Sunday, May 31, 2020

Keturah Horton Haight  1777-1843
Mildred Harris Bradley's Great Great Grandmother

            Keturah Horton was born 28 May 1777 in Amenia, Dutchess, New York to David Horton and Temperance Owens. She was the third child and had five siblings.

          It can be presumed that Keturah spent her childhood in Dutchess County which is one of the oldest Counties of New York State.  It was organized 1 November 1683 by a Colony Law.  It was only a County in name with boundaries upon paper supposed to be uninhabited by white men.  On 18 October 1701 “having a very few inhabitants” it was provisionally annexed to Ulster County where its free holders were entitled to vote.

          In 1737, it was divided into seven precincts designated: Beekman, Crum Elbow, Northeast, Poughkeepsie, Rynebeck, Rumbout, and South.  By the time America voted for its Independence in 1776, Dutchess County was one of the most fervent counties in backing the Continental Congress.  Most of its inhabitants wanted freedom from England.  Dutchess County furnished a high percentage of soldiers for the Continental Army as well as furnishing food and provisions for the soldiers.

          According to the Nauvoo Temple Records, Caleb Haight married Keturah Horton, on 11 February 1799.  They were married either in a Civil Ceremony or by a traveling Minister.  When a new Presbyterian Church was completed at Greenville, Greene County, New York, only a short distance from where they were living they must have decided that it would be more satisfying to them to have a Church Ceremony. They chose their second wedding anniversary, 11 February 1801, to be remarried in the new church.

          Caleb and Keturah made their first home in Dutchess County, New York and it was there that their first two children were born; Oscar, born 14 November 1800 and Harriet Helen, born 9 April 1802. However, they must have soon afterwards moved as we find that their third child, a daughter, Julia Ann, was born in Windham, Greene County, New York in 6 November 1805.  The Haights made their home in Windham for many years and it was here that the rest of their children were born; David Bateman born 18 October 1808, Hector Caleb born 17 January 1810, Isaac Chauncy born 27 May 1813, Eliza Caroline born 2 February 1816. Maria Antoinette born 25 July  1818, and Catherine Adelia born 28 November 1820.

          In 1833, according to their son, Isaac Chauncy, the Haights moved once again and this time made their home in Moravia, Cayunga County, New York.  In the Land Deed Records for Greene County, New York, it shows that on 22 June 1833, Caleb Haight and his wife, Keturah, sold property in the Town of Windham, Greene County to John Adams of Catskill, New York for the consideration of $ 2,500.  Seven years later the U. S. census of 1840 of Moravia Town Cayuga County shows Caleb Haight living there with his wife and one female child, 15-19 years of age.  This no doubt was Catherine Adelia, their youngest child as all the other children were married by that time with the exception of Oscar who died at an early age.
          Keturah seemed to have been very successful as her children were well educated.  They were blessed with worldly goods and held good positions in the business world.  They were a religious family and Keturah’s son Isaac Chauncy would have become a Baptist Minister if his health had been better.

          In 1839, Elder Petiah Brown, a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, came to the home of Isaac Chauncy.  He and his wife Eliza Ann Snyder, were converted to the gospel and were baptized into the Church 3 March 1839.  They had to break the ice in the river before they could be baptized and then walk one-fourth mile with their clothing frozen stiff, to be confirmed.  At this time Isaac Chauncy was ordained an Elder to preach the Gospel.

          By the spring of 1841, Elder Haight and Elder Brown had converted enough people to the Gospel to build up a branch of the church to about 40 members. Isaac Chauncy had the happiness to see his father, Caleb Haight, his mother, Keturah, his brother, David Bateman, and two sisters baptized into the Church.  At this time Caleb Haight was made branch President but the members were persecuted so badly that the Branch had a difficult time to exist.

          On 7 June 1842 Isaac Chauncey, in company with his wife and family, left his parents and brothers and sisters and in the company of other converts for Zion.  However, the following year, 18 June 1843, he was called back to New York State on a short mission and it was at this time, according to the Land Deed Records of Cayuga County that Caleb Haight and his wife, Keturah, sold their property in Moravia, 22 June 1843 to Caleb Palmer of Sempronius, New York for the consideration of $5,520.  It is evident from this that Caleb and Keturah had been making plans to leave for Nauvoo also.

          Three months later, 13 September 1843, Isaac Chauncey started back to Nauvoo, Illinois and accompanying him were his father and mother, his brother David Bateman and family, his sister Julie Ann and her husband, Edmund Carbine, and their family.  Adelia Rider was a niece of Keturah’s sister, Julie Ann Horton and her husband Nathaniel Rider.  She was left an orphan when just five years of age and went to live with Aunt Keturah.

          Keturah was 66.  She was in very poor health at this time and the family was fearful that she could not stand the hard journey ahead of them but she was so anxious to see Nauvoo and the Temple that they attempted the journey.  She stood it very well for the first week but then she started to fail. After traveling for only ten days, they had to sop and rest for two days because of Keturah’s condition.  On September 25th, they started out once again with Keturah lying on a bed in one of the wagons and they arrived in Kirtland, Ohio two days later on September 27, 1843.  Keturah was so happy to see the Lord’s House and gazed upon it with delight and admiration. They were all kindly received by the brethren in Kirtland and they remained there until the next day.
          It was decided at that time, because of Keturah’s health, that it would be better for here to make the remainder of the trip by boat.  Isaac Chauncy and Adelia Rider Carbine were to accompany Keturah and they parted company here from the rest of the family.  On the morning of 28 September 1843 Caleb his son, David and his family and the Van Ordens and Carbine families and friends continued on in the wagons. They traveled with heavy hearts, not knowing if they would ever see their wife and mother again as, by this time, she was so ill that she was sometimes delirious.

          The same day that Caleb and company started out, Isaac Chauncy Haight and Adelia Rider Carbine, who helped take care of Keturah, and Keturah left for Ravenna where they could board a steamer.  On 3 October 1843, they took passage on the steamer, “Minstrel”, which was leaving Cincinnati, Ohio. They arrived in Cincinnati three days later on the 6th day of October and rested there for two days. Keturah’s health was so delicate now that they feared she would never live to get to Nauvoo. They boarded the steamer once again on October 8th and left for St. Louis, Mo.  They arrived there October 14th and changed boats and proceeded on the steamer “Iowa” for Nauvoo, arriving there the next day 15 October 1843.

          It wasn’t until twelve days later, on October 27th, that Keturah was re-united with her husband, Caleb, and family. They were all in good health and happy to be with their wife and mother once again.  The following week Caleb and Isaac Chauncy went to Knox County to see the farm that Caleb had purchased.  He was quite disappointed with it. They remained there working for ten days.  When they returned to Nauvoo, they found that Keturah had failed very much which she continued to do until the 18th November 1843 when she died very peacefully, just one month and three days after arriving in Nauvoo. In the paper “The Nauvoo Neighbor” it stated that Keturah Haight died of consumption. She was buried in Nauvoo.

          Issac Chauncy recorded in his journal:

18th November. (Mother) died without a struggle or a groan and has gone to rest in the Paradise of God with the Saints that have gone before, there to remain until the morning of the resurrection of the just when we shall again behold her clothed with bright immortality and eternal life.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Martin Harris 1783-1875

(A witness of the Book of Mormon) Mildred Harris Bradley's Great Great Uncle
 It was in Clarkston, Utah in 1875. Early in the morning, a thought came to my mind that I would go and see how Brother Harris was. It was only three blocks from my home. I heard he was not feeling well and people came from other towns to see Brother Harris and hear his testimony on the Book of Mormon. But when I arrived, there were two men present. Brother Harris lay on his bed leaning on his elbow. I said, "How are you, Brother Harris?" He answered slowly, "Pretty well."
 "We came to hear your testimony on the Book of Mormon" I said to him.  "Yes", he said in a loud voice, as he sat up in bed. "I wish that I could speak loud enough that the whole world could hear my testimony. Brother, stand over so I can see you;" and then he stretched out his hand and said, "Brother, I believe there is an angel here to hear what I shall tell you, and you shall never forget what I shall say. The Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and myself went into a little grove to obtain a promise that we should behold it with our own eyes. That we could testify of it to the world. We prayed two or three times but met with no success, and feeling my presence being the cause of our not obtaining what we asked for, I at length went into the woods by myself to pray, where upon the angel immediately appeared and stood before Oliver and David and showed them the plates.   
Upon my long absence, the Prophet came in search of me and in my desperation, I asked him to kneel down with me and pray for me that I may also see the plates, and we did so and immediately the angel stood before me and said, "Look," and when I glanced at him I fell; but I stood on my feet and saw the angel turn the golden leaves over, and I said, "It is enough, my Lord and my God!" Then I heard the voice of God say, "the book is true, and translated correctly."
 Brother Harris then turned himself as if he had no more to say and we made ready to go. But he spoke again and said, "I will tell you a wonderful thing that happened after Joseph had found the plates. Three of us took some tools to go to the hill and hunt for some more boxes, or gold or something, and indeed we found a stone box; we got quite excited about it and dug quite carefully around it, and we were ready to take it up but behold, by some unseen power, it slipped back into the hill. We stood there and looked at it and one of us took a crow bar and tried to drive it though the lid to hold it, but it glanced and broke one corner off the box. Sometime that box will be found and you will see the corner off and you will know I have told the truth again brother, as sure as you are standing here and see me. Just so sure did I see the angel with the golden plates, in his hand and he showed them to me. I have promised that I will bear witness of this truth both here and hereafter."
His lips trembled and tears came into my eyes. I should like to have asked a question but I failed to do so, but I refreshed myself and shook hands and thanked him and left.
When I think of the day I stood before Martin Harris and saw him stretch forth his hand and raise his voice and bear his testimony, the feeling that thrilled my whole being I can never forget, nor can I express the joy that filled my soul. This is a true statement. Signed, Ole A. Jensen (The other two brethren present were John Godfrey and James Hup.)