History of Emery Barrus

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Author Unknown(Possibly Benjamin Franklin Barrus)

Emery Barrus was born in Chautauqua County, New York, in 1809. He was the only one of his father's family who was baptized in New York.

In 1839, he with his wife and year old son, Benjamin Franklin Barrus, went to Jefferson City, Missouri, and in the spring of 1840 settled in Nauvoo, where they lived until after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith.

Following the persecution of the Saints, preparations were made for the never to be forgotten journey across the plains. Wagon shops were created. Emery had a shingle mill on an island in the Mississippi river, and in 1845 they moved to the island, where, with the assistance of his wife, he would get the timber, saw it into suitable lengths, and fix the different parts of the wagons. He would store the wood in the shop to season. Preparatory to starting west from Nauvoo in the spring, he made 15 wagons right from the stumps of the trees that winter.

The Barrus family arrived in Grantsville October 1853, just two years after Grantsville was settled, which was in 1851. Samuel Steele arrived with the first seven families. The Indians made a great deal of trouble for the settlers in the early days. We had to herd our stock in the day time on the range and stand guard at night to keep the Indians from driving them off.

Not a fruit or shade tree was growing in Grantsville in 1853. Mr. Sceva, John Clark, and James McBride were the first to plant trees. Emery Barrus built the first barns and some good houses in Grantsville.

Thomas H. Clark was the first Bishop of Grantsville, Timothy Parkinson and John B. Walker were his counselors.

In 1855 the grasshoppers came so thick that they darkened the sun and destroyed the crops. 1856 was the year of the famine. A good horse would not buy a sack of flour and we were without bread for months, living on sego bulbs, thistle roots, etc.

John W. Cooley had a patch of barley get almost ripe in 1856. William Burton and James Kearl harvested it by hand, threshed it with a flail and cleaned it with the wind. Each family received one-half bushel and ground it in coffee mills to make cakes for the Fourth of July dinner. Some other grain got ripe enough to be harvested and each family received a part of family had a flour cake and beef steak for dinner July 24, 1856.

Emery Barrus was Mayor of Grantsville City and attended to the surveying the cemetery into burial lots and drove the stakes when it was surveyed by Charles Herman.


From History of Tooele County by Tooele County Daughters of Utah Pioneers, pp 415,416

A picture of him and his wife is found on page 613.

Emery Barrus, son of Benjamin Barrus and Betsy Stebbins, was born 8 APR 1809 in Chautauqua County, New York. He came to Utah 9 OCT 1853 in the Appleton Harmon Company. He married Huldah Abigail Nickerson. Their children were: (1) Lydia, (2) Betsy N., (3) Benjamin Franklin, (4) Emery Freeman, (5) Mary Huldah, (6) Orrin Eleazer, (7) Emery Alexander, (8) Ruel Michael, (9) Owen Henry, (10) Sarah Abigail, (11) John Nickerson, (12) Eliza Alvira.

He married Jane Zerilda Baker, who was a daughter of Benjamin Baker. Their children were: (1) Emeline Abigail, (2) James Baker, (3) William Taylor, (4) Thomas, (5) Freeman, (6) Chauncy Baker, (7) Catherine Rozena.\

The family home was in Grantsville, Utah. He was a High Priest, a Patriarch, a carpenter, stock raiser, farmer and, wheelwright. He died 5 OCT 1899.

Esther Warner -- researcher

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