Sunday, December 13, 2015

Anciel Twitchell and Louisa Samantha Hitchcock

Anciel Twitchell was the son of Ephraim Twitchell and Phoebe Melissa Knight. He was born in Bedford, Meigs County, Ohio on January 7, 1825. In the spring of 1842, he joined the LDS Church along with his father's family, and they moved to Missouri and then to Nauvoo, along with the Saints. In Nauvoo, Anciel met Louisa Samantha Hitchcock and they were married just a few months after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph on October 7, 1844. They had a child, Ephraim, born in Nauvoo on October 10, 1845, but he passed away before his first birthday in Council Bluffs, Iowa, following the expulsion of the Saints. There in Council Bluffs, Anciel joined the Mormon Battalion in 1846 and served under General Sterling Price. He underwent all the sufferings incident to that experience, the longest infantry march in history. Anciel was discharged from the Battalion in California, and he liked the area so well that he decided to stay. He sent word to his parents that it was the best place to live, and they should bring his wife and join him there, which they did.

Anciel and his brother James were with their father when they were approached by the Mexican bandit, Joaquin and a dozen of his men. They saw him coming, so Ephraim jumped on the big black stallion which Anciel had bought and mounted a knoll where he could see out over the area. Anciel and James hid themselves in the boulders, but had their guns pointed directly at Joaquin. He stopped, saw that the situation was not to his liking, put spurs to his horse and fled. His men followed. Anciel and James took the gold they had mined and made payments on some land on a Spanish Land Grant. They built homes and corrals on the ocean front in a beautiful setting and were proud to raise the American Flag which they had made. This happy time did not last very long, however, for a hurricane came in and destroyed all their buildings and stock animals, leaving time only for the people to flee to higher ground. It was after this hurricane that his father Ephraim encountered the stranger who advised him to take his family back to Utah, which story is told in Ephraim's history.  Family history states that they left a deed to the land buried where they could find it if they returned to California.

The Twitchells did return to Utah, and Anciel settled in Beaver. He and his sons built a ranch and kilns in order to bake brick for building homes. They later sold stock animals to the Army and to the railroad people when it came through. Anciel and Samantha had fourteen children. Seven of these children died before reaching the age of five years old. Besides the one that had died in Council Bluffs, three had died in California, and three died in Beaver.

Anciel had many experiences with the Indians in Beaver. The Indians would often travel through his pasture and feed their horses there, which he allowed them to do, as many of them were friendly. Some, however, were vicious. The Indians feared and respected Anciel, for he could fight them Indian style and beat them, or live through the torture tests that they insisted on using. Once, when they had killed a family in the Beaver area and burned their home, they came to Anciel's home and set fire to it. Anciel had lots of pans of milk sitting around, waiting for the cream to come to the top, and he and his children used up all the milk to keep the fire under control. Their home was not made of lumber as most of the homes of the area were, but it was made of brick and cut rock. The Indians had stolen most of his horses, but they had not gone near the pen where his stallion was kept so, after they left, Anciel mounted the stallion and followed them. He shot the two men that had his horses and brought the horses back.

Once, when Anciel was away from home, the Indians came on a raid. The children hid up in the loft. While the Indians were laughing and stealing things down below, William put his head out of the loft and said "Get." The Indians were superstitious and believed in signs, and since they couldn't tell where the voice came from or who it was, they did leave.

Anciel hired an Indian to work for him one winter, and once when Ancel was away getting supplies, this Indian stole four horses from James Puffer and brought them to Anciel's home and tied them up at Anciel's door. William Anciel and Eunice were the only ones home, and the Indian picked up Eunice, put her over his shoulder and said, "You my woman now. I pay for you with four horses." Eunice scratched and screamed until William Anciel came and hit him over the head with a hatchet, but did not kill him. The Indian dropped Eunice and swore to kill William, who darted in and out of fences to keep out of his way. Eunice ran to Uncle James Puffer's place for help. The Indian left when threatened by Anciel and Puffer, and he never returned to Beaver again. William always remembered that Indian walking down the lane in shame, for he had failed.

 This was a hard life for the family, and it was hard to live the gospel, but they did live it in their own style. They often combined recreation and religion by having services and cottage meetings in connection with a big feast of barbecued beef.  He finally erected a meeting house, and in combination a co-op (what we would call a Bishop's storehouse) where goods were stored to protect anyone from hunger. They enjoyed helping anyone in need.

While living in Beaver, Anciel took a second wife in plural marriage. Her name was Margaret Malinda Brown, and they had two children. Six years after their marriage, this second wife died, so Louisa took her two small girls and raised them as her own. Anciel Twitchell always believed in God, and the Golden Rule was his byword. He built many homes that stood the test of time. While building one of these homes a roof beam fell and hit him on the head.  This caused him to experience blackouts. When he was nearing his 74th birthday, Anciel accidentally fell backwards, most likely from one of these blackouts, into the fireplace in his old farm residence causing his death. He was buried in the Beaver Cemetery. Louisa lived another nine years after his death, and she was also buried in the Beaver Cemetery.

The version of history taken from life story typed by Edith Baker, March 1990 
 Sources: 1) History of Anciel Twitchell by Susan Marchant Murdock, his great-granddaughter. 2) Family group records

The following is taken from an article describing the construction of buildings in Beaver, Utah.

As soon as the technology could be developed, citizens of Beaver began to make fired brick. They were among the first people in Utah to build with this much superior masonry product. The earliest known commercially manufactured brick in Utah was produced in 1865 in the Atwood kiln in Murray. The first brick made in Beaver is believed to date from the same time, or perhaps a year later. There were at least two early brick-making plants, one operated by the Patterson family near a clay deposit near South Creek about four miles south of town, the other run by Anciel Twitchell and sons at Indian Creek (now Manderfield). The red brick from both plants was soft when compared to later pressed brick, but was superior in strength and durability to adobe. Its greater expense meant that some settlers would continue to build with adobe.

This red brick home is located in Manderfield north of Center Street with the small church house to the south.  Perhaps it is a Twitchell built home using brick that they made.  It is surrounded by debris and many sheds and corrals.

 This home is included in Beaver historic homes and it is said to have been built by Anciel

  Among the important early brick buildings was the Beaver Stake Tabernacle, started after the first log meetinghouse burned down in 1865. The construction of the tabernacle epitomized the cooperative effort for which pioneer society is known. Robert Wiley and Samuel Edwards laid the stone foundation. The brick was supplied by Twitchel and sons, while the lime was burned by Joseph Tattersall, David Powell, and David Davey. 

This tabernacle building was torn down in 1931.  The lot is now occupied by a Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum.

Louisa Samantha Hitchcock was born June 5, 1828 in Rochester, Maine County, New York to Seth Hitchcock and Sarah Anne Rhodes.  The Hitchcock family (her mother had remarried) moved to Nauvoo, Illinois by the time Louisa Samantha was a young girl.  At just 16 years of age she married Anciel Twitchell on October 7, 1844 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.  On October 7, 1945 she gave birth to a son, Ephraim.  That winter or early spring of 1846, the family was driven from their home in Nauvoo and settled in Keg Creek, near Council Bluffs, Iowa.  In the summer of 1846, Anciel Twitchell enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and was assigned to Company D.  He marched with this company to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and thence to Santa Fe , New Mexico, and finally to the Pacific Coast.  Louisa Samantha and her son had been left with his parents.  The little boy died September 9, 1846 just short of his first birthday and soon after his father had left for his military service. John Chester Hitchcock, younger brother of Louisa Samantha, helped drive her wagon to Utah when they left Iowa in 1848.  John Chester also went along with the Twitchell family to California.  John Chester claims that his step-father, Samuel Fowler, beat him so he left home.  Samuel Fowler died in Council Bluffs on July 24, 1848 shortly after John Chester and Louisa Samantha would have left for Utah.  Samuel married Sarah Anne (called Sally) in 1835 after his wife and Seth Hitchcock had both passed away in 1834.  They had five children together.  After Samuel's death, Sally married Andrew Hyrum Whitlock in July 1850 just months after his wife had died in early 1850 leaving him with several children. They leave for Utah in 1852 with 10 family members listed on the records.  This would be a combined group probably made up of Andrew's younger children and Sally's children with Samuel Fowler.  Andrew died in 1865 in Ephriam, Utah and Sally later is found on census records prior to 1878 (the year she dies) as living with her son, Hiram Whitlock, in Beaver, Utah.  This is interesting as it appears that Hiram has taken his step-father's last name and that Sally would have lived near her daughter, Louisa Samantha.  Andrew Whitlock and Sally had no children together.

Louisa Samantha would give birth to fourteen children in all, seven of whom died before the age of five.  Their children were Ephriam 1845-1846, Martha Ann 1850-1851, Franklin 1851-1853, Elizabeth 1854-1934, Melissa Ursula 1856-1856, Parley Pratt 1857-1934, William Anciel ( my husband's 2nd great grandfather) 1859-1940, John Franklin 1862-1936, Francis Edward 1864-1920, Silas Andrew 1867-1939, Andrew Jackson 1869-1869, Chauncey M 1871-1872, and Jasper Newton 1876-1877.

Her father, Seth Hitchcock, was part of Zion's Camp and died at age 32 in Missouri in 1834.  The following is his story.

Seth Hitchcock (1802-1834).1 The family records say Seth was born 29 Mar 1802. His father, Ebenezer, was living in Granville, NY at the time so it is assumed that is where Seth was born. Seth was baptized in the 1st Presbyterian Church of Middle Granville in 1802. He moved with his family to Warsaw, NY in 1815. The 1830 Census shows Seth as a head of household with four children. Sometime between 1829 and 1834 Seth joined the newly organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a member of Zion’s Camp who went to Missouri to aid persecuted members of the Church there. In Church History records it states on the 24th of June, 1834 that Seth was called the 2nd man to die of Cholera in the group and buried in a common grave with two other men who also died about the same time. They were buried on the banks of Rush Creek, Clay, Missouri. In 1976 the State of Missouri, while examining historical sites, exhumed this grave site. Three bodies were found, one being Seth Hitchcock.  Seth married Sarah or Sally Ann Rhodes about 1821. They were the parents of seven children.  In 1863 and 1864, leaders of the Church speaking in Salt Lake City, Utah, spoke of men who had passed on in the early days of the Church. They spoke of Seth Hitchcock’s honesty when he was given $400 to give to Joseph Smith Jr. and did so.


1 comment:

B Young said...

My name is Brittania Young and I am granddaughter of Sheridan Kay bradley (higgs) grandaughter of Idona twitchell, she daughter of Jean.I have a copy of the family tree and appreciate greatly the story , effort and detail put into this and the genealogy of my ancestors. Thank you