My Pioneers: The Mormon Pioneer Ancestors of Suzanne Scott Jennings
Wealthy Eddy Shumway Pratt Patten
Both her mother’s maiden name and her father’s last name was Eddy because they were first cousins. She was descended from the earliest Pilgrims who came to America in search of religious freedom. The Pilgrims on the Mayflower landed at Plymouth in 1620.
Wealthy Eddy was born in Maine in 1810. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at age 20 in 1830, against her parent’s violent objections. She was a participant in most of the major events in the early days of the Church: Kirkland, Missouri, Nauvoo, the prophet’s murder, Winter Quarters, crossing the plains, and the Mountain Meadow Massacre.
After she ran away from home to join the Church, she married Stephen Billings Shumway in January, 1831. He was from Massachusetts and was a member of the Church. They had three children: Clarissa who died as a baby, Ammi Warren, and Mary Amanda, who is our ancestor.
Wealthy and Stephen attended the Kirkland Temple sometime between 1836–38. They were probably part of the large 1838 exodus of Saints from Kirkland who fled toward the other gathering place of the Saints, Jackson County, Missouri. They headed toward the Haun’s Mill Settlement with a group of saints, but due to the birth of Mary Amanda on October 18,1838, they had to stop over at Randolph. Thus, they narrowly avoided the Haun’s Mill Massacre by a segment of the Missouri Militia on October 30, 1838.
After the Missouri persecutions, including the imprisonment of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail the Saints were called to abandon the Missouri settlements and gather at Nauvoo. For most of the Missouri saints, the forced and unplanned exodus to Nauvoo was a miserable experience.
In Nauvoo Wealthy and Stephen became members of the Nauvoo Third Ward, but Stephen died of appendicitis in 1839 or 1840 when she was about 30 years old. She was now a widow with two small children.
In March 1941 she married William Dickinson Pratt, the older brother of Parley and Orson Pratt. He had lost his first wife and child. He, also, was a member of the Nauvoo Third Ward. William Dickinson Pratt and Wealthy had four children: Martha who died at age five, William Jared who lived to old age, Stephen who died at five months old, and Mirza Lyona who died at 1½ years.
Her marriage to William Pratt put her in the circles of the leaders of the Church and when the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were killed on June 27, 1844, she helped sew the burial clothing for them.
After the Prophet’s death, the saints worked furiously to finish the temple sufficiently to receive their endowments. At the same time the saints were finishing the temple, they began preparing to evacuate Nauvoo. Church leaders signed a contract with the mob that they would leave Nauvoo in the spring of 1846, and at the last conference held in Nauvoo in November 1845 the saints unanimously voted to leave. Anticipating a spring exodus, Nauvoo became a builder’s workshop and the people were organized into twenty-five traveling companies. Brigham Young, senior apostle and acting president of the Church, dedicated the attic story of the temple on Sunday, November 30, 1845 so the saints could begin receiving their endowments. The temple was kept open night and day to administer the ordinances. Wealthy and William Pratt received their endowments in 1845. Those blessings made the 1,300 mile westward trek, which seemed like walking into the jaws of death, possible.
Although the majority of the Saints left Nauvoo in three main exoduses during 1846, many of the Mormon women who were expecting a baby chose to stay behind in Nauvoo and take their chances with mob violence, rather than risk the exposure and hardship of giving birth in the wilderness. Wealthy may have been one of those women, because she stayed in Nauvoo and gave birth to Stephen Pratt in January 1847 and Mirza Pratt in 1847–48.
At the time of the first exodus from Nauvoo, on February 9, 1846 Apostle Parley P. Pratt and his four wives and their children left Nauvoo in four wagons. Three teamsters helped drive those wagons to Council Bluffs, Iowa and helped establish their Winter Quarters in July of that year. William Pratt was one of those teamsters. He returned to Nauvoo in October of that year on a quick trip to England with Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor on Church business, but they were back by late spring of 1847. Parley and John Taylor went on West as leaders of the Main Company of pioneers. William, obviously, returned to Nauvoo to see her as Mirza was born later, but then he disappeared out of her story. Perhaps he was a teamster for a wagon train or was fulfilling other Church business.
Sometime between late 1847 and the spring of 1848, she and her 4–5 children were driven from Nauvoo by anti-Mormon mobs, and they crossed Iowa to Winter Quarters. She was sealed in Winter Quarters, Nebraska on April 30, 1848 to Stephen Billings Shumway, after his death.
She crossed the plains, without a husband, in a covered wagon with her young children sometime between 1848–1852. Her oldest son Ammi was age 15–20, Mary Amanda was age 9–14, and William Jared was age 4–8, Mirza was one years old or had already died by the time they crossed from Winter Quarter to Salt Lake. When they arrived in Utah, they went to Payson where they settled.
Obviously, she and William Pratt divorced, because some years later in 1854 she married William Cornwell (Cornwall) Patten at Payson when she was 44 years old. William had also been a member of the Nauvoo Third War, but had lost his wife and daughter. Wealthy and William had one child: Sarah Wealthy Patten.
William Cornwell Patten died in 1883, and she was left to fend for herself again. Her children Ammi Shumway and Mary Amanda Shumway Cherry both passed away before she did, and so Wealthy helped raise their children. She was left with her son William Jared Pratt and daughter Sarah Wealthy Patten at her death at age 82 in 1892 in Parker, Fremont County, Idaho. She is buried there.
A Short History of the Life of Wealthy Eddy,
born March 24, 1805
by Susannah J. Shumway
She was one out of a family of ten (10) children. Her parents were comfortably fixed. They had a large tract of land and a large house with many rooms. They had a work room for all their extra work with a large fireplace, to make it nice and warm. There they had a loom, a spinning wheel, reel, and cards for carding rolls and batts. They wove their own cloth. Lindsey for dresses, and all other clothing, also blankets and shawls. Jeans was wove for making mens clothes, suits and overcoats. They did their own spinning and coloring of yarns, both wool and cotton. They used a dye called Madder. It was used to color red. Logwood for black. Indigo and chamber lye to color all shades of blue. Green from peach leaves and yellow from the rabbit brush blossoms. They had a clay that was of a pink color and they put water over it and let it stand until it was the right shade and then they colored pink.
They learned to sew, knit, darn, mend, and keep house. They also learned to cook good meals. They had cows, pigs, horses, and chickens. They also had enough sheep for the family use. They made their own butter and cheese. They had Maple sugar trees on their land and when the sap was just right they put spouts in the tree trunks and caught the sap in buckets and it was then boiled till it was done just right. Some was used for syrup. Some was crystallized for maple sugar.
They were an industrious family. They used a fire place with reflectors for cooking . It had large iron hooks to hang kettles on to boil and cook meats and vegetables. They made their own candles out of beef tallow. The tallow would run into molds that was threaded with candle wick. They would make enough to last a year. Soap was made from fats and grease from the animals. Lye was made by putting ashes in a large barrel and letting it stand. It was also used to soften water for washing.
They had sports of different kinds, such as candy pulling. Corn parching and popping. They would go to neighbors and have parties and games such as was played in those times. They had quilting bees and corn husking as well as carpet rug bees.
I do not know what religion they belonged to but they spoke a lot about the Quakers. Probably they were of that faith. But we do not know for sure. They were very prejudicial towards the Mormons. When their daughter, Wealthy Eddy, became interested in the Mormon religion they were not pleased. They did not want her to pay any attention to their faith but she went to several of their meetings. Her father became so angry that he locked her up in a room and kept her prisoner. She finally escaped and went to the Missouri river and got some one to row her over. Her father discovered her escape. He and her brothers rushed after her. When they saw her in the boat they took shots at her but she escaped unharmed. She never went back home. This story is told and written by one of her descendants.
Wealthy Eddy later fell in love and married Stephan Billings Shumway, who was born July 20, 1805 at Orange Tennessee. They were married January 6, 1831 in Illinois. They started a home of their own in Orange Tennessee. They had land and a comfortable home. Their first child, Claresa Shumway, was born November 30, 1831. She died , no date. In the spring of 1832 they joined the Mormon church. Their second child, a son, was born December 16, 1832 Orange . He was named Ammi Warren Shumway. Their third child a daughter, Mary Amanda Shumway, was born in Missouri on October 18, 1838. Her husband Stephan Billings Shumway died with appendicitis, leaving her a widow with two children.
In the year 1841 she married William Jared Pratt in Nauvoo. To that union was born three children. The first child, a daughter, was named Martha Mirinda Pratt. She was born December 30, 1842 at Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She died no date. The second child was a son, Stephen Pratt, born January 30, 1847. He also died, no date.
Wealthy Eddy was left alone again. The saints were being driven from place to place by mobs and threats. She had a hard time along with all the rest of the Saints. When her son, Ammie Warren, was about fifteen(15) years of age they decided to cross the plains with some of the saints. They wanted to get away from the trouble they were going through. They wanted to go west to Utah, where they would feel safe and be able to worship God unmolested. They fitted up a wagon as best as they could. They hitched a horse and a cow together, using harness that was made of different pieces of what they could get. They crossed the plains and settled in Payson, Utah.
In Payson she met and married William Cornwell Patten in 1854. He was a widower with two daughters. She was a good mother and wife. The girls, Hannah and Matilda loved her as much as if she had been their own Mother. That love continued till the day of their deaths. She had one child by this marriage, a daughter named Sarah Wealthy Patten , born November 3, 1857 at Payson Utah.
She was left a widow again, and struggled along with her family as best as she could. She said that they always had something to eat and never went hungry. They always had something to wear and a place to shelter them even if it wasn’t the nicest. She told of going to church in a nice black silk dress and being bare foot because her shoes were worn out. Said that when she got to the church she took little steps to hide her feet. They wore long full skirts to the ankles. She said she felt like she must go to church and thank God that they were in a place where they could worship their God as they wanted, without being molested by mobs. She made an apron out of different pieces that she happened to have. They called it Jacobs coat. It was made what she called a sack apron, but she was proud to have that good. She always said where there is a will there will be a way.
Wealthy Eddy had learned the tailor trade and also how to make fancy shoes. She was a good seamstress and helped make the burial clothes for the Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. She told how badly the people felt about their deaths and that they were left with out a leader.
In a short time in an afternoon meeting on August 8,1844 there was a special meeting to choose a leader to take the Prophets place. She said Brigham Young rose and spoke and he was transfigured with the countenance and voice of Joseph Smith. That all the people were astonished at what they saw and heard. There was a vote and every hand was raised in favor of Brigham with not one contrary vote. She said “I was at that meeting and what I saw and heard is true and he proved to be a good leader”.
She told about being in a small company of saints that was in route to Hauns Mill. She was taken sick and gave birth to a child in October 1838. She escaped the terrible tragedy that happened at the Hauns Mill massacre. She felt that their lives had been spared.
On one occasion when she was a small girl, they were on a boat for a few days and she went to the edge of the boat and lay flat on the bottom looking into the water and a large sea monster jumped and almost grabbed her. She gave a scream and the sailors and men came with spears and they told her not to go near the edge again for she might be eaten by a whale or shark.
She lived in Payson at the time of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. The man that took the message to President Young stopped at their home and got a black horse that belonged to Ammi Warren Shumway to ride into Salt Lake City with the message. He left the other horse to be cared for till he got back. When he got back to change horses again he said that Brigham Young told him to go back and not to shed blood and hurry and not spare horse flesh. He wouldn’t stop to eat but she fixed a lunch and he took it as he was on his way. But when he got back the battle was over, much against President Brigham Young’s wishes.
After her son, Ammi Warren, was married to Mary Leon Lyon , they lived in Salt Lake City Utah. When their second child was 2 or 3 weeks old his wife died. Leaving 2 little children, a girl 3 and a little baby boy 2 or 3 weeks old. The two grand mothers each took one child. Janet Thompson Lyon took the little girl, Mary Leon Shumway. The other grand mother, Wealthy Eddy, took the baby boy, Ammi Alonze Shumway. The father went to hauling freight from Salt Lake to Montana. He never returned. His wagon was found burned and recognized by brands on the irons. It was supposed he was killed. The freight and horses were taken. The mystery of his disappearance has never been learned. She took care of the little boy and he made his home with her until he was married to Susannah J. Jensen. When her daughter Mary Amanda died and left a large family she took a little girl, 7 years old, whose name was Margaret Cherry. She made her home with her Grandmother and the rest of the family of children made her home their headquarters when out of work.
One incident of her life was a sad one. Her little girl, Claresa, was small. They were driven from their home and the mob gave them just so long to get a boat to be taken across the river. They took a few things tied in a small bundle. That night the small girl died from exposure. She said the mob had some kind hearted men that let them come back and bury their dead. They buried her under a tree in the orchard. After they laid her to rest and covered the grave she said it seemed like her heart would break. She sat down on the door step and wept.
One of the mob, who was tender hearted took a pan and went and got some peaches from her own orchard and put them in her lap. He told her not to feel too bad, but said we must get back to the boat. We crossed the river and went back to camp. She said she felt sorry for them because they were under orders and had to obey.
Once they were going some where in a wagon and when they camped for the night she learned that her favorite sister lived a few miles away. So she got on a horse and rode up to the place. Her sister didn’t know her but when she told her who she was, oh how glad they were. They visited that night and she never saw any of her people again.
She did work in the Logan Temple. She went through the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. She also attended the Nauvoo and Kirtland Temples as well as the Salt Lake Temple.
She moved several times. Sometimes for safety, sometimes to better their conditions, and sometimes they were called to build up new towns as was the custom in those days. Finally she settled in Oxford Idaho.
When her daughter Wealthy and son William were married she lived close to her children. When her grandson Ammi Alonzo was married she lived with her children. About the year 1889 or 1890 they all moved to the Snake River Valley and settled there. She spent most of her time at her daughter, Wealthy’s, home. She stayed with Ammi Alonzo the winter before she died and we surely enjoyed having her. She would sit and tell of her experiences day after day.
One day she told me of an experience that I have never forgotten. She said they had been camping, when they had to move for safety, while the cabins and log rooms were being built. She and her son cleared a place to build a log room. She went and sewed and helped families so they would help put up logs for her. She said when the logs were up and the dirt roof put on she moved in with out a door or window. It began to storm and so cloudy that you could not see the stars nor the moon. They had the few house hold things moved and the children put to bed. They had to go back to help get the cows and calves. They had made a pole corral by tying poles from one tree to another, so they could put the calves in it during the day and the cows at night. The cows had never been over the road before. It was very dark and stormy , but they needed the milk. She said as they were going along she felt the presence of some one and she said a faint voice said I will often be with you and help you. Her son spoke and said Mother did you hear some one speak. She didn’t want to frighten the boy, so she said maybe you imagined it. She felt the presence so strong that she put out her hand to feel but she couldn’t feel nor see any one. But she felt her husband’s spirit was with them. The cows went right along with out being drove and the calves went in to the corral just like they were being drove in and with out any trouble.
One day I asked her, after she had been talking and telling of their nice home that she had left and other experiences of her life, if she ever felt sorry that she had left it all. She looked up and said no the Gospel is more to me than all the riches in the world. She meant every word that she said.
She was living with her daughter, Sarah Wealthy Brown, when she died on July 18, 1892 at Eagen, Idaho. She died with dropsy and was buried in the Parker Cemetery.
I haven’t been able to give all the years and dates of this history, but I wrote it as I have gathered it and as I remember it as she related it to me time and again. I have tried to be truthful in these statements. If I have failed it is a mistake and not intentional.
Written by Susannah J. Shumway Fairview, Wyoming
“A Short History of the Life of Wealthy Eddy, born March 24, 1805,” Susannah J. Shumway—a great granddaughter, Fairview, Wyoming.
A short synopsis with stories of the life of Wealthy Eddy. Susannah J. Shumway a great grand-daughter had the privilege of sitting at her knee and listen to Wealthy tell about her life. Most of the personal details of her story come from this source.
Journey to Zion, Voices From The Mormon Trail, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1997, pp.1–85.
A rich and interesting account of the Mormon Exodus in which William Pratt is specifically mentioned in the diary of George Whitaker: At the time of the first exodus from Nauvoo, on February 9, 1846 Apostle Parley P. Pratt and his four wives and their children left Nauvoo in four wagons. Three teamsters helped drive those wagons to Council Bluffs, Iowa and helped establish the camp that became their Winter Quarters in July of that year. William Pratt was one of those teamsters. Most of the way, the Pratt wagons were several days in front of the main group lead by Brigham Young. Parley selected the site for the Mt. Pisgah settlement in Iowa which they established along their way. It was at Mt. Pisgah that the bretheren decided they were too poorly equipped to cross the plains and the Rocky Mountains that summer, so they decided to go to the Missouri and make a camp in which to prepare to cross in 1847, instead. In October the “brothers Pratt” left with John Taylor for England on Church business.
LDS Infobases, Inc., Early LDS Membership, CD ROM, Provo, Utah, 1996.
Gives vital statistics, church ordinance information, family information, and comments about Wealthy Eddy, Stephen Billings Shumway, William Dickinson Pratt, and William Cornwell (Cornwall) Patten.
Stephen Billing Shumway died of appendicitis in Nauvoo. They were all members of the Nauvoo Third Ward.
William D. Pratt born 1802, older brother of Parley and Orson Pratt, baptized 1831, ordained High Priest, member of Nauvoo Third Ward, William and Wealthy were married by William Nisewager, “William labored with his brother Orson Pratt and traveled through Missouri and Illinois.” William had five wives, sealed to last two, and in 1860 was living in Salt Lake City as a laborer.
LDS Infobases, Inc., LDS Collectors library ’97, CD ROM, Provo, Utah, 1996.
William Pratt accompanied David W. Patten when Patten was sent to Clay county, Missouri, 19 December 1833 bearing dispatches to Church leaders in Missouri. Remained in Missouri until arrival of Zion’s Camp June 1834.
Mormon Genealogies, The Smith, Pratt, Young, and Richards and Allied Families,
Gives ancestors, siblings, wives, and children of William Dickinson Pratt. He had six wives. Seven children are listed but only two lived to maturity.
Wealthy Eddy Pedigree and Three Family Group Records, Family Search: Ancestral File, CD ROM, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Genealogical Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.