IIDIANA DAVIS FIFE 1837-1884
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Orson Pratt Brown's Stepfather's First Wife
Diana Davis Fife
The paternal grandparents of Diana Davis Fife were John Lewis, born 24 Nov 1746 (d. 6 Sep 1829 at Llanfihangel, Wales) and Margaret Evans Lewis, born 21 Jan 1755 (d. 6 June 1828 at Llanfighangel, Wales) at Carmarthenshire, Rhosy-Corn, South Wales. Her maternal grandparents were Stephen Thomas, born 1755 and Lettie David (?) Thomas (Lettice David), born 1760 at Llanegwad, Carmarthenshire, South Wales.
Daniel Davis (Davies), her father was born Sept. 16th,1793, and her mother Sarah Thomas was born May 1797 both at Carmarthenshire, South Wales. They were Pioneers of Sept 25, 1849, traveling in the Daniel Jones company
This happy and prosperous couple, Daniel and Sarah, became the proud parents of nine children, six daughters and three sons. Diana, the youngest was born in the beautiful home of her ancestors April 11th, 1836 in South Wales. When she was about nine years of age, her father Daniel Davis joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Diana, who slept in her parents' room, over-heard her father explaining the Gospel to her mother night after night. This so impressed her that she was converted and desired baptism at the hands of her father. He was over-joyed to think that his baby girl was the first in the family to receive the Gospel. Soon after all the immediate family joined the Church
Diana being a very attractive and vivacious child, with black hair, brown eyes and cheeks like roses was a great favorite with her childhood companions. Little did she realize what a great change would come into her life when she joined the unpopular sect called "Mormons." Her dearest playmates and relatives became her worst enemies. Their taunts and sneers became so unbearable that she was obliged to discontinue school at the age of eleven years. Shortly after this, preparations were made to emigrate to Utah. As the family was very prosperous it was quite a sacrifice to leave their home and go to the unknown West.
Daniel Davis, though small of stature, was a man of indomitable will and unswerving faith, and a determination to gather to Zion. He disposed of his worldly possessions at a great sacrifice, in order to defray the expenses ofemigrating not only his family of eleven but seven others
Early in the spring of 1849 they left Wales in the first company of Latter-day Saints to emigrate from that country, with Dan Jones as Captain. After a tiresome voyage of seven weeks on a sailing vessel, they arrived at New Orleans and sailed up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to a point where Omaha now stands. Here a trial awaited them for their beloved husband and father contracted the dreaded disease cholera and died, and was buried on the river's bank
With the assistance of her son Daniel, the bereft widow and her family began their journey across the plains with ox teams and a goodly supply of provisions. They arrived in Salt Lake City September of the same year. (1849). The only shelter procurable that winter was a small dugout. What a contrast it was to the beautiful well furnished home in Wales.
All the family but Diana moved to Brigham City the following spring. She remained with Peter Nebeker's family where she met , a bright, handsome, energetic young convert from Scotland. Their love was mutual and they were married by Heber C. Kimball at his home, July 9th, 1854. Their first child, was born on July 10, 1855.]
As the young husband was an expert architect and builder, he erected for them a cozy adobe house in the 16th Ward, Salt Lake City. Here they lived happily for two years and here their oldest child, Sarah Jane, was born.
In 1856 Diana's husband was called by President Brigham Young to move to Ogden and superintend the construction of a tabernacle. Another home was soon built on Grant Avenue between 21st and 22nd street, where their oldest son William Wilson Fife [b. 1857] (later a prominent architect of Ogden) and their second daughter Diana Fife [b. 1859] were born.
In 1858, when Johnston's Army invaded Utah, the Fife family moved south with the rest of the Saints; while there, their temporary home was burned by a spark, the baby,[Diana Fife b. 1859] almost losing her life. After a few months' absence they returned to their home and resumed their labors.
Born: 10 July 1855 at Salt Lake City, Utah
Married: Barnard White on May 1, 1876
Died: 14 Sep 1932 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Born: 16 August 1857 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Married: Elizabeth Stewart on 7 December 1882
Died: 31 August 1897 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Born: 7 October 1859 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Married: Valasco Farr on 24 February 1881
Died: 18 May 1904 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
John Daniel Fife
Born: 25 September 1863 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Married: Eliza Jane Stewart on 20 February 1889
Died: 22 January 1944 at Los Angeles, L.A., California
Born: 17 August 1866 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Married: Mary Jane Smith Merrill on 31 December 1890
Died: 23 January 1927 near Nogales, Santa Cruz, Arizona
Born: 11 January 1869 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Married: Samuel White Stewart on 23 Sep 1891
Died: 13 August 1892 at Draper, Salt Lake, Utah
Born: 15 May 1871 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Died: 8 February 1874 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Robert Nicol Fife
Born: 22 May 1873 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Died: 23 September 1874 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Born: January 1881 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
Died: February 1881 at Ogden, Weber, Utah
William Nicol Fife raised Orson Pratt Brown from October 1866 until around 1884.
Father Fife who was one of a fearless disposition decided to take his families and go into the wilds of Arizona to help colonize that country. It was a great trial to his wife, whose health was impaired, to leave home and friends and married children, and accompany her husband.
In the fall of 1881 they settled in Sulphur Springs Valley, Tombstone, Arizona, on a large ranch thirty-five miles from the nearest town or railroad. Here a comfortable six room house was built of large adobes. The thick walls had port-holes to be used in self defense against the fierce Apache Indians who were very troublesome at that time. Although she was very nervous and lonely, her health improved in this climate and as usual her home was very neat, pleasant, and cheerful, a place of peace and rest.
After one year of comparative peace in this wild country, the first tragic event happened an their family. John Daniel Fife, her seventeen year old son, with two companions while hauling lumber for mines nearby with their double mule teams were attacked:by a band of forty blood-thirsty Apache Indians. Forming a corral with their wagons, the boys protected themselves as best they could. Two of the boys became so frightened, that they ran out of the corral and were immediately killed and scalped. John D. was now left alone, his ammunition gone he ran into the brush nearby, and received two wounds, one being in his leg and the other one in the arm. The Indians decided to burn him out and set fire to the grass, surrounding him with dense smoke. A voice seemed to say, "Now is your time John, run." This he did, knowing that soldiers were at Fort Bowie about five miles away. After running a mile and crossing a river he was again discovered by the Indians; being about exhausted from loss of blood he could go no farther and dropped.
A crowd of miners nearby, hearing the shooting came to see what the trouble was and saw him fall. Their appearance frightened the Indians away and John was carried to the nearest ranch where he was revived. Through the blessings of God the kind and good nursing of his mother he was restored to his health.
After several other scares nothing of importance happened until the morning of September 12th, 1884, when a Mexican called at her home and asked to buy a meal. All of the men and boys had gone to the meadows about five miles away to cut hay, leaving Mother and her youngest daughter Agnes, aged fourteen years, at home with the young Indian boy.
Mother was quite disturbed by the appearance and actions of the Mexican who did not leave, but stayed around all day. In the afternoon while Mother was ironing he sat by the door and watched her; finally he said looking out of the window, "Who is that coming?" She, being anxious to see someone, turned and as she did so he shot her through the heart. Agnes hearing the shot ran in and seeing what had happened ran after the Indian boy who also came, upon hearing the shots. The Mexican aimed at Agnes but the shots would not explode. When the Indian finally overpowered the Mexican and secured the pistol, the murderer fled to the mountains. In the meantime, Agnes carried her Mother into another room and locked the door. Her mother not being instantly killed called for water. The Indian boy went for help, but before they returned Mother had passed away. Next morning the murderer was located and hanged to a large oak tree.
Slim arrow on top right shows location of the Fife's Oak Grove Ranch
Map may have been drawn by Mrs. Myril Roll
Two days later, her body was laid to rest under a large oak tree in a casket made by her husband and sons. Here it remained until April of 1922, when her children had her remains interred in Ogden City cemetery by the side of husband and five children. Now they can lay a few flowers on their dear Mother's grave
I am reminded of her charity in 1854-55 in Salt Lake City when there was a scarcity of flour in the land. She had just enough to carry them through until the next harvest by being careful, but she gave pan after pan to the needy who came to her door, and many leaves of bread were also given to sick people, for she could not turn them away as long as she had some. Despite all this, her flour lasted until the next harvest, which proves that God helps those who help others less fortunate.
She had a noble character, was self-sacrificing and was loved by all who knew her. She was a devoted Latter-day Saint, wife and mother and we are sure she had earned a great reward in heaven.
Diana Davis Fife died when she was 48 years old.1837-1884
A photo found in "Album: 'Daughters of Utah Pioneers and their Mothers", by James T. Jakeman.published 1915 by the West Album Publishing Company. Undated. Pages unnumbered. incorrectly identifies a photo of as being Diana Davis Fife. The error may be explained because Cynthia and Diana are both wives of Colonel William Nicol Fife.
A later edition of the above same book correctly identifies the photo on page 184 as being Cynthia Abbott Fife not Diana Davis Fife.
PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown + (7) Phoebe Abbott > Orson Pratt Brown
PAF - Archer files = Phoebe Abbott + (2) William Nicol Fife ; William Nicol Fife's first wife is Diana Davis.
http://students.cs.byu.edu/~heath/family/white/book1.htm Chapter 30
Album "Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and Their Mothers" by Jas T. Jakeman. Published by The Western Album Publishing Company in 1915. ASIN: B000872QQ6. Pages are unnumbered. Short bio found in last 1/4 of book. The photo identified as Diana Davis Fife is actually of Cynthia Abbott Fife, another wife of William Nicol Fife. The correction is made in Jakeman's later edition, page 184.
Thanks to Nadine Sones for her contribution. <email@example.com>
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