Levi Jackman

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Question: How old was Levi Jackman when he joined Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?

Answer: “I, Levi Jackman, was born in the state of Vermont, Orange County, town of Virshier, on the 28th day of July 1797. My father's name was Moses French Jackman. My mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Carr. Soon after they were married, my father moved to the state of Vermont. My mother had five boys. I was the youngest.They had no girls. My father was killed by the fall of a tree on July 7, 1797, three weeks before I was born.

“In February, 1810, we moved to the state of New York; arrived at Batavia on the 26th of March and in the fore-part of April went on a piece of land that we had selected for our home. Soon after our arrival, my mother had a cancer in her breast which terminated her days about the 20th of September 1819. She was one of the best mothers, and spared no pains to bring up her children in the way they should go.

“On the 13th day of November, 1817, I married a wife by the name of Angeline Myers. This was in the town of Alexander, Genesee County, New York. My wife, when I married her, had a son by the name of Albert Brady. He was then about four years old. We had five children as follows: William was born October 6, 1818. Aurelia was born September 20, 1820. Parmenio was born August 6, 1822. Ammi was born February 6, 1825. The next was a boy, Levi Myers, born May 2, 1828, but he lived only about two hours.

“In the year 1830, we moved to the Ohio Portage County. The next winter Joseph Smith and others came to that country with the Book of Mormon, and bore testimony to its truth. After a fair investigation, I believed it, and embraced it. On the 4th day of May1831, my wife and her mother were baptized. On the 7th I was baptized. Harvey Whitlock baptized us.

“A few days after this, I was ordained an elder by Oliver Cowdrey [Cowdery]. This season Joseph Smith with about twenty elders went to the west part of the state of Missouri to find location for the saints. They returned the next fall after having picked Jackson County for the place. This season a few families moved to the place. The work spread with much power and signs followed the preaching of the work, and very many received it. In November, at a conference, I was ordained a high priest with many others. It was decided that as many as could (with few exceptions) should move west the next spring.”

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Levi traveled to Missouri, but after having settled there for a few years, had to leave due to the persecution. While in Clay County, Levi was appointed to the high council by the Prophet Joseph. Levi was then asked to move to Kirtland, Ohio, where a temple was being built. Levi helped with the temple, and then returned to Missouri. He settled for a time at Far West, Caldwell County, but eventually was forced out of there also. He made it to Quincy, Illinois, and then to Nauvoo. While there, Levi worked on the Nauvoo Temple.

In the spring of 1844, Levi was called on a mission. When he returned on July 21 to Nauvoo, he found that the Prophet Joseph had been martyred. “My wife was taken sick about this time but seemed to get a little better so that she could be taken to the temple and we received our endowments. A short time after she was taken worse and finally died January 24, 1846. That was a gloomy day for me. We had lived together some twenty-eight years without a jar of contention. She was a kind wife, a tender mother, and neighbor whose loss was lamented. In short, she lived and died a saint...After living in this way for some time I married [1846] a widow by the name of Sally Roberts Plumb. [Sally was 47 and had given birth to twelve children with her first husband.] She had taken care of my wife in the last of her sickness, and I knew her to be a good and kind woman. I continued to work in the wagon shop until we got ready to leave the place.”

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Levi made it to Winter Quarters, where he joined Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in April 1847, to head west to find a place for the Saints to settle. Levi Jackman was a member of the 13th Company of Ten, led by Shadrach Roundy. Levi was 49 years of age at this time. Levi was one of Orson Pratt's selected vanguards, that came ahead of the main body into the Salt Lake Valley. The main group entered the Valley on July 24, 1847. Levi kept a daily journal of this trek. He stayed in the valley and helped build the fort and plant crops. The first few years, Levi suffered greatly for want of food and clothing.

Levi married Sarah Lucinda Harmon on November 18, 1849, and they had four children. Levi was a member of the high council in Utah and served for many years as a counselor to the Bishop in the 16th ward in Salt Lake City.

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In March 1864, Levi moved Lucinda and her children to Pond Town, now Salem, Utah. They purchased a small piece of ground and built a humble home. Levi spent the summer months in Salem and the winter months in Salt Lake City. Levi Jackman passed away on July 23, 1876, in Salem, Utah, just before his 79th birthday. He was buried in the Salem City Cemetery.

Source: Excerpts from “Autobiography of Levi Jackman,” FamilySeach.org; FindAGrave.com