Biography of Lovina Ann Steele


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Lovina Ann Steele Barrus

Soon after the birth of Lovina her father moved his family to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they were subjected to mob brutality. They followed Brigham Young to Winter Quarters, staying through the winter of 1846. Lovina's father settled his family at Mount Pisgah.

During a prayer meeting he heard a voice tell him that he was wanted at home. Upon arriving home, Lovina was very sick and in a great deal of pain. She had been playing before a fireplace, a coal popped onto her hot dress and it was ablaze. Lovina had ran outdoors and the blaze spread very quickly. She recovered but carried the scars to her grave.

When Lovina was six years old her mother deserted the family and left for the gold rush in California. Her father went to Utah and left her and her little brother with friends who were to bring them across the Plains. These friends left the children to fend for themselves. They were hungry much of the time and after this Lovina could not stand to see food wasted.

Upon arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1852, they were homeless. A widow named Nancy Bailey Orton offered to care for them with her own two daughters. The two children were a sad sight; thin from malnutrition, dysentery, and head lice.

Their father, Samuel, located his children and came for them but they clung to Nancy who had been good and kind like a mother to them, within a few moths time, Samuel persuaded Nancy to become his wife and they moved as a family to Grantsville.

When Lovina was seventeen, she married Benjamin Franklin Barrus. They built a large rock home on Main Street in Grantsville and played an important role in civic and Church affairs. After her husband's death, Lovina moved to Salt Lake City to live with a daughter.

She died having lived a life of hardships and challenges as a pioneer and settler of Grantsville. To her family and neighbors she was famous for her honey candy.



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