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LIVINGSTON, Helen "Ellen" (1837)

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Helen "Ellen" Livingston Watts
Full name Helen Livingston
Born January 17 1837(1837-01-17)
Place of birth Shotts Iron Works, Aryshire, Scotland
Died August 7 1915
Place of death Smithfield, Cache, Utah


Joseph and Helen Livingston Watts

(found in the collection of histories at the Smithfield, Utah Historical Society Museum under the history of Henry and Ellen Livingston Watts.)

Joseph Watts was born at Welshire, England, January 24, 1810. Helen Livingston Watts was born in the Shots Iron Works area of Lanarkshire, Scotland, January 17, 1837. She was a daughter of Archibald Livingston and Helen Connor Livingston. At an early age, she joined the Latter Day Saints Church and came to Salt Lake City with the Richard Balentine ox team company in 1855, and in 1856, she went to Carson City, Nevada with Bishop Covey and family of the Salt Lake City, Twelfth Ward, then returned to Salt Lake City in 1857. At the time of the move south on account of the coming of Johnson Army to Utah. She went on the move south with the William Branch family and settled at Spanish Fork, returning to Salt Lake City in 1858, and lived with John Sharp’s family until the time of her marriage to Joseph Watts on February 1, 1859. They lived in Salt Lake City until the spring of 1860. May of 1860 they moved to Smithfield.

They built a log house on the north side of Summit Creek, bordering the north line of Center Street about 230 West. (The current address is 271 W Center St. The house they built is still in use (2012). They got two good one acre lots at the north of their buildings. Their home and lots were directly across the Summit Creek and Center Street from where Henry Watts lived.

When land grants were being made, the Watts brothers got theirs adjoining each other and added to those lands by new acquirement as much land as possible. Farming was their vocations. They worked together for the reasons of economy in machinery, common tools and work horses and equipment. They were very good and successful farmers and livestock managers.

Joseph Watts and his good wife were contributors to the general welfare of the town and church. He built a small log house on 63 West Center Street; that house became their home.

Mr. Watts was a farmer. He and his brother Henry were partners on a fifty-fifty basis in their farm enterprise. They had procured 65 acres of very good land, most of it very near their homes – a half mile away. Both men were first class farmers caring well for their land and livestock. During the first few years they used oxen for draft animals.

For more than a hundred years, the early acquired land is still in the Henry Watts family name –third and fourth generation (Joseph and Helen Watts had no children). Henry’s two sons were superior farmers as are the grandsons. Leona Watts, a granddaughter in law, is sole manager of the land holdings.

Henry and Joseph Watts lived quiet, peaceful, spiritual lives; lived as good helpful citizens-no starch shirt style, but gave much to community growth and up-grading. They were happy people, living charitable, kind, friendly, were very modest and sought no seats of the mighty.

Joseph attended church and town meetings to listen and to be informed, to get experiences of which he could form activating judgements and to help guide his decision on issues and policies.

In the first few years of farm experiences, grain was harvested by a tool called the cradle, hand bound and flail threshed. Joseph and Henry Watts led the town in all the contest in hand cutting and tool binding. They took firsts in using the scythe which was used in hay cutting. When grain binders came out, Harper Watts was among the first to get one for their farm. (Harper Watts was a son of Henry and Louisa Noble Watts.)

Helen Watts was a first right Christian lady and did many kind deeds for people. Her long suit for (hope was written in the margin before the word work) work was knitting, drying fruit for herself and neighbors. And what projects were being carried on in the Woman’s Manufacturing Organization, she was forward with it. When the ward Relief Society succeeded the Woman’s Manufacturing Organization, Mrs. Watts moved into that with force and time she had available.

None of the land acquired by the Watts brothers in those pioneer days has passed from the Watts family name (acquired from 1861-1864) now (1964) Leona Bair Watts is the current owner. It will go to her children-sons and daughters.


WATTS FUNERAL AT SMITHFILED from The Journal, Logan Utah.

Smithfield, Aug. 8.-- The funeral services over the remains of Ellen Livingstone Watts were held today in the First ward meeting house. Bishop Geo. Y. Smith conducted the services. The choir sang: Farewell all earthly honors. Prayer was offered by George Done.

The choir sang: "Some day I'll reap what I've sown."

Sylvester Low, Wm. G. Raymond, William Noble and Bishop George Y. Smith all spoke of the pioneer woman with the greatest of reverence and respect as each had known aunt Ellen as she was familiarly called since babyhood.

Spoke of the hard struggles she had always endured. Much praise was given to Mrs. Jane Lorester Claypool who had so lovingly nursed and cared for her in her last days.

John H. Peterson read a sketch of Sister Watt’s life, portraying all the poverty and hardships endured by our early pioneers.

The choir sang Beautiful Isle of Somewhere and “The resurrection Day.” A. B. Chambers offered the closing prayer. A large cortege followed the remains to the city cemetery where Samuel Nelson dedicated the grave.

Helen Watts was the daughter of Archibald Livingstone and Helen Connor. She was born January 17, 1837 at Shotts Iron Works Aryshire Scotland and joined the church of Latter day Saints in early youth. She came to Utah by ox team in Richard Ballantynes company in 1855. That being the year of the grass hopper plague she with many others suffered for food. In 1856 she went to Carcon Valley with Bishop Covey and family of the Twelfth ward of Salt Lake City, where they again suffered the privations incident to pioneer life until 1857 when they returned to Salt Lake City. At the time of the move south due to the arrival of Johnsons army Sister Watts went with the family of William Branch and settled at Spanish Fork. In 1858 she returned to Salt Lake City and lived with the John Sharp family until the time of her marriage to Joseph Watts. Feb. 21, 1859. They lived in Salt Lake City until the spring of 1860 when they came with a company to settle in Cache valley, on May 1, 1860 they arrived here and located on Summit creek where she has ever since lived.

On Nov. 27, 1899 Joseph Watts, her husband died here. No children were born to this couple so aunt Ellen has lived a very lonely life for many years. Three brothers, James, Charles, and Archibald Livingstone and one sister all preceded Mrs. Watts she being the last one of her father’s family. She lived and died a faithful Latter Day Saint.

On August 7, 1915 she passed quietly away attended by Mrs. Claypool and her life long friends Mr. and Mrs. George Sant.

The esteem in which she was held was evidenced by the large crowd and the profuse collection of beautiful flowers at the services.

[and in other news...]

Mrs. Livingston and Mr. and Mrs. Childs of Salt Lake City were here to attend the Watts funeral.

[and still other news...]

History of LIVINGSTON, Helen "Ellen" (1837) By Georgia Memmott

History of Helen Livingston Watts compiled from information gathered by Georgia Memmott, Bountiful, UT from church records, history found in Smithfield, City on a Hill, the history of Helen from Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude pg 3285 and from memories of Helen told to Georgia by her grandmother, Harriett Miles Watts, wife of Joseph Watts who was the nephew of Helen Livingston and her husband Joseph Watts.

Biography: Helen Livingston Watts Birthdate: 17 Jan 1837, Shotts, Ironworks, Lanarkshire, Scotland Death: 7 Aug 1915, Smithfield, Cache County, UT Parents: Archibald and Helen Muir Conner Livingston Pioneer: Richard Ballentyne Company 1855 Spouse: Joseph Watts Married: 1 Feb 1859, Salt Lake City, UT Ordinances: Baptized 12 Jan 1856, Carson Valley, Utah Territory Endowment: 15 Nov 1861, Sealed Spouse: 15 Nov 1861,Endowment House record pg 612 #4174, SLC, UT Sealed Parents: 16 Oct 1901, Manti, UT

Helen, sometimes known as Ellen, lost her mother Helen Muir Conner, in Scotland when she was but nine months old. Her father, Archibald, married again two years later and after ten years, he and his wife both died of cholera within two months of each other. This left Helen to the mercy of the world at the tender age of twelve years. She found work in different families for six years. Then her grandmother, Christina Livingston, having joined the Mormon Church, decided to come to the United States and join the Saints in Zion or Deseret Territory. She brought her grandchildren with her. Her son Archibald had three children by Helen Muir; James, Charles and Helen. After the death of Helen his wife, he married Jean Bain and had Jane, Isabella, Archibald and William. James came to America first and later sent for his grandmother Christina, who was caring for the other children in England to come to America. He paid part of their fare through the Perpetual Education Fund. She left Holytown with the 5 grandchildren and her two youngest children, James and Ellen in November of 1854 and stayed in Liverpool, England one month then she left England in January 17th 1855 and was on the sea for two months. Young Helen spent three months at Garden Grove with her family waiting for an ox team to take them across the plains. She left in June 1855 with Richard Ballentyne’s Company, reaching Salt Lake City in October 1855. She walked every step of the way, barefooted and even without a bonnet. Everyone was put on half rations the last half of the way.

In Salt Lake, Helen went to work for Hursel Barton. Helen worked nineteen weeks at 50 cents a week and from this money she bought a pair of shoes and a calico dress. The next summer in 1856, she went to Carson Valley with Bishop Covey and family and she being now anxious to join the Mormon Church was baptized by Elder John Hyde, who was traveling in the same company on his way to serve a mission to the Sandwich Islands.

After reaching Carson, she had a hard time for over a year, having to work most of the time just for board, so she came back to Salt Lake City and then moved South with the people due to fear of Johnston’s Army. She went to Spanish Fork with the William Branch Family. Returning to Salt Lake in 1859, and finding work at the home of Francis Pumroy. She became acquainted with Joseph Watts, a new convert from England. They were married by Elder Atwood that summer. She was twenty-two years old and Joseph was forty-nine years old. That summer they journeyed north to Summit (Smithfield) Cache County, Utah arriving the first of May 1860. They made themselves a little home on Summit Creek in the fort to begin with, which was two and a half blocks west of the main street. They went back to Salt Lake City the next year, 1861, to go through the endowment house to be sealed.

Joseph Watts was the son of William Watts of Froxfield, Wiltshire, England, born 1809. He and his brother, Henry and Henry’s wife, Eliza Whale, came to America with the help of the Perpetual Emigration Fund too. They came in 1855. This was shortly after they were baptized in England.

Joseph and Helen lived happy together for a little over forty years until Joseph was stricken with paralysis in October and died five weeks later, Nov 29th, 1899. They had no children to bless this union but helped and enjoyed their nieces and nephews of brother Henry Watts. They even took in a little Pilkington girl to help raise for awhile. She was known as Aunt Helen or Aunt Ellen. Many hardships and trials were endured laboring to make a farming community while living with the threat of Indians. Helen lived sixteen more years alone in her little two room home after her husband died with the exception of a few months under the nursing care of a neighbor, Jane Claypool. She died of acute intestinal problems and bronchitis. She is buried next to Joseph in the Smithfield Cemetery.

NOTE: The description of how Granny immigrated to America is different than the description of the history written by Margaret Mae Bergeson Livingston which is at the following link http://livingstonfamily.org/wiki/History_of_Christina_Campbell_Livingston

This page has been accessed 33 times. This page was last modified on 29 September 2012, at 17:34.

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This page has been accessed 2,417 times. This page was last modified on 12 November 2012, at 04:24.


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