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About Mary Ensign

Mary Dunn Ensign was born November 2, 1833 in Belleville, Van Buren, Wayne County, Michigan the daughter of Simeon Adams Dunn & Adeline Rawson. The family lived in a fine farm home with an orchard containing all kinds of fruits, and with barns to house their animals. After joining the Church, they moved to Nauvoo, where Simeon A. Dunn purchased land upon which to build his home, from the Prophet Joseph Smith. The house he built was in a good state of preservation in August 1941, when his grandson, Adams Wesley Ensign and his wife visited that city. The house, which was then occupied by an elderly couple, showed them the deed of conveyance to Simeon A. Dunn, signed by Joseph and Emma Smith and also a deed of conveyance from Simeon A. Dunn to them. The house has since been restored with donations from the Dunn descendants and is owned by Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. The home is now used as a residence for couple missionaries and upon request a personal tour can be arranged by contacting the current resident missionaries. A great-grandson, Leslie Smith Dunn, Jr. and his wife, Marion of Brigham City, Utah, placed a registration book in the home to be signed (name and address) only by descendent's of Simeon Adams Dunn.

When Mary was but eight years of age her mother died. Their home was near that of the Prophet, on Hyde and Parley Street. The children of the two families often played together. In relating some of her early recollections of life in Nauvoo, she said: "I saw him on parade on the 4th of July, riding his black horse, Joe Duncan. I have also seen him on the ball grounds many times, and none could excel him in the game. On one occasion my father was very sick and sent for the Prophet to come. He asked father if he had ever had the measles. Father said "No". The Prophet then said, "You will have them", and before he took his hands off his head, father was broken out thick as could be. Another time the baby was very sick with black canker. Mother took him to the Prophet, who went with us to a stream of water. Joseph took the baby laid it across his hand, face down, and immersed it in the water and the baby recovered".

She remembered the farewell speech of the Prophet before he left for Carthage and the morning the news of the martyrdom was brought to the Saints. She was with her parents at the meeting when the mantle of the Prophet Joseph fell upon Brigham Young and remembered her father saying as they returned home, "They need not hunt any further, Brigham Young is the man to lead us".

At the age of fourteen years, Mary drove a team across the plains. She was married to Martin Luther Ensign, January 8, 1852. He said the first time he saw her she was wearing a turkey red calico dress, made with a tight waist, edged with narrow black lace at the neck and sleeves and a full skirt. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.

She became the mother of nine children. She was a good cook and enjoyed entertaining her relatives and friends. They had a happy and comfortable home life. Her husband was active in church and community affairs. They celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary January 8, 1902 and nine years later, May 18, 1911, at the age of eighty years, Martin L. Ensign passed away. Mary spent the remaining years of her life with her children and died November 8, 1920, at the age of eighty-seven years. She was buried at the side of her husband in the Brigham City Cemetery.

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Mary Ensign's Timeline

November 2, 1833
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan, United States
Age 7
November 10, 1852
Centerville, Davis County, UT, United States
April 6, 1854
Brigham City, Box Elder, UT, United States
August 22, 1856
Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah, United States
March 26, 1857
Age 23
April 24, 1859
Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah
January 15, 1862
Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah, United States