Life Sketch of Mary Adeline Beman Noble
Life Sketch of Mary Adeline Beman Noble Mary Adeline Beman was born October 19, 1810 in Livonia, Livingston County, New York. She was the daughter of Alvah Beman and Sarah Burtts. Alvah was a prosperous farmer and through hard work and frugality has acquired a good home, and much land. They had become known among the town’s people as well-to-do. Into the Beman home eight children were born, two sons and six daughters. Of the sons very little is known, but of the last three girls much has been written. These three fine young women were destined to be among the vanguard of women to the Salt Lake Valley. Artemesia became the wife of Erastus Snow in Far West in 1838, and Mary Adeline married Joseph Bates Noble in 1834 in New York. The third sister Louisa, was the first plural wife in this dispensation. She was married to the prophet Joseph Smith on April 5, 1941 by Joseph Bates Noble, her brother-in-law. After the prophets death she was married to Brigham Young in September of 1844. She had two sets of twins, all of whom died, and Louisa died when the second sets were born in Salt Lake City. These loyal and devoted sisters were among the first Pioneer women to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley. Alvah and Sally Beman gave their daughters every opportunity in education. Mary Adeline was a Bright and intelligent girl and she was allowed to go to school - all private schools - until she was 18 years old. This was very unusual in those days and Alvah must have been a loving and understanding father. The Beman home was one of refinement and culture, one filled with music. At 18, Mary was given a certificate stating she was qualified to teach in any school, and she taught in different schools for four winters. She lived at home when her school was close enough and boarded out for at least two winters. We read from her journal, “The summer seasons my time was employed in the domestic affairs of my father’s family. My father was a farmer. Has a very extensive farm.... My time together with my sisters was spent in manufacturing clothe and attending to the dairy...” Alvah and Sally Beman and their daughters were among the early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New Your area. Old Father Beman, as he was affectionately called, made his home a headquarters for the missionaries as they traveled from Kirtland, Ohio peaching the Restored Gospel. Elder Parley P. Pratt, one of these missionaries, relates the following instance in his autobiography. “Among those whose hospitality we shared in that vicinity(Genesse Co., New York) was Old Father Beman and his amiable and interesting family. He was a good singer and so was his daughters. We were much edified and comforted in their society and were deeply interested in hearing the old gentleman and Brother Joseph converse on their early acquaintance and history. He, Brother Beman has been intimate with Joseph long before the first organization of the Church and had assisted to preserve the plates of the Book of Morman from the enemy and had at one time had them concealed under his own hearth.” Alvah Beman was with the prophet, his father and several other people when a mob found they had the golden plates in their possession. They, (Joseph Smith and the others) ran to Joseph Senior’s home and hid the plates in the hearth. They were in a cloth bag. Alvah Beman always testified that he had hold of the bag although he did not see the plates he could feel them. His testimony influenced his daughter and when the Book of Mormon was printed she bought a copy and lent it to several of her friends at school. At least one of these were converted and was baptized. It was at this time she met the Prophet, Brigham Young, Joseph Young and Samuel Smith, and was greatly impressed with them. They came to her father’s house several times and she and her sisters cooked and served them meals at her father’s table. It was interesting what she wrote concerning the man who became her husband, Joseph Bates Noble. She wrote, “At this time I was teaching school in Avon, Livingston co. And Mr. Noble was boarding at Mr. Knowls. The same place I made my home when I did not go to my fathers. My father lived about two miles from there. At this time Mr. Noble was paying attention to Mr. Knowls daughter. She was a fine girl; she was my intimate acquaintance; she was also a school teacher. We were frequently in each other’s society. She was naturally rather a proud spirited girl and did not care much for religion, but was naturally very lively’ but I was rather of a different turn. I always had respect to the principles of truth and righteousness, and sought the happiness of others as well as my own. I did not much expect at this time ever to be united to Mr. Noble. Still, it would have been a matter of my choice, could I have been permitted to have made it, but I unbosomed my feeling to no one. I held scared the feelings of my heart. My mind was employed in school and I attended my own business, trusted in the Lord, believing he would rule all tings for my own good and for the glory of God.” She went on to write, “About this time Mr. Noble was baptized into the Mormon Church as it was then called. His curse, conduct, and conversations were highly gratifying to me. He was a person of god habits, good principles and a fine intelligent young man. In his society, I was happy.” Joseph Bates Noble was one of the group of Saints who went from Kirtland, Ohio to Missouri in 1834 and they became known as Zion’s Camp. This is what she wrote, “On the first of May (1834) he called in the evening to take his leave. He said he was going to start the next morning for Missouri. We bid adieu for a season but under the most solemn engagement. At his return in the fall, if our lives were spared, we were to be united in the bonds of matrimony. For that cord of filial affection that was existing between us was not easily broke. I was engaged in school...almost every night after school I would bow before the Lord and in my supplications I would remember Zion Camp.” Joseph Noble left the Beman home and went to Kirtland, but the camp had already started on its journey to Missouri so he hired a man to take him to where the men were camping and they were glad to see him. In his journal he gives a lot of detail of Zion’s Camp, especially the Cholera scare. He stayed with the sick men and nursed them until they either recovered or died. Then he came down with the disease and almost died himself. He was administered to by Joseph Smith Sr., Brigham Young, Joseph Young, Heber C, Kimball, Orsen Hyde and Peter Whitmer, and was healed. When he came home, he went first to see his parents, then to see Mary Adeline and they decided to be married without delay. The first twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the seventies were chosen shortly after the return of Zion’s Camp. Joseph Bates Noble was chosen to be a Seventy. Alvah Beman was the President of the High Priest Quorum. The Bemans put on a bi wedding for Mary Adeline. She was married in her parents home on September 11, 1834. Many people were invited to the ceremony and a huge supper afterwards. Everyone wanted the young couple to stay where they were and Joseph Noble was offered several jobs, but he wanted to live in Kirtland. He had a job waiting for him there, working for a miller with a salary of $300 a year and sweepings from the mill. Soon after their move to Kirtland, Joseph was called on a mission and accepted the call, but just as he was about to leave the Prophet decided to start “The School of the Prophets” and called all the elders home to attend. Joseph said he learned “considerable Hebrew” but was handicapped by his lack of formal education, especially in English grammar. They were in Kirtland when the temple was dedicated and Joseph B. was among those who saw many heavenly manifestations. During this time, in November of 1835, Mary gave birth to her first child a baby daughter, Meriam, who only lived for two weeks. This was a great sorrow for Mary and Joseph. The following year on November first, Joseph Heber was born, there in Kirtland. When everything blew apart in Kirtland, the family moved to Missouri with the saints. Joseph Bates visited the Prophet several times while he was in the Liberty Jail. When in Missouri (Huntsville) another son was born, Nephi Noble, on August 20, 1938. He lived eleven short days and was buried along the trail in Missouri. When the saints were driven out of Missouri, Joseph Bates and Mary Adeline fled to Montrose, Iowa, and took refuse in an abandoned log barracks. Most of the saints settled across the Mississippi River in Nauvoo. While in Montrose, Mary had a baby girl, Louisa, who only lived one day(September 9, 1939). In 1841 they moved to Nauvoo, and a fifth child, Edward Alvah, was born. This tiny boy was born on the second of February 1841. Mary wrapped him in cotton batting to keep him from freezing and his father gave him a priesthood blessing. In Nauvoo Joseph built a home, which, after the exodus to the west, was given to Lucy Mack Smith. It is one of the houses that has been restored and can be visited today in Nauvoo. The people now call it the “doll house.” While in, Nauvoo Mary gave her consent for her husband to marry two women, Sarah B. Ally and Mary Ann Washburn. Death once more visited the Noble family, a daughter Mary Adelia was born April 19, 1843, and died the same day. The year 1844 brought not only the death of the beloved Prophet Joseph Smith, but also the death of Mary and Joseph’s son, Joseph Heber, at the tender age of seven. In May of 1844, a son Hiram Brigham was born while there in Nauvoo. At the time of the exodus they had only two little boys, Edward and Hiram. On December 10, 1845, the first Endowments were given to the saints in Nauvoo, in the temple. Mary and Joseph Noble received their endowments on the 15th of December, 1845 and the sealing ordinance was performed for them on January 23, 1846. From them they drew a fresh source of strength for the challenging life that lay ahead . In Winter Quarters, Iowa, Joseph Bates was made a Bishop over the Thirteenth ward. The difficult trail to Winter Quaters had made heavy physical demands upon the pioneers. At the home of Bishop and Sister Noble their little son of eigthteen months died on the 6th of November, 1846. He was tenderly laid to rest in the cemetary atop the hill overlooking Winter Quarters. One by one the Jospeh B. Noble family had buried six of their seven children. Only one child now remained, Edward Alvah, age six years. Mary Adeline had a baby daughter, Eliza Theodocia(August 12, 1847) born while crossing the plains, and miraculously, she lived. The dust laden pioneer wagons of Joseph and Mary Noble arrived in the Salt lake Valley on October 2, 1847. This epic history making journey at last was at an end. Before them lay the new challenge of making a home in the mountain valley of Utah. Joseph Bates built three homes for his families in the North Fort. The last child born to Mary and Joseph Noble was a son Benjamin (July 31, 1849). This child was one of the three of Joseph and Mary Noble to grow to maturity. Mary Adeline did not complete this journal, but her trails followed the pattern of strife, suffering, deprivation, death and disease that the saints went through from 1834 to 1847 when they left for the far west and Utah. She buried six of her nine children on that trail of woe, but continued to hold fast to her strong testimony of her God and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It all had an effect on her health, on February 14, 1851, Mary Adeline Noble passed away. She was 41 years old. Her funeral was held in the Old Bowery and President Brigham Young preached the funeral sermon of this devoted Pioneer mother. Mary was buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery. Her three children were raised by one of Joseph Nobles wives. She died 49 years before her husband and saw only the beginning of Zion’s growth and the conquest of the state of Deseret. But she was one of the stalwart vanguard of the faithful servants of God and her posterity is proud of the heritage she willed them. Today her numerous decedents arise and call her name blessed. Mary Adeline must have been a sweet and lovable woman who was unselfish and devoted. Polygamy must have been a factor in her life both for happiness and unhappiness. We had nothing to judge her feelings for her journal ended in Kirtland, but once on her husband’s birthday, she made him a gift. A picture made out of her babies hair, and a sweet, but melancholy little poem telling him of her love and devotion. She was a talented poet and she left a little volume of her hand written poems. Her journal was signed by friends and has such names as Wilford Woodruff, Eliza R. Snow(with whom she crossed the plains with), Sarah Kimball, Louise F. Whitney and others. One story-Artemisia Beman Snow was a great friend of a couple she and Erastus converted, the Ashbys. When they all moved to Nauvoo the Snows and the Ashbys built just across the street from the Noble home. Mary Adeline and Susan Ashby became good friends. They all left Nauvoo about the same time and during the hardships of the Exodus Mr. Ashby died. In the course of events, Susan became the polygamous wife of Joseph Bates Noble. When Mary Adeline had her 9th and last child in Salt Lake, she didn’t recover her strength and asked Susan to take care of her children if she should die which she did not long after the request. She was only 41 years old. Susan had them only four months when she too died. After Mary Adeline’s death, Joseph Bates lived to be more than 90 years old and was made a patriarch in his later years. He was Joseph Smith’s bishop while they lived in Nauvoo. He went with a number of men to Carthage with Joseph and Hyrum when Joseph had a premonition he would never come back. He gave Joseph Bates Noble his Nauvoo Legion Sword. This sword was kept in the family until a few years ago when it was turned over to the Bureau of Information on Temple Square. A poem wrote by Sally Brutts Beman in 1834 prior to her daughter, Mary Adeline, getting married to Joseph Bates Noble. My love for thee must ever be fond as in years gone by, While to the heart it shall be like a dream of memory, Dearest, farewell, may angel hosts Their vigils o’er thee keep. How can I speak that fearful word? Farewell and yet not weep, Go dearest one, my selfish love Shall never pale thy cheek Not even a mother’s fears for thee Will in sadness speak Yet how can I with coldness check The burning tears that start? Hast thou not turned from me to dwell Within another’s heart? In fancy, still I see thine eyes Uplifted to my face. I hear thy lisping tones and mark With joy thy childish grace. And yet I would not breathe a sigh How can I but repine? The sorrow that they mother feels Was suffered once by mine. Sally Brutts Beman, 1834 Complied by Pearl Raynes Hart Sources of information: Mary Adeline Beman Autobiography, “A Nobleman in Zion” by Hazel Noble Boyack, Biographies submitted to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers by Jessie Taylor Bennett, Sadie Clark, and Donna D. Ewer.