Saturday, August 1, 2009

Biographical Record of Martin Luther Ensign

Mary DUNN 1833-1920 and Martin Luther ENSIGN 1831-1911

Martin Luther ENSIGN is the great-grandfather of Camilla SMITH.

Martin Luther ENSIGN and Kirt DeMar WOOD are 7th cousins 3 times removed. Their common ancestors are John HOSKINS Immigrant and Ann FYLER Immigrant.

(Portrait, Genealogical and Biographical Record of the State of Utah, p. 236)

Biographical Record.
p. 236
Martin Luther Ensign is one of the few surviving pioneers of Utah, being a lad of sixteen years when he made the trip across he plains in the second company of 1847. He is the son of Horace [Datus] and Mary (Bunson) [Mary Bronson] Ensign, the father a native of Massachusetts. The Ensign family is an old one in this country, there being two generations of Isaacs. The first Isaac was a child when his father died, and never knew his surname. As a lad he was employed as cabin boy on board a ship, and his mother married a ship steward. They refused to give the child a home, and smarting under his sense of wrong and injustice, he would not take the name of the man his mother had married, but adopted instead the name Ensign, which was the name of the office he held on the ship, and thus the Ensign family was founded in America. The family of which our subject is a member became converted to Mormonism and emigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they remained about three weeks, and from that place went to Winter Quarters with the main body of the Church. Here the father died in the fall of 1846, and the following spring the mother and family of six children joined Daniel Spencer’s company of one hundred, and crossed the plains, our subject driving three yoke of oxen belonging to John Eldredge.

[James Ensign son of Thomas ENSING and Constance PLICHER immigrated about 1632 from England to Newton (now Cambridge) Massachusetts. James is a direct ancestor of, Martin Luther Ensign (1831-1911), a Mormon convert, moved to Nauvoo with his parents and then to Brigham City, Utah.]

Mr. Ensign was born in Hamden [Hampden] County, Massachusetts, on March 31, 1831 and there received the most of his scholastic training. He remained in Salt Lake City until May 18, 1853, when he came to where Brigham City now stands being one of the pioneers to this place, and took up a piece of land. He is by trade a carpenter, furniture maker and wheelwright, and has followed these different occupations throughout life in addition to his farming. He built a good home on his land, surrounded by fruit and shade trees, and is now in very comfortable circumstances.

The marriage of Mr. Ensign and Miss Mary Dunn was celebrated on January 8, 1852, in Salt Lake City. Of their nine children, six are now living - Mary A., grew up and married and died at the age of forty-two years, leaving a family of ten children; Georgiana is now Mrs. William Hill; Emma, now Nrs. Lee; [Harriet] Camilla, wife of Isaac Smith of Logan; Martin L., living in Box Elder County; Effie C., wife of Professor L. Merrill of Logan, and Adam W.

Mrs. Ensign is the daughter of Simeon [Adams DUNN] and Adoline [Adaline] (Rawson) Dunn, natives of Michigan, who came to Utah in 1848, Mrs. Ensign [at age 14] driving a wagon to which was hitched one yoke of oxen, the entire distance across the plains. Mr. And Mrs. Ensign celebrated their golden wedding on January 8, 1902, the occasion being a most pleasing one. The reception was held in the fourth Ward meeting house in Brigham City, and among other numbers on the program was an excellent paper prepared and read by Professor Merrill, of the Utah Agricultural College at Logan, being a resume of the life and work of our subject and his estimable wife. They have had nine children, forty-six grand children and thirteen great-grandchildren. Of these there are living six children, thirty-three grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

In 1857 Mr. Ensign was called on a mission to Great Britain, and in order to comply was compelled to leave his wife and little family of three children in destitute circumstances, dependent upon the exertions of the wife for their maintenance. He made the trip east in company with the hand Cart brigade, which he left at Omaha. Upon his return in 1858 he found his family had gone south with the general move, returning home that fall. Since 1877 he has been a member of the High council of Box Elder Stake, and a faithful worker. One of his sons, S. W., served on a two years’ mission to Tennessee.

In politics he is a believer in the principles of the Democratic party, of which he has been a member ever since the division in 1891. He was Coroner of his country for six years and ten years Justice of the Peace. There are but few men in Box Elder County who are better known or more generally popular than is Mr. Ensign, and his career has been one of which he and his children may justly be proud.

(Portrait, Genealogical and Biographical Record of the State of Utah, p. 236)

click on the labels ENSIGN Martin Luther and DUNN Mary to find more detailed histories of this couple.

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