Biography of Vilate Stockwell

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Vilate Stockwell (Burgess)

Vilate was born in Vermont, 1794. She was eighteen when she married, 1 May, 1813, to William Burgess, Sr. They were living at Putnam, Washington, New York, when her first baby was born. Ten of her eleven children were born there.

William, Harrison, and Horace were converted by Elder Simeon Carter and were baptized in 1832. It was through Harrison's teachings that Vilate was converted and baptized, 16 Jun, 1834. She was a very gifted and talented mother and of a very religious nature.

In Sep, 1834, Vilate, Harrison, and her family journeyed to Kirtland, Ohio. William soon joined them. He was a skillful blacksmith and carpenter and set up and operated saw mills, and with others, worked faithfully on the Kirtland Temple. When it was dedicated 24 Mar, 1836, Vilate, William, and others of her family received their endowments.

During the persecution, Vilate and her family left Kirtland for Far West, Missouri. At Adam on-di-Ahamon, Vilate's family went through many trials and tragedies of persecution. With her baby in her arms, Vilate stood helplessly by and watched the mob burn her home and all that was in it to the ground.

In March, 1839, they were driven our of Missouri and went 200 miles, crossed the Mississippi River and found some land for a new home at Nauvoo, Illinois. Here they worked on the Nauvoo Temple, as persecutions swirled about them. On 6 Jan, 1846, they received their endowments.

It is said that before leaving Nauvoo, William took a second wife, one Dorcas Keeling Dykes, mother of three. However, records indicate that they were actually married 17 Dec, 1854, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

When they crossed the Plains, William was captain of the first ten. At Winter quarters there were many sick, lame, women and children to care for. Vilate who was an excellent nurse assisted William in caring for the sick and administering to their need as best they could.

William and sons made a seine and skiff for fishing on the Missouri River and hauled in many loads of choice fish, which were a great blessing to the poor, suffering people. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, 21 Sep, 1848.

They first settled in the 16th Ward, until they were called as pioneers to settle "Dixie" in 1861. they lived in St. George until they built a saw mill and moved to Pine Valley in 1863. Vilate passed away there, 21 Jul, 1880, at age eight-six years.

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