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Andrew Lee Allen's Life Sketch

Andrew Lee Allen Andrew Lee Allen was born in Limerick, York County, Maine on 24 November 1791. He was the son of Elijah Allen and his first wife, Mehitable Hall, and was the third of four children born to this union. After Andrew was born, the family moved to Vermont. His mother died there when he was nine years of age. Andrew then went to New Hampshire to live with his maternal grandparents, the Reverend Avery Hall and Hannah Chesley. Andrew lived with his grandparents for five years learning the trade of blacksmithing from his grandfather. He also went to church with them and enjoyed their refined and religious upbringing until his grandmother died. He then decided to leave home and try to make it on his own. He was fourteen years old at the time. He was able to secure some blacksmith work and other odd jobs until he became 21 years of age. It was in the year of 1812 when the United States proclaimed war on Great Britain. He then went on board a ship to help protect the American vessels on the Canadian border. One time the Canadians were going to have a "Barn Raising" and invited the Americans to the party. During the affair, Andrew proposed a toast to the effect that, "the Great American Eagle would triumph over the crown of Great Britain", He was immediately taken into custody by the Canadians who were loyal to Great Britain, but they were so intoxicated that he was able to make his escape back over the border into the United States. He went to the southwest part of New York in Cattaraugus County, in an area known as Burton, and took up 160 acres of land on which was a large grove of sugar maple trees as well as nice farming land. He busied himself by improving the farm and building a new home. He worked on this farm until he was 33 years of age. At a church party Andrew met a beautiful, educated and refined maiden by the name of Clarinda Knapp. After a courtship, he married her on 11 December 1824 and took her back to his home. They remained on this farm until they had seven children. They had not affiliated with any religion but were honest and upright in their values. In September, 1833, two Mormon missionaries came through that part of the country and held meetings. Andrew was not at home at the time and did not hear them preach; but his wife, friends and neighbors did, and they were much impressed. When he returned and was told of the event, Andrew became very “anxious to hear them. He learned that they would preach at a place eighty miles from there and concluded to go and hear them. This he did. He was much pleased and satisfied that it was true and was baptized 3 September 1833 by Ezra Landing before returning home. He received a testimony that never left him. He Went home and began to arrange his business according to the spirit of gathering which he had. He sold his home for a low price and moved to Kirtland, Ohio. Here he met the Prophet Joseph Smith and had a pleasant visit with him. When he told the Prophet about his conversion, he remarked, "Those elders should have ordained you an Elder and sent you out preaching the gospel." He was advised to buy a home in Kirtland and also to invest in some large tracts of real estate. It was here that their daughter Susan was born on 31 December 1837. It was not to last very long, for inside of three years the Saints were driven out of Kirtland. The Andrew Lee Allen family received little money for their holdings as they started West for Missouri. Because of sickness and the want of means, they stopped on the Illinois river at Bardstown and stayed through the winter. Andrew cut cord wood all winter and his son Elijah, age 15, hauled it. In this way they were sustained. They then moved to Virginia, Cass County, Illinois, where they rented a farm from a Mr. Levi Springer who was a Methodist preacher. Mr. Springer treated them very kindly. There another son was born, 1 April 1842, and was given the name of Levi, after the name of the good preacher. After farming there one year they moved about twenty-five miles farther East and rented a farm from a man named Alfred Dutch, who lived on the road that led to Springfield. Mr. Dutch was very kind toward the Mormons. While they were living there, the Prophet Joseph was taken to Springfield to be tried on a false charge. The Prophet and his company stayed overnight on the 29th of December, 1842, with Captain Dutch as he was called and were kindly entertained. Andrew and Clarinda were invited to attend. The women played the piano and sang their beautiful songs. Captain Dutch spoke comical recitations and sang his songs. Sister Eliza R. Snow was with the company and composed some beautiful verses. After living there one year, the Allens moved back to Mr. Springer's place again and stayed one more year. Then they moved West again toward Nauvoo and stopped at a place owned by a Mr. Roberts, ten miles east of Carthage. There they became acquainted with Miner T. Deming who afterwards became the High Sheriff of Hancock County. He was friendly towards the Mormons. While living there, their last child was born. They raised a large crop of wheat on the farm that year so they put a grist mill on the stream to grind wheat for commercial use. Water became low in the streams which ******** the grist mill in grinding the flour, so Andrew sent his two older sons, Elijah and Charles, to Nauvoo to get their grist ground at the steam mill there. They stayed there a few days and happened to see the Prophet out by his brick barn where some men were loading hay into it. While there a very heavy hail storm came one evening and broke out many of the glass windows in the homes. Charles reports, "It was a sad sight the next morning to look at the beautiful buildings in Nauvoo and see nearly every pane of glass broken on the side from whence the storm came." Elijah and Charles returned to their family a few days before the Prophet and his brother Hyrum were murdered while being held in the Carthage jail. In the fall of that year, Andrew moved his family toward Nauvoo but stopped at a location known as Camp Creek, fourteen miles north and east of Nauvoo. As they were traveling, they passed through Carthage and were welcomed by Sheriff Deming and invited to stay overnight. Charles reported in his journal that he and Elijah were allowed to go through any part of the jail that was not occupied. They went into the room where the Prophet and his brother were when they were so cruelly shot and murdered. They saw the blood-stained floor and the ball hole through the door. The ceiling was knocked in many places. He said it made them feel very sorrowful. At Camp Creek, they rented a farm from a Mr. Hibbert and farmed one year, raising a good crop of corn. They could not get anything for it there but by hauling it to Nauvoo, they could get ten cents a bushel for it. Charles did the hauling with two yoke of three year old steers as his brother Elijah had left home to look for work. Elijah ended up living at President Brigham Young's home and later drove a team for President Young through to Winter Quarters when the saints left Nauvoo. Elijah was one who enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and went through to California. He served one year and was discharged at Los Angeles on 16 July 1847. On 27 January 1846, Andrew and Clarinda went into Nauvoo to the temple and received their endowments. Later that spring, they ferried the Mississippi River with a team and one wagon, their children, and all their belongings, and started West with the Saints. It was very rainy and muddy which made the traveling slow. Clarinda was feeble in health and a daughter, Lydia, was also afflicted with poor health (asthma) and they suffered a great deal. They had no tent and were obliged to sleep out on the ground in the open air. When they reached Mt. Pisgah, they built a log house and put in some wheat and corn. Their supply of food was about gone when they were obliged to go on before their crop ripened, leaving their improvements for others to enjoy. The family did not stay at Winter Quarters long as they had to find work. They went on down 18 miles farther along the river bottom to a town called Keg Creek. Elijah, the oldest son, rejoined the family in the fall of 1849 alter his trip to California with the Mormon Battalion. They opened up two new farms and remained there until the spring of 1852 when Brigham Young requested the saints to leave Winter Quarters and come to the Salt Lake Valley. Before starting for the Valley, Elijah and Charles went back to Missouri to buy apples which were selling in Kanesville for a good price. They traveled down into Missouri some distance below St.‘ Joseph and stopped at a Mrs. Thornton's who was a widow. She was well and had a large plantation and lots of negroes. They were treated kindly and were invited into the house to eat meals with the family. They purchased fifty bushels of apples from her and loaded them onto their two wagons. Returning home after the long and hard trip, it was recorded that Levi, their seven year old brother, "wanted an apple so badly but was told they must sell them for money to go to Salt Lake. He was happy to get one small one." The family was part of the first company of 100 wagons that left Winter Quarters that year. John M. Higby was the Captain. Andrew taught his sons to take good care of their animals and it was said by people in the group that the Allen teams were the best in the company and got to Utah in the best condition. Andrew was an excellent rope maker and knew how to make bright colored dye weeds and herbs for the tassels and harness decorations for his oxen. The trip took two and a half months. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 13 Augnst 1852 and, stopping there for a few days, moved south to Provo and made their new home. The men found work at a sawmill and secured enough lumber to build a three room house. The younger children herded the community cows along the Provo River to help. When they went to work, their lunch consisted of a hard crust of bread which they soaked in river water to help get it down. The Saints were pestered with marauding Indians at that time. President Young called many of the men to build several forts around. The Allen men assisted in this effort. Each fort was laid about 40 rods square. Houses were built on two sides and the other sides were closed in by hauling and cutting pine logs sixteen feet long and about one foot in diameter. These were sharpened at the top. The butt ends were set in the ground four feet, then poles were placed in between to batten it well. This made a very strong fort. At one side was a large gate, through which the cattle were driven and kept for the night, safe from the Indians. A man was required to make one rod of wall around the city of Provo for every lot he owned. The Allens worked long enough to receive a lot for each son in the family and then worked for others. They took stock and wagons in exchange for their extra work. With this, each of the boys was able to secure his own wagon and team. Andrew and Clarinda and daughter Lydia, who was sick all her life and never married, belonged to the Provo Second Ward. Others of the family eventually married and left Provo for other areas. Andrew was a faithful Latter-day Saint and did everything he was called upon to do. On 8 December 1862, Clarinda died. After a year he married a Martha Johnson. This marriage did not last long. In 1867, he married Ann Hughes. She was a convert from Wales and was a good, loyal and faithful wife until he died 14 August 1870. He is buried in the Provo cemetery. File:ala



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