Research Report on Sarah Houston Pratt (Taussig)

by Angie M. Grigg

I am writing this history to complete the one in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers archives, also to correct errors that have been published. Sarah had only two husbands, not three as some writers are alleging.

Sarah Houston was born 3 Aug 1822 in Stark County, Ohio. Her parents were James Houston and Mary Ettleman. James was of Irish descent and Mary of German descent. They were both born in Pennsylvania.

The Houston family joined the Church in Ohio and later went to Nauvoo. It was in Nauvoo on the 15th of October 1845 that Sarah was married to Parley Parker Pratt, an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith married them, for time and all eternity. She was the seventh wife married to Parley in polygamy.

She was a strong and noble character, being large in stature and of a very kindly disposition. She was full of faith and always optimistic.

They were driven from their home in Nauvoo, with the rest of the Saints, and made their way to Winter Quarters, Nebraska. It was here on the 1 Apr 1847 that Sarah gave birth to her first child, Julia Pratt.

They made the journey to Salt Lake City that summer, with Sarah driving the wagon as Parley supervised the large company of Saints. She was in the 1st Hundred with Captain Daniel Spencer, the 1st Fifty with Captain Peregrine Sessions, and the 2nd Ten with John VanCott.

Sarah had a padded box behind the wagon seat for little Julia to play and nap. Little Julia learned to stand before they reached Salt Lake, and one day she reached up and tipped the bucket of milk hanging on a hook over her box. The milk and cream poured over her. She let out a scream, which brought many wagons to a stop. Sarah was trying to clean up the baby when Parley came on his horse. She asked him, “What on earth are we going to do with this bab?” He answered, “Momma, I think we’ll have to give her a licking.”

Sarah and Parley were the parents of three additional children born in Utah. Mormon Pratt, born 8 Jan 1850; Teancum, born 15 Nov 1851; and Sarah Elizabeth, born 31 May 1856.

Sarah lost her husband, Parley, when he was killed during a mission to Arkansas, 13 May 1857. She was left with four children, aged 10 to one years.

Sarah married A. Louis Taussig, in polygamy, 15 Oct 1857. Louis was from Vienna, Austria. He was born 13 Jun 1820, the son of Rafael Taussig and Catherine Levi. His first wife

Was Mary (?), the second was Rebecca Reid. Louis was baptized in Nov 1853 and End. 8 Mar 1856.

Sarah and Louis were the parents of three children; Isabell, born abt. 1859; David Phillip, born 10 Feb 1861; and William, born 6 Jun 1862. The marriage was difficult, and Sarah was not well. We are not sure about Louis, but it seems he had more obligations than resources and he left for parts unknown.

Sarah had the three little Taussig children, besides her Pratt children. Her daughter Julia was married to John Gardner and they had lost their first two babies. Julia was almost inconsolable. Sarah was too ill to care for her youngest, William, so Julia and John took him and raised him. He took the last name of Gardner. He used to say he had three fathers, one who gave him birth (Louis), one he was sealed to (Parley), and one who raised him (John).

Sarah took back her surname of Pratt, and her two older children, Isabell and David, took the Pratt name.

Sarah lived a life of service to her children and neighbors. Cooking, sewing, carding, spinning, all the skills needed to survive in a new frontier.

She died in Coyote, Garfield, Utah on 25 May 1886, aged nearly 64 years. Coyote was later called Antimony.

Sarah did not marry a third time. There are two books published, ‘Pratt Pioneers of Utah’ and ‘Pratt Wives and Daughters’ that say she married Culbert King. This is not so.

Sarah’s daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Pratt, did marry Culbert King. The above mentioned books have Sarah Houston Pratt married to Culbert King and her daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Pratt married to Culbert Levi King, his son. This is mistaken.

According to the TIB (Temple Index Bureau), film #1263079, Culbert King was born 31 Jan 1834, the son of Thomas King and Matilda Robeson. He married first, Eliza Esther McCullough, 5 Feb 1855; married second to Elizabeth Ann Callister, 10 Oct 1864; and third to Sarah Elizabeth Pratt, Nov. 1878.

The TIB does not use the married names of women, only the maiden name. On film #1263317, I found the following entry for:

Pratt, Sarah Elizabeth.
Born: 31 may 1856 in Salt Lake City, Utah
Died: 23 Nov 1891
Md: Culbert King (1834)
End: 28 Feb 1870
Father: Parley P. Pratt
Mother: Sarah Houston

The date in parentheses after the name of Culbert King is the year of his birth. This record was made at the time of the event and is much more likely to be correct that the suppositions of later generations.

By his first wife, he was the father of Culbert Levi King, born in 1856, who married Mary or Polly Ross. Culbert Levi had a son Culbert Levi King, Jr., born in 1879, who married Louisa May Gardner.

Culbert King was a vigorous man, who was an active leader in the Church and community. He was Bishop several times and a Patriarch. Culbert King was 12 years younger than Sarah Houston, and 22 years older than Sarah Elizabeth Pratt.

I can see how the mistake was made, with Sarah Houston Pratt and Sarah Elizabeth Pratt as the women and Culbert King and Culbert Levi King as the men. I tried to find a marriage record for Culbert King and Sarah Elizabeth Pratt, but could not. Utah didn’t publish the marriages of polygamist because of the persecution of the Federal Government.

The Jared Pratt Family Web site agrees with the above. Only difference is the birth year for Culbert King is 1836 on the Web site. Culbert and Sarah Elizabeth were the parents of five children.

Researched and written December, 2003, by Angie M. Grigg, wife of L. Richard Grigg, son of Thankful Halsey Gardner Grigg, dau. of Julia Pratt Gardner, dau. of Sarah Houston Pratt.


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