Ira Stearns Hatch – 1849

Hatch, Ira Stearns

Ira Stearns Hatch, my 4th great-grandfather, arrived in the Salt Lake valley with the Allen Taylor company on 20 Oct 1849.  His affiliation with the LDS church started much earlier and he actually left Nauvoo with the Brigham Young company, but there were many road blocks that delayed his travel to the west.  He was married to several wives and had many children.  Three different personal histories were found for him: first, second, and third.

-Ira Stearns Hatch was born on 9 Feb 1802 in Winchester, Cheshire, New Hampshire to Ira Hatch and Lucinda Rice.

-Wealthea Bradford was born on 1 Nov 1804 in Turner, Androscoggin, Maine to Simeon Bradford and Martha True.  She was a direct descendant of Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony.  Here is a personal history for her.

-Ira & Wealthea were married on 6 Jan 1824 at Farmersville, Cattaraugus, New York.

First child, my 3rd great-grandfather Meltiar, was born on 15 Jul 1825 at Farmersville.  (Later in life, he married my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Ann Ellis, daughter of John Ellis.)  Meltiar’s page is HERE.

-Second child, Ransom, was born on 13 Nov 1827 at Farmersville.

-Third child, Orin, was born on 9 May 1830 at Farmersville.

-Fourth child, Rhoana, was born on 19 May 1832 at Farmersville.

-The histories (see three choices above) suggest that Wealthea became interested in the church when she met missionaries that were working with Indians in their area.  She was reportedly baptized up to two years before Ira accepted the church, which he did after meeting with the Prophet Joseph Smith when they traveled to Kirtland, Ohio.  Records indicate that Ira Stearns Hatch was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 1834 (by John Gould).

-Fifth child, Ira, was born on 5 Aug 1835 at Farmersville.

-Sixth child, Ephraim, was born on 30 Nov 1836 at Farmersville.

-Ira and his older sons went to Kirtland to help build the temple there during 1838.

-Seventh child, Ancel, was born on 18 Jun 1840 at Farmersville… and soon afterwards the family moved to Illinois to be close to the saints in Nauvoo.

-Wealthea died on 3 Nov 1841 at Eaton Farm near Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois.

Ira Stearns and his son, Meltiar, participated in the Nauvoo Legion.

-Ira Stearns married Mrs. Abigail Whitely Jarvis (widow) on 2 Mar 1843 at Hancock, Illinois.

-Ira Stearns received his Patriarchal Blessing on 2 Aug 1845 and then was ordained to the 5th Quorum of the Seventy on 3 Aug 1845.  Both Ira Stearns & Abigail were endowned in the Nauvoo Temple on 21 Jan 1846.

-The family left Nauvoo with Brigham Young in 1846.  When they reached Iowa, the oldest son Meltiar and the 16-yr-old brother Orin were pressed into service with what became known as the Mormon Battalion.  They eventually marched almost 2000 miles to San Diego, California.  Another brother, Ransom, was too sick to enlist.  (Meltiar left behind a new wife, Permelia, who gave birth to their first child several months later.)

-The Ira Stearns family continued on to Winter Quarter’s, Douglas, Nebraska where Abigail died in childbirth on 12 Feb 1847.  Ira Stearns stayed behind when Brigham Young traveled on to Salt Lake a few weeks later with the first group.  Fortunately, Ransom was there to help Ira as he gathered medicines and supplies for his family, leaving Rhoana home alone in charge of her three younger brothers despite the threat of Indians.

-Brigham Young returned to Winter Quarter’s to collect a larger group of saints to travel back to Salt Lake.  While there, Brigham Young sealed Ira Stearns to his third wife, Mary Hazelton on 25 Feb 1848.  The first two wives, though dead, were sealed to Ira Stearns by proxy on that same day.  Ira Stearns kept his family back again, choosing to wait for the other sons to return from their service in the Mormon Battalion.

-Meltiar and Orin were released from their service with the battalion and worked at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento, where gold was discovered on 24 Jan 1848.  They left there in July and traveled with others to the Salt Lake valley.  (They helped bury the three men killed at Tragedy Spring.)  When they arrived in Salt Lake (Sep 1848), their family was not there.  So, Meltiar and Orin staked a squatter’s claim near present-day Woods Cross, Utah and prepared to retrieve their family from Winter Quarters, Nebraska.

-Meltiar retrieved the family, including: his father, his new step-mother, and his four younger siblings as well as his wife and young son that he hadn’t seen for almost two years.  They traveled with the Allen Taylor company as previously mentioned.  Orin likely waited on the land that had been claimed in Salt Lake.  The other brother, Ransom, was not listed with the group and likely traveled to Utah after 1850.

-Listed in the 1850 US Fed Census were Ira Stearns & Mary and his three youngest children with Wealthea.  Unfortunately, Ira Stearn’s new wife soon left him and went to California.  Meltiar was living next door with his young family.  Rhoana was newly married and living nearby.  Orin had also gone to California, but soon returned to Utah and was married.

-Ira Stearns married Mrs. Jane Bee McKechnie (widow) on 24 Nov 1852 in the Endowment House.  She had three previous children and they had eight more together.  He married another wife, Jane Ann Stuart, on 20 Mar 1857 in the Endowment House and had three children with her.  He was also just sealed to a few more women, which was common practice of the day.

-Ira Stearns died on 27 Sep 1869 at Bountiful, Davis County, Utah.

-Jane Ann Stuart Hatch died on 20 Jul 1896 in Idaho where she was living with children.  She was buried in Bountiful near Ira Stearns.

-Jane Bee McKechnie Hatch continued to live in Bountiful where she died on 9 Aug 1915.  She was buried next to Ira Stearns.

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