CATHERINE LENSE BECKSTEAD

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CATHERINE LENSE BECKSTEAD

 BIRTHDATE: 6 Jul 1807 Williamsburg, Dundas, Canada

DEATH: 12 Nov 1889 West Jordan, Salt Lake Co., Utah

PARENTS: Bartholomew Lence Nancy Castleman

PIONEER: Sep 1849 Wagon Train Company

SPOUSE: Alexander Beckstead

MARRIED: 25 Jan 1823 Williamsburg, Dundas, Canada

DEATH: 25 Feb 1870 West Jordan, Salt Lake Co., Utah

CHILDREN:

Margaret Mariah 9 Dec 1823

Gordan Silas 25 Nov 1825

Henry 4 Sep 1827

William 24 Sep 1829

Harriett Vernisha, 17 Jun 1831

Thomas Wesley, 27 Apr 1833

Lucy Ann, 16 Mar 1835

Emeline, 4 Apr 1837

Sarah Elizabeth, 31 Dec 1838

Samuel Alexander, 25 Dec 1840

Amanda Jane, 3 Jun 1843

George Washington, 3 Dec 1845

John Alma, 9 Aug 1848

Mary Ellen, 9 Aug 1848

Joseph Alonzo, 27 Dec 1850

 

 

 

Three missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints visited the homes of Alexander and his father, Francis. They accepted the Gospel and were baptized. They sold their land and made preparations to join the Saints. They traveled by ox-team and wagons enduring many hardships, and finally reached DeWitt, Caldwell, Missouri, where they spent the winter. In the spring they moved to an area near Nauvoo, Illinois, and settled where ever they would be able to build a home. By this time Alexander and Catherine had nine children.


When the Saints were driven from Nauvoo in 1846 they moved with the others to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Almost immediately the government requested volunteers for the Mormom Battalion; three of the Beckstead boys joined, reducing the help much needed to look after the families.

Catherine's family made preparations for movement of their family to Great Salt Lake Valley, and reached there in September, 1849. They settled in West Jordan, Utah, where there was practically nothing but sagebrush, and settled on the River Bottoms by the Jordan River. Their only source of water was from the river.

They were the first family to get water on the land, after much hard labor, and built the "Beckstead ditch." The first homes were adobe huts, and some holes dug into the banks by the river. As rapidly as possible they built homes, and a school for the children. In 1853, they helped build the Old Rock Church in West Jordan, which still stands.

Her husband had a blacksmith shop and their farm, and were able to help the Saints in their move west, and others, by dividing what they had among the poor. Catherine's life was full of hardships, which she accepted, and built them into blessings, with a strong faith in the Gospel. Catherine was the mother of fifteen children, and left a large posterity.

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