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Catherine Lovett


Catherine Augusta Lovett (Wilkins)

Catherine was born on April 25, 1823 to Thomas Lovett and Mary Morgan in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts (a suburb of Lowell).  She was their fifth child, and the older sister of Angeline Morgan Lovett. Her other sisters were mill workers, so it is likely she too worked in the Lowell cotton mills. Catherine was married to George Washington Wilkins by Elder Leonard Hardy in Lowell on July 4, 1846; she was certainly a Mormon at the time of their marriage, as George had been baptized by Eli P. Maginn in New Hampshire on October 9, 1842.  Her husband George became the Branch President of Lowell "while living in Massachusetts." They migrated to Utah overland April to October 1849 in the Allen Taylor Company.  The Wilkins family stayed in Salt Lake until March 24, 1852 when they left to settle San Bernardino, California by order of Brigham Young.  The couple had adopted an American Indian child, whose parents had been killed by Mormon settlers, “Moroni A. Wilkins”, born in Iron City, Iron County, Utah in January 1849.  They left Moroni in Utah with friends and only took their baby daughter Mary Augusta with them.

The family stayed in San Bernardino until 1855, where two more children were born. The Wilkinses returned to Utah with the William McBride Company, traveling through the Mojave Desert. The family then settled permanently in Spanish Fork.  Apparently the family did not return to get their adopted Indian child Moroni, who apparently had been abandoned by the friends of the Wilkins who were supposed to look after him. In early spring 1860, when Moroni was 11, George Wilkins was hauling tithe offerings from Spanish Fork to the Bishop's Storehouse in Salt Lake City. On the road after dark, George was talking out loud to his team of horses, when George heard

a voice coming from near the side of the road calling "Father, it is I, your son Moroni." He jumped out of the wagon and hurried to the side of the road where he found Moroni lying on the ground very ill. George W. helped his adopted son into the wagon and brought him back to Spanish Fork, where he lay very sick a long time. Moroni explained that he knew his father's voice when he heard him speak to the horses as they were passing there where he lay.

George baptized Moroni into the LDS Church that spring and Moroni stayed with the family from then on. When he was about 22 in 1871, Moroni was ordained an Elder by David H. Davis and then died just one day later.

Besides their adopted son Moroni, they had seven children total:

      1. Mary Augusta Wilkins (born 1851 in Salt Lake City; died 1924 in Spanish Fork)
      2. George Adelbert Wilkins (born 1853 in San Bernardino CA; died 1932 in SLC)
      3. Charles Henry Wilkins (born 1854 in San Bernardino, CA; died August 4, 1855)
      4. Alsina Elizabeth Wilkins (born 1856 in Spanish Fork; died 1926 in Provo)
      5. Lucy Angenette Wilkins (born 1858 in Spanish Fork; died 1943 in Spanish Fork)
      6. Joseph Emmons Wilkins (born 1860 in Spanish Fork; died1928 in Spanish Fork)
      7. Albert William Wilkins (born 1863 in Spanish Fork; died 1937 in Vernal, UT)

George was a prosperous farmer and owned a large molasses mill in Spanish Fork, where he was a City Councilman and Alderman. He remained monogamous throughout his life and did not practice polygamy. He also served two missions, one to England in 1871-2 and one to New England in 1876.

Catherine died in Spanish Fork on December 5, 1874. Twelve years after her death, 64 year-old George married a girl named Mary Elizabeth Mayer two weeks after she turned 16, and by whom he had four more children.

See the Wilkins Family site:


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