Mary was just twenty one years old. They had only been engaged a little while when William sailed for America with his brother Henry, expecting Mary to come later.
After Mary's acceptance of the gospel her greatest desire was to come to America. It took many and many a hard days labor to save enough to make her dream come true. John Evans and family were planning on coming to America and Mary worked harder thane ever so that she might come with someone she knew. On February 15, 1852 when Mary was twenty-three years old the party sailed out of the Liverpool docks on the Ship "Elviria Owen". In the partly were Brother John Evans, his wife, his son and daughter, John and Elizabeth, James Dinwoody his stepson, and Mary Ellison. The little company were forty two days on the water. They were seven weeks without seeing land, arrived in New Orleans on April 1, 1853. The vessel sailed through the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi River with final destination at St. Louis arriving on April 22, 1853.
When Mary first arrived in America she wrote to William Dinwoody, her lover, telling him that she had joined the Mormon Church and he never answered her letter so their engagement was broken off. Francis Dinwoody came to St. Louis a year later and she and Mary set up dressmaking in Brother Evans Tailor Shop. As time went on the friendship between Mary and John Evans Jr. grew and ripened until on December 25, Christmas day 1854 they were married in a Latter Day Saint meeting house by Brother Milo Andrus later of Cottonwood, Utah. After their marriage John worked in a printing shop with James Needham.
On June 1, 1856, Mary and her husband started their long journey across the plains. They were in John Banks Company. They were provided with an ox team of their own and plenty of provisions. while they were crossing the Platt River the wagon was capsized and they lost nearly all their provisions an clothing. When they were going through he plains of Nebraska the oxen became frightened and ran away. Mary jumped out of the wagon and her leg was fractured very badly. She had to lay in the wagon several weeks before she could walk. The men of the company had to guard the cattle every night from the Indians and buffaloes. The camp was always formed in a circle with the wagons on the outside and the cattle in the enclosure. On September 25, 1856 about eighty-two miles east of Salt Lake City at Green River a little baby girl was born to Mary and John. The child was named Mary Elizabeth. The company entered the valley through Immigration Canyon and arrived on the 1st of October 1856.
On Arriving in the valley John and Mary went to live with John Evans Sr. After a few weeks the little family left for Ogden where they bought a farm. Their farm was located where the O. S. L. depot now stands. While there John went with the Weber County Militia in the Ogden Brass Band to Cache Valley, Marsh Valley and Malad to watch Johnson's Army. He also went to Echo Canyon and stayed there until Col. Johnson concluded to winter on Hans Fork and eat mule flesh. After a three years sojourn in Ogden the family sold their farm and moved to Bountiful, Davis County, Utah. In the sale of the farm John and Mary received a flour box, a large kitchen table and a clothes rack in payment for the farm. A small farm with a log room on it was purchased in Bountiful and John went to work in a blacksmith shop with Brother Henry Rampton who had married Francis Dinwoody.
A few months later the log room was deserted and this little family like all others moved south because the army was coming upon them. The piled straw in the little room so that everything would be reduced to ashes if the army dared to claim the homes of the saints. When all was peace they returned home. After two more years they purchased a lot with an adobe room on it. They moved the log hut and joined it to the adobe and built the rest of the home as it has since stood. Her husband John went to work in Salt Lake City at Dinwoodys'.
There were nine children born to John and Mary Evans. Mary Elizabeth, John Edward, Ann, William Ellison, James Dinwoody, Elizabeth Mills, Chancey Levi, Joseph and Jessie Goulden. Joseph died in his infancy.
In the year 1879 Mary Evans was called upon to bury her beloved husband. This left this noble woman with her large family to care for alone. Jessie, her youngest was just two year old. With a staunch heart and faith in her God she shouldered her task of caring for and supporting her family.
Not only was Mary Evans faithful to her family but she lived the life of a true Latter Day Saint. She kept the word of wisdom at all times and attributed her health and long life to her right living. She was never one to slander or talk about people. She was also very independent never depending on anyone else when she could possibly do it herself. She was economical and thrifty and through these means was able to provide for her family.
Mary Evans spent many years of service in the church and many there are who called and will cl her "blessed". She served in the capacity of Relief Society teacher and also as a Sunday School teacher but her greatest work was in the Primary. She was 1st Counselor in the first Primary organized in Bountiful and the third one organized in the church. She served in that office for twenty three years. Through all kinds of weather, sickness, sorrow, and death it found this faithful woman in her place. Ofttimes she would be visiting with her loved ones in Salt Lake but when Primary day came she always made the trip home to attend her duty. She helped in introducing some of the first fairs, and sewing done in Primaries.
Mary Evans' skillful fingers were never long idle. Even in her advanced years her nimble fingers were still plying the needle. She made a good share of the bed clothing of her family and pieced a quilt top for every one of her grandchildren.
After Mary Evans children were all married except one son, James D., she was relieved of some of the many tasks which had so taken a good share of her time. She was always well taken care of has her son James lived in the old home with his mother and cared for her.
On Sunday, December 5, 1915, Mary Evans was taken ill and the following day passed away to join her husband. She made her bed and cooked her last meal that she ate. The funeral services were held at Bountiful on December 9, 1915. Three rows of Primary children were at the service to sing and honor her. Three of her Primary boys spoke at her service, Charles R. Mabey, Albert Holt and William Waddoups. B. H. Roberts, a son of Mrs. Duston who was an associate of Mary Evans in Primary, Mrs. Duston being President of the Primary, also spoke. All spoke of her value and goodness. She was buried in the Salt Lake City cemetery beside her husband.
She left at the time of her death posterity of ninety two to mourn her passing. Long will her memory be loved and cherished by her family and friends.
This copy, made available through the courtesy of the International Society DAUGHTERS OF UTAH PIONEERS, may not be reproduced for monetary gain.
Evans, Mary Ellison
Birth Date: 11 July 1830
Death Date: 6 Dec. 1915
Company: John Banks Company (1856)
from England; came with John
"Immigration to Utah," Deseret News, 15 Oct. 1856, 254. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Journal History, 3 Oct. 1856, p. 6
Census: Census Place Bountiful, Davis, Utah Family History Library Film 1255336 NA Film Number T9-1336 Page Number 278A
Utah Cemetery Inventory. Name: Mary Evans Birth Date: 0 01830 Death Date: 9 December 1915 Death Place: BOUNTIFUL, UTAH Burial Date: 9 December 1915 Cemetery: Salt Lake City Cemetery Source: Sexton Records Grave Location: J-14-1-2-ES2
Mary Evans's Timeline
July 11, 1830
Altrincham, Cheshire, England
December 25, 1854
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
September 25, 1856
October 11, 1858
Bountiful, Davis, UT, USA
September 7, 1860
June 10, 1863
Bountiful, Davis, UT, USA
September 2, 1865
May 24, 1867
Bountiful, Davis, UT, USA
September 13, 1869