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Life History of Erastus Bingham Sr.

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

Erastus Bingham and Lucinda Gates had fond hopes that their posterity would carry on the standards they had established for themselves. The standards which they tried to maintain and tried to instill in their progeny included good citizenship, service to fellowman, and reverence for God and for all that is sacred.

Erastus Bingham and Lucinda Gates

Erastus - Son of Elisha Warner Bingham and Sarah or Sally Perry - b. 12 Mar 1798 at Concord, Essex, Vermont - m. 20 Mar 1819 at St. Johnsbury, Cldn, Vermont - d. 2 May 1882 at Ogden, Weber, Utah - bur. at Ogden, Weber, Utah - bap. 11 Nov 1833 - end. 1 Jan 1846.

Lucinda - Daughter of Thomas Gates and Patty Plumley - b. 19 Sep 1797 at Ackworth, Chshr, New Hampshire - d. 3 Jan 1874 at Ogden, Weber, Utah - bap. 11 Nov 1833 - end. 1 Jan 1846 -sealed to hus. 22 Jan 1846.


Bingham Children:


1. Mary

2. Sanford

3. Erastus, Jr.

4. Thomas

5. Lucinda

6. Maria Louisa

7. Willard

8. Edwin

9. Jacob

10. Brigham Heber


Erastus Bingham was born in Concord, Essex County, Vermont 12th March 1798 and baptized 11 November 1833, at St. Johnsburg, Vermont, a direct result of early day missionary work in New England.

With his wife, Lucinda Gates Bingham, his eight children and Willard Snow, Joel Harvey and their families, and others, he traveled to Far West, Missouri, via Kirtland, Ohio, arriving in Far West the 4th of November 1836.

After the Extermination Order of Governor Boggs, the Bingham family moved to Hancock County, Illinois, on a rented farm between Carthage and La Harpe, remaining here from April 1839 until the Spring of 1845.

Erastus had exercised the faith of a true Latter-day Saint as evidenced by his elevation in the Priesthood.

According to family records, the martyrdom of the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum, caused great concern to the Bingham family, and like other Saints in the Carthage area, desired to situate closer to Nauvoo. It is evident from circumstances and conditions at this time that a Mormon family was in grave danger of being mobbed. With this and the fact that the Brethren were pressing a speedy completion of the Temple, it gave motive enough for Erastus to move his family to a spot near er Nauvoo.

"In the spring of 1845 Erastus bought a farm of 160 acres about 20 miles West of Nauvoo, Illinois, which was extensively cultivated during the spring and summer. After the crops were all harvested, he labored night and day with others to complete the Nauvoo Temple. (Bingham, Belnap, and Scoville, Life of Erastus Bingham and Family, p. 8.)

Little is known of the activity of the Bingham family while at Nauvoo except evidences of their assistance with the Temple and records showing that some of them received their endowments.

"The following members of the Bingham family . . . received their endowments [gifts from God received by covenants in the Gospel of Christ] in the Nauvoo Temple during December, 1845 and January, 1846: Erastus Bingham and Erastus Bingham, Jr., on January 3, 1846, Sanford Bingham, January 20, 1846; Louisa Maria Bingham, January 24, 1846; and Mary Bingham Freeman, January 25, 1846." (Bingham, Belnap, and Scoville, Life of Erastus Bingham and Family, p. 8.)

Then in January 1846, the family records show that one of Erastus' sons, Erastus, Jr. , was chosen to go with an advance group "to make roads, build bridges, and plant crops at various points", assisting those to follow in the general migration from the city.

The remainder of the Bingham family followed on the 6th of May, (the 160 acre farm, improvements, etc., were sold for enough 'to buy a team of horses'.) and continued to Mt. Pisgah, Iowa, arriving in mid-summer.

From here we pick up the movement of the family "in a company of about 200 wagons in command of Bishop (George) Miller." Erastus' eldest son, Sanford (25 years old at this time) later recorded in a sketch of his father's life:

"Erastus Bingham was made Captain of one hundred. They traveled Westward until they reached Council Bluffs, Iowa. Prior to their arrival at Council Bluffs, the United States Government asked for 500 volunteers to fight in the war with Mexico. Two sons and a son-in-law of Erastus Bingham volunteered, Erastus, Jr., Thomas and Elijah Norman Freeman, husband of his (Erastus') daughter, Mary; and they were recruited in the Mormon Battalion in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

(Erastus, Jr., who had been chosen for the advance company from Nauvoo had shortly before joined his family and now enlisted with the Battalion. He traveled as far as Santa Fe with the main group and under orders from Col. P. St. George Cooke retired to Pueblo, Colo., remaining there to give assistance to the sick during the ensuing winter. He entered the S.L. Valley July 29th 1847 with the "Mississippi Co." and the others from the Battalion who wintered at Pueblo. On August 26th he set out with the Brigham Young Company returning to Winter Quarters and met his family, on the Sweetwater, returning with them to the valley.

Thomas Bingham, Erastus' third son was unable to continue on to California with the Battalion and wintered in Pueblo, Colo. The strenuous march to Santa Fe caused a reoccurrence of the ague and fever. He, with his brother Erastus, Jr., arrived in S.L. Val1ey on July 29, 1847.

Elijah Norman Freeman married Erastus' eldest child, Mary, in Nauvoo in 1843. According to Church Chronology, page 32 by Andrew Jensen, "He was buried, four miles south of Secora on the Rio Grande," having succumbed to the strain and hardship of the march with the Battalion to San Diego.)

Erastus Bingham had the care of the families of these volunteers. After resting a few days until two companies were organized, one called Brigham's Co. , and the other Heber's Company, they started traveling westerly according to the directions of the Twelve Apostles . . . . They traveled up the Platt River until they came to Loop Fork, Nebraska, where they overtook Bishop George Miller and his company. When they arrived at Loop Fork, a messenger on horseback brought word from the president of the Twelve, Brigham Young, that they should not venture farther for fear of deep snow or hostile Indians, but should locate a good camping ground for the winter.

The captain, Bishop Miller, was not in favor of obeying this order. He was anxious to push on, as the prospect of several months delay in the journey was not a pleasing one.

They remained three days considering and discussing the problem. At this juncture a number of Indian chiefs of the Ponca Tribe passed by on their way home from an Indian Council. They were very friendly and invited the travelers to go with them to their camping ground to a place called Swift Water near the Missouri River about 150 miles above or north of winter quarters . . . . The Indians said the camping ground was good, with plenty of water and wood and feed for the animals which the white men were welcome to share.

Erastas Bingham stood up on his wagon wheel and talked to the Saints, telling them that he proposed to obey the council of President Brigham Young, that he and his family would remain until spring and invited all to join with them in accepting the invitation of the Indians to share their camping ground. About one half of the company remained with Erastus Bingham; the others decided to attempt the journey westward with their commander, Bishop Miller.

They pushed on westward but met with a great many losses. The Indians stole some of their animals; and they suffered considerably from cold and lack of food and were finally compelled to return, some of them camping near Erastus Bingham's camp. The Ponca Indians were very kind to the families who were sharing with them their camping ground, even bringing meat for the most destitute families.

In the spring of 1847 Erastus Bingham and his family returned to Council Bluffs where he was chosen a member of a committee to go into Missouri and secure wagons and supplies for the journey west and across the plains. He bought provisions to last his family eighteen months. On the 11th of June, 1847, they left Council Bluffs; and after getting across the Elkhorn River, they started on their journey westward. They traveled up the North side of the Platt River in a company of 666 wagons consisting of Daniel Spencer's group of 100, Ira Eldridge's 50, Jedediah M. Grant's 50 and Erastus Bingham's 10, together with other groups. The company was so large that it was organized with captains of tens, fifties, and hundreds to maintain and guarantee the best of order. Yet it was very unpleasant because it would be so late before the last wagon could start from camp in the morning and so late at night before it could get into camp. Two wagons traveled abreast, making two roads.

The company divided near Laramie, Wyoming, and Erastus Bingham and family were with those in the lead.

They arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 19th of September, 1847, much sooner than some of the others. Erastus built a log house and made preparations for the winter. In the spring of 1848 he was allotted a farm in the Holiday district; and in addition to the farm, he acquired a grazing permit in what is now known as Bingham Canyon, Utah.

An interesting story in connection with these grazing activities, is told of Sanford Bingham and his family:

"In August, 1848, together with his brother Thomas, he (Sanford Bingham) took charge of a public cattle herd about 18 or 20 miles South West of Salt Lake City, in Bingham Canyon. September 1, 1848, his first child was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and from the first of October, 1848 to July, 1849, his wife and baby resided with him at the herd house. In the spring of 1849, a band or tribe of Indians came and camped near the herd house. one day while he and his brother Thomas were out with the cattle, there being no one in the house with his wife and baby except one of his younger brothers, a couple of young Indians carrying guns came into the house and sat down on a bench. The bench was by the side of the bed, on the side of which she had spread some clean clothes to air, that she was ironing. The Indians laid back on her clean clothes. She tried by signs and motions to tell them to get off the clothes, but they would not move; so she caught them by the hair of their heads and yanked them off and then went about her ironing. The Indians 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." ( Bingham, Belnap, and Scoville, Life of Erastus Bingham and Family, pp. 21,22.)

While tending the herds in this area these two brothers found some copper ore. On discussing this find with President Young, they were advised "not to attempt to pursue mining, as the lives of the people depended upon farming and stock raising."

Expansion into other parts of the region followed very shortly after the entrance of the first companies into the valley, however it was not until April 1850 that the Bingham family moved from Great Salt Lake City. They "located on the property where the City (Ogden) and County Building now stands, farming the property as far south as 28th Street and North to 22nd Street.

"Sunday, January 26, 1851, President Brigham Young and party held meetings in the South Fort of Ogden, Utah. . . Erastus Bingham was made Bishop of the North Ward (Weber Stake) . . . " He remained in this capacity in this ward and later the First Ward for 17 years.

In the same year the City of Ogden was laid out and the Bingham property purchased. They then moved to a spot north of the Ogden River known as Farr's Fort. Later, in the spring of 1851 they situated in a spot known as the "Lynn District, " and here "Bingham's Fort" was built and occupied, the homes being on the inside of the walls for protection and the farms in the immediate vicinity for easy access.


Besides functioning as a Bishop, Erastus was called to other jobs, of a civic nature. The following are copies of some of his official appointments.


State of Deseret


G S L County


This Certifies that Erastus Bingham has this day, appeared before me, filed his Bonds, and taken his Oath of office, as Associate Judge of the County Court of Weber County in said state, to which office he was appointed by the Governor of said State, on the Fourteenth day of January last past, and that he is fully authorized to officiate in all the official Acts relating to said Office.


G S L City

(Signed) W I Appleby Clerk of the Supreme Court

of Said State

April 7th 1851



Territory of Utah

Weber County

August 12th 1852



Mr Erastus Bingham



You was duly Elected on the second day of the aforesaid Month by the qualified voters of Weber County to the office of Select Man in and for said Weber County.In testimony of the same I do

Witness my hand

(Signed) D. Moore

County Clerk W. Co.



This is to certify that Erastus Bingham has had the following Recorded as his Brand, to wit 2 1/2 Inches Long by 3 3/4 Inches wide To be placed on the Left Shoulder.


G. S. L. City Wm Clayton

Jany 26th 1851 Recorder.


Fees 50 Paid



This small trunk ([image] 28 x 14 x 13") was part of the possessions of Erastus Bingham and family as they crossed the plains. It was once covered with leather but age has left but a few patches. This contained many vital records and receipts.

He also had a seat with the first Territorial Legislature, (1854) and was a member of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society. A copy of his admittance into the society is presented below.

One of the more serious problems that faced every early Bishop in the valley was the collection of Tithing and personal debts to the Church. The General Authoritiesconstantly stressed this collection, because on this rested the building power of the church.

[This history was written by Neil D. Bingham, son of Thomas S. Bingham, President of the Erastus Bingham Family Organization.]

The following pages have been photographed [images included in the book and on the CD: <>] from a record contained in a small brown leather booklet 4 3/4" x 7 5/8". This record started in 1834 contains many parting thoughts and sentiments expressed to Mrs. Sally Bingham,<1> the mother of Erastus Bingham. Only the pages containing birth and death dates have been reproduced for this history, with the exception of the title page. This book is in the possession of Thomas S. Bingham, Ogden, Utah, [as of 3 July 2000 a microfilm of the book is in the archives in the LDS Church Office Bulding], as are all of the original documents used in this history of Erastus.


A rekard of Erastus Bingham Sen family Erastus Pearry Bingham sen born in Concord Essex Co State of Vermont March the 12th 1798




Lucinda Gates Bingham

born in Ackworth Cheshire County New Hampshire. Sept the 19, 1797



Mary Bingham

born Saturday St Johnsbury Caladona Co State of Vermont April the 1, 1820



Sanford Bingham

Born Thursday May the 3, 1821 in Concord Essex Co State of Vermont



Erastus Bingham

born Monday Sept the 30, 1822 in [srike out: Concord] St Johnsbury Caladonia

Co State of Vermont



Thomas Bingham

born Monday July the 19, 1824 in Littleton Grafton Co State of Newhampshire



Lucinda Bingham

born Saturday April the 15, 1826 in Littleton Grafton Co State of Newhampshire



Maria Bingham

born Monday June the 23, 1828 in Littleton Grafton Co State of Newhampshire



Willard Bingham

born friday feb the 19, 1830 in Concord Essex Co. State of Vermont



Edwin Bingham

born Saturday May the 5 1832 in Concord Essix Co State of Vermont



Jacob Bingham

born August the 23, 1834 in Concord Essex Co State of Vermont died June 1835



Brigham Heber Bingham born Dec friday 15, 1841 in Layharp Hancock Co State of




Sarah Chesnut

born Sept the 1, 1845 in the State of Mosura [Missouri.] <2>




Erastus passed away 2 May 1882 in Lynn, Weber, Utah, in January 1874. Erastus

and Lucinda are buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.





<1> The ìSally [Perry] Bingham Notebookî is (year 2000) on microfilm in

the LDS Church Archives, Church Office Building, SLC, UT.



Sarah Chesnut was not adopted but was taken care of by Erastus and Lucinda

Bingham when her parents died in Coalville, Summit, Utah, in 1849. (Source:

Richard C. Bingham, 290 East Casa Loma Drive, Centerville, Utah 84014, 801-298-2019




Notes added by Denise G. Jones, 2001

I regret that many of our biography's had to be cut in the interest of space so as Sadie's biography was written first and contains much that was mentioned in Marx's biography, those parts I shall skip and center principally on Marx's life before their marriage.

I was born 19 May 1886 in a little country town called Dingerdon, just a few miles from Hamburg, Germany. I was the eldest of 13 children.

I started school at the age of 5 years. School continued summer and winter. On Wednesday and Saturdays we had half a day at school. This half day was 6pent in acrobatics and Military Training. All boys at 5 years were compelled to start school and military training. I continued in school until I reached the sixth grade, 25 Sept. 1896.

In 1891, the Mormon missionaries came to us. They had to come to the house after dark. This was because the Mormon missionaries were not allowed in that part of the country. If seen they would be jailed, fined and transported out. Mother would let them in. They would explain the gospel doctrine to my parents, sometimes all night long. Then mother would give them a good meal, fill their pockets with sandwiches and send them on their way before day-break, so the officers wouldn't catch them.

The officers were brightly uniformed with glittering tips on their helmets. We school kids could see them coming for a mile or more. When they passed us we had to line up to one side of the walk and salute.

My p-rents were converted and baptized in the fall of 1893. Mother was the only one of her family to join the L.D.S. Church. When they found out, they disowned her. And when the law found out, we were ordered out of the country, of course my parents expected this to happen when they first started to investigate. After they joined the church they began to save up for their journey to Utah. This would take about $375.00 in our money. This took two years to save enough to take us to American Fork where Father's parents lived.

We boarded our first ship in Hamburg, Germany to cross the North Sea.

We left there about 8:00 p.m. on 3 Oct. 1896. The next morning early the sailors brought us food and told us we could not go to the dining room to eat, because of a big storm coming up. They locked our doors. For two days we were tossed and rolled about in our rooms. We were very seasick and vomited. The waves seemed as big as mountains. The ship would take a nose dive. It seemed almost as though it were standing on its tail. Then it would roll from side to side.

On the third day, late afternoon, the storm stopped suddenly. The sailors came down and unlocked our doors and brought us a drink that stopped our sea sickness. We had a delicious meal that evening in the dining room and the sailors put on a three hour show.

After several stop overs and changing from trains to boats and boats to trains, we were taken by motor boat for a one half day ride to a ship anchored in the Atlantic. After landing in New York it took us five days by train to reach American Fork, Utah.

Grandpa Pehrson met us and drove us in his wagon to his small farm. None of us spoke English, all German or Danish.

We lived with my grandparents, Anders and Hannah Pehrson, at Highland Branch. Jan 1897, Father rented a farm on shares. It had an old broken down house on it. It belonged to Bro. Hunter from American Fork, who furnished us with a team of horses, a wagon, harness and seeds to plant. We fixed things up and stayed there two years.

I went to school once in a while and learned to speak English, by force and ugly fights. Immigrants were shunned and fighting was the only way to gain respect.

I was baptized in the Lehi ditch 13 June 1897 at age eleven. When I was twelve years we moved close to Robinson's Flour Mill. Father went to work at the Sugar Factory in Lehi. I got some work at the mill driving their team and hauling wheat from American Fork to the mill. After a while they decided to teach me the miller trade. They let me work in the mill with machinery. That's where I got my hand ground in the cog wheels. I guess I was too young. It left me with a crooked finger.

I did not get money for my work, I received flour which was 35 cents - 50 pound bag. I worked 2 days for each bag, but I was happy. I had stored up some flour for mother. So I went around with my hand in a sling, picking up small potatoes and anything good to eat that I could get to help mother feed the family.

At the age of 13 we moved to Lindon, Utah, on to a farm of 160 acres. It belonged to Dr. Rogers of Salt Lake City. Dad tried to buy this farm. He had a two year contract wlth Dr. Rogers but before this contract was up he sold it to James Duffin, a Provo man for $1000. Then he turned about and purchased 40 acres across the street for that $1000.00.

I and my two small brothers did some farming. our bed was a pile of hay covered with an old canvas. Our meals were scarce. Sometimes one or two meals a day, sometimes none. Sometimes we had a jack rabbit to fry over an open fire. I did not mind for myself but I did worry when my two brothers said they were hungry. I looked into an old forgotten orchard which had some green apples on the trees. We picked and ate some. I prayed we could digest them without pain. We did and were happy.

At age fourteen and nine months, I left home with raged clothes and worn out shoes. I went to the Salt Lake Brigk Yard. It was a cold day and I prayed all the day that I could get something I could do. I contacted the foreman. He was a big hearted Swede. I told him I needed better clothes and shoes but most of all I needed something to eat. He said, "Yes, I see. He asked if I could handle horses. I told him I could. he showed me a horse and said, "put the harness on him, hook him to that dump cart, clean all the brick bats and the yard up good. Every day that's your job until I tell you different." They paid $1.50 a day half in cash and half in store pay. Their store was in Murray. Once every two weeks I would go to the store on Saturday, guess the size of the clothes our family of kids would wear, buy them and mail them to my mother.

After ten months at this job the boss asked me if I would like to make $2.00 a day. This was to handle 15,000 face bricks for the shayding gang. This was for doing it in 6 hours. Plus loading a flat car with 20,000 wire cut bricks for $1.00 extra in 2-1/2 hours. I chose two big Swedes to help me. I had that Job for 2 years.

I was 18 years old when I quit this job, because of the death of my younger brother, Rex. He was killed by his horse, who stumbled and fell on him.

On May 19, I was 19 years old. I went to a ward dance. That night I asked Sadie Ogden to let me walk home with her and she said, "Sure you may." So that was our beginning. I told her I was leaving home again and asked her to write to me. She promised.

I worked for the Murray smelters for a year.

I returned to Lindon to the home of Mrs. Joseph Ash. I rented her fruit farm on a 50% basis.

Now I began to take a very active part in the Ward affairs. I sang and worked in music with Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain. He was the music teacher for Lindon and Pleasant Grove Schools.

At the age of 21, I asked my 18 year old baby sweet heart if she would take a chance and join me to be my life's guide, because I loved her with all my heart. She said, "I feel the same love for you and want to be with you. "

Bishop Cullimore gave us our temple recommends, Stephen L. Chipman, our stake president gave us very good spiritual advice.

So on 13 Nov 1907 Papa and Mama, (Sadie's parents), Sadie and I hooked up good old Fanny, (Dad's mare) to a two seated buggy and went to Salt Lake to the House of the Lord to be married. Thus we started our life together.


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