Saturday, January 18, 2014

Biography of Gardner Snow (1793-1889)


Written by
Ruby Snow Jensen
His Great Granddaughter
Mapleton, Utah

Gardner Snow, son of James Snow and Abigail Farr, was born in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, 15 February, 1793, and grew up in this same town with his brothers and sisters, ten in number, which made a large family in those pioneer days. There he grew to young manhood and in the year 1814 he and Sarah Hastings daughter of Jonathan and Salome Burt Hastings, were married. They lived in Chesterfield, New Hampshire for four years and were made happy in their home by the advent of the arrival of three sons during these four years, all born in Chesterfield, new Hampshire. (Bennett. Family Exaltation, pp. 268-269.)

Jonathan Hastings Snow     Born 25 May, 1815
James Chauncey Snow     Born 11 Jan. 1817
Warren Stone Snow     Born 18 June 1818

The hardy and restless pioneers were now hewing their way into the vast somber forests to the west. They were frontiersmen of strong will and adventurous temper, accustomed to the hard, barren, yet strangely fascinating life of pioneers in the wilderness. Gardner Snow, his wife and small sons, left Chesterfield in the late summer or early fall and with his father and mother and part of their family, joined the seekers in their trip westward for new homes and a place where they might be able to get property, land and cattle for their families.

St. Johnsbury plain was an unbroken wilderness before 1787. At that time, on the 7th of May of that year, a man built his camp near the north end of the plain and cleared seven acres of forest land and planted some corn. Thus started a new settlement which was named St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The first man to start this settlement was James Adams.

In the travels of the Snow families westward, they stopped at this small settlement in 1818 and started to build their homes. In the year 1818 a meeting house had been erected. Gardner Snow's father and mother both died in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Gardner Snow and Sarah Hastings had four more children born to them while living in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. They were George, Eliza, John and Martha.

In the year 1900, two men called at No. 6 Park Street asking for information of their parents. These two young men were grandsons of Zerubbabel Snow and Mary Trowbridge. They told the man at Park Street that their parents had been baptized in the old First Church. They also said they were Mormon Elders from Utah, sons of William Snow, who was born in 1806, and Erastus Fairbanks Snow, born in 1818 at St. Johnsbury. The following is what they learned:

St. Johnsbury had lost sight of her distinguished sons of Mormondom, but after this visit of the Snows, interest was aroused and some facts gathered about the Mormons.

Their headquarter was in the Chesterfield District, north of East Village, and the Snow farms were in that District as they had all settled together and perhaps the name Chesterfield District came from their old home in New Hampshire.

One of the barns belonging to the Snows was used for a meeting house by the missionaries. Many people were converted to this new religion and were baptized in the stream of water which ran across the Snow farm near the barn. Quite a few families sold their homes and farms, including the Snows, and went off with Joseph Smith to the promised land. (The Snows were called the leading advisors of Brigham Young by Congressman Landis of Indiana. He remarked, "They were the most consistent Mormons in the whole branch."

After the migration of the Snows, there was nothing left to make the Chesterfield District a popular resort.

A man in his 83rd year told this of the old meeting house: "There was a large crowd gathered in the old Snow farm for Sunday Night Meeting. The Mormon Elders sat up on the high beams and the women and children sat in the hay. The men and the boys were packed in anywhere. It was Sunday, but a regular holiday. The old barn is still standing."

William Snow was one of the first two men to enter Great Salt Lake Valley, and a brother, Zerubbabel, born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was one of the first Justices of the Territory of Utah, appointed by President Fillmore. (This bit of history was taken from Book        St. Johnsbury, Vermont.)

Gardner Snow and wife and children were converted to the Mormon Church by the Mormon Elders and with the other Snow families, started westward again with the Saints.

In 1833 Gardner Snow was baptized, confirmed, and ordained a Priest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1834 (winter) he was ordained an Elder by John Badger to preside over the branch of the church at St. Johnsbury, Vermont. In 1836, with his family, he moved to Kirtland, Ohio.

In the year 1837, he was ordained to the Quorum of Seventies in the attic story of the Temple. In the month of April, 1837, he received his endowments in the Kirtland Temple. In 1838 the family moved to Adam-on-Diahman, Davis County, Missouri.

A son, Gardner H., was born in Ohio on the journey.

"I saw the remains of an alter [sic] which Father Adam created while on this earth after he was driven from the Garden of Eden, and here in this place my little son Gardner died and was buried by our hands, by reason of mob violence."

In the winter of 1839, they moved with the Saints to Illinois. In January, 1840, Elizabeth C. Snow was born. On the 23rd of October, 1840, Gardner Snow was ordained Bishop by Hyrum Smith.

In 1845 they were again driven from their home into Nauvoo, suffering a great loss of property with others in the general conflagration. In 1846 he received his washings and annointings in the Nauvoo Temple. In the spring of 1846 they left their home in Nauvoo and moved to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, to a place we called Council Bluffs, but had been named Cartersville. He was called upon to resume his office of Bishop in that place, which he did until 1850 when the family came to Utah and settled at Manti, Sanpete County, Utah, November 6.

He took an active part in the Black Hawk War, was a councilman and was elected Probate Judge of the county. He was a High Councilman a number of years and on the ninth of July, 1874, was ordained a patriarch in Salt Lake City, which he filled until his death, blessing his sons and many of his grandsons.

He married Obedience B.                                 before 1850. She died in 1850. Notation in Manti Ward record calls her "second wife of Gardner Snow. Died before his arrival in Salt Lake City."

After the death of his first wife, he married Carolina Maria Nelson Twede 24 July, 1855, sister of                                          who lived in Mapleton, Utah. (Bennet, Family Exaltation, p. 268).

He died 17 November 1889 at Manti, Sanpete County, Utah, and was buried in the cemetery there near the temple.

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