Our Family Legacy
Benjamin Gardner, the son of Nathaniel B. Gardner, was born 19 Aug. 1800, in Johntown, Montgomery, New York. He moved with his father's family to Erie Co., Penn, in the early days. There were only three houses in the city of Erie at that time. He married Electa Lamport, 29 May 1822. They made their home in Erie County, where they built a house and cleared the timber off the land before they could cultivate it. Here ten of their children were born.
1. Benjamin - born 24 Nov. 1823, died same day.
2. Hannah - born 19 Dec. 1824, married George Sterling Mason 22 Mar 1855, Weber County, Utah, they made their home at Willard, Box Elder, Utah, where three children were born to them. She died 10 Apr. 1861.
3. William Lamport - born 3 Feb. 1827, married Angeline Gould 23 Mar 1852, at Council Bluffs, Iowa. they made their home at Willard, Box Elder, Utah, where three children were born. Later they moved to Brigham City where two children were born to them. Died 13 Jul. 1893.
4. Belinda Sophy - born 16 May 1829, died 12 Jun. 1829.
5. Nathaniel Bradley - born 8 May 1830, died 16 Apr. 1851, at Council Bluffs, Iowa.
6. Mahala - born 5 Feb. 1833, married Robert Hughs 10 Mar 1861, at North Ogden, Weber County, Utah. They had two children. She married William Cole 10 Apr. 1868, they made their home at Riverdale, Weber, Utah, where five children were born to them. She died 10 Apr. 1915, in Ogden, Utah.
7. Milo Van Duzen - born 4 Jun. 1835, married Margaret Montgomery 29 Sep. 1856, at North Ogden where they made their home. Here four children were born. In 1868 they moved to Deweyville, Box Elder, Utah, where seven more children were born to them. he died 26 Mar 1908, at Deweyville, Box Elder, Utah.
8. Lucinda - born 30 May 1837, married James Leithead 7 May 1856 at Farmington, Davis, Utah, where they made their home for many years. Here five children were born to them. In 1868 they moved to St. Thomas, Nevada; from there to Lovell, Big Horn, Wyoming, for other children were born to them. She died 16 Apr. 1917, at Lovell, Wyoming.
9. Martha Belinda - born 12 Oct. 1839, married Daniel Webster Holdaway 16 Apr. 1857, North Ogden, Weber, Utah, where they made their home and five children were born to them. In 1870 they moved to Deweyville, Box Elder, Utah, where two more children were born. She died 18 May 1907 in Deweyville, Utah.
10. Electa Ann - born 8 Mar 1842, married John Montgomery 29 Sep. 1859 at North Ogden, Weber, Utah. Here they made their home for the rest of their days. Ten children were born to them. Died 22 Oct. 1930.
11. Joseph Smith - born 15 Mar 1847 at Vernon Van Buren, Iowa, married Mary Elizabeth William 15 Mar 1869, died 20 Mar 1935.
On 17 Jun. 1840 Benjamin and Electa Lamport Gardner were baptized by John Marvin Adams into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In 1843, he with his entire family left Pennsylvania to gather with the Saints at Nauvoo. His youngest sister Margaret, who married Jonathan Sawyer Wells and their entire family accompanied them. While enroute they stopped near Perry, Gauga Co., Ohio to pay her father, William Lamport a visit. He was living with his third wife, Annie Turner. This was the last time she ever saw her father or brothers.
They arrived in Nauvoo in the fall of 1843. After visiting the Prophet Joseph Smith, they went 20 miles south of Nauvoo and settled on Bear Creek on Green Plains, Illinois, north of the Morely settlement.
Benjamin bought 160 acres of land from Mr. Sturg. They lived there until 10 Sep. 1845, when a mob burned their house and destroyed their crops and they were compelled to leave. The family was all sick but two. The mob rode up before sunrise in the morning and ordered them out of the house or they would burn the house over their heads. Benjamin went to the gate and told them his family was all sick and he had nowhere to take them to care for them, but it made no difference. With an oath the mob ordered them out! While Benjamin was talking with the mob, Nathaniel got out of his bed, crawled out of the back window and hid the gun and ammunition in a corn shock (The corn had been cut and shocked.)
The mob helped to carry out the bedding and lay it on the grass which was wet with dew. Then they carried the sick out and laid them on the bedding and set fire to the house, then left to serve other families the same way. The mother cooked breakfast over the coals of her burning house, while her sick children lay shivering in the cold damp air. They had 75 cents in cash but the mob relieved them of that.
When the news reached Nauvoo, Jonathan S. Wells came after them with his team and wagon and took them to his house in Nauvoo, where they stayed for some time. When they went after their corn and other things they had left in their cellar it was all gone. The mob had taken it.
Benjamin was arrested and put in prison. They were held six or eight weeks (he and several other men.) The jailer being tired of keeping them without any bail turned them loose in the night to go home. He and his companions traveled nights and secreted themselves daytimes in cornfields. They arrived home in the night of the third day.
While living near Ree Rush, Electa had to take one of the little boys and go to the mill, or do other business at Warsaw, for if the mob caught the men away from home they would horsewhip them. They even killed some of the men.
I heard Electa Gardner say that her daughter Hannah was working for a wealthy family in Warsaw and when she went to see her daughter she was invited to dine with them. She sat down to a table covered with the best of food, but she could not eat. When she thought of her little ones at home without bread or anything to eat, her heart swelled within her until she could not eat.
In the spring of 1846 Benjamin took his team and wagon as far as Garden Grove with President Young and others to help them over the bad roads. He was gone three months. The boys worked to help support the family. Nathaniel worked for a half bushel of corn per day (at 10 cents per bushel) for Mr. Edmonds. Milo worked for one quart of meal per day in an ox mill, grinding corn in a barn and says he was cheated out of that.
On 9 Sep. 1846 the family left Nauvoo and crossed the Mississippi River in a skiff called the Broadkern and went to St. Prairie, west of Montrose, nine miles from Nauvoo. Here they could hear the firing of the enemy guns at Nauvoo. From there they went south of Bentonsport and worked until in the fall when they went back to Bentonsport on the Des Moines River, Iowa, where Benjamin worked in a grist mill and his sons, William and Nathaniel. Nathaniel worked in a saw mill for Allender Brothers. His daughter Hannah worked for Mrs. Allender (the boys' mother.) Here Benjamin and Electa's youngest child was born. Joseph Smith Gardner.
In 1847 they moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa. They put in some garden and built a log house. In the fall William, Nathaniel and Hannah went back to Bentonsport and worked for the Allenders all winter. All three of them had measles and Mrs. Allender took care of them like a mother. They returned in the spring of 1848. Benjamin farmed more land and bought James Leithead's house and lot, also William R. Cole's house and lot for they (Leithead and Cole) continued their journey to the Valley of the Mountains that year.
Benjamin also worked in a grist mill for Mr. Cooly; he was president of North Pidgeon Branch, Iowa. His son Nathaniel died 10 Apr. 1861 at Council Bluffs. Here his son William married Angeline Gould 23 Mar 1852. This same year Benjamin with his entire family started on for the Valley of the Mountains, leaving their homes and land for the Saints who were following after them. They arrived in Salt Lake City 28 Sep. 1852. Benjamin was captain of Company No. 10.
After spending a few days in Salt Lake City, they went north to Willard, Box Elder, Utah to visit his sister Margaret G. Wells and family, who had come to the valley two years before. That fall (1852) they returned to Weber County and located three miles south of Ogden at Birch Mill, where he worked for Daniel Birch in his grist mill, placing the machinery and starting the mill to running and was the miller until 1856, then rented Rufus Allen's farm one or two years.
Here his daughter Hannah was married to George S. Mason, 22 Mar 1855. They made their home in Willard. William also made his home there. Here also his daughter Lucinda was married to James Leithead 7 May 1856, and they made their home at Farmington, Davis County, Utah. Thus the children began to scatter and make homes for themselves.
In the fall of 1857, Benjamin and the rest of his family moved to North Ogden, where he worked in Newman Blodgett's grist mill, placing the machinery and started the mill running. He was the miller as long as the mill was run. He also bought a farm from Mr. Goldsborough. Later he bought a house and two lots from Thomas Dunn and moved into Fort at North Ogden. Here five of his children were married.
While Johnsons Army was being held back on Hamfork and the Saints moving south, Benjamin and his family (with the exception of Milo, who left with others on detail at North Ogden) went as far south as Provo, but returned when peace was restored. Benjamin was Justice of the Peace for many years.
In the spring of 1869, he sold his property to David Garner and moved to Deweyville, Box Elder, Utah, where he spent the rest of his days.
He died 3 July 1875. His body was taken to Ogden and laid to rest in the Ogden cemetery. He was a faithful Latter Day Saint. His wife, Electa, made her home with her youngest child, Joseph after the death of her husband, but spent some of her time with her other children.
She died 8 Aug. 1890, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Belinda Holdaway at Deweyville and was taken to Ogden and laid to rest by the side of her husband. They both lived honest, honorable, upright lives and were true to their religion until the end of their days.
They passed through many trials and persecutions with the Saints, but never murmured.
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