Seeley Owen

Question: Was Seeley Owen one of the original pioneers of Utah, coming in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?

Answer: Seeley Owen, one of the original pioneers of Utah, was born on March 20, 1805, at Multon, Rutland County, Vermont, a son of Ethan and Hannah Owen.

He married Lydia Adaline Owen on November 27, 1834, in Rushville, Schuyler, Illinois. Lydia was Seeley’s first cousin. They had two children, but the first one was born and died in 1835. Seeley Owen joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 20, 1837. Seeley and Lydia had a daughter, Ann, born in January 1839.

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Seeley and his wife moved to Nauvoo, Illinois about 1841. While they lived in Nauvoo, Seeley owned two lots in town and had a farm a few miles out of town. Seeley helped in the building of the Nauvoo Temple, and sorrowed at the death of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum.

On January 3, 1846, Seeley was made a Seventy and received his endowment in the Nauvoo Temple. He and his first wife Lydia Adaline were sealed in the Nauvoo Temple on January 7, 1846. They left Nauvoo in February 1846 with the Saints when the members were driven from Nauvoo by the mobs.

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They made it to Winter Quarters, but there Lydia died on September 19, 1846, leaving him with Ann, who was just seven years of age. On March 22, 1847, at Winter Quarters, Seeley married Elizabeth Pickle. She was born May 15, 1826, in Perry Township, Franklin, Ohio. .

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In the spring of 1847, Seeley became a member of Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company, and his name is on the plaque which is on the “This is the Place” monument in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elizabeth and eight-year-old Ann made it to Utah in the Jedediah M. Grant/Joseph B. Noble Company. They left Winter Quarters June 19, 1847 and arrived in Utah on October 2, 1847, where Seeley was waiting for them.

The family lived in Little Cottonwood Canyon. On July 24, 1854, he gave a pioneer speech at Union, Salt Lake County, Utah. They later moved to Provo and then he was called to help with the settlement of Wallsburg, Wasatch County, Utah. Seeley and Elizabeeth had eight children all born in Utah.

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Seeley later moved his family to Flagstaff, Arizona. While there, he obtained work on the Atlantic Pacific Railroad. In 1881 he was hit by a train and killed. He is buried near Flagstaff, but no grave marker has been found for him.

Source: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia; “Seeley Owen,” FamilySearch.org: “Seeley Owen”