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Rebecca Hendricks Lewis

BIRTHDATE: 23 Dec 1817

Simpson County, Kentucky

(near Franklin)

DEATH: 6 Dec 1854

PARENTS: Samuel Hendricks

Rebecca Dorris Hendricks

PIONEER: 7 Oct 1851

Wagon Train

Bishop Miller Company

SPOUSE: Nenah Lewis, Jr.

MARRIED: 1836/7

Simpson County, Kentucky

DEATH: 22 Jul 1890



William Hendricks, 14 Oct 1837

Benjamin Marion, 20 Mar 1841

Neriah Robert, 10 Mar 1843

Rebecca Louisa, 18 Sep 1848

Rebecca Hendricks Lewis was born in Kentucy, probably on a farm near Franklin. She was the daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Dorris Hendricks, who had moved to Simpson County from North Carolina. She married Neriah Lewis Jr. 1836/7 in Simpson County, Kentucky. They became the parents of four children, three boys and one girl.

Rebecca went through the last sad days of the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1847, they started for the Salt Lake Valley, traveling through Iowa to the Missouri River. Here they built a crude, flat boat to enable them to cross. They then joined the ill-fated Bishop Miller Company. They were caught by Winter after traveling only a few hundred miles. They were invited by a Punca Indian tribe to winter with them because they had water and grass. Because of a shortage of food, more than eighty of the Company died of blackleg or scurvy. When Spring came they made their way back to Winter Quarters, Iowa where they farmed for the season. The next year they moved to Pottawatomie County, Iowa where Rebecca had her daughter and last child. Among those who had died were Rebecca's brother, Allen, and his wife, leaving four small children. Rebecca took these children into her family, nurturing them with her own four.

In 1851, the family had accumulated the resources necessary for another try at the Western journey. They went around by the Elkhorn, necessitating five hundred miles of travel without a road. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 7 Oct 1851. Rebecca died 6 Dec 1854. She was only thirty-seven years old. Rebecca left a legacy of love and selflessness; a history of nursing the sick of the Bishop Miller Company during the terrible winter with the Punca Indians and the memory of compassionate affection for her brother's orphaned children. For her faith, she gave up life on a prosperous farm with her husband in Macoupun County, Illinois. For her family she bore uncomplainingly starvation, cold, the rigors of the journey to the Salt Lake Valley, sickness and the birth of children with only her husband's aid. She personifies, indeed, the finest virtues of the magnificent women of the Mormon emigration.

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