(This history is taken from "The Descendants of Ane Pedersen Andersen Lovell" compiled by Glenn and Maurine Widdison, pages 167-173)
JOHN LOVELL - At 7:30, Saturday morning, 9 May 1812, a baby boy arrived at the home of Edmund and Sylvia Williams Lovell. His early arrival interfered with the morning's work, but he was heartily welcomed as the first son of the family, they named him John. Little 3 year-old Grace was delighted with a baby brother. John's father was a blacksmith in Worle, Somersetshire, England. There were nine children in the family.
The blacksmith, Edmund Lovell, was a strict Wesleyan Methodist. As soon as John and George were old enough, he took them with him to church twice every Sunday and trained them in the strictest form of religion.
When John was about 12 years old his eyes became badly inflamed. His father and mother had to hold him down and pour drugs into them, but his eyes grew worse and worse. Finally in the hottest part of the summer he was totally blind. His father had counted on having some help in his shop, but he decided outdoor work would be better for the boy, his eye sight slowly came back working out side. His father set him to work on his own land, which John worked at until he was 19 years of age. By this time Grace the first child, had grown to be a beautiful young lady, but had contacted consumption from which she died about 1831, creating a loss keenly felt by all the family.
The family expenses had increased and business at the shop was rather dull, so John decided to hire himself out Joseph Harris of Bitsom, a very generous farmer and dairyman, gave him $50.00 a year for three years besides his room and board. At the end of this time he offered him $60.00 a year if he would take charge of the plantation and dairy. But John had made other plans. During his 3 years at the Harris farm he had become very well acquainted with the head dairy maid, Ann Parsons. Without the knowledge of the Harris family, he courted her and gained her promise to marry him. He went home and rented some land, but his crop was almost a complete failure. He saw so much poverty and distress among his neighbors that he did not feel justified in marrying in this present condition. After talking the matter over seriously with his father he decided to go to Canada to settle and make a home. He had two uncles living there and thought it might be easier to get a start in a new country. Ann did not like to go and leave her parents. It took a good deal of persuasion to convince her that they could start while they still had a little money ahead. She consented finally and they were married at the Church of England, Bitsom, Somersetshire, England on 15 February 1835. After visiting Ann's parents for a few weeks in Blagdon, they prepared for their trip to Canada.
They sailed from Bridgewater on the 25th of March on a lumber boat. Their leave was very pathetic. They hired a cart to take their household goods to the wharf. His father, mother and Ann came down in the coach. His mother was heart broken at parting with her son, for she knew she would never see him again. She stayed right with the couple until the last moment, then bade them an affectionate farewell. The father gave John some good advice, among other things he told John to be sure and join some church as soon as he landed. He believed a person could be saved by any of them. With tears in his eyes he told them to write often, then shook hands with them and left $40.00 in Ann's hand. It must have seemed a fortune to the pair and it was certainly heeded and appreciated.
The ocean voyage lasted six weeks. John was too sea sick to take a last look at an English lighthouse, but recovered in two or three days. Ann was not so fortunate. She was very ill the whole voyage. The captain sent dainties from his own table to try to tempt her appetite. They were afraid she would not live to reach land and would have to be buried at sea. However, she began to improve as soon as they reached land.
They landed at Quebec on the 6th day of May 1835. The next morning the ship was towed up the river to Montreal. There they hired passage on a boat for Port Hope, which they reached 30 June 1835. The trip had taken 14 weeks. It must have been a great relief to the young couple to get on land again. They took a room in the hotel for the night.
Very early the next morning, John set out to find his uncle who lived seven miles from Port Hope. He arrived in time to take breakfast with the family. His uncle, Jessie Williams, was pleased to see him and invited him to bring his young wife and stay awhile. They spent the following week with their uncle Jessie, then an invitation came for them to pay a visit to John's other uncle, James Salter, who lived forty miles away. They had to walk the 40 miles and made the distance in 2 days, but they felt repaid by the kindness shown them by their aunt and uncle who made them feel perfectly at home. Here they stayed a week. They decided to settle here in Whitby. Their entire journey had cost them $80.00 and they had $20.00 left. Out of this they paid $12.00 to have their luggage brought from the storehouse at Port Hope. With only $8.00 left John immediately looked for work. Mr. Thomas Pasco hired him for two months at $12.00 per month.
The advice of his father was still fresh in his mind, and since his Uncle James was a Methodist preacher, John decided to join that Church. He was taken on but never lawfully joined that religion. After 2 months with Mr. Pasco, he got a job with a Mr. Lawerence in Pickering. At this time Ann had been staying at the Salter home. On the 22nd of November 1835, their first child was born, a boy whom they named George.
John stayed with mother and son a week or two and then had to return to work. After a while he was able to take his wife and son with him to Pickering, where they lived in a log cabin about a mile from Mr. Lawerence's home. Their little cabin proved to be so cold and drafty that Ann took sick and was very ill for several weeks. John went miles for a doctor. The doctor said something must be done at once or she would get consumption. John had no money on him, so he tried to collect the $20.00 Mr. Pasco owed him he got $4.95 of it. He then called on his Uncle James Salter to inform him of Ann's illness and asked him if he would wait for the $4.00 he owed him. John got no sympathy from his uncle who refused to wait longer for his money. John gave him the $4.00 and went home feeling very low. John went to the storekeeper, told him of his wife's illness and asked if he could trust him for a while. After finding out all he could about John, the storekeeper said, "Mr. Lovell, you can have anything you want. " John purchased about $10.00 worth of groceries and medicines which the doctor had prescribed and returned home encouraged, feeling now that Ann would have a better chance to get better. He was indeed thankful to the stranger who had proved to be more of a friend when in need than his own uncle. He paid off his store bill by hauling 15 bushels of ashes which he had made clearing land. John got 28 cents a bushel for the ashes which more than paid his debt.
The next spring John rented a farm from a widow, this year he raised a good crop of hay. His uncle Jessie Williams, hearing of this, sent a yoke of cattle for John to winter feed. When he came for the cattle in the spring, he said that he could not afford to pay the feed bill. His wife had died during the winter and had left him with 7 children to care for.
It was about this time they heard of a new religion from a brother of Mr. Lawerence. The reports were so interesting that Mr. Lawerence sent an invitation to send a preacher with word that they could use his home or the school house as he was trustee. John Taylor was the first Mormon Missionary to preach in the district. The Lovells went to hear him, Ann believed in him at once. John thought it seemed more reasonable than the Methodist religion and was anxious to hear more about it, he called on John Taylor and found him whittling out butter molds. Brother Taylor explained that he did this at odd times and when he had a number of them. He sold them to get clothing. John thought it strange for a servant of God to have to do a thing like that for a living. All the preachers he had known had received salaries. Brother Taylor explained the gospel to them of Joseph Smith, the plates, the priesthood, the persecution of the saints and other things.
Soon after this Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, John Taylor and Almon Babbitts came and stayed over Sunday, held 2 or 3 more meetings and did missionary work in that vicinity. John went to see the Prophet at Mr. Lawerence's home. When he first saw the Prophet Joseph Smith, he was telling how he obtained his horses in Kirtland, Ohio. The other brethren were washing and blacking their shoes. In his journal, John writes, "I had been brought up so strict to the religion of the day that I thought it impossible for a Prophet to talk about horse trades on Sunday. But their preaching over balanced any bad effects this may have made."
John prayed fervently for a testimony of the truthfulness of the work. He gained one by a sign. One night while sleeping deeply, he heard a voice say, "see this. " He saw a bright light pass from one corner of the room to the other and disappear. This satisfied him and he was baptized 6 Sept. 1837. He prayed to be blessed with the gifts of tongues, about 2 weeks after his baptism, he was asked to speak in meeting. He spoke in tongues, gave the interpretation and spoke again in tongues, then took his seat. He was filled with the spirit and stood up again and gave the interpretation and sat down. The congregation became rather excited when the President testified that they had seen a gift of the spirit made manifest.
On the 9th of March 1837, their first daughter, Sylvia, was born. John once more made a friendly call on his uncle James Salter and bore his testimony to him. After this Uncle James wrote to John's parents in England telling them how John had disgraced the family. He also detailed the lying reports which were in the papers at that time about the Mormons. As a result John received a letter from his father telling him not to mention his religion in any of his letters home. His father did not write again for ten years. When he finally wrote he told John to direct all his future letters to his brothers.
A rebellion in Canada against England over some point of religion occurred at this time and martial law was proclaimed. No one was allowed to pass between United States Canada. It was a great hardship on the poor people to support the soldiers. John and Ann decided to leave Canada as soon as possible and gather with the Saints. They sold their grain, cattle and sheep which brought them a total of $132.50. Martial law was at last abolished and they began their journey to the states the 1st of July. They traveled first by wagon, then by railroad, and then by steamboat. In the latter part of September bilious fever broke out. In the house where they lived one woman died. Ann had an attack and was under the doctors care for several days. Then John contacted the disease, but he felt it was time to move on. With the help of two sticks he went out and hired passage to Cleveland. They were both put on a boat more dead than alive but soon began to improve. They had $1.50 to begin to live in a strange city. John found a job 5 miles from the city and a room to live in. He cut wood for 75 cents a cord and made enough to live on during the winter. A very sad thing happened while there. The baby, Sylvia, had taken cold on the boat coming to Cincinnati and had been ill all winter. John had been buying some new furniture and was setting up the bedstead. He left it standing against the wall for a few minutes, when little Sylvia pulled it over on herself. It broke some bones in her body and caused her death on the 21st of March 1838. John never made another entry in his journal after that date, but his life had just begun. The family had joined the Saints in Nauvoo, and left with them in the general exodus of the church in the early spring of 1845. Of course difficult trials and privations were endured by the saints on their westward journey. They formed two settlements at Winter Quarters and stayed there for a few years and raised crops to help them go the rest of the way. Ann, the mother, had never been too strong since her marriage and all the exposure and discomfort from so much travel had lowered her resistance to disease. She contacted quick consumption and died 4 Dec 1851, leaving behind, her baby, Martha Ann and 2 boys, George and Joseph Hyrum for their father to care for.
On 10 March 1852, John married Elizabeth Smith, a kind sweet woman about 43 years old. She was willing and anxious to give a mother's love and care to the children. She was truly loved by the children too. John and Elizabeth never had any children of their own.
In the year 1852, they joined the Saints in the Salt Lake Valley, traveling with the Martin company. Their first stop was in Provo, but they were persuaded to go with Brother Melville and other friends who had been called to settle in Fillmore. At Fillmore John soon built a 2 room house for his family, planted a garden and helped guard the city from the Indians.
Among the immigrants, moving in from time to time, was a Danish family by the name of Andersen. They had been there only a year when the husband and father, Jens Andersen, died 21 October 1855, leaving a widow who could not speak a word of English. They had three small boys, Anders Peter, Christian and Joseph Smith, the latter having been born since their arrival in Fillmore. John, being a very sympathetic man, offered all the assistance he could to the family. Sympathy developed into something warmer and John and Mrs. Ane Pedersen Andersen were married a year and half later on 4 April 1857, with the permission of President Brigham Young, he and Ane were married for Time only in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. (John stood in proxy for Jens Andersen and had Ane sealed to Jens Andersen. John is sealed to his first wife Ann Parsons and his second wife Elizabeth Smith, thus, the children of John and Ane are sealed to Jens and Ane.)
During the next 3 years 2 daughters, Castina and Ann were born to them About 1860 they moved to Deseret, Millard Co., Utah. They stayed there for 8 years and had 3 more children while there, Brigham Anderson, John Edmund and Sylvia Ann. Brigham was the first white child to be born in Deseret.
At the end of 8 years John Lovell was requested to complete his business at Deseret, hand over the records to Brother Callister, (that they might be preserved) and then locate at Oak Creek to preside over this new settlement. Those who wished to settle at Oak Creek drew lots and then went to Fillmore and filed their claims on the lots they had drawn. They paid $2.50 for each lot. In 1869 John Lovell succeeded Benjamin H. Roboson as Presiding Elder at Oak City, when Deseret settlement broke up. He retained his presidency over the few remaining Saints at Deseret until 1871 John Lovell was first counselor in the Oak City Bishopric and he held this position until 1880.
One of the Spiritual gifts of John Lovell was the gift of healing Many were the faith promoting incidents attesting to his power through the priesthood He was often called to administer to the sick for many miles around His grandson, Benjamin, (son of George and Martha Lovell) was just a small boy and was critically ill He had been sick for a few weeks He grew worse and worse instead of better Finally his mother called for her father - in - law to come When he arrived and saw the baby he cried, "Oh my Martha, He's gone, there is no use in bothering him, he's gone " Martha said, "I would still like to have him administered too. Will you please do it for me ?" John anointed the baby's head with the holy oil and before he had finished with the sealing prayer and had taken his hands from his head they could see that the boy was breathing again . He improved greatly that night and continued to recover. He lived to be an old man, the father of nine children and many grand children.
According to the information we can gather, Elizabeth Smith Lovell never moved to Deseret but stayed in Fillmore until moving to Oak City.
(The following was copied from George Lovell's book. )
After a lingering illness John Lovell died of dropsy 13 Jan 1881 at ten minutes past 4 o'clock in Oak City. His body was taken to the school house the next day and a meeting was held on Friday 14 January 1881 at 10 o'clock. Meeting was called to order by George Finlinson. The Choir sang "Mourn not the dead. " Prayer was by C. H. Jensen. The Choir sang "Farewell all earthly honors. " The speakers were Henry Roper, John Radford, John Dutson, George Finlinson, William Press and C. H. Jensen. These brethren spoke of his good qualities and his faithfulness to the gospel and the useful life he had led. The Choir sang "O My Father thou that dwellest. " and benediction was by Christian Overson. And he was followed to his grave carried ahead of the wagons and buried in the Oak City grave yard His life was made up of self sacrifice and in overcoming obstacles, but throughout it all, he remained faithful, hopeful and cheerful These 3 attributes all his descendants can well afford to cultivate.
Scanned by Joseph F. Buchanan - 12 June 1996