Friday, February 12, 2010

BOX ELDER NEWS, BRIGHAM CITY 9 Nov 1920 Obituary - Mary Dunn Ensign


Mary Dunn Ensign [1833-1920], pioneer of Utah and one of the very first settlers of Brigham City, passed in a sweet sleep into the world beyond Sunday morning at 3:30 o’clock. The end symbolized the life of this noble woman for it was peaceful, sweet and without regrets nor complaints and thus one of God’s truly noblewomen completed a career which has been an inspiration to all those who have become acquainted or in any way connected with it.

Mrs. Ensign was born near Ypsilanti, Mich., November 2nd, 1833 and had therefore just recently celebrated her 87th birthday. She had been making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Emma L. Lee for a number of years past and there it was that the angel of death summoned her spirit while she was being tenderly and lovingly ministered unto by members of her family.

The family of Mrs. Ensign became associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and gathered to the city of Nauvoo with the rest of their coreligionists. Mrs. Ensign very vividly recalled to her dying day, the terrible scene enacted at Carthage jail on June 27th 1844 when the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were slain by a mob. She was not there, of course, but she was at Nauvoo when the bodies of the beloved leaders were brought home for burial and she, with the thousands of other mourners, passed before their bier and gazed upon their cold and still features for the last time in life. And following the martyrdom, Mrs. Ensign and her people were driven from the beautiful city which they had assisted to build in the dead of winter and forced to cross the mighty Father of Waters on the ice to find a refuge upon the bleak frontier where the Red man reigned supreme.

The family made arrangements to go “to the vallies” as quickly as possible and succeeded in getting away in 1848, making the trip overland successfully with ox team. The family located at Salt Lake city and there the subject of this sketch met Martin Luther Ensign whom she married in January, 1852. The following spring, the young couple came to Brigham City and joined twelve other families which had gathered together in the old fort in order that they might have some protection against the Indians. Since that time, the early part of 1853, Mrs. Ensign has worked and watched Brigham City develop into its present beautiful proportions and during all that long time of sixty-seven years, she has never been heard to complain at anything that came to her but has preserved a demeanor that was angelic and an inspiration to all who came under its influence.

Mrs. Ensign gave birth to nine children and for many years, during the time when she was rearing her family, she was an invalid and forced to keep her bed for the most part. Her physical strength seemed to return with advancing years and she enjoyed excellent health right up to the very last. She was an earnest worker in the various organizations during her younger days and in her later years she devoted all her energies to promulgating the activities of the Relief Society. She, like the other pioneer women of this community, passed through all the early day hardships brought about through the pranks of the elements and the Redskins but the latter Mrs. Ensign always befriended and thereby won their love and confidence.

Mrs. Ensign’s husband, her eldest daughter and two sons have preceded her to the other life and surviving her are the following children in their order: Mrs. Georgiana E. Hill, Logan; Mrs. Emma L. Lee, Brigham City; Mrs. Harriet Camilla E. Smith, Martin L. Ensign Jr., Mrs. Effie C. Merr[i]ll and Dr. A. W. Ensign of Logan. Mrs. Ensign had 61 grand children, 151 great-grand children and 2 great-great grandchildren. Her posterity numbers 152 living and 39 dead. She is also survived by several brothers and sisters.

Mrs. Ensign’s life stands as a monument of devotion to the principles of righteousness as she believed in them. No person ever heard a word of criticism of those whom she revered as spiritual leaders pass her lips but she gave her undivided support to even the humblest man or woman who had been called to any position of trust and responsibility. She was truly a beautiful and saintly character and the world has been made infinitely better by her having lived in it. She is also the last remaining member of that little band which so courageously set to work at the very beginning, to build here a city, the fruition of that unselfish labor being our own dear mountain home.

Funeral services are being held this afternoon in the Third ward Chapel under the direction of Bishop H. W. Valentine.

Local Items
The following people from out of town were in Brigham City Tuesday to attend the funeral services held for Mrs. Mary Dunn Ensign: Dr. and Mrs. Isaac Smith, Mrs. Jorgenson, Dr. a. W. Ensign and sons, Wesley and Coleman, Mrs. Emma Sorenson and daughter Della, Mrs. Georgina Hill, Dr. and Mrs. E. Hawkins, La’preal Hawkins, and M.L. Ensign all from Logan; Mrs. L. Nielson, Miss Maggie Ensign, Martin L. Lee, and Carl Lee fo Salt lake City; Mr. And Mrs. Wardliegh, Mr. And Mrs. Edward Ensign Bishop and Mrs. Mrs. Horace Ensign, Mr. Horace Ensign, Mrs. Lori Herrick, of Ogden; Mrs. Kenneth Webster of Rexburg, Idaho; Mrs. Alfred Rich, Mr. John L. Roberts and Mr. Lloyd Roberts of Sugar city, Idaho.

See: Box Elder News article under Our Pioneers Box Elder New, 1 Sep 1910, page 5.

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