Uriah Curtis, son of joseph and Elsa Brockway Curtis, was born 5 May 1805 in Stephentown, New York. Uriah was the ninth child of eleven.
Uriah Married 1st, Phoebe Martin 20 January 1825
Pleasant Township, Brown, Ohio, United States
He was twenty years old and she was nineteen. Phoebe was born in Pleasant Township on 7 May 1806. They were both probably members of the First Methodist Church in Georgetown, because they were married by Joseph Stapleton, who affiliated with that church.
In 1829, Uriah and Phoebe moved to Fountain County, Indiana, where the federal government had recently opened land for settlement. Eventually most of the family followed Uriah and Phoebe to Indiana.
Uriah age 26, and his family were introduced to the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fountain County. Uriah was baptized 7 July 1831 by Solomon Hancock in Shawnee Creek. It is assumed that Phoebe was baptized close to the same time.
According to church records, his father and mother, Joseph and Elsa, along with Barbara, his younger sister, all joined the church about 1849, but Uriah and his brother, Benjamin Gardner, were the only two of the Curtis children who made the trek to Utah.
In 1833 Uriah and Phoebe moved to Missouri. There are records of them in Clay County and in Caldwell County, but it is uncertain whether they spent a brief period in Jackson County as well. His parents and the rest of the family stayed in Indiana where they were homesteading land.
Uriah is found on the Nauvoo Tax Index in 1842 so it is known that he owned property in Hancock County. Sometime prior to this, Uriah’s parents, Joseph and Elsa, and his brother, Benjamin Gardner and his family, joined Uriah in Nauvoo. They are all found on the tax records. When property was assessed in 1846, Uriah and Joseph are no longer found there.
On 6 August 1843, Uriah was inducted into the Second Company in the Nauvoo Legion as a Fourth Corporal. Uriah was ordained to the office of a Seventy in 1845 according to LDS records. He was in the 22nd Quorum, and later he was in the presidency of the 28th Quorum. LDS records show Uriah as the officiator at the baptism of several individuals. In Nauvoo on 29 December 1845, both Uriah and Phoebe received their patriarchal blessings from church patriarch, John Smith, uncle of the Prophet Joseph. Uriah’s parents, Joseph and Elsa, had received their blessings about three months earlier. Two weeks after receiving their patriarchal blessings, on Monday, 12 January 1846, Uriah and Phoebe were endowed and sealed for time and all eternity in the Nauvoo Temple. Brigham Young officiated at the altar.
It is not known when the Curtis family left Nauvoo. It is known that his brother, Benjamin Gardner, received a severe beating by a mob of about 80 armed men. It is also known that Uriah’s parents Joseph and Elsa Curtis fled across the river to Montrose where they later died, Elsa in 1847 and Joseph in 1848.
Uriah Curtis' and Charles Barnum's families were with the Saints in Nauvoo and became friends there. Charles daughter Eliza Barnum was baptized in 1846 and Uriah's son Lehi Curtis 12 May 1842.
Uriah and his family were in Pottawatomie County, Iowa, in July 1846, because he is mentioned in church records as being camped to commence a settlement for the winter.
The Barnum Family was saddened by the sudden death of their father Charles Barnum and their older brother Alfred, in the fall of 1846. This left Elizabeth and Eliza (mother and daughter) alone in this place far away from any family members. Their friendship with the Curtis family brought the two families so close and dependent that marriage was the next step.
Uriah Curtis married 2nd, Elizabeth (Thorne) Barnum 7 Jan 1848, as a second wife in Pottowatomie County, Iowa, the widow of his friend, Charles Barnum. Elizabeth Thorne Barnum was 37. She married Uriah at Brigham Young’s residence and at the same time she was sealed to Charles, her first husband. Elizabeth’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Eliza, married Uriah’s nineteen-year-old son, Lehi, a few years later.
Charles and Elizabeth’s oldest son Alfred had died 21 August 1846, and Charles had died 6 September 1846, leaving Elizabeth Barnum a widow with two fatherless daughters, Eliza and Mary. Uriah Curtis took Elizabeth Barnum as his second wife in 1848, but saw to it that she and the family were sealed to their father.
They settled at "Big Pigeon", where Uriah became Branch President . Their temporary home, "Big Pigeon", was near present day Council Bluffs, Iowa.
On 24 June 1852 Uriah Curtis, age 47, was appointed by the leader of the church as captain of the 16th Company of Emigrants, an ox team company of 50 wagons and 365 Saints from Pottawatomie County.
There must have been a brief stop in Kanesville, Nebraska to gather supplies. Kanesville was designed to be an out-fitting place, a layover place where those too poverty stricken, tired, discouraged, or unprepared could delay their journey. They could plant crops, work for someone else, or in some way get teams, wagons/handcarts, supplies, and food that would be needed for the trip west.
Of the 23 overland companies emigrating in 1852, Uriah’s was the largest. His company contained many woman and children. Many in the company were Uriah’s family or related through marriage.
In Uriah’s personal outfit, he had three wagons, one horse, eight oxen, and eight cows. Traveling with him were his wife, Phoebe, age 47, and their children, Uriah Martin, 16, Mary Malinda, 14, and Phoebe Emeline, 8. In this company was his second wife, Elizabeth Thorn Barnum Curtis. Also numbered with the company were Phoebe and Uriah’s married children. Elsa Ann had married David Benson, son of Alva and Cynthia Vail Benson whom Uriah had converted.
Uriah Married 3rd, Mary Magdelena Wickel Huff.
According to family records, Uriah married his third wife during the journey to Utah. Mary Magdelena Wickel Huff’s first husband, Henry Huff, had died about October 1850 in western Iowa. She was left with five young children. Uriah was sealed to her in the Endowment House on 29 Dec 1852... after reaching Utah on October 1st, 1852.
The family settled in Springville Utah. After his arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, Uriah is found on church records in both South Cottonwood in Salt Lake City and Hobble Creek in Springville. Uriah and Elizabeth Barnum had a baby in Big Cottonwood on 22 March 1853. He and Mary Huff had their first baby the following December.
Phoebe settled in Springville, and this seems to have become the homestead for her and Uriah. Each of Uriah’s wives sooner or later spent time in Springville. Both Uriah and (Benjamin) Gardner Curtis settled in Springville very early in its history. The people in the southeast part of Springville, called Sage Creek, built a school. The first teacher was Uriah Curtis.
By 1854 Uriah had received a call from Brigham Young to go to the Iron Mission and work in the iron mines. On April 12, 1854, he filed for land and on 1 March 1854 paid fees for property in Coal Creek (Cedar City). The 1856 census does not show him there, so he must have returned to his families in Springville soon after.
On 12 July 1857, both Uriah and Phoebe were re-baptized, an outward expression of renewed dedication to the Church during pioneer times. Uriah spent some time in Pond Town (Salem) and helped build a dam there to conserve the spring water so it could be used for irrigation.
Uriah Married 4th, Elizabeth Jane Stump on 5 February 1860. She was not sealed to him until eight years after Uriah died.
Uriah died in Pond Town (Salem) on 18 October 1863 at the age of 58. He was only sick for nine days before he passed away with “lung fever.” He could have had pneumonia or tuberculosis, but more than likely it was lung problems caused from the dust the wagon masters encountered on the trip west or from the dust in the mines in Iron County.
He was buried in the Springville City Cemetery.
Uriah and Phoebe Martin (1806–1867) had 7 children:
Elsa Ann Curtis 1826–1892
Erastus Curtis 1828–1902
Eliza Jane Curtis 1830–1901
Lehi Curtis 1832–1899
Uriah Martin Curtis 1837–1894
Mary Malinda Curtis 1839–1889
Phoebe Emeline Curtis 1844–1905
Uriah and Elizabeth Thorne Barnum (1810–1902) had 1 child:
Harriet Ann Curtis 1853–1911
Uriah and Mary Magdelena Wickel (1816–1890) had 3 children:
Louisa Anne Curtis 1853–1941
Phoebe Curtis 1856–1932
William Curtis 1858–1859
Uriah and Elizabeth Jane Stump (1829–1909) had 2 children:
Vicena Calesta Curtis 1860–1926
Joseph Uriah Curtis 1863–1942
Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, page 833:
CURTIS, URIAH (son of Charles Curtis). Born at New York In 1807.
"Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZ88-FHF : 8 December 2014), Uriah Curtis and Phebe Martin, 20 Jan 1825; citing Brown, Ohio, United States, reference bk c #187; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 384,273.
"Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XDH9-NLN : 8 December 2014), Uriah Curtis and Phebe Martin, 20 Jan 1825; citing , Brown, Ohio, reference 2:1NGXWHG; FHL microfilm 384,273.
"Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1964", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZPF-42P : 11 September 2015), Uriah Curtis in entry for Joseph Uriah Curtis, 1942.
"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MZ4N-PDV : 9 November 2014), Uriah Curtis, Pottawattamie county, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States; citing family 698, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MH2W-HVW : 30 December 2015), Uriah Curtis, 1860.
Ancestry.com: Original data: Microfilm of Iowa State Censuses, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925 as well various special censuses from 1836-1897 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest
Record can be found on the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website maintained by the Church History Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.
MORMON PIONEER OVERLAND TRAVEL [Crossing the Plains] (http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels) Uriah Curtis Company: Departed Council Bluffs, Iowa on 28 June 1852 Arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah between 29 Sept/1 Oct 1852 Family members who traveled in this company: Curtis, Uriah [Head of Family] 47 5 May 1805 Captain of the Company Curtis, Phoebe Martin [Wife] 46 7 May 1806 Curtis, Erastus 24 15 May 1828 Curtis, Uriah Martin 15 7 Mar. 1837 Curtis, Mary Malinda 13 20 Jan. 1839 Curtis, Phoebe Emeline 7 6 Dec. 1844 Curtis, Elizabeth T. Barnum [Wife] 42 27 May 1810 Curtis, Lehi [Married son] 19 28 Oct. 1832 Curtis, Eliza Barnum 14 15 Oct. 1837 Child, John Lonson [Son-in-Law] 21 26 Oct. 1830 Child, Eliza Jane Curtis 22 3 Apr. 1830 Huff, Mary M.Wiekel [Future Wife] 36 18 June 1816 Huff, Martha 9 1843 Also David & Elsa Ann (Curtis) Benson family (separate listing) Excerpts from General Voyage Notes: About 365 individuals and 51 wagons were in the company, when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs). Benson, Cynthia Vail, [Interview], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 5:19. On June 28, 1852, they began their journey to the Rocky Mountains, having two wagons, two yoke of oxen, and two of cows. There were twelve persons in those two wagons. They were a part of the company led by Uriah Curtis. They arrived in Salt Lake City, Sept. 29, 1852. [**Data as to family member names and births was not taken from an original roster, but is based on information found in New FamilySearch and descendants' submission.]
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