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
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.