Rebecca Welker Stevens

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Rebecca Stevens (Welker)

Birthdate: (27)
Birthplace: Jackson County, Ohio, United States
Death: June 1863 (27)
Willard, Box Elder County, Utah, United States
Place of Burial: Plot: Unidentified - No Stone, Willard, Box Elder, Utah, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of James Robert Welker and Elizabeth Welker
Wife of Alexander Roswell Stevens
Mother of Alexander Alvin Stevens; James Roswell Stevens; Rebecca Malinda Stevens Dustin; Elizabeth Maria Stevens; Juliann Malina Stevens and 1 other
Sister of David Welker; James Wilburn Welker; John R. Welker; Jacob Stoker Welker; Mary Catherine Nelson and 3 others

Occupation: Married Alexander Roswell Stevens, 1853, in Mountainville, Utah, and had 5 children. She died shortly after the birth of her 5th child, Julia Ann, when she was only 28 years old.
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Rebecca Welker Stevens

Rebecca Welker was born July 21, 1835, in either Jackson County, Ohio, or Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to James and Elizabeth (Stoker) Welker. Her family joined the LDS Church in 1834, along with many of her extended family members. Her father died in Nauvoo in 1844 from intermittent fever. Her mother, Elizabeth, was left with a large family including six children under fifteen years of age. With the help of her older sons, James Wilburn Welker, John Welker, and Jacob Welker, she was able to take her family to Zion. Elizabeth's youngest son, Adam, was only 3 years old when his father passed away in 1844. However, Adam ended up taking care of his mother, Elizabeth until her death in 1868 when they were living in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho.

The Welker's became part of the 9th company of fifties, with the Isaac M. Stewart Company. This group crossed over the Missouri River on June 18, 1852, and after a tedious but in many respects a pleasant journey, arrived in the Great Salt Lake City on September 22, 1852. Not many first person accounts have survived for this company. The Welker family were sent to Alpine, Utah, to make their home.

Alexander Roswell Stevens and Rebecca Welker were married in Alpine sometime in 1853, but the exact date was not recorded in the Ward Records. Alex did receive his patriarchal blessing from Elmer Harris, while living in Alpine, on August 14, 1855.

Soon after Alex and Rebecca's marriage, Alex's parents divorced. His mother married Morris Phelps as a plural wife and moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. Rebecca gave birth to their first son, Alexander Alvin, on February 27, 1854, while they were living in Alpine.

Willard, Utah, had its beginning in 1851, when several companies of settlers were sent out from Salt Lake City. Nineteen people located on North Willow Creek, seven miles south of where Brigham City would soon be. Two years later, the settlement was moved to a better site, two miles father south. Willow Creek was the name given to the new settlement. A fort wall was built to protect them from the threat of Indian attacks.

It was here that Alex and Rebecca and their infant son Alexander came to settle and make a new home after being in Alpine since his 1851 arrival in the Great Salt Lake Valley. Soon after arriving in their new home, their second child, James Roswell Stevens, was born on August 16, 1856, at Willow Creek, later named Willard in 1859, in honor of Apostle Willard Richards.

When Alex brought his family to Willard, he purchased land in 1859. The family remained in Willard for the next seven years, except for a short time in Salt Lake City. During those years, three more children were born to Alexander and Rebecca, all girls. Rebecca Malinda was born April 3, 1858, during their time in Salt Lake. Elizabeth Maria came next on March 17, 1859, and Juliann Malina, was born on June 21, 1863. Soon after the birth of Juliann, Rebecca passed away at the very young age of 29 due to complications of childbirth. The exact cause of her death is unknown. Rebecca was buried in the Willard Pioneer Cemetery in Willard, Utah, but there is no headstone for her there.

The death of his wife left Alex with five small children to care for alone. The oldest child, Alexander Alvin, was just nine years old. Alex took his two boys, Alexander, Jr., age 9, and James R., age 7, and the three girls and moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, which at that time was in Rich County, Utah. There he had help and support from the Welker family to raise his young girls.

Rebecca Malinda Stevens lived with her mother's brother, John Welker, and his wife, Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, and Elizabeth lived with another uncle, Adam Welker, and his family. The baby Juliann, lived with their grandmother Stevens who had married Morris Phelps. They lived in Montpelier, Idaho, not far from Bloomington. Listed in the household was Julia Stevens, aged nine years. She was the youngest child of Alex and Rebecca and was in the care of her grandmother.

In the 1870 U.S. Census for Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, Rebecca Malinda Stephens, 11, was listed in the household of her uncle, John Welker, 44, her aunt, Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, 36, along with their two children, Roxana Louisa, 19, and John Eller Welker, 17 and a nephew, Levi Jerome Dustin, 5, who was the son of Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker's brother, Seth Dustin. Levi's mother, Hannah Sophia Loveland Dustin, had passed away in 1967, and that may be why her two year old son was sent to live with his aunt and uncle because they had fewer children than Seth Dustin had at the time.

In 1880 Alexander was living in Bloomington and working in the timber. His son Alex Alvin was living with him. James Roswell Stevens was married and living with his wife Jeannette also in Bloomington. In November of 1883, his mother's brothers, John Welker and family, and Adam Welker and family, moved to Safford, Arizona, along with some other members of their extended family.

Others from the Bloomington area went along and settled in Safford. The church there was organized as the Layton Ward with John Welker as the first Bishop. Alexander Stevens and his family of grown children except for one all traveled to the new settlement. Alexander Jr. and his new wife Louisa stayed in Bloomington, raised their children there and both died there. Daughter Rebecca married Hyrum Nephi Dustin and moved to Arizona with their three small children. While there one child was born in 1886, but soon after her birth they returned to Rich County, Utah.

Son James Roswell Stevens and his wife Jannette Bee, took their three children and made the move, as did daughter Elizabeth and her husband John Brigham Bennett, with their four small children. The Bennett family remained in Arizona until about 1892 when they returned to Utah. Daughter Juliann married Charles Nelson and stayed in Idaho until about 1892 when they also moved to Arizona.

Charles Tippetts from Utah bought a claim from John Penfold on January 13, 1886. This was the beginning of the Layton settlement in Arizona. Later in the year Tippetts was joined by the families of Charles Warner, Charles Olsen, John Welker, Adam Welker and Christian Madsen. Christian Madsen was the son-in-law of John Welker, and was married to his daughter, Roxana Louisa Welker. The newcomers and those who came with them bought their land from Safford resident Charles Tippetts.

Life in the early settlement of Safford was made up of hardship and hard work. Buying many things that were essential was not possible, so people had to make such items at home or do without. The women kept a spinning wheel at home, for there was normally a herd of sheep from which wool could be obtained to wash, card, and spin into yarn for knitting stockings, gloves, and shawls. They wove some into cloth for dresses, suits and shirts. The women learned to glean straw from the wheat fields, to clean it, soak it, and braid it into hats. Settlers continued to flow into the valley. The population grew so that in 1889 there were 1749 souls in 315 families living there.

Alexander Stevens lived with his son James Roswell Stevens and his wife Janette. Her untimely death in 1888 brought more hardship to the Stevens family. James Roswell Stevens married again to Sarah A. Barney. She had children from her previous marriage that ended in divorce. Soon children arrived to the new union. Alexander received a homestead of 160 acres from the Federal Government, located at Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona. He and his son James Roswell farmed the property.

After selling their land holdings, in 1898 the James Roswell Stevens family, including his father Alexander, moved north to Montana. The journey took a long time as they stopped along the way to work and earn funds to go on. They settled in a place called Bridger in Carbon County, Montana. The area there had been opened up for homestead settlement in 1892. James obtained land in Bridger where he settled his now very large family. Alex continued to live with his son's family and is listed with them in the 1900 census of Bridger.

The family remained in Bridger until 1910 when a group of mostly family members made up a wagon train to go to Oregon. The group consisted of Robert Courtney, Buran Moody (son of Sarah by her first husband) and his wife Annie (Courtney) Moody, their children Hazel and Robert, Alexander Stevens, his son James Roswell Stevens his wife Sarah Alsea (Barney-Moody) Stevens, their children, John, Alex, Edson, Bert and Rex. Also in the group were William (Bud) Morris, Richard Morris, Charles Morris, Sam Morris, Glenna Morris Brown and Wesley Morris. The relationship, if any, of the Morris family to the Stevens family has not been determined. The train arrived in Walterville, Lane, Oregon, in October 1910.

The Moody family went back to Bridger, but Alex stayed on. He was living in Springfield, Lane, Oregon, when he died on January 17, 1915. By the time Alex went on to Oregon in 1910, his three daughters had died and left young families. Only his son James Roswell Stevens remained.

Juliann, Alex and Rebecca's last daughter, born in 1863, ended up marrying her first cousin, who was the son of her mother's sister, Mary Catherine Welker Nelson, and her husband, Thomas Billington Nelson. Ironically, Juliann also died at the age of 30 after giving birth to her fourth child, just like her mother had done.

Alex and Rebecca's daughter, Rebecca Malinda Stevens, also ended up marrying her first cousin, Hyrum Nephi Dustin, who was a son of Seth Dustin, Seth being the brother of Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, John Welker's wife and Rebecca's aunt. They lived in Bloomington for a time, moved to Arizona with the other family members, but after the birth of one of their daughters there in 1886, they returned to Utah and both of them passed away and were buried in Utah.

SOURCE: Elaine Justesen's family records for Alexander Roswell Stevens

NOTE: There seems to be some discrepancy about the place of birth for Rebecca Welker Stevens. Elaine Justesen's family records indicate she was born in Ohio, as were three of her brothers, James Wilburn Welker, John and Jacob Welker. But by the time of Rebecca's birth in 1835, I believe the family had already left Ohio to join the LDS Church and was living in the Missouri at the time. Somewhere I found a record that Rebecca was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1835. Later the Welker family moved to Nauvoo, Iillinois, and lived there in the 1840's, where the father, James Welker, died of intermittent fever in 1844. Rebecca's brother, John R. Welker was a witness to the murder of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, in Nauvoo, Illinois, on June 27, 1844.

John R. Welker, was living in Iowa before leaving for Utah in 1852, and he married his wife, Roxana Mahala Dustin, in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, in 1850. Their daughter, Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen, was born there in August of 1851. This information has been verified by a bit of an autobiography written by John Welker, which is shown on his Geni profile page. It was found in something he called, "his little red book", which was basically a note pad, which was written in pencil, and is currently in the possession of my cousin, Cheryl Larkey of Gilbert, Arizona. Cheryl's mother, Gladys Violet McKinney Beals was the granddaughter of John R. Welker and his wife Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker.


Daughter of Elizabeth Stoker and James Welker of Jackson County, Ohio.

Rebecca had migrated to Willard with her widowed mother, her brother, Jacob Stoker Welker, and some other family members.

On 8 September 1852, she married Alexander Roswell Stevens at Alpine, Utah, Utah. The had one son at Alpine and their others were born, one at Salt Lake and the other at Willard.

Rebecca died at age 29 of complications of childbirth after her fourth child, Juliann Malina, was born 21 June 1863.

(It is ironic that Juliann also died, at age 30, giving birth to her fourth child.)

Rebecca's children:

Alexander Alvin Stevens

James Roswell Stevens Sr.

Rebecca Malinda Stevens Dustin

Juliann Malina Welker Stevens Nelson

Rebecca's siblings:

John Welker

Jacob Stoker Welker

James Wilburn Welker

Mary Catherine Welker Nelson

Adam Welker

view all

Rebecca Welker Stevens's Timeline

July 21, 1835
Jackson County, Ohio, United States
February 27, 1854
Age 18
Alpine, Utah, UT, USA
August 16, 1856
Age 21
Willard, Box Elder, Utah, USA
April 3, 1858
Age 22
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
March 27, 1859
Age 23
Willard, UT, USA
June 21, 1863
Age 27
Willard, Box Elder, Utah, USA
June 1863
Age 27
Willard, Box Elder County, Utah, United States
Willard, Box Elder, Utah, USA