Vienna Jacques (1787 - 1884)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Beverly, MO, USA
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Managed by: Randy Stebbing
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About Vienna Jacques

Biographical Summary #1:

"...Vienna was a single woman in her early 40s when she first became acquainted with the Church. She was a devout Christian in Boston, Massachusetts, but she became dissatisfied with her religion and began seeking a church that evidenced the spiritual gifts described in the New Testament. Hearing of Joseph Smith and his newly published Book of Mormon, she requested a copy. At first reading she was not particularly inspired. One night, however, while she was praying, she saw a vision of the Book of Mormon and resolved to know of its truthfulness.

Her conversion was not instantaneous, but it came gradually through continual prayer and study of the scriptures. She read the Book of Mormon until she was convinced of its divinity. In 1831, 43-year-old Vienna traveled alone by canal boat and then by stagecoach to Kirtland, Ohio, to meet the Prophet. After being instructed by him, she accepted baptism. Upon returning to Boston, she was instrumental in the conversion of several family members. On 8 March 1833, after returning to Kirtland, she was instructed by revelation through the Prophet to give $1,400 and other valuables she had brought from the East to the Church and to settle in Jackson County, Missouri (see D&C 90:28–31).

Vienna Jacques donated all she had to the Lord’s Church. In return, she received funds from the bishop to maintain herself. This contribution from a single daughter and sister stands as a memorial to her faith, willingness to sacrifice, and love of God.

Concerning her generous offering, the Prophet Joseph Smith sent a letter to Vienna on 4 September 1833, in which he wrote: “I have often felt a whispering since I received your letter, like this: ‘Joseph, thou art indebted to thy God for the offering of thy Sister Vienna, which proved a savior of life as pertaining to thy pecuniary concerns. Therefore she should not be forgotten of thee, for the Lord hath done this, and thou shouldst remember her in all thy prayers and also by letter for she oftentimes calleth on the Lord.’” 2

In Missouri, Vienna was forced to abandon her deeded portion of land because of mob violence against the Saints in that region. Concerning her situation there, the Prophet penned these words of counsel: “I was aware when you left Kirtland that the Lord would chasten you, but I prayed fervently in the name of Jesus that you might live to receive your inheritance. … Therefore let your heart be comforted; live in strict obedience to the commandments of God, and walk humbly before Him, and He will exalt thee in His own due time. I will assure you that the Lord has respect unto the offering you made.” 3

Sister Jacques’s generous nature blessed the lives of many people. Elder Heber C. Kimball (1801–68) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles noted her service in his journal entry concerning illness in Zion’s Camp: “We had to exert ourselves considerable to attend to the sick, for they fell on every hand.” Then he added, “I received great kindness from … sister Vienna Jacques, who administered to my wants and also to my brethren—may the Lord reward … [her] kindness.” 4

Before being driven from Missouri, Vienna married Daniel Shearer, a widower. Together they fled to Nauvoo, Illinois. During the westward exodus to the Rockies, more hardship was added to her life when, for unknown reasons, her husband died. At age 60 she drove her own wagon across the plains and into the Salt Lake Valley on 2 October 1847. She was given a lot in the Salt Lake 12th Ward. She died at age 96, and her obituary read, “She was true to her covenants and esteemed the Gospel as a priceless treasure.”.."

SOURCE: Black, Susan Easton; "Happiness in Womanhood"; Ensign; March 2002. Retrieved from: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/03/happiness-in-womanhood?lang=eng

Biographical Summary #2:

"...Vienna Jacques, a single woman aged 45, arrived in Kirtland, OH from Boston in 1833. She was directed by revelation to consecrate everything she had, then receive back a sufficient amount to move to Jackson Co., MO (D&C 90:28-31). Vienna Jacques married Daniel Shearer in 1838 in Missouri, just after being driven out of Jackson County along with the rest of the Saints. Not long afterwards she received her patriarchal blessing as Vienna Shearer. MORMON REDRESS PETITIONS: DOCUMENTS OF THE 1833-1838 MISSOURI CONFLICT (1992, Religious Studies Center, BYU), p. 336-337, shows a redress petition by Daniel Shearer dated 7 May 1839 at Quincy Ill., submitted to the U.S. Congress, in which he included a claim for $250.00 "Damiges of Vienna Jakes now my wife in being driven from Jackson County in the State of Missouri & Mooving from the State of Massa(c)husetts to Missouri".

Vienna crossed the plains to Utah in 1847 and Daniel Shearer in 1852. They had evidently become estranged. Daniel married again to Mary Wilkie 1 Jul 1849 in Kanesville, then to Sarah Gilbert 21 Dec 1862 in Salt Lake City.

Vienna was sealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith BY PROXY, 28 Mar 1858 in SALT LAKE CITY.

Daniel Shearer's will, 1874, mentioned his estranged wife Vienna Jaques in order to cut her out with a token amount.

Vienna was honored as the oldest living member of the church before her death in 1884, aged nearly 97..."

.SOURCE: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igmpostem.cgi?op=show&app=ldshistorical¬ify=8iOrNPBeCyJWCanUM5xP3q-545FLPEnU&key=I5366&return=%3Ca+href%3D%22%2Fcgi-bin%2Figm.cgi%3Fop%3DGET%26amp%3Bdb%3Dldshistorical%26amp%3Bid%3DI5366%22%3EReturn+to+WorldConnect%3C%2Fa%3E

Obituary:

"...Vienna Jacques Dead. – Sister Vienna Jacques, an aged veteran in the Church and one of the early historic characters of the Latter-day Saints, breathed her last at about 6 a.m., to-day, at her residence in the Twelfth Ward. She was 96 years of age, and had she lived till June 10th of the present year would have attained her 97th anniversary.

She was well known and widely respected for her life-long integrity and many virtues of character. For a long time she has been very weak, both in body and mind, and has been bed-ridden, unable to help herself in any way. Her mental powers were so far gone that she would ramble in her speech, which has been for several years incoherent and utterly irresponsible. Her death is a happy release from pain and weakness. Peace to her ashes..."

SOURCE: February 13, 1884, Deseret News, p. 1

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Vienna Jacques's Timeline

1787
June 10, 1787
Beverly, MO, USA
1884
February 7, 1884
Age 96
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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