Monday, August 3, 2009

Martin Luther ENSIGN - Utah Since Statehood

back row left Martin Luther ENSIGN Jr. and Martha WRIGHT E.,
Siveren Nelson LEE and Emma Lovinia E. LEE,
far right Isaac SMITH and Harriet "Camilla" E. SMITH
middle row left Georgianna E. and William John HILL,
center - parents
Mary DUNN ENSIGN and Martin Luther ENSIGN,
Mary Adaline E. ROBERTS and John Lloyd ROBERTS
front center Adams Wesley ENSIGN, Effie Celestia ENSIGN.

(not pictured John Henry ENSIGN died Aug 1866 age 2, Horace ENSIGN died Mar 1866 as infant.)

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.

Utah since statehood By Noble Warrum, Charles W. Morse, W. Brown Ewing, p.370-371
p. 370

No history of Utah would be complete were there failure to make reference to Martin Luther Ensign, whose eighty years of life were crowded to the full with activities of a most useful character in relation to the material and moral development of this state. He was born in Little river Village, near Westfield, Massachusetts, March 31, 1831, a son of Horace [Datus] and Mary (Bronson) Ensign who were converted by the preaching of Edwin D. Wooley and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints in 1845. In the following spring they started for Nauvoo, Illinois, their son, martin Luther, being then fifteen years of age. The residence of the family upon the western frontier precluded the possibility of his acquiring an education, yet in his life of eighty years he accomplished a marvelous amount of work that resulted for the benefit of his fellowmen as well as his own interest. Before the family reached Nauvoo most of the people of their faith had been driven out and they continued their journey to Winter Quarters. There the father died at the age of forty-eight, leaving six children to the care of the widowed mother. About the 15th of May, 1847, Mrs. Ensign and her family started for Utah and Martin L., then between sixteen and seventeen years of age, drove three yoke of oxen from Winter Quarters to Salt Lake City for John Eldridge, arriving at his destination on the 15th of September. His eldest brother, Datus Ensign, helped to plow the first furrow turned in Utah, bringing the plow ready for use from Winter Quarters. This plow is now in the museum at Salt Lake. The mother’s home was built on logs from Immigration canyon and covered with poles and canes. It was located in the north section of Salt Lake, which was added to the first ten acre tract of the city. Their first crop of wheat was raised just north of where the City and County building now stands.

On the 8th of January, 1852, Martin L. Ensign wedded Mary Dunn, daughter of Simeon A. Dunn, who was born in Ypslianti, Michigan, November 18, 1833 [correction needed here - Simeon Adams DUNN father of Mary DUNN ENSIGN was born in Groveland, Williamstown, Ontario, New York, August 7 1803]. That spring the young couple moved to Centerville, at which time their furniture consisted of a table, a long bench, a bedstead and two stools, which Mr. Ensign made. They borrowed a bake kettle and the mother furnished a set of knives and forks and some bedclothes. From Centerville they moved to Ogden and thence to North Ogden with the intention of making a home there, but Simeon Dunn had already become a resident of Boxelder county and there Mr. Ensign and his wife joined him in 1853. Their first home was made of logs, which were cut, hewed and nailed together in North Ogden and then moved on the running gear of a wagon to where Brigham stands. They occupied that primitive dwelling for about six weeks and were then advised to move into the fort. Mr. Ensign said that he was obliged to move his house three times in one year. In 1854. Accompanied by Simeon Dunn, he went by ox team three hundred miles to the Humboldt river to get iron left there by California Immigrants. Part of this iron was afterward sold to buy flour, which cost ten dollars per hundred pounds. In 1854 or 1855 Mr. Ensign built a home at the corner of Second South and Third North streets, which has since been known as Ensign’s corner. In 1855 he was called to go to the Cache valley and build houses on the church farm. He built the first house in Cache valley. In 1856 he aided in building the grist mill in Brigham and the following

p. 371
year was called to fill a mission to England. He walked from Salt Lake to the Mississippi river and pulled a handcart filled with provisions. There were seventy-two in the company and they made the trip in forty-eight days, traveling without purse or scrip.

Mr. Ensign remained in England until June 1, 1858, when he returned to Brigham and worked in the canyon and at framing until 1862. The following year, in association with Jarvis Johnson, he built a shop on Boxelder creek and installed machinery, which was operated by water power. They did carpenter work, wagon repairing and wheelwright work and they also built a sawmill at the head of Boxelder canyon. In 1866 Mr. Ensign organized a company which sent east for a portable sawmill, which was set up on Paradise creek and operated for a year. In 1869 Mr. Ensign built tent frames, houses and camp furniture for the railroad company and in this way earned as high as twenty-five dollars per day. In 1873, associated with Mr. Johnson, he built a sawmill in Paradise canyon and from 1874 until 1877 he had charge of the Brigham Young cooperative carpenter shops and also built a bridge over Bear river at Bear River City. He likewise had charge of a steam sawmill in the Logan canyon and he did the finishing carpenter work on the Logan Temple. From 1877 until 1884 he assisted in building bridges over Bear river at Hampton and Corinne. His industrial activity contributed much to the development of the districts in which he operated. He possessed much mechanical skill and ingenuity and could do almost any kind of work in wood or iron. Mr. Ensign was elected justice of the peace in 1882 and filled that office until 1892 and from 1886 until 1892 he was also county coroner. On retiring from that position he organized a company and built a creamery on North Main street in Logan at a cost of five thousand dollars. From 1894 until 1911 he did grading work and thus continued in a life of activity and usefulness until he had reached the advanced age of eighty years. He never ceased to feel the keenest interest in the work of the church and for many years was high counselor. He was likewise associated with the Fife and Drum Corps of Brigham city in the early days He passed away May 18, 1911, survived by forty-three grandchildren and sixty-six great-grandchildren. Three [four] of his grandsons, Carl, Lee and Horace Ensign of Brigham, and George Ensign Smith of Logan, served in the World war It would be impossible to overestimate the value of the life work of Martin Luther Ensign, who from earliest pioneer times was connected with the development of the state. He was closely associated with those first activities that marked the colonization and settlement of Utah and as the years passed be bore his part in the task of continued progress and improvement. He came indeed to an honored old age and left behind a memory that is revered and cherished by all who knew him.

(Utah since statehood By Noble Warrum, Charles W. Morse, W. Brown Ewing, p.370-371)

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