Question: Who was Azariah Tuttle and what hardships did he and his family face after joining the Church in England in 1836?
Answer: Azariah Tuttle, son of Terry and Eleanor Mills Tuttle, was born in New York City, April 20, 1818. His father died when he was nine years old, and he had to begin to work early to help support the family. He worked in a printing office, and when he was fifteen was bound out to learn a trade. Azariah had served four years and nine months when he heard the Mormon Elders, Parley P. Pratt and Elijah Fordham, tell the story of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his mother, Eleanor and his brother Luther, were all baptized on December 7, 1836.
Ann Mabbott was born in the little town of Beverly, Yorkshire. in the southern part of England on December 2, 1821. Her parents Thomas and Ann Elizabeth Barnes Mabbott were very poor and while still very young, Ann was put to work in a Linen Factory. When Ann was about ten years old her father left England and came to America. Two years later, he sent for his family. They landed at New York on April 4, 1833, having spent the hardest, roughest trip ever known to the old Captain. Mr. and Mrs. Mabbott soon moved to Albany leaving Ann in New York City with a Quaker family, Mr. and Mrs. Hill. Here she stayed during the next four years and was treated more like a daughter than a chamber maid. In the year 1837, at the age of sixteen, Ann Mabbott joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unknown to her parents who were not in sympathy with the new doctrine. No other member of her family ever joined.
Azariah Tuttle and Ann Mabbott soon met, courted and were married on March 11, 1838 in New York. The marriage was performed by Elder Parley P. Pratt. In 1838, the whole Tuttle family joined the Saints in Missouri, living at Far West until after the battle of Crooked River. Azariah's mother, Eleanor Mills Tuttle, lived with them. When they were forced to leave, they went to Fort Leavenworth. Here they stopped long enough to earn money to take them to St. Louis, but soon moved with the Saints to Quincy, Illinois.
Their next move was to Lima, about thirty-three miles from Quincy, in Adams County. They had all their belongings in a wagon drawn by one horse. While trying to ford Bear Creek, the wagon tipped over. Azariah's one thought was to save his mother and his wife. After taking his mother safely to shore, he returned and caught Ann in his arms and swam for dear life. Most of their belongings were lost.
Azariah and Ann and his mother finally reached Lima and immediately set to work to build a home. Their first child was born here the 15th of August 1839. They named him Alexander Leonard. On the 3rd of November 1843, they had a baby girl they named Elizabeth Ann. Not long after this, the mob went on the rampage, and their little home was burned down. They spent that night at the home of Brother York. The next day they went to Isaac Morley's and a few days later moved to his settlement, and later on to Nauvoo. They were in Nauvoo when the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum were killed in June 1844 in Carthage.
When the Saints were driven from the State of Illinois, Azariah and Ann were with them. It was at Winter Quarters on the 22 December 1846 their third child Luther Terry was born. He died the 18th of August 1847. Here they had two more daughters, Abigail, and Mary Ann. The Tuttles were not able to join the Saints when they left Winter Quarters to come West. Instead they went into Missouri and found work to get the necessities for the long trip ahead. They then joined Bishop Thomas C.D. Howell's company in 1852. They arrived at Provo the 15th of September intending to make their home there, but through the persuasion of Father Isaac Morley they went on to Manti, arriving there October 12, 1852. They were blessed with four more sons while living here.
Early life in Manti called for hard work and great patience and endurance and an abiding faith in the restored Gospel. Even during the Indian troubles, famine and pestilence, Azariah and Ann stayed true to the Gospel.
During the first thirty-two years of their married life, Azariah’s mother, Eleanor, lived with them. Eleanor passed away in 1877 in Manti at the age of almost 78.
Azariah was a member of the City Council in Manti for several years and was the City Watermaster for nearly twenty years. He passed away on April 16, 1901 and is buried in the Manti Cemtery. Ann Mabbott Tuttle passed away to join her husband on February 2, 1903.
Source: Excerpts from “The Life Sketch of Azariah Tuttle and Ann Mabbott,” revised and typed by Leah Brown Lyman, FamilySearch.org; FindAGrave.com