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  • Writer's pictureAmyanne rigby

Mothers of Faith- yesterday and today

Updated: May 9, 2021

I was beyond blessed to get the family tree I did- parents, aunt, uncles, and have I mentioned my cousins? This weekend we did something we have talked about for years. This weekend the girl cousins from the Weaver crew gathered for 3 days and 2 nights in Bountiful at our cousin Taressa's house to relax, reconnect and rejuvenate- it was amazing!

Eleven of the sixteen of us were able to be together- talk about a feat! But we made it happen. My cousins are my people. We laughed, cried, shared, hiked, ate, exercised, and laughed and cried some more. These people of mine are so incredibly strong- the trials while different from those our grandmothers, great grandmothers, and great grandmothers faced, are intense and ever so real. But like the women of the past, we continue to persevere... talk about faith and love of the gospel.

On Friday morning, we made the six mile trek to Ensign Point from the Bountiful side. Talk about a fitting journey. We descended from the first pioneers in the valley and then we ascended to Ensign Peak- the flag of their journey. In fact, we can trace our lineage back to the very first branch in the church, the Coleville Branch. Taressa led us on our journey In fact, she has been leading us for years as the oldest of our brood, her faith and life example have stretched the generations. Her personal example continues to uplift and inspire each of us.

The cousin gift exchange led by Lyndsay was super fun and we each walked away with a heart felt treasure. Diana's Wonder woman was the best, and we are super excited to start our cousin book club with Sharee's sister-in-law's book, I Like Me Anyway by Brooke Romney.

We gathered Friday evening and shared bio from our ancestors- Women of Faith stretching back to centuries ago. Because after all, "we walked with them and now they walk with us."

Enjoy the bios -- and the pedigree

Ruth Weaver Max Weaver

Edwin C. Stoddard m. Jennie Smith David C. Weaver m. Sophia Dickson

Hyrum Stoddard m Evangeline Clevleand Christopher Weaver m. Ellen Jackson

Anne Masters Howe m. Thomas X. Smith Albert Douglass Dickson m. Harriet Flint

Henry Rogers Cleveland m. Margaret Boyack William Jackson m. Ann Pearsall

Charles Stoddard m. Lucetta Jane Murdock James Weaver m. Elizabeth Gill

George Smith m. Patience Smith Billa Flint m. Mary Jane Goodridge

Thomas Howe m. Hannah Masters Billa Dickson m. Mary Ann Stoddard

Mother of Pearl buttons- Ellen Jackson.

Ellen Jackson's father died when she was only four years old. Her mother Ann Gill provided for her children by making mother of pearl buttons. A trade that at even at four years of age, Ellen would have helped polish and assemble the buttons. Ellen and her sisters worked with their mother to save for 7 years to come to Zion. In the spring of 1865- April 29th- Ellen, our grandmother at the age of 11 boarded the Belle Wood for New York. She left all that was familiar to follow her faith including family they would never see again. Aboard the Belle Wood, Ellen's paths crossed with the handsome 23 year old Christopher Weaver. The paths of the Jackson and Weaver families crossed paths working in Nebraska as outfitters for the Saints. Christopher watched patiently for six years as Ellen grew from "pigtails to pinafores." The couple was married on New Year's Eve 1871.

Both the Weaver and Jackson families remained in Nebraska for some time. Christopher and Ellen settled on a farm outside of Palmyra,45 a small town thirty miles west of Nebraska City that had been established only the year before when several general stores, a lumberyard, a hardware store and hotel were built to accommodate commerce from the Nebraska City Cutoff.46 It was a good place to raise a family and the newlyweds settled right in, anxious to begin planting with the coming spring. By the time all the seed was sown, Ellen knew she and Christopher would be expecting more than a bumper harvest the coming fall. Nine months after their marriage, Ellen presented her husband with their first child, Emily,47 on 21 October, 1872. "

With the invention of the Transcontinental railroad in 1874 the services of outfitters for trailblazers to Zion was no longer needed and Ellen and Christopher made their way west.- Ellen's mother bought a ticket and joined them on the train west in 1874. Ellen and Christopher settled for a time in the Wasatch mountains in Morgan County but eventually joied their family on Easy Street in Layton in a dugout. Christopher made his living as a blacksmith.

"Everyone was always welcomed back home by Ellen’s delicious cooking and sweet, gentle ways. She was remembered not only as “always helping others with no put-on,”96 but as a loving mother and grandmother who loved making her home an attractive place. Not only did she color-coordinate the furnishings in each room, she framed and hung a series of accomplished canvases painted by Christopher’s sister Alice.97 Ellen was very finicky about having everything neat and well cared for, and was noted for her lovely garden that blossomed every spring with daffodils, lilacs and peonies. She especially enjoyed caring for her roses, and planted pansies and hollyhocks for the children, who spent many summer days making dolls with the petals and leaves." Ellen Died in 1931.

Oxen, linsey, and the first train to enter the Salt Lake Valley- Mary Jane Goodridge

Mary Jane was born June 11, 1825 in Lunningburg Massachusetts. They joined the company of Saints bound for the Rocky Mountains, Zion, on May 21, 1850 with the Wilford Woodruff Company. She was baptized in the Platt river on the trek west by Wilford Woodruff. Mary Jane drove a yoke of oxen all the way across the plains narrowly escaping several oxen stampedes. Upon arriving she made the acquaintance of William Flint. After having known Flint after just three weeks, he proposed marriage. Mary Jane sought the counsel of Heber C. Kimball who encouraged her to accept the proposal and vouched for William's character. She and William mad their first home in Farmington, Utah were she committed her life to the service of others. She was never too tired to serve. Once Mary Jane risked her own life while caring for the neighbor's children who had diphtheria through long days and sleepless never once thinking of her own health. She believed firmly that the Lord would bless her as she cared for His children. And he did.

Mary Jane and William left Farmington and moved to Salt Lake City where they spent the remainder of their days on the corner of second west and third north and became members of the 19th ward. William was injured badly in an accident so Mary Jane helped add to the family's income by weaving linsey and making rugs. She died of breast cancer at the age of 58 without medication of care by a doctor. Mary Jane and William raised their 8 children, five girls and three boys unto the Lord. They were trailblazers and truly helped the dessert "blossom as a rose." She died in 1883.

Butter and a Bullet- Ann Slade

Ann was the daughter of Aaron Slade and Mary (Molly) Knight Slade. Ann was born March 10, 180 in Marlboro, Windham Vermont. She was the fourth child of 9 children. Later, the family moved to Afton, Chenago, New York where Ann's father was a farmer. Ann Married William Rogers in 1824. They had two children. William died in 1827. On March 26th 1820 the Book of Mormon went on sale in Palmyra, New York. Ann's father Aaron was bitterly opposed to the church and he and Molly divorced. Ann was baptized by Hyrum Smith. Her father moved back to New York. The rest of her family became members of the Coleville Branch-- the first branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Ann was the niece of Joseph Knight.

Ann made the trek to Ohio with her children and her mother Molly under the care of her brother Benjamin. In Ohio she met Henry Alanson Cleveland and married in 1833. Henry was baptized previously on November 5, 1830. They settled in Liberty, Clay County Missouri. It was here they had their first child and were shortly driven out by the mobs. They made their way to Far West, Clay County, Missouri where their second son, George William Cleveland was born.

In Nauvoo, Ann was an excellent butter maker and her son, Henry, delivered it to the prophet Joseph Smith. Her husband Henry Alanson Cleveland was a bodyguard to the Prophet and received a bullet in his shoulder at the Big Blue River which he carried to the grave. Before fleeing Nauvoo in 1846, Ann and Henry were sealed in the Nauvoo temple with Brigham Young officiating and Heber C. Kimball as the witness.

They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in April 1855. They made their home in Centerville, Utah where she passed away in February 1872. Ann Slade Rogers Cleveland was buried by her husband Henry Alanson Cleveland. On her tombstone it reads, "Dear Mother, in earth's thorny paths/ How long thy feet have trod/ To find at last this peaceful rest/Safe in the arms of God."

Through the Stoddard line-

Henry Rogers Clevleand m. Margaret Boyack

Henry Alanson Cleveland m. Ann Slade

Aaron Slade m. Molly Knight

(member of the Coleville Branch and sister to Joseph Knight)

From a seed to a mighty oak- Mary Molly Knight

Molly was 78 years old when she climbed off of the Wagon in Salt Lake City. She had seen and witnessed much since joining the Mormon church in 1830. Her Husband left her for having joined the controversial religion, but she did not falter- her faith defined her actions.

As a member of the Colesville Branch she was among a small group which banded together and stayed the ties of adversity. Her journey to the "Ohio" led her to the live on the Lehman Copley Farm under the New Order. Next came the call to establish Zion in Missouri. By boat, she traversed the great Mississippi and temporarily camped in Kansas City, MO. After the expulsion there, she lived for a time in Clay County in a secluded canyon.

It was in Far West that Molly joined the prophet once again. Life at Far West was for a time happy and prosperous, but tensions and questions soon rose as Oliver Cowdrey doubted the work of the prophet. These events led to the Hans Mill Massacre, the false imprisonment of the Prophet, Hyrum and others. The Saints were again driven from their homes. Molly along with her family crossed the Mississippi and lived in Pittsfield Illinois while Nauvoo was being established.

Driven from their "Zion" again Molly traveled to Winter Quarters and then back to Kanesville. While there, she sustained Brigham Young as the next prophet of the church. How strange it must have been for Molly. She had followed the prophet Joseph since the days of Colesville.

Having seen more adversity than I can imagine, Molly climbed aboard her all to familiar wagon one more time and headed to the Salt lake Valley- the final trek of her journey that began 32 years earlier when she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- A choice which forever changed the course of her history and all of ours

Molly died in 1853.

Lace and legacy- Annie Masters Howe-

Annie was the daughter of Hannah Masters and Thomas Howe. She was born November 29, 1850. At the age of 14 she began working in the Birmingham lace factory. She would have to walk three miles each way to work. Annie Joined the church with her family at the age of 15. Moses Thatcher helped them decide to come to Zion. They came to America aboard John Bright's ship with 722 saints on June 4, 1865. Upon arriving in Salt Lake, her father worked for Wilford Woodruff for six months before they settled in American Fork.

Annie traveled to Logan to live with Moses Thatcher and work for him. It was here she met Thomas X. Smith. When he saw her for the first time, he is noted to have said, "I am going to marry that girl." Annie became the polygamous wife of Thomas X. Smith on January 19, 1869. They became the parents of 11 children- Their first three children died. Annie lived a life of tribulation, but she never murmured. She never learned to read or write but she cared for the poor and the needy. After her children were raised, she spend her time in the temple. Nothing dampened her faith nor her zeal for the church. Her las words were to keep the faith, care for others, and never forget that God comes first. She died in 1925.

Annie Masters Home still stands in Logan, Utah

Cake and love letters- Jennie Smith Stoddard-

Jennie lived only 26 years and left behind two small children Ruth and Edwin and the love of her life, Edwin Cleveland Stoddard, a railway man. Jennie was born to Thomas X. Smith and Anne Masters Howe on September 17, 1892. She was the youngest of 22 children and her father Thomas's favorite. Uncommon in those days, Jennie attended two years of college at Utah State Agricultural College.

Very little is known of her short life, but we have Jennie's favorite cake recipe and the beautiful love letters she and Ed exchanged while he was away on the rail. Ed came home from a rail trip and unknowingly infected her with the flu. When he received word of her illness, he hurried home to her returning on a stretcher himself. Jennie's mother Anne was staying with her in Salt Lake at the time, but had gone out to get medicine for Jennie. When she returned, Jennie was unconscious. She died soon after. HER 26 YEARS WEREN'T LONG, BUT LONG ENOUGH TO LEAVE ALL OF US- HER LIVING LEGACY.

She died in 1918.

The Blue Bird and pie- Marie Smith Kimball-

Grandmother was forthwith with her words and her dark brown eyes could pierce you to the bone, but she loved deeply and served diligently. She was born June 24, 1890 to Thomas X. Anne Masters Howe Smith in Logan, Utah where she lived her entire life. She was sealed to Leo Mearl Kimball on June 23, 1910 in the Logan temple.

Following the death of her sister Jennie, the family gathered to see who would take the children, Ruth and Cleve. No one was in the position to take both of the children and it looked as if they would be separated. Fortunately, Marie and Leo who at the time had not children took them and raised them as their own. Later in life she gave birth to Anna Marie.

Grandmother dressed to the hilt. Towards the end of her life, she would visit the Bluebird almost daily. On each occasion, she would go to the soda fountain and order a piece of pie. Kimball and Kurt enjoyed outings such as this with her. While Max and Edwin were serving in World War two Ruth, Kimball and Kurt as well as Cleve's wife and child, Francis and Barbara.

Grandmother's parting words to Kimball were always the same, "Be Kind." The last check she wrote was to help pay for great granddaughter Amyanne's birth, $25.00. Her love and service were given freely. Marie died in 1974.

*Leo was the grandson to John Rex Winder and Heber C. Kimball.

Stories and Songs- Harriet Rosella Flint.

Harriet Rosella Flint was the daughter of William Flint and Mary Jane Goodridge. She was born January 22, 1861. She became the polygamous wife to Albert Douglass Dickson when she was 18. He was 36. When he proposed to her, she knew that it was a commandment of God. She served diligently in the church and taught her children to have faith in God. In her later years, she was an ardent temple worker.

She sang to her children for family home evening and told them stories at bedtime. She loved to sing the song "Just before the Battle, Mother" and her children loved hearing her read the story From Plough Boy to Prophet, a book about the prophet Joseph.

Two of her sons, Jared and Abel died of the flu epidemic of 1918. She was on her deathbed when they passed. One night as she lay in bed, she was beckoned to the spirit world. She was given to chose to join her family there, but knowing she had two sons to raise, Elbern and Forde, she chose to stay.

She was known for her kind and loving heart and for her love of life. She died in 1923

Mountain Green and a dairy - Evangeline Margaret Clevleand

Evangeline Margaret Cleveland was the oldest of ten children. She was born August 19, 1885 to Henry Rogers Clevleand and Margaret Boyack. While working at a dairy farm in Fountain Green, she met an married Hyrum Franklin Stoddared in the endowment house on January 5, 1861. Her husband Hyrum died when he was 40 years old and while he was serving as bishop. She was expecting their son Edwin Cleveland Stoddard when he passed. Later she married William Henry Gale and had a daughter Hazel. She died in 1942

Gold earrings and ginger snap cookies- Martha Winders Walter

Leo's mother Martha Walters Winder (Kimball)- Martha was born in Salt lake City to John Rex Winder,, the first counselor to Joseph Fielding Smith, and Ellen Walters. She married Newell Whitney Kimball on November 28, 1870. She died February 25, 1870. She was darling- quiet, soft spoken, refined and cultured. She wore black taffeta dresses and dangling gold earrings. Ruth remembers her house smelling like chili and donuts. Her home was not far from Ruth's in Logan and so Ruth would visit her often. Grandma Winder always had a ginger snap cookie for her.

Martha was a woman of faith- she was loved by all. She died in 1930.

Our line gets tricky as grandma was born a Stoddard and raised a Kimball. I honor and claim both family lines.

Marie Kimball m. Leo Kimball

Newell Whitney Kimball m. Martha Winders Walter

Heber Chase Kimball m. Sarah Ann Whitney

John Rex Winder m. Elanor Walters. * both Kimball and Winder

were apostles.

Kisses on the feathers and faith- Ruth Mabel Stoddard Kimball Weaver-

Ruth Mabel Stoddard Ruth was born December 28, 1917 to Jennie Smith and Edwin Cleveland Stoddard. Her mother died of the flu epidemic of 1918. She was barely 9 months old. She and her brother Cleve were raised by Leo and Marie Kimball, their aunt and uncle. She married Max Dickson Weaver in the Logan Temple on December 20, 1938

Dear Grandma,

We are all here because of you- that's right- eleven of your granddaughters gathered to remember you and the heritage you and grandpa shared wit us. We miss you grandma! We missed the way your fingers made the piano keys dance, the way you always carried a purse, dressed your best and always wore jewelry- we all remember your clip earrings. We miss the way you kissed us on the feathers and gave us ice cream sandwiches. We wish we could hear you sing the Aggie Fight song just one more time.

Thanks grandma for marrying that farm boy, Max, from Layton. You taught us by example that marriage is full of sacrifice and hard work.

So much of who we are is because of you. You taught us how to love and support our husbands and to cherish and watch over our children. You taught us the importance of an education. You showed us what unconditional love looked like, Grandma. We knew that you loved Jesus Christ Christ by not only what you said, but by what you did- your actions. Grandma you were nonjudgmental, kind and strong. We love you!


Your granddaughters,

Taressa, Wendy, Shonna, Jenimarie, Amyanne, Natalie, Heather, Diana, Lyndsay, Hillary, LaRee, Lisa Kaye, Sharee, Julie, Brenna, and Mara

Can't wait for our next retreat! xo, Amyanne



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