CARE MUST BE
WHEN READING THIS DOCUMENT
This document represents the
actions and beliefs of some ancestors in the Hand family who embraced the tenets of the
Mormon religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints). Those tenets are
incompatible with the teachings of the Bible even though Mormons claim that it is part of their
doctrinal beliefs. Just a few major Mormon beliefs that differ from the Bible are listed as
1. Mormons state there is no triune God or Trinity, only many seperate gods: pantheistic
2. Mormons believe that Christ was once a man like all human beings, but became a God.
3. Mormons formerly believed that the literal father of Jesus Christ was Adam.
4. Mormons believe there is no "original sin" but humanity is only responsible for sins committed
in this life.
5. Mormons believe there is no hell for the unrepentant.
6. Mormons believe a person can be "saved" by proxy baptism (baptism for the dead).
7. Mormons believe that after death they will be gods, just like Christ and God the Father, and
will rule over their own domains (planets).
8. Mormons believe in the process of "continuing revelation" through the presidency of the
church, that has allowed the Mormon Church to contradict earlier beliefs, i.e., sidestepping the
doctrine of polygamy when it was a doctrine implicitly preached by Joseph Smith.
9. The Mormons believe that when there is a conflict between Mormon tenets and the
Bible teachings, the Bible is incorrectly translated and Mormon tenets take precedence. The Bible
is authoritative only when it is correctly translated (according to the Mormon church) and agrees
with pre-determined Mormon doctrines.
With this information in mind, you may continue to read this family history document.
EMMA JANE CLEWS PIONEER
AND ELLOTT WILLDEN PIONEER OF 1852
Written by Manilla May Willden Hardy
Emma Jane Clews was born December 21,
1839 in Shelton, Staffordshire, England. She was the daughter of Andrew and May Ann Thomas
Clews. Emma together with her parents and two brother, one, her senior, named Joseph and the
younger named John, left England to join the Saints in Utah. The family crossed the ocean
independently, so I have not been able to learn just when they left or on what ship they sailed.
There is no record as to when they landed in New Orleans.
They did not have much money when they arrived. With the greater part of their journey ahead
of them, they worked their way up the Mississippi River, the father doing any work he could
find. When each job was done they would buy supplies, and passage on some river boat, and
continue on their way. At one time while the father was employed in a coal mine, some boys
playing with a gun, accidentally discharged it, the discharge struck Emma Jane in the cheek, the
scars of which she carried all the rest of her life. But this was not the greatest tragedy to strike
this family, for on the 26th day of June 1849 her father, mother and little brother died of Cholera,
and were buried the same day in one grave in St. Louis.V
This left Emma Jane and her brother Joseph to continue on alone. Just what happened to these
children the next two years we know very little. We do know that Emma and Joseph came to
Utah in 1851, in the company with W.J. Cox, who made his home in Beaver, Utah. At the time
of Emma's death he spoke at her funeral and said she came from St. Louis in the same company
he did. Emma Jane was then just 12 years old. During this time Emma became and expert shot
with a Horse pistol, and her brother Joe, arranged exhibitions to display her skill, the money she
made together with what Joe could earn paid their way to Utah. It was told that while crossing
the mountains Emma Jane shot and killed a large black bear.
After arriving in Salt lake City, Emma Jane worked for and lived with a family named Hunter.
She then moved to Cedar City, where on March 1, 1856 at the age of 16 (she would not be 17
until December), she married Ellott Willden. her brother Joe also lived in Cedar City, married
Emma Blanden. Joe his wife Emma Blanden later moved to San Bernardino, California, where
they were pioneers of the City.
Ellott Willden was born September 28, 1833 in Laughton, Yorkshire, England, the son of Charles
and Eleanor Turner Willden.
In 1845 at the age of 12 he, Ellott, was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints. Prior to that he had accompanied two ministers from town to town for the purpose of
leading the singing.
This was a dark time in England. Trade was bad, and the Saints were being persecuted. So on
November 10, 1849, the Willden family including seven children, bid farewell to their native
land, and set sail on the Ship Zetland, for the Unites States. After six weeks of hardship and
sufferings they landed in New Orleans, on Christmas Eve, 1849. They left New Orleans on the
29th of December 1849 on the "Steam Boat Ben West". During the journey Ellott lost a little
sister, maria age 2 years, on 4 January 1850, who was buried in Council Bain (or Bend), County
Crittendon, Arkansas on the Mississippi River. They arrived in St. Louis January 11,
From St. Louis the family moved to Council Bluff, where they began faring. But because of the
persecutions of the Saints it was necessary for them to again move westward, leaving their grain
in the bin, and their farm unsold, they began their long journey to Utah.
It was at this time that Ellott left his family, who would come later, and joined a company of the
Saints, in which were Lorenzo Snow and John T. Taylor. Ellott was one of the few of this
company who could swim, and because of this he was able to give valuable service in finding
camping places stream crossings, and feed for the cattle and horses. Ellott arrived in Salt lake
Valley in September 1852 (19 years old). The rest of the Willden family arrived December 31,
1852, they came with the 3rd company, Captain Thomas D. Howell. The Willden family was
sent out to help build what is now know as Cedar City, they arrived there in October
On March 15, 1856, Ellott married Emma Jane Clews in Cedar City, and they built a house and
barn. In Cedar City there was born to them two sons, Ellott, born January 7, 1858, and Charles
Andrew, born March 17, 1860. During this time Ellott worked three years on Mount Trumbo,
getting out lumber for the Temple at St. George.
In the fall of 1860, Ellott and his father were called to make improvements on Cove Creek, the
purpose was to make a Way Station for travellers. But their families did not arrive there until
March 1861. In April 1862 a third son Clarence was born to Emma Jane and Ellott Willden. At
this time the buildings on Cove Creek were know as For Willden.
In May 1861 President Brigham Young and party visited Cove Creek, and Willden Fort. The
scribe of the party described it as, two houses, and a dugout, surrounded by a picket stockade,
built of cedar posts. Three families living there, including five men who had sown nine acres of
On July 27th 1864, George, my father was born at Willden Fort to Emma Jane and Ellott. At that
time the Indians were hostile, and the night George was born, about 2000 Indians were camped in
the valley, west of the Fort. There were only five men and a large boy at the Fort at this time,
Great Grandfather Charles, Grandfather Ellott, three great uncles Charles, John and Feargus,
(Feargus was the large boy), three women and several children. Ellott mindful of the instructions
given by Brigham Young, "better to feed the Indians than to fight them", went to the Indian
encampment and told them to kill the beef in the pasture, which they did, and after a day or two
they disbanded and went on their way. Emma Jane told my father George that all the time she
was in labor with him she could hear these Indians, beating their drums, singing yelling and that
she expected them at any time to attack the fort.
In 1865 the Willdens moved to Beaver. In 1867 the Church took over the property at Willdens
Fort, and a rock Fort was built. It is now known as Cave Fort. In Beaver seven more children
were born to them.
In Beaver, Ellott engaged in farming and freighting, between Beaver and Salt lake City. He was
a peace-maker with the Indians. He had very little trouble with them. He learned their language
very fluently and rendered valuable service as an interpreter for them.
Ellott was a great musician, he had an exceptionally good ear for music. He was very
appreciative of good music, and the finer things of life. He bought the first organ and violin ever
owned in Beaver. His violin went with him on his long freighting trips, and he entertained with
it wherever he stayed. He bought the instruments and was a member of the first Brass Band, was
also a member of the choir and orchestra for many years. He had a great sense of humor, and
was the life of all the organizations to which he belonged. He had a remarkable personality and
made friends wherever he went, but he never gave up an old friend for a new one.
Ellott together with William Holt built and owned the first theatre and furniture store in Beaver,
these buildings were on Main Street. Ellott had a small general store at the side of the theatre.
William Holt a carpenter shop in the rear of the furniture store. Ellott was a repairer of musical
instruments and spent many hours doing this work in the back of his store. One night all of these
buildings caught fire and burned to the ground. This was a great loss to both Ellott and William
for their savings and their businesses were ashes.
In 1888 Ellott was appointed a member of the "Deep harbor convention". This convention was
called for the purposes of finding a suitable place to build a harbor on the Texas coast. Ellott was
honored by this convention by being elected a vice president of the organization. He made
personal friends of many Senators and Congressmen, also with Governor Adams, of Colorado.
This convention recommended to Congress that a harbor be built at Galveston, Texas. This was
done and was found to be a great commercial benefit to the South-west.
Ellott always looked upon this as his greatest Civic achievement.
In 1855 Ellott helped blaze a trail to San Pedro harbor. I have a copy of a letter addressed to
Ellott, it reads:
San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt lake R.R Co.
Office of President
49 Wall St. New York City, N.Y
William A. Clark, President
Mr. Ellott Willden
As one of the survivors of that brave and hardy band of men who fifty years ago blazed a trail
from Salt Lake City to San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Pedro Harbor, and in recognition of
our energy, fortitude and bravery displayed at that time, it is my pleasure to extend to you an
invitation to join with the other survivors of that historic and far reaching event, in an excursion
over the line of railroad of this company, so closely following the trail over which you and your
associates struggled and endured the hardships and privations incident to that perilous
undertaking and which marked the dawn of progress for the great empire of Southern
This excursion will leave Salt Lake City on October ninth 1905.
With assurance of highest respect and esteem
Yours very Respectfully
On the 25th of May his Beloved wife Emma jane died, she was 51. The funeral services, by her
request, were held in their home. One of the speakers being Elder W.J. Cox, one of the men with
whom she crossed the Plains.
In 1892 Ellott married again, a Miss Christinanna Brown. To this union a son and two daughters
were born. William, Nellie and Violet.
Ellott lived to be 87 years old. The last time I saw him he had walked from Beaver to Salt Lake
City, stopping on the way to attend a Black Hawk Indian War encampment. He did not have to
walk, but in his later life that is the way he liked best to travel. He was then 85 years old, hale
and hearty, his hair and beard were white as snow, still jovial. We asked hi, "Grandfather, when
you can't make a town at night, when you are hiking around the country, what do you do?" "oh"
he said laughingly, "I just pick out a likely farm house, knock on the door and when the lady
comes, I say, lady, will you please give me a drink of water, I am so hungry, I can't find a place to
sleep tonight, and they most always invite me in."
Ellott Willden died in his sleep at 1:30 A.M. October 1, 1920. It was said of him, those that
knew him best loved him most.
At the time of his death he was survived by 9 of his 12 children, 43 grandchildren and 25 great
grandchildren. He was buried in the Beaver Cemetery. His second wife also survived
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