Joseph Hammond

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Question: What city in Utah did Joseph Hammond help to settle?

Answer: Joseph Hammond was born in Malone, Franklin, New York on June 14, 1822 the oldest of six children born to John Hammond and Mary Louisa Parker. Father John Hammond was born in England and emigrated to America.

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Joseph recorded: “ I was baptized by my father John Hammond in June 1840 in Illinois. Father embraced the gospel in 1836 and moved to Kirkland Ohio the same year. We left Kirkland 1838 with the Kirtland camp. We stopped for a short time in western Ohio after having an accident. We soon continued to Eastern Illinois where we remained, knowing that the Saints had been expelled from Missouri. When they started to build Nauvoo we moved there. Joseph the Prophet stopped overnight at my father’s home on his way to Washington DC. We lived at Golden Point near Nauvoo until the Mormons were driven out. We stopped at Potawatama on Pigeon Creek.

“Our family came across the plains to Utah in 1848 in the [Brigham Young Company]. Our family located in South Cottonwood, Salt Lake County, where I labored as a teacher, having been a teacher most of the time. I was ordained a teacher in Nauvoo, ordained a Seventy by Jedediah H. Grant 25 July 1865. [Joseph’s parents emigrated to Utah with the Allen Taylor Company in the summer of 1849 with his wife and two daughters.]

“During the Echo Canyon war with Johnson’s Army, we moved south. After the battle we moved back and raised a good crop of grain in 1861. I was called by Brigham Young to the Dixie Mission. I became one of the founders of St. George, helped to plan the first water ditch, and was among the first to draw for the first lots in St. George City. I was the head teacher at the beginning of the 3rd Ward. After the organization of the St. George Stake in 1877, I was called to be President of the 29th Quorum of Seventies.

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“My wife, Elizabeth Egbert Hammond, was born 22 March 1824 in Sullivan County Indiana. She was expelled with the Saints from Jackson County Missouri in 1833 and afterwards from Clay County Missouri. Her family moved to Far West and then to Illinois. We were married at Golden Point. We both were associated with the Prophet Joseph and remember him very well. I was a member of the Nauvoo Legion and was there when we heard the Prophet deliver his last address to that body. Both Elizabeth and I have always been strong believers in the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph and loved him dearly.

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“We had seven children come to bless our home. John E., Robert C. and Joseph were born before we left Nauvoo. Susanna, Elizabeth, Louisa and Helen were born after we arrived in Utah. We were endowed in 1855 in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Our children were sealed to us at that time.” (Personal Record of Joseph Hammond)

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It took much hard labor to build the house in Salt Lake. They hauled granite rock from Cottonwood canyon for the foundation by ox team, and it was slow work. The lumber was hard to get also. It took several years to get the house up to the square, and by that time (1861) the call came from the leaders of the church who had decided to send a company to southern Utah to settle in St. George.

Joseph Hammond was one of these called to go. He worked very hard, and finished part of the house so the family could live in it while he was gone. He took the oldest girl, 12 years old, and a boy 15, and left his wife, and one son, and two daughters to take care of the farm. He took an ox team and left in the fall, and reached St. George on the day before Christmas, 1861. They suffered many privations during the winter, just having a small tent and wagon to live in, and it rained continually for a month, so they could do no work to amount to anything. In the spring, he secured a lot and a piece of farming land, and did what he could. They returned to Salt Lake in the fall of 1862, in time to get ready to return back to St. George that winter again with the family. It was a sorrowful time for all, to leave their home in Salt Lake that they had all worked so hard to build, and their good farm, and the graves of their loved ones buried nearby.

In the 1860's, Joseph Hammond and Henry W. Miller bought a mowing machine with which they did custom work. Later he and Charles W. Westover did custom threshing with a small tread machine operated with two large horses. This was a crude way of handling grain and in 1867 Joseph Hammond sent to New York for a more modern machine. It was freighted by water to Panama, by land across the Isthmus and by water up the Coast of the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of California, and up the Colorado River to Call's Landing. Here teams brought it on to St. George. This machine proved a great help and did custom threshing from Overton, Nevada to Parowan in Iron County Utah. Joseph also built a big water wheel, and ran a cotton gin and a molasses mill, by waterpower. His wife did the spinning and weaving of the cloth for their clothing, with the help of her daughters.

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Besides his farming activities Joseph Hammond assisted in the erection of public buildings especially the St. George Temple. After the Temple was completed and dedicated, he served many years as an ordinance worker. In August 1878 he married Delta Kelsey Chinn, a widow with three young children.

While giving these accomplishments to a faithful pioneer, credit should be given to his wife Elizabeth Egbert, who stood by his side and assisted him in all of his activities. In his later years he also had the support of his wife Delta, who was a daughter of one of the founders of St. George City and one of its first city officers, Easton Kelsey.

Joseph’s wife, Delta, bore him one son, Orson, and one daughter Abbie. All of Joseph’s children married and left the city. John and Robert went to Eagle Valley, Nevada. Joseph had died at age five. Elizabeth Stout, Helen, (Nellie) Hanson and Susanna Dean all moved to Arizona and Orson and Abbie Pace went to New Harmony, Utah. The grand parents had all died except grandfather Egbert, so he came to St. George, but later went back north to Kayesville, where he died.

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Joseph Hammond passed away on August 3, 1899, at the age of 77, having lived a long useful life full of sacrifices and service. His wife Elizabeth Egbert Hammond died August 23, 1903. They were both buried in the St. George Cemetery.

Source: FamilySearch.org, Excerpts from “A Short Sketch of the life of Joseph Hammond” by daughter Helen J. Hammond Hanson; “Personal Record of Joseph Hammond,” prepared by Mary A. Miller for the Foster Camp D.U.P, St. George, Utah.