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Olive Amelia Whittle

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Olive Amelia Whittle

 

Olive Whittle was the first child of Thomas Levi Whittle and Mary

Amelia Fulmer. She was born 9 December 1833 in Mersea, Essex, Ontario,

Canada. Her father was of French, Irish, and Canadian ancestry and her

mother was from German parents. There were nine children born to this

couple. John Casper was born 28 May 1835 and Mary Etta was born 8 July

1837 in Mersea, Canada.

Thomas Levi Whittle, his wife, and their family left Canada when Olive

was not yet four years old. They first settled in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.

The Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stopped at their

door and were able to teach the gospel to them. Thomas and Mary were

baptized 22 November 1837 by Zera Pulsipher. The family soon left for

Quincy, Adams, Illinois. It was here that George was born to them on 18

June 1840. They endured many hardships here, as did the rest of the saints.

They soon followed the Church to Nauvoo. Here Zera was born 21 March

1843, and he was followed two years later by Emeline on 7 March 1845.

Olive was baptized in 1842, possibly in Nauvoo.

Into this same beautiful city of sorrow came Jonathan H. and Olive

Boynton Hale with their five children. Pushed and persecuted with the rest

of the saints, they now felt they had found a permanent place of residence.

They built a lovely home. Jonathan was made bishop of the Ninth Ward.

Aroet, their oldest son, was the drummer boy to the Nauvoo Legion and

marched in all their celebrations. By any chance did Olive see that young boy

in uniform beating his heart out as the parades moved along the lovely streets

that looked out over the bend of the Mississippi River? Or, did Aroet notice

the little blue-eyed, dark-haired, French-Canadian girl? Were they in the same

ward? Their families both left for the trip west in the Heber C. Kimball

Company.

On 4 February 1846, the great Nauvoo exodus began. Thomas Whittle

and his family were listed as members of the 2nd Company, 2nd Division,

Heber C. Kimball Command. Zera Pulsipher was captain of 100 and Thomas

Whittle and family belonged to the 2nd Division of the Pulsipher Unit of the

Heber C. Kimball Company. They left the Elkhorn River crossing the 1st of

June 1848. Aroet Hale, his sister, and two brothers, now orphans, were in the

Heber C. Kimball Division.

The Brigham Young company and the Heber C. Kimball company

would make arrangements to have their encampments within a mile or so of

each other so that the young folk might visit with each other and enjoy

occasional socials and recreation. It was on one of these occasions that Olive

and Aroet met. They began their courtship, which continued over a year in

the valley.

Upon arriving in the valley, the Hale children camped outside the wall

of the barricade the 1847 pioneers had built. At religious services held in the

Bowery, it was agreed that Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball should allot

the people their inheritance and apportionment of the city lots. The Hale

children were assigned a building lot that was two blocks west of Temple

Square on North Temple on the north side of the street. Their apportionment

was near the Thomas Whittle lot.

Aroet and Lucus Hoagland, the intended husband of Aroet’s sister

Rachel, built the second home in that area. It was an adobe one room home

with a dirt floor and roof. Canvas covered the door and window openings.

It was into this home that Olive went as a bride. Aroet and Olive were united

in marriage on 5 September 1849 by Heber C. Kimball. They were sealed as

eternal companions in the Endowment House, 16 March 1857. Olive was a

bride at 16 and Aroet was 21. When Lucas and Rachel married a few months

later, Aroet and Olive moved to Grantsville, taking Aroet’s youngest brother

Alma with them. Their first child, Aroet Lucius Hale, was born here on 6

June 1850. Two years later they had a daughter and named her Olive Amelia

Hale. She was born 11 July 1852 while her mother was visiting in Salt Lake

City. Their third child was born 19 Jan 1854 in Grantsville. He was named

Jonathan Harriman Hale.

In 1855 at the April General Conference of the Church, Aroet was

called with 32 other men, on a mission. Leaving his young wife with three

children in the care of his 18-year-old brother, he went to the Las Vegas

Mission to “teach the Gospel, fight Indians, and keep the stage line open.”

Just a few months later Olive gave birth to their fourth child, Thomas Whittle

Hale, 29 November 1855 in Grantsville, Utah.

The letters exchanged between Olive and Aroet show the dire

circumstances of Olive and the family. The wheat harvested was 16 ½

bushels, the same as they had planted, there had been no rain, Jonathan had

been sick and fussy for so long and had not walked for three months. The

cow died, another cow was exchanged for commodities, the nearby Indians

caused many problems for the settlers, Olive’s little sister died. Aroet arranged

with the owner of the shoe shop for the children to have shoes, and for

someone to paint the house. Aroet also told Olive that he may bring home an

Indian squaw as a wife. Poor Olive was heartsick, but real spunky. She told

Aroet he would not need her and the squaw to keep him clean, and he needn’t

come if he has another wife! Some time passed before she received another

letter telling her he was just teasing her.

Later, in January 1856, Olive told Aroet the teachers had been with her

a couple of hours preaching on the plurality of wives and they have almost

converted her to the practice, but she doesn’t want Aroet to bring a wife back

from Las Vegas with him. She would much rather he finish his mission then

come home for a while before he chooses his other wives.

It is apparent that Aroet’s mission was finished sometime in the spring

of 1856, for he returned to Grantsville in April of that year for a visit. While

he was there, the mission was closed and all the men sent home.

In March 1857 Aroet took Louisa Phippen as a plural wife. They had

a daughter named Ester, in November 1858, and the marriage ended shortly

thereafter, in divorce.

Olive’s next child, Rachel Susan, was born 1 December 1857. About

this time, Olive’s health began to deteriorate. On 22 March 1859 she gave

birth to a boy, Solomon Eliphet. Olive continued in poor health, and on 14

September 1860, she died. She was buried in the Grantsville Cemetery.

Aroet was now alone with six motherless children.

Olive’s sister Emeline, stayed with the family for about 15 months. In

December of the next year, Aroet married Louisa Cook on Christmas Eve.

Now Olive’s children were again in the hands of a good mother. Solomon

always spoke of Louisa Cook as the best mother a child could ever have. Aroet

and Louisa were parents of eight children. In March 1865, Aroet took

Louisa’s sister, Charlotte, as a plural wife. They were the parents of nine

children. Olive, Louisa and Charlotte are all buried beside Aroet in the

Grantsville Cemetery.

Source: History of Olive Whittle Hale by Helen Hale Winward

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Compiled by Barbara Winward Seager July 1997 -4-

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