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Philo Johnson's Geni Profile

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Philo Johnson

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Death: April 3, 1896 (81)
Payson, Utah County, Utah Territory, United States
Place of Burial: Blk 20 lot 3 pos 1, Payson, Utah County, Utah, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Johnson and Sarah Abigail Griffin
Husband of Experience Alemeda Johnson and Maria Mills
Father of Philo Johnson, Jr.; Emily Johnson; Melissa Johnson; Hannah Mosley Johnson; Reuben William Johnson and 2 others
Brother of Sarah Johnson; Alonzo Johnson; Julia Johnson; Charlotte Johnson; John Griffin Johnson and 5 others

Occupation: hatter, mason
Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Philo Johnson

Find a Grave

"...Johnson, Philo – (9th Ten) Born Dec. 6, 1814, at Newton, Fairfield Co., Conn., to Samuel and Abigail Johnson. He was baptized December 1841 and moved to Nauvoo on June 11, 1842, and served in the Nauvoo Legion. He wrote that "traders tried to discourage us by telling us we could not make a home in those mountain valleys for there was a frost every month of the year. In the Salt Lake Valley they had tried planting seeds several years but could not mature anything. Brigham Young said, 'We will try it and call on God to help us.'" Johnson said that after arriving, he, a mason, went to work making adobe bricks. In the fall of 1849, he married a widow with seven children, Spedy Ellsworth, and they had another seven children. He learned the hatter trade and moved to Payson, Utah Co., Utah, where he lived from 1857-1894. He made thousands of hats and at one time traded silk hats for two city blocks. His hats were held in high repute. He died April 3, 1896, in Payson, Utah Co., Utah, at age 81..."


Philo was the son of Samuel Johnson and Sarah Abigail Griffin. He married first Maria Mills, 1839, Newtown, Fairfield, Connecticut. He married second Speedy Experience Alemeda Brown, 17 Mar 1850, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. OBITUARY - AN OLD PIONEER DIES. Philo Johnson of Payson Passes Away, Aged 81 Years. "Payson, Utah, April 3. - Philo Johnson died this morning at 6 o'clock, aged 81 years. He was born at Newton, Fairfield County, Connecticut, December 6, 1814; was married at the age of 25 to Miss Maria Mills in 1839; he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1841 and moved to Nauvoo, Ill., in 1842. He was a hatter by trade, which he followed four years, and worked in the residence of Hyrum Smith, the brother of Joseph, who supplied him with furs and hat material; here he made 1000 hats, which were much needed in those early days.

He shared the vicissitudes of the Saints in the exodus, and in 1847 he joined the Pioneers, a company of 144 men, that started west April 6, 1847. Only three women were in this company; each man carried forty rounds of ammunition. They had no difficulty with the Indians until they met the Sioux tribe. No lives were lost in this encounter. The company arrived at Salt Lake valley in the fall of 1847. He was in camp when Brigham Young stuck his cane in the ground, saying: "This spot we will reserve for a temple," and soon after ten acres were fenced and called Temple block.

He commenced work on the old Fort square and built homes to live in during the winter. He made the furniture then used, worked at stocking guns afterward, followed mason work, assisting others to build homes. Afterward he worked at the hatter's trade, and came to Payson in the year 1858 and continued the same business. One of the great trials of his life was when his first wife left him in 1850, and went to California with some of her relatives; they had no children.

In 1850 he married Mrs. Ellsworth, a widow with seven children, who came to Payson with him and who bore him seven children, making a large family. His wife passed away about three weeks ago, on March 13, 1896. Both have been quite feeble for a long time. All of the family are well and favorably known, and have the respect of the whole community. The funeral services will be held on Sunday at the Payson tabernacle at 2 o'clock. All friends from a distance are cordially invited, as well as all at home. Our pioneers are all gone but one. Many aged veterans have lately been called home.

Salt Lake Tribune, 4 April 1896, p. 7, Personal Biography



Samuel Johnson (____ - 1862)


Sarah Abigail Griffin Johnson (1782 - 1864)



Experience Alemeda Brown Johnson (1820 - 1896)


Emily Johnson Wightman (1853 - 1926)


Reuben William Johnson (1858 - 1863)

Celestia Adelaide Johnson Fairbanks (1861 - 1938)

Maintained by: S.M.S.

Originally Created by: Cindy Baldogo

Record added: Oct 31, 2008

Find A Grave Memorial# 31040187

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Philo Johnson's Timeline

December 6, 1814
Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Age 35
Age 35
Great Salt Lake, Utah Territory
August 15, 1851
Age 36
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory, United States
August 31, 1853
Age 38
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
August 15, 1855
Age 40
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
October 1, 1856
Age 41
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
September 9, 1858
Age 43
Payson, Utah, Utah, USA