A Brief History of Martha Ann Lovell Anderson
(by her son, Joseph Elmer Anderson)
Martha Ann Lovell Anderson was born March 24, 1849 to John and Ann Parson Lovell, in the state of Iowa at a time when the early church members were making their march westward to establish a new home in the Rocky Mountains.
Her parents had emigrated from England, sailing from Bridgewater, on the 25th of March 1835. They reached Montreal and changed passage by boat to Port Hope which place they arrived safely June 30, 1835.
Martha was born of good heritage, her grandfather Edmond Lovell was a humble blacksmith and extremely religious and devoted to his Methodist faith. Her father was sincere and a hard working man. As a boy he helped his father in his blacksmith shop. He had seen so much poverty and suffering while growing up, that when he married, he had an urge to go to Canada, where he had two uncles living; to establish themselves in a new growing province of Great Britain, where he had faith his family would have greater advantages.
They visited his uncles and decided to settle near them, a short distance from Port Hope. Conditions were not as they had expected, causing many hardships, trials and privations. They were visited by the early Elders of the Church and converted. John Taylor, who was later became President of the Church, was one who made a great impression on the young couple.
John and Ann were baptized in Feb. 1837, twenty three months after they left their native land. This was the beginning of a new life, in a new country. Their paths were to be filled with experiences of trials to test their faith to make them diligent saints.
John tried to convert his uncles, one of them a preacher who turned to be an enemy, and wrote to his [John's] parents in England misrepresenting the truth, turning John's parents against him, and causing them to feel that their son had disgraced them.
One cannot help but see the hand of Providence in giving the urge to establish this fine couple and their great posterity in the land of Zion.
Ann Parson grew to be a beautiful girl; like her husband, she knew poverty and hardships that required her to leave home and seek employment as a dairy maid, where John Lovell met her, when he hired out at the same dairy farm. They fell in love, and their courtship days were spent while working together for Joseph Harris at Bitsom, on his dairy farm. John did his work well and proved faithful and was asked to supervise the plantation and dairy business, but he declined - to marry Ann, and left the farm for their dream home in Canada. First, they were married and left to pay Ann's family a visit and tell them of their plans of adventure. Then [they] spent some time at the Lovell home. Their folks were all grieved to see them go, but the bride and groom received good council from their parents. Edmond Lovell, John's father was especially proud of his beautiful daughter in law, and put $40.00 in her hand as she bade him good-by.
When the parents of Martha joined the Latter-day Saint Church they like others in those days, could not rest until they had cast their lot to be with the body of the church. They left Canada, on the long and tedious journey to Kirtland Ohio. They encountered much sickness and disease because of exposure and improper diet, for the next several years. Their means of transportation was hazardous with so many miles to go and moving from place to place. This made it difficult for a mother who was bearing children. Their first child was George, born in Canada [and] lived, but several children were born and died during these trying tears in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. Finally Joseph and Martha were born and lived.
Ann was never strong and very well after her marriage. She was sick all the way across the Atlantic Ocean of fourteen weeks, made her feel she would die and have to be buried at sea. All of these hardships were too much for her. Thus she was not permitted to reach a home in the West but died and was buried in the wilderness of Iowa, leaving her husband and three children. Her youngest, Martha, was two years old.
John Lovell was a good farmer, thus he was asked to remain to grow grain and other food to feed the emigrants and supply them for crossing the plains.
After the death of his wife, while here, he married Elizabeth Smith who proved her faithfulness in rearing and demanding the love and respect of her husband and his children, George, Joseph and Martha.
When the family finally crossed the plains and arrived in Salt Lake City, Brigham Young instructed them to make their home in Fillmore. After a few years spent in Fillmore, John, Martha's father, was given council to marry a Danish widow, by the name of Ann Jorgensen Anderson, with three small boys, Peter, Christian and Joseph. They were helpless to earn their own living and could not speak English. John Lovell had been given the responsibility by his Bishop, Noah Bartholomew, to look to their interest and see that they were cared for.
Some time after this marriage, they moved to old Deseret, on the lower Sevier River, with other families to make a new settlement, taking George and Joseph with this new family and leaving Martha with her second mother Elizabeth Smith Lovell in Fillmore. They remained there during the eight years her father and brothers spent in Old Deseret.
During these years, Martha was quite lonesome, although her good mother was an inspiration and ideal to her. But she missed the companionship of her father and brothers. She was away from home, as a working girl, doing house work in various homes, only coming home occasionally at night to be with her mother, from the time she was eleven years old until her marriage at twenty years.
Martha was required to work hard, with many difficulties. Sometimes she had to carry water for family use, to wash clothes, from a ditch as much as three blocks away, and scrub them on a wash board with very little home made soap. She was often told to use elbow grease, to save soap.
Money was not [to be] had, so often her pay of fifty cents a week was a heifer calf. When she was married, she had accumulated a herd of about thirty head of cattle. Not all of her working days were unpleasant, for many homes appreciated her helping them out. One of them left fond memories, the family of Benjamin and Susann Robison, where she spent considerable time. On one occasion she cared for the mother when their daughter was born. This daughter, Rose Robison, later became an Apostle's wife, marrying Alonzo A. Hinckley.
For many years after her marriage, she enjoyed returning to Fillmore to visit her girlhood friends and the place of her youth.
Being only two years old when her mother died, she did not remember her. Thus during these tender years of her girlhood she developed and anxiety to know of her own mother's characteristics. He father and brothers had told her of a personal event of when her mother was lying in her casket, that she would go to it and say, "mamma in a box". When she would speak of this, she always shed some tears. Martha fervently sought through prayer that she could be given some inspiration from her mother. She dreamed of her appearing as a beautiful lady, wearing a certain dress with a distinct pattern. When she related this impressive dream to her father, he said the cloth for that dress was purchased in Canada while he was working for a certain man; and she made it into a beautiful dress [that] she prized dearly.
This experience she held sacred and seldom spoke of it. She felt the curiosity satisfied and could now settle down to be a gracious and beautiful English Lady, like her mother she saw in her dream.
When the settlement of old Deseret was broken up and abandoned, John Lovell's family with other families moved about twenty miles east and north and settled the town site of Oak City. John made two adobe houses, one for each of his wives. His Danish wife, Ann, was established with her family on the northeast corner of the block. Martha and her mother Elizabeth were brought from Fillmore to occupy the one at the southwest corner of the same block in the center of town.
They were all together now and could enjoy the association of each other, to make life more pleasant and begin making a garden spot of their new settlement. The Lord prospered their efforts and blessed these faithful people to be united in living and sharing with others the bounties of life and living the gospel. It was a haven of peace and rest for them to enjoy the remainder of their lives, after so much strife and hardships for so many years.
The two families mingled together in harmony and the children grew up to respect and look to the interest of each other. Elizabeth Smith bore no children of her own, but was truly loved and respected by all of her husband's children. Beside George, Joseph and Martha, the children of Ann Jorgensen Andersen were Peter, Christian and Joseph Andersen and Dean (or Castina) Ann Elizabeth, Brigham, John E., Silvia Ann Lovell. The latter five children were sons and daughters of John and his Danish wife Ann.
These young people began to find their mates and be married. George and Joseph were married but continued to guard and look to the desires of their younger sister Martha, especially Joseph who was near Martha's age. When a dance was scheduled, he would inquire of her, whether she had a date, if not, he would leave his home to escort her to the dance. He would return if he could not stay at the dance, to see that she got home safely. This made a sacred tie between Martha and her two older brothers. Her love for them could not be surpassed.
Before Martha was married, she accompanied her father from Oak City to Fillmore, a distance of thirty five miles. The journey required a long day with a team of horses and a wagon loaded with wheat to have ground into flour at the grist mill in Fillmore. The day was cold and dreary. As they travelled, they became chilled. Her father began walking beside the wagon to get warm and Martha sat bundled up and sitting on the spring seat in the wagon. When her father noticed she was sleepy, he immediately helped her to the ground and requested her to walk. She later related the incident as being a great effort to make her numb legs and feet carry her until the blood could circulate in them. She said it would have been much easier to have slept away than endure the pain of being revived.
John Lovell was the only father Peter, Christian and Joseph knew for they were small when he married their mother. They were at his side to receive their training while growing up as his own sons. They held him in the greatest esteem all their lives.
Martha Ann Lovell was married in 1873 to Peter Anderson. They accompanied their sister Castina (who Martha affectionately called Deany) and her intended husband Arton Christensen to Salt Lake City, Utah from Oak City, in a spring wagon, drawn by a team of horses over rough roads through cedar trees and sage brush most of the way. They travelled about three hundred miles.
The two couples were married in the Endowment House, spent some time in the big city and completed their honeymoon trip in ten days. This humble beginning was typical of their innocent and modest lives.
Peter immediately began building a three room adobe house for his bride. In the home all nine of their nine children were born and where all of their happily married years were spent. Martha died in it in 1920 . This humble home still stands as a monument to their integrity. It is still occupied by their youngest daughter, Delilah and her husband Eddie Jacobson. [Eddie and Delilah passed away in 1972 and 1973, after which the house was sold to the church, next door. The house was torn down to make room for the expansion of the church and parking lot.]
This marriage was the beginning of a large and righteous posterity. It pleased Martha's father to have Peter for a son in law, as well as a step son, whom he reared with pride.
Martha was not privileged to attend school because of having to work to support herself and help her family. Even so, she was prepared to take her place as a wife and assume motherhood. She was an example of determination to learn and apply herself. She was self-educated and took her part in life well. Much of her married life her health was impaired which hindered her social activities. At home she learned by herself to be a good reader. She would read to herself and children aloud.
When Peter, Martha's husband, became Bishop of the Oak City Ward, her role in life increased. A Bishop's home in those days was that of a house beside the road. The settlements were far apart and transportation was that of a spring wagon or a buggy, drawn by horses. Most everyone travelling, no matter what religion or station in life, would hunt up the Bishop's home for a night's lodging. Martha was a good cook and home maker. Her training as a girl, working in a variety of homes, taught her valuable lessons to assist her in being a gracious hostess. Many times members of the General Authorities of the Church made this humble home a stopping place on their way to and from Southern Utah and Arizona settlements, to stay overnight and rest their horses. To have someone overnight, other than the family, was a common occurrence. The boys would care for their horses and have them ready to continue on their journey the next morning. The pay was always a "Thank You. We appreciate your gracious hospitality". To receive pay would deprive a blessing and the joy of giving and rendering service.
Martha was tested and tried, in living a Celestial Law, that of sharing her husband with another wife, and living in a manner that was a credit to any noble woman. She had been protected with love and admiration for many years by her husband, and then approached to give consent for him to share his love, court and marry, spend time in another home, with another family. This took courage, with a firm testimony of the gospel, which she had, and an understanding, unselfish heart for the truth of the Celestial order. At times the burden was heavy. She mastered her feeling and grew strong and earned her reward.
During this time many women faltered and failed with a weakness of jealousy and hate because the task was too great to bear.
A great part of her married life was spent in caring and training her children, alone as her husband was away from home working in the mine and dividing his time with his other family. Her example and training is rewarding by her seven children grown to adulthood, honorable and religious, having the highest respect for her, with testimonies of the gospel and active in the Church, and today pay sincere tribute to her memory.
Scanned by Joseph F. Buchanan - 18 June 1996 - last modified 7/5/96