Death of M.A. Pratt.

The death of Sister Mary Ann Pratt occurred at Pleasant Grove, Utah county, on August 24th, at 3:20 a.m.  The deceased was the daughter of Aaron and Susan Frost, and at the time of her decease was aged 82 years, 7 months and 10 days.  She was born at Groton, Vermont, Jan. 14th, 1809.  At the age of three years she, with her father’s family, moved to the State of Maine, embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the year 1835, being baptized by David W. Patten.  She married Nathan Stearns in May 1831, and by him she had one daughter.  Her husband died one year and a half after marriage.  She subsequently moved to Kirtland, Ohio, when she became acquainted with Apostle Parley P. Pratt—he being a widower and on May 9th, 1837, they were married.  She and her husband moved with the Saints to Missouri and here endured many sufferings.  Their first son, Nathan, was born in Caldwell county.  Three months later Mr. Pratt was arrested by an armed mob and taken in prison, his wife meanwhile lying sick of a fever and not able to leave her bed.  After her recovery she visited him in prison, remaining with her children six weeks, in a dreary dungeon.  During this time her daughter Mary Ann accidently had her arm broken by the trap door, and at this supreme moment Sister Pratt, at her husband’s suggestion, took from the jail a manuscript which contained much church history and delivered it to a friend.  The guards had threatened to search any one going out, as they knew brother Pratt was writing, etc., and thus many important items were saved for the church.  The deceased was banished from the State with her helpless children, while her husband was compelled to remain in the dungeon.  She settled at Quincy, Illinois.

On the 4th of July of the next year her husband made his escape from his enemies, and after a perilous journey joined his wife and children at Quincy.  After resting a while they moved to Nauvoo, Hancock County, and took up their abode with the Saints.  In the fall of 1840, Sister Pratt, with her sister Olive, their three children, viz: Mary Ann, Parley P. and Nathan, started for England with Elder Pratt, they being the first women to go to a foreign land as missionaries.  They made Manchester their headquarters, when Brother Pratt established the Millennial Star.

On June 1st, 1841, their daughter Olivia was born.  They remained in England two years and on their return home another daughter was born on board the “Maid of Iowa,” just one week before they landed at Nauvoo.  They named the infant Susan.

After arriving home Brother and Sister Pratt set about building a dwelling—the first home they had ever enjoyed of their own.  Sorrow next visited their household.  Nathan and Susan both died in a short time.  Their next issue was a boy whom they called Moroni L.  Sister Pratt was expelled from the State in the fall of 1846, just after the battle of Nauvoo.  They settled at Winter Quarters—now Florence, Nebraska.  Sister Pratt, with her children, returned from here to the State of Maine to visit her relatives.  She again retraced her steps westward, arriving at Salt Lake City, overland in the fall of 1852.  She took up her abode at Salt Lake City for the winter, moving to Pleasant Grove the next spring, where she has mostly resided since, endearing herself to every one in the circle of her acquaintance.

Sister Pratt has been a zealous and faithful member in the Latter-day work, and has gone to reap the reward of the just.  She leaves three children—Mrs. Oscar Winters, Mrs. B.W. Driggs and Moroni L. Pratt, also a host of relatives and friends, to mourn her death.

B.W. Driggs

Pleasant Grove,
August 24th, 1891.

[Deseret News, Sept. 5, 1891]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]

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