On to Iowa . . .
photo is a mystery to us as no one bothered to mark
the names on it. However, it came from James Newberry's
second family's photo album and was supplied to us by
Al Donnelson and Thelma Newberry.
Because of some information and comparisons with other
photos we believe this picture may be of Elizabeth Haskins,
and Sybil Pulsipher.
Mormons In Iowa
Excerpt printed in the Evening Democrat Newspaper of Ft. Madison, Iowa -
Thursday September 11, 1913 P. 4, col. 4 and found by descendant Marlene Barnes.
Crossed the Southern Part of the State in 1840
year 1849 was marked by a treaty for the departure of one race from western
Iowa and by the permanent advent of another. Before the exit of the Pottawattamies
came the Mormons fleeing from their enemies in Illinois. The refugees traversed the
southern part of the Territory of Iowa, through the settled counties and then the
remaining two-thirds of the distance over the roadless, bridgeless, unpeopled stretch
Mormons encountered no opposition: they passed the Indian village in what is
now the western part of Cass county, and when they reached Council Bluffs agency
in June, they were welcomed ‘In a most friendly manner,’ winning the hearts of the
Indians by giving a concert at their agent’s residence. Opposite Bellevue, at Traders’
Point the Indians had cut an approach to the river and established a ferry; they now
did a big business carrying families and wagons and the cows and sheep of those
Mormons who were to spend the next few months at Winter Quarters (on the site
of Florence, Nebraska). Many Mormon families, however, tarried permanently in
later became Mills and Pottawattamie counties.”
- from the July number of the “Iowa Journal of History and Politics”
published by the Iowa State Historical Society of Iowa.
The Family of James Newberry in Missouri, Iowa and Illinois
Missouri Redress Petitions show in an affidavit written and signed by James
that he moved from "Ohio to Jackson Co., Missouri. He was driven from Jackson to Clay Co.,
from house to house (3 different dwellings), then he went to Caldwell County. He and his
family were then driven from the state by the mobs to Iowa and Illinois (Nauvoo)."
following is a transcription of the petition written by James Newberry and his
with fellow members.
Missouri Redress Petitions (new Feb. 2003)
We the undersigned, being many of us personally acquainted with the said Joseph Smith, jun., and the circumstances connected with his imprisonment, do concur in the petition and testimony of the above named individuals, as most of the transactions therein mentioned we know from personal knowledge, to be correctly set forth, and from information of others, believe the remainder to be true.
Missouri Redress Petition of Jams Newbery
Illinois May the 7 1839
A bill of Damages a gainst the state of
Missouri which has occurd in Conciquenc of the
goviners order of exterminition. First in mooveing from Ohio to Jackson Co Mo my family
consisted of 12 persons $200.00
For Being drive from thence to Clay Co 150.00
From Clay to Cald well fter having
Ben Drive from house to House 3 times in Clay for
this a buse and Loss of property and time 500.00
Loss of property and Being Driven
from the State together with the Loss of labor
Do here By Certify that the a bove account is Just and true a cording to the
Best of my
[Sworn to before C.M. Woods,
C.C.C., Adams Co., Il, 7 May 1839]
The following information comes from a history written by James Newberry's grandson
W.E. Winegar regarding his stay in Missouri. History provided by Jeff Farquhar.
"We do not know where James first came in contact with the Church, but we have
reason to believe that it was around Kirtland. We do know this: that he was a very
sincere and converted man to this new movement. So much so that around 1832 or
1833 he made the long trek to Independence and settled there. He believed it to be
a place to establish his home, so he built a large two-storied stone house in Independence,
which my mother has pointed out to me many times as “The house my Father built”.
But the times were very unsettled and the trouble in Independence brought about the
unfortunate strife between the settlers, and he, along with the others suffered a loss of
this home. It was still standing when we lived in Independence and only in recent years
was it torn down to make room for modern businesses. The Newspaper, “The Observer”,
now stands on the spot where James Newberry once tried to establish his home."
According to Joseph Smith's journal the Saints were not settled in Nauvoo until 1839.
Iowa land holdings . . .
James A. Newberry's sons James Washington Newberry and Abraham Newberry took up and used
the land on the Half Breed Tract in Lee Co. Iowa where the whole family was found in 1838.
This land was at first allotted to the Sac and Fox Indians who were half bloods. Did the Newberrys
qualify for this land because of their heritage or because of pre-emptive laws? We are not sure-
however, James appears on the Half Breed Tract Census in 1838. The land was lost by the Sac
and Fox after the Black Hawk War and the signing of a treaty saying that they would move on to
wherever the government deemed best. As explained previously final claim to the land came to
James Newberry after the LDS Church purchased it in a deal from Isaac Galland. His sons James
W. and Abraham are shown as owners of various parcels of land in this county after James Sr.
moves on to SW Iowa. The history of this particular parcel of land is very difficult to get a straight
story on, as the ownership was in question in the courts for quite some time.
The government moved the Indians to the southwest corner of Iowa, which is also where the
James chose to reside. This was a Pottawattamie Indian reserve that was not vacated by the
Indians until as late as 1855. Between 1846-47 James A. Newberry joined them, taking his
residence in Kanesville, (Council Bluffs) then moved to Trading Point, Indian Creek, and
Wheelers Grove toward the end of his life. He was a farmer. The country was divided into
two counties, Pottawattami and Mills County. The National Archives shows that in 1840 two
thirds of the western land was Indian Territory. The counties were not subdivided until later.
In Mills county they were living at Indian Creek/ Indian Mill. Indian Mill was an outpost
provided to the Pottawattamie Indians who were relocated to western Iowa by the U.S.
government. This mill was to be used exclusively by the Indians, they allowed the whites
to use it if they were not in need of it.
In his later life he owned land in
Farm Creek as is described below.
“The SE ¼ of the NE ¼ and a part of the NE ¼ of the SE ¼ all lying north of Farm
Creek. The wider of the creek being the line, all section 21 tp 74 Range 39.”
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 Orange county New York. See above for travels during
childhood. After becoming of age he began farming operations on his own account,
in Des Moines Twp., 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. (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 or Joseph Smith's Mormonism. It is thought that John Smith Newberry was in
Wisconsin as well.)
Three children were born to them - - namely 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 country, and a fine representative of the pioneer element of the Hawkeye
J. W. 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 this county, 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 were married in Des Moines Twp., her parents having emigrated
to Iowa when she was only fourteen years of age. Her parents lived her for a time, and
then left and went to Des Moines, IA where they remained until their decease, both living
to an advanced age.
Mr. Newberry was an honored pioneer
of Des Moines Twp., and extensive land proprietor,
general farmer and stock-grower, the owner of 1117 acres of land. Part of his land 312 acres
lies in Scotland, Co., Missouri. Ten children were born to James W. Newberry and Edith
Armantha Benedict Newberry, namely Washington, West W., Armantha, Ella D., Alta M.
Fred D., Charles D. (Fred and Charles were twins) Deceased children were, Smith B.,
Moline and one unnamed. Religiously, 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 from
April 10, 1839 to October 6, 1863 when he was ordained a high Priest and served in that
capacity until his death.
Jane Newberry Crandall
Jane Newberry married Jacob Crandall and moved to Shelby Co. Iowa where she died.
Not much more is known about this family.
James' marriages after Mary Smith Newberry dies in Illinois . . .
Mary died in Nauvoo on November 20th 1942. Her grave has recently been marked in
the old Nauvoo cemetery with a stone that reads, "Mary Smith wife of James Newberry".
James married Elizabeth Haskins in
Des Moines Township, perhaps as early as 1840. This
information comes from descendants of his second family. This information was supposedly
scribed in a Book of Mormon that belonged to James which has been donated to one of
the Church archives. However, no one is able to find it at this time to verify the information.
In the family journal James scribed his marriage in this way,
"Age Marriage &c.,
James Newbery born May 29th 1791 in the town of Warwick, Orange Co. New York
Elizabeth Haskins Newberry born in the town of Loch, Cuyuga Co., New York March 9th
Married in Montrose, Lee Co., Iowa Nov. 17th 1845"
James has obviously made an error here in Elizabeth's birthday - but according to other
written accounts the date is correct in LDS records, not knowing the place, Des Moines
township as shown in the early paragraph must be incorrect. The marriage to Sybil is
not recorded. I suspect that this journal may have been left behind in Lee County, and
others of his family may have continued logging additional information, as the handwriting
changes after the entry of Elizabeth's children and her death.
LDS records show that James married Elizabeth in 1845 and that he also married Sybil
Pulsipher at the same time, however, census records do not show Sybil living in the same
household with James and Elizabeth - but she does live in close proximity in most census'.
When Elizabeth died, Sybil moved in with James and Elizabeth's children and took over
caring for the family. She had no children of her own. Sybil is mentioned in family histories
as being a very kind and loving mother to the children, however the Haskin’s descendants
were unaware of her name until now. James must have re-thought his position on polygamy,
because Haskins descendants were unaware of the two marriages. See information written by
Zerah Pulsipher her brother. James' family with Elizabeth included Serastus, Alma Maroni,
Joesph Hyrum, Heber, Mary Elizabeth, Jolana Emily, and Daniel. Mary Elizabeth and
Daniel died in infancy. Elizabeth died probably with Daniel on February 28, 1855.
Polygamy had become a sanctioned practice, although many of the men of the Church hid
their plural marriages from their first wives, and simply kept two homes - or their wives lived
among their own immediate family members. The men who were more likely to have plural
marriages were those who were closest to the prophet. The practice didn't become wide
spread through the membership until the Mormons were in Utah.
It is well known that Emma Hale
Smith, Joseph Smith's first wife was vehemently opposed
to plural unions. Being that as it is, the Reorganized Church opposed the practice as well.
After the main body of Mormons went to Utah, the people who remained joined the Re-
organized Church and renounced their membership to the first Church. They were re-baptized
under the tenets of the Reorganized Church. Accordingly, the faction in Utah eventually
ex-communicated this group of people. This made for difficult relations on some venues
with part of the family being associated with Brigham Young's faction, and other families
belonging to the reorganized group. This made for some difficulties in the family, as Hannah
and several of her sisters went west with the Brigham Young party.
Reorganization didn't start to take place until the 1860's, which left those people who stayed
behind in Iowa with only the doctrine provided to them by "The Old Time Church", as
proclaimed by James' in letters to his family in Utah. James appears to have been involved
with people who continued to rigidly believe in the doctrine promulgated by Joseph Smith.
Church politics at the time seems to have severed relationships of some followers of Smith
from the new leadership of Brigham Young. Splinter factions formed. Two of these were
the Strangites, and the Cutlerites.
The Cutlerites were led by Alpheus Cutler. Calvin Beebe was a leader with Cutler.
Because of this Beebe connection, myself and others believe that James Newberry probably
fell in with Cutler.1
Cutler was also very involved in missionary activities to the Indians, and several of his
constituents were indeed Native American men who were "gentlemen farmers from N.Y".
Cutler was granted permission first by Joseph Smith and the Brigham Young to continue
ministering to the Lamanites (Indians). When Brigham Young set out for Utah, Cutler and
his followers preferred to stay behind in Iowa. James Newberry does not show up in the
record as being a member, but many membership records are held in secret by those
people who still adhere to the organization.
James was vocal in his dislike of the LDS Church as led by Brigham Young. George Morris
tells of this in his journal and says that James likened the move to Utah as being a move to
"Babylon". James often begged his children to return.
Three sons and one daughter (his four oldest children) stayed in Iowa. One of his younger
daughters Harriet is said to have gone west too, but this is a fallacy as she wanted to be the
plural wife of George Morris. Jane her oldest 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,
at a young age. The rest of James' daughters went west either with Brigham Young or on to
When Joseph Smith's son Joseph and the prophets wife Emma Hale Smith began
reorganization of the the church, they started re-enlisting and re-baptizing older members
such as James. James' sons James Washington and possibly Abraham became part of the
re-organization in 1861 in Lee County. Elder James didn't re-affiliate himself with the church
until 1866 at Indian Creek, Mills Co., Iowa. The month is unreadable – probably
January 19, 1866.2
James' daughter Esther married Edward
Beebe son of Calvin Beebe and the two of them
went west to the gold fields of California in El Dorado, California where they became orchardists,
much like the Beebe families in New England had been.3 Electa Louisa went to Placer Co. with
her husband John Wixon and they became inn keepers. Their establishment was called "Franklin
House".4 John had the building dismantled in his native Massachusetts and shipped the building
in pieces around Cape Horn to San Francisco. He then had it shipped overland to Placer Co.
where it was reassembled and served until Electa's death as a hotel or boarding house.
James’ son John Smith Newberry went to Galena, Illinois and then to Argyle, Iowa where we
believe he is buried. His first edition Book of Mormon is in the Special Collections as the RLDS
Library in Independence, Missouri.
James is listed as a ‘native
voter’ in the 1856 Mills Co. census.
This in itself would seem to
indicate his ethnicity, and is the only “slip” in the record that we have thus far found to indicate
that he was in fact Native American. Some people have said that this didn't show that he was
Native American, only that he was a Native Iowan, which he was not. I believe that modern
scholars are not sure what this designation on the record means, so until someone can give me
better information, I am leaving this as it stands.
There are also letters that were written to family members in Utah that tell of James being of
Native American ancestry. One letter mentions that he was tall about 6' 5" tall and dark.
He also held himself up regally and walked with a long stride.
According to records Sybil died sometime in the 1870's. It appears that Sybil and James lived
at Indian Creek at the time. Before his death he moved back to Pottatawattamie County and
lived with his daughter Jolana (from his second marriage) at Wheeler's Grove. We think he was
with Jolana for approximately five years until his death July 10, 1880. James managed a long and
An interesting piece of information came from those people in Iowa who had obscure
information about the family, that James married a young Indian maiden after Sybil died.
However, the record of the union is lost to us, other than what was passed down orally.
This information was given to Marlene Barnes by Cloda Gunn, who lived to be 102 years
of age. She died in the 1970's.
James died July 10, 1880. He's buried in the old Mormon Cemetery in Wheeler's Grove.
Alongside of him are four of his grandchildren (Jolana's children) who died at a young age
This information is provided in a document written by W.E. Winegar son of Jolana.
Document provided by Jeff Farquhar. Wheeler's Grove Cemetery The cemetery held
many old wooden markers back when it was begun and all seem to be gone now. No one
seems to know if there is a map of this cemetery showing burials as they happened. James'
name and Alice's name (see below) do not show up in the roster. I believe it is possible
that James is buried next to the stone that is inscribed with Minnie V., Samuel D., and
Emma E. Winegar. However that supposition is far from conclusive.
the relatives who lived in Pottawattomi County, Iowa, and the old
cemetery around Wheeler’s Grove, he writes:
After the conference of 1912, Mother and I decided to go back to Iowa, also
Nebraska, to see her brother, Joe Newberry and other relatives – back to Wheeler’s
Grove, where I was born. I was now twenty years of age. We stayed a couple of
weeks visiting around. We went to see two of my father’s brothers and a sister who
were living in the old home, Uncle John, Uncle Marshall and Aunt Emma Winegar.
John was a bachelor, Aunt Emma, a maiden lady and Uncle Marshall was a widower,
who lost his wife some time before.
visited the old cemetery where several of my relatives had been buried.
father, James Newberry – four of her children, and Alice (Allie, a lovely young girl of 17
years, who died of spinal meningitis in 1890."
Probate of the Will
Another interesting tidbit is tha t James requested Levi Graybill to be the executor of his will with
another man. When James died, they apparently saw a big problem with the fact that he left
everything to the RLDS, and they asked to be excused from the duties of executors. The man
who took over the duties was Samuel O. Smith. (Yet another Sam Smith!) We have no idea if
he was related to James' first wife Mary - but we think it was unlikely.
Levi Graybill may have asked to be replaced because of the trouble he could see with James
leaving all his estate to the RLDS Church. Jolana's husband Henry Winegar went to court after
his father-in-law died and successfully obtained the lion's share of the estate, under the guise
of repaying himself for taking care of his father-in-law during his last years. In the probate in-
formation there is a ledger from Woodmancy's Mercantile that shows James' account. The
account is active until a couple of days after he died. Therefore, showing that the family was
buying on James' credit for his care.5
There were several Smith families intertwined in James' life. Levi Graybill was married to Patience
Smith. These Smiths were out of Kentucky or Tennessee. There is supposedly a journal written
by Abraham that says that his grandfather Smith died in Iowa and was living with James at the time.
With the information we have about Samuel in N.Y. now, this seems unlikely, but why would he
say this? It is possible someone was confused and wrote inaccurate information in the journal -
but this piece of information remains a tantalizing tidbit for now.
1 Danny Jorgensen PhD - University of Southern Florida - Department of Religion Chair
2 Early Re-organization Minutes provided by Barbara Bernauer, Archivist, Community of Christ
Ron Romig, Historian
3 Ed Dorado County Historical Museum, volunteer Carol Damerval
4 Placer County Archives, Carmel Barry, Archivist
5 Pottawattamie Genealogical Society Archives
Exodus to Utah
Connecticut / New
York / More Newberry's in New York /
Samuel Smith / Smith
Farm / Ohio /
Revolution / Iowa / Exodus to Utah / Utah / Hannah's Children / Hannah's Necklace /
Bibliography / Family Album / Jonathan Newberry Bible /