Monday, March 14, 2011

Family History - Francis Lee and Jane Vail Johnson

Dear friends and family: Good morning! Here is another family history which I found among my mother's things which I want to share with you today, along with a poem I wrote about Francis Lee and Jane Vail Johnson Lee at the end. More to follow. Have a wonderful day. Your friend and brother. Jim
Francis Lee and Jane Vail Johnson
At Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio, on June 26, 1811, Francis Lee was born. He was one of a family of eight children. Of his boyhood days we have no record, but in 1832, when he was twenty-one years old, he and Jane Vail Johnson (who afterwards became his wife) joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Randolph County, Indiana. Soon after joining the Church, they, with others, were driven to the State of Missouri, where on October 24, 1835, Francis Lee and Jane Vail Johnson were married.
At Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, near the famous Liberty Jail, their eldest child, William Henry Lee, was born August 9, 1836. From Liberty they went with other persecuted Saints to Far West, Caldwell County, where on April 25, 1838, Electa Jane Lee Edwards was born. Persecution was then raging heavily against the Saints and on October 27 of this year the Extermination Order of Governor Boggs was issued. In the depths of one of the most severe winters ever known there, 14,000 souls, among them Grandfather Lee and family, were driven from their homes. They found refuge in Adams County, Illinois at a little town called Payson. Here two other boys were added to the family, Samuel Marion, born January 8, 1840, and John Nelson, born November 17, 1841. In the fall of 1843 the family was located at Nauvoo, the beautiful city of the Saints, and here George Washington Lee was born, April 25, 1844.
The following June witnessed the martyrdom of the Prophet and his brother. Early in January, 1846, at a Council meeting held in the Temple, it was decided to leave Illinois and on February 4, the Saints began crossing the Mississippi River on their journey westward. The Saints left in companies and on June 14, 1846, Grandfather with 225 arrived at the Missouri River, where a large ferry boat was built and soon after the Saints began crossing the river.
Next we find the family located in Jamestown, Andrew County, Missouri, and on November 13, 1846, Francis Columbus Lee was born. On December 19, 1848, Jacob Edward was born. Early in 1850 they reached the Platt River at a place called Plattville, where they crossed and on June 13th they took up their march again. That very night cholera broke out in their camp. Several died, among them Jacob Edward Lee, 27 June 1850. He was buried on the plains near the bank of the Platt River.
While camped at the Missouri River, the family was joined by Great Grandfather Samuel Chaffing Lee. He joined his son Francis, and they crossed the plains in the company of James Pace and David Bennett.
Salt Lake City was reached on September 17, 1850 and on the 26th of this month they located at Tooele. (pronounced Toowilla) This was their home for eleven years. On December 4th of 1850 Mary Eliza Lee was born.
The next event of importance was the baptism of Great Grandfather Samuel Lee in the spring of 1851. Tooele was the birth place of three other children, Milton Lafayette, born February 4, 1853, Arthur Orson on June 27, 1856 and Louise Juliette Lee, January 12, 1859.
After eleven years residence at Tooele, Grandfather Lee's name was first on the list of names called to settle the Dixie country in 1861. Their first home was at Santa Clara. In 1863 the youngest of the family died and was buried at St. George, Utah. Early in 1863 they moved to St. George but their stay was short for in two weeks they answered a call to settle a new and then Indian Territory.
On May 4, 1863, they reached Panaca. They were accompanied by Samuel Francis Lee, a nephew of Grandfather Francis Lee. In November, 1864, the old fort was built on the lot now owned by Frank Edwards. Electa Jane Lee had married George W. Edwards before coming to Panaca and William H. Edwards has the distinction of bein the first white child born in Lincoln County, Nevada. His birthplace being Clover Valley, and Frank Edwards was the first white child born in Panaca.
The first summer of their sojourn here - the lots now owned by Aunts Mary and Jane Lee were broken up and planted. Potatoes, corn and about 30 bushels of wheat were harvested that fall. This wheat, which was cut and threshed by hand, was taken to the Parowan Mill by John N. Lee, and was the first flour to be had since the Lee's settled in Panaca. The Indians were a great menace to the settlers and on one occasion Grandmother Lee was forced to defend herself and three children from several treacherous redmen. Several of them were killed before peace was again enjoyed in the little fort. Only two years did Grandfather Francis Lee survive in his new home for on July 17, 1866 he passed away and after nine years of hard work and heroic endurance Grandmother Jane Vail followed him on July 10, 1875. The death of Electa Jane Lee Edwards, eight years ago, passed away the last member of the family of Francis and Jane Vail Lee, but a numerous posterity lives to perpetuate their sacred memory. (To be continued)
Francis Lee and Jane Vail Johnson
24 October, 1835 - 17 July 1866
Married in the Spring of life in 1835,
Francis and Jane Vail Lee had lots of spunk and drive,
And loved each other very much, and also loved the Lord,
And lived according to God's laws, which all may here afford.
They loved the restored Gospel, and loved the Prophet, too,
And kept the Lord's commandments each day, their whole life through,
And sacrificed so very much, because of persecution,
And Governor Boggs Exterminating Order, an order of execution.
They fled from place to place to place in search of peace and rest,
Along with many other Saints, and finally came out West,
Crossing 1300 miles of barren wasteland here,
And many buried their loved ones who to their hearts were dear.
They suffered with the Pioneers, enduring every trial,
And yet through faith and courage, they kept their love in style,
And to this sacred union, eight children came to be
The ancestors of thousands, including James H. Lee.
Praise God for faithful pioneers who loved and served the Lord,
And sacrificed so very much, not seeking a reward,
But seeking to obey His laws, and living faithfully,
With faith in every footstep, and prayer on bended knee,
And following the Prophet, God called in latter days,
To help build up His kingdom, and teach us heaven's ways,
And though many suffered, and many, many died,
Their sacrifice was not in vain, this cannot be denied.
Just look and see this Valley which Brigham Young beheld,
Where the Saints of God assembled, and fear has been dispelled,
And the Temple here was builded, where millions come to see
The splendor of of The Lord's House, and what has come to be.
Today, Christ's Church is widespread, and many a pioneer,
Has had to make a sacrifice, and leave their loved ones dear,
To join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, restored,
Through Joseph Smith, the Prophet, as directed by the Lord.
For Israel must be gathered from the four corners of the earth,
And prepared to meet the Savior, the Babe of humble birth,
Who soon will be returning, triumphant in the sky,
To usher in the Millennium, God's will to satisfy.
Oh may we, their descendents, help further Father's plan,
To cheer and bless and gladden, and help ennoble man,
And may we be found worthy, as their posterity,
To join and sing God's praises with all our family.
I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
James Horald Lee Jr.
Son of James Horald Lee and Jennie May Woodbury Lee,
Descendents of Francis Lee and Jane Vail Johnson Lee.
Typed from Samuel Lee Family Clarion which included the above story from the Mahlon Johnson Family of Littleton, New Jersey, ancestors and descendents, ancestors of Jane Vail Johnson Lee.

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