Brown Family Reunion Index

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5th Wife of Captain James Brown
Orson Pratt Brown's Maternal Grandmother:

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Abigail Smith Abbott Brown 1806-1889

Abigail Smith Abbott Brown Davis

Born: September 11, 1806 at Williamson, Wayne, New York
Died: July 23, 1889 at
Willard, Box Elder County, Utah

Compiled by Her Great Great Granddaughter, Lucy Brown Archer

Abigail Smith, the daughter of James Smith, a soldier of the War of 1812, and Lydia Lucina Harding, was born at Williamson, near Palmyra, Ontario County, New York, September 11, 1806 and died at Willard, Box Elder County, Utah, July 23, 1889, age 83 years. I visited her grave there with my second cousin, Marie Zundell, in 1903. A fine headstone marks the grave and on one face it has the record of her birth and death and on the opposite side the record of her husband. She was the youngest of several children, all of whom died young. Her own mother died when she was six weeks old and she was nursed through infancy by her aunt, Mrs. Polly Harding, and later by her stepmother, Mehetable Adams. At the age of fifteen years she had a sick spell of many months duration in which her life was despaired of. Her father was a farmer and a teacher of music. Myron Alma Abbott records he had in his possession several letters written by James Smith in a beautiful hand, the grammar being excellent, the diction good, showing that he was a man of education and refinement. Of her mother little is known but her family was good. One member, the Honorable Stephen S. Harding, was appointed Governor of the Territory of Utah in 1863 by President Lincoln.

Lydia Lucina Harding Smith was born July 31, 1781 and died October, 1806 at Williamson, Ontario County, New York. Her husband, James Smith, was a native of Norwalk, Connecticut, born January 14, 1777, and died at Bedford, Michigan, August 26, 1857. At the age of sixteen, Abigail Smith went to Homellsville, New York, to visit relatives of her mother. Here she lived in the family of James Abbott for some time and a warm attachment between her and his son, Stephen Joseph Abbott, sprang up. Her father came to take her home but instead, by mutual consent of both families, the young couple were married December 11, 1825. Much of her life from then on has been related in connection with that of her husband. About 1836 her father moved to Michigan. Although she kept in touch with him by correspondence, she never again met any of her family.

Many of their letters have been preserved, most of which are kind and affectionate to her personally, but some are full of vindictive denunciations of her religious views and of the Mormon people. Some of her people were at one time attached to the Mormon faith, but the movement west left them behind. At her husband’s death she was left with a home, some land, cows and a few sheep. They had always been independent and the thought of dependence upon strangers was bitter indeed. She taught a private school in her home and obtained both food and clothing. She says, "I trusted in God and improved every opportunity to help myself, but the necessity of becoming servants to our fellow men was almost more than I could bear". Some of her older children did hire out to neighbors and, besides relieving her of their keep, earned a little recompense.

Stephen Joseph Abbott was born August 16, 1804, in Providence, Pennsylvania. On December 11, 1825, he married Abigail Smith in Dansville, Steuben County, New York. Stephen was full six feet in height, strongly built, with black hair, brown eyes. He was alert and honest, a good businessman, loved by his relatives and respected by all. He learned the trade of furniture making and painting. He was rather indifferent to religion until after his marriage, when he and his wife attached themselves to a sect called Universalists, who seemed to hold much broader views than the Methodists or Presbyterians, the dominant creeds of that section. Besides his cabinet making business, he and his nephew, a son of his half-brother, Elijah, owned and operated a cording and fulling machine at Arkport, New York.

About 1838 there was a great tide of emigration pouring into the Mississippi Valley. Stephen’s two brothers Edmond Austin Abbott and Eleazer Coray Abbott were already living in Michigan, so he concluded to go to the Mississippi Valley, and make a permanent home for himself, where he could settle his family. He went by boat down the Allegheny River and in five weeks arrived in Pike County, Illinois. He bought a quarter section of farmland and forty acres of timber land. He then went to Michigan to visit his brothers which was the last time they ever met. He went on to New York where he was warmly greeted by many friends all anxious to learn something of the new country in the Great Valley. He settled up his business affairs, and after visiting with this wife’s family at Palmyra, New York, he said farewell to his friends and relatives and took his wife and children, by boat, down the Allegheny River, leaving April 14, 1837. They landed at Naples on the Illinois River in Pike County, Illinois, in the latter part of May, 1837. They at once began to cultivate their land and build a home. His wife, Abigail Smith Abbott, writing of this period says, "On the first day of December of that year our son Myron Abbott (1837-1907) was born, a promising child. My daughters went out in the garden and found a beautiful rose, although the season for that flower was long past, I took it as an omen of promise and rejoiced. There is nothing unusual or strange in this for a mother, but after many years, when it was known that through him alone, descended his father’s name, the incident may be worthy of preservation."  In 1838 Stephen’s elder brother James Abbott (1799-1846) and family and their mother, Phoebe Howe Coray Abbott, came to Illinois and settled near them and again they were surrounded by friends. Their mother died here about 1840.

 Early Nauvoo, Illinois c1842  Early Nauvoo, Illinois c. 1842

In 1839, Stephen Joseph Abbott and his wife, Abigail, came in contact with the Mormon people who, on being driven out of Missouri, were settling in Nauvoo, Illinois. They investigated the new religion long and carefully and they and their children became members of the church. Stephen was baptized in March 1839, by Joseph Wood and confirmed by him and William Brenton. At the April conference of the Church held in Nauvoo in 1840, he was ordained an elder. In 1842 he was ordained a seventy.

The same year, they moved to Nauvoo and bought a home and some land. In company with George Miller, Lyman Wight, and James Brown, Stephen was called on a temporal mission to gather funds to build the Nauvoo temple. He was afterwards called on a mission to Wisconsin. When he left Pike County he placed a quantity of wheat in the mill. This he depended on to feed his family in his absence. Through false pretense, one Brier Griffin, a distant relative, obtained four barrels of flour and a Mr. Jacques also obtained a considerable quantity.  This loss was a great disappointment to him, so to make provision for his family, he in company with E. Thompson, a cousin who was to accompany him on this mission, began to get some cordwood down the Mississippi from an island. This entailed much wet and exposure. On October 16, he was taken ill, and on the nineteenth of October 1843, he died, age 38 years, yet a young man, just coming into the prime of manhood,. just beginning a life that held much promise of honor and usefulness, he was much loved and sincerely mourned by his family, a young wife and eight children, six girls and two boys. His struggle was over, theirs was not [about] to commence, and will be related in as much detail as the ravages of time has permitted to be preserved.

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Children of Stephen Joseph Abbott and Abigail Smith Abbott

1- Smith
Emily Abbott Bunker 1827-1913


b. 19 Sep 1827 Dansville, Livingston, New York;
Md. Edward Bunker Sr. on 9 Apr 1846 in Nauvoo, Ill.; (11 children)
d. 8 Feb 1913 in Panguitch, Utah.


2- Smith
Charilla Abbott Browning


b. 4 Jul 1829 Hornell, Steuben, New Jersey;
Md. David Elias Browning on 27 Jan 1853 in Ogden, Utah; (8 children)
d. 10 Apr 1914 at Ogden, Weber, Utah.

3- Smith
Phoebe Abigail Abbott Brown Fife 1831-1915


b. 18 May 1831 Hornelsville, Steuben County, New York;
Md, (1) Captain James Brown 17 Oct 1850, (2) Colonel William Nicol Fife, 9 Oct 1866;
d. 9 Jan 1915 at Thatcher, Graham, Arizona.

4- Smith


b. 25 Feb 1833 at Hornell, Steuben, New York;
Md. Edwin Saxton Squire on 9 Sep 1861;
d. 26 Sep 1919.


5- Smith
Abiel Abbott 1835-1913


b. 11 Jul 1835 at Hornell, Steuben, NY;
Md. Ellen Williams on 8 Oct 1863 (2) Diane Burne (3) Jane Brown Williams ;
d. 3 Dec 1913.

6- Smith
Myron Abbott 1837-1907


b. 1 Dec 1837 at Perry, Pike, Ill.;
Md. (1) Laura Josephine Allen on 25 Apr 1860, (2) Louisa Leavitt on 11 Jan 1878, (3) Emily Pauline Malam, (4) Emma Knight;
d. 3 Sep 1907.

7- Smith
Cynthia Abbott Fife 1839-1910


b. 28 Dec 1839 at Perry, Pike, Ill.;
Md. Colonel William Nicol Fife on 2 Nov 1867 (Div.); d. 14 Nov 1910 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

8- Smith
Abigail Abbott Zundel 1842-1934


b. 23 Feb 1842 in Perry, Pike, Ill.;
Md. Abraham Zundel on 13 Feb 1857 at Ogden, Weber, Utah;
d. 25 Oct 1934 at Willard, Box Elder, Utah.

 The work Stephen commenced was destined to be continued by his wife, the faith that he exposed, and practically gave his life for, is professed by all his children unto this day, and almost without exception by their children also. He sleeps in an unmarked grave on the hillside overlooking the Great Father of Waters.  His wife was stunned, heartbroken, and almost overwhelmed by the terrible and unexpected blow. Winter was almost upon them, she had eight children, the oldest sixteen years. Provisions were hard to obtain, the country being new. The people with whom she had cast her lot nearly all were poor, mostly refugees, having been robbed, scourged, and mobbed out of Missouri. Her husband, who was public spirited, had put a large portion of his property into the building of the Nauvoo Temple and other public buildings. Public opinion was inflamed against the whole community. In just a few months they saw their leaders, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, murdered. Emily, the eldest daughter, speaking of this sad time, says she was wrapped up in her father, loved him dearly and grieved bitterly when he died, but she says her sorrow was nothing compared with their grief when Joseph, the Prophet of God was murdered. She felt their home was spoiled when their father was taken, whereas, at the death of the prophet, she felt the whole world was spoiled. Such was the gloom among the people of Nauvoo. Abigail Smith Abbott was a heroic woman, pure, chaste and noble in purpose, and the aims and objects of her life were as successful as could be expected in human life.  

Abigail Smith Abbott was alone with few relatives, nobody to rely upon except God and her own efforts. It is probable that her father may have given her some help. He lived in Michigan at the time and had partially accepted the doctrines of the Mormons, but, according to his own statement, at that time he was wavering. She did not complain to him or ever tell him of her destitution nor did she ever waver in her faith. It became her guiding star. She never lost sight of it day or night, in sorrow and adversity, in sickness or in health, it was ever pointing to the West and thither she followed across the great rivers, across the undulating prairies, across the giant mountains into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, there to find solace and rest, not entirely free from toil, for her hands were ever busy; not entirely free from care, for her sympathies were broad and the welfare of her family was ever uppermost in her mind, but free from the terrible strain she was under for several years after her husband’s death. She has said, "I had no means to erect a monument or even a slab to mark my loved one’s grave, but I planted some morning glories on the grave and left him there to sleep and rest." 

In the spring of 1844 she fenced a small tract of land near the Mississippi River. As she was teaching school, much of the work was done of evenings in the moonlight. She planted one and one-half acres to garden truck and cultivated it. As the ground was low and swampy, she and the children were stricken with fever and ague. Lyman Wight, then an apostle, lived in an upper room of her house and was also ill. The week after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, Lyman Wight was visited by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Amasa Lyman and Wilford Woodruff and several ladies. When they went to leave she asked them to administer to each of her sick children, which they did. Heber C. Kimball manifested his charity by giving her a half-dollar. When Brigham Young got to the door he turned and, in the name of the Lord, promised them that all should recover. At times after doing all they could to help themselves, they were compelled to ask charity. This was a great grief to Abigail Smith Abbott for never before in her life has she needed to ask for anything she could not pay for. Many friends showed them favors and assisted in what ways they could. Some other husband’s relatives from Pike County, Mrs. James Abbott, Lyman Wight, John Higbee, and Capt. James Brown and others, are held in grateful remembrance for their kindness.  

Abigail was able to collect some debts owed to her husband Stephen, and their wants were relieved. She continued to correspond with her father and her sisters, but she never complained to them. A letter which came down to her grandchildren from her father received while she was in the wilderness of Iowa says, "We received your letter in which you have no complaints to make, etc." One from her sister, Anna Crane, after berating her for her religious views and affiliations tells her if she is getting along so well, a present would be acceptable.

 In May, 1846, she was offered $10.00 for her house and lot and twenty acres of land, all fenced. To her remonstrance's at the price, he explained, "The Mormons have got to go. That amount will ferry you across the river and it is better than nothing." She accepted it. He also demanded that the furniture be left in the house for he truly explained, "You cannot carry it with you."

On February 9, 1846, the eldest daughter, Emily married Edward Bunker, who was a young man of sterling worth, intelligent, pure, and ambitious. He was ever a friend of the family. History relates their cruel expulsion from Nauvoo and when they were forced to flee, Edward Bunker assisted the family across the river and from the west bank of the Mississippi River they witnessed the Battle of Nauvoo. Abigail felt fortunate indeed to get away with her children before this awful occurrence. Here she remained until November, 1846. Edward Bunker and wife, with three of the eldest daughters of Abigail Smith Abbott went on to Garden Grove where he built a cabin and the family, thus scattered, were not reunited for fifteen months. When Mrs. Abbott arrived at Garden Grove she found Edward Bunker had enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, called out to assist in the war with Mexico and had already gone, leaving his young wife in a delicate condition. They fixed the cabin up the best they could and lived there eleven  months, planted a crop and harvested it. During the winter of 1846-1847 Abigail taught school and thus helped to support her family.

On February 1, 1847, her eldest daughter, Mrs. Edward Bunker Sr., gave birth  to a fine son. They called him Edward Bunker, Jr. This date also came near being a fatal one for Abigail’s little son Myron, then nine years of age. He was sent out early in the morning to hunt for wood and encountered a large, hungry wolf. Thinking it to be a dog he threw chips at it. It stood growling and ready to attack the lad when the attention of a neighbor was attracted and the wolf was frightened away. This winter proved to be a hard one for Abigail. Beside the regular care of her household, she taught school and one of her elder daughters was ill for eleven weeks with fever and Mrs. Bunker was ill nine weeks at the time of her confinement. Water for the home had to be carried a quarter of a mile, firewood had to be gathered and cut, enough to keep a fire all the time, for the cabin had no floor and was very cold and it took a warm fire to make it comfortable with illness in the family for such a long time. During the winter Abigail received $22.50 from Captain James Brown, sent to her from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Edward Bunker sent his wife some money. Both were serving in the Mormon Battalion. In October, 1847, they moved on to Mosquito Creek, a point farther west near Council Bluff, Iowa. On the morning of December 18, 1847, they heard a group of Battalion men had arrived in town the evening before, so Emily prepared to go and inquire if they knew anything of Edward. Just before she was to leave the house a knock was heard at the door. It proved to be Edward himself. He thought they were still in Garden Grove where he left them, but someone told him they had moved since he left. He was almost frozen and starved. It was necessary for him to remain in bed for several weeks and he was fed gruel every few hours, just a few spoonsful at a time at first. He had endured terrible privation on the return journey and had  completed one of the most difficult marches on record. Abigail’s son, Abiel, came to her from Council Bluffs, where he had gone fifteen months before. Once more she had her family all together again. She says, "I thanked God and praised Him and took new courage, for my burdens seemed much lighter."

Before leaving Nauvoo, Abigail Smith Abbott had married for time as a plural wife to Captain James Brown. Captain Brown had been a friend of her husband in Nauvoo. He was a man of broad views, great energy and a natural leader of men, but he had a great train of relatives dependent upon him. The relation gave him more the right of protector than husband and that was practically the relation sustained between them. Myron Alma Abbott in writing of her life, says he has several letters that passed between them in 1849-1850 in which she reminds him of his covenants with her in relation to the dead (meaning her husband) and telling him that whatever he wished her to do she would do excepting she would do nothing  unrighteous. However, her religion taught her polygamy. She accepted and believed in this principle and probably did at one time sustain the relation of wife to him, but she insisted that it be the relation of wife and not concubine. After they were living in Ogden, James married her daughter, Phebe, over her protest. Thereupon she repudiated the relationship and ever afterward lived apart from him.

When James Brown went into the Mexican War in July 1846. He sent Abigail money from Santa Fe. He had helped her as much as possible in Nauvoo. He followed the pioneers into Salt Lake Valley on July 29, 1847, just four days after Brigham Young’s party. He must have regarded Abigail as a woman of ability to act and accomplish the care and transport of her family from Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley.  James wrote Abigail a letter soon after his arrival to the Salt Lake Valley. Possibly this is one of the first letters written and sent from Utah.

The following is a copy of a letter which Captain Brown sent to his wife Abigail. He followed the Brigham Young Company into Salt Lake Valley by four days and this is one of the first letters written and sent from Utah." --Treasures of Pioneer History, Vol. 2, DUP 1953, pages125-128. The full quote and letter are recorded higher up on this page, the text can be found in Vol. 2.

Camp of Israel, Salt Lake Valley, August 6, A.D. 1847

My dear Abigail:

It is with pleasure I sit down this morning and address you a few lines to let you know where I am, and what my engagements are, and also to let you know that I have not forgotten you and your family.

I also wish to give you some instruction in relation to your movements, and in relation to your family. I would keep them all together, as much as you can, so that you can control the whole matter yourself, until I can see you, which I hope will be soon.

With regard to your moving to this beautiful valley, I wish you to come with the first company next spring. I haven’t been able to assist you but very little since I enlisted. I was detached last October at Santa Fe and sent to Pueblo in command of 107 souls. Since that time Lieut. Willis and Capt. Higgins have reported to me with their detachments, making 170 souls. My expenses has been high and not being able to draw my pay in time to assist you come last spring, you must wait with patience and I will assist you all in my power for I am anxious to see and hear from you. I sent you $25.00 by Brother John D. Lee last October from Santa Fe. I haven’t heard from you since only that you were at Mt. Pisgah and know not whether you have got it or not, if you haven’t received it, it is in the hand of the Bishop at Winter quarters, near Council Bluffs, I hope you will be able to get it. I have sent you one wagon and harness and four mules by the hands of A.J. Shupe and also by the hands of Franklin Allen, one ox team and four yoke of oxen to assist you on your journey next spring, which I hope you will receive and receipt the brethren for the same. I have also sent you by the hand of Brother Allen $30.00 in cash which is all I could sent at this time. I want you to bring all the means for making bread in your power, also flour and meal, as I may want to help you eat it when you come. I hope these lines and the teams will find you at Council Bluffs. So you can come out next spring in the first company.

I received a letter from my daughter, Nancy, and one from Sarah, they calculated on coming this summer in Israel Birche’s company. I am looking for them every day. Brother Kimball says he thinks they will be along this summer. He says that Sister Brown’s health is poor, yet she may recover so as to come this season. I hope she will come. If she does not, I want her to come with you. I sent the teams to you, not knowing but what Esther was on her way. If Nancy and Sarah use all the teams and wagons they have to bring them I want Esther to have room in one of the wagons I sent you. I want her to be made comfortable and to come with you. I hope she will be spared until I see her again. I want you to see her and to comfort her drooping spirit, for she has surely been afflicted since I left her. I shall write to her on this subject, not knowing whether she is coming or not.

My dear Abigail, the time seems long, when I look back, since I last saw you. You may think I have forgotten you, but never, the ties and covenants that bind and united us together are stronger than death and the powers of Satan. I hope I shall ever feel that affection for you and your father that will enable me to do all I can for you and them, but by the help of my Heavenly Father and my brethren, I hope to carry out the principles of salvation and exaltation in all things. My being called into the Army of the United States is no reason why I should cease to serve the Lord. I hope I shall ever remember my covenants and live up to them.

I arrived here with my command on the 28th day of July, one week after the twelve. I was also on their heels and had communication with them from time to time after we got to Fort Johns. I have quartered my company in this beautiful valley, where there is salt water and Sweet water, cold and hot water, in abundance and it looks very much like the one the Lord speaks of in Scripture, where the Lord’s people was to [be] built in the tops of the mountains and I hope I shall see you together with the rest of our friends flowing to it."

I should have returned this fall with the Twelve if I had been counselled to assist you on your journey to this place. I am counseled to take eight men and report myself at San Francisco Bay, on the Pacific Ocean, and meet the Battalion that is near that post. It is eleven hundred miles from this place. I want to return to Salt Lake this fall or in early spring. Brother Brannon, from near the Bay, is here and is going to pilot me; then my business will be to get a discharge for my men and draw their pay and transact other business of importance for the good of the Church.

I shall omit saying anything about my sufferings since I enlisted in the army of the United States. Those things will do to talk about and think about, when we have nothing else to employ our minds. Read this to my brother Daniel, and my sisters, and that will save me from writing to them. Give Moroni a sweet kiss for me, and save the rest for me when we meet. I haven’t heard anything special from Brother Bunker or A.Stephens since they left Santa Fe, only they arrived safe at the and all was well in February last.

There the letter ends. The last page has been lost.

The wagons and teams were duly received and in 1848 Abigail fitted them up and sent all of Mr. Brown’s family that remained on to the valley. She remained until the next year, raised a crop, but before it was harvested, sold it, and came on to the valley. She left Mosquito Creek August 6, 1849, and was just sixteen weeks on the way. She brought all her children except Mrs. Bunker, who came two years later, and she never lost one dollar’s worth of property on the trip, which speaks volumes for her care and management. Soon after arriving in Salt Lake City, she went to Ogden.

The city then contained six families. Captain Brown had purchased nine square miles of territory (the center of which is now Ogden City) from Miles Goodyear, who owned the land through a grant from the Mexican government and offered it for sale to Captain Brown when he went through there on the way to San Francisco in charge of a squad of cavalry men from Company C Mormon Battalion. The price paid for this tract of land was $3000.00 from money he and his sons, Alex and Jesse, received for wages from the U.S. Government for services in the army and some gold they brought from California where they were when gold was discovered there in 1849. A city was laid out and settlers welcomed. The first winter was spent in a fort.

Abigail Abbott received a tract of land in the southern part of Ogden, facing what is now Washington Avenue. Here a home was built and she dwelled with her family for several years until the children were grown and married and gone to homes of their own. Abigail's daughter, Charilla Abbott, was the first schoolteacher in Ogden City. Preferring not to live alone,  Abigail sold her home and lived with her children, visiting them all as a ministering angel, greatly beloved and respected by them and their children.

After Abigail divorced Captain James Brown, around 1850. She renewed her Nauvoo friendship with Charles Augustus Davis (born 12 August 1810 in Princeton, Worcester, Massachusetts) and according to sources quoted by Susan Easton Black, she became Charles A. Davis's fourth wife. Charles was the postmaster in Spanish Fork for twenty-five years. He died August 29, 1898 at Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah.

At the birth of Ira J. Earl, the first son, father called on grandmother to report the new arrival. He said: "A new blacksmith came to town last evening, Sister Abbott." She quickly inquired: "Do you think it will hurt your business any?" "No," said father, "I think it will help it--you see the new blacksmith is my first son." --Lois E. Jones.

She was active and had good health, traveled much, was happy, pleasant, cheerful and benevolent and was like a ray of sunshine wherever she went. During one of her visits to her children, Myron Abbott and Emily Bunker, living in Bunkerville, Nevada, I still remember seeing her as I saw her sitting in an easy chair near the east window in my grandmother’s living room, crocheting. She wore a lace cap on her head and a white apron and was a short, fleshy woman.

Abigail loved music. Agnes Viola Earl relates that at Christmas time Grandmother Abbott, then near eighty years of age, gathered a group of young people to her home of evening and taught them Christmas carols and on Christmas evening procured a wagon and accompanied the young carolers as they sang their carols at the homes of the community, an act which brought much joy to the young people and endeared her to them.  

Abigail Smith was the daughter of James Smith and Lydia Lucina Harding Smith. She was born at Williamson, near Ontario Co., New York, Sept. 11, 1806. Abigail was the youngest of several children, all of whom died young--her own mother died when she was six weeks old and she was nursed through infancy by her Aunt Polly Harding and later by her stemother--Mehetable Adams. He father was a farmer and a teacher of music. She was married to Stephen Joseph Abbott on December 11, 1825.  After the death of her husband and the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo, Abigail went with her family to Garden Grove. Her eldest daughter, Emily, had married Edward Bunker and he had enlisted in the Mormon Battalion called out to assist in the war with Mexico. He had already gone when they arrived, leaving his wife in a delicate condition. They fixed the cabin Edward had built as best they could and lived there for eleven months, planted a crop and harvested it.
During the winter of 1846-1847 Abigail taught school and thus helped to support her family. On Feb. 1, 1947, Emily gave birth to a son whom they named Edward Bunker, Jr. This date also came near being a fatal one for Abigail's little son Myron, then nine years of age. He was sent out early in the morning to hunt for wood and encountered a large, hungry wolf. Thinking it was a dog, he threw chips at it. It stood growling and was ready to attack the boy when the attention of a neighbor was attracted to the scene and the wolf was frightened away. The winter was a hard one for Abigail. There was illness in the family for a long time, water had to be carried for a quarter of a mile, firewood had to be gathered and cut and enought kept on hand to keep a fire going all the time, for the cabin had no floor. During the winter Abigail received $22.50 from Capt. James Brown, whom she had married before leaving Nauvoo, sent to her from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Edward Bunker also sent his wife some money. In October, 1847, they moved on to Mosquito Creek, a point farther west near Council Bluffs, Iowa. On the morning of December 18th, they heard a group of Battalion men had arrived in town the evening before, so Emily prepared to go and inquire if they knew anything of Edward. Just before she was to leave the house a knock was heard at the door. It proved to be Edward himself. He was almost frozen and starved. It was necessary for him to remain in bed several weeks and he was fed gruel every few hours until he regained his strength.

Bunkerville, Nevada Lincoln Co. Mar. 27, 1880.

My Ever Dear Children, David and Charilla Browning.
Ogden, Utah.

This morning, while I was watering my lot, preparatory for planting, I felt impressed to write to my friends one and all. I request you to send this letter on to Willard City, to Abraham and Abigail Zundel. Be sure will you to do this, with much love and greeting to all my kindred and friends. I want to say to Charles and Charlotte and Ada Abbott, I am as ever their faithful friend, as little as they esteem my friendship. I think, or I should receive a line from them at least as often as angels visit. I sincerely hope they will reform from this neglect. I still like them, and they cannot help themselves, if they would come and see their devoted friends here in Bunkerville, Oh how welcome they would be!

Now my dear children, I suppose you would like to know how I am getting along in this new country (This settlement begun 2 years previous) I have been this week, one day, setting out some trees, one fig tree, several pomegranate bushes, several Balm of Gilead trees, and several weeping willows, to make a shade for me, when I wish to retire from noise and bustle, I hope it will be better than Jonah's Gourd! I may not live long to enjoy my labors, (The writer was then aged.) but perhaps my children or some weary travelers may rest themselves beneath their branches.

My health is quite as good as formerly, and our friends here also, and likely to be, if hard work will make them so. I must rectify, Abigal Lee's health is very poor .(Abigail died soon after in confinement) and Adelia Crosley is so and so, tho she is able to attend to her house hold duties, Edward Bunker is not very tough this spring, he overtaxes his body with hard labor, Mary's babe also is very poorly indeed.

Now I must tell you about our Elethra Calista Bunker, she was married the 15th of the present month as an elect lady to Joseph Ira Earl, aged 27, at St. George. He is well matured in years, not a beauty, but good looking, possesses the characteristics of a saint in temperance, in faith and zeal and good works. Very studious in gaining knowledge. A good mechanic and blacksmith and I think he and she can imitate Father Adam and Mother Eve in tilling the earth and multiplying and replenishing, etc. etc. and more than this, I like him, and charity will go a good way in this case. I wish Ada success in doing likewise, I think it is time she was doing something in the line of matrimony.

Now I will express a wish to my son Abiel Abbott, I want him to come down, and if he comes with a wagon, I wish him to bring some gooseberry bushes, some cherry trees, and some states currants, some blackberries, red and black raspberries and also apricot, prune, plum, nec­tarine and pear trees, also some peppermint from Sister Pitkin and some sand cherries from Abigal Zundel's. I think one can take small trees and box them up in dirt to bring them here. I want my lot filled with fruit trees and lucerne. If there are apples on my trees this summer I wish Abigail would dry them and bring them when she comes, and Charilla also dry me what fruit she can spare.

Abiel, I expect you will be here by the last of May, and I shall expect all of you here at the temple in St. George on the first day of November and plan a month to visit. I have not heard from Lucina Beecher for sometime.

Write soon all of you. Phebe and Cynthia do not fail! Your loving mother

Abigail S. Abbott.

(This letter was later found by LBA in the Heart Throbs of the West, Vol. 5, DUP, 1944, Pages 402-403 Submitted by Lois Earl Jones.)

Mid-1865, Louisa Barnes Pratt visited Abigail in Salt Lake, bringing with her her 8 year old granddaughter Ida Frances Dyer and her adopted 15 year old Polynesian son, Ephraim Pratt, who drove the team. Her daughter Ellen McGary came from Ogden to meet with her. "I went to visit my kind friend Abigail Abbott. At her house I was taken sick. For a week I was not able to be removed to my daughter's. Abigail's married daughter Phebe, then a widow of Capt. James Brown, lived in the same house. They both bestowed on me unwearied attention; and assisted Ellen in doing every thing in their power for my recovery." --"The History of Louisa Barnes Pratt- Mormon Missionary Widow and Pioneer" edited by S. George Ellsworth, page 305.

The final summons came while she was visiting with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Abigail Zundell at Willard City, Box Elder County, Utah, July 23, 1889. At her death, she was possessed of a little property which by consent of the heirs was devoted to the erection of a modest monument to her and her first husband, Stephen Joseph Abbott, who she left buried in Nauvoo.

Abigail Smith Abbott Brown1806-1889

Abigail Smith Abbott was a heroic woman, pure, chaste and noble in purpose, and the aims and objects of her life were as successful as could be expected in human life. Honor be to her memory. 

grave marker Abigail Smith Abbott

grave markerStephen Abbott

Stephen Abbott + Abigail Smith Abbott - Grave marker at the Willard Cemetery, Willard, Box Elder County, Utah


PAF - Archer Files = Captain James Brown married Abigail Smith Abbott, widow of Stephen Joseph Abbott > Phebe Abigail Abbott also married Captain James Brown > Orson Pratt Brown.

The Story of My Life - William E. Abbott by Erwin and Colleen Waite, pages 1-10.

Pioneer Woman of Faith and Fortitude. Vol. II, International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Publishers Press, 1998. Page 1786 ( under Lewis)  ISBN: 0-9658406-1-1

George Abbott and His Discendants  Lois E. Jones, available at the Historical Records Survey at Ogden, Utah, copied on October 16, 1936 by Virginia Lee,

Five Hundred Wagons Stood Still — Mormon Battalion Wives, Shirley Mayne, U.S.A 1999: pages 66-70.

Thank you to my cousin Jim Wilde Brown for sharing this story source.

The top photo of Abigail Smith Abbott has also been found in Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude Page 1748, we think misidentified as Laura Melvina Thompson Leavitt. Photo replaced with the one now showing, found on page 11 of the William Elias Abbott 1869-1949,


Nauvoo: Block 23 (log house near the upper stone house in Old Commerce--The Nauvoo Journal
Nauvoo: Block 50, Lot 3

NAUVOO RECORDS as given at

Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register p 92
Members, LDS, 1830-1848, by Susan Easton Black, Vol 39, pp 644 - 645
Record of Baptisms for the Dead, Nauvoo, vol 1, pp 1-3


Nauvoo School Records for 1842", The Nauvoo Journal, Vol 1, Jan 1989
Treasures of Pioneer History, Vol 2, pp 125-128
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol 6, pp 198-200
Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, Vol 1, pp 376-377
Heart Throbs of the West, Vol 5, p 402-403; Vol 8, p 353=354, Vol 10, p 441


Business in Nauvoo, p 29
The Nauvoo Journal, p 18

1- [S3] Book - Annotated Record of Baptisms for the Dead, Nauvoo, 7 vols., Black, Susan Easton, (Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602), , Nauvoo, vol 1, pp 1-3

2- [S4] Book - Heart Throbs of the West, 12 vols., Carter, Kate B., compiler, (Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1939-1951), , Vol 5, p 402-403; Vol 8, p 353=354, Vol 10, p 441

3- [S5] LDS - Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:1830-1848, 50 vols., Black, Susan Easton, Compiler, (LDS Church, Salt Lake City, 1990), 1830-1848, by Susan Easton Black, Vol 39, pp 644 - 645

4- [S6] LDS - Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (1845-1846), p 92

5- [S7] Book - Our Pioneer Heritage, 20 vols., Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, (Salt Lake City: 1958-1977), , Vol 6, pp 198-200

6- [S8] Book - Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, 4 vols, International Society of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, (Salt Lake City, Utah, 1998), , Vol 1, pp 376-377

7- [S9] Periodical - The Nauvoo Journal, (Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989-1999), , Vol 1, Jan 1989

8 [S10] Book - Treasures of Pioneer History, 6 vols., Carter, Kate B., Compiler, (Daughers of the Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1952-1957), , Vol 2, pp 125-128

9- [S1] This record downloaded from, version 2006-06-07,
# [S2] Database - International Genealogical Index, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Copyright 2001 



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... Easter 1986 through October 2005


... Published December 2007:
By Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published March 2009:
(unfortunately the publisher incorrectly changed the photo
and spelling of Phebe Abbott Brown Fife's name
after it was proofed by this author)
Researched and Compiled by
Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published 2012:
"Finding Refuge in El Paso"
By Fred E. Woods [ISBN: 978-1-4621-1153-4]
Includes O.P Brown's activities as Special Church Agent in El Paso
and the Juarez Stake Relief Committee Minutes of 1912.

...Published 2012:
"Colonia Morelos: Un ejemplo de ética mormona
junto al río Bavispe (1900-1912)"
By Irene Ríos Figueroa [ISBN: 978-607-7775-27-0]
Includes O.P. Brown's works as Bishop of Morelos. Written in Spanish.

...Published 2014:
"The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins 1875 - 1932"
By Elizabeth Oberdick Anderson [ISBN: 978-156085-226-1]
Mentions O.P. Brown more than 30 times as Ivins' companion.

... To be Published Soon:

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... Lily Gonzalez Brown 80th Birthday Party-Reunion
July 14, 2007 in American Fork, Utah

...Gustavo Brown Family Reunion in October 2007

Send Additions and Information to:


...... Wives and 35 Children Photo Chart
...... Chronology
...... Photo Gallery of OPB
...... Letters


...... Biographical Sketch of the Life Orson Pratt Brown
...... History of Orson Pratt Brown by Orson P. Brown
...... Journal & Reminiscences of Capt. Orson P. Brown
...... Memories of Orson P. Brown by C. Weiler Brown
...... Orson Pratt Brown by "Hattie" Critchlow Jensen
...... Orson Pratt Brown by Nelle Spilsbury Hatch
...... Orson Pratt Brown by W. Ayrd Macdonald

- Captain James Brown 1801-1863

...... Wives and 29 / 43 Children Photo Chart
...... Captain James Brown's Letters & Journal
...... Brown Family Memorabilia
...... Mormon Battalion 1846-1847
...... Brown's Fort ~ then Brownsville, Utah
...... Chronology of Captain James Brown

- Phebe Abbott Brown Fife 1831-1915

- Colonel William Nicol Fife - Stepfather 1831-1915


- James Brown of Rowan County, N.C. 1757-1823

- Mary Williams of Rowan County, N.C. 1760-1832

- Stephen Joseph Abbott of, PA 1804-1843

- Abigail Smith of Williamson, N.Y. 1806-1889

- John Fife of Tulliallan, Scotland 1807-1874

- Mary Meek Nicol, Carseridge, Scotland 1809-1850 


- Martha "Mattie" Diana Romney Brown 1870-1943

- Jane "Jennie" Bodily Galbraith Brown 1879-1944

- Elizabeth Graham MacDonald Webb Brown 1874-1904

- Eliza Skousen Brown Abbott Burk 1882-1958

- Angela Maria Gavaldón Brown 1919-1967


- (Martha) Carrie Brown (child) 1888-1890

- (Martha) Orson Pratt Brown, Jr. (child) 1890-1892

- (Martha) Ray Romney Brown 1892-1945

- (Martha) Clyde Romney Brown 1893-1948

- (Martha) Miles Romney Brown 1897-1974

- (Martha) Dewey B. Brown 1898-1954

- (Martha) Vera Brown Foster Liddell Ray 1901-1975

- (Martha) Anthony Morelos Brown 1904-1970

- (Martha) Phoebe Brown Chido Gardiner 1906-1973

- (Martha) Orson Juarez Brown 1908-1981

- (Jane) Ronald Galbraith Brown 1898-1969

- (Jane) Grant "Duke" Galbraith Brown 1899-1992

- (Jane) Martha Elizabeth Brown Leach Moore 1901-1972

- (Jane) Pratt Orson Galbraith Brown 1905-1960

- (Jane) William Galbraith Brown (child) 1905-1912

- (Jane) Thomas Patrick Porfirio Diaz Brown 1907-1978

- (Jane) Emma Jean Galbraith Brown Hamilton 1909-1980

- (Elizabeth) (New born female) Webb 1893-1893

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Webb Brown Jones 1895-1982

- (Elizabeth) Marguerite Webb Brown Shill 1897-1991

- (Elizabeth) Donald MacDonald Brown 1902-1971

- (Elizabeth) James Duncan Brown 1904-1943

- (Eliza) Gwen Skousen Brown Erickson Klein 1903-1991

- (Eliza) Anna Skousen Brown Petrie Encke 1905-2001

- (Eliza) Otis Pratt Skousen Brown 1907-1987

- (Eliza) Orson Erastus Skousen Brown (infant) 1909-1910

- (Eliza) Francisco Madera Skousen Brown 1911-1912

- (Eliza) Elizabeth Skousen Brown Howell 1914-1999

- (Angela) Silvestre Gustavo Brown 1919-

- (Angela) Bertha Erma Elizabeth Brown 1922-1979

- (Angela) Pauly Gabaldón Brown 1924-1998

- (Angela) Aaron Aron Saul Brown 1925

- (Angela) Mary Angela Brown Hayden Green 1927

- (Angela) Heber Jedediah Brown (infant) 1936-1936

- (Angela) Martha Gabaldón Brown Gardner 1940


- Stephen Abbott Brown 1851-1853

- Phoebe Adelaide Brown Snyder 1855-1930

- Cynthia Abigail Fife Layton 1867-1943

- (New born female) Fife 1870-1870

- (Toddler female) Fife 1871-1872


- (Martha Stephens) John Martin Brown 1824-1888

(Martha Stephens) Alexander Brown 1826-1910

(Martha Stephens) Jesse Stowell Brown 1828-1905

- (Martha Stephens) Nancy Brown Davis Sanford 1830-1895

(Martha Stephens) Daniel Brown 1832-1864

(Martha Stephens) James Moorhead Brown 1834-1924

(Martha Stephens) William Brown 1836-1904

(Martha Stephens) Benjamin Franklin Brown 1838-1863

(Martha Stephens) Moroni Brown 1838-1916

- (Susan Foutz) Alma Foutz Brown (infant) 1842-1842

- (Esther Jones) August Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Augusta Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Amasa Lyman Brown (infant) 1845-1845

- (Esther Jones) Alice D. Brown Leech 1846-1865

- (Esther Jones) Esther Ellen Brown Dee 1849-1893

- (Sarah Steadwell) James Harvey Brown 1846-1912

- (Mary McRee) George David Black 1841-1913

- (Mary McRee) Mary Eliza Brown Critchlow1847-1903

- (Mary McRee) Margaret Brown 1849-1855

- (Mary McRee) Mary Brown Edwards Leonard 1852-1930

- (Mary McRee) Joseph Smith Brown 1856-1903

- (Mary McRee) Josephine Vilate Brown Newman 1858-1917

- (Phebe Abbott) Stephen Abbott Brown (child) 1851-1853

- (Phebe Abbott) Phoebe Adelaide Brown 1855-1930

- (Cecelia Cornu) Charles David Brown 1856-1926

- (Cecelia Cornu) James Fredrick Brown 1859-1923

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Sarah Brown c. 1857-

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Augustus Hezekiah Brown c. 1859


- (Diane Davis) Sarah Jane Fife White 1855-1932

- (Diane Davis) William Wilson Fife 1857-1897

- (Diane Davis) Diana Fife Farr 1859-1904

- (Diane Davis) John Daniel Fife 1863-1944

- (Diane Davis) Walter Thompson Fife 1866-1827

- (Diane Davis) Agnes Ann "Aggie" Fife 1869-1891

- (Diane Davis ) Emma Fife (child) 1871-1874

- (Diane Davis) Robert Nicol Fife (infant) 1873-1874

- (Diane Davis) Barnard Fife (infant) 1881-1881

- (Cynthia Abbott) Mary Lucina Fife Hutchins 1868-1950

- (Cynthia Abbott) Child Fife (infant) 1869-1869

- (Cynthia Abbott) David Nicol Fife 1871-1924

- (Cynthia Abbott) Joseph Stephen Fife (child) 1873-1878

- (Cynthia Abbott) James Abbott Fife (infant) 1877-1878


- (Diana) Caroline Lambourne 18461979

- (Diana)  Miles Park Romney 1843-1904

- (Jane) Emma Sarah Bodily 1858-1935

- (Jane) William Wilkie Galbraith 1838-1898

- (Elizabeth) Alexander F. Macdonald 1825-1903

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Atkinson 1841-1922

- (Eliza) Anne Kirstine Hansen 1845-1916

- (Eliza) James Niels Skousen 1828-1912

- (Angela) Maria Durán de Holguin 1876-1955

- (Angela) José Tomás Gabaldón 1874-1915












Contact Us:
Orson Pratt Brown Family Organization
P.O. Box 980111
Park City, Utah 84098-0111