Anson Pratt in Nauvoo

By Rick J. Fish

Prepared under the direction of Robert Grow,
President of the Jared Pratt Association

May 1993



Jan 9, Anson Pratt is born to Jared and Charity Pratt in Canaan, Columbia County, New York.  He was their first child.1



It appears that some time during this year or perhaps 1827, Anson marries his first wife, Sarah (Sally) Barber.  They will have four children.2



Some time during this year, Mary Ann Pratt, first child of Anson and Sally Pratt was born in Astoria, Long Island City, Queens County, New York.3



Feb. 3, “At Hurlgate, near the last of March, I baptized and confirmed my oldest brother, Anson Pratt.”4



June 12, Sariah Pratt, second child of Anson and Sally Pratt is born.5



Oct. 22, Jane Elizabeth Pratt, third child of Anson and Sally Pratt is born.6



March 15, Joseph Anson Pratt, fourth child of Anson and Sally Pratt is born in Hamtramck, Wayne County, Michigan.7



Oct. “…we rode to Detroit [Hamtramck, now a suburb of Detroit],8 where I [Parley] found my brother Anson Pratt and family; whom I had not seen for many years, and also my aged father and mother, who were now living with him.  My father was now about seventy years of age, and was on his death bed with a heavy fever.  We tarried with them two weeks; during which I preached in the City hall at Detroit, and superintended some printing and publishing matters.

“While here we sold our horses and carriage, and at length took leave of our kindred and a last farewell of our sick father, and took passage on a steamboat down Lake Erie to Buffalo; distance three hundred miles.

“Previous to our departure from Detroit Brothers O. Pratt and Clark took leave of us, and passed down the lake into Ohio; intending to meet us again at New York.”9

Nov. 5, Jared Pratt dies of a fever at the age of seventy in Hamtramck, Michigan.  “He was buried ‘some three to four miles north or northeast of Detroit.’”10



December, Sometime during this month, Sarah (Sally) Pratt dies.  She was the first wife of Anson Pratt, and mother to his four children.11



Probably some time this year, Anson will marry his second wife, Lucy Ann Ward.  They will not have any children.12

May 29, William writes from Nauvoo, to Parley in Liverpool, England.  William informs Parley that their mother arrived in Nauvoo at William’s home last November.  He also states that their brother Anson wanted to come to Nauvoo, but was too poor.  William thanks Parley for a copy of the Book of Mormon Parley had sent to him, also some issues of the Millennial Star, and lastly for a dress Parley had sent to William’s wife.  William also says he moved from Fulton Co. the middle of August 1840 and that his wife was taken sick the next month [September].  He also explains that he was too sick from September 1840 to Spring 1841 to accompany Parley on his mission to England as Parley had requested.13



Sometime during this year, Anson traveled to Nauvoo and rented a home or cabin on Kimball 71.  Kimball 71 is an undefined area near Park Place (10 blocks directly east of the temple site on the map).  Records for this area are very sparse for the Nauvoo era.  Consequently, the location for Anson’s temporary Nauvoo home is much too vague to pinpoint.

Anson appears to have only lived for a short period of time in Nauvoo during this year.  Had he not been present during tax time, we may never have known he was there in the first place.

The tax records for 1843 show that Anson was not taxed for cattle, watches, land, homes, or any of the normal possessions people were customarily taxed for.  However, the records do show that Anson did have $20 of personal property, and that he was only a tenant.  The tax rolls also indicate that Anson was “removed.”  This could infer that he was only visiting Nauvoo during tax time without plans of settling.  It might also suggest that Anson’s visit to Nauvoo was only to be a brief stay.

I’m of the opinion that Anson was probably only visiting family in Nauvoo, and perhaps investigating the possibility of moving his family here permanently.  It seems that Anson was probably still residing up near Detroit, or on Parley’s farm near Ottawa.14



Oct. 24, “Thursday, 24.—We left Ottoway [sp. Ottawa] and drove forty-three miles to Brother Parley P. Pratt’s farm.  We found his brother, Anson Pratt, and family well: they were glad to see us.”15



Dec. 20, “She [Charity Dickinson Pratt] joined the Church, and received her endowments in Nauvoo, 20 Dec., 1845.”16



Jan. 22, Charity Dickinson Pratt marries her second husband, Cornelius Peter Lott, at Nauvoo.17

Sep. 12-17, During the Battle of Nauvoo, Anson was with William Gheen’s cannon under the command of Captain Hirma Gates.18 On Sept. 12, Anson was involved in some of the heaviest fighting between the defenders of the city and the mobs.  During the fighting, Gheen’s cannon became so heated through use, that it ceased to function.  When this occurred, Anson automatically moved from the artillery to the company of riflemen under the command of Captain Gates.  Anson wrote, “On Saturday the 12th, I was engaged on Gheen’s cannon, and put the two first balls into it that were fired at the mob on that day.  I continued with this gun until it was disabled and then retired to the battery in the Locust Grove and received a slight wound on my hand.  I went over the battle round ten minutes after the mob retreated and saw considerable blood at the end of a brick house where they loaded one of their baggage wagons wither their wounded.  I inquired at the lady of the house how many they loaded up there; she answered eight.”19
Anson remained with the defenders throughout the battle.  During lulls in the fighting, Anson probably attended the prayer circles in the temple held four times daily.  After the surrender on the 17th, he fled across the river with his family and his aged mother, Charity Pratt.20

Sept 18, “During the day brothers Anson and William Pratt, with grandmother Pratt and their families, arrived and took up quarters with us in the tent, for the time being.”21

September, “The sojourn on the bank of the river was only temporary, and all those whose wagons and teams were nearly ready, soon yoked up their teams and started westward.  Of the others, some went down the river to St. Louis, others up the river to Burlington, and intermediate points, and there were some not willing to turn to the right or the left, but wanted someone to haul them a few miles out in the country where they could get work and obtain means to take them still farther on their westward march.

“Brother Anson Pratt had helped with the distribution of the relief supply, and when the boat returned, he and family took passage for St. Louis.  He hired two skiffs at Montrose to come up for his family, in which they soon embarked and were floating down the river amid waving of handkerchiefs, and good-bys [sp. byes] from those on the shore.  As grandmother Pratt went with them, that took seven from our company, and while we were glad to know they were going to a place of plenty, as well as peace, their going left a lonely feeling in our hearts.”22



Jan. 20, Anson signs a petition along with several hundred other LDS men near Pottawattamie, Iowa, asking the Postmaster General for a post office to be established near their location on the plains.23

April 24, Orson Pratt writes a letter to Parley from Winter Quarters, [Nebraska].  Orson informs Parley that Anson and his family, and their mother Charity are all well and living in Winter Quarters.  Orson also apprises Parley that “Wm. [William] has obtained a bill of divorce from his wife, he is in St. Joseph, Mo.  The last information [which Orson had received was that] he [William] had sold 1 yoke of your [Parley’s] oxen for a shingle machine and of course must be getting rich very fast.”24

Orson gives some insights on the resolution of Parley’s property in Nauvoo.  “The High Council decided that [Ezra] Bickford should give ½ of your [Parley’s] property to Anson [farm near Ottawa?], the other to Mary Ann [Pratt].”25



Feb. 21, Anson’s second wife, Lucy Ann Lord, dies.26

Mar.-Apr., Following the death of Lucy Ann Lord, Anson marries his third wife, Ann Walleigh.  After Anson’s death in May, she will return to Pennsylvania, and give birth to Anson’s posthumous son, John W. Pratt.27

May 20, Charity Pratt died of cholera in St. Joseph, Missouri.28 She died in the home of her son, Anson, “and was buried in a graveyard in that town [St. Joseph], and a tombstone erected to her memory.”29

May 26, Anson died of cholera in St. Joseph, Missouri.  He was buried by his mother’s side with a tombstone over his head.30

Sometime during this year, Mary Ann Pratt, first child of Anson and Sally Pratt dies.31



Jan. 3, John W. Pratt is born to Ann Walleigh in Lionville, Pennsylvania.  John’s father, Anson, had been dead just over seven months.

Apr. 15, Joseph Anson Pratt is baptized by Orson Pratt.32

May 14, Sariah Pratt, second child of Anson and Sally, marries DeWitt Clinton Tyler at Harris Grove, Pottawattamie, County Iowa.  The ceremony was performed by Orson Pratt.



1 “Records of Church Families,” The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, April 1936, 81.

2 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81-2.

3 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.

4 Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Journal History), Feb. 3, 1832.  Also see Elden J. Watson, The Orson Pratt Journals, Salt Lake City: Elden J. Watson, 1975, 12.  “Records of Early Church Families,” April, 1936, 81, says Anson was baptized in March.

5 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.

6 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.

7 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.

8 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81.

9 Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 296-297.

10 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81.

11 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.

12 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.  Coleman, The Pioneer Pratts of Utah, 4, suggests that Lucy and Anson married sometime in 1844.

13 Information supplied by Glenn Rowe.  Also see LDS Church Archives, Parley P. Pratt Collection, Correspondence, 1842-1855, Msd 897 fd. 1.

14 NRI Collection, Tax Records for 1843.

15 DHC, vol. 7, 312.  This is one of two references that we have referring to a farm owned by PPP.  In the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 340-1, he says, “In leaving home at this inclement season (Feb. 14, 1846), I left a good house, lot and out buildings, worth about seven thousand dollars, and several lots and houses of less value, besides a farm in the country worth near two thousand.”  It is unclear whether these references refer to the same farm or two different farms, one in Ottawa and one in the country surrounding Nauvoo.  However, there is no land, tax, or property records in the NRI files regarding any farm owned by PPP in or near Nauvoo.  It is also unclear why PPP owned a farm 45 miles from Ottawa.  A woman by the name of Marlene Ketley from Aurora, Illinois, has been researching an article on the LDS in northern Illinois.  At my request, she offered to send all her information regarding the PPP farm near Ottawa to me.  However, she does not know the exact location of the farm site at this time.  In addition, I have yet to receive the information she promised.

16 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81.

17 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81.

18 The defenders of the city found two old steamboat shafts that had been discarded by the Federal Government several years earlier.  They cut these two shafts in half and plugged one end of each one and made four improvised cannons from them.  They constructed them in the basement of the temple.  Since the defenders had no cannon balls, they employed chains, iron and metal fragments, and about anything else that was small and hard.  In addition, they picked up some of the used cannon balls of the mob and shot those back at them.

19 The Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Journal History], Sept. 30, 1846.

20 Breck England, The Life and Thought of Orson Pratt, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1985, 140-1.

21 Mary Ann Sterns Winter, Journal, 18.

22 Mary Ann Sterns Winter, Journal, 19-20.

23 Journal History, Jan. 20, 1848.

24 Letter from Orson Pratt to Parley P. Pratt, April 24, 1848.  This letter is in the private collection of Robert Grow, Folder 2, Item 2.

25 Ibid.

26 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.  Coleman, The Pioneer Pratts of Utah, 4, says that Lucy became discouraged and left Anson and the step children before 1849.

27 If John W. Pratt went full term, then his mother probably conceived him in very early April 1849.  This would put Anson’s marriage to Ann Walleigh probably in March or very early April. “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.

28 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81-2.

29 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81.

30 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 81-2, 120.

31 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.

32 “Records of Early Church Families,” April 1936, 82.



Return to histories of Anson Pratt