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Hannah Baldwin

Hannah Elida Baldwin (Crosby)

(Mill Girl &Committe Member of the
Lowell LDS Benevolent Sewing Society )

Hannah Baldwin pic

Hannah E. Baldwin was born March 4, 1820 in St. George, New Brunswick, Canada (just across the border from Maine), the only young woman in the Benevolent Sewing Society born outside of the United States of America. She was the second daughter of George Baldwin and Mary Elizabeth Hanson. Hannah’s only full sibling was Mary Elizabeth, born three years previously.

    1. Mary Elizabeth Baldwin, born July 2, 1817 in St. George, New Brunswick, Canada; died there on February 14, 1821
    2. Hannah Elida Baldwin, born 1820

Unfortunately as noted above, Hannah’s elder sister Mary Elizabeth Baldwin died at the age of three in 1821.  She was soon followed in death by her 29 year-old father, George Baldwin, on March 6, 1821, just two days after Hannah’s first birthday.  This left Mary Elizabeth Hanson Baldwin a widow with an infant daughter to raise. Later that same year, the widow Baldwin married Nathan Leavitt on Christmas Eve 1821 and they relocated their blended family to Clinton, Maine, about 60 miles east of St. George, Canada. 

Nathan Leavitt was the son of Jonathan Leavitt and Miss Brown, and was born in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada in 1798, which lies some 10 miles by land from St. George, where Hannah was born.

The children born to Nathan Leavitt and Mary Elizabeth Hanson Baldwin were:

    1. Sarah Ann Maria Leavitt,[1] born December 22, 1822 in Clinton; married widower Darius Lougee June 25, 1843 in Lowell – later divorced about 1854 and he moved to Utah to become a polygamist; died May 29, 1899
    2. Jonathan Leavitt, born April 4, 1824 in Clinton, ME; died September 7, 1826
    3. William Hanson Leavitt, born about 1825 in Clinton; died August 14, 1904; married (1) Lucy Cain in 1858; married (2) Minerva S. _____; died August 14, 1904
    4. Mary Elizabeth Leavitt, born November 5, 1827 in Clinton; married George Reed about 1851; died December 19, 1909
    5. Moses Appleton Leavitt, born October 12, 1829 in Clinton; married Sophronia _____; died February 29, 1910
    6. Lucy Morrison Leavitt, born October 2, 1831 in Clinton, died August 7, 1846
    7. Nathan Smith Leavitt, born October 6, 1833 in Fairfield ME or CAN; married Mary Ann Jewell in 1855; died October 1880 (or August 23, 1920)
    8. Benjamin Hanson Leavitt, born November 14, 1835 in Clinton married Celera Cleveland Edwards; married Mary Bagley; died April 29, 1915 in Lassen Co. CA
    9. Phebe Jane Leavitt, born February 2, 1838 in Clinton, Maine; married Timothy Foster Farmer July 24, 1862; died March 2, 1909
    10. Rachel Wells Leavitt, born March 9, 1840 in Clinton; married William Beaman
    11. Dorcas [2] Ellen Leavitt, born August 4, 1842 in Clinton; married Moses Tuerberry Flanders in 1860, in Lowell; died December 21, 1911, probably in Lowell
    12. George Baldwin Leavitt, born December 28, 1844 in Clinton; died December 28, 1844

Hannah Baldwin and her two half-sisters, Sarah Ann Maria and Mary Elizabeth Leavitt, not only moved to Lowell to work in the cotton mills, but the three women also became members of the LDS Church and participated in the Lowell Branch, although only Hannah was involved in the Benevolent Sewing Society.  The three Mormon sisters likely boarded together as well, while working for the mills.

Although it is not known exactly when Hannah moved to Lowell, her half-sister Sarah Ann was there as early as 1841 working as a weaver in the mills, as Sarah Ann opened a savings account in Lowell that year.[4] Mary Elizabeth was in Lowell by 1844. Hannah likely joined the LDS Church in Lowell. However, according to her grandson, Samuel Wallace Crosby, Hannah became a member of the Church in Salem, Massachusetts, although this may be apocryphal, as I have found no evidence that Hannah ever visited Salem. [5]  While the date of her baptism is unknown, since Hannah was on the board of the Lowell Latter Day Saint Benevolent Sewing Society on July 17, 1844, presumably she was already LDS by that date.  Hannah’s half-sister Sarah also joined the LDS Church, probably around the time she married the recent widower Darius Lougee on June 25, 1843 in Lowell. Note that Darius Lougee was the Lowell Branch President three years later in May 1847. [6]  Her other half-sister, Mary Elizabeth Leavitt, also joined the LDS Church in Lowell in 1844 or 1845. While Sarah left the church when her husband Darius left her for Utah, Mary Elizabeth Leavitt Reed would remain faithful to Mormonism throughout her life in Lowell, even though far removed from LDS headquarters in Utah. Hannah also remained faithful to her church and followed the Latter-Day Saints to Utah, as noted below.

When the recently excommunicated Willard Messer wrote to Brigham Young from Lowell in November 1844 asking for repayment of his loan to Young, Messer asked that Young send the money to him via Hannah’s LDS brother-in-law, Darius Lougee. This implies that Young both knew and trusted Lougee.  (See the biography of Sarah E. Wallace for details on Messer and Young, etc.)  Darius Lougee was a machinist in the Lowell cotton mills, had been a Mormon since September 1842, and apparently had met Brigham Young in Lowell (or at church conferences in Boston) when Young visited the area on several occasions as a missionary in 1843 and 1844. (As noted above, Darius Lougee was also the President of the Lowell Branch as of May 1847, over “about 20 members in tolerable good standing.”)

Darius and Sarah Leavitt Lougee had four daughters born in Lowell (three of whom survived to adulthood; the eldest died of dropsy at the age of one in 1845) and a son (their last child, who died in 1851 at nine months of age).  In 1854 Darius and Sarah separated and divorced, as he prepared to migrate to Utah Territory to join the other Saints and practice polygamy.  Sarah refused to follow and remained in Lowell, leaving Mormonism, and running a boardinghouse there.  By 1870 she was prospering as a well-to-do boardinghouse keeper for some 35 cotton mill boarders.  Her two daughters who never married, Sophia Alphetta (who went by Fida) and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Matilda Lougee, lived with her and assisted with the boardinghouse.  In fact, according to a 1906 letter that Hannah Baldwin Crosby wrote, Lizzie Lougee was the accountant in this family enterprise who kept all the books and directly collected the subsidized rent monies from the boarders and the mill corporation with whom they had a contract. [7]

In the meantime, Hannah probably first met Elder Jesse Wentworth Crosby, a Mormon missionary from Nova Scotia who arrived in Massachusetts in October 1844, right at the height of the William Smith-John Hardy scandal that was tearing the branches in Massachusetts apart. Unfortunately, Elder Crosby never once mentioned his wife in his autobiography, so details about their relationship come from later family stories.  Hannah apparently was not Elder Crosby’s first choice for wife, nor his second.  According to Crosby family records, Elder Crosby had first asked Ruth Mosher to marry him, apparently in New York before the end of May 1844.  Ruth Mosher had been baptized by Elder Crosby around January 1844 in the St. Lawrence River, Jefferson County, New York.  A hole had to be cut in the frozen river’s ice to perform the ordinance. Some time after her baptism, “they started keeping company” and eventually the two fell in love and Jesse gave gave Ruth Mosher a betrothal ring, with the intention of marrying her once they both were in Nauvoo together.  As Crosby continued to labor on his mission in New England, Mosher migrated to Nauvoo in the fall of 1844. In the meantime Elder John Pack, another missionary originally from the same New York branch as Ruth, arrived in Nauvoo with his companion, Ezra T. Benson.  They had come from New Jersey immediately upon hearing of the murder of the Smith brothers. [8]  Around January 1845, Brigham Young counseled John Pack to rent the Nauvoo Mansion House, and he and his wife Julia Ives Pack managed the tavern.  Ruth Mosher began working at the Mansion House under the new management. [9] Ruth Mosher’s daughter wrote that sometime around March 1845,

Pres. Heber C. Kimball called to have a talk with her [Ruth]. He told her that it was the will of the Lord for her to be sealed to John Pack [as a plural wife]. She had already given up so much for the sake of the Gospel, and wishing to live it in its fullness, she did not hesitate. John Pack was called into the room and they were immediately married. Ruth thinking at the time that she was being sealed for eternity and not for time. As soon as Bro. Kimball had performed the ceremony he said, "Sister Ruth I intended to have you myself but Bro. John got ahead of me." [10]

Apparently Ruth believed she was only a spiritual wife of John Pack and could still marry Elder Crosby temporally, but afterwards realized the sealing ceremony to John Pack was for both time and eternity. When Jesse W. Crosby finished his third mission and returned to Nauvoo in April of 1845, he found that his betrothed 21 year-old Ruth Mosher had married another man, mainly because Crosby was in a solid third place behind two older men with much higher ecclesiastical status than he had.  Ruth’s daughter later reported that Ruth then gave Jesse back the betrothal ring, being unable to marry him either temporally or eternally. Ruth Mosher Pack’s daughter also claimed that the competition for Ruth Mosher’s hand was so strong because “Ruth was a very beautiful and attractive girl.” [11] 

During the same mission in which he had baptized Ruth Mosher, Elder Crosby also met Ann Shelton in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.  She was a schoolteacher there and Elder Crosby and his missionary companion, Elder Benjamin Brown, baptized her on September 2, 1844, along with her parents and one brother.  Ann’s father, a well-respected physician, was also a magistrate for York County, New Brunswick.  Just nine days after the Shelton family was baptized, Elder Brown was brutally attacked by seven or eight anti-Mormons in Fredericton, while out on an evening stroll.  The men “beat him most inhumanly,” removing one of his own boots to beat him on the head with its heel, and then jumped on him with their knees, breaking several of his ribs. Brown escaped by feigning death and barely made it back to the Shelton home “half dead”.  Just as Crosby got the badly beaten Brown in bed around midnight and had crawled into bed with him, about 30 ruffians broke into the house, locked the Sheltons in their bedrooms, and then began to try to break into the bedroom where Crosby and Brown were barricaded.  Mrs. Shelton was able to sneak out of her room and get the hiding Elders out of the house through backdoors, while the ruffians continued assaulting the bedroom with stones and boards until a group of 12 neighbors came to rescue the Sheltons.  For many months thereafter Elder Crosby suffered from post-traumatic stress, having flashbacks to that awful night; he was easily startled “by the least noise,” imagining he was hearing the breaking glass of the mobsters again. [12]

Despite being recently betrothed to Ruth Mosher, Elder Crosby and Ann Shelton grew attracted to each other and began a “courtship” in Canada. [13]  However when he left Canada in October 1844 (after receiving confirmation that Joseph Smith had been murdered), Ann Shelton did not “leave with him then,” according to her sister, Eliza Shelton.  Ann’s younger brother, David Booth Shelton Jr. died just after her baptism and just two weeks shy of his 18th birthday, leaving the family deeply in mourning.  In addition, Ann’s mother was ill and died a year later, so the family tradition assumes that the already-mourning Ann remained in Canada to care for her ailing mother until her death.  However, Crosby’s courtship with Ann Shelton was not over.

Elder Crosby, on his way back to Nauvoo, went through Boston. Exhausted and “much worn down with excessive labour” (and the trauma of that awful night in Fredericton) he decided to “tarry during the winter and recruit [his] health” in Lowell.  He was subsequently called to be the Lowell Branch President, replacing Elder Varanus Libbe on December 1, 1844. [14]  Varanus Libbe had recently left the Mormon Church, apparently over the spiritual wife scandal then wracking the church in New England. While staying in Lowell Elder Crosby met and likely courted 24 year-old Hannah Elida Baldwin of the Benevolent Sewing Society. 

After many weeks of recuperation, Elder Crosby was counseled to migrate to Nauvoo by Apostle Parley P. Pratt, and Hannah Baldwin chose to leave with him.  Elder Crosby and Hannah Baldwin left Lowell on March 12.  In Boston on March 29, 1845 they joined Elder George B. Wallace and his younger sister Sarah E. Wallace, and headed to Nauvoo together with a group of other Mormons. [15]  The group went to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, “thence down the Ohio and up the Mississippi, arriving in Nauvoo April 25, 1845.” [16] After Jesse discovered Ruth Mosher’s marriage to John Pack, he then courted Hannah Baldwin in earnest and Brigham Young married Jesse and Hannah in Nauvoo on May 23, 1845. [17]  The couple was endowed in the Nauvoo Temple on January 10, 1846 and then was sealed for eternity in the temple on January 28, 1846. Indeed, the temple figured prominently in their lives. As they were preparing to move west, Jesse labored a total of 262 days on the Nauvoo Temple construction between June of 1845 and May of 1846.

The children of Jesse Wentworth and Hannah Elida Baldwin Crosby were:

    1. George Henry Crosby, born October 25, 1846, Clinton, Kennebec, Maine; married first, Sarah Hannah Brown (his first cousin and also the granddaughter of Jesse Crosby’s mission companion, Benjamin Brown), plus two plural wives; died October 13, 1916 in St. George, Utah
    2. Jesse Wentworth Crosby Jr., born June 22, 1848, Salt Lake City, Utah; married first Sarah Pauline Clark in 1867, plus two plural wives; died February 27, 1915 in Cowley, Big Horn, Wyoming
    3. Samuel Obed Crosby, born August 26, 1849, Salt Lake City, Utah; married Hannah Adelia Bunker in 1872; died March 24, 1903 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah
    4. Elida Ann Crosby, born December 30, 1854, Salt Lake City, Utah; married Erastus Beamon Snow in 1874; died September 20, 1919 in St. George, Utah
    5. Thankful Amelia Crosby, b. April 30, 1856, Salt Lake City, Utah; married Allen Frost in 1882; died May 25, 1905 in Snowflake, Navajo, Arizona
    6. Joseph Crosby, born December 15, 1857, Salt Lake, Utah; married Emily Maude Johnson in 1881; died September 7, 1896 in Bingham Canyon, Salt Lake, Utah
    7. Mary Elizabeth Crosby, born September 27, 1859, Salt Lake City, Utah; died at the age of one on November 22, 1860 in Salt Lake City
    8. Hannah Ann Crosby, born June 22, 1861, Salt Lake City, Utah; died at the age of one on October 20, 1862 in St. George, Utah
    9. Joshua Alma Crosby, born January 29, 1863, St. George, Utah; married Lena Albertina Mathis in 1884; died March 18, 1909 in St. George, Utah

Even after Hannah's departure west, several of her half-sisters continued to live in the Lowell area, some as late as 1906. 

The majority of Mormons had crossed the frozen Mississippi into Iowa territory in February 1846, but the Crosbys waited until May 25th.  They reached Mount Pisgah, Iowa on June 16 where they lost their oxen, impeding further migration.  Hannah was now some five months pregnant. 

At this point in their journey westward, Hannah Baldwin Crosby and one of her closest friends from the Lowell Branch, Harriet Atwood Silver Dunn, went on “an expedition” from Mount Pisgah to see the Grand River together. Harriet Silver Dunn wrote to her parents right after, reporting on their trip.  She told her parents that she and Hannah B. Crosby intrepidly “traipsed the Grand River” whose headwaters were in Iowa, but flowed mainly through Missouri, the state where Mormons now had an “extermination order” against them signed by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs.  Harriet Dunn also reported how beautiful the countryside was, and that the local Native Americans were friendly towards the women. [18]

Out of desperation, the two decided to part ways temporarily on July 10.  Jesse would become an itinerant worker to make much needed money while Hannah went back to Clinton, Maine to “lay claim to money that was owed her” although exactly what and how much that money was is not known.  Even though she was pregnant, she expected to meet up with her husband in St. Louis prior to giving birth.  However their plans drastically changed due to illness.

While Jesse Crosby worked for two Mormons who owned a mill in Farmington, Iowa, Hannah made her way to Maine.  During her trip, the pregnant young woman caught malaria (“fever and the ague” her doctor called it).  By the time she arrived in Fairfield, Maine, she could not move.  On August 24, 1846 she wrote to Jesse from Clinton:

I have been here most of two weeks. William [her half-brother] came to Fairfield and met me with the horse and wagon and brought me home. They took me out of the wagon and carried me into the house, and I have not been out yet. I went to bed as soon as I could and not been able to sit up one hour at a time yet. I have a doctor. He says I have the fever and ague, but thinks it will not last long. Oh I cannot tell how much I have suffered since I saw you, and how many times I have wished you had come with me. I must stop for my strength is all gone….I can have my money at any time I want it. If you say I must come home this fall, well it is possible I shall, but I am sick abed now and two months is all I can have anyhow. I would be glad if you could come down, but I want you to do what you think best about it. The Dr. thinks I have run a great risk in coming on so long a journey. I know not how I can stop here all winter, but fear I shall be obliged to.

Hannah’s step-father, Nathan Leavitt, added in a postscript to her letter that her health would likely keep her in Clinton until the spring and Leavitt invited Elder Crosby to spend the winter in Maine with the Leavitts.  Upon receipt of the distressing news, Crosby quit his job, left his goods in St. Louis, and headed to Clinton, Maine by the Illinois River, across the Great Lakes, and along the Erie Canal.

Elder Crosby arrived in Clinton just four days before the birth of their first child, George Henry Crosby, born October 25, 1846.  The young family stayed in Clinton until January 14, 1847, when they moved back to Lowell for three months, remaining “among friends” there.  They once more departed from Lowell on April 12, taking the train to St. Louis in a two-week journey.  They arrived there on May Day and then took a steamer on May 11 for another two-week journey to Council Bluffs, Iowa, a large Mormon settlement.

Hannah, Jesse, and infant George Henry Crosby then crossed the Mississippi to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, where they left for Utah on June 5, 1847 as part of the Daniel Spencer/Perregrine Session Company. Despite the conditions, Hannah Baldwin Crosby insisted on maintaining an clean and organized camp for her family.  One granddaughter, Mary Karma Crosby Stalker, recalled,

While crossing the plains [Jesse] suggested [Hannah] leave the dishes to wash when they got to their next camp, but Hannah could not do such a thing.  She was very neat and clean and a wonderful manager.  They had a cow and they carried milk in a small covered barrel on the back of the wagon and each night when they camped, there would be chunks of butter on top of the milk.

The family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 24, 1847. They initially moved into the fort that had been constructed by Brigham Young’s earlier “Pioneer Company” where their next child, Jesse Wentworth Crosby Jr., was born on June 22, 1848. Later in 1848 they moved into a new house on the corner of 200 West and North Temple, which lay in the Salt Lake 17th Ward.  A third son was born, Samuel Obed Crosby just a year later, on August 29.

During the April General Conference in Salt Lake, Elder Crosby wrote that he had a “presentiment” that he would be called on a mission.  Knowing how hard he had worked and how difficult it would be on his small family if he were called on a mission, he avoided attending the sessions, “thinking that if I were not seen, I should, perhaps, not be remembered,” but his tactic failed and he was called anyway to go on a mission to England with eight other men.  They left Salt Lake on April 19, 1850.

According to the USGenWeb Census Project, the “1850” territorial census was actually started in April 1851, and this is borne out in the information given on the Crosby family.  Hannah is listed alone, as Jesse had left on his mission.  The three children are then listed, along with 26 year-old “Susan E. Angel”. [19]  This was Susan Eliza Savage, Hannah’s dear friend whom she had met in Lowell 6 or 7 years earlier as a fellow Mormon “mill girl”, and who had just married Salt Lake Temple architect Truman O. Angell as his first plural wife on April 19, 1851.  “Eliza” Savage had joined Samuel Brannan on the Brooklyn’s journey to San Francisco, where Brannan seduced by her into extra-marital intercourse, and then she had joined the “gold train” from California to Utah in 1849 to escape from Brannan.  (See Zelnora Snow’s biography for further details on Brannan and Savage.)  Why Susan Eliza Savage Angell was living in the Crosby household just days after her sealing to the Mormon architect is not known.  Likely with Jesse Crosby gone on a mission, Hannah needed the extra help to keep the Crosby farm functioning in exchange for her room and board, thus freeing Truman Angell to concentrate on temple construction, rather than having to come up with a home for his new second wife.

In the fall of 1852, Elder Crosby, still on a mission, returned to New Brunswick, Canada and visited the Baldwin and Shelton families.  While there, Crosby converted and baptized two of Hannah’s sisters, Thankful Amelia Baldwin Bancroft and Sarah Baldwin Shaw.  He apparently convinced Ann Shelton and most of her siblings to migrate to Utah. They were members of the James Brown pioneer company, which arrived in Salt Lake City from September 27 to October 3, 1854.  The journey to Utah was not without its price, though.  First, Ann’s 16 year-old sister, Louise Shelton, died in St. Louis, Missouri, in June.  Then Ann’s sister-in-law, Rebecca, died on the journey from cholera, near Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  The new widower Charles Shelton then lost four young sons and his only daughter.  Tragically only Charles and his eldest child, 9 year-old James Alfred (or Albert) Shelton, survived the journey. 

Hannah Baldwin Crosby, now seven months pregnant with her fourth child, apparently was aware of the impending arrival of the Sheltons and when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley at last, she went to where they were camped that first day and invited them to come stay at the Crosby home.  Jesse was away working up in the canyons at the time, making Hannah’s hospitality even more impressive and compassionate.  Not only were they strangers to Hannah, but Ann Shelton was also clearly a rival for Jesse’s heart.  After a few days of getting cleaned up and making themselves as presentable as possible, the Shelton’s drove up to the Crosby home, to find that the very pregnant Hannah had cleared out “her two best rooms” for the exhausted immigrants who had lost so much along the way.  Remarkably, just one month later, Ann Shelton and Jesse W. Crosby finally solemnized their long-standing love affair and were polygamously sealed together, most likely in the new Endowment House in Salt Lake, on November 12, 1854.

During the Utah War, as citizens of Salt Lake moved en masse southwards (partly out of fear, partly as propaganda illustrating the depths of anti-Mormon persecution), the two sister-wives Hannah and Ann Crosby, with Hannah’s children, including newborn Joseph Crosby, moved to Ann’s sister-in-law’s home, Eliza Shelton Keeler, in Spanish Fork.  Upon arrival, however, they discovered there was no room there, and apparently they simply camped outside the house for the duration of the “war”.  They then returned to their home in Salt Lake.  Hannah there gave birth to a third daughter, Mary Elizabeth (named for her mother, older sister, and younger half-sister) although the little girl only survived fourteen months.

Ann Shelton Crosby ran a school for the children of the Salt Lake 17th Ward but bore no children herself, and died in Panguitch, Utah some six years after her long-awaited marriage to Elder Crosby.  Both Ann Shelton Crosby and Hannah’s infant daughter, Mary Elizabeth Crosby, were buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.  Unfortunately it was discovered in January 1862 (in the wake of the tragic killings of Lot Huntington and his associates by Porter Rockwell) that the infamous gravedigger, Jean Baptiste, had stolen their burial clothing.  The burial clothing of some 300 men, women and children was put on display at the county courthouse and people were asked to come and identify which clothing belonged to their deceased family members.  Although Brigham Young made a doctrinal statement to the effect that it was not necessary for the bodies to be exhumed and re-clothed in the special temple clothing, [20] Hannah still felt compelled to do so, and had the corpses of her daughter Mary Elizabeth and her sister-wife Ann Crosby dug up, re-clothed, and reburied. In the meantime, Elder Jesse Crosby had left to help settle St. George, in southern Utah a month earlier.  Brigham Young had commanded the southern-bound settlers to sell all their properties in Salt Lake to avoid being tempted to quite their colonization “missions” early and return to Salt Lake.  Jesse sold some of his property to his brother-in-law Lorenzo Brown.  Family tradition says that he also sold the rest to Brigham Young “for a very small sum,” and the family “had hard feelings regarding this for many years” afterwards, feeling that Brigham Young may have taken advantage of the situation.

Besides helping to colonize the St. George area, Jesse W. Crosby was one of the seven expeditionists under the direction of Erastus Snow who went to explore possible navigation sites on the Colorado River in April 1867, with other notable Mormon frontiersmen, Jacob Hamblin and Ira Hatch. [21]

Later that year Elder Crosby was called to serve another mission, this time to the Southern States Mission, on October 8, 1867; also called to the same mission were his two sons, Jesse W. Crosby Jr., and George H. Crosby.  The devastation in the south in the aftermath of the Civil War made Elder Crosby’s mission particularly difficult.  In a letter he wrote for the Deseret Evening News in April 1868 from Alabama, he described, in eschatological terms, the “feverish” despair of the people “both colored and white” who could not “see the Kingdom of God and the rising glory of Zion, yet all can see that distress of nations is at hand, and men’s hearts are failing them for fear looking after those things that are coming on the earth.”  Crosby was also hearing rumors of the birth of hate groups like the Klu Klux Klan:  “Secret organizations are said to exist in the neighboring cities, holding their meetings in the grave yards and appearing in winding sheets now and then.” [22]  Despite all the post-bellum social upheaval, “few believe the testimonies of himself and the brethren traveling in those regions” as reported in another letter Crosby wrote to Lorenzo Snow in December 1868. [23]

Having experienced boarding houses in Lowell, Hannah turned her home in St. George into a boarding house, for visitors and construction workers building the nearby temple, when it’s construction commended in St. George in 1871.  Using her skills learned in the cotton mills of Lowell, she also spun silk and made her a new temple dress from her own silk, to be used in the newly finished St. George Temple.

In 1873, Hannah Elida Crosby returned to Lowell to visit with her half-sisters, their families, and her old friends still there.  Perhaps her parents, Nathan and Mary Elizabeth Hanson Leavitt, had also been able to visit Hannah in Lowell from Clinton, Maine, where they had remained while the rest of the family dispersed throughout the country.  Hannah’s mother died in Clinton in 1880 and her step-father, who suffered from “paralysis” as early as 1880, died there in 1889. [24]

After her return from Lowell, in December 1873 Apostle Joseph A. Young (eldest son of Brigham Young) organized the United Order [25] in Panguitch, Utah and Jesse W. Crosby was chosen to be one of the eleven board members.  However after less than two years, the Order in that area was terminated on March 1, 1875 because of poor leadership on behalf of its President, Bishop George W. Sevy (who presided over the United Order “without doing a day's labor”) and because of the “many contentions” between Jesse Crosby and fellow board member Ira B. Elmer.  As the Board Secretary, William Decatur Kartchner, reported in his memoirs, the two men “abused each other and almost came to blows many times.” [26]

When the St. George Temple was nearing completion in January 1877, Hannah and Jesse Crosby were called to be temple workers, assisting other people to pass through the temple ordinances first for themselves and afterwards for dead ancestors.  Although Jesse performed this duty for five years, Hannah “continued in her calling the remainder of her life”. [27]

According to family history, Jesse Crosby was asked by church leaders to assist financially a German convert named Minnie Bauer Karl and her two children (or possibly siblings?), who had migrated to Utah in 1881. [28] Around the fall of 1882, 62 year-old Jesse Crosby married the 38 year-old convert as his third wife, “at the encouragement of church leaders.”  However the marriage caused a lot of friction in the Crosby family.  Jesse and Hannah’s grandson, Samuel Wallace Crosby, reported, “many of Jesse’s grown children felt that he was too old to take on the responsibility of a new young family and unfortunately they showed their feeling toward the new wife.”  Hannah however allowed the marriage only if Jesse built a separate home for the other woman.  Fearful of federal law now prohibiting polygamy Jesse and Minnie Karl Crosby soon moved to the new Mormon colony of Overton, Nevada on the Muddy River, to set up another farm and family, leaving Hannah alone to run the family household with her younger children and her boardinghouse business, not to mention to continue spending volunteer time as a temple worker.  Jesse and Minnie had two children, Mary in 1884 and Lawrence Nephi Crosby in 1886.

Hannah Baldwin Crosby also became actively involved in the LDS Relief Society in her later years, just as Zelnora Snow Glover did (see her biography below).  The St. George Relief Society was organized in 1886, and 42 years after serving as a committee member in the Lowell Benevolent Sewing Society, Hannah Crosby was called as a counselor to Anna Ivins, the very first President of the St. George Fourth Ward Relief Society.  According to Jeffrey E. Crosby’s family history, “Hannah served in this calling for many years and later served as President.” [29]

Finding the heat and other conditions in Overton unbearable, Elder Crosby, about to turn 73, took his little boy Nephi on a trip to examine Tropic, Utah “as a possible community where he could relocate.”  As the Deseret Evening News reported:

In the latter part of May [1893], Elder Crosby, accompanied by a seven-year-old son, started from the Muddy for the little settlement of Tropic, near Panguitch, where he thought of making his home. He thought he knew his way well in the part of the country where he was traveling, he got lost on the desert, and with his little boy wandered about for three or four days. He at last came across the grade for the Union Pacific track, and by that means found his way to Desert Springs, from where he came on to Panguitch . . .

After a night's rest he went to the house of his son Samuel, and there complained of a pain in his head and a feeling of paralysis in his tongue. In a few hours he became seriously ill and next morning was completely stricken down by paralysis, being being [sic] speechless and unable to move any portion of his body except the left arm. In this condition he remained for eleven days, until released by death. [30]

Although word was sent to his two families in St. George and Overton, neither wife was able to get to Panguitch in time to attend his burial services.  Both women continued living in their respective towns, Minnie Karl Crosby dying in Overton in October 1906 from an “abses in the side”. [31]

In 1906, Hannah wrote a letter to her daughter-in-law Adelia Bunker Crosby, the recent widow of Hannah’s son Samuel Obed Crosby, regarding Adelia’s third son, Elder John Silas Crosby, who was on a mission in New England.  She told Adelia that she hoped John “will gow to Lowell Mass before he comes home and visit my sisters.”  These were her half-sisters still living in Lowell and environs, Mary E. Leavitt Reed (Lowell), Dorcas Ellen Leavitt Flanders (Lowell), Jane Leavitt Farmer (Billerica), and Rachel Wells Leavitt Reed.  Hannah included their names and addresses in the letter, to be forwarded to her grandson, so he could meet his great aunts, one of whom, Mary E. Reed, was still faithful to the LDS religion.  Hannah also revealed that another grandson, Elder Lawrence Snow, also was a mission in Vermont and hoped that the two missionary cousins would meet in Lowell.  Hannah then mentioned that she had “a neace thear [in Lowell], that I wish was with you.”  This was Elizabeth “Lizzie” Matilda Lougee, daughter of her ex-Mormon half-sister Sarah Leavitt Lougee.  As noted above, Lizze Lougee had worked for many years as the accountant for the family’s boardinghouse they ran in Lowell.  Hannah felt that her niece Lizze Lougee should move to Utah to help Adelia Bunker Crosby, who ran a hotel in Panguitch, Utah and was now managing her dead husband’s furniture store.  Hannah informed Adelia “She was rased in abordin house cept[kept] hir mothers boocks and seteld with the borders every month[;] she is alone in this world and feels sad.  Hir mother, my [half-]sister Sarah is dead”.  Sarah Leavitt Lougee had died in Lowell on May 29, 1899, leaving her 61 year-old unmarried daughter Lizzie alone.  Hannah felt “She cold [could] tend the store for and help you in meny ways to liten your load.”

Hannah also reminded Adelia in this letter that she had known Lizzie’s father, Darius Lougee, who had lived for many years in the same southern Utah town as Hannah, St. George.  Hannah then passed on an apocryphal story about Lizzie’s father: “Bro Lougee dide here.” This is incorrect.  Hannah’s half-brother-in-law did not die “here” in St. George.  Yet both the Lougee and Crosby family records indicate that Darius Lougee died in St. George, Utah on December 26, 1893, and Hannah here apparently believed the same thing.  Darius Lougee in fact became mentally disabled in the 1890s and left his family and St. George (probably in 1893, as reflected in his apocryphal death date). He returned to Lowell, Massachusetts in the late 1890s. (Which came first, his mental instability or his departure from Utah, is unknown.)  He may have returned to his first wife, Sarah Leavitt Lougee, who died in Lowell on May 29, 1899. By 1900 Darius was institutionalized at the Tewksbury (Mass.) State Hospital (formerly the Tewksbury State Almshouse), and is listed there in the 1900 Federal Census (seven years after his alleged death in Utah).  The hospital’s death records indicate he was treated at the institution for “senility,” died there on November 26, 1901 at 85 years of age, and was buried in the Pines Cemetery, the “potter’s field” attached to the hospital. [32]

The mother of nine children, Hannah has buried two of them as children.  Now as a grandmother, she witnessed the deaths of three of her adult children as well:  Joseph Crosby in 1896, Samuel Obed Crosby in 1903, and Thankful Amelia Crosby ____ in 1905.

Hannah Elida Baldwin Crosby died at home on May 2, 1907 in St. George, Utah.  As Hannah’s daughter Elida wrote to her sister-in-law, Adelia,

Her heart was weak the Dr has been giving her heart medicine all winter. She was taken with a chill & a sore throat . . . & she got weaker each day. . . . her right arm swelled in the elbow & caused her much pain & the pain went right accross her brest to her heart. she could not take any thing to eat . . . she did not seem to suffer much & when she went it was just like going to sleep. even her hands dident move. [33]

As reported in the Crosby family history, Hannah’s funeral was held in the St. George Tabernacle and the speakers all noted Hannah’s “nobility of character, as manifested in her life and labors.” [34]



1. She is often confused with Sarah Ann Leavitt, born in 1817 in New Hampshire to Nathaniel and Nancy Colby Leavitt; married Benjamin Franklin Eastman in 1837 and died in 1857.

2. Dorcas Ellen Leavitt was named after her and Hannah Baldwin’s maternal grandmother, Dorcas Milliken (Hanson), the great aunt of Arthur Milliken, who was married to Joseph Smith’s sister, Lucy, making Hannah Baldwin and Arthur and Lucy Smith Milliken second cousins.

3. Footnote deleted and added to #6.

4. Lowell Institute for Savings Bank Records, 1841-1842, http://library.uml.edu/clh/LIS/LIS41-42.htm (accessed September 29, 2007).

5. Jeffrey Crosby email to Connell O’Donovan, October 11, 2007.

6. Darius Lougee had previously been married to Jane Davis or Davies (born January 14, 1816, probably in Lowell). Jane worked in the Lowell mills beginning in 1832, at the age of 16, first as a “drawer” then a spinner and weaver.  She and Darius Lougee married on November 24, 1834 and they had a son, William Lougee, born February 27, 1842.  Jane Lougee died within a month after childbirth on April 15, 1842 and was buried two days later by St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Lowell.  Little William Lougee then died from diarrhea on September 4, 1842 and was buried next to his mother.  One family tradition holds that Darius was then baptized LDS six days later, September 10, 1842, in Lowell.  Nine months later, he married Hannah’s half-sister. For verification that Lougee was Lowell Branch President, see William I. Appleby Journal, May 19, 1847, LDS Archives, photocopy in my possession.

7. Hannah Elida Baldwin Crosby to Hannah Adelia Bunker Crosby, July 29, 1906, p. 2, as quoted in Samuel

8. Frederick J. Pack, “Life of John Pack by Frederick J. Pack (son through Mary Jane Walker),” dated October 22, 1937, p. 12; this is apparently a typescript of “Temple Record and Life of John Pack,” on microfilm at the Family History Library; copy in my possession.

9. Brigham Young also had John Pack buy the Loomis Tavern “to prevent the rendevousing [sic] there of the enemies of the Church.”  Frederick Pack, “Life of John Pack,” p. 13.  Note also that the University of Deseret, “the first university west of the Mississippi River” (now the University of Utah – my alma mater), was founded in the home of John Pack in Salt Lake on November 11, 1850.

10. “History of Ruth Mosher Pack” by unidentified daughter (probably Yoma Zenith Pack Mitchell, 1860-1945), pp. 3-4.  Yoma’s daughter, Lilith Mitchell Snapp Hobbs (1883-1978) gave a copy of it to Ruth’s great-granddaughter, MaDonna Nelson Lemon (1917-1994), in 1946.  MaDonna Lemon retyped it in June 1975; copy from Jeffrey Crosby in my possession.

11. “History of Ruth Mosher Pack”, p. 4.

12. http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JWCrosby.html and http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/BBrown.html (accessed September 28, 2007).

13. Elder Crosby likely had found out about plural wifery by this time and therefore had no compunction in being simultaneously engaged to multiple women.

14. The History and Journal of Jesse W. Crosby, December 1, 1844, photocopy in my possession; it is now also online at http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JWCrosby.html (accessed December 20, 2007).

15. The History and Journal of Jesse W. Crosby.

16. The History and Journal of Jesse W. Crosby.  The group must have divided at some point, for Elder George B. Wallace arrived in Nauvoo April 8, 1845, per his online journal http://www.usgennet.org/usa/nh/town/epsom/history/wallace.htm - accessed December 20, 2007).

17. Some family records give this date while others give the date of marriage as November 23, 1845.

18. Harriet Silver Dunn to Arad Silver, June 25, [1846], Vault MSS 619; Simeon Dunn and Harriett Silver Dunn Letters; 19th & 20th Century Western & Mormon Americana; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

19. 1850 Federal Census of Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, p. 174.

20. G. D. Watt, “Remarks by President Brigham Young,” Deseret Weekly News, March 3, 1862, p. 1.

21. “Explorations of the Colorado,” Deseret Weekly News, July 3, 1867, p. 1.

22. Deseret Evening News, April 1867, p. __

23. Deseret Evening News, December 1868, p. __

24. The 1880 Federal Census of Clinton, Maine, p. 14 reports that the widowed Nathan “Levitt” was a retired farmer suffering from paralysis, living with his son William Hanson Leavitt and family.

25. A form of Mormon communalism, in which members shared all things in common, attempted at various times with no substantial success.  From 1874 to 1893, some 200 Mormon communities were organized under the United Order in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico, the vast majority in 1874 and 1875.  As Dwight Israelsen found, “In spite of a few notable success, the usual united order experience was one of mounting frustration followed by dissolution and abandonment.”  See L. Dwight Israelsen, “Economic Analysis of the United Order,” BYU Studies 18, no. 4 (1978), p. 4.  Also note that while Joseph Angell Young had been ordained an apostle by his father in 1864, he was never a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and he died in 1875.

26. http://kartchner.surnames.com/histories/william_decatur_karchner_memoirs.htm

27. “Jesse Wentworth Crosby,” part six, http://www.angelfire.com/ut/jcrosby/history/jesse/jesse6.html (accessed October 21, 2007).

28. “Minnie Crosby” in 1900 Federal Census of Overton, Lincoln, Nevada, p. 2 and “Alvin Karl” in 1900 Federal Census of Altoona, Blair, Pennsylvania, p. 24.

29. “Jesse Wentworth Crosby,” part six, http://www.angelfire.com/ut/jcrosby/history/jesse/jesse6.html (accessed October 21, 2007).

30. “Death of Jesse W. Crosby,” Deseret Weekly News, July 1, 1893, p. 30.

31. Hannah Baldwin Crosby to Adelia Bunker Crosby, November 11, 1906, copy in my possession.

32. 1900 Federal Census of Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, p. 25; http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~tewksburyhospital/vitalsL.html

33. Elida Ann Crosby Snow to Adelia Bunker Crosby, May ___ 1907.

34. Jeffrey E. Crosby, “Jesse Wentworth Crosby,” part 7, http://www.angelfire.com/ut/jcrosby/history/jesse/jesse7.html (accessed October 21, 2007).

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