among larger population of Saints
While it is understood that not all the history
of my family is harmonious, it would appear that in the face of
strife the Newberry family suffered irreparable harm. The divisive
events that were taking place in Nauvoo with the
hierarchy, seemed to follow a trickle down affect through the Newberry
James Newberry, whose ten children were all members of the Church saw
within the fabric of his own family an
undercurrent of concern, which seems to have translated into developments
that tore the family asunder.
While James is only mentioned occasionally as a
cog in the greater wheel of the Church, he lived in Nauvoo with his
unmarried daughters and supposedly his second wife Nancy Brown. He
was called upon to gather funds for the building
of the Temple, and perhaps like his son-in-law, worked to unofficially
protect the city. He is mentioned in Hosea
Stout's Diary who was a primary player in this work. James was also
called to sign affidavits addressed to the president
of the United States, and a mission to Indiana. He was a small fish
among the larger fish - but was given some importance
in the offices to which he was assigned.
By 1845 James married again to Elizabeth
Haskins. This was a polygamous relationship, therefore putting him
position of following through with the new tenets of the Church.
Brigham Young seemed imbued with the spirit for which
Joseph was struck down.
The state of Illinois rescinded the Nauvoo's city
charter, and Nauvoo began a downhill slide, which further divided the
loyalty of members. Some of this dissidence had followed the Church
from Kirtland in 1838 when Joseph Smith and
his loyal friends left and moved to Far West. Even then the
dissident faction followed him in the names of the Whitmers,
W. W. Phelps and others. Joseph Smith's brother Williams was always at
odds with his brother's religious views, yet
he continued to stay close to the family but often criticized his brother.
Other members would try and quarter support
for other leaders. James Strang was among those along with William Smith,
Sidney Rigdon, George Miller, and Lyman
Wight. Olivery Cowdery was also to leave the church when Young took over..
By March of 1846 the Mormons were again being driven from their
city. James and his families may have been living in
Des Moines Township sometime before this, as his civil marriage to
Elizabeth Haskins took place in Iowa. His sons
probably saw their father as participating in polygamy, a practice for
which they had no regard or abjectly abhorred.
His older children's disposition as citizens of Iowa may tell the story of
what happened, though there is no written record
It is known that Abraham, after the exodus of the Mormons to Council
Bluffs, stood aloof to any religion. This young
man was brought up as a Mormon. Yet he stayed friendly to the
people, but no longer participated. His brother James
who owned land near his brother also stayed in Iowa, but later became an
important man in the RLDS church. Their
brother John, went to Wisconsin with other dissident factions. It is
thought that he may have gone with others of Joseph
Smith's own family who joined briefly with James Strang until he began
pushing polygamy. John and his wife Lucinda
(Elizabeth) disappeared from the radar around 1856-60. Recently it was
discovered that Lucinda died in Wisconsin
between 1855 and 1858. Judging by the sale of a piece of property
which had been bought only six months before, it
is thought she must have died in that six month time frame. John sold the
property and was noted as a widower. John
was known to have returned to Iowa, but his death date and place are
unknown. Their children were farmed out to
their father's siblings and grandfather.
Jane Newberry and her husband Jacob Crandall went
to western Iowa to Shelby Co. where a group of anti-polygamy
Mormons settled and built their numbers.
Their father James A. Newberry followed Brigham Young to Council
Bluffs. After about 1848, James seems to part
company with the Brighamites, staying behind in Council Bluffs, and moving
around the county to various locales - i.e.
Wheelers Grove, Indian Creek, and he owned land in Montgomery Co.
What follows is a more detailed description
of his children who stay in Iowa. We believe he followed the group called
the Cutlerites. There were
who would form their own sects. The Strangites, Rigdonites and
others would vie for members from the original
population. Even Emma Smith and her family stood aloof from other
groups until the Reorganization began in
the late 1850's and early 60's.
More on the Sons
& daughter who stayed in Lee County, Iowa
Abraham B. Newberry
A. B. Newberry, third child of
James A. Newberry and Mary Smith Newberry, was born March 1, 1816 in
county New York. After
becoming of age he began farming operations on his own account, in Des
where he was married on New Year’s Day 1842 to Miss Eliza Duty, a native
of Vermont who was born Oct. 24,
1842 to Israel Duty and Mehitable (Sawyer) Duty. The Duty family was
related to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and
Abraham Newberry's wife was a cousin to Joseph Smith. (Israel Duty is
found to be one of the prominent members
of the Strangite organization who were said to have moved to Wisconsin to
practice their own form of Joseph Smith's
Mormonism with James Strang.
Three children were born to them - Orson O., Rosaline and Charles.
Mr. Newberry was the proprietor of 1800 acres
of land, lying in what is known as String Prairie. He
was largely engaged in stock raising.
He contributed largely to the
growth and development of this section of the county, and a fine
representative of the pioneer element of the Hawkeye
State. Abraham Newberry stood aloof from the LDS Church most of his adult
life, for reasons unknown to us, but always
welcomed members and missionaries to his home. He and his wife were
later divorced. It is believed by this author that
their differences in religious belief probably precipitated their
division. Mrs. Newberry maintained her own home in the
An old family letter mentions that Brigham Young stayed on a corner of the
Newberry Farm back in 1846. At this time
archeological studies are taking place on the co-owned property of James
Newberry the fourth child of James A. Newberry and Mary Smith Newberry was
born in Orange county,
New York December 9th 1817, and was nearly twenty-one years of
age when he arrived with his parents in Lee Co,
and soon afterwards commenced life on his own account.
Shortly afterward he married Edith A. Benedict, a native
of Canada West, who was born in September 1830 to Ezra A. Benedict and
Edith (Parish) Benedict. They
married in Des Moines Twp., her parents having emigrated to Iowa when she
was only fourteen years of age.
parents later went to Des Moines, IA where they remained until their
decease, both living to an advanced age.
Edith A. Benedict was a cousin twice removed. His paternal
grandmother was a Benedict and Edith was the grand
daughter of one of his father's (James A. Newberry's) uncles.
Mr. Newberry was an honored
pioneer of Des Moines Twp., and extensive land proprietor, general farmer
stock-grower, the owner of 1117 acres of land. Part of his land (312
acres) was in Scotland, Co., Missouri.
Ten children were born to James W. Newberry and Edith Armantha Benedict
Newberry. They were Washington,
West W., Armantha, Ella D., Alta M. Fred D., Charles D. (Fred and
Charles were twins) Deceased
Smith B. ,Moline and one unnamed. Mr.
Newberry and Mrs. Newberry adhered to the faith of the Reorganized Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he serving as an Elder until October
6, 1863 when he was ordained a high Priest
and served in that capacity until his death.
Jane Newberry Crandall and John Smith
Jane Newberry b. Oct. 17, 1812,
married Jacob Crandall and moved to Shelby Co. Iowa. She and her husband
were dissidents to the LDS church because of the polygamy question.
They took up the mantle of the RLDS Church
in the 1860's when Joseph Smith III was installed as leader of the
reorganization. The RLDS movement began in
Wisconsin where many of the dissident Saints (including her brother and
other non-blood relatives) removed in the
1840's after the death of Joseph Smith.
John Smith Newberry, b. May 22, 1814, Jane's brother was heavily
involved with the Wisconsin Saints, and
spent a lot of time as a lead miner in the area. It is thought that
he and his family moved back to Iowa sometime
after Blanchardville was abandoned by the Church. John Smith Newberry went
to Galena, Illinois and then to Argyle,
Iowa where we believe he is probably buried. His first edition Book
of Mormon is in the Special Collections as the
RLDS Library in Independence, Missouri. It was recently discovered that
Lucinda died in Wisconsin sometime
between 1855 and 1858. John Smith Newberry sold a piece of land that he
had purchased only six months
previously, in 1858. We think he moved back to Iowa for a short period of
time, just before his death. His grave
is still unknown, but some records seem to indicate that he might be
buried on the old family farm somewhere.
However, the land has been divided up over the years since 1870. As for
the children: one of his sons is found
living with his grandfather James A. Newberry in SW Iowa, and two
other children were found living with Jacob
and Jane Crandall. And another with Abraham. The children were teenagers
One of his younger daughters Harriet, b. Nov.
24, 1825 was said to have gone west too, but this is a fallacy.
She wanted to be the plural wife of George Morris (husband of her sister
Hannah Maria) but Jane her eldest
sister stepped in and stopped her 17 year old sister from making this
mistake. She married a man named Seth
Palmer and died in Montrose in 1849. There are two children for Harriett
that no one has been able to account
for. However, Seth Palmer went to Harrison Co., and remarried.
It is thought that polygamy and other
problems made dissident members and apostates out of the oldest
children of James Newberry and Mary Smith. The younger children
however, continued to embrace the faction
of the Church led by Brigham Young. All the rest of the children
James and Mary's children went west to Utah
James and Mary's daughters who