Cornelius Peter Lott

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Cornelius Peter Lott

Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: New York, NY, USA
Death: July 6, 1850 (51)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Peter Lott; Peter Lott; Mary Jane Smiley and Mary Jane Smiley
Husband of Phebe Crosby; Elizabeth Lott; Permelia Lott; Charity Lott; Elizabeth Lott and 2 others
Father of Melissa Smith; John Smiley Lott; Mary Elizabeth Losee; Almira Henrietta Lott; Permelia Jane Hatch and 7 others

Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Cornelius Peter Lott

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Cornelius Peter Lott (September 22, 1798 – July 6, 1850) was an early member of the Latter Day Saint movement, father of one of Joseph Smith's plural wives, a member of the Council of Fifty and a Danite leader..."

"...Lott was born in New York City, to Peter Lott and Mary Jane Smiley. His grandfather, also named Cornelius Lott, was sheriff of Somerset County, New Jersey, and served as Captain of the Middlesex County Men in the American Revolution.

Lott married Permelia Darrow on April 27, 1823. Sometime before 1834, both joined the Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints). They moved to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1836...."

"...In the winter of 1838 - 1839, the Lotts were driven from Missouri with the rest of the Latter Day Saints. They settled in Pike County, Illinois, forty miles south of the main body of Saints in Nauvoo, in 1839, before moving to Joseph Smith's farm just southeast of Nauvoo..."

"...Lott practiced plural marriage. On January 22, 1846, he married three women: Elizabeth Davis, Rebecca Fossett, and Charity Dickenson. Elizabeth left while the family was in Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Rebecca left before the birth of their child, whom he never met. Charity appears to have stayed with him.

In 1848 he married Eleanor Wayman and Phebe Crosby Peck Knight, Hosea Stout's mother-in-law and widow of Joseph Knight..."

"...Once in the Salt Lake Valley, Lott and his families lived in a two-room house at the southwest corner of Third South and State Street in Salt Lake City. He managed a church farm in the Forest Dale area..."

"...Lott died in 1850, of either dysentary or fatigue..."


Biographical Summary:

"...Cornelius was taught to work with his hands, and taught that hard work helps to build a strong character. He was taught to be obedient. When given a task it was to be completed with the greatest of care. This lesson he always remembered, and he was always conscientious about his work. He was also taught to be fair and honest in his dealings with others, a lesson he instilled in his own children when they came along.

Cornelius spent his youth in New York and Pennsylvania. He loved the soil and liked to farm; he loved animals and took great pride in them.

When he was 24 years of age, he married Permelia Darrow, in Bridgewater, Luzern County, Pennsylvania, April 27, 1823. She was a very quiet, well mannered and educated young woman.

Once hired as superintendent of Joseph Smith’s farm in Nauvoo in 1842,

Cornelius Lott developed a relationship with the Prophet that afforded him opportunities to associate closely with the leaders of the Church.

Besides supervising the Smith farm and being involved with the Nauvoo Legion, Lott “showed great interest and helped physically with all the important projects in building the City of Nauvoo. He labored faithfully in helping to erect their most beloved structure, the Nauvoo Temple.” In fact, records indicate that Cornelius Lott donated some fifty-seven and one-quarter days in building the holy edifice.

As superintendent of Joseph Smith’s farm, family lived on the Prophet’s farm about three miles outside the city, just north of the old Nauvoo cemetery. Their home had eight rooms: four on the main level and four upstairs. They also had a barn suitably equipped with all the essentials. The homestead was an admiration of the Prophet and a special attraction to the many travelers passing through.

Joseph Smith often brought his family to the farm, for his family and the Lott family were on terms of great intimacy. Joseph III recollected these visits as well. He noted, “This Cornelius P. Lott and family occupied the farm east of town until the break-up occurred. I became well acquainted with them all – his older son John, the daughters Melissa, Mary, Martha, and Alzina, and the little son Peter. It was always pleasant to visit their place where everything was interesting to me and everybody busy and kind.” The farm was a haven of rest and refuge for the Prophet so he spent as much time there as he possibly could. He enjoyed doing hard, physical labor, working side by side with my father, Cornelius, hoeing potatoes or any kind of work that needed to be done.

It was in the fields that Cornelius’ testimony was strengthened that Joseph was truly a man of God. The two of them had many long talks together while they worked. Cornelius said many times that when a person was with him, he would have to know that brother Joseph was a true Prophet of God because you could feel his wonderful influence when you were with him, as he was so humble, yet so dynamic. Cornelius gained a Testimony from this association that never left him.

In addition to the Prophet’s visits to the farm, a couple of the Lott girls found employment working for Emma Smith. Mary Elizabeth lived with the Smiths and took care of their children.9 Lott’s oldest daughter, Melissa, also “chaperoned the smaller and younger children of the Smiths and at times made her home with the Prophet’s wife, Emma.

Lott also had a rather jovial side to his personality as demonstrated in an amusing wrestling match with the Prophet. Joseph Smith III recounted how his father was once in his Red Brick Store in Nauvoo, after having beat a number of men in wrestling matches, when Lott entered carrying a blacksnake whip. He recalled, “Hardly had he entered when

Father said in a jolly tone, ‘Here! I have thrown down pretty nearly everybody about the place except Brother Lott, and I believe I can throw him down too.’ The old man stopped, swung his whip under his left arm and said, in his high, piping voice, ‘Well, my boy, if you’ll take it catch-as-catch-can you can’t throw old man Lott!’” After agreeing upon the match, the men stepped outside where Joseph Smith and Cornelius Lott “ran together several times,” yet the Prophet could not beat him. Joseph III noted that after a while,

“He gave up his efforts to throw the sturdy old fellow and much good-natured banter at his expense was indulged in as he gave up the struggle. In the midst of the jibes I heard the old man pipe out again, ‘I told you, my boy, that you couldn’t throw old man Lott!”

As Lott’s relationship with the Prophet developed, he became one of his close confidants. During the Nauvoo period, the Lord revealed various sacred doctrines and ordinances to Joseph Smith, yet due to the sacredness of such matters, the Prophet had to be selective in whom he would confide these doctrines and ordinances.

Plural marriage was one of the doctrines that Joseph Smith carefully guarded.

Joseph Smith recorded an explanation of the doctrine on July 12, 1843, now found in

Doctrine and Covenants section 132. Only three months after this meeting at the Lott home, on September 20, Cornelius and Permelia Lott gave their nineteen-year-old daughter, Melissa, to Joseph Smith as a plural wife, Hyrum Smith performing the ceremony.

After the marriage ceremony, Melissa “spent most of the following winter with his family, going to school in the so-called brick store. The Prophet’s children, Joseph,

Fredrick, and Alexander, went to the same school under the immediate watchful care of

Melissa.” Since the Prophet did not practice plural marriage openly, he exhibited some confidence in Lott to approach him on such a matter. Also, on September 20, 1843, the same day of the marriage between Joseph Smith and Melissa Lott, Cornelius and Permelia Lott were married for time and eternity “By President Hyrum Smith with seal of President Joseph Smith. During this time, Lott became a recipient of other ordinances as well. On December 9, 1843, Cornelius and Permelia Lott received their Anointing in Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store.

With the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Lott turned his allegiance to Brigham Young and the Apostles. As had been the case during Joseph Smith’s tenure, Lott continued his close association with Church leaders and enjoyed the inherent privileges thereof; including participation in sacred meetings and ceremonies to which few others were privy. Such occasions afforded Lott opportunity to strengthen his ties with Brigham Young and his cohorts. Lott and his family attended the meeting on August 8, 1844, when Young was transfigured before the members of the Church, thus being established as the new leader in the minds of many of the Latter-day Saints, including the Lotts. The Lotts remained faithful to President Young and the Quorum of the Twelve over the course of their lives.

On December 10, 1845, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball commenced administering the ordinance of the endowment at 4:25 p.m. Within the hour, at five o’clock, Isaac and Lucy Morley, Joseph Fielding, Joseph C. Kingsbury, and Cornelius P. Lott entered.46 After the prayer, however, Lott left the temple and went home to his wife in order to participate in the ordinance with her the next day. Though he had previously received the ordinance on December 9, 1843, he and his wife again received the endowment in the Nauvoo Temple on December 11, 1845. Also, though Cornelius and Permelia Lott had been sealed together for time and eternity on September 20, 1843, by

Hyrum Smith, they entered the Nauvoo Temple two and a half years later to be sealed again. President Brigham Young performed the ceremony at 1:50 p.m. on January 22, 1846, with John D. Lee and Phineas H. Young as witnesses. One hour before the sealing between Lott and his wife, Lott stood in as a proxy for the Prophet Joseph Smith in being married to the fifty-four year old Elizabeth Davis Durfee for eternity. Immediately after, Lott entered plural marriage and was married to Elizabeth for time, President Young performing the ceremony.

Also that day, Cornelius Peter Lott was married and sealed in the Nauvoo Temple to Rebecca Fausett. Rebecca had been engaged to be married to Isiah Barkdull, but he had taken ill and died. She was a lovely young girl, but still in love with the man she had been engaged to, and wanted to be sealed for eternity to him, so her marriage to Cornelius did not last too long. She left Cornelius and went back to live with her parents. Their marriage and sealing was later dissolved. They had one son, whom she named Isiah Barkdull Lott.

These events demonstrate that Brigham Young knew Lott and trusted him enough to include him in some of the Church’s most sacred rituals. That trust became a foundation for future assignments Lott received from Young.

In the summer of 1848, in the Heber C. Kimball company, Cornelius Peter Lott and his wife Permelia Darrow Lott started their trek west. The saints divided into companies of ten. Cornelius and family were in the second division and he was captain of ten wagons.

They arrived in Salt Lake, September 23, 1848. Their first home was on the corner of 3rd South - what is now State Street, where the Centre Theater now stands.

Cornelius built a two room home there. It was very primitive, but built like so many of the pioneer homes of that• time; Rough unhewn logs with the openings between the timbers daubed with chinking and mud. But it must be large enough to accommodate the father and mother and eight children, and must be completed as soon as possible, as the stork was again hovering around their home. Their eleventh child, Benjamin Smith Lott, was born November 16, 1848. Just one month and twenty-three days after their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.

For two years this family had been helping at the way-side-stations and working their way westward to the Mountain Valleys among the saints, where they could rest in peace. To them this newly erected structure of two rooms supplemented with wagon boxes, was a far cry from the beautiful eight room mansion, on the Smith farm, they had lived in. But it was their own, and they were thankful for it. Their furniture was homemade, heavy and crude, lacking in the beauty and conveniences of our modern day furniture, but they were happy to be together and have a place to call home.

Cornelius Lott's; daughters were growing up and beginning to entertain their boyfriends now, and on November 12, 1848,.he. saw his second daughter, Mary Elizabeth, married to Abraham Losee a•convert to the church from Canada, whom she had met in the Smith home .in Nauvoo. He had worked on the farm with her father. He later saw another daughter, Almira Henrietta, married to John Riggs Murdock on November 13, 1849, another stalwart Pioneer.

In the spring of 1849 Cornelius was again put in charge of the church farm, known as the Forrest Dale Farm. Here he again done the kind of work he loved and was best suited for.

For twenty-seven years this father and mother were as one in sharing their joys and sorrows. In their many shifting scenes of the past a father’s watchful care was always present.

Cornelius Peter Lott was a good father, a good provider, and a good protector. He was not a large in stature and had gone prematurely gray, but he was a very big man in the sights and thoughts of his friends and family.

He contacted dysentery, a bowel disease, and because the living was so poor and the food so coarse, nothing they could do seemed to help him.

He passed away in Salt Lake City, July 6, 1850, at the age of 51 years, 9 months and 5 days. He was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, where a specially prepared red sandstone marker, the first of its kind, was placed in his memory..."

SOURCE: Unknown.

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Cornelius Peter Lott's Timeline

September 22, 1798
New York, NY, USA
September 27, 1798
September 27, 1798
September 27, 1798
September 27, 1798
January 13, 1824
Age 25
Tunkhannock, PA, USA
March 23, 1826
Age 27
Springville, PA, USA