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Martha Jane Crismon Lewis


Jacksonville, Morgan, Illinois

DEATH: 13 DEC 1919

Mesa, Arizona

PARENTS: Charles Crismon

Mary Hill Crismon

PIONEER: 2/4 OCT 1847

Jedediah M. Grant Wagon Train

SPOUSE: John Moss Lewis

MARRIED: 10 AUG 1848

Salt Lake City, Utah




Mary Johanna (Hobson), 15 Oct 1851

Charles Benjamin, 15 Aug 1853

Clara Jane (Peterson), 24 Nov 1855

Ida Frances (Blair), 24 Jan 1857

John Franklin, 19 May 1861

Emily Ann, 12 Jan 1863

George William, 29 Oct 1864

Walter Beers, 21 Nov 1866

Henrv Malin, 8 Feb 1869

Martha Jane was bom in Illinois, 1831. She was the oldest of eleven. Her father, who kept stock and ran a grist mill, was very well-to-do. He joined the LDS church about 1835 and went with Joseph Smith to Missouri. While there, he located three claims. He returned to Illinois, as Mary, the mother, had not yet accepted the Gospel. He became very ill and was not expected to live. Joseph Smith Sr. with another Elder administered to him. In ten days he was well. Mary was converted and baptized by Elder Levi Merrick. When Martha was seven, her family moved to Far West with Brother Merrick. Here, they were very comfortable until the mobs drove them out. They moved to Macedonia for three years. In the winter of 1845 they went to Nauvoo to make preparations to migrate. Her parents received their Endowments. They lived with the Punca Indians over the winter. They went to Winter Quarters 6 Feb 1846 and joined the Jedediah M. Grant Co. Ieaving 17 Jun and arriving in Salt Lake City 2/4 Oct 1847.

Martha went to school at age sixteen, took part in the grasshopper war and the miracle of the Gulls. Her father built the first grist mill in the valley in the fall of 1847 at the mouth of City Creek, also the first saw mill. She celebrated the first harvest on 10 Aug 1848 by marrying John Moss Lewis who was also a pioneer. When first married, they lived in the Fort. They left Salt Lake City May 1849 during the Gold excitement and went with her father's family to Sacramento, staying there that fall, then on to San Francisco until the fall of 1850 and then to San Bernardino where her father built a steam saw mill and John ran it. They spent the summer at the saw mill and the winter in town, staying there nine years and becoming parents of four. When Johnston's Army came, they were called back to Utah. On the return, they stopped at Washington County, where the cotton crops were planted. They stayed there until the Army left to fight the Civil War. Two more children joined their home before they were called to settle Paris, Idaho, having two sons there. After three years they moved to Richmond where another son was born. Here, Martha had to card, spin and weave, then knit all the clothes for the children. Next they went to Crismonville where John was superintendent of his brother-in-law's coal mine (Spring Hollow). Martha boarded most of the men that worked in the mine and had another child. John married a plural wife, Widow Staley and had a daughter by her. She passed away and Eva Mae came to live with them. By now, Martha was mother of twelve, plus little Eva. On 3 Nov 1878 they moved from Coalville to Arizona arriving in Mesa 31 Jan 1879. During the trek, little Eva became very ill and died. She was buried outside of Kanab, Utah. Four months later John and son Charles arrived by train. They took up a homestead and built an adobe house with a shingle roof. Martha passed away at the age of eighty-eight. John married Sarah Wilde and Elizabeth Woods, making four wives total.


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