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Martha Ann Lewis Bingham

Life Sketch of Martha Ann Lewis Bingham, by her husband Sanford Bingham, Sr.

Sanford Bingham was the son of Erastus Bingham [and Lucinda Gates], who was the son of Sarah (Sally) Perry [and Elisha Warner Bingham], who was the daughter of Capt. David Perry [and Anna Bliss]


Life Sketch of Martha Ann Lewis Bingham by her husband Sanford Bingham, Sr.


Note: This document in its original form was mailed to William Bingham of Logan, Utah by Mrs. George A. Pincock (Lucinda Elizabeth Bingham) of Sugar City, Idaho - postmark: Nov. 6, 1939, 3 pm.

June 22, 1899

The following is a sketch of the life of my wife Martha Ann Lewis Bingham written by me mostly from memory.

(Signed) Sanford Bingham

Martha Ann Lewis Bingham, daughter Benjamin Lewis, who was killed in Missouri at the Haun's Mill Massacre, and Joannah Ryan, was born February 20, 1833 in the town of Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky. Baptized July 1845 in Nauvoo, Illinois by Elder David Lewis and confirmed same day by same person.

The life of her father was taken by a mob as he was journeying to Farwest to reside with the Latter Day Saints and while he was laying by to rest his teams a few days, it was on October 30, 1838 when she was only five years old.

Beason Lewis her Father's brother came shortly after the Massacre from Illinois to Missouri and took the widow and family, consisting of five children, namely: Mary Franses, John Moss, William Crofford, Martha Ann, and Sarah Elizabeth, home with him on the farm, The mother being a midwife and weaver earned most of their support. In the spring of 1845 the widow with her family moved to Nauvoo where her husbands brother David lived.

January 16, 1846 the widow died leaving Martha Ann an orphan before she was thirteen years old. Sometime in February the family of children started with the Saints in their exodus from the state of Illinois to travel west not knowing where. At this time their Uncle Beason (although not a Mormon at this time) came and took them into his care, moving West with the Saints, Martha Ann driving his loose cattle the most of the way on horse back and often her clothing would be wet through with the spring rains while traveling. After laying by near Winter Quarters for a time, continued their journey in what was called Brigham's fifty, Martha Ann driving loose cattle as before. They went to Ponca on the Missouri River, about 150 miles above Winter Quarters and wintered among the Ponca Indians by a small River called by the natives Swift Water, it being a tributary of the Missouri. During the winter there were many sick in the three companies, namely Brigham's, Heber's and Miller's fifties, and required a great deal of care and attention. She was one of those who spent much time in taking care of and watching with the sick and the dead, for there was quite a number of deaths from scurvy.

About the time she was fourteen years old, a woman died who was in such a condition the women of proper age shrunk from the task of washing and laying her out, but Martha's never flinching hand was ready to take hold of the dreaded task and with the assistance of others she succeeded in preparing her for burial.

In the spring of 1847 her Uncle with the Saints who wintered there returned back to Winter-Quarters, Martha Ann driving loose cattle most of the way on foot.

After preparations were made and the family had got across the Elkhorn River from Winter-Quarters, they started from there about the eleventh of June on their way to the Rocky Mountains. From that time on provisions were made for the loose cattle to be driven without her assistance. The companies traveling up the north side of the Platt River had in the start 666 wagons after which a few more were added, She traveled with her Uncle Beason in Daniel Spencer's hundred, Ira Elderidge's fifty and Erastus Bingham's ten. When she had traveled two or three days journey about Grand Island on the Platt, and while laying by to rest on Sunday the 18th day of July 1847 she was married to Elder Sanford Brigham by Apostle Parley P. Pratt, traveling with her husband the remainder of the way arrived in Salt Lake City or Valley the 19th day of September 1847. From about the first of October 1848 to July 1849 she resided at the herdhouse where her husband and his brother Thomas were keeping a herd of cattle and horses for the public, a little below the mouth of what has ever since been called Bingham Canyon. In the spring of 1849 a band or Tribe of Indians came and camped near the herdhouse, and one day while her husband and his brother Thomas were out among the cattle, there being no one in the house but a young brother of her husband, herself and a baby, a couple of young Indians with guns in hands came into the house and sat down on a bench standing beside the bed, on the side of which she had spread some clean clothes to air that she was ironing, after remaining in that position a short time they layed themselves back onto her clean clothes, she remonstrated against that conduct, explaining the best she could by signs and motions that she wanted them to get off the clothes, but they would not, she then caught them by the hair of their heads and yanked them off and went about her ironing, they cocked their guns and made some threats in their own language which she didn't understand, but when they found they could not scare her they went away, and never came back into the house again. At that time there was no white person residing within ten or fifteen miles of the herdhouse.

In July she moved to Salt Lake City remaining there until April 1850 when she moved to where Ogden now is, remaining there through the summer, wintering in what was called Farr's Fort.

In the spring of 1851 moved northwest about two miles (a place now called Lynn). When it became so that she could obtain wool she used to spin, weave and make clothing for her family until sometime after the Rail Road passed through the country and clothing became cheap. After moving to Riverdale, Weber County, January 7th 1862 she was associated with the Relief Society from that time or nearly so that it organized in Weber County, and acted as teacher in the Society until there was a branch organized in Riverdale on December 5th 1872 when she became President of that branch faithfully discharging her duty in that capacity to the host of her ability and strength, striving to learn all that was required of her, so that she could act wisely in her calling, remaining in that office until November 18th 1898 when she departed this life after suffering with a cancer nearly three years, not intensely all the time but at intervals until the last few months when her suffering was most excruciating, but she endured it patiently.

She was a mother and nurse to all the ward, if any were sick or ailing she was called for and went night or day to administer comfort and assistance to the sick and dying and to prepare the dead for burial. She was practicing midwife about twenty-five years and never lost a woman or child that she attended in that capacity. She was not what is called an educated person but she was full of wisdom, care and patience. She loved the principles of the Gospel end did temple work for her dead ancestors as far back as she could get an account of Genealogy of them and receive for herself all the blessings, keys and power that can be conferred upon a person ir the Temple of the Lord.

She was a very kind, obedient and affectionate wife, a devoted and loving mother, and her memory will remain long in the hearts of her husband and offspring, and acquaintances and blessed be they who will follow her worthy example.

She had twelve living children and three still-born, the names of the twelve are: Sanford Tr., Martha Ann, who married Joseph Fife, Benjamin Franklin, John, Sophia Cordelia, who married Robert Hopkins, William, Joannah, who married John T. Bybee, Joseph Smith, Elisha Erastus, Rebecca Jane who married Hance C. Hansen Jr., Lorin Beason, and Lucinda Elizabeth who married George A. Pincock. Her husband and the twelve children all but Sophia Cordelia survived his wife and their mother.

At her death she had 85 Grand Children, 75 of them living, and 24 Great Grand Children living.



Notes: Martha Ann [Lewis] Bingham died 18 Nov 1898 in Riverdale, Weber, Utah, and was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.


Notes added by:

Notes by Denise G. Jones, 2001


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