Thursday, July 30, 2020

ELIZABETH HUMPHRY DIXON


ELIZABETH HUMPHRY DIXON

    Elizabeth Humphry Dixon was born in Flamouth, Nova Scotia, March 29, 1778. She was the daughter of William and Jane Flintoff Humphry, early settlers of Flamouth. When her father died in 1795, Charles Dixon (1st), an old family friend happed in on one of his journeys to market. He advised Mrs. Humphry to remove her family of three sons and two daughters to Sackville, where he was engaged in a small way in merchandise, purchasing his goods and supplies, and marketing the surplus products of his farm at Halifax. He offered her a lot on his land situated on the main road through the village. Mrs. Humphry accepted promptly, and a house was erected on the property.
    In due time, the family moved in. Elizabeth's mother was evidently a capable woman as she commenced very soon to keep a Public House, as it was called, and her house was for many years sort of a headquarters where much of the semi-public or parish business was transacted. Mr. Dixon held his justice courts there until a brief period before his death.
    On October 13, 1799, Elizabeth became the wife of Charles Dixon II, a young widower, and the son of the Humphry's benefactor. His first wife was Rhoda Emerson, a daughter of one of the original grantees of Sackville. She died at the age of thirty. His marriage to Elizabeth took place very soon after the death of his first wife, and quite shocked the sense of propriety of Mr. Dixon's Methodist associates. It caused for a time some estrangement, but the offense, if any, was soon overlooked inasmuch as the bride was a Yorkshire Lass and the alliance was regarded with great favor. Doubtless they believed as most Yorkshire people do to the present day,  there is no one quite the equal of a good Yorkshireman.
    About the year of 1803, Mr. Dixon left for a visit to the United States with a neighbor, Timothy Richardson. Most of the journey was made on foot until they reached Ohio. There they had a boat constructed in which they pursued their journey down to New Orleans. From there, they took passage by sea to New York, where Mr. Dixon fell ill. Fortunately, his brother-in-law, George Bulber was in New York and finally located Mr. Dixon and Mr. Richardson, gave them such aid as they needed to get back to their home. The boat passage for home with Captain Burnham was to hold back father; for at Mount Desert they were detained by severe weather and lost considerable time. At length they reached home, and Elizabeth wept for joy at the sight of her husband, as she had received no word from him since his departure.
    After the destruction of Mr. Dixon's lumber mill by fire, he and his son-in-law entered into an arrangement to build ships for commerce with England. They built several, but due to the decline in prices to both ships and merchandise they ceased work, and two years later sold their ship business to other parties, and confined their energies to farming.
    One evening when Charles Dixon and his son Christopher were returning from a parish meeting, they passed two Mormon elders holding a street meeting. Christopher paused a moment to listen. He was very impressed and persuaded his father to return with him the next evening to hear them. He likewise was moved by their doctrine, and soon after Charles II, Elizabeth his wife, and their seven youngest children embraced the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith.
    The Dixon's from their early beginning had been people of religious nature. Charles Dixon I emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1772 at the age of 42. There was much religious and economic unrest in England at this time. Mr. Dixon owned the Hutton (paper Mills) at Hutton Rudby, and was active in public affairs. He and his family sailed from Liverpool on board the Duke of York, March 16, 1772 with 62 passengers aboard. In a letter to Charles Dixon II and his daughter Sara, he tells of conditions in England and reveals a progressive religious nature that in future years influenced the destiny of his children and their children in a religious way. Part of this letter is as follows.
    In 1837, Charles and Elizabeth Dixon and their seven youngest children moved to Kirtland, Ohio, feeling this was the only proper and safe course to pursue due to their religion which was so unpopular at that time. They left September 1, 1837 and traveled in covered wagons arriving in Kirtland  on October 14 where they purchased property and resumed their old occupation of farming.
    The following autumn, Charles Dixon II and his daughter Jane and youngest son started for Missouri. Soon after they crossed the Missouri River they met a large number of Mormons being driven by force from the state. Most of them were in a destitute condition. They returned with these people to Quincy Illinois where Mr. Dixon hired a house and remained all the winter. He liberally used his means in relieving the necessities of these poor suffering brethren. Charles Dixon II became an intimate friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He received a Patriarchal Blessing from the Prophet's Father in 1837 in the Kirtland Temple when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was just seven years old. Joseph Smith, Sr., was the first Patriarch of the Church. The Dixon children were all baptized in a stream in Kirtland, Ohio. Christopher Dixon purchased Joseph Smith's home from his brother Hyrum, and lived there with his family until they set out for Utah.
    The Dixons without exception were devout followers of Joseph Smith, and on more than one occasion Charles and his son Christopher affirmed their belief by saying, "I would follow Joseph Smith to the ends of the earth." The news of the Prophet's death fell as a heavy blow to the family, and the consequent splitting of the church was confusing. It wasn't until the spring of 1854 that they finally made up their minds to go west. Charles Dixon II had entered his eighty-ninth year and Elizabeth her seventy-seventh, but despite their age the fact that Mr. Dixon was nearly blind, they sold their belongings in Ohio and set out for Salt Lake City. Alfred Dixon and Leonard Dixon went on to Sacramento. Edward Dixon another son of Ruth Dixon Ohara (Mrs. George O'hara) arrived in Utah August 9, 1859. They visited with their people then went on to Sacramento.
    Charles Dixon II, his wife Elizabeth Humphrey and Martha & Orrawell Simons arrived in Rock Island and halted for a few days while their party fitted teams for the journey across the plains. Here Charles Dixon fell from the steps of the hotel and broke his hip. His injuries proved fatal. He died 17 July 1854 in a covered wagon and was buried on the plains near Davenport, Iowa. He was born in Yorkshire, England January 1, 1766.
    Whether Charles Dixon II outstripped Charles I in purity of heart and holiness of life was for no man to judge, but the fact remains that the fact of his life was an attempt to join the people of the church of his choice, that he had given so much of his life to.
    Elizabeth continued the journey with her daughter and son-in-law, Orrawell Simons, and made her home with them until the arrival of her son Christopher, who did not arrive in Utah until October 1862. They all lived in an adobe house which they built at 340 West 4th North the fall of their arrival. It is located directly across the road from the spot where the first pioneers camped, and is situated far back from the road in the front of a large grove of willow and cottonwood trees. The grove for many years was used for town celebrations and enjoyed by the whole community. A small foundation still remains under a second growth of Box Elder trees. The history of the Adobe house built in 1862 appeared in the Deseret News, March 13, 1948. It has been remodeled and has been occupied by six generations of Elizabeth Humphry Dixon's descendants. Elizabeth died at the age of 87 years on July 17, 1864--ten years to the day after the death of her husband. When she was  advanced yearsburied, she was the oldest woman in the Payson City Cemetery. Besides yer lies the grave of a little Indian girl who helped her during her advanced years.
    The children of Charles II and Elizabeth Humphry Dixon are as follows:
John: Born Aug. 9, 1800;  Elizabeth: Born January 1, 1803; Sidney: Born Aug 9, 1805; Leonard: Born July 12, 1808;  Jane: Born October 13, 1810;  Ruth: Born August 4, 1813;  Christopher Flintoff; Born May 6, 1816;  Edward: Born August 17, 1818; Alfred: Born January 31, 1821; and
Mary: Born July 13, 1823.
    Elizabeth passed away on July 17, 1864 in Payson.  It was ten years to the day after the death of her husband Charles Dixon II.  When she passed,  she was the oldest woman  at 87 years of age.   at the time of her burial. in the Payson City Cemetary. Nearby is the grave of a little Indian girl who helped her in her advanced years.

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