Biography of Anna Eliza Lemmon


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Sketch of the Life of Anna Eliza Lemmon Knapp & Notes of her Ancestry

Robert S. Lemmon our earliest ancestor of which we have record, was born 1730 in Ireland, was married in Tyron Co., Ireland about 1750 to Elinor _______. They were parents of tour eons and two daughters.

In 1763 he emigrated, from Ireland and settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where he remained for a number of years. He strongly advocated the question of American liberty and when Independence was declared in 1776, was at the front and sided in bearing the brunt of the battle. He was present at General Braddock's defeat and also at the capture of Cornwallis. His third son James is next in our line, he served as a messenger boy in the Revolutionary War, carrying messages between his father Robert S. Lemmon and George Washington. He was at that time a youth of (17) seventeen. He lived in Pennsylvania until 1786 and then moved to Kentucky and then to Corydon, Harrison Co., Indiana in 1818. He married Sarah Carr, who became the mother of Washington Lemmon, grandfather of Anna Eliza Lemmon Knapp.

Washington Lemmon was born 6 Oct., 1806 in Shelby Co., Kentucky and was reared to manhood in Harrison Co., Indiana. In 1830 he moved to Adams Co., Illinois where he resided for twenty years. In 1841 he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and became a personal friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith and assisted in the building of the Nauvoo Temple. During the time that Joseph Smith was a candidate for the Presidency of the U.S. Mr. Lemmon made campaign speeches in his behalf throughout Illinois. He was absent in Indiana at the time that Joseph Smith suffered martyrdom at Carthage. For two years Mr. Lemmon resided at Council Bluffs, and on the 10 of Sept. 1852 arrived in Utah. He settled on a farm in Mill Creek Ward and became a prosperous farmer. At Corydon, Indiana, in Aug. of 1826 he married Tamer Stephens, daughter of John and Stacey Stephens. They had a family of twelve children, eight sons and four daughters all of whom reached adult age. He was a prominent Church man and served as Bishop's Counselor more than twenty years. He died 2 Oct., 1902 at the age of 96 years.

Of the Homer family we give briefly that in 1066, when William of Normandy sailed to invade and conquer England, one De Holmere went with him and fought at the Battle of Hastings. The earliest direct ancestor to whom we can definitely trace is Richard Homer, who was born at Ettings Hall, England March 1540, who married Margaret Wright of Sedgley England in March of 1565. Next in interest to us is his fourth child Richard of our line, Edward, the third of his five sons was born about 1600, he married Elizabeth Wilkes. Their eldest son is next in our line, who was also Edward and married Anne Gibbons, they had a family of five sons and three daughters, John fourth child of Edward and Anne was born 20 March 1665, each of these men in their generation inherited Ettings Hall, John went to sea at a very early age and at the age of twenty-seven was master of his own merchant ship. On 13 July 1693, he was married to Marjorie Stevens of Boston. His second son Benjamin Homer was our ancestor, he married in 1721 Elizabeth Crowell, these were parents of six Sons and two daughters. Two of these sons became captains.

Next on our chart is Capt. Thomas born 31 March 1736, he married Elizabeth Sears. Of their family of six sons and four daughters, three sons were lost at sea in young manhood. We now pass to the third remaining son, Benjamin Cobb Homer born 24 June 1777. He married Anne Warner, who's great grandmother was a princess of the Cherokee Indian Nation. Anna's grandmother lived to be 113 years old. Their son Russell King Homer, married in Erie, New York 20 Dec., 1836 to Eliza Williamson. These two joined the Church and became friends to Joseph Smith, Martin Harris, and other of the Church Leaders. He died 12 Feb., 1890, his wife Eliza died 11 June 1912, 97 years old. Anna Eliza Homer fourth child of Russell King was born 19 March 1843, Logan Co., Illinois, she knew difficulties and hardships of pioneer life, she assisted her mother in caring for a Hotel and store in Crescent City, Ohio, where they entertained missionaries, immigrants, and Indians. When she was fifteen years old she came across the plains walking and at times driving an ox team. After arriving in Salt Lake she met Willis Lemmon who lived with his parents, Washington Lemmon and wife, on Mill Creek. On 1 Nov. 1859 their was a triple wedding in the Old Endowment House where she and Willis Lemmon, her sister, Nancy Homer and Martin Harris and their friends Stephen White and Agnes McGregor were married.

Early the next Spring the two sisters and their husbands settled in Smithfield, Utah and built a log house. Soon after this the brother-in-laws were called to go back to Iowa and bring a train of emigrants across the plains, which took about six months. During this time there was Indian trouble. Eliza and Nancy ran for the Fort, Nancy in the excitement dropped her baby in the creek, she recovered it and they safely reached the Fort.

Eliza's oldest child Anna Eliza was born before her husband returned. Eliza Homer Lemmon was the mother of ten children; she died in 6 July, 1911. Her husband preceded her by three years.

This child Anna Eliza was born 18 Nov. 1860. The first girl born in Smithfield, Utah. She grew and attended school as often and as much as the other pioneer children did. She, being the oldest of her mother's family shared the responsibility of the work of caring tar the large family. Many times did the children huddle in fear in corners when the Indians came to the door demanding or begging for food.

One evening when her parents went to a social gathering, they left Eliza in charge of the smaller children. There were no electric lights or even lamps so they cautioned here to be very careful with the candle take good care of the baby. She set by the baby until she came so tired she fell asleep still clasping the candlestick to keep it safe.

Eliza was left handed, and one teacher she had became very cross with her because of this and whipped her very severely because she did not do her lessons with her right hand. When she went home and her father learned what had occurred, he waited near the gate till the teacher came by and proceeded to thrash him as he deserved. Each Fall after Eliza was large enough she would go to' Mill Creek to the home of her grandparents to gather and dry fruit for the family until their own orchard could produce fruit for them. Eliza enjoyed singing and sang much at home and in public, she also attended school in Logan where she met Justin A. Knapp. Their romance was carried on around the low walls of the Logan Temple, where he was working at the time. They were married 9 Oct., 1879 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. His home was in Richmond, Utah. There they built a home where four of their twelve children were born. Anna Rozina who married William Widdison, Mabel married C. Heber Ward, Jennie married Francis Walters, and Justin W. married Mabel Hale. Then they move to Rexburg, Eliza and the children coming to Market Lake now Roberts, Idaho on the train. The household goods being brought by team, soon after she arrived her fifth child, Lydia was born, she lived but a few months. They settled on a farm on the Teton River west of Rexburg, called island Ward, later given the name of Hibbard, in honor of their first Bishop George Hibbard who married Eliza's sister Julia. There her eight children were born. Leona who died at the age of seven years, Elsie May married Charles 11. Larsen, Warren died when he was 9 years old. Esther Jane married Leslie Robertson, Alice Eveline married John Hiliman, Edmund Raymond lived about two years, and Adrian LeRoy died at birth.

Eliza knew the hardships of building a new home on barren ground and make the desert blossom. She did not have many of the material comforts of life, she must have craved pretty things for later when all the children were married she would buy little trinkets a child would delight in keeping. Cache Valley was so far from Snake River Valley in those days of slow travel, that many years of homesick days passed before she again saw her mother and father. She, on the farm or at the sawmill, carried her share of life's load cheerfully and with a song on her lips. Other trials made her burden heavier. Her oldest daughter died soon after the birth of her oldest child. Her own little baby died soon after she reached this barren country. Typhoid took the little seven year old girl. Later this dreaded disease visited her home again, this time took a son and two or three other children lay in the shadow of death for weeks. Very few people came to give assistance because they were afraid. Then her twin babies came, one died at birth, the other from an accident when he was two years old. Thus half her children were taken from her. Then when the rest were all married her husband too, passed on, leaving her alone in her home. Through all this she did her duty as she saw it. Her son and husband filled missions, she sent the children to school and went with them on Sunday to Church. With a song on her lips and a prayer in her heart she lifted her eyes to the Lord and her burdens were made lighter.

Much of her time she gave to the Relief Society going about from place to place with her horse and buggy. Making quilts, doing Red Cross work, for there was one in the world then too, visiting sick and cheering the sad as is the calling of a Relief Society President. She always raised her voice in song as Chorister in the Woman's organizations. Much needed help was given her children in their homes at different times.

In her later life she suffered a terrible siege of Typhoid herself. Then the 'flu' and at Last about three strokes. She left this life to join her loved ones beyond, 13 Dec., 1931, leaving a host of friends and six sorrowing families of her children.




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