Elizabeth kemmish
ELIZABETH KEMMISH MOON, a pioneer of Utah and Idaho, was born April 17, 1837, at Southsea Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Wilkey Kemmish.

Prior to the year 1844, the Mormon Missionaries were teaching a new religion in her native land. Her parents became interested in spite of opposition from friends and relatives. They were baptised members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, her father on September 7, her mother on September 14, 1844. Elizabeth became a member in 1847. She had experienced sorrow with the death of a sister Serrah Jane, age 3, and a brother John age 12, who were buried in the Kingstown Church cemetery in England. Successful contacts with the missionaries developed a desire to come to America and cast their lot with the main body of the church.

The departure got underway on Sunday, January 23, 1853, when the ship "Golconda" embarked from Liverpool, England with all the living members of her father's family. The ship's roster lists her father's age as 38, her mother's 39, Elizabeth 5, Jane 1, Peter Charles 9, Mary 7, Daniel 5, and James Ephriam 2. An Uncle John and his wife Ann G. Wilkey were among the passengers. Her father lists his occupation as a basket weaver, her uncle a baker..

They were nine weeks making the 5000 mile voyage over the Atlantic Ocean, arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana on March 26. There was some sorrow, some joy. They experienced a storm which despoiled the gallant ship of her three top masts which caused deep concern. Many prayers were offered for the safety of the crew and 321 Saints under the direction of Elder Jacob Gates. There were two deaths, two marriages and four births. One of the births was a sister born to Elizabeth's mother on February 17, 1853. She was christened Elizabeth Golconda Kemmish. After a prosperous voyage, a parting vote of thanks was given to Captain Kerr who had given good satisfaction to all the company. Most of the Saints were transferred to the packet ship "Illinois" travelling up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa. Here preparations were made for the long trek to Utah.

Around the first of June the "Ten Pound Company" was ready, consisting of thirty two wagons. Elizabeth walked, did the cooking for her company and when wood was not available she gathered buffalo chips to cook their evening meal. The family was fortunate in having a cow. Each morning the milk was put in a pail with a lid and tied to the reach of the wagon, by the evening they had a small piece of butter. The long journey ended when they arrived in Salt Lake Valley in October. Elizabeth went to work for a Mrs. Remington which provided many busy hours. At church she met Hugh Moon whom she married June 11, 1854 at the Council House. President Brigham Young performed the ceremony.

At the October conference in 1861, 309 families were called to help settle Utah Dixie (St. George, Utah). November 7, Elizabeth with her four day old baby Heleman Joseph, her four older children, Alice Elizabeth, Moshiah, Sarah Helen and Helorum left her home in Salt Lake for St. George, Utah. They were twenty eight days making this trip. Elizabeth later related as being one of the hardest experiences of her life, living in a tent and dugout for five years. Two more children were born at St. George, Asenath and Ruwaney. After an unsuccessful attempt to establish a home, she returned to Salt Lake where she stayed a short time, moving to Farmington, Davis County, Utah, December 7, 1866. Julia Ann and Hortensia were born at Farmington. In February of 1870, she received word to come to Henderson Creek, Oneida County, Idaho as her husband was very sick. He died at Jennett's home the following September.

With the death of her husband she was left in poor financial circumstances On June 16, 1872, at Malad, Idaho, she married William T. Bell, To this union was born a son William Charles Bell. She and Mr. Bell separated and she took her former name of Moon.

Elizabeth was small of stature, with brown hair which she parted in the middle and combed straight. down on both sides and pinned in a bob at the nape of her neck. She was a good cook and a neat housekeeper.

During the fifty years she lived at Henderson Creek, she experienced many hardships. Her children went to work for others to help out. The summer of 1905, with the help of her two sons who were living with her, she had a nice frame home built with a large living room, two bedrooms, kitchen and pantry (her grandchildren all boast of the cinnamon cakes and cookies she kept in an earthen crock in this pantry). Ted and Amos Jones laid the foundation and did the plastering. The carpenter work was done by John G. Evans, the painting and papering by Henry Cottington.

She was the oldest living member of eleven children of her father's family. The year 1858 or 1859, her parents, all of her brothers and sisters but one, (Jane, who married Thomas Fowler) returned to Harrison County, Iowa to make their home. When Elizabeth was past seventy seven, she was overjoyed by a visit from her brother James from Persia, Iowa, in April 1914. She had not seen him for over fifty years. With him came his wife Leone and their son Harry. These were the only members of her family she had seen since they moved to Iowa.

On Saturday evening at 7 o'clock, January 15, 1921, she passed away at the age of 83 years, nine months and four days. She was survived by 9 children, 76 grandchildren, one hundred great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

By: LaVerne Ward

Moon Family Home Page

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