Thursday, February 11, 2010

THE BOX ELDER NEWS, BRIGHAM CITY , 18 MAY 1911 Obituary - Martin Luther ENSIGN

[Martin Luther ENSIGN (1831-1911)]

At a few minutes past 11 o’clock this morning, the spirit of Father M. L. Ensign passed peacefully from this life. The end was not unexpected for the veteran has been almost helpless for many weeks, though he veteran suffered a monument’s pain. It was as if the machinery had run its course, and the momentum which it had attained through many years of activity kept it going , the velocity gradually decreasing until it stopped altogether, Old age was the cause of death, Mr. Ensign being in his eightieth year.

He and his faithful companion how survives him were among the very first settlers of Brigham City, and have been identified with its growth ever since. They came here in 1853 and passed thru the vicissitudes of those times aided in laying the foundation of the commonwealth and reared a family that has been closely identified together with themselves, with the up building of the community and establishment of her institutions.

Besides his wife, Father Ensign is survived by five children, 36 grand children and 34 great grand children. His posterity spreads all over the northern part of the state, and are among the leading citizens of the communities in which they reside.

On account of lack of space, an extended obituary on the life of Brother Ensign will appear in next week’s issue. It has been decided to hold the funeral services next Saturday at 2 o’clock, place not announced.

The remains of Mr. Ensign can be viewed on Saturday after 10 a.m. at the home of his son, Dr. A.W. Ensign on First North Street.



On Saturday afternoon, at 2 o’clock at the tabernacle, impressive funeral services were held over the remains of the late M. L. Ensign. Bishop Brigham Wright was in charge of the meeting and conducted the exercises. The speakers were Elders Brigham Wright, John D. Peters Denmark Jensen, W. L. Watkins, John W. Woolley of Salt Lake temple, Seymour B. Young, of the First the Counsel of Seventy, and L. A. Snow of the Stake Presidency. Each paid a tribute to the memory of the deceased, and historical events of his life were related by some. Pres. S. B. Young related in a graphic manner, the trip across the plains from Salt Lake City to the Mississippi River by the first company of missionaries who pulled hand carts, of which company the deceased and himself were members. Told how they went forth without a murmur, and depended entirely upon the blessings of heaven for their support, as they had barely enough provisions to last them on their way, and no money practically, to get more after they arrived at the outer edge of civilization, as it was then known. On this mission, Elder Ensign went uncomplainingly, and through his faith, finally arrived in England, where he labored a year and a half.

Elder Woolley first met deceased in Nauvoo, in ‘46, and had been more or less intimately acquainted with him from that time until his death. Bore record of his sterling character and noble spirit. The other speakers spoke in the same terms.

The choir sang the hymns, “Come come ye saints,” “When first the glorious light of truth,” and “Resting.” Between speakers Mrs. Lottie Cozier sang, “My Loved One Rest.” Mrs. Ray Evans read a tribute from Mrs. Lucy Wright Snow, of Salt Lake City. The prayers were offered by Elders A. Madsen and B. H. Tolman.

Martin Luther Ensign was born in Westfield, Hamden County, Mass., March 31, 1831. At the age of 15 years, he joined the Saints in Nauvoo, Ill., having become converted to the faith, and since that time he was prominently identified with the growth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He came across the plains in ’47, that memorable year when the first pioneers entered this wondrous valley. Brother Ensign came with the second company of immigrants walking al’ the way and pulling a hand cart. [Hand cart did not happen until his return as a missionary.] He remained in Salt Lake City until 1853, when he, with his bride of a year, came to Brigham City, which has since been their home. They resided first in the Old Fort, later erecting a home which now stands on the corner of second north and third east streets. Nine children were born to Brother and Sister Ensign, six of whom still live. Their children have all married and have in turn been blessed with 58 children, twelve of whom have passed into the other life, and the great-grand children number forty one, seven of whom are dead, so that Father Ensign left a wife and posterity numbering eighty seven souls, and he has gone to mingle with twenty two who preceded him to the other life.

It was stated at the funeral services by one of the speakers, that Brother Ensign built the first three bridges ever constructed across Bear River in this county. Mr. Ensign was a pioneer in road building, and was one of the foremost in laying the foundation of this common wealth. In 1857, he was called to take a mission to England, which included a trip from Salt Lake City to the Mississippi River with hand cart. Although he had no means and nothing for his wife and family to subsist upon while he was gone, he accepted the call and went upon the mission. That little band of missionaries was the first to make the trip by hand cart and their manes will go down in the history of the church, of which they were a part, as heroes of the truest type. After an absence of a year and a half, Elder Ensign was called home on account of the approach of Johnston’s army, and when he arrived here, he found that his wife and children had gone sough with the balance of the saints, but they all returned when peach was restored.

Father Ensign was early identified with the drum corps of this city, and was the bass drummer until he be came too feeble to swing the sticks. He will be remembered because of his ability to handle a drum stick in each hand, by which means he kept his instrument sounding all the time.

He was a High Councilman for many years, and was released but a few years ago on account of failing health. He was an active church worker, ever willing to sacrifice his own personal comfort for the interests of the church. He never aspired to political preferment, being content to let those who liked politics, have all the offices. His only interest was for the upbuilding of the community and to that enterprise he gave his best energy. Honest and faithful, those who have known him for a lifetime, bear witness that he never betrayed a trust nor proved a disappointment to his friends.

He lived to a good old age, which was not made unpleasant by suffering, for he did not experience any pain, but his body became so worn our and tired that he was helpless nearly, had to be waited upon day and night by his faithful wife and children.

In the passing of Martin Luther Ensign, the community looses one fo its staunch pioneers and faithful builders. It also thins the ranks of that noble band, of which they remains but a few. All honor to the memory of such men and women for they removed the stones from the pathway of their posterity, and laid such a deep foundation that the civic as well as moral and spiritual structure, is bound to stand throughout the ages.

Box Elder Box Elder News Newspaper 1911-05-25
Coming and Goings

Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Lee came up from Salt Lake City last Saturday to attend the funeral services over the remains of late M. L. Ensign.

No comments: